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Forum, Nov. 20: GOP redistricting proposal for NH is grotesque

Published: 11/19/2021 10:00:13 PM
Modified: 11/19/2021 10:00:11 PM
GOP redistricting proposal for NH is grotesque

Republicans are throwing Republicans under the bus. The Republican members of New Hampshire’s Special Committee on Redistricting have gerrymandered the 2nd Congressional District into the shape of a grotesque blue lobster claw composed of the state’s most Democratic towns and cities. This redistricting map practically ensures that any Republican vote for a Republican candidate in the 2nd District will be meaningless.

As collateral damage, independent voters who have registered as undeclared as a sign of their independence and who often have the votes to swing an election in New Hampshire will find their ability to do so greatly diminished in both congressional districts. The proposed map may not legally violate the one-person, one-vote rule established by the Supreme Court in 1964, but it certainly violates that rule in spirit.

Since the late 1800s, New Hampshire’s congressional districts have looked much as they do now. The proposed new maps create high odds that such a drastic change will occur again in the future, especially since public testimony overwhelmingly opposed the Republican maps to no avail, and especially since Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed the creation of a nonpartisan redistricting commission.

The governor has stated that he will veto any redistricting plan that does not pass the smell test. Lobster claws smell in any house — or House — in less than a day. The chances of catching a glimpse of a blue lobster in the wild is one in 2 million. What are the chances that Gov. Sununu will veto this gerrymandered map?

BILL SECORD

West Lebanon

Another attempt to dismantle NH public education

Imagine my shock and despair over an article in the Valley News that informs me that there is now a page on the New Hampshire Department of Education website encouraging parents and students to report a teacher for “discrimination in public workplaces and education.” (“Union: Site a ‘war on teachers’: Sununu administration creates webpage to file ‘divisive concepts’ complaints,” Nov. 14). It literally took my breath away! And to put salt on this egregious effort, Moms for Liberty NH is offering a reward of $500 for parents, teachers, students or school staff who report teachers.

Last I knew I lived in New Hampshire, not Nazi Germany or Texas.

My understanding always was that there is a procedure to follow. First speak to the teacher. If no solution, report the concern to a principal. If satisfaction is not met, then the superintendent followed by the school board. These would be the next appropriate steps before moving to the Department of Education.

What a can of worms this opens. Imagine students, parents or staff members who may have an unrelated grudge against a teacher and so decide to follow this route. Imagine if teachers opened a similar site to report parents who the teachers perceive are not taking responsibility of their children’s education.

All this hype about critical race theory, which has prompted all this, is just a false narrative (let’s call it what it is — a lie) created by Republicans in general and libertarians and Free Staters here in New Hampshire. It’s a ploy to create fear. No one has proven to me that this theory has been used in any classrooms in New Hampshire, and certainly not during my 33 years as an educator was this theory ever adopted. Not even subtly. This feels like an additional attempt to dismantle public education here in New Hampshire.

I am asking for Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut’s immediate resignation. No apologies, no excuses accepted.

SUE JAGGARD

New London

Prayer is personal, not a weapon

Prayer is a deeply personal means of communicating with God. How you pray may vary and what you pray for is up to you. A community member recently shared that he is “praying for our president and vice president and that God will limit their damage to our nation.”

While I commend him for praying for our nation and its leaders, this moment is not the only time when prayer for our nation is or has been needed. (It is always a good time to pray that those in power act from the heart, with consideration for the best interests of the least among us.) God does not belong to a political party, prayer is not a weapon.

WALTER SCOTT

Cornish

Population growth is our problem

In the ongoing discussion of our national dilemma is an element that doesn’t get enough attention: Population.

Perhaps the root of all our problems is rampant population growth. Our infrastructure is unable to keep up with the pace. The Chinese dealt with this issue years ago with their one-child policy, and look at their ascendant position now. In my view, the predatory capitalists believe in growth at any cost to increase their bank accounts. The hell with the quality of life in the U.S., the whole world is their market now. They use the U.S. military to ensure their supply lines, exhaust the population, and move on to the next vulnerable victim.

MICHAEL WARD

Barnard

A harvest of useful gardening tips

We want you to know how much we enjoy the marvelous gardening columns written by Henry Homeyer for the Valley News. We look forward to them and garner so many useful gardening tips that make our garden work more enjoyable and productive.

It’s obvious he has been a successful gardener for a long time, so we trust his advice on the many subjects he covers. Including his informative articles in the newspaper was a wise decision in these times when more and more people are taking up gardening.

Thank you. Keep up the good work.

DAVID and SUE TAYLOR

Plainfield

Sports headline sparks memory of Updike essay

The Nov. 18 sports page headline on the Associated Press story about the machinations of a Boston group to buy the Pittsburgh Penguins brought back a rush of memories.

The headline, “Hub fans bid Kid hello?” was a reference to Penguins’ star Sidney “The Kid” Crosby. But Red Sox fans will also recognize the headline as a parody of the title of a classic 1960 John Updike essay in The New Yorker describing the legendary Ted “The Kid” Williams’ last game at Fenway Park, that “lyrical little bandbox of a ballpark.” The title of that essay was “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu.” It was part of the required reading list of the Boston area high school English department, where I taught in the 1960s.

BOB McCARTHY

Lebanon




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