Volunteers needed to make Gilford Candelight Stroll a success

To The Daily Sun,

The Gilford Candlelight Stroll Committee has been working since January planning for our third annual stroll on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. The horse and wagon ride has been booked. Once again, there will be a big bonfire at the Village Field, thanks to the volunteer efforts of the members of the Fire Department and Public Works. The library will again be offering the young people the opportunity to make a holiday ornament in its Children's Room and there will be line dancing in its meeting room — fun for all ages, thanks to its many volunteers.

Many volunteers are still needed to help make this stroll a success. Without candles there would be no Candlelight Stroll. Two volunteers are doing the big job of getting the candles into the hundreds of bags. This is a bid help. We need volunteers to light the candles (Maybe homeowners would light those in front of their homes?), and volunteers to put out the lights and help to collect the bags with the holders so they can be used again.

The Middle High School, along with the Elementary School, will have students from their choruses out caroling. However, two hours is a long time for anyone to be out in the cold singing, more volunteers who like to sing or play a musical instrument would be greatly appreciated.

The Gilford Historical Society will once again have its three historical buildings open. But they also need volunteers to be in the various rooms to welcome visitors, also some who are willing to be "door keepers," to be out in the cold to welcome guests, open the door and then close them, to keep the cold outside and the heat inside. The Historical Society is trying to have enough volunteers so that each person has an hour to enjoy the stroll and an hour to volunteer. If they get enough "door keepers" half hour would be preferable for them. If you would like to volunteer to greet visitors to any of our rooms, help with refreshments (or offer to make cookies), contact Kathy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

If you have a talent to share, (either inside or outside), willing to help with the candles, putting out flyers, helping with publicity, please contact Katherine at 524-6042 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Dee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The Candlelight Stroll is an event that can be enjoyed by all, thanks to the many volunteers who donate their time. We thank those who have donated so we may have candles to line the street, to be able to offer the wagon ride, and to have flyers so visitors may be able to see what activities are being offered and at what times. However, we still need volunteers, so please contact any of the above named people to help.

Kathy Lacroix
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TIFs subsidize big business at the expense of ordinary citizens

To The Daily Sun,

Nobody wants their real estate taxes to increase during this troubled economy. We can't afford the increase, families are stressed enough with the cost of groceries and gas.

Tax Increment Financing is the difference between the amount of property tax revenue generated before TIF district designation and the amount of Property Tax Revenue generated after the TIF designation.

Although politicians portray TIFs as a great way to boost the local economy, there are hidden costs they don't want taxpayers to know about. Cities/towns generally assume they are not really giving anything up because the forgone tax revenue would not have been available in the absence of the development established by the TIF. This conclusion is often wrong.

The down side, and the word that is not spoken, is the shift of taxes being paid from the wealthy corporations to small businesses and regular citizens. Cities/towns giving tax breaks to that, put people out of business. The higher the property taxes, the more tax revenue to pay off development bonds.

The rest of us pay taxes for normal services like public safety, building inspections, and street maintenance and those services come out of the general fund. And as the costs go up, and the money from the general fund is given to these businesses through a TIF, the tax burden gets shifted to the regular people who don't have the same political clout. It's a crummy way to treat your tax paying, law abiding citizens. TIFs now appear in affluent neighborhood's subsidizing high-end housing developments, big box retailers and shopping malls.

TIFs subsidized big business at the expense of less influential competitors and ordinary citizens. Roads, sewers, and schools are public costs that come from growth. Unless spending is cut — and if a TIF really does generate economic growth — spending will rise. The burden of paying for these services will be forwarded to taxpayers. TIFs take away small business monies and give to large corporations, with the end result being the demise of the small-business owner.

In Dover the city council is pushing TIFs, in Concord they now have an advisory committee, and in Laconia, Edward Engler, editor and president of The Laconia Daily Sun, who is the mayor, likes TIFs. What is happening in your town/city. What is happening in Meredith?

Rosemary Landry

  • Category: Letters
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I look forward to serving with governor and fellow councilors

To The Daily Sun,

I want to thank my family, friends, supporters and voters who helped me get elected on Nov. 4 to the Executive Council. I look forward to working with the governor and my fellow councilors on the important New Hampshire issues. The Council meets every two weeks and votes on state contracts, state board and commissions and judicial appointment. If you need any assistance in State government please do not hesitate to call my office at 271-3632.

I will continue to work hard for you and look forward to serving the citizens of Executive Council District 1 for the next two years. The Council will be sworn in on Jan. 8 at the State Capitol in a Joint Session.

Thank you again for the wonderful support in the Lakes Region.

Joseph D. Kenney
Executive Councilor District 1

  • Category: Letters
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Dessert auction on Sunday comes just in time for Thanksgiving

To The Daily Sun,

Need Thanksgiving desserts?

Please consider attending our second annual Dessert Auction this coming Sunday at the Beane Conference Center on Blueberry Lane, Laconia, from 3 to 5 p.m. Scores of beautiful desserts provided by local bakeries, restaurants and volunteer bakers will be offered via a live auction led by PK Zyla. Admission is a canned good or non-perishable food item. Refreshments will be served.

This is a critical fundraiser for Hands Across the Table which offers a free hot meal every Wednesday evening at the St. Andre Bessette Parish Hall on Gilford Avenue in Laconia. HATT's mission is "To feed all who are hungry in body and spirit. We do so willingly and with compassion and understanding."

For more information regarding Hands Across the Table, visit our Facebook page or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Debbie Frawley Drake


HATT Board & Auction Chair

  • Category: Letters
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The History of Belknap Mill outlines the history of Laconia

To The Daily Sun,

After the recent (Nov. 12) Sun article on the Belknap Mill being "up for sale," we need to understand the importance of the mill.

The building is a historic landmark Indeed, it's a national treasure. Its importance is often described as the oldest brick mill building in the U.S. Although this is true, I prefer to think of it as the oldest example of an integrated-mill. An integrated mill is a mill where raw cotton/wool enters the building and finished cloth goes out.

Prior to the integrated mill, the different steps in the cloth manufacturing process were handled in different factories, or parceled out to cottage industries, a system that required significant movement of materials. The first integrated mill was built by Francis Cabot Lowell circa 1815 in Waltham, Mass., with water power produced by the Charles River. Lowell proceeded to build two more integrated mills in Waltham before he ran out of water power from the Charles River. He then relocated to the area of the Merrimack River that is now the city of Lowell, Mass.

The Belknap Mill was built in 1823 and was modeled on Lowell's Waltham Mills, which have since been torn down. Thus the Belknap Mill, if not the oldest, is at least close-to-the-oldest example of the original integrated mill, not only in the U.S., but in the world, since the concept of an integrated mill originated in the U.S. with Francis Cabot Lowell.

The Belknap Mill is a very unique piece of history. It contains a collection of antique knitting machines. Through the efforts of volunteers, several of these machines can still produce products including shoestrings, stockings, and baby hats. Many of these knitting machines were made by the Scott & Williams Company here in Laconia. In addition to the 1823 mill building, the mill houses a hydroelectric powerhouse that is nearly in the same condition as when it was built in 1918. This power-house produced hydroelectric power up until 1960. It's doubtful that any similar facility exists in this pristine condition. This powerhouse, along with the Avery Dam, allows children in the fourth-grade program to understand energy and energy conversion as practiced in the early 1900s.

Each year since 1995, over 1000 fourth grade students from Belknap County, as well as surrounding cities, towns and states have enjoyed the history of the Belknap Mill's architectural features, manufacturing process, knitting machines and turbine power demonstration.

The mill houses over 10,000 archived artifacts related to the mill, the manufacturing industries in Laconia, and the culture of early Laconia. Included in this archive are over 100 audiotape interviews with mill workers made in the 1990s. Many of these mill workers have since passed-away. This archive was the main reference for Carol Anderson's excellent book "A History of the Belknap Mill" which is recommended reading to better understand the mill's role in the community.

The history of the mill outlines the history of Laconia. Laconia was born of the American Industrial Revolution due to its location near available water power, and Laconia and the Belknap Mill were shaped by that Revolution into what they are today. The Belknap Mill represents pride in that heritage and pride in Laconia, something to remember in the ongoing discussion.

Jon Pounds

Center Harbor

Member, Belknap Mill Society

  • Category: Letters
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