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PSNH customers to pay $435M for what? A boondoggle, that's what

To The Daily Sun,

Guess what? The $435 million bill is coming! The $435 million bill is coming! Just like Paul Revere, riding out to tell everyone to mobilize and confront the coming danger to the community, we must now do the same, every one of us, thinking citizens, who can take part in any way (phone calls, emails, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to stop this cold.

$435 million for what, exactly? The previous New Hampshire state Legislature passed a bill, signed and sealed, which demands the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) force Public Service New Hampshire (PSNH) to sell off, against its will, its nine hydroelectric power generating plants and three fossil fuel power generating plants as soon as possible, and in so doing, they will incur a $435 million loss, to be paid off by all electrical consumers in the state.

What a concept! (Even if you pay your electric bill through another company, they are selling you electricity that uses PSNH infrastructure, so you are still a part of all this.) Our home-grown, on-the-NH-soil and rivers, currently functioning, built and paid for over the past century, up-to-date, utility-company-owned electric generating capacity is required to be sold off piecemeal, to the highest bidders, who can then sell them off, and ship all the equipment, piecemeal to overseas buyers, if they like, maybe China, Iran and Cuba, and they can get the benefit of our century of building them instead of us having light and heat from them into our future. And, we take a $435 million loss to do so. Boondoggle! Crazy! Madness!

I bet you don't believe it. Well, guess what? It's true. Please refer to the Associated Press (AP) article published in The Laconia Daily Sun Saturday, Jan. 17, page 15. (Thank you, Laconia Daily Sun) The focus of this article is the PUC wrestling with how PSNH will be reimbursed for its $422 million loss and how the $435 million loss to be paid for by consumers is to be structured.

In the article, the PUC says it is proceeding as required by the previously enacted legislation, "unless and until that legislative directive is changed." This current Legislature, if they have the will to do so, could take up this subject in one day, pass it, get it signed by Gov. Hassan or override her veto, and this particular piece of madness would stop.

But, guess what? Again, referencing the article, above, it seems no one down there in the Legislature is even bringing up the idea of stopping the sale. No representative or senator is saying, "Stop the Madness, Stop the selloff of the 12 plants." Instead, it seems from the article that their focus is on how to structure the billing to minimize the effect on consumers of the $435 million debt to be paid by them. (And nothing about how that loss of home state generating capacity will compromise our future energy independence.)

Every representative and senator in this current Legislature needs to be made aware of this ongoing boondoggle and that the sell-off needs to be stopped — by them. They are the only ones who can stop it. One day, one bill, passed, signed, done. It would be out of the ordinary, but they could do it if they really wanted to. (Think how fast-one day-they put through the guns in the Statehouse rule.)

Space requirements, unfortunately, do not allow me to tell the whole story in one letter, so please watch for my next letter(s), where I address how PSNH has been fighting this sale all along and why the original rationale for the sale (eventual higher rates) in the first place was (and still is) bogus and why it is likely the buyers of our plants probably will not operate them in place, but will ship them, physically, elsewhere. Also, what this sell-off would mean to us as consumers and how it will affect our future ability to attract new businesses into our state. And, why we won't be able to fix this mistake once the plants are gone and we then discover it was a mistake.

But, meantime, please start spreading the word. This sell-off needs to be stopped.

Carol Grasso

Laconia

Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 10:51

Hits: 368

Maybe Pres. Obama is doing something right, despite opposition

To The Daily Sun,

Mr. Boutin's most recent letter is packed with fantasies and talking points that are simply not true. He writes about Clinton and the GOP Congress working together but conveniently forgets that that same Congress wasted time and millions trying to impeach him and opposed his economic policies for eight years. Clinton's policies gave us the highest growth rates in a generation and balanced the federal budget — something none of the Republican presidents in the last 50 years has been able to do.

The income declines came from the Republican policies under Bush that led to an economic crash and the worst recession in 80 years. Congressional Republicans have refused to take any steps to dig us out of the ditch and in fact have opposed any attempts to do so.

Mr. Boutin tries to make Obama into a lackey of Wall Street. One has to ask Mr. Boutin if he would like to break up the big financial institutions, increase taxes on the banks, and impose stricter regulations? We also have to ask if Boutin was opposed Dodd-Frank?

Mr. Boutin, if you really had any concern for the middle class, then instead of shedding crocodile tears you would support Democratic policies that are designed to help the middle class and to once again make it possible for people to rise into the middle class, as was possible before Republican policies enabled the 1 percent to grab all the money.

President Obama writes: "We have to choose what we want that future to look like. Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and rising chances for everyone who makes the effort?"

Recent polls have indicated that President Obama's popularity has been steadily rising. And under his policies job growth in the private sector has steadily increased, and the economy has been growing again. Maybe he's doing something right. And to repeat — this has happened despite the knee-jerk Republican opposition to anything he supports or proposes.

And by the way, the name-calling is not necessary to make your points, invalid and misleading as they may be.

Bernadette Loesch

Laconia

Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 10:47

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Dr. Dawson gave us look atthe ugly side of freedom of speech

To The Daily Sun,

In Thursday's issues of both The Laconia Daily Sun and the Citizen newspapers, the readers were "treated" to a series of attacks on Fox News by Thomas Dawson, Ph.D. In his letter, Dawson accused Fox News of a conspiracy, false reporting, possible sedition, untruthful "facts," and so on. He asks about Fox, "Are they committing treason against our federal government?"

Throughout his letter Dawson spoke of lies being told by Fox News. However, in not one instance was he able to offer a single example. Apparently he is happy with the reporting on networks such as MSNBC and the "truth" as reported by commentators such as Ed Schultz and the "Reverend" Al Sharpton.

Part of the First Amendment allows for the freedom of speech that Dawson exercised to unfairly smear Fox News and its owner, Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch came to this country, legally, from Australia, and it is evident that bothers Dawson significantly. Maybe his anger is because of the "legal" thing . . . or maybe its Murdoch's overwhelming successes ... or the countless jobs he has created ... or the high taxes he and his workers' pay to the government. Maybe, just maybe, it's because Fox News has literally "cleaned the clock" of all those other cable news channels that Dawson adores.

Free speech comes in all forms — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Dr. Dawson gave us a look at the latter.

Bob Meade

Laconia

Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 10:39

Hits: 262

It becomes messy when you make such a spectacle in public

To The Daily Sun,

This is in response to the letter that appeared on Thursday, Jan. 29, from a former candidate for public office, Tom Dawson, and his incoherent, pathetic, and embarrassing ramblings about Fox News Channel, the only U.S. cable news outlet unafraid to report the truth. He claims that Fox deliberately misleads and even lies about events that it's covering. If he really thinks that, he has the "free will" right to not watch or listen. But, in his letter, he goes much further.

First he calls them an "entertainment" channel, and in that assertion, he is only just getting started. Then he succumbs to his own irrationally proclaimed insight into what is behind it all at Fox, and declares that it's really a "conspiracy," designed to bring all of us unsuspecting and non-thinking people to the point of "sedition" and "insurrection," which is ultimately "aimed at disrupting the American government" by treason.

Interestingly, all of this "progressive" thought is presented without a single fact to back up this presumably illegal activity, not one fact or example. The actual facts, however, are that Fox News channel is the number one-rated news outlet on the planet, and is seen every single day around the world. Fox's viewer ratings continuously exceed the ratings of all the other cable news channels combined, as well as all the "free" network channels combined. Why is that? It's because it's the only place you get the truth.

My only purpose for writing this rebuttal to Mr. Dawson's false and ridiculous assertions about Fox News Channel is to help other people, other readers, who may still be sitting on the fence politically, and for them not to be afraid of the truth, but to embrace it, and form your opinions from facts. His far left-wing, progressive "worldview" and distortions of life in this culture cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged.

For example, at a "meet the candidates" forum I attended for Mr. Dawson last fall, he actually told me to my face that people who think like me regarding abortion were practicing "fuzzy religion". I was criticized by others in the room for not letting that statement stand unchallenged.

Mr. Dawson wants everyone to believe what they see and hear in the nation's daily newspapers, in the classrooms, and in the "muddy-stream" media, where the government's voice of "we're only here to help" mantra still reigns constant and supreme. The fact is we do not live in a "democracy;" we live in a "representative republic," where the government serves "at the consent of the governed," where they are the "servants," and we, the people, are the "masters."

The right of freedom of the press, was endowed onto the American culture, not from government, but from God, our creator, and was based on the clear understanding that close scrutiny and harsh criticism of the people in government was going to be imperative, to keep powerful men, who will always want to be even more powerful, in line and accountable to the people.

Sadly, however, many in the media soon learned that they could achieve extra benefits for themselves if they aligned themselves with some of those powerful men in government, whom themselves had already learned that they could also achieve extra benefits for themselves if they aligned with powerful interest groups, who also want extra benefits, that only government can give away, for free. But first, government must take. It must take from us, the producers, the entrepreneurs. Who else are they going take from? Have you ever been hired by a poor man? By itself, government has nothing, government makes nothing, government only controls things, things that it doesn't make or own.

Also sadly, both political parties are guilty of this, and every mature-thinking adult knows it. There are very few really honest men in government, those whose only motive is to serve the people, for awhile, and then go home. Most are there because of personal greed. Obviously, we can see from his letter, Mr. Dawson is a far-left Democrat, and has chosen to align himself with those men. And that's okay I guess, if you do it in private. But it becomes very messy looking when you write a letter and make such a spectacle in public.

Jim McCoole

Laconia

Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 10:30

Hits: 144

Who are they to say people who don't agree with them are 'uninformed'

To The Daily Sun,

People have a right to vote. Although the right to vote isn't written in our Constitution, people are entitled and allowed to vote in this country.

Why would a group of people petition to take away your ease of voting on our town budget? Why would they want you to give up a Saturday to sit in uncomfortable chairs for hours, listening to people repeat and repeat the same old arguments?

Keeping SB-2 and voting at the ballot booth on a Tuesday makes sense for several reasons.

1. It takes minutes instead of hours to vote.

2. You can vote in private without the person sitting next to you knowing how you voted.

3. The homebound elderly or disabled can vote by absentee ballot.

4. People on vacation can vote by absentee ballot.

5. The "snowbirds" who haven't come home yet can vote by absentee ballot.

6. People in the military and away from home can vote by absentee ballot.

Town Meetings are antiquated. There are 2,424 registered voters in Gilmanton. On average, only 100 people show up on a Saturday to vote at Town Meeting. This alone should tell us something. These days our world is moving so fast people can't and don't want to spend an entire day voting. Perhaps people have to work on Saturday just to afford their taxes. They shouldn't have to sit in a room feeling intimidated when they don't support a particular article. Instead they should have the privacy to vote in the ballot booth so they can vote their true feelings.

For several decades I have been one of the 100 people attending the Saturday Town Meetings. I have seen special interest groups phone their friends when it's time to vote for a particular article. The friends show up to vote and then leave. Those people apparently don't want to spend their Saturdays at Town Meeting, either. Yet, these same people are the ones signing the petition to do away with the SB-2 way of voting.

The petitioners will say, "The people are uninformed when they show up at the voting booth." Who are they to say that? Just because people have a different opinion it doesn't mean they are uninformed. A voter will be as informed as they want to be. SB-2 affords voters the opportunity to vote without being present by using the absentee ballot. Why would anyone want to take this right away?

In my opinion this petition in Gilmanton to do away with SB-2 is just a way for the special interest groups to push their agendas and keep the majority from voting with ease. Since SB-2 took effect, the percentage of residents voting on our budget has increased dramatically.

Let's not take a step backward. Let's keep SB-2. Please vote "No" on the articles asking you to do away with SB-2.

Brett Currier

Selectman, Gilmanton

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 January 2015 12:25

Hits: 102

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