To The Daily Sun,
The people of New Hampshire cannot afford to allow Joe Kenny to be elected to the Executive Council.
The Executive Council, unique to this state, is another "check" on the state's executive branch. The council provides "advice and consent" to the N.H. Governor when he or she spends money allocated by the Legislature, appoints judges of all state courts, grants pardons and commutations, or performs other duties. The job is too important to go to an ideological extremist like Mr. Kenny.
Mr. Kenny's supporters may tell you that as a Republican, he is the "natural" replacement for the late Councilor Ray Burton. But, Ray and Mr. Kenny could not be more dissimilar. I knew Ray and found him to be a fine gentleman who encouraged everyone, especially young people, to be part of the political process. Politically, Ray was a moderate Republican who was re-elected for years by members of both parties. The main reason he kept his seat on the council for so many years was that he was a moderate who could talk with — and respect — Granite Staters of all political persuasions
Although a Republican, Ray distanced himself from extremist conservative movements like the Tea Party, the Free Staters, and the "Birthers." He truly "reached across the aisle" and gave constituent advice to everyone. As a result, both Republicans and Democrats voted for him over and over again but he never took a single vote for granted. His death came too soon and he will be sorely missed.
Joe Kenny, on the other hand, is an extremist with an anti-worker, anti-education, and anti-woman agenda. He would like to distance himself from the extremism he has shown as a state senator now that he is running for Executive Councilor but the record speaks for itself.
Most disturbing has been his record on reproductive rights in the New Hampshire Senate. He is openly anti-choice and seems to like to target Planned Parenthood over the abortion issue in spite of the fact that much more money is spent by the organization providing other women's health services such as pre-natal care, contraception, and cancer screens.
As a N.H. Senator, he voted to defund Planned Parenthood, forcing it to curtail its contraceptive and STD prevention programs. He also voted for the parental notification bill, against emergency contraception (the "morning after pill"), and against extending Medicaid funding for family planning service.
When it comes to health care, Mr. Kenny seems to take his conservative principles so seriously, that he opposes expanding Medicaid in the state. Even though the startup and initial expansion of Medicaid would be funded fully by the federal government and provide health care for thousands of citizens, Mr. Kenny, like others on the extreme right, seem more interested in seeing Obamacare fail than in the health and welfare of people in this state. His record on the environment is not much better. He voted against the regional greenhouse initiative. He also was opposed to a law that would help protect children from lead poisoning.
Moreover, in the State Senate, he worked hard to prevent the state from taking even reasonable, moderate steps to try and control the escalating gun violence that is in the news every day. He voted in favor of New Hamshire's "Stand Your Ground Law" which is an invitation for abuse and unnecessary uses of force.
While in the Senate, Mr. Kenny also voted to make New Hampshire a "right to work" state. In spite of the positive-sounding name, "right to work" laws are lobbied for by big business to take away workers' rights.
Finally, it is very disturbing that Mr. Kenny has the endorsement of the extreme right in his district. For example, a far-right website Granite Grok seems to be behind him. Rep. Charlotte Worseman, another "pro-life" far-right ideologue who is currently using the Belknap County Convention as a forum for her intolerant extremism has also endorsed Mr. Kenny.
Joe Kenny is no Ray Burton. I guess Ray might resent the comparison but knowing Ray, he is probably stretched out on his cloud right now laughing at the very implication.
E. Scott Cracraft
Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 10:55
To The Daily Sun,
I saw a bumper sticker on a car a few days ago. It read: "Don't watch Fox News". I wondered why someone would want to shut out part of what happens in the world.
Remember the Trevon Martin case? Who doesn't? The non-Fox News media ran this story in the front page for several months and even created a new race classification; "White Hispanic". George Zimmerman's name appeared daily in the news media and even after he was acquitted. I'm guessing this person who doesn't watch Fox News was well versed in the names of the "victim" and the "assailant".
A few months ago in New Jersey, a man was murdered in front of his wife by four men who simply killed him for his car. This story made the non-Fox News for a few days until it was learned that it was four black men who killed a white man. There was no question about these assailants not killing out of self-defense. It was a brutal murder by four men. Do you think that person with the bumper sticker can name just one of those assailants or the victim? Of course not, because this story did not fit the non-Fox News media agenda and it was dropped from the radar.
Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 10:37
To The Daily Sun,
Did you know that consumer grade fireworks (class C) are banned in Gilford? This ban was enacted in 1988, and is still in force. There has been a recent review of this policy by the Board of Selectmen. Most of the discussion to date appears to address the fire issues, and personal safety of users. As has been pointed out, fireworks can be confiscated, but then they could cause a storage concern, and also a safety issue.
I would offer my personal opinion on what I consider equally important considerations, the major effect on people and animals.
Consider the effect on those who need to arise early to get to work, and others whose 8-hour sleep pattern has been interrupted. And, does this also apply to seniors and young children?
Consider the effect on persons with an acute sense of hearing.
Consider the possible effects on combat veterans, especially those with PTSD. I have not seen studies on this aspect.
Consider the effects on domestic pets. My dog seeks shelter in a closet, and shakes heavily during fireworks, and even after they are done. I would assume that other pets and farm animals could also be affected.
And consider the effect on our wildlife. Could they also be affected in many different ways that we do not really understand?
I live in what is generally considered a peaceful, quiet neighborhood. During 2012, I was disturbed by fireworks 36 times between May and October. During 2013, I was disturbed 29 times between May and September, and four more times in December. Some of these were at 11:30 and later.
I was not aware that consumer grade fireworks were banned in Gilford, and what the penalties were. I understand the difficulties in enforcing this ban, and in educating the public. I believe that a few strategically placed signs would help. A few news articles, and an occasional ad would go a long way, and a note on the town webpage and annual report. A separate strategy might be considered for permanent residents, summer residents, rental properties, etc. My personal opinion is that all fireworks should be banned. The professional grade displays are larger and even more objectionable. Do they really bring more people to activities, or would they come anyway for the primary purpose of the event. I offer these comments for your review, and ask your consideration of these issues.
The Gilford Board of Selectmen has scheduled a public hearing on this topic on Wednesday, February 12 at 7 p.m. at the Town Office. You are welcome to attend, to see if we can make our communities more peaceful and quiet, and safe for all.
Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 10:25
To The Daily Sun,
It will be sad to see the old Hathaway House go, and I hope that people will now know that the way of your word and a handshake are no longer the norm. It is sad to see such ways of life now needing everything to be put to paper. Perhaps we need to be more careful of the people running the offices granting permits to open businesses and have them attend classes so that they will know that everything has to be put in writing.
They call it progress, tearing down the old which has lasted many years due to craftsmanship and building new which will last till the next bad weather. It seems like nothing is built to last any more.
The Town of Gilford lost a perfect money maker with Kimball Castle. As it stands now, it will surely be torn down. Yes Charlotte Kimball left the estate to the town to be used as a nature preserve, but as usual, the powers that be couldn't look a gift horse in the mouth and see that a property of this stature could put many people to work, as we were not in need of jobs in the area at that time. It is not too late to make this property a money maker, if only there was someone willing to take charge who didn't think of their own pocketbooks first.
While I am on the subject, there was over two 200 acres left at the time of Miss Kimball's death, so why is it listed as only 20? Where did the other one hundred and eighty acres go? Wake up people. The people who are in office, deciding how our lives are to be spent, along with our meager savings, are not as intelligent as you think they are. Not one of them is capable of running a business, which when you stop and think about it, is what a town is.
Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 10:16
To The Daily Sun,
Dear fellow Gilmanton residents:
I am writing in response to the letter entitled "Petitioned warrant article would give Gilmanton Schools a tax cap". In this letter to the editor, written by Elena Ball of Gilmanton Iron Works, Mrs. Ball states that her petitioned warrant articles will not reduce the school's budget to the point of depriving the students of the essentials necessary for a comprehensive education.
I am writing you to tell you I believe this to be as FALSE and as misleading as the manner in which she obtained the signatures for the petition. I believe that our School Board and our SAU have nothing but the best interests of our children in mind when they create our school budget. Mrs. Ball's record on the other hand shows nothing but a total lack of appreciation or respect for the amazing level of education our children receive from Gilmanton School and all of the hard-working, under-paid people that make that happen. I would also like to recognize the efforts of the Gilmanton School PTA and its members, their hard work and dedication help provide valuable programs that otherwise would not be available. Some people might consider that these programs are not "necessary for a comprehensive education" but I disagree.
Now I won't just ask you to take my word for it like some have (refer to the paragraph above). However, I will give you some statistics, all of which I collected from the N.H. Department of Education website, which is available to all who care to look.
— Teacher salaries in Gilmanton are $5,652.00 LESS than the state average
— Cost per a pupil in Gilmanton is $1,367.01 LESS than the state average
As a matter of fact our cost per pupil for the years 2012-2013 was $12,260.49, which is LOWER than ANY of our surrounding towns, including Alton at $14,424.33, Barnstead at $13,125.23, Pittsfield at $18,371.61, Loudon at $14,369.57... I could go on!
While the sounds of lower taxes are appealing, putting a tax cap on the education of our children is not the answer. It is dangerous for our school and is disrespectful to our elected officials (also taxpayers) who set our budgets with both quality and prudence in mind. According to the Department of Revenue Administration, the local education tax in Gilmanton in 2007 was $12.46 and in 2013 it was $12.36. What are we gaining by restricting our school and our budget committees' proven ability to properly fund our school?
Our children are thriving at Gilmanton School. Our test scores remain in the top levels of the surrounding schools. Our school is ranked among the highest in the state. Placing a tax cap could dramatically change all of this. Contractual obligations with special education and high school tuition mean that cuts might need to happen to the student programming at the K-8 levels. The addition of one special education student alone could dramatically alter the education that our children receive if a tax cap were put in place.
To quote Mrs. Ball from her recent letter to the editor on common core, please keep this in mind: "We, the taxpayers, are asked to make funding available to the schools so they can produce knowledgeable children who are able and ready to move on in the world."
And: "Education was never meant to be in the hands of government"
Remember "It's your money!" and it's our future. See you at deliberative session and at the polls!
Gilmanton Iron Works
Last Updated on Friday, 07 February 2014 10:12