Forum, Oct. 17: Many Mount Sunapee Concerns Remain

Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Many Mt. Sunapee Concerns Remain

Two decades ago, New Hampshire leased Mount Sunapee’s ski resort to a private concern. This deeply flawed lease agreement began 20 years of state-relinquished management of our state park. Free public facilities deteriorated. Private promotion replaced state signage and advertising. Its lease holder built a 3D archery course and mountain bike paths without any state oversight to ensure adequate town decision-making information. The state fixed a minimal cash flow — 3 percent of gross revenues from its leased resort — citing support for a “family business” (that was already managing ski resorts). In 2016, the state agreed to the West Bowl expansion without a thorough environmental assessment and after receiving incorrect information stating Mount Sunapee’s natural environment lacked uniqueness. Finally, this lease called for creation of a commission to supervise and administer resort affairs, yet none was created; single commissioners have made decisions.

Will anything change? A pending agreement with corporate giant Vail leaves many concerns unaddressed:

■ Mount Sunapee’s natural environment is unique and irreplaceable, yet Vail, by current lease amendment, can develop the West Bowl and fragment forever this invaluable forest community.

■ Will the state upgrade its pittance 3 percent take with corporate giant Vail?

■ Will Vail undercut New Hampshire’s revenues and local economies by developing hotels and condos on its adjacent private property?

■ Will Vail’s “Epic” pass cut state revenues?

■ Will the state finally establish that administrating commission?

■ Will New Hampshire truly honor Mount Sunapee’s conservation heritage?

New Hampshire taxpayers and citizens must demand responses to these concerns.

Alan Zola Shulman

New London

Re-Elect Gottling and Tanner

Why haven’t women been elected to community, state and congressional office in equal numbers to their male constituents? The roles for both women and men have changed and are now more blended; women of all cultures and ethnicity are recognized as great athletes, thinkers, scientists, producers, managers, writers, journalists, musicians, designers, educators, doctors, engineers, lawyers, pilots and space explorers.

In addition to being mothers and homemakers, more women are entering these fields and others once open only to men, and that’s a good thing. As primary caregivers, women think differently from men and bring valuable points of view and other important dimensions to the table for consideration. With this in mind, our towns, cities and national government should have equal numbers of women and men in elected offices.

Please think about this when you vote on Nov. 6 and re-elect two adept and hard-working women with a common-sense approach to things. Sue Gottling, state representative for District 2, and Linda Tanner, state representative for District 9, have lived in New Hampshire for many years. They know the needs of their district towns, respect the voices of their electorate, and will seek sensible resolutions to matters put before them. Let’s seat an equal count of women in all our public offices in the midterm election and again in the 2020 general election. We also should encourage our president in 2020, whoever that might be, to appoint another woman to the Supreme Court when the opportunity arises, because it’s common sense and good for our great country. As Lincoln once said in a dark era of our history, “we must think anew, and act anew.”

Jackie Smith


An Unprecedented Pursuit of Deceit

This year is driving me crazy. If we believe the heart of a true and lasting democracy must include the search for truth, it’s very painful to be listening to President Donald Trump and now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh, two of our nation’s worst liars, tearing our democracy apart. The fact that their followers have sold their souls to the highest bidders only adds to their destructive power.

The Kavanaugh hearings took the pursuit of deceit beyond anything we’ve ever seen before. Time appears to have changed nothing, except perhaps showing our culture’s male-supremacy-led gender inequality even more openly. Will our democracy survive? Will the Supreme Court survive the Kavanaugh appointment? Will our democracy survive Trump? Our democratic institutions hang in the balance.

I remember the Clarence Thomas hearings, when Democrats were in the majority. For me it was a slam dunk that Anita Hill was telling the truth and was ignored. And now the same thing has happened in the Kavanaugh hearings with the Republicans in charge, except that now, instead of being underpinned by both race and gender bias, it was underpinned by both full throated male-supremacy and gender bias. Hasn’t our culture learned anything? Professor Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony was as honest and believable as you could get. Whatever tears she may have shed in the telling, they were the honest tears of someone re-living a long-held painful experience of her specific sexual abuse and attempted rape at age 15 by a drunken Kavanaugh, whom she vividly remembered, along with his friend, Mark Judge.

In my opinion, Kavanaugh’s anger and tears, real though they may have been, were based on his hidden regrets for the uncovering of his previous abusive behavior and a whining cover-up for his denial and his false testimony. Plain and not so simple.

Charles McKenna


We Disagreed, but Still Talked

I will miss Joe Asch (“River Valley Club Co-Owner, Dartblog Writer Joe Asch Dies,” Oct. 10). I was his friend, although we disagreed 50 percent of the time. He was intelligent and kind and we shared the view that undergraduate education suffered mostly by administrative bloat and political correctness. I am a socialist and former professor. He was conservative on most issues. But we could still talk and disagree. Would it were that Congress was the same way.

Jon Appleton

Princeville, Hawaii