Forum, April 5: Gun Safety Activists Need Support and Encouragement

Wednesday, April 04, 2018
Support and Encouragement Needed

I write regarding your editorial “An Open Invitation: Next Step for N.H. Gun Safety Activists” (March 24). While I endorse the editorial, I would suggest a few changes.

Paragraph six begins, “So, kids, here’s a place to start.” Kids? Maybe “youth” or “young activists” or “students” would have been a more appropriate and respectful title. Many young people are working hard to become change-makers and deserve to be called something other than “kids.”

Second, in addition to your call to replace Sens. Ruth Ward and Bob Giuda, I submit that New Hampshire needs a new secretary of state. The secretary of state is elected by the General Assembly and former Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern has announced that he is seeking the position. If Democrats take back the Legislature in the fall, then Van Ostern may have the votes he needs to oust the incumbent secretary of state, Bill Gardner. To that end, Van Ostern has launched a PAC to fund and elect Democratic House candidates. He needs our support in that effort.

The editorial ends with a note telling young people that they must be active because “your elders have given up,” which you support with a note regarding Sen. Martha Hennessey’s supposed despair. What I read in Hennessey’s news release following the defeat of her amendment to a school safety bill was disappointment, not despair. Her statement said, and I quote: “I’m disappointed in my Republican colleagues’ inability to hear the voices of our nation’s students.” I do not believe Hennessey will succumb to despair but rather will be energized by disappointment to work harder for the common good. Your editorial overlooked the fact that Hennessey needs our support and encouragement as much as other senators need to be replaced.

Margaret A. Campbell

West Lebanon

Joining the Repeal Movement

This is in response to the Washington Post story “1 in 5 Wants Repeal of the Second Amendment” that appeared in the Valley News on March 28. I would like to add my name to that 20 percent.

It’s almost incomprehensible to me that such a large group of people should be able to get away with totally ignoring the first and defining part of this amendment — “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State” — without being firmly confronted by those who are close readers and who remember their grade school grammar lessons. I fully agree with the 20 percent of Americans who would like to see this amendment taken out of the Constitution altogether, as I believe it is both irrelevant to our modern military system and is seductively confusing.

Nan Bourne


Thanks, Vital Communities

The Plainfield and Cornish Energy Committees have been collaborating with Vital Communities since 2014 to promote energy conservation and the use of renewable energy resources. Being committees with limited resources, we are grateful to Vital Communities for its direction, support and contributions to help us move ahead toward more efficient use of energy for our towns.

We have participated in two major programs sponsored by Vital Communities, Solarize Upper Valley and Weatherize Upper Valley, with tremendous success.

The first Solarize program in 2014 resulted in 33 new PV solar installations in our towns, and with successive programs, we have now have more than 70 residential PV systems, generating more than 250kW of renewable electricity.  

As our Weatherize signup deadline grows close, we have 60 households that are taking advantage of this program to better insulate and seal their homes — and more than half qualify for up to $4,000 in modification rebates.

Both Plainfield and Cornish resoundingly passed warrant articles at our Town Meetings to commit to the goal to decrease our towns’ reliance on fossil fuels and embrace 100 percent renewable energy resources by 2050. The impetus for this goal is to achieve the public benefits of protecting the economic, health and social well-being of our citizens; to reduce energy costs to the community and to keep energy dollars in the local economy; as well as to reduce the risks to the community associated with any future escalation in energy prices, and to address the threat of global climate change.

Without the encouragement and backing of Vital Communities, this would not be possible.

We look forward to a continuing relationship with Vital Communities so that we can continue to bring helpful energy programs to all residents in our towns. Thank you from the Plainfield and Cornish energy committees.

Steve Ladd


Mary Boyle


Keeping Their Eyes on the Ball

One of the many beauties of living in the United States is that, when our federal government drops the ball, our state governments can pick it up and run with it.

In January last year, the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that America’s clean car standards are working, achievable and should not be rolled back. Yet, without any change in the facts, the EPA has reversed that decision, ignoring the thousands of pages of research and analysis that support keeping the standards in place.

The Trump administration’s move to roll back the advances made on clean cars will hurt American families — forcing them to spend more money on gas, increasing oil consumption and boosting pollution. That’s the federal government dropping the ball.

But all is not lost. The Vermont Legislature is reviewing legislation that would encourage the electrification of transportation, making travel in the state cleaner and cheaper for everyone. The governor is about to decide whether to sign a budget that includes authorization for a nonpartisan study of market-based mechanisms to address pollution associated with burning fossil fuels in our state.

No one in Vermont voted for more pollution and dirtier air. We don’t want to continue sending money to out-of-state to oil refineries and places like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. Even if President Trump rolls back clean car standards, we still have our Legislature and governor to count on. Governor, senators and representatives, all eyes are on you. Don’t drop the ball.

Susan Hodges


Tii McLane


Jill Wilcox


The writers are members of the Two Rivers Action Coalition.