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Belknap Mill is unique treasure that should be pushed as a major attraction

To The Daily Sun,

Recently, there has been a number of letters to the editor in this paper regarding the Historic Belknap Mill in Laconia, and most of the letters are concerned about the mill and what, if anything should be done about the state of its finances.

Since I don't actually live in Laconia, I had not paid much attention to the mill until after reading Carol Anderson's book on the industrial history of the mill. Her fascinating story not only talks about the history of the mill, but also how the city of Laconia played an important role in this country's industrial history.

For example, does everyone know the mills in Laconia manufactured stockings for soldiers during the Civil War, World War I, and also World War II?

When my wife and I visited the Belknap Mill in late October, we were surprised to see a small manufacturing museum on the first floor where stockings are still being made by cleverly designed, complex knitting machines that were manufactured during the 1800s.

We were also given a tour of the machine room where water, diverted from a dam on the Winnipesaukee River, had once provided direct power to the mill. Later, around the turn of the century when electricity was still in its infancy, two large, specially made electric generators were installed to provide hydroelectric power to the Mill. Excess electricity was sold to other customers in Laconia.

In my opinion, the Belknap Mill is a unique treasure that needs to be publicized as a major attraction for visitors from outside this area as well as for local residents, and hopefully, publicizing it might also lead to other sources for additional income to help support and maintain this historic building.

I encourage everyone who has never visited the mill to go see it.

Wayne Bredvik


Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 10:12

Hits: 92

We owe it to these brave rescuers to refrain from unsafe practices

To The Daily Sun,

Early Sunday evening as we were finishing dinner while visiting a neighbor, there was pounding on the front door. A young man with panic in his voice told us that both he and his friend had fallen through the ice on snowmobiles. He made it to shore, but his friend was still out in the frigid water.

Within minutes, the emergency teams from three towns responded to our 9-1-1 call. This story might not have had a happy ending had it not been for the excellent training and teamwork of these three local fire and ice rescue units. As eyewitnesses we stand in awe of the dedication and professionalism of the Laconia, Gilford and Belmont ice rescue teams. The young man in the water was in the middle of Lake Winnisquam approximately one-half mile from shore. We could only watch and pray. The focus and dedication of the rescue effort was incredible. We are so fortunate to have these highly trained professionals in our community.

Without them the ending to this story would have been tragic. There are heroes in our midst — each and every member of the ice rescue teams from Laconia, Gilford and Belmont was a hero on Sunday night. We were privileged to see them in action and we are extremely grateful that they were there. We also thank the Tilton-Northfield and Meredith Fire Departments who covered Laconia and the Weirs should there have been another local emergency.

We cannot end our letter, however, without issuing a word of caution to all those who venture out on the ice during the winter when ice fishing, snowmobiling or skating. In many of our lakes, currents affect the thickness of ice. There are often areas of thin ice or open water on our big lakes due to these currents. An open water rescue, especially at night is a challenging and dangerous endeavor for all involved.

The firefighters who risked their own lives to save the young snowmobiler did so without question and with amazing precision. We owe it to them not to engage in unsafe practices while we enjoy the outdoors in winter.

Liz & Alan Rosenfeld


Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 10:08

Hits: 403

James Veverka (1-12) 470 BIG BANG

To The Daily Sun,

Tony Boutin says there are just too many zeros for life or the universe to have happened without God. Mr. Boutin brought us the "God of the Gaps" argument to us in all its glory. For those who don't know what this term is, its the habit people have when they don't have the scientific answers yet, don't understand them, or just refuse to acknowledge them, the say God did it. A god fills in their gaps in knowledge. When primitive man didn't understand lightning, plagues, earthquakes, battle losses, famines, infertility or floods, they said God did it. But since the dawn of the scientific age, millions of things have turned out to be just natural events, not God.

These days, folks like Tony use the God of the gaps argument to explain life and the "creation" of the universe. Unknown to our scientifically illiterate brethren who prefer Fox news and Duck Dynasty over education, science is at work to explain those two as natural phenomena. The physics math that brought us the television screen and the nuclear reactor also brought us the prediction of the Higgs Boson particle in the 1960s. In 2012 it was discovered at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and sent shockwaves and excitement around the scientific world. The Higgs particle is what gives other particles their mass. No, not magic.

Backed by many lines of evidence, physicists have for decades predicted that the universe appeared spontaneously due to quantum fluctuations. Now we have a mathematical proof for just that prediction of a universe from nothing (zero energy state). Thanks to the work of Dongshan He and his team at the Wuhan Institute of Physics and Mathematics in China, these guys have come up with the first rigorous proof that the Big Bang could indeed have occurred spontaneously because of quantum fluctuations. https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/a-mathematical-proof-that-the-universe-could-have-formed-spontaneously-from-nothing-ed7ed0f304a3

It might surprise you to know that the total energy of the universe is zero. All the positive energy and negative energy together adds up to zero. In the matter of life's beginnings, scientists have long conjectured on how life could have sprung from non-living matter. Now we have a testable theory.

"According to physicist Jeremy England, the origin and evolution of life are processes driven by the fundamental laws of nature — namely the Second Law of Thermodynamics. He's come up with a formula showing how a group of atoms, when driven by an external source of energy (like the sun) and when surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), can sometimes restructure itself as a way to dissipate increasing rates of energy." http://io9.com/physicist-proposes-a-thermodynamic-explanation-for-the-1507452119

Scientists have already come up with some experiments with which to test the idea. It appears we may live in a Biophile universe where life is a cosmic imperative.

James Veverka


Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 January 2015 10:02

Hits: 117

'In God We Trust' wasn't added to American coins until the 1950s

To The Daily Sun,

Poor Alan Moon just can't hit the target with his rubber darts. What Mr. Moon is misinformed and unaware of is that "In God We Trust? was put on our coins by an act of Congress in the 1950s. He may also not know that "Under God" was not in the pledge of allegiance until the Congress put it in there in the 1950s. None of these acts reflect the Constitution's directives, but instead are religious reactionaries pumping up their chests at Communism.

Mr. Moon would become enlightened if he were to see what actually was on our early coins. One on the 1792 half-dime said "LIBERTY THE PARENT OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY" around the obverse. Others said, "MIND YOUR BUSINESS" while sitting on a pagan sundial. Nearly all pictured Roman goddesses and the Roman eagle as they are seen on Roman coins, too. That included pileus slave caps with the Roman goddess of liberty, Libertas, too.

So, Mr. Moon's arguments are arguments from ignorance since he has not studied these issues, but likely watches Murdoch entertainment industries for the delusionally religious at Fox News.

G.W. Brooks might learn something outside of his little black conservative quotation box he lives in by reading my short essay on the evolution of American Constitution framing in three parts beginning with the story of the Treaty of Tripoli at http://www.stopthereligiousright.org/constitution.htm

James Veverka


Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 11:06

Hits: 122

Democrats deeply committed to helping poor, homeless & unemployed

To The Daily Sun,

I have just finished reading Mr. Boutin's latest submission to The Sun. In it he states that Democrats' No 1 priority are minorities and that (to paraphrase) this has caused millions of middle-class individuals to sink into poverty.

It is true that Democrats focus on social issues. We are deeply committed to helping the poor, the homeless, the unemployed and the underemployed. We sponsor school breakfast programs, mental illness education and clinics, drug education and clinics. We support universal health care, marriage equality and women's issues. We support veterans. We support raising the minimum wage. We consider these "minority" issues — unlike Mr. Boutin, who defines "minority" as "ethnic".

What Mr. Boutin fails to mention is that, during the Obama administration the Dow has risen over 10,000 points, a failing auto industry was rescued (at a profit), unemployment is down and — oh yeah — our benevolent 1 percenters have experience astronomical corporate profits.

Now, these folks really love their money and have managed to hold on to most of it. These record profits have not trickled down to the middle and lower classes. They haven't created the full-time, benefit-paying positions that have buoyed both individuals and the economy.

Because I was fortunate to have wonderful parents who valued higher education, I was able to earn my degree. I also worked throughout my college years. As a retail manager, I have been able to take advantage of full-time employment with health care, sick time and investment opportunities. This is now almost unavailable to my co-workers. Most have to juggle several jobs and family responsibilities. To offer social services to these hard-working individuals is hardly a handout.

On one of our sub-zero days this week, I saw a young family of four coming out of a supermarket. None of these individuals — two adults and two small children were wearing coats — only thin hoodies. This is never acceptable.

I encourage other individuals to start contributing letters to this forum. I can recognize a bald-faced liar when I see one. I bet a lot of other folks can too. The arena can be a bit tough, but nobody respects a bully.

June M. Huot


Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2015 10:59

Hits: 226

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