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Forum, Aug. 19: Get your hands dirty in Hartford

Published: 8/24/2020 10:34:44 AM
Modified: 8/24/2020 10:34:42 AM
Get your hands dirty in Hartford

The novel coronavirus pandemic has helped us appreciate what a special place the Upper Valley is to live. There are a wide variety of reasons to think so. One of ours is seeing all the flowers in the towns and villages. There are many people involved in the various beautification efforts.

That is true in Hartford. Hartford Garden Friends invites you to join us. Whether you know nothing about growing flowers or you can name every kind, whether you are male or female or nonspecific, we will welcome you. Some members share one garden and others are the single caretaker of a plot. Come and get your hands dirty.

If getting dirty is not your idea of fun, you can support Hartford Garden Friends with a donation. Contributions are used to purchase plants and other supplies.

To become a member, contact Iris Berezin at irisberezin@myfairpoint.net. To donate, please send checks to Hartford Garden Friends, P.O. Box 884, Wilder, Vt., 05088.

Come to share your knowledge or to learn a new skill. If you think the town looks better with flowers, your time and your money will help to continue our work. No matter what you do, please enjoy the beauty.



The writers are co-presidents of Hartford Garden Friends.

Prentiss backs party’s principles

Politics is a contact sport. Contact sports, to continue the metaphor, have rules that regulate the level of violence that is allowed (with the exception, some say, of rugby). The rumors and innuendoes that have been circulating around the Upper Valley regarding Sue Prentiss and her candidacy for New Hampshire Senate District 5 have violated election protocols, especially those most appropriate for a political party’s primary.

Sue Prentiss has led successful careers in both the public and nonprofit arenas. She fully espouses the principles and goals of the Democratic Party. With experience as city mayor and city councilor, she would bring a wealth of administrative and legislative accomplishments to the Senate, accomplishments that reflect her progressive agenda and her real-world perspective.

As a health professional, she supported the Affordable Care Act. As a progressive mayor, she supported the Welcoming Lebanon ordinance. As a concerned citizen, she has supported progressive Democratic candidates such as Colin Van Ostern. She served as state co-chair of Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. As a city councilor, she laid the groundwork for Lebanon’s proactive agenda for energy sustainability and conservation. In short, she has demonstrated her Democratic bona fides.

We are presently smack dab in the middle of what some people have called the political silly season — the hot summer weather in August and September. Think of Vice President Mike Pence’s telling the meatpackers, “We’re not going to let Joe Biden and Kamala Harris cut America’s meat.” The August heat is enough without running a campaign of smoldering brush fires.

The focus of a political party’s primary should be on the positive attributes the candidates bring to the office they seek. In the primary for the Democratic nomination for New Hampshire’s Senate District 5, voters should focus on the community achievements, work experience and governing principles of the candidates — not on some litmus test for who belongs in the race or not.


West Lebanon

Supporting Volinsky, Prentiss

Democrats in New Hampshire are fortunate to have a choice of two excellent candidates for governor and two superb candidates for state Senate District 5. I’m enthusiastically voting for Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky for governor and City Councilor Sue Prentiss for state Senate, both progressive fighters for social justice.

Volinsky is the only candidate for governor who opposed the recently canceled $400 million Granite Bridge pipeline. He is the one gubernatorial candidate who believes that we must stop making costly investments in long-lived fossil fuel infrastructure if we are to avert runaway global warming.

Prentiss understands this too, along with the important role that communities need to play in our transition to a sustainable future. I know, having served with her for 5½ years on the Lebanon City Council including when, as mayor, she led the council in unanimously affirming our commitment to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Volinsky is committed to affordable health care for all. Prentiss is passionate about the need to improve our public health infrastructure.

More than two decades ago, Volinsky led the legal challenge to New Hampshire’s unfair tax system for funding public education, where the tax burden on equal value property was 20 times or more in property-poor communities like Claremont than in property-rich towns like the Sununu family’s Waterville Valley. He is the only candidate for governor to pledge to lower property taxes. Unlike his opponent, he has not taken the archaic Republican pledge to veto any new broad-based tax.

Prentiss has stated: “Now is the time to identify long-term, sustainable solutions for funding public education and other essential state services and to provide relief to local property taxpayers.” She will be an effective advocate for the cities of Claremont and Lebanon and the seven towns from Charlestown to Canaan to Lyme that make up District 5.

Sue Prentiss and Andru Volinsky can relate to people from all walks of life, know how to build common ground, and can lead real progress on complex challenges. Please vote in the Sept. 8 primary.



The writer is assistant mayor of Lebanon.

Oxenham advocates for the environment

I am writing this letter in support of Lee Oxenham, who is running for reelection to the New Hampshire House from the Sullivan 1 district.

In the midst of this ongoing and menacing pandemic, it is easy to lose sight of another threat, this one an existential — global warming. Oxenham has maintained her focus on energy and environmental policy in spite of the coronavirus disruptions. As a member of the Science, Technology and Energy Committee, she is able to pursue her passion for protecting the environment and advocating for renewable, sustainable energy initiatives. She speaks knowledgeably and compellingly about the need for increasing energy efficiency and the need to transition from our dependence on fossil fuels to a sustainable energy portfolio. She makes a persuasive case for the link between investing in a decarbonized future and a vibrant economy and healthier population.

Besides her focus on energy legislation, she has the welfare of all New Hampshire residents in mind, as reflected in her support for job creation, early education and strengthening the public school, community college and university sectors.

Cast your vote for Lee Oxenham.



The writer is Treasurer of the Grantham Democratic Town Committee.

President’s focus is not reassuring

By the time you finish reading this letter, one American will have died from COVID-19. Aug. 13 marked the 17th day in a row that more than 1,000 of our fellow citizens have died from the same disease. Yet on this same day, in the Valley News, I noted that the president was quite concerned he “wasn’t getting wet enough in the shower” to “keep his hair perfect” and consequently has decided to remove environmental regulations that restrict showerheads from delivering more than 2.5 gallons of water per minute (“Trump undoes showerhead rules”). Among his other regulatory pet peeves are energy-conserving light bulbs and water-conserving dishwashers and toilets.

Isn’t it reassuring to know, in this time of pandemic, when ICUs in many hot-spot hospitals are filled to capacity, when school districts face decisions that will affect our children’s lives and New Englanders are banned from even our closest neighbor to the north, our president still has time to focus on the things that will make America great again?

If it took you more than 80 seconds to read this, another citizen is dead and a second will be soon. In November, make your vote count.


North Haverhill

Trump’s lies: Daily and deadly

President Donald Trump’s words and actions have been so destructive, so consistently wrong that the time passed long ago for an occasional, thoughtful, mildly-worded letter to the editor expressing America’s decline under the boot of this man. I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore — I and millions like me.

Trump has placed too many yes-men and yes-women around him who don’t tell him the truth. He just installed a new postmaster general, a man bent on crippling the U.S. Postal Service because mail-in and absentee ballots will help kick Trump out of office. This man has no Postal Service experience — the first time in history for this — but he is a big Trump donor. Surprise, surprise.

Trump gets rid of or demeans anyone who disagrees with him, even mildly, like world-renowned medical experts dealing with COVID-19.

Trump can’t have his rabid political rallies, so he turns his nightly TV “press briefings” into campaign rants where he displays his ever-widening lack of knowledge. There’s no way the post office can handle this flood of mail-in votes? Wrong. We’ve got a handle on this “China virus,” doing it better than any other country? Deadly wrong. Trump is enabling the sickness and death of our families and friends by his lies.

This is a clownish ignoramus with the power to kill through incompetence, and he’s coming soon to a ballot near you. Vote him away.


North Haverhill

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