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Forum, Oct. 16: Shoppers have a chance to support mental health court

Published: 10/15/2020 10:00:15 PM
Modified: 10/15/2020 10:00:08 PM
Shoppers have a chance to support mental health court

Shoppers at the Lebanon, Hanover and White River Junction Co-op Food Stores, please “penny up” in October and support our local nonprofit, Advocates for Grafton County Mental Health Court. Our voluntary participants involved in the district courts in Lebanon, Littleton and Plymouth, who have opted into the alternative sentencing program for those with mental illness, are staying out of jail, getting treatment and changing their lives.

This is the way justice should work.

See our website (advocatesgcmhc.org) for their stories in our latest newsletter and for information about our mission. Thanks to the Co-op for including us in this opportunity for community support.



The writer is a board chair of Advocates for Grafton County Mental Health Court.

Sue Gottling will help us achieve unity, bipartisanship

Bipartisan or extremist. That is our clear choice in Sullivan district 2 for state representative in Sunapee and Croydon.

Sue Gottling has served five terms as our state representative, as well as four terms on the Sunapee Selectboard. She has consistently worked across the aisle with her Republican colleagues, achieving bipartisan support in 75% of her sponsored bills. She has chaired both the Land Use Commission and the county Executive Finance Committee. She is a strong supporter of improving New Hampshire’s infrastructure and education system and is a champion for protecting our natural resources for public use, tourism and development.

Although her opponent is running as a Republican, his views and policies are purely Libertarian. He is endorsed by the Liberty Alliance, which supports Libertarian candidates and which participates in events with the extremist Free State Project group. He is also endorsed by Reopen New Hampshire, a group that is against all the successful measures the state has taken to reduce COVID-19 infections, and believes that all restrictions should be removed and be voluntary.

We have had enough extremist views and division and need to achieve unity and bipartisanship. Voting for Sue Gottling as our state representative for Sunapee and Croydon will move us toward those goals.



Jenn Alford-Teaster values fairly funded education

We have an education funding crisis in Newport. Residents pay unfairly high property taxes, and on top of that, our property taxes don’t raise enough money to fund Newport’s schools and educate our children.

State Sen. Ruth Ward has done nothing to protect our constitutional right to an adequate, state-funded education. She has been a senator for four years and she voted against providing property tax relief for residents and funding for Newport’s children. We cannot afford to have more of the same for the next two years. That’s why I’ll be voting for Jenn Alford-Teaster for state Senate.

I believe the only thing that can change the economics of a community is education, and we need representation that will fight to ensure that we receive an adequately and fairly funded public education that does not disproportionately fall on the backs of property-tax payers.

Our school districts deserve fair funding and in Newport, we do not have that.

Alford-Teaster understands that we need to fulfill our constitutional obligation to our public schools and our children. She knows that we need to invest in our children and in our public schools and ensure that the state pays its fair share toward public education. Like myself, she is the product of New Hampshire’s public schools, and knows the impact a public education can make. We need a change in Newport, and that’s why I’ll be voting for Jenn Alford-Teaster for state Senate. I hope you’ll join me.



The free exercise of religion is being suppressed

The First Amendment to the Constitution reads, in part, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” While the federal government is committed to maintaining a level playing field among religious bodies, that is not always true of states and municipal jurisdictions. In fact, we have seen blatant examples of favoritism being shown to certain religious persuasions while others have been suppressed and stifled.

The filters in the so-called doctrine of “separation of church and state” unfortunately don’t apply to unconventional, non-church-based religions. An example that comes to mind is the Black Lives Matter movement. Its co-founder, Patrisse Cullors, clearly stated that it is spiritual in origin and practice, and tries to conjure up the spirits of those killed by police or others. Bishop Patrick Wooden Sr., who is Black, of the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, N.C., critiquing the movement, gave detailed explanations of how typical Black Lives Matter ceremonies cross over into being a seance, where a libation is drunk to the deceased while items such as honey and tobacco that the deceased was known to love are offered as sacrifices in actual necromancy. Clearly this is a religious exercise that closely resembles witchcraft, a religion.

Now consider how Black Lives Matter is given the domestic equivalent of “most favored nation” status by cities and states, allowing giant murals to be painted on their streets and making other concessions for gatherings.

Contrast this, if you will, with the unreasonable constraints placed on churches in many cities and states, which are restricted to tiny percentages of their capacity for services or are entirely prohibited from meeting, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, and while we’re at it, abridging the right of peaceable assembly while violent rioting is unabated.



McConnell lacks morals, ethics

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death last month is a reminder that neither morals nor ethics are matters of convenience. When Majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced that he would swiftly confirm her successor on the Supreme Court, he was politically correct. Four years earlier, when he blocked Merrick Garland’s confirmation hearings, he was absolutely wrong. Either way, he had the power to do as he wished. Evidently, morals and ethics were beside the point.

Right now, the Republican Party is in the grip of the most personally, socially and ecologically irresponsible president in our nation’s history. It was once the party of Abraham Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner and Frederick Douglass. As a number of alarmed nationally known Republicans and conservatives have pointed out, President Donald Trump has made it the party of a new gilded age, slight of hand and Jefferson Davis. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has extended the damage to the state level by declaring himself a Trump guy through and through, and acting accordingly.

Thus ironies and regret abound, at the expense of conscientious and deservedly respected Republicans who are our neighbors. However, the only way now for the GOP to shed its madness is for voters — especially young voters whose future is most at stake — to put as many Democrats into public office as possible. Any other course signifies approval for what Trump, McConnell, Sununu and their enablers have wrought.


New London

Monster is as monster does

President Donald Trump called Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, a “monster.” The Random House College Dictionary defines “monster” as “any animal or human grotesquely deviating from the normal. A person who excites horror, as by wickedness or cruelty.”

Who does that sound like? Psychoanalysts have repeatedly noted Trump’s propensity for psychological projection, which is a defense mechanism in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others.

What does it say about America and Americans that so many of them still support this obviously unfit, unhinged creature as leader of our country? When will this four-year nightmare finally be over?


Newbury, Vt.

Police should consider use of non-lethal throw nets

The recent killings of people who appeared to be threatening law enforcement officers reminded me of when I was at the Coast Guard navigation station on the tiny island of Ebeye at the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1952.

This station had 14 or so men who lived in a big Quonset hut at the southern end of the flat coral island — no more than 4-6 feet above high tide — just past the village where 600 Marshallese men, women and children lived in small wooden huts. At various times on Kwajalein Island, about 4.5 miles south of Ebeye, there were 5,000 U.S. military members and civilians servicing troops, weapons, fuel and equipment headed to Korea.

Our executive officer stayed overnight on Kwajalein with the Navy officers, but the enlisted men lived on Ebeye, where the local young women were quite friendly, as the Boston Mission Society taught them the Good Lord wanted in 1857.

On occasion, the servicemen on Kwajalein would walk, at low tide, the 4.5 miles across the exposed coral of the lagoon. If they were not back in their barracks on time, the call would go out on the radio to the Ebeye constabulary: “Lost servicemen headed across the Gap. Detain for our removal.” As they were not armed with guns, they used their fishing throw nets to capture and immobilize these AWOL servicemen.

A few of us spent time with the Marshallese, and they were most accepting and hospitable to us. An entire year without some family socializing is like being prison. To my knowledge, none of the crew of 1952 harmed or took advantage of the local people.

My suggestion is that today’s security personnel use throw nets like the Marshallese to halt disturbed people without shooting them, unless obviously necessary.



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