To The Daily Sun,
I'd like to respond to the letter in Tuesday's Sun from Mr. and Mrs. Baird at Briarcrest.
They, along with many of the residents here, are uncertain about the future. The only thing that is sure is that change is coming to Briarcrest. The Mooneys will be leaving soon, and our community will be owned by a corporation.
Our two options: Hometown America, a national corporation, which is undoubtedly capable of managing and running our community in a professional manner, but whose allegiance lies not to the residents of Briarcrest, but to what is best for its shareholders; or Lakemont Co-operative, the local non-profit corporation, composed of and run by the members of the community itself, whose allegiance will lie with the residents of Briarcrest alone.
It's no secret I've been on the fence and see both sides of the Co-op vs. Hometown issue at Briarcrest. I have many of the same concerns as the Bairds. However, after Mr. Mooney let us know he had signed the Purchase and Sale Agreement with the Co-op and would be working with them, I made the decision to put the confrontations and adversarial positions that seemed to characterize this issue where they belonged: in the past. With some trepidation, I began attending all the Co-op meetings that are held weekly on Saturday mornings (now here at the Community Center at 10:30). I asked questions and voiced my concerns. I would ask the Bairds and every other resident with the same questions and concerns to do the same.
I have been encouraged by the tenor of these meetings and the amount of information coming out of them. Some of my concerns about the financial and physical management of Briarcrest have been lessened. While these concerns may never disappear, I think that's what will keep us from becoming complacent and letting issues slide. All my misgivings aren't gone, but I've come to the decision that the only way to be sure those concerns and questions have any chance of being addressed is to participate in the process.
At last Saturday's meeting, the ROC representative was asked if any of the many cooperatives in New Hampshire have failed. He said no, none has – but that some have struggled to work, and many of those are the co-ops that have become mired in the politics of the situation. We don't have to go down that path.
Because of the way the NH Manufactured Housing RSAs are written, it looks like the new owner of Briarcrest will be the Co-op, whether the majority of residents wanted it or not (I view it as affirmative action for manufactured housing co-operatives). The Co-op has some very capable, knowledgeable people on the Board providing their expertise in their fields, and it is receiving guidance in the process from NH ROC. So it's not navigating these waters alone. I'm sure there are many more residents with talents that will benefit the community.
Attendance is increasing with every meeting and membership is increasing as well, two very encouraging signs, since the best hope for success lies in the participation of our residents. Please come to the meetings, join the co-op, and take advantage of the defining difference between Hometown America and Lakemont Co-op.
Hometown won't care what you think, what you want, or what you feel our community needs, but because we – the residents of the community itself – are the co-op, the Co-operative will.
Please come to the meetings. Everyone is welcome. I'm hoping you'll be as encouraged as I am.
Last Updated on Friday, 14 February 2014 09:16
To The Daily Sun,
I recently attended the debate in Meredith between the candidates for the open Executive Council seat. It is a credit to both candidates that they agreed to meet and discuss their views on issues. The event was very well attended and they both presented themselves well.
However, one of Joe Kenney's responses to a question deserves further explanation.
There has been much discussion about the Executive Council's role in the funding of Planned Parenthood's contract. What Joe Kenney said at the Candidate Forum is factually wrong. Mr. Kenney stated that New Hampshire doesn't need to fund the Planned Parenthood contract because the Affordable Care Act already does so, and New Hampshire's funding would constitute "double dipping." That statement could not be farther from the truth.
The Affordable Care Act's funding to Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire is simply a recognition that New Hampshire refused federal funding for a website to access the Affordable Care Act benefits. Without that state-sanctioned access, the federal government agreed that Planned Parenthood of New England could provide the access point for individuals seeking to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and signed a contract for that purpose alone.
Joe Kenney is simply against the Affordable Care Act even though it has already afforded many of us in the Granite State access to invaluable health insurance benefits. He is also against Planned Parenthood which makes cancer screenings and access to birth control affordable for countless New Hampshire women. Joe Kenney is misleading the public on this issue.
We cannot elect an Executive Councilor who would mislead his constituents.
Please vote for Mike Cryans for Executive Councilor on March 11.
Last Updated on Friday, 14 February 2014 09:06
To The Daily Sun,
In the middle of a cold February, with our lakes and ponds covered with a thick layer of snow and ice, it is difficult to remember the vibrant ecosystems below. However, come spring, the ice will melt, plant life will explode, and fish will spawn.
The plant life is essential to the health of our lakes, providing food and habitat for a wide range of organisms, oxygenating the water, and removing carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, in years past, a major part of the spring explosion of plant life has been contributed by exotic species, notably milfoil.
Four years ago, paddling in the neighborhood of Lees Mill public launch area on Lake Winnipesaukee brought to mind what one imagines the Sargasso Sea to be like: weed so thick that it was a drag on the canoe and interfered with pulling a paddle out of the water. What was inconvenient for the paddler was worse for the water lilies and native water plants, which were being choked out of existence.
Starting in 2010, an intensive milfoil abatement program was initiated, combining treatment with herbicides and hand-pulling by divers. The effect was immediately noticeable. Even in 2011, the amount of milfoil in the area of Lees Mill was sharply reduced. What had been large areas clogged with weed became open water with native plants visible in the depths. In 2013, with continued treatment, the situation improved further, and it was rare to find any milfoil in the vicinity. The result has been to return the waters to the recreational value they provided before the milfoil invasion.
The success of the milfoil abatement program has been dramatic, and its benefits large. However, once milfoil has established itself, it is almost impossible to eradicate, especially in a body of water the size of Lake Winnipesaukee. To maintain the amenity value of our ponds and lakes, we have to continue to invest in management programs to keep milfoil under control. Although the problem is not visible at this time of year, and the success of the abatement programs has made it much less visible even in summer, continued expenditure on control and continued vigilance to identify regrowth is essential to keep the weed under control.
Last Updated on Friday, 14 February 2014 09:02
To The Daily Sun,
Sometimes the best way to judge progress in a tough debate is by silence. Last spring, when my colleagues narrowly defeated a casino proposal for New Hampshire, they voiced concern that the bill didn't have enough oversight and regulation. That was the prime reason cited for voting no.
Lawmakers created a special commission to come up with a stronger framework. It includes more aggressive oversight by state police and the attorney general. It closes loopholes to ensure integrity of operations. It even establishes a new director of problem gaming to track any problems that may arise from this activity. We will generate real data, not fall back on the same emotional arguments that have driven this debate for years.
The Gaming Regulatory Authority's work was on full display last week when a House committee reviewed a new and improved bill with an entirely new and strict regulatory framework. In four hours of testimony on this new proposal, no one complained about lack of oversight and regulations. In fact, even opponents praised the improvements. That was music to my ears.
I support a high-end casino in New Hampshire, and the non-tax revenue it will bring to our state. My constituents have told me to vote yes. I know the people overwhelmingly support gambling.
This new bill is different. It is the result of lawmakers listening to concerns of colleagues. This is a good plan. I urge my colleagues to vote yes on HB-1633.
State Rep. Dennis H. Fields
District 4 - Sanbornton-Tilton
Last Updated on Friday, 14 February 2014 08:58
To The Daily Sun,
This letter is in reference to a story in the February 13, 2014 edition of The Laconia Daily Sun regarding the former director of Inter-Lakes Food Services and his wife being indicted for theft while employed at Live Free Home Health Care. We feel it necessary to respond as we have an obligation to our many clients, friends and associates in our home health care profession.
Two inaccuracies in the article need to be noted. One paragraph mentions a client that Mrs. Cyr took money from in August. That person was not a client of Live Free Home Health Care, nor did management have any knowledge that Mrs. Cyr was seeing a client privately. We had no knowledge of a theft in August until reading the article being discussed.
In this case, as shocked and dismayed as we were, when learning from Mrs. Cyr of the theft, we took immediate and appropriate action in terminating Mrs. Cyr's employment, notifying the Board of Nursing, the Bureau of Elder and Adult Services and the Meredith Police Department.
It is a sad case when an employee breaks the law. In this case it has damaged the relationship between not just one client and caregiver, but all clients and caregivers by bringing into question the integrity of all health care agencies.
When an employee is hired at Live Free Home Health Care, they must pass a strenuous array of screening checks and training before they are allowed to interface with a client or patient. In the case of Shirley Cyr, she successfully passed a State Police background check, a drug screening, and had no previous reports of abuses or problems dealing with the elderly. She also passed a rigorous in-house training program conducted by our care manager.
It should also be noted that Live Free Home Care is a fully insured and licensed home health care agency by the State of New Hampshire. We also maintain theft insurance, where if a client does experience a loss due to theft, they are reimbursed. We proudly have maintained an unblemished record since the day we opened in 2006. We hold the care of our clients to the highest of standards and will continue to do so.
We at Live Free Home Health Care will shoulder the responsibility for Mrs. Cyr's actions, but want your readers and our clients, friends and associates to know how hard we work to assure that these acts never happen in the first place
We look forward to a continued good working relationship with our partner agencies and current and future clients.
Jason Harvey CFOO
Jennifer Harvey RN CDP, CEO & Clinical Director
Live Free Home Care
Last Updated on Friday, 14 February 2014 08:47