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Weirs Beach parking revenue should be shared with other non-profits

To The Daily Sun,

I am not opposed to the city giving nonprofit organizations the chance to use city facilities such as the parking lot at Weirs Beach in order for them to raise funds for their projects.

I have three reasons for opposing the Weirs Action Committee's request at this time.

First, they have been given this valuable opportunity for 20 years, and have made much money for their causes. All very good causes. But, there are many other nonprofit organizations in the city who would love to have the same opportunity. After all, this event for the benefit of the whole city. A few examples would be the Belknap Mill, which needs yearly sustaining funds to stay open, the Boys and Girls Club, New Beginnings, our food pantries, the Salvation Army, and on and on.

I believe the city should make the property available to different nonprofits each year or perhaps charge a vendor fee for the opportunity of raising huge sums of money.

Don't forget, the very members of the Weirs Action Committee are actually benefiting because the event is held in their area where all the money is spent by the motorcyclists.

Secondly, while I mistakenly brought this up with the Weirs Park Association at the last City Council meeting, it should be noted that this means two of the Weirs' committees gets proceeds from all of the city's lots.

The third point is that this organization, which has been a member of the Motorcycle Week Association, withdrew its support rather than pay the $5,000 membership dues which supports the work of the association. This from the group that benefits more than any from the event being held there. The city supports the Motorcycle Week Association's efforts, as does much for The Weirs as well. Is it too much to ask that the Weirs Action Committee support this event from which they benefit?

This is an event for the whole City of Laconia and the Lakes Region and everyone should be involved and everyone should benefit.

Councilor Brenda Baer

Ward 4, Laconia

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Criticism of capitalism's excesses is not attack on capitalism itself

To The Daily Sun,

Another right-wing critic reminds us why teachers need tenure. In his scurrilous attack on me in a recent letter, Tony Boutin, didn't debate my thoughts. Instead, he mis-characterized what I wrote, called me names, and questioned my right to teach because of what I might think.

My letter did not attack capitalism. Rather I argued for the need to contain the excesses of unrestrained capitalism. I clearly stated that capitalism is the economic basis for our successful society. I also pointed out that left to its own devices it can lead to poor working conditions, low pay, and degradation of the environment, among other problems that a quick check of our history would reveal, and that we need regulation to keep those bad outcomes in check.

Mr. Boutin wrongly thinks that any criticism of capitalism's excesses is an attack on capitalism itself. He apparently is unable to understand the simple difference between being against something and being against its easily treatable perversions. If I am against gluttony that doesn't mean that I think we should all stop eating. Does that entitle him to call me a socialist?

Tony and his ilk threaten the livelihood of teachers with whom they disagree. He has no idea how or what I teach, and yet would question my right to do so because of my ideas? Don't we have a First Amendment so that our ideas can be freely expressed? Sobering to think that some would only allow teachers who pass a litmus test to teach irrespective of how good they are. Been to Saudi Arabia lately, Tony?

In fact, Tony might enjoy attending one of my classes where he would apparently be surprised to learn that I encourage all points of view and challenge them all in the interest of intellectual growth through critical discourse. I check to make sure I understand the arguments. I'm interested in facts and evidence, not ideology. I don't call anyone disparaging names. And, I never question anyone's right to hold ideas because they differ from mine.

Dave Pollak

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