Forum, July 11: You Snubbed a Good Parade; Math Rules Don’t Add Up; Vanity and Immorality; The Co-op Debate

Paper Snubbed a Good Parade

To the Editor:

The Lebanon High School Alumni Day parade is a long-time tradition for us folks who live in Lebanon. It’s a big deal! It’s a fun time for classmates working on the floats as a team and a joy to behold for people watching the parade.

The floats this year were excellent. The theme — Beatles songs. Very creative.

I’ve been watching the alumni parade since I was a kid as well as marching in the band. And I am no spring chicken now.

What’s up with the Valley News ? It used to do a half-page to full page showing at least the first, second and third-place winners. One couldn’t wait to get the paper and see who won.

This year the Valley News showed one small picture of the third-place float — in back of City Hall.

Why can’t our local paper cover our once-a-year parade of floats? Why the snub?

Linda Facto


Cheering for Our Veterans

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Orford, Fairlee and Thetford veterans who participated in the Orford/Fairlee 4th of July parade, we would like to thank everyone for their enthusiastic cheering and support. It meant a great deal to the veterans from WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf wars to receive such heartfelt recognition and thanks, some for the very first time.

John O’Brien


Math Rule Doesn’t Add Up

To the Editor:

Newspapers on May 3 reported that the New Hampshire Senate passed a bill to require four years of math in high school. “We have all become acutely aware of the importance of raising our students’ math standards,” said Sen. Molly Kelly of Keene. Horsefeathers!

Why don’t the hypocrites who establish education standards admit that most people never in their lives use anything that was drilled into their young minds in boring math classes. Calculators were invented back in the fifties. They caused math knowledge to become as obsolete as teaching Latin once was.

When I was in high school, kids who planned on going to college were required to study Latin for a year. The only place in American society where Latin was spoken was at Catholic Mass. Sometime, somewhere, educators decided that Latin was a waste of time and it disappeared forever.

A bill should be passed by the New Hampshire Senate that requires high school graduates to fill out a standard job application. That will be the judge of their education. If a kid can’t fill one out, the school loses. How could a kid go through 12 years of education and not be able to read or write?

Who cares if the kid can add and subtract? Get out the calculator.

Eliminate the math classes and substitute physical education classes, every day. Teenage obesity is more of a problem in America than lack of math skills.

Roger Small


Vanity Yes, Immorality No

To the Editor:

I have vanity plates and I am very old and remember way back when they were scrutinized for decency. Over the years everything has become lax, thus I am happy to see someone open their eyes to the problem of anything goes (“N.H. Suspends Vanity Plates,” July 2). Anything should not go. I hope each and every plate gets analyzed. I’m sick of politically correct, but I am never sick of morally and ethically correct. Thank you for doing something.

Marie Mailhot

Auburn, N.H.

Are the Firings Justified?

To the Editor:

In the torrent of letters that have commented on the Co-op’s troubles this week, there is one question that seems important to us that has apparently not been answered. Taking what has been published at face value, the question is: Was there anything involved that went beyond plain union-busting? If so, the management owes it to the public to say what it was. If not, then the firings would seem to be arbitrary, unjustifiable and reprehensible.

We have bought most of our foodstuffs at the Hanover Co-op for 30 years. Though they were often overpriced, the quality has been reliably good, the food well-handled and courteously sold. There is nothing that to us would seem scary if the Co-op employees had a union to represent them and to bargain for their interests. Often (such as in Germany), companies are stronger and more stable if they do have strong unions. Either we haven’t been told something crucial, or the firings seem intolerably high-handed and arrogant.

David and Shirley Montgomery


Speak Up, Workers

To the Editor:

I have been shopping at the Hanover Co-op since 1977. I worked there for 11 years, but quit in 2010 because I didn’t like the way I was being treated. The business model seemed to have become as follows: Why? Because we said so. Questions? We can’t hear you. Concerns? We don’t care. Complaints? You can get a job somewhere else, but while you work here do not talk about it.

Dozens of talented people left the stores in the last 10 years for the same reason. When I tell people about my experience at the Co-op, some say, “Oh, it’s like that everywhere.” I see their point. It’s like that at box stores and chain groceries, it’s like that at fast-food joints and factories, in the military, Catholic schools and prisons. Maybe the workplace atmosphere at the Co-op was bound to join this race to the bottom, but I don’t think it should be that way.

At one time, if someone stole or fought or drank on the job, Terry Appleby, the general manager, used to look that person in the eye, fire them and tell them the reason. Now the “Operations Manager” does the dirty work and don’t ask why.

I’m not shopping at the Co-op anymore. I’ll come back when John Boutin and Dan King do and when employees are treated with the respect they deserve.

I hope other former employees will speak up about their experiences, good or bad. Happy current workers are free to write, but the other kind have been muzzled.

Patrick Kearney


Support for Jim Rubens

To the Editor:

We don’t need another carpet-bagger who crossed the border because there was a convenient opening for the U.S. Senate. And we don’t need someone who lost that Senate seat to the incumbent and who left the state in a huff. No, we need to replace Jeanne Shaheen once and for all.

The person who fits the bill perfectly is Jim Rubens. Jim is a longtime New Hampshirite who ran a successful business here and also served well in the state Senate and in the trench warfare of local politics. He is a strong, conservative Republican and brings a deep knowledge of what has been wrong in this country for some time and will dig down and do what is necessary to get the job done.

He has an amazing work ethic along with a strong ethical background to do what is right. We can thank Jim that charter schools did not evaporate in New Hampshire and he was awarded a “Man of the Year” award from the Union-Leader last year for those efforts. So, we urge all our friends and acquaintances to get on Jim’s bandwagon and support him financially and physically as he closes out the primary season. He must send Scott Brown and Bob Smith packing. They are just a pair of politicians who love to live in D.C. Look who is supporting them and you will see people who do not particularly care about New Hampshire politics but think that someone who panders will win the seat. They are wrong.

Steve and Ellie White


Something to Celebrate

To the Editor:

We have many of our military in other countries fighting wars for our freedom.

How can we celebrate while our warriors are risking and losing their lives? What about their families alone here in their own country who are waiting for their loved ones to return safe?

The “Darkhorse” 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines are fighting it out in Afghanistan and lost nine Marines in four days. This is wrong!

It is good to celebrate our Independence Day, but when our military is losing lives helping other countries I have these suggestions:

Bring them all home to defend our own country on home ground.

Or get the big shots who have never tasted the pain of being in the front row of battle out there to feel the struggle being far from home. Or triple the defense and send in a surge to clean it up and bring all our men home safe.

Rita Toni Pease


Live Long and Prosper?

To the Editor:

Written to the directors of a local medical center, and a major corporation of continuing care retirement communities, my letters urging us to allow death to develop earlier are unanswered.

The health care system has evidently become too large a growth industry.

Many have lived well and provided well for their families. They enjoy retirement in good health, then begin to witness the peril of extended longevity: dementia, bodily decrepitude — total dependence upon others for feeding, bathing and toilet functions. Enormous expense can result.

This is not to written to encourage assisted dying, but to allow the inevitability of death to occur earlier, before successive medical interventions too often assure these consequences.

Jack Hemenway


Published Letter Was Insulting

To the Editor:

This morning’s paper carries a brief letter, from Jim Newcomb (“Hobby Lobby Was About Abortion,” July 4), that amounts to little more than an insult aimed at the author of an op-ed column about the Hobby Lobby opinion. The Supreme Court’s majority decision in that case is difficult to understand, but orders issued by the court the next day clarify that the court is striking down what a majority of the justices call a “contraceptive mandate.” The court’s decision was about “birth control,” as the author of the op-ed correctly assumed, and was perhaps even more sweeping, as the four dissenting justices said. The problem that I have with Jim Newcomb’s letter is not that he is wrong, but that my community newspaper printed a letter that amounts to nothing more than personal abuse. The Valley News owes us all an apology.

Sheldon Novick