To The Daily Sun,
We are so grateful to everyone who participated in our 14th Spelling Bee: The Laconia High School Chorus, comprised of Sabrina Desaulniers, Emily Paronto, Tim Maczko, Michael Tarling, Gabby Melvin, and Maddie Wunsch, opened the event with an uplifting rendition of the National Anthem. Master of ceremony, Pat Kelly; enunciators, Rhetta Colon and Rick Crockford; judges, Marcia Hayward and Marilyn Lynch each added a special flair to the Bee itself and the Laconia High School administration and facility crew provided us with all the support to make the venue inviting and workable. Photographer, Steve Loughlin, Lakes Region Public Access TV, (Denise Beauchaine and Bob Daniels); the Citizen of Laconia and The Laconia Daily Sun, all worked to provide coverage for the event.
Final thanks to all who attended the event to cheer on the spellers and purchased 50-50 raffle tickets (with special thanks to the 50/50 winner Karen Bianco who re-gifted her prize to the Scholarship Foundation.
We were able to raise over $9,400 this year, to benefit our "Friends of the Foundation Operating Fund," which helps us cover the expenses associated with administering our scholarship program. In addition to the above-mentioned, we extend our appreciation to all the following companies or individuals, who generously donated funds or volunteered their services:
Corporate Sponsors Belknap Landscape Company Inc., Calvin Dental Associates, Lawson, Persson & Weldon-Francke, PC, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, and F. André Paquette in honor of Margaret Rose Paquette.
Team Spellers and Sponsors Congratulations to No. 1 Winning Team. Laconia Librarians: Randy Brough, Jamie Dalton and Natalie Moser, sponsored by Bob Merwin State Farm Insurance, who have been faithful participants in our Bee since its inception.
Spelling Teams, who won costume prizes, and their sponsors students: First-place team, Gilford High School Fantastic Fishermen: Keegan Coons, Nate Davis and Tommy Hart, sponsored by the DeCamp Team at Morgan Stanley; second place, GHS "SUPER" Spellers: Cassidy Bartlett, Kylee Drew and Emily Parker by Lawson Persson & Weldon-Francke PC; Adults: First-place team, DWS "Not Just # Nerds": Michelle Dean, Ben DeMark and Dawn Dragon by Denoncourt, Waldron & Sullivan; Second-place team: Laconia High School SemiConscious SemiColons: Natasha Reiner, Amy Scott and Chris Ulrich by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; Third-place team: Seniors Raise Cain: Joan Allison, Doris Citron, Judith Dean and Sue Williams by Taylor Community.
Other intrepid team spellers and supportive sponsors ABC You at the Finish Line: Finnian Mousseau. Noah Mousseau and Sullivan Mousseau by Mary B. Orton; Belmont High School KMP: Malia Lundahl, Paige Norkiewicz and Karl Wieck by Bank of New Hampshire; BHS Wanna Bees: Taylor Becker, Alexa Robbins and Nicole Rosas by Marcia Hayward & Meredith Village Savings Bank;, GHS Charlie's Angels: Kathryn Andrews, Jessica Currier and Kassidy Morris by Gilford Police Department; GHS Interact: Christian Karagianis, Patrick McKenna and Mikaela Wardrick by Gilford Rotary Club; GHS Ugly Sweaters: Koral Bickford, Niki Bogdan, Helen Jude and Kris Shepard by Gregg & Sandra Caulfield; Gilford Rotary: Nancy Carsen, Don Clarke and Clara Jude by Gilford Rotary Club; Hip-Bees: Lisa Bianco, Jackie Gogolen and Karen Soucy by Bianco Child & Family Services.
Also: Holy Trinity Surfin' Squad: Christina Beane, Samuel Cooney, Allison Jope and Cheyenne Wright Team by F. André Paquette in honor of Margaret Rose Paquette; Huot Center Careers in Education: Robin Friend, Skyla Mooney and Cierra Pinkney by Thom Francoeur - Allstate Insurance; Laconia Clinic Scrubs: Judy LaFrance, Arnie Miller and Erica Russell by Laconia Clinic; LHS Class of 1977: Judy Ball, Ruth McLaughlin and Sherry Weeks by Belknap Landscape Co. Inc.; LHS Key Club: Lily Chanthasak, Anne Dionne, Becky Olewine and Becca Sirois by Kiwanis Club of Laconia; LHS Quarter Note Triplets: Taylor Gagne, Mariah Hawkins and Emily Huckins by The Ellis Family; LHS Sopranos: Sabrina Desaulniers, Emily Paronto and Michael Tarling by Steven & Marlene Hodgdon; LHS Sweet Adelines: Tim Maczko. Jessica McDermott and Gabby Melvin by Mary VanderNoot; Soul Sisters: Brenda Bouton, Tammy Emond and Kathy Giovanni by Congregational Church of Laconia.
In addition to our Corporate and Team sponsors, we give thanks to the following donors who sponsored ads in our program or donated gifts-in-kind: Advanced Orthopaedic Specialists, All My Life Jewelers, Janet D. Allison, American Eyecare Express Inc., Applebee's, Beane Conference Center, Belknap County Sportsmen's Assn., Belknap Mill Quilter's Guild, Bianco Child & Familiy Services, Judy Bissonnette, James & Carole Boehle, Boulia-Gorrell Lumber Company, George E. & Barbara H. Brixner III, Michael & Janet Brough, Gloyd & Janet Calley, Capitol Center for the Arts, Gregg & Sandra Caulfield, CBH Landscape Contractors, The Common Man, Contigiani's Catering Service, Cybertron Inc., Denoncourt, Waldron & Sullivan CPA, Edgewater Academy of Dance, The Ellis Family, Sue-Ann Fecteau, Realtor, The Fogarty Family.
Also: Thom Francoeur - Allstate Insurance, Fratello's Ristorante Italiano, Funspot, Claire Giguere, Gilford Hannaford, Gracie's Hair Salon, Florence Guilmett, Hackett & Hill Jewelers, Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant, Steven & Marlene Hodgdon, HRO Plus, Irwin Automotive Group, J & J Printing, Jazzercise, Kennell Orthodontics, Kiwanis Club of Laconia, Laconia Lodge of Elks, Laconia Police Department, Lakes Region Community College, Lakes Region Floral Studio, Laurent Overhead Door Systems, Paulette & Steve Loughlin, Malone, Dirubbo & Company, PC, Martin, Lord & Osman, PA, McDonald's.
Also: Atty. Scott D. McGuffin, Melcher & Prescott Insurance, Meredith Village Savings Bank, NAPA Auto & Truck Parts, New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Ninety-Nine Restaurant, Normandin, Cheney & O'Neil, PLLC, O'dus LLC, Mary B. Orton, Patrick's Pub & Eatery, Pike Industries, Inc., Katherine Reardon, Sal's Pizza, Shaw's Supermarket Gilford, Georgianna Silva, Blanche Sleeper, Squam Lakes Science Center, Stafford Oil Co. Inc., Joni Stover, Tanger Outlet Center, Taylor Community, T-Bones, Tilton Trailer Rental, Travel Health of NH, Uno Chicago Grill, Mary M. VanderNoot, VISTA ShurFine Supermarket, Wal-Mart, Wedbush Securities, John & Patricia Weeks, Whittemore Florist & Greenhouse, and Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Crematorium.
Paulette Loughlin, President
Joan Cormier, Executive Director
Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:34
To The Daily Sun,
In his op-ed on Dec. 9, E. Scott Cracraft says one correct and important thing, "a 'right' ends where the rights of others begin." Nevertheless, most of the rest of his op-ed, e.g., the stuff about snake handlers, attempts to convince readers that it is okay for Obamacare to violate employer religious rights by forcing employers to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. Fortunately the Supreme Court did not agree.
Actually Obamacare doesn't require employers to provide health insurance except under certain conditions. And, employers meeting those conditions can choose to pay a fine/tax instead.
Many businesses cannot absorb the large increase in health insurance cost caused by Obamacare, even by raising prices of goods or services, so they are forced to take actions that hurt workers.
To avoid the Obamacare insurance requirement some businesses are cutting to fewer than 50 full-time jobs. (This is particularly devastating to workers who can't find decent jobs and our economy because small businesses have historically been the source of most American job growth (many large businesses consolidate and cut jobs).) Or businesses can cut employee pay, benefits, or pay increases to cover the cost of the fines/taxes or the increased health insurance costs.
Obamacare (and other Obama policies) have devastated many middle-income Americans. Just during Obama's six years in office the number of poor Americans has increased by about 50 percent and the median income has declined by about 8 percent ($4,000). And, since most impact from Obamacare was postponed until after last November's election, much more harm is coming to middle-income Americans and to our national economy.
The truth is that Obamacare was never intended to help the American people. Many simpler, cheaper, and less damaging options to address our healthcare problems were rejected. Obamacare was created as another step along the path toward total government control (single payer) of our health care system.
For decades, big government proponents have been expanding government control over our health care, each intrusion creating new problems which are then cited as justification for more government control. (As President Reagan said, "Government is the problem.") Total control of our healthc are system provides politicians enormous control over our lives (Bloomberg's attempt to control beverage sizes reveals a tiny bit of the level of control they want).
In their pursuit of total control of our health care, politicians and their dupes demonize anyone presenting an obstacle. And so they demonize Hobby Lobby, a family-owned corporation which provides good pay and benefits, exemplifies its Christian beliefs by closing on Sundays and comparatively early on other days so employees can be with their families, and objects to funding abortions. Hobby Lobby provided health insurance to its employees that covered birth control, but not drugs causing abortions.
Unwilling to violate its religious beliefs, Hobby Lobby could comply with Obamacare by cutting full-time jobs, cutting pay or benefits to recoup the cost of the fine/tax.
Hobby Lobby sued so it could do what it felt was right (but not obligated to do) for its employees and still honor its religious beliefs. No people or business should be forced to hurt others or give up its firmly held religious beliefs. Fortunately the Supreme Court agreed.
The United States Constitution was created to protect people's natural (or God-given) rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Progressives often try to confuse people by lumping politician given (legislated) "rights," e.g., Social Security or welfare or health care, with natural, constitutionally protected, rights. Politician given "rights" will vanish when they no longer benefit the politicians.
Politician provided "rights" which forcefully transfer wealth, e.g., employers must provide health insurance, violate Cracraft's assertion, that one person's (employee's) rights must not infringe on another person's (employer's) rights.
Although it violates some peoples' rights, politicians buy a lot of votes by transferring wealth. Many people object when rights are violated and balk at providing all the funds the politicians want to buy votes. So our immoral politicians borrow money to be repaid by the earnings (lives) of unborn Americans who can't object.
If you agree that big government threatens our liberties, that stealing from the unborn is immoral, and that job killing policies like Obamacare must be ended, then join the only people fighting for our liberties, balanced budgets, and pro-growth job creating policies, join a TEA Party.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:30
To The Daily Sun,
We insult babies to point out babyish behavior in New Hampshire's Republican-strong House of Representatives. Luckily, their babyish or bratty behavior may have an upside, later in 2016. During that election cycle, enough New Hampshire voters may be fed up with Republicans that they don't put their votes there, from the top of the ticket on down.
We have obstructionist Republicans from the top of the ticket on down. Let them cook their own goose, if that's what they want. Sorry though we may be for the damage they can do in two years.
Meaning of that idiom about the goose: "Be one's own worst enemy."
Lynn Rudmin Chong
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:23
To The Daily Sun,
It now appears that we will all be facing higher electric bills for the foreseeable future. I take no joy in saying "I told you so," since it will make it that much harder to attract and maintain manufacturing and high-tech jobs in state, both of which need copious amounts of electricity at a decent price. Our reliance on natural gas power plants has left us up the proverbial creek. We have the power plants, but don't have the pipeline capacity to fuel them and that won't change in the near future.
Already the NIMBYs in Massachusetts and New Hampshire are gearing up to oppose the pipeline and tie it up in endless regulator red tape and lawsuits that could drag on for years. Meanwhile we will be paying the bill and may even see brownouts or rolling blackouts. Even if Northern Pass and every other form of alternative energy came on line tomorrow, it wouldn't be enough to offset the closing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant which is scheduled to close in just a few weeks.
We are part of the New England Power Pool, so we can get some extra electricity from the pool. But it will cost us dearly. Politicians of both parties know this but can't resist pandering to environmental groups who oppose any form of hydrocarbon infrastructure, period. It defies all reason, but the greenies seem to want to go back to some nostalgic rural utopia powered by solar panels and woodstoves and living off the land, though I doubt that any of these trust funders could handle the work to do it.
Business knows no loyalty to any state. They will move to where they can maximize their opportunities. We already have some of the highest energy and electric cost in the country because we haven't provided the infrastructure needed to support a prosperous industrial economy. The state is littered with abandoned mills that moved out to look for lower costs. The result is a brain drain where the best and brightest of our children fan out across the country to find decent jobs, leaving behind an aging population behind.
New England in general is very conservative and slow to adopt new ideas and technology which is part of what makes our area so charming. Almost any form of change brings protest from traditionalist and other groups. We have a very long history and are slow to change the things that have worked so well for so long; and frankly much of the changes offered aren't worth having.
But if you want a prosperous economy, you have to be willing to pay the price for the necessary infrastructure to support it. We need to bring our energy costs in line with other parts of the country to remain competitive. Without some changes we risk becoming a backwater and our young people our biggest export. All benefits come with a cost, because in life there's no free lunch.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:20
To The Daily Sun,
While everyone is waiting with bated breath for relief from the fire breathing dragon known ironically as the Affordable Care Act, more hospitals continue to burn through short revenues and close their doors.
Dr. Lee Hieb, an orthopedic surgeon and past president of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons, reports that 18 acute care hospitals closed their doors in 2013. She also reports, "Today, all over America, small- and mid-sized hospitals as well as hospitals in inner city, poor areas are closing." She says that the reasons are not surprising since most of the victims are the smaller hospitals in those poor areas who serve a greater percentage of patients who have Medicaid and Medicare as their insurance. With reimbursements barely covering expenses in many cases, more doctors are requiring private insurance in order to remain solvent and in business. Others have chosen to take early retirement rather than risk suffocation from the mountain of regulations that tend suck the oxygen out of their desire to heal the masses.
It is no coincidence that the hospitals most dependent on government payments are failing at disproportionate rates. Physician shortages will continue to proliferate and quality of care will continue to suffer. The poor who are supposed to be helped the most by subsidized Obamacare-sponsored programs are actually getting hit between the eyes by the two by fours used to board up these hospitals. And just wait until the rest of the "Unaffordable and Inaccessible Lack of Care Act" regulations take effect in 2015.
The Congressional Budget Office previously reported that Obamacare will result in 2 million fewer full-time workers. It has already been shown to be a disincentive to work as more folks are forced into part-time work while the expansion of the welfare state continues to accelerate. Liberal-progressive types such as Nancy Pelosi actually believe this is a good thing because it releases workers from the chains of "job lock" to pursue leisure activities.
Who of sound mind and body actually thought that the way to fix the shortcomings in our health care system was to have the government run our health care, thereby taking over one sixth of the U.S. economy? Of course, that was precisely the goal of the Democrats. It had nothing to do with improving our health care system. Thank you for speaking the truth Jonathan Gruber. He is the new poster child for the arrogant religion of liberal, progressive ideology. They really believe the end justifies the means because they just know they are right.
Modern day liberalism is nothing more than calcified condescension borne of closed-minded elitist academics and bureaucrats. It is a terribly misguided belief that has begun to harden the nation's arteries and threatens to cut off the very lifeblood of this constitutional republic.
"Good intentions and bad results" equal the modern day, liberal progressive model. The result is untold misery and death. Don't believe me? Read J.R. Dunn's, "Death by Liberalism." It is a meticulously sourced book that brings into clear focus the "fatal outcome of well-meaning liberal policies." A socialist model of government has never, ever been proven to be successful in the long run. It has however caused the death of untold millions for many centuries.
As former prime minister, Lady Margaret Thatcher reminded us, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." Or in this case, you run out of the necessary quality and quantity of medical personnel and facilities. This will only continue to get worse unless, somehow, some way, we can scrap this Godzillian travesty by taking the air out of this bureaucratic behemoth before many more lives are shattered and lost. Republicans, it is time to put your big boy and girl pants on in January and save the best medical care system the world has ever known.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:15