To The Daily Sun,
Poll numbers show that our country is in a pickle, as evidenced by the president's numbers, and even worse, the "Do Nothing Congress." Washington has failed and we are paying the price.
Taxes rise, there's uncertainty about the future solvency of Medicare and Social Security, and a massive debt that is being passed onto our children. All because Democrats and Republicans would rather score political points than work together to solve our most pressing problems.
In my effort to stop complaining, worrying, despairing, grumbling, wallowing and hoping, I became involved with a national organization, No Labels, in 2010. This organization is demanding real across-the-aisle leadership and is the only organization solely dedicated to bringing both parties to the table to get beyond the gridlock and address our country's biggest problems. Their motto is "Stop fighting. Start Fixing." How?
Through practical solutions to get Congress functioning. For example, they introduced the bill, "No budget, no pay," which resulted in both houses getting their budgets out on time.
In January 2014, No Labels unveiled a new book, "No Labels: A Shared Vision for a Stronger America," calling for a new governing vision in Washington. A group of leaders in the House and Senate have stood up in support of this approach, which aims to forge a national strategic agenda for American success.
We believe that a working governing process should begin by getting our leaders together at the table to agree to goals — not just for their parties, but for the whole country. We need a shared vision for our country to aspire to, and then we need to find a way to achieve it together.
These goals are:
— Create 25 million new jobs over the next 10 years.
— Secure Medicare and Social Security for another 75 years.
— Balance the federal budget by 2030.
— Make America energy secure by 2024.
(Candidate for the NH House, Grafton District 9)
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 10:33
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to vote for David DeVoy as our new Belknap County Commissioner this fall.
I have lived in the Lakes Region for the past 30 years, and have personally known Dave for 20 years. Our families grew up together in Belmont. Dave was president of our homeowners' association for much of the time he lived in our neighborhood.
Dave is all about community, and supporting and listening to the needs of families. I know how much he would like to have this opportunity to make our county, and specifically the Lakes Region, a better place to live and work in.
Having spent my career as an educator for the Laconia School District, I know that Dave nominated Laconia High School several times for educational grants through his employment with Mobil. He also did the same for the Sanbornton Central School, in Sanbornton, where his family currently resides.
As president of our homeowners' association, he stressed the need for all of us to work together to solve issues we had with getting our road paved, and our well water monitored safely. Dave was able to work with the town to come up with affordable solutions when others were talking high-dollar solutions. He was able to use his business background and interpersonal skills to bring both parties together and get the jobs done.
In closing, David DeVoy will always try to do what's best of our county, and be willing to work across party lines. Please think about all the issues and what's best for the families of Belknap County when you vote on Nov. 4. Please consider David Devoy as our best choice for Belknap County Commissioner.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 10:17
To The Daily Sun,
In a recent letter to this forum, Mr. Moon makes reference to the U.N. Small Arms Treaty. There is no such thing. There is, however, an Arms Trade Treaty.
The United Nations was not pursing a global treaty to ban ownership by civilians. They are committed to tightening controls over international import, export and transfer of conventional arms into the hands of terrorists and soldiers of war-torn nations. It is not, as the NRA, Fox News and other conspiracy theorists would have us believe, a full-scale gun confiscation and the placing of lawful gun owners on an international database. It will not ban any weapon category from being traded. But it is meant to set regulations on the global, cross border trade of conventional weapons.
Also, each sovereign state determines its own laws and regulations for the manufacture, sale and possession of firearms by its citizens. The United Nations will have no jurisdiction over such matters and no treaty can be imposed upon a sovereign member state. All countries are free to adopt and ratify an Arms Trade Treaty or choose not to.
The Obama administration made it clear that it would not support any treaty that regulates the domestic transfer or ownership of weapons, or that infringes on the Second Amendment.
Even, as conservatives and NRA members would like us to believe, Obama wouldn't be able to "bypass" Congress and circumvent the Second Amendment. All international treaties that the U.S. agrees to require the approval of two-
thirds of the Senate before the treaties can be ratified. There would surely be tough votes to get if the treaty banned all firearms. Thirteen Democratic senators, which included Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, addressed President Obama and then Secretary of State Clinton, saying they wouldn't support a treaty unless they were guaranteed that it wouldn't in any way regulate the domestic manufacture, possession or sales of firearms or ammunition in the United States.
The president of the United States cannot enact a ban on all weapons for U.S. citizens through the signing of international treaties with foreign nations. The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States and in the 1957 case of Reid v. Covert, the U.S. Supreme Court established that the Constitution supersedes international treaties ratified by the U.S. Senate.
In short, there is no legal way around the Second Amendment other than a further amendment to the Constitution that repeals or alters it, or a Supreme Court decision that radically reinterprets how the Second Amendment is to be applied. And most importantly, no one voted to take away your Second Amendment Rights.
Further, I would caution readers and contributors to never, ever, trust, under any circumstances, anything any right-
winger or left-winger posts on any blog, anytime, under any circumstance.
I'm sure Moon will not acknowledge the deception by his friends at the NRA. But I have tried to abide by Mr. "I don't have to prove anything" Earle's urging to research the facts. "Real facts" have never hindered Earle's lies in the past, but I'm sure he's repentant and eager to seek the truth. I would encourage Mr. Moon to do the same.
One additional fact that I would like to point out, is that despite Moon's claim "not to remember" questions of race and ethnicity prior to Obama and Holder, they have been included on Form 4473 for at least the past 13 years.
As to Moon's arrogant claim that the NRA are "the good guys," who the "good guys" are, like beauty, is all in the eye of the beholder.
L. J. Siden
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 10:12
To The Daily Sun,
Have you noticed that when Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, is asked if the safety protocols are adequate, he responds by explaining the mechanics of Ebola transmission and does so in a manner that does not consider the possibility of incomplete knowledge of all aspects of Ebola transmission. It has only been studied since the 1970s. Dr. Frieden's confidence that there will not be a significant outbreak in the United States is appreciated in light of today's poll that suggests one-third of our local hospitals do not have the necessary equipment and 86 percent have had no training, or protocol they can immediately access.
Consider four failures of our policy and CDC protocols which recently exposed hundreds, perhaps thousands of Americans to this disease.
1. A foreign patient was tested but not identified as positive at the airport in Monrovia, Liberia.
2. This same patient lied on a health form at the airport.
3. A Texas hospital staff failed to diagnose Ebola even when the patient cited the symptoms, and told them he just arrived from Liberia.
4. A parent of exposed children decided to ignore the CDC's instructions and sent the exposed children to school. In these instances the CDC protocols and related national policies relied upon the notions that people always tell the truth, people always following CDC instructions, hospital personnel always function perfectly, and a patently inadequate airport-administered test for Ebola is good enough. Of course none of these things are true thus the overall policy outcome: The detection of an Ebola-infected immigrant failed at every level.
As astonishing as these failures are, there is an even greater concern. News reports lead us to understand that experts in the relevant CDC protocols, with every incentive to strictly adhere to these protocols, while working in a hospital environment, albeit in Western Africa, have contracted Ebola. In sum, the question is not whether the protocols are failing. Whether due to protocol inadequacies themselves or unaccounted for human failings, these protocols have already failed.
In risk-management terms, the risk — as currently understood — is the probable death of all Americans afflicted. Given this assumption, is it not reasonable to assume that our national policies and CDC protocols be reasonably robust? If so, is it reasonable to assume that these national policies and protocols not be based upon assumptions such as: 1. We already know everything relative to Ebola transmission; 2. A demonstrably deficient airport-administered test is good enough; 3. Foreign nationals will forego leaving their country for vastly improved treatment rather than lie about exposure; 4. Hospital staffs always function perfectly, and 5. Unsupervised exposed people will always following CDC instructions?
As this issue attains purchase in public discourse, positions have begun to polarize. I have noted that people who even question the confirmed weaknesses of our present Ebola containment strategy are called "alarmist," "a nut," "should be ashamed of himself," and is only "scaring people."
Predictably, bureaucrats will defend their turf. Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, while failing to recognize the widely reported weaknesses of CDC protocols, has conjured up all of his border control and international relations expertise to assert that "We can not close our borders" to this disease, (as England and France have done), and we can not "isolate" the inflicted countries.
The problem with these absolutist mutually exclusive options presented by Dr. Frieden is that they are false choices. They represent extreme notions that retard applied critical thinking and genuine problem solving. To assert that we should not minimize the number of Ebola afflicted immigrants because we cannot identify every Ebola afflicted immigrant is nonsensical. The very core of epidemiology is that the benefit of limiting the number of afflicted patients includes the minimization of the number of future patients.
Likewise, it is as obvious that altruistic motives as well as American self interest, mandates that we assist Ebola afflicted countries. Only Dr. Frieden's straw-man argument speaks to the irrational possibility of "isolating" Ebola afflicted countries.
Rather than utilize television interviews to defend the obvious inadequate current CDC protocols and related immigration positions beyond his area of expertise, Dr. Frieden needs to immediately grasp the reality of the demonstrated frailties of the protocols within his area of responsibility.
Next, Dr. Frieden needs to focus the CDC's efforts on the epidemiological aspects of these flaws as rapidly and efficiently as possible. To accomplish this Dr. Frieden needs to understand that any protocol that anticipates that every policy element will always work perfectly is not grounded in reality. People lie and will often fail to follow CDC instructions, well intended screening tests still need to be reliable, and well intended hospital staffs are not infallible.
Accepting this, and understanding the risk, Dr. Frieden needs to depart from minimally effective superficial protocols. America needs a defense in depth emphasizing closely supervised redundant procedures that collectively minimize the potential death of American citizens from Ebola--even if one or more elements of the protocol fail due to human or institutional mistakes. Continued flat-earth debates that defend the current failed CDC protocols, as well as irrelevant straw man arguments is a myopic waste of valuable effort and time.
I hope that Dr. Frieden needs to rise above these tactics quickly or eventually be remembered for providing less than optimal service to America when his leadership was required.
Michael D. Breen, Ph.D.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 09:04
To The Daily Sun,
The past few months have been a very busy time for the Lakes Region Food Network (LRFN.) I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the many community partners who have worked with us on some of our projects. Without this network of community involvement none of these great projects and events could have taken place.
The Veggie Round-up Project's Farmers' Market Coupon Program provided $20 in coupons each month from June to September, for 20 families participating in the Women, Infant, and Children's Nutrition Clinic. The support of Susan Wnuk and her staff was critical to the success of this program, which enabled young families in our area to access fresh fruits and vegetables from our local farmers. Our cool graphic for this program was created by Larry Frates, who also did caricatures in the Savor the Season tent in July as a fund-raiser. All the funding for this program was through community member contributions, including a wonderful fund-raising breakfast held by Laconia Local Eatery. We also extend thanks to all of the farmers who accepted the coupons each month, and who grew all the delicious produce purchased by the families.
Savor the Season was a market-based food demonstration project, hosted by local chefs, and funded through a grant from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund. The Laconia Main Street Marketplace graciously donated a booth space for the entire market season. Our promotional materials were developed by Craig McKeon, who I know did not charge us for all the time he spent developing our beautiful poster.
Guest chefs included Kevin Halligan of Local Eatery, Ana Gourlay from Sunflower Natural Foods, Leslie Judice from Tavern 27, Rachael Burklund of Laconia Village Bakery, Brenda Carey from the UNH Cooperative Extension Service, and Elizabeth White from LRGHealthcare. Their wonderful offerings were enjoyed by numerous market goers, and the recipes can be accessed by visiting www.lrfn.org (click on the first post on the right which will direct you to the Savor the Season page.)
Dick Christopher was a regular support person at the food demonstrations, helping to set up, serve food, and break down the booth. In August a fresh food collection was held, conducted by young folks from The Christ Life Food Pantry with assistance from Christine St. Clair, Belknap County Conservation District's Gleaning Coordinator.
Finally, a wonderful children's activity day was coordinated by Tammy Levesque from the Lakes Region HEAL program, which was greatly enjoyed by the youngsters who visited the market that day. Additional thanks go to my fellow farmers in the Full Basket Co-op, who helped set up the tent each week and gave me the ability to support the Savor the Season events during the market.
Our third initiative was a regional conversation about our local food system and the development of a NH Food Strategy, one of many such conversations being held around the state. LRFN hosted the event in collaboration with the GROW Lakes Region grant planning committee and the UNH Sustainability Institute. Kate Bishop-Hamel (GROW Lakes Region) and Jessica Boynton (Sustainability Institute) were key partners in organizing this event, which brought together people working in different aspects of the local food system. Together the group identified resource people and organizations working on food-related problems, and brainstormed strategies and ideas that would serve to strengthen our food system both locally and statewide. Connie and Dick Mitchell were gracious hosts at Pitman's Freight Room, while Kevin Halligan from Local Eatery served up a delicious local food breakfast. And, of course, what would a breakfast meeting be without great coffee roasted right here in Laconia by Woodshed Coffee Roasting Company.
Additional thanks go to the Laconia Daily Sun for publishing all of our notices and letters, without which it would have been much more difficult to let people know about our activities, and to the North Country Resource Conservation and Development Area Council which serves as the fiscal agent for LRFN.
Finally, much appreciation to the participants in the LRFN monthly meetings who helped guide the development of these projects – Aaron Lichtenberg, Keith Descoteaux, Dick Christopher, Janet Simmon, Rick DeMark, Lisa Morin, Tammy Levesque, Cris Reuffert, Susan Wnuk, and Kelly McAdam. If you would like to join us, our next meeting is on Monday, October 20 at 9 a.m., at the UNH Cooperative Extension Service office, 635 Main Street, Laconia. For more information about LRFN, visit our website at www.lrfn.org.
Lakes Region Food Network
Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 08:51