Elizabeth Ruediger: Investments in community require real conversations

To the editor:
With regard to the proposed skate park, I'm extremely curious as to how many residents are interested in such an investment and how many would actually use it. This cannot be based on "rumors" that Mr. Dwyer has sifted through his community connections. It requires real conversations with those in positions he seemingly would like to eliminate, as an effort to lower his tax burden.
I may not own property in Berlin, I may not pay its municipal taxes, but I still care. Berlin is an economic hub for the local communities, like Milan, Dummer, Randolph and Shelburne. We are Berlin's employees. We contribute in many ways through volunteerism and philanthropy that keep Berlin progressing and building its economic base. Please do not discount those community members who work to make the area's offerings beneficial for all. We must be diverse and that includes a variety of tourism and industry.
In the last five years, many positive changes have occurred. Bob Chapman's investment in the Jericho corridor will have lasting benefit. The success of the ATV festivals also help the area accommodation businesses to sustain themselves. I can't imagine a skate park being an equal economic generator. But, let's (that means you and me) come together and create a coalition with a plan for a new skate park born out of knowledge and an understanding of just how many residents would be served by a formal investment in developing such a hyper-focused recreational opportunity. Otherwise, this earmarked money should be re-invested in a more appropriate venue that will offer recreational opportunities for all of the area's residents, rather than a select few.
Tim Cayer, former city council member, worked tirelessly to develop a new skate park. Let's not re-invent the proverbial wheel, but review and understand why this prior initiative failed to come to fruition. But all of this verbal frothing at the mouth generated in the editorials of the Sun will ultimately get the project idea nowhere. I understand Berlin's position with regard to its tax base. It is a struggle to provide a multi-faceted platform of services to its residents efficiently and intelligently. However, projecting an air of entitlement for those services is detrimental to the process and undermines the city's sense of pride.
Berlin is experiencing a rebirth of community investment. It is up to area community members to help guide the rebranding of the North Country, rather than throwing its catalysts under a bus.
Elizabeth Ruediger
Dummer

Donald Enman: The good news outweighs the negative

To the editor:
It's easy enough to criticize, and it seems hard enough for others to look on the bright side. Here is my "take" on both sides.
First, the good news in Berlin: Well-kept school buildings and campuses, scholastic programs always moving ahead, excellent athletic programs, great parks, playgrounds and athletic fields, The Moffett House Museum and Brown Company barns, the antique steam fire engine, Mt. Jasper trails, Mt. Forist trail parking area, Nansen Ski Jump and Wayside AreaCates Hill scenic drive, Bisson's Sugar House, Berlin Municipal Airport,top graded AVH, Coos County Nursing Home, St. Vincent de Paul Nursinq Home and Rehabilitation, assisted living centers, senior housing and programs for the elderly (we lead the state in retired and elderly residents), St. Kieran's Art Center, White Mountains Community College, Public LibraryHeritage Park and Brown Company House and gardens, community and botanical gardenscut stone walls on East Milan Road, historic churches, Jericho Lake Park, excellent sewer and water departments, well trained and equipped fire department, police department and ambulance service, Main Street and Route 16 upgrades, Berlin Fish Hatchery, Kilkenny White Mountain National Forest, nearby Lake Umbagog and numerous other ponds, hiking trails including Appalachian Trail, most private land is open for foot travel, bird watching, andother recreational activities.
I consider this an impressive list of accomplishments, and I'm sure you can think of more.
Now for some negative looks: the neglect of the Wurlitzer Organ in the Middle School, the razing of the historic Brown mansion, the disposal of the priceless World War I German artillery piece (donated to the city by an Act of Congress), jungle on the East Side north of the biomass plantmany streets and sidewalks need rebuilding or upgrading, losing the vibrant Main Street of yesterday, monopoly by one party of city hall, losing city-sponsored nurses, no skate park, lack of financial support from people of means (you can't take it with you), the drug, alcohol and vandalism that plague the city.
I believe the good news outweighs the negative, by far. What do you think?
Donald J. Enman
Berlin 

Lucien Blais: A heartfelt thank you to our local leaders

To the editor:

The June issue of the Business NH magazine has a very good feature article on Berlin entitled “Berlin's Steady Recovery” by Kathie Ragsdale. I found it to be a positive, yet balanced, assessment of where our city stands.

Several of our city and business leaders are quoted, but one particular comment deserves to be mentioned. Richard Rosen, CEO of American Ag Energy, was interviewed regarding plans to build two greenhouses that will bring 80 jobs to our city. He outlines three factors that influenced their decision to locate here. I quote his second reason: “Second, the city of Berlin is run by some of the most qualified, competent people I've ever worked with in the United States, and that extends to the people in the community.”

Too often, it's easy for us to criticize our local government and overlook all of the good that is being done. To all of our leaders and especially those who so generously give of their time and talent in government, volunteer boards and commissions, a heartfelt thank you. We know your time is valuable also and the work can often be thankless.

Lucien Blais

 

Blaine Dwyer: Honor the Paris Climate Accord with plant-based diet

To the editor:
Are you, too, fighting mad about Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord? Then let's fight back three times a day by adopting an eco-friendly plant-based diet.
Yes, our diet is pivotal. A 2010 United Nations report blames animal agriculture for 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 38 percent of land use and 70 percent of global freshwater consumption.
Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by fossil fuels combustion to operate farm machinery, trucks, factory farms and slaughter houses. The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.
In an environmentally sustainable world, meat and dairy products in our diet must be replaced by vegetables, fruits and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar and other pollution-free energy sources.
Each of us has the power to protest Trump's failure to maintain America's leadership in moderating climate change, simply and effectively, by what we choose at the grocery store.
Blaine Dwyer
Berlin

Joseph D. Kenney: SB 129 will impact state's forest products

To the editor:
An open letter to Gov. Chris Sununu:
Dear governor, I write to bring to your attention legislation currently pending before the House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 129 is a bill that seeks to sustain the six independent biomass plants in Executive Council District 1 through amendments to the state’s renewable portfolio standards law.
This bill has significant impacts in my district. The six independent biomass plants support over 900 jobs and over $250 million in economic activity each year, according to a recent study by Plymouth State University. As you know, one of the plants, Indeck Alexandria, has temporarily ceased operations.
I have spoken with many landowners, loggers, sawmill owners and foresters in my district about the importance of SB 129 to our state. The biomass plants provide a major market for the state’s low-grade wood.
If Senate Bill 129 does not pass, the state’s forest products industry will face unprecedented job loss and economic uncertainty. I urge your support for this very important legislation. Thank you for your consideration.
Joseph D. Kenney
Executive Council District 1