Forum, Dec. 7: The Other Side of River Road

Wednesday, December 06, 2017
The Other Side of River Road

We read with great interest, yet disappointment, the article on the River Road closure in Lyme and attendant litigation.

The article was highly misleading. (“Officials Say River Road Plans on Hold: Lyme Remediation Effort Heads to Superior Court,” Dec. 2.)

David Roby’s quoted claim that “River Road functions perfectly well as a dead-end road” is his personal opinion, which happens also to be wildly inaccurate. To the contrary, the dead-end imposed on River Road residents has created numerous inconveniences and expenses beyond anything mentioned in the article: school bus and safety service rerouting; necessary and frequent use of a perilous 120-degree turn from Route 10 onto River Road; and thousands of additional passenger and driver miles per week, adding to fuel consumption and using up personal time.

Every resident on River Road bought or built their home with the knowledge and firm expectation that this location was directly connected to Lyme, the bridge to Vermont and I-91 ramps. The characteristics of this location have been in place for decades. Because of the dead-end created two years ago, there is no “sometimes” to needing to drive to Hanover. It is always necessary to drive to or from Hanover. Hanover has become more accessible to us than the town to which we pay taxes. It is more expedient to go to the post office or church, or do business in Hanover than in Lyme.

“Have you seen the Christmas tree on the Lyme Green?” a friend asked a River Road resident.

“No, but I’ve seen the one in Hanover. I feel cut off now, cut off from the community of Lyme.”

While Roby and Arend Tensen do not view the proposed bypass as necessary, two years of research and study have shown that this bypass is the only financially and environmentally practicable solution.

Roby and Tensen do not live on River Road, and for them to make pronouncements about what River Road residents have to go through to cope with the road closure is arrogance in the extreme.

Marianne and Hoyt Alverson

Harriet and Stanley Rosenberg

Sally and Robert Barnum


Lyme Supported Bypass

The River Road issue regarding eminent domain has been in the New Hampshire Superior Court for over two months. My question concerns what information the judge takes into consideration in making a decision for or against eminent domain. We think that the Lyme vote supporting the bypass road should carry a lot of weight, along with the many other pressing issues expressed by River Road residents and others in Lyme.

Bob and Sally Barnum


Nurses Are on the Front Line

I read with interest the Dec. 3 article “$395,000 Grant Helps Vermont Coalition Target Elder Abuse” in the Valley News. As a registered nurse at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, I felt compelled to lend a nursing perspective. This type of coalition is of vital importance to not only Windsor County senior citizens but all Vermonters, and I am encouraged to see that out of four nationwide grants awarded, one went to our area. This is impressive and speaks to this group’s dedication as well as Vermont’s continuing commitment to social causes and raising awareness. 

What is especially encouraging is the variety of social agencies and government agencies involved in obtaining and administering this significant grant.  How refreshing, amidst daily news of discord and intolerance.

Nurses are the front line in observing elder abuse and have a duty to report it. Often, abuse of an elder is not only physical, easily identified by the trained eyes of a registered nurse. It may involve verbal abuse, neglect or financial abuse, something more difficult to discern. Elders may be reticent to speak with family or friends about abuse they suffer, due to embarrassment. Because of the trust inherent in the nurse-patient relationship, elders may be more comfortable discussing abuse with a nurse while in the hospital. Our assessments include a holistic assessment of the patient, including home environments and physical and mental limitations influencing an elder’s ability to advocate for themselves. 

It is of vital importance in today’s changing health care landscape that acute care facilities, such as hospitals, work synergistically with the community to provide safe and effective care for all patients. Many facilities employ clinical nurse leaders who are prepared at a graduate level in population health, community assessment and quality improvement. These nurses have a foot in “both camps,” allowing them to serve the needs of the whole patient.

It is my hope that this coalition will tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience of the many registered nurses in the Upper Valley to contribute to this important endeavor. 

Jane W. Eaton


Still Time to Sign Up for ACA

With so many items vying for our attention in the daily news, it might be easy to overlook the date of Dec. 15 — the deadline for open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act. Yes, the ACA (known to many as “Obamacare”) is still in effect and now possibly more important than ever as health care costs may increase in the coming year due to uncertainties in the private insurance market. Note that subsidies still exist for the Affordable Care Act for those who qualify.

If one doesn’t sign up now, he or she will have to wait another year to enroll. It is easy to sign up for health care coverage. Go to www.HealthCare.gov and click on appropriate choice — either “Take the First Step to Apply” (new applicants) or “Log in to Renew/Change Plans” (for those already enrolled). If you don’t have a computer, go to your local library and ask for assistance using a library computer.

If you have questions or need assistance, go to www.HealthCare.gov and scroll to bottom of the page and click on “Questions?” This will take you to a page with contact information that will enable you to get answers to your questions. Additional assistance is available by contacting one of these sources, depending on where you live: New Hampshire residents — Ammonoosuc Community Health Services at 603-764-5704 or Vermont residents — Little Rivers Healthcare, www.littlerivers.org, 802-439-5321.

Margaret A. Campbell

West Lebanon

Theater Opened My Eyes

These days we are realizing how much we have to learn from those with different lives and how rare are the opportunities for open exchange. The new play at Shaker Bridge Theater, Dancing Lessons, is a wonderful window into the mind and feelings of a brilliant man on the autism spectrum as he pushes his boundaries in a relationship with his neighbor, a dancer, and explores the possibility of change. We are drawn into both lives by a script that combines humor, insight and touching vulnerability. And we are treated to memorable performances by two veteran actors. Thank you, Shaker Bridge Theater, for opening my eyes in a thoroughly entertaining performance.

Note: there will be a special Q&A on autism with therapist Heather Toulmin after the Dec. 10 matinee.

Leah Goat


RIP, Grand Old Party

It is now official, the old GOP is dead. May it rest in peace. When the Republican Party reversed its previously uncharacteristically principled position in opposition to Judge Roy Moore to supporting his candidacy, the transformation of the Republican Party became complete. It is now clear that there is no level to which it will not stoop, no hypocrisy it will not tolerate to assure one more vote for the tax cut plan for the wealthy.

The Grand Old Party now has the single-minded focus of aiding the transfer of even more of the nation's wealth from the 99 percent to the 1 percent. The party of Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower and, yes, even Ronald Reagan, is no more. It is now the party of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Judge Roy Moore. It is time for those old-time Republicans who still believe in fiscal responsibility, moral values and occasionally choosing country over party to find a new home.

Scott Labun

Newbury, Vt.