Forum, Feb. 8: Lebanon School Proposal Causes Concern

Wednesday, February 07, 2018
School Proposal Causes Concern

I have read with trepidation the plans for the modernization of our school buildings (“Lebanon Schools Proposal Set,” Feb. 4). The price tag of $28.9 million is outrageous when many of us are struggling to keep body and soul together.

Some of those on fixed incomes already skip medications and put off doctor visits because they simply cannot afford to do otherwise. Many can’t afford to go to the dentist. Many are putting important things on hold to pay the tax bill and keep their home — in many cases the home they raised their family in and looked forward to retiring in.

I would remind you that many of the finest minds that this country ever saw were either educated in a one-room schoolhouse or were self-educated. They did not have a 650-seat auditorium or separate lunch facilities. The upgrades to heating and cooling systems are anticipated to “pay for themselves.” Does anyone really believe that, when these are paid for, the tax rate will go down?

The older folks in Lebanon who live on a fixed income are given short shrift in many of these decisions. How will it help the city when those of us on fixed incomes lose our homes, or get so sick from skipping medications that we can no longer live there independently? Some are at the point of choosing between food and meds.

Is that what we want for our older citizens? Do we want to force out the elderly, disabled or sickly by driving the taxes so high they have no choice but to leave? At what point do the taxes and the spending start to affect the ability to sell a house in Lebanon?

Something has to be done to prevent the constant “need” for bigger, better, fancier schools. The school building doesn’t determine the quality of the education received therein; the students, parents and teachers are the forces that determine the quality of the education.

William D. Finn


Following the Pied Piper in a Trance

Regardless of whether you are a Republican or Democrat, you have to wonder why Republicans are following President Donald Trump much the same as the children followed the Pied Piper. They all act like they are in a trance or something.

In addition, you have to ask yourself the following questions:

Why has U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who recused himself from the investigative committee over lies and misdoings earlier in this administration, been allowed to reassert himself into this matter?

Why won’t House Speaker Paul Ryan hold Nunes to his earlier recusal?

Why wouldn’t the committee allow both Republicans and Democrats to view the entire support for a FISA warrant to further investigate Carter Page, who has been known to have questionable relations with Russia for the past four or so years?

Why haven’t both parties insisted that additional sanctions against Russia be enforced?

I sincerely worry about this administration bringing this country to irreversible ruin by doing away with regulations designed to protect all American citizens, by Ryan’s personal mission to do away with the protections provided by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, by the administration promoting coal and demoting alternative energy sources.

In addition to trying to divide our country, it was egregious for this administration to spend our tax revenue (plus overdrawing our credit card by $1.7 trillion, plus interest) on a tax cut benefiting the top 1 percent prior to even having a budget in place for the coming year.

This is tantamount to going out and buying a $40,000 vehicle without knowing what your income and expenses are going to be for the following year.

This forces a government shutdown because we all know that now there is not enough money for the basics of our government, to say nothing of a ridiculous “wall.”

A well-educated sixth-grader would know better than to proceed in this manner.

Now, with only a few days to a government shutdown, we send our representatives (along with their families) at your and my expense, to a “retreat”?

Who is America going to be great for? God help us.

Sylvia J. Heath

Hartland Four Corners

A Life That Touched Many Others

John Lippman’s piece in the Feb. 5 Valley News honors a remarkable woman, Patsy Mathews (“She Didn’t Waste Any Time Getting Involved”).

I am aware that many of her friends share the gratitude I feel for having had the privilege of knowing Patsy.

Thank you for your acknowledgment of her dedication and value to her community and to those whose lives she touched.

Sally Kesseli

West Lebanon