To The Daily Sun,
I read Rosemary Landry's letter in the Dec. 30 Laconia Daily Sun with great interest. As as a member of Meredith's 3/25 Advisory Committee, I believe some clarification and additional information might be helpful. In particular, it is incorrect to say that "no one is claiming the change will positively impact traffic congestion." It might not totally solve the "problem", but it certainly will improve things. But first, let's ask:
What exactly is causing the problem?
At first, most committee members thought that the 3/25 intersection itself was the problem. However, many of us spent hours at the intersection watching traffic on heavy traffic days and also on some not-so-heavy days. We saw traffic stopped in the intersection, even when the light was green. In other words, we realized that if the traffic is blocked beyond the intersection it does not matter what we do with the intersection itself. Traffic will not flow. A bit of observation made us realize that the real problem was caused by pedestrians, cars making left turns, and cars trying to regain speed after stopping at the light.
In other words, we learned that we had to deal not just with the main intersection, but with the entire corridor as a system of interacting roads and pedestrians.
We all know that traffic signals deal with these issues very inefficiently. First, by their very nature they stop traffic. This means that traffic needs to restart and some cars (and giant logging trucks) take a long time to get restarted. They deal with left turns very inefficiently. And finally, they are terribly inefficient in dealing with pedestrians.
Roundabouts deal with all of these issues. Their goal is to keep cars moving at a steady 15-18 mph. There is minimal stopping. Vehicles can easily make left turns without blocking the entire intersection. And most importantly, they deal efficiently with pedestrians.
With a single-lane roundabout, pedestrians can cross one lane at a time with minimal impact to traffic flow. Remember that this traffic is traveling at about 15 mph, which means that often cars can let pedestrians cross that single lane with little if any delay. Contrast this with the present situation which requires two traffic officers to stop up to five lanes of traffic before a single pedestrian can even start to cross.
It is true that this will not completely solve the summer peak traffic problem. However, the three roundabout solution will improve things for residents, cars driving through town, and pedestrians. Here's how:
1. The proposed two right turn lanes onto Route 25 will largely reduce congestion which now ties up Route 3 and Main Street on summer Friday nights and Saturday mornings.
2. The proposed roundabout at Pleasant Street will reduce or eliminate congestion from left-turn traffic from Route 25 into the Hannaford shopping center. The roundabout will provide a new entrance and exit to and from the shopping center and bank.
3. Delays caused by pedestrian crossings on Route 3 will be reduced by the proposed central safety zone and single lane crosswalks at Dover Street. At Main Street and Lake Street, roundabouts will include single lane pedestrian crosswalks at every approach.
Why not just do whatever it takes to "solve" the problem completely? Early in our investigations, DOT presented a two-lane roundabout "solution" at this intersection as the way to move the most traffic through town. Nobody on the committee liked it. It would be too large to fit the character of the town. It would also require taking a lot of land — and probably a building or two. In addition, it would have the effect of preventing traffic on Main Street from easily reaching Route 25. Route 25 would have to be widened to four lanes, taking a large part of Scenic Park. Further, a two-lane roundabout would be dangerous for pedestrians having to cross two lanes at a time at the intersection.
The committee therefore concluded that the best solution available is a system of three, single-lane roundabouts. It will deal best with pedestrians, left turns and slow steady traffic flow. It offers the best possibility for improvement over the existing traffic signal.
I agree with Rosemary that we should all "do our homework". The committee certainly did. Please learn as much as you can from those of your fellow citizens who served on this committee. Remember that we spent many hours observing traffic flow and discussing alternatives. Several of us had been on a previous committee and have therefor been studying this for eight years or more. At the end, we came to a unanimous recommendation.
I am not asking anyone to blindly accept this recommendation, but I am asking everyone to take seriously the work this committee has done, to study our recommendation carefully, and to make sure you have correct information before coming to a conclusion.
Warren Clark, Member
Meredith 3/25 Advisory Committee
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 09:34
To The Daily Sun,
The letters written to the editor in the past month has made me remember letters from the past. I have a pile of prior Daily Suns, plus an envelope full of clippings written by different writers.
The letter written by Mr. Hoyt on Dec. 19 needs a answer. He wonders who writes these e-mails sent to The Daily Sun every day. Is it one person sending them in using different names? I will give some examples; you can decide for yourself.
I wrote a letter March 21, 2013, suggesting everyone watch the documentary "Hubris." I mentioned to Mr. Earle that he watch it, etc. In between the 21st and 28th of March Mr. Wiles wrote, "Henry Osmer from Hill suggests the readers, and Mr. Earle in particular, watch the documentary "Hubris." Then he writes his usual stuff until (I quote), "Before you pick on Steve again, Henry, you might want to take off your rose-colored glasses, put down your cup of utopian tea avoid MSNBC etc."
I answered his letter March 28, 2013. In response I wrote, "In reply to letter from Russ Wiles I found it interesting that Mr.Wiles was chosen by his right-wing party to write concerning my letter to Steve Earle, as he cannot speak of anything he writes," etc., etc. On Dec. 2, 2014, I read articles by Mr. Meade and Mr. Wiles on Page 4. Decide for yourself whether they could be a coincidence or collateral. (Clue, Hmmm)
I have to give Ms. Loesch a lot of credit. When she criticizes, every parrot in the pet shop starts in. However, it always seems to be Mr. Wiles at top of list. In the letter dated Dec. 20, 2013, which by the tone I believe Mr. Earle wrote, he complains of a letter written by Mr. Veverka and goes on the scandals and all the things he hates about President Obama. A letter written by Ms. Loesch on Dec. 23 asked the correct question: What did president do to you personally? This same question should be asked to every writer of hate and discontent. Yes you're correct. Here comes Mr. Wiles. His letter, dated Dec.24, starts right out the gate, "Bernadette Loesch claims she has no idea why Steve Earle hates president Obama."
I swear to the heavens above I have no idea what makes this guy tick. He has as much time to do nothing as the past administration. I could write a column on this, but realize not many would be interested. I am convinced that Mr. Hoyt has hit a homer with his letter and plenty of evidence in my opinion that some writers are using names of others in order get more letters printed daily.
My thanks to all who work at The Laconia Daily Sun for job they do in keeping us all informed of local and national news. I do find it sad that the parrots can't read as they can only relate to what they hear on Fox News. I will be looking forward to my first parrot newsletter.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 09:28
To The Daily Sun,
Shame on you Dave Schwotzer for writing about things you know little or nothing about and not telling the truth about others. You have seen a case of someone taking their bat and ball home as recent as in the past couple of years, as someone in your household resigned their position to avoid confrontation.
The employees who signed the letter supporting the firing of the (Belknap County Nursing Home) administrator had cause. You are not privy to their injustices, and rightly so. The family members of the residents in the nursing home and the residents themselves had cause.
Your comment about residents being pressured by staff to sign a petition shows your ignorance of nursing home residents. Nursing home residents are not all cognitively impaired; they have minds of their own and voices to let their opinions be known. They have even been to some of the meetings. They read the newspapers themselves and when they read your article they will, without a doubt, take offense to your insinuation that they don't have minds of their own.
You do not work at or even visit the nursing home to understand what goes on between the delegation, the commissioners, the residents and their family members and the employees of Belknap County. I do, as I am not only a taxpayer but, also an employee who has been to meetings and seen the childish behavior of the delegation in person. I may not have been present for the foul language used against Mr. Nedeau by a member of the delegation who will be coming in as a commissioner this new term, but I heard about it the very next day and then read about it in the newspaper. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine that the incoming commissioners would not be civil working partners for Mr. Nedeau.
I again remind you of your own family experience with this behavior and the decision your family member chose to make. If you choose to write incomplete truths, be prepared to be called out for them. As you can clearly see, I only write about what I know as fact as opposed to the ranting of someone who feels they have a score to even, truth or not.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 2014 09:18
To The Daily Sun,
I'm writing in regards to the Belknap County House of Corrections. Although I understand funding available to the county commissioners is sparse, something has to change.
To suggest that the HVAC system, in its current condition at the county jail is adequate would be a dubious proposition at best. The temperatures in the building make a frigid environment for the inmates living there, as well as the employees working there.
With the influx of drug overdoses in our community as of late, one would believe addressing this issue on the corrections level would be of the utmost importance. Truth is, due to a lack of funding resources the Department of Corrections is barely able to assist inmates with addiction issues.
Also, because of limited housing and space, there is no way for inmates to adequately exercise during the winter months. I may be wrong, but I believe exercise is a civil liberty, not a privilege.
Faculty members are exerting tremendous amounts of effort to assist inmates and make the jail a better environment for every party concerned. But it's not enough. There aren't enough resources available.
Inmates need to properly be reintegrated into the community, otherwise they'll revert back to drug abuse and crime. Inmates need their civil liberties. Please bear in mind that pre-trial detainees are not convicted criminals.
The community needs to help the lost and fallen sons, daughters, fathers and mothers in our county.
I write with a first-hand knowledge because I'm an inmate at the Belknap County House of Corrections.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 December 2014 12:42
To The Daily Sun,
You might think that since the ACA has been deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court, implemented, and met and exceeded its signup goals, that a made-up scare tactic like "death panels" would fade away. But it appears this "Lie of the Year" for 2009 is to be perpetuated by Ms. Landry, Mr. Demakowski and other conservatives. They are twisting themselves into knots trying to defend a myth and attempting to revive "death panels" amid weeks of good news of ACA successes. The only "death panels" I've found are those attempting to kill the ACA.
Ms. Landry, if an insurance company refused to pay for surgery because the company's analysis showed a subscriber already too sick and believed surgery wouldn't save the life, or that an individual wouldn't be covered by insurance because of a pre-existing condition, would your friend Ph.D. Betsey McCaughey label them "death panels"? This kind of utilitarian rationing is exactly what Palin, McCaughey and other opponents of the ACA say they want to protect the country from — but it's rife with them already. Thousands of people are dropped from insurance rolls yearly for such reasons as typos on forms, pre-existing conditions or a family member's medical history — talk about your "death panels."
In honoring my request for "death panel" guidance, I researched Mr. Demakowski's suggestion of The Independent Payment Advisory Board. This is a section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act whose explicit task is to achieve specified savings in Medicare without affecting coverage or quality. I found that with regard to IPAB's recommendations, the law says, "The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums. I found nothing to indicate a "death panel."
Congressman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), referenced by Ms. Landry, is a retired physician and chairman of a House Labor and Health Subcommittee. He is considered a "kindred soul" by the medical industry, partly because he has introduced legislation to remove the IPAB provision in the ACA that is meant to rein in the growth of Medicare payments. He charges that the IPAB would deny care even though the law explicitly bars "any recommendation to ration health care." It's also interesting to note that Ms. McCaughey has strong ties to the medical industry, having served as a member of the boards of directors of medical equipment companies Genta and Cantel Medical Corporation.
Health care by definition involves life and death decisions, but Ms. Landry and Mr. Demakowski have drawn conclusions that vastly exceed the implications of their evidence.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 December 2014 12:35