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Forum, Oct. 17: Women’s rights focus of Saturday morning event

Published: 10/16/2020 10:00:20 PM
Modified: 10/16/2020 10:00:11 PM
Women’s rights focus of Saturday morning event

I wish to reach out, despite this gloomy time in 2020, to announce a ray of sunshine that will be shining bright this weekend on the Dartmouth Green. This sunshine comes from the strong women, mothers, daughters and friends of the many strong women of the Upper Valley.

We want to make known that our hope will carry over to the ballot box this election. We will not vote for any candidate who cannot guarantee a commitment to women’s rights and freedoms. We can no longer stand by when our livelihoods are being threatened and while a new Supreme Court justice is about to be seated without regard to the wish of the honorable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Judge Amy Coney Barrett does not stand with us on the most fundamental issues that matter most to women. Health care, reproductive rights and the protection of those who have preexisting conditions are of the utmost importance to women and families who are struggling, now more than ever.

Women around the world have been working harder, maintaining our households, teaching our children and powering the workforce, all while being under attack by Presdient Donald Trump and his anti-female agenda.

We plan to speak publicly about our shared experiences on the Dartmouth Green on Saturday at 10 a.m. Get ready to see a socially distanced, COVID-19-safe event, with lots of amazing activists. Our goal is to unite all individuals. Our cause is decency, humanity and upholding the rights of all women and families.



U.S. promotes Philippines’ slide into autocracy

I ask Congress to pass the Philippine Human Rights Act (H.R. 8313), which was introduced in the House last month. The bill requests suspension of U.S. security assistance to the government of the Philippines in response to the country’s worsening human rights conditions under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. This legislation, which is backed by a coalition of human rights and labor organizations, is a crucial step toward ending American complicity in the increasingly deadly abuses faced by the Filipino people.

Since his 2016 election, Duterte’s administration has undertaken authoritarian efforts to quash dissent in the Philippines. Thousands of Filipinos have been killed extrajudicially under the pretext of the government’s war on drugs. Philippine military and police forces are routinely accused of targeting labor organizers, environmental activists, indigenous rights advocates and critical journalists for assassination or detention. The situation worsened last July with the implementation of a new “anti-terror” law that broadened the legal definition of terrorism and allowed Duterte’s administration to order the detention of opposition figures without due process.

Despite this, the U.S. government continues to provide funding and equipment for military and police forces in the Philippines; just this year, the U.S. government sold nearly $2 billion in munitions and attack helicopters to the Philippine government. By arming Duterte’s regime, the U.S. government promotes the Philippines’ slide into autocracy in a manner reminiscent of its past support for the brutal dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

So as not to repeat the mistakes it made during Marcos’ rule, the U.S. government must suspend security assistance to the Philippines.

I urge you to call your representatives and to ask them to support the Philippine Human Rights Act. At the time of this writing, U.S. Reps. Annie Kuster and Peter Welch have yet to take a public stance on the bill. We must alert them to the necessity of stopping our country from aiding and abetting human rights violations in the Philippines. Local organizations can also show solidarity by endorsing the bill at humanrightsph.org. Now is the time for action.



Don’t hate. Get out and vote instead

I was talking with a friend and politics came up. My friend said he hated President Donald Trump and he wished him ill in no uncertain terms. I reminded him that it is not good to be like people who wish others ill. He said he didn’t care, that this man took little children from their parents and put them in cages. Some of these children would never see their parents again. I said that forgiveness is most important. He said I wouldn’t feel that way if they were my children.

I saw Darlene Lehmann’s Forum letter (“Why was no sympathy shown for the president?” Oct. 8). While I totally agree that Donald and Melania Trump and the 25-odd White House staffers who were infected due to their own arrogance and stupidity should not suffer the awful fate of the more than 215,000 Americans who died or many of the 7 million infected who lived, I will show no sympathy for ignorance.

The Perspectives column by Randall Balmer (“The Prophets and the Orange One,” Oct. 4) was brilliant, witty and insightful, but most of all it was right on in exposing the arrogance and deceit of Donald Trump.

So I say to all of us: Don’t hate, don’t wish ill of others, live like the carpenter of 2,000 years ago. And for goodness sake, get out there and vote.



Trump deserves no sympathy

Darlene Lehmann’s Forum letter (“Why was no sympathy shown for the president?” Oct. 8) in response to the Perspectives column by Randall Balmer (“The Prophets and the Orange One,” Oct. 4), asked why there was “not a word of sympathy or concern for (President Donald Trump’s) health issue,” concluding, “Shame, shame, shame. He is our president!”

Just because he is the president does not make him deserving of my, or anyone’s, sympathy and concern. That is for sure.

First of all, he alone caused his own COVID-19 infection by not wearing a mask. And by encouraging others to do the same, he helped spread the virus to his staffers and others. He knew since February (and still knows) how easily this dangerous virus spreads just by breathing in the droplets from the air.

My precious compassion and sympathy are for all the innocent people who died or got very sick because of Trump’s unpresidential and insane actions in handling this deadly pandemic.

Also, we must all reserve some sympathy and patience for the new president and staff, who will inherit the mess that was made by “the Orange One.”


Springfield, Vt.

Mike Cryans is a good steward of the public trust

I am writing in strong support of Mike Cryans for reelection to the Executive Council from District 1. He has served with distinction since beginning his term on Jan. 3, 2019. The Executive Council shares authority with the governor regarding appointments, approval of contracts over $10,000 and the granting of pardons. The Executive Council acts as a board of trustees for the state of New Hampshire.

Born and raised in Littleton, Cryans has worked for New Hampshire residents during his entire career — first as a teacher, later as a banker and up until a few years ago as an administrator of a social service agency. In serving with Ray Burton for 16 years as a member of the Grafton County Board of Commissioners, he learned much.

In the first six months of his term, Cryans personally visited all 108 towns and four cities in his district and met with local officials and interested parties. His priority is constituent service, and in that regard he has assisted many people with unemployment compensation, disability claims and state permitting issues. He serves all the people of District 1, regardless of political affiliation. He knows the district well and is a good steward of the public trust. He maintains regular contact with his constituents throughout this large district, which encompasses more than two-thirds of the state.

Please vote for Mike Cryans for Executive Council from District 1.


New London

Carl Demrow is a rural voice in the Vermont Legislature

Carl Demrow used his knowledge of the people who live and work within his district to push the Act 250 Board to include language advocating for forest producers. In doing so, he advocated for the livelihoods of many local citizens, which are intrinsically tied to the woods through work, conservation and appreciation While a thriving woodland helps sequester carbon, woodland product workers act in concert with current use to create vibrant woods, a local economy and jobs that are part of the guiding work ethic of this area. He is a rural voice in a sometimes too urban Legislature.

Act 250 is a big bill, and re-visiting it is in order, but I am glad to have someone from our area who understands the potential ramifications of state legislation on local communities.

On another note, he is well-versed in the value of our youngest community members and the need to support their growth and care, providing family systems that can thrive in today’s economy. On the flip side of that is his respect for the integration of early care in rural communities to foster and promote the survival of the Orange County Parent Child Center within the First Branch Unified School District.

I hope the voters of the Orange 1 district will re-elect Carl Demrow to keep our voice strong in the Legislature.


Washington, Vt.

Linda Tanner will make a difference

Do you vote and want that vote to make a difference in your community? If so join with me in voting to reelect state Rep. Linda Tanner for the Sullivan 9 district.

Tanner is one of the few elected officials who has actually made a positive economic impact in my hometown of Newport. As a member of the House Education Committee last year she worked tirelessly to bring home more than $1 million in education aid to Newport businesses and taxpayers.

A quality public education is critical to the economic health of our community and state. The well-being of our children and grandchildren depends on a well-funded public education. No matter what obstacle or adversity came her way in passing this bill, be it a veto or corporate interest from outside our region, she did not quit and brought home the needed funds.

I can count on Tanner to provide me with honest, factual information on the bills and workings of our government. These next two years will be even more critical to Sullivan County as the aid from the previous session will sunset and the state Education Commission will make a recommendation on how to solve the education crisis.

Tanner listens and respects her constituents. She has and will make a difference in our local economy and education funding. An overreliance on property taxes is a huge concern for many Sullivan County residents. I urge you to vote for Linda Tanner — a voice for the Sullivan 9 district.



John Arrison has the dedication

I am writing in support of John Arrison to be our next state representative to the Vermont Legislature, representing Weathersfield and Cavendish.

Arrison has the community in mind, no matter what job he has taken on. I know he has the experience, the determination and the dedication, and he will stick with it until the job is finished, no matter how difficult. This is exemplified by his 18 years as a member of the Weathersfield Selectboard, 30 years as a volunteer firefighter, and a member of the Zoning Board, the Historical Society board of directors and the Community Access TV board of directors.

Like many in Weathersfield and Cavendish, Arrison is the owner of a small business, Wattsup Electric, and has been for 34 years. During my years in the Legislature, I have heard from many small business owners as constituents. I have heard how difficult life has become during COVID-19, and I know he will be able to help you navigate these difficult and unprecedented times. He will make sure no business or family gets left behind due to the economic downturn.

Arrison knows how important health care is for all of us, especially those who are older. He also knows that, even though we have a low uninsured rate in Vermont, health care is very expensive for many of us in the form of premiums and deductibles.

He will work to protect our schools and to make learning equitable and accessible to all by making broadband available to everyone.

To see what he says about the issues, I recommend that you watch an interview with him on SAPA TV. It is of importance to us all.

Because he cares about your health during this pandemic, he is not doing door-to-door campaigning this election. If you have any questions, I urge you to call him at 802-263-9405.

Your vote matters so much in this election, up and down the ticket. I urge you to vote for John Arrison.



The writer represents the Windsor 2 district in the Vermont House.

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