To The Daily Sun,
OK, OK, I'll admit it. I have a mild addiction to Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee (medium, one Splenda and milk, please). I'm pretty sure my habit of swinging in to the Union Avenue drive-through has supported at least replacement windows in the beautiful Hathaway House — first across the street and then next door. I've also frequented the Dunkin' Donuts shops on the South Side of Laconia and the ones dotting the Gilford, Belmont and Alton landscapes. However, because I feared for the Hathaway House, the last few months, I have taken my trip for coffee down the Avenue to #644 and into Aroma Joe's. I have found their coffee has a fuller, more robust flavor than Dunkin's (I never thought I would say that)! Yes, unfortunately, my iced habit there is more expensive and Aroma Joe's does not offer senior discounts, of which I have become a great fan! However, I feel it is important to support those businesses that support Laconia.
The folks who purchased the property for Dunkin's promised us, the City on the Lakes, that they would preserve and protect one of our gems of treasure here. That promise stated that Cafua Management would preserve the Hathaway House. Cafua's representative Greg Nolan assured the city that this lovely structure would be preserved, promising that the building would be additionally protected by a fire alarm and a fire suppression system.
Recently, Laconia lost another beautiful structure when Cantin's Chevrolet dealership decided it needed space for another six cars. Was that really necessary?
It's time for Laconia to come together and preserve what is left of our structural heritage. Last night, I attended a presentation held at The Belknap Mill featuring New Hampshire's own Rebecca Rule. I was seated next to a gentleman from the Tilton Veteran's Home who sat in his wheelchair marveling at the brick and mortar of The Mill. Thanks to a handful of devoted Laconia citizens and business owners, this building was saved from the wrecking ball more than 40 years ago and this year celebrates its 190th birthday. Countless school children have toured the mill, learning of their ancestor's work history and learning to operate the hosiery machinery as their great, great's did so many generations ago. Many celebrations, exhibits, and concerts are held at The Belknap Mill throughout the year. I am grateful for those who fought to protect this incredible mill. Back in the 70s our family restored a stagecoach inn originally built in 1785 on Parade Road called The Davenport Tavern (owned at one time by Isaac Currier). It wasn't easy but knowing that we saved this fine historical building for Laconia is greatly satisfying. We've left a little piece of history here that is unique only to Laconia.
So, dear Heritage Committee, yes, I will continue to boycott Dunkin' Donuts, I'll sign your petition, I'll march in protest of this demolition and, although I said I was finished being on boards and committees, sign me up for yours! And to Cafua Management, do the right thing. Honor your word. Thank you.
Catherine M. Tokarz
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 08:31
To The Daily Sun,
What follows is a true New Hampshire story. It's relevant if you live up north in Pittsburg, down south in Hollis, west in Claremont or east in Rye.
Last night the Selectmen of Loudon, N.H. asked me to come to one of their regular meetings. I don't live in Loudon.
Months ago I authored a pamphlet titled Granite State Future — The Real Facts. It was given to the Loudon Selectmen a month ago and they wanted to know more about the topic. You can read the pamphlet here: http://go.timcarter.com/GSF.
I walked into the meeting room and just three men were sitting at a standard folding cafeteria table passing letters to one another and then depositing them into a large plastic bin. It was a bureaucratic conveyor belt.
No one else was there, even though there were 40 soft chairs to sit in. No one. Not one Loudon citizen was in the room watching decisions being made. Not one citizen was there participating. Are you one of these people in your town?
After 15 minutes, Mr. Krieger cordially asked me to approach the folding table and introduce myself for the record. They asked me to tell them about the Granite State Future. I did.
"Are you telling me you've not been contacted by Michael Tardiff, the executive director of the Central New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission about the Granite State Future," I said.
"No we haven't. We have NO CLUE what the Granite State Future is about."
"Well, for starters you should go to GraniteStateFutures.org," I suggested.
Wow. I almost fell over I was so shocked. I shouldn't have been, because this is the same thing I'm encountering all over the state. Selectmen in countless N.H. towns have not heard about the Granite State Future, even though it's been in motion since February, 2012.
On that dark day the nine N.H. regional planning commissions signed a legally binding contract with the federal government mandating N.H. zoning and planning mirror what the Federal government wants, not what you or your selectmen want.
Why didn't Mr. Tardiff come to Loudon months ago — before I showed up last night? That's easy. The nine N.H. regional planning commissions don't want you or your selectmen to know what's going on. They don't want you to know they control every aspect of your life here in N.H. They don't want to remind any elected officials that they, the RPCs, are filled with unelected bureaucrats making critical decisions about every aspect of your life. It's time for you to wake up.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 08:09
To The Daily Sun,
Voters have finally had it with the partisan bickering. Republicans are beginning to see the handwriting on the wall. During this holiday season there aren't enough nut crackers in existence to crack all the nuts in their party. Talk is beginning to emerge for "non–partisan" primaries, which would be a step in the right direction and draw both parties toward the middle, where compromise is possible. Extremists need only to look in the mirror for the cause of our problems. Politicians are too busy pandering to their nutty extremist views rather than concentrate on the public good.
The advantages of "non-partisan" elections are many. To name a few:
1. Helps eliminate "extreme" candidates from the process.
2. Independents and third-party candidates have a better chance of beating traditional candidates.
3. Candidates are more free to state their true beliefs rather than pandering to the nuts in their own party.
4. Reduces the gamesmanship that goes on in party politics.
5. Eliminates blind, straight-ticket voting where uninformed voters simply bow to their party ideals regardless of the merits of the individual candidates.
6. More than anything, this is an alternative to the present system, which is broken.
Several states have already adopted this method, among them California, where Arnold Schwarzenegger was chosen on 48.6 percelnt of the ballots and won by 1.3 million votes. Think about it. Politicians beholding to their constituencies rather than the party that got them elected. What a novel idea. Perhaps then we will not see horrid legislation that cuts food stamps for veterans and other homeless people. Just for that I'm adding another oxymoron to my lexicon —"Compassionate Republican".
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 08:04
To The Daily Sun,
I read your letter, Mr. Boutin, and all I can say is WOW! Instead on addressing points I brought up in my letter you took it upon yourself to just spend your time insulting me. You implied I was not well educated and was brain dead. I had a very good education of which I paid for. However, my choice of careers was in the field of social services. I spent most of my time working with poor and low-income people and on issues that reflected on their lives. Thus the reason for my concern for people and equality.
Regardless of what you think you will never change my mind about people, regardless of their income status, having access to health insurance. I have seen to many people, without insurance, suffer and even die for lack of care because they can't pay for it. Granted when the condition gets so bad you end up in an ambulance and in the hospital and then will get the care. But once stabilized you are discharged and told to follow up with your doctor and most uninsured people do not have doctors so in the end they return to the hospital even worse. Those expenses go unpaid and all of us with insurance end up paying because as I stated before lab fees, hospital room rates, lab tests, etc. prices all go up.
You and Mr. Ewing seem to think young people are invincible and do not have serious medical problems. Well these people do get cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and many other serious medical problems. So yes they do need insurance if they are over the age of 26 or no longer live with their parents.
I should know better after all these years to answer any of your letters because you enjoy insulting people and saying mean things to them. You do not debate an issue. It is your way or no way and anyone who doesn't agree with you is wrong. I can assure you I will not respond to another of your letters and, in fact, will avoid even reading anything you write because all you express is anger and hate.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 08:00
To The Daily Sun,
I have just learned that Senate Republican leaders have walked away from the bargaining table, saying that it's too complicated, that there are "too many moving parts" to figure out a compromise to accept $2.4 billion in federal funding to give 50,000 Granite Staters Medicaid coverage. Governor Hassan has offered a compromise that is 90 percent of the Republican plan, but Senate Republican leaders have refused to budge, or even suggest a counter-proposal. Insuring 50,000 new people will take a strain off our state, and the $2.4 billion in federal funding will be a boost to our economy and create jobs. This could have been a win/win situation demonstrating honest negotiation, free from partisan politics.
When 50,000 plus New Hampshire residents are uninsured or underinsured, those of us with insurance will foot the bill with increasing cost of health care and rising health insurance premiums. Remember how that happened the next time you go to the polls.
Kay M. Anderson
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 November 2013 07:56