Letters to the Editor

Consider becoming an advocate for children

To the Editor:

This year, there are expected to be over 500 opioid-related deaths in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, this number is only the tip of this iceberg of the number of families that are being devastated by the tragedy of addiction.

The innocent victims of this epi­demic are the children who are ex­posed to the trauma of their parents’ addictions. These children are often removed from their homes following allegations of abuse or neglect by their parents who are all consumed about getting their next fix. Please consider how you could help by pro­viding the child a voice.

I became a court appointed spe­cial advocate (CASA) this year, and it has been a remarkable experience. A CASA is a trained volunteer who looks out for the best interest of the child, provides them with a voice in court and offers some stability dur­ing a time of turmoil in their young life. The CASA meets with the child, parents, foster families, caseworkers and teachers on a regular basis to provide a voice for the child as their case moves through the court system. CASA-NH provides training and sup­port to the volunteers.

CASA volunteers come from all walks and stages of life. At first glance, my "day job" as an engineer may appear to be far removed from the role of a social worker, but I have found that my experience as a par­ent, manager, coach or organizer has provided most of the necessary skills. CASA-NH provides the training, tools and ongoing support for what I lacked.

Most CASAs take on a single case at a time, with a commitment of a few hours each week for a case that typically lasts about a year. Due to the heroin crisis, the number of cases that request a CASA is tremendous now, and unfortunately, not every child can get a CASA. Training is offered on a rolling schedule throughout the state, with a Manchester class scheduled for January. The application is available at www.casanh.org/onlineapplica­tion. Please consider giving a child the best holiday gift ever by applying today to become their CASA in 2017.

Peter King

Mont Vernon

Honesty of individual who returned purse appreciated

To the Editor:

Thank you to the kind, honest person who found and turned in my tapestry purse at Market Basket on Saturday, Nov. 12 around 5 p.m.

Helen Cady

Amherst

Consider consequences of Mont Vernon zoning

To the Editor:

The Planning Board for the town of Mont Vernon is proposing a change to town zoning, inviting public input for something called Town Center District Zoning.

That this change was being contem­plated has come as a surprise and shock to many of us. (Shame on us for not keeping ourselves better in­formed.) The Planning Board has ex­pressed a desire to move out smartly on this proposal. It is imperative that the residents of Mont Vernon become knowledgeable regarding the pro­posed changes and provide informed commentary to the Planning Board.

The draft language of the proposed Town Center District Zoning may be found at www.montvernonnh.us/ index.php/public-notices/253-public-notices/998-public-hearing-oct- 11-accessory-dwelling-unit-adu-zoning-regulations.

We hope that upon reflection, the residents will agree that the unin­tended consequences of Town Cen­ter District Zoning far outweigh any potential benefit, and that it attempts to fix something that ain’t broke. But the most important thing is that the residents weigh in.

Below is copied a letter I sent to the Planning Board regarding the pro­posal.

Dear Planning Board,

I have reviewed your proposal for "Town Center" zoning and wish to voice my strong opposition to the pro­posed change.

My reasons for opposition are many, but primarily I believe that the proposed changes will fundamentally and detrimentally alter the character of the town. While it may seem that these changes will be confined to the zoned area, such a radical redefini­tion of our "village" will impact every resident.

The potential unintended conse­quences of such a redefinition of the village deserve serious, deliberate, unhurried reflection. I urge the Board to examine more deeply the possible outcomes of the proposed change and to better inform the townspeople of the near- and far-term potential con­sequences of the proposed changes.

Despite the fact that we have a major state highway running right through the center of the village, the Zoning and Planning boards have managed to maintain the character of our village and keep it the envy of those who encounter our gem on the hill. The proposed Town Center zoning puts all this at risk and runs contrary to the very definition of our town, a definition that you have worked so hard to maintain. I urge the Board to continue its good work.

Eric Will

Mont Vernon

AJWC marks 39 years of supporting the community

To the Editor:

This year marks the 39th anniver­sary of the Amherst Junior Women’s Club Holiday Home-Life Project. Be­cause of the generosity of our commu­nity, we have delivered holiday food baskets to over 1,000 families over the past 39 years. What a wonderful dem­onstration of caring for our neighbors in need.

This community project will take place at the Amherst Fire Station on the third Saturday in December. On this day, volunteers from the AJWC and the Lions Club will coordinate and deliver several baskets of canned goods and household essentials to Amherst families in need. In the baskets, we will place baked goods made by our local Girl Scouts and cheerful place mats drawn by stu­dents of Clark Elemen­tary School.

Last year, we delivered to more than 30 fami­lies. Given the ongoing increase of home heating fuel this year, there is no doubt that Amherst will have more families in need. Without the gener­ous help of individuals, area businesses and or­ganizations, this project would not be possible. We ask that residents of Am­herst consider making a monetary donation to this project. Any amount you give will make a differ­ence in your neighbor’s hearts and homes this holiday season.

Your tax-deductible contribution may be sent to the Amherst Junior Women’s Club, Home- Life Project, P.O. Box 513, Amherst, NH 03031. One hundred percent of your donation goes directly to those families in need.

Thank you very much, and we wish you and your families a warm holiday season.

Lisa Caulton and Heather Sweeney

Home-Life co-chairs

Amherst Junior Women’s Club