Forum, Dec. 8: Mean Potshots at Norwich

Thursday, December 07, 2017
Mean Potshots at Norwich

Having watched and wondered about the planting and subsequent uprooting of saplings in the median between Norwich and the Ledyard Bridge, I was glad of the chance to learn the backstory in the Dec. 6 column “Uprooted in Norwich.” How disappointing to find the facts of the story overshadowed by the gratuitous sniping the author habitually injects when he writes about Norwich.

In today’s climate of easy insults and fake news, civil public discourse has never seemed so important, or so hard to find. There are many reasons I value my subscription to the Valley News, but Jim Kenyon’s relentless and mean-spirited potshots at Norwich are not among them.

Ann Waterfall


The Inequities That Divide Us

I read your editorial titled “Hartford Stumbles on Race Issues” and would like to make some comments.

I worked for a large corporation for 42 years as an hourly union employee. The corporation had all employees attend training in valuing diversity, which was taught by outside people. One of the trainers was a Jewish woman and the other was a retired black man. The black man told how as he was growing up, he heard his Grandmother say you could not trust white people — they were all out to take advantage of blacks. He went on to say we are all affected by what we see growing up, and our attitudes are formed early. 

We also did an exercise where people wrote down how they felt they were looked down on or treated with less than full respect in the workplace. Race was not the predominant answer. People in this group felt your pay grade and your education were more of an issue in how people were treated. So do we treat all people the same, or do each of us have our own set of issues?  

I would think that the Hartford Committee on Racial Inequity should look at all inequities in how people are treated, not just race.  They might also benefit from having someone from outside the community who might not be so closely involved come in and work with the group.

While working, I was on more than one company/union committee; was it wearing and were the results disappointing at times? Yes. However, unless you are willing to work at issues, they will never change. I say to Olivia LaPierre and Wayne Miller: Get back on the committee if you can, have an open mind and see what you can do.

Paul D. Albee

Bradford, Vt.

Rebuild After Russian Meddling

About The Washington Post editorial “From Russia With Malice,” reprinted in the Valley News.

Come on folks, let’s pull together rather than apart as the Russians have plotted. Their plan was so simple it was almost brilliant. Right before our very eyes, they played one side against the other during the recent presidential election. Similar to the most elaborate domino effect, they only needed to exert a little push, stand back and watch us destroy the very foundation of loyalty and trust that have defined us and have been the strength of our country for many years. OK, enough already! We can pick up the pieces; rebuild upon our founding fathers’ firm foundation; regain our self-confidence and manage, with dignity, our own destiny.

Debra Perkins

New London

Protect the Arctic Refuge

Early Saturday morning, Senate Republicans voted for a tax bill that will increase tax burdens for the middle class, increase the debt and hand over the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas companies. The coastal plain represents some of the most critical Arctic habitat for species ranging from polar bears and caribou to migratory birds and waterfowl that touch all 50 states and nearly every continent on the globe.

Don’t throw away nearly 40 years of bipartisan support for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to buy a few votes for a seriously flawed tax bill. As members go to conference to work on a compromise bill, I urge them to remove the Arctic Refuge from any bill moving forward.

Opening the refuge to fossil fuel development ignores the will of the American people, who have for decades urged their elected officials to protect this irreplaceable ecological treasure. It also violates human rights and jeopardizes the food security of the indigenous Gwich’in people of the U.S. and Canada. Two hundred U.S. scholars from a wide range of fields have united in their belief that drilling in the Arctic Refuge would be a grave mistake. They have called upon Congress to remove this reckless provision from the budget.

As New Hampshire Guardian for the Alaska Wilderness League and New Hampshire Alaska Advocate for the Sierra Club, I join them. There is no justification for using the budget process to push through oil development in the Arctic Refuge. Drilling proponents claim leases will generate $1 billion in revenue over the next decade to help defray the $1.5 trillion dollars of proposed tax cuts for corporations and the rich.

Even if the anticipated revenue figure turned out to be correct (many estimates predict a far lower amount), it still represents a minute fraction of the tax-cut proposal. This abuse of the budget process would sacrifice one of the nation’s most ecologically and culturally significant places for a paltry sum.

Please call your representatives in Congress and tell them to remove Arctic drilling from the proposed budget/tax bill.

Carol Perera Weingeist


RIP, GOP; Wake Up, Democrats

In response to Scott Labun’s letter in the Dec. 7 Valley News (“RIP, Grand Old Party,”) regarding the demise of the Republican Party as we have known it, his letter is spot on. The Republican Party of today is unrecognizable and failing us miserably.

I understand that our Republican governor, Chris Sununu, was in Washington meeting with the Trump people at the White House in a love fest. No vote is coming his way from here.

Come on, Democratic Party, get a position; show us what you stand for besides disagreeing with the other side and “tax and spend.” I’m waiting.

Nancy Parker