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Forum, Jan. 12: Don’t lose your cool — or your heat

Published: 1/11/2020 10:00:52 PM
Modified: 1/11/2020 10:00:10 PM
Don’t lose your cool — or your heat

Does it seem like the summers are getting hotter, the winters colder and we’re having higher winds with our storms? Did you know that effective insulation in your home can also keep you cooler in the summer?

Come to the Plainfield and Cornish Weatherize 2020 kick-off meeting on Jan. 22, at 7 p.m., at the Plainfield Elementary School to learn how air sealing and insulating your home can help keep you more comfortable, conserve energy and save money on your heating and cooling bills.

Start off with a home energy audit in which Building Performance Institute-certified contractors will perform a comprehensive assessment of your home’s efficiency. You can then elect to make improvements from their recommendations. And if your home is particularly inefficient, you may qualify to receive up to $4,000 in project costs from

The Plainfield and Cornish energy committees are pleased to provide this program again this year as it brings our towns another step closer to becoming less reliant on fossil fuels, and another step closer to realizing our desire to be 100% committed to using renewable energy.

In the Upper Valley, heating and transportation costs are a big part of our household budgets, and Weatherize 2020 is a great way to take action.

I encourage you to visit www.plainfieldnh/energy/weatherize to see how you can stay warm next winter, cool next summer, save money and help our environment. Residents of neighboring communities in New Hampshire are welcome to attend.





The writers are members of the Plainfield and Cornish energy committees, respectively.

Be visible when you’re walking

Sadly, pedestrian fatalities are rising, as the Valley News noted in a recent editorial (“Pedestrians in the crosshairs: Traffic fatalities continue to decline, while deaths of walkers and bicyclists hit a 28-year high,” Oct 31).

Three pedestrian deaths have been reported in the Upper Valley this past year. At least two of them were after dark. Pedestrians in dark, nonreflective clothing or without a light are almost invisible at night. Do not count on a driver being able to see you.

Hanover has distributed 1,000 reflective armbands to students and citizens in 2018-19. There are objective safety reasons why road construction workers wear bold, reflective outer gear.

Hanover’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee runs educational programs to encourage students to be smart and safe walkers. The town’s Department of Public Works is steadily upgrading street crossings. We love our walkable communities as well as our rural roads. Please be defensive, visible and smart walkers after dark.

William Young


The writer chairs the Hanover Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee.

A response to Thetford’s town woes

Government by citizens is an excellent concept — in theory. I am reminded of the story of Mohandas Gandhi, who was asked, “What do you think of Western civilization?” He is said to have replied, “I think it would be a good idea.”

We love to laud our citizen-run local and state governments, particularly town meetings and selectboards. But too often, these entities are run — and monopolized — by a clique of self-appointed town “fathers” and “mothers,” supported by a coterie of sycophants and, by definition, closed to the interference of their supposed inferiors.

Their habitual re-election to office is usually because so few people of good intent (and sense) want to enter the fray.

In times when we consider the “tribalism” of other societies, we don’t have to look too far from our own borders. Over the years I’ve had conversations with many residents of the Upper Valley (and beyond) who tell me that they have tuned out of local or state politics because they feel that they have no voice, despite their failed attempts to contribute to a community they had hoped to be a part of.

Thetford’s travails over the recent resignations of the selectboard chair and town manager could serve as a wake-up call to citizens or, more likely and sadly, be cause for another shrug and a further turning away from representative good governance.



Big ad buys will distort the process

There are reports that both President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg will run millions of dollars of ads during the Super Bowl. Bloomberg registers at about 7% on the dependable Harvard-Harris poll at RealClearPolitics for Jan. 4, equal with Pete Buttigieg, while Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, the three front runners, are well ahead of them: Biden at 30%, Sanders at 17% and Warren at 12%.

With the Trump and Bloomberg wealth thrown in on Super Bowl Sunday — almost an informal national holiday for a vast number of Americans — it will divide the race into two groups, Trump/Bloomberg and the rest. A Super Bowl ad gives legitimacy and American dependability to a product — Jeep, Dodge Trucks, Budweiser — and Trump and Bloomberg will be seen as the dependable binary choice of champions who plowed through the mirage of bluster and incoherence, and the dependable leaders for 2020. All others will be abandoned, most never to be heard from again.

This is wrong on so many levels it is impossible to know where to start. My inclination is to start again with Thomas Jefferson.



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