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Forum, Oct. 2: A grocery store would be great in downtown Lebanon

Published: 10/1/2019 10:00:14 PM
Modified: 10/1/2019 10:00:08 PM
A grocery store would be great in downtown Lebanon

As wonderful as it is to live within walking distance of Colburn Park, the AVA Gallery and Art Center, the Lebanon Opera House, our restaurants, the library and post office, downtown Lebanon would be even nicer if a grocery store took over the space previously occupied by the Village Market.

I recently left a suggestion in the suggestion box at the Centera Park Co-Op asking if the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society would consider occupying this space. For me, the great success the Co-op Food Store has had in White River Junction shows how well the organization might do with the downtown Lebanon space.

In response, I received a wonderful email from the Co-op staff saying they were frequently asked to open branches here and there, but also inviting all of us to let them know if there really is sufficient interest in local shopping.

So, please, if you want a Co-op Food Store to open in downtown Lebanon, email them or leave suggestions in the store. The City Council is working on it already, with the Economic Vitality Exchange Committee taking the lead, but the more they hear from those of us invested in this great little city, the better.



The strength and beauty of national service program

I have thought for decades that a couple of years of compulsory national service at age 20 or post-college would be a tremendously valuable win-win for both our country and our youth. Thank you, Wayne Gersen, for writing about it so well (“National service could bring us together,” Sept. 8).

I wonder whether those who have written so strongly against this idea recently, likening it to our former draft for military service, also dismiss the idea that may be President John F. Kennedy’s most famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”

Have we turned our backs on the idea that each of us should make at least some effort for the common good in our lives? The strength and beauty of national service is that it would be required of everyone to contribute tangible gratitude for our good fortune to be living in this country. Plus, it would help others in our country.

And it’s the opposite of a military draft, because participants could choose what type of service — a paid job, at that — they would like to perform. It could be a branch of the military, but it could also be working in health, education, outdoor work and public projects like those created in the 1930s — the Civilian Conservation Corps seeming one of the best. There must be many types of service that would help our country, our neighbors and be a great introduction to meaningful work for our youngest adults.



Post 84’s annual golf tournament was a success

As commander of the Jeffery S. Holmes, Post 84 American Legion, I would like to publicly thank the staff at the Hanover Country Club and our more than 30 hole sponsors for their support during our recent eighth annual golf tournament.

The tournament is the major fundraiser for Post 84 each year and the support we receive is critical to our support of local children’s and youth programs and other veteran organizations. This year’s event was successful because of the professional staff at Hanover Country Club and the large number of hole sponsors we have supporting us. Each year we have more sponsors than the year before and this help is paramount to our success.

I would be remiss without mentioning our loyal group of golfers. Some have played all eight years of our tournament, and they seem to have more fun each year.

To everyone above and the dedicated members of Post 84 who work on the tournament I would like to say a hearty “Thank you,” and we look forward to next year’s event.


White River Junction

Correcting a Nobel Prize injustice

Well, President Donald Trump is miffed that he has not won a Nobel Peace Prize or two. I’m with him on this one. Those Swedes. What do they know?

A guy walks right into the DMZ, steps over the border into North Korea without a passport or visa, gets his picture taken with a despotic dictator, and the Nobel committee doesn’t even notice? Those Swedes.

Then, even more egregiously, they claim that two letters nominating him for the prize are forgeries. Unthinkable. If my father-in-law, Arvid Peterson, was still alive he could tell me how to say “fake news!” in Swedish.

But take hope, Trump supporters. I am just as outraged as you and I have a plan to rectify this gross injustice. I am going to write a letter of recommendation to the Nobel committee nominating him for the Nobel Prize in meteorology.

Just think of it. With one definitive stroke of a black Sharpie, our president corrected a hurricane forecast prepared by meteorologists with decades of experience. And him without the good sense to come in out of the rain. Not only will he win a Nobel, he will be the first to win the prize in this discipline.

He will be right up there on the stage with all those smarty pants physicians, economists and physicists. He will mesmerize us with his self-congratulatory acceptance speech.

Let’s all hope he somehow manages not to insult the King of Norway.



Assault-style weapons are for the military

Does anyone believe that an assault-style weapon like the AR-15 with a high-capacity magazine is necessary for personal protection or to hunt? These weapons and magazines are designed for military, not civilian use. Those who came before us fought for our freedoms, including freedom from fear. Many Americans are now fearful of gun violence in public places, where we should be able to gather safely.

As a first step, let’s ban the sale of high-capacity magazines and buy back existing ones. At the same time, the sale of assault-style weapons to civilians should be prohibited and a buyback program funded. This would not violate an individual’s Second Amendment right to bear arms for personal protection, hunting or other legitimate civilian purpose. Of note: The Second Amendment right was conceived well before any assault-style weapons were available.

Public safety should trump any civilian ownership right to assault weapons. Other countries have reduced mass killings by prohibiting sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Action is imperative now to reduce further senseless tragedies.



A sublime rhyme in a small headline

Oh, you talented scamps of the invaluable Valley News: At the bottom of the front page of the Sept. 22 Sunday Valley News was the small headline “Will Ill Will Kill the Mill?” The Upper Valley now has a worthy challenger to the greatest headline of all time: “Sticks Nix Hick Pix,” from the July 17, 1935, edition of Variety.

And, oh my, is it not a wonderful thing to get an actual good-smelling, foldable newspaper in the box? Yes. It is.

Keep writing. We will keep reading.



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