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Letter: Squeezed by Big Business

Squeezed by Big Business

To the Editor:

I was very dismayed to read Jim Kenyon’s column regarding the closing of Eastman’s Pharmacy in Hanover. In what is fast becoming the norm, another local business has closed because giant conglomerates are infringing on private, local businesses. What was particularly disturbing was how another fast-growing conglomerate, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, has taken Eastman’s off its list of “preferred” pharmacies that can be used by DHMC employees and their families. This means that CVS, another enormous conglomerate, will be the provider for DHMC employees. This is presented under the guise of providing the best possible personal care to the DHMC community. Really? How personal can it be to lose a pharmacy that you’ve been going to for more than 20 years? How is DHMC providing better-quality care? I just don’t understand it. It seems to me that this is simply another case of being swallowed up by giant businesses that are concerned with what matters to them, and that is the bottom line, profit and money.

I don’t know what the answer is. But I do know that Lesley Gore’s little song “You Don’t Own Me” keeps playing in my head while I think about this. DHMC is trying hard “to own” their employees by severely limiting their choice of pharmacy. So it’s not about convenience and comfort, but about DHMC enforcing its will and then saying that it’s for “a culture of caring.” Seriously, nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone else feeling squeezed by the hands of big business?

Susan Gyorky


Was Clinton a ‘Carpetbagger’?

To the Editor:

Peter Hoe Burling (“Scott Brown: Carpetbagger,” Forum, Feb. 18) claims Scott Brown is a “carpetbagger of the first rank.” This reminds me of when Hillary Clinton decided to run for the U.S. Senate from New York and subsequently bought a house there in September 1999, creating her first connection to the state. She ran and was elected in the fall of 2000.

Did Mr. Burling write to the Valley News back then claiming Mrs. Clinton was a “carpetbagger of the first rank”?

Peter Brown


Proofreading: A Lost Art

To the Editor:

Pity the poor headline writer for the Valley News: bleary-eyed in the wee hours of the morning he slots cold metal type into the press bed, spreads the ink, and then hand cranks out each front page — doesn’t he? How else to explain “Urkaine”? And how to explains last Saturday’s “32” years ago in 1991? And that’s just the bold main lead header, not the numerous other misspelled, logic-defying headlines scattered throughout the paper. How wide-awake are Valley News readers? The headlines are more humorous than the funnies — and the captions? Don’t get me started. Proofreading: the lost art of the New Journalism.

Carolyn Crocker


Support for Background Checks

To the Editor:

As you correctly reported, a bill on universal background checks failed to pass the New Hampshire House. But that outcome is not exactly as it seems. The House of Representatives actually voted first, 174-166, to adopt the committee recommendations. That vote was a sign of majority support for expanding background checks in New Hampshire. However, the majority got outmaneuvered in subsequent confusing votes and attempts to amend the bill. In the end, the bill was voted down due to confusion, frustration and a deeply divided Legislature. Background checks had the votes, however, it, and the voices of 89 percent of New Hampshire residents got outrun on tactics.

Virginia Dresser

League of Women Voters of the Upper Valley

Gun Control: Important Tool

To the Editor:

When we read that our Second Amendment rights are “clear and unambiguous,” as stated by Alan Tanenbaum’s Feb. 13 response to a letter from Bob Williamson on gun control, we were surprised. U.S. historians of American history are almost unanimous in declaring this to be, possibly, the most ambiguous of all of the amendments in the Bill of Rights. James Madison and the other framers of the U.S. Constitution had no understanding of the distinction we make today between an individual and a collective right to bear arms, nor would they have had any understanding of our modern idea of gun control. In fact, the wording of this particular amendment seems pretty awkward: “a well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Mr. Tanenbaum uses a scare tactic by suggesting that if we pass thoughtful gun control legislation “the next step will be for them to try to ban private ownership of guns altogether.” How does that follow? He calls the gun control laws in cities like New York and Chicago draconian. These laws are not draconian, anymore than traffic laws, which attempt to regulate speed and mayhem on our highways. When a speeding driver passes us on I-89 and is stopped by the police, we are grateful. We don’t worry that draconian traffic laws will be enacted that will infringe on our privilege to drive. Gun control is one important tool in the entire toolbox every state can use to ensure that our neighborhoods and streets, in both large and small cities and rural towns, are safe.

Mr. Tanenbaum is all for a different kind of control. He states that it is in the “minority communities” that the problem lies and that we need to address their lack of “morals, values, discipline and a respect for life.” If a lack of morals, values and discipline are a part of the problem, it is not in minority communities. It is in the higher levels of financial leadership in this country, where greed abounds.

Judy and Bob McCarthy


Giving Trappers a Bad Name

To the Editor:

What a heartbreaking story of a heartless man who allegedly ensnared a woman’s canine companion and then shot it (front page, Feb. 14).

As a licensed New Hampshire trapper, I find it so frustrating when an illegal trapper sullies the name of those of us who trap responsibly and legally. What’s the saying? One bad apple spoils the whole bunch. Fortunately, the trappers I know do so responsibly after having taken proper courses and legally obtaining a license. But Richard Martin had been cited by Fish and Wildlife for alleged trapping violations before, the story reported. Let’s hope the court acts accordingly in his case.

Martin said the dog was “acting aggressively.” Is that a big surprise? The animal was ensnared in a trap and being approached by a stranger. How else would the dog act? Clearly the proper response would have been to call Fish and Wildlife in an attempt to release the dog.

There’s another side to this story. We all need to keep our dogs either on leashes or in fenced in areas. I couldn’t imagine letting my dogs out of my sight with the frigid temperatures this winter. Also, when dogs run off into the woods and don’t come back, it is quite possible they are running after deer. With the now-deep snow and cold temperatures, deer are stressed enough without rested, well-fed canines chasing them through the woods. That is animal cruelty in itself.

Rick Vandeveer

Springfield, N.H.