To The Daily Sun,
On Thursday, January 30, Gerald Coogan, an unelected official who's on the payroll of the Lakes Region Planning Commission, sent in a correction to another local newspaper about the "official" website for the massive federal top-down planning program called the Granite State Future.
I went to both websites, www.granitestatefuture.org and www.GraniteStateFutures.org and was stunned at how the official website is lacking in-depth information about what's going on with this federal planning and zoning program.
Why is that? Why doesn't the official website contain the following scary statement on their home page taken from one of the official Granite State Future documents? The abstract of the Granite State Future project summary says on page 15:
"Anticipated barriers (to incorporate the Granite State Future plans), including N.H.'s strong tradition of individual property rights and resultant resistance to planning and zoning; and a currently strained state budget that will limit state agency's capacity to conduct future planning efforts."
Ouch! You didn't have to get an A in high school English to understand that.
Granite State Future is going to take away individual private property rights and create MORE restrictive zoning on private land.
If you go to the www.GraniteStateFutures.org website — the one with the "s" on the end, you quickly discover Granite State Future is a massive federal, not New Hampshire, planning program that has built-in mandatory outcomes.
Because the nine New Hampshire Regional Planning Commissions (NHRPCs), who are filled with unelected and unaccountable officials, accepted millions of dollars of federal grant money, the NHRPCs MUST incorporate mandatory federal planning standards into our local master plans!
The Nashua Regional Planning Commission, representing all nine NHRPCs, signed a legally binding agreement with the federal HUD department stating as much. In other words, the citizens of New Hampshire are being sold down the river by unelected officials.
I did some quick research and discovered the feds are trying to take over the planning and zoning in many other states including New Hampshire. Here's a very short list: San Francisco — One Bay Area Plan; East Tennessee - Plan ET; Upstate New York - One Region Forward; Florida - Seven50.
I urge you to go to the GraniteStateFutures.org and watch the video at the top of the home page. Wait until you see what Greg Carson, the top federal HUD official in New Hampshire has to say. Wow!
I fully expect Jerry Coogan or some other unelected planning official to write back saying, "We don't understand why Mr. Carter is against planning."
What I'm against, and you should be too, is the federal government ramming their plans down my/your throat via unelected bureaucrats that are completely unaccountable.
Wake Up and react citizens of the Lakes Region if you don't want your individual property rights taken away!
NOTE TO MR. COOGAN: If you'd like to debate any of these facts in a public forum, please contact me. Let's allow the public to decide what's best for New Hampshire, not you.
Last Updated on Friday, 31 January 2014 11:33
To The Daily Sun,
Several potential angels did NOT get their wings tonight and had they, it would have been my fault and something I would have had to live with for the rest of my life.
Traveling down Union Ave., past the high school, just before AutoZone, not sure if there's a crosswalk or not with it being twilight, a lot of traffic as it was 5:40 pm, all the salt on the road, and most of these kids dressed in dark clothing. . .
Traffic continuing along to a light just turned YELLOW, NO STOPPED TRAFFIC and these ALMOST angels decided to cross the street right then and there, right in front of me, necessitating me hitting my brakes, not a gradual slowing as one approaches a light. Only ONE was dressed in a white and pink colored jacket, which is what I caught out of the corner of my eye; the rest blended in-all dark clothes-and no, the light from AutoZone did not help as watching traffic, watching lights, and jockeying for correct lanes takes a bit of coordination and concentration...
Naturally the kids all thought this was hilarious and LOVED the horrified look on my face and just started, and continued to cross the street, with arms raised, thumbs and pinkies extended in Thank You, Thank You style... and all laughing...
So to all of us traveling anywhere near the high school where these brain trusts are crossing the street because they have the right, and traffic MUST stop for them and have our vehicles under control at all times, be very very careful at twilight and after dark as well, because you never know when another angel will get their wings... and yes, it WILL be your fault.
Last Updated on Friday, 31 January 2014 11:29
To The Daily Sun,
I am writing this in response to Carole Polony's letter, dated January 30th, in which she offers her opinion about the current condition of the Hathaway House. In it, she states, "tearing it down would be wonderful, it's such an eyesore."
When we read of abused and neglected animals, we will admit to human neglect, and often owners are charged with that offense. Yet, when it comes to dilapidated buildings, we see no fault on our part. Perhaps the feeling is built into the human psyche that it is easier and far quicker to destroy a historic building rather than admit to any neglect on the part of humans. There is no doubt that a run-down building is a constant, nagging reminder of what we have not maintained, and we prefer not to be reminded of it.
Typically, preservation projects begin with the vision of a very small group of people. Often, the core group that begins the project remains the sole defender of a historic property — until the restoration is finished and the structure is restored to its former glory. It is only then that it becomes the pride of the entire community.
Laconia's Belknap Mill is a shining example of this type of vision and true determination — and great opposition. This preservation/restoration project began with four far-thinking businessmen: Peter Karagianis, Norman Weeks, Richard Davis, and Lawrence Baldi. During an era of urban renewal and little understanding of the need for historic preservation, these men encountered constant and massive opposition. In fact, the same words used by Ms. Polony were used in a letter to a local newspaper in 1973, and I quote, "If the Belknap Mill was fixed up ... it would still be a disgrace and eyesore ... they have better looking cow barns in Canada." Today, that "eyesore" is the scene of many happy wedding receptions, fourth grade field trips, endless cultural events, and is home to a one-of-kind industrial museum. The Belknap Mill Society, the non-profit organization that continues to preserve the mill, has won countless local, regional, and national awards for its preservation.
A more recent restoration that has taken place in Gilford possesses the same background. The Gilford Outing Club warm-up hut in Gilford is, for the most part, fully restored. Before its preservation, this historic structure was considered Gilford's eyesore. Thanks to the efforts of only a handful of local residents, the hut has become a favorite piece of the town's history. The property will see the addition of a state historic marker this spring, and the future contributions of the property are being discussed. More importantly, the building will be here for future generations as they learn about their heritage — and their ancestors.
It is important to note that nearly all restoration projects are performed by volunteers. These individuals ask for no paycheck, receive many insults along the way; yet, they remained focused on the goal. In the end, it is the community that receives the benefit of their hard work.
It is up to us to find a way to allow for both the growth of business and the preservation of our heritage. One does not have to happen at the expense of the other. Both can happen simultaneously, but we must first rise above calling a neglected building an eyesore.
Last Updated on Friday, 31 January 2014 11:25
To The Daily Sun,
Tony Boutin does it again. Changing the words and tenor of how the "war on poverty" has been fought, but sadly still not won. Yes, Pres. Johnson came from humble beginnings, but so did Pres. Lincoln (born in a log cabin into poverty). Lincoln's legacy was to try and abolish slavery in the United States. I would ask Mr. Boutin, how long did it take before the slaves in America were "really truly free" without outright prejudice against this population?
Poverty has been an issue in the United States for too many decades, most poverty is well hidden from the public eye with the exception of those who are held up to ridicule for the very fact of their being poor.
Almost every Democratic administration since Lyndon Johnson declared "war on poverty" has tried to improve or eradicate this blight on our nation. While in turn almost every Republican administration has done away, tried to eliminate, disestablish, and decimate programs to eliminate poverty. While telling us that they are legislating in the name of saving the country money in federal or state or city and town budgets.
We must ask why the "percentage of people in poverty has increased" since 1964. Could it be because the minimum wage has not increased exponentially with the cost of living? Could it be that those on the right in Congress cannot and have not taken the initiative to increase the minimum wage to reflect the rate of inflation? Tony, pray tell, without over exaggerating or taking us on a fairytale romp.
Handouts you say. A chunk of cheese and other substandard food given by the government in the past, inadequate food stamps and services are not my idea of "handouts". Many thousands of those in poverty must utilize church and town food pantries. I would suggest that you visit St. Vincent de Paul in Laconia. Ask them how many thousands of pounds of food, clothing and the money which has been given just last year, including for the purchase gasoline (in order to have a link with the outside world) and be a stop-gap measure before disaster strikes their family members. Is this the way you want to manage how those in poverty are fed and clothe or use a broken down vehicle to get to a job which is paying minimum wage or below?
Single parents as a factor? Nope again. Best public face would be Pres. Obama, who was raised by a single parent and the hundreds of thousands of other individuals who came from single parent homes to succeed in spite of their family circumstance. This statement you make is flawed and is misleading at best.
"The poor remain poor because Democrats want them that way". Certainly you jest. Please take a look at the states that are run by Republican governors, state legislators or federal House and Senate representatives: TX-MS-LA-FL-NC-SC — just to name a few, where poverty tops the list of their "claim to fame". These states among many others have outright rejected the ACA which would give the working poor a chance to finally be covered with medical insurance instead of having to depend on the ER for medical care.
Democrats do not need the poor to win politically. Democrats have the lower income class voting for them because this segment of the population know that this may be their only chance to get out of the vicious cycle of poverty that has plagued this country for many decades.
Many other countries have shown us how they take care of their poor in a compassionate and caring manner without demeaning this segment of their population. Would you please check out those countries (start with Norway) where programs have been successful instead of misleading us with old worn out and baseless arguments?
Your research must include the laws passed over the decades, then follow these laws to show us how they have been diminished, dissolved or totally done away with by GOP administrations. Let's be fair and evenhanded when it comes to stating "the facts" of poverty it's cause and effect.
Your next letter should detail the programs and laws passed by the GOP on the state and federal level to eradicate poverty once and for all. Please be sure to site the laws by name and number and the year they were passed, implemented, revised and updated over the years.
As Lord Byron said: 'Opinions are made to be changed — or how is truth to be got at?' Or as Josh Billings is quoted as saying: "There are two kinds of fools: those who can't change their opinions and those who won't."
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:38
To The Daily Sun,
Laconia High School Principal Jim McCollum wrote a letter to the editor recently about the many positive academic endeavors and ongoing initiatives at our school. Those of us in the community who care about education and who have had children go through our system know very well of the many wonderful academic opportunities that are there for our students. Thank you to Mr. McCollum, his staff and all the employees who work in the Laconia School System for their hard work and positive results achieved with our diverse student population.
Peter & May Stewart
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 January 2014 10:32