Never at a loss for words — Used book sale is a reflection of the community

Never at a Loss for Words....
Submitted by Katie Small of Bayswater Books

There has been a great deal of sorting, alphabetizing, and organizing used books around Bayswater lately as we prepare to hold our third annual used book sale. Over the past year, thousands of pre-loved books have come through our doors by way of donations; some older, some newer, some fiction, some non-fiction, some hardcover and some paperback. All will end up in the same place from Friday, July 22, through Sunday, July 24 – on sale, awaiting crowds of browsing readers on our porch.
Bayswater's used book sale donates a portion of its profits to the Meredith Altrusa Literacy Fund; a local non-profit organization that provides books, reading services and financial assistance to libraries and school reading programs throughout the Lakes Region. We are very pleased to be able to make this donation to such a worthy cause. The sale does more than provide an avenue to sell books, however. It has become a Center Harbor community summer event, a date to mark down on the calendar, and an opportunity to stock up on books for a fraction of the usual cost while taking part in a taste of what makes this area such an inviting place to be.
You see, the individuals in our community are just as different and unique as the used books that they will purchase, and they come from just as many places. Our porch will host customers who are wise with age, some who have just learned to walk, some with summer homes who come back to our community in the warm months, and others who live locally year-round. They will be joined by individuals just beginning to enjoy books, some who are fervent readers, some who have one particular author that they cannot live without, and others who are seeking a new genre or literary challenge. This giant sale is a reflection of our community – supported by the community.
If you are in the neighborhood from July 22 through 24, you are almost certain to find your next read, but in addition, you may just receive a small dose of what it means to be a part of the community of people who donated these thousands of books, helping to create this affordable summer event. For more information, call us at  603-253-8858 and as always, you can check us out at and on facebook. The sale starts at 9:30 a.m.!

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E. Scott Cracraft - Christian dominionism

Since the late 1970s, evangelical and fundamentalist Christians with conservative theological and social views have become politically powerful. Many would have the public think that all they want to do is to defend conservative "family values" or that Christian calls to execute gay people or women who have abortions is just a "fringe" formation. A first glance, it seems that their agenda is limited to things like teaching creationism, stopping abortion, or opposing same-sex marriages.
But the agenda of many on the Christian Right goes much further than just defending their own values and beliefs and more than will admit it believe in imposing Old Testament laws against gays. This is due to the Christian Dominionist movement. Even some well-known evangelists, like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell have betrayed their sympathies for this little-known movement.

Many, whether they will admit it or not, are part of or heavily influenced by Christian Dominionism. They want to impose there values on others and to erode our traditional separation of church and state and have Christians take over in politics, education, the economy, the media and in the law. They sincerely believe that God wants evangelical and fundamentalist Christians (and not all of them!) to have "dominion" in different spheres of American life.

This is nothing new in American history. The English Puritans claimed that they were building a Christian "city on a hill" in America, a Calvinist "utopia." Contrary to myth, the Puritans did not establish religious freedom in this country. They established it for themselves but were not willing, at least during the early Colonial Period, to grant that freedom to others.
Only men who were church members could vote and not every man could join the church unless he could prove he was one of the Calvinist "elect." Try to be a Quaker or worse, a Catholic, and move into Boston in the 1640s!
The Puritans were a "Christian" society and very narrow in their definition of what that means. The civil and criminal laws were often based on the Old Testament and called for the death penalty for blasphemy, adultery, homosexuality, or even too much talking back to your parents. Some Puritans who took more moderate views were run out of Massachusetts.
A more radical version is Christian Reconstructionism. It published The Institutes of Biblical Law. John Rushdooney, a Calvinist theologian, advocated for a nation where the laws of the Hebrew Bible are literally enforced: the death penalty for adultery, homosexuality, and blasphemy.
The preachers who have recently made the news by calling for the death penalty for gays are in this category. What is interesting is that at least some only want to execute gay men since the Bible does not specifically say to kill lesbians. One wonders what THAT is all about!
Many Christian Dominionists and Reconstructionist believe that Christianity and democracy are "incompatible" and favor a theocracy where the only participation in government would be people who believe as he does. He even advocates the reintroduction of slavery, since that is in the Bible!
The British colonies, and many of the states after independence, had religious tests for holding office. In some states, you could not serve if you were Catholic or Jewish (there is a strong element of anti-Catholicism in American history as well as in the agenda of many Christian Dominionists and Reconstructionists).
Today's Christian Dominionists, like the Puritans, frequently subscribe to a very narrow Calvinist theology in which a few are the "elect" and the rest of us are the "damned." They believe they can make America a Christian country again (in spite of the fact that we were never a Christian country).
Ted Cruz, the last to drop out of the GOP race in favor of Trump, was actually more dangerous than Trump to the doctrine of separation of church and state. Cruz had close personal and political ties to the Christian Dominionist movement although he was too savvy politically to draw attention to it.
The Founders envisioned a society where church and state would be separated. There is no "religious test" to hold office. Government cannot endorse or fund any religion while allowing the greatest freedom of exercise in the democratic world. This heritage has been beneficial to both government and religion. Let's keep it that way.
(Scott Cracraft is a citizen, taxpayer, veteran, and resident of Gilford.)

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New Hampshire Amateur Championship starts Monday


With the 113th New Hampshire Amateur Championship just two days away, players all over the state have been busy preparing their games for the week-long event. This prestigious event will be held at Laconia Country Club, and will consist of two days of stroke play starting Monday, and then the low 64 players will advance to match play on Wednesday. The single elimination matches will be played the rest of the week, with the championship match to be played on Saturday.

In order to play in the amateur, players had to qualify at one of the eight available qualifying sites. The sites where 18 holes of qualifying were held this year were at Windham Country Club, Nashua Country Club, Lochmere Golf & Country Club, Breakfast Hill Golf Club, North Conway Country Club, Hanover Country Club, Waukewan Golf Course, and Concord Country Club. As the host site of the Championship, Laconia Country Club also had a qualifying round for its members for a one-spot exemption.

The 36 holes of stroke play will begin Monday at 7:30 a.m. off of the first and 10th tees of Laconia Country Club. One hundred forty-four players will have their chance to make the top 64 after two rounds of stroke-play on Monday and Tuesday. The players will be grouped into 48 threesomes, and will be representing courses from all over the state.

Justin Dockham of Laconia Country Club will be in the first group teeing off Monday morning. He noted how the membership and himself are excited to be the host club for the tournament, and for the opportunity to play the championship on his home course. He said, "It will be exciting to see the best amateurs in the state taking on the course we play everyday. The course is in as good of condition as I can remember, and should be a great test. My game is in good shape, but I have tried to spend some additional time working on my short game."

Other individuals representing Laconia Country Club are A,J, Correia, Dan Doyle, Bill Everett, Eric Foster, Chris Houston and Hayden Maroun. Best of luck to all participants in the championship, and we at Laconia Country Club look forward to hosting you this coming week.

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Lakes Region booming over the Fourth!

By FRANK ROCHE, President of Roche Realty Group, Inc.

Some say it was the weather, while others said it's an improving economy and lower gas prices. No matter what position you take, there is one thing that's certain, our Lakes Region enjoyed impressive crowds over the long Fourth of July weekend. My take on it is that the Lakes Region has evolved into a premiere summer destination market, which draws from a larger demographic audience each year.

As I drove around the Lakes Region distributing our real estate magazine, I was so impressed with the quantity and quality of events and activities taking place over the big weekend. I was seeing license plates from numerous states, with families out completely immersed in all of the wonderful activities our Lakes Region offers.

I stopped at Gunstock Mountain Resort and could not believe the parking lot, it looked like the middle of ski season. Cars were extended out beyond the main parking area and there were long lines of families leading into the ticket office, purchasing passes for Gunstock's popular zip lines, aerial tree top adventure park, Segway tours and children's Discover Zone. There were mountain bikers and the campground was completely full. Additionally, there was a major craft fair, with all sorts of handmade offerings on display. The new Landing Zone outdoor restaurant was full of tourists overlooking the Discover Zone, while zip liners were flying past overhead. I took a look at the new state of the art mountain coaster, which is nearing completion, and I was amazed to think of Gunstock has accomplished. The Mountain Coaster at a cost of approximately $2.6 million will be another major attraction and draw for the Lakes Regions premiere resort property.

Greg Goddard the General Manager of Gunstock Mountain Resort has done a phenomenal job in bringing Gunstock to the level that it is at today. His vision and execution has been spot on. He has taken what was once primarily a winter resort, into a year round, first class family destination. Greg's vision and implementation could not be possible without the quality, hardworking employees he surrounds himself with at Gunstock. The resort has brought families off the lake and tied them into the outdoor adventure experience that so many of us are looking for. It is truly a first class operation and provides an economic boost to the Lakes Region.

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to take in a Keith Urban concert at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion. The Saturday show was a huge success, where he sold out, and on Sunday the event was nearly sold out, too. As I looked around the amphitheater, I saw thousands of cheering and happy fans, enjoying a world-class concert. I saw license plates all the way from California coming into the venue and I talked to two couples from Toronto, Canada, who were taking in their 126th Keith Urban concert. They absolutely loved the Lakes Region facility and I was completely blown away to see how far they traveled. I have got to say that Bob Harding, the developer of Meadowbrook must be looking down from the heavens with a big smile on his face, because he sure created one fabulous cultural facility that has been a tremendous draw to the area.

When I drove through Meredith, there were lines coming out of the town docks and children waiting to get ice cream. There were 6,000 rubber ducks that were launched from the top of the waterfall, at Meredith Mills Falls for the 26th annual Lions Club rubber duck race. There were 100s of boats floating on Meredith Bay enjoying the fireworks, similar to what you saw in Laconia at Opechee park for a huge Fourth of July celebration. In Wolfeboro, tons of boaters at the town docks milled around the oldest summer resort in America and there were waiting lines in the many restaurants and pubs throughout the entire Lakes Region. Going through Weirs Beach, the parking lots were overflowing and the beach was completely full of tourists enjoying wonderful summer heat. Likewise, at Ellacoya State Beach in Gilford and Wellington State Park on Newfound Lake.

The Lakes Region's 273 lakes, ponds and rivers offer so much to explore, with our unspoiled towns, villages and myriad of hiking trails webbed across our old velvet hills. It's not just our natural resources that make up the Lakes Region. It's the friendly, family-oriented atmosphere which we here in our beautiful Lakes Region and the multitude of events and activities that keep drawing families back year after year.


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 and can be reached at 603-279-7046.

07-09 Wolfeboro waterfront

The Wolfeboro waterfront. (Courtesy photo)

07-09 Keith Urban

Keith Urban played two shows at the Bank of New Hampshire pavilion last weekend. (Courtesy photo)

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Froma Harrop - American manufacturing back in action

Reports of NASA's Juno spacecraft's entering the orbit around Jupiter lit a sparkler in this American heart — on the Fourth of July, no less. It showed that Americans still have what it takes.

To keep spirits orbiting, let's note another recent American feat that few could have imagined a couple of years ago. The United States is now gaining, not losing, factory jobs. This glad trend has some sobering asterisks attached, but there's no denying this: There are now nearly a million more factory jobs in this country than there were in 2010. Many of them are coming — surprise, surprise — from China. China, meanwhile, has lost about 6 percent of its factory positions from four years ago.

Why do Americans seem to know more about Jupiter's 67 moons than about the turnaround in factory employment?

Reason No. 1 is politics. From Donald Trump on the populist right to Bernie Sanders on the left, trade agreements have become the obsession, the all-purpose villain behind U.S. factory closings and "movings" to low-wage countries.

In documenting the brutal departure of U.S. factory jobs, the candidates' rearview mirrors have been quite accurate. We're still down over 7 million manufacturing jobs from a peak of about 19.5 million in 1979.

But any serious plan to address the future of blue-collar America must focus on what's actually happening now. What's happening is automation. Robots enable manufacturers to make lots of stuff with relatively few workers. The ability to do the job with far fewer humans goes far in canceling the advantage of low-wage countries. (Lower U.S. energy costs have helped, too.)

This is how General Electric could move 4,000 jobs from China and Mexico to a new appliance plant in Louisville, Kentucky.

"We have (only) two hours of labor in a refrigerator," GE CEO Jeff Immelt explained, "so it really doesn't matter if you make it in Mexico, the U.S. or China."

Another reason many don't know about the improved outlook for factory work is that most of the new manufacturing jobs are in the South — especially North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The rattling job losses occurred in the industrial Midwest. Conditions are better there, too, but many of the region's laid-off workers still suffer.

The asterisks:

— The technology that lets U.S. companies slash the labor content of their products is something anyone can use. Foxconn, a supplier for Apple and Samsung, recently replaced 60,000 Chinese workers with robots.

— The new factory jobs require more training. The workers must be able to program and oversee fancy machinery. They need to be flexible, to move to another task as orders change. Happily, the pay is much higher.

— Advances in automation seem destined to reduce human workforces even more, here and everywhere.

— Brexit chaos has made the dollar stronger. That makes U.S. products more expensive on the global market.

We should probably abandon hope that a Trump stump talk on U.S. manufacturing will delve in reality. That U.S. factory output and employment have been trending upward is something Trump may not even know. In any case, it's not useful information for his purposes.

But Trump's thundering vows to bring factory work back to this country by the container shipload do everyone a disservice. Robotics are upon us. Peddling a dated vision of U.S. factories humming along with thousands and thousands of workers is just another con. China won't be able to have that soon.

To restore prosperity to blue-collar America, we will need a moonshot program to retrain and rebuild. A country that can send spacecraft spinning around Jupiter should be able to pull that off.

(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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