Ohio Governor John Kasich wants Americans to live lives 'bigger than themselves'

LACONIA — Running near the back of the pack with poll numbers mired in single digits, Ohio Governor John Kasich kick started his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in New Hampshire this week by naming a leadership team topped by former senators John E. Sununu of New Hampshire and Trent Lott of Mississippi one day and unveiling an ambitious fiscal and economic plan the next.

In between he stopped at The Laconia Daily Sun on Wednesday where, after demonstrating the mechanics of his golf swing and hustling a cup of coffee, he spoke about his candidacy and fielded questions about how he would address the challenges of a threatening world and sluggish economy.

Kasich who served nine terms in the House of Representatives, all of them on the Armed Services Committee and a third of them as chairman of the Budget Committee, and is serving his second term as governor, said his executive experience as governor prepared him for the presidency. "I can do this," he declared. It'll be hard. But, I can do this."

Kasich, who has called the Republican Party "my vehicle, not my master," dismissed the dissension in the ranks of the GOP, particularly the turmoil that has left the speakership of the House in limbo. "I don't worry about the party," he said. "As president I can pull it together with an aggressive agenda."

That agenda includes what Kasich called an "assertive" foreign policy suited to "the leader of the world with a military presence second to none. We must say what we mean and mean what we say," he said." He stressed the importance of bringing the western powers together and favored the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a means of cultivating friends and partners in Asia.

In the Middle East, Kasich said that the Obama Administration erred in failing to arm the rebellion seeking to topple the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. He favors establishing no-fly zones to delineate sanctuaries in Syria, where the end game should be to remove Assad. At the same time, he said that American "boots on the ground", as one element of a coalition of Arab and European states, will be required to eliminate the threat to the Middle East posed by Isis. Finally, Kasich insisted the United States "must never go back on Israel" and said a closer relationship with Turkey would contribute to greater stability in the region.

Kasich said he is "wary" of both Russia and China. Putin he called "a bully," adding that "Russia is not a force for good in the Middle East." The United States, he said, should be assisting the Ukraine, including shipments of weapons, in maintaining their independence against the rebellion supported by Russia. Likewise, Kasich said that America should respond to China's sponsorship of cyber attacks on American governmental institutions and private corporations and encroachments in the South China Sea.

Firmly rejecting the notion that the weak recovery and slow growth following the 2008-2009 recession represents a "new normal," he outlined the plan he announced yesterday, claiming it would increase the rate of economic growth to around four-percent and balance the federal budget in eight years.

The plan includes lowering the top individual income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 28 percent, capping the rate of the capital gains tax at 15-percent, reducing the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, eliminating the estate tax altogether and doubling the research and development tax credit for small businesses. The earned income tax credit,a refund to working people with meager and modest incomes, would be increased by 10 percent.

Kasich proposed bundling federal funding for education, transportation, job training and Medicaid into grants to the states, which would be authorized to administer these programs. Spending on both Medicare and Medicaid would be cut and increases in discretionary spending on other federal programs, except for defense, would be frozen for eight years. Meanwhile, Kasich intends to increase defense spending by 17 percent, or $102 billion, between 2017 and 2025.

Acknowledging that lower taxes would add to the budget deficit in the early years, Kasich claims that reductions in federal spending and greater economic growth will offset foregone revenue and balance the budget.

As the interview drew to a close Kasich remarked he had not touched on an important problem — "our broken families and broken communities." Asked if they sprang from economic roots, he replied "to a degree", then added somewhat wistfully that "we need to live lives bigger than ourselves, to be responsible to our spouses, our children and our neighbors."

Man who shot at Meredith house will be in prison for at least 2 years

LACONIA — A man charged with reckless conduct for firing two shots from a 9mm handgun through a screen door at a Corliss Hill Road home in Meredith while the occupants were in the building has been sentenced to serve a two to four year sentence in the New Hampshire State Prison
Jesse Lohman, 33, this week entered a negotiated plea of guilty to the charge in connection with the incident. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of being a felon in possession of a deadly weapon and received a suspended three and a half year to seven year sentence conditioned on seven years of good behavior.
The incident took place around 10 a.m. on a July 26, a Sunday. An affidavit filed by Meredith police said that Lohman drove a car into the driveway of the Corliss Hill Road home, knocked on the door and told the homeowner he was looking for a woman named Cassandra. The homeowner said that he told Lohman that he had the wrong house and that Lohman shook his hand and walked back to the car.
The affidavit said that the homeowner looked out the window and saw Lohman throw a knife out of the car. He then raised a gun, aimed it toward the home and fired two rounds into the screen door, police said.
The homeowner was only 10 feet away from the door when the shots were fired and he and his wife ran across the street and hid in a barn and called 911.
Lohman was still on the property when police arrived and was described as agitated. When police searched him they found a live round, a holster strapped to chest and a hypodermic needle with suspected methamphetamine inside it. They also found a 9mm handgun in the car. Police later discovered that the car had been stolen.
A charge of receiving stolen property against Lohman was nol prossed.
Lohman had also been charged with criminal trespass for an incident five days earlier in Laconia during which he was found inside a home on Pleasant St. by the owner of the home. That charge was dropped by Laconia police.
Three months of the minimum sentence on the reckless conduct charge will be suspended if Lohman remains on good behavior while incarcerated and takes part in drug and alcohol counseling. He was credited with 81 days of pre-trial confinement.

Weirs Beach 'sleep' vs. 'fun' debate again plays out before City Council

LACONIA — "We're not done with this (discussion) — not anywhere near," said Councilor Ava Doyle (Ward 1) during a lengthy public debate of changes to the ordinances restricting noise and licensing outdoor loudspeakers at the City Council meeting this week.

Although the proposed changes to the ordinances would apply throughout the city, the discussion pitted those speaking for entertainment venues against residents and innkeepers at the Weirs.

"I sell sleep," Fred Clausen of Proctor Cottages, said flatly, repeating a refrain heard for the past several years.

"It's a tourist area," countered John Ganong, owner of Nothin' Fancy restaurant. "They need their sleep, but they also need their fun."

The proposal, presented to the council by its Government Operations and Ordinances Committee, which Doyle chairs, proposed two changes to the noise ordinance when it met a month ago. The initiatives were put forward for a "first reading" vote on Sept. 28 but councilors instead decided to invite the public in for the informal discussion that was held on Monday night. Officially, the matter remains "on the table".

The first proposal, which would apply to residential and commercial properties throughout the city, would specify that a noise "plainly audible," in the judgment of the police, within 50 feet of the property line of the property where it originates, particularly between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. on Sunday through Thursday would represent a violation. The second change would apply to persons "yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing in the street, particularly between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., which would also constitute a violation.

The committee also proposed extending the hours for the operation of outdoor sound equipment. Currently, outdoor loudspeakers cannot be operated later than 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The committee recommended extending the hours to 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., respectively, and allowing loudspeakers to operate until 11 p.m. on the weekday night before federal holidays.
Finally, the committee will also recommend stiffening the penalties of repeated violations of the noise ordinance, by fining violators $100 for the first offense. $250 for the second offense and $500 for all subsequent offenses. The ordinance currently provides for a fine of not more than $250 for all offenses.
Don Richards of Timber Lane, a long time member of the Planning Board, conceded "it's a tough proposition". He said that he accepted the 50 foot rule for indoor music venues, but was troubled by extending the hours for outdoor loudspeakers. "The existing regulations are sufficient," he said, with a provision to request extended hours on a limited number of special occasions.
"I'm afraid of what will happen if you open this Pandora's Box," warned Ernie Bolduc, who reminded the council that bars can remain open until 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. He said that he owned property at Hampton Beach, where his tenants constantly complain about the noise coming from nearby bars — and their patrons. "I've had tenants ask for their money back," he said. "These people drink and when one bar closes go to the next," he continued. "They are loud and obnoxious." He said that quiet between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. "has been a magic number for years and it works."
That prompted Bob Wolf of Faro's Italian Grille to say that "if The Weirs turned into Hampton Beach, it would be a blessing." He said that business slows at Faro's when the music stops. "Midnight is best," he remarked, "and anything earlier than 11 p.m. is ridiculous." Then with a nod to Clausen, he added "we sell fun".
Cynthia Makris of the Naswa Resort said that the ordinance proposal represented "a bad message for tourism by telling visitors they can only have so much fun, then they have to be quiet." She questioned the 50 foot rule, explaining that sound travels over water. "It's getting very divisive," Makris cautioned, explaining that "we are all residents of the city, but The Weirs is being broken apart between residents and businesses."
"It's an impossible task," said Councilor Brenda Baer (Ward 4), who suggested rather than apply one ordinance to the entire city, regulations could be tailored to designated areas, where, for example, the hours for outdoor loudspeakers could be extended.