Forum, April 2: Rivendell Meeting Story Was Disappointing

Sunday, April 01, 2018
Rivendell Meeting Story Disappointed

As a member of the board of the Rivendell Interstate School District, I was disappointed in the Valley News coverage of Tuesday’s Rivendell community meeting on building usage in the district (“Residents Pan Rivendell’s Restructuring,” March 28).

The tenor of the article was not in keeping with either the purpose or atmosphere of the evening. This gathering, which included a meal and fundraiser for a 600-mile roundtrip bike excursion being undertaken by a global studies class, was an exercise in due diligence on behalf of all constituents of Rivendell, from parents of children big and small to our senior citizens on fixed incomes. It was part of what it means to demonstrate responsible stewardship to the taxpayers, and was born of genuine interest on the part of the board and the administration to hear from the people whom we serve, to harness their enthusiasm for the schools, and to solicit their creative ideas on how we can make a great school community even better.

It was not some fait accompli come down from on high only to be “pan(ned)” by the community. What occurred was a straightforward design-thinking exercise where community members broke into groups and engaged in brainstorming and discussion in order to come up with innovative ideas about how we might make better use of our three campuses.

I would respectfully ask the Valley News to pay a little more attention to what is actually going on at events rather than trying to make a big story of them. This district has been quietly going about making itself better for a number of years now (Rivendell Academy is now ranked the fifth-best high school in Vermont by schooldigger.com). We do not often make headlines for these efforts, but our successes are written where they matter, in the hearts and minds of our students.

David W. Ricker


More Energy Reporting, Please

It was refreshing to read your article on heat pumps, and to finally see something explaining the true facts behind a heavily marketed product (“Innovation, or Just Hot Air? Heat Pumps Gain Popularity in Cold Weather Climates,” March 25).

Now if someone would just do the same sort of report on solar cells and other energy efficiency equipment, the public might be better informed. Sellers of these products promote them based on a best-case scenario. Each person’s circumstance is different, and they should do their own research to determine what would be most effective for them, and not just follow what their neighbor did, or what qualifies for the biggest rebate.

Stephen Raymond


Prepare for a Long Mud Season

Forecast: The season for Republican mud from D.C. will continue for quite a while.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, trying to justify his firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, said McCabe was fired because he “lacked candor ... on multiple occasions.” Plus, “the FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability.”

Actually, it seems FBI leaders get fired in the Trump era when they do demonstrate these standards. Perhaps Sessions is harking back to the example set by former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, whose morals and methods would have aligned well with Trump-era “standards.”

I myself second James Comey’s recent opinion that the American people can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not, and a list of honorable mentions could start with whomever Trump has fired.

Michael Whitman


Where Are Shaheen and Hassan?

I must be getting really slow in my old age. It is baffling to me why U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who seems to be a member of the Democratic Party leadership, (she’s always with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at press conferences) will not vote to confirm the president’s nominees for hundreds of vacancies in the government. Can’t she do her job as our senator? Must she follow along like a sheep?

Where is U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.? Do we have any representatives in the Senate?

They are supposed to be our representatives in the Senate, not the Democratic Party.

Janet Connolly


End Genocide of the Rohingya

What is the U.S. doing to end the genocide of the Rohingya in Myanmar? Apparently, nothing. While the current president has no interest in human rights, there should be outrage from our elected representatives and from the American people themselves. But I don’t hear you.

Has our nation sunk so far that we are indifferent to genocide and human suffering in general? Or is it because the Rohingya are Muslims?

The horrific fate of the Rohingya rarely makes the front pages of our newspapers or the headlines on the evening news. March Madness is seemingly more important than the death of thousands. Who The Bachelor picks is more important than the death of thousands. The puerile antics of that insult to the presidency and the American people is more important than the deaths of thousands.

Shame on us.

Mark R. Allen


Metal Detectors, Security Guards

Thank you, Clark Griffiths. I feel the same way (“Metal Detectors as One Solution,” March 21).

Metal detectors, and also a security officer at the door, all doors. This shouldn’t cost all that much. I’ve called the governor on this solution. No one can tell if it will do any good. It has to be done now. If you fly, metal detectors are there and no one gives it a thought.

Come people, wake up. I’m 83 and hate to see kids get shot.

Eleanor Cutting


Simple Suggestion: A Subscription

As a resident of Barnard, I can understand the frustration that a select few of my neighbors are feeling in regards to the general store no longer carrying out-of-town newspapers (“Empty Racks,” March 25). However, what other choice do the proprietors have? Why should they be expected to carry said papers, and pay the surcharge, on the off chance that someone will come in and buy them? In my mind, the situation turned comical when I saw on the Barnard listserv that at least one outraged citizen was threatening a boycott if his precious New York Times did not return to the shelves of the store. I have a suggestion. Perhaps individuals could subscribe to the out-of-town paper of their choice and have it delivered either to the store or to their home.

Mark Alloway