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We wanted to focus on positive alternatives to traditional partying

To The Daily Sun,

Every year as our school approaches prom and graduation season, Belmont High School looks to provide awareness activities around safe decision-making. In the past, this opportunity has come in the form of inviting a speaker or presenter in to share their story with the school.

This year we did something a little different with the support of our administration and school staff. On May 19, we developed a half day event called CHOICES, which allowed students to explore the negative impact of impaired driving and explore healthier alternatives to encourage safer coping mechanisms. In order to make this happen, we called on the volunteerism of several community professionals to help us orchestrate an After the Crash Career Fair and a Healthy Choices Fair. We wanted students to have an opportunity to interact with professionals that would be involved in after a crash. These professionals include business partners from the BHS School-to-Career and SADD programs such as local EMTs, firefighters, police officers, state correctional officers, state and county detectives, county attorney, CPR instructor/emergency room nurse, drug and alcohol therapists, recovery coaches, and human resource management.

Additionally, we wanted to focus on positive alternatives to partying so we invited professionals who offer mountain biking, wake-surfing or wakeboarding, rock climbing as well as an aromatherapist, nutritionist, reiki master, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and yoga instructor. They all contributed to the positive healthy lifestyle theme of the day. In the afternoon, with the help of Chelsie Hubicsak-Muldowney, who is the Youth Operator Specialist with Dartmouth Hitchock’s Injury Prevention Center, we were able to secure the N.H. Liquor Commission’s Mobile Command Unit Fatal Choices program, Melissa Fifield (one of three female Nascar race car drivers), and virtual goggles and screens for impaired driving. This was an interactive hands-on day that not only brought awareness to the student body about decision-making, but also allowed them to be exposed to several careers or activities that might be of interest to them.

This event was truly a community effort that involved so many stakeholders and demonstrated to our students what it means to be part of a community and that our community really cares about them. Our school would like to publicly express its heartfelt gratitude to the following people/organizations for either donating their time, and/or providing a gift for our Human Bingo Raffle contest which encouraged students to participate: Toni Mills from Align Physical Therapy, Brent Hoffman from Apache Companies, Arvidson Health Center, Melissa Guldbrandsen, Esq. from Belknap Co. District Court, Detective Estes and Batstone from the Belknap Co. Sheriff Department, Belmont Fire Department, especially Josh Huestis, Career Panel Presenter, Belmont High School, SAU Administration, Support Staff, Faculty, Parents, STUDENTS, Belmont Police Department – Officer Belanger and Vito (K9) Drug Recognition Expert, CHaD Dartmouth Hitchcock, CKO Kickboxing, Dale LaPlante from Dale’s Driving School (time and goggles), Melissa Fifield, Pine Knoll Race – Presenter, Virginia Fuller – Presenter, Judy Cook from Grace Wellness Center, Megan Myhaver from Highland Mountain Bike Park, Sue Rubbe, BHS School Nurse/CPR Instructor/LRGHealthcare-ER and Career Panel Presenter, NH Department of Corrections – CPPO Eastman, Internship/Volunteer Coordinator Tina Thurber, and especially Lieutenant Burke, Career Panel Presenter, NH State Police-Detective Shirley, Michelle Noble – Pike Industries, Raw Life Café, Audrey Clairmont and Reid Poosikian from Riverbend Choices, Chris Gagnon from Silver Sands Marina, Sokol Fit Club, Dr. Madalyn Otto from Whole Health Concord, and Denise Stark from Young Living Essential Oils.

Jennifer Gagnon

Student Assistance Counselor

Belmont Middle-High School

Amy Burke

School-to-Career Coordinator

Belmont High School

  • Written by Edward Engler
  • Category: Letters
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Would you eat out of a bowl of M&Ms if you knew a few of them were poison?

To The Daliy Sun,

Ronald Reagan said, “The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” And some, like James Veverka, know so much that is irrelevant, e.g., his May 4 letter responding to my April 29 letter on Western nation’s experience with Islamic immigrants and refugees, and American immigration and refugee policies.

My letter acknowledged that many of the 1.5 billion Muslims just want to live in peace, but many others aren’t willing to let others live in peace, and many Muslim beliefs are incompatible with our Constitution and American society. Muslim immigration has brought the U.S. an increasing number of honor killings, FGMs, forced marriages, terrorist acts, and terrorist threats. Our nation’s immigration and refugee policies must take these facts into consideration.

Veverka is blind to the forest because he likes a few of the trees. Veverka cites studies claiming to show that 40 to even 60-some percent of American Muslims have progressive beliefs that Veverka likes. Wonderful, but irrelevant. Our immigration and refugee policies aren’t for American citizens but for people who want to come here. How many of the other 30-60 percent brought the same views instilled from birth in their homelands? For example, how many still believe that gays should be punished, beaten, imprisoned, or thrown from the tops of buildings?

Reuters reports that 26 percent of young American Muslims believe suicide bombings can be justified. The Polling Company reports that 51 percent of American Muslims believe they should have the choice to be ruled under Sharia Law rather than U.S .Laws and the U.S. Constitution, and that 25 percent of American Muslims believe violence against Americans here in the United States can be justified as part of the global Jihad.

Veverka says only a small percent of Muslim immigrants/refugees committed acts of terrorism or left Western countries to join ISIS. Why would one be okay? In reality each one has been encouraged, supported, taught, or otherwise lead to believe that such actions were laudable by many in the Muslim community which continues radicalizing others.

Muslim immigration into Western nations has brought riots, crime, terrorism, demands, and ingratitude. And, the more Muslims, the more problems. E.g., there are 23,000 suspected terror suspects in the UK, 18,000 in Belgium, and there are terror investigations in all 50 American states including 300 active investigations of refugees from 25 different counties.

Muslim terror attacks don’t just happen in the West, they happen almost everywhere there are Muslims; in fact most victims are also Muslims.
In a May 26 letter, Veverka makes three more arguments against cautious Muslim immigration. First, he implies that since so many Americans kill each other, we shouldn’t care that there are a “few” terrorist victims. That’s crazy! And, most of the seven countries covered by President Trump’s Immigration executive order have far greater homicide rates than ours, only Libya, which is now in chaos and is certainly under reported, had fewer.

Veverka says that moderate Muslims have done all they can to stop the violence, e.g., millions of Muslims have signed on to Fatwas against violence, and asks what else could they do to end violence? What about the rest of the 1.5 billion that haven’t signed on? What about the thousands of Muslim clerics that advocate violence and Muslim supremacy?

What more could American Muslims do? How about not inviting Muslim speakers from abroad who advocate violence? For example, why was Farrokh Sekaleshfar, an advocate for killing gays “out of compassion,” invited to speak in Orlando? (Did he inspire the slaughter of gays just a few weeks later?) How about weeding out all Muslim clerics in the U.S. who advocate violence, Muslim supremacy, or that Muslims should follow Sharia Law rather than U.S. laws? How about making sure that textbooks in Muslim schools treat all people as equals?

Veverka says that Iran just re-elected their moderate president. How “moderate” can he be when he still advocates death to America and Israel, and develops ICBMs and nuclear weapons with which to achieve those ends? Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) worked to prevent nuclear war between the U.S. and Soviet Union because both countries wanted to survive. But the fanatical Iranian leaders want to cause the world-wide death and destruction that they believe will bring the return of the Twelfth Imam.

Hopefully, Veverka is right that most Muslims are assimilating in the U.S., but many aren’t. And, although many first generation immigrants appreciate getting away from their old environments, the second generation is often tempted by crime, religious extremism, and terrorism. No nation has figured out how to weed out the terrorists or extremists from among the Muslims entering their country or how to keep Muslim citizens from becoming radicalized or terrorists.

There are billions of poor people in the world and an estimated 60 million refugees. Americans want everyone to live in peace and prosperity, but why should we allow people to come here that we can’t adequately vet to exclude radicals and troublemakers?

If there were two buckets of M&Ms, with one containing a small percentage of poisoned M&Ms, would you eat or let others eat from the bucket with the poison M&Ms? No; but Veverka demands that we do the equivalent with Muslim refugees and immigrants.

People who care about their fellow countrymen don’t want any Americans to be terrorist victims. Unfortunately Veverka apparently cares more about his alt-left ideology than he cares about American lives.

Don Ewing

  • Written by Edward Engler
  • Category: Letters
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