Forum, Oct. 9: Rep. John Delaney offers creative and realistic solutions

Published: 10/8/2019 10:00:13 PM
Rep. John Delaney offers creative and realistic solutions

The recent discussions in the Forum about reintroducing national service to the U.S. prompts me to write about one of the Democratic candidates who has a similar idea as part of his platform: former U.S. Rep. John Delaney, D-Md. His idea is that young citizens could serve in the military or in an infrastructure corps, climate corps or other community service. As incentives, the service would provide certified job training and experience, scholarships and preferential college admissions.

Delaney presents many creative and realistic solutions to national issues. Sadly, this intelligent, experienced, truly self-made man has been ignored by the press, I presume because he isn’t as glamorous or controversial as some of the other candidates. Yet here is an excellent candidate. He served three terms as a congressman from Maryland, priding himself on finding, as he says in a quote from John F. Kennedy, “not … the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.” He has progressive ideals combined with a pragmatic desire to get things done, and knows how to break a stalemate with compromise.

From a blue-collar family and first in his family to attend college, Delaney credits a scholarship from his father’s union for enabling him to get an education. He founded very successful health care and financial lending companies, and then chose to sell the companies to go into public service.

When Delaney visited Lebanon some weeks ago, the small crowd that attended was impressed by his energy, good ideas, detailed knowledge of the issues and willingness to listen. Refreshingly, he actually answered the questions he was asked. I was sad to note that no reporter was there from this newspaper. I hope when Delaney holds a town hall at the Common Man restaurant in Claremont on Sunday, at 9 a.m., that a Valley News reporter will be there, and I encourage you to be there as well. The race is not decided yet, so please give this candidate a look.



Don’t be swayed by Execusuite

I’ve lately been hearing that White River Junction is the Brooklyn of the Upper Valley. There is a severe parking problem, yet developer Mike Davidson’s company, Execusuite, denies it and has proposed 69 new apartments on South Main Street with less parking than regulations require (“Parking plan strays from rule: Developer says it needs fewer spots, others disagree,” Oct. 1).

As the Valley News wrote in its May 2018 profile of Davidson, “Although he’s a major player in the Upper Valley, Davidson makes only periodic visits here. After living for a decade in Mexico, he moved to Guatemala in 2016.” If so, how would he know about the parking issue? Residents remember the winter of 2011, when Davidson bought the parking lot in the middle of town and, as the Valley News reported in its profile, “sought to increase the rent by more than 500 percent, to $1,100 per month — he stopped plowing the lot, leaving downtown businesses trying to figure out how to provide adequate parking for their customers.”

Hartford’s Planning Commission should not be swayed by Execusuite’s arguments.


White River Junction

Dartmouth biomass proposal ignores other CO2 sources

Burning trees causes an immediate pulse of combustion CO2 emissions. In case of medium to heavy logging, say more than 50% on a forest parcel, the below-ground biomass of the logged area decays to become a source of CO2. It would take up to 35 years for new biomass growth on the logged area to offset that CO2 to achieve neutrality.

The harvested area would not absorb the combustion CO2 until after the neutrality period. That absorption takes about 90 to 100 years in northern climates, such as northern Vermont and New Hampshire and all of Maine.

In addition to combustion CO2 there are other sources of CO2 not related to regrowing biomass, such as from building, maintaining and operating the biomass plant and hot water distribution system, logging, chipping, and transport, and setting up and maintaining the infrastructures of the logging sector and the biomass plant building sector. Those sources of CO2 usually are ignored.



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