Forum, Feb. 4: Lebanon High School Nurtures Learning

Saturday, February 03, 2018
Lebanon High Nurtures Learning

As two passionate, dedicated and hardworking seniors from Lebanon High School, we were very dismayed by the comments made by Bill McGonigle, in which he suggested that LHS is not a “strong academic environment” or a community that welcomes “curiosity and love of learning.” (“Advocates Cheer Vouchers; Public Schools Want Protection,” Jan. 23).

We are AP and Honors students who have been continually challenged, excited and stimulated by the courses, curriculum, teachers and our peers at Lebanon High School. There is no doubt in our minds that LHS has provided us with the resources we need to succeed and thrive in our future endeavors. Lebanon High School has been a nurturing community that has allowed us to flourish into future leaders, pioneers and agents of change. We pride ourselves on our curiosity and passion for our education and welcome all others who do the same.

We were greatly disappointed by McGonigle’s offensive mischaracterization of both our school and our values, and we would like to ensure that Valley News readers are made aware of the falsity of his statements.

Elizabeth Wren and Fatima Khan

Lebanon High School, Class of 2018

N.H. Fish and Game Errs on Coyote Hunt

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission — whose members are all political appointees — thinks it knows science better than the department’s own scientists. At its January 2018 meeting, the commission reportedly rejected the recommendation of the department’s senior scientist to allow the public to weigh in on whether or not to shorten the coyote hunting season. The members of the commission proved they lack the statutory qualifications for membership in this important body. They refused to be “well informed on the subject of fish and wildlife conservation and restoration” by not listening to their own scientists and by not allowing citizens the opportunity to provide such information.

The proposal at issue would close coyote hunting from April 1 through July 15, while coyotes raise their pups. Such a reduced hunting season would allow adult coyotes to train their young to avoid unwelcome human contact, and therefore not become a nuisance to residences and businesses. Hunting would remove many of these mentoring adults and destroy their families.

Also, hunting coyotes year-round is not a good way to manage the species. It does not control the coyote population. Scientists know that coyotes, being “responsive breeders,” adapt to over-hunting by having larger litters. Research in Yellowstone National Park shows that limiting coyote hunting resulted in a stabilization of their numbers. So, hunting coyotes, in fact, increases their numbers.

If hunting coyotes, then, is not for the purpose of managing their numbers, what can its purpose be? The coyote is not a food source, nor is coyote fur desirable for warm clothing. The purpose must be for recreational killing, some people’s idea of fun.

By not following science and by not giving citizens the opportunity to address the length of the coyote hunting season, the commissioners showed they are not, as their mission states, “dedicated to the conservation and protection of the state’s fish and wildlife resources and of an environment conducive to the welfare of the same.” Killing coyotes serves no purpose except amusement.

Jack Hurley


Photographers Catch Best Moments

I’m sorry to hear that the Valley News decided to change its Sunday format and eliminate the Life & Leisure page. I just want to take this opportunity to commend the work of your staff photographers. They have a knack for catching the best moments from the best angles, and the resulting photographs are beautifully composed — some are true works of art.

Their efforts, combined with Shawn Braley’s illustrations, are a large part of what makes the Valley News an outstanding  newspaper. Too bad about the liberal bias, but in this area, it’s understandable. Thanks for the odd bone you throw we few conservatives: The Glenn McCoy cartoon showing Trump swinging around a lamppost singing in a rain of “liberal tears” was priceless.

Barrie Sellers


Cool $20 Million for Coolers

I read in the British press that U.S. taxpayers are about to fork over more than $20 million to upgrade the refrigerators on Air Force One. I shared this news with an old Vermonter at her sun-powered home 2 miles off Beaver Meadow Road in Norwich.

“Interesting,” she said. “I just dug up a home-baked loaf of bread I had chilling in a snowbank.”

Robert Spottswood


Racism Has to Be Taught

Human beings are not born racist. They have to be taught. Young children pick up on just about every word they hear. If derogatory remarks are said enough times, the child likely will begin to use those words.

We humans have a fear of the unknown. Who is that new neighbor? What is he going to be like? Will he allow his dog to bark all night? Will his lawn be covered with junk? Unfortunately, neighbors can be like that. But if the neighbor happens to be a minority, and one hears similar stories from others, the minority quickly becomes stereotyped and characterized. “Oh them. They are all like that.” As soon as the word “all” is used to describe minorities, then racism begins to rear its ugly head.

Yes, there are differences among cultures — music, cuisine, ways of worshiping, clothing, hairdos. So what? But if I happen not to like the look of dreadlocks, does it make me a racist? I don’t think so. It cannot be proven that racism in not inborn. One cannot prove a negative. But neither can one prove that racism is inborn.

Bob Cattabriga

West Lebanon

Which Clown Is This?

The article headlined “Clown Resigns Over Accusations” (Jan. 25) made me wish that the top clown would take his cue from his alter ego.

Sharon Racusin