Archive for September, 2017

Each Other Includes All Colors

September 27, 2017

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said “the opposite of good is not evil; it is indifference. Some of us were horrified at the Claremont white teenage boys’ attempted hanging of an 8 year old biracial boy. Others took it in stride as, “boys will be boys”.  Significantly, the boys’ parents attempted to minimize the assault, key to understanding that those boys, in fact, needed a village to raise them; they weren’t going to learn to respect all colors at home. A small crowd of concerned citizens in Claremont did respond, and stood up to the plate to support 8 year old Quincy.

Given any issue, there will always be those who see no problem and others who are aware. Part of membership in a village includes educating ourselves to the behaviors we don’t even notice in ourselves that contribute to injustices in the village.

Heschel noted that “words create worlds. The Holocaust didn’t begin with tanks and guns; it began with words. Live life as if it is a work of art, ‘Your own existence’.”

Hopefully, the courts will include both the teenage boys and their parents in whatever consequences are meted out to teach them what they need to know in order to contribute to community safety and respect for their neighbors.

John Howard Griffin’s book, Black Like Me (1961), a classic available in local libraries is one book that helps whites take a closer look at our own behavior. Griffin wrote about racial inequality. He was a white Texan who had his skin darkened and shaved his head so that he could travel in the south, experience what it was like to be black, and write a book documenting his experiences. Fifty-eight years later, we still have a long way to go to clean up our behavior as a village.

Racism is clearly not just a southern problem. Here is a frightening example of how it erupts in the north in a quiet New England town. And it starts with nonsense words. And they are not  just “boys will be boys” words that exist only in Claremont, NH.

If we want to keep each other well, we need to continually monitor ourselves and each other, and live as though our lives are works of art to be treasured by all viewers.

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It’s All About Values

September 19, 2017

Events in Texas, Florida and the Islands make clear that we need to prepare for unexpected natural disasters. National responses to those disasters also demonstrate our basic need to ensure that we keep each other well. People are digging deep to help others recover.

At the same time, we need to step up to the plate and put our safeguards to health in place to ensure that our basic nutritional food, potable water, and energy needs will be met.

We continue to support local farmers so that we do have a choice to buy fresh produce, including much organically grown on well nourished soil. We are currently enjoying tomatoes, corn, greens, a variety of squashes and root vegetables. The better the soil, enriched by natural compost, the more energizing and flavorful the produce.

Regular testing of water assures us that our supply is safe to drink. Water lines, especially those that pass under roads to homes, need to be safeguarded against any construction interfering with the line, such as power lines, road excavation, changes in road use, paving, and more, whatever is needed to maintain safe transport of our water.

However, we have only begun to support new forms of locally generated energy such as solar, wind and other, yet to be discovered forms. We continue to be threatened by an electric power company that seeks to centralize electrical energy in our state from one source in Canada. Should Canada’s Hydro Power be cutoff, the whole state of NH would have no energy. Today’s promises do not equal tomorrow’s challenges.

New forms of independent, local energy need to be encouraged so that when disaster strikes, we are in a position to bail each other out, not stuck with a centralized energy system that leaves communities, even those not affected by the disaster, without power for weeks.

Do we value the freedom so espoused by our state: To Live Free? If we do, we need to accept the responsibility to empower diverse forms of local energy that will enable our children and grandchildren to also live free.

 

Decentralizing Our Energy Supply Promotes Health

September 19, 2017

Each day we are confronted with news of tragic events in the world. People lose their water, energy and food supplies that threaten survival. Too many are people are overdosing on drugs.  On the brighter side are stories like Paul Allard’s piece in the Concord Monitor 8/21/17, ‘My Turn, the Northern Pass and the Land That Gave Me Sobriety’.  Allard credits his recovery from drug addiction to the White Mountains where he hiked his way out of hopelessness, and turned his life around.

Tourists continue to exclaim how wonderful it is to breathe our moist fresh air, provided so generously by our abundance of trees and forests. NH protects one of the last vital forests remaining in the US where people can come for respite. Yet the NP project wants to plow up 500 miles of trees to access their lines. NP wants to destroy even more trees to put lines down through neighborhoods along state roads. HydroQuebec has been ruthless in their destruction of Quebec’s tourism, indigenous culture and livelihood. I cannot understand why, in light of that destruction, any NH Site Evaluation Committee would even consider the NP proposal, why NP hasn’t been given the choice to either underground down I93, whose median exists for just such a project, or forget this project.

Today, centralized power lines are considered archaic. If attacked by war, terrorists, or natural disaster, too much is instantly lost for too many people and survival becomes an overwhelming problem.

Clearly, the refusal of Eversource/HQ to even consider undergrounding their line down the corridor already in place has to do with their plan to totally centralize power in NH.  Northern Pass plans to put the backbone of their centralized power company right down through the existing Eversource line. At the Public Hearing in the Plymouth State University Ice Arena, Eversource NH CE, William Quinlan stated, “The Northern Pass is the first of many planned projects for New Hampshire”. Indeed, property has already been purchased in the North Country. Future plans simply extend ribs east and west down the NP backbone until they smother NH in a cobweb of lines, foist an archaic system on NH, and put every other energy company out of business, leaving NH at the mercy of HQ’s central control of energy in northeast US.

Decentralized energy generates local control through a variety of energy options, including those as yet to be developed, along with the headway currently made by solar. Local control puts communities in position to support surrounding areas that need power, should disaster strike.

This NP project has already pitted families against each other, destroyed property values, and threatened NH citizens with more destruction. HydroQuebec does not plan to spend a penny for construction of the project. I do not understand why the NH Site Evaluation Committee would want to allow any company to bully the length and breadth of our state with such destruction so HQ/Eversource could make a pile of money providing MA and CT with power.

Where would we be today if instead of funding seven years of protest hearings, those funds had been spent supporting research into new forms of clean energy, energy that is not obtained at the cost of a culture, livelihood, property, and health of the people it is intended to serve?

Your support is needed to stand up for this land, not just for ourselves, but for all the people who count on being able to come here to relax, energize, and breathe.

Let Gov. Chris Sununu know your concerns at State House, 107 N. Main St., Concord, NH 03301.

Also the SEC, c/o Pamela Monroe, Administrator, 21 S. Fruit St., Suite 10, Concord, NH 03301 or email: Pamela Monroe@sec.nh.gov.