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Mr. Blake continues to smear the intentions of good people

To The Daily Sun,

It would seem that, having been heartened by the recent defeat of both articles to fund the Gilmanton Year­-Round Library earlier this month, Al Blake has himself actually slipped, in his own words (from his letter of March 25), from a "soap opera level of hyperbole into the depths of absurdity."

I am trying to fathom his meaning. Is it "hyperbole" on the part of the GYRL to say that, above and beyond money they are able to raise from fund­raising and donations, they need additional money from the town in order to remain open. It doesn't seem so to me.

He goes on to insinuate, without saying why, that this very newspaper, that dutifully prints his letters, was "seemingly biased" in the front­-page article that it printed about the GYRL on March 22. It seems as though the current vogue in national politics of making baseless accusations and claims is catching on here at home.

Mr. Blake makes a lot of the fact that the GYRL was able to raise $30,000 in emergency donations in order to keep its doors open for the next year. He insinuates­­ that there is a secret small cadre of incredibly well­-heeled benefactors whom the GYRL board is intentionally shielding from public view and who have but simply to dig into their profoundly deep pockets in order to keep the library flush, and that obviously the depth of the financial resources of these shadow sponsors could easily, if tapped, create an endowment for the GYRL the income alone from which could easily fund its operations into the next century, or beyond. In which bizarre case, of course, the library could readily have been substantially endowed in year one, were it not for the devious intent of the founders to go hat­ in­ hand to beg the voters for money from the public coffers to fund their own "private library."

Spare me, Mr. Blake, for I think I have discovered the absurdity here­­. It's in your own thinking. If such a group of sponsors existed, I too would like to know who and where they are. But rather than the conspiracy-laden and paranoid idea that fuels Mr. Blake's thought process, I tend to think this is a rather large group of our good friends and neighbors who have contributed relatively smaller amounts in order to sustain an institution­­ in the absence of the public's will do do so­­ which has grown dear to them.

I myself have made donations to the library, and I imagine that, like me, few of these people would mind the public knowing who they are and how much they have given­­ even though the GYRL remains at this point in time a private organization.

As I suggested above, Mr. Blake goes further to question the intentions of the present GYRL Board when they discuss whether or not the library should be owned by the town. He says, "... gifting the library to the town flies in the face of the fact, believed by many, that the initiative of the original founders (those who truly still have influential control) did not build the GYRL for the town ... but for themselves" (my emphasis).

I am struggling in the moment, as I reread this passage, to remain securely balanced in my chair. The multifold absurdities in this blusterous statement are truly incomprehensible. There is no "fact" here, only Mr. Blake's long-held, ill­-seeded presumption that the intentions of the founders were dishonorable and that these same founders still exercise "influential control" of the GYRL Board. Mr. Blake says that the disclosure of this consideration was "deceptively (and) seemingly evasive"­­ once again without saying why he thinks so­­ and that the Board simply wants to "manipulate" the "now-friendly Board of Selectmen."

And there's more: The Board has "deliberately and unnecessarily stressed out and misled the very people who support them" by raising "'myth of closure scenario." After all, they knew "they had the means and resources to stay open."

I have quoted liberally from Mr. Blake's letter to be sure that readers are as cognizant as possible of what he actually said, and because his statements­­ much better than my own­­ so readily make the case for their utter inanity. It again saddens and depresses me that Mr. Blake continues to weigh in on the public discourse in such a bad manner­­ to openly smear the intentions of good people in our town. The fact that Gilmanton stands virtually alone in the state of New Hampshire in its failure to fund a full­-resource library is in itself a continuing disgrace.

Beyond that, I fear the worst­­ that there is unspoken interpersonal resentment and an undercurrent of intellectualism at the core of this resistance. Mr. Blake accuses the founders and supporters of fostering "ugly division" when he is almost single-handedly responsible for nurturing our current division­­, and ugly it is indeed.

Hammond Brown

Gilmanton Iron Works

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N.H. stands a much better than average chance of turning tide

To The Daily Sun,

Another reason why and how the heroin epidemic found its parasitic niche in the soul of our society.

The mild winter ends and with spring in the air, low oil prices and with a gradual upturn in the real estate market; there is hope for those who struggle. Young families starting from the lower economic rungs may be able to see a brighter future. The possibility of a double full-time income household has increased recently. There is, for the time being, a glimmer of hope that they can prosper similarly to families of previous decades. Or at least currently they have a slightly better chance.

Youthful ignorance is bliss. Young optimistic families have very little idea of how much better their chances of economic prosperity could have been had it not been for the selfish, greedy blunders of my generation, myself included. Forty years ago, who would have "thunk" that by the early 21st Century the course of American economic opportunity would flounder on the bottom of sea of political and global economic stagnation.

Integrity, ethics, sincerity. We make decisions that we have to live with and our children, loved ones, students, clients, patients, friends, enemies, followers and leaders are the audience. Our decisions affect those around us and the ripple effect carries on, beyond sight.

This is an incredibly important moment. There is awareness like never before. Cohesion among both political parties, a higher level of acceptance of the necessity of support groups along with clinical treatment and medication assisted recovery, on-line support group recovery models, law enforcement officers pull the near fatally overdosed from the jaws of death, often repeatedly, law professionals working with compassion and vigilance to try to find the truth.

Sober rooming houses multiply in each cities, in-patient residential treatment models that were thought of as a thing of the past are back, spirituality and clergy co-exist. This day is the perfect storm for the first and probably the most effective wave of attack against substance addiction of the very worst, most powerful kind. Opioids are the darkest.

How we vote, act and prioritize, will set the course. Everyone is losing something because of this insidious force. No one is unscathed.

Big Pharma now sees the potential of a trillion in profits from helping recovery, instead of filling its hand from marketing drugs that can lead to indescribable heartache, addiction and death.

New Hampshire stands a much better than average chance of moving this tide back because of a smaller population and smaller urban areas, along with its location in the Northeast.

But after the election and when a bit of measurable progress has been accomplished, resolve and fortitude will naturally begin to wane. Now, is the time for us to act for the next generation. Thirty or 40 years from now this drug addiction crisis will be beaten because now we are organized and concerted in the face of a powerful force that persistently tries to convince us, that it isn't really there at all.

Right now, the money and attention is available. Politicians are doing their jobs well by responding to the outcries of the people. Whether they truly believe in the cause or not, they seem to be realizing that politicians are employed by the people, not the other way around.

But it will not be for long and the drug epidemic is not the only threat that America and the rest of the free world face. How many more will suffer and die in the meantime, is our decision to make.

Michael Tensel

A&D Recovery Counseling


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