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Courageous political leader are not words to describe Mr. DeVoy

To The Daily Sun,

In typical political fashion, Mr. DeVoy distorts fiscal reality with his letter in the June 21 Laconia Daily Sun. That he does so by attempting to smear Brian Gallagher is venal and unacceptable.

This tactic is familiar to me.

I objected at the time to Mr. DeVoy's and Mr. Taylor's decision to seek 25-year financing for the hew corrections center. Mr. Taylor cynically commented, "let the young people pay," a statement that does not take into account Belknap County's steadily eroding economy and also fails to take into account the challenges which may need to be addressed between years 20 and 25 of a bond. Glibly, Mr. DeVoy insinuates into the discussion the fact that some
county indebtedness will be retired this year. Those dollars belong to the taxpayers of Belknap County and not to Mr. DeVoy.

Twenty-five years of bond debt amounts to doing what politicians like to do: avoid taking responsibility and kicking the can down the road. This dishonesty is mirrored by Mr. DeVoy's shameless attack on Brian Gallagher. He assigns motives to Mr. Gallagher which most of those who served with Brian believe untrue. After evaluating his own chances in a run for the tate Senate seat, Mr. DeVoy concluded that Brian was better situated to run and offered Brian his support. It was only when his dubious financial plan was criticized that DeVoy went back on his word. There are words for this action but courageous
political leader are not amongst them.

Dick Burchell
Gilmanton Iron Works

  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 185

Listening to diversity of opinions enhances understanding of people

To The Daily Sun,

In this turbulent political atmosphere, it is apparently difficult to understand the nuances of a number of editorial submissions. Perhaps definitions of concepts and terms would clear up some of these ambiguities. The students at Lowell High School's "Seminar on American Diversity" have sought to address this situation. Lowell High was the first integrated public school (1830s) in the country, and is now home to students from 66 countries. Its hallways resound with the ethos and languages from five continents. The young students in the seminar, under the tutelage of teacher Jessica Lander (Master of Arts in Educational Policy from Harvard University and Gilmanton summer resident), have researched, written, and published a book "Defining Diversity: Students Exploring Diversity and Equity in America." The 90 page informational is sub-divided into three sections: Concepts; Supreme Court Cases; and Constitutional Amendments and Federal Laws.

Some definitions are: Under "Concepts," "Structural Racism" is defined as, "Institutions, policies, and practices that prevent people of color from using and pursuing the same resources and opportunities as white people, resulting in racial disparities across a myriad of fields..."An example would be "redlining," where the Federal Housing Administration was allowed to deny or limit financial services "based on racial or ethnic composition" in the 1960s.
"Supreme Court Cases" would include "Loving vs. Virginia, 1967" that insured that states do not have the right to ban interracial marriages. In 1958, Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving were married in Washington, D.C., but when they moved to Virginia to be with their families, they were temporarily put into jail due to anti-miscegenation laws until they left the state. They were even not allowed to visit their relatives. Unfortunately as late as 2009, a Louisiana official initially refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple.

A pertinent example of "Constitutional Amendments and Federal Laws" is "Title IX of the Education Amendment" of 1972. This protected against gender discrimination in educational programs that receive money from the federal government. The proliferation of female sports is a direct result. An unfortunate ethnic result of this law was the proliferation of "sanctuary schools" that could select their student enrollment as government money was initially not accepted.

"People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for."(Harper Lee, "To Kill a Mockingbird"). Better still, listening to a diversity of opinions enhances an understanding of the diversity of people.

Much credit should go to these enterprising students and their teacher from Lowell High School for addressing the diversity issues that have become prominent in the U.S. To encourage this discussion of diversity, the book has been provided gratis to over 150 school libraries throughout the U.S. Congratulations to Ms. Lander and her students for their active involvement in becoming a part of this important discussion on diversity.

Frank M. Weeks

Gilmanton Iron Works

  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 79