TILTON — The Korean Conflict, too often known as America's forgotten war, was remembered yesterday within days of the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the bloodshed at the New Hampshire Veterans Home where 62 of its residents — eight of them women — who served during the war were commemorated.
"it's very humbling to see people who made sacrifices so long ago," Army Lt. Col. Dennis Snelling began. He told the more than 100 veterans, many in wheelchairs, guests and caregivers that as he has traveled the country presiding at like ceremonies "the common refrain has been, 'Don't let the American people forget us.'"
Snelling presented the veterans, including nearly a dozen from the Lakes Region, with a certificate honoring and thanking them for their service, speaking briefly, snapping to attention and saluting smartly before each. As he approached several of those in wheelchairs rose to meet him and returned his salute. Those from the Lakes Region were Elaine Baker of Gilford, Arthur Brown and John O'Callaghan of Meredith, Robert Ball and Warner Desmarais of Wolfeboro, Norman Joyce, Richard Lemay, Howard Pease and David Pryor of Laconia, Alphonse Beaule and Vincent Mulligan of Belmont and Gladys Renoe of Alexandria.
Pease noted that the ceremony recognized all those who served during the years of the conflict wherever they were stationed. He said that he spent two years in Germany manning 155 millimeter howitzers in a field artillery unit. Reflecting on the sacrifices made and hardships endured by the forces in Korea, he eyed his certificate and said, "It doesn't kind of seem right."
A video, produced by the government of the Republic of Korea, recalled the carnage and destruction of the war while expressing the gratitude of the Korean people to the men and women of the American armed forces who, together with their United Nation allies, repulsed the invasion by North Korea and checked the advance of Communist China. With liberation and peace, Korea embarked on reconstruction and development and now ranks as the tenth strongest economy in the world. To the veterans of the conflict, the Koreans proclaimed "You will always be our heroes."
"I'll be honest," said U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, who represents the 2nd Congressional District, "I invited myself here today. She said that her uncle flew in the Korean Conflict and remembered "people didn't talk about the Korean War." She assured the assembled veterans, "We know your stories and we are grateful to all of you."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 03:23
LACONIA — The Belknap County Convention has approved a $750,000 Revenue Anticipation Note for the Gunstock Mountain Resort by a 16-2 vote.
The vote Monday night came following a presentation by Gunstock General Manager Gregg Goddard and members of the Gunstock Area Commission on the role played by the borrowing in allowing the county-owned recreation area to gear up for the upcoming ski season.
Goddard said it was his 20th presentation to the convention on the RAN notes, which he said provide a short-term cash flow for Gunstock, which still receives 70 percent of its total revenue from skiing operations in a 100 day period from mid-December to late March, despite the addition of new summer attractions such as its longest in North America zip line and treetop adventure park.
The amount sought has ranged from $625,000 to $1.2 million in recent years, according to Goddard, who said the $1.2 million was sought when the bridge over Poor Farm Brook was being rebuilt and there was going to be a lag time before federal and state reimbursements were received.
He said that during the summer months Gunstock has spent $2.1 million preparing for the winter and will see a negative cash flow during the late fall until Christmas break skiing starts to produce positive revenues.
Goddard said Gunstock's budget is based on 168,000 skier visits a year, and that while the ski industry as a whole is not growing Gunstock has been able to retain loyal skiers and looks to increase the revenue from each customer in order to enhance revenues.
Unlike larger ski areas to the north, Gunstock, which is the closest large ski area to Boston and the fifth-largest ski area in the state, is based on the day trip market.
He said that there is also a strong customer base of second home owners who are using their property year-round who ski at Gunstock, which also has an outreach program to area schools which brings in local skiers.
Goddard responded to a series of written questions about Gunstock's viability and profitability from the County Convention and said that Gunstock was in a sound financial position with profits in five of the last six years and assets exceeding liabilities.
Asked if the need for a cash flow infusion will ever end, Goddard said hat it wouldn't happen right away. He said Gunstock was trying to stabilize its reserve funds for operating and capital expenses and has a goal of $1 million for operations and $500,000 for capital expenses. Currently it has $20,000 in operating revenue reserve and $91,000 in capital reserve.
He said that the operating revenue reserve account had risen to $700,000 before it was depleted by the virtually snowless winter of 2011.
Gunstock continues to pay the county $175,000 per year based on the terms of a memorandum of agreement reached with the county which extends through 2016. Chuck Lowth, chairman of the Gunstock Area Commission, said there was no plan to increase that amount paid to the county.
Goddard said that while it was good to build up operating cash to the point where there was no need for future RANs, that short-term borrowing at a cost of about $5,000 for a $750,000 RAN ''was not a bad thing to do. We shouldn't be sitting on a lot of cash.''
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 03:22
LACONIA — The Belknap County Convention huddled behind closed doors Monday night with the attorney they hired to represent them in their dispute with the Belknap County Commission over the authority of the two bodies concerning management of the county budget.
The non-meeting came after County Convention members spent a long day at the Belknap County Complex starting with a 2:30 p.m. tour of the County Corrections facility, a 4 p.m. Executive Committee meeting followed by public hearing on a Gunstock Area Commission request for a $750,000 revenue anticipation note and lengthy discussions over the budget authority dispute and the county jail situation.
The closed-door session with attorney David Horan lasted for a half hour.
The convention hired Horan, a former assistant county attorney in Hillsborough County, by a 9-7 vote on April 17 after several months of wrangling with the commission over who has authority over line item expenditures.
Convention Chairman Colette Worsman (R-Meredith) said during the Convention's discussion of the budget Monday night that there were a total of 92 line items which have been moved in the budget that the convention submitted to the Department of Revenue Administration and that the budget which was submitted to the state was different from the one which was presented to the convention for the discussion at Monday's meeting.
She said that the commission had rearranged the budget and cited two examples, one of which was a $5,500 item for legal fees in the Register of Deeds budget which the Convention had intended to pay the legal bills which she had run up in her dispute with county commissioners over the management of her office.
The other was a $50,000 reduction in the nursing home activities department which Worsman said had not been authorized by the convention.
County Administrator Debra Shackett said that the $5,500 line in the Register of Deeds budget was not an official account and would not be paid and that the reduction in the activities department line item was made by commissioners when they rearranged the budget to meet the $600,000 reduction the convention had made to the budget proposed by the commission.
The convention and commission have been at odds over who has line-item control over each and every item in the county budget, with the delegation asserting that it does have that power while the commission believes that authority is limited to the broad subtotals that define departments, such as the nursing home.
''The commission does not believe the convention has authority to create a line item,'' said Shackett.
Rep. Robert Greemore (R-Meredith) said it made little sense for the convention to work on the budget and then have the commission rearrange it.''Maybe we should just give you a bottom line budget if that's what you're going to do.''
Rep. Dennis Fields (R-Sanbornton) said that the budget process should work the subcommittees and that process wasn't allowed by the convention's leadership, leading to the current situation.
The prospect of the dispute ending up in Superior Court troubles Rep. David Huot (D-Laconia) who said that there was nothing more alarming to him than the prospect of county budget procedures being decided by a judge.
''The last person I would want to see setting the budget format is a Superior Court judge. They have no legislative experience or experience in county government.'' said Huot.
He said that he had tried to get support in the Legislature for putting together a bill which would address the flaws with county laws which the dispute had revealed but found no one willing to work with him.
Rep. Jane Cormier (R-Alton) said there was a lack of clarity in state laws dealing with county budget procedures and that she wished that it was different.
''How do we go forward without knowing which budget we're working on? This is not the way to do business,'' said Cormier.
Greemore said ''what we have here is a mismatch because for the first time we sat down and looked at the budget.
Rep. Herb Vadney said that any future requests from the County Commission for budget transfers should be turned down until the commission used the budget which had been approved by the County Convention.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 August 2013 09:47
LACONIA – One person was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital yesterday morning after her passenger car appeared to have been struck from the rear on Union Avenue.
Police said her car was pushed into the car in front of her.
Fire Department Lt. Dave French said the crash happened in front of Laconia High School just after 11 a.m. He described the woman's injuries as non life-threatening.
He said the cars were able to be driven from the road and said all appeared to be headed in the same direction.
He said both drivers in the two primary cars were alone and the man driving the pickup declined medical treatment.
He said the passenger car didn't appear to be badly damaged, but the pickup was towed. He said it sustained considerable front-end damage that ruined the radiator.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 August 2013 03:21
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