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Forum, Aug. 28: Why Lebanon College Canceled Classes; Waiting for Annie Kuster; Hanover’s Yard Sale; Are Volunteer Jobs Really Jobs?

Why Classes Were Called Off

To the Editor:

You have suggested that the board and administration of Lebanon College should explain our unanticipated decision that the college was not financially strong enough to offer classes this fall (“A College Drops Out: Lebanon College Was an Asset,” Aug. 23). It is a decision that we reached with extreme reluctance and only at a point at which the college was entirely out of available cash — indeed, it was $40,000 in the hole for administrative salaries, which has been covered by personal contributions from members of the board — and had not obtained nearly enough enrollment to cover anticipated operating costs for the fall averaging $100,000 a month.

The college has operated at a significant loss for at least the past seven years. Until last year, contributions from outside sources, combined with tuition revenues, generally fell $200,000 a year short of covering operations. We were extremely heartened last spring by the outpouring of charitable support that helped to cover last year’s shortfall in operations and we anticipated that with that fundraising success, the college’s new allied health initiative would lead to the needed large increase in overall enrollment and willingness of the donor community to continue major support. In fact, less than 30 new students (and none in the college’s two new allied health courses) signed up by the time we were called upon to make a decision on fall classes. Although we had been optimistic about the future, that enrollment was insufficient for us to conclude that the college could generate enough cash from tuition and donor support to pay salaries and keep the lights on.

The few examples cited by the Valley News of individuals helped in significant ways by the college are only a sample of many cases in which the college has provided needed and excellent educational support to individuals and groups in our community. We are extremely disappointed that the college is not able to continue that service. The board and administration are ready and very willing to cooperate with any groups interested in pursuing our strongly held dream that the Lebanon Mall should house a community educational resource.

The college needs to express its deepest thanks to its cadre of extremely generous philanthropic supporters, to its many fine teachers who have served for very low compensation, and to acknowledge the highly cooperative approach that has been taken by its lending bank as we have worked unsuccessfully over many years to find a formula for financial viability.

Arthur Gardiner

For the Board of Trustees

Ron Biron

For the Administration

Lebanon College

Waiting for Annie Kuster

To the Editor:

In early August, I sent an email to New Hampshire’s 2nd District Rep. Ann Kuster. I asked, “When and where will you hold Town Hall Meetings during the August recess?”

On Aug. 12, I received a response from her regaling me with tales of her hosting “a number of Telephone Town Halls.” She neglected to mention that her office is able to limit the calls to those she finds acceptable. I was also told she has met with small businesses and sponsored job fairs.

No place in the letter did it mention that any Town Hall meetings were planned during her August recess/vacation. Based on her history, it is obvious that Annie Kuster is afraid to meet face to face with large groups of constituents, many of whom may have opposing viewpoints.

Why would anyone vote for a person who doesn’t want to talk to voters?

John R. Lohmann

Grantham

Keep Yard Sale Stuff Moving

To the Editor:

Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the date for the 5th Annual Town Of Hanover/Dartmouth College Community Yard Sale. Thousands of articles have changed hands over the years. All of the 130 spots are taken by eager sellers. Closets, cupboards, basements, garages and barns are being emptied of useful, but no longer needed stuff, priced to sell to a lucky buyer. Many sellers are downsizing their homes, so plenty of furniture, sports and household equipment will be available. Bring your family and friends, and check out all that your neighbors and co-workers have to offer. Bathrooms are on site, with plentiful parking. The Hanover football team will be selling cold drinks and snacks.

We hope for a nice day, but the sale will be held, rain or shine. The sale is held on Dartmouth’s Dewey Field parking lot in Hanover. Find us at the northwest corner where North Park Street (Route 120) meets Lyme Road (Route 10).

The Sustainable Hanover Recycling Subcommittee and the Office of Sustainability at Dartmouth are committed to keeping useful stuff out of the landfills. You can help make that happen.

Susan Edwards

Chairwoman, Sustainable Hanover Recycling Subcommittee

Volunteer Jobs Aren’t Jobs

To the Editor:

Your newspaper regularly lists anywhere from one to two pages of “Volunteer Jobs.” If someone wishes to volunteer, then they should. It’s not a job, but a “Volunteer Opportunity.” When you use the word “job” you are implying work that would otherwise be a paid position for someone who needs a paycheck will now be filled by someone with a comfortable enough lifestyle to forgo being paid. If you volunteer, it’s not a job!

Richard A. Leute

Grantham