Louise Andrus’ View from Concord, October 2021

By Louise Andrus

November is here and the 11th is a very important day. That is because it will be Veterans Day.  Thank you to each and every veteran for your years of service in the military protecting our country and keeping us free. Thank you to every veteran’s family as you gave your loved one to serve which has allowed and continues to allow each one of us in the United States to be free.  I salute and honor each one of you. 

These words I have written do not even start to say what is really in my heart and my love for each of you that I know and do not know. You are the best of the best.

Writing about veterans brings the military songs to mind that I have always loved so much during my life like the Marines: “The Marines’ Hymn,” and the  Army: “The Army Goes Rolling Along,” and the  Navy:  “Anchors Aweigh,” and the  Air Force: ” Official US Air Force Song,” and Coast Guard: “Semper Paratus.”  If you have never heard these songs, find and listen to them as the lyrics of each branch of service tells a story, and the music of each song is beautiful.

There is so much going on in New Hampshire and our Country.  Inflation has really hit everyone’s pocketbook.  I know when I come out of the grocery store with only a couple of bags and have spent $100, or fill my gas tank at $3.11 a gallon and it costs $48 to fill the tank, or heating oil is $2.98 a gallon compared to a year ago at $2.49 a gallon, and these are only a few of the areas where prices have increased, I hope for everyone’s sake inflation slows down.  

There is such a backlog of cargo in California that needs to get dispersed across our country.  I hope we can obtain enough transportation over a period of time to get the products to the stores.  

I am co-sponsoring several LSRs that are being written into bills by the New Hampshire  Office of Legislative Services.  I will share information on the bills next month.

With remote learning last year, parents found some materials being used then and now as unacceptable and are now speaking up to the schools. A few weeks ago I sent an email to Principal Dobe of the Andover Elementary/Middle School questioning books that might or might not be in the school:  

“In the past few weeks I have had several parents contact me about books that may be in the Andover school, and the contents of the books are being questioned.  Three of the books that I have been given names of are Lawn Boy, Gender Queer, and Honor Girl. Attached are photos of the books being questioned.  My first question is: are these three books in the Andover Elementary/Middle School? Second, what classes are they used in, and what is the purpose of using these books?”

Principal Dobe’s email reply:  “Unfortunately, we had Honor Girl in a classroom collection through an unfortunate oversight.  The book is no longer in our school, nor will it be. We have a book entitled “Lawn Boy” (by Gary Paulsen), but it is not the book that people are concerned about (by Jonathan Evison) – that book has never been in our collection. We have no intention of holding any of these books in our collection, making them available to our students, or using them in our lessons and courses.”

My response by email:  “Thank you for your quick response, and thank you for upholding the great standards that I remember of the Andover elementary school. All three of my daughters attended the school, where they received a great education.”

The reason I am sharing this information is 1. I believe in being open and transparent.  2. When I am asked a question on any subject, I go to the source for an answer.  3. We all need to keep our eyes open, as sometimes books do get into schools that should not be allowed.
There is much controversy over mandating children wearing masks in school, and controversy over vaccines.  Parents want to make the choice whether their child wears a mask or not.  I stand with the parents; the choice should be their decision.  I am not going to get into who is right or who is wrong, as each of us has our own opinion, and each opinion should be respected no matter what.

I have found that some families have turned against each other over masks and/or vaccines. Friends are turning against each other over masks and/or vaccines.  During COVID-19 last year we honored the health care workers that worked in our hospitals long hours, day in and day out, taking care of patients.  Some stayed away from their family as they did not want them to get COVID.  

Now because some of these same health care workers don’t and won’t take the vaccine, we turn our back on them. People in health care, police, fire, emergency, and in all walks of life either have lost or will lose their jobs because they will not take the vaccine.  

In my opinion, it is unacceptable.  These people have the right to make the decision whether or not they want a vaccine for their body. That decision is their choice and should be honored. 

I will leave you with this:  A few weeks ago I met a great lady. She lives in Concord and was a registered nurse.  She had lost her job that day because she would not take the vaccine. When I saw her a second time, she was delivering orders part time until she could decide what she was going to do.  

Why are we turning our back to those that refuse a vaccine?  What are we doing to these people?  Are we willing to lose many of our great health care workers, police, fire, emergency workers because they refuse a vaccine?  

We all know that the vaccine is not 100% effective.  I was just reading about Vermont,which has the highest rate of vaccinated people age 12 and up but has had a spike with COVID cases.  I am not against the vaccines, but I do feel that having the vaccine is a personal choice.