Forum, May 14: Solutions-oriented mindset heals communities

Published: 5/14/2022 6:02:02 AM
Modified: 5/14/2022 6:00:14 AM
Solutions-oriented mindset heals communities

What a time it is.

I’d like to discuss a sense of higher power that connects us as a community. As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work.” With our hands we can build, and with our feet we can stride toward creating a higher sense of togetherness.

When we think of ourselves, do we think of the comforts or the privileges that we have? Or do we think of the easy way out? I ask you, to what ending would that bring us?

When we think of ourselves, do we think about becoming a part of something more, something greater than just us?

I want to offer an alternative perspective on what we as a society define as cooperation, problem solving and brainstorming. With every problem there is a solution.

We are faced with opportunities and decisions that must be made. These decisions are based on our knowledge, and they are an opportunity for us to do our best. Through these challenges and conflicts, we must be decisive enough to seize a moment, or catch a glimpse of something hopeful or memorable.

These are the moments when we can have cooperation against hate, a sense of peace for other people and gratitude for our neighbors. It’d be nice to see honesty in the face of greed. This eternal struggle could go on or cease.

Through these thoughts, do we shed those layers of selfishness? Do we attempt to neutralize the violence? Or are we hiding behind a mask, where the voids of loneliness are incomprehensible?

The healers, dreamers, visionaries, artists and believers are all creating light for a better future.

We unite as one, as the leaves do on a tree in the wind. A sense of higher power is about harmony in life. We can do this. These feats are tangible and within our grasp.

Duncan K. Holley

White River Junction

Article glosses over Democrats’ failings

The Valley News published Henry Olsen’s Washington Post article, “Mudfight is last hope for Democrats” on May 5. The second paragraph states, “The last hope of drowning politicos everywhere is fear and loathing, and we’re already seeing the signs that that’s where the Democrats are headed.” The writer goes on to reference the poor poll numbers related to Biden’s failed policies, including the disastrous, deadly withdrawal in Afghanistan, where 13 U.S. military personnel were killed, and Americans and Afghans who worked with us were left behind.

Not once does he mention how Americans have been hurt by soaring gas prices, skyrocketing inflation (a 41-year high), record crime rates, empty store shelves, and the illegal immigrants and drugs Biden’s policies have allowed to cross our southern border. The entire focus is to somehow reduce the downward spiral of poll numbers for all Democrats and somehow reduce the losses they may see in the November midterm elections. Keeping power is the Democrats’ only concern, not the well-being of Americans.

The writer mentions evidence that the Democrats have begun a course of “fear and loathing” to try to make voters believe they’d be better off with supporting Democrats. I suggest that the Democrats are doing more than that, as they are beginning a campaign of intimidation and violence aimed directly at the U.S. Supreme Court and its judges.

Within an hour of the “leak” of a preliminary opinion from the Supreme Court regarding Roe v. Wade, protesters had already shown up at 9 p.m. on the steps of the Supreme Court, with signs protesting the decision. Coincidence? I think not!

In order to try to maintain power, the Democrats will be pressuring justices all summer long to vote their way. Is that the party you want in power? Get out and vote these officials, who care nothing about your problems, out of office in November 2022!

John Nelson


Consequences of failing to vote

The recent success of the Croydon school budget vote after the budget’s initial failure at a sparsely attended school meeting shows the importance of voting. Organizing the revote, successful though it was, took vastly more effort than it would have taken for more residents to vote in the first place.

More significantly, the 2016 presidential election also showed the importance of voting, even when you aren’t thrilled with the choices before you.

If women, especially young women, had turned out to vote for Hillary Clinton with the enthusiasm they showed for Barack Obama, she would have won. However, women did not, so we have today’s Supreme Court. Evidently the distaste for Clinton was strong enough among some women to induce them to stay home and risk the loss of reproductive rights.

The ultimate impact of that election on reproductive freedom may not be undone in our lifetime.

Richard Andrews

Springfield, Vt.

Sen. Hassan committed to protecting Roe v. Wade

When I saw the news that Roe v. Wade may be overturned, my heart sank. I never thought I would see this day. For many women in New Hampshire and across the country, this is a worst-case scenario. But the fight isn’t over, and there’s much to be done. Making sure that Sen. Hassan is reelected in the fall is vital. Sen. Hassan supports codifying Roe v. Wade and passing the Women’s Health Protection Act. She has a long history of fighting for reproductive rights. I was incredibly moved by her statement on the draft leak, vowing to ensure a woman’s right to control her own destiny.

Lisa Johnson


Croydon’s successful stand against Free Staters

We would like to extend a sincere message to the Free Staters who tried to undermine public education in Croydon: You picked the wrong state for this experiment. The Croydon voters, though at fault for not showing up at the original school board budget vote meeting, rallied on Saturday, May 7, to stand up for the children of their community. The vote was 377-2 in favor of restoring the original $1.7 million budget.

Bless those voters who can think beyond their own needs to those of others in their community. We don’t have children in the public school system anymore, but our children received a well-rounded education in New Hampshire public schools, and we are both products of New England public schools. We regularly recall the sage observation: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” So, to all the Free Staters currently here in New Hampshire with the goal of dismantling our government, our school system, and our public safety measures, please take your self-centered, anti-American efforts elsewhere. We don’t have any use for any of it.

Leslie S. MacGregor


Republicans must accept election outcome

The problem of choosing good leaders is ancient, from Plato’s “philosopher kings” to medieval rulers claiming a divine right. Then there is Winston Churchill’s dictum that “democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

Churchill is surely right about those others, but democracy is no panacea. The list of U.S. presidents, chosen through a flawed democratic process, is very mixed, including men (so far) from excellent to terrible. That process has not reliably brought good leaders to the front.

Physicist Freeman Dyson has suggested another slant on the problem. Perhaps democracy does not always select good leaders, but even so it has a great advantage: It gives us a periodic, non-violent way to free ourselves from the bad ones. This is huge, an essential cornerstone of our form of government. It has worked reliably — until now.

Former president Trump lost the 2020 election by 7 million votes and a margin of 74 in the electoral college. It was a clear-cut result, but unlike all other losing presidential candidates, he refused to accept the outcome. Instead he proclaimed loudly, with no evidence, that he won. With no legitimate basis for that claim, Trump and supporters have tried to reinstall him in office by illegal means, including the bloody mob assault on the U.S. Capital. They have not succeeded, but neither have the coup planners and organizers been brought to justice. The attempt to reverse an honest election strikes at the heart of our democratic system, negating the great virtue that Dyson pointed out.

The problem is not just Donald Trump and some followers promoting his Big Lie. The worst danger is that subverting our system of government has the support, or at least the silent acceptance, of the majority of Republicans in Congress and in many state governments. Except for a few honest voices such as Elizabeth Cheney’s, the GOP has become the party of Trump.

It is essential for the future of our country that Trump Republicans be decisively defeated at the polls. We must vote to save our democracy — while we still can.

John Lamperti


Windsor plaque lettercorrections

On Monday, May 2, a letter was printed in the Valley News from a Windsor resident about the plaque honoring a slave named Dinah on the lawn at 70 State St. in Windsor (“Windsor plaque defaced”). I am writing to correct some errors in facts.

The property is owned by Historic Windsor, Inc. We are a nonprofit historic preservation organization that has been headquartered in Windsor since 1971. The Windsor Vermont Historical Association is the local historical society and not affiliated with this building.

I have been in possession of the plaque since it became dislodged from its granite post in December 2021. The plaque wound up in a neighbor’s yard, and the neighbor notified me promptly and gave it to me. The red smear on the granite post is an adhesive that may have failed. It has been too cold to reapply adhesive, but warmer weather will help with that. We did not file a police report because there did not seem to be any damage.

Dinah was purchased by Stephen Jacob in 1783 and brought to Windsor. Adult slavery was outlawed by the 1777 Vermont Constitution. The plaque was produced by Stopping Stones to note locations of enslaved people.

Historic Windsor acquired the property at 70 State St. in 2008. We have raised funds to replace the roof and complete some additional work. Estimates to restore the building are over $1 million. The town and neighbors have been supportive of the project. We are willing to sell the property to an owner who has a good plan. As part of the Windsor Village National Register District, the building’s rehabilitation could potentially qualify for Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits. If anyone is interested in the building, please contact me.

The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation is honoring Dinah’s story with a State Historical Marker. We hope to unveil the marker on Saturday, June 18 (Juneteenth Weekend), at 10:30 a.m. in a ceremony at 70 State St. All are welcome to attend. For information, email our office at or call 802-674-6752.

Judy L. Hayward


Winters is highly qualified for Vt. Secretary of State

When I served as Vermont’s deputy secretary of state, Chris Winters was my lawyer and I got to know him well. He served as counsel to the office for eight years, and then took over as director of professional regulation for another 10 years. In 2015, he became deputy and he’s done exemplary work in that post ever since. I was glad to read that he’s now running for the top job. With a quarter century’s worth of relevant experience under his belt, Chris Winters is one of the most qualified candidates for secretary of state in my long lifetime.

John Howland Jr.

West Windsor

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