Letters

Thank You to SHS Food Service Workers & Amherst Makerspace

To the editor:

      The Amherst School Board (ASB) would like to start by thanking the Souhegan food service workers for making over 100 lunch and breakfast meals every day. These hearty and healthy meals are delivered with the help of volunteers to 55 Amherst families. Meals have been provided at no cost to students since remote learning began as an extension of the Seamless Summer Meals Option of the National School Lunch Program.  Thank you to John Lash, his dedicated staff, and all the volunteers for helping to care for our Amherst community! 

      We also want to thank the Amherst Makerspace for donating masks to our food service workers and other SAU staff, including our facilities team who continue to work to prepare our schools for an eventual safe return for students. The masks have allowed our staff to work more securely and confidently over the last several weeks while they help our students.

      Our SAU 39 teachers continue to find creative and thoughtful ways to stay engaged with all learners. Our parent partnerships are more important than ever, and we appreciate how hard everyone is working together to keep our students moving forward during this unprecedented time.

      At our April meeting the ASB took a final look at the AMS plumbing lead remediation project and approved some additional work needed to complete the remediation. These tasks include replacing one final length of pipe leading from the gym into the main building, replacing a few water bubblers to better conform to our goals, and replacing plumbing to a couple of showers in the coaches’ locker room.  We feel these final projects will complete the lead remediation in the safest and most efficient way possible for all stakeholders.  Remaining funds from the original warrant article will be returned to taxpayers.

Important Dates:

      The last day of school this year will be May 29. Originally, the last projected day of school for the 2019-20 school year was June 11, but we have confirmed with the state of NH that enough instructional hours will be completed by the new May date.

      SAU 39 is also planning a Capstone Week of Celebrations for all, bringing students and teachers back together for celebratory year-end events such as field days, class parties, and graduations. The SAU is currently looking at two potential weeks for these exciting events, June 29-July 4 or July 27-August 1.  We will have an update by June 1 and will continue to follow all state and local guidelines to make sure these ceremonies are safe.

      The next SAU meeting will take place on May 11 at 6 p.m. followed immediately by the Amherst School Board meeting. Please visit the SAU website, www.SAU39.org, for information on how to virtually attend these online Zoom meetings. The ASB will be discussing our unreserved fund balance (excess funds that have not been spent) to determine if there are any essential projects to tackle before returning excess funds to the taxpayers.

      As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to email the board at ASB@sau39.org.

 

Thank you

Elizabeth Kuzsma, Chair

Tom Gauthier, Vice Chair

Ellen Grudzien, Secretary

Terri Behm

Josh Conklin

Are Gun Stores Essential Businesses?

To the editor:

      At the end of February, my husband had open heart surgery and the background noise on the TV in the hospital was chatter about a pandemic. And just a few weeks later, we are in full blown crisis where people are dying by the thousands, hospitals are short of supplies and daily new controls are being instituted to try to protect us from getting or spreading this deadly epidemic. How could we be this unprepared?

      Our governor has issued Executive Emergency Orders stating that only Essential Businesses are to be open, allowing for grocery stores and drugstores. We cannot go back to the hospital for our post op appointment. My kids cannot come to visit. Our library is closed. We have been asked to shelter in place, to leave only for food and prescriptions. But wait, Governor Sununu did not close gun stores? Gun stores are Essential Businesses? Corroborating my information, I reached out to the COVID-19 Business Resource. I emailed my question regarding Governor Sununu’s policy, as gun shops were not listed as either Essential or Non-Essential in the Executive Orders.  The email reply from NH Business and Economic Affairs stated that gun shops could remain open if they do online sales or curb side pickup only. They are not open to the public. Curbside? I called several local gun shops to confirm this information. All of them were quite clear that, according to the ATF, it is illegal to sell firearms curbside. Their doors were indeed open to the public. 

      I understand that the NRA was the single biggest supporter of this administration. However, I want Governor Sununu to justify that reaffirming Second Amendment rights serves to protect us in any way from this virus! Sales on firearms have skyrocketed in the last couple of months. The background system has been overwhelmed with background checks. 

      You cannot shoot the virus away. Are we going to shoot someone who is sick? Or shoot someone who has grabbed the last roll of toilet paper in the supermarket? I am concerned that in these most unsettling of times, when we are coping with a base level of fear and anxiety, adding firearms to the equation is grossly irresponsible and unsafe. This is profit from fear. Fear divides us when our lives depend upon us working together to save our communities. We have to be on the same side to survive.

      Unless you are a hunter and providing food for your family, I cannot think of one single instance where owning a gun can help provide safety to anyone dealing with this Pandemic.

      Is there a way the gun manufactures could instead be part of our solutions for health? Could they re-purpose a factory or two to produce much needed ventilators? Our current pressing goal, at which thousands of our neighbors are working hard and risking their lives, is to protect our health and safety. The State promulgating the sale of firearms at this time, tacitly underlining this as an essential business, runs counter to our current needs — to work together to foster our communities’ health and safety. This is disappointing, and scary, and needs community action for change. 

 

Jill Weber, 

Mont Vernon NH

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