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Transparency should matter in Belmont as much as in Alton

To The Daily Sun,
As the Alton representative on the Lakes Region Public Access (LRPA) governing board I was, of course, relieved to learn from Gail Ober's report in Thursday's Sun ("Gilford will pay 2013 dues to Public Access television") that the financial stress has been lessened in seeing LRPA stay on the air into 2014.
The report said that the Gilford board delayed their decision to see first what other towns were inclined to do. Specifically cited was Belmont "whose selectmen voted three weeks ago to not pay their annual fee because they have not been able to find someone to videotape their meetings for later broadcast." A detail that was not included is that the very frugal cast of characters in Belmont are looking to find someone who will do substantial work for free.
While Belmont is looking for a free lunch, the taxpayers in Alton decided years ago that they were willing to pay to benefit from transparency in government. When the volunteer videographers got burnt out in the mid-2000s a petition warrant article appeared at Town Meeting to authorize and appropriate public funds for the hiring of persons to film the towns' public bodies in action. To this day Alton allots $35 per meeting for the Selectmen, Budget Committee, and significant meetings of other committees to play multiple times on LRPA's Channel 26.
Alton is not a spend-thrift town, but the voters have made thoughtful decisions as to what is important to them, and transparency in local government is high on their list of values.
One surely hopes that transparency matters in Belmont as much as it does in Alton, and Gilford, and Laconia, and in thousands of other communities.
Bob Longabaugh
Alton Bay

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 12:31

Hits: 293

Thanks Gilford, for your affirmation of the value of LRPA TV

To The Daily Sun,
Thank you to the Gilford Selectboard for its continuing support of Lakes Region Public Access TV. LRPA offers an inside look at local leadership in action, provides a community calendar, showcases our children's performances, highlights the work of United Way, the Humane Society and other service organizations. It allows folks unable to attend religious services the opportunity to stay in touch with their church. On a personal note, I am grateful for content that enlightens and encourages — programs like Amazing Facts and Hope Sabbath School.
Good job LRPA. And thanks Gilford for your affirmation of this valuable community resource.
Linda Griffin

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 August 2013 06:25

Hits: 339

Medicaid hikes health care usage & costs without better results

To The Daily Sun,
Every adult should realize that few things are as expensive as "free" federal government programs. Nevertheless, special interest groups and politicians with an agenda are claiming that the Medicaid expansion program is "free" because the feds pay 100 percent for three years, then 90 percent until 2020. After that, of course, New Hampshire taxpayers will have to come up with at least $50 million annually.
Something isn't free when the federal government pays for it, the money still comes from taxpayers. Even if you don't pay taxes, government causes price inflation, which hurts everyone, and low returns for people depending on bond income.
If the people of N.H. wanted something like the Medicaid expansion, why haven't they demanded it from their N.H. legislators? (We could deliver it more inexpensively, tailored for N.H., and without federal government overhead and requirements.) But not even the Democrats, who now want this more expensive Medicaid expansion, passed such a program when they controlled the N.H. Legislature and the governorship. The Medicaid expansion program is just a way to bribe states into enacting expensive programs wanted by Washington and special interest groups but not by the citizens.
Every government program is particularly expensive for New Hampshire citizens as our state receives back from the federal government a smaller percent of our tax dollars than 46 other states. This means that New Hampshire taxpayers subsidize the taxpayers of 46 other states for each such program. (Thus N.H. Senators and Congressmen should oppose every program that states or citizens could do for themselves or is not essential.)
Medicaid provides insurance and higher costs, but not better medical outcomes. The Oregon Medicaid study shows that Medicaid increases costs and health care usage, but patient health care results overall are no better than mixed compared to no insurance. A Virginia Medicaid study shows cancer patients without insurance survive at a greater rate than those with Medicaid. Many doctors won't accept Medicaid patients; some would rather treat them for free!
Thankfully, Republicans in the N.H. Senate didn't approve the Medicaid Expansion requested by Governor Hassan, the Democrat-controlled N.H. House, and special interest groups. N.H. doesn't need to implement a costly federal version of a program that we could have implemented for ourselves had our legislators felt the need. And, N.H. certainly doesn't need to implement an expensive program that doesn't improve its citizens' medical results.
Don Ewing

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 11:19

Hits: 363

Commissioners & staff have the answers, you just have to ask

To The Daily Sun,
I am writing this response to Rep. Herb Vadney, who wrote a letter in this paper on where he felt he had to jump in, I guess, to answer for the four representatives who voted against accepting $414,044 from Medicare for short term care given and needed by our senior residents in Belknap County. The care itself will cost $200,000, so in effect, the Belknap County Nursing home will take in an extra $214,044.
Rep. Vadney posed a number of questions and rather than rely on my memory from the meetings I have attended I asked the county administrator for the facts so that I could answer them.
Rep. Vadney stated, "That profit alone tells an incomplete tale." He asked "should the County Nursing Home be a profit center? Should the 18 state reps encourage the county commissioners to actively pursue Medicare short term rehabilitation folks and thereby compete with marketplace providers?"
The County Nursing Home costs the Belknap County taxpayers approximately $2.5 million per year. An additional $214,000 in revenue will not make it profitable. Our taxes will be reduced by that amount but that is a long way from profit. The county's goal is to cover the costs of the services they provide.
There's no need for the county commissioners to actively pursue Medicare patients, the county administrator's office will inform the local hospitals that the Belknap Nursing home is now an option for their patients.
The reason for the request for the additional $200,000 is because these therapy services cost more than what was originally budgeted. These are not staffing costs. They are being asked to provide more short-term therapy than they have in the recent past. When that money is gone they will not be able to provide these services except to their long-term care residents.
I have attended many of the County Convention meetings and have found that almost every time the representatives/delegation has asked questions of the commissioners, the administrator, and /or her staff, they have had the answers for them.
I would suggest to you, and all the delegation members, as well as the public, to call or email the county administrator's office with any questions or concerns; they are very responsive and informative.
And lastly, Rep. Vadney, I'd like to ask you not to put words in my mouth by insinuating as you did by saying: "Ms. Trombi seems to believe that when these four Belknap County representatives voted against additional nursing home funding of $200,000 they did so out of either pure meanness, total stupidity or both." Those were your words, not mine.
Paula Trombi

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 11:14

Hits: 407

Sanbornton Bay Association yard sale will be held Sat. June 22

To the editor,
Sanbornton Bay Association will be offering some entertainment this summer!
On Saturday, June 22, there will be a yard sale offering some wonderful treasures. The yard sale will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Leighton Farm, located at 386 Lower Bay Road, Sanbornton.
In addition to the yard sale, there will be the annual Boat Parade held on Saturday, July 6. The theme this year is "Your Favorite State". Boaters will meet at Pot Island and proceed on the west shoreline. Decorating your boats will be your way of winning a great prize.
Hope to see you this summer!
Barb Bormes

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 11:04

Hits: 326

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