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Forum, April 12: We all have a responsibility to the rest of society


Thursday, April 11, 2019
We all have a responsibility to the rest of society

This letter is a plea in response to the current measles outbreaks caused by resistance to vaccinations that can prevent this disease. I’m old enough to have had whooping cough, measles, mumps and chickenpox before I was 10 years old because there were no vaccines for them. Part of the reason I survived with minimal permanent damage was the nursing care my mother and father lavished on me.

They were able to devote time and energy to me because my younger sister stayed with relatives while I was contagious. My husband and I got the polio vaccine when it became available.

My own children and grandchildren have all been vaccinated. After watching helplessly as our mother suffered with shingles, my siblings and I were vaccinated as soon as the vaccine became available. I nursed my mother-in-law through pneumonia which was a three-month ordeal. I got the pneumonia vaccine as soon as it was available.

I hope every parent will get their children vaccinated unless there is a medical reason to avoid vaccination. Not a choice, but a real medical reason. Please realize that we live in a society and have a responsibility to that society to be the best we can be in all ways.

BABETTE HANSEN

Lebanon

Support more equitable education funding in N.H.

We want to thank North Country lawmakers for their work to create a more equitable and more affordable way to pay for our outstanding public schools.

New Hampshire’s current system, based solely on property taxes, is bankrupting our system and forcing cut after cut to sidestep massive tax increases on residents. There’s a better way.

The newly unveiled House plan means millions in state aid that does not come from local property taxes. It fully restores stabilization grants to help every district in our region. It fully funds kindergarten, which communities recognize is an essential component to a great education.

This plan means more funding for Berlin, Gorham, Colebrook, Conway, Haverhill, Littleton, Whitefield, Woodstock, Groveton and so many other cities and towns outside of our region that struggle to fund quality education for their families. Many of our communities cannot support the needs of our schools on property tax revenue alone. When state aid was recently reduced, it forced a wave of devastating cuts, which are well-documented by news coverage. Students are suffering.

We can reverse that trend with this new proposal. We support the House budget and urge lawmakers to do the same. This plan means new funding and a restoration of the deep cuts recently made to North Country school districts. I urge the governor and lawmakers to adopt this plan and help us provide high quality and affordable education to our residents.

CORINNE CASCADDEN

Berlin

The writer is the superintendent of SAU 3 in Berlin and regional chair of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association. This letter was submitted on behalf of all North Country school districts in New Hampshire and was co-signed by 10 other superintendents.

But would reparations truly heal our wounds?

Some of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are talking about reparations. That is an interesting if not somewhat scary subject.

First, who would be eligible for reparations and how would eligibility be verified? I guess Congress would pass a law, then the federal government would have to create some sort of “Reparations Agency.” This agency, like other federal agencies, would create its interpretation of the law and generate implementing regulations. Those regulations, like others created by government agencies, would be subject to review by the courts only after the filing of lawsuits by individuals or entities who believe that the regulations are unjust. So we would have the courts deciding on reparation eligibility, and we haven’t even touched on what the reparation will be.

Now the scary part. The answer is simple: money. But whose money?

If we increase individual income taxes, remember that just barely half of working Americans pay income tax. The others receive some form of government assistance, paid for by taxes paid by those paying taxes. If that seems confusing, then consider this: Who, due to their actions or the actions of their ancestors, should be legally liable and pay reparations?

These same presidential contenders state how fractured our country is and how they will heal the wounds and bring our country together. Will reparations help do that? You be the judge.

BRUCE ST. PETER

Grantham

Thanks to VA volunteers

During National Volunteer Week, the White River Junction VA Medical Center wishes to recognize its volunteers who give their time and talents to further our mission of serving America’s veterans.

We thank every one of our volunteers for the more than 36,000 hours of service they provided during fiscal year 2018.

These volunteers assisted patients in outpatient clinics and hospital wards, at weekly farmers markets and in adaptive sports and creative arts. They served as patient escorts and provided transportation to medical appointments.

Volunteers bring more than service. They share laughter, stories and help to inspire both staff and patients by making the medical center a true community. Our volunteers are vital to the veteran’s experience, and staff at the White River Junction VA Medical Center cannot thank our volunteers enough for all they do.

We invite anyone looking to make a difference, and seeking a volunteer opportunity, to join our team by calling 802-295-9363, extension 5392.

KAREN CAMPBELL

White River Junction

The writer is the voluntary service program manager at the White River Junction VA Medical Center.