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Forum, Dec. 3: Heartwarming day for nonprofits

Published: 12/5/2022 3:32:13 PM
Modified: 12/5/2022 3:31:51 PM
A heartwarming day for nonprofit groups

Election Day 2022 was cold and windy. Representatives from six local nonprofit organizations huddled in a wind-break around the exit at the Hartford High School voting site. The goal for each was to collect approximately 500 petition signatures (5% of the registered voters for the town), the required endorsement to place an agency on the town ballot for municipal funding in March.

The experience was truly heart-warming, in a surprising way. What could have been a competitive, running of the gauntlet atmosphere turned into an effort of good-will and collaboration. Volunteers, board members and staff from VNH & Hospice, Advance Transit, Senior Solutions, COVER Home Repair, HCRS and Good Neighbor Health Clinic respectfully explained our missions and introduced voters to those who were standing alongside seeking signatures.

Each social service organization provides critical services to residents of Hartford, often people with limited incomes. Town funding is often important to agencies because it demonstrates to major funders the importance of the agency to the community it serves. The voters who spoke with us were interested in the needs of the community, how we were funded and our organizational programs. In short, they were curious, caring, and supportive. I left feeling proud to be a part of the Upper Valley community.

Dana Michalovic

Executive Director, Good Neighbor Health Clinic

Stick with original Medicare

Medicare Advantage plans are direct contract plans and also go by the name of Reach. This is a Trump-era Medicare privatization scheme. If you are a new enrollee or looking for a different plan, stay away from Medicare Advantage. If you are currently in a Medicare Advantage plan you can switch back to traditional Medicare now until Dec. 7. Medicare Direct Contracting systems are allowed to divert as much as 40% of their annual federal allotment to corporate profit, advertising and overhead. They don’t care about your health in any way.

Once signed up for one of these Advantage plans, you lose your traditional Medicare for the year as well as your choice of medical professionals.

Traditional Medicare is the most cost-effective program in our fragmented health care financing system. Ninety-eight percent of the Medicare budget goes to the provision of medical treatment. Additionally, traditional Medicare allows its members to select their own physicians.

The fact that they are allowed to use the hallowed name of Medicare is deeply concerning and too many seniors believe that they are actually enrolling in traditional Medicare. This is essentially a sanctioned Wall Street scam. Don’t fall for it. Keep the real Medicare alive and well and tell your Congressional delegation to put an end to the endless schemes to make a profit on our health. I believe we need Medicare/Medicaid for All because it is the best health system we have.

Sharon Racusin


Nominations needed for Fish and Game awards

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Commission Awards are an opportunity to recognize deserving individuals and organizations for achievements that help further the Fish and Game Department’s mission.

There are eight categories: Ellis Hatch Award of Excellence, Youth Conservationist, Communication, Conservation Organization, Volunteer, Habitat Stewardship, Landowner Appreciation, Search and Rescue Volunteer. The Ellis Hatch Award is for those who might excel in more than one category or who have made an exceptional contribution. The Search and Rescue Volunteers award recognizes those who dedicate their time and put their lives on the line to help those lost or injured.

If you want more information, go to /about/commission-awards.html. If you think of someone or a group who has made a difference, there is a brief form to complete.

Previous local recipients in the Upper Valley include The Kilham Bear Center, Janine Weins (of WNTK radio), Peter St. James (communication) Koby VanBeest and Thomas Thomson (landowners). I am sure you can think of others that have made a difference and should be recognized.

Unfortunately, many years there are no nominations for many categories. This year, take a few minutes, check out the forms and send in the person or organization that you feel has made a difference. Nominations are due Dec. 30.

Sharon Guaraldi


The writer is a former Fish and Game commissioner.

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