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12th Multicultural Festival was awesome! We'll do it again next year

To The Daily Sun,

The 12th Annual Multicultural Festival held August 3 was awesome! What a thrill it was to see 45 people carrying flags from around the world, led by the Laconia Police carrying the American flag, enter Rotary Park on such a beautiful day, to smell the aromas of so many international foods from our vendors and to see the smiles on the faces of thousands of people attending this signature downtown event.

Of course, none of this would be possible without our many, wonderful volunteers, most of whom began work on the Festival back in January. A huge thank you goes out to Kathy James, Mary Jane Hoey, Martha Walker-Kruse, Deb Frawley Drake, Umija Gusinac, Alan Robichaud, Arlene and Jim Fortier, Bob Chapman, Bob Harrington, David Stamps, Bobbie Thomas, Janet Simmons, Jane MacDonald, Len Campbell, Molly Homan, Vickie Trudell, Carey Pierce and Wendy Barrett. We so appreciate Bob Luther and Wayne Sanborn for all their work with electrical and sound production. These people all worked tirelessly behind the scenes making sure everything ran smoothly. To the Belknap County House of Corrections that provided the "muscle" for setting up tables, barricades and tents & then assisting with the cleanup — a HUGE thank you, we couldn't have done it without this help!

The Laconia Human Relations Committee, Laconia Main Street and the Belknap Mill join together to sponsor this community celebration. It is the hard work & support of many people, organizations, businesses and agencies in Laconia and the Lakes Region that lay the foundation for this great celebration of culture. We are proud to honor and thank them. Our enormous gratitude goes out to our major sponsors: Meredith Village Savings Bank, The Penny Pitou-Milo Pike Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation, Genesis Behavioral Health, Northway Bank and Lutheran Social Services. We so appreciate you!

Special thanks are given to the Greek Orthodox Church and the Belknap Mill for use of their tables, Healthlink for allowing us use of their electricity and parking lot, and the City of Laconia: Police Department, the Finance Department and Public Works. Byron's Septic Services and Waste Management provided those "necessary items" needed for our outdoor festival! Thanks go out to David Stamps at dbstamps.com for creating our wonderful program and to Heather Dominick of Dominick Designs of Alton for creating our beautiful posters. We are so appreciative of Lakes Region General Hospital for sponsoring our free shuttle bus that transported passengers to & from the downtown parking areas and to 1st Student Bus Line that provided that bus. Russ Davis generously provided our new banners. And we so appreciate the press coverage provided by The Laconia Daily Sun, Laconia Citizen and the many other news media throughout the state, including LRPA.

Congratulations to all our raffle prize winners and our sincere thanks to our prize contributors: Bayside Service, Cactus Jacks/T-bones, Dairy Queen, Fratello's Restaurant, Hair Affair, Our Place Family Restaurant, Shalimar Resort, Sawyers Dairy Bar and especially Meadowbrook for the grand prize of 2 tickets.

New Horizon Band, our own Lakes Region concert band, provided musical entertainment. Peg Batstone of Wild Women's Studio delivered a fascinating presentation of Crystal Singing Bowls and Eastern Dragon Karate & Self Defense Center awed us with an energy filled demonstration. Concord Community Music School thrilled children with musical entertainment inside the Belknap Mill. Other entertainers were Balla Kouyate from Africa, the Puerto Rican musicians of Edwin Pabon, and the Odaiko Japanese Drummers. Laconia Library celebrated the day with a reading of "The Story of A Pumpkin". Rosemary Murphy, Lakes Region Child Care Services & Squam Lakes Science Center created a delightful children's area with face painting and fun activities. We thank you all so much for contributing to the excitement of the day.

To produce an event like this requires substantial funding. The Multicultural Festival recognizes with gratitude our program advertisers: Christopher Williams Architects, McLaughlin Law Office, Pike Industries, Travel Health, Wild Women's Studio, China Bistro, Water Street Café, Melcher & Prescott, NAPA Auto Care, Patrick's Pub, Bob Merwin State Farm Insurance, Computer Magic, PEN, Martin, Lord & Osman Attorneys, Laurent Overhead Door, Lahey Law Offices, Decorative Interiors, Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health, Zonta Club, Unitarian Universalists, Temple B'nai Israel, Misiaszek Architecture Planning, Debbie Cotton of Caldwell Bankers, Irwin Motors, Franklin Savings Bank, Bank of New Hampshire, and LRGHealthcare. And to our many patrons and supporters of this wonderful event — our heartfelt thanks for your donations.

There wouldn't be a festival without our great vendors and social service agencies. Thank you all for participating. And lastly and just as important — to all of you that attended, we hope you enjoyed the day and we so appreciate your continued support and encouragement of the Laconia Multicultural Festival. Mark your calendars for next year's date of September 6th! Again, thank you Lakes Region!
Becky Guyer & Carol Pierce

Laconia Multicultural Festival Committee

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 August 2013 10:27

Hits: 295

Conservatives need to learn to work outside their comfort zones

To The Daily Sun,

I always enjoy when Mr. Earle responds to my letters because he inevitably reinforces points that I'm trying to make, while at the same time ignoring issues that I may raise. He once again responds with his filtered version of what he thinks I said and a manufactured version of what he says I wrote. But, as always he never responds to issues that are raised. If Earle had been able to see beyond his hatred, he would realize that I was addressing the direction of the conservative agenda and not the real or imagined "scandals" of the Obama administration. He may cast sticks and stones but his tired old attacks do nothing to advance the conservative cause.

I believe the core principles that all Americans are likely to agree upon are individual freedom, self-determination, personal responsibility, and the preservation of our great nation. These are principles that will remain fresh at all times, as they are fundamentally grounded.

Conservatives need to respond to today's growing public anxiety over middle-class wage stagnation and growing income inequality, and not just produce redundant policies that are plainly intended more for looks than as real solutions. This will require conservatives to work outside their comfort zones. Their whole philosophy seems to be built on the idea that only their perspective is true and right, and all else are lies from the pit of hell. They are conceived by the electorate as insulating themselves in a cloak of impenetrable propaganda, which reinforces their superiority (the "real Americans") and their righteousness.

As a nation we are not going to make any progress on our biggest problems without a compromise between the center-right and the center-left. But for this to happen, we need the center-right conservatives, not the radical right to be running the G.O.P.

A divided Republican Party cannot win a major election. It's not that Democrats achieve more, or even less than what they promised, it's simply that the Republicans are set to achieve even less. The divisions within the party are holding it back. A Republican Party capable of standing on a conservative fiscal platform without alienating socially progressive voters would handily win over independents, moderates, and a large portion of the American electorate from the Democrats. Republicans in 2016 need a candidate to unite the party on the issues, both foreign and domestic, rather than polarizing it.

While maligning the president must make him feel good, Earle can spare us the dramatic recitation of his scripted outrage about a "divisive president." Republicans have divided the nation into what they perceive are "makers" and "government dependent takers." Does anyone recall them writing off "47 percent" of the American public in 2012? What will the percentage be in 2016? And as far as the Middle East is concerned, apparently Earle has forgotten which administration jumped in with both feet — where are those weapons of mass destruction?

Rather than the frenzied finger pointing, Earle and friends would better serve the conservative cause by promoting an environment dedicated to quality principled candidates that can advance conservative policies and their agenda.

L. J. Siden

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 August 2013 10:22

Hits: 325

Losing John Schlemmer as fire chief a real blow to Center Harbor

To The Daily Sun,

I was very saddened to hear about the resignation of Chief John Schlmmer from the Center Harbor Fire Department due to political reasons. As a member of the Fire Department, I was always truly impressed with the commitment and dedication with which Chief Schlemmer carried out his job as chief. He always had the best interest of the town's citizens and members of the department at heart an I think that he did a great ob of meeting everyone's needs. His dedication to the job went far about what was expected, and he could always be counted on in any situation.

I am currently enrolled in medical school outside of the state so I am not able to attend the meetings in order to support him in person. Despite my geographical absence, I wanted to formally voice my support for him. I think that losing John Schlemmer as chief of the department would be a very great loss to the town of Center Harbor, as well as its members, and I hope that this situation does not have to resolve itself with his permanent resignation.

Bailey Lynn

Center Harbor

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 August 2013 10:19

Hits: 390

Arguing with people you don't know on these pages is sucker's game

To The Daily Sun,

I've often wondered why a newspaper allows "bullying" on their opinion pages and more than one person has asked me why I don't respond to my so-called critics. I consider bullying to be offensive and wish not to encourage them. I have a sneaking suspicion that those few (the minority fringe) who choose to be offensive, resort to name calling, and being very personal in their remarks, are some of our "older denizens". You see? I could have said "old farts" but I didn't. Their unrelenting negativity and half-truths are definite signs of bullying.
Arguing with anonymous people on these pages is a sucker's game. Inevitably they turn out to be like self-righteous teenagers who have a lot of time on their hands. As a wise man once said: "It's like wrestling with a pig. You both get dirty but the pig will enjoy it." "Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference" — Mark Twain.
One can see how easy it is to fall into the bully trap. Sometimes I think that the only cure for them is six feet of dirt but someone once said that even death can't cure someone with questionable cognitive capacity! One famous comedian suggested that to argue with one of them would only bring you down because they would beat you with experience.
I've never been known to turn the other cheek but for those Christians who do, this would be a good note with which to end: "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him." Proverbs 26:4

George Maloof


Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 12:31

Hits: 338

Enemy is government blinded by unrealistic green energy promises

To The Daily Sun,

Citizens of Grafton County are valiantly fighting the same battle that is turning rural New Hampshire communities into industrialized energy zones. Our common enemy is the government — blinded by unrealistic green energy promises of the wind industry.

It's past time to take this fight to the courts, where we can restore democracy and protect rural Central New Hampshire from violations under our New Hampshire Constitution. Simple common law rights with enjoyment of our property. Our "Rights and Freedoms" are being legislated away with the erection of these man-made monstrosities. I urge you to turn your attention toward N.H. politicians and our "Queen of Green" Governor, Maggie Hassan.

Thousands of local residents have written to their elected officials in Concord. The summer is almost over and only a three politicians dared to visit this beautiful lake and its proposed sites? What message are New Hampshire politicians sending us — they don't care?

Nevertheless, both wind developers and our N.H. government continue to site wind energy projects too close to our important watersheds and state wildlife areas.

One thing is clear — large international wind energy corporations have too much power. I view them as wind cartels, who are bad actors, who try to suspend the laws of supply and demand, exclude competition and gouge their customers.

This is not the New Hampshire way!

Ray Cunningham


Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 11:19

Hits: 207

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