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Preparation, ability to listen & compassion vital to making good policy

To The Daily Sun,

When working through the process of making good policy, one has to consider many aspects of the intended and unintended effects of said policy on all the potential persons or groups impacted by the proposed policy. To do this it is prudent to perform a number of tasks before and while in committee.

First is preparation, proposing and deliberating on such important issues requires a good command of the subject matter at hand. Historical practices and reasoning behind why current law is what it is today and the circumstances behind its initial inception help to inform future decisions and the crafting of well constructed legislation.

Second is the ability to listen to and absorb the comments and input from all members of your committee when discussing the merits of the proposed legislation. Important issues and viewpoints are raised during this discussion which often require the revision of proposed legislation to accommodate certain facts and information brought forth that should be included in or used to alter the original legislation to put forth a better bill for consideration by the full Legislature.

Last, the presence of compassion in your decision making process and understanding that the laws and policy you are promulgating are going to affect real people with real needs. Sometimes the process and procedures become fairly routine and somewhat mechanical masking this important point. Having a faith-based and moral foundation focused on people will always help you make the right decisions.

These three sets of qualities are what make both an effective and earnest legislator. I have learned this over the past two years after having worked on the House Education Committee with a man who exemplifies these qualities. His ability to work across party lines to create meaningful legislation is well known amongst both Republicans and Democrats in committee and the full house as well. That is why I am honored to support Glenn Cordelli in his bid for re-election. Moultonborough, Tuftonboro and Sandwich should be proud to have such representation in the state House.

Christopher Adams

Brookline 

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Fire Prevention Week focuses on teaching children and seniors

To The Daily Sun,

In 1920, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation creating Fire Prevention Day. In 1922 it became Fire Prevention Week. It is always observed during the week of Oct. 9. The period was an observance to remember the Great Chicago Fire, which started on Oct. 8, 1871, and continued burning through Oct. 9. Most of the damage and destruction was on Oct. 9.

This conflagration left 250 people dead, more than 100,000 homeless, destroyed more than 17,000 structures, and covered 2,000 acres of the city of Chicago. Interestingly, it was not the worst fire of the day, but it was the most reported fire because of where it happened.

On the same day, the Peshtigo Fire happened in Wisconsin. This forest fire remains the deadliest forest fire in U.S. history. It burned through 16 towns, destroyed 1.2 million acres, and killed 1,152 people. Within an hour of the fire starting, the town of Peshtigo was gone.

This year's theme for Fire Prevention Week is "Don't Wait — check the date! Replace smoke detectors every 10 years." This past weekend Laconia firefighter's visited more than 60 homes of local seniors and gave away dozens of smoke detectors. The program is sponsored by LRGHealthcare. A working smoke detector increases your chances of escaping a home fire by 50 percent.

Fire Prevention Week focuses on teaching children and seniors about how to prevent fires, and what to do if a fire happens. This age group are the most at risk during a fire. The U.S. fire service has done a remarkable job of preventing fires. When I started in the fire service in 1980 there were more than 1 million structure fires. Last year, there were just over a half million structure fires. In 1980 there were 5,200 fire deaths in homes, and last year that number was 2,650.

The threat of fire has been reduced, but it will never go away. We will always need firefighter's ready to respond. Please check your smoke detectors, and if you suspect a fire call 9-1-1 immediately.

Kenneth L. Erickson, Fire Chief
City of Laconia

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