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Forum, Oct. 13: Patronize Your Local Bookstore


Friday, October 12, 2018
Patronize Your Local Bookstore

I met the news of the Dartmouth Bookstore’s upcoming closing with such sadness. As a book lover, I make a point of stopping in any bookshop I encounter. I love the serendipity that comes from browsing shelves. Maybe I’ll encounter an author I’ve never heard of, or happen upon a topic that I might never have considered. I always make a point of buying something each time I visit, since I know that as a bookstore owner myself every sale is important, however small. The loss of any bookshop is devastating to all booksellers. Though we carry many of the same items, each shop carries the essence of its owners and employees through their selections and displays, as artfully curated as any museum. But alas, we are not museums.

Bookstores are not the only retail establishments suffering a decline in patronage and sales. Whether it’s due to online shopping or excuses of busy schedules or inadequate parking or cheaper prices in the big box stores, we all struggle to keep our doors open. We appreciate hearing, “You have a lovely shop,” but when that is accompanied by the doorbell chiming as a customer leaves empty-handed, it’s hard to keep up one’s spirits.

As citizens, we’re all busy and we all need to make the most of our money, but please try, especially during the upcoming holiday season, to make an effort to patronize your local businesses. Treat yourself to their goods and displays and customer service. In doing so, you will help to keep your downtowns vibrant hubs of activity and commerce. You will help to keep our doors open and our spirits up instead of sadly lamenting our loss.

Laurel Eaton

Unity

The writer is the owner of Violet’s Book Exchange in Claremont.

Challenge of Wildlife Management

Your Oct. 7 editorial, “Managing The Herd: Changes Threaten Vt. Hunting, Forests,” was excellent. It was well-reasoned and articulated the problems that those attempting to manage a wildlife population face. As you state, cultural, demographic and environmental changes make the job more difficult for the biologists whose job it is to keep wildlife populations healthy and in numbers that the habitat can support.

As a former commissioner of Fish and Game in Vermont, I know all too well how difficult it is to balance the competing interests while protecting wildlife and the habitat.

As a species increases in number and people expand into areas once kept in forest and field, the conflicts will increase. You mention the damage to the forest by overpopulations of deer as an example. I would add the difficulty of maintaining shrubbery in areas such as Hanover and the encounters with bears in Hanover and Lebanon. Sadly, it is the wildlife that ends up being the loser.

Your suggestions that landowners allow hunting by permission only, as opposed to outright posting, is a good one, as is your urging the nurturing of a new generation of hunters.

I especially appreciate your last paragraph, in which you urge “non-hunters to converse with hunters about the experience and tradition of deer hunting.”

In today’s poisoned political world, we need much more listening and talking with those whose views are different. When we actually listen, we often find we have much in common.

Gary W. Moore

Bradford, Vt.

Tolerance and Restraint Required

Mutual tolerance and self-restraint, two norms central to our democratic political process, seemed lost in the fracas of the recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s efforts reflected our political polarization, which precluded a thorough investigation. It’s intolerable, at this time of the growing #MeToo movement, that the search for truth was short-circuited. Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s suspected abusive sexual behavior and the subsequent shallow investigation are serious.

The confirmation process itself was politicized, with committee members arguing preconceived opinions as opposed to urging a thorough examination of the facts. The statements of committee members underscored not only disagreements but animosity among members. Little effort was made to listen to a member’s expressed opinion and to check out the evidence supporting it, which are signs of mutual tolerance. The language used among committee members and with the candidate reflected intemperate partisanship. Note the apparent rage exhibited by Sen. Lindsey Graham toward Democratic committee members and Sen. Orrin Hatch’s dismissal of female protesters. The candidate himself expressed rancor, animus and abject contempt of certain senators, which is counter to norms of judicial conduct. Restraint and self-control were clearly absent. To add to the chaos, the president’s cruel and uncivil mocking of professor Christine Blasey Ford at a Republican event in Mississippi undercut any semblance of human decency. This fracas might have appeared like a “circus,” but was in fact a sham.

The book How Democracies Die stresses the importance of these two norms to the functioning of democracy. The flouting of them, evident during the hearings and nationally, has the potential of undercutting our democratic political system.

Bob Scobie

Hanover

Retired Chiefs Back Dutile

As retired police chiefs from the city of Lebanon, we write this letter to endorse and support Sheriff Doug Dutile’s campaign for re-election as Grafton County sheriff. We’ve known and worked with Dutile during his 27 years with the Sheriff’s Office, and the last 14 years as the high sheriff. Dutile has handled all the duties of his office while being mindful to budgetary restraints and his commitment to accountability and openness in county government.

During his time as sheriff, Dutile has demonstrated that he possesses the qualities needed, and exemplifies honesty, fairness and thoughtfulness as he continues to lead the Sheriff’s Office into the future.

To the voters of Grafton County, we need to do our due diligence and re-elect Doug Dutile as he is the most qualified person for the job.

Randy Chapman

Jim Alexander

Gary Smith

Lebanon

Mammography Screening Saves Lives

Breast Cancer Awareness month is a time to remind women that medical organizations agree that mammography screening beginning at age 40 saves the most lives and decreases chances of suffering physically and financially from the disease when it is caught later.

Misleading information based on faulty calculations of background rates of breast cancer have confused and discouraged participation, especially in the Upper Valley. New Hampshire has the second-highest breast cancer rate in the nation. The number of women with more advanced disease at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Lebanon has doubled over the past five years. It is time to end the confusion and confront this disfiguring and deadly non-preventable disease with the best tool we have — screening mammography. For more information visit www.sbi-online.org/endtheconfusion.

Rebecca A. Zuurbier, M.D.

Lebanon

Headline Sensationalized the Story

Once again the Valley News has chosen to sensationalize an article by publishing an exaggerated headline that is not backed up by the reported facts of the story.

Your front page headline in the Oct. 5 edition stated “Hunter Stuck in Mud Up to His Neck Rescued From N.H. Swamp.” The article reported that the individual was actually in water up to his neck, while his feet were stuck in the mud — which is more likely, as anyone buried up to his or her neck in mud would soon be asphyxiated by the pressure.

Please stick to the facts. To my mind, any media known for exaggerating the truth soon becomes too unbelievable to be worth reading or watching.

Stephen Raymond

Sharon

Three of a Kind

Great news! Now we have sexual predators and liars holding three of the most important positions in the U.S. government: Clarence Thomas, Donald Trump and Brett Kavanaugh. Is this country great or what?

Robert Piasecki

Randolph