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Letters: Vote Down the Free Staters

Vote Down the Free Staters

To the Editor:

It was clear at the Grafton deliberative session last Saturday that the vast majority of townsfolk were thoroughly disgusted with the shamelessly obstructionist attitude the Free Staters took, which is what they always do because of their lack of a more productive and respectful pastime. Sunday’s newspaper article did not sufficiently expose them as the very small minority of out-of-state fringe tax evaders they truly are. Most of them, even some who actually own land in town, refuse to pay property taxes; those who do pay, cram a gazillion people onto one property with the express intent of not paying taxes. Some of them register their vehicles through a fake business in Wisconsin so as to avoid state inspection, other residency requirements, etc. Some of them live full-time in Florida yet somehow are registered to vote in Grafton. The bottom line is: They are not even willing to fully commit to living here!

The legitimate taxpaying townsfolk are sick of having to waste an entire day (and more) bickering with people who don’t pay taxes and don’t even really live here. The idea that we can expect the best decisions to be made for the town regardless of attendance has disintegrated. Every single warrant article was hacked apart to try to get residents to become fed up and leave, so the Free Staters might gain a majority. One of our selectmen warned us of their delay tactics. We had to vote to disallow reconsideration on each article lest the Free Staters bring the articles back up after everyone had left. This time the Free Staters did not get their way.

We should continue to push against them. One way to help ruin their ambition is to vote for the new Mascoma High School project. Not only would this be excellent for attracting good teachers and intelligent people to the area, but it would also spit in the face of the Free Staters’ anti-education mentality. Finally, keep an eye on the ballot for their junk. You will see many sneaky warrant articles that have nothing to do with good old-time New England values. Vote them down.

Angus Gorman


Red Sox Trophy Day

To the Editor:

Great Eastern Radio of West Lebanon is extending an invitation to the community as we will be hosting the Red Sox World Series Championship trophy on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Jesse’s Restaurant on Route 120 in Lebanon. The Upper Valley is home to passionate and loyal Red Sox fans, and last year’s championship was even more special for our area, especially with Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherrington growing up right here in our own backyard and helping to put the championship team together.

This event is free to the public, but we do ask that fans please bring a nonperishable food item to be donated to the Upper Valley Haven. Jesse’s will also be hosting lunch specials for fans to enjoy after getting their picture taken with the 2004, 2007 and 2013 World Series trophies. There will also be a special live broadcast on WTSL 94.3-FM/1400-AM and WTSV 1230-AM with Brett Franklin and Matt Houseman talking baseball with sports fans throughout the event.

And of course, KOOL 93.9-FM/96.3-FM will once again be the Upper Valley’s home for Red Sox baseball all season long. Fans of all ages are encouraged to come out and celebrate with Great Eastern Radio and the Red Sox. We here at Great Eastern Radio are truly dedicated to continuing to deliver local content for our audiences. Our staff comprises people who live, work and raise families throughout the Upper Valley, and it is with great excitement we share this special occasion with our dedicated listeners. Go, Red Sox!

Brett Franklin

Sports Director, Great Eastern Radio

West Lebanon

Town Clerk Race in Royalton

To the Editor:

I am writing to announce my candidacy for town clerk in the town of Royalton. This will be the first contested race for town clerk of Royalton since 1970.

Serving my community as assistant town clerk has been very rewarding. The past two years has been an incredible experience of learning, exploring the history of my hometown, and meeting people in the community. The office experience I had gained over the years, as well as my computer skills and knack for problem-solving, made the transition to my new career go smoothly.

If elected as town clerk, I will continue to learn and better serve our town. I will research opportunities to update our land-recording process that will be cost-effective, efficient, improve accessibility and provide for secure long-term storage. I will work with the Selectboard to provide a consistent and legal employee policy for any person working under the supervision of the town clerk. I will work with the Selectboard, listers, finance manager, treasurer and Police Department to create a professional, friendly and supportive workplace as we move toward working in a single office complex. I pledge to return to an open accounting system supported by the treasurer and finance manager, to be fiscally responsible and to participate as needed with annual audit requirements. I pledge to follow all rules, regulations, laws and statutes to the best of my ability and to support my successors, in the best interest of the town.

Pam Levasseur

South Royalton

Lack of Character Is Nonpartisan

To the Editor:

Anthony Stimson, as ever even-handed, charges representatives of the American left with “utter lack of character.” He is right, of course; but thank God, there is counsel available — no longer, alas, in the person of “I Am Not a Crook” Nixon, nor “I Was Taking a Nap During Iran-Contra” Reagan. Yet we can be instructed, say, by “I Will Not Engage in Nation-Building” Bush (and his helpers, “Ken Lay of Enron and Red Cavaney of the American Petroleum Institute Are Just the Folks to Help Us With an Energy Policy” Cheney and “Mushroom Cloud” Rice). To keep our morals in place we can appeal to “Family Values With a Wide Stance” Larry Craig or to the irreproachable Sen. David Vitter.

But character issues are not susceptible to partisan judgment. Lack of character exists on both sides of the aisle and in every human quarter on Earth, Mr. Stimson. Your selective disdain betrays you.

Sydney Lea


Expand Weathersfield Library

To the Editor:

Over 100 years ago, a man named Benjamin Blood gave to the town of Weathersfield a small public library, well-built of brick in the village of Ascutney. It has served as our town library ever since.

Times change, and libraries have changed greatly in the past decade. Today the library has an enthusiastic and creative staff, and it offers — in addition to books, magazines, DVDs, computer use, and interlibrary loans — fun and informative programs for all ages. However, the library frequently must hold programs off site due to its tight quarters.

The library’s Board of Trustees has worked with an architect and created an Expansion Committee to raise the town’s attention to increasing the size of the library. This committee has held a number of programs and fund-raising events. And our head librarian, Nancy Tusinski, has developed a blog, www.wplexpansion.blogspot.com/ that describes a clear, comprehensive rationale for the need to enlarge the library to serve the community.

On Tuesday, March 4, Weathersfield voters will be asked to approve a $1.3 million bond for library expansion. Now is the time to become informed of this worthy project. And please do remember to vote.

Susan W. Hunter


Gun Control Is Not the Answer

To the Editor:

Bob Williamson’s Feb. 9 letter on gun control glosses over many key details. At the risk of repeating myself, I’d like to fill in those details.

First, Adam Lanza’s mother purchased the gun that Lanza used to kill his mother and the children. Unless Mr. Williamson advocates unlimited family snooping by government officials, there was nothing in her background that would have stopped the purchase. Why is Mr. Williamson unwilling to understand that?

Second, the incessant street and gun violence continues. It has happened in New York City, in Chicago and in other major cities. New York and Chicago already have draconian gun control regulations. Does Mr. Williamson really believe that those involved in the violence will suddenly worry about background checks, enhanced or otherwise? The guns used in these crimes are readily available on the street; pay the money, no names needed. It is pure fantasy to believe that more background checks will reduce this kind of violence. If he lived in Chicago, he ought to know.

Third, the Second Amendment to the Constitution is clear and unambiguous and has been upheld by the courts. The people have the right to keep and bear arms. When the enhance background checks and other measures proposed by gun control advocates prove to be futile (and that will happen), the next step will be for them to try to ban private ownership of guns altogether. Why not cut to the chase? Draw up the language for an amendment to the Constitution and follow the provisions in Article 5 to try to get it approved.

Finally, before anyone tries to ban guns by amending the Constitution, remember what happened when the country tried to ban “the evils of alcohol.” The only thing Prohibition did was create more crime and more evil than “the evils of alcohol.” Prohibition was finally repealed. Attempting to ban private ownership of guns will face the same fate with the same disasters along the way.

This country has problems. The family, especially in minority communities, has disintegrated. Morals, values, discipline, respect for life are quickly diminishing. When we begin to address those problems, we may see a better future.

Alan Tanenbaum


Filling in the Gaps

To the Editor:

We were delighted to read Jon Wolper’s fine article on our son, cellist Daniel Lelchuk (“The Making of a Cellist,” Jan. 17), but would like to fill in two important gaps. Daniel’s wonderful first teacher, who nurtured his love of music for 10 years, was Donna Denniston, of West Springfield, N.H. In the summer, Daniel plays (principal cello) with the conductor Lorin Maazel at his Castleton, Va., music festival.

Barbara Kreiger and Alan Lelchuk


Gold Stars for Paper Carriers

To the Editor:

I’d like to recognize two Valley News employees. My dog went missing on Sunday, Feb. 2, and I contacted the local police department, and posted a message on Facebook. News traveled quickly. At 4 a.m., while James Martin was doing his paper route, he saw my dog and acted quickly. With the help of Valley News carrier Keary Morse, he was able to get in touch with me, and I was able to locate my lost, scared dog who had been missing for 17 hours in the cold and snow and had traveled four miles away to the next town of Orange. I am forever grateful for their actions and for helping to get my dog home safely. These guys both deserve a gold star!

Amy M. Hall