Forum, Nov. 8: No More Mount Sunapee Development

Wednesday, November 07, 2018
No More Mt. Sunapee Development

Thank you to the Executive Council for demonstrating the power of democracy by considering my concerns and the concerns of my neighbors who are adamant about separating the West Bowl agreement from the rest of the lease agreement between the state of New Hampshire (which means the people of New Hampshire) regarding the lease of Mount Sunapee State Park (the people’s park) to the Vail Corp.

I oppose further development on Mount Sunapee to expand the human footprint. Our consideration to increase that footprint ignores the current scientific information established by 6,000 cited references of the world’s leading climate and climate-related scientists. Further development of Mount Sunapee would be a move in the wrong direction in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint.

Since I was a youngster I have skied the slopes of Mount Sunapee, hiked the trails and enjoyed summer events, especially the League of N.H. Craftsmen show in August. There is plenty to love and care for without any expansion of the area, which would have negative effects on the flora and fauna we love so dearly.

Again, please do not extend the mistaken lease for development that was given to the Muellers that would continue to move us in the wrong direction, reducing our capacity for carbon sequestration and increasing our carbon footprint. Everyone and everything we hold near and dear to us is at stake, including our children, their children and all future generations. Be protectors of our progeny, not sellers of their future to a corporation for short-term gain, continuing the extractive economy instead of investing in a regenerative and just economy for our future generations.

Rebecca MacKenzie


The writer is a community organizer with the Action Collaborative for Transition to Sustainability Now (ACTS Now).

Continue Focus on Clean Energy

More than 1,100 Lebanon residents and Lebanon High School students have voiced opposition to the proposed “natural” gas depot, regasification plant, and pipeline under the streets of Lebanon to Hanover.

Sustainable Lebanon has delivered these signatures on a petition to the City Council. The petition urges the council to continue local efforts to resist the unsafe, costly and unneeded creation of more fossil fuel infrastructure.

Lebanon has already established a strong platform for lessening reliance on polluting fossil fuel for its energy needs. In 2017 both the City Council and Planning Board enacted an amendment to the energy chapter of the city plan that removed all references to natural gas, leaving only renewable energy sources as preferred options.

Following that, City Councilor Clifton Below testified at a New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission hearing that “the official policy of the city adopted by both the Planning Board and the City Council, does not support the expanded use of natural gas. It’s not consistent with our goals to move more quickly to reduce our carbon footprint as a city and to develop renewable energy.”

The council’s actions to date demonstrate the city’s position. Now it’s time to do more. As we presented our petition to the councilors, we asked them to establish a task force of city officials and community members for the purpose of exploring all actions the city can take to stop the pipeline. We believe there are many.

We hope the council will again focus its attention on furthering its commitment to prioritizing clean, safe renewable energy for business, municipal and residential consumers in Lebanon.

Phil Bush


The writer is a member of Sustainable Lebanon.

Move Fast on Fossil Fuel Opposition

Residents in the Upper Valley are confronted with two issues that need our response. In Lebanon, 1,100-plus residents signed a petition that was delivered to the Lebanon City Council asking that the council appoint a task force to study the fracked gas pipeline and processing station proposed for Lebanon. This task force is needed to help the residents of Lebanon consider safety and other negative consequences of the proposal.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released a report indicating that our climate is in severe crisis, with increasingly serious hurricanes, droughts and floods expected. The report indicated we need to transition to non-fossil fuel energy as soon as possible. One step toward that goal is to stop expansion of fossil fuel projects like the proposed Liberty pipeline in Lebanon. Lebanon residents, please contact your City Council indicating your concern and your hope that they form a task force to look at the proposed pipeline.

Across the river in Vermont, Hartford voters took the opportunity to join 35 other Vermont cities and towns by passing a ballot item urging the Selectboard to ask the Vermont Legislature to pass a “no new fossil fuel” bill. Vermont is vulnerable in a few parts of the state where new fossil fuel projects are pending, could be proposed or might be expanded. Vermont, New Hampshire, the U.S. and the world all need to move on this fast. Thank you to the Hartford residents who expressed their opposition to new fossil fuel projects in Vermont.

Laura Simon


The Base’s Breathtaking Hypocrisy

I was curious to see President Donald Trump being so “presidential” in his criticism of the multiple bombing attempts reported recently. I say curious, as he has been the No. 1 fomenter of “other-izing” his political opposition into “enemies.”

When he encouraged people at his rallies in 2016 to beat up protesters, or at a more recent rally pointed to the press pool as the “enemy of the people,” he was doing a passably good imitation of Mussolini. I will credit him for that. Although political rhetoric runs high on all sides, he is the president, and his methodology — working wonderfully with his base, to their eternal discredit — crosses the line from criticism to malicious demonizing; from “spin” to outright lying — “The Democrats are behind the caravan” — and establishes a horrible new precedent for what may be considered acceptable behavior in a president.

In my view, he is solely responsible for inspiring the bomber whose efforts, luckily so far, have been an abject failure. To the president’s conservative supporters, many of whom have heretofore cited character as the key ingredient for judging our political leaders, I say to you, how can you support someone for the presidency who manifests nearly every single behavior and trait that you would not want to see your own children develop?

There is blame for hypocrisy to go around, for sure, but that of Trump’s base of support is simply breathtaking.

Peter Tenney


Thanks to Those Who Help

Three cheers, bravo, good work and thank you to all those in the community who donate, work and participate in programs that benefit social issues and work toward the greater good for all Americans.

We are in a society that seems to value and support anyone who can point out all the problems in our communities, rather than those who try to do something about them. National news proves that you can reach coast to coast by merely spotlighting a problem without offering any solutions or even truly understanding any of the problem’s complexities or causes. Please don’t let this current environment deter you from sticking your neck out a little and pitching in. There are people out there who need your help and kindness, even if you don’t make the news.

To all the terrific people in the Upper Valley who help the poor, sick, helpless and abused, thank you, and keep up the good work.

After all, we are all in the same canoe.

Bill Patten