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Forum, Jan. 8: Correcting Meriden Library Details


Monday, January 07, 2019
Correcting Meriden Library Details

I am writing to call attention to incorrect information being circulated about the Meriden Library building project. A brochure about the project has been shared with select residents in town providing an overview of a campaign to build a new library-community room. It outlines the reasons why a new building is proposed, what the new library would look like, and how it would be paid for.

This final section contains inaccurate information. The brochure states that, “The new building will cost between $800,000 and $1,000,000 to build. The town has agreed to fund half the cost of the new building by continuing the bond that was issued for the expansion of the Philip Read Memorial Library, resulting in no increase in taxes.” This is not a correct statement. The town has not voted to fund any portion of the cost of the new building, and there is no clear information yet on the total impact to each household’s tax bill. It is imperative that residents of Plainfield attend Town Meeting in March to understand the full scope and impact of this project. It is extremely important that the townspeople understand, and have an opportunity to vote on, how their tax dollars are put to use.

Helen Koehler

Plainfield

Hanover Herd Needs More Thinning

I am pleased to see that Hanover is concerned about the deer population and the destruction of our beautiful shrubs and gardens (“Thinning the Herd in Hanover: Town Relies on Hunters to Reduce Nuisance Deer Population,” Jan. 2).

Although the woody areas near Balch Hill and Mink Brook are allowed to be hunted, I hope the town will consider the west side of Hanover as well. Deer living in the woods near the river are traveling to properties on Downing Road, Sargent Street, West Street, where I live, and onto Main Street. They are so tame, they just look at me as they demolish my hostas and flowering plants. Please add the west side of town in the plan to rid us of these beautiful but destructive creatures.

Connie Anderson

Hanover

A Rash and Impulsive President

These are bleak times. President Donald Trump’s attempts to deal with complex issues reflect shallow politics. His obsession with building a wall is based on no coherent immigration policy. His insistence on appealing to his base reinforces tribal politics. The tax reform law enhances the rich and disadvantages the poor. His divisive response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville drew bipartisan condemnation. His description of climate change as a hoax ignores valid data supporting it. His foreign policy decisions seem to be made off-the-cuff. When will Republican congressional leaders acknowledge that Trump is acting impulsively and rashly? Witness the following:

■ James Mattis, the defense secretary, and three other Cabinet members have resigned or been forced out in less than two months.

■ Trump claims that the war against Islamic State has been won; in the next breath he states that someone else would now have to fight it.

■ Trump demanded funding for the wall as part of an immigration bill. Two days later, he rejected a bipartisan deal fulfilling those requirements.

Patience among Republicans may be wearing thin. George Will, a conservative columnist, recently urged readers to vote against the GOP in the November midterms, stating, “When a political party stands for nothing larger than itself, it is time to rebuild it — and that requires voters first to engage in demolition.”

Thomas Friedman sounded a clarion call when he stated recently that if Trump does not change his conduct, “the party’s leadership will have no choice but to press for his resignation or join calls for his impeachment.” Richard Nixon, when faced with an almost certain impeachment in August 1974, resigned two days later. If similarly confronted, I wonder if Trump would be so sensible.

Bob Scobie

West Lebanon

Focus on the Issues That Divide Us

The news suggests that this is truly the Age of Trump. Stop whining! Whether one supports or dislikes the president’s policies or character, which most agree is despicable, we might all do well to focus less on what he does or says than on the issues that divide our country and make it nearly impossible for government to function.

Donald Trump is not the problem. It is critical to understand that, whenever he leaves office, the issues that divide us will remain. They took root long ago, and seem likely to dominate in the future.

In my opinion, the modern divisiveness began with the passage of civil rights legislation and immigration reform in the mid-1960s and the accompanying Nixon-Reagan “Southern Strategy.” Trump carried that strategy to a new level and gave millions permission to articulate the racist, xenophobic and misogynic attitudes and values that for much of our history we have kept hidden.

Add the emergence and dominance of the neo-liberal ideology in the mid-’70s, plus the elephant in the room — the widening income and wealth gap, exacerbated by declining mobility — and we have a truly toxic mix. Then add to this near-perfect storm the influence of social media and the silos in which most of us tend to live, and the result is an incredibly divided nation.

These are the issues about which we should be concerned, not whether Trump will be impeached or what the Mueller team will report. None of these issues are going to disappear when Trump goes.

Someone wiser than I said, “Predictions are always difficult, especially when they are about the future.” But if I were to hazard a guess, it would be that by the year 2119 or so, America will be two or more separate nations — and if we have not destroyed our planet, folks may be a lot more content. Right now, however, stop whining about Trump. In the new year, let’s focus on the fundamental issues that divide us.

Jim Wilson

Strafford

Move ‘Doonesbury’ Out of the Comics

This is Andy speaking. I am 10 years old. I like to read the comics every day, especially on Sunday. Some other kids probably like reading the comics too. I think Doonesbury should be taken out of the Sunday comics. It is sometimes inappropriate and sometimes it says rude things in it. I have friend who also doesn’t like Doonesbury. My mom told me that it’s in a different section during the week. Can you take it out or move it to a different spot on Sundays? I would like it if you took it out because it offends me and probably other people.

Andy MacNeil

Thetford Center