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I hope Mr. Barriault will also find time to comment on town affairs

To The Daily Sun,

I really enjoyed reading Justin Barriault's July 23 letter to the editor, which lambasted my "rants" regarding the hard-working, low-paid workers of Sanbornton (presumably the selectmen?). It made me wonder if his time would not be better spent as a writer — he did a really good job!

However, it also made me wonder what would make him so vested in this issue that he would criticize my commentary, rather than be concerned with the issues I am referring to.

I understand well those 50-60 hour work weeks, the commitment to projects and committees, and especially the longing for free time that seems so richly deserved. Time to do all the things you want to do. Since I began my work life at the age of 18 (serving my country for two years as well), I too had experienced "all work and no play" more for 40 years — and it wasn't too much fun. However, since I have retired, I have lived (and paid taxes), in the town of Sanbornton for longer than Mr. Barriault has lived on this earth and so I think that some perspective is called for here.

First, my letters are not written to "slander" anybody. Rather they are written (and oddly enough almost always published in more than one of the local papers) so that other people can become aware of situations or issues that may not be obvious.

Second, it is just wonderful to have such unlimited time to do what I want, including forming and then expressing an opinion based on reading all the materials that are available to me through my right to freedom of information and free speech. And these are only two of the glorious freedoms we enjoy in this country today.

Ah yes, those sweet freedoms! The ones that allow me to choose any activity I might want to do, including all the wonderful things on Mr Barriault's list (many of which — and more — I have already been enjoying for many years, by-the-way). These same freedoms allow me to research and make comment on pretty much anything that might concern, annoy or upset me. And they also are the same freedoms that allow Mr Barriault to criticize my letters. Indeed, what a wonderful country this is.

Ya know, time will pass soon enough and there will be plenty of opportunities for enjoying that coffee, labs and the papers on that farmer's porch. But funny thing — sometimes, as people get older, work harder and (hopefully) become successful, they may encounter things about the way the town is being run that they do not like. And if that day ever comes, one can only hope that Mr. Barriault will find the time to comment. And that his acerbic and witty observations and his talented writing skills, will provide as edifying and entertaining a forum as he did with his letter about me.

In the meantime, the only advice I can provide is that if anybody doesn't like what they read — be it in a newspaper or on the internet — perhaps they should consider moving on to something else they do enjoy. That is not only their choice, it is their right. Let freedom ring.

Bill Whalen

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Living in Laconia these past 12 years has been a job. Thank you!

To The Daily Sun,

Almost 12 years ago my wife, Brenda, and I moved to Laconia from New Jersey when I accepted the position as senior pastor of the Congregational Church of Laconia, United Church of Christ. To be honest, it took a little bit of time to adjust from life in suburban New Jersey to our new home in the heart of the Lakes Region, but it was a change we were looking for and savored. Now, the time has come for another adjustment, that of retirement and the opportunity to move closer to our children and grandchildren.

As we leave Laconia, I want to express my deep appreciation to the members and friends of the Congregational Church of Laconia, United Church of Christ, who have made these last 12 years so wonderful.

Yet there are many others who need a word of thanks: the leadership of this city as well as the businessmen and women who have brought vitality and potential to the downtown; the dedicated city employees who teach, maintain our streets, provide order, safety and respond to emergencies; and yes, thanks to all the houses of worship and my colleagues in the Lakes Region Ministerial Association as well as the countless agencies and volunteers throughout our city who reach out by sharing their faith and time to make life better for others.

Living in Laconia has been a joy. My golden retriever, Reggie, and I will miss our morning walks along North Main Street but we trust that others will take our place and enjoy strolling the streets of Laconia as much as we have.

Thanks Laconia. It's been great.

The Rev. Dr. Warren H. Bouton

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