To The Daily Sun,
To Gilmanton voters:
My name is Jim Barnes and I want to be your next selectman.
I live in the Iron Works. After a 40-year career in the propane/oil business I retired in 2011 to become a full-time singer/songwriter and entertainer. I travel the state performing music in a variety of venues. It's a great living.
To run for selectman was a difficult decision. I have never done this before. I'll have a lot to learn if elected, but I'm confident that I am up to the task. With your help I can succeed.
If elected I would come to the job with no baggage. No political affiliation to speak of. Sure, I'm a registered Republican, but not a Republican activist. It's just the way I lean. I am not a member of any group or organization in town. I've kept a low profile in the 15 years that I've lived here, but it doesn't mean I'm oblivious to what goes on. I just don't have any bias to bring to the job. I'm not anti-this or pro-that.
What I am is pro-Gilmanton, and that is all. This is a great little town, and if I can do a little something to make it even better, then I will be glad to do so.
If you have questions, concerns or want to offer guidance, please call me at 364-5834. But, please, not at 7:30 in the evening, as I enjoy watching "Jeopardy." I welcome your input. After all, the selectman works for you, not the other way around.
James R. "Jim" Barnes
Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 10:35
To The Daily Sun,
It has been a cold and snowy winter and March brings welcomed thoughts of longer, warmer days. This year it also brings a town election that has spurred interest among Bristol residents. That also is welcomed. C'mon this is America, and we are lucky to have choices. One choice for Bristol residents is to decide the best candidates to fill two Selecboard seats.
I have carefully decided that my first vote for Selectboard will be cast for Rick Alpers. In my opinion, he has proven his ability to contribute a convincing and succinct analysis to others that share responsibility for making a collective, cohesive decision on behalf of the town. These decisions warrant deliberate, prudent consideration of the facts while incorporating the vision spelled out within the town's Master Plan. A balance that is necessary for the future economic climate in Bristol.
Increased costs are not unique to Bristol. They are escalating due to economic factors such as inflation. We each feel the inflation factor personally, as well. Change is inevitable to harness some of the increased costs the town has incurred, and Rick is an advocate of working with neighboring towns to share services regionally hoping to gain better control.
Rick also has demonstrated his ability to lead through influence and example. He believes in transparency and encourages all to share concerns, ideas and possible solutions. This attribute enables him to best understand all aspects of the situation at hand. From gathered information, he is able to present a consensus, compiled from the suggested ideas of all residents and taxpayers. While it may not be possible to please all in every situation, his suggestions are well thought-out, and presented with the intention that will benefit the greater good of the townspeople. He has no other agenda than to serve this town to the best of his ability. It is a continued display of his passion for local government.
Bristol deserves someone that will use experience as a foundation for improvement going forward. That candidate is Rick Alpers.
My second vote will be cast for Shaun Lagueux who was appointed when Jeff Shackett resigned due to the residency requirement. Shaun stepped in and has shown that he is knowledgeable in the workings of town government, has an open mind and is willing to help anyone, anyway he can. He has earned, and deserves my vote. Knowing that you will be voting on March 11, I ask that you consider both Rick and Shaun when casting your ballot.
Janice Della Croce
Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 10:32
To The Daily Sun,
Ray Burton, the respected member of the Governor's Executive Council from District 1, had a long history of service to all residents of the district. Members of both sides of the aisle respected him and voted in great numbers to regularly re-elect him.
In the coming election for a person to replace Ray on the Executive Council, each of the candidates claims to embody Ray's attributes. Ray was dedicated to public service for each individual with a need. He considered each decision and with needs of the district, and voted what he thought was the right view regardless of external political preferences. After decades of such behavior, the overwhelming majority of the electorate came to respect and trust his judgment.
So who is best to replace him? Ray answered this question himself. When, in January of 2011 with a majority of Republicans on the Grafton County Commission, Ray declined to accept the nomination for chair and instead nominated Mike Cryans over the other Republican commissioner. Then again in 2012, Ray endorsed Mike for his seat on the commission over a Republican challenger. Two important opportunities to select a person from his party, and Ray personally chose Mike Cryans.
No one can fill Ray's shoes, but Mike Cryans embodies Ray's attributes of dedication to public service, thoughtful consideration of issues and respect for others who may not share his views.
Ray never tried to demonize his opponents and neither will Mike Cryans. Vote for Mike Cryans for Executive Councilor on March 11.
Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 10:27
To The Daily Sun,
"Conservatives usually oppose change and thrive on tradition. Conservatives tend to take a basically pessimistic view of human nature. People are conceived of as being corrupt, self-centered, lazy and incapable of true charity." So sayeth a "truth turned on its head, 180 degrees backward" take on folks of a conservative bent. This fallacious assumption is included in a new "required reading" social work and social welfare textbook for some students at the University of South Carolina.
Michael Schaus notes in his Feb. 20 Townhall.com column, "What is a leftist supposed to do when history doesn't perfectly fit their ideological narrative? You just write your own version of historical events. And while you're at it throw in a few editorial comments cleverly disguised as facts."
The section of the book which discussed conservative extremes in the 1980s and early 1990s has a fantastic take on Ronald Reagan. Seems that Reagan "ascribed to women primarily domestic functions" and "failed to appoint many women to significant positions of power during his presidency." Apparently, erased from history is the "fact" that Reagan appointed nearly 1,400 women to positions of power including Sandra Day O'Connor (first female supreme court justice) and Jeane Kirkpatrick(first U.S. female representative appointed to the United Nations).
Within a few short generations, liberal, progressive thought has transformed "traditional schools of education" into dumbed down re-education camps. Indoctrinated with "enlightened critical thinking" headed by academic elitists. Those would be the ones who have transformed Orwell's, "1984" from some far-fetched fiction into a sad reality of our corrupt educational system steeped in moral relativism and focused on revisionist history.
Anna Chapman, a South Carolina U. student had the guts to speak up about her displeasure over the blatant bias of this textbook and good for her. Jeff Stensland, directer of News and Internal Communications at the college says the school promotes academic freedom and that students are encouraged to raise questions. Good luck with that as few will dare to try. Fear of poor grades and a lack of a good recommendation looms like Darth Vadar with a class syllabus and a poison pen. In fact, Robert Shibley, senior vice president of FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) notes that students are taking a big risk by speaking out and are increasingly censoring themselves.
Several months ago at Michigan State U. a college professor went on a tirade by telling his class that "Republicans have raped the country." A professor at a west coast college attacked the wealthy for keeping the poor down. That professor was not interested in hearing a different point of view.
How many remember when Harvard read the emails of 16 resident deans to find out who was leaking information about cheating scandals. At Brown U. last year, New York city police commissioner Ray Kelly was shouted out of the auditorium by hecklers because he had come to speak about and take questions regarding his city's "stop and frisk" policy. Brown also pulled out John Stossel's mike cord when he tried to give a speech there.
While colleges and universities become increasingly infested with progressives and socialists including Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Cornel West and the newly welcomed Van Jones at Columbia, conservative speakers are often banned from even giving speeches, much less a professorship. So much for the heralded "equality" and "diversity" standards of the liberal, academic elitists who "talk the talk", but run rather than just walk away from "walking the walk."
How do we correct the decline of academic integrity in our country's universities while there is still time? As Bob Meade and Tony Boutin have articulated so well, changing the entire structure of tenure lies at the core of this problem. Naomi Schaefer Riley's book, "The Faculty Lounges" brilliantly illustrates why tenure should be abolished, according to Chester E. Finn Jr., senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
The corrupt, incestuous relationship between our government and universities by subsidizing tuition costs using taxpayer money has to be reversed. Securing the blessings of liberty as written into our Constitution, including unfettered free expression of diverse points of view, must once again be a touchstone of campus learning. No longer can professors be allowed to teach/indoctrinate students that some views are so abhorrent they should not even be heard. Tolerance and yes encouragement for dissent and originality must continue to be an important aspect of the college experience.
Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 10:24
To The Daily Sun,
I was unable to attend the deliberative session on Feb. 6 in Alton. I am writing this letter to voice my support for the existing Town Planner and Town Assessor positions.
Article 43 calls for the elimination of the position of the town planner and Article 44, to eliminate the position of the town assessor. Please vote down these articles.
As it was discovered at the deliberative session, the estimated costs of contracting out both of these positions are much higher than what either one of these individuals are currently receiving in salary and benefits. If contracted out, who will oversee these services? Will they be distracted from their current job, potentially contributing to a larger problem of ineffective management?
Beyond the money issue, we need people in these positions who are familiar with our town and are available to our citizens on a full-time basis. I am a small-business owner who has dealt with both the Planning Department and the Assessing Department. We need to maintain these professionals on a local level. This move will not save us money, and will cost us in timely, committed service. Vote "no" on Articles 43 and 44.
Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 10:18