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'Spectacular' was right word for staging of 'Adventures of Tom Sawyer'

To The Daily Sun,

"Spectacular!!" is what my 7 1/2-year-old grandson Zachary said as the applause faded into the rafters following a performance of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse in Meredith. Zach may be a second-grader, but he's not exactly a neophyte in the theater world. He can proudly tally up a number of shows he has already seen, both on Broadway and in the Philadelphia-Wilmington, Del., area where his mom, Becky, has had a number of leading roles in musical theater productions.

So I suggested to Zach that he share his thoughts with Bryan Halperin, the director of this particular show, which he more than willingly did. The two talked and shook hands ... man to man ... and Zach left the theater with an ear-to-ear smile while the two of us talked Tom Sawyer all the way to the nearest Ben and Jerry ice cream stand.

Now that I think about it, Zachary's "spectacular" would definitely not overstate anything that Winni Playhouse turns out year round. From its polished professional summer productions, to the enchanting children's programs, to the skill development classes that include the well-attended One Act Playwriting Festival, and of supreme importance, their highly entertaining community theater opportunities in the fall winter and spring that develop actors and build audiences and fans for all that happens on the other side of the footlights. For all of this and more, the Lakes Region is indeed fortunate.

Bravos and thank-yous are certainly in order. To Bryan and Johanna Halperin and Neil and Lesley Pankhurst for their leadership, energy, and vision over this past decade. To all the volunteers in numerous capacities who keep the wheels of this growing non-profit turning. And, to the entire cast and crew of "Tom Sawyer" for offering this most creative and decidedly "spectacular" opportunity for Zachary and me, as well as the rest of the Lakes Region.

Judy Buswell

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 August 2014 11:30

Hits: 111

I've profound gratitude for the Veterans Administration medical service

To The Daily Sun,

My undying gratitude goes out to the Veterans Administration for the medical service it has rendered to me. This is after I avoided the system for nearly 40 years because of negative reports from a bygone era and my stubborn unwillingness to embrace the VA after my Vietnam experience. I decided to enroll in 2010 after continued encouragement from fellow veterans who are successfully utilizing its resources.

I had a couple of heart attacks and was on the verge of another in late 2013. I went from my job site to Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro, by ambulance to CMC in Manchester and, because a bed was available, by ambulance to the West Roxbury Veterans Hospital in Boston where they performed emergency quadruple heart bypass surgery.

I'm doing pretty darn well thanks to my surgeon, Dr. Jacqueline Quin and the medical team at West Roxbury, and my follow-up care with cardiologist Dr. Daniel Lombardi at the Manchester VA and Nurse Practitioner Erika Blocher at the Conway Outreach center and their staffs.

It was a whirlwind episode that I recall little of, but one that certainly impressed my family and allowed me to resume my normal life within several months. My good fortune is not unique. Fellow veterans I know share positive experiences and are just as appreciative.

I'm sure there are flaws in the system, just as there are flaws in the private sector, which must be addressed. But do not lose sight of the fact that a vast majority of us receive proper and appropriate care. However, the most obvious need is a thorough upgrading of the West Roxbury facility, allowing their exceptional staff the opportunity to provide the very best of service to a very deserving clientele.

A heartfelt "thank you" to the Veterans Administration and all those dedicated and caring professionals who restored my good health.

R.N. King


Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 August 2014 11:21

Hits: 157

A thousand years of ethnic hatred in Iraq & Obama gets the blame?

To The Daily Sun,

I wish I had Mr. Earle's spare time. Alas, I do not. So it's taken me a while to respond to something he said that I believe was mistakenly aimed at me, I could be wrong.

Mr. Earle claims that we on the left use "made-up facts." Please just name one, or more if you can. Again I won't hold my breath. Mr. Earle is not alone, another dweller in the delusional fog of a channel called Fox appears to be Jim Mayotte. Great letter on July 10, Mr. Mayotte. Not anything like a truthful letter, but hey, we get it. While the entire letter was a bunch of nonsense, I will ask you a question: Do you think imposing your religious beliefs on someone else is "religious freedom?" I only ask because I happen to know a lot of Democrats. Most are Christians. Many others are dedicated to other religious beliefs, and I, as a Democrat believe they have the right to their beliefs. None would try to stop you from believing or practicing your religion, all would be offended if you attempted to impose your beliefs on others.

It has been said that Democrats are "running scared" or are "in trouble" in the coming mid-term elections. Here's that delusional fog again. First let's hope Republicans keep mistakenly comparing events that are happening now to President Obama to the failures of the Republicans. They certainly have a plethora of failures to compare these events to, and they should keep reminding people of them. Keep in mind that all these comparisons have been wrong. But what they are saying is, "See, he's as bad as we are." Great strategy, keep it up. Next of course would be the Tea Party leading the Republican leaders down the road to extinction. Keep saying stupid things and making the leaders follow you. Threaten to primary anyone with enough sense to disagree with you, another great strategy, keep it up.

Now on to the children coming to our country for relief from violence, they are being lied to by "coyotes". It is understandable that the right-wingers are afraid of these kids. Some of them probably are carrying candy and soft drinks, both of those things strike terror into the hearts of the right-wingers. Put a hoodie on them and they must be shot dead; very scary children.

Speaking from his firmly planted position in the delusional channel called Fox fog, Mr. Earle says, or mimics really, that channel: It's Obama's fault, isn't everything. I wish it was a surprise that Mr. Earle is wrong about this, but it happens every time he writes. I can't remember if he has ever been right about anything. Yeah, I can, he hasn't. Mr. Earle can explain how this problem is the president's fault. It won't be correct, but it would be funny to read no doubt. Obviously something must be done, and quickly.

Then there's the right-wing led House Of Representatives, where the only things they do quickly is nothing and getting out of town. You can thank George W. Bush for the time it will take to get these poor kids either placed here with relatives or sent back to their home countries. That might be the one thing George didn't completely screw up. Look it up, do a little research for crying out loud.

Mr. Earle actually wrote a letter blaming President Obama for the problems in Iraq. Uh-huh, sure, it's been going on for thousands of years, but now it's all Obama's fault. Mr. Earle ignores the lies told to bring us into that hornets nest of right-wing stupidity. Perhaps he can recall the warnings Bush received prior to invading a country because his daddy was threatened. I remember words like "slippery slope," "Pandora's box," and "Vietnam." He was advised to make sure he had an exit strategy, he laughed it all off. He had his henchmen go out and claim we would be welcomed as heroes, we'd be greeted in the streets with bouquets of flowers. It would be over in a matter weeks, a couple of months at most. He put his biggest lie of all on a banner, on a ship, and play-acted a military man under it: "Mission Accomplished".

The mission wasn't even close to being accomplished. Foolishly, he said at some point: "Bring it on." And they did. And they still are. He put in power the first person he could possibly get to take the job. Almost immediately the Iraqi's began saying that the United States should leave, that they could handle it. When we withdrew all we left behind was a huge embassy, fully staffed. The Iraqi's insisted on it, no troops were to be left behind.

Here's a question that the right-wingers will love to answer I'm sure: What religion was responsible for the first wave of settlers coming to the New World? I would hope that the answer will put to rest the idea that we become a "Christian nation", but I doubt it. Republicans say that they have a RINO problem — you know "Republican in name only".  I don't know or care all that much about that. I do know that as a country we have a CINO problem. And here's another question that will prove my point: What do you think Jesus would say about the current problem on our southern border? If you believe he would show up with an AK47 and blow all those kids away, there's your CINO problem.

Marty Valengavich

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 August 2014 11:18

Hits: 124

Inter-Lakes Schools to be congratulated for community interaction

To The Daily Sun,

I am writing today to publicly and sincerely express, on behalf of everyone at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, our gratitude to the Inter-Lakes School District and some specific individuals in particular at Inter-Lakes Elementary School.

As some people know, we are holding our youth summer camp at I-LES this year. As I write this, we are nearing the conclusion of the program — five weeks down, one to go. Students work, in the morning, with expert teachers to devise, rehearse, and perform their own original plays based on this summer's theme of "Fables Legends, and Myths!" In the afternoon, the focus of our day turns to dance, music, and art.

From early meetings with Dr. Steve Kelley, I-LES principal, and Director of Buildings and Grounds Chris Wald, to our daily interactions at the school with Head Custodian Donna Sturgeon and her fantastic crew, we have been made to feel nothing but welcome by everyone in our "summer home." Many other people, including the office staff and summer BLAST faculty and staff, have also gone out of their ways to welcome and help us. I want to make sure I acknowledge librarian Andrea Caulder and teachers Steve Watson, Wanda Miller, Denise Read, and Sheri MacMillan, whose space we occupied.

Positive community interaction is a recurring motif in the Inter-Lakes School District's official vision, mission, and core values. Being a newcomer to this community, I was really moved to discover how dedicated the school district is to actively living these values and modeling this vision and mission for its students — some of whom are with us for the summer.

Timothy L'Ecuyer

Education Director

The Winnipesaukee Playhouse


Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 August 2014 11:11

Hits: 269

Unified community message stopped additional turbine development

To The Daily Sun,

Is our Fish and Game Department turning a blind eye on our industrial wind power plant problem? New Hampshire currently has 70 active wind turbines. Are we measuring these impacts, or will we just approve another several hundred turbines? Their findings could have a profound impact on wind development in New Hampshire. And if no studies are being conducted, I would suggest starting with the Groton Wind Power Plant first.

That's because Groton's habitats and spawning areas have changed. One thing remains true: wind developers are in control. Otherwise, we'd be seeing monthly Fish and Game reports on the true damage happening in Groton.

There are a few Lakes Region groups trying to build pressure, but going up against these developers is tough. You see, they get to use "flawed science" in their pursuit to build here.

A few of these wind developers may squeeze some short-term profits out of this, but not without federal subsidies. Our long-term effect will be punishing our fish and wildlife to the brink of extinction in some of our local rivers and streams.

I hope our state is studying the effects of wind development, because the last thing I want to hear from them is an announcement on how their adding an animal to the Endangered Species List.

It's true, Newfound Lake almost became home to about 65 percent of all wind turbine development in New Hampshire. Our unified community message stopped additional turbine development. We need to continue our focus locally. Let your state and local politicians know where you stand on the Spruce Ridge Wind Farm proposal.

And remember, if your local politician is doing the right thing, praise him or her. Because we all know that doing the right thing isn't always easy and in the political arena — it's even worse.

Ray Cunningham


Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 August 2014 11:07

Hits: 133

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