To The Daily Sun,
Rep. Frank Guinta wrote to me on Jan. 30: "As you may know, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced H.R. 5844, the Protect our Public Land Act in the 113th Congress. This legislation amends the Mineral Leasing Act and would ban hydraulic fracturing on public lands. It was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, and from there referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
Hydraulic fracturing is an energy extraction method in which pressurized liquid is injected deep into rock formations, creating cracks and freeing natural gas and petroleum. Raising my family in New Hampshire, I understand the importance of protecting our environment. The Granite State is home to thousands of acres of pristine forests, and people from around the world come to New Hampshire to enjoy our state's natural surroundings."
On Feb. 2 he wrote: "On January 28, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 351 with my support in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 277-133. As you know, H.R. 351 was introduced by Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) on Jan. 14, 2015. If enacted, this legislation would expedite the approval process of exporting natural gas from the United States to trading partners around the world. It would require the Department of Energy to approve applications to construct a liquefied natural gas export terminal within a specified period after an environmental review has been conducted.
"Increasing LNG exports will help strengthen our economy and create American jobs while increasing energy security. It is estimated that by 2018, the construction of new LNG export projects will create up to 45,000 American jobs. It allows us to send a message to oppressive regimes that we are not reliant on them for our energy needs."
So fracking is not okay, but it's okay to export LNG (liquefied natural Gas) to our trading partners? Has this LNG been produced by some other method than fracking? Fracking is one of the topics covered by Naomi Klein, in her new book, "This Changes Everything." Fracking should be banned everywhere in the world. It's dirtier than coal, permanently polluting our groundwater, despite what a slick TV ad says. But if the LNG is already here, we should make some money on it? Is that the idea? If it's already here, we should do something with it?
It has become obvious to me that we need to wean ourselves from fossil fuels, conserve more energy, and invest in renewables. Creating jobs does not justify polluting our air, water, and soil, anywhere in the world, and I still wonder how many new jobs will actually be created. Fixing our broken infrastructure and installing solar panels and other forms of renewable energy would probably produce many more jobs, strengthen the economy more, and increase national security more, in the long run.
Last Updated on Friday, 06 February 2015 10:40
To The Daily Sun,
The current proposal of renovating the old mill into a Town Hall Facility, in my opinion, is not in the best interest of the taxpayers and residents of the Town of Belmont. The cost of renovating and converting structure problems is way more expensive than new construction. The cost is quoted at approximately $225-per-square-foot, whereas the cost for new conventional office space is approximately $150-per-square-foot.
The size of the four-story mill is much more space than what is needed. My suggestions would be to cordon off the fourth floor and not invest in the space for renovation, move the senior center to the first floor and provide space for the Parks & Rec Department on that level as well. Allow the Belmont Family Health Care Center to take the needed space for their expansion into the second floor. This will then allow them to make the necessary lease hold improvements for their needs for both the second and third floors.
I have looked at the Northway Bank Building, which the town recently purchased for $250,000. I believe this structure is in excellent condition structurally and is located directly on Main Street and with improved expansion, architectural enhancements could and should function as a town hall facility at a much more reasonable budget.
I would also suggest that it would serve our community well to reappoint the building needs committee to regroup and come up with a better plan. I also think that a new bond should include the upgrade of the Belmont Police Station, which is probably more in need of attention than the town hall. There is no urgency to move the proposal that will be voted on March 10.
I agree with Donna Hepp's statement, that "Belmont needs a better Capital Investment Program".
Mark A. Mooney
Last Updated on Friday, 06 February 2015 10:34
When I was a tyke, Momma warned me not to eat anything unless I knew where it came from. That advice is so sensible that even Congress acted on it in 2002, passing a straightforward law called Country Of Origin Labeling. COOL requires meat marketers to tell us whether the meat they sell is a product of the USA, China or Whereintheworldistan.
This useful information empowers us consumers — which is why globalagribusiness giants hate it and are trying to get a secretive, autocratic, plutocratic, private court in Switzerland to kill it.
This can't be, you say? But it is. Unbeknownst to most Americans, when the U.S. joined the World Trade Organization in 1999, we surrendered a big chunk of our sovereignty to this corporate court.
Here's what's happening: (1) American consumers have a basic right to know where their meat comes from, but (2) that right has been pitted against American corn flakes and ketchup in a "trade war" that (3) is being forced upon us by a handful of corporations that produce, slaughter, butcher and package meat outside of our country but (4) are allowed under trade agreements to challenge a U.S. law that had been duly enacted for the people inside our country, so (5) America was sued in an obscure, autocratic, private organization created by and for corporate interests and headquartered in Switzerland. Then (6) that corporate "court" did indeed rule that the "profit right" of foreign meat packers is superior to our people's basic right of self-determination.
Holy Tom Paine, this is corporate tyranny! But it's about to get worse, for President Obama and Congress intend to hang another bad trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, around our necks this spring.
What? You haven't heard of the TPP? Dubbed "a corporate coup d'etat" by Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch, it's a grandiose grab for power masked as a trade deal, allowing an unprecedented level of global corporate rule over Americans. One reason we commoners don't know about it is that the corporate and governmental elites of the 12 nations that have been negotiating this momentous deal in strict secrecy, not only are keeping us in the dark but also Congress. Another reason, however, is that the mass media has been shockingly silent, apparently even incurious about what clearly is a huge story with historic consequences.
FAIR, the excellent watchdog group that tracks media coverage, found that ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox and NBC have offered the American public practically zero to little news stories about TPP. Even though the looming power grab has now spawned protests around the world, generated a major coalition of some 500 grassroots groups in our country loudly opposing the ripoff deal and has produced an odd-bedfellow, a rare bipartisan alignment of opponents in Congress, there's been a TV blackout. Could it possibly be that the global conglomerates that own our so-called "news" networks don't want us knowing what's up behind TPP's closed doors?
Let's do the media's job for them and find out what's in this bad deal:
The trade hoax
Of the document's 29 chapters, only five address tariffs and other actual trade matters. The other 24 consist of various ways to "free" corporations from any accountability and from any responsibility to the world community's common good.
Bye-bye "Buy American"
TPP dictates that all corporations based in any member nation must be given equal access to the public dollars that any government spends on equipment, food, highway projects, etc. Thus, our own national, state and local governments would no longer be free to give preference to suppliers of our choice. "Buy American" and "Buy Local" programs could be challenged by private corporations.
Wall Street rides again!
If anyone doubts this pact is a corporate boondoggle dressed in trade clothes, let them read its shameful financial provisions. Our nation's financial regulations would have to be "harmonized" to comply with TPP's extreme deregulation, re-creating the anything-goes Wall Street ethic that crashed the world economy in 2008.
To help stop this anti-democratic nasty, go to www.exposethetpp.org.
(Jim Hightower has been called American's most popular populist. The radio commentator and former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture is author of seven books, including "There's Nothing In the Middle of Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos" and his new work, "Swim Against the Current: Even Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow".)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00
To The Daily Sun,
On the night of Sunday, Jan. 11, at approximately 10 p.m. the Gilmanton Academy Building, which houses the town offices, suffered a catastrophic failure when a pipe in the sprinkler system burst in the attic and then disbursed thousands of gallons of water throughout the entire building.
My first "Thank you" goes to our very own Gilmanton Fire Department which was first on scene and did an amazing job working swiftly, efficiently and systematically in moving, covering and saving much of the towns equipment and documents. Although I hope you never have to experience a visit from our Fire Department, you must know you are in very good hands if you do. They are a well-trained professional group of dedicated people who truly care.
A special thank you to our media, WMUR's Ray Brewer and his cameraman for the coverage of the Academy building, also to Gail Ober from the Laconia Daily Sun , the Citizen and NH1. I called WMUR the early hours on Jan. 12 and spoke with Adam asking for help from WMUR in getting the word out to the public as to what happened overnight at the Academy. After turning on the TV a few hours later, there was Ray, in the cold darkness in front of the Academy reporting. Thank you for staying through most of the day and getting the story and footage of the building and word out to our community.
My next "thank you" goes out to my fellow Town Clerk/Tax Collectors. They are the very first group I heard from offering their help and support in any way they could assist to help us to continue services to our Gilmanton residents. As most of you all know at this point, the town of Alton, Belmont, Gilford and Laconia took on motor vehicle registrations, as that was the only service we could not complete for our residents. This was an extra burden of work on their part that they selflessly took on without hesitation.
Our Town Clerk (NHCTCA) and Tax Collector (NHTCA) Associations are amazing groups that I take great pride in belonging to. I have much gratitude for the networking and outreach that these two groups do for any Town Clerk and/or Tax Collector that needs help in any way for their communities. They are all true leaders who take great pride in public service to our communities. Thank you all for your offers of help and support.
I also need to reach out to say thank you to all the state agencies and vendors that offered their help and support, especially at the DMV and Interware.
Thank you to our IT department, Certified Computer Solutions (CCS), who swiftly came in that morning to retrieve all of the computer equipment to dry out and test every PC. By Tuesday, Jan. 13 they had our server functioning and set up so that we could stay functional by having our finance department and my computer set up at the Fire Department's room at the Public Safety Building, which brings me to another "thank you" to our Fire Department for sharing their space without hesitation. Our server did need replacing as well as some monitors and keyboards.
And last, but not least, thank you to all of our Gilmanton residents for your offers of help, support and patience and understanding while we continue to get back to some normalcy.
Update: As of Wednesday, Feb. 4, the Clerk's office has a new VPN connection with NH DMV and we are able to process all motor vehicle transactions as well as continue with all of our other services. February renewal notices were sent on Feb. 4. New dog tags are on order (registration of dog licenses are not due until April). An announcement will go out when they become available. Check our website for information www.gilmantonnh.org
Town Clerk/Tax Collector
Last Updated on Friday, 06 February 2015 02:02
To The Daily Sun,
Mr. Meade, your column is somewhat reflective of the 1960s, but the '60s are over. The starter jobs at the low end of the work force has increased exponentially. For one thing by increasing the minimum wages most of the companies affected are not moving out — service industries, fast food, and companies like Walmart, McDonalds, Burger King, and most of your local mom and pop stores.
Our politicians have already made it easy for the manufacturing jobs to leave and they have left. They have done nothing to make it difficult to hide money offshore as much as Obama and the Democrats have tried to tax them on it. You might check the dictionary for the meaning of the word tax as your party doesn't understand or use it. Fine with me but stop complaining about debt and revenue if you refuse to tax or at least close the tax loopholes.
Raising the "entry" level wages will not automatically increase the skills and abilities for the positions advertised. However, they would help reduce the dependency on the government for things like welfare, food stamps, child care, health care and any other government program. Thus reducing debt with no new taxes. But then again that isn't a GOP goal is it? You would rather keep the low wages and eliminate the government subsidies at the same time. More untaxed profits to buy politicians. Am I close?
I doubt very much that there will be much of a change to those that want to further their education. There still will be many who will want to further themselves by attending college or at least a two-year school. The chances for this will be increased by making the two-year school free. More kids will have a chance to gain knowledge in a variety of subjects if they didn't have to worry about the cost. The chances to experiment will be greater than ever before. Courses previously ignored will have more people looking at them. Like a free museum. More people will go in to look if they are free as opposed to being charged a $10 entrance fee. A win-win proposition.
I also doubt if any changes to the four-year college would change either. Companies will still want those with a four-year degree or more so there will probably be an increase in applicants for a four-year colleges. All this just because of an increase in the minimum wage.
From my viewpoint, along with Obama's and the Democratic Party, it is a good idea. That is a good reason to vote for whomever runs against Kelly Ayotte in 2016.
Last Updated on Friday, 06 February 2015 01:55