Forum, July 7: The Prouty Is a Chance to Give Back

Friday, July 06, 2018
The Prouty Is a Chance to Give Back

We write to encourage people to participate in The Prouty, an Upper Valley tradition dating back to the summer of 1982.

The Prouty, which will take place July 13 and 14, is now in its 37th year of raising money for the Norris Cotton Cancer Center. All the money raised stays right here in the Upper Valley, and all of it is used to fund cancer research and patient supportive services at the cancer center.

The research spans better diagnosis, treatment and prevention for patients of all age groups — young children to octogenarians and beyond. The patient supportive services funded by The Prouty provide a variety of workshops, therapies and personal products, which truly make a difference to those facing the arduous road of cancer.

Dr. Steve Leach, director of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center and a proud Prouty participant, has said that what drew him to the Upper Valley, and what has impressed him the most about life here, is the sense of community. The Prouty is one way we can all reinvest in our community.

The impact of our investment is local, national and even international as scientists, engineers and clinicians work together to unlock the mysteries of cancer right here in the Upper Valley.

So what are you waiting for? Register for The Prouty today, and let’s all work together as a community. We have all been affected by cancer, in one way or another, and this is our chance to give back and pay forward. Please join us in making this year’s Prouty another rousing success.

Mary Allen, Jim Bonney, Judy Csatari and Carolyn Frye

The writers are volunteer members of the Prouty Executive Committee

Claremont Students Losing an Ally

Much has been written about the departure of SAU 6 Superintendent Middleton McGoodwin, but few people are aware of his role in supporting local LGBTQ youth.

Students who identify differently are at substantially higher risk than their cisgender, straight peers for bullying, anxiety, depression, substance misuse, self-harm and suicide. They are also more likely to miss school and to suffer academically if their school’s climate is unwelcoming. McGoodwin understood this vulnerability and was a powerful ally. He made a point to support the formation of a Gay, Straight and Transgender Alliance at the Claremont Middle School and to enable members of the Stevens High School GSTA to meet their goals. His presence at Rural Pride on June 16 spoke to an unwavering commitment to making the district’s schools truly inclusive.

We will miss him — and certainly hope that the Claremont School Board continues to prioritize protecting our LGBTQ students in its search for a permanent replacement.

Liza Draper


Erratics, Boulders and Bedrock

I enjoyed reading about Jan and Christy Butler’s new book Erratic Wandering: An Explorer’s Hiking Guide to Astonishing Boulders in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont and look forward to reading it. The Valley News article (“Our Neighborhood Erratics: Book Identifies and Describes Region’s Gigantic Boulders,” June 26) scrambled some geological terms a bit, perhaps because of some confusion in the book itself.

Boulders by definition are loose chunks of rock, whereas bedrock is attached to the underpinnings — ledges, cliffs and the like. Thus Dog Head, firmly attached to the banks of the Lamoille River, and Cantilever Rock, which has rotated out of a cliff, are part of the bedrock, not boulders. The glaciers moved stuff around, sometimes for many miles, and other times not far at all. Loose boulders that are different from the underlying bedrock are called “erratics” because they don’t belong and obviously came from far away. They are often quite rounded in shape from grinding against each other within the ice. A boulder that is no different from the bedrock below may not have traveled very far and should not be called an erratic. The huge angular chunks at both Devil’s Dens (in Bradford and Eden, Vt.) fell from the cliffs above and are clearly not erratics.

And as for “granite”: people have a tendency to call all bedrock granite, when in fact far less than a third of northern New England is underlain by granite. The rest is largely composed of metamorphic rocks like slate, schist, gneiss, marble and amphibolite.

All this being said, I hope this new book will get people out exploring our natural surroundings.

Peter J. Thompson

Post Mills

The Time Is Ripe for a Purge

The PBS program The Great American Read features 100 of America’s best-loved novels. One of my favorites is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In it, author Doug Adams tells how one civilization sent all its middle managers off planet in the effort to preserve the best and brightest of the species. Though a lie, management took the bait. The colonists wound up populating the third rock from our Sun, dominating their adopted planet for millennia. Lately, I fear the time is ripe for another purge.

We humans do some boneheaded things. My last letter linked current events to the book How Democracies Die and also to Cambridge Analytica (with four employees now working for President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election). That was insufficient. I needed to add: “Cambridge Analytica uses data to change audience behavior” (see its website).

In her June 27 letter, “Act to Keep Families Together,” Ebba McArt spoke out on the deliberately cruel policy perpetrated on children in detention centers. In Sally Stone’s letter that same day (“Enemy Combatants, or Kids?”), she noted, “caring individuals — the majority — look upon (Trump’s) abusive, immoral and inhumane policies” with revulsion and scorn. I, too, have spoken out about the current regime’s pure malice on other occasions.

Note that the trend also includes mere selfishness: Consider Justice (irony not lost) Anthony Kennedy’s recent retirement announcement. He could have quit any time before or after Trump’s illegitimate presidency, but chose now to “enjoy” his family. (Alternatively, “enjoy” to him may be “torment” to his kin.) Be that as it may, if we want to change this ship of state’s trajectory, we’ll have to nullify Data Propria (nee Cambridge Analytica; remember the results of the 2016 election).

If ever progressives come to power again, I hope someone will sponsor a bill banning legislation that fosters the privileged at the expense of the needy. We need to reverse the current erosion of democracy. Maybe we could commandeer Trump’s “Space Force” to transport the entire administration into a supermassive black hole. Maybe get some balance, you know? What’s so funny ‘bout peace love and understanding?

Kevin McEvoy Leveret

White River Junction