Forum, Nov. 5: Latham Library needs community to be involved

Published: 11/4/2019 10:00:24 PM
Latham Library needs community to be involved

I have been on the Latham Memorial Library board of trustees for about seven years and served as treasurer for most of that time. As such, I have always been impressed by the thoughtfulness and dedication of the other board members, and by their desire to do what is best for the library as it serves the Thetford community.

When, earlier this year, the board made a controversial decision, it was met with strong resistance from parts of the Thetford community. In the subsequent discussions, the board learned that we were out of sync with our bylaws and that before we could move ahead it would be necessary to hold a special election. It would then be up to the next board to define a viable process going forward.

As one of the two church-appointed trustees, I will not be standing for election, but I sincerely hope that the outcome will benefit both library and community. I believe this will depend significantly on the willingness of the people of Thetford to pitch in, both as candidates and by casting their vote.

In determining how the special election process should look, the board made every effort to mend fences with those who had felt let down. We convened a series of open brainstorming sessions on the election, whose recommendations were subsequently adopted by the board. Next, the board convened a seven-person committee to work out the details. The committee was comprised of community and board members and meetings were open to the public. Again, the recommendations were accepted by the board. And now we are about to head into the election itself.

Candidates will be able to declare interest through Nov. 14, and voting will take place Dec. 4-11. Details are available on the library website: thetfordlibrary.org, and through flyers that were mailed out to the households of registered Thetford voters. The flyers also are available at the library and the Thetford Town Hall. I hope that members of our community will avail themselves of the opportunity to participate.

MATT SENGER

Thetford Center

Protect the Arctic Wildlife Refuge

From a young age, I have had a specific fascination with the Arctic. Last summer, when visiting Alaska, I was profoundly influenced by what I witnessed: Mass migrations of birds, caribou and salmon — awe-inspiring sights that I sincerely hope my own children will be able to experience one day.

As so many of our world’s wild places are pillaged for their resources, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge remains a pristine biological gem. The refuge is home to such a dizzying array of wildlife that it’s known as “America’s Serengeti,” and the coastal plain is its biological heart.

But to my dismay, the Department of the Interior has decided to progress with oil and gas drilling, despite warnings from scientists and explicit opposition from the indigenous peoples of the Gwich’in Nation, who depend on the caribou for their culture and survival.

The Trump administration has authorized oil and gas exploration that will crisscross the Coastal Plain and disrupt both the ancient migration patterns of arctic species and the lives of the Gwich’in.

As a student and a young person, I have personally had my life enriched by the treasure that is the Arctic. It is of the utmost importance to me and to those of my generation that we protect the world’s remaining wild areas, beginning with the threatened Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

You can act now by reaching out to your representatives and demand that they take a stand and protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

SOLEIL GAYLORD

Hanover

Steve Bullock and lessons of history

In the past 100 years, a Democrat has defeated a Republican incumbent in a presidential election just three times. On all three occasions, the Democratic nominee was the governor of a state that the Republicans had carried in the previous election.

You may be familiar with New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt (who defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover in 1932), Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter (who defeated incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford in 1976) and Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton (who defeated incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush in 1992).

You may be less familiar with Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.

Bullock is the only announced Democratic candidate in the current election cycle who has been elected — and re-elected — to the governor’s office in a red state.

On the same day that Donald Trump was carrying Montana by 20 points, Bullock was getting re-elected as an unabashed progressive, populist Democrat.

If Democrats are serious about wanting to win the 2020 election, they would be well advised to consider the lessons of history.

CHARLIE BUTTREY

Thetford

It’s all about power

The 2016 presidential race was a close one. Clearly, without the Russian interference, Hillary Clinton would have won. Against that backdrop, I find it unfathomable that anyone would think President Donald Trump asking Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky for a “favor” is in any way acceptable.

Too bad the Senate Republicans are in such lockstep with Trump. I’m sure in their hearts they know it stinks, but at this point ethics are out the window and it is all about power.

JOHN GUEST

Norwich




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