Forum, May 18: Show support for Greensboro Road neighbors

Friday, May 17, 2019
Show support for Greensboro Road neighbors

I urge all those concerned about the proposed development of a 21,000-square-foot non-residential building at 28 Greensboro Road in Hanover to attend the upcoming Zoning Board meeting on May 20, at 7 p.m. Please show support for our neighbors on this residential road who have been fighting to protect their quality of life and landscape.

The development as proposed would impact negatively an already busy corridor between downtown Hanover and Etna and would harm the Mink Brook watershed. Approval of such a project would set a dangerous precedent for future development on roads like this one throughout the town.

Rather than allow such a large structure, I urge the town to consider installation of a safe bike route or sidewalk along this road, where pedestrians, runners and bikers already are in peril.



The right program, and person for U.S.

I believe our country needs two things above all else in 2020. We need both a person and a program to help us begin to heal and rediscover common purposes.

That person, I believe, is Joe Biden. As a Democrat who worked and raised a family in Delaware, I have had the opportunity to speak with him on several occasions. While I might be seen as biased because I voted for him in every Senate election, I believe he is an honest and caring man who views political office as public service, not a personal benefit program. I believe he could bring a vision of moderation and cooperation to a Washington that has little of either quality today.

I believe we also need a program. I fear the rhetoric of my Democratic colleagues in seeking radical change. I believe we do not need stridency from the left to match stridency from the right. That approach will serve only to escalate the anger and alienation and will likely lose the election. While I agree with the long-term goals my Democratic colleagues espouse, such as universal health care, I feel we need a more moderate beginning.

For example: A sweeping “Green New Deal” sounds wonderful, but would require congressional support I believe is not available. Instead, a program to encourage investment in clean energy, a rejoining of the Paris accord and enforcement of existing environmental laws would seem attainable.

“Medicare for All” is a lofty goal, but again a huge shift in the country. Instead, beginning with support and refinement of the Affordable Care Act and creating the ability for Medicare to negotiate drug prices would seem doable improvements.

Free college for all is not realistic. Instead, a program to support public and community colleges would allow many more people to afford higher education.

I believe Joe Biden could run as a one-term candidate with a younger, perhaps more progressive running mate, with the goal of bringing us back together as a nation. The alternative feels like the splintering this country experienced in 1861.



Don’t disrespect family’s suffering

Veronika Zantop is one of my closest friends from childhood. I was profoundly affected by the murder of her parents, Half and Susanne.

I feel no sense of vengeance toward James Parker. However, I strongly believe his 25-year sentence is a small punishment to pay for his horrific crime. Parker’s friends and family might like to believe that he is a good person who was led astray by a friend and committed a crime out of adolescent immaturity. His actions show a different truth.

I am a pediatrician. I have studied psychiatry, and I understand the limitations of the adolescent brain. To attribute the Zantops’ murder to adolescent immaturity is a disservice to the juvenile justice reform movement. This crime was planned, coldly and methodically. It was in no way impulsive. Parker has given no reason for committing the crime, and thus we have no reason to believe he is rehabilitated or changed by his short time in prison.

Shortening James Parker’s sentence would show that our community does not place value on the lives of Susanne and Half Zantop, and would indicate disrespect for the suffering of their family. The state of New Hampshire must assure he serves his full 25-year sentence.


Chapel Hill, N.C.

James Parker must serve full sentence

I live in the Etna neighborhood where Half and Susanne Zantop were killed. Every time I pass by their former house I think of them and all the good they radiated in the community. Our children went to school with their children. Half and Susanne were regular customers at the Dartmouth Bookstore, which our family operated. This unbelievable crime left our neighborhood in shock and fear that killers were targeting our neighborhood. Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire’s attorney general at that time, visited the neighborhood with Hanover police to assure us the state and local police were on the case with all the resources available and they were resolved to find those responsible for this heinous act.

Back then, Bob and Audrey McCollum were neighbors of the Zantops. Bob McCollum was a former dean of Dartmouth Medical School. I had several conversations with him about the murders. I believe he was the first medical person on the scene after a woman who found the Zantops raced to their house for assistance. This tragic experience bothered him severely, particularly since it was later revealed that James Parker and Robert Tulloch first knocked on their door but they were not home. He recounted to me how the four neighbors often called each other to look out into the field behind their homes to view wildlife. He was forever burdened by this experience.

That horrific crime has affected many lives, particularly the Zantops’ daughters and their beautiful children. It may be that Parker has been a model prisoner, but it was he who ended Susanne Zantop’s life. He has been fortunate indeed he was not given a life sentence, but he surely does not deserve a sentence reduction.