Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor


Allow progress

To the editor:

I grew up in Durham and do not want to lose our small-town charm, but I also recognize that the world is changing. Younger generations are favoring living in cities or in communities that provide services and activities. I feel that Durham needs to look to the future and allow some progress so that we don’t become obsolete.

The proposed community center would provide a vital resource for our town. We can become part of national movement is to develop “livable communities for residents of all ages,” and community centers play a large role in this.

This year, I had the privilege of participating in the exchange program between Durham and Hebron. Each town sent a team to the other to view that town through new, fresh eyes. I was impressed with Hebron’s plan for their future. They have clear goals and objectives for their community. They are openly searching for ways to move their town forward so that they can continue to flourish, while still maintaining their small-town character.

In comparison, Durham seems to be hesitant to accept changes that could improve the town and keep us financially and socially healthy. We have said no to a larger grocery store, a drive-through coffee shop and a solar farm. All of these changes would have brought in added tax dollars and/or convenience to our town.

It is time to move forward Durham. We may not get another chance like this. Korn School offers a perfect spot for a community center.

Please vote yes on Dec. 4.

Tina Gossner


Worth the risk

To the editor:

“Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.” – Frederick Wilcox

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, we will have the chance to vote on whether we should move forward on converting Korn School into a community center. I won’t go into all of the ways we could use the community center, as Paul Van Steenbergen handled that very eloquently in last week’s letter to the editor, but I believe that this is an opportunity that we can’t pass up.

Progress is a scary thing, but if those who settled Durham hadn’t taken the chance we wouldn’t even be here discussing this topic. 

In the statement quoted at the beginning of this letter, a baseball metaphor is used to convey a message that progress is a risk. The man on first takes the risk of being tagged out if he attempts to steal second, but if he doesn’t take his foot off first base, he will never know if he would have made it and changed the course of the game.

This community center is a game-changer for our town. If we don’t take the risk, we will always wonder how it would have turned out. I believe that we should take the risk and work together to ensure that it will be successful.

We owe it to the seniors who have been trying to get a senior center for 30 years, and who pay taxes to allow our children to have a top-notch education. We owe it to all generations to have a gathering place for learning, socializing, sharing a meal, brain-storming and so much more. Make sure to take the time and vote on Tuesday, Dec. 4. 

Janet Morganti

Now is the time

To the editor:

Over the past several months there has been a lot of discussion about the acquisition and re-purposing of the Korn School building into a community center. The one comment I am hearing most often is "It’s not the right time."

How many times in our lives have we had opportunities, only to let them slip away because we said "It’s not the right time."

Opportunities don't always present themselves at "the right time."

Here are some things to consider. The building is there and structurally sound, the property it sits on is level, it has its own separate septic system in place, it is in a campus setting, it is centrally-located and easily-accessible.

Other properties and buildings have been suggested over the years but none have offered all that the Korn school building and property do.

The bottom line is that the Durham Activity Center has limitations, because of space, accessibility, facilities and ownership. The town's boards, commissions and civic groups are clamoring for meeting space. Our children are in need of a safe and accessible place to go after school.

So given the possibilities for all the activities, services and programs the Korn school building and grounds would offer for Durham residents of all ages, please make this "the right time" and vote yes on Dec. 4.  

Bill LaFlamme

Vote yes

To the editor:

Korn Community Center = community space = desirable central location = close to schools and other recreational facilities = convenience = meetings = fitness = multi-generational activities = something to do on Friday night = senior lunch program = mommy/daddy/me time = art = music = voting = civics = hot spot = after school hangout = maker space = clubs = life-long learning = seminars = demonstrations - enrichment programs = community suppers = play dates =  friendships = neighbor assistance = food pantry = wellness programs = meetups = teen socials =  fellowship = collaboration = protection of investment made = investment in our future = competitive edge = vibrant community = healthy community = connected community = love.

Please vote yes on Dec. 4.  

Laura Francis



To the editor:

The idea of Durham having its own community center is exciting. Imagine a place for all kinds of activities. A place for everyone: little kids, tweens, teens, moms, dads and those who are growing older gracefully.

We have never had many opportunities for different age groups to work together and this place will be buzzing with great clubs, activities and events that can lead to wonderful new intergenerational possibilities. 

I can see that old school just humming with life and can’t wait to sign up our local adult community choir, Accidental Harmony, to use the space. There would be plentiful parking, large spaces to accommodate our group of 70 and easy access. Perfect for us.

Please support this new community center and vote yes on Dec. 4. It has the potential to become an amazing benefit for everyone in Durham.

Lisa Larsen

Invest inthe community

To the editor:

The letters from Paul Van Steenbergen and Lou Battipaglia in the Nov. 23 issue presented excellent reasons to vote yes for the proposed community center on Dec. 4. Communities need to invest in resources that help their citizens rather than retreat into a short-sighted mentality that stifles community improvement.

Let’s work to bring Durham together as a community. The proposed community center is an excellent start. Building in reasonable cost containment provisions on the expenditure cap can assure that this project is carried out in a fiscally responsible manner.

Why pay a costly rent month after month for a second-floor space when we can invest in ownership of a larger ground-floor facility that can enhance the benefits of living in Durham on a far greater scale?

Join us in voting yes next Tuesday.

Jon Swift and Anne Cassady


Change,progress, recycle

To the editor:

Change, progress and recycle. These words are interchangable.

First, change is hard on most people, but it occurs every day. Here in Connecticut, sun rises and sets change at the rate of two minutes, while in Anchorage you gain or lose five minutes. But in March and September, everyone in the world has 12 hours of daylight.

Progress is a change that takes place in new invention. Look at the PC. In the late 70s, people were using them. Now, you can text and take pictures with a phone.

Recycle is a word associated with trash, glass, cans and paper. But other things can be recycled as well. Spaghetti Warehouse restaurants are located in old factories. Schools have been turned into apartment/condo living. And here in Durham we see several dairy barns are now nice homes.

Korn school needs to continue to be a public facility, where people of all ages can go for community activities. I urge you to vote yes on Tuesday, Dec. 4 so this can happen.

Elmer Clark

Safe, welcominglocation

To the editor:

The Durham Community Center will serve as a safe, welcoming location for everyone in Durham to gather, volunteer and socialize. This central location will be used by a wide range of organizations and services. A community center represents an opportunity for our youth, our seniors and all those in between to meet and get to know each other. It will strengthen our community as a whole.

Let's invest in Durham and vote in favor of the Durham Community Center on Dec. 4. 

Kerrie Flanagan

Picturethe possibilities

To the editor:

Every so often there comes a time when communities have to maintain and provide for the future well being of their citizens. Our forefathers did the same when they saw the need to invest in our public library and our schools, roads and public parks. Now it’s time for us to move forward again and invest in Durham’s future.

Today, a community center is an integral part of a town’s character. It’s a place where people connect, meet new friends and feel welcome. A place where families new to town can discover what Durham has to offer so they will want to remain in the community long after their children have graduated. Some studies have also shown that a community center can increase property values.

Picture this: A place where friends can meet for a morning walk and then have breakfast or take an exercise class while toddlers and pre-schoolers might be taking a gymnastics class. Still others might meet to play cards or pool or read a book while enjoying a cup of coffee. After school, students would be able to congregate and study or play sports or games. Various civic groups could host their meetings and events, sports and recreation clubs would have a central location for registration and activities. We could expand our programs and invite local artists and craftsmen to share their talents and skills.

A community center for Durham will keep its people engaged in activities that will provide a better quality of life and add vibrancy to our town. It will open doors to greater opportunities for today, tomorrow and for future generations.

Robert Melvin



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