To The Daily Sun,
I love Laconia High School.
I would like to begin by stating that I don not have three college degrees. Truth is, I don't have any. I have worked hard my entire adult life and would not have it any other way.
For most of my working life I worked as a caregiver in hospitals and nursing homes. However, for many years I worked at LHS as a simple custodian, as I am a common man, nothing special or outstanding about me.
For myself, being at LHS was, with the exception of my childhood in West Manchester, the happiest times of my life, and it was the students there over the years who helped forge those happiest of times.
I've seen them all, black, white, Hispanic, poor, rich, broken families, you name it. I can with all honesty say that I have never met a student that I did not like. Honor Roll or not I always found something unique in each individual.
For many of those years I was involved as a volunteer in several sports programs, as well as proms and dances and other school related activities. I knew the children and I knew them well.
Often students would seek me out, several of them troubled. They sought me out not for assistance with school work, but instead for lessons on life in general. Some took my advice, some did not. I was always happy to talk and be a friend, and let them know that I was a friend. I never was critical. I believed in faith and hope, still do.
I do not believe that LHS is in decline. I think that the best is yet to come. Instead of being critical, reach out with a helping hand. I have always been proud of LHS and I always will be.
I don't have all the answers, anyone who knows me will attest to that. I mean, diesel gas in a lawnmower? Yes, I did that. Would I do it again? Perhaps not. We all learn and grow and get better. We stumble, we get up again. LHS is a fine institution. I will forever look kindly and hold a special place in my heart for the students I knew at LHS and there were many of them. I knew them all, liked them all. It takes support, faith, patience, perseverance, and understanding.
No college degree here. Just a common man who does not want to see LHS students get a bad rap. Be a friend instead.
Matthew (Coach "T") Tetreault
Last Updated on Saturday, 21 December 2013 12:01
To The Daily Sun,
My wife Susan and I just enrolled in the Affordable Care Act Wednesday night. The website was very easy to get through and the questions were really simple. We will have a total monthly premium of $106 for the best of three Silver plans. The Bronze plan would have had NO PREMIUM because the $12,050 tax credit would have paid for it all. This is going to be great for all those people on low incomes who never had a chance to get insurance. And those middle class folks with properties who live week-to-week with no health insurance is going to be a great help to them.
Sure, it doesn't beat single payer but it beats the unfettered sociopathic capitalist options of the past.
Last Updated on Friday, 20 December 2013 12:16
To The Daily Sun,
Dear Don Ewing:
I just about had given up on answering your letters to the editor printed in The Laconia Daily Sun, but, and there is always a but, right? This time I want to take apart your letter point-by-point to prove that you are "blowing smoke", which only causes more lies and falsehoods to be put in print. You might ask yourself why in the world would I be trying to do this since we know that you do not debate your detractors on the editorial pages of The Laconia Daily Sun. How silly of me to forget this important point. You are satisfied just to get your opinions printed, and I might add, without substantiating your assertions to boot.
Let's start with "locking students in bad schools". Hummmm, could it be that what Republican administrations and their congressional cohorts have engineered in trying time and again to wipe off the face of the earth, the federal Department of Education? Remember Bill Bennett under Reagan. Bennett was appointed Secretary of Education. His primary task was to do away with the federal Department of Education in order for states to monitor their own educational systems without any guidelines from the Feds. This lead to many laws and protections for children to be abolished after many hard fought years of getting these statutes in place.
If, and this has been a dream of mine for many years, i taxes which support our public education system could FINALLY be equalized in all states so that the poorer districts would have a fighting chance to give those children all of the advantages which exist in wealthier districts — what a wonderful world it would be.
How, sir, have jobs been destroyed? We need specific examples or your argument is not grounded in fact. Are you satisfied that people who work in the fast food industry (just to name one sector) are paid substandard wages, have to rely on food stamps and are maligned for trying to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act?
When you refer to rich donors, I'm sure you did not mean to forget or give honorable mention to the Koch Brothers, the Walton family, Sheldon Adelson among others who have given billions of dollars to Republican campaigns? They are just being altruistic, right? They are really not trying to buy any one particular candidate who would then in turn continue the practice of allowing the wealthy to hide their money in tax shelters, loopholes and overseas banks.
Now on the bailouts. I seem to remember a news conference where Bush-Cheney and Hank Paulson were telling Americans that the U.S. was just about ready to collapse financially if we did not give massive amounts of money to the Wall Street. This maneuver was timed to coincide with the end of the Bush/Cheney Regime. They walked off into the sunset more than happy to give the reins over to Pres. Obama.
On High Speed Rail: There is a governor in Florida by the name of Rick Scott. He was part and parcel of a scheme that bilked Medicare and Medicaid for millions and millions of dollars. But alas, when he ran for governor he was elected... go figure. Shortly after Scott was elected he turned down millions of dollars from the Feds which would have brought high speed rail to Florida... huh? Oh, and the federal dollars had no strings attached!
Republicans saving Americans: how, why, where, when? Certainly you jest.
One more small point: could you please when referring to Democrats in a sentence use the proper English for their title...e.g. it is not "Democrat policies", it's Democratic policies. It's not "Democrat: investments, it's Democratic investments. It's not "Democrat" politicians, it's Democratic politicians... well you get the point, right? Thanks in advance for that courtesy.
Last Updated on Friday, 20 December 2013 12:12
To The Daily Sun,
Dear Gilmanton residents:
Beware of elected officials who write letters to the editor and presume to speak with such authority and command of the facts. Rep. Burchell, R-Gilmanton, again demonstrates he has no regard for the facts as demonstrated in his letter to The Sun on December 18th.
I shouldn't be surprised as I have watched him demonstrate the same bluster and disregard for facts as he presumes to represent Gilmanton as a member of the Belknap County Delegation. I appreciate being able to watch all of the delegation meetings on Channel 26. I have learned a lot.
I think it is time for our Gilmanton Board of Selectmen meetings to be televised so we can all see them in action. Apparently if a few citizens attend selectmen's meeting such behavior is considered bullying and intimidation by Rep. Burchell as he stated about the members of the Gilmanton Fireman's Association who attended the December 16th meeting. I suppose it was acceptable for Brenda Currier, wife of Selectmen Brett Currier, to challenge whether or not the members of our fireman's association, and also Gilmanton residents, had a right to express an opinion about our Fire Department. Let's be clear, they have every right to be concerned about this unjustified attack on our hard working Fire Chief Joe Hempel and the impact the selectmen's proposed change could have on public safety.
Rep. Burchell was wrong in his short letter to the editor. Here are the correct facts:
1. Meg Hempel was in attendance at the meeting and authored a letter to the editor in which she commented on the selectmen's conduct towards the Belknap County commissioner and administrator. She did not speak at the meeting nor did she comment on the issue regarding the fire chief. She has no requirement to disclose anything Rep. Burchell. But for the record, you are wrong. Meg Hempel is not the wife of Chief Hempel. If you must know she is the mom of Chief Hempel, but I suspect most us knew that already including everyone in the room except you.
2. You repeat that the selectmen want to "keep the fire chief's position as working chief" and "working as opposed to administrative only". Just because you repeat something does not make it true. The current fire chief is not an administrative position only, either in title or in how he performs his duties. No one has suggested he should be administrative only including him. We all know that. In fact, you fail to recite the undisputed fact put forth at the meeting that demonstrates that Chief Hempel has the second highest call response in the department only surpassed by one of our full-time career firefighters who lives in close proximity to the station. Doesn't sound like an "administrative only" fire chief to me! I listen to the scanner and hear our chief regularly respond to calls on days, nights and weekends. He is a salaried employee who puts in many extra hours for this town.
3. You state the position of the selectmen was "give us two shifts a week and we will be happy". You fail to state that the fire chief currently works a full schedule and shifts. You also fail to mention that the fire chief was present at the meeting and requested to see and discuss the warrant article he had heard about but never seen. The selectmen chose not to discuss this when he was present nor did they make the above statement in his presence so he could lay out the facts.
I attended this meeting because public safety matters.
Please — no more politics and incorrect facts when you talk about our public safety.
Last Updated on Friday, 20 December 2013 12:05
To The Daily Sun,
I am writing to thank Hannaford Foods for helping their community help feed those in need this holiday season. Hannaford had offered to match donations purchased by customers over the holiday season. If you bought pasta, pasta sauce, or a can of vegetables for the food shelves, they would match your donation. This is not unique to Hannaford, or just the holiday season as most retail grocery store owners help feed those in need year round either through such promotions, or by giving past due labels, or ripe fresh vegetables and produce to the food shelves. In a time when it is hard to find good in the world, it is refreshing to see such generous giving.
My sincere thanks goes out to all the efforts made to help those in need. I have never had to "go without" in my life, and can't begin to imagine how it would feel to not be able to feed those I love and care for. Even if you don't have the means to donate to the food shelves, thank your favorite grocer for their unselfish gifts to those in need.
Last Updated on Friday, 20 December 2013 12:02