Forum, Sept. 30: Dartmouth students are taking COVID-19 precautions seriously

Published: 9/29/2020 10:00:14 PM
Modified: 9/29/2020 10:00:08 PM
Dartmouth students are taking COVID-19 precautions seriously

As a Hanover resident, I’d like to express my support and appreciation for the vast majority of Dartmouth College students who are demonstrating a serious commitment to promoting a cultural normalization of public COVID-19 precautions.

I recognize that the pandemic presents frustrating and unique challenges to college students, and I hope that this experience will not hinder but rather strengthen the important friendships you’ll forge during these years on campus. You should be proud of your collective student body. But as these autumn leaves explode with color and cooler weather pushes us inside, please don’t screw it up!



Vote and advocate to fight climate change

I am writing on behalf of the Green Team at the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College to urge Upper Valley residents to vote and politically advocate with the climate in mind.

Climate change should be an important issue for all of us. This is especially true for people of faith. Global warming is first and foremost a social justice issue. Those who benefit from carbon emissions are not those who suffer its worst effects. The poor and marginalized will die and become displaced in staggering numbers as a result of wealthy societies’ carbon footprints. Future generations across the globe will suffer from an environmental disaster they did not create. It seems clear where the command to “love thy neighbor” calls us.

Religious texts emphasize the importance of tending to God’s creation. In Genesis, God gives humankind the task of being stewards of the natural world. Nature is deemed “good” and is given intrinsic value. We in the Upper Valley know how beautiful creation can be. The fact that humans are devastating the natural world should give us all pause.

Fortunately, there is much that can be done to protect people and nature from the horrors of climate change. None of this change will happen if we do not elect pro-climate-action candidates on Nov. 3, up and down the ballot. Faith communities can be important moral voices in the fight against global warming.

The Church of Christ at Dartmouth College Green Team is engaged in an effort to inspire climate-based voting in partnership with Interfaith Power and Light. Please visit to learn more and discover how your place of worship can get involved. We encourage everyone to do what they can to ensure that people will be thinking about climate change when they vote in November. The lives of millions and the fate of our planet hang in the balance. The stakes could not be higher.



We need assurances about the election

The president announced on Sept. 23 that he was not going to promise a smooth transition of power should he lose the election. In response, feckless Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., simply would not answer the question of how this would be addressed and therefore gave an anxious public no assurances that the integrity of the transition would be honored or enforced.

For the record, the Constitution has no provision that specifically addresses conduct during the period when one individual leaves office and another takes over. It doesn’t require that Donald Trump be nice, not that anyone expects that, but law and custom do require that he take steps to assure an orderly transition, ensure that the new administration is able to execute its powers from its first day, and prepare the new president to meet threats to national security.

However, Trump’s threat is more invidious. He intends to declare the election results fraudulent, discard mailed ballots, use the Supreme Court to back up his claim and never get to a transition because he will declare himself the victor. All of these moves assume acquiescence on the part of the courts, his party, the military and a large minority of the voting public.

Isn’t it time that we demand public pledges from everyone below the president and his cabal? Isn’t it time that we require of Republicans seeking office that they pledge to support and honor free elections? Isn’t it time judges review the election process in advance to assure us that the results can’t be dismissed? Are we not due assurances from police, the National Guard and the armed forces that they will stand behind the election process and enforce its outcome? Why do I feel as if all the people in institutions designed to safeguard our political system are silent when it comes to confronting a direct threat to its continuance?

It is really hard to fathom that this foolish man we call the president has so mesmerized the power-hungry and his angry base that there is no effective way to confront his stated intentions?



In a crisis, we trusted Jenn Alford-Teaster

As the owner of a medium-sized Manchester business who lives in Senate District 8, I will proudly cast my vote for Jenn Alford-Teaster for state Senate on Nov. 3.

When COVID-19 hit, we, like many businesses, felt overwhelmed and scared for our employees. The first person we turned to was Alford-Teaster because of her public health and emergency management experience. She is a public health scientist whose research focuses on rural access to health care. She has worked in emergency management assisting fire, police, hospital and municipal organizations to strengthen their ability to respond to disasters.

When so much was unknown about the pandemic, we trusted in science; we trusted in Alford-Teaster to help keep our employees safe. She supported us through developing our COVID-19 protocols and provided ongoing guidance and encouragement with the government funding processes. She is always accessible (through countless worried questions), wise, calm, supportive and, most of all, kind. And in this day and age, kindness matters.

Our district and our state need and deserve the intelligence, experience and public-service orientation that she offers. She truly cares and advocates for all. I will be forever grateful to her for her support at an extremely trying time in the history of our company and our state. We are surviving, and she played an important role in that.

Please join in me in casting your vote to elect Jenn Alford-Teaster the next senator from Senate District 8.


Sutton, N.H.

Ed Rajsteter is diligent and compassionate

I am so pleased that my friend, Ed Rajsteter, of Haverhill has decided to run for a seat in the Legislature representing the Grafton 15 district, which encompasses the towns of Bath, Benton, Easton, Haverhill, Landafff, Orford, Piermont and Warren.

I have had the great pleasure of working with him over a number of years, most notably first with the Friends of Grafton County Drug Court, which later expanded statewide as the Friends of New Hampshire Drug Courts. Rajsteter was instrumental in the founding and success of these outstanding organizations on which he served very ably as president.

I have always found him to be perceptive, compassionate and extremely diligent and hardworking. I know that as state representative that he’ll be very receptive to constituent input and supportive of state efforts to reduce prescription drug costs, increase and stabilize funding for the Grafton County Meals on Wheels Program, work to ensure that local schools receive their fair share of state school aid, as well as continuing to combat the opioid crisis, to name but a few.

I sincerely hope that you’ll give every consideration to voting for Ed Rajsteter on Election Day, and know that he won’t disappoint.



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