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MC Week Association is the problem, not the Weirs Action Committee

To The Daily Sun,
I read with interest the article concerning the financial and organizational collapse of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association. Having served on the board of that organization for some five years (several as vice president) as the Weirs Action Committee representative I share as does the membership of the Weirs Action Committee the mayor's concern for the future of Laconia Motorcycle Week. We share the concern that the LMWA is running itself into the ground financially while the rally itself diminishes in size and scope.
This year the Sturgis Rally posted records in attendance and retail sales while the Laconia Rally posts a decrease of 25 percent in its traffic count. Clearly for all who wish to see Laconia Motorcycle Week thrive and grow, this is alarming news. Clearly thinking persons would make a serious inquiry into how this came to be so.

The promotion of Laconia Motorcycle Week has been done over the last 20+ years by the group currently going by the name Laconia Motorcycle Week Association. As we watch the downward spiral of attendance and interest in our rally one can reasonably conclude that the efforts of this group, however well intentioned, are failing to produce results.
The article mentions that Laconia H-D, the Weirs Action Committee and the N.H. Motor Speedway have all resigned their memberships in the LMWA. What appears to be outside the scope of the article is how and why this has occurred. The article also fails to mention other members who have chosen not to continue on the board of the LMWA such as the Chamber of Commerce, Gunstock and Larry Baldi.

It is curious that the article seems to imply that those who have left the LMWA board have done so for purely selfish reasons. With this I disagree. Every one of these organizations has an interest in a growing and thriving Laconia Motorcycle Week however every one of these organizations' first responsibility is to their own health and vitality. Each of these organizations concluded that their first responsibility made continued participation in the LMWA no longer possible.

The article refers to the WAC as "reaping significant returns" from operating the Weirs Beach parking lot during the rally and "left the LMWA when the dues were increased from $2,000 to $5,000 a year to address a deficit." The WAC nets approximately $25,000 per year on our parking fundraiser and spends each dollar and more on improving and beautifying Weirs Beach. We would be happy to share with anyone the details of what we do and have done with a few volunteers and some hard work. Other than per diem workers, no one is on any payroll.

The WAC did not leave the LMWA board so much as we were shown the door. At $5,000 these dues would typically represent 20 percent of our funds raised each year. We determined that this was more than we could afford and would create much hardship in successfully pursuing our mission, but in recognition of the substantial financial difficulties of the LMWA we offered to increase our dues to $3,000. We were turned down flat.
As for the dues increase addressing a deficit, I can tell you that even quadrupling the increase in dues wouldn't balance the operational deficit, and would have no impact whatsoever on the substantial long term debt of the LMWA.

Mr. Mayor, the problem is not us.

Joe Driscoll III

Laconia

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Need constitutional amendment to solidify our community rights

To The Daily Sun,

Imagine a world where the decisions that affect a community are made by the residents of that community. A place where true democracy exists and the people can vote up or down on an issue that affects their health, safety, property and the environment of their community. It's hard to imagine such a world since any American alive today has never experienced such a thing. Decisions have always been made in this country from the top down, while the people who live in those communities are at the bottom of the decision-making totem pole.

It has a lot to do with innate human hierarchical thinking, which means we, like most other living creatures, naturally defer to a higher authority, even if we complain and occasionally lash out at that oppression. That's why we repeatedly vote to elect politicians. We expect our elected officials to know best and do the moral and ethical things that will protect us and our environment even though we're disappointed over and over again.

There is also the "Normalcy Bias", which is a fantasy world we live in which says the way things are today will be the way they will always be. In other words, why fight city hall — this is the way it works.

This is why unpopular projects such as fracking, gas pipelines, Northern Pass, and inefficient wind turbine ventures get approved and imposed upon unwilling communities. It's because the people simply don't fight back in a productive manner. We fight each project as a single issue and we end up settling for mitigation of damage to the people and the environment. Outright victory is rare, and this leaves us frustrated and disillusioned. The only way for people to take back control of this country is to fight for a systemic change to the process.

Voters in several communities across New Hampshire have decided to fight for this systemic change. In 2006 Barnstead became the very first municipality in the nation to prohibit corporations from privatizing its water. Through an overwhelming Town Meeting vote, they adopted an ordinance banning corporations from massive water extraction projects. This ordinance, known as The Barnstead Water Rights & Local Self-Government Ordinance, is based on constitutional rights, not regulatory law. Why did they do this? Because they saw their neighbors in Nottingham trying to fight a permit the state Department of "Environmental Services" issued to USA Springs, allowing them to extract up to 300,000 gallons of water per day from a local aquifer to bottle and sell. Being a rural farming community, they understood immediately the threat on their lives and the impact that could have. In 2008 Nottingham passed its own Community Bill of Rights Ordinance and has since won their battle against USA Springs. (The permit expired and the company filed for bankruptcy.)

Folks further north in Sugar Hill, Easton and Plymouth have passed similar ordinances that puts their constitutional rights above the "alleged rights" of Eversource (formerly PSNH) and Hydro-Quebec to use them as a resource colony so they can profit from the Northern Pass project. Four towns in the Mt. Cardigan/Newfound Lake region have also adopted ordinances providing a "Right to a Sustainable Energy Future and Community Self-Government" to protect the pristine ridgelines and waters from the subterfuge that is industrial wind projects.

Today the New Hampshire Community Rights Network is looking for sponsors to introduce a bill for a constitutional amendment that would solidify those communities' right to protect their health, safety and welfare. There will soon be a letter addressed to your town select board asking them to place a resolution on the next warrant in support of this amendment as well. We encourage everyone to support this resolution.

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. To learn how to make real change, go to nhcommunityrights.org.

Cindy Kudlik

Grafton

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