The right decision on tobacco sales
To the editor:
I am writing in support and endorsement of CVS Caremark’s recent decision to make all of its stores tobacco-free. I would also like to praise the company for offering to provide a national smoking cessation program.
This is a noteworthy decision that is one step closer to reducing tobacco use. Most importantly, I hope that this will have a particular effect on youths since the Centers for Disease Control estimates that one in every 13 Americans age 17 and younger who are alive today will die prematurely if smoking continues at its current rate.
As a registered nurse and future nurse practitioner, I see the harmful effects of tobacco each day and I believe we can have a healthier community by abstaining from the use of all tobacco products. When speaking with my patients who use tobacco products, most if not all wish that they had never started using them. Additionally, many smokers suffer from unpleasant side effects or diseases related to the effects of tobacco.
According to the CDC, the US will spend more than $289 billion each year on tobacco related medical care and lost productivity. CVS Caremark’s decision will save not only lives but also money.
I commend CVS Caremark for doing its part in the fight against tobacco and can only hope that more pharmacies and other businesses will do the same.
Ashley Lowery BSN, RN
Why I support Salem High renovation plan
To the editor:
I am writing this letter to my fellow “empty-nest” homeowners in Salem, who like me may no longer have a personal need for the educational programs the school district provides.
The condition and performance of the schools were a consideration when I moved here 27 years ago, and understandably, any prospective purchaser of my home will take this into consideration when making an offer. I’m voting yes to protect my investment.
There is no argument that Salem High School is in need of repair. There is no argument that the current systems are at or beyond their end of life in this 45-year-old building. The only questions are when and how to solve the situation.
There are three options: build a new school at an estimated cost of $111 million. Band-aid the existing functionally inadequate building at an estimated cost of $34 million, with a tax increase of $225 per year to maintain the status quo. Or renovate-rebuild to provide functional spaces that will meet our needs for decades to come. The $75 million renovation cost would be offset by $10.775 million the state will provide for the Career Technical Education wing.
Over the course of the 25-year bonds, I’ll pay in total about $7,000 — but I’ll immediately see a 6 percent increase in the sales value of my house. In my case, this amounts to roughly $18,000. I choose to renovate.
Why now? Salem will receive the allocated $10.775 million the state will provide for the CTE wing. This money will go away if we’re not in position to use it this year. If we delay, the need does not go away. The help from the state goes away.
Why now? Voting no is a decision to raise your taxes to pay for repairs that can no longer wait. Don’t blame “maintenance.” Physical structures wear out and replacement parts for systems purchased in 1965 aren’t available. Voting no is a decision to raise your taxes to pay for space that will remain functionally inadequate.
Why now? When at town meeting and on local blogs, conservative members in this town who have studied the proposal say “it’s time,” then it’s time.
In summary, it’s time to say yes to the renovation. The need is real and the need is now. It will never be less expensive. Saying yes will protect and increase your investment.
To the editor:
Sean Donahue is a candidate for the Windham School Board. He’s a native of Southern New Hampshire and moved to Windham a few years ago. The appeal of moving to Windham for Sean and his wife was the excellent reputation of our schools, where two of his children are currently enrolled. He believes there is nothing more important than an excellent education, and as a way to give back to the community, he is running for the School Board.
Sean is a mechanical engineer who has developed an ability to analytically find creative solutions to challenging problems. He is the definition of integrity, listens and communicates well with others and has an enthusiasm about education. He wants to empower teachers, and focus on fiscal accountability, while creating an environment that will welcome parents to become more involved with the school board and directing their child’s education.
On Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., the Windham Women’s Club will sponsor an evening for all candidates to meet the public and answer audience questions at the Town Hall. I strongly suggest voters go and see Sean Donahue in action. They won’t be disappointed. He’s got my vote.
Ken Eyring right choice for School Board
To the editor:
I was elated by the announcement that Ken Eyring is running for Windham School Board.
Our town continues to face serious challenges regarding our schools and escalating taxes. Ken is the right choice: his concern for our students, teachers and taxpayers was evident when he formed the Windham Taxpayer Coalition spending countless hours researching, evaluating, and developing accurate information on the Windham School District facilities for the Windham voters to make their decisions regarding proposed multi-million dollar expenditures.
Ken would bring his analytical expertise to the board to address the needs of all of the residents of Windham, while ensuring the high level of education that our children deserve.
Though the district will continue to face financial challenges in the coming years due to the state’s budget situation, I know that Ken can be relied upon to make the right decisions that will benefit all of us. He is very personable and will reach out and encourage participation from all of the town’s residents in all of the school’s matters.
I wholeheartedly support Ken Eyring for the Windham School Board on March 11 and hope others will too.