, Derry, New Hampshire

April 25, 2013

Letters to the editor

Derry News

---- — Brave men saved our daughter’s life

To the editor:

Our family would like to express our profound gratitude to the six local men who on Thursday, April 18, saved our daughter from drowning in her overturned, submerged vehicle on Gilcreast Road.

They are: Doug Ball, Londonderry; Jim Ornsteen, Londonderry; Robert Maiella, Derry; Craig Dempsey, Windham; Bernie Rouillard, Windham; and Mike Elliott, Derry.

Today, when so many of us are recoiling in sadness and disillusion over the merciless carnage in Boston, perhaps we need focus on what remains in our society which is good and honorable and fine.

Unfortunately, we are raising a generation that is increasingly desensitized to the injustice and violence so prevalent in the media and World Wide Web. A story such as this restores our faith in the humanity and valor of our fellow man. Our daughter is alive today due to the efforts of these men.

Once we emerged from the initial shock of the incident, and had time to digest the riveting press accounts of the scene, we all dealt with various emotions.

Our primary reaction was one of overwhelming gratitude for the levelheadedness and selflessness of these, our local neighbors. Some of them suffered their own injuries while extricating her from the tangled mess. As yet we have not had the chance to fully and properly express our immeasurable thanks.

Another emotion has also surfaced, perhaps not uncommon in these situations, that of embarrassment at such a sudden, unexpected public exposure. We are private people, the “everyday Joes”, the “guys next door.” I guess we have always liked it that way. However, we realize that this is not about us, it is about them. It is about six guys, who, without a thought for themselves, jumped into the freezing water and shattered glass, and gave a helpless, drowning woman a second chance at life.

Perhaps the strongest feeling of all is that of unfathomable relief, and praise to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who has seen our daughter through several rough years of cancer therapy — and saw her through this also.

She was not alone, unconscious in that cold, dark, murky water. It was no quirk of fate that six strong men, totally unconnected, were all travelling down a suburban back road, at precisely 2 o’clock on a weekday afternoon.

How these six separate individuals fused together into an organized, efficient machine, racing the clock, defies human explanation. We acknowledge this miracle, giving honor to God, for His mercy and protection, and to the brave, capable men who were used as His instruments. May He bless them, and their families, for giving our daughter, wife, mother and sister back to us. They have our utmost gratitude.

Ken and Robin Topham


Taylor Library fills a need

To the editor:

The Taylor Library has played an integral part in my children’s love of reading. I do not believe it is a duplication of services at all as the smaller venue was important for my children especially for my autistic son who found the “little library” much less overwhelming than the Derry Public Library. Even my typical daughter said “they have lots of picture books and it’s easier to find them because the library is smaller.”

The Taylor library was also an integral part of my sanity when trying to get to a story hour with my three year old autistic son and my two year old twins. The staff at the library literally greeted me with open arms always offering to lend me the extra lap or two that I needed to engage three small children in story hour at the same time. It was a marvelous success as they are all avid readers now.

I am truly mortified that we are even discussing defunding the Taylor Library. I did the math and it appears that defunding it would save a homeowner with a $250,000 assessment a whole $10 a year! I can’t believe losing the town’s historic heart and soul is worth saving just $10 a year.

I can only hope the Town Council can see the value of the Taylor Library that I have experienced and will vote to restore its funding, and preserve its place in the character and history of Derry.

Kelly Mahony


Removal effort is disrespectful

To the editor:

Three state representatives, including Al Baldasaro, have shown blatant disrespect for the voters of New Hampshire by demanding that 189 of their peers, duly elected members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, be immediately removed from office. Why? Because they voted to repeal the reckless 2011 “stand your ground” law, returning to the law in effect since 1977. It says that if you are in a confrontation and you are certain you can safely retreat, you should. If not, you can use deadly force. Most people would agree it is reasonable to think first rather than shoot first.

For 34 years, our New Hampshire state legislators never felt we needed a law like “stand your ground” to protect ourselves. By taking this action, Al and his fellow complainants call out the lawmakers of the previous 34 years.

When a bill is proposed, all legislators are given the opportunity to make their arguments about the constitutionality of a bill on the floor of the house. If the bill passes, it is up to a judge to declare a bill unconstitutional in a court of law.

The legal action proposed by these three individuals declares that 189 lawmakers violated the constitution by merely voting. It is the job of the legislature to vote. How could that action be unconstitutional?

Obviously the action of the 189 legislators to vote on a bill was constitutional, just as it was constitutional of the 184 legislators who opposed it to vote against it. Whether the bill itself is constitutional is irrelevant for the legal action sought against the 189 representatives. So why are these three representatives seeking the removal of 189 legislators? What precedent do they have to remove someone based on how they voted on a bill?

These three individuals did not elect 189 representatives. The people did. It is disrespectful to the people of New Hampshire to try to override their votes because they disagree on the passage of the bill.

Tammy Siekmann


Londonderry Democratic Committee