Forum, May 22: Taking Issue With Jim Kenyon; Hike for Democracy; Contented at the Co-op

Friday, May 22, 2015
Taking Issue With Jim Kenyon

To the Editor:

Jim Kenyon needs to get some new material. Like a dried-up old comic, his shtick has gotten a little timeworn. I believe Mr. Kenyon is a pro-pot guy. He would appear to hate police officers as well (or “cops” as he seems to spit out in every column he writes). I just read his May 10 column. It’s funny, but he was sniping at me when I was prosecuting District Court drug cases in Lebanon over a decade ago along these same lines.

Even after telling him I was preparing to offer to decriminalize a certain case to a violation and dispose of it with a fine, he still attempted to ridicule me regarding the very fact that the case was being pursued. So

I saw another column titled “Prosecutorial Independence.” I believe that prosecutorial independence to Mr. Kenyon means a prosecutor he can browbeat into not enforcing any laws currently on the books that he doesn’t like.

However, his disdain for police goes deeper than just the enforcement of drug laws he doesn’t agree with. His resentment toward law enforcement seems to indicate he’s uncomfortable with those who have taken on the difficult and thankless job of enforcing laws and serving the public.

Anyway, we are a society governed by the rule of law. Legislative bodies, elected by the citizens, have not agreed with his permissive view on drug use. Don’t like the pot laws? Get elected officials to change the laws, don’t try to beat up the police for enforcing them.

As for Lebanon Police Department — I stopped talking to this guy when I was there. I would recommend you exercise your right to free speech and do the same. It’s not like you’re going to alienate him.

Matthew Hogan


A Hike for Democracy

To the Editor:

It’s here. The 2016 presidential money primary has begun. It will determine which candidates are allowed to compete for the highest office in the land. But guess what? This is one primary in which you and I don’t get to vote. The voters in this contest are those who can afford to attend $100,000-a-plate fundraising dinners, who can deliver bundled contributions from lobbyists and industry executives, who can create their own super PACs that operate entirely outside the reach of campaign-finance regulations. Some of these voters are so powerful that candidates flock to them, hoping to be the chosen one, the anointed.

With few exceptions, the voters in the money primary seek the same things — power and influence. Some give to “dark money” groups that are not required to disclose their donors. That way they get the power and influence without the attendant notoriety. Others thrive on notoriety. (I’m not sure which are scarier.)

Ultimately you and I will be allowed to vote, but only for candidates who have survived the money primary. And the survivors know well who got them this far. You and I won’t be high on their thank you list.

If you feel, as I do, that the way we fund political campaigns in this country has sunk from merely tainted to embarrassing to downright shameful, then it’s time to use our people power. Upper Valley residents have an opportunity to show support for the rapidly growing movement to combat the corruptive effect of big money in politics by “walking for democracy.”

We’ll gather at the Lebanon green (Colburn Park) at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday for a kickoff rally. Connect with friends, make signs and get ready to make a difference. The 6-mile walk to the Dartmouth campus begins at noon. At 2 p.m. we’ll celebrate with speeches, free burgers and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Transportation back to cars in Lebanon will be provided.

Show your commitment by walking or simply showing up at the celebration.

For details or to RSVP, email hanover.nhrebellion.org.

Rick Bourdon


Lebanon Pulls Through

To the Editor:

Thanks go to my City Council — and on down the line — for getting us through our boil-water order with public outreach and civic pride. We, as the city of Lebanon, have no peers!

Don Perron


Contented at the Co-op

To the Editor:

Concerned About the Co-op group members think that they have the best interests of workers in mind when it comes to the Co-op employees. But here is how most of us see it: You don’t.

We want you to leave us alone and let us do what we do best — serving our customers. And what is this about trying to get a union in? Is that really the best for all of us? Most of us are quite happy working here. The benefits are very good, and we really don’t have the problems with management that you say we do.

We didn’t go to the union meeting, but you don’t know how to take no. So you say we have been coerced not to go. What will get it into your minds that we are not interested? Just because there are a few discontented employees, that does not mean we are all discontented. The Co-op is not perfect, no company is. But it is a very good company to work for.

There are far more important problems in this world, and you have to pick on the Co-op. Why don’t you take all this energy and place it on what is going on in Syria, South Africa or Nepal, or the homelessness in this country. Now that is injustice.

Renee Danielle LaLiberte


Be Wary of Bee Threats

To the Editor:

I recently bought a beautiful mandavilla, only to discover that it had been treated with neonicotinoid, a neurotoxin to our pollinators. I might have planted it, unaware that I was poisoning the bees in my beehives. Home Depot requires its suppliers to label plants treated with neonics, and B.J.’s has asked its vendors for plants free of neonicotinoids or to label them “caution around pollinators.”

A 2014 Harvard study showed that all bees exposed to neonicotinoids either died or showed symptoms of colony collapse disorder. Although banned in the European Union since 2013, in the U.S. they are some of the most widely used pesticides. If this is an issue that you care about, begin by looking for one of these warning labels before buying that gorgeous flowering plant.

Connie O’Leary


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