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Prediction of 4% annual population growth for county is in error

To The Daily Sun,

David Bennett made some surprising statements in his assessment of the county criminal justice system. As an example: "there is no correlation between crime and the number of those incarcerated." According to Bennett, only two factors are at work in determining inmate population: Overall population and the policies adopted by the criminal justice system.

This matter of policy is why it was stressed by him that an assessment of county resources and of the various parts of the criminal justice system be effected before planning a new jail.

Bennett's report was made when Belknap County demographics were in transition. Thus, his prediction of 4 percent annual growth in county population is in error which, in turn, skews his projection of future growth in our inmate population. His assessment of the disparity between Belknap and other jurisdictions for length of stay, rearrests for minor violations of probation and parole, percentage of sentences which include jail time and length of time from arraignment to trial or case disposition are worthy of close attention.

A few examples of how policy controls jail population are as follows: 1) Seventy-five percent of probation holds do not involve a new crime. 2) Half of misdemeanor arrests are not released pretrial. 3) Violators of probation average 178 days in jail.

These statistics help explain why Belknap County is anomalous when compared to other jurisdictions either in New Hampshire or nationally.

A quick computer search of the number of states and counties which are closing jails rather than building new ones produces direct corroboration of Bennett's comments and makes it the more imperative that a comprehensive study of county criminal justice policy be effected. The report by Ricci Greene/ASA fails to do that assessment. The only option given by Ricci Greene is the facility to which the jail planning facility is wed which makes participation in that committee a charade designed to give cover to predetermined conclusions.

Of course I did not advocate that Belknap County be sued for the condition of its jail, but merely relayed the comments made in a public forum by a defense attorney at a meeting of the county delegation. It would be fair to say that the commissioners' misfeasance of not making a report to the State Attorney General on jail conditions, as required by statute, for the four years when consideration of a new jail was under way is a telling commentary on their subterfuge and contempt for due process.

Rep. Richard B. Burchell

Belknap County District 5



Last Updated on Friday, 27 June 2014 09:56

Hits: 119

An outrage that major news media care so little about our vets

To The Daily Sun,

So, you like being made a fool of? Or is it that you are just too busy to care? If not, let's put an end to the censorship on America's major news networks!
Here are some facts you can choose to ignore or wake up and demand to be told the truth about what is really going on in our government! This is the censorship that goes on daily within our totally biased major news stations; it is the same type of reporting that goes on in many communist countries. But, not here in the USA, right? Sorry, we once had, years ago, news we could trust and believe in. Now, the major news stations choose to broadcast only what is best for their own personal political agenda!
This is how much time they spent covering major news events, which affect every American citizen's right to the truth of how our country is being run!
This is the total combined coverage that ABC, CBS and NBC gave these latest scandals:
— "BRIDGEGATE" — the scandal involving a Republican governor which, they didn't hesitate to air for 112 mins and 23 seconds in the first 4 1/2 days!
— THE IRS SCANDAL — a total of 3 minutes and 14 seconds in the first week!
It is an outrage that our major news media cares so little about our veterans who have fought and died to defend our civil liberties, that they would hush this story up for two solid weeks. It seems they wait, hoping that each scandal will blow over, so they don't have to report it! See the pattern, here?
Do our citizens care so little about how are government is run, that they will refuse to demand the truth be told, no matter which political side it offends?
Are you willing to be manipulated by biased news coverage?
I know some will come back with: "well you must believe Fox News." To that I can say yes, I watch Fox News at 6 p.m., hosted by Brett Baier. To those of you who care about the truth give it a try and you will see unbiased coverage with a panel that consists of guests from the right and the left.

Linda Dupere

Last Updated on Friday, 27 June 2014 09:31

Hits: 77

From my 5-year-old: 'She's lovely, mom. And so is her art!'

To The Daily Sun,

Monday afternoon, on our walk home from Lakes Region Child Care Services, where I have been employed since 2009, and where my three children attend all-day care, we saw Maureen Bieniarz-Pond fixing her mural, facing the WOW Trail, that was recently vandalized.

As we approached the mural, that we talk about ever a.m. and p.m. on our walk, my girls ran up to Maureen, telling her how happy they were to see her fixing it and how sad they are that some people ruined it. Maureen, through tears, told me she felt the same, and that my children had made her joyful. Maureen works multiple jobs and does this in her "free" time.

It was great to have met this wonderful person and artist. I'm thankful for life experiences, such as this one, as teachable moments for my children. After we left Maureen to continue painting, my daughter Sabrina told me, "She's lovely mom. And so is her art." This from the mouth of a 5-year-old. To bring this story to an end, I later found out that Maureen did some of the paintings at Lakes Region Child Care Services.

A quote from Maureen's Facebook page: "This is the reason to keep the murals and WOW trail going ... these little girls and their mom enjoying the WOW trail-feeling awesome at The WOW Trail."

Alyssa Collins


Last Updated on Friday, 27 June 2014 09:27

Hits: 326

You gave me a chance to be great & achieve goals. Thank you!

To The Daily Sun,

I would like to take a moment to publicly thank some people who have been an important part of my life. Next week will be the three year anniversary of my arrest on some pretty serious drug charges. I was a low that I never imagined I would ever get to and I needed help. It was then that two angels in uniform came to my door and took me into custody. That day was the start of my life. Unfortunately, my children were also taken and placed into foster care but that would also turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

The people that were brought into my life due to this event have been nothing short of amazing and have helped me to become what I have today. Because of these amazing people, I am now a healthy and sober parent to my children. I am a support to other parents who are struggling through my job as a parent consultant for DCYF. I am now a productive member of my community and I am a strong advocate for people currently struggling with addiction.

So to the members of the Laconia Police Department, the staff at the Laconia District Office of DCYF, the wonderful foster parents who cared for my children when I was unable to and continue to be dear friends to me today, and everyone else who has played a role in supporting me through this journey, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You gave me the chance to be great and to achieve goals that I thought were beyond my reach. My family and I will be forever grateful to you.

Alyssa Hensley


Last Updated on Friday, 27 June 2014 09:18

Hits: 213

Lets others grieve; be supportive instead of adding insult to injury

To The Daily Sun,

I am writing in regards to the recent article that was published about the Northfield man who received life-threatening burns cutting a propane tank.

My grandmother told me about the article that was published in the Concord Monitor and Laconia Citizen about Keith Dame and how that papers trash-talked him by going into detail about his criminal past at a time when people should be offering up support to the victim's family rather then point the finger at the victim. She thought it was terrible they mentioned his past when it has nothing to do with what happened. I do too.

Why is the media trying to form an opinion of the public as if his past record makes what happened to him any less tragic? This is an extremely difficult time for his family, and for this article to be out there is very disrespectful. The reporters claim they are stating the facts, but they don't state any facts that show his good qualities or the hardships of his life that have influenced him to make bad choices.

However, I'm not here to write Keith's eulogy because he is a tough guy and he is going to get through all of this. But I am going to defend him. The people that really know him know that he has a good heart under a rough exterior. Those close to him know what happened to him at a young age I was there, and I wouldn't wish what happened to him on my worst enemy. I have know him since we were kids and looking back with a son of my own I truly empathize with him losing his father at 16 years old. I can only imagine that being my son and being alone to assist his father only to have him die in his arms. We don't hear about those facts in the paper though do we?

Keith and I have loved, hated, but above all we have respected one another. So, if the media is going to pick on him at a time he cannot defend himself you better believe I am going to pipe up and speak for him. Everyone one makes mistakes, and so this one that almost costed him his life shouldn't be played out like he was up to no good because we all know that is what the media's intent is. Every life matters people.

I have such a hard time understanding why people don't let others grieve and be supportive instead of adding more insult to injury? Please remember that Keith has kids, one of whom is mine, and she is old enough that all this negativity is hurtful. Keith also has a grandmother and mother. His mother is very upset, as if she needs anymore stress. This is going to be a long road to recovery and the family needs support and prayers at this time not slander.

Kelly Gammon


Last Updated on Thursday, 26 June 2014 09:55

Hits: 235

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