State funding for vital ServiceLink program is in jeopardy

To The Daily Sun,

ServiceLink, a cost effective, critical service to our community is at risk of losing its funding.
In the late 1990's the N.H. Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services (BEAS), in partnership with local agencies, held community conversations across the state to better understand the challenges faced by older adults. At these sessions, the vast majority of seniors identified the complexities of navigating the health care and social service systems. They reported making telephone calls to one agency after another trying to find assistance, which often led to frustration and surrender. Many people said they were unable to get the help they needed. At that time, the N.H. Legislature was discussing their concerns about the aging of N.H. and the impact on the economy. Use of traditional, nursing home care was the service of choice in meeting long-term care needs and due to the high cost of care, was not sustainable. It was clear to them that the health care and social service system could not accommodate the growing needs of older adults. Reform was needed. State legislators and seniors agreed that services must focus on supporting older adults in the least restrictive and lowest cost care . . . that being in their home and in their community.
In 1998, Senate Bill 409 called for reforming the system of long term care. In 2000, ServiceLink was established to provide information, referral and assistance for older adults, adults with disabilities, and people living with chronic illness. The goal was to assist older adults and their families navigate the health care and social service system and link them to services and supports that would help them remain in their homes.
When ServiceLink was established in 2000, 15.1 percent of the population was 65 and older in Belknap County. It is projected that in 2030, the population (65 and older in Belknap County) will exceed 36 percent (Source: NH Office of Energy and Planning) . With this dramatic increase in population, traditional nursing home care at a cost of approximately $230/day, (mostly paid through the Medicaid program) is not sustainable.
Over the past 15 years, ServiceLink has helped thousands of older adults, adult with chronic illness and disability and their families navigate through the health care and social service systems. In fiscal year 2014, ServiceLink Resource Center of Belknap County answered over 5,800 calls for help. Assistance to callers range from meeting basic needs such as a ride to the doctors to complex needs such as dementia, caregiver support and services, housing, and isolation leading to deteriorating health. ServiceLink provides:
• Free, one-on-one assistance for cost-saving options/ resources to understand and access long-term care supports and services.
• Assistance and guidance in Long-Term Care Options Counseling, which helps families apply for needed services and supports to keep loved ones out of nursing facilities and remain in their homes.
• Medicare counseling which provides assistance in enrollment, understanding Medicare bills, reporting suspected Medicare fraud and accessing prescription plans at affordable costs (when a person turns 65 or is disabled).
• Family caregiver supports through one-on-one counseling, education and training. Small respite grants in the amount no larger than $2,000/year are provided to caregivers to extend their ability to continue to care for their loved one in their home.
• Assistance to individuals as they transition from the hospital to their home. These services reduce hospital re-admissions and the resulting costs of these re-admissions to the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
• Home visits to older adults and their families when they are unable to come to the office due to disability or caregiving responsibilities.
• Services and supports to veterans and their family members so that veterans can live as independently as possible in their own homes and reduce the need for hospitalization or nursing home care.

In order to prevent nursing home care and extend the time people can remain in their homes, it is essential that community- based services and supports continue to be available and that Servicelink continue to be a portal for individuals and their families in accessing them.
Our New Hampshire legislators are currently working on the budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 which begins July, 2015. The funding for ServiceLink is in jeopardy. Please contact your representatives and senators and let them know how important ServiceLink is to you, your family and to the state economy:

Senator Jeannie Forrester (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 271-4980)
Senator Andrew Hosmer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 271-8631)
House of Representatives ( 271-3661)

Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health Board of Directors
Maggie Pritchard, Betty Anson, Dr. Richard Wilson, Kathy Berman, David Emberley, Liane Clairmont, John Beland Brian Hoffman, Denise Hubbard, Alida Millham, Andrew Moeller and Karin Salome

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16 words that are most misunderstood in history of USA

To The Daily Sun,

A lot has been written and published in The Laconia Daily Sun lately, passing as opinion based on fact. However, just for the record, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, after much debate and several drafts, was finally ratified by the several states on Dec. 15, 1791, and is a part of what is unfortunately known as the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. I say "unfortunately" because it should have been called the "Bill of Limitations", because it was written exclusively and positively to be limits on the power and actions of the federal government, as relates to their power and relationship to the people.

It reads (insofar as it pertains to Freedom of Religion), as follows:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...,"

That's it. Those 16 words have been more misunderstood by more constitutional scholars than any other legal writings in the history of this country (with the possible exception of the Second Amendment, which when read from the "limitations" point of view, is also totally misunderstood and administered). Those who insist that America was not intended to be a "Christian nation" point to the obvious absence of specific directives regarding Christianity in the federal Constitution. The popular, albeit false propaganda since the 1960s has been that "the irreligious Framers did not want the nation to retain any attachment to the Christian religion." Such an assertion is a monstrous lie and an erroneous perversion of historical fact!

The truth of the matter is that the founders were fearful of the potential interference by the federal government in its ability to place restrictions on the free exercise of the Christian religion. Consequently, they desired that the specifics of religion be left up to the discretion of the several states.

Nevertheless, we must not think for a moment that the federal framers did not sanction the nation's intimate affiliation with Christianity, or that they attempted to keep religion out of the Constitution. On the contrary, the Christian religion is inherently assumed and implicitly present in the Constitution. In fact, the United States Constitution contains a direct reference to Jesus Christ! Consider three pesky, but undeniable proofs for these contentions (See Constitution of the United..., 1789).

First, consider the meaning of the First Amendment to the Constitution. We have been told that, by "establishment of religion," the framers meant for the government to maintain complete religious neutrality and that pluralism ought to prevail, i.e., that all religions (whether Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism), though equally tolerated, must not be given any acknowledgement in the public sector.

But such an outlandish claim is absolutely false. All one has to do is to go directly to the delegate discussions pertaining to the wording of the First Amendment in order to ascertain the context and original intent of the final wording. The facts of the matter are that by their use of the term "religion", the framers were not talking about the major world religions, rather, they were referring to the several Protestant denominations.

Their concern was to prevent any single Christian denomination from being elevated above the others and therefore made into a state religion — a circumstance that the Founders had recently endured under British rule when the Anglican Church was made the state religion of the thirteen colonies of early America, and wanted to prevent a recurrence at all costs.

The "Father of the Bill of Rights," George Mason, actually proposed the following wording for the First Amendment, which demonstrates the context of their wording:

"All men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular sect, or society of Christians, ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others." (as quoted in Rowland, 1892, 1:244).

By "prohibiting the free exercise thereof," the Framers intended to convey that the federal government was not to interfere with the free and public practice of the Christian religion — the very thing that atheists, leftists, and the courts have been doing since the 1960s.

Second, consider the wording of a sentence from Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution: "If any Bill shall not be returned by the president within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it...." "Sundays excepted?" The government shuts down and does not transact business on Sunday? Why? Because Sunday, the first day of the week, is the day Christians assemble and worship God. No other day of the week is authorized for Christians to assemble and worship God in all of the New Testament.

If this provision had been made with respect to Jews, the Constitution would have read "Saturdays excepted". If provision had been made for Muslims, the Constitution would have read "Fridays excepted". If the Founders had intended to encourage a day of inactivity for the government without regard to any one religion, they could have chosen Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. Instead, the federal Constitution reads "Sundays excepted", proving conclusively that America was Christian in its orientation and that the Framers themselves shared the Christian worldview and gave political recognition to and accommodation of that fact.

Third, if these two allusions to Christianity are not enough for some people, consider yet another. Immediately after Article VII, the Constitution closes with the following words:

"Done in Convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth....

Did you catch it? Their work was done "in the Year of our Lord". The Christian world dates all of human history in terms of the birth of Christ. "BC" means "before Christ," and "AD" is the abbreviation for the Latin words "anno Domini," meaning "year of our Lord." If the framers were interested in being pluralistic, multicultural, and politically correct (which they weren't, knowing those emotion-based characteristics have no place in the public affairs of men), they would have refrained from using the BC/AD designation. Or they would have used the religion-less designations "CE," Common Era, or "BCE," Before the Common Era. In so doing, they would have avoided offending Jews, atheists, agnostics, and humanists. Or they could have used "AH" (anno hegirae—which means "in the year of the Hijrah" and refers to Muhammad's flight from Mecca in AD 622), the date used by Muslims as the commencement date for the Islamic calendar.

Instead, the framers chose to utilize the dating method that indicated the worldview they shared. What's more, their reference to "our Lord" does not refer to a generic deity, nor does it refer even to God the Father. It refers to God the Son, an explicit reference to Jesus Christ. Make no mistake: the Constitution of the United States contains an explicit reference to Jesus Christ — not Allah, Buddha, Muhammad, nor the gods of Hindus or even Native Americans!

So, let's get this straight once and for all: The Declaration of Independence contains four allusions to the God of the Bible. The U.S. Constitution contains allusions to the freedom to practice the Christian religion unimpeded, the significance and priority of Sunday worship, as well as the place of Jesus Christ in history.

So, according to the thinking of the ACLU and a host of other liberal organizations and educators, politicians, and judges, atheists, the far-left kook fringe, et. al., the Constitution is — unconstitutional! Go figure!

Jim McCoole


  • Category: Letters
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Thanks to all who helped with Elks 'Mickey' Bird benefit

To The Daily Sun,

Our local businesses were very gracious in donating gift certificates or items for a fundraiser held for "Mickey" Bird on Saturday, March 28. Those of us who live in the Lakes Region know very well how our community can rally together and help our fellow citizens when the need arises.

Special thanks to the following businesses: To Mayor Ed Engler, editor and president of The Laconia Daily Sun, for the donation of a fundraiser ad and a well-written article on March 25. A heartfelt thank you to all of the businesses that made this happen: Local Eatery, Kellerhaus, Laconia Pet Center, Soda Shoppe, Harts Turkey Farm Restaurant, Funspot, Uniformly Yours, T-Bones/Cactus Jacks, Café Déjà vu, Jon's Roast Beef & Deli, Patrick's Pub & Eatery, Pitman's Freight Room, Our Place Family Restaurant, Pizza Hut, Faro's Italian Grille, The Eggshell, The Lakeside & The Circle Restaurants.

Also: Happy Jacks, Quicklane/Irwin Motors, Laconia Car Wash, Gilford Cinemas 8, The Studio, Sunday's Salon & Spa, Laconia Village Bakery, Prescott's Flower Shop, The Talon Salon, Sunflower's Natural Foods, The 405 Pub & Grill and Lakeside Famous Roast Beef, Whittemore's Flower Shop, The Brickfront Restaurant & Bar, Giuseppe's Showtime Pizzeria, Top Of The Town Restaurant, Art Escape, Jump n' Joy Bouncy House, Boulia-Gorrell Lumber Co., Hannaford, Shaw's & Vista Foods Supermarkets, Barbary's Barber Shop, Sherwin Williams, Shooter's Tavern & Pizzeria, Wine'ing Butcher, Water Street Café, Sal's Pizza, Fratellos & The Homestead Restaurants.

Also: Terry Murphy's Court Street Auto, Laconia House of Pizza, Alterations Plus, Trustworthy Hardware, Burrito Me, Auto Zone, Union Diner, Greenlaw's Music, Wild Bird Depot, Lakes Region Party n' Gifts (Blue Ribbon Basket Co.), Gilford Gift Outlet, Jr.'s Crush House, Hector's Restaurant (check donation) and Dairy Queen. (Also, a Mike's Quality Car Care certificate donated by Mike Chandronnait.)

Special thanks to the following: Margie and "Mickey" Bird for allowing us to assist them at this unexpected time of need and their grandson Shaun who revived him. Thanks to their daughter Sandra, Owner of L & R Cleaning Co. for gracious donation of company gift bags filled with green cleaning products and certificates for top-notch cleaning services, and to their family members for assisting in food preparation and again, Sandra for helping with the bingo game. Special thanks to Mickey's brother-in-law Louis and his wife Nikki for making hand-tied fishing flies to raffle. Mr. Peter Tibbetts and his wife Deirdre for their help and also the behind the scenes help in making this event happen. Claire Morel for assistance to Dianne in planning this event, gathering certificates and items, food preparation, donating a beautiful, framed scratch-tickets donation from her, Roger Morel and friend Mike Hardy, and also her donation of two $50 coach bus tickets to Foxwoods Casino. Mr. Alain Tinker- for his assistance and adding to a fun evening in his creation of the Business Logo board and offering some "extras" while calling the bingo and raffle items. Our bartenders of the evening: Erin and Brenda. To the helpers of the night, this could not have taken place without you: Claire Morel, Deb Auger, Richard & Mary Ingram, Tracy Richardson, Donnie & Marsha Lamontagne, Deirdre Tibbetts, Eddie Gaudet, Robbin Flegenheimer, Jim Culpon, Charlie, and Bob Cunningham for set-up help, ad and cake donation.

Thanks to all who donated food and made this night a fun and successful evening. Mickey also extends thanks to those of you that gave him cards and personal donations. Thanks also to Elks Secretary Sandra Gaumond and Mr. and Mrs. William Shene, Exalted Ruler at the time of the planning of this event and (Sandra) State President respectively.

In case I have forgotten someone, you know who you are and I thank you. Elks Care, Elks Share. Thanks 876!

Dianne Chandronnait

Laconia Lodge of Elks

  • Category: Letters
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When Right-To-Work is passed, workers quickkly give up unions

To The Daily Sun,

Recent letters from Tom Dawson (March 20 and March 25) and Tony Boutin (March 26) address an important topic — Right-to-Works Laws. Dawson argues for compulsory unionization while Boutin argues for "Right-to-Work".

Dawson makes the absurd claim that forcing workers to join unions empowers workers. Compulsory unionization doesn't empower workers, it empowers union bosses and the politicians they support.

Progressives fight for compulsory unionization because most union leadership uses union funds to support progressive politicians and their progressive political agenda.

In my youth, America was world leader in every aspect of industry, mining, manufacturing, transportation, etc. American industry provided most American families with comfortable lives on a single income. Yet as government increasingly grew and implemented progressive policies, new rules and regulations have greatly increased the cost of doing business making companies fail, reduce wages and/or cut jobs, or move jobs overseas. Jobs that provide high value products or services and thus support good wages have been eliminated increasingly leaving only jobs providing little value which only can provide low wages.

For example, the American steel industry has almost disappeared and thousands of American manufacturing businesses have been forced to close, eliminating tens of millions of good-paying jobs.

World-leading economic freedom enabled the U.S. to become the world-leading economic power providing economic growth, opportunity, and prosperity for most American citizens. But progressive policies have reduced our economic freedoms (reducing our ranking to 12th) and stifled our economic growth. For the first time ever, fewer U.S. businesses were created in 2014 than went out of business. No wonder millions of Americans have trouble finding good jobs and earning a decent living.

Most American workers don't have Ivy League degrees, but they are not stupid. American workers know that their employers must succeed for them to keep their jobs or get raises and that the more our economy grows the more opportunities there are for American workers. Yet they see their unions supporting progressive politicians and policies that make it difficult for businesses to succeed and stifle American economic growth.

Workers see progressive government regulations destroying and preventing the creation of good jobs in mining, energy, manufacturing, etc. They see apparent favors to special interests and big donors like Buffett and Steyer that prevent creation of thousands of good jobs building the Keystone XL pipeline which would lower American energy costs, improve safety, and help make us become energy independent. They aren't happy with the prospect of paying the Obamacare Cadillac tax on their health insurance that their union leadership supported. Workers see their unions actively supporting politicians who encourage legal and illegal immigration which drive down wages, take jobs from Americans, and take welfare benefits (meant for down-on-their-luck Americans) driving up their taxes.

Recently, as big donors Gates, Zuckerberg, and others desire, President Obama increased the number of L-1B visas, allowing American companies to bring foreign high tech workers to work here at the wages far below typical American wages or even below our minimum wage.

Many American union members see progressive policies as anti-American, anti-individual freedom, anti-prosperity, anti-opportunity, and pro-special interest. They see poor futures for their children because progressive policies lock them into poor and dangerous schools, leave them faced with an enormous national debt, and are destroying our nation's future prosperity and freedoms.

Whatever the intent, progressives and their policies are destroying middle class America. In President Obama's years alone, despite the rich getting richer which should raise the median income, the American median income has declined 4 percent — $2000.

Many union members also disagree with union policies that protect disruptive, non-productive, or even criminal workers. They see union corruption and union bosses with fat salaries, generous expense accounts, and fully funded benefits while their benefits aren't fully funded. They see union bosses making deals that aren't in workers best interests, e.g., that send workers into unsafe mines.

Thus, when a Right-to-Work law is passed, many workers quickly give up their union memberships and happily negotiate their own wages, benefits and working conditions (like most other American workers).

The purpose of Right-to-Work laws is not to eliminate unions, as Boutin indicates, but to empower workers. Right-to-Work laws do not interfere with the ability of workers to form a union or stay in a union if they wish, those laws are unchanged. Right-to-Work laws simply give workers the freedom to work without joining or paying a union.

Right-to-Work laws force unions to provide value and be responsive to union members' wishes, otherwise they will lose members, income, and power. Right-to-Work laws force unions to win members by providing desired services in acceptable ways at an acceptable cost, just like anything else Americans purchase in the free market.

Don Ewing


  • Category: Letters
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I hope you believe resurrection story; It's the on way to heaven

To The Daily Sun,

Easter Sunday: Jesus rose up from the grave. This was God's only son. He was crucified on Friday and put in the tomb but on Sunday he rose up, as God planned. God, who loves all of us, did this for my and your sins.

I hope you believe this because it is the only way to Heaven, the only way.

John Haven


  • Category: Letters
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