I thank you for your vote; I'll continue to listen to your concerns

To The Daily Sun,

With the official results all in, I am excited to report that I will be serving as State Senator for District 2 for another term. I thank my constituents for their votes, their support, and their efforts!

I'm proud that my campaign was positive and stayed on the issues. I'm also proud that those who supported me also stayed positive — I am convinced

that voters are tired of negative campaigning.

I sincerely appreciate my constituents' confidence in me, their friendship, and their support.

To them I say, the success of this election was made possible by you. Many thanks for your financial support, hosting a sign on your property, joining me as I knocked on doors, standing at the polls, and last but certainly not least, thank you for going to the polls and casting your vote for me.

Thank you also to Carolyn Mello, my general election opponent, for her willingness to serve. Stepping up and running for office is no small decision or task and I appreciate all those who put their name on the ballot for consideration in 2014.

My pledge is to you is, as it always has been, to continue listening to your concerns and ideas, being there for you in the District, and serving you in Concord.

Jeanie Forrester

N.H. State Senate District 2


  • Category: Letters
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I implore county officials to find a jail solution that will work for all

To The Daily Sun,

I am proud to say that I am taking part in this year's Laconia Citizens Police Academy. This is something I highly recommend to any of you who truly would like to know of the arduous and fantastic job the police and their legions of volunteers are doing for this town.

However, that is not my reason for writing this letter. Last night we took a "field trip" and it was to the county jail.

There has be much back-and-forth about the condition of the jail, the overcrowding, the willingness of many to "patch it up" rather than spend money to build a new one or perhaps a total rehab, whatever. I believe all you armchair pundits who sit back and want a quick fix and a slap-dash patch that will fall apart in five years and don't want to spend tax dollars, take a tour. It was beyond disgusting in that building.

The last update I believe was in the 1990s, and they are still utilizing the part of the building built in the 1800s. They have no choice.

They are overcrowded. There is an iffy at best sewer system. The smell is beyond nasty in some areas. There are very few areas for classrooms as they have had to give those areas up to new inmates arriving. The gym that they once were able to use for the winter-month exercise, not only is that in the falling-down part of the building from the 1800s, but it is now the womens' section. Deplorable is not enough to describe that. Falling-down walls, damaged partially exposed pipes, and it's hotter than belief in that room. No control.

There is barely one room to use for classes, and yes they are trying very hard to rehab these men and women before their sentence is up. Many get their GED's, learn a new trade and they're taught by many wonderful people who are professionals in the fields of choice. They are doing everything to get them back to productive citizens. There is no lying in your bunk 24/7. They are required to participate. But there is nowhere to do that.

Okay, you've had just a small overview of what we saw and many are probably thinking, "So what, they're criminals" Okay, I'll let you have that petty thought. However, what about the fantastic staff who are working there so hard to help them? They also have to be in these conditions as well, and they have to deal with many, many nasty conditions a lot-diseases brought in, and more. They are to be commended and should be given the ability to work in sanitary conditions.

To the Belknap County Commission I implore you to find a way for a win-win solution for all of them. No matter what you think of these people, both good, bad and indifferent, they are human beings first, last and always — and that jail is disgusting.

There has to be a way to fix it. You must be willing to think outside the box and put some conscious thought into this matter. What about the old prison? What about other buildings on the State School grounds — something? And, yes, you will need to spend money. No matter how you look at it you will have to spend money. Why not spend it to make it worthy instead of just habitable?

Judi Leavitt


  • Category: Letters
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To learn more about the Purple Finches, visit with us on Sat. morning

To The Daily Sun,

According to the Administration for Children and Families Child Maltreatment Report, in New Hampshire in 2012 there were 901 reported child abuse and neglect victims. There was also one child abuse death that year. This is a horrific statistic if you believe as I do that even one victim of abuse or neglect is one too many.

N.H. Children's Trust, a local grassroots organization exists with the mission to eliminate child abuse and neglect in New Hampshire. The N.H. Children's Trust engages Granite Staters from the general public, community businesses, and religious groups to help with this vital mission.

Early this year, a small group of women, known as the Purple Finches, assembled in Gilmanton with the goal of contributing handmade newborn hats to the Period of Purple Crying Program. This program, run by the N.H. Children's Trust, provides education regarding infant crying, how to best console babies, and stresses the importance of never shaking or hurting an infant to new parents of infants born in 13 New Hampshire hospitals.

The little handmade purple baby hats accompany this education and serve as a daily reminder of the lessons taught. This year 4,000 hats were made by volunteers in New Hampshire. Of those, over 500 were donated by the Purple Finches.

On Saturday, Nov. 8, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the Gilmanton Community Church in Gilmanton Corners, there will be an informational session for members of the community interested in learning more about current and future endeavors of the Purple Finches.

June Garen


  • Category: Letters
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Fall at polls on election day brought number of good people to help

To The Daily Sun,

We wish to thank all who helped us on Tuesday afternoon. We had gone to Gilford to vote and my husband used his walker to go inside to do so. On the way out he spoke to a few men who he knew and proceeded to the car where I waited. As he stood behind the car with the walker, he suddenly fell to the ground. So many people came to help it was incredible.

Russ Dumais was a really great help in getting Bill up as were several others who we do not know. Sandy McGonagle (the town moderator) was there with a wheelchair and they had Bill rest a few moments. One gal had a bit of blood on her sweater and it was determined to not be anything much. I did offer to get said sweater dry-cleaned, but was told not to worry. A true helper. A person even helped me get into the car and all had made sure we were going to be okay.

Thank you from the bottom of our heart for all who helped. As always, Gilford people show their true caring colors.

Cathy & Bill Edgar

  • Category: Letters
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I urge people to be in court Monday morning to support Wm. Baer

To The Daily Sun,

The morals of a community determines the society of that community and that society will determine the system of government (town and school).

I have read the book "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult. Was it ordinary moments in a teen's life? Was it joyous or depressing? In my opinion the book does not focus on eighth-grade reality, but takes away precious moments, feelings, and attitudes. It is not the decision of a school board to determine the food for thought that parents want for their children.

Did the Gilford School Board see the faces and thoughts of the students, kids who would never really be kids again? I found the material to be distasteful and I praise William Baer for protecting his daughter and speaking out to the parents and public. Some parts of the book instructs kids how to sneak around without their parents' knowledge. Kids are still very, very impressive at this age. We must all remember that our children belong to the parents, and that Mr. Baer's constitutional rights were abused by the local school district and the police.

School curriculum should be centered around the development of academic skills, critical thinking and high literacy.

"It is by the Goodness of God that in our country we have those two unspeakable precious things: freedom of speech and freedom of conscience." This is a quote from Mark Twain.

What has happened to English class? Mark Twain wrote and spoke on universal, vital subjects — the meaning of life, friendship, integrity. His proverbs have become an important part of everyday life — they are widely and wisely quoted. "On with the dance, let Joy be unconfined, is my motto" This is appropriate for the classroom.

I attended the Belknap Convention/commissioner's meeting last March, there was a law enforcement officer standing in uniform and listening to the public input about issues at hand. People became loud and disruptive, but they were not arrested and prosecuted, they were allowed their constitutional right of freedom of speech.

I have called the courthouse in Laconia. I encourage all parents and grandparents to attend in support of our freedom of speech and our right to voice what we want our children to read. The date is Monday, Nov. 10, at 7 a.m., at the Circuit Court, 26 Academy St., Laconia. It is a hearing to dismiss the case. It is early, but We the People need to be present. I will be there.

Rosemary Landry

  • Category: Letters
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