Forum, Jan 9: Cold Shoulder of the World

Monday, January 08, 2018
A Creative Approach in Hartford


I was pleased to see Matt Hongoltz-Hetling's article about Hartford High Schooler Brianna Aubrey teaching Spanish to third-graders at Dothan Brook (“Third-Graders Learn Spanish: High Schooler Teaches Kids,” Dec. 30). The Hartford School District has long understood the importance of elementary-level foreign language instruction, but has struggled to implement a program due to budget constraints.

What I love about this story is that it’s not just about throwing money at a problem. It’s taking a look at the resources the district has available — in this case, a talented, ambitious and dedicated high school student — and coming up with a creative solution to meet a need. Ms. Aubrey, the School Board and the district should be commended for their efforts and for setting an example to all students on how to solve seemingly intractable problems with ingenuity and persistence.

Brianne Goodspeed


The Cold Shoulder of the World


We angels and devils here in the Upper Valley certainly feel like we are sitting on the cold shoulder of the world these days. At night, in deference to the water pipes and the shrinking wood pile, we set our furnaces accordingly as the outside temperature sags to 5, 10, then 15 below zero.

The wind blows, and we are told by Cassandra, the television meteorologist, that the temperature outside “feels like” 20 or 30 below. Anyone who is outside on these nights “feels like” doing just one thing: heading back inside.

There is a thaw headed here late in the week, we are told. For now, however, the extreme cold is getting all the attention.

I suggest that instead of looking out the window at the thermometer as night approaches, we lift our eyes to the south and west, where some beautiful sunsets have been infusing the metal-grey winter sky with the colors of fire. Each successive show starts a little later, making us all wait in daylight a little longer. The cold, cold nights must also wait.

In its great Hokey Pokey dance around the sun, the Earth is finally at the verse where it is about to put its cold shoulder back in and shake it all about. It may just be the thing that turns us all around toward April, and that’s what it’s all about.

Curtiss Clark


A Pioneer in Acupuncture Treatment

Dr. Mike Smith passed away on Christmas Eve. His name may not mean much to Granite Staters, but his commitment and contributions to substance misuse treatment mean more to us now than ever.  He is internationally known for pioneering the use the acupuncture in the field of chemical dependency, and now mental health and trauma. Smith was a psychiatrist, acupuncturist, addiction specialist and public health planner who ran the Lincoln Detox Hospital Recovery Center in the Bronx from 1974 to 2011.

Building on his work, HB 575 was passed this past year in New Hampshire, allowing licensed health care professionals, recovery workers and peer counselors to use an ear acupuncture protocol for addiction and mental health problems, including disaster and emotional trauma. This law embodies the vision Mike Smith had for our mental health system, bringing potential stabilization to chronically unstable citizens.

More than 2,000 treatment programs worldwide have used the Lincoln Hospital model. Smith co-founded the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association in 1984 and tirelessly provided consultation to city, county, state, federal and U.N. agencies in more than 100 settings and scores of countries from European nations to Saudi Arabia to Russia and the Philippines. New Hampshire legislators embraced Smith’s work as an adjunct treatment for behavioral health. The most fitting tribute will be to make this available to all New Hampshire citizens.

Laura Cooley


First Duty of a President


It is commonly understood that the first duty of a president is the protection of its citizens and institutions from all forms of danger, both foreign and domestic. This, I will add, includes our most important and cherished institution — our elections. We must have complete confidence in the fairness of their outcomes. The future of our democracy depends on it.

For well over a year, our intelligence agencies have gathered and presented significant evidence that the Russian federation tampered with, and otherwise attempted to affect, our elections. These same agencies contend that not only were the Russians active in the past but continue to probe new avenues in an effort to invade our sovereignty.

President Trump has, time and again, refused to acknowledge this threat in spite of mounting evidence. Not only has he not responded, but he has cast his influence in an effort to tamp down any defensive measures to protect future elections. Investigations of these intrusions into our electoral system continue to provide fresh intelligence that should require some defensive action. However, the president refuses to do so.

Additionally, the same lack of response characterizes Trump’s stance on the environment. Again, in the face of hard science and overwhelming facts, he refuses to acknowledge the urgency of what is occurring before our eyes. This inaction is directly affecting the health, and ultimately, the security of our nation.

The president took an oath to protect us. He is not doing so and therefore has abdicated his foremost responsibility and should be removed from office.

Martin Singer