Forum, Aug. 5: Highlighting the UVAC’s Positive Impact

Saturday, August 04, 2018
Highlighting the UVAC’s Positive Impact

We, the members of the board of directors for the Upper Valley Aquatic Center (Sport Venue Foundation, doing business as UVAC) are writing in response to the recent article in the Valley News (“In Hartford, It’s Sink or Swim: Town Pool Closed as Aquatic Center Stays Afloat Despite Losses,” July 15). While we appreciate many aspects of the article, we feel it did not accurately and fully describe the mission and services of UVAC.

The article failed to discuss any of the positive educational and financial impacts the UVAC has had on Upper Valley communities, most notably Hartford (its home community). During the UVAC’s 10 years of existence, more than 3,000 children have received swim lessons, many at no cost. Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children, so creating strong swimmers helps to prevent drowning deaths in the Upper Valley. Additionally, the UVAC has provided free wellness programs for hundreds of senior citizens, hundreds of low-cost memberships for families and individuals, free and low-cost addiction recovery and cancer programs, a safe and inviting environment for individuals with disabilities, and a beautiful, state-of-the art recreational and competition water facility for anyone who lives in or visits our community.

The UVAC employs more than 100 Upper Valley residents and provides very significant hotel, restaurant and retail income for area businesses during our swim meet season. Although this figure is difficult to accurately determine, several estimates suggest it is more than $1 million annually. The UVAC is unique in New England in that it has a public facility mission but was built without local tax dollars.

We are extremely proud of the wellness, recreation, competition and water-safety programs and facilities that have been developed at the UVAC and look forward to further promoting its unique, community-based, nonprofit mission.

Billie Audia, Mike Calhoun, Andrea Ciardelli, Dan Frazer, P. Jack Hoopes, Bradford Keith, Belinda Needham-Shropshire, Wayne Young, Executive Director Rich Synnott

The writers represent the board of directors of the Upper Valley Aquatic Center.

Enfield Traffic Circle Would Be Safer

Many of us in Enfield and Canaan are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Jake’s Market in Enfield, especially after the recent closing of the Pleasant Valley Store in Canaan. As I watch the beginning of construction when I pass this intersection near Mascoma Bank and Enfield Village School, I can’t help but think that it is time for a traffic circle here. (Please, don’t put stoplights.)

This particular intersection has six entry/exit points, and it can be virtually impossible at times (commute times especially) to enter Route 4 from the Mascoma Bank entrance, or from the post office entrance. And it’s dangerous, to boot, when you see cars scooting from one entry point to another in order to cross Route 4. A traffic circle with only four entry/exit points would be much safer, improve traffic flow and serve to slow down traffic moving downhill from the elementary school. And it could be more attractive (a gateway to Enfield with enhanced landscaping?) than the current mess.

I read recently in the Valley News that the construction schedule was held up because of potential traffic problems with this new building. Let’s hope it’s not too late to improve this situation.

Rick Hutchins


Don’t Give in to the ‘Arrogant’ USOC

As a recent visitor to Vermont, I was interested in your article on the use of “Olympians” as a nickname (“Olympic-Sized Problem: USOC Orders Oxbow to Drop Nickname ASAP,” July 19). The U.S. Olympic Committee is not a little organization. It is a rich, fat, arrogant bully that is obviously trying to intimidate a small Vermont high school. I would yell and scream to my senators and governor about this. It would be nice to get some public support. This definitely falls into the category of, “Who do they think they are?”

The USOC is counting on the fact that the school won’t challenge it because of the legal costs. I hope the town doesn’t back down.

Donald L. McLeod

Tolland, Conn.

There’s No Such Thing as ‘Free Stuff’

Looking back at the rise of Bernie Sanders on the national scene and now Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Sanders community organizer, I wonder what is the “Progressivism” or “Democratic Socialism” that is their agenda. The only thing that I can relate their agenda to is the promise of “free stuff” — free college education, medical care and housing as examples.

But how does government provide free stuff? It has to be paid for. How does government pay? The obvious answer is by taxing those who produce a product and earn an income. The assumption is that everyone will become an earner and pay taxes, which the government can redistribute by providing free stuff. Eventually everyone will be working for the government and the government will control everything you have — your clothing, food, housing, transportation, education and the list goes on.

To get to total government control will take several stages, each under the guise of the government providing something “universal,” such as college education. As each stage is implemented, government regulation will grow and federal debt will increase. Look at Venezuela, a country where Hugo Chavez and now Nicolás Maduro promised and provided free stuff. Now the people can’t get food or medical care, let alone basic hygiene products. Is this, as a nation, where we want to go?

Bruce St. Peter


‘Lie,’ Mr. President, ‘Lie’

While watching the repatriation of Korean War dead on CNN, I heard President Donald Trump intone gratitude that “the remains of our heroes will lay in American soil.” Disgusted as usual by the pose of this bone-spur patriot, I hit the remote. The channel switched to TCM, where, immediately, Andy Hardy, cramming for a high school English exam, correctly chose the intransitive verb “lie” for a corresponding sentence.

I suppose expecting our stable genius president to demonstrate competence in our national language would surpass the needs of the office. Clearly, his practice manifests a proclivity to lie and lay, especially in regard to the same act.

Frank Gado

White River Junction