Forum, Oct. 30: Vote for the planet and truth

Published: 10/29/2020 10:00:15 PM
Modified: 10/29/2020 10:00:08 PM
Vote for the planet and truth

If you are considering not voting because you think your vote — a “mere” one vote in little New Hampshire with only 4 Electoral College votes — please remember this: In 2000, George W. Bush carried New Hampshire by only 7,200 votes. If New Hampshire had gone for Al Gore, the kerfuffle in Florida would have been irrelevant. We would have had a president with an understanding and of, and trust in, scientific fact. The nation and the world would today be much farther along in the battle to save the planet.

As to the battle: Scientists say it might not be too late. But if we choose four more years of lies, corruption, environmental degradation and denial of science, it will indeed be too late.

So please, vote on Tuesday. Vote for the planet. Vote for your children and grandchildren. Vote for truth.


West Lebanon

We must not remain silent in the face of hate

U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ final farewell, he said, “If we are to survive as one unified nation, we must discover what so readily takes root in our hearts that could rob Mother Emanuel Church in South Carolina of her brightest and best, shoot unwitting concertgoers in Las Vegas and choke to death the hopes and dreams of a gifted violinist like Elijah McClain.”

Does this quote stir you emotionally? Lewis’ recent death came at a time of far too much division and violence. We’ve seen the unmistakable video footage of brutality, murder and hate aimed at Black people. We’ve heard the litany of victims’ names. In the face of this reality, the Black Lives Matter movement has grown as more people decry a hierarchy of human value based on skin color. But this threatens some.

We are seeing displays of hate in our own communities and we must call them out — right here, right now. Public manifestations of racial hatred are a reality as it reaches across our region, from Claremont to Plainfield and, most recently, to Springfield and New London. As just one example, an individual has been attempting to terrorize others in our area by driving around in a pickup truck with symbols and words of race-based hate that promote violence.

Using Lewis’ words, and with true concern for this individual, we wonder “what has taken root in his heart” that prompts him to delight in causing hurt and alarm in the community? Such incidents should challenge us to reaffirm and proclaim our shared humanity. Let’s recognize the spiritual dimension we harbor and look to it for guidance. We must not remain silent. Even our children know this is wrong.

It is time to claim accountability and become allies of those who are being hurt. Talk about this to your friends, families and neighbors. Invite difficult conversations about these deliberate assaults of hate. Let us find the courage and confidence to speak up in order to reclaim our sense of beloved community. If not us, then who? If not now, when?







The writers are members of the Meriden Congregational Church. This letter was endorsed by 19 other members of the Meriden Congregational Church Racial Justice Ministry Team.

Sue Prentiss offers a unique and valuable skill set

As we come down to the end of the 2020 campaign season, it is hard not to worry about our nation’s reaction to the news of the election results, no matter who wins the presidential race. As a former state legislator representing Lebanon, I am grateful to be able to step back and look at our local, regional and state elections and send along words of thanks to all those who are running.

I am writing this letter to emphasize the importance of electing Sue Prentiss to the New Hampshire Senate to represent District 5. Her previous experience provides her with a unique and valuable skill set in this time of public health crisis.

As the chief of emergency medical services in New Hampshire’s Department of Safety for a number of years, she oversaw public safety, emergency medicine and crisis management. The pandemic is not going away any time soon. The health care system is confronted by growing numbers of people who are ill (many critically), those who may be transmitting the disease, as well as those who are susceptible to contracting it. We must also prepare for eventual mass immunization against COVID-19. Prentiss will provide a calm, competent, experienced voice in addressing these challenges from a policy perspective.

To those of you who have already voted, thank you, and to those of you who will vote on Tuesday, mark your ballot for Sue Prentiss for Senate District 5, as well as for all of the other Democrats up and down the ballot.

In the meantime, please wear your mask, adhere to the principles of social distancing, wash your hands, sanitize and vote!



It is time for David Zuckerman

The way cases are spiking in Vermont now, maybe Gov. Phil Scott is not doing such a great job with COVID-19 after all. Perhaps he has in fact opened up things too fast.

His business-first orientation may be harming Vermonters after all. The way cases are spiking all over the country, we need to institute measures with some real teeth so that we can tamp this virus down once and for all. They say China has done it. Are they a more responsible and disciplined citizenry than Vermonters?

It’s time to let David Zuckerman usher us into a future that is back in harmony with nature. This is an existential choice. Scott is like President Donald Trump. He’s more concerned with business profit and the bottom line than the fact that we are all running headlong into an environmental buzz saw. Scott and Trump should be wearing sackcloth and ashes, begging for atonement. Now is the time.



Dan Feltes has an energy plan

Vote for Dan Feltes, Democrat, for New Hampshire governor, to bring green energy and green jobs to New Hampshire.

Fossil fuel technology is unsustainable, and is quickly becoming outdated. For New Hampshire to stay competitive with other states and countries, we need action now. You don’t want to be the last person selling VHS tapes and DVDs in the age of Netflix. Feltes, the current New Hampshire Senate majority leader, has a plan for a new clean-energy economy for our state. His “Green Energy, Green Jobs” plan will help generate thousands of living-wage jobs.

On Election Day we have a choice to vote for the future. Vote for Dan Feltes for New Hampshire.



Carl Demrow is an advocate for small businesses

There is a lot to navigate as a small business owner. State regulations, town zoning laws, inspections, licenses and fees, and now, with this global health situation, an added layer of protocols to ensure the safety of employees and patrons.

In 2018, when I had the ambition to start a small business in Chelsea, I did not realize the time I would log trying to unpack the expectations of the state. I spent months collecting documentation, filling out paperwork and communicating with my Selectboard and town officers, making sure I was dotting my I’s and crossing my T’s.

But even with all my diligence, I did not anticipate all the channels I would have to navigate to open my cafe. To make a long story short, I needed a health inspection and license to open, but the wastewater system needed approval by the Department of Environmental Conservation, which was changing standards just as I was completing the paperwork.

I did not realize I had been caught up in a bureaucratic eddy, until I reached out to Carl Demrow, my state representative, who jumped in to help me. I had spent 2½ months pleading my case. Had I not connected with Demrow, I believe the process would have dragged out much longer.

I am grateful for the support Demrow offered. Even when we later had to make the difficult decision to close due to the pandemic, he was one of the first to reach out and make sure we were aware of the resources available to us.

He understands the vital role small businesses play in our communities. He also validated my beliefs that small-business owners need extra advocacy at the state level, fewer obstacles when trying to get off the ground, and more support, especially during challenging and changing times.

Come Election Day, my husband and I will be voting to reelect Carl Demrow because we believe he is invested in helping our local economy and communities thrive, and we encourage all supporters and operators of small businesses in the Orange-1 district to consider voting for him.



Jenn Alford-Teaster will be a brilliant state senator

While Ruth Ward has done some good as state senator for District 8, she backs down on environmental and clean energy legislation so as not to oppose Gov. Chris Sununu’s vetoes. There is a better candidate running against her.

Jenn Alford-Teaster grew up in poverty on the Seacoast, so she knows what it means to struggle for a livelihood. At age 18, she moved to North Carolina, where she spent the next 10 years working her way to bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. To this day, she credits a strong system of public education on the K-12 and higher education levels with freeing her from poverty. As a state senator, she will do all she can to ensure that New Hampshire has a world-class educational system.

As a senior research scientist at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, she is one of our state’s leading public health experts. She knows the importance of science, and will address COVID-19 accordingly. She favors a robust public health system, accessible to and affordable by all.

Her life experience has taught her the value of careful financial management, directed at providing jobs that lift people out of poverty and assure a dignified life for all workers and their families. Her scientific expertise will help her set right our currently compromised economy without sacrificing public health, and secure enough revenue to meet the state’s needs without imposing a sales or income tax.

As a gun owner, she will uphold the Second Amendment while protecting public safety.

As a New Hampshire native, she cherishes our environment. She is ready to work with all comers to develop a job-creating, durable, environmentally protective economy that will address the ills of climate change as effectively as that mounting crisis demands. Our state needs and deserves no less.

Jenn Alford-Teaster will be a brilliant state senator. Vote for her this year.


New London

Is dinner-dance a good idea?

I noticed an advertisement in the Valley News last week placed by the Lebanon Elks Lodge 2099 advertising a Halloween dinner-dance on Saturday, from 7-10 p.m. I guess I don’t understand. Aren’t indoor gatherings being limited or discouraged, especially with the increase in COVID-19 cases in Grafton County? Wasn’t it a semiprivate gathering at The Engine Room in White River Junction in February that sparked the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Upper Valley?



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