44 Meredith Altrusa Festival Trees were donated to local families

To The Daily Sun,

The Altrusa International Club of Meredith recently held its 19th annual Festival of Trees at the Waukewan Golf Club. A record number of 56 magical trees were on display, created by area businesses, nonprofits, individuals and families, and 44 out of these were donated to local families distributed through area Christmas outreach organizations following the Festival. Friday, Dec. 5, through Sunday, Dec. 7, the festival was open to the public. The Saturday Children's event, "Magic and Mittens,, with Jim Goren, magician "extraordinaire" and his charming assistants (our ASTRA teens), captivated a capacity crowd at all three performances.

Altrusa's Festival of Trees depends on community support from individuals, businesses and visitors. All proceeds generated by the festival support local charitable programs such as the Inter-Lakes Christmas Fund, Inter-Lakes Community Caregivers, Lakes Region Visiting Nurses Association, area food pantries and our annual non-traditional scholarship awards program to name just a few, along with all other Altrusa charitable initiatives throughout the year.

Our sincere thanks go to our corporate sponsors: Keepsake Quilting, Country Carriage, Giuseppe's Pizzeria & Ristorante, M & B Dion Enterprises, and the Marketing Association of Plymouth State University (MAPS) and "Anonymous."

Thank you also to our tree sponsors: Meredith Fire Dept. Auxiliary, Scott Burns Landscaping, Karen and Chuck Thorndike, East Coast Foundation and Lovering Volvo. Also, our sincere thanks to the following restaurants and individuals for exceptional holiday fare served during our Gala – Bay Gulls, Canoe, Crazy Gringo, Faro Italian Grille, Frog Rock Tavern, George's Diner, Hannaford Supermarket, Harts Turkey Farm, EM Heath's Supermarket, Kara's Café and Cakery, Lakes Region Cupcakes, Lavinia's, Lee Wah, Mars, Maureen Siegelman, McDonald's, Meredith Bay Coffee House, Moulton's Farm, Phu Jee, Picnic Rock Farm, Rustic Gourmet, Tavern 27, The Mug and Walter's Basin.

Our sincere gratitude goes to the one hundred plus local businesses and friends that donated wonderful items for the silent and live auction and raffle baskets. Their amazing generosity demonstrated true caring, commitment and community spirit.

Once again the Waukewan Golf Club facilities provided a charming location for our event and for that we sincerely thank the new owners, Tim and Jill Noe and their staff for their support as well as the help of Mike Stanford. We would also like to recognize and thank our "friends of Christmas," the local newspapers, the artists who provided locally made specialty items to the Noel Shoppe and last but for sure not least -- all of our community friends and neighbors that became so involved with the spirit of the season through each individual labor of love that created 56 splendid trees for display, raffle or donation. Truly, the Altrusa Festival of Trees event is all about the magic of the trees and the spirit of  giving.

The entire membership of the Altrusa International Club of Meredith, Leaders in Service, is extremely proud to be part of such generous, supportive and outstanding communities.

The Altrusa International Club

of Meredith


  • Category: Letters
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Commissioners set up so politicians can claim they're doing something

To The Daily Sun,

I doubt that anyone was shocked to learn that New Hampshire's Workers Compensation program is abused as described in Dennis Gaudet's column in Friday's, Dec. 26, Laconia Daily Sun. There are few government programs that aren't wasteful, abused, mismanaged, or even counter-productive.

Medicare and Medicaid are defrauded by about $100 billion annually. Many millions, if not billions, of Social Security dollars go to dead people or others inappropriately. These systems are only saved from the fate of other Ponzi schemes by politicians willingness to beggar future generations to cover today's promises.

Hundreds of millions if not billions have been wasted just on establishing the Obamacare "Exchanges." The IRS sends billions of dollars in refunds to people who shouldn't get them.

Our welfare and unemployment systems penalize intact families and are a disincentive to work. Our nation's Department of Education spends about $80 billion annually, it drives up local school costs, but educational results aren't improved.

One has to wonder if government programs exist to help Americans become productive and successful or only to give politicians power.

Examples of government waste, fraud, abuse, or counter-productive results are endless. These are the inevitable results when government does things that it shouldn't be doing, but were implemented to allow politicians to buy votes with taxpayer money.

There was a time when our nation was rich and could afford wasteful programs, but our nation can't even come close to balancing its operating budget even in supposedly good times. In addition, our politicians keep promising, but not funding, trillions of dollars of future benefits that subsequent generations will be taxed to fund, e.g., pensions.

Dennis Gaudet applauds Gov. Hassan for setting up a commission to propose fixes for the excessive Worker's Comp costs, and reduced costs would certainly help New Hampshire's budget problems.

Unfortunately commissions are often established so politicians can claim to be doing something while they are actually just postponing actions except for spending taxpayer dollars on "experts," aka political supporters. Hundreds of commissions and thousands of promises to fix problems have resulted in few improvements because politicians fear actually fixing problems (We can't even get the ethanol requirement removed!), especially those that reduce spending because recipients complain and politicians have less ability to buy political support.

While eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in government programs would be great, there are few successful examples. It would be more useful to start eliminating all government programs that foster dependence rather than achievement, that are not controlled and funded by the lowest possible level of government, and are not essential to promoting government's primary purpose of protecting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Don Ewing


  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 374

Big community effort got Batchelder family back in their home

To The Daily Sun,

On Dec. 8 there was a fire at 115 Kelley Pond Road that left a home uninhabitable and 12 people homeless, including six children and one adult with autism. They had no insurance and did not have the funds to rebuild. I met with the Batchelders on Dec. 12, offering my time to try to help them get back into their home before Christmas. The reason for this was that I believe that every child deserves a place to call home.

I was not there to judge what had happened in their past nor was I going to question why they did not have insurance. All I knew was that they needed their home back to raise their grandchildren. They were living out of a hotel room with no immediate resolutions to their problem, however, Scott Batchelder was determined to rebuild on his own no matter how long it took. Scott and Diana were committed to providing their grandchildren a home and I was committed to helping them.

We started on Monday, Dec. 15, with very little money, but many of my brothers and sisters from Laconia Professional Fire Fighters believing in me and my goal. As the days progressed, volunteers kept stepping up and businesses continued to donate. What happened over the next two weeks is a true testament to the good in people. We had many obstacles along the way, but were able to do what many called impossible. On the 14th day of working we were able to move the Batchelders back into their home.

Many people volunteered their time to accomplish this very fulfilling dream I had. They never asked for any recognition and were just there to help the family. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what all of you did for me and the family. You know who you are and if there is anything I can do for you in the future, you know my number.

To the businesses that helped, I also thank you. Without you we could not have accomplished what we did.

Laconia Professional Fire Fighters Local 1153, The New Hampton Fire Fighters Association, Alex Ray and the Common Man Chain of Restaurants, Dumpster Depot, Rowell's Sewer and Drain, Lakes Region Chimney Pros, Superior Insulation, Metro Walls Inc., TNT Electrical, Stove Barn, Cerutti Construction, Home Beautiful, Plymouth Sherwin Williams, DZN Remodeling, A&B Locksmith, J&M Plumbing and Heating, Creative Counters LLC, Tilton Lowe's Home Improvements, Tilton Home Depot, Pinard waste removal, Rockingham Electric, Nutter Enterprises, CruCon, DaSilva Motorsports, Northeast Tire, Middleton Lumber, Conneston Construction Incorporated. If I forgot to include you, I truly apologize. You did not go unnoticed.

To the Batchelder family, thank you for allowing me to help you. You may not know this, but this has helped me as much as it has helped you. Welcome home.

Stephen Hanser


  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 362

So why purposely avoid mentioning Select Committee report?

To The Daily Sun,

Steve Earle, the twister of facts, is under the mistaken impression that only the State Department found no wrongdoing in the Benghazi tragedy. He cleverly omitted the GOP-led bipartisan Select Committee (which was given the following charge):

"On May 8, 2014, the House of Representatives adopted H. Res. 567, Providing for the Establishment of the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi, Libya. The "House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi" will have special investigatory tools not available to every standing committee of the House. It will have clear goals designed to force accountability, get the full truth, and help provide justice. The four Americans killed in service to the country and the American people deserve no less."

That quote is directly from http://www.gop.gov/solution_content/benghazi/.

On Nov. 21, 2014, the final report was released: In an article in The Blaze (http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/11/21/now-thats-what-i-call-a-friday-news-dump-final-report-released-after-two-year-investigation-into-benghazi/):

"A two-year investigation by the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee has found that the CIA and the military acted properly in responding to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and asserted no wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees.

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria."

Now to quote Steve's letter, "How it works is each department or agency suspected of wrongdoing decides beforehand what the investigation findings should be then announces an investigation then shortly after announces that they cleared themselves."

Wow, Steve. You must have known this report was out. Why did you purposely avoid mentioning it? Oh wait, I know. It's because you are smarter than anyone else (after all, you do watch Fox News) and think that whatever you write is believed by all readers without question. Mr. Osmer was spot on in his factual comments. You, sir, are disingenuous and as usual dead wrong and your purposeful misrepresentation of the facts does a grave disservice to the brave lives lost that tragic day. Who would ever believe anything you write? Shame on you Mr. Earle.

Carol Stappi


  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 188

LHS senior class hosting Community Coffee House on Tuesday night

To The Daily Sun,

Hi everyone, my name is Alana Persson and I am president of the Laconia High School Class of 2015. I am excited to inform the community that a Community Coffee House will be held this upcoming Tuesday, January 6 from 6-8 p.m. at Pitman's Freight Room in Laconia. The event will be open to all members of the community both young and old, who wish to perform or listen to the works of others.

The Coffee House will be an open mic concept featuring poems, songs, short stories, skits, instruments performances, etc. We welcome all types of artistic expression, especially original works that members of the community wish to share. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., as there will will be a sign-up sheet available at that time for those who wish to sign up early. The Senior Class will be providing hot coffee and tea, as well as pastries during the event. The cost to get in is $5 per person, with all proceeds going toward the Laconia High School Senior Class.

I hope that the through this Coffee House, members of the community can come together to share and appreciate all the amazing artistic talent that this area harbors! If you have any questions regarding this event please feel free contact me at 581-5517 or by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.Thank you all in advance, and I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday!

Alana Persson


  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 321