To The Daily Sun,
It seems that the Town of Gilford is prepared once again to violate the intent of a property donor.
Selectmen have gone on record stating, "the Board of Selectmen is unanimous in its desire to allow Kimball Castle to be torn down safely with a goal of allowing this privately owned property to remain on the tax rolls and that the land be developed as one single family home...."
The selectmen have absolutely no business offering assistance to the current property owner by helping eliminate a residential deed restriction on the property, thereby enhancing its value. The Town of Gilford was given the castle and its property with specific instructions on its use. These intentions have been violated once before when the town pushed to get approvals for a restaurant and inn many years ago. Charlotte Kimball made it clear the property was not given for residential use and I have been told by the town administrator that there is a deed restriction prohibiting residential use of the castle property in place at this time.
Any negotiations between the Town of Gilford and the castle wwners to allow a residence on the castle property must be terminated out of respect for the donor.
The owner is not without options. He could always build the proposed inn and restaurant he fought to obtain from his limited partners. He could also honor the order requiring a fence or demolition of the castle he watched erode during his ownership.
Perhaps if he just fences it in, it may have more value to the Kimball Wildlife Forest Committee that is seeking the property. So what is it really worth? Since the buildings are worthless, I submit to you that the current assessment for the land, with its deed restriction in place, is fair. That number is $190,090.
This is fair market value for a single parcel with limited access and a residential deed restriction.
The Town of Gilford should be supporting the Wildlife Forest Committee not the castle owner. The town should take the property by eminent domain and soon after with the help of limited grants and private donations, sell it to the Wildlife Forest Committee for its real value. If the wwner fences it in (which is less expensive than proper demolition), the castle will remain eligible for Historical Register status. This may preserve some value of the castle property.
Remember, the Town of Gilford holds a mortgage for a large percentage of the real value. Accordingly, the capital outlay should be both nominal and temporary while the Wildlife Forest Committee raises the funds to support the purchase of the property at a realistic and appropriate value.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 10:36
To The Daily Sun,
I have just come from the forum for Kimball's Castle. I got to hear a few speakers from Gilford on what they would like done to the castle. The overall census was that it should be fenced, and allowed to deteriorate naturally. One businessman spoke that it was not worth anything, and should be torn down. I am sure his reasoning is that someone from Mass. could buy the land, and build a monstrosity of a house. Of course he would need a boat as so many of Mass intruders come and abuse our natural beauty.
What I did hear tonight (Thursday) was a bunch of apathy. Gilford residents had a chance to come forward, and let their opinion be known, and have an option to vote whether or not they wanted to keep the castle or not. This did not happen as I am afraid you could care less. America is failing because of APATHY! You go to the polls, and hardly anyone is there. The next day the papers tell of the poor turnout. Guess what America, there are lot's of countries watching this, and they will soon invade us as we idly stand by, and allow them to!
Gilford was sadly remiss in not acting sooner on this problem. It was clear that the stipulations of the sale of the castle were not followed through and it should have reverted back to the town long before the castle, and grounds, were allowed to decay to this point!
Gilford is not the only town. Too many towns have allowed many historical landmarks to fall into disrepair or torn down to make way for so called improvement. I am so sick and tired of watching this happen. My husband and I joined the committee to save the castle. Most meetings we had maybe four or five people show. I saw this happening with the local Grange. I was paying all the bills out of my retirement to keep it going while no one was joining, and helping to save it. It took going from door-to-door asking the community to come together to decide what they wanted to do with the grange. We had 32 people join that night, and through the wonderful group of people that have come forward, joined, and got a lot of businesses to help restore the Wicwas Lake Grange; we have the largest Grange in N.H.
What I am getting at is that as citizens of the U.S., we need to start being proactive. This means that we need to start in our communities. We need of make our voices heard. I hear so many people complain about the politicians, but do go out, and vote! Wake up America, before it's too late!
Last Updated on Friday, 11 April 2014 10:25
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to remind all concerned citizens that on Monday night at 7 p.m., our city councilors at the regularly scheduled city council meeting will discuss the new MetroCast contract agreement. This is your opportunity to be heard.
I am personally asking for as many people to attend as possible. I will do my best to be there. However, I am experiencing a sudden severe illness that is leaving me tired and weak because of it. I promise I will do my best to be there and share what I have learned recently.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 09:18
To The Daily Sun,
The other day, Henry Osmer somewhat gloatingly stated that the Bush tax cuts cost the country $1.8 trillion in lost revenues. Of course he had put together his letter in order to defend the indefensible . . . that is, Professor Maloof and the current administration . . . and that gross number was used for its shock value.
In researching Mr. Osmer's $1.8 trillion reference, I found that it was based on a set of assumptions, mainly that there would be virtually no difference in tax receipts if taxes were lowered or increased. However, that assumption is in direct contradiction to what has become known as the Laffer Curve, which states that no change in tax revenues occurs only at the extreme ends . . . either at a zero tax rate or at a 100 percent tax rate. Further, as tax rates are raised or lowered, there is a point where the tax rate is optimum to achieve maximum revenues. As the following paragraphs will show, tax revenues increased as the Bush tax cuts took effect, so it is a reasonable assumption that Laffer's theory is more plausible than the one cited by Mr. Osmer. What follows is a little historical perspective on the issue.
Just prior to President Bush taking office in January 2001, the "Dot Com" (Internet growth) bubble burst. It had a devastating impact on the economy as a number of major companies had continued to build the products to accommodate the Internet's high rate of growth, when in a flash, the demand for those products virtually ceased. Also in 2001, the country was shaken by the 9-11 attacks, which also devastated the economy. Total annual tax revenues which were $2.03 trillion in 2000, dropped down to $1.78 trillion by 2003.
The so-called Bush tax cuts that were passed in 2002 gradually began to turn around that downward trend, and in 2004, there was a slight upturn as revenues reached $1.88 trillion. From that point on, for 50 straight months, the economy grew. In 2007, revenues reached a high of $2.57 trillion. In 2008, when the housing bubble burst, incoming revenues dropped to $2.52.
When President Obama took office in 2009, revenues dropped to $2.1 trillion but then grew each of the following years, with 2013 reaching a high of $2.78 trillion. It should be noted that in 2012, Congress and the president let the Bush tax cuts expire but, on the very next day, they passed and signed into law most of those same broad-based tax cuts . . . while inflicting some tax pain on high income earners and on those who were receiving income from dividends and capital gains. They also re-instated the "death tax" but raised the threshold before that tax could be imposed. (Mr. Osmer might ask himself, if the Bush tax cuts were "bad," why did President Obama re-instate the majority of them?)
During his tenure, in addition to his tax reduction policies to stimulate growth, President Bush instituted a number of spending measures in an effort to stimulate the economy. During his eight years in office, his average deficit spending per year amounted to $313.9 billion. President Obama also instituted a number of spending programs. During his first five years in office he has averaged deficit spending of $1.155 trillion per year.
The country does not have a revenue problem. It has a spending problem. We cannot continue to spend over 40 percent more than we take in. We have an out-of-control government that, in the pretense of doing good for the people, is steadily burdening them with so much debt, that it will ultimately make them servants of the government. The road we're on will change our political system from what has been a government of, by, and for the people, to, sadly, a government that diminishes our freedoms and invites tyranny.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 09:14
To The Daily Sun,
Personally, I don't think everyone who voted against President Obama is consciously a racist or a bigot or that everyone who voted for him is not. I do not know everyone's heart.
I think (or at least hope) that many, if not most, people are not bigots in the sense that they personally hate African-Americans. But, people can be a part of a racist system or way of thinking even if they personally like some people of color.
Examples can be found in the South under Jim Crow or in South Africa under apartheid, where many whites bragged about how much they "liked" the black people that worked for them while benefiting from those systems. There are those who can say "some of my best friends are black" but still support policies that are detrimental to African Americans or other minorities.
It is similar to those Christians who would never picket a funeral like the Westboro Baptists, but say they "love" gay people while at the same time, work to deny them basic civil and human rights. That is a lot like saying you "love" people of color while still supporting segregation.
Those who simply criticize President Obama for this or that policy are probably not being bigoted. I criticize the president all the time but I do so on real issues. I criticize Obamacare because it is a sell-out to the insurance companies. President Obama was not my first choice in the primaries. I have voted in most elections since I was 18, and rarely have I voted "for" anyone. Usually, I find myself voting against the other candidate. Clearly, most American elections are like Utah executions in that you are given a choice of two ways to be disposed of, but that is another subject.
Where bigotry and/or racism may come into play is in the outrageous misinformation and misinformation about the president. He is routinely accused by many people on the far right of not being a U.S. citizen, of having committed treason, of giving undocumented aliens the right to vote, of establishing "death panels" for senior citizens, or of being a radical Muslim.
Perhaps those who disseminate such bold, outright lies are not consciously racist. I realize most do not wear sheets or burn crosses. At the very least, however, they are certainly practicing racial discrimination. Treating someone differently because of their ethnicity or race is discrimination. Have you known any white presidents who have had to put up with such outrageous accusations? The right hated Bill Clinton with a passion but they never accused him of not being born in Arkansas!
E. Scott Cracraft
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 09:00