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Forum, Aug. 10: Lebanon school resource officer

Published: 8/10/2022 2:50:31 PM
Modified: 8/10/2022 2:47:16 PM
Lebanon needs to act on SRO

Is it insanity or racism?

The City’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, the Students of Color Collective at Lebanon High School, countless social workers, and the people of Lebanon in two separate warrant articles all have asked to end the school resource officer program. Now the ACLU is demanding answers for why this harmful racist practice continues.

The superintendent sits in silence on the issue, I challenge anyone to find a quote from her about being pro or anti SRO. Joanne Roberts’ lack of leadership has created the giant mess that we have today.

The School Board Chairman Dick Milius’ rationalization that national statistics do not apply to Lebanon and that getting rid of the SRO would not be enough to get rid of the racism problem belied common sense

Finally, and most damning, City Manager Sean Mullholland’s threats to punish the school system by removing the crossing guards if the school gets rid of the SRO defied financial logic, the city’s interests, ethics and the rules of math.

I would encourage everyone to go on the school website and read the findings of the Equity Audit the school system spent thousands of dollars on. It clearly paints a picture of racism, where 42% of the high school students and 54% percent of the staff regularly witness racist acts. Where is the building administration? The only one winning here is the school system’s lawyers at hundreds of dollars an hour.

The Lebanon schools need to show courage and leadership. The School Board needs to vote up or down as to whether to ignore the warrant article. Last March’s warrant article won by an impressive 12 percentage points. The School Board has a moral obligation to at least individually go on record to their position.

Mike King


Isn’t the absentee
ballot process fine?

Is it necessary to mail ballots to every registered voter in the Town of Hartford? Especially when the accuracy of that list is being questioned. Voting by mail is already available for residents thru the absentee ballot process. Based upon the recent published numbers for the use of absentee ballots in the current primary election, the process is working well and exactly the way it was designed.

Why spend the time and money mailing ballots to Hartford voters who do not need them or want them when an absentee ballot is already available? Won’t most of them end up in the landfill? This would have been about 9,200 unused ballots in August 2021 and 7,700 in March 2021.

Rather than being critical of our State Representatives (Heather Suprenant, Kevin Christie and Rebecca White) maybe we should be thanking them for their wisdom. The State of Vermont made their decision during the height of the pandemic when everyone was being told to stay home. Things have changed and maybe the state should reconsider its decision and reverse it. How much time and money did it take to send ballots out to all Vermont voters at the last general election? And how many of them ended up in the landfill? Maybe hundreds of thousands?

Barry McCabe

West Hartford

Speak up about
Claremont transfer
station plan

“Wake up, Claremont!” That’s what Jon Swan said to those gathered at the Zoning Board of Adjustment’s recent public hearing on the proposed C&D waste transfer station by Acuity Management, a Massachusetts-based company that owns American Recycling on Industrial Boulevard. There were about 50 people attending the ZBA meeting on Monday, out of hundreds of households, businesses, churches, and an elementary school within the affected area. A healthy democracy requires involvement. Jon Swan is a proponent of active citizenship and the difference it makes to a healthy democracy and community. Without community attendance at hearings and our voices being heard and written comments to our representatives, our democracy will fail to serve the people.

Jon has been actively opposing the development of a landfill in his community for years. This landfill would endanger the water quality of Forest Lake, a state park in Dalton, N.H. After a successful campaign to pass a bill in the state Senate and House to develop new landfill requirements that could protect surrounding bodies of water, Gov. Sununu vetoed this bill that would have protected this lake. Our voice is our vote. Please participate in our democracy by attending hearings, sending in written comments, writing letters to the editor, signing petitions and voting.

As residents of Claremont, we have the opportunity to voice our concerns about the proposed C&D waste facility. There is a lot of money to be made by Acuity if this waste facility is approved at the expense of the health and wealth of Claremont residents (including our children) and others who will also receive contaminated C&D material. Please get involved.

Rebecca MacKenzie


Herbicides play a role in insect decline

A recent Washington Post editorial listed ways to reverse the decline of Monarch butterflies and other insect species: “address climate change, maintain protected lands and curb cultivation on marginal lands. ...” But zero mention of herbicide use, which is blamed in the same article for the disappearance of milkweed plants, in addition to climate change and habitat loss. The overuse of herbicides and pesticides is in some ways more troublesome than global warming.

Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring decades ago, and the stir she raised led to banning DDT. I fear that we’ll be witnessing much more than silence in the natural world if we continue on the present course. Amphibians, reptiles, insects and other invertebrates, birds, plants — all are being adversely affected by the poisons we use on our lawns, roadsides, farms and orchards.

For a start, let’s ban neonic insecticides and weedkillers containing glyphosate. Legislation has been introduced in both New Hampshire and Vermont, but so far no action has been taken. Please write your legislators.

Peter J. Thompson

Post Mills

Lions grateful for
duck race participants

On behalf of the Lebanon-Upper Valley Lions Club, we would like to thank all those who purchased ducks in our first annual Duck Race. Over 500 ducks competed in the race on the Mascoma River. This fundraiser will allow us to support community projects including sight, hearing and scholarships.

The winners were:

1st Place: Rebecca Torrey

2nd Place: Joanna Henderson

3rd Place: Alan Ricard

Tail End Charlie: John Conner

Thank you to all our corporate sponsors!

Tom McGonis

Lebanon-Upper Valley Lions Club

Dogs, ponies and clowns in Hartford

“Board Member Chastises Himself: Apologies follow release of email criticizing town officials,” Aug. 4.

As a lifelong resident of the Town of Hartford, one could easily shake their head in dismay or disgust in the latest event of the dog and pony show by the selectboard; “apologies follow release of email criticizing town officials.” I decided that perhaps a chuckle is more appropriate; after all the board members are voted in.

“Send in the Clowns ... don’t bother they’re here.”

Terri Soule

White River Junction

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