, Kingston, NH

March 6, 2014


Carriage Towne News

---- — Response

In a February 23rd letter to the editor of this paper, Atkinson resident Susan Carroll presented her opposing opinions on a number of articles in the Atkinson Town Warrant. Two particular areas of concern deserve a response.

The first pertains to two warrant articles (25 and 26) that seeks permanent resolution to an EPA-certified “Dioxane 1,4 Contamination Site” in a section of Atkinson that contains seventy-three dwellings and families. Dioxane1,4 is a carcinogenic substance that readily mixes with water. Unfortunately, that is the specific problem, Dioxane1,4 is in the well water of most of those homes. A study by the National Cancer Institute of rats and mice exposed to Dioxane1,4 in their drinking water reported increased incidences of liver carcinomas and adenomas, and nasal cavity squamous cell carcinomas.

The EPA agreed to run lines from a private water company to some but not all of these homes. Not all homes in the area have tested positive for Dioxane; however, it is not possible to discern the spread of this carcinogenic, Dioxane1,4 plume in the future.

The result of this carcinogenic nightmare is that some Atkinsonians cannot drink their well water and cannot sell their homes if they wanted to; therefore, the de facto property value of these homes is zero. Faced with such circumstances, the residents of the area are petitioning the rest of Atkinson’s residents for help, since the EPA is disinclined to pay for a complete remediation of the hazard.

America’s past is filled with stories of community self-determination and self-reliance. Citizens of communities have joined together to rebuild destroyed homes, barns, levees, roads and bridges. In short, real communities stick together for mutual aid and comfort. This is one of those times. The absence of federal and state help to completely rectify a deplorable condition causes this burden to fall on all Atkinsonians. No one likes higher property taxes, but none of us can benefit from the permanent effects of abandoned homes on the local tax rate.

Our US military has one overarching rule: “No one gets left behind.” The genesis of this rule stems from the communal belief of all Americans that we are our brothers keepers. The full cost of Warrant Articles 25 and 26 is $100 per household for the upcoming year only.

The second concern is addressed by Warrant Article 27 that seeks a Constitutional amendment to get massive campaign spending by corporations, political action committees and unions, that drown out the voice of the people, out of federal and state elections. An April 18th, 2013 “Granite State Poll” revealed that 69% of New Hampshire’s citizens support a Constitutional amendment that limits campaign contributions and spending, 75% of Democrats, 73% of Independents and 61% of Republicans.

Ms. Carroll refers to a Constitutional amendment as “very dangerous ground.” The US Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times; and, as a reminder, it must be noted that an amendment requires a two thirds vote in both Houses of Congress or on the application of two thirds of the states. In addition, three fourths of the states must approve the proposed amendment before it becomes law.

Ms. Carroll says, “Before any attempt to alter our original (Constitution) document, we need to insist the Constitution be followed as written with its true intent.” It is my understanding that the true intent of our Constitution can be found in the Federalist Papers written by some of our founding fathers, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. Speaking of intent, our founding fathers who wrote the Constitution were keenly aware of the negative effects posed by money that attempts to sway elections. In Federalist Paper 39, James Madison stated, “We may define a republic to be a government that derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the people, not from an inconsiderable proportion of a favored class of it.”

Elections are for “We the People” not for corporations, PAC’s, unions or other large institutions. Vote yes on Warrant Article 27.

Harlan Cheney