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Journal Opinion
Bradford , Vermont
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March 13, 2019     Journal Opinion
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March 13, 2019
 

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——JOURNAL OPINION—March I3, Viewpoints . . . Yoursand ours Questions about the playground request Article 24 of the warrant for the Town of Haverhill requests $25,000 for playground equipment to be placed on the VFW field behind the James Morrill building in North Haverhill. This Seems like an extravagant request considering there is already a playground at the middle school in North Haverhill, at the elementary school in Woodsville, and swings at the Community Field in Woodsville. The VFW field is used for Little League approximately two months out of the year. Perhaps it would be nice for younger siblings to have a playground while their elder brothers and sisters play ball, but for $25,000? Really? At what other times would such a playground be used? If parents wish to drive their children to a playground, why not one of the existing ones? How many children would actually use the playground? Most seem to be playing on electronic devices these days. . With sky high taxes in the town, wouldn ’t it make more sense to use the $25,000 toward attracting more business to the town or building opportunities for young adults to increase their skills? A playground certainly isn’t going to attract anyone to move to town, but more businesses to help the tax burden surely would. We hope the voters in Haverhill use some common sense. Don’t approve this article. ON THIS DATE March 13 through April 15 is Deaf History Month. On March 13, 1988 was the victory of the Deaf President Now movement at Gallaudet University; on April. 8, 1864, the charter was signed by President Lincoln authorizing the Board ofDirectors of Columbia Institution (now Gallaudet University)to grant college degrees to deaf students; and on April 15, 1817, the establishment of the first public school for the deaf in America took place. On March 13, l 887, Chester Greenwood of Maine received a patent for eannufi‘s. ##7## On March 13, 1983, radio talk show host Larry King brought his topical interview program to syndicated TV. Using a telephone hookup, viewers called in to speak to particular guests. ### Planet Uranus was discovered on March 13, 1782 by German born English astronomer Sir William Herschel. It is the seventh planet from the sun. ### Joseph Priestly, English clergyman and scientist, and discoverer of oxygen, was born March L733 in F ieldhead, England. He and his family narrowly escaped an angry mob attacking their home because ofhis religious and political views. They moved to the US. in 1794. He died in Northumberland, PA on Feb. 6, l 804. ### Helen Candaele Saint Aubin, known as Helen Callaghan during her baseball days, was born in Vancouver, BC, Canada on March 13, 1929. She and her sister, Margaret Maxwell, were recruited for the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, which flourished in the 1940s when many major league players were off fighting in World War 11. Saint Aubin, who was known as the “Ted Williams of women’s baseball,” died Dec. 8, 1992 in Santa Barbara, CA. ABOUT THIS PAGE The opinion page of the Journal Opinion is devoted to editorials, commentary and letters. The editorial on the left side under the heading editorial is the only column that expresses the opinions of the Journal Opinion. All others are the views and opinions of the authors only. We encourage readers to comment on matters of interest and will publish letters regardless of their politics providing they are in good taste. We ask that you limit letters to 400 words or less and write no more than twice per month. All letters must be signed with contact information given forverification. The publisher reserves the right to verify the accuracy of letters, edit letters for clarity, space and content, and limit the number of letters from any ‘ writer to two a month. Anonymous letters or letters j udged to be libelous will not be published. The deadline for letters and commenteries is Monday at noon. They may be mailed to the Journal Opinion, PO Box 378, Bradford, VT 05033, emailed to editor@jonews.com or faxed to (802)222-5438. OURN AL PINIONfl " IAN AWARD-‘WlNNlNG INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER A weekly newspaper published in Bradford, Vermont. Subscription rates— Vermont and New Hampshire~$30 per year, $20 for six months; out-of-state $38 per year, $24 for six months; senior citizen’s discount $3. 0 O 0 Second class postage paid at Bradford, Vermont. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Journal Opinion, PO Box 378, Bradford, Vermont 05033 Editor/Publisher ~ Comic Sanville Managing Editor ~Alex Nuti-de Biasi Web Site www.jonews.com FAX 802-222-5438 BRADFORD 802-222-5281_ Visit Haverhill’s parks To the Editor: I I believe that the focus has been lost as far as the Powder House Hill issue is concerned. It is not a character debate. It is, does the town sell the property or not? Plain and simple. It has been debated way too much. I do realize what it has cost the town in lawyer and surveyor fees, but it had to be done in order to go forward with this parcel of land. It was mentioned if someone buys the parcel of land and builds a home and the revenue that it would generate, which is great, but how can this happen when there is “no” established right of way to the property? Many of us these days have computers, so take some time a go to a couple of these real-estate web pages and type in our four zip codes and see hOW many homes and parcels of land are for sale——it is not a good thing. , In closing, I would like to clarify something about myself, I am atree-hugger, I do like granola bars—the apple cinnamon ones are my favorite. I also support and encourage everyone to visit our “non-revenue producing parks,” here is town. Like Railroad Park in Woodsville, Kinder Forest and Hazen Park in North Haverhill, great places to go and visit and just hang out for a while. I also support all the libraries in our town, especially the one almost across from my home, which has been there over 100 years. As far as the mention of the fire truck is concerned, my grandfather and four of his sons were all members of the North Haverhill Fire Department—don’t go there. Everett F. Sawyer 111 North H averhill, NH Beacon review is complete To the Editor: The Haverhill Beacon Review Committee has concluded their visual study of the airport rotating beacon trials at the Dean Memorial Airport. As directed by the selectboard, this committee received public comments and assessed the impacts that were identified. We received 80 responses: seven in support of the beacon, five people requested information and 68 (85 percent of the respondents) opposed the beacon. Our principal findings focused on two prominent areas. Approximately 60 percent of the opposed respondents expressed concerns about light pollution and the night sky. The intrusive and destructive presence of the rotating airport beacon during the trials in October and January had a very negative impact on these aspects of our rural character. The beauty of Haverhill’ s night sky is an environmental asset to the town that should be coveted and protected. Many respondents felt alarmed at the thought of sacrificing our night sky for an annoying bright flashing light. The impact on aviation navigation and airport use emerged from public comment, research and input from aviation experts. —The consensus among the pilots who were interviewed is that a beacon is unnecessary for our airport. They posed the question, “Who would use it?” We do not have the air traffic to support a beacon, most of our traffic is local pilots who know where the airport is located, generally night flying involves pre-ordained routes, GPS and a sectional map app are available and the runway lights are pilot activated; providing visual guidance. —It is highly unlikely that a beacon would be able to assist apilot in an emergency because it is a navigational aid. ———Emergency aircraft have all the electronics to land safely. —Suggested economic development includes fuel accessibility, a flight school and hangar rentals. —These potential projects would support more people utilizing the airport during the day to increase viability. A beacon will not increase daytime utilization. ~Be cautious with federal grants because if the airport doesn’t stay afloat the town will be liable. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the public comments. Your feedback is sincerely appreciated. . Susie T ann, chair Haverhill Beacon Review Committee Leaders’ Will is lacking To the Editor: This week is known as crossover week in the Vermont Statehouse, when the House and Senate move bills out of committee and onto the floor to be voted upon. Bills that pass in the House then cross over to the Senate and vice versa, for further discussion and final voting. at And what of climate change legislation? Many ambitious climate and energy bills have been proposed, but unfortunately, have languished in committee. Is the political will ofVermonters lacking? Climate grOups filled with citizens concerned about rising greenhouse gas emissions have sprung up all over the state. On Town Meeting Day, 16'towns passed resolutions to urge the state to ban any new fossil fiiel infi‘astructure. Between last year and this year, 55 towns have sent this message to Montpelier. Yet, two bills in the house and one in the senate to prohibit new fossil fuel infrastructure have not been taken up by committees. Is the political will of our elected legislators lacking? 33 legislators have sponsored one bill alone to prohibit all new fossil fuel infrastructure. There are over ten bills in the House and Senate that are designed'to mitigate our rising greenhouse gas emissions. A record 80 legislators joined the Climate Caucus this year. So, what is the problem? . At the beginning of the legislative season, Governor Phil Scott, Senate Pro Tempore Tim Ashe and Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson stated that no carbon legislation would be taken up this session, that Vermont is too small to go it alone, that we must wait until other states join us. The answer seems clear. Leadership is lacking. The political will of the people is there and a record number of legislators have proposed climate change legislation. We must convince our leaders that now is the time to enact strong climate legislation. Vermonthas led the nation before and we can lead again, this time on legislation that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. After all, we are not called the “Brave Little State” for nothing. Jill Wilcox Sharon, VT , Live \ Trump fan was triggered To the Editor: On March 4, I received an anonymous, expletive-laden letter in the mail. Evidently the malevolent missive was in direct response to my letter to the editor (“Trump 2020 run is presumptuous”) in the Feb. 27 Journal Opinion, though apparently the writer was also provoked by previous letters to the editor I have written to the ValleyNews, given the opening sentence: “Every time you open your piehole you weaken the nation.” I have never heard the term “piehole” used for mouth and it mystifies me. ‘ I’m fascinated by how enraging it is to the Trump supporter to read the truth about the moral flaws and criminal deeds of his hero. I suspect it must threaten his sense of identity somehow to realize how snookered he was by Trump and his lies. Also interested are the assumptions the letter writer makes about me personally, a 65-year-old grandmother who doesn’t smoke pot and generally dislikes being around very inebriated people, thoughl don’t care if someone else does as long as they’re not driving while do so and endangering others. I’m actually somewhat strait—laced and health conscious and disklike cigarette smoking, drunkenness and substance abuse, and lawlessness of any kind. I also have to particular preference for Muslims or any other religious or ethnic group. ' Alice Morrison Newbury, VT ### EDITOR ’S NOTE: Morrison provided a copy of the anonymous letter. It is expletive laden and will not be reprinted here. A sleeping “gem” To the Editor: Dean Memorial Airport is a sleeping “gem” nestled in the foothills of the White Mountains. As the airport manager for the past three years, I am disheartened to be leaving the position following aperiod of controversy and dissension. I feel the need to offer a brief clarification so the people of Haverhill are not left with the impression that I turned my back and walked away when things became difficult. Late in the afiemoon of March 4, I was summoned to the office of Interim Town Manager Glenn English and was presented two choices——resign or be fired. I chose the former. . When asked the reason for this ultimatum, ITM English reminded me that I had been told “not to voice opinions for the Airport Commission or the town.” It had been my understanding from that conversation that I was to refrain from commenting on current controversial subjects and I agreed. I will accept responsibility ifl misinterpreted the scope ofI TM English’s silencing. It was never my intent to imply that I was speaking for any other person or group, and all opinions were strictly my own. In fact, the airport manager is not permitted to be a member of the Airport Commission, and therefore cannot be arepresentative of that group. ’ The last article published was meant to be information in content with the focus that other proj cots are available for consideration at the airport. Apparently, there was negative response to this article as well. As the airport manager, I believed I had a job and responsibility to keep our township informed of what was happening at the airport and the progress that we were making. I will continue to be a strong advocate for your airport and hope that you, the residents of our town, will voice your sentiments about the airport’s future. My greatest hope is that true value of our airport “gem” will be recognized and promoted to its full potential. Dennis M Cunningham North Haverhill, NH Support housing bill SB306 is critical to addressing the current housing shortage .that is driving housing costs out of reach for young and old alike. SB306 establishes an alternative appeal process to the lengthy and costly Superior Court litigation that is currently the only option for an appeal. Towns, taxpayers and builders alike across the state spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on legal fees fighting cases that often go on for years, killing much—needed housing construction. Local boards lose none of their rights or authority under SB306. What the bill does do is greatly expedite the appeals process to assist with the acute workforce housing shortage. The current process is forcing young families to leave New Hampshire, and new employers to locate in other states because of our exorbitant housing costs. , ’ These costs are caused by lack of new homes. SB306 will save towns, taxpayers and builders (and consequently, homebuyers) time and money by providing an alternative process to resolve disputes within 180 days of a local board decision. And—this is important—if any of the parties, including abutters, don’t like the Housing Appeal Board decision, they retain the right to take the matter to court as is the case in current law. No one is losing any existing rights under this legislation. SB306 is a much-needed alternative process to avoid costly, lengthy court proceedings. Everybody wins with a streamlined process ofhandling appeals and no one loses any of the rights guaranteed under current law. Please contact your legislators and tell them to support SB306. Sen. Bob Giuda ‘ To the Editor: ### The writer, the District 2 state Senator, is a Republican from Warren. CORRECTIONS, The Haverhill Entrepreneurial Encouragement Committee meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm. in the town offices in North Haverhill. Due to a reporting error, an article (“Panel proposes business improvements”) in the Feb. 13 edition incorrectly stated the monthly meeting date. * iii 3" The West Fairlee E91 1 coordinator has an email address and anyone who has any questions or needs assistance can reach the coordinator via westfairleee9l 1@gmail.com. Due to a reporting error, an article (“Residents increase FD funding”) in the March 6 edition about town meeting in West Fairlee incorrectly stated that the E91 1 coordinator has a website. éLearn True tales by Elena A. Chevalier Patrick ranks among my favorite historical figures. His resilient character captures my imagination and inspires me in troubled times. You probably know him as St. Patrick. Legends and lore surround the man. Ancient documents detail real and imagined aspects of his story. The version I prefer follows: Brought up in a loving home in Britain in the fourth or filth century, Patrickhad little interestin the spiritual lessons taught by his parents and church. Then one night pirates invaded his seaside village. The teenager watched family members fall as the invaders dragged him off to a ship in the harbor. Sold as a slave in Ireland, he found himself in V lonely fields caring for sheep. Forced to find shelter in caves, he sought solace inthe scripture verses he had learned. The God he once spurned became his companion. Aftereight years, Patrick followed God’s call to find his way home. Without maps, he made his way to a distant port and set sail for home with the sailors. Alter a storm shipwrecked them on an uninhabited shore, they wandered aimlessly trying to find food. Patrick led them to food sources, giving credit to his God. At home at last, he rejoiced to find his family alive and well. But an inner call drew him back to Ireland. Patrick made his introduction to the country on the eve of a great festival. On that day, people extinguished every fire. Upon penalty of death, no fire couldbe lit until the king himself lit the first fire. That night, Patrick’s blazing bonfire in the distance kindled the king’s ire. The new missionary spoke to the audience be attracted of the Light of the World-the one true God. The powerful speaker gained the king’s mercy and a great following beganthatnight. Stories abound of miracles he performed during his time in Ireland. I cannot prove the truthfulness of any of those stories; but I can share one of my own. ' . Several years ago my husband and I spent St. Patrick’s Day traveling home alter a visit down v south. I lamented the fact that I would not be home to prepare and serve the traditional corned beef and cabbage. . Getting hungry in Pennsylvania, I searched our GPS for restaurants nearby. Only fast food places came up, but we wanted something more substantial. As I searched, we suddenly found , ourselves tangled in highway spaghetti with exits and merges all jumbled together. ' . “Just pick any restaurant!” my hungry husband insisted, wanting some direction through the challenging traflic. At that moment, our faithful GPS went beserk! It flashed. It flickered. It said go this and then that way, but none matched the roads. Then in a final flurry, it went blank. We got off the highway at the first convenient exit. To our surprise, we discovered an authentic Irish restaurant a few hundred feet ahead of us. That day we enjoyed corned beef and cabbage, complete with Irish-accented servers and Irish music in the background. Refreshed and ready to head home, we checked our GPS. It worked perfectly! Except for one tiny detail, that is. Whenever I prograrned the unit to take us home, it kept trying to bring us back to that St. ‘ Patrick’s Day celebration spot in Pennsylvania. And that’s the truth.