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Human trafficking goes on under our noses; don't be so defensive

To The Daily Sun,

First of all, reporter Michael Kitch of the Laconia Daily Sun didn't even get the House Bill number correct when writing about a bill sponsored by Rep. Brian Gallagher. HB-1628 — not HB-1525 — is the one in which any sexual activity involving a minor would be a Class B felony.

Secondly, children are not prostitutes, they are victims. The media needs to familiarize themselves with our updated human trafficking statutes and the revised language.

Thirdly, the administration of both the Laconia Motorcycle Week and the New Hampshire Speedway need to stop being defensive and realize that just because there have been no arrests doesn't mean this activity is not going on right under their nose. I know that our esteemed Merrimack County Sheriff, Scott Hilliard, and Bethany Cottrell the Merrimack County Child Advocacy Director have had discussions with the people at the speedway on this subject.

Those of us who have been to conferences and forums on human trafficking have learned that "you don't see it unless you are looking for it." Maybe the speedway should hire people during a big race for the sole purpose of "looking for" illicit activity.

I am going to take the liberty of quoting a very astute individual, former N.H. Justice of the Supreme Court and former Dean of the UNH Law School John Broderick. He looked me in the eye and told me that when the Super Bowl was in New Jersey an estimated 10,000 children were sold for sex. He specifically said most of these were 13-, 14-, 15-year-olds. They are not prostitutes. If that isn't enough to make your blood boil I don't know what is. I wish this knowledge was not imprinted on my brain.

I commend Rep. Gallagher for sponsoring this bill. I believe the only way we can stop this evil business is to arrest the customers, the evil pedophiles who purchase children for sex. Splash their names all over the media. Incidentally, seven years in the slammer isn't enough. Also, I would add castration as an additional penalty. If there wasn't a market this evil business would not exist.

I just wish Rep. Gallagher had one Democrat among his sponsors. It seems to be the case among us politicians that we don't give the other party any credibility, even if they have a good idea. I hope that's not the case here. I even agreed with Neil Kurk a couple times. I will be looking for the schedule of committee hearings on this bill.

Liz Blanchard

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Everyone wins with designated, state-owned power corridors

To The Daily Sun,

After years of discussion it remains unclear how much of Hydro Quebec's energy will be provided exclusively to New Hampshire. Likely, little to none at all. More likely the major beneficiaries will be Connecticut and Massachusetts. Ironically Connecticut apparently no longer permits above-ground transmission projects.

New Hampshire stands to benefit the least yet bear the most: 132 miles of DC electrical lines draped over our heads (snapping, crackling and popping) supported by hundreds of electrical towers 85 to 155 feet tall (mature New Hampshire trees are 50 to 80 feet tall). Worse, this infrastructure will likely be in place for decades, an ugly scar imposed on us by a non-critical, greed-driven, private-industry project.

From pristine wilderness to private residences, from quiet country back roads to busy highways none will be exempt. Ugly, noisy, prone-to-failure, easy-to-target-towers from the Canada border to Bethlehem, from Bristol to Deerfield; 132 miles of industrialized ugliness. How could this have progressed so far and been a thorn in our side for so long? How much time and money has been wasted by both opponents and proponents? My guess: millions and millions.

Successful companies, those likely to be profitable and successful over the long run, have robust corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies recognizing the need for the company to behave like a good citizen might behave. Others get it. For, example Google's corporate motto is: Don't be evil!

Eversource has the potential to affect thousands of private citizens financially and aesthetically, yet they operate solely with their financial interests in mind in ways many would describe haphazard or worse as an uncontrolled bully! Don't be evil!

This project will affect New Hampshire for decades, yet it seems as if there's nothing ordinary citizens or concerned towns can do. Nothing is in place to constrain a corporate board bent on growing the top line to the detriment of anyone who gets in their way. The world is too small for this myopic thinking.

One glimmer of hope is HB-626 that sees New Hampshire creating formal energy corridors where all projects of this nature must reside. Hopefully a reasonable charge will be levied on companies (Hydro Quebec for example) for its use by the state of New Hampshire so we can all profit from our asset(s).

One hundred percent burial: a win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win, win.

Win (More power for the grid), win (abutters property resale value), win (view lot property owners), win (real-estate companies), win (Hydro Quebec), Win (Eversource), Win (effected town's tax base remains unaffected), win (second home industry and supporting jobs), win (tourist industry remains), win (Franklin gets their transfer facility).

Bottom line: everyone wins when New Hampshire formalizes the concept of state-owned power corridors. Current House Bill 626 does this. Contact your state representatives and ask that they support it.

David Rivers

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