Forum, Feb. 14: Support Society at Town Meeting – Valley News

Vermont Town Meeting Day is coming up soon, and I would like to point out that the Springfield Art and Historical Society’s funding request for $9,500 (Article #26) will be on the Springfield, Vt., ballot again this year. This funding request covers almost 50% of the operating cost of the Society. Annually we sell calendars, have a yard sale and sell some items in-house; memberships and donations help make up the remainder. It is important that town residents understand that this is a totally volunteer organization. There is no paid staff, just dedicated local citizens who want to preserve Springfield’s unique history. Thank you for supporting the Society in the past, and I ask you to please continue that support this year. I also invite you to visit our facility and museum at 65-VT 106 in North Springfield, Vt., next to Cota and Cota. We are open Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Everyone is welcome!
Rosanne Putnam
Rosanne Putnam is the president of Springfield Art and Historical Society.
I recently read the latest article from Jim Kenyon about Northern Stage (“Scant pay for play,” Feb. 9), and I am appalled that such a piece is not clearly delineated as an opinion piece. It is rife with biases, conjecture and under- or unresearched pronouncements. This seems to be part of Mr. Kenyon’s modus operandi. I take no issue with critical reporting about Upper Valley institutions; such reporting is essential for fostering public debate and holding institutions accountable. What I take issue with is the Valley News passing off an opinion piece as fact-based reporting. This is misleading, harmful to public discourse and morally objectionable. The mere fact that Mr. Kenyon operates within the news department as opposed to the opinion department is reprehensible, given that every article I’ve read of his seems to be clickbait opinion writing disguised as legitimate reporting. Passing off Mr. Kenyon’s work as representative of the news department at the Valley News does a disservice to the reporters who continue to write well-researched and objective articles. I expect more of my local news organization.
Alek Deva
White River Junction
David and I have known Bill Helm for over 20 years as a dedicated member of our New London community. During this time, we have observed and been a participant in many of the aspects of his involvement. Because of Bill’s commitment to the New London community, he has worn many hats. He has been a trustee for the two bookends of New London: the New London Hospital and Colby-Sawyer College. Bill was the chairman of the New London Hospital while I was a trustee. He tasked the board with stabilizing the hospital financially while enlarging the hospital’s footprint to bring all medical staff and support services onto the main campus. Bill sat on the Budget Committee as well as the Planning Board. He has served as a selectman and enjoyed the support of our community. Bill is positive, caring and engaged. He researches issues and thus presents in a quietly articulate manner. We commend and support Bill for running for selectman and hope that you will mark your ballot for Bill Helm at the town election on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
Celeste and David Cook
New London
Climate change is an accelerating threat to our health, and Upper Valley health care workers can be part of the solution.
Extreme floods, hurricanes, wildfires and heat waves physically threaten our families. These events also traumatize us psychologically; I am a clinical psychologist, and many young people I work with, and the older folks who love them, are appropriately anxious about the future. A 2021 Lancet study showed that globally, more than 50% of young people have climate anxiety, and respondents reported feeling betrayed by inadequate governmental response. A Feb. 6 New York Times article, “Climate Change Enters the Therapy Room,” describes young people and their parents seeking psychotherapy to cope with this existential threat.
The drivers of climate change — burning fossil fuels or biomass for energy — also harm our health. In 2021, research from Harvard and British universities estimated that exposure to particulate matter from the burning of fossil fuels caused 18% of global deaths in 2018, totaling more than 8 million people. And the WHO reports that around 7 million people died in 2012 as a result of air pollution exposure.
Health care workers are uniquely qualified to attest to the need for a rapid shift to clean energy and to mobilize the public in support of health-promoting climate solutions for our families and neighbors.
New Hampshire Healthcare Workers for Climate Action (NH HWCA) is a new, grassroots, interdisciplinary and nonpartisan coalition of health care workers who believe climate change is a human health emergency and climate solutions are health solutions. If you are a health care worker who lives or works in New Hampshire, please join NH HWCA. Visit our website (, sign our letter to New Hampshire elected officials, donate, attend our webinars (many offer continuing education credits) and help us organize. The Upper Valley is brimming with dedicated health professionals. You already give so much, but if you donate a few hours a month to climate action, imagine how you’d amplify your contributions to our community.
Miriam Osofsky
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