Forum, April 6: Hartford Is in ‘the Pool Business’

Thursday, April 05, 2018
Hartford Is in ‘the Pool Business’


I never fail to be amazed by some of the telling comments that originate from certain members of the Hartford Selectboard.

For example, Rebecca White, who has made no secret of her desire to close the Sherman Manning Pools, asked this question: “Should we be in the pool business?” Instantly she revealed her lack of depth as to the town’s involvement in the “pool business,” since last I knew the town held a major ownership interest in the Upper Valley Aquatic Center.

This convoluted arrangement took place under the tenure of the former town manager, Hunter Rieseberg, and as best I understand it, when members of the Ciardelli family created the UVAC they learned that there were certain legal advantages to the town’s assuming ownership of the facility, even though it was managed by outside interests.

Numerous residents including myself, took exception to the concept of a publicly owned facility putting a nearby private enterprise, the Fountain of Youth, out of existence through duplication of services in a sort of back-handed eminent domain move without payment of just compensation.

As I understand the history, the Sherman Manning Pools came into existence as a replacement for the well-used swimming hole north of Wilder Street, which was obliterated in the 1960s during construction of the access road for Interstate 91, which is now known as Bugbee Street.

For approximately a half-century the Sherman Manning Pools provided affordable access to swimming for Hartford residents, a downscale alternative, if you will, for the UVAC. Lebanon, Hanover and other towns of comparable size in our region provide affordable access to swimming for their residents. Why should Hartford be the exception?

I believe the Selectboard should carefully consider this, if certain of its members can place efficient and expedient service to the town and its residents ahead of using their positions as a platform for advancing personal agendas or a steppingstone toward higher political aspirations.

William A. Wittik


Investigate NewVistas Transfers


I’ve been following the NewVistas project with concern. It seems that David Hall purchased land in Vermont via his foundation and has now transferred those charitable assets to his for-profit business.

This strikes me as improper. I had thought a foundation could transfer assets only to another nonprofit, specifically another 501(c)3.

Hall has consistently said his Vermont attorneys have approved the transfer. I hope the Vermont Attorney General’s Office takes a good look at this and investigates his legal counsel.

Anne Peyton

S. Strafford

A Reckless Move by the EPA


The decision by the Environment Protection Agency to weaken the nation’s clean-car standards is a reckless move by a reckless administration that will cost American families at the pump and allow automakers to make dirtier cars that pollute our air and harm our health.

Call your state legislators and governor today and ask them to take action in light of the federal failure to support clean air, carbon reductions and a healthy economy.

Families cannot afford to spend more money at the pump. By boosting fuel efficiency, clean-car standards save families money. Rolling back clean-car standards would cause consumers to lose out on major savings. If left alone, clean-car standards could save drivers $3,200 per car and $4,800 per truck over the lifetime of the vehicle.

Clean-car standards also reduce air pollution. Twenty-five million Americans — including more than 6 million children — suffer from asthma. We shouldn’t be rolling back safeguards that protect them. These standards also help us reduce tailpipe carbon pollution that contributes to climate change.

Steve C. Gagliardone


We Owe the Kurds Our Gratitude


Our brave president is now standing in front of the world and touting our ability to beat down ISIS, when in fact any soldier will tell you it was the brave Kurdish militias that cleared large sections of Syria of this terrorist group. The world owes them our gratitude.

Now we hear rumblings of pulling out of Syria, as Turkey goes in to exterminate their archenemy, the Kurds.

I, as one American, cannot understand why the United States and other countries aren’t willing to “go to bat” for these brave people. Where is NATO on an issue like this? The whole Syrian matter is a disgrace to our country, along with all the other peaceful countries of our world.

We sit back as Syria’s Assad, along with Russians, Iranians and now Turkey, clear the region by chemically or otherwise either killing their own people or driving them away from their homes. Imagine this in our own country, with no one standing up to defend us. What’s left for Assad, Putin and others to rule? The oil fields? A grab of territory in a fight to rule the world? Who knows?

We, as a world, are slowly redefining the “bad guys” to be anyone who stands up for themselves, for democracy and a right to live in peace and good health. As our world becomes more and more populated, the personal greed of some world leaders to hold onto what of Earth’s assets remain is becoming more apparent. Enjoy your freedom while you have it and pray that, at least, our country returns to normalcy and decency during our remaining days, respecting and protecting those who have given their lives to protect us.

Sylvia J. Heath

Hartland Four Corners