Here's why PSNH's power plants are shockingly undervalued

To The Daily Sun,

As I sit in my relatively warm kitchen on this bitterly cold day — zero degrees — I am reminded just how vulnerable we are to the elements. Nearly all of us have heating furnaces which depend on electricity to start them. What if we were to start experiencing long periods of power outages because the power grid simply didn't have enough electricity for everyone?

The N.H. Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is now required, by misguided legislation passed by the previous legislature, to force Public Service Company of N.H. to sell off 12 of its currently functioning power plants on New Hampshire soil and rivers (nine being hydro plants), and they are proceeding ahead to do so. (Reference: Laconia Daily Sun Associated Press (AP) article January 17, 2015, page 15)

PUC's most recent report (reference article) said: PSNH's 12 power plants have a total value of $660 million but would probably bring about $225 million on the open market, leaving $435 million in costs to be paid by consumers." If no sale of these 12 plants were to occur, consumers would not be on the hook for a $435 million loss, but if there is a sale, consumers will be paying off that $435 million, A.S.A.P., however it is that the PUC structures it. (Keep in mind the purported reason for the sale was to save consumers from future price rises.)

It cost PSNH $422 million in 2011 to buy one scrubber system on one plant in Merrimack (demanded by the current federal administration to ensure even cleaner air coming out after the power generation process. PSNH did it because it really believed we needed that plant and didn't want to shut it down, and felt they could pay it off affordably, over time) So, when the PUC determines the total current sales value of all 12 plants combined is $660 million, that is not the replacement value, which would obviously have to be much higher. If, for example, we discovered, after the sell-off, just what a giant mistake it had been and were to price out the replacement cost, that would, doubtless be in the billions, maybe $3 billion, $5 billion, $7 billion. Maybe even higher.

This makes the 12 plants shockingly undervalued on the marketplace and subject to scavenger companies coming in, bidding and winning their bids, then proceeding to disassemble the plants and sell them off, either piecemeal or in their entirety. Off the pieces go, by train or ocean barge, to new locations. China, for example, being cash rich and infrastructure poor, would certainly welcome buying top line electrical plants for pennies on the dollar, and the scavenging company would still make a handsome profit. Remember, these are fully updated, proven, functioning plants. Bye, bye, plants.

There would be a lot more immediate, safe money to be made by such scavenging than by a company who wanted to actually come in and run it. Why? Because the three fossil fuel plants are currently a political target, as the federal administration is targeting such plants as it tries to change over our power sources to new technologies. (Remember power research company Solyndra — $500 million total loss plus several other research companies, same. Bringing on new technology-driven sources of power is a very slow and risky process, as we've already seen.) What private company would consider trying to come in and actually continue to run the power plants, when they know the current political policy is to shut them down, by piling on so many outrageously costly regulations that the utilities cannot keep them afloat? (Right now, across the nation, fossil fuel plants have been and are being shut down permanently due to federal regulation, alone.)

That's the reason the sales value is so low.

Maybe some day geothermal and ocean current technologies will be able to provide power solutions, but that's a big, far off maybe. We are now seeing the side effects of the windmill installations that are being added along the ridge-tops of our state. The people who now have to live with them and the detrimental environmental effects they are now causing are not happy and are fighting any new ones coming in to the best of their ability. Would you be happy to see windmills along all our ridge-lines? And think how costly it will be to replace our power infrastructure that was paid for in "yesterday's" dollars with new and risky technology in "today's" dollars. Those recently installed windmills, owned by the Spanish company, for example, are subsidized by our federal government, because the cost is so high. Without the subsidies, they would not have been built. They aren't cost-effective on their own.

Word is, that the proposed Northern Pass energy project, that will mar our landscapes with its really big wires as it passes through New Hampshire, would require a tremendous water-damming project that will have catastrophic effects for vast areas of Canada. Might the Canadian government decide to pull the plug on that?

This power plant sell-off is an issue that needs to be addressed in the here and now.

Please contact your representatives and senators. Only they can stop this with a bill to repeal that previous legislation by the previous legislature. That's all it takes. Just knowledge and will. They could pass that repeal in one day, if they had a mind to. Right now, no one down there in Concord is pushing to stop it. We have to make them think about it.

Next time, in Part 4, how this sell-off can affect our future. Watch for it.

Carol Grasso


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Know what your rights are as a mobile home park tenant

To the Daily Sun:

An open letter to tenants of Pine Gardens Mobile Home Park in Belmont:

The purpose of this letter is to inform the tenants residing in the Pine Gardens Mobile Home Park of certain state laws. It is not intended to provide legal advice. I strongly suggest to each and every tenant to review the laws which govern manufactured housing parks. These laws can be found on the Internet under the N.H. Board of Manufactured Housing's website.

In 2011, several tenants were given permission by the park manager to keep their vehicles in driveways of vacant lots near their homes. These tenants have continued to utilize these driveways for several years. The "newly adopted" park rules took effect on Nov. 1, 2013, and these tenants had continued to utilize the driveways of vacant lots after these rules took effect. It has been brought to my attention that the park manager is now attempting to revoke this prior permission for "certain" tenants.

The following are laws that address the revocation of this permission:

NH RSA 205:A-2 Prohibitions: No person who owns or operates a manufactured housing park shall: VIII. Make or attempt to enforce any rule which: (d) Requires a tenant to sell or otherwise dispose of any personal property, fixture, or pet which the tenant had prior permission from the park owner or former park owner to possess or use; provided, however, that such a rule may be made and enforced if it is necessary to protect the health and safety of other tenants in the park.

NH RSA 205-A:12-a Civil Penalty. — In addition to other remedies allowed by law, a manufactured housing park owner may be assessed by a district court a civil penalty of $500 and other reasonable damages for any violation of RSA 205-A:2.

NH RSA 205-A:13-a Unfair Trade Practice. — Any violation of the provisions of RSA 205-A:2 shall also constitute an unfair trade practice within the meaning of RSA 358-A and may be enforced as provided in RSA 358-A.

NH 358-A:6 Penalties. — I. Any person convicted of violating RSA 358-A:2 hereof shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person.

II. Any person who violates the terms of an injunction issued under RSA 358-A:4, III, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person. For the purposes of this section, the court issuing said injunction shall retain jurisdiction.

III. Any person who subverts the intent and purposes of this chapter by filing false, misleading, or substantially inaccurate statements with the attorney general for the purposes of effecting prosecution under this chapter shall be guilty of a violation.

IV. If any person is found to have engaged in any act or practice declared unlawful by this chapter, the court may award to the state in any action brought under this chapter all legal costs and expenses. RSA 525:12 shall apply to civil actions commenced under this chapter.

358-A:10 Private Actions. — I. Any person injured by another's use of any method, act or practice declared unlawful under this chapter may bring an action for damages and for such equitable relief, including an injunction, as the court deems necessary and proper. If the court finds for the plaintiff, recovery shall be in the amount of actual damages or $1,000, whichever is greater. If the court finds that the use of the method of competition or the act or practice was a willful or knowing violation of this chapter, it shall award as much as 3 times, but not less than 2 times, such amount. In addition, a prevailing plaintiff shall be awarded the costs of the suit and reasonable attorney's fees, as determined by the court. Any attempted waiver of the right to the damages set forth in this paragraph shall be void and unenforceable. Injunctive relief shall be available to private individuals under this chapter without bond, subject to the discretion of the court.

II. Upon commencement of any action brought under this section, the clerk of the court shall mail a copy of the complaint or other initial pleadings to the attorney general and, upon entry of any judgment or decree in the action, shall mail a copy of such judgment or decree to the attorney general.

I urge everyone to research these laws to know what your rights and responsibilities are as a tenant. There is strength in numbers and you cannot be evicted for joining a tenant's organization.

Judy Estes


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Gov. Jindal now wants to be High Priest of the 'Party of Stupid'

To The Daily Sun,

Welcome to a special "God Talks To Me" edition of Tea Party Potty Tricks. As you well know, we here at the Center for the Study of Absurdity do our very best to keep the best of the eye-rolling stupid in the news. The 2016 GOP clown car is about to board.

As you may know, Mike Huckabee left Fox because God might talk him into a run for president. Huck says he knows God would bless him as president to end the "secular theocracy" ravaging America. Huck has magic dust for all of us: School shootings wouldn't take place if public schools organized daily prayers, religious assemblies, Bible readings and "chapel services". While on the Steve Deace Show, Pastor Huckabee noted that because "American Sniper" was a hit that proves conservatives are the electoral majority, so he can win. Trifecta! But wait! Huck's foreign policy is simple: If we don't fear God, nobody will fear us! Huck also claims marriage equality laws and rulings are like forcing Jews to eat pork.

In Iowa, Ben Carson was his usual vacuous self when he stated he'd be against Obamacare even if it worked. Because? Remember, this circus clown also said the ACA was worse than slavery and that progressives were like Nazis. Carson recently said the Congress should remove those judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality. Topping that off, America's foremost self-lobotomized brain surgeon noted that protests against police brutality helped ISIS and al-Qaeda. But God talks to ISIS and ISIS talks to God!

According to many conservative pundits, Sarah Palin has reached her "shelf life". Her speech at the summit was the finest display ever of her expertise in disconnected, meandering, syntax-free word salad. A National Review writer noted reports calling it a "bizarro" speech with others calling it "rambling" and "painful". You are just finding that out? Palin has told the Washington Post she is seriously interested in running in 2016.

Ted Cruz, America's very own Canadian jerky, also may be considering a run, too. Yay. Conspiracy nutter Alex Jones insisted the other day that a Cruz-Palin ticket is a sure winner. We hope, we hope, we hope.

Governor Bobby Jindal was the guy who told the GOP to stop being the "Party of Stupid." He now seems like the High Priest of the Stupid he railed at. Considering a 2016 run, Jindal boot-licked for the religious right and out-Christianed by holding a prayer rally. A purveyor of Muslim No-Go Zones lies, his prayer rally was a no-go zone for atheists, gays, and most forms of intelligent life. More than 3,000 gathered to save America from Sharia, homosexuality, pornography, and abortion. Natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina, as well as the national debt, were God's retribution for America's sins and we deserve punishments akin to the biblical wave of locusts! God told him so.

Do you remember good ole boy Justice Roy Moore of Alabama, who talks to God all the time? Moore is known for putting a five-ton Ten Commandments monument in his courthouse under the cover of darkness and getting removed from the bench for defying the U.S. District Court's order to remove it. Now he has written a letter to the governor of Alabama to say he will ignore federal same-sex marriage rulings because they don't apply to the state of Alabama. Moore's rant is that the institution of marriage that God ordained is under sustained attack from federal judges." Atheist theocracy! The Southern Poverty Law Center filed an ethics complaint. Popcorn, anyone?

Louie Gohmert is not about to be out-Christianed by Bobby Jindal or Mike Huckabee. A true example of the wide open spaces of Texas, Gohmert claims that God will punish (God told him of course) America because Obama dissed war-psycho Netanyahu and the USA no longer grovels for Israel. Louie is also upset with the GOP women in Congress. How dare them shut down the GOP's new abortion bill that lacked a sane exception for rape! Legitimate rape again.

Fundamentalist Christians aren't that much different than Islamists in core beliefs. They don't use swords, but like Pals For Allah, they want to use their government to enforce religion, intolerance, and injustice. But some do love the violence. Just the other day, Christian fundamentalist Pastor James David Manning praised the "wisdom and integrity" of Islamist extremist groups such as ISIS for executing gay people. ISIS recently executed gay men by throwing them off high buildings to their deaths with their hands tied behind their backs. This man who also talks with God is also known for calling for LGBT people to be stoned to death, claiming "Jesus would stone the homos" and that Ebola was being spread by gays.

Fox's most painfully doltish pundit, Pastor Todd Starnes, also knows what Jesus likes due to Skype. Starnes told his audience that Jesus would have loved "American Sniper," explaining how Jesus would tell "God-fearing, red-blooded" American snipers "well done" when they sent "godless" Muslims to the "lake of fire".

James Veverka


  • Category: Letters
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Charlemagne popularized Anno Domini calendar in 9th Century

To The Daily Sun,

Marie Ludwick makes all the common arguments about the historical Jesus. Firstly, I have to point out that Ms. Ludwick misread my letter. I said there are no "primary" historical sources for the existence of Jesus. I said scholars are increasingly theorizing he may not have existed. There is a major difference in types of historical sources. A primary one is a contemporary source, and the others are hearsay that require corroborating sources in order to be taken seriously. These are secondary sources and they come in all manner of species.

The BC/AD dating system was created by the monk Dionysius Exiguus in 532, who worked as an archive translator for Pope Gelasius. At that time they dated from the Emperor Diocletian (AD) who ruled from 284 to 305. In Dionysius' calendar, Anno Diocletiani 247 was followed by Anno Domini 532. Anno Domini was not popular until after Bede used it in his Ecclesiastical History of the England in 731. Seven decades later Emperor Charlemagne adopted it in 801 for dating the acts of government in Europe. So from AD Anno Diocletiani we went to AD Anno Domini and now we're moving to CE.

Now to Ms. Ludwick's sources. The historian Tacitus was born in the year 56CE so he is not a primary source. Being born nearly three decades after the alleged events is hardly a contemporary source. He wrote his "Annals of Tacitus" in 109CE which is nearly eight decades after the alleged incidents. The historian Josephus was born in 37CE so he, too is a hearsay source. His "Antiquities of the Jews" was written around 94CE which is long after the stories began to circulate in the time of Paul (50s), who never met Jesus. Seutonius is another secondary source because he was not born until 69CE. Seutonius was in diapers during the siege of Jerusalem. So Tacitus, Josephus, Seutonius and Paul are not primary, contemporary sources for a Jesus; they are hearsay sources colored by decades of hand-me-down stores, embellishments, exaggerations and alterations. The same can be said of the Synoptic Gospels which were written decades after the alleged events. With the Gospel of John the source is even weaker because it was not written until the end of the century.

Nor did I say archaeology disproves the Bible. I said archaeologists "make it clear there isn't any body of evidence supporting the Pentateuch" characters such as Abraham, Noah, Moses, or Joshua. The same lack of evidence for the events such as the flood, captivity, exodus, and conquest make them doubtful. The Bible is historical fiction, so actual places can appear, but with persons and events they are fabricated or wildly embellished through generations and ages of epic myth-making. Most ancient stories spread via the spoken word so they are highly vulnerable to constant changes. Archaeologist and professor at the University of Tel Aviv, Ze'ev Herzog, wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz a few years ago:

"Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs' acts are legendary, the Israelites did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, they did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon, nor of the source of belief in the God of Israel. These facts have been known for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and nobody wants to hear about it. This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom." Read the article at For an extensive education on where most Israeli archaeologists stand read the "THE BIBLE UNEARTHED" by Archaeologist Israel Finklestein and historian Neil Asher Silberman.

Marie Ludwick should know that quote mining invites quote mining. Einstein said, "I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. . . Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms."

James Veverka


  • Category: Letters
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Is there anyone who doesn't know taht Bill Maher is a liberal?

To The Daily Sun,

Wow and gee whiz, guess I struck a nerve with L.J. Siden. Four times he calls me a liar in his letter in Friday's paper. Actually Siden loves to sink to character assassination from afar when he has no reasonable response to opinions and facts that he can't fit into his narrow-minded leftist mind.

Let me debunk some of his letter  low hanging fruit, it's true, but it's his own fault). L.J. writes, "In the past, Earle's statement, "I don't have to prove a thing." In his letter he fabricates a story about President Obama and lies, when in actuality he was responding to my questioning his sources and integrity. He furthers his lie by attributing to me a statement I never made, but the world already knows." (Not only a little distortion, this is a huge pile of it. )

First my original letter was written shortly after the lie, "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance." Obama was exposed by nearly every credible and responsible news organization on the planet. But as L.J. writes himself he wanted to challenger me to prove it. My response was "I don't have to prove it," and I don't because it was already an established fact and nothing has changed.

As for he not saying Obama didn't lie, whether or not he used those precise words or not is completely beside the point as his very challenge of the facts is as clear as a blue sky that he was saying it in meaning if not in an exact quote. Then he slips in the phrase "the world already knows," as though that was in response to his defense statement "that he didn't say," when it actually was my referring to the world already knowing that Obama lied. L.J. had to twist and distort the words and meaning to arrive at this crazy objective.

Is there anyone who doesn't know Bill Maher is a liberal? Is there anyone who can depute that Bill Maher is one of the left's most respected spokespersons, most often quoted and influential persons? Yet here is L.J. taking issue with Maher by saying I was getting my "facts" from "political satirist". Well, gee, L.J., guess what? Even a "comedian" has a right to express an opinion, which is exactly what he was doing. Just happens I agree with his opinion.

Apparently anyone who doesn't conform to the dim-witted, narrow minded world of L.J. Siden isn't safe from his character assassinations, not even a noted liberal like Maher.

Steve Earle


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