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Contrary to what newcomers are led to believe, Gilford schools stink

To The Daily Sun,

I'd like to add a few thoughts and additional points to the ongoing fiasco that continues to be symbolic of a Gilford education, or, more to the reality, the LACK thereof. For those of us that have long followed the antics and tactics of the school board led by their beloved superintendent, none of what is happening comes as any surprise. The local educational-industrial complex has turned the rejection of parental and citizen concerns into an art form rivaled by few. They have a deep history of ignoring their constituency and going to great lengths to hide the truth regarding a variety of matters and covering their rear-ends at any and all cost. And of course, the greatest cover up of all has been the ugly truth that — contrary to what many hapless newcomers were led to believe — the schools in this town, to be blunt, stink. My wife and I quickly learned this back in the 90s, when we were forced to remove our two children before too much damage could be done. Sadly, not all parents have this option, and that is why some of us continue the fight.
Children grow quickly, and the chance to provide them with a sound education — built on a solid foundation of the basics — is short. It has long been my observation that the Gilford system blows this opportunity at practically every turn. Case in point — the use of pulp fiction in a 9th grade "honors" English class. Who in their right mind thought it would be a good idea to give a book to 14-year-old children that features sympathetic characters engaging in graphically-described sexual situations, using alcohol, and, ultimately, as a response to bullying, engaging in the mass murder of students and a teacher in a small-town school? What were they thinking? Yes, I KNOW that the material and circumstances might not be unknown to today's youth. So what? In fact, if that IS the case, then why must the school participate in the further inclusion and insertion of such matters into their lives? Why not instead make an attempt to inject some DECENCY into this sea of degeneration? In fact, why not actually expose the children to some REAL literature they might not otherwise have a chance to discover on their own? After all, isn't that why we send children to school? Apparently, not in Gilford.
In addition to discovering that 14-year-olds are assigned racy novels as part of their classwork, last week's board meeting unveiled the results of the annual "Youth Risk Behavior Survey" conducted by the Gilford Drug and Alcohol Task Force, and, guess what? It's not a pretty picture. Drug use. Alcohol use. Suicidal consideration. It's all there, and in alarming numbers. Rightfully, the presenters described what they learned as, "Startling," "Sad," Heart-wrenching," and, "Painful." Who could disagree? But then, they added more, which, against the backdrop of the events surrounding the aforementioned book, might, were none of this so serious, be considered laughable. In fact, I told them so — that they beclown themselves by their own words when compared to their actions. You see, after having a parent arrested for needing more than two lousy minutes to fathom why a school would deliver objectionable materials to 14-year-old children, the same board lamented that "they are working to get this out of the community." Said school board representative Rae Mello Andrews: We're trying to "promote positive things in the community." Really? By promoting filth? What's next — fighting fires with gas? Cleaning the streets by spreading sand? Purifying the lake by urinating in it? Good grief!

Doug Lambert

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:51

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Cable TV industry has too much power: money, money, money

To The Daily Sun

I am an old fart and disabled — all I have is TV. I have complained every month about cable TV. "It's their policy". All of us should give credit to the letters to The Laconia Daily Sun about the corporate control of modern TV. It seems that they have more power than the government! Do they they control our views of the real way life is viewed? What happened to conglomerate rules? They decide what we see! Some old movies over and over again, paid programs? A few child programs on three or four networks, yet private slots. Why are we paying for paid programs?

I believe if the great state of New Hampshire boycotted Time Warner it would not do a darn thing. Bless capitalism, in this country or in this dictatorship? How can all of us come together to get justice if our own people we vote into office can't deal with this. Money money money. Just like the last letter The Sun pressed, garbage.

Rick Veilleux


Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:45

Hits: 127

Progressives promote minimum wage hikes for political benefit

To The Daily Sun,

Have the basic laws of economics changed? Lew Henry from Gilmanton Iron Works (see his 5/7/2014 letter) apparently thinks so and other progressives, from President Obama to Mitt Romney, agree. They say that raising the minimum wage will create jobs.

Progressives want us to believe that employers who don't have any jobs for which they are willing to pay $7.25 an hour will hire lots of people to do that same work at $10 per hour. That makes no sense and it doesn't work. This idea borders on insanity!

If it's not worth it to you to pay someone $50 to cut your grass, you are not going to hire someone at $65. But the progressives want you to think that other people will pay $65 even when they wouldn't pay $50 for the same work.

President Obama's hocus-pocus economics, which is similar to that used during the Great Depression, helps explain why his policies have given us the slowest and weakest recovery since the Great Depression.

Most people understand that requiring the price to be $65 in the above example will cause some people who are doing the job for $45, $50, $55, or $60 to lose their jobs. Increasing the minimum wage not only reduces job creation but causes people to lose their jobs.

Despite the harm minimum wage increases cause to people, Progressives promote minimum wage increases because it benefits them politically. First, since Americans want everyone to have "enough", promoting minimum wage increases makes progressives look compassionate and like they are helping. Progressives have dumbed down American education and know that the media will help them hide the facts about the minimum wage and its consequences.

(Note: Minimum wage statistics only consider base wages, they do not include overtime, tips, or commissions. So many people identified as minimum wage workers earn more, perhaps much more than the minimum wage. Most minimum wage workers are under 25 (about 1.6. million are over 25), 2/3s have never been married, and most work part-time in the leisure and hospitality industry. Almost 60 percent have no education beyond high school. (Ref: http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2013.pdf) And, the CBO estimates that about 1/3 of minimum wage earners will lose their jobs if President Obama's minimum wage proposal is adopted.)

Second, the minimum wage is an evil tool for keeping people poor because the poor are a reliable voter base for progressive politicians. Raising the minimum wage won't make workers rich, and it may not even increase workers' take home pay because of the characteristics of the workers, their jobs and welfare rules, but some workers will lose their jobs. A higher minimum wage also makes it harder for the young to get their most important job, their first job, the one they get with no experience and few skills.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, many union contracts are tied to the minimum wage. Increasing the minimum wage causes union wage (including government wage) increases, union dues increases, and increases in the amount of money that unions contribute to Progressive politicians. The benefit for progressive politicians and their supporters comes at the expense of lost jobs, and increased taxes and cost of living for everyone else.

If progressives really cared about low-wage Americans, there are actions that they could do. They could join conservatives who fight for things that help every American. First, they could stop obstructing school choice so every child can get a good education. Second, they could enforce the immigration laws to reduce the labor competition that steals jobs and reduces wages, mostly hurting our poorest citizens. Third, they could eliminate minimum wage laws, at least for the young, so people with no or low skills and experience can get a job that starts them on the quest for their American dream. Finally, they would fight for the tax and regulatory policies that would get our economy growing again, creating great jobs for every American. Unfortunately progressives refuse to support these things because they are opposed by their special interest group supporters.

Progressives don't seem to care if people are poor because they buy poor people's votes with welfare. But conservatives want everyone to prosper and that requires a decent education, experience, and a growing economy so everyone can get a good job.

Proposals to increase the minimum wage are simply cruel attempts by Progressive politicians to build and maintain political power by taking advantage of the ignorance and good will of the American people.

Don Ewing

Last Updated on Thursday, 15 May 2014 09:40

Hits: 184

Donations of time & money have greatly aided the Santa Fund

To The Daily Sun,

The Board of Directors of the Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region would like to take a moment to thank a few people who have donated their time and monetary contributions to our program in the recent months.

We would first like to thank Krista Marrs for her donation to our program from her participation in the Lakes Region Dancing with the Stars event. Her donation will help us fund camperships for students this summer.

Secondly, we wish to thank the Citizen Publishing Company for its donation from their recent used book sale. A very special thank you to the Fusion group who held their annual Bowl-A-Thon at Funspot to benefit our program. This is an amazing group of young professionals in the Lakes Region that are committed to making this community one that young people will want to live and work in.

Belknap County employees, in collaboration with Bank of New Hampshire employees and Laconia School District employees also donated over 150 new and gently used winter coats to our program and, with the amazing generosity of Erica Swenson, owner of Sanitary Dry Cleaners, all coats were cleaned for free and ready to be distributed to our families this upcoming winter. We are fortunate to live in a community who always steps up to help programs such as ours to provide for the needs of our residents and children.

During the holiday season in 2013-14 the Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region served well over 475 children who received coats, boots, hats, snow pants and mittens. Due to the numbers of children, we were unable to supply boots and snowpants to middle and high school students, and concentrated on elementary-aged children for these items.

Also, during the year the Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region provides camperships to Camp Spaulding, PICK, Paul Hogan Shooters Gold basketball camp, Partners in Health, Scout camp, Frates Dance Studio, East Athletic Cheer Gym, Laconia Youth Football and Beyond the Belt, just to name a few.

The Santa Fund of the Lakes Region's mission is to provide winter outerwear and enrichment activities to support the healthy development of children. Our board feels that the work we do for the youth and families in the Lakes Region directly affects their future lives and our hope is that they will become good citizens of this area and give back in a positive manner.

The Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region is committed to providing charitable and financial assistance to the needy and underprivileged members of the New Hampshire Lakes Region community and its surrounding areas during the holiday season and throughout the year.

We would invite you to check out our website at http://santafund.weebly.com/ as well as our site at Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce at Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region.

Members of the Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region Board of Directors are: Kim Lacasse, Andrea Condodemetraky, Kathy Crane, Jim Carroll, Paul Charlton, Chris Guilmett, Chris McCarthy, Dennis Phelps, Brian Winslow, Jamie Caldwell, Lisa Cornish, and Janet Brough

Kim Lacasse & Janet Brough


Santa Fund of the Greater Lakes Region


Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 09:49

Hits: 122

BOW WOW Fest proceeds donated to two K-9 units, $675 each

To The Daily Sun,

On behalf of 'Spot 2' (name given to co-coordinator Ann Saltmarsh in Dalmation garb) and myself, we extend a shout-out to the community for supporting our beloved pooch parade.

Beginning with my employer Melcher & Prescott Insurance, Ann's employer, Laconia Public Works, and the WOW Trail Board, right on down to every volunteer who managed the approximate 200 attendees, we express our sincere appreciation.

Special thanks to the ladies of the Opechee Inn: Michelle Dupont and Annie Boissoneault for once again loaning us their property, and to the Laconia Fire Department for loaning us their newest ladder truck.

This year's recipients, Laconia PD K-9 Unit and Gilford PD K-9 Unit, were supported with the registrations and donations. I am proud to report that each unit received $675 toward their canine expenses.

This event runs smoothly, thanks not only to Ann but to Janet Brough from SAU 30, and Kevin Dunleavy, director of Laconia's Parks and Recreation.

It would be difficult to get the word out if it weren't for four amazing editors: Krista Marrs (Citizen), Ed Engler (Laconia Daily Sun), Erin Plummer (Gilford Steamer), and Meghan Siegler (Hippo) and their reporters who gave us great coverage. And for three great schools: Holy Trinity, Woodland Heights, Gilford Elementary, for their art work.

Our business sponsors: "Top of the Heap" four years in a row: Hali Dearborn, Eptam Plastics. Gold Sponsors: Lake Opechee Inn & Spa; Jodie Herbert, Inns at Mill Falls; Steve & Nanci Jorgenson, AKA Tool; the Beetle family, Patrick's Pub; Steve Smith Associates; Cindy Hemeon-Plessner of MVSB; Dave and Yvette of 405 Pub & Grill; Bill & Paul of Stealth. Silver Sponsors: Ken & Lois, Franklin Savings Bank; Mike, Tilton Vet; Chris, Fratello's; Sarah, Body Covers; and long-time BW supporter, Gil — big thank you.

Our devoted vendors: Brendon, My Coffee House; Jill Baron Trimble Illustrator; Kelly, Doggone-It-Training; Alix Marcoux, Homeward Bound; Suzi, the Basket Lady; Ginny of Happy Tails Dog Park; Marilee of NHHS with Lisa of VCA; Dottie of Animal Vibe. New vendors: Cristy and Danielle of Four Paws Inn; Beth, Meredith Emergency Vet Hosp; Ken Hassan, Casey Jones Bones; Dr. Valerie Lunnon, DC; Elaine Morrison; and of course, Aaron Bassett of Burrito Me for much-needed water stations (Woof!).

Special thanks to: our emcee Pat Kelly of Binnie Media, who kept things organized and on track; Father Alan from St. Andre Bessette Parish for his blessings; our photographers Rodney and Bonnie; our judges: Jeanie Forrester, Ed Engler, Mike Seymour, Patrick & Kyle Gandini; our face painters, Bonnie and her girls; and Diane and Andrea for introducing our newest event, Wag-It Games. Thanks also to Big Cat Coffee. Deep appreciation to Caroline Drouin for her faithful support in distributing posters; Ryan and Tony from LHS Band for leading our parade; Interlakes Animal Hospital and the Insurance Outlet for their sign support; Troop 13140 for "poo patrol;"; and to Brett and Bethany of Laconia Pet Center for their generosity in providing our contest prizes and more.

Last but not least: Our Balloon Ladies, Holly and Gail.

See you next year.

Claire Hebert

Community Relations Coordinator

Melcher & Prescott

(a/k/a 'Spot 1')


Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 09:46

Hits: 242

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