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Forum, Jan. 16: Property Assessments and Public Health

Published: 1/15/2019 10:00:37 PM
Modified: 1/15/2019 10:00:40 PM
Property Assessments And Public Health

In a lightly populated rural section of northern Hanover, a sixth home is soon to lie empty. These six homes were purchased by Dartmouth College, through the Value Assurance Program, in support of those property owners near the Rennie Farm contamination who have been unsuccessful in making a recent property sale on the open market.

The Value Assurance Program applies to a certain group of properties specified by the college. Our property lies immediately outside the designated area, just across the road and a few houses down. We receive ongoing college-funded bottled water and well-water testing, as do homes within the VAP.

The aforementioned sixth home was well-received by potential buyers, but once the interested parties learned of the Rennie Farm water contamination, no offers were forthcoming.

What is of significance here is the perception of the buyers that the water in this area of town is undesirable.

With this in mind, it seems inappropriate that our property assessment, with no changes made to the property by us, should have increased by 43 percent. (This figure encompasses a 65 percent increase in the land assessment alone.) According to the Hanover Assessing Department’s website, market value is an important component of assessment formulations.

At this time, it seems that our VAP-ineligible property (if it were on the market) potentially could be totally unsellable and therefore have no market value. One might think that, in the face of an environmental health situation such as this, a property assessment would be adjusted to compensate.

We hope the town of Hanover will step up and do the right thing.

Judy and Joe Danna


Two People in Search Of a Good Samaritan

To the good Samaritan who was brave enough to stop and help my son and me when our car broke down last week and left us stranded by the side of the road: Many, many thanks.

If it weren’t for you, we’d still be there as no one else dared (or cared) to stop. It was a brave thing to do in this day and age when no one is who you think they are, so we are very grateful.

We are, however, very ashamed that, in all the commotion, we did not get your name and address so we are unable to thank you properly for your kindness to strangers.

Please call one of us so we may rectify this. We are both in the Plainfield-Meriden phone book and also the regular phone book.

Mary Sweet

Matthew Stone


By the Numbers

In the spirit of the Harper’s Index, I submit, for your approval, some unvarnished figures:

Percentage of federal land on Texas-Mexico border that does not already have a border wall or fence: 3 percent.

Number of citizens of Israel applying for refugee status in Mexico in 2017: 81.

Of citizens of Colombia: 96.

Of citizens of Cameroon: 105.

Of citizens of the United States: 106.

Increase in federal debt in the two years since Donald Trump became president: $2 trillion.

Number of times Trump misspelled the word “forest” in a tweet on Jan. 8: 2.

Charlie Buttrey


60 Years Later, Cuba Continues to Inspire

“I believe that this is a decisive moment in our history: Tyranny has been overthrown,” proclaimed Fidel Castro in Havana on Jan. 8, 1959. “We do not fool ourselves into believing that from now on everything will be easy, perhaps from now on everything will be more difficult.”

Seven days earlier, the U.S. backed dictator Fulgencio Batista fled the island with his family and a personal fortune of more than $300 million.

Jan. 1 marked the 60th anniversary of the socialist revolution in Cuba. Cuban workers, peasants and students under the leadership of women and men in the guerrilla army, struck a decisive blow against U.S. hegemony after centuries of oppressive colonial rule by Spain and the United States.

Brutal capitalist exploitation turned Cuba into a casino, a holiday destination for the mafia and cartels of finance. President John F. Kennedy remarked that “there is no country in the world ... where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime.”

The illegal U.S. embargo has cost the Cuban economy approximately $130 billion, according to the U.N. The CIA made more than 600 attempts to assassinate Castro. Worst of all, the U.S. supported, trained and provides sanctuary for terrorists who carried out attacks against Cuba, notably the 1976 downing of Cubana de Aviación Flight 455 that killed 73 innocent civilians on board.

Yet, through all the hardship, Cuba has become a beacon of socialist transformation and principled internationalism.

Cuba excels in education, health care, pharmaceuticals and sustainable agriculture. Rather than exporting weapons, Cuba exports medical personnel around the world. It aided anti-colonial struggles from Africa to Asia, standing against apartheid South Africa and Israel by firmly supporting Nelson Mandela and the Palestinian struggle.

“A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past,” remarked Castro. The Cuban Revolution continues to inspire the wretched of the Earth to struggle for a future of equality, dignity and solidarity.

Christopher Helali


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