Forum, July 11: Catch Summer Revels Performance Tonight in Lyme

Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Summer Revels Performance Tonight

What a wonderful time was had by several hundred people celebrating the arrival of summer, as our Summer Revels festivals took place in not one, but two places this year. ArtisTree Community Arts and the Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce partnered with us to bring the Summer Revels to both Pomfret and Norwich on June 23-24. Our “Trip Around America” celebrated the diversity and importance of community, from good old-fashioned sing-a-longs to Joe Jencks’ poignant Lady of the Harbor.

And if you missed the fun — or just want to enjoy it again — come to the Summer Revels encore performance this evening, from 5:30-7:30, when you can join us in singing highlights of the show as part of the Loch Lyme Lodge Summer Music Series on Route 10 in Lyme. Come enjoy a beautiful setting overlooking the pond with good food, good company and great music.

Many thanks to all of the sponsors who helped make Summer Revels accessible to all, regardless of income, including the Couch Family Foundation, the Byrne Foundation, the Norwich Women’s Club, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, to our many business partners and to all of our state and federal elected officials whose funding sustains community arts year-round.

Kim Rheinlander, Revels Board President


Heather Salon, Revels parent and Board Member


Plainfield’s Library Debate Continues

Does Plainfield, a small town of 2,500 people, really need two libraries? More people are choosing to read books on personal electronic devices.

At Town Meeting in March, 121 voters (out of 1,600 registered voters) passed an article to appropriate $25,000 to create plans to demolish the existing Meriden Library and construct an ADA-compliant library with a large meeting room.

Located on Route 12A in Plainfield Village, the Phillip Read Memorial Library has undergone extensive renovation and enlargement to make it ADA complaint. The library includes meeting rooms that adequately can meet many of the town’s space needs.

Also, Plainfield’s elementary school (which has a $6 million budget) is available for larger meetings, In the greater Plainfield community there are two each of: town halls, fire stations, granges, private schools, along with five churches, all of which might offer additional meeting space as needed.

Current plans call for an expenditure of $800,000-plus for the library-community room project.

Keep in mind, that the town’s highway department garage is in need of expensive repair and possible renovation. In the future, other aging town-owned properties will require more repairs.

Senior citizens and many families in our town survive on fixed incomes that haven’t kept pace with inflation. They cannot afford further tax increases to pay for a new Meriden Library complex.

It is time for all residents to attend meetings and plan to vote next March.

Helen Koehler


Natural Gas Won’t Aid Climate Crisis

It was nice to see the Washington Post editorial about the natural gas industry published by the Valley News highlighting the issue of methane emissions as a strong driver of climate change (“Cleaner Fracking: Easy Fix for Methane Leaks,” July 3). It correctly pointed out that natural gas (methane) leaking unburned into the atmosphere has a climate warming effect more than 80 times greater than carbon dioxide. It also cited a recent study in the journal Science showing that the methane leakage rate may be high enough to negate the ostensible climate benefits of switching electricity production from coal to gas.

Unfortunately, the editorial got more wrong than it got right. What’s wrong is the assertion that by reducing methane emissions due to shoddy infrastructure, the gas industry can help solve the climate crisis. That’s a dangerous falsehood. Climate models show that if human-generated greenhouse gases are not reduced to near zero by mid-century, runaway warming of the planet is likely unstoppable. Even if methane emissions could be reduced to zero, which they can’t, the best the gas industry can offer is a one-time reduction in carbon dioxide emissions — 50 percent for replacing coal, 27 percent for oil. Those reductions would come from an investment of many billions of dollars paid for by customers over the 50-year life of the infrastructure. Thus, our economy would be locked into carbon emissions far exceeding the near-zero mid-century targets set by the New Hampshire and Vermont climate and energy plans. That’s the climate issue at stake with Liberty Utilities’ proposed Granite Bridge pipeline in southern New Hampshire and the fracked gas project here in Lebanon and Hanover.

Liberty’s proposed switch from one fossil fuel to another is not a step toward resolving the climate crisis. However, by redirecting its investments to renewable energy systems it could take the lead on the trajectory toward zero human-generated greenhouse gas emissions. The legislatures in New Hampshire and Vermont need to step up and pass laws that require the states’ public utilities commissions to consider climate consequences in decisions of whether or not to approve new projects.

Stuart Blood

Thetford Center

Who Will Rescue These Children?

After 17 days, 12 boys and their coach — “probably terrified” one rescuer said — are rescued from a cave in Thailand. The rescuers and officials, from five countries, including the U.S., strategized about how to get them out safely and reunited with their families. Care was to be taken with them. The New York Times provided daily reports about the plans for rescue, the people involved and the progress.

Then we remember this “free” country of ours and it is difficult not to think about what we have done to more than 2,000 children in forcibly separating them from their parents, sending them off to who knows where, with scarce information about what will happen or when or if they will ever see their parents again. Some are babies. No doubt most are terrified.

What care and expense and ingenuity are underway to rescue these children and reunite them with their families? Little, apparently, as our chaotic president and Attorney General Jeff Sessions now plot to detain children with their parents indefinitely. Where are the daily reports with details of the progress in rescuing these thousands of terrified kids?

Jennifer Cooke