To The Daily Sun,
I'm running for County Commissioner against Dave Devoy. Although commissioners do a lot more than manage the jail, that issue makes your choice a stark one.
Mr. Devoy wants to wants to spend our money to renovate a jail that from a structural, programmatic and security perspective should be replaced. He wants to release more prisoners on electronic monitoring than our jail superintendent thinks is safe, and he wants to house female inmates in the commissioners' conference room.
I agree with those who think we should build the most cost-effective new facility that will do the job and have the lowest possible effect on our tax rate.
My wife and I have lived in Laconia with our four kids for the past 10 years. For nine of those years I've been teaching at Lakes Region Community College where, among other things, I also participate in the strategic planning process and have been elected president of the Faculty Senate. In addition, I spent a year at Laconia High School teaching math and English. I coach youth lacrosse and I referee high school soccer and lacrosse. I like to read and garden and ride my bike and I'm an avid basketball player who appreciates the new floor in the Community Center.
Before moving to New Hampshire, I practiced law for five years and spent about a decade before that in the construction industry most significantly as a project manager in New York City. This is my first try at politics.
Listening is important to me and I have respect for opposing viewpoints which I try to understand as much as possible before making decisions which I think are made well by gathering evidence and applying rational analysis.
Corrections, to me, is an important component of the social fabric. Therefore, I hope to help get the county through this deadlock so that we can provide the best possible service to our residents. However, being a taxpayer and having been in the construction industry, I also understand the value of a sharp pencil. I don't want my taxes to go up any more than anyone else does.
Finding the right balance between cost and service to ensure that the quality of life in our county continues to improve while remaining affordable is critical. I will bring a willing ear, an open mind, a clear head, and that sharp pencil to the job.
I hope to hear from you.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 10:16
To The Daily Sun,
"Anyone wanting to advance an agenda should try thoughtful persuasion, not personal invective and bullying tactics. Nothing lowers the level of conversation more than raising the voice" to quote Stanley Horowitz.
When Mr. Wiles writes of a "tyrant's lawless power .... hoards of progressives ... relentless and cunning ideological driven mania ... serfdom for the citizens ... sucking on the teat of the nanny government ... " his attempts at debate or discussion will always fail.
We are encouraged to check out the ACLJ site. I would venture a guess that most of Mr. Wiles' letter is "cut and paste" from this same website. If this is the substance and the tone, I certainly wouldn't waste any time and certainly any money on people who can't disagree without becoming disagreeable.
By the way ... President Bill Clinton made 140 recess appointments, and George W. Bush made 171. Obama's first term has seen a paltry 28. Only Obama's are "unlawful?" Maybe you think one senator showing up for five minutes means Congress is "in session"? Just asking.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 10:13
To The Daily Sun,
Mr. Sellings' letter last week and Mr. Sellew's in Tuesday's paper against the legalization of marijuana were, like too much of the opposition, based on misunderstandings and fears which keep New Hampshire from using its intelligent judgement on the matter.
Treating use as a crime makes no sense. The Centers for Disease Control statistics consistently show that marijuana is safer, less addictive, less toxic, and less damaging than "legal drugs" like tobacco and alcohol. The effects of alcohol lead to more than 30,000 deaths a year in the United States, and New Hampshire residents consume alcohol at almost twice the national average. We know the carnage that drunk drivers causes on our roads. Other studies show that marijuana use does not lead to crime and violence like harder drugs such as meth, heroin and crack. We've all known plenty of nasty drunks. I've yet to meet a nasty smoker. The only person who might be in danger from marijuana smokers might be a delivery guy driving a truck full of Doritos.
The best evidence from numerous studies shows that marijuana is not a gateway drug. Its illegal status is the real gateway. Because it is currently illegal smokers are supplied by drug dealers who have a financial incentive to get their customers to expand their use to hard drugs. We are currently putting people in jail who don't belong there. They are getting kicked out of school, losing their jobs, and seeing the promises of life cut short.
This should not be a law enforcement matter. The amount of time and resources that our police, courts and jails use pursuing smokers would be better dedicated to more productive ends: Making our communities safer.
Legalization and regulation make it more likely that quality and doses will be safer. There are already laws against DUI, and there are age minimums in the current bill. Content, production and distribution can be properly regulated and taxed. Monies that go to drug cartels will stay in our state. And by putting any abuse in the hands of medical professionals instead of the criminal justice system, we will reduce addiction.
Over the last 30 years the states that have reduced penalties to fines or have legalized medical marijuana have seen rates of use no higher than in states that criminalize it.
This is not a partisan issue. The latest poll shows that 60 percent of New Hampshire residents support legalization for recreational use.
The arguments trotted out against legalization sound like those from 100 years ago that pushed for prohibition of alcohol. That experiment really worked out well, didn't it? It helped create and strengthen regional and national criminal organizations and resulted in violence, tainted booze, and networks of corruption and payoffs. Who benefits from Prohibition? It's the black market and the cartels.
Mr. Morin's letter was right. We have serious problems that we should be dealing with. And Mr. Sellings should be praying for those who lives and futures are being ruined by a misguided policy. Enough of the "reefer madness" mentality.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 10:08
To The Daily Sun,
I read recently that Frank Guinta, our former congressman, claims not to have been a tea partier, saying that he had been "branded" as a Tea Party member by the election of 2010. "Branded?" So Guinta believes "tea partier" is a derogatory term, whether his intended meaning of "branded" is marking with a branding iron, or marking with disapproval, stigmatizing. He staunchly denies ever having been a tea partier, and says that not joining the Tea Party Caucus in Congress proves it.
Mr. Guinta protests way too much. He has a long history with the Tea Party going back to 2009, when he called them "grassroots effort at its finest." Guinta won the N.H. Tea Party Coalition's straw poll, said he was "honored" by the results, and mentioned attending several Tea Party events, as well as meetings of the Glenn Beck 9/12 group (Concord Monitor, 11/4/10). The same article reported, "The former Manchester mayor has said he would join a House Tea Party Caucus created this summer by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann ..."
Whether or not he joined, Guinta's still a tea partier. Just look at his answers to the Raymond Tea Party survey (http://raymondareateaparty.weebly.com/frank-guinta.html), which include supporting a mandate to teach creationism in our schools. His answers are Tea party to the core. No matter how much backpedaling he does to fabricate his bipartisan pose, that Tea Party brand just doesn't rub off.
Gilmanton Iron Works
Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 09:55
To The Daily Sun,
About two weeks ago my wife and I were in an accident on Interstate 93. The accident occurred while I was driving at about 65 mph and I wound up coming to rest in the median divider.
The car actually went airborne twice. We were very lucky to escape with the injuries we did suffer.
I am writing this letter to emphasize the importance of seat belts and wearing them.
Before this accident, we wore our seat belts only sometimes. If my wife and I had not been wearing them this time, we would most likely be dead. Yes, we never expected something like this to happen to us ... only to other people. Well, it did happen to us and it does happen to other people. It can happen to anyone.
A principal reason that we were wearing our seat belts was that we were coming back from Massachusetts where they are mandatory. While we were living in Virginia, where seat belts are also mandatory, we always wore them. But when we moved to New Hampshire, we became more and more lax in putting on our seat belts.
We are writing this to ask all of you to please wear your seat belts every time you start up your car to go somewhere. Accidents happen everywhere; they are unpredictable. So please, if you want to live a full life, wear your seat belts. We owe our lives to them.
I also need to take this opportunity to publicly thank the New Hampshire State Police and the EMTs, all of whom arrived on the scene very quickly, for their professionalism, caring approach and outstanding efforts on our behalf.
John & Barbara Morgenstern
Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 09:51