Travis Bennett will work for bipartisan solutions - like Sid Lovett

To The Daily Sun,

Travis Bennett has my vote to represent Plymouth, Holderness, and Hebron in the state House of Representatives. Travis embodies youthful energy and intellect and seeks greater political cooperation — crucial for the success of our State.

As a young man, Travis served as a congressional page in the U.S. House of Representatives where he witnessed first-hand the kind of political impasse he hopes to surmount in our state Legislature. As a political science student at PSU, Travis helped to encourage a civil society throughout the surrounding community, geared toward stimulating fruitful debate and cooperation on issues that matter. He is an experienced organizer, having helped organize international trips to academic conferences in Finland and Brazil, having assisted with the organization of the Plymouth High School Model U.N. Conference, and as a student representative to the Peace and Social Justice Studies Council.

A lifelong resident of New Hampshire, Travis spent much of his childhood exploring and enjoying the natural beauty of our lakes, rivers, and mountains. He also worked to help conserve this land as a volunteer and leader of volunteers on trail maintenance crews with the Appalachian Mountain Club and in two search and rescues in Huntington Ravine.

Travis Bennett will work on bipartisan solutions to continue Sid Lovett's legacy for the preservation and conservation of our surrounding natural environment, ensure the access of all citizens to affordable healthcare, respect the reproductive rights of women, and improve political access and representation of New Hampshire's young people, transcending party lines for common-sense policies and initiatives.

Please vote for Travis on Nov. 4.

Joyce Weston


  • Category: Letters
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I respect traditions of caring for environment, elderly & children

To The Daily Sun,

An open letter to the voters of Meredith and Gilford:

I am a candidate for the state House of Representatives and I am writing to ask you for your vote. There are lots of important issues facing New Hampshire and Belknap County and I would like to add my voice and talents to help solve the problems and meet the challenges facing our district.

My primary qualification is the ability to work collaboratively. I think that the hyper-partisan atmosphere that has infected the County Convention is a travesty. As a member of the convention and the state House I would take the responsibilities of office seriously. I know that government programs are important in operating our county and state. To pretend otherwise is irresponsible.

The residents of Belknap County rely on their representatives to fulfill their obligations as employer and provider of services. I will take that responsibility seriously.

My other qualifications include a background in business, education and non-profit organizations. I have lived and worked in the Lakes Region for more than 50 years. I know and love this area and respect the traditions of caring for the environment, the elderly, and children. Selfishness and greed are not New Hampshire values and never have been. Respect for tradition, education and individualism are the New Hampshire values I know. We take responsibility for our obligations.

Thank you for your consideration and thank you for voting on Nov. 4. Our democracy depends on you.

Sandra J. Mucci


  • Category: Letters
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Nursing home staff is truly appreciated for all they do for us

To The Daily Sun,

Speaking as residents from Belknap County Nursing Home. There a few of us that meet on Friday afternoons, we call ourselves the Pot Holes because life is full of pot holes. We have been meeting for about a year now and talk about many different things. We shared about our past experiences, how we are doing now living in a nursing home. Lately, we have been talking about the "politics" that surround us in our community.

It seems like the county commissioners and the county delegation are acting like children in the sand box. This back-and-forth has been an upsetting to some of us. Not sure if we need to pack our bags, or is the nursing home going to shut itself down. Even the changes that have happened with the administrator's position, it's just one more thing. It starts from the top and works its way down to us, the residents.

Think for a minute and put yourself in our shoes. You get older and have to give up all that you have living in the community because you need help taking care of yourself. So now you're here in a home.

Dave Pollak came in this past week to speak to us. He was so nice and understanding, he listened to our concerns and gave us hope for tomorrow. No one else has done that. We have a voice and we plan on using it when the polls open.

We do know one thing, the staff at Belknap County Nursing Home has been so amazing to us. They are kind, giving, loving and caring. The staff lets us make our own decisions about our day, and does what it can to keep us happy. This is our home. We just want people to know we care about the staff and want to make sure staff members are taken care of as well. They shouldn't have to worry about their jobs, and if they can make enough to feed their families, never mind health care costs.

We know a couple of weeks ago they all worked hard together so we wouldn't be without. The staff always reassures us that they will take care of us and what they need to do. We have been talking about this and feel they deserve a raise and insurance they can afford. We have all gone through many changes in our life time so we know how this thing works. But their dedication is so great, we just want to say, "You are appreciated in all that you do for us and we are extremely grateful ... Thank you Belknap County staff, you're wonderful."

The Pot Hole Group

Marjorie Morin

Arvilla Chapman

Althea Kelly

Judy Holland


  • Category: Letters
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Political issues putting all that is good about county home at risk

To The Daily Sun,

As the Interim Administrator of the Belknap County Nursing Home, I need to make sure everyone in the Belknap County community knows how grateful I am for each and every employee on our team. In my eight-plus years in management at the nursing home, it has been an honor to be a part of a team of highly professional, caring and dedicated group of individuals. And despite the recent challenges we have faced, these employees have continued to remain just as professional, caring and dedicated to the residents who need them. I have the highest level of respect for them; beyond what anyone outside the nursing home could ever imagine.

Even through political unrest, part of which will determine whether or not they will lose their health insurance, they continue to maximize quality of life for the residents we serve. When line-item transfers necessary to continue operations in the nursing home were delayed, they all pulled together and placed their own lives on hold. I am astounded by their level of commitment to the success of the nursing home. Despite all of the political turmoil, which has recently escalated to the point of dysfunction, we all achieved a successful health care deficiency free survey two weeks ago. This magnificent team achieved this.

Anyone who comes into the nursing home sees happy residents and families who are well cared for and know what our team is all about. Our community needs this nursing home. We have a lengthy waiting list of Belknap County residents who need our help and want to come to Belknap County Nursing Home because of its reputation. There are many people in the community who want to be a part of our team due to our reputation.

But the political issues place all of this at risk and it saddens me to know that if this continues, in time it will. As a dedicated team, we have persevered and brought this nursing home to where it is today. It is my hope that for many more years to come, we can continue with our mission, "To care for our residents as ourselves, with compassion, dignity and respect."

Thank you to the employees of Belknap County Nursing Home for all you do.

Charlotte Flanagan

New Hampton

  • Category: Letters
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Scapegoating unions is camouflage for attack on public ed

To The Daily Sun,

Tony Boutin: my letter said absolutely nothing about unions or taxes. But like one of Pavlov's dogs, you saw the word "teacher," started foaming at the mouth, and you were off and running on one of your rants on teachers' unions.

I wonder where his phobia about unions comes from. Maybe when he acted up as a little kid his mother would threaten him with a picture of Walter Reuther, telling him that if he didn't behave, Walter and a pack of shop stewards would break into his room at night, kidnap him, and sell him to Gypsies.

But if he thinks that unions are the root cause of every problem in education, he is either clueless or driven by an unspoken agenda. Does he believe that today's teachers don't care and are not motivated or committed to their job and to their students? That's insulting and wrong. He ought to speak with the parents who have children in Laconia's public schools. Does he think that if unions were to disappear that teachers would be magically transformed into better educators? Does he really think that teachers go into that profession only for the wages and benefits? You won't find many teachers among the one percent.

He complains about tenure. First of all, teachers have to work for a certain number of years before becoming eligible for tenure. There are opportunities to weed out the incompetent ones. It should also be noted that tenure came into existence well before unionization. Before then teachers could be, and often were, fired because of race, ethnicity, religion, because they married or became pregnant, or because someone in power didn't like their views.

When it comes to test scores and student achievement, the fact is that the states with the highest ranking are those with the strongest unions, and that the lowest ranking states have the weakest unions. The existence of unions is not what prevents better education. Eliminating teachers' unions does not produce better teachers or students, higher student achievement or higher test scores.

Scapegoating unions is often cheap camouflage for an attack on the idea of public education. It's used as a stalking horse for privatizing it. It's not meant to reform public education, but to turn it into a privately run system whose primary concern is not the students but with making money for those who run it. It's used to promote education that is unaccountable, making taxpayers pay for schools with little or no oversight, and no supervision over how public money is spent. And overall, charter and voucher schools do not have a record of better academic achievement by their students.

When you see someone fixating on teachers' unions, the first question to ask is about the motivation. It usually is neither better education nor the well-being of students.

Ed Allard


  • Category: Letters
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