Forum, May 10: What Would Mary Say?

Wednesday, May 09, 2018
The Perils Down the Road

President Trump’s decision Tuesday to back out of the Iran nuclear deal is at best ill-advised and may lead to greater perils later on. In a single stroke, he has made the world a more dangerous place. The immediate dangers in this instance are that Iran will move ahead soon with a nuclear weapons program, thereby motivating Saudi Arabia and Turkey to do the same thing. The Middle East is explosive enough as it is without a full-blown regional nuclear arms race added to it. And Israeli security will suffer if Iran also intensifies its support for Hezbollah and Hamas.

Under the circumstances, it will be difficult for the Israeli government to resist the temptation to hit back at Iran directly, with the possible result of a full-blown war between the two countries. Meanwhile, the Syrian civil war will grow more terrible as Iran continues its support for the Assad regime. Nor will the danger confine itself to the Middle East. The pending negotiations with North Korea may collapse as well, leaving the entire Korean peninsula as dangerous as ever. Nor will Russia or China see any reason to negotiate nuclear arms reductions with us.

If Trump truly wishes to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and increase our national security, as he has said he does, he needs to reverse his decision now and keep the Iran agreement in place while the United States and its allies work out a plan to improve it. Meanwhile, New Hampshire’s congressional delegation must press him now to change his mind.

John Raby

New London

What Would Mary Say?

Signs around the Upper Valley tout the 125th anniversary of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital. An advertisement in the April 29 Valley News asks, “Who’s Mary?” In the same issue, the Valley News reports that Dartmouth-Hitchcock has now assumed control of Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital and describes the changes that have “befallen” APD. What would Mary say about the changes at her 86-year-old little sister “cottage hospital”?

Yes, the world of medicine is changing, but the care provided at APD was never about profit, economy and outsourcing. As a former APD trustee nearly 40 years ago, whose children were born there, and who has relied on APD, I can attest that APD provided good care and cared about you because the people there knew you. When any issue arose, be it medical or administrative, one called the “448” number and received the help that was needed from the staff, doctors, nurses or administrators who were our neighbors.

No doubt there are nice people working at the outsourcing facilities in Dallas and elsewhere, but emphasis on the bottom line is what brings on conduct like that of Wells Fargo.

Since its founding, the Upper Valley has loyally and generously supported APD. Apparently, now, community support is the less-honored past. Embracing the future means that bottom-line finances are the only measuring rod. What would Alice say? What would Mary say?

Barry Schuster


Commercially Regulated Freedom

Lest my previous letter left anyone with the impression that only our government can suppress our First Amendment rights, I’d like you to compare the page opposite with this one: The Valley News Opinion page seldom, if ever, has advertisements — although they are rife on the facing page. On April 25, ads took up over 70 percent of the page headed by the Forum. How typical: Powerful insiders are unconstrained by the 350-word limit, while the amateur writers are relegated to what advertisers relinquish.

Please, if we in the community must struggle to have our voices heard above the din of professionals hawking their wares, provide us a level playing field: Don’t burden the Forum page with more than its share of ads.

In these days of gag orders issued to EPA and NASA scientists (preventing them from mentioning the climate crisis or science-based truths), the pending FCC approval of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Tribune Media Co., and repression of net neutrality, it is most important that the press stays strong, supports patron access to freedom of speech and provides a platform for speaking up. Please diminish the footprints of your ads and expand the footprint of the Forum in order to foster more submissions, more dialogue.

Kevin McEvoy Leveret

White River Junction

Be Aware of Phone Scams

Heads up: Telephone scams are afoot in the Connecticut River Valley.

A Weathersfield resident got hit recently in a telephone scam, so I am letting all of you know to be on the alert and not get hit yourselves.

The telephone rang and a person who purported to be this resident’s grandson said he had been in a car accident, had an open bottle of liquor in the car, and that was why he had been arrested. He added that he would be in touch later and said, “You need to talk to my lawyer.”

The resident was told by the caller he needed $2,000 to pay the court for bail. The caller’s voice was muffled as if he was crying. The resident thought the call was real and so complied with the request, buying four gift cards at $500 each at Walmart.

The resident received another call and was asked for the pin numbers off each card. One hour later, the supposed grandson called again and the resident realized the voice was not that of the grandson, but of course the damage was done. None of the lost money will be regained, but the resident wanted others to know about the scam and not to comply with the scammers who are pulling this off.

Lorraine Zigman


Remember the Sunscreen

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with more than 3 million people affected every year.

As dermatologists, we have diagnosed and treated thousands of cases of skin cancer. While these cases are stressful for patients, the good news is that, when caught early, many cases can be successfully treated with no lasting harm.

It is also true that many cases of skin cancer could be entirely prevented. In your daily life, the most important thing you can do is to apply sunscreen when you are outside and exposed to the sun. This means putting an SPF 30 sunscreen on all parts of your body that see the sun: body, face, lips. Wear protective sun clothing, including a hat for your face and neck. Make sure your children do the same; sunburns in childhood can become skin cancer in adulthood.

We know that being active outside is one of the pillars of Upper Valley life. Get out there and enjoy, but remember the sunscreen! Your skin will thank you.

Dr. José E. Peraza

Dr. Daniel M. Peraza

Peraza Dermatology Group