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America is great, and with your help can be greater still

To The Daily Sun,

First, hat's off to Alyssa Ball on your successful race at Alton Old Home Days. Your determination and positive attitude is an inspiration to us all. Second, Kudos to your parents and sister Alex for their love and support. I don't know any of you but I suspect there are a lot of smiles, love and laughter in your home in spite of your challenges. And third, thanks to Todd Welch for telling us about Alyssa's victory and your positive message which was such a welcome change to the naysayers and negative voices we so often see in our daily paper.

Let's not kid ourselves. As individuals and as a society, we have problems and challenges we need to take on. The opioid drug crisis here and elsewhere is devastating people's lives. That more than half of our local children qualify for free or reduced price meals is, to me, unacceptable. Homelessness and the current health care system need to be addressed. War, famine, drought, disease and devastation are claiming lives across the globe. The list of problems and challenges we face locally, statewide, across our nation, and throughout the world is long and at times overwhelming and sometimes seemingly hopeless. But here is the good news.

Fortunately, there are many individuals and organizations dedicated to making things better. Those who are involved with and support the Got Lunch! program are helping to ensure that our kids are getting nutritious meals and not going hungry.

Numerous social services agencies are helping those in need. Our law enforcement and emergency responders are making our neighborhoods better and safer places to life. The Santa Fund is outfitting hundreds of children each year with new warm winter clothes. The Laconia Area Community Land Trust just opened Rivers Edge as their latest project to provide affordable housing for all who need and deserve it. These are just a few of the countless organizations and individuals who work tirelessly to make things better for our seniors, our children, our veterans, our neighbors and all citizens of this great country we live in.

They spend their time taking action and creating positive solutions to our challenges instead of spending time writing letters to the editor criticizing, blaming, shaming, whining, fault-finding and preaching. It's worth pointing out to those of you who continuously spew your negativity and criticism, that you accomplish nothing in doing so. Those who agree with you will still agree. And those with different beliefs, principles and attitudes will only become more steadfast in their disagreement and opposition. I have no doubt that you will continue to write and you will continue to make no difference whatsoever.

It is difficult in the current political climate, and with where we are in the election cycle to speak of anything without it coming across as political. But the view I am wanting to share is not a political message. Regardless of whether you are right wing, left wing or anywhere in between, can we agree to put our efforts into making things better as opposed to trash-talking and criticizing others? Can you decide that you want to be an active part of the solutions and not the problems? Can you commit to contribute to rather than contaminate the efforts being taken to improve our society and the quality of lives? Can you truly see, be grateful for, and celebrate all that is good instead of being mired in the muck of negativity? Can we recognize, appreciate, be grateful for, and support the many positive initiatives being taken to make this a better community and a better world?

Alyssa, her family, Todd Welch and many others teach us a lot, if we're willing to listen and learn. My hat's off to them and the many other men, women and children who make this community, this country and our world great and on our way together to be greater still.

Paul Charlton

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Hayward is the perfect candidate for the Laconia School Board

To The Daily Sun,
I couldn't be more pleased to learn that Aaron Hayward is running for Laconia Ward 3 School Board representative. Aaron is a very knowledgeable young man, and has the demeanor to work cooperatively with all stake holders regarding the educational direction for the City of Laconia.

Aaron is a graduate of Gilford High School. His post-secondary educational experience earned him two degrees from Dartmouth College; a BA and BS in chemical engineering. In addition, Aaron has a master's in educational leadership from Plymouth State College.

After college, Aaron worked with his grandfather, Gerard Morin, taking multiple management roles for Star Specialty Knitting, a manufacturing firm located in the former Laconia Shoe Building in Normandin Square. His tenure with Star provided him with a solid understanding of the importance, as well as challenges, faced by small business.

Aaron later turned his attention to the teaching profession. He became certified to teach math and later science via the alternative certification process. For the past 17 years, he has been teaching chemistry and physics at Belmont High School as well as coaching cross country and track. As a classroom teacher, Aaron has been a national presenter on the topics of curriculum, instruction and assessment as well as being nominated as science teacher of the year for the State of New Hampshire.

Aaron has taken leadership roles at the building level, such as department curriculum coordinator and division leader, and contributed to District Strategic Planning on the Steering Committee.

Aaron is the perfect candidate to be elected to the School Board. Being the father of two young children that attend Pleasant Street School, he believes in transparency, data-driven decision making, and the need to provide a quality education for all children. His understanding of educational philosophy and policy gives him the foundation to be an effective communicator between the school system and his constituents, while helping support a community-based vision and appropriate oversight for Laconia.

Please consider electing Aaron Hayward for Ward 3 School Board representative.

Richard Dunnell


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