To The Daily Sun,
Last month a critic attacked the modified Ricci Green plan for a new county jail. He referred to a facility that is being built in Wilkes County, N.C., that is larger than our planned jail and is costing about a quarter as much, according to initial estimates. He suggested that before we commit to a $42 million project we talk to the architect who designed the Wilkes County Jail, Jack Hemphill. As a candidate for commissioner, that sounded like a good idea to me, so I called him.
Mr. Hemphill was gracious and very willing to talk. He told me that Wilkes County is his 33rd jail project and offered a number of design approaches and construction ideas that might be usable to reduce our construction costs. By the way, he has New Hampshire connections: having family here and having designed a sewage treatment plant in Manchester.
The Ricci Greene plan is the product of a well-thought-out professional process that was designed to gather the input of all stakeholders in the jail design. They were very successful in developing a model that will meet our needs based on what we, the people of Belknap County, told them. Their proposal is broad and comprehensive and has served to educate and inform all of us. We now know where the upper cost limit lies and the jail discussion has been brought to a broader public consciousness.
I'm looking forward to the presentation by Ken Ricci scheduled for September, but I also think it prudent and worthwhile to hear what others have to say. Jack Hemphill is one. Ross Cunningham, superintendent of the Sullivan County Jail (more about Sullivan County in another letter), is another. We should look at the various options and ask the same questions of each to best provide for our safety and utilize our precious resources as wisely and prudently as we can. That way we can compare apples to apples as we should and stop comparing apples and oranges.
If this is the kind of thinking you are looking for in a commissioner, then please tell your friends about me, and please vote for me on Nov. 4.
Candidate for Belknap County Commissioner
Last Updated on Monday, 04 August 2014 11:09
To The Daily Sun,
This letter is in regard to an article that was in the July 24 edition of the Laconia Citizen. The article was about Walt Havenstein touring the Enterprise Center at Plymouth (ECP). My problem is what the article did not say.
The article has Walt Havenstein speaking positively about the ECP program, but does not give Gov. Hassan credit for what she did to help that very program. Gov. Hassan has been a major supporter of the ECP and its role to help entrepreneurs and small businesses in New Hampshire.
The tour at Plymouth State University is a nice stage for a politician. What does the GOP candidate for governor think about New Hampshire being the lowest of the 50 states in aid to public education? On average our students graduate from college with more than $30,000 in debt. Does he have a plan to help them?
The article paints an incomplete picture. Does candidate Havenstein have a positive plan for the state, or does he have a cut-cut-cut agenda forcing the burden onto our towns and families? Please tell more.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 August 2014 02:18
To The Daily Sun,
In order to bring middle-class, good-wage jobs to the Lakes Region, we need an educated workforce that has the skills that employers need. The Common Core was developed in the early 2000s by governors and state education chiefs, Republican and Democrat, and 43 states have opted into the program and are working to implement the standards in English language and mathematics.
Common Core is not a top-down-driven program, but a program developed and implemented by each state. New Hampshire has one of the more transient student populations — moving from town to town — and state to state. Common Core assures that these students can transition to different town school systems, and have the content and skills needed to progress. Common Core will provide our students with the skills and content knowledge for those good wage jobs.
Some of our state representatives want to delay or kill implementation of Common Core. Call your state representative and urge them to support the Common Core implementation.
We need to effectively use our Community College system by encouraging our high school students to take classes at the local community college. Community colleges need to partner with industry in developing an apprenticeship program. This will better prepare them for the workforce and lower their education costs should they go on to higher degrees. Lowering the debt burden of graduates frees up their future income for cars and houses that drive the economy.
I'm supporting Nick Vazzano running for state representative in Sandwich, Moultonborough, and Tuftonboro, because he built an educational software company and knows the value of an educated workforce. Easy access to higher education will allow more social mobility and restore the American dream. Common Core — just Common Sense.
Last Updated on Monday, 04 August 2014 11:00
To The Daily Sun,
In the last number of months Andrew Timmins, bear biologist for the N.H. Dept. of Fish and Game, has put out press releases on bear feeding across the state and that it is selfish and that intentional feeding puts the bear in harms way. That it is in violation to feed bears with up to a $1,000. fine. That the citizens are "loving the animals to death." A fed bear is a dead bear has been the battle cry with F&G for the last 10 years, pointing the finger at the citizens of the state.
In 2006 Fish and Game circumvented the legislative process of our government and went to JLCAR (Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules) and regulated the people of the state with Fish and Game regulation FIS:310.01, the intentional feeding of bears.
First let me state this, F&G's responsibility is to safeguard our natural resources with hunting, fishing and trapping regulations. This doesn't give them the authority to regulate the citizens of the state, and that is exactly what the are doing. Second, JLCAR is not the fourth form of government.
Mr. Timmins wants you to clean up your act by taking down your bird feeders, put up electric fencing around chickens, put grain and garbage in secure containers and just stop luring bears with handouts. This all seems reasonable for responsible people to do and it's not much to ask. Mr. Timmins wants to see an end to mothers with cubs from being killed over all this.
What Mr. Timmins has left out in his press releases is the fact that bear baiting as sport has been going on and on and on. This is the rest of the story.
From 2005-2013, 8,878 free bait permits for bear, 3,987 free bait permits for deer (2008-2013) and 2,181 free bait permits for other species (2008-2013), that adds up to 15,046 permits issued with two sites per permit, equaling 30,092 bait sites set up in New Hampshire. in the last nine years. Habituating wildlife to bait sites is not a sport, it is not hunting, it is called shopping. Mr. Timmins is right on when he states that habituated to human environments and dependent on human-related foods has severe, and often fatal effects on the animal.
From 2005-2013 2,454 bears have been killed with baiting. Of that total number, 409 were cubs, 216 were lactating females 2005-2013 (This is a low number, a permit is not required to bait on your own land if the intent to kill the animal). Rest assured that feeding on your own is against the law if the intent is observation. The number of bears killed because of intentional feeding is non-existent in that timeframe. The Department of Fish and Game needs a name change — perhaps the Dept. of "Do As I Say Not As I Do" would be more appropriate.
Mr. Timmins, before you go on telling the citizens of the state to clean up their act, the time has come for the department to clean up theirs. The Dept. of F&G circumvented the system of government on the people. Perhaps it is time for the governor to execute an executive order to end baiting of bear and deer in this state. The governor has that power.
Last Updated on Friday, 01 August 2014 11:05
To The Daily Sun,
Thank you for interest in the recent Belmont Library Heritage event. The 86th anniversary was a milestone for the current building, and earlier library locations — adding up to more than a century on Main Street in the Village.
Library trustees extend public thanks to guests Peter Michaud of the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, and Michael York, director of the New Hampshire State Library. We appreciated the greetings from Ruth Mooney, chairman of the Board of Selectmen and kind congratulations from state Sen. Andrew Hosmer and Rep. Mike Sylvia.
The restoration pledge of the 1800s clock greeting library patrons since 1928 was most generous. We are grateful to Denis Carignan of Carignan Watch Company, and the artistry of Mrs. Pauline Murphy for their generous and talented contribution.
Lastly, we recognize the Heritage Commission for its gift of the National Register plaque and helping to build awareness of the importance of the building. As Mr. Michaud pointed out, it was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places on Aug. 12, 1985, for architectural significance "both as one of the best small public libraries in the Lakes Region, and as one of the region's best examples of the Colonial Revival style." Our library is one of about only 40 in New Hampshire honored with this distinction.
The library serves many interests, all ages and welcomes all — during the week, several nights and Saturday mornings. Besides books and new media, we provide computer access and sponsor a newly formed Teen Advisory Group, Lego Club, Preschool Story Hour and other well-attended activities including a Summer Reading program. Be sure and visit on Old Home Day, Saturday, Aug. 9, and join us for local newspapers and coffee, and see all that's new in our historic building.
Mary Charnley, Chairman
Belmont Public Library Trustees
Last Updated on Friday, 01 August 2014 10:58