Forum, Dec. 29: Dartmouth dorm project threatens a special place

Published: 12/28/2021 10:00:34 PM
Modified: 12/28/2021 10:00:05 PM
Dartmouth dorm project threatens a special place

The Dartmouth College slogan “welcome to the woods” rings hollow when it plans to build dorms on Garipay Field (“Campus begins creeping north: Surveying process starting for new dorms along Route 10,” Oct. 10).

Garipay is a special place to me and my family. It’s where I learned to ski and still ski today. It’s where I walk my dog, and it’s one of the places I can feel connected to nature. I’m sure that I am not the only person who agrees Garipay must be preserved.

Building dorms on Garipay Field will have a negative impact on the environment in many ways. First of all, construction sites are known to lead to water runoff, which is dangerous to our streams and rivers. With the increased walkways and roadways that need salt in the winter, nearby Girl Brook will be affected from runoff. Also, construction sites mean fewer porous surfaces, which means there will be fewer plants to filter chemicals and salt.

Animals can get frightened easily and with all the noise, machines and roads, many animals might leave their homes or their offspring. You’ve probably heard of the food chain. So, if some animals leave the area it might offset the food chain and affect other animals, including humans.

Garipay Field is next to a day care center and across the street from the Ray Elementary School. Building dorms there would increase the traffic, thereby raising the danger to children walking in the area.

With all of this information, I hope you can see how tragic it would be to ruin Garipay Field and this beautiful part of town by building dorms. Please join me in opposing construction on Garipay Field.



We need a plan to prioritize education in Haverhill

On Dec. 13, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and a day after the omicron variant was detected in New Hampshire, the Haverhill Cooperative School Board voted to abolish the district’s targeted masking protocol and voted, 3-2, for optional masking in all three K-12 schools. This decision went against all federal, state and local guidance, and no local data was used to support this decision (“School staff question decision,” Dec. 23).

How does the Haverhill School Board intend to keep our schools open for in-person instruction, given the recent elimination of targeted masking in our schools? I would appreciate a thoughtfully written plan at the January meeting that addresses this concern. Let’s prioritize education and keep our students in school for in-person instruction, where they belong.



Grocery workers who ‘stand in the gap’ deserve a raise

We should pay more for our groceries so workers can get a raise. I’m thinking especially of the workers at my own favorite store, the Market Basket in Claremont. The management and team there have worked hard to keep the store clean, safe and well-stocked — steep challenges lately.

I think of the baggers, always friendly and helpful while they handle thousands of pounds of groceries, on their feet all day, every day. What a great service they have done. And they’ve been nice to us all this time, when maybe we weren’t at our best.

Most of all, these good people have served us without quitting, or getting to work from home, or collecting unemployment. They’ve risked their health. They’ve kept the rest of us going. To my family, they are true heroes, the ones who “stand in the gap,” like the Bible says: “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none” (Ezekiel 22:30). These workers are standing in the gap. We should pay a bit more for our groceries so they can get a raise. What about a 2-cent surcharge on every item in the cart, for a start? Going straight to workers. This is the very least we can do.

Thank you, Market Basket workers, and all who stand in the gap.



We must collectively acknowledge and repent

Washington Post columnist George Will is quite right to chastise The New York Times 1619 Project for its inaccuracy in suggesting that the American Revolution was inspired by a 1775 “British offer of freedom to Blacks who fled slavery and joined British forces” (“Historically illiterate 1619 Project rolling on,” Dec. 21).

The chronology of the events that provoked the revolt against Britain does indeed not support the project’s assertion. And it is certainly true that the principles articulated in the Declaration and Constitution are exceptional in providing a vision for governing a citizen body that does not have a shared ancestry.

Yes. But words are one thing, actions another. The brutality of slavery from the 17th through the middle of the 19th century, the equally brutal era of prison slavery that flourished after Reconstruction well into the 20th century, the massacre of Black populations in North Carolina and Oklahoma, the ongoing war on drugs (whose principal effect, if not unspoken intention, has been to suppress the votes of Black people), the exclusion of Black workers from labor unions for most of the 20th century, the ongoing dispossession of land (much of it, surprisingly, after 1950): Such actions do not bespeak nobility of vision.

White Americans — some intentionally, most unintentionally — have indeed benefited from this history of exploitation. Such actions, together with the lamentable treatment of Native Americans, Chinese immigrants in the 1920s, Japanese Americans in the 1940s, Irish, Southern Italian and other immigrants, are ignored to our very great peril.

It is not that America was founded on a vision of extracting profit from human capital; one rather likes the Declaration and the Constitution. But if we are to repair, we must collectively acknowledge and repent. We cannot, as Will would apparently have us do, take refuge in words floating in the sky and ignore realities on Earth.



Be empathetic to others

I’ve watched the world go from what was a responsible reaction to a foreign virus to an irresponsible panic and its continued aftermath. From what political and governmental agencies said, would be two weeks of lockdowns to what’s now almost two years of lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccine mandates, municipal vaccine boosters, fear-mongering, shaming, screaming and blatant segregation.

I think it’s time for the good people of the Upper Valley to take stock: What kind of world, besides a “safe one,” are we leaving to those behind us, and what’s the very point of life if you’re constantly terrified of living it? The end is an inevitable threshold we all pass through; the aim is to do so with dignity. I don’t believe we can vaccinate our way out of this due to other mammalian hosts, and please don’t blame the ineffectiveness of a medicine on those who choose not to take it. In Austria and Germany, there are serious discussions about fining or even imprisoning those who don’t get the vaccine and subsequent boosters. Nuremberg Code violations?

We need to understand, right now, that a panic like we’re experiencing can lead to extreme breaches of human rights because of the emotional centers of the brain. We must return to our prefrontal cortex centers of the brain where logic and more importantly, compassion, reign.

The science has evolved throughout this panic, and while I applaud both those who get or refuse a vaccine, I must redirect your attention from science to your conscience. Is it in good moral form to segregate people, to call them stupid, point fingers at them, and to threaten them if they choose a different path than yours? Is this the progressive America that we share and value? I ask you to turn the TV off and put the internet away. The corporations that you somehow value dearly are not your neighbors and friends. We are. Instead of being afraid of, I ask you to please be empathetic to, those who don’t look like you, don’t act like you and don’t think like you.



Hanover police are helpful

On a recent morning, when I walked by a side street on my way uptown, I saw the flashing lights of a police car and noticed that a young man, who apparently had been pulled over for the mass of snow on top of his car, was beginning to scrape it off. The police officer walked to his cruiser, pulled out another snow scraper and walked over to help, talking amiably with the young man.

When I got home and told the story to my housemate, she said that, in her experience, the police here have always been friendly and helpful. I feel grateful to live in a town where the police are like that. A big thanks to the Hanover police.



Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy