Forum, June 3: Chore Corps Helps Others Beat the Heat This Summer

Saturday, June 02, 2018
Help Others Beat the Heat This Summer

I’m no Edgar Cayce, Miss Cleo or Carnac the Magnificent, but I can predict with 100 percent certainty that we’ll experience extreme heat events this summer. That’s why Chore Corps is looking for volunteers with kind hearts and strong backs. Each summer we get calls for help to install air conditioners for older adults and people with chronic health conditions. Some can’t afford to hire someone, and others are vulnerable to fraud.

While summer means barbecues, bicycling or the beach for some of us, for others it can mean increased risk for heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Certain medications or chronic diseases make it harder for the body to self-regulate temperature. Hot and humid days often make it difficult for people with respiratory or heart disease to breathe. Something as simple as an air conditioner can help someone stay out of the hospital — if there’s a volunteer to help install it.

To volunteer, donate working air conditioners or make a Chore Corps request in Grafton or Sullivan counties, call the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program at 1-877-711-7787. The RSVP Volunteer Center recruits, screens, matches and supports volunteers 55 and up in a variety of activities, (home-delivered meals, telephone reassurance, home patrol and more.) Sponsored by Grafton County Senior Citizens Council Inc., RSVP never charges clients for services.

Whatever you do this summer, stay safe. In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods. Take weather warnings seriously. In addition to elders and those with chronic illnesses, people working outdoors, athletes, small children, people with mental illness, the obese and pets are also susceptible. Reach out to isolated family and neighbors. Find out about “cooling shelters” in your area. Learn how to prevent, recognize and treat heat-related illnesses. The American Red Cross and FEMA are good sources. So is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which advises, “Stay Cool. Stay Hydrated. Stay Informed.”

Teresa M. Volta, Program Director

RSVP Volunteer Center

Open Your Eyes to Our Rogue State

From a larger historical perspective, 21st century America became a lost country; our leadership, rogue. The insane violence of the 9/11 event was followed by insane violence everywhere. Now the pitch is coming to justify the destruction of Iran, yet another act of insane violence in a long, ongoing period of such madness. Our own country transformed into a national security state, the very opposite of what it’s supposed to be.

Of course, most people have happily consented, pretending that it’s not happening. There is very little semblance left of a free and open society that values the Bill of Rights. America is not a united states, but a divided states; a broken, lost and confused states. Terrible things have happened here, but like one big dysfunctional family, it’s denied. It’s a well-kept secret, not to be acknowledged or discussed.

We live in a country that was clearly and obviously hijacked by criminality in very high places. To deny that is just absurd. Our national distress is a reflection of that fact. This is a rogue state that has illegally attacked one sovereign country after another, but it’s taboo to say so. (As with all taboos, it is forbidden to say the very things that most need to be said). We are men. We are women. We’re not children. There is no reason to hide your eyes. There is no reason to be silent. There is nothing to fear in speaking up against atrocity. The future chance of your children living in a free nation depends on it. They depend on you.

Neil Meliment


A Demanding, Delightful Teacher

I enjoyed the recent piece on Thetford author Christopher Wren (“An Author Bent on Reporting Truth: Journalist Wren Chronicles Life of Ethan Allen,” May 17). I took professor Wren’s course and was privileged to have him serve as one of the readers for my masters thesis. He is a dedicated, demanding and delightful teacher.

I loved learning about his latest book from Jim Kenyon’s column (and intend to buy it!), but have to say that, no matter how wonderful it proves to be, The Cat who Traveled the World will always be my favorite.

Liza Draper, MALS ’15


Border Patrol Checks Aren’t News

I read the VtDigger article by Elizabeth Gribkoff about border patrol checks (“Border Patrol Boards Amtrak: Agents Check Citizenship in WRJ,” May 25). Why is this news? Border agents doing checks for safety and identity verification?

Although well-written, the story had a tone that implied mild criticism of border agents and mostly selected information to support that angle. “Why are they hassling train riders?” might be a fair thesis sentence. Then, if a terrorist tragedy with deaths happens in the Upper Valley, I can hear the cries from media: “Why didn’t border agents and authorities do more to protect us?” Ugh.

Tim Fortier

Newbury, N.H.

Class-Driven Border Patrol Targets?

I read the VtDigger article in the Valley News (“Border Patrol Boards Amtrak: Agents Check Citizenship in WRJ,” May 25) and am wondering if the Border Patrol is checking passengers on the Dartmouth Coach in Hanover and Lebanon, as well as the less-pricey alternatives?

Amelia Sereen


Here’s Another Sanders Accomplishment

In the editorial about Bernie Sanders (“His Revolution: Bernie Sanders Keeps on Fighting,” May 27), I found it both interesting and amusing that the author neglected to mention, in the list of Sanders’ amazing accomplishments, his purchase of his third $500,000-plus home. Is there a problem? Aren’t you proud of Sanders? I mean, not everyone has three homes, after all. Or is it because that won’t play so well with 99 percent of his supporters who imagine he cares about their little problems?

Jim Newcomb

North Haverhill