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Don't compromise our security by turning greenbelt into Central Park

To the editor,
Mr. King, you are right in that I should have thought about services before I bought at South Down. I knew, as a private community, I would be paying for additional services, but never had any idea as to the extent that South Down and Long Bay subsidize the City of Laconia in actual dollars until after I moved in. Also to the extent that the city nickels and dimes us to death and actually costs us more money in the end.
Every year since then, it has been one surprise after another. First it was being charged to use the dump where most everyone else gets free curbside pick-up. The town I came from in N.H., most people used the dump, including recycling, but it was free to use. Everyone was treated the same. You had to recycle or you couldn't use the dump, period! There was no free curbside pick-up. At least Laconia is starting to force the recycling issue.
Then if we want police patrols, SD has to pay. Next there are people from all over town coming to our small private beach and using our facilities. Maybe even some of those kids walking along the tracks? Now we have to pay for beach monitors so our residents can use our own beach which we ourselves maintain.
Then the WOW trail comes along and wants to cross our pristine waterfront property (which we pay higher taxes for), erect a fence, limit our access to boat usage in our marina and docks, tear through our beach club, turn our greenbelt into "Central Park" and compromise our security that we have to pay extra for. I have nothing against the WOW trail, just not coming through the property that I purchased and enjoy and reducing my values and costing me yet again more money to maintain than I originally thought when I purchased.
On top of that, we at least were able to manage our own coverage requirements (or so we thought) until recently, when the city ZBA decided to get involved in our "private community". They dragged out a recent variance for well over a year, pitted neighbor against neighbor, and again cost SD residents tens of thousands of dollars in legal expenses without having any clue of how our private community operates. "There when we don't want you, not there when we do!"
So stop with the petty criticisms of our community, because without our subsidy (revenues without the costs) Laconia city taxes would go way up based on the costs that are already incurred to support the non SD and LB areas.
Just think, with all these other things going on, some people in the city couldn't even be bothered with separating their own trash while getting free curbside pick-up!
South Down

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 11:43

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For health care costs to go down someone's income has to do same

To the editor,
As regular readers know, this newspaper publishes letters and opinions from across the political spectrum, and has been host to some vociferously different views. I believe, however, that we all might agree on the idea that it would be a highly desirable thing if the costs of health care were to come down. But we should realize that every dollar decrease in health care costs means that someone, somewhere in the health care universe loses a dollar of income. That's not a political opinion; it's a mathematical necessity. Someone takes a hit — maybe doctors, maybe hospitals, maybe Big Pharma, maybe insurance companies, maybe malpractice attorneys. Talking about lower health care costs gets universal agreement, but lowering health care incomes means someone gets upset.
Example: in Sunday's Washington Post, there is an excellent article about a program in Doylestown, PA, which provides weekly visits by a nurse to elderly patients with chronic diseases. This program has improved patient health and made for a drastic decrease in hospital admissions and total health costs. Hospitals hate it. Medicare (NOT Obamacare) has cut off funding for this program, despite allowances for it and programs like it in current law and under Obamacare. Solving our health care dilemma means making choices about whose income suffers to achieve the savings. I think it is possible for people of differing political philosophies to have a practical discussion about this, but I don't see a lot of it happening yet.
Johan Andersen

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 11:42

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Dems might weant to temper their glee over 2014 election cycle

To the editor,
"Then what happens" is a classic program-planning technique. If we do X, then what happens and then, after that, what happens?
Combined with Murphy's law of the universe ("Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong"), the then-what-happens question is a power tool for achieving goals and avoiding bad stuff. As with all power tools, however, one can amputate a limb with clumsy application.
Gun control is about as complex and emotional as an issue gets. The complexity makes it an ideal candidate for a then-what-happens analysis, particularly in the political arena. The emotionalism tends to skew the logic.
In the last few weeks, Democrats have publicly applied the technique and used their findings to comfort themselves and assure supporters. Are they are on to something or just severing arms and legs?
Prevailing Democratic wisdom is the Republicans are playing the fool. With a huge majority of the American people favoring universal background checks as well as controls on the sale of semi-automatic weapons and paraphernalia, Republicans worked openly and successfully to ensure none of it came to a vote.
The Democrats are using every opportunity to ensure the American people are aware of this Republican "treachery." They are practically giddy with their then-what-happens analysis: If you blatantly defy the wishes of 90 percent of the American people then you lose the next election.
Superficially, the conclusion appears reasonable, but the rationale is demonstrably inane. They should know better.
On election night just six months ago, Republicans — notably Karl Rove and Dick Morris — applied similar egg-on-your-face logic in front of the whole country on live television. From national polling data, they emphatically championed their prediction Mitt Romney would win in a rout even as reality was overwhelming them.
Now the Democrats are reveling in the belief national polling data predict the results of 33 state elections (Senate seats) and 435 district elections (House seats) a year and a half from now. (Note: Two of the House seats and one of the Senate seats up for grabs belong to the people of New Hampshire.)
Nate Silver — political statistician par excellence — correctly predicted the outcome of every presidential contest in 2012. He did so by analyzing poll data state by state. He says, "Punditry is fundamentally useless." As long as "expert opinion" is an expression of preference supported by sophomoric assessment and cherry-picked data, he is probably right.
Democrats might want to reframe their then-what-happens query. Something like this may capture a semblance of reality:
— If the country is gerrymandered to your disadvantage;
— If corporate wealth is arrayed against you;
— If historic patterns — the party in the White House loses seats in a midterm — belie your aspirations;
— If voter suppression laws continue to proliferate (NH has one); and
— If apathy endures among non-cause voters in an off-year election;
— Then, what happens?
Gerrymandering is fait accompli and set for the next decade. Corporations are not about to support initiatives designed to suppress sales. Historical precedence is as it is. That leaves suppression and apathy, problems amenable to local toil, not national dancing.
William Shakespeare summarized it nicely. In the Taming of the Shrew, he wrote, "He that is giddy thinks the world turns round"; in the Tragedy of Coriolanus, "Action is eloquence."
Robert Moran

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 11:30

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A $95 fine won't force 1 healthy person to buy health insurance

To the editor,
Recently I wrote about the endless cycle of broken promises Democrats have made for the past 75 years to bring equality to the people whose best interests they forever claim to represent. The newest donkey EQUALITY "claptraption" is Obamacare — SIX NOVELS worth of rules/regulations that tie the health care industry and employers up in knots with waivers, pardons, exceptions, fines, jail time and NEW TAXES by the bucket full. We all wanted health care changed because it was TOO EXPENSIVE. Even Obama admits his plan will do nothing to help that issue. Experts are predicting strong price increases in not only care but insurance. Before long you will be wishing for the good old pre Obamacare days when health care was cheap by comparison.
1. It will NOT produce equality in health care in America any better than any other "donkey dream" has ever improved equality.
2. It WILL produce a FORMAL, two tier heath care system between rich and poor. Identical to Europe where the wealthy pay retainer fees for no wait access and higher skilled care than all others get. It has been laughingly said pets in Europe get faster service and higher quality care than humans.
3. It WILL dramatically increase health care costs for the MIDDLE CLASS, who who will pay 98 percent of the expenses for 30 million freebies.
4. It WILL make health care less available than it has ever been in history.
5. It WILL produce less medical discovery and invention than we have experienced in the past 100 years because of new and excess taxation.
6. It WILL produce a health care system that works an 8 to 5 "shift employee" mentality, over-regulated, excessively monitored, aggressively taxed and likely to become unionized to assure high costs combined handcuffed to poor productivity are with us forever. The same EXACT issues that characterize the failure of macro education.
7. A $95 penalty will not force EVEN ONE HEALTHY INDIVIDUAL to buy health insurance.
8. Millions of people will buy insurance on their way to the hospital for surgery knowing they can not be declined — screwing all the other policy holders.
9. Within 10 years, only handful of health care providers will be left in America. Obamacare will produce the same risks in health care we have with banks. A tiny percent so large they control the industry. The disintegration of health care has already begun. Every small health provider is selling out to someone larger because they can not pay for costs of compliance and make a profit. We will have a WAL-MARTS of health care.
10. Obamacare will go BANKRUPT. It is not a question of "If" only " when". All Democratic ideas end just one place, BANKRUPTCY. You want the list?
Tony Boutin

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 11:24

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Gretchen Gandini - Expanding the WOW Trail, a marathon endeavor

Soon after signing on as Executive Director of the WOW Trail, I joined thousands of runners in Hopkinton for the start of the Boston Marathon. The magnitude of both events was not lost on me.
The vision for the WOW Trail is grand — build a nine mile recreational path through the City of Laconia as a part of the regional Winnipesaukee Trail that will connect Meredith to Franklin. Turning this vision into a reality will be a challenge. Likewise, running 26.2 miles is sort of a daunting task, too.
Having completed the first goal, my sights are now firmly set on the second. And, while the project is different, the process remains the same.
Preparation is important. Let a plan be your guide. Just as a runner follows a training plan, our process for designing, fundraising, building, and maintaining the WOW Trail is clearly defined. Our efforts today are focused on extending the rail from behind the Laconia Public Library at North Main Street, to the Belmont town line. We are currently in the preliminary design phase of this section and look forward to sharing these plans, and the fundraising efforts that go along with them, in the months ahead.
Be flexible. Injuries, illness, and crazy New England weather are but a few things that interrupt even the best laid marathon training plans. Similarly, we will do our best to complete the WOW Trail as planned, and as soon as possible, understanding that circumstances beyond our control may dictate changes along the way.
Not everyone will understand your goal. Let's face it, not everyone thinks that running one mile is fun, let alone 26.2 miles. Likewise, some folks are not as thrilled about building recreational trails as we are. Let's talk about this. A healthy dialogue will help us understand each other's point of view.
Ask for help. Friends and family are essential to achieving your goal. Just as the support of family and friends is important to any runner, the WOW Trail's dedicated Board of Directors, volunteers, and financial supporters are the lifeblood of our organization. Their contributions resulted in the successful completion of the first section of the WOW Trail, and will lead us moving forward. We must raise a significant amount of money and expand our family of supporters to achieve success. Please consider joining us. Use the WOW Trail. Share your support of the Trail with local and state representatives. Volunteer your time. Make a donation. Participate in an upcoming fundraising event. Bring your dog to BOW WOW Fest on May 4th. Buy a ticket for the 10th Annual WOW Sweepstakes Ball on May 18th for a fun night out AND a chance to win $10,000! Participate in WOW Fest on September 14th. It's a fun- filled event for the whole family featuring two bicycle challenges, 5k and 10K road races, a fun walk, a BBQ lunch, live music & kids activities. Join in the fun! We need your support.
Carry on. It is worth it. The WOW Trail expansion will test our endurance. Let's stay focused on the vision. Rail-trails offer safe and accessible routes for work and school commuting, promote active-lifestyles for all ages, and stimulate local economies by increasing tourism and promoting access to local businesses. In fact, according to a recent Belknap Economic Development Council study, a completed WOW Trail will bring an estimated 152,000 users annually, with 38,000 coming from outside of the Lakes Region — generating nearly $1.8 million in new visitor spending. A completed WOW Trail will, indeed, contribute significantly to the vitality of our community.
Let's get moving and make this project a reality. I'm ready. Are you? See you on the Trail.
(Gretchen Gandini is the Executive Director of the WOW Trail. She'd love to hear from you about the Trail and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The WOW Trail is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization. For more information, please visit www.wowtrail.org.)

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 11:19

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