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Belknap County Delegation is clearly full of Scrooges

To The Daily Sun,

It did not take long for one of our newly-elected State Reps from District 2 (Gilford/Meredith) to show his true colors.

At an Executive Committee meeting on Monday, Dec. 20, the County Commissioners requested approval of a transfer of funds to ensure that county workers, at the prison and nursing home among others, would receive their holiday paycheck. In a spirit resembling Scrooge, four state reps — Marc Abear, Peter Spanos, Mike Sylvia and Herb Vadney — all voted against the transfer. They were willing to have county employees not receive their final paycheck of 2016. After a long discussion, and a reminder about how best to treat our county employees, a second vote passed the committee, but with Abear and Sylvia still voting "No!"

From the article in the Sun it was clear that Rep. David Huot was the adult in the room and reasonable-minded residents should be thankful for his thoughtful support of county employees.

Rep. Abear also voted against spending $600 to advertise for positions at the nursing home; positions that desperately need to be filled in order to provide care to those in the nursing home.

Both of these votes demonstrate a lack of general understanding of standard business practices as well as gross neglect to do what is reasonable and in the best interest of the county.

If this lack of understanding and mean-spiritedness carries over into the legislative year, our state and local agencies had better watch out as the Belknap County Delegation is clearly full of Scrooges.

Denise Doyle


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We can only hope Standing Rock Sioux get respect they deserve

To The Daily Sun,

It was great to read the Sun's coverage of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the story of Jennifer Hyslop from Tilton making a trip to Standing Rock to fight for the tribe and its water. She is right that no one seems to be aware of what is happening out there in Cannonball, North Dakota.

While the proposed oil pipeline threatens the tribe's water supply and violates the tribe's 1851 treaty with the United States, what is so perplexing about the issue is that the pipeline was initially proposed to be built to go by the City of Bismarck, some 40 miles north of Cannonball. But, when there was public outcry due to the oil pipeline threatening the city's water supply, the line was rerouted to go by the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation instead. The demographics of Bismarck is 95 percent white.

As Hyslop pointed out, law enforcement was militarized at the site of the protest. Police and private security detail were hosing down protesters with water in sub-freezing temperatures, shooting rubber bullets at protesters' heads, and blasting people with flash grenades. People lost limbs and broke bones because of police brutality and excessive force.

It's because of the dedicated people like Hyslop, who have come together with the tribe, to temporarily stop the madness. Unfortunately, there is much to worry, as Hyslop points out. Though the Army Corps of Engineers is requiring an environmental study of alternative routes, the new administration could allow the pipeline to be built. While the Chief of the Tribe has requested a meeting with Trump, a government-to-government meeting may produce nothing but a typical charade.

We can only hope that the Standing Rock Sioux get the respect and understanding they deserve.

Derek Kline
East Glacier, Mont.

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