I'm hoping Mayor McEachern will do the right thing for Portsmouth's people and McIntyre project: Letters

Jan. 6 — To the Editor:

When Mayor Deaglan McEachern was inaugurated, he said that he always felt the presence of his father, the late Paul McEachern. Hopefully, our new mayor will be guided by the principles of his father, the lawyer who represented Revisit McIntyre. Attorney McEachern criticized the Redgate-Kane plan, referring to it as a "scheme," and he promoted Bill Binnie's alternative proposal. Perhaps Paul McEachern is looking down from above, observing how his son will guide the city that he loved through its journey to complete this long awaited project.

Shortly after he was elected, then Mayor-elect McEachern reminded us that this will be the council of the 400th anniversary of our city. It would be ironic and tragic if this historic council were responsible for allowing 400 years of Portsmouth's architecture to be compromised by inappropriate development. This would not be the legacy that the late, great Paul McEachern would have wanted.

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Mayor McEachern has shown signs that he wants to unify, not divide, Portsmouth. This was evidenced by his inaugural comments thanking the outgoing council and by his votes in favor of former Mayor Becksted's board and commission appointments. If the new mayor stays true to his promise to be a "citizen of Portsmouth," he will not be a leader beholden to special interests, even if those interests helped to elect him.

Here's hoping that our new mayor will use his position to influence the 400th anniversary council to do the right thing for Portsmouth's people and for the People's Project.

Christina Lusky


During COVID, the personal choices of few take away freedom from the many

Jan. 6 — To the Editor:

This latest COVID-19 omicron outbreak has resulted in widespread COVID fatigue and seriously compromised our ability to control the pandemic.

For those who believe that COVID-19 is not a hoax, there are only two ways to control its spread: [1] a proven prophylactic such as a vaccine or a therapeutic, and [2] physical measures that lessen the odds that the virus can enter your body - such as a barrier or distance from infected people.

To strive for a better outcome, we need to review why we are at this point and the lessons learned. The starting point is the issue of whether people should be free to disregard the scientific recommendations of public health experts: is this the price we all must pay for some minority of people’s misguided concept of personal freedom? A personal freedom that has contributed to the infection of hundreds of thousands more every day with kids hospitalized in record numbers, created further job shortages in all industries, exacerbated the crises in goods and services, initiated a new inflationary cycle, shuttered thousands more businesses, once again compromised the education of our children, created deadly shortages in hospital beds and services, led to the exit of thousands of critical healthcare providers, added to our national debt, and caused a surge in those seeking mental health care.

The tragic irony of this misguided interpretation of personal freedom is that it has instead taken away many of our cherished freedoms with no end in sight. With billions of people in the world unvaccinated or under-vaccinated, the virus continues to mutate in these reservoirs, posing a threat to those who are protected. With more infectious variants resulting from this mutation process, it may be only a matter of time before more lethal and infectious variants arise. While some in the minority will not admit it, most, if not all of us have benefited from the advances in medical diagnosis and treatment. To the naysayers, I must ask the question: to what end? How does this disregard of the scientific method lead to a future where we all can live freely in a safe and prosperous country?

Walter King


Why did NH House vote to allow campaign paraphernalia at the polls?

Jan. 8 — To the Editor:

I recall the sense of pride I always felt entering a polling place. Outside, campaigns took advantage of every last opportunity to support their candidates. Neighbors held signs for opposing campaigns. And then you stepped inside the polling place. A page had turned. The campaigns were over; voting had begun.

If you relate to that sense of pride in the respectful and civilized way our polling places operate, you may be disappointed to learn that HB 87 has been passed (186 to 164) by our state legislature. House Bill 87 “repealed the existing ban on voters and observers wearing campaign paraphernalia inside polling places.” Of all the significant and pressing issues the NH state legislature might consider, this strikes me as trivial and politically motivated. I don’t favor the change and question why anyone thought it warranted the legislature’s consideration.

Bess Mosley


Leave your Christmas lights up to honor healthcare heroes

Jan. 9 — To the Editor:

Lights on the Healthcare Heroes is requesting that Christmas outdoor lights be left on until January 31, recognizing our thanks to the healthcare clinicians that are fighting a war against a deadly disease and saving lives in our community. Yet, I drive around I find very people have heard the call or are simply apathetic to it. I strongly suggest you read the Sunday news article about what these people are going through.

I have been involved with the healthcare industry for over 40 years and recently did a 3 year volunteer assignment and a one year part time assignment at a local hospital. Trust me when I say that the article barely touches the surface of what these people experience every day.

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There are very few other jobs you put the life and health of yourself and your family on the line everyday. You risk exposure to a deadly disease. Does anybody realize these people are working 12 hour shifts? That they are grossly understaffed and largely unappreciated? I’ve seen it. Patients and family that are rude and abusive to the nurses. Administration that over taxes their burden asking for the impossible. At the very least we can leave the lights on, shed our apathy and just hope we don’t end up in the hospital when we can show our appreciation first hand.

Richard Parian, RN


It's action time for ranked choice voting in New Hampshire

Jan. 9 — To the Editor:

Two ranked choice voting bills will be heard by the Election Law Committee in Concord this Thursday, Jan 13 starting at 10 a.m. Time for us to support this badly needed non-partisan election reform in the Granite State. Briefly, HB 1264 is enabling legislation allowing municipalities to adopt ranked choice voting for municipal elections and parties to use for presidential primary elections, both with 90 day advance opt-in periods. HB 1482 provides for an implementation of RCV for federal general elections (in 2025/2026) and later for state general elections (in 2027/2028).

It is critically important to let the Election Law Committee know you support one or both of these bills before Thursday. Submit a statement for the record by email to HouseElectionLawCommittee@leg.state.nh.us Even better, call in your support to the committee members directly; search "NH Election Law Committee." Still fired up? There’s more you can do, call your own representatives and ask them to sign in on the committee roster on Thursday, in support of the RCV bill(s).

It’s about time we get RCV in NH! Ranked choice voting strengthens our democracy, allows voters to better express their preferences on the ballot, and elect candidates with the most voter support. Lots more info online: Fairvote.org or nhrankedchoice.org.

Cheri Bach


This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Mayor must do right for Portsmouth NH, McIntyre project: Letters