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Forum, Nov. 17: Volunteers are needed for Claremont energy committee

Published: 11/16/2020 10:00:08 PM
Modified: 11/16/2020 10:00:04 PM
Volunteers are needed for Claremont energy committee

Last year, the New Hampshire Legislature passed SB 286, now known as RSA 53-E, which enables cities, towns and counties to aggregate retail electricity demand. These aggregation pools can generate economies of scale and bulk purchasing power that lead to lower rates and save residential and commercial customers money on their monthly electric bill.

The city of Claremont, through its Energy Advisory Committee, is interested in pursuing this initiative, and one of the first steps is to develop an Electric Aggregation Plan.

A subcommittee will develop this plan in order to allow for increased citizen participation. This newly formed Electric Aggregation Committee will be comprised of five members: Two from the Energy Advisory Committee, two citizens at large and a city councilor. The sooner all five seats are filled, the sooner the committee can get to work.

The committee will be charged with developing the Electric Aggregation Plan (details of which are listed in the statute) and also recommending goals and objectives for City Council consideration. Examples of the goals include maximum savings for ratepayers, energy sourced from renewable sources (and if so, what percentage?), or providing a range of these options for ratepayers to choose from.

Citizens interested in volunteering do not need to be experts in the field. They need to be willing to learn about the topic of municipal aggregation and able to attend virtual meetings. Several nearby communities are already moving forward with municipal aggregation, so there are many local sources of information for the committee to consult with.

To volunteer to serve on this committee, please contact deForest Bearse (603-504-0341) at the city’s Planning and Development Office, 14 North St., Claremont.



The writer is a member of the Energy Advisory Committee.

Free Thanksgiving dinner offered for Mascoma-area

I am emailing because somehow we got skipped in the recent write-up about local Thanksgiving dinners for the community.

We are going into our 13th year of serving a free “Mascoma Community Thanksgiving Dinner.” We are offering the meal “COVID-19 style” this year, meaning you can pick it up at The 603 Bakery & Cafe, in Canaan, or we have many volunteers to deliver.

We want everyone to know that this meal is for anyone and everyone, we are really encouraging people to stay home and stay safe this year. We are welcoming monetary donations only this year — they are appreciated, yet not expected.

We are also having our annual pie sale this year, and a portion of the proceeds will go to the local food pantries. Visit our Facebook page or call 603-523-7709 to order.

Pick up is at The 603 Bakery & Cafe, 1182 Route 4, between 9-11 a.m. on Thanksgiving. Delivery to Canaan, West Canaan, Grafton, Orange and Dorchester will be between 9-11 a.m. on Thanksgiving. Please preorder by 5 p.m. on Nov 25. Call 603-523-7709 or email the603bakerycafe@gmail.com for your dinners.

My family and I have been volunteering for more than 10 years on Thanksgiving. This is a very important event for us. Thank you.



The writer is manager of The 603 Bakery & Cafe.

There’s no ‘suspecting’ it: Joe Biden will be president

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu joins faithful, die-hard supporters of President Donald Trump when he says “we suspect (President-elect Joe Biden will) be taking the oath of office in January.” Note the royal “we,” also known as the majestic plural.

“Suspect” indeed! No one who honors and supports our Constitution “suspects” Biden will be sworn in. Only deniers support the wild hope that Trump and his enablers will find a way to delay Biden from assuming the presidency on Jan. 20.

What a spurious way for Sununu to curry favor with supporters and Republican donors.



Echoes of the McCarthy era

About halfway through the Trump presidency, like many people, I was depressed and frustrated. Looking for some perspective, I read historian Jon Meacham’s The Soul of America: The Battle for our Better Angels. I still felt somewhat powerless, but Meacham helped me put what we were experiencing into historical context.

As the election returns were coming in, I opened the book and noted passages I had underlined two years ago, such as this description: “A master of false charges, of conspiracy-tinged rhetoric, and of calculated disrespect for conventional figures, he could distract the public, play the press, and change the subject all while keeping himself at center stage. ... He valued performance over substance. ... When he read coverage he disliked, he did not keep quiet — he went on the offensive, singling out specific publications and particular journalists, sometimes at rallies.”

Meacham was not writing about Donald Trump. He was writing about Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, a 20th century American demagogue who is echoed in the language and actions of the 45th president.

How refreshing to read Meacham’s account of how Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, Ralph Flanders of Vermont and other senators finally found the courage to censure the outlandish senator from Wisconsin. At the same time, how disconcerting to read how McCarthy’s base of support remained loyal

As we struggle to move forward at this time of deep division, it is well to remember Edward R. Murrow’s observation that McCarthy’s actions “caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault it that? Not really his. He didn’t create this situation of fear; he merely exploited it — and rather successfully. Cassius was right. ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

Murrow signed off that broadcast with his usual “Good night and good luck.” It will definitely take lots of good luck, patience and dedicated action by capable leaders and informed citizens to move the U.S. into a healthier future. I fervently hope and pray for all of that.


East Corinth

Donald Trump will be labeled worst president in US history

President Donald Trump really tried hard to eliminate the new coronavirus ... by not telling the medical community and the people that the dangerous virus was airborne and easily spread, which ultimately caused more victims to die.

I think he may have thought he could get rid of the virus by just letting the carriers and victims die out. I personally still cannot believe how he got away with that.

Also, I’m questioning the claim that he had the virus. Why did he have his doctors sign a nondisclosure contract? What is he hiding?

I truly understand why a lot of people voted for Trump. He promised a better life for all. Many of my good friends voted for him. But, as I have written before, I lived in New York City in the 1970s and ’80s. I knew all about him and his lies, his lawsuits and his prejudices.

People, please carefully listen to all the truth that comes out of the White House after Trump is removed from office. And don’t just listen to one news source. And I hope the White House maintenance staff will disinfect the Oval Office before President-elect Joe Biden moves in.

I do believe Donald Trump will end up being labeled as the worst president in U.S. history.


Springfield, Vt.

Editorial cartoonist Tom Toles’ replacement disappoints

Retiring editorial cartoonist Tom Toles had it all — incisive intelligence, sharp wit, conceptual brilliance, artistic originality, verbal ingenuity. The Valley News Opinion pages have lost a gem of a pen-and-ink political storyteller. Here’s hoping the Valley News will secure a worthy successor, capable of enlivening its written commentaries with thoughtful, provocative, conceptually rich, visually sophisticated editorial art.

So far, though, Toles’ replacement is a disappointment. Jeff Stahler’s ideas are simplistic and his art is pedestrian — as has always been true of Lisa Benson, a crude representative of the political right, which deserves far better.

Perhaps the editors might choose alternatives from among the many Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonists profiled on the Pulitzer website, pulitzer.org/prize-winners-by-category/215.



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