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Forum, July 27: Rezone Hanover golf course land, and quickly

Published: 7/26/2020 10:00:16 PM
Modified: 7/26/2020 10:00:12 PM
Rezone Hanover golf course land, and quickly

Unless Hanover residents want glass and steel towers instead of pine trees overlooking Route 10, they’d better rezone the golf course land, pronto. The current “institutional” zone permits almost any use, which means almost any development. (Just imagine all the business and real estate developments Dartmouth College operates. Those could be all over the golf course, almost without restriction.)

Dartmouth has coveted this property for years. The current shutdown sounds like the college sees COVID-19 as a chance to strike while the iron in hot. Better for the town to rezone the area as “forestry and recreation,” consistent with its actual use and purpose. But act now, or you’ll lose it.

ROBIN CARPENTER

Lebanon

A disingenuous explanation of vaccine vote

We are in the midst of the greatest public health crisis in generations. Our way out of the COVID-19 crisis will ultimately be only with the advent of a viable vaccine. And, in order for that vaccine to protect our communities, people must actually be vaccinated. That’s public health.

We have seen how politics can distort matters of public health on a national scale. Masks don’t do any good if you don’t wear them and vaccinations don’t do any good if you don’t get vaccinated. How we respond to public health imperatives matters — just ask the citizens of Texas, Florida and Arizona. If we are lucky enough to have a vaccine to protect against COVID-19, success will be determined by how many people get vaccinated.

Vermont’s schools require children to be vaccinated against several illnesses in order to protect the entire community. Exemptions can be made for medical or religious reasons. Vermont also used to have a “philosophical exemption” — meaning essentially anyone can opt out of being vaccinated. This is the turf of the anti-vaccine movement.

Rebecca Holcombe’s opponent in the Democratic primary is David Zuckerman. As a state senator in 2015, Zuckerman voted against removing that philosophical exemption. That vote has taken on a political significance. When Holcombe challenged him on the issue at one debate, he cried foul and issued a news release saying, “I voted against the amendment to remove the Philosophical Exemption in order to help parents of children who have had severe reactions to vaccines.”

This is disingenuous. Having had a severe reaction to a vaccine is not a philosophical objection. It’s a medical reason. When asked about this again at another debate, Zuckerman once again asserted his later support for vaccinations. But he has yet to provide a cogent explanation of his vote in 2015.

All this could be a tempest in a teapot were it not for the fact that our health and our economy may well depend upon wide-scale compliance with a vaccine against COVID-19.

Vote for Rebecca Holcombe for governor on Aug. 11.

KERMIT HUMMEL

Woodstock

Getting elections right in NH

This will be the most critical election year in modern times and it must be absolute that all New Hampshire citizens have the ability to vote, to cast that vote safely, and have the utmost confidence the election is fair and honest.

I am part of No Labels Problem Solvers of New Hampshire, a non-partisan group of New Hampshire citizens who strongly believe in a political process that elevates problem-solving above party tribalism and puts country before party.

Given the multiple national crises of the pandemic, economic disruption, social justice issues and a loss of faith in government institutions, we must find a way to come together now, to ensure the integrity of our elections as it is vitally important for democracy to work in New Hampshire and across our country.

COVID-19 changes everything. The worst public health crisis in 100 years has dramatically increased concerns about the safety of polling places and the willingness of citizens to do in-person voting, which means absentee balloting will need to be more broadly available in this year’s elections. Secretary of State Bill Gardner is aware of the challenges and formed a six-member panel to make recommendations on how to handle the elections “in the event of a worst-case scenario.” The primary and general elections will have challenges in staffing polling places and counting absentee ballots. To address these concerns requires planning, potential statute development or revision, and educating the voter. We encourage you to check the Secretary of State’s website (www.sos.nh.gov) to learn about the election process and answer any questions you have.

Please speak with town officials about their preparedness. Please inform and educate your family and friends and encourage all to vote. Please consider helping out at your local polling place.

Finally, we encourage the No Labels Problem Solvers Caucus in the House of Representatives (25 Republicans and 25 Democrats) to support all efforts needed to ensure the integrity of the 2020 elections.

TIM vanBLOMMESTEYN

Wilmot, N.H.




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