Forum, July 2: It’s Time to Raise Our Voices

Sunday, July 01, 2018
Time to Raise Our Voices

In light of the appalling news that the Republican administration in Washington, D.C., has adopted policies that put children at risk of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, it is heartening to hear the Republican governors of Vermont and New Hampshire voice outrage against this on behalf of their states.

What’s that you say? You’ve heard nothing from Montpelier or Concord? Interesting how the leaders of the party that touts “family values” have none when push comes to shove. But this is what we have come to expect from the Republican Party, isn’t it?

While I think trying to persuade Republican leaders to stop the abuse of the children of asylum seekers, not to mention their parents, is a waste of time, exposing the corporations and institutions that are reaping financial rewards from this disgusting situation is not. Please direct your outrage toward the executives and boards of the following companies and organizations. They may still have a conscience, or a sense of shame, that can be roused.

The New York Times has reported that General Dynamics, MVM Inc., Southwest Key Programs, and CoreCivic, a for-profit prison corporation, are all profiting from the business of sheltering and transporting migrants. NBC News has reported that Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Thomson Reuters, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions and Palantir all have contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to which they provide technical support. And Money Magazine identified 15 organizations doing business with ICE, including Northeastern University, Johns Hopkins University and the Vermont State Colleges, which provided management and leadership training.

Contact information for all of these entities can be found online. Please raise your voices. Show more courage than the governors of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Sonja Hakala

West Hartford

Pie Buffet Benefits Polio Fight

Are you looking for a fun family event to benefit a great cause? Come to the “Great American Pie Buffet” on July 4, at the Upper Valley Senior Center, 10 Campbell St., in Lebanon, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (or until the pie is gobbled up — whichever comes first).

Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Lebanon, the event benefits the global eradication of polio.

The buffet includes both savory pies (shepherd’s, pizza, quiches, etc.) and sweet pies (fruits, custard, chocolate, etc.). With thought to those with food allergies, nut pies are served on a separate table. Your ticket enables you to choose what you like from the buffet while on site or to select two servings of pie to take away. Tickets are $8 for adults; $5 for children under 10.

As this event is part of Rotary’s worldwide effort to end polio, proceeds will be matched 2-to-1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Last year, this event raised more than $4,000, which, with the Gates Foundation match, became a donation exceeding $12,000 toward the fight to extinguish polio.

These funds are making a difference. In the 30 years since the launch of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, cases worldwide have been reduced from an average of 1,000 a day to barely one per month. We are so close to the finish line, and you can help us reach it.

Questions? Call event organizers Tim Guaraldi at 603-359-0866, or Phil Rentz at 603-422-7861.

Jennifer Grant

Rotary Club of Lebanon

Mascoma High Auditorium a Landmark

I would like to thank the Mascoma community, again, for making the investment they made in building the community auditorium at the Mascoma Regional Valley High School. It really is a testament to how important the arts are to our communities. It is not just another high school auditorium, it is a community landmark. You should be very proud!

I was honored that the Upper Valley debut of my film, Negotiating With Nature, was shown at your theater. It was a wonderful evening. Thank you.

I would also like to thank the Upper Valley Land Trust for sponsoring the event.

Stefan van Norden