To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to Laconia voters:
With all do respect to the many fine people who have served as mayor over the years I have been thinking a lot recently about the four who have served since we began electing mayors by popular vote in 1991. The list includes Paul Fitzgerald (two terms), Matt Lahey (three terms), Mark Fraser (two terms), Matt Lahey again (two more terms) and Mike Seymour (two terms).
That's a darn impressive list. They all have had their individual styles and we might not have agreed with every position they took on issues of the day but we knew they were smart, knowledgeable, capable people and we were comfortable having them at the helm. We knew they were competent to analyze any situation that arose and would help to craft a sensible, reasonable solution. And we knew that when one of us had to represent the entire city — say at a meeting with the governor or leaders of the Legislature, they were up to the task.
On Tuesday, Nov. 5 we add the next name to the list. And I ask that you think about previous mayors and weigh the two current candidates against that standard. I do not pretend that I am the most qualified person we could possibly pick. But a number of people who I would have personally have been happy to vote for were just not in a position to serve at this time and I decided to step forward.
I do believe that my overall knowledge of city government, my demonstrated commitment to community service and my record of accomplishment in private business make me the most qualified person whose name will be on the ballot for mayor in 2013. And I ask for your support in my effort to "Keep Laconia Moving" in a positive direction. It would be an honor to have your vote.
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013 11:11
To The Daily Sun,
I am writing to you about a concern that I feel many Lakes Region residents have, and it is the concern about the deteriorating condition of the Hathaway House in Lakeport. With the recent window and asbestos removal, the situation appears to be even grimmer than first thought. It makes many of us wonder if it is a precursor to the owner applying for a demolition permit. Yet, this house has an interesting history and is a structure that should be preserved. Its fascinating history began with the first owner, Samuel Clement Clark, who was a distinguished local lawyer. He served as a member of the state Legislature and also assistant clerk to the House of Representatives. He envisioned running for governor, however, this was never executed.
The c.1870 house is thought to be one of the oldest structures in eastern Lakeport. Since the time it was built, the Hathaway House has not only been the home of distinguished individuals but also many local businesses. After staying in the family for some time after Samuel's death, the house became a place of business, beginning with Constance and Richard St. Clair's "Hathaway House" clothing store. Other businesses that have called the Hathaway House their home include Florence Cummins Real Estate Inc., and most recently, Star Gaze Spa and Pool.
In recent years, the Hathaway House has fallen into disrepair, is currently on the real estate market, and its future is uncertain. I recently got involved with Laconia's Heritage Commission, and from discussions with its members, I have learned the importance of this structure. I think it has a lot of potential, and should it continue to deteriorate or be demolished, it would be a great loss to the Lakes Region. It is one of the structures that defines Laconia, and still has the potential to contribute to Laconia's local economy as it has in the past.
Nevertheless, there is a way for concerned Laconia residents to take action. The Heritage Commission has created a petition and is seeking signatures from Laconia residents who are concerned about the future of this property. The purpose of the petition is to request "immediate and definitive action to preserve the Hathaway/Clark house" from the Laconia City Council and also to "urge Cafua Management of Dunkin' Donuts, owners of the Hathaway House, to live up to its original agreements concerning this property." By showing how many people in the city care about "The Pink Lady," the petition has the potential to bring about change.
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013 11:03
To The Daily Sun,
On Tuesday, Oct. 29, frequent letter-writer Steve Earle, challenged ". . . any liberal to give readers an example of a lie told by Fox News." I have no aspirations to liberalism, but if he will accept a response from a fellow writer, I would like to give it a shot.
On Oct. 11, Sean Hannity invited three couples to tell his audience how the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare) adversely affected their lives. Hannity said, "These are the stories that the media refuses to cover."
The stories the couples told, however, seemed at odds with ACA provisions. Consequently, fact checkers investigated. What follows is from the work of one of them, Eric Stern. He independently interviewed each couple and conducted cost comparison analyses.
Their claims: They said they could not grow their business. They had to keep employees in part-time status and take other steps to reduce ACA-associated costs.
The truth: Their construction business has four employees. The ACA imposes no cost, no insurance requirements (absolutely none) on any business with less than 50 employees. There is one and only one requirement for such a small business. It must notify employees the insurance exchange (healthcare.gov) exists.
Background: The male quit his job (which provided health benefits) a few years ago to start his own business. The couple are now paying $1,100 a month ($13,200 a year) for health insurance. The policy has a $2,500 per person deductible and does not cover one of their two children. The female has a pre-existing condition that would cost another $600 a month to insure. That would bring their total cost to $1,700 a month or $20,400 annually (still with no coverage for the second child).
Their claims: The couple's insurer notified them it will terminate their policy and replaced it with an ACA-compliant policy. The insurer also said it was shrinking its provider network. This might mean the couple would have to change physicians. This shows Obama lied when he said people could keep existing policies and medical providers.
The truths: The couple are correct. Obama assurances regarding continuity of coverage and provider access were not true. The president's apologists can try to sugarcoat that, but lie seems a fair characterization. This is where Hannity left it. Obama and ObamaCare came out looking bad. While it is difficult to make excuses for the president, the impression ACA is also bad is flat out wrong in this case. If the couple had done its homework, it would have found a policy on the health exchange for about $7,600. (This assumes the couple does not smoke and makes too much to qualify for a subsidy.)
This policy offers this family multiple advantages:
— More than a 60 percent reduction in premium costs;
— Coverage for all family members;
— Coverage for the female's preexisting condition; and
— A cap on out-of-pocket expenses. (As noted above, the couple's current policy carries a $2,500 per-person deductible. Under ACA, $2,500 is the maximum deductible for a family. That is a potential savings of $5,000 plus whatever it would cost them to obtain medical services for their uninsured child.)
Background: The male is self-employed. The insurer is swapping the couple's existing plan for an ACA-compliant policy. The premium for their current policy is $800 a month ($9,600 annually).
Their Claims: Their agent told them the replacement policy would cost 50 to 75 percent more. It will contain provisions (e.g., maternity, pediatric and prenatal care) they do not need, but must buy.
The Truths: This couple could buy a comparable policy on the exchange for less than $310 a month ($3,700 a year). The savings would exceed 60 percent. Yes, the policy would cover things they do not need or want. Every policy does.
A few personal observations:
Hannity/Fox exploited the ignorance of people so blinded by their hatred of ObamaCare (and probably Obama), they refused to do even the most rudimentary research into their personal situation. Nonetheless, their flagrant disregard for assessment and fact qualified them to speak with authority to a national audience.
Conservatives, more than liberals, should be outraged. The picture Fox painted is of catastrophe unfolding. Perhaps it is. (The rollout can hardly reassure supporters.) Yet, an unfiltered, unquestioned presentation of ignorance and hatred as evidence strengthens no case.
Specifically in this example:
— We see a family explaining how ACA undermined their business when ACA could not possibly affect that business;
— We see two families complaining about increased cost when even the most rudimentary inquiry would reveal substantial savings — upward of 60 percent in both cases; and
— We see three families not conveying personal stories — as Hannity asserted — but adapting and repeating what they think others have said.
If Mr. Earle does not think this is lying, perhaps he could explain what is.
Last Updated on Thursday, 31 October 2013 11:00
To The Daily Sun,
I read the piece in Wednesday's Sun with amusement and concern. Of course it would be cheaper to care for inmates with Medicaid as opposed to real insurance because that is cost shifting the actual costs onto the hospitals, providers, and ultimately patients with insurance. This is a Ponzi scheme to make the books look better without any real savings. Prisoners are not good patients in many cases. Taking care of them brings extra problems with increased risk of lawsuit, active non-compliance with recommended care and other issues. If the state tries to make this change, I would predict they will find many doors closed to these patients in the medical community, adding further costs to the bottom line. This is not a good or fair idea and should be rejected.
John M. Grobman MD
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 09:45
To The Daily Sun,
New Hampshire's electricity prices are ranked 5th highest in the country. Expect the average monthly electricity bill to noticeably rise with the addition of wind farms in this state.
New Hampshire's Energy Board will soon point to a number of reasons for the increasing cost of electricity. It will most likely be labeled as a grid upgrade not directed at wind farms. New Hampshire would easily bump New York — from fourth to fifth place.
Additional wind farms, transmission lines, substations combined with other grid upgrades — will surely put us into third or fourth place in less than five years. Another significant factor, that will drive up our monthly electrical bill, is the variation between previous estimates and actual costs.
As N.H. electrical consumers, we will not use the electricity from these wind farms. The generated power is being shipped to southern states. These southern states are benefiting from us in more ways than one. Shouldn't southern states be held accountable for all of the decommissioning costs — if approved? Why aren't we talking about this?
They shouldn't be able to have their cake and eat it too, right? After all — southern states are the ones demanding the power and they are the ones outsourcing their green credits through N.H. land. N.H. is already a net exporter of electricity — meaning we already produce more electricity than we consume. Why aren't they developing their land first?
So much for engagement with communities. So much for a town hall meeting — it's become a dictatorship. We have declared our towns "NOT WILLING HOSTS" to wind farms. Yet they declare and promote themselves as being wanted by our community.
On November 5th at 6 p.m. — come to the Alexandria Town Hall and listen for yourself. Iberdrola will lay out their plans for our community. I believe it would be a great learning point for many to see first hand what is unfolding here. You've all seen the inside of a town hall — just come, listen and educate yourself.
This is not who or what we want leading us. Please attend...
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 09:42