Let's move Gale School to solid foundation & convert to SAU office

To The Daily Sun,

Belmont Residents voting "Yes" on March 6 to demolish the Gale School will not only increase your property taxes, but will be a huge mistake. There are many myths associated with historic property restoration that I am hoping to put an end to in this letter.

1. You can't change a historic building. You have to leave it as is because it's "protected." FALSE

Historic property designation does not require leaving the building as is. All buildings need to be upgraded from time to time to remain viable, it is understood that some changes will be necessary to bring the building up to today's current codes. When alterations and repairs are made, it is important to protect those elements of the building that reflect historic character. Since these are usually the parts of the building that everyone agrees make it special, often there is little interest in removing or changing these elements anyway such as the exterior of the building.

2. A successful business needs a slick, new building, and costs much less than restoring a historic structure. FALSE.

More often than not, historic buildings have great location and impressive appearance. Generally, they are also well known to the community, as opposed to a new building which usually needs some time and promotion to attain the same level of public recognition. Depending on the current condition of the building and its intended use, it's often less expensive to rehabilitate. In fact, rehabilitation can cost up to 12 percent less than new construction. Historic building rehabilitation can also be up to 18 percent faster than building new. (Rypkema, 2003).

Our Gale School is in an exceptional condition (www.belmontnh.net/GaleEducation) (see 2013 Gale School Inspections Town of Belmont vs. Omega Structural Engineers). This structure has significant ties to the community of Belmont. Former students who went through its doors, former students who may have not been in the building per se, but who have built replicas in the classroom of the structure, and who have learned the history of the building. A building that the community honors on floats throughout many Old Home Day parades, and a building that engages curiosity of our youth to know the history of our community.

3. Old buildings are not energy efficient. FALSE.

Because historic buildings tend to have fewer windows comprising the exterior walls, they may be more efficient than newer buildings which have a larger percentage of exterior walls made up of windows. Buildings with a 30 to 40 percent window to wall ratio are most efficient. But, that ratio is typically exceeded in modern buildings because they contain much more glass. As well, historic windows that are well fitted and have properly installed storm windows generally provide an R2 insulation value, about the same as a modern, double glazed window. (United States National Parks Service)

I caution all who vote "Yes" to demolish this building. It will cost $10,000 more in tax dollars to relocate the building. Are you willing to pay to have it demolished, gone forever for a measly $10,000 saved. A 1982 graduate of Belmont High School, has donated $115,000 to place this structure on a sound foundation. Apparently he feels this structure should be saved. The Save Our Gale School Committee stands behind this building.

Go to the Belmont NH Heritage Facebook page to see the many individuals who are fighting for this structure. I want taxpayers to become informed before making this decision, know the facts. For those who were not born and raised in Belmont, step back to your childhood, your hometown, how would you feel about a special building being torn down in your hometown. I realize tax dollars are hard on everyone this day and age, but we as a community can raise the funds to save this building with little to no taxpayer dollars.

Let's move this building to a solid foundation, turn it into SAU Offices, opening up the Memorial Building (current SAU Offices) for full-time kindergarten. Spending no money on portable buildings in the future, and planning for a bus loop around the middle school for safety reasons down the road. Please vote "No" to demolishing the Gale School on March 6, let us save our hard earned tax dollars, and put those spent where it makes most sense.

Diane Marden


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How come Wiles & Moneysmith havent weighed in on measles?

To The Daily Sun,

Their silence is deafening. In light of the recent measles outbreak currently sitting at greater than 120 cases in 17 states, including five cases at a daycare in Illinois, I am wondering where those anti-vaccinators Russ Wiles and Dr. Moneysmith are hiding?

Russ who seems to have an opinion on everything, backed up with little in the way of facts, is surprisingly quiet. But I guess when you begin a conversation about vaccinations with this gem from a previous letter: "Medical doctors are playing games vaccines are not immunizations." Remember that Russ. (That remark is) probably one of the dumbest things you have ever written in these pages. When you start with that, you quickly lose all credibility. I think you owe all of us in the medical profession who really taking care of patients an apology. How about it, Russ?

And then there is Dr. Moneysmith. First I should thank Dr. Moneysmith. Without his nonsense about vaccinations and the role of chiropractic manipulations I would have never started my writing career. For those of you who are not aware, Dr. Moneysmith ran an ad a few years back claiming a study by Dr. Pero showed that chiropractic manipulations could improve one's immune system — what was it, like 400 percent. Of course this was a lie. I even promised a reward of $200 to anyone who could show me the study. Guess what? No takers. The study does not exist, how you can claim benefits from a none existing study baffles me.

Misinformation and lies from the likes of Russ, and Dr. Moneysmith along with others like Jenny McCarthy, Deidra Imus and Andrew Wakefield have fueled this measles outbreak. I wonder what disease is next.

Mirno Pasquali PA-C


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A ruse used by unbelievers in hope of discrediting the Word of God

To The Daily Sun,
In response to James Veverka's letter of Feb. 6, Jim says, "The Bible is historical fiction." Look I'm quite a fan of historical novels. There are some pretty good reads in that genre, but the Bible is not that. Jim may be too dull of understanding to know the difference but I'm not. I will try to make it clear as to why I say this. Not because I'm such a great debater, but because I have a love of the truth, and have a confidence in my God. I'm confident that I can investigate a thing and God's truth will be shown. Jim cannot abide the truth. He must be satisfied in stating disjointed trivial facts from history, disseminating misinformation and quoting like-minded "scholars" for supposed authority, hoping the reader cannot see the big picture of history. You see Jim is running away from God and this is the best that he can do on the run.

He calls the Gospel accounts stories "colored by decades of hand-me-down stories, embellishments, exaggerations and alterations." He takes particular exception to what he says is a lack of primary sources for the existence of Jesus. Now if he was complaining that Jesus didn't write anything, it would be a lame complaint, because he trained his disciples for 3 1/2 years to, among other things, do that very thing. If he is saying that Gospels were written by others than the early church fathers held them to be written by, or who the internal evidence indicates, he would have a hard time showing this. The Gospel of Matthew was unanimously held by early church fathers to be written by the apostle Matthew. The Gospel of John we know by internal evidence was written by the Apostle John. Mark a disciple of Jesus, though not an apostle, apparently wrote his Gospel according Peter's preaching. And Luke wrote as an investigative reporter. All of this was overseen by God himself. These were not hand-me-down stories or embellishments, but eye witness accounts and careful reporting. These are men who gave their lives for the truth of the Gospel, for they knew what they had seen and handled.

The New Testament writers seemed to know that what they were writing was Scripture and wrote with the care that only writers of scripture exhibit; likewise those who transcribed them did so with care, even to those who translate them today, as can be seen by comparing the various translations. In view of such careful scholarship, the game of telephone analogy alluded to by Mr. Veverka falls away as a ruse used by unbelievers in hopes of discrediting the Word of God in the eyes of their readers. Old testament Scriptures were transcribed with equal care letter for letter jot for jot.

As to the use of Anno Domini, In the year of our Lord: Jim tries to explain Marie Ludwick's point away by dazzling us with what turns out to be the use of historical trivia, with little understanding of what went on or its importance. The long and the short of it is that a sixth century a Scythian monk named Dionysius Exiguus working on creating a table with which to calculate on which Sunday Easter should fall; did not want to use what was the current reference for the beginning of their era, the beginning of Emperor Diocletian reign 284 AD by our calender, which was in use for dating events at this time, for Diocletian was notorious for persecuting Christians. So he made a rough calculation as to the date of Jesus conception and used it as a reference in the calculation of his table. Understand that a large portion of the learned class of this era were Christian scribes. Saint Bede, also a monk, an English monk, used Dionysius' reference, Anno Domini, in dating events in his history of the church in England. Alcuin, also a Christian scholar and a pupil of a disciple of Bede, came to have sway in Charlemagne's court where he taught Charlemagne and his sons.

Charlemagne and his sons came to popularize the usage of Anno Domino dating throughout the Holy Roman Empire. Charlemagne lived in the 8th and 9th centuries. It is important to note that Europe was a backwater at this time. It was not the major player on the world stage that it was to become. It took some time for the rest of Europe to adopt Anno Domini dating and even longer for the rest of the world to accept this reference point, but whatever you call it AD or CE the date that world marks the beginning of this era from is, by design, the Nativity of Christ. If Jesus is not who He says He is, this is a wonder indeed.

I would like to mention a word about Jim's critique of the Old Testament. As this letter is already long, I will do so briefly. Such was the reputation of the God of Israel in the ancient world, that when Pompey entered Jerusalem he entered the temple with great expectation. He was disappointed for all he found was a scroll, for because of Judah's sin the glory of God no longer dwelled in their temple. Yet the reputation of the God of Israel in the ancient world, if they were wise, should give critics pause.

John Demakowski

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Froma Harrop -Why weak consumer spending? The Jones's won

A new report on consumer spending shows that consumers are not spending. Economists thought that the savings from cheaper gasoline — hundreds of dollars a year for most — would be hauled to the stores. But non-gasoline retail spending didn't budge last month, flat after falling a bit in December, according to the Commerce Department.

The strengthening job market and expected wage gains should also be making American shoppers feel more exuberant, but no. That's a concern in a country where consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of the economy.

Here's my explanation for what's happening.

There's been a growing aversion to the shopping way of life. There's a sense that the consumer culture has been a con job, epitomized by the sucker punch of last decade's real estate bubble (and attendant mortgage scams).

There's also a feeling that one traditional motive for buying stuff — the competitive race to "keep up with the Joneses" — is futile. The famous 1 percent are pulling away so fast from the other 99 percent that there's no point in trying. Even the "merely affluent" can't compete.

A study in Britain found that money only makes people happier when they have more than their neighbors. It's more about social rank than the number of zeros behind one's personal wealth. A millionaire feels poor in the presence of the superrich.

Thus, the ever-inventive American culture has found a new way to rank people socially. More of us are replacing price tag display with the hip alternative of living in small spaces with fewer, but more curated, possessions. Rather than hire experts to make our closets accommodate more stuff, many are deciding to simply have less stuff. We are driving fewer miles, and many millennials are forgoing carownership altogether.

The Commerce Department reported that the personal savings rate rose to nearly 5 percent in December, up from 4.3 percent the month before. Interesting.
The new social ranking system may be influencing some for whom the money race is theirs to win. The Wall Street Journal publishes a weekly section called Mansion, which centers on luxury real estate that tends to be enormous in size and astronomical in price. But in the aesthetic of minimalism chic, the architectural hulks — with their onyx bars, guest villas and ionized lap pools — seem dated.

So the recent Mansion section had a feature on "little getaway houses," small homes for those who live big. These were not your worn cabins in the woods but spectacular little places, often on lots with primo views.

"Keep it simple," said an investment manager who has a smallish house on the Maine coast — but owns several other homes, where the art is kept. Small, in this case 1,200-square-feet, need not be inexpensive. The house is built on reinforced fiberglass piers that let the waves roll under it. (If you're going to do waterfront, do waterfront.)

Another small house, 1,000-square-feet on Washington state's Padilla Bay, has a glass cover and hand-planed cedar floors. "The more intimate the house, the more it supports the need for connection," said one of the proprietors, who also owns a hacienda in Chiapas, Mexico.

To keep some perspective on what constitutes small, note that families of six were quite content living year-round in their 800-square-foot Levittown houses. But one can appreciate the desire of the wealthy to escape their toad halls for some cozy time in a badger cottage.

Many Americans of more modest means, however, are dispensing with the mansions altogether. You don't feel behind in a race you don't enter. And if these weakened material aspirations are here to stay, things won't be looking good for the consumer economy.

(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)

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Laws that kept interracial marriage illegal based on old-time religion

To The Daily Sun,

Steve Earle is at it with his half-baked facts. Steve, who is well known for his anti-Muslim rants just can't stand it if someone criticizes his Momma, Christianity. His first foray into falsehoods is to say the left doesn't believe in God. Huh? Last I heard, only 4 percent of Americans (world is at 14 percent) are true atheists, so I wonder where Mr. Earle's new tale emerged from? Fox?

While it is true there is a great decline in Christianity in America and the West, liberals still believe, too. They just detest any alliance of church and state, and couldn't care less what George Washington or Patrick Henry believe in regards to God. They also aren't so naive as to take the Bible literally. If Mr. Earle would just crawl out of his little box he would find that there are thousands of Christian-liberal-progressive organizations and debate pages online. (If he has time away from Fake News!)

It certainly was hilarious to see the right wing have another hissy fit over the president's accurate statements as to what Christians are capable of, given the license. After all, they may not use the sword anymore but they use their religion to attack and cut asunder the rights and dignity of the LGBT community and women to begin with. And it all comes from the Bible. The "alleged" pro-life, anti-abortion, food stamp-hating movements in the USA are Christian. The American Family Association, the Family Research Council, the Defense of Marriage are all hateful anti-gay, anti-women groups who are loudly Christian.

The laws that kept interracial marriage illegal until the Supreme Court had to spank the religious nuts in the 1960s, were based on that old-time religion. The laws making contraception illegal were based on Christian procreation nonsense. There are still fundamentalists like Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee who demonize contraception and responsible family planning.

Again, Mr. Earle doesn't tell the whole story about slavery. While Christian humanists and secularists opposed slavery, Slavery-supporting Christians were quick to defend their position with the Bible because the Bible legitimizes and regulates slavery in Leviticus and Exodus. Slaves are to obey their masters according to Paul (Hey, it's the word of God!). Jerry Falwell made his name by preaching that Christianity required segregating the races and right-wingers flocked to his cause. Many Christian churches in the South were established to keep white kids from attending classes with black students. And, as Jamelle Bouie writes in Slate, lynching was understood by its defenders "as a Christian duty, consecrated as God's will against racial transgression."

Today, the GOP and the Tea Party are where we find most of the racists, sexists, gay-hatred, religious intolerance at a pathological level. It's also the only place where you will find crazy preachers who really would like to criminalize the LGBT community, women who choose not to have a child at this time, and doctors who care for them (if some Christian terrorist hasn't assassinated him/her yet). There is a meme online that sums it up for Mr. Earle. A college-age woman is sitting with her notebook. The meme says, "Dear Theists, we will stop caring what you believe just as soon as what you believe stops influencing the decisions of those in power, thereby affecting our lives negatively." So, Steve, until Christians stop using their religion in politics, just as Islamists do, we secularists will keep the shovel ready.

Now as to Christian capabilities in the present. On May 28, 2014, Christian militia members threw grenades before shooting indiscriminately at a mosque in the Central African Republic capital of Bangui, killing at least 11 people. Christian militias in Central African Republic are presently carrying out ethnic cleansing of the Muslim populations during the CAR's ongoing civil war. Thousands of people have died as a result of the conflict. Human rights violations and abuses were committed by all parties. The Muslim Seleka coalition and the Christian Militia, Anti-balaka, are also responsible for terrorism, war crimes and crimes against humanity according to a recent UN inquiry. Also of note, the Anti-balaka terrorist leader was arrested in January for crimes including murder, rebellion, rape and looting, the country's senior prosecutor said on Sunday.

Of course he has a ways to go to catch up with the 8 million lives lost in the Protestant vs. Catholic 30 Years' War.

James Veverka


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