To The Daily Sun,
For once, this is not about debating the economics, aesthetics, engineering or need (or lack thereof) of ridgeline industrial wind in the Lakes Region. This is about the behavior of a company (Iberdrola) that seems to operating under an incredible disconnect from the people they claim to want to serve.
From Day 1, the Spanish multinational has stated, on record, "If you don't want us, we will leave." Since then, the company has lost every vote taken. Despite glossy mailers, friendly press coverage, the promise of alleged economic benefit, and a near-unlimited PR budget, Iberdrola has never mustered much more than 33 percent support in an open referendum. And every time they lose, they claim "Well, it's not representative. The silent majority supports us." That's a bold statement, especially considering the recent referendum in Danbury, which saw greater than a 2-to-1 rejection of the Wild Meadows Project. That vote actually drew more total voters than did the 2013 General Election (46 percent vs. 39 percent). To put those numbers into perspective, in a non-presidential election year, the American average voter turnout hovers around 38 percent.
Recently, Iberdrola has incorporated a tactic we're all too familiar with from TV talk shows. Rather than addressing the scientific and economic concerns of their opposition, they have taken to simply labeling those claims "misinformation." Reasonable people can disagree when examining the same data. If the opposition is wrong, show them where they are wrong, and cite sources that don't have a vested interest. Simply labeling data you don't like as "misinformation" is a shortcut of little, if any, use.
Iberdrola's primary mistake appears to be this: assuming that the citizens of the Lakes Region, an ecologically-minded people, would automatically embrace anything labeled "green," without doing a full investigation of the true impact. Oh, they got Groton in, all right. Talk to those who supported it now. Many of those people have become the strongest voices of opposition. And those voices, which organized from a humble meeting of 75 people now range in the thousands And yet, Iberdrola continues to dismiss the opposition as a minority. Frankly, it seems they weren't prepared to deal with the informed and educated people who are Granite Staters.
They said if we didn't want them, they'd leave. They were sent here to win the hearts and minds of the locals. Despite a massive advantage in funding, they've failed. Beyond that, the safety of the Groton installation has been called into question. The N.H. Site Evaluation Committee has deemed the Wild Meadows application "incomplete," citing numerous deficiencies. The list goes on and on.
We have never seen an issue that unifies so strongly across ideological lines. Republicans, Democrats, independents. Conservatives, liberals, and moderates. Hikers and hunters. Permanent residents and summer property owners. It doesn't matter. It's not about holding out for more money. It's not about securing a better deal. It's about protecting a region, a way of life that has attracted people to this area for decades.
Businesses have gains and losses. Iberdrola needs to realize this is a losing cause. To throw additional money at these projects is to do a disservice to their shareholders. You made your case. It was rejected. Cut your losses. Keep your promise. Leave.
Robert Piehler, Alexandria
Scott Piehler, Suwanee, GA
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 10:54
To The Daily Sun,
After reading of Jane Cormier's support for a certain candidate for Executive Council, rest assured I will not be voting for him because of her support and will vote instead for Christopher Boothby.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 10:48
To The Daily Sun,
January 21 is a special primary day for replacing Raymond Burton on the Executive Council for District 1. According to their website, the Executive Council of the State of New Hampshire has the authority and responsibility, together with the governor, over the administration of the affairs of the S=state as defined in the New Hampshire Constitution, the New Hampshire statutes, and the advisory opinions of the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the Attorney General.
Each of the five Executive Councilors represents one fifth of the population or approximately 247,000 citizens. The councilors participate in the active management of the business of the state. They receive assistance from the Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services and the Attorney General who review requests involving state funds since no expenditure can be legally authorized without the availability of adequate funds.
The New Hampshire "Governor and Executive Council" perform many valuable tasks that are of major importance to our fiscally conservative, very open government. Some of their more noteworthy duties and responsibilities are:
"All major executive branch business is conducted in public with the press present;
All state departments and agencies must seek approval of both receipt and expenditures of state and federal funds, budgetary transfers within the department and all contracts with a value of $10,000 or more not including personal service contracts of $2,500;
The Executive Council approves the spending of a major portion of the approximately 5.2 billion dollars that is appropriated annually by the legislature;
Executive Councilors serve as watchdogs of the state treasury to ensure state departments do not spend more than was authorized by the legislature, nor allocate funds for items or services which the legislature has not sanctioned.
The Executive Council plays a vital role in improving the state's infrastructure, especially roads and bridges, via management and oversight of the state's 10 year Highway Plan;
Executive Councilors make certain that those appointed to the executive branch of state government, whether commissioners, department heads or citizen members of the myriad of regulatory boards, agencies and commissions are all responsible to the citizens of New Hampshire and not to special interests;
More importantly, Executive Councilors are the constituent's eyes and ears in Concord. They ensure the executive branch of state government is fiscally conservative and above reproach."
Joe Kinney is running for Executive Council as a Republican. We've listened to him, and we find Joe down to earth, honest, considerate, and definitely conservative, as required by the above qualifications. With his experience in the legislature, he would be responsible to the citizens of District 1 of New Hampshire. We urge you to cast your vote for Joe Kinney on January 21.
Hal & Peggy Graham
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 January 2014 11:56
To The Daily Sun,
Please set aside a few minutes on Tuesday, January 21 in order to vote in the upcoming Special Election for District #1 Executive Councilor. With the recent passing of The Honorable Executive Councilor Ray Burton it is very important to ensure that District #1 citizens continue to be represented by voting in the special primary election as well as the March 2014 general elections in order to fill this vacancy.
I firmly believe that Meredith's Christopher Boothby is the candidate of choice to represent all citizens of N.H. District #1. I have experienced first hand, as a member of the Meredith Board of Selectmen, the opportunity of working collaboratively with Christopher Boothby during his 12 year tenure as a Belknap County Commissioner, serving on a local non-profit board together and watching Christopher and Maren successfully operate their small business.
Christopher Boothby is an energetic, results-oriented businessman who possesses excellent collaborative leadership qualities and people skills. Furthermore, my personal experience evidences that he is also well-organized, thoughtful and timely in his decision making, and an excellent listener; and therefore is well-qualified to represent all our citizens of N.H. District #1.
Please join me in supporting Christopher Boothby in his race to serve as our Executive Councilor District #1!
Peter F. Brothers
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 January 2014 11:46
To The Daily Sun,
In reply to Brenda Currier's letter which was printed on Saturday, I would like to respond to her criticism and personal attack. First I would like to say that it is interesting that she identifies me as a neighbor of the fire chief but she doesn't need to identify herself as the wife of a selectman.
1. Perhaps the selectmen could respond to a 2014 warrant article instead of a 10-year old article if they really wish to listen to their constituents. But that 2004 warrant article may not even exist. Yes they did delete a proposed warrant article so that they were able to replace it with a policy that the people weren't able to consider.
2. The selectmen have repeatedly been advised of certain RSA'=s concerning the chief's responsibilities and have chosen to proceed anyway.
3. It's common sense that a $20K budget reduction would force a cut in services.
4. The policy change was forced on the fire chief after he repeatedly stated, in open meetings, that he was addressing the safety needs of the community with his scheduling.
5. This is a personal attack on the fire chief, just as her letter is a personal attack on me. I have seen the personal attack on several occasions as Selectman Currier spoke rudely to the chief in public meetings while showing his disdain with words and body language. Additionally, in a public meeting, Brenda Currier stated that she never wanted Chief Hempel to be the chief. So this is definitely personal.
6. Evidence that the personnel feel undervalued can be seen in the high turnover and in the chief's statement that the new policy has had an immediate negative effect on morale. The staff respects their chief and react to the criticism of their department.
7. Common sense again — the new policy is detrimental and dangerous because it reduces service. The example the chief uses is that a typical ambulance run can take 2 - 3 hours and the station would be understaffed during that time. And she omitted the part about the selectmen "acting in the best financial and public interest of the town" which really means that the selectmen want to control the Fire Department. Next she states that the chief can "handle the scheduling changes properly." The chief decides what is proper and that is a personal criticism of him by an amateur.
I write as a taxpayer and citizen and supporter of a strong Fire Department, not as Chief Hempel's neighbor.
The facts are there, you simply need to acknowledge them rather than make a personal attack.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 January 2014 11:42