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There have been years of protests & meetings with town officials

To The Daily Sun,

It is understandable that those who do not live within the ash cloud of Mayhew's furnace would have a different and possibly incorrect view of the situation at hand. It is also understandable that those who have used Mayhew's services for their loved ones are shocked at the truth regarding the dispersal of their loved one's ashes from his chimney.

What many apparently don't know is that this has been an ongoing issue with the Town of Meredith ever since Mayhew installed his incinerator. What most folks don't see are the years of protest and meetings with Meredith officials which have led to this point. What the general public has not heard is the Meredith Chief of Police telling us that either we get used to breathing in a cloud of human ash, or we move. It took a Meredith business owner to finally bring this issue to the light of day.

When I put myself in Mr. Douglas's shoes, I see a picture of a man and his wife who have a financially leveraged themselves to pursue a lifelong dream of running a motorcycle museum, purchasing an expensive property without ever being told there was a incinerator stack just feet from their front doors. I see two good people's dreams being destroyed by a selfish, uncaring business owner who doesn't even reside in this town.

We all concur that cremation is a public service and a necessity. We simply do not agree on where these cremations should take place.

I have researched historic records and find that this issue has been addressed over and over again. In the Dec. 18, 1902, edition of the Sanitary Record and Journal, authorities deemed that a crematorium may not be built within 200 yards of a dwelling-house nor within 50 yards of a public throughway.

We are not seeking to break new ground here. This wheel has already been invented. It is really hard to dispute the fact that Meredith has allowed a crematorium directly across the street from a McDonald's restaurant, 160 feet from our front door and less than 75 feet from the front doors of Mr. Douglas's museum. Add to this the video evidence of fire, ash and thick black smoke spewing from Mayhew's incinerator as well as the ash collected from various museum exhibits on Mr. Douglas's property and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine that this is the wrong location to perform these incinerations.

Folks who do not live here are obviously free to voice their opinions, however, I would hope that they would be educated opinions. This is not an attack on those who have lost loved ones and chose to use Mayhew's funeral home. This is a public outcry regarding the location where your loved one's bodies are being cremated. This is a matter of public health.

Tracy Pillsbury

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Recoveries will benefit addicts, plus the state & communities

To The Daily Sun,

New Hampshire is third highest-ranked in the country regarding the pandemic of substance abuse, both drugs and alcohol. This substance abuse is both a medical as well as mental health issue that faces multiple families and communities in this state. Substance abuse is not about choice, rather it is a symptom that perils many in this state today. There is an immediate need to provide assistance, not only to those who are afflicted by the abuse directly, but to incorporate the holistic aspect in providing the road to recovery.

In many communities, this illness is being addressed by local groups such as Stand Up Newfound — or SUN— as they seek resources to help those addicted. This group looks at the entire holistic aspect of substance abuse and actively seeks ways to assist addicts and their social communities. This group consists of dedicated people who care and voluntarily seek resources to help addicts move forward. There is a lot of work to do to provide the services these addicts need. SUN meets on the fourth Thursday of each month in the town of Bristol.

Some crimes do come about from these addictions. Robberies, theft, domestic abuse, drunken driving, and so forth, as some addicts feed their addiction. These addictions are not a result of a bad choice. Addictions often start with mental health issues along with low self-esteem that are a catalyst for those afflicted. Low or no employment can also be a contributor. Genetic components as well as family or social backgrounds can set the pace of addictions. There are many factors that result in addiction.

Substance abuse has its own medical and mental health diagnosis. They are treated with counseling, medications, and therapy. The development of recovery centers is essential to aiding the addicts to remaking their lives and moving them forward. We need recovery centers that are close to help these addicts, as many may not have means of transportation.

Professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists provide a medical and mental health foundation that help guide the addicted forward. Many yet, still fall by the wayside, not of their own choosing. These clients need our help and our support.

The road to recovery is not an easy one. It embraces the entirety of the addict's holistic environment. Not only is support essential from professionals, but from the families and significant other relationships that surround the addicts. It is a long road and path to recovery. Once a person has been afflicted, he or she is permanently affected. But they can move forward with the help of the community, our state, and federal governments.

All walks of life are affected. Addiction does not discriminate. It takes more than just stopping the source of addiction. It means a rebuilding an entire life, one that increases self-esteem while at the same time providing physical strength to move forward as well. There is the educational and employment component, and the mental health/medical component. It takes time and does not resolve overnight. Recovery is the rebuilding of lives and enable these clients to live better lives. It requires hard work, overcoming relapses, and holding one's head high, knowing that this addiction can and will be overcome.

New Hampshire's economy is one of many sources that can further improve the outcomes for recovery. While the present unemployment rate in New Hampshire is under 3 percent, the true picture is that so many addicts, not all, are impacted by unemployment. Improving the employment picture improves self-esteem and pride, both of which are essential to providing a strong base for recovery. The Legislature recently approved funding to further the cause for those afflicted. The drug courts also are an excellent avenue to start the path for a better life. Police departments are now looking at addiction as a disease, not just a crime

Recoveries will not only benefit the addicts themselves, but the state and the communities these addicts reside, as well as their families and social circles. Assistance needs to come from everyone, and recovery is a win-win situation for everyone. Compassion and understanding go a long way to better appreciate why the addicts become afflicted. Once this is accomplished, these people can move forward as members of our communities.

Robert T. Joseph, Jr.
New Hampton

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