Forum, July 14: Thanks for the courteous help — and the lack of eye-rolling

Published: 7/13/2019 10:00:06 PM
Thanks for the courteous help — and the lack of eye-rolling

A few days ago, I went to the Home Depot in West Lebanon. I parked outside the main entrance, did my errand and came out only to discover that my car seemed to have disappeared.

Several Home Depot employees very willingly helped me search each row of cars. Nada. I went to the service desk and a very helpful women there called the Lebanon police. Within five minutes, three police cars appeared and the officers carried out an extensive search of parking lots far and wide.

By now I was convinced my Forester had been stolen and was well out of the Upper Valley.

The officers could not have been more helpful and considerate. Then one of them asked if I had another car. Bingo. I remembered that, rather than drive my car to Home Depot, I had driven my pickup truck. And sure enough, there it was, right where I had parked it. I must have walked by it 10 times.

Rather than rolling their eyes at my idiocy, the officer in charge went out of his way to make sure I was not dehydrated or in any way impaired before letting me drive off in my truck.

Kudos and thanks to the employees at Home Depot who were so helpful and to the Lebanon police officers on duty who provided professional and courteous service. Much appreciated.



A timely, thought-provoking event

I was deeply moved by the July 3 event in Lebanon’s Colburn Park commemorating the famous 1852 speech by Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?, which was first given on July 5 in the august Corinthian Hall in Rochester, N.Y. This was one of several similar public gatherings in the Upper Valley on that day.

I had just read Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, David Blight’s impressive biography of the self-educated former slave, and the community reading of the speech in Colburn Park transported me and everyone present to 1850s America and Douglass’ remarkable life, eloquence and tireless struggle to abolish slavery and address racism.

In the speech, he gives a brilliant, big-picture assessment of the state of the nation in 1852. Douglass gave the speech numerous times over the years. With racism on the upswing during the Trump administration, the speech is eerily resonant in today’s America and reminded us that, more than 150 years later, this work is not yet finished.

I thank the organizers of this special event for a timely and thought-provoking historical experience.



The Green New Deal is just a dream

I am as concerned as anyone about the environment and global warming. What to do?

The “Green New Dealers” are living in a dream world. None of the changes they advocate are practical and others are impossible. A few of them: Cease using fossil fuels; run all systems, such as cars, buses, trucks, trains, etc., on electric power; heat all buildings with power from wind generators, water power and, of all things, wood chips.

Think about it. No one wants windmills in their town or thousands of solar panels in the beautiful meadows of the Upper Valley. Thousands and thousands of storage batteries will be required. Cars, buses and trucks will need to be recharged every few miles. We will need recharging stations all over the place. Electric trains will need new tracks. They will require third rails and overhead cables to carry the power.

The systems the greens advocate will never be enough to power the whole of the U.S. So, where will the power come from? Massive generators? What will power the generators? Wood chips?

They are barking up the wrong tree (pun intended). Private generators for each home and business? What will they run on? Nitrogen?

I don’t know any of the answers. Let’s ask the gurus of the Green New Deal. They seem to know everything.


West Lebanon

A newspaper’s letters to the editor reveal the heart of the community

My favorite part of any newspaper is the editorial page (including the cartoons, and the letters to the editor). These represent the heart of a community.

Yes, I read the news and the sports, but first I turn to the editorial section. The editorials and cartoons represent the thoughts of knowledgeable people of different professions. These are important, but letters to the editor represent my neighbors’ thoughts.

I don’t have to agree with the professionals or my neighbors, but I should be knowledgeable about both, weigh the ideas and decide how to vote. This process is part of being a responsible voter.




We encourage Valley News readers to write to the Forum to comment on matters of general public interest. We publish letters regardless of their politics, providing they are in good taste and address a subject of broad concern. To keep the Forum open to all, we request that you keep letters to about 350 words, and that you write no more often than once every two weeks. Please email letters to You may also send a letter using the form at our website, (click on “Opinion,” and then “Submit a Letter”). If you cannot send email or use the website, address letters to Forum, Valley News, P.O. Box 877, White River Junction, Vt. 05001. In all cases, please be sure to include your name and address, along with a daytime telephone number (for confirmation purposes only). All letters are subject to editing.

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