Forum, Sept. 27: Historic College Park

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
College Park Is Historic

Those who are unfamiliar with Dartmouth College’s 19th-century history and its landscape history might mistake College Park for a big empty space, perhaps even a potential building site. College Park is, in fact, a historic landscape. It was built by Dartmouth students in the mid 19th century and outfitted with carriage paths, walking paths, a couple of bridges and rustic benches where all of Hanover could enjoy “afternoon rambles and evening strolls in a picturesque and beautiful park.”

A smart, creative design team would find many other sites on campus for dormitories. There is, however, only a single, historic College Park and once gone, it is gone forever. According to the college’s residential life website, the McLaughlin dorm cluster holds 342 beds. Now, imagine how big the proposed building or buildings with 750 beds would be. We are called to be stewards of the college’s historic buildings and landscapes and advocates for better planning and design.

Marlene Elizabeth Heck


The writer teaches architectural history at Dartmouth College.

A Solution for N. Korea

Since President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un seem incapable of moving beyond escalating threats of combat, and nobody seems to be able to stop them, my friend and neighbor Jacqueline Olson and I have figured out what we think is the best possible solution to this almost-inconceivable problem:

First, get rid of the U.S. military presence in South Korea. It creates a constant threat and serves, we think, no useful purpose. This presence seems be what goads Kim the most.

Next, since it’s increasingly obvious that no sanctions are going to stop Kim, but instead goad him on to more bomb making, remove all our sanctions and welcome North Korea into the nuclear fraternity. We might as well face facts: North Korea is a nuclear power and should be acknowledged as such.

The third step would be the most complex: making sure that North Korea’s population gets fed and other industries get developed. We think this might occur naturally once international resistance and hostility are removed, but a string or two could be attached to the removal of sanctions for this purpose.

And fourth, stop the constant verbal attacks on North Korea. Honor it and expect the best. It does nobody any good to be hated.

We acknowledge the apparently bizarre nature of these suggestions, but we understand that mothers are known for sensibly dealing with conflict, and we think it’s time to include “maternal wisdom” in our nation’s vast array of armaments.

Nan Bourne


Unpredictable Donald Trump

To stop “dreamers” is to deny what this country is all about. Supposedly this is the “land of the free and home of the brave.” I wouldn’t want Donald Trump to be on my side. He’s too unpredictable and a liability.

The world laughs at us for good reason.

Charly Rauscher


Controlling Nuclear Weapons

At the United Nations recently, it became apparent that Donald Trump, or for that matter no president, should have the right to order a pre-emptive nuclear attack.

Both Trump and Kim Jong Un have each questioned the other’s sanity. Although by all accounts Kim Jong Un is ruthless, I believe he is acting from his vantage point quite rationally. The threat of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, to a certain extent, is assuring his survival through a mutually assured destruction deterrence as it relates to its neighbors, not necessarily the U.S. at this point in time. Those countries that have recently voluntarily given up their nuclear weapon programs suffered militarily as a result (Libya and the Ukraine).

Nikki Haley, our U.N. ambassador, emphasized that Defense Secretary James Mattis has an array of options to destroy North Korea, a nation of some 25 million people. This is reprehensible; we are dehumanizing a whole country, not to mention the millions of people who would be killed in South Korea and Japan. Has it become acceptable to exterminate a whole country?

If we strike first, we as a nation will be guilty of genocide, and the president should be tried for war crimes. We certainly have not seriously tried to dialogue with the North Koreans. We should, as China and Russia have suggested, stop aggressive military maneuvers with the South Koreans and the Japanese, and agree to sit down to develop and sign a peace treaty with the North Koreans to end our longest ongoing “war.”

Please contact your senators and representative to support legislation which has been introduced on Capitol Hill to insert a check on the presidential launch authority. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., introduced legislation in January that would prohibit a president from launching a first strike without a congressional declaration of war. No single person should be allowed to make that decision, and it is especially relevant today.

Paul Manganiello


What Is Trump Doing?

This current flag controversy has commentators asking, yet again, “Why? What is Trump trying to do?”

Sure, he may be a narcissist, doing it to draw the spotlight to himself.

Sure, he may be an aspiring demagogue, trying to make athletes bend to his will because he confuses himself with the nation and its flag.

Sure, he may be an inveterate showman, trying to divert attention away from his failures.

Sure, he may be a vigilante for anachronistic white American culture.

Sure, he may be a thug, hired by conservative Christians to make America the way they want it to be.

Sure, he may be evil, driven to cause division and destruction in every sphere.

But I think there is something else. He may be a shill for the Russian Federation, ever looking for fault lines in our nation. He is driving a wedge into the community we enjoy from athletics to turn us against each other. He divides to conquer. Dividing America eventually empowers Russia’s position. Is this attack on athletes intended to manipulate his followers to be loyal only to him or to weaken the American capacity to stand against Russia? In my opinion, it’s both!

Phil Tierney


Houston’s History

Somebody should educate the people at Charlie Hebdo magazine about Houston. “God Exists! He Drowned All the Neo-Nazis of Texas,” its recent cover said after Hurricane Harvey hit. Houston elected Barbara Jordan to the Texas Senate, the first black since Reconstruction and the first woman ever.

I was in Houston when she died, and if the opinions expressed by the TV newscasters was any indication of the feelings of the population, she was well loved. One anchor said that if she had not become sick, she would have been president at least.

Ruth L. Stephenson