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Forum, Sept. 28: Christine Blasey Ford Has Nothing to Gain


Thursday, September 27, 2018
Christine Blasey Ford Has Nothing to Gain

It has occurred to me that, to date, I have neither seen nor heard anything from the media comparing the current downright accusatory treatment of professor Christine Blasey Ford by Senate members regarding her accusation of sexual abuse by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to that received by girls and women who have been sexually abused elsewhere. It is a blatant example of why approximately 70 percent of those abused these days don’t come forward. And the percentage of those who didn’t come forward at the time when Ford’s alleged abuse occurred was probably closer to 95 percent.

It is clear that Ford has nothing to gain by her accusation. And she has passed a lie detector test given her by a former FBI agent. Kavanaugh clearly has a great deal to gain if she is not believed. I have to wonder if he would be willing to take a lie detector test.

Margaretta L. Paduch

West Lebanon

Energy Expo in Canaan

Many Upper Valley towns have energy committees or sustainability groups excited to help their town and its residents save money, save energy and provide clean energy alternatives for the environment. The leadership team at Vital Communities brings these groups together annually to share ideas. One of the recurring themes of these meetings is education: How can we help residents in our towns get answers to questions about insulation, solar systems, heat pumps, batteries, zero energy buildings and living off-grid?

This year, the energy committees of Enfield, Canaan, Plainfield, Cornish, Lebanon, Grantham, Sustainable Hanover and Kearsarge Climate Action are sponsoring the Mascoma Valley Energy Expo on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Mascoma Valley Regional High School, 27 Royal Road, Canaan.

In order to address the diverse needs of Upper Valley residents, there will be three levels of classes offered concurrently throughout the day, from beginner through advanced. Henry Herndon, from the New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association, will present the keynote address, “A Tipping Point for the Energy Transition: From Early Adoption to Systemic Transformation,” at 12:15pm.

The presentation schedule and registration form are at www.MascomaEnergyExpo.org. The Expo is free and open to the public.

Kim Quirk

Enfield

The writer is a member of the Enfield Energy Committee.

‘Electric’ Event at T.A.

The transition to fossil fuel-free, alternative energy is well on its way, as are the cars and buses that transport us. Come to Thetford Academy on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., for Drivers Ed. 2050: Driving into a Post Fossil Fuel Era, a “crash(less) course” on electric vehicles, hybrid cars and carpooling.

Programs will cover how to power electric vehicles from the grid or from solar panels, and the costs and the basics of operating electric vehicles. Participants in the “Carpool Meet-Up Luncheon” can form a carpool and learn about leasing energy-efficient cars and vans (please RSVP for lunch at mb.gravityhill@gmail.com). Owners of electric vehicles will offer test rides and share their experiences, and electric bikes will be available to see and try. All events are free.

Cost is usually the first comment I hear when talking with folks about buying an electric vehicle or hybrid. The prices are coming down and becoming competitive with gas engine cars, and some car manufacturers offer incentives. The Drive Electric Vermont program can answer your questions on cost of ownership and operation.

We have the ability to reverse the direction of climate change. Driving less, consuming less, buying local foods, weatherizing your home — do what you can.

This event is co-sponsored by Thetford Energy Committee and Vital Communities with grant assistance from New England Grassroots Fund.

Mary Bryant

Thetford

The writer is a member of the Thetford Energy Committee.

Vital ACA Navigators

Access to health care coverage is important to me because, in 2011, my 26-year old daughter was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. She endured a year of chemotherapy treatments and bone replacements and survived. The cost of her cancer event surpassed $1 million. Because of the Affordable Care Act, enacted that same year, we eluded bankruptcy.

Recently, I moved “back home” to the Upper Valley after living in West Virginia for 15 years. My transition to a new job required a probationary period, leaving me in health insurance limbo for 60 days. I went online to Vermont Health Connect, seeking Medicaid. I am computer literate, and was successful in setting up the account. However, the forthcoming information was confusing and financially alarming. I needed help signing up.

I researched ACA navigators in the Hartford area. Navigators are a free national service that, sadly, many people don’t know about. They clarify health insurance vernacular and help you wade through the paperwork (if you’re a parent of a college student, think FAFSA). Despite the fact that Hartford’s population is the same size as the town I ended up driving to, there weren’t any. So, I drove 76 miles roundtrip to Springfield, Vt., and, thanks to a navigator at Valley Health Connection, I was enrolled in Medicaid — in less than an hour!

Health insurance navigators are critical to the well-being of Vermonters who cannot, for whatever reason, sign up for health insurance themselves. As I write this, more and more navigators are losing their jobs as service locations are being snuffed out — an insidious strategy of our current administration to undermine the ACA and access to health insurance across the nation.

Please contact Sen. Patrick Leahy’s office (802-863-2525) in support of Vermont’s ACA navigators. It is so important that this free service be promoted and continued, so that Vermonters can have access to the health care they deserve.

Martha Richards

White River Junction