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Forum, Jan. 7: Time to Check the Night Sky in Haverhill

Published: 1/6/2019 10:00:13 PM
Modified: 1/6/2019 10:00:14 PM
Time to Check the Night Sky in Haverhill

The Haverhill Selectboard has directed the Beacon Review Committee to conduct a visual study of the proposed rotating beacon trials at Dean Memorial Airport in North Haverhill. The airport is owned by the people of the town and what happens there can affect all of us.

The Beacon Review Committee was formed to receive public comments and concerns, assess the impacts identified by the public and explore possible alterations to the beacon assembly to minimize any negative impact on our community. The Airport Commission is responsible for conducting the trials, whereas the Beacon Review Committee will study the effects of the trials. A final report will be available with recommendations for the future.

On Saturday, the proposed beacon was turned on and will operate from dusk to dawn for one week. Please be observant during this period. Go outside at night and see what you think. Be aware while you are driving. According to FAA regulations, once in place the proposed rotating beacon will light the night sky 365 days a year for the next 20 years. The trial period is your opportunity to comment on airport use, aviation navigation, aesthetics, nocturnal birds and wildlife, the visual quality of our night sky and our property values.

The Beacon Review Committee is working for everyone to give voice to the people. The observations you make during the one-week trial period will guide our visual study and the recommendations we make to the Selectboard.

Please submit your comments to our committee email address,, or write to: Town of Haverhill, Attn: Beacon, 2975 Dartmouth College Highway, North Haverhill, N.H. 03774. Please include your name, address and phone number, as well as the dates and times of your observations. We would like to be able to contact you to get clarification or further information for our study. Several observations submitted by Jan. 18 would be most helpful.

Thank you in advance for any comments you wish to submit. Your feedback is sincerely appreciated.

Susie Tann


The writer is the chair of the Beacon Review Committee.

Will We Be Leaving The Temple Justified?

I decided to wait until the kerfuffle over Steve Nelson’s Dec. 16 column died down before responding (“A Letter to Santa, From God Himself”). Nelson feels he has done the country a service by demonstrating that President Donald Trump has broken all Ten Commandments and is therefore a sinner. No surprise there. During my decades as a pastor I encountered people who also realized their guilt and were remorseful and repentant. I am also a sinner. So are we all.

That comes as a surprise to people who assume that they’ve lived a good life and have somehow stayed off God’s “naughty list.” Jesus, contrary to the impression many have that he was soft on sin, actually took a hard line on transgressions. He equated lusting with adultery and hatred with murder.

The story is told in Luke’s Gospel of two men, a Pharisee and a publican, who went into the temple to pray. The Pharisees were a self-righteous sect and the publicans were tax collectors who used Rome’s power to extract every shekel they could from both the wealthy and poor. The Pharisee boasted of his fasting and philanthropy, thanking God that he wasn’t like the publican, who simply cried, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Jesus asked which one left the temple justified. Actually, they both did — the Pharisee justified by himself and publican justified by God.

The fact remains that all of us are in need of God’s forgiveness, and the consequences of not availing ourselves of it are far greater than having a truckload of coal deposited on our doorstep for Christmas.

So, in a backhanded way, Nelson has actually done his readers a service. Let’s go back to the equation of hatred to murder: It’s probably a good thing that all of those who hate Trump cannot be detained by the Secret Service for the thoughts of their hearts. Someday God will judge him, and all of us as well, and those who feel they’ve gotten away with murder — literally and figuratively — are in for a surprise.

William A. Wittik


Notes From a Current Lyme Resident

Things I wish we wouldn’t have to read in 2019:

■ President Donald Trump’s tweets.

■ Actually, anything Trump claims until it is verified. Now, this is truly ironic: “Trust, but verify” is a proverb that was applied to the only foreign country he doesn’t vilify: Russia.

■ The word “gift” torturously misused as a verb: “gift” is a noun; “gifted” is an adjective.

■ The phrase “former Lyme resident” inserted by the Valley News in every single report and photograph of Mikaela Shiffrin. Not to be grinchy, but her family lived here for only a few years. We admire her, love seeing photos of her hoisting her skis, and the Lyme School remembers her occasional visits fondly, but each year this local connection becomes stretched thinner. I will admit, though, that I buy Barilla pasta because its label reminds me of her ski hat, with that great smile below — most recently on page D8 in the Dec. 30 edition.

I do look forward to reading everything else in our outstanding local and award-winning newspaper throughout 2019.

Michael Whitman


Valley News

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West Lebanon, NH 03784


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