To The Daily Sun,
Last winter a group of us stayed overnight at the AMC cabin on Mt. Cardigan. The "high cabin" is located about two miles up a meandering trail through the woods and sits about a half mile from the summit of the mountain. Being a winter trek, we all had mini crampons, hefty packs and a few sleds for firewood for the cabin woodstove. The snowy trail eventually brought us to a clearing in the trees where we could take in a view of the valley below and have a quick respite for the last push to the cabin. Much to my dismay, the vista we had been waiting for was obscured by a row of tall, wind turbines spaced along the distant ridge line. Here we were, in the middle of Mt. Cardigan State park, a little escape from the civilization below, and the first good view we encounter is a line of man-made winged, monoliths, spinning in the distance.
In my opinion, these turbines are blight on this state's beautiful landscape. The abundance of unspoiled scenery is what makes New Hampshire so special. I also understand that these wind farms have proven very deleterious to bats and birds, including hawks and eagles. These birds soar and ride the winds and air currents along the high ridgelines and encounter these spinning blades while hunting food. Today, I actually read where Washington gave a 30 year moratorium to some wind farms that basically absolves them from killing protected bird species. I think New Hampshire and the whole nation should take a very close look at this energy source. These wind towers present a serious blot on the landscape and the electricity they produce is not worth the damage to the scenic beauty of the country or the toll on our wildlife. The thought of majestic birds of prey, including the symbol of our great country, the American bald eagle, meeting their demise from these spinning giants is a disgrace.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:38
To The Daily Sun,
I believe it would be a win-win situation, for the property owners and the Historical Preservation Committee. It has been mentioned a few times before that the tech students renovate the Hathaway House. It is always interesting how the comments made are, a good learning project for the students or so the students can give back to the community. I wonder why the boys and girls did not renovate and add on to there own tech center? Food for thought, maybe we could have the Tech Center culinary students do bake sales in front of the Hathaway House to help raise funds for the project.
Folks, you need to stop loosing site of what the Huot Technical Center is really there for.
David F. Dupuis
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:35
I suspect the NSA may have thought they got lucky when one of the first post-Edward Snowden cases to challenge their phone metadata collection was assigned to Judge Richard Leon on the federal district court in Washington, D.C. After all, Leon was appointed by President George W. Bush after a long career, much of it spent working for Republicans in Washington. In addition to his stints as a prosecutor during the Republican years, he also served as counsel for the Republicans' investigation of the Iran-Contra affair, defending the Reagan administration against charges that its official violated the rules set by Congress and lied about the operation.
Perfect choice for an embattled administration seeking to defend a secret spy program? You might think. But you would be wrong, which is why an independent judiciary is so important.
Privacy cases often make for strange bedfellows, and the plaintiff here was not the ACLU (although they have been filing similar suits), but a conservative activist who claimed that the NSA was "messing" with him by sending text messages to his client. The judge overlooked that "unusual" claim, settling instead for a less "unusual" but potentially more far-reaching base for allowing two individuals to sue: Because the government itself was describing the program as a "comprehensive metadata database," it must have collected their data along with everyone else's. Under that theory, which no one would call conservative, every American would have standing to sue.
As for the merits, Leon was even tougher. In a lengthy (68 pages for a district court opinion counts as extremely lengthy) opinion, Leon wrote, "I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary' invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval... Surely, such a program infringes on 'that degree of privacy' that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment."
The program repeatedly has been upheld (in secret) by judges handpicked to serve on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Leon was the first judge not on that court to examine the data collection program at the urging of civil liberties plaintiffs as opposed to criminal defendants.
So you have an independent judge appointed by a Republican president reviewing a program that most Republicans, along with a Democratic president, have praised, and what happens? He makes an independent decision.
Those Founding Fathers of ours were clever guys. Even with all the mucking about by organized interests on both sides, the politicization of judicial nominations and confirmations by both sides, along comes a Republican judge, and he consults the Constitution and case law and (my guess) his conscience and principles — and lo and behold, one man makes a decision that could put the program on hold.
Not yet, of course. The judge was careful to stay his opinion to allow for appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — the one Obama was trying to "pack" with people who shared at least some of his views, while Republicans were refusing to vote to confirm even highly qualified appointees lest Obama take "control" of the court.
So that's where this case will go on appeal — and I defy all of the talking heads on television to predict how that court will rule. Yes, it will have more Democratic appointees than Republican appointees by the time it hears this case. But does that mean the NSA will win? Not necessarily.
Independent judges with the courage of their convictions — and the D.C. Circuit is full of them, led by Chief Judge Merrick Garland — are not mere proxies for the presidents who appoint them, even if the Senate debate might suggest otherwise. The good ones, like Leon, don't work for the politician who appointed them or the former colleagues who helped them get confirmed. They work for us.
(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00
To The Daily Sun,
I feel really bad for those people standing out in front of the Dunkin' Donuts on Union Ave. in all this cold when this problem could be fixed so easily. He blatantly lied about fixing the Hawthorne House in order to get his permit to open the new store next to the house.
If the City of Laconia hasn't got the you know what to rescind his permit for this store, then the only thing left for this person who has proved his/her word is no good, could save face and money, which is really what this greedy matter is all about, he/she could block all the windows and hire the hazardous waste people to remove the asbestos and then have the Hout Center boys and girls use this house as a learning project. This part of the high school is a trade school. This has been done before if you remember out on Parade Road where they built a house from the ground up. It would be a win-win situation.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 11:14
To The Daily Sun,
Article 6-b of the New Hampshire State Constitution reads: (Use of Lottery Revenues Restricted to Educational purposes) "All Moneys received from a state-run lottery and all interest received on such moneys shall, after deducting the necessary costs of administration, be appropriated and used exclusively for the purpose of state aid to education and shall not be transferred or diverted to any other purpose." ( November 6, 1990.)
Now! My Websters Dictionary states that exclusively is defined as, "Intended for the sole use and purpose of a single individual or group". The word sole redefines exclusive as " the only one".
The New Hampshire Lottery Commision reported in 2011 that 27 percent of lotto revenues were contributed to the education system. On my Property Tax is one line for "School Tax". On another line is "State Education Tax".
It appears to me that some of our representatives have violated their oath of office. When Jeanne Shaheen was governor of New Hampshire she stated that the state lottery revenues go into the "General Fund". That is in violation of our State Constitution. I am quite sure that most people who buy lottery ticket do not know that nearly three quarters of the money they spend to support education disappears into a General Fund void.
Dale Channing Eddy of Gilford touched on another transfer of tax revenues on gasoline to unrelated areas. Bob Meade's article "hand out or hand up?" shed light on some important issues that once worked and some principles implemented now that will haunt us for decades.
Tim French of Gilford laid out some interesting facts in the Wednesday, December 11 Laconia Daily Sun. They are sad but true.
Russ Wiles wrote an interesting article on Madison Root, an 11 year old who wants to work hard and make it. She plans to work very hard at her goals. No victim ideology there. What a great example she is and will be. Thank you Russ for your article.
We have only to look at the gulags in Chicago and Detroit to see the outcome of collectivism. You can redistribute the wealth for only so long. You cannot redistribute intelligence, it comes through years of hard work and study. That is one reason we as a nation is in such a dismal stage in our existence. Fortunately there are many who have fled the plantations created by the state. Those who's only gift is talk have never gained experience to say much.
Gene F. Danforth
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 11:11