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Please participate in planning for our region's future on May 7

To the editor,
The Steering Committee of Lakes Region Listens encourages local residents to participate in a thoughtful conversation about the future of our communities and our region on Tuesday, May 7th at Laconia Middle School from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Free on-site childcare is available.
Anyone who lives or works in the Lakes Region is welcome to participate and contribute their thoughts about how to make the Lakes Region the best place to live, learn, work, and play for everyone. This event is one of a series of listening sessions being held across the state this spring as part of the Granite State Future project, which will result in the creation of regional master plans for the areas served by NH's nine regional planning commissions. You can register for the event, download the discussion guide that will be used that evening, and learn more about the Granite State Future project at http://nhlistens.org/event/granite-state-future .
Lakes Region Listens started in 2010 as an initiative of the Lakes Region United Way, which sought to stimulate civic engagement on local issues. The Lakes Region Listens Steering Committee is comprised of people who live or work in the Lakes Region. We commit our time to creating opportunities for the general public to have a voice in matters of civic importance. We choose to do this work because we think it is important.
Since mid-2011, we have worked with the Winnisquam Regional School District, the City of Laconia, the Financial Stability Partnership, the Laconia Health & Wellness Academy, Lakes Region Planning Commission, and the NH Office of Energy and Planning to facilitate local community conversations on a wide range of topics. For more information on the work that Lakes Region Listens has done, you can visit our webpage: http://www.lruw.org/index/lrlistens.asp
The conversations that we facilitate are different from public hearings in that they allow people to sit down around a table, learn about each other, and explain their experiences and individual points of view. Public hearings are an important part of our democratic process and they always will be. The conversations that we facilitate further enrich the democratic process by allowing people to share their knowledge and experience at a more detailed level. This allows nuances to be expressed and, sometimes, helps people find common ground on issues that may be polarizing their community. We feel strongly that this kind of dialogue is important to have here in the Lakes Region, and we are honored to serve in this capacity. If you are interested in learning more about what we do, joining the Steering Committee, or serving as an occasional facilitator, please contact Carmen Lorentz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Please consider participating in the regional conversation on May 7th at Laconia Middle School.
Lakes Region Listens Steering Committee
Suzanne Cagle
UNH Cooperative Extension Belknap County
Emily Clement
Local resident and high school teacher
Ed Engler, Co-Chair
Editor & President, The Laconia Daily Sun
Carmen Lorentz, Co-Chair
Belknap Economic Development Council
Carol Pierce
Laconia Human Relations Committee
Jack Terrill
Granite United Way
Shanna Saunders
City of Laconia Planning Director

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 10:31

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Good old covered dish supper is best way to get people together

To the editor,
Covered Dish Suppers are popular with churches, clubs, and other friendly organizations. Seems that I've enjoyed them at various churches for at least 74 years. On the way to last Sunday's excellent dinner at the Gilford Community Church, Joan and I discussed the problem with getting some older or disabled people to those, and their perception that one must bring some food. Not so! There is always more than twice the food that can be eaten! And always people willing to drive to bring those who might have transportation problems.
After waiting for about 25 minutes, and seeing the tremendous task ahead of consuming such a big variety of great food, I suggested to Pastor Michael Graham that getting started might be in order. His nice reply was it wasn't up to him, and, oh "I hope you don't plan to write an editorial on this". Hadn't crossed my mind till then. But thinking of the many good older friends who had not gotten there to help us with the excess food, it seemed Michael had a good suggestion with that. So, here it is, mostly finished with the introduction.
If you belong to a church, fraternal order, club of any kind, remember that the good old Covered Dish Suppers were the best way to get people together for pure fun and idea exchanges. Promote them, but when doing so, be sure to remind the seniors, and all, that they are welcome whether they bring food or not: their appetite and company are most important, and they can make someone happier by letting them bring you to and from the supper! Just ENJOY!
Jack Stephenson

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 10:19

Hits: 295

Participate in & enjoy Town Meeting; it's an inherited treasure

To the editor,
SB-2 advocate Bill Whalen's botherment with turnout for Town Meeting bothers me. The "approximately 150 Sanbornton residents who attend town meeting" deserve applause. SB-2 would replace that large number with darned few, keeping track of news reports on such.
SB-2's process can include discussion and altering of warrant articles at a required budget hearing (a meeting!), but no final decision-making. SB-2's law, as written (40:13), veritably squirms with "may nots" about that warrant-article altering, throwing doubt on what's behind SB-2's establishment as an alternative to Town Meeting.
Coping with SB-2 at long last a voter is alone in a booth with all the articles on her ballot. No one with whom to discuss. I see potential for exasperated, thrown-up hands and a straight line of "no" voting.
Mr. Whalen went last year to Sanbornton's Town Meeting, using the microphone often. Bravo! People participate in our democratic process, where we are citizen legislators, making time for our town's well-being by coming to Town Meeting, speaking, listening, and there together deciding.
Our town's budget is important; our money spent perpetuates our town. (Everything shouldn't get a "no.") This is where Mr. Whalen's insistence on private voting booth time doesn't convince. He thinks of Sanbornton only in terms of this year and his taxes. Just vote no and get it over with. He doesn't care about a long-term Sanbornton that will succeed him beyond his time here. Yet he came to our town, liking it, because those preceding him did care.
Before May 14's voting share this letter with others, and bring it to May 15 Town Meeting too. Vote no on Question #1, and protect Sanbornton Town Meeting — then participate, even enjoy it. Town Meeting is our inherited treasure.
Lynn Rudmin Chong

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 10:13

Hits: 282

All that phony talk of liberties meaningless because he's Muslim

To the editor,
I was humored by the folks on the right who consider Senator Ayotte an actual representative of the people. Evidently, according to her, she is fighting out of state interests in the gun control battle. Out of state? Like energy corporations and gun nut groups? Marland's cartoon in the Monitor was simply brilliant because she is a lapdog of the NRA just as she is lapdog of corporate lobbies. She ignored 89 percent of the people when she voted against expanded background checks. Ayotte ought to go.
Her latest legal gymnastic stunt is joining Peter King, Lindsay Graham and ole crab-king himself, John McCain, in pushing for the Boston bomber to be considered an "enemy combatant". Really? It was only two months ago and the far right was apoplectic about the presidential use of drones. All of the tea party and pseudo-constitutionalists were crying about how every American citizen has to be given their unabridged constitutional rights. Now, of course, because the bomber is a Muslim, all that phony talk of liberties is meaningless.
Did anyone notice that John McCain wants to put troops on the ground in Syria? Are we really that stupid? He certainly is.
James Veverka

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 April 2013 10:10

Hits: 453

28 dogs & cats were given their rabies shots at Saturday clinic in Bristol

To the editor,
The Bristol Lions Club held its annual rabies clinic at the Bristol Fire Department on Saturday, April 27. Dr. Steve Westland and his assistant Heather, along with Brooks and Cheyene, got the job done. Twenty eight dogs and cats were given their rabies shots. Some were a bit more cooperative than others but the bright, shiny day, along with Dr. Westland's quiet manner, helped. As the firefighters were out on an emergency medical call and the station was locked, we improvised. Volunteer Dan Arsenault borrowed some chairs from Parkhurst's. Many thanks to Fran for loaning the chairs.
Lions and volunteers included in the group were Paula Denning, Gerry Gagnon, Terry Phelps, Dan Arsenault and Joe Denning. Our Members and Volunteers filled out forms, held pets, and otherwise made the event a success.
A great big thank you to Dr. Westland and the Bristol Veterinary Hospital, the Bristol Fire Department and Parkhursts for providing this valuable service to the community Most thanks go to those folks who brought their pets in to receive their rabies shots.
Joe Denning
Bristol Lions Club

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 11:46

Hits: 348

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