Forum, July 13: A Tribute to Hanover Civil Servant Brian Walsh

Thursday, July 12, 2018
A Tribute to Brian Walsh

Brian Walsh was a colleague and friend. He first recruited me for the Hanover Finance Committee and then encouraged me to run for Selectboard. He was my mentor over those many years. In his heart, he thought of himself as a public servant and bristled at being called a politician (“Hanover Civil Servant Brian Walsh Leaves a Lasting Legacy,” July 6).

He was patient to the Nth degree, and often as Selectboard chair, when I would have moved to a vote, Walsh would delay for several weeks and ask the competing interests to get together to continue to look for a win-win solution and to return before a final vote.

He knew everyone. That translated into residents feeling comfortable in approaching him with both concerns and support. It also lead to excellent appointments to our boards and commissions. He was both pragmatic and able to think out of the box, as he did when crafting the solution to the Dresden school issue. Few would have seen the potential solution, and even fewer would have had the respect and credibility to see it through to completion.

When he was stepping down from the Selectboard and as I was picking up the reins, he warned me to stay clear of two very specific issues. We had a good laugh when they were subsequently on an agenda.

To top it off, he was a very proud father and grandfather, and an accomplished artist. Many of his watercolors are displayed proudly in our homes and offices.

A special person, he will be missed.

Peter Christie


The writer chairs the Hanover Selectboard.

Don’t Start Sales Tax Trade War

New Hampshire should not adopt a sales tax and there is nothing about the Supreme Court’s internet sales tax decision that requires New Hampshire to do so.

The Executive Council voted on Wednesday to allow an emergency legislative session to respond to the court’s sales tax decision. I voted against the resolution because it is premature and because the governor’s proposals will increase uncertainty and may start a trade war with other states.

Businesses that rely on hastily enacted legislation may also find themselves subjected to fines and interest. We should be prepared to back up our political rhetoric and be ready to bail out those businesses that rely on the state’s promises. The governor’s proposals do not address this concern. Indeed, the state does not know the number of businesses that are likely affected.

Rather than rush to legislate, state agencies should immediately help businesses understand the new decision and determine the costs of compliance. Making tax software available to small businesses for free would be a start.

Other than the politics, there is little point to an emergency legislative session.

Andru Volinsky

East Concord

The writer represents District Two on the Executive Council.

No Fan of Hop’s Programming

The announcement of the 2018-19 season at Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center for the Arts (“Hopkins Center Releases a Globe-Spanning Program for 2018-19,” July 5) noted that the coming attractions are “straying far beyond the music, drama and choreography of dead white men.”

I have wondered whether this was Hop Director Mary Lou Aleskie’s characterization of the season or David Corriveau’s. In either event, I wonder whether those programming the season have considered that Dartmouth’s generations of “dead white men” have provided the substantial endowment to make their positions and work possible.

It remains to be seen whether the Upper Valley will embrace the Aleskie approach to arts. Several with whom I have spoken are sitting this season out or greatly reducing their membership contributions and subscribed events.

I regret that what has been a fine arts venue seems to be going astray.

Roger E. Bloomfield


‘EPR’ Reactor Is Now Online

On June 29, the first “EPR” connected to the grid. This reactor plant design was first called a “European Pressurized Reactor,” then a “Evolutionary Power Reactor,” and now it’s just “EPR.” There have been “growing pains” as happens in all technologies. This reactor design can use enriched uranium and mixed oxide fuel (such as uranium and plutonium).

Of interest to those concerned about Vermont Yankee’s used fuel, the EPR is also designed to use reprocessed fuel from earlier designs. Vermont Yankee’s used fuel probably will be sold for a fair price in the future. Whether it is sold will depend on the price, compared to the alternatives. If Vermont Yankee’s used fuel can’t compete, it might be because of overly conservative safety precautions placed on shipping by opponents who object to everything. They apparently have never watched the used fuel shipping container crash tests on YouTube.

The first EPR’s location: China. Others are one the way, in China, France and Finland.

Howard Shaffer