Forum, April 11: Stories about Woodlands firing, lawsuit were unfair

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Stories about Woodlands firing, lawsuit were unfair

One has to applaud the decision of Timothy Martin, the former administrator of The Woodlands retirement community at Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital, to bring suit — even at this late date — for the way he was fired, which amounted to an egregious mismatch between crime and punishment. (“Lawsuit claims firing spiteful: Former Woodlands chief says letter was ‘malicious,’ ” April 2).

Chief executives and subordinates may have irreconcilable differences about how to run the show, and a turbulent subordinate may be asked to retire. But vilified, rendered unemployable at his previous level after an announcement by Alice Peck Day President Susan Mooney and subsequent newspaper articles made the conclusion inescapable that Martin, highly competent and well-liked, was fired because of sexual harassment or worse? The inescapable conclusion here is that the firing was vengeful and that there ought to be redress.

The Valley News should breathe a sigh of relief at not having been named in the suit. The newspaper acted as judge, jury and executioner in a matter that, if as serious as implied, belonged more properly in a real court of law. The newspaper linked the firing and the alleged harassment, without any evidence whatsoever that the two were related. And the Valley News continues to be unfair to Martin even in its reporting of his legal suit. The most recent story noted, “three former employees of the Woodlands … earlier complained about physical contact initiated by Martin.” That’s true, but is imprecise and open to misinterpretation by readers who might assume that all three were victims of unwanted contact. Wasn’t it one who made the allegation, never proved, and two others who piled on and said, in effect, “Yeah, that’s him, all right.” Should we look at those original articles again?

Oh well, perhaps the Valley News has gotten its comeuppance already: reduced to Lilliputian dimensions, muddy-purple pictures and squashed Peanuts.

We live in hope that our object all sublime we shall achieve in time — to let the punishment fit the crime.



Make room for next generation

It’s time for former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders and perhaps others to step aside. As an older white male, I know that the world is changing quickly and will become even more complex and challenging in the years ahead.

There are many younger, creative, energetic leaders (women and men) very capable of being president of the United States.

Most of us believe our nation can overcome the many challenges facing it — our poor education system, climate change, sexism, wage disparity, access to affordable health care, caged immigrants, drugs, neglected children, failing infrastructure, racism, disdain for others not like ourselves, and on and on.

Why is it that so many older men think they have what it takes to lead our nation into the next decade and beyond? Most of us have given our nation our best and should be thanked for that. And we should be thanked for stepping aside to make room for the next generation. There are plenty of things we can do to be helpful but they do not include being president. It’s time to become mentors not relics.

Our next president needs to be young in spirit and thought. Our challenges are complex, requiring great stamina and new approaches that have never been seen before, especially given the hole that President Donald Trump and his Republican yes-men and yes-women have dug for us all.

(I am sure it is not worth mentioning that the older men posing challenges for us these days appear to be almost all white men. That’s a discussion for another time.)



Don’t poison our country

The shops are showing their wares; they tempt you to purchase. Please remember that Roundup and similar glyphosate-containing products for weed control have been implicated in some cancers, autism, male infertility and many other disorders. Roundup’s maker, Monsanto/Bayer, defends the safety of its products because it wants to make money.

Should anyone purposefully go out and use this agent to kill some “weeds,” then they put pets, children and themselves at risk. There is no good use of this product except to deal with poison ivy in very controlled zones with no leach-out.

Big ag uses it and is poisoning our country. Do we need poisoned corn-based foods? Poisoned soy foods? Poisoned oats? Poisoned milk? Poisoned wheat? We are being poisoned daily by these foods and many others by big ag.

Please start a local no-poison zone, and don’t use any of these pesticides or weed killers.


Newbury, Vt.

More about swamp draining

To run government well, it helps to be forthcoming with the citizenry. Drain the swamp, there’s a new sheriff in town.

Thoughts, anyone?

“There’s never been a White House quite like this,” in terms of transparency, said Doug Wead, historian and author of Game of Thorns: The Inside Story of Hillary Clinton’s Failed Campaign and Donald Trump’s Winning Strategy.

“For the sake of transparency, @BarackObama should release all his college applications and transcripts–both from Occidental and Columbia,” Donald J. Trump tweeted in 2012.

“This is the most transparent, accountable president perhaps we’ve ever seen, definitely in modern times,” said White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.

If you say so, but here’s a quick glance at some of the things that are missing in action:

■ 2017 Niger ambush documents (remember Benghazi?).

■ Freedom of Information Act requests.

■ Private jet logs from administration officials.

■ White House visitor logs.

■ White House security clearances.

■ Bone spur medical records.

■ The Mueller report.

■ The Trump Foundation’s conduct.

■ The whereabouts of parents from “separated” (aka kidnapped) children at the southern border.

■ The president’s bank records, tax returns (federal and state), real estate transactions, and school transcripts.

■ Transcripts from conversations with Vladimir Putin.

■ Transcripts from conversations with Kim Jong Un.

■ Details of what was discussed at the Trump Tower meeting and on Air Force One about the Trump Moscow project.

■ Trump inaugural committee finances.

■ Trump’s unsecure cell phone (remember that pesky email server?).

Add to that this list of legal troubles: the emoluments lawsuit, Summer Zervos’ defamation lawsuit, Michael Cohen’s lawsuit, the Stephanie Clifford payment.

Seems like quite the muddy swamp.

Voters wanted an outsider. With many of Trump’s staff having been fired or quit, investigated or headed to prison, it seems they got just that.