To The Daily Sun,
As a past alternate member of the Laconia Zoning Board of Adjustment, I was disappointed to see the City Council exert pressure on the current Zoning Board members. During my two years on the board, I witnessed a group of volunteers carry out their duties with professionalism and due diligence. I was proud to be part of and serve with this board. Having come from a town in Massachusetts where political pressure to sway ZBA Board members to act favorably toward politically connected people, it was refreshing to see a ZBA Board act fairly and independently.
The ZBA has strict guidelines/criteria that must be met in order to grant a variance or special exception. Granting a zoning variance or special exception cannot be based solely on the applicant. A zoning change or special exception goes with the land, not the person. Laconia will suffer if the City Council denies appointing or re-appointing ZBA volunteers who follow the ZBA guidelines and act independently.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 09:31
To the Laconia Sun,
Have you ever considered the cost of wars, in middle-eastern countries? It is a staggering loss of human life, revenue, and resources, this country has expended without apologies or rationality. And today, we can look back and assess their motives and reasoning that has allowed this catastrophe to happen, in the first place.
First off, this country has never experienced a viable threat from these small, backward, (and often) poorer countries, unable to defend themselves against domestic violence and unrest. If you recall we have had three fatalities from foreign terrorists in this time period — no more.
We have been kept in a state of anxiety, by mismanagement of the news, fearing the worst. The media has done their best to help the war-mongers present the worst-case-scenario, day after day week after week. And we ate it up.
The truth is we have not been in any danger. In the meantime we committed soldiers to several countries, endured their deaths, without an outcry from millions of citizens nor national leaders -- leaders who obviously, are more concerned with obtaining lucrative weapons contracts for their home states. Collectively, they are not concerned with human suffering and death — ours and theirs. Greed has prevailed as the value of human life has been diminished.
In conclusion, I can honestly say the whole matter of danger from terrorists, has been a devious hoax to bilk trillions of dollars on false claims and outright lies and deception making a military takeover of this country more a fact than an article of fiction.
If you see this differently, please let me know. Our country is going to hell in a hand basket because too many people don't give a damn! Please prove me wrong.
Leon R. Albushies
Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 09:24
To The Daily Sun,
Too bad there is so much misinformation out there about Northern Pass.
PSNH employees being demonized although they are our neighbors and our children go to the same schools. Quebec Hydro is being demonized although they are always here to help New Hampshire when we have bad storms and power lines are down. Criticism that this is just for power to the south of us when the truth is all New England states share power and we are all in this together. Massachusetts is referred to with derogatory names but we associate ourselves with their professional sports teams like it's our religion.
Claim Northern Pass will scar the north country and destroy tourism. A pretty woman with a facial scar is still pretty. What people say and what they actually do are usually different. Franklin downtown has an ugly reputation, but Tilton downtown receives praises.
The next time you drive through downtown Tilton and marvel at their storefronts and quaint appearance, look up and see all the power lines crisscrossing throughout downtown. The next time you drive through downtown Franklin, pause for a moment and look up. There are no power lines overhead. Did you ever notice that before? Proof that power lines aren't the issue.
Owl's Nest Golf Course has the biggest power lines and usually rates as one of the top golf courses in New Hampshire. Think of all the things we have now that would not exist if all the present day naysayers lived many years ago. No Interstate 93 through Franconia Notch. No easy access to the Old Man to see for many years. No Auto Road to top of Mt. Washington. No observatory on top of Mount Washington. No Cog Railroad, on and on.
They would have been criticized for "scarring" our views and would destroy tourism. As to imminent domain, laws were already passed to limit, if not eliminate that option. Come on people. Open your minds to the truths and not to the ugly rumors and misconceptions. Communities directly in line with Northern Pass should have every right to decide for themselves what they want and everybody else outside of those communities should let them decide for themselves.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 09:21
To The Daily Sun,
I recently saw the obituary for Steven Selig in the Sun. I only met Steve briefly at a mutual friend's house one evening a couple of years ago. We discovered that we had been serving in Vietnam at roughly the same time. It was a social gathering, so we did not talk too much about our experiences. Steve mentioned that he had flown over 250 missions in B-52s. This is a staggering number of missions especially when you consider the MiGs and anti-aircraft fire the North Vietnamese used against them. As grunt infantrymen we were grateful to have the awesome power of B-52 strikes on our side. There was usually nothing left standing in the area of a B-52 bombing. "Like walking on the moon," one of my platoon members described going into an area after a bombing.
Although we did not get a chance to share too much of our feelings that night, I feel I have walked close enough to Steve's shoes to have an idea of how he felt. He had to have felt a great deal of pride in carry out so many missions successfully under extremely difficult circumstances. I am sure he had many stories to tell. I am sure he felt the stress of putting his own and others lives on the line so many times. As bad as one day might have been, the next might be much worse, and possibly THE day. The stress of doing such a dangerous job so often for so long had to be incredible.
Finally, having to deal with the destruction he was asked to do for his country had to be quite a burden. These feelings and the realization he had to go back and be in the middle of this again had to weigh heavily on him when he had to come back for his father's funeral during his tour.
Discussing his trip back and what it was like to come home then is what struck me most about our conversation that evening. I am so happy that the men and women fighting our recent conflicts have been greeted with gratitude, appreciation, and respect. However, I have to hold back a tear every time I see one of those commercials showing returning service men and women being spontaneously applauded as they come through an airport after a tour overseas.
I think of all the guys I served with, the tremendous things they did, and know that most threw their uniforms in the garbage upon landing in the U.S. rather than be identified as a soldier. Steve did tell me about his being pelted with rotten tomatoes at the LA airport as he kept his uniform on while making connections to come back to New Hampshire to mourn his father. I had hoped to resume our conversation assuming we would see each other at the golf club we both played.
His obituary gives me an idea why our paths did not cross again. Since I did not get the chance to speak with him again, I am writing this as a way to say thank you for your exceptional service, and welcome home, Steve.
Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 08:45
To The Daily Sun,
Two hallmarks of a leader are being able to prioritize requirements, and anticipate the consequences of one's actions. Gov. Hassan recently provided us with a great example of bad leadership. By failing to prioritize and anticipate consequences, she applied for a $5.7 million federal grant made available to promote Obamacare in New Hampshire. Setting aside the fact that she intentionally chose to bypass/ignore the legislature (there are questions being asked whether she operated illegally in doing so) in this case, she received the money on behalf of the state and then used it for a completely different purpose.
Gov. Hassan spent this grant money on advertising for our state's Medicaid program. The all-too-predictable result: 11,000 Granite Staters saw the ads for free services and signed up. Sadly, the Hassan administration didn't anticipate this cost increase and didn't have a plan for the impact on our state budget. Boom! Instant hole blown in the budget, $37 million deep.
Conservatives in our state saw this coming and warned against it. Gov. Hassan did it anyway. We deserve a better governor. One who has proven he can prioritize and anticipate consequences. One who will follow the law. One who will allocate our money wisely and understands that federal dollars always come with strings attached.
I'm supporting Andrew Hemingway for governor.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 11:23