Forum, July 6: Let Hartford’s police chief do his job

Published: 7/5/2019 10:00:16 PM
Modified: 7/5/2019 10:00:04 PM
Let Hartford’s police chief do his job unimpeded

In reference to the pending Fair and Impartial Policing policy amendment under discussion in Hartford, we encourage the town manager, the Selectboard and the people supporting this amendment not to micromanage our police chief.

For four years, Phil Kasten has done the job he was hired to do. He has led his department with integrity and honesty, taking personal responsibility and bringing a change of mindset. It wasn’t an easy job to start with, and staff changes must have added to the challenge.

We have worked closely with Kasten on several projects and have known him to always be looking out for this community. He is smart, thorough and caring and has proven over and over again that Hartford could not have picked a better man for the job. Let him do it — unimpeded.

Staffing remains an issue and the way this amendment has been discussed isn’t likely to help. Concerns should not be hastily moved to a Selectboard vote, no matter the sensitivity of the matter. The real fears of some community members should only ensure that people are given the time needed to prepare a knowledgeable response.

Kasten understands that a large part of his job is to alleviate fears in his community. We trust this man — he has never done anything for us to feel otherwise. He knows the law. We would rather trust him than police him. Isn’t that how we all would rather live — trusted to do our jobs and, in turn, trust our neighbors to do theirs? The police department lives with the dangers of policing every day. Do you? Are you even aware of just what they do on a daily basis — the counseling and community support they give? We say, show him and his staff the respect they have earned. Hold them accountable, but let them do their job.

Let the town manager and Selectboard know how you feel. Show up for the next meeting if you can.




West Hartford

Proposed waste facility won’t make Claremont better

Claremont has made great strides in revitalizing and we have a bright future. We have new businesses, new attitudes, a wonderful senior center, thriving churches, a downtown development project, a forward-looking mayor and City Council and a general feeling of hopefulness.

But recently, a new hazard appeared on our horizon. RSI/Acuity Inc. has approached the Claremont Planning Board with a proposal to build a waste facility on Industrial Boulevard. The facility is a proposed open slab operation that would import unwanted waste from areas outside of Claremont, 500 tons per day on 50 trucks. Construction and demolition debris would be rough sorted in the open, creating hazardous dust and water runoff. The site is within 1,000 yards of an elementary school and there are more than 200 homes within a half-mile.

This facility would irrevocably change the neighborhood around Claremont Junction and would impact the whole city. The junction is where our train depot is located, a valuable asset for Claremont’s future and a gateway to the city.

In the master plan, the citizens of Claremont said they want to improve the standard of living in Claremont, improve the quality of life and discourage land use with negative environmental quality impacts. The Planning Board must consider the master plan and fight for the citizens of Claremont in protecting their health, property values and environment.

If this concerns you at all, please call the Claremont Planning and Development Office, at 603-542-7030 and register your concerns. Contact all of your city representatives at To get involved, you can send your contact information to and someone will get back to you.

Please come to the next public hearing on this issue on July 22 in the Claremont City Hall Council Chambers at 6:20 p.m.



‘Back path’ is closed again

I guess I spoke too soon about the opening of our back path from Hillcrest Terrace down to the old Miller Auto site in White River Junction (“Our ‘back path’ is open again,” June 25). Since I last wrote, the heavy rains came and, as always, water made its own way down the hills and made a mess of man’s work.

Folks who don’t live in this area have no conception of what happens on this hill. Folks who live on hills in other areas know exactly what goes on.


White River Junction

Should impeachment begin over rape allegation?

My question to Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan and Rep. Annie Kuster is, should impeachment hearings be initiated against President Donald Trump over an accusation of rape?

As Chris Matthews of MSNBC pointed out, Trump took out a full-page ad in The New York Times calling for the death penalty for five black and Latino teenagers in connection with a rape committed in Central Park in 1989. (In 2002, DNA evidence and a confession by a convicted rapist exonerated the five, their convictions were erased and they received a $41 million settlement.)

Now, the president has been accused of raping a woman in the mid-1990s in a dressing room of a Manhattan department store within sight of Central Park.

Forget for a moment obstruction of justice allegations. Should anyone in America want a man in the White House who has been credibly accused of rape? (Oh, I forgot. You can get a permanent seat on the Supreme Court while being credibly accused of the same. My mistake.)

Guess we should just let this pass.



Perhaps then we’ll get what we need

During President Donald Trump’s recent re-election bid rally, one of the songs playing in the background was the Rolling Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

So the question is: Will Americans settle for Donald Trump again in 2020 in lieu of a better choice, or will they be presented with one?



A timely reminder

Ernie Amsden’s letter of July 2 (“It’s a question of credibility”) was a timely reminder that selectively reported news is simply fake news with a greater degree of plausible deniability.




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