Forum, Aug. 14: Good Productions, Bad Message; Church-and-Town Dispture; Scott Brown’s Border Crossing

Good Productions, Bad Message

To the Editor:

In the past few weeks we have seen three productions: Carousel, performed by North Country Community Theatre, Kiss Me Kate, done by New London Barn Playhouse, and My Fair Lady, put on by Opera North.

All three were well-staged, well-acted and well-sung. Had I just seen one, I would still be smiling, able to overlook the message in each play that women should ignore physical and/or verbal abuse and return, with a smile, to their men. As it is, although still humming the tunes, I am squirming. I am also glad that we had not brought the grandchildren along, so that I didn’t have to explain to my granddaughters that, “No, it is not OK to be treated that way.”

Corlan Johnson


The Church-and-Town Dispute

To the Editor,

In the Valley News Forum of Aug. 7 (“Unchristian Act by a Church”), Elizabeth and William Trought make an incorrect assumption regarding the Dorchester Community Church trustees and the well that is on the church’s land.

First, the church never turned off the water. Second, the church was and is concerned about liability. It is logical that it wants to protect its interests from litigation. After all, the current Board of Selectmen would likely point the blame at the church if someone got seriously ill or died from a contaminated shallow well. Most shallow wells have varying levels of coliform bacteria that need to be monitored professionally and not by an uncertified town employee. Third, this was not an act of vengeance on the part of the church, as is alleged. The real vengeance was originally perpetrated by the vindictiveness of the Selectmen when springing a tax bill on the church without warning or discussion. Fourth, the church has made it known that it is willing to negotiate an agreement for water usage through an indemnification process.

John Franz


Why I’m Running for the House

To the Editor:

The House district comprising Norwich, Sharon, Thetford and Strafford is currently represented by Jim Masland, of Thetford, and Kathy Hoyt, of Norwich, but she is not seeking re-election.

I am writing to ask for one of your two votes in the Aug. 26 Democratic primary. I’ve lived in Norwich since 1975, including 17 years of self-employment. I want to help shape state policy to support strong, healthy communities in which nobody is allowed to “fall through the cracks,”and that’s why I’m running for the House.

My top priorities include tax fairness for effective education, smart and effective implementation of universal health care coverage, energy efficiency and full-speed broadband throughout Vermont, especially on back roads.

I first got involved in school-funding policy issues in the early 1990s. Since passage of Act 60 and Act 68, I’ve maintained a focus on fairness for moderate-income homeowners. I’ve helped many residents understand and file for the income-adjusted property tax, and have frequently testified to legislative committees as changes to that program have been proposed.

More systemic problems, however, are posed by a steady decline in Vermont’s population of young adults and school-age children. Many of our sons and daughters would like to grow their careers here, but don’t see job prospects where they can afford to live. Working from home via the Internet would be an attractive option for many, but adequate broadband speeds are still rare on the more affordable outskirts of most towns.

As chairman of community-owned ECFiber, I’ve seen the difference that full-speed broadband makes for students and for independent home-based businesses competing worldwide. It also has the potential to let small schools share resources without burning extra school bus fuel to do it. In fact, modern broadband infrastructure is absolutely essential if Vermont is to be economically sustainable in the 21st century.

Through years of involvement in these and other issues, I’ve developed experience in getting strong personalities with differing views to work together. If you have questions, please feel free to call me. Above all, remember to vote on Aug. 26.

Irv Thomae


Paging New Hampshire Officials

To the Editor:

We in the Granite State used to be proud of our independence. We appreciated the fact that we had many opportunities to meet with our elected officials at Town Hall meetings and public forums. Whether we agreed or disagreed on an issue, we always knew that there was an opportunity to voice our concerns and hear from our governors, senators and members of Congress. Sadly, those days seem to be a thing of the past.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte frequently holds Town Hall meetings, but other elected officials haven’t done so recently. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter haven’t met with their constituents in several years. Gov. Maggie Hassan and Congresswoman Annie Kuster, who were elected in 2012, have actually never hosted a Town Hall meeting — that’s right — never. While Hassan, Shaheen, Shea-Porter and Kuster have time for fundraisers with Nancy Pelosi and their donors, they could care less about meeting with us. That’s wrong and begs me to wonder … Why are they hiding?

Raul Cervantes


Scott Brown’s Border Crossing

To the Editor:

Scott Brown is right: We must secure our borders. Especially the border between Massachusetts and New Hampshire that allowed him to sneak in and run for Congress.

Barry Wenig


Big Ideas Need a Bigger Library

To the Editor:

Through the 25 or so years I’ve been volunteering at the Weathersfield Proctor Library, I have seen a couple of generations of young people benefit from access to the books, the friendly helpers, each other, and have seen them deal with the very limited space they’ve had in which to do these things. Long ago it was clear that there really had to be more room for all these after-school patrons so they wouldn’t have to pile onto the librarian’s desk and the one table available for research work.

Others have eloquently detailed the many needs that will be addressed by a library expansion, so I will only stress this one obvious need, especially as the number of patrons and programs grows yearly. The handsome little 1902 library has rapidly acquired 21st century technology and its accompanying materials and resources, and clearly deserves the modest expansion planned for it.

Please vote yes on Aug. 26 for Weathersfield’s bright future and the library expansion.

Sally Harris