State Sen. Jeanie Forrester - N.H. Senate Republicans restoring state's 'advantage'

The governor's veto of the 2016/17 budget was successfully overridden on September 16. I am especially pleased that we were able to come together, get this budget in place, and continue to move our state in the right direction.
Five years ago when I started my first term, Senate Republicans crafted a long-term plan to restore the "New Hampshire Advantage". The plan included some core principles to correct a course that had put our state on an unsustainable path. These principles included:
— Putting our fiscal house in order by producing truly balanced budgets that rely on realistic revenues without new taxes or fees, and rebuilds our rainy day fund.
— Supporting our most vulnerable citizens by ensuring adequate funding for important programs like Service Link, Meals on Wheels, the developmentally disabled, mental health, and drug and alcohol services.
— Reforming the way government does business by reducing costs and shrinking the size of government while still maintaining core services.
— Creating a more business-friendly state by reducing regulation, streamlining and updating existing laws, and instituting business tax reforms.
As I look back over the accomplishments of the last five years, what stands out is the resolve shown by our elected officials to deliver on what the voters of New Hampshire sent them to Concord to do. Republicans have held the majority in the Senate since 2011 and we have delivered on the promises we've made.

We have produced budgets that are balanced, without new taxes or fees, and have started the process of re-building New Hampshire's rainy day fund, from $9.3 million in the 2012/13 budget to a projected $24 million in the 2016/17 budget.

Beginning with the repeal of many of the 80+ taxes and fees instituted prior to the 2011/12 legislative session, we have been consistent in holding the line on new taxes and fees including rejecting the governor's more recent proposal for millions of dollars in increases on drivers, smokers, and small business.

We've also held as a priority, assuring that effective, cost-saving programs and services for our most vulnerable citizens are supported. From funding mental health and developmental disabilities to emergency shelters and Meals on Wheels, we understand the need for these critical programs. Whether it was restoring funding to the Children In Need of Services program in the 2012/13 budget or restoring cuts made by Governor Hassan to the home health agencies in this budget — we have been steadfast advocates for our most vulnerable population.

The Senate also understood the need to reform state government and enacted legislation throughout the last five years that has produced positive results. This includes legislation requiring state agencies to submit reduced spending alternatives when they build their budgets; requiring consolidation of government contracts that allows the state to use economies of scale to bring down costs; and the elimination of 1,000 vacant government positions.

We did all this and still provided core services like keeping our troopers on the road and our DMV stations open; providing more funding to repair our roads and bridges and sending money back to our cities and towns by funding state aid grants, flood control, and rooms and meals distribution.

We also understood that policies enacted by government can hurt or help job creation in the private sector. So, to strengthen economic and job growth in our state, we began laying the groundwork for creating a more business-friendly environment.

We started with legislation like eliminating the state's tax on gambling earnings, reforming workers' compensation, updating and reforming New Hampshire's securities laws, increasing research and development tax credits and finally bringing forward modest business tax cuts that will restore New Hampshire's competitiveness over neighboring states.

Today, New Hampshire ranks fourth lowest in the nation at 3.6 percent for unemployment. This means we have been able to consistently put more Granite Staters back in the workforce when compared to December 2010 when over 42,000 friends and neighbors were out of work (5.5 percent unemployment).

When we look to and rely heavily on our business community to provide the revenues to pay for our spending priorities, it is important that we assure they can be competitive in today's world.

By holding the line on spending, keeping taxes low, and reducing the red tape from Concord, the Legislature is allowing the economy to grow, free from government burdens. Businesses can feel comfortable hiring and investing because they trust that the current legislature's priorities are designed to help, not hurt their success. Combined, these efforts will help us preserve and strengthen the "New Hampshire Advantage", attract new business, and ensure New Hampshire continues to lead.

You've heard the saying, "leave it better than you found it..." I am proud to say that in the New Hampshire Senate, we have done just that.

(Meredith Republican Jeanie Forrester represents District 2 in the N.H. Senate.)

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Froma Harrop- Rx price gouging a product of our political system

If Hollywood had created Martin Shkreli as the monster from Wall Street, we would have accused it of unfair characterization. But Shkreli — a 32-year-old hedge fund director in T-shirts, dabbler in the punk rock music world — has saved Tinseltown the trouble.

Shkreli has also done the American people a service by showing in high def how the pharmaceutical industry gouges us. The pharmaceutical industry is angry with him for the same reason.

Drugmakers prefer a subtler approach. Do it quietly and with a touch more nuance. For example, the day Valeant Pharmaceuticals acquired two heart drugs, it raised the prices for them by only 525 percent and 212 percent.

That was a model of self-control next to Shkreli's instant 5,455 percent price hike on a 62-year-old lifesaving drug. This wasn't a good visual for the industry. The audio wasn't so hot, either.

To recap, Shkreli's startup company recently bought the marketing rights to Daraprim and proceeded to raise the price from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill. (It used to cost $1 a pill.) Daraprim is often the last hope for cancer patients and others with weak immune systems suffering from parasitic infections.

Some Shkreli decoders explained that his drug company raised prices to recoup the $55 million it had just spent for the rights to sell Daraprim. Thing is, the $55 million acquisition price for a drug serving a relatively small number of patients seemed justified by the belief that one could raise the per-pill cost more than fiftyfold overnight. You can only get away with that in the United States, but we're a big, big market.

No other industrialized country lets drugmakers pick prices out of thin air and assume patients, insurers and taxpayers will somehow come up with the ransom. The U.S. setup comes courtesy of our lawmakers in Washington, above all our Republican lawmakers.

In the Valeant case, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent seeking the Democratic presidential nod, demanded documents defending the price increases. Valeant said no, that such information is "highly proprietary and confidential". Wouldn't it just.
Governments elsewhere, however far to the left or right, see negotiating drug prices for their people as a duty of leadership. The United States does little of that. In fact, the law establishing the Medicare prescription drug benefit specifically forbids the government to negotiate drug prices.

Let's talk about markets, okay? We believe in a market system, buyers negotiating prices with sellers, right? U.S. taxpayers fund 73 percent of the Medicare drug benefit. They are the buyers.

But in our skewed political language, Republicans denounce proposals to have the federal government negotiate Medicare drug prices as an attack on our allegedly free-market system. Somehow letting the taxpayers defend their interests is "socialism".

It is true Medicare beneficiaries obtain drug coverage through private insurers who do negotiate prices. And it is true that, as Republicans say, the Medicare drug program is costing less than originally projected. But this is a shell game.

The relevant comparison is what the drug benefit costs next to what it would have cost had the government been allowed to bargain on prices. Taxpayers could save up to $16 billion a year if Medicare did the negotiating, according to a recent estimate in The Wall Street Journal.

The week Shkreli revealed the creepy reality of drug pricing, Hillary Clinton issued a proposal to curb "profiteering" by the drug industry. Biotech stocks promptly took a hit on Wall Street.

That hedge funder let the cat out, for sure, and it will be screeching right through Halloween. Some boys are so bad they do good.

(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)

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Roche — Lakes Region Profiles — Kent Locke, Jr., a Lakes Region real estate legend

While I was on a trip to Ireland last week, I called into the office and was saddened to learn a long term colleague and friend of mine had passed away. I made a stop at an old historic Irish church, lit a candle, and said a prayer for my close friend Kent Locke. I reflected on the memories of Kent and thought of his many accomplishments and the things he contributed to the Lakes Region and New Hampshire.
I first met Kent in 1974 up in Waterville Valley, where he and his brother, Jim Locke, were developing Waterville Estates, the region's largest second-home community built over three hillsides in Campton. I enjoyed Kent so much. He was approachable, full of enthusiasm, and had a visionary eye towards the future. Waterville Estates was a huge undertaking in those days. It encompassed close to thirty miles of roadways, a man-made swimming pond, a small ski area, a huge community center with indoor pool, and tennis courts. Today, Waterville Estates includes approximately 700 homes and condominiums, which contribute enormous tax revenues to the town of Campton. I still have memories of Kent working long hours from his office above the community center. Little did I know that my future interest in real estate would be carved out by this remarkable man.
It should be noted that prior to Waterville Estates, Kent Locke worked in his family business. With his father and two brothers he developed Locke Lake Colony in Barnstead. There they created a 160 acre man-made lake and developed another major second-home community.
After Waterville Estates, Kent moved down to the Lakes Region to operate Hounsell Realty and later Keewaydin Properties, which was a large development company based out of Dracut, Mass. I followed Kent's move and joined Hounsell Realty with him where he became my mentor. Kent was instrumental in opening three Century 21 real estate offices in Laconia, Center Harbor, and Bristol. They became the top offices in New England under his management. During the same time period, he successfully managed and developed the Salem Industrial Park (one of New Hampshire's largest) and the O'Shea Industrial Park in Laconia, which today is the home of some of the Lakes Region's largest businesses. He also developed an industrial park in Concord.
Kent was responsible for developing Wildwood Shores Condominiums on Lake Winnisquam in Laconia. Here he won an award from a professional builder magazine for concept and architectural design. At the same time, he managed the Pheasant Ridge Country Club in Gilford for Keewaydin Properties, which today is a well-respected 18-hole golf course. For years, Kent managed the Keewaydin company headquarters at 272 Union Avenue in the old Scott & Williams knitting factory. In this huge manufacturing building, he leased space to Laconia Shoe, J & J printing, the real estate office, and many other companies over the years. This landmark property was converted into 60 affordable housing units in Normandin Square with the Lakes Region Child Care Center and the LRGHealthcare Center on site.
Kent was also involved in many residential subdivisions over the years, including Wildwood Shores, Shore Drive Extension, and Penny Lane in Laconia, as well as Old English Lane in Gilford. Under Kent's direction, the Keewaydin company successfully marketed many developments throughout the Lakes Region, including South Down Shores, Long Bay, Windward Harbor, Broadview Condominiums, Samoset, and many more.
I always looked at Kent as being the eternal optimist – a positive thinker who had a tremendous work ethic. He always took the time to sit down with his associates, clients, and friends to discuss the events of the day and real estate matters. That is one of the reasons why he was consistently late, because the poor guy had so much on his plate – way too much for the average real estate professional to sort out. Being the competitor he was, from his high school roots in Alton on to the University of New Hampshire, he always strived for accomplishment. He gave back to the communities he served in so many ways, whether it was the Lakes Region Board of Realtors, the Gilford Planning Board, or the Rotary Club. He was so proud of his three children, Susan, Nancy, and Andrew. All three of them excelled at some of the finest colleges in the country in both academics and sports and have gone on to lead very successful lives. I have to say that both Kent and his former wife, Jean Aberg of Gilford, did a remarkable job raising those three kids considering they had so much going on in their busy lives.
Kent courageously fought with Parkinson's disease over the past 25 years. He approached this with the same fighting spirit that he applied to his real estate endeavors. He always had that great smile on his face and always had the time to lend an ear and provide good advice. Vince Lombardi summed up Kent's life beautifully when he said, "The quality of a man's life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence regardless of his chosen field of endeavor."
Please feel free to visit to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group in Meredith and Laconia, N.H. and can be reached at (603) 279-7046.

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Michelle Malkin - 'Bacha bazi': a celebration of diversity?

American soldiers are being punished for blowing the whistle on the systematic rape and enslavement of young boys at the hands of brutal Afghan Muslim military officials.

Honorable men in uniform risked their careers and lives to stop the abuse. Yet, the White House — which was busy tweeting about its new feminism-pandering "It's On Us" campaign against an alleged college rape crisis based on debunked statistics — is AWOL on the actual pedophilia epidemic known as "bacha bazi". On Thursday, Obama administration flacks went out of their way to downplay Afghan child rape as "abhorrent", but "fundamentally" a local "law enforcement matter".

This is the price the innocents pay for blind multiculturalism.

A New York Times report on the Afghan Muslim practice this week garnered attention and outrage on Capitol Hill — and prompted a river of denials from Obama Defense Department brass, who insisted our troops were not ordered to look the other way.

But the subjugation and sexual assault of these children — and their victimization by Afghan military personnel working alongside our troops — is not new.

Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi's wrenching documentary on "The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan" aired in London and the U.S. in 2010. The United Nations has known and done nothing as Taliban warlords and Afghan police groomed, sodomized and sexually trafficked generations of young boys. The U.S. State Department acknowledged last year that "there were reports security officials and those connected to the ANP (Afghan National Police) raped children with impunity."

In February, I reported on the case of Maj. Jason Brezler. He's still fighting for his reputation and his military career after warning colleagues of an insider attack on an American base in the Helmand province.

Refresher: The highly decorated Marine reserve civil affairs officer had sent a classified document through his personal e-mail account to fellow Marines at Forward Operating Base Delhi in 2012. The correspondence, which came in response to a FOB Delhi Marine's request for information, involved the shady history of Taliban-tied Afghan police chief and accused drug lord and child molester Sarwar Jan.

Jan had been suspected of coordinating Taliban operations, selling Afghan police uniforms to our enemies and raping at least nine boys on base.

A few weeks after Brezler's warning, which went unheeded, one of Jan's teenage "tea boys" went on a shooting spree at FOB Delhi. Marine Staff Sgt. Cody Rhode was shot five times, but survived. Three others died of gunshot wounds: Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson, Cpl. Richard Rivera and Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley. Buckley's relatives filed suit against the government last fall over what they believe has been a coordinated and illegal attempt to suppress details of the insider attack.
Meanwhile, Brezler is forced to watch Hillary Clinton get away with massive e-mail security violations, while he's railroaded for using a personal Yahoo account to try to protect his fellow Marines.

In a separate case, the Army this month denied an appeal by decorated Green Beret Sgt. First Class Charles Martland, who was discharged in 2011 after physically confronting an Afghan police commander accused of kidnapping, chaining and raping a local village boy, beating his mother, and laughing about it when questioned. Another soldier who joined Martland in the confrontation, Cpt. Daniel Quinn, was reprimanded and left the Army.

Asked whether the president had taken steps to review his military's treatment of these whistleblowers, White House spokesman apathetically shrugged: "Not that I'm aware of."


A White House that wants to spend billions to stop "climate change" in the name of saving all the children of the planet can't bother to stop the violent sexual assaults of boys held hostage right under our noses by our warmly embraced "allies" in the Afghan military.

A White House that splashed social media with pleas to "Bring Back Our Girls" after Boko Haram jihadists in Nigeria kidnapped 300 girls and women has nothing to say about the legions of boys forced into prostitution and pedophilia rings witnessed by U.S. troops.

A White House bent on whitewashing away radical Islam's sins against Christians, Jews, gays, apostates, cartoonists, genitally mutilated women and child brides would rather celebrate "diversity" than lift a finger to protect the victims of political correctness run amok.

To paraphrase 2009 Nobel Prize winner President Obama: It's on you.

(Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin is the daughter of Filipino Immigrants. She was born in Philadelphia, raised in southern New Jersey and now lives with her husband and daughter in Colorado. Her weekly column is carried by more than 100 newspapers.)


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Lakes Region Profiles - Frank Roche


Over the years I've seen many couples return to the Lakes Region because of our desirable lifestyle, natural beauty and four seasons of recreation. James and Jamie McCuddy are a good example of that type of couple. Education and job opportunities pulled them away however the magnetic attraction of our region brought them back.

Jamie where did you grow up?

J: "I was born in Portsmouth and moved to Moultonborough when I was 6 years old to my grandparents' house on Lake Winnipesaukee. In 1999 I graduated from Moultonborough Academy where I played softball and basketball. Then off to Keene State College, where I graduated with a degree in Business Management in 2003."

After college, where did you go?

J: "I moved to Boston to start my career at Eaton Vance, an Investment Management Firm. I worked there 5½ years and during that time I met my future husband, James who also worked at the firm."

After Eaton Vance?

J: "I started working at T's Capital LLC based in Boston and New York City and I've been with them ever since. In 2012 we moved to Milwaukee for a corporate relocation for James job, when he was promoted to Regional Vice President for Wisconsin at Eaton Vance. At first I was devastated because I didn't want to leave Boston or my entire family on Lake Winnipesaukee."

James where are you from?

J: "I grew up in Greenville near Peterborough. I joined the Coast Guard after college and I was stationed in Woods Hole, Mass., and New Castle. In 1991 I was involved in the search and rescue of the REA Gale 250 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. The movie "The Perfect Storm" was later filmed. After six years with the Coast Guard I took a position with PFPC Global Kind Services in western Massachusetts. In 2001 I started working at Eaton Vance in Boston and I've been with them for 13 years."

So how did you adjust to Wisconsin?

J: "We lived at Whitefish Bay on Lake Michigan it has a small-town feel and is only 10 minutes outside of Milwaukee. It's very family oriented where there's a strong sense of community. In 2015 we purchased a brick colonial five blocks from the lake. Lake Michigan is big and cold; it's a lot like the ocean because of its size. Some days it looks like the Caribbean while other times it's dark blue. However, I still miss Boston and especially Lake Winnipesaukee."

Why Lake Winnipesaukee?

J: "My great-grandfather, Morris Watson, started Long Island Campground 50 years ago just before the bridge that goes out to the island. He owned a large waterfront parcel along Watson Shore and sold off pieces of Lakefront at $100 per foot to finance, the construction of the campground. The campground now has 111 sites with a big sandy beach with moorings and dock on the lake. Gramps passed away in the early 1980s and left it to my grandfather, Daniel Watson. The campground has been operated since that day and we were all involved. That's why I have such fond memories of Lake Winnipesaukee growing up and enjoying all the lake experiences with my family.

So how did you get back to your roots while you were living in Wisconsin?

J: "We always wanted to get back to the lake because of our past experiences and memories growing up. We wanted especially to be near our family. We were up visiting our family one weekend and we noticed a lake cottage that came on the market on Watson Shore Road the property was just around the corner from the campground. So we called real estate broker Nancy Clark and said we would love to take a look at it. When Nancy brought us through we immediately fell in love with the spot. And to make it even better the land was originally owned by my great grandfather who sold the lot to them! It was so sentimental where we could walk to the campground and spend time with the family. My great-grandfather helped frame the original cottage. We could see the potential with the sandy beach, dock and westerly views. So we called Scott Elliot of native timberworks and his sister Melinda Laflamme to coordinate ideas for the remodeling project and re construction. Both Scott and Melinda are Nancy's children and it worked out perfectly. They were able to create "a true lake feel" with a cottage that we could use for vacations and time away with family. Some day we can hopefully retire in the future at this great spot."

So James what attracts you to the Lakes Region and Lake Winnipesuakee?

J: "I love New England it's the convenience, everything is so close compared to the mid-west. You have a huge assortment of lakes and mountains to constantly discover, you're only two hours from Boston which is a great city, and you can be in a different country enjoying Montreal or Quebec within hours. What I like most is it's a total escape from being in the city. We absolutely love lake living and the lifestyle is offers.

We enjoying hiking in the White Mountains and there are some fun concerts and great restaurants to visit throughout the lakes region. Additionally I love the 'Live Free or Die' moto."

Please feel free to visit to learn more about the Lake Region and its real estate market. Frank Roche is president of Roche Realty Group in Meredith and Laconia, NH and can be reached at (603) 279-7046.


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