Forum, Oct. 28: Vote muddied waters on Hartford pool

Published: 10/27/2020 10:00:11 PM
Modified: 10/27/2020 10:00:08 PM
Vote muddied waters on Hartford pool

The Hartford Selectboard’s efforts at social engineering are not serving the town well.

The Oct. 20 discussion and vote to resubmit an approved ballot article on the pool project was divisive and hostile toward the majority of voters participating in a local election (“Pool project will get revote,” Oct. 22).

At a time when there is so much national awareness about efforts on voter suppression, choosing to disregard a prior community vote less than two weeks before an election reinforces the notion that an individual’s vote does not count. Why take another vote on the pool project in March? What guarantee do voters now have that the outcome of that vote or the vote on any ballot article will be honored? Why vote at all?

Reasons given to resubmit the pool issue to another vote included: the pool project represents white privilege; voters were uninformed when they cast their votes last March; the situation today is dramatically different than last March. With a vote of 4-3, should a single board member decide to change votes or resign from the board, it is not clear if this will create a “dramatically different” situation that will require a revote on the revote. The Selectboard’s action on Oct. 20 leaves Hartford residents with many questions:

■ Who will be responsible for crafting an article for the March ballot when the majority of the Selectboard is currently on record as opposing the pool project?

■ Because a majority of the current board is personally opposed to a municipal pool, according to statements made at public meetings, can we have any confidence that the board will even place a valid article on the pool project for the March ballot?

■ Will it require prior approval from the “Wellness Committee” given that one opponent of the pool is on record as supporting the pool if recommended by this committee?

One resident described the swimming area provided by Hartford in the early 1960s (pre-pool) as a “mud hole.” The Oct. 20 vote makes our current situation with regard to the future of a municipal swimming pool as clear as mud.



My full response to the question about protecting schools

I want to clarify my answer from the candidate interview that appeared on Friday (“Plainfield-area House seats up for grabs”). In regard to the question of guns and schools, my complete response was: “We protect our courts, our banks and our elected officials with security guards and security systems. For something as valuable as our schoolchildren, having someone armed and alert at a school isn’t too different from having armed protection at banks and courts.”

These things we use every day; we should consider this option when discussing protecting schools.



The writer is a candidate for New Hampshire House from the Sullivan 1 district.

Young voters are a bright spot in election

One of the bright spots leading up to the 2020 election has been the apparent passion of members of the millennial, Gen X and Gen Z generations, speaking out against injustices — a planet in peril, racial and gender inequality, access to education and health care, and so much more. I have faith that the long lines of voters we are seeing around the country include many in this demographic.

Young voters thrive on relationships. The best we can do as parents and grandparents is to remind our young family members to vote for their future wherever they are. Talk with them, message them on social media if you can.

Those who think their vote doesn’t count, think again. In New Hampshire in 2016, Hillary Clinton won by a 0.3% margin. In 2020, they can cast their vote for former Vice President Joe Biden, who believes in science and who has the moral compass to address inequities on issues of justice. Trust the down-ballot Democratic candidates to support these issues. Voting in New Hampshire is easy. Go to Every vote counts, now more than ever.



We’re eager to work with Sue Prentiss

We write to urge our friends and neighbors to support Sue Prentiss for New Hampshire Senate from District 5. Prentiss is an incisive, hardworking and devoted public servant. As a paramedic and longtime Lebanon city counselor, she knows the Upper Valley — its people, its needs, its promise. She is down-to-earth and kind and complements these qualities with a sharp intelligence that always sees to the core of tough questions.

Sue Prentiss will be a great state senator, and we look forward to working closely with her to represent the Upper Valley in Concord.



The writers are candidates for state representative from the Grafton 12 district.

Sue Prentiss will be an excellent senator

In 2004 Sue Prentiss, her husband and daughter moved into the house behind me. Our families shared backyards and our children went to school together and played together over the years. I want to share with District 5 voters the Sue Prentiss I know: wife, mother and dedicated public servant. I believe her experience in EMS, health care and as a city councilor equips her for the New Hampshire Senate.

Over the years I watched her navigate her duties to the state and the city of Lebanon while raising her daughter and being a good neighbor and friend. She has shown her commitment to her constituents by making herself available to all of us. She answers questions and follows up on issues. She represents the working families in our area, and she understands the issues we face.

I have watched her sacrifice her time at home to serve on the Lebanon City Council. She understands her commitment to the public and has been a responsible elected official. I know she will be an excellent senator for our region. Please join me in voting for Sue Prentiss for New Hampshire Senate District 5.


West Lebanon

Vote Republican to protect families

Our House Reps. Roger Dontonville and Joshua Adjutant voted for income taxes, sales taxes and banning wood stoves built before 1986, as well as for a plethora of other insane legislative measures that would have killed the New Hampshire economy if they had not been vetoed by Gov. Chris Sununu.

Consider voting straight Republican on Nov. 3 as the best means of protecting families, improving opportunity and jobs, and fixing what’s dreadfully wrong with our Legislature.

Same goes for federal offices, too.


Enfield Center

Progressives’ policies are failing Vermont

Why is Vermont’s rental housing so expensive in relation to income?

Why are neighboring states’ economies much better than Vermont’s?

Why are Vermont’s taxes near the highest in the country?

Why does Vermont rank as the least-friendly business state?

Why is Vermont the most expensive state for retirees?

This is not by accident nor a coincidence. The truth is that the Progressives’ policies are failing Vermont. People are struggling more now than any period in my lifetime. Food shelters are struggling to meet demands. Legislators completely undermined our governor by overriding his veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act. He vetoed it because he realized it was going to hurt lower- and middle-income families. I believe that, to meet the act’s requirements, all equipment using fossil fuels using will have to be eliminated, including snowmobiles, ATVs, motorboats, gas- and diesel-powered vehicles, lawn mowers, furnaces and boilers, even propane grills. An 80% reduction in emissions must occur, otherwise people can bring an action against the state to make it comply. Has your legislator told you what the act means to you?

Then the Democrats run an ad saying “Position Vermont for Economic Recovery.” How does that happen with high taxes, expensive housing costs, the loss of good-paying jobs and soon-to-be-unaffordable energy costs? What is next on their misguided agenda?

I sure hope we don’t find out, because their economic recovery is just too expensive for Vermont.


North Springfield

The writer is a independent candidate to represent the Windsor District in the Vermont Senate.

Move on from the dog-whistle politics

I will never forget that, one year ago, within hours of making a private call to state Sen. Ruth Ward’s office to express my opinion as a constituent of Senate District 8, my voter registration had been looked up and I was being called a “traitor” live on the radio by the chair of the Sullivan County Republican Party.

I was calling to urge Sen. Ward to not attend a GOP fundraising event scheduled in Grantham featuring a radical anti-Muslim speaker, Robert Spencer, organized in my neighborhood by the same Sullivan County Republican Party chair.

My dismay that the Republican Party would bring such a hateful speaker to my neighborhood — Spencer was banned from the U.K. as an extremist in 2013 and was quoted in a manifesto by Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik — to a venue literally within eyesight of the home of one of my Muslim neighbors, was lost on Sen. Ward, who attended the event, eventually held, after two other venues backed out, at an undisclosed “church in Sullivan County.”

Her reaction to this speaker? It was just an educational lecture that talked about what was in the Quran. He never said Muslims were terrible people.

To Ward’s credit, she did say that the personal insults directed at me were “inappropriate” and I am grateful that the Sullivan County Republicans quickly found a new chair with integrity who also issued an apology. However, Sen. Ward’s indifference to my concerns as a constituent and obliviousness to the radical extremism of both her own GOP county chair and Spencer, do not speak well of her ability to represent the people of Senate District 8.

It is time for us to move on from personal insults and dog-whistle politics. I urge the voters of District 8 to vote for a new state senator. There are much better choices than Ruth Ward.



Attack ads filled with lies and disinformation

Negative attack ads do not serve our democracy and should not be given any traction. These ads are filled with lies and disinformation and are self-serving for the particular candidate. This is dysfunctional. What has become of having decent debates where opposing views can be articulated in a civilized manner? We should be having conversations and debates to achieve consensus.

Citizens in New Hampshire Senate District 8 have been deluged with attack ads against Jenn Alford-Teaster. These are completely unfounded.

Actually, the two candidates are aligned on many issues, but you would not know that from her opponent’s attack ads. They agree about increasing telemedicine, increasing broadband and supporting all-day kindergarten. By contrast, Alford-Teaster supports gun-free school zones and greater access to affordable health care.

Her opponent suggested that Alford-Teaster would advocate raising taxes on “mom-and-pop” businesses. If you know anything about Alford-Teaster, this would not be her position. Having grown up in poverty, working in a mom-and-pop was her livelihood.

Another postcard mailed by her opponent’s campaign attacked Alford-Teaster for using sophisticated language. A good education helps one to be articulate. Is her opponent mocking her for having a higher education?

Her opponent’s husband attacked her for having a hyphenated last name. Seriously, is that worthy of an attack?

Would you like a candidate who will really listen to her constituents and build bridges between them? Or would you like one who prefers to spend valuable campaign contributions on attack ads? I’ll cast my vote for the one who demonstrates her integrity: Jenn Alford-Teaster.



Mike Cryans is right for the Upper Valley

We are writing to encourage people in the Upper Valley to vote for Mike Cryans for Executive Council. Cryans was Grafton County commissioner for 19 years and has now served on Executive Council for one term.

He has helped anyone who needs his support, whatever their political background, finding solutions to real people’s problems. When all the dust from the upcoming election settles, we will need his vote on the Executive Council to get things done. Mike Cryans will help us get it done.



We have a hard-working team of legislators

We are fortunate to have such hard-working representatives as Lee Oxenham, Brian Sullivan and Linda Tanner. They have focused their efforts on constituent services and on improving the everyday lives of Granite Staters by working for health care expansion, a fair minimum wage and paid family leave.

Oxenham is clerk for the Science, Technology and Energy Committee. She has worked to expand broadband; she has written a bill, signed into law, to promote energy storage that will create more renewable energy; and she has sponsored a bill to reduce plastic and toxins in our environment. She is passionate about protecting New Hampshire’s environment and tourism industry and has also produced a climate action plan and a bill requiring greenhouse gas reductions. Rep. Oxenham also works to expand health care, to protect our citizens against COVID-19 and to fund our schools adequately, resulting in lower property taxes.

Sullivan is chair of the House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee. He sponsored a bill to enhance public sector health and safety standards and helped lead the fight to increase the minimum wage. He supported the effort to pass paid family and medical leave and sponsored legislation to study air quality in our schools. He has supported the upgrading and insulation of state buildings, the expansion of broadband, the creation of jobs in the clean energy sector and the upgrading of infrastructure. Rep. Sullivan has focused his life on helping working people.

Tanner serves on the Education Committee. She has worked tirelessly to support quality public education with adequate and fair funding to strengthen technical, state university and community colleges. She has argued for the return of the funds the governor reallocated to private schools. These funds should be invested in local schools to improve quality and to lower property taxes. Rep. Tanner supports the expansion of broadband to benefit students, telemedicine and businesses and she has urged the governor to provide resources for a safe reopening of schools

Reelect this hard-working team.



Lee Oxenham is respected and diligent

I’ve had the good fortune of seeing my elected state legislator hard at work for her constituents in Cornish, Plainfield, Croyden and Grantham.

Rep. Lee Oxenham, of Plainfield, is a respected member of the important Science, Technology and Energy Committee, which focuses, in part, on all matters pertaining to energy, telecommunications and air pollution. I have testified before this committee in Concord and can attest to her diligence.

Rep. Oxenham, as an incumbent on this committee, gives her constituents a front-row seat on matters as direct and important as energy choice and the bottom line on our monthly light bill. I recommend reelecting Rep. Lee Oxenham.



Liza Draper has the energy and vitality

This letter is in support of Liza Draper, who is running for election to the New Hampshire House from the Sullivan 5 district, representing Claremont’s Ward 3. We Claremonters would be lucky to have Draper represent us.

I know her to be thoughtful, hardworking and creative. She tackles challenges with energy and vitality. She has been a champion for Claremont for many years, including her work on Claremont Main Street and her successful efforts to launch the Claremont Farmers’ Market.

She has always been focused on improving education for a wide variety of students.

I want to emphasize how important it is for all of us to vote in every race, especially the many crucial down-ballot races in New Hampshire. Please make your plan to vote now. Contact your friends and make sure they have a plan in place, too.

Vote, vote, vote.



Democrats are angry, but they’re not hateful

Nancy Farinella’s recent Forum letter describing Democrats as showing hatred toward the president upset me greatly (“Democrats are dominated by hatred,,” Oct. 18).

It is factual to say that Democrats are very concerned about many issues related to the current president, such as the terrible response to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in many thousands of unnecessary illnesses and deaths with no scientifically based plan going forward; the fact that racism and white supremacy are denied and being inflamed; the fact that public schools are providing a very uneven education across the country with no federal effort aimed at improving public education; the fact that our national debt is out of control heavily related to an unnecessary tax cut for the rich; the fact that there are still millions of people without access to basic health care while the administration is trying to eliminate Obamacare with no other plan presented, although one has been promised for years; the fact that we have totally uneven health care across the country with no plan to improve it while we spend more on health care per person than any country in the world; the fact that insurance coverage for preexisting conditions is under threat; the fact that our infrastructure is crumbling despite a promise to repair it by candidate Donald Trump; the fact that women’s reproductive rights are under constant and growing threat; the fact that the Senate and president have been more interested in financially supporting big business, and therefore the stock market, than in helping low-income workers during the current crisis; the fact that no effort has been made to raise the minimum wage; and the fact that climate change is denied while more and more pollutants are allowed to be released into the air and water because of deregulation.

The fact that all this has provided much for Democrats — and all others who care about the country and the world — to be very angry about makes sense to me.



The fly on Mike Pence was a sign from God

The pundit who said the fly that landed on Vice President Mike Pence’s head during the debate was a sign that Pence was a puppet of the devil showed his ignorance and showed that he himself was an advocate of the devil, sent to try to ruin the reputation of a great man.

I believe that all living creatures on Earth were created by God. Therefore, if the fly was a sign, it was sent from God telling us that Pence was a leader and we needed to have him lead us to a better and greater nation.

We need him as vice president for four more years and then as president for eight years. And I am a registered Democrat, but I could not, in good faith, vote for the Clintons or Barack Obama. After what happened to the U.S. under their leadership, I’m glad I did not. I’m ashamed to be in the same party as them.

I’m planning to re-register as a Republican.


White River Junction

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