To The Daily Sun,
I have just finished reading Mr. Boutin's latest submission to The Sun. In it he states that Democrats' No 1 priority are minorities and that (to paraphrase) this has caused millions of middle-class individuals to sink into poverty.
It is true that Democrats focus on social issues. We are deeply committed to helping the poor, the homeless, the unemployed and the underemployed. We sponsor school breakfast programs, mental illness education and clinics, drug education and clinics. We support universal health care, marriage equality and women's issues. We support veterans. We support raising the minimum wage. We consider these "minority" issues — unlike Mr. Boutin, who defines "minority" as "ethnic".
What Mr. Boutin fails to mention is that, during the Obama administration the Dow has risen over 10,000 points, a failing auto industry was rescued (at a profit), unemployment is down and — oh yeah — our benevolent 1 percenters have experience astronomical corporate profits.
Now, these folks really love their money and have managed to hold on to most of it. These record profits have not trickled down to the middle and lower classes. They haven't created the full-time, benefit-paying positions that have buoyed both individuals and the economy.
Because I was fortunate to have wonderful parents who valued higher education, I was able to earn my degree. I also worked throughout my college years. As a retail manager, I have been able to take advantage of full-time employment with health care, sick time and investment opportunities. This is now almost unavailable to my co-workers. Most have to juggle several jobs and family responsibilities. To offer social services to these hard-working individuals is hardly a handout.
On one of our sub-zero days this week, I saw a young family of four coming out of a supermarket. None of these individuals — two adults and two small children were wearing coats — only thin hoodies. This is never acceptable.
I encourage other individuals to start contributing letters to this forum. I can recognize a bald-faced liar when I see one. I bet a lot of other folks can too. The arena can be a bit tough, but nobody respects a bully.
June M. Huot
Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 10:59
To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to the Belmont Town Fathers, the Budget Committee and the taxpayers of Belmont,
The Town of Belmont will again be bringing a bond issue to the town taxpayers this year to decide on whether or not to spend around $3.7 million to reconstruct the Belmont Mill and refurbish it for use as the Town Hall.
A great amount of federal grant money and taxpayer dollars was spent on this mill some years ago and we are now discovering that the improvements made at that time were inadequate. The local newspapers have been reporting that the fourth floor of this building is falling apart, the outside bricks are allowing water to get inside the building and there is all sorts of deterioration to this building.
Before deciding whether or not to spend millions of dollars more, an investigation should be done on the first reconstruction. Among others, the following questions should be asked and answered:
• What exactly was done to the mill previously?
• What was not done that should have been?
• How did the costs break down for the last reconstruction?
• Was the contracted work properly supervised by a party looking out for the interests of the town?
• Was there a qualified professional in charge of the construction?
• Are there plans and specifications available to review from the last construction?
• Are there "As Built," that is, after-the-fact plans available to review?
• Were there any design or construction changes made during the last construction that shouldn't have been made?
The purpose of this investigation should be to find the mistakes that were made the last time so that we can be sure they won't be made again.
Until this investigation is complete, we are liable to make the same mistakes all over again.
This investigation should be open and transparent and should be conducted by a citizen's committee of townspeople who have no personal or financial interest in whether or not the $3.7 million bond will pass, but instead are interested in what is best for the town taxpayers. Town employees should be available to assist this committee by retrieving relevant records such as the above-mentioned plans, minutes of meetings where decisions and updates were mentioned and decided upon, and whatever other records may be needed. This committee should be headed by an individual with some knowledge of engineering and construction or, if not possible, such an individual should be available to the committee for consultation.
This town has been convinced, in the past, to vote to purchase buildings before a definite use has been assigned to them and before a proper investigation was conducted. Let's be smart this time and call for this investigation before spending any more money.
Please attend the following meetings and voice your opinion:
• Tues., Jan. 13, 6:30 p.m., Budget Committee Hearing at Corner Meeting House.
• Tues., Jan. 20, 6:30 p.m., Bond Hearing at Corner Meeting House.
• Sat., Jan. 31, Town Deliberative Session.
George & Susan Condodemetraky
Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 10:53
To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to Meredith residents:
As I near the end of my term on the Meredith Selectboard I am announcing that I will not be running for re-election this year and I want to take this time to share many thanks.
First, I want to thank the residents who elected me and put your trust in me to conduct the prudential affairs of our town. I have enjoyed it very much. Thanks to Phil Warren and the department leaders for keeping the town in ship shape even during hard economic times.
To all of the volunteers who commit so much time and dedication to our many boards and committees, the Library Trustees and staff and all of the election workers, thank you. Most importantly to me, thank you to our town employees, each and every one of you. Administrative Services, Assessing Department, Community Development, Fire Department, Police Department, Public Works, Water and Sewer and Town Clerk, you continue to provide excellent services in a very professional manner. I have enjoyed and will miss working with all of you. What a great experience I have had.
I also want to say thank you to my fellow board members, and especially Mr. Brothers. Peter, you have been a great mentor and friend.
Carla Horn, Chair
Meredith Board of Selectmen
Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 10:50
To The Daily Sun,
My mission with this letter is to make us all aware of the importance of the Affordable Care Act to our lives and how very grateful our family is for this legislation that removed the $1 million lifetime cap that most policies had.
The Affordable Care Act isn't just for people who have never been able to afford medical insurance or for those who have lost their source of insurance (job, loss, etc.). Here is my story.
My son, who lives out of state now, went into the hospital Oct. 13 for what was expected to be a relatively straightforward surgery, with anticipated hospital stay of four to six days. After several weeks in the ICU, followed by several days in a rehab hospital, he returned home to his wife and three young girls on Dec. 22. The cost of his medical care through that period was about $1.2 million. More costs are being incurred as I write as he is now in the midst of several weeks (months?) of various therapies, so the cost will continue to mount.
The Affordable Care Act, aside from making health care accessible to thousands of previously uncovered people, also removed the $1 million lifetime cap that most policies carried. In just this one episode of unanticipated disastrous health, my son and his family would have been bankrupt if not for this change in the laws that govern medical insurance.
My son and his wife have worked all their lives, carried health insurance through their employers, supported their three children without any assistance from "the government." They have also paid into the U.S. tax system regularly and yet, this one medical event could have plunged them into poverty.
After this period of rehabilitation for my son, he will be able to continue to partner with his wife in working to support his family. He has a long history as a respected science teacher and has had a positive influence on many young students. In other words, he can be proud of his contribution to our society and his ability and personal drive to return to a productive life.
We are so grateful to the many elected officials who understood the value of making adequate health insurance available to everyone and voted for the Affordable Care Act. Any one of us could be faced with my son's situation.
One more note: We are so grateful to the 208 people who donated pints of blood that were instrumental in keeping my son alive. If you are already a blood donor, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. If you are not a blood donor but are eligible, I hope you will consider joining those who donate regularly.
Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 10:43
To The Daily Sun,
Don't you just get tired of the doom and gloom group with their sky-is-falling cracker barrel theories? Here is some data on the great recovery.
Stocks up to record levels. Unemployment at 5.6 percent. Record profits for big corporations. Debt down to 3 percent of gross domestic product. Government spending relative to GDP is down to 19 percent. The upper 1 percent incomes rose to double digits.
But all this somehow didn't affect the working people or the middle class at all. So much for the socialism charge against Obama.
Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 10:35