To The Daily Sun,
Thanks so much to Michael Kitch for showing us just how truly deplorable the conditions are in our county jail. Now I know that the County Commission was not just crying "wolf" again. That place looks like a Russian gulag. After seeing these photos in his July 26 exposé, how can anyone not support the $43 million funding the commission seeks for a new state-of-the-art facility? Our criminals deserve nothing less.
From the huge photo enlarged to take up half of the paper's front page so we can see all the gory detail, is it obvious that the facility must have no air conditioning, and the criminals need to rely on electric fans, some made of plastic, to try to stay cool as they sleep. And I notice that each criminal does not even get his own personal fan, but must share a fan with other criminals who might not want it on the same setting. How's that supposed to work? And those TV's are not widescreens. Geesh. I bet they don't even get HBO. And those beds! Don't even get me started about those beds. Can't we at least afford to give our criminals full size beds? Are those sheets even cotton? They look like a polyester blend, and we all know what a polyester blend feels like on a hot summer night.
Then there is the picture where you can see that some of the paint on the floor of the booking room appears to be peeling. And some of the ceiling tiles in the gymnasium appear to be yellowing. How can we subject these poor criminals to such unappealing surroundings? Hasn't anyone heard of drapery or carpets? And the color scheme... all white. What is this, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"?
What kind of message are we sending to our kids with a jail like this? Let's just hope that if they take up crime, it is not in Belknap County. Our criminals deserve better than this.
Last Updated on Friday, 26 July 2013 09:10
To The Daily Sun,
Ed Philpot recently made some really mean-spirited comments. He publicly called the Republican leaders of our county convention "bad people looking to do bad things", claiming that they "want to kill government". I personally know each of these people. I am honored to call them friends. These are GOOD people looking out for the interest of the hardworking taxpayers of Belknap County. Let's not forget that it was the three person (Ed Philpot included) County Commission that proposed a bloated county budget that would have increased property taxes by a whopping 9 percent, while simultaneously holding over $5 million of OUR money hostage in a unexpended funds. The commissioners then proposed only one option to resolve the jail issue: the most extravagant and expensive option. They never even considered anything less expensive! Why must we always be forced to eat filet mignons when we can only afford ground chuck? The convention had no choice, they had to make some tough decisions; with the economy still sour and unemployment unacceptably high, most taxpayers cannot afford the large tax increase that the commission proposed. No one wants to "kill" government. . . however, the vast majority of Belknap County taxpayers would like to see our county government live within its means. It is refreshing to know that there are still some elected officials who look out for taxpayers.
Kate Miller, the chairperson of the Belknap county Democrat Committee quickly went into damage control mode, writing a letter in this paper suggesting that Commissioner Philpot's comments were taken out of context and stating that he has already apologized for his characterization of the Republican leadership. Unfortunately Ed Philpot is steadfastly and arrogantly standing behind his divisive rhetoric. He is an embarrassment to the county — as is the Belknap Democrat Committee! His Ignorant and inflammatory comments as well as his refusal to walk back his rhetoric has become a crippling roadblock to progress. Why should the convention work with him to move past the gridlock now? What happened to all that Democrat "civility"?
Ed Philpot is a flaming liberal who pushes for the county to adopt the same big government policies that has driven Detroit to bankruptcy. I do believe he should consider resigning for the good of this great county!
Last Updated on Thursday, 25 July 2013 09:40
To The Daily Sun,
"What you will not do is get physically involved with any activity you report or apprehension of any suspicious person. This is the job of law enforcement agency." Page 3 of the Sanford Florida Neighborhood Watch Program. Zimmerman broke this rule and there is no mention of a gun. The Zimmerman jury was all-white. Florida is one of the worst offenders when it comes to routinely convicting black defendants and acquitting white defendants.
Duke researchers found what has long been known that the race of a defendant and victim play a large role in how a jury is likely to decide a case. Black defendants, by a double digit margin, are more likely to be convicted than a white defendant. A major number of juror pools and thus juries continue to be all-white. When a black person is on the jury the odds of conviction seem to even out.
A defendant has the right under the Sixth Amendment to a trial by a fair and impartial jury. An all-white jury that believed that Zimmerman was the victim hardly meets that constitutional standard. Once again a few contributors to this paper have missed the point — as they do in most of their irrational frenetic diatribes. Yes it was all done "legally" — and so are all the other kangaroo courts and miscarriages of justice done "legally". Their failure to not understand the cultural dynamics of the situation is to be expected since most of them probably have a steady diet of "hate radio" and Fox news. The bad news is that this minority exists, the good news is that it will always be a minority fringe group.
If Zimmerman had seen a white kid walking down the street eating candy and drinking a soda pop, would he have thought that "suspicious" and gotten out of the car to pick a fight? Would he have picked a fight if he hadn't had a weapon? Probably not. If Zimmerman had taken the stand who knows what we might have found out about him. Perhaps a rejected "wanna be" cop?
If we have any doubts that racism is alive and well in this country, listen to juror b37 (she's writing a book you know) as she bluntly said that she believed that Zimmerman's "heart was in the right place when he shot Martin". And just to drive home a point let's end with a quote from Ann Coulter who is often held up as a role model by some contributors: "Perhaps someday blacks will win the right to be treated like volitional human beings but not yet".
Last Updated on Thursday, 25 July 2013 09:36
To The Daily Sun,
It may seem a bit late to thank ALL those who had a hand in putting together the 25th Anniversary POW/MIA Vigil on June 13th and 20th Anniversary Freedom Ride in Meredith, but not really, because the POW/MIA issue continues.
This year's event, like last, was dedicated to the "return" of Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal , American POW being held in Afghanistan. Captured June 30th 2009. Known to be "alive" and we shouldn't be "asking" for "remains" as per usual.
Recent reports by the Government Accountability Office discussing the "ineptitude" of the DPMO (Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office) over the years — some referring to it as "criminally negligent" and "hopelessly corrupt". Also pointing to the failed policies for the Pentagon and DOD in dealing with this department and issue.
As of this day and writing, many senators and other congressional leaders are jumping on a "Band Wagon", calling for an "investigation" — seemingly very surprised at the allegations. This has to be a joke! For years advocates have been giving "facts" as to the failures of this department as well as the leaders of this country in dealing with this issue. With statements like '"the return of a tooth does not give the family the truth!" When we ask for remains, we often receive remains, we seldom seem to ask for LIVE POW's'! How far will this band wagon travel ? Where is the Secretary of State, Vietnam Veteran John Kerry? He well knows the truth! Don't hear much from Senator McCain? Anybody wondering about that? Senator Ayotte has a pretty good in with him. Maybe she could follow up on that?
Anyway, to ALL that took part and continue to do so. . . you see why the Vigil continues? The POW/MIA history is not and was not positive and we cannot allow history to repeat itself and YES it is OUR responsibility because ask yourself, is it a Veteran issue or an AMERICAN issue? Our sons and daughters who serve in uniform, do they belong to ALL of us?
Faith, Trust, Truth, Responsibility and Accountability. . . "Let Us Not Forget" . . . the code we live by.
Northeast POW/MIA Network
Last Updated on Thursday, 25 July 2013 09:32
To The Daily Sun,
It is with heartfelt sadness that I have joined a group to plan a Celebration of Life for Barbara Hunter, who passed on June 2nd. Barbara leaves a legacy of true dedication and vast contributions to our community that spans many decades in the Lakes Region and her home town of New Durham. The planning group from Belknap County, New Durham and UNH Cooperative Extension offices includes myself and Judy Buswell, Sandy McGonagle, Alida Millham, Gil Schohan, Tammy Emery, Sue Cagle, Charlene Baxter, Judy Bush, Cathy Allyn, Dot Martin Veisel, and Donna Swett.
The Celebration will be held on Wednesday, July 31st starting at 4 p.m. at the Historic Belknap Mill on Beacon Street in Laconia. Anyone attending can bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to a local food pantry. We are also contributing to a Memory Book, "Recipes for a Life Well-Lived" by writing our favorite memory of Barbara on 3x5 cards. For those of you who cannot attend and/or wish to honor Barbara, the Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation has set up a scholarship in Barbara's name. Donations can be sent to LRSF at PO Box 7312, Gilford NH 03247.
Last Updated on Thursday, 25 July 2013 09:28