×

Forum, May 12: Streetlight removal will benefit all


Saturday, May 11, 2019
Streetlight removal will benefit all

I recently spoke to our fair Public Works Department here in Lebanon about the streetlight removal project and was surprised to learn that I was atypical (“Lebanon looks to turn off streetlights,” April 20).

I was calling to object that the lamp in front of my house wasn’t slated for removal. Most objections were to the removal of lamps. Strange, since we all love saving money. Remember that not only does keeping them powered cost money, so does buying, installing and maintaining them. All of those things also contribute to the greenhouse gases that cause climate change and threaten our civilization. A couple of streetlights here and there may seem like matchsticks into a volcano, but every little bit helps and lighting empty streets at night is pretty wasteful.

Times have changed. I realize that cable news may have us thinking that crime is rampant, but really, it has never been lower. If you’re worried about your property, a motion-sensor light is better than a streetlight anyway.

And for those who enjoy a casual, late-night stroll along rural roadways at night, most of us carry a smartphone that has a flashlight feature, and if not, LED headlamps can be had for only a few dollars. Surely it doesn’t make sense to illuminate random intersections all night long for the very occasional travelers who could easily bring along their own little piece of sunshine.

Finally, light pollution is a real issue. If you’ve never lived in a big city, you probably don’t know how good we have it here. But it could be better. The joy of looking up and seeing the Milky Way can only be ours if we are careful with our lighting. It’s better for wildlife, better for the city budget — and our property tax bill — and kinder to the planet.

So call public works and do as I did — not to object to removal, but rather to suggest other lamps that could also be removed.

RORY GAWLER

Lebanon

Support N.H. ban on C&D burning

As a resident of the city of Claremont, I fully support HB 358 to reinstate the ban on burning construction and demolition debris and its fuel byproducts.

Our city lay in the shadow of the Claremont Wheelabrator incinerator for almost 25 years. Citizens and animals were exposed to toxic substances such as dioxins, mercury, cadmium and lead that contaminated our air, water and soil with these bioaccumulative substances.

Combusted C&D materials contain toxins that are hazardous to human and animal consumption through contaminated air, water or soils in which our food is grown. There are no safe levels of consumption of these toxic contaminants.

I an especially concerned about lead exposure, which can have serious consequences for the health of children. At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and central nervous system and can cause coma, convulsions and even death. Children who survive severe lead poisoning may be left with mental and behavioral disorders.

Please call your lawmakers and ask them to support HB 358 to reinstate the ban on burning C&D debris.

REBECCA MacKENZIE

Claremont

Killing for fun won’t heal anyone

Healing breast cancer by inflicting pain and death on another living creature — an absurd idea, isn’t it? But that’s what the Casting for Recovery program proposes for women with breast cancer in Stowe, Vt., and in Greenfield, N.H.

Participants are expected “to find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life, and experience healing connections with other women and nature” by catching and releasing fish.

But, catch-and-release is hell for fish. Their mouths and brains are pierced by barbed hooks that are then ripped out, while the fish are drowning in air — their gills often collapse, and their swim bladders can rupture from changes in pressure. Being handled by humans also damages their protective coating so they are more vulnerable to disease and predators. Fish feel pain.

If the fish do not die of their injuries, they can die of shock from this treatment. Most fish that are thrown back into the water will die slow deaths.

There is plenty of evidence that time spent in nature is therapeutic. A walk in the woods or along a stream to see and enjoy the marvels of nature would foster true healing. Killing others for “fun” will never heal us.

JACK HURLEY

Claremont

AG should work for the people

Since when did the attorney general of the United States become the president’s private lawyer? William Barr’s job is working for the people of the United States, or has that also changed? As I have said before, if you get rid of the press, own the Supreme Court, turn the people into followers with propaganda and control the armed forces, you have the makings of a corrupt person and his powerful followers.

It has been said that America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. What is happening in this country you can see in those few words. Lying, cheating, interference from dictator countries and corruption at the highest levels — every day this occurs.

Wake up, America. Vote them out in 2020.

ROBERT POLLARD

Enfield