Valley News – Forum, June 11: Concerned about construction projects in Lebanon

Posted: 06/11/2022 05:02:25

Modified: 06/11/2022 05:00:19

Concerned about construction projects in Lebanon

On June 13, the Lebanon Planning Council will meet again at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber to discuss the waivers requested by Recreo, LLC. These waivers relate to the proposed five-story, 48,000 square foot building with 72 units and the proposed six-story, 56,800 square foot building with 80 units on the former Village Market site. These applications primarily apply to the Subdivision By-law for site plan review.

In basic English, most of these waivers are for less landscaping (greenery) so more parking (asphalt) will be available for these 152 units as currently proposed. A simple solution to this parking problem is far fewer units than the 152 currently described. At the moment, the number of units for the third building has not been disclosed.

Regarding landscaping, Charlie DePuy, a member of Lebanon’s Tree Advisory Council, recently stated that the Council views “extreme heat pockets as a public health concern” and further that “Mechanic Street and Hanover Street and other parts of town – they’re begging for trees. This proposal at 2 Mascoma St., is around the corner from the extreme heat pocket and has no plans for additional natural relief – and they’ve even asked for derogations to implement less natural relief.

Initial feedback from the fire department indicated concerns with accessibility and movement of fire equipment; comments from the police department indicated parking and traffic issues, stating, “We are concerned about business parking as we are already receiving complaints about parking in areas around the mall and the green.”

The original application notes indicated that these issues from the fire and police services could be removed – or in Planning Council lingo, additional ‘feedback’ would be received.

In January of this year, some changes to the zoning ordinance included decreasing the frontage and increasing the height of buildings, with uncontrolled parking areas, and now this project is asking for additional exceptions to those changes latest zoning plans.

Residents should be concerned about the many requests for variances, conditional use permits, off-site parking, and the need for additional ‘feedback’ regarding this development. On June 13, residents, in person or via Zoom, must remind the Planning Board that residents have priority over the developer’s wallet.

Mary Ann Mastro


When indifference reigns

My heart bleeds and my mind shivers as I try to figure out what happened at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

There, so many sentient beings were subjected to finite death, many more suffered multiple injuries, and all others were subjected to lifetimes of infinite remembrance as they live steeped in the horror that they lived that day.

I hate the industry indifference that pervades US governance. I also continue to question the indifference of the gods of humanity.

William Gilbert


A Modest Gun Safety Proposal

Recent editorials and commentary regarding the Uvalde murders do not go far enough. I suggest we take the Republican recommendations to the next step. If arming teachers and administrators would be effective, why not arm students as well?

Of course, I’m not talking about pre-K! It would be absurd. But certainly no later than first grade, students should be given an AR-15 and told to defend themselves as their ancestors did so gloriously at Bunker Hill and Iwo Jima. Public education gatekeepers will object that teachers will lose control of classroom discipline, but this concern is easily addressed by handing out machine guns and concrete pillboxes to teachers. Logically, directors need to keep the upper hand and should be given a tank or drone with first strike capability.

It must be clear to all that our liberties and liberties are threatened by democratic excesses. I suggest that Republican Governors and Legislators everywhere issue ICBM codes to all adult citizens – no background checks, please! — so that every American is assured of his or her divine right to decide when he or she has a grievance that can only be resolved by direct nuclear action.

With this kind of leadership, there will be no need to talk about climate change, healthcare for all, our decaying infrastructure, broadband in rural America, or anything that really matters. Stop the democrats before they destroy the country! Give kids the weapons they need to defend themselves now!

Robert Ciernia

White River Junction

Reconsider the ban on assault weapons

Concern about the mental health of unstable people is all well and good, but it’s a very thin reed to lean on when trying to reduce mass shootings. The only solution is to ban the sale of firearms such as assault weapons and unduly bulky magazines.

A previous Congress banned these weapons in 1994, but inexplicably included a sunset clause that went into effect in 2004. It baffles me that our national lawmakers might think the need for such a ban no longer applies. It is said and repeated that assault weapons have no other purpose than to kill people. I beg Congress to get rid of it.

Anne Harms

western lebanon

The NRA cartoon was a low blow

I can’t remember the last time I wrote a letter to the editor of this newspaper. But I was frustrated and saddened to see in the Sunday (June 5) newspaper the insulting Clay Bennett cartoon of a man with an NRA cap, holding a gun labeled AR-15, with his IQ quoted as a low number .

Insulting members of the NRA won’t save anyone, but it might help strengthen people’s resolve to resist any change. This kind of name-calling sends us into the same shameful dead end as Hillary Clinton’s “deplorable” comment.

Let’s continue the debate on what might work best (and what enough of us can agree on) to reduce devastating gunfire, rather than trying to shame people.

Green Jordan


Jennifer C. Burleigh