Complete Distrust of Washington

To the Editor:

At last, your paper carries a story on its front page about an intelligence report on Benghazi (“Report: U.S. Ignored Risk In Benghazi,” Jan. 16).

I watched footage of the terrorist attack on TV in September 2012, and it was clear that it was an organized terrorist attack. Now I learn that the president knew this that very day. Ever since, I have agonized over the duplicity of our government leaders in blaming it on a video “protest” when it was obvious that this was not a “protest.”

It is a mystery to me that any American seeing the scenes could be duped into accepting the repeated claims that it was caused by a video. That event crystallized into my complete distrust of pronouncements dating thereafter from D.C., so add the IRS and now Obamacare to the list.

Marilyn Childs


Good Choice for Alice Peck Day

To the Editor:

In the wake of the front-page article “Alice Peck Day Joins D-H Orbit” (Jan. 25), we have heard from a number of patients and concerned community members who believe that our decision to affiliate with Dartmouth- Hitchcock represents the “beginning of the end” for APD. The leadership of both APD and D-H believe that nothing could be further from the truth.

Both organizations recognize the value of APD to the local community and both believe that affiliation positions APD for success as we enter an era of unprecedented change in the health-care industry. APD is on solid financial footing, finishing fiscal year 2013 with both a positive operating margin and a total margin.

Additionally, we do not believe that our designation as a “critical access hospital” is in immediate jeopardy, which means that we are confident that we can continue to operate the hospital “as is” for the immediate future. We are choosing to affiliate the hospital and clinics because we believe that becoming a part of D-H’s vision to build a sustainable health system best fits with our stated goals of improving quality, decreasing cost and expanding access for the patients we serve. We are confident that this affiliation will allow us to remain a vital and vibrant part of the community for generations to come and we are committed to preserving the best of APD — its strong focus on the needs of patients, accessibility and culture of personal caring.

In the near future we intend to host a number of community forums. I hope you will plan to attend in order to learn more about the affiliation plan as well as our overall strategic plan for the future. Please watch the paper for further details about these events. As always, we appreciate the community’s support of APD.

Susan E. Mooney

President and CEO

Alice Peck Day Health Systems

Cryans Is the Right Candidate

To the Editor:

The entire northern half of the state has a critically important election coming up on Town Meeting Day. We need to elect a new executive councilor to fill the seat formerly held by the fantastic champion of the people in this sprawling district, the late Ray Burton. Mike Cryans is the right candidate for the position. He has been endorsed by Ray’s family and has worked for years alongside Ray. Mike knows the district and has shown his dedication to all the diverse constituencies who make up District 1.

We know how important it is to have an Executive Council that holds the best interests of all New Hampshire residents first and foremost. In the past when the council voted to defund the state’s contract for health services with Planned Parenthood, Burton voted to maintain it and made the right decision for his constituents. Mike Cryans, like his predecessor, would support the Planned Parenthood contract. Candidate Joe Kenney, who as a state senator voted to defund the contract, cannot be counted on to take the best interests of New Hampshire’s residents into account. Rather, Kenney would put extreme ideology ahead of what is best for our health and well being.

It matters very much who is on the Executive Council where many diverse decisions are made that impact us all. Mike Cryans will do the right thing representing all of us in a considered nonpartisan manner, and I encourage everyone to get out and vote for Mike on March 11.

Ruth Cserr


Another Wounded Community

To the Editor:

This latest armed rampage in a suburban mall ­— “3 Dead in Maryland Shooting” (front page, Jan. 26) — wounds another community as it begs a question: When will we do more than just wring our hands and send our thoughts and prayers to the victims’ families?

We can do something very specific to make the next one harder: Demand background checks of every gun buyer. States that do this already achieve these lifesaving results: a 38 percent drop in women killed with a gun by an intimate partner (U.S. Department of Justice/FBI, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2011); a 49 percent decline in firearm suicide rate (Centers for Disease and Prevention, 2005); a 48 percent dip in gun trafficking (Journal of Urban Health, July 2009); a 39 percent decrease in police officers shot to death with handguns (FBI, 2001-11). Maybe a background check wouldn’t have stopped this one, but these statistics show it would’ve been much tougher. Most Americans and gun owners agree. Call your state and federal lawmakers. Let them know how you feel. It’s your family and neighbors.

Bob Williamson

Board Member, GunSenseVT

South Woodstock

Plumley West for Enfield Panel

To the Editor:

I am writing to ask your support for my wife, Holly Plumley West, who is running for Enfield Budget Committee as a write-in candidate. Many of you in town already know her, or her family. For those of you who don’t, here is a quick rundown of who she is and what she believes in:

She was born at Mary Hitchcock Hospital, was raised in Enfield, attended Mascoma High School and graduated as a member of the Class of 2000. She later attended Northeastern University in Boston where she earned a bachelor of science in management information systems and marketing. As a project manager for nearly 10 years, she worked with clients, vendors and contractors in a variety of industries including architecture, construction, engineering, information technology and software. In this role she worked to design and implement solutions on time and within budget.

As a family, we recently moved back to Enfield and we are very excited to raise our young son in such a wonderful community, the very same community that Holly was raised in. Holly actively volunteers at events such as the Thanksgiving Food Ingathering and currently is training for the Covered Bridges half-marathon in June as part of the Upper Valley Haven team. Having gone through the school system here, she is a big supporter of enhancing our children’s education.

You can learn more about Holly through her Facebook page: We also will be hosting a “Meet and Greet” at Mickey’s Roadside Cafe & Tavern Room on Route 4 in Enfield on Feb. 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. Please stop by and say hi.

Holly would appreciate your vote on March 11; please write in Holly Plumley West under “Enfield Budget Committee.”

Robert West


A Disconnect on Energy

To the Editor:

So let me get this straight: We’re against wind turbines, we’re against hydropower from Northern Pass, we’re against the Keystone XL Pipeline, we’re against Vermont Yankee nuclear, we’re against fracking, and we don’t want to take military action in oil-rich nations’ squabbles. So let’s see, maybe we’d rather have a mountain of coal to mine? Oh, no, not in my backyard.

Methinks if everyone who is against making power would disconnect from the grid, then we wouldn’t need much of any of these things!

Debra Clough


Misrepresenting Climate Science

To the Editor:

Daniel Botkin (Forum, Feb. 8) looks at evidence for global warming and finds it “contradictory.” Unfortunately, far from putting balance into the discussion, he misrepresents the scientific evidence. He claims that, because the paleontological record indicates changes in carbon dioxide follow changes in temperatures by about 600 to 1,000 years, carbon dioxide cannot be responsible for current global warming. But the role of carbon dioxide is more complex. Past climate change has been initiated by changes in the Earth’s orbit called the Milankovitch cycles. These warmed the oceans enough to cause them to expel large amounts of carbon dioxide, and this became the primary driver of the warming. Overall, about 90 percent of the global warming occurred after the increase in carbon dioxide. An excellent antidote to Mr. Botkin’s nonsense is a presentation by Richard Alley called “The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History” (available on YouTube).

Our current warming is occurring far more rapidly than the 100,000 years required for a full interglacial cycle, and the carbon dioxide is not coming from the ocean but from humans. Contrary to his assertion, while the solar activity has been a driver of climate change in the past, the sun has shown no upward trend in activity for more than 35 years, so it is not responsible for current warming.

Botkin says that global temperatures are not “tracking” carbon dioxide. But climate is a complex system, and scientists don’t expect a steady increase in global temperatures. One can “cherry-pick” other periods that show no upward trend but if you look the long-term record, the trend is unmistakable.

Global warming is indeed a scientific issue. But the actions we take or fail to take today will have a significant negative impact on generations to come. That, to me, is a moral issue as well.

Michael Hillinger


Gambling Isn’t Free

To the Editor:

While the New Hampshire Legislature is hotly pursuing the idea of raising state revenue through gambling at casinos, I’d like to see the Valley News do a risk/benefit analysis that compares gambling with new taxes — income or sales. My two cents about depending on gambling for state revenues: It’s not free money. Believing it’s free is self-deception.

N. Carr Robertson


Ignorant and Malicious Cartoon

To the Editor:

In your Jan. 26 issue, Bruce Tinsley’s strip Mallard Fillmore cites “our freedom of speech and religion” and “their own culture of HATRED” (emphasis his) as reasons why Islamist terrorists (word choice mine — he said “Islamic” as a sly means of smearing Muslims in general) hate the United States. Then he adds a lame punchline about how the increasingly creative use of bacon in American cuisine might also play a role.

His attempt at cleverness isn’t funny. It’s ignorant and malicious.

Does Tinsley utterly lack the ability to see beyond the end of his nose and ask what happens when some bright, sweet little kids who happen to be Muslims open up the Sunday funnies and find dreck like Mallard Fillmore telling them that something as benign as the contents of their family’s fridge makes them the Other? How can Tinsley not understand that by stereotyping people and belittling their personal choices — choices, I might add, that harm no one — he’s contributing to the problem?

It’s time to ask Tinsley to take his leave of cartooning and find his true calling at Fox News.

Rebecca Kvam Paquette