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Not a lot of space for free thinking at Granite State Future forum

To the editor,
Tuesday night I attended a NH Listens session for the Lakes Region Planning Commission. I was under the impression that it would be for the people to air their concerns about what they think needs to be planned. However, in my group of 19 people, there were only one or two other "common citizens" from the local area. Everyone else was a professional of some kind, or had special interests they wanted the commission to hear about. After speaking with a few other friends, I discovered that the situation was the same all around the room. The facilitators did a great job, but since every topic was pre-planned, there was not a lot of space for free thinking. The discussions were mostly about spending money that will line the pockets of the special interest groups. For whose benefit? Certainly not for landowners in the country. Certainly not for middle class hard-working individuals who now will have to pay more for repairing and helping the cities. I felt it was an intrusion of government mandates, pushed by the elite, upon those of us who truly feel that we have rights, too, yet won't be heard, because we were not represented at that meeting Tuesday night.
Now we are facing a bill in the N.H. Legislature that will force us to pay extra for water rights, which they are taking away from us. Check out SB-11. It would allow water districts set up to take over control of private wells by eminent domain. That's all part of Governor Lynch's "Water Sustainability" Initiative.
Is this what we want for New Hampshire? I don't.
Peggy Graham

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 May 2013 01:30

Hits: 374

To Rep. Worsman & her convention supporters, I say, 'press on'

To the editor,
Belknap County Convention Chair Colette Worsman and her supporters on the convention have received severe criticism over the past several weeks over their handling of the Belknap County budget process. As a Belknap county resident I want to say that the criticism is completely unwarranted. In the Belknap County budget-making process, the convention represents me, the taxpayer, and they are doing exactly what I would want them to do on my behalf which is to intelligently question every line item in the county budget to determine its validity. Without their efforts the Belknap County budget would be 9 percent higher this year. In my view, it isn't the average taxpayer who is complaining, it is those that didn't get the increase they were looking for.
The convention's job, by law, is to oversee the budgeting process, not to "rubber stamp" a commissioner budget 9 percent higher than last year. The chairs of the Belknap County and Lakes Region Democrats have called for a "cease fire in the ongoing battle between the majority of the delegation's Republican members and the county commissioners", but instead of raising a white flag the county commissioners keep on fighting.
If the Democrats want peace, have the Belknap County Commissioners stick to the line item approved budget and get written permission for any changes from the Executive Committee per RSA 24:14 instead of transferring money as they see fit. Checking the county website proves the public may not even access the approved 2013 Belknap County Line Item Budget. The web site shows only the department totals under the 2013 Budget, not the individual line item expenses that were approved. Additionally, there are indications that the county commissioners are spending money from lines where no appropriations exist in violation of RSA 24:15. Rep. Worsman and her supporters would be derelict in their duty if they didn't challenge these actions.
The county commissioners recently requested a $200,000 increase to the 2013 budget to enable the nursing home to potentially receive $400,000 in additional revenue. In spite of the acrimony of the earlier budget process, Rep. Worsman scheduled a public hearing to discuss the matter but the county commissioners did not provide sufficient backup information to justify the expenditure and Rep. Worsman cancelled the meeting. Good for her. Any reasonable business person would insist on plenty of supporting material for any project where there is the possibility to double your money in a short time. The convention would be neglecting their oversight duties if they were to approve a budget increase without sufficient justification.
To Rep. Worsman and her convention supporters, I say good show and press on. The Belknap County Commissioners are like a big ship with a small rudder. It takes a long time and hard work to effect change. Rep. Worsman and her convention supporters have added a couple of feet to that rudder and we are beginning to see some positive change i.e. no tax increase this year and no longer a "business as usual" approach in determining the Belknap County Budget. If the Democrats want peace tell them to stop fighting.
Roger Grey

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 May 2013 01:23

Hits: 313

Patsy Wells in public service for greater good of entire community

To the editor,
I support Patsy Wells for selectman. In Patsy’s years on the Sanbornton Selectboard (2004 – 2007), I first watched her as she guided the town in a reasonable direction during turbulent times. Then worked with her on the Selectboard for several years as she led us as a board and a community to grow and work together, always respecting, valuing and listening to the thoughts and ideas of her fellow selectmen and town’s people.  She gives her position 100 percent of her time and energy, as she researches and balances the ever-changing needs of our town, never wavering and always honoring her commitment.  Her past knowledge of the town workings will help us as we move forward to make well planned, and researched decisions in finances and growth.
Patsy is about preserving Sanbornton for all generations and passing along a thoughtfully planned and cared for town.
She may not always agree with a person or an issue but you can be assured she will listen respectfully to the cares and concerns and come to a logical and educated decision. She is not in this position for “herself” but for the greater good of the entire community.
I hope you will join me in voting for Patsy Wells for selectman in Sanbornton on May 14th .
Steven Ober

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 May 2013 01:19

Hits: 358

SB-2 would create even a smaller 'few' ruling the 'many'

To the editor,
Mr Grey's letter supporting SB-2 for Sanbornton is mostly about numbers. He thinks that 149 at Town Meeting as opposed to the 570 at the election booth is "the rule of the many by the few". I look at it differently. The 150 at Town Meeting could speak about and amend warrant articles. In other words,  participate directly. With SB-2 it will be 50 or so speaking and amending at the deliberative meeting and 570 voting on what the 50 decided. I think 50 versus 570 is an even smaller few ruling the many.
As to the many excuses for why people don't go to Town Meeting, well I've heard them all. Betcha if I offered free Red Sox tickets many could find time to go. I wish more would attend Town Meeting but I defend their right to choose whether or not they attend. There if one of his listed excuses that angers me. The "aren't comfortable speaking up in public" or as others often say voting in the comfort and privacy of the voting booth. No one 'has' to speak at Town Meeting. Others don't want to raise their hand to vote and let people see what they voted. When I think of the many people who have fought and were maimed of killed to give us this right it really puts raising a hand to vote in perspective.
Please vote NO to SB-2. Town Meeting has worked for over 200 years and it's not broken. SB-2 is 20 years old and the Legislators are still trying to get the bugs out of it.
Evelyn Auger

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 May 2013 01:16

Hits: 396

Guns used to commit Chicago crimes are almost all bought elsewhere

To the editor,
Recently Steve Earle claimed of my letter, "James gives a clutter of statistics of which I will not endeavor to challenge because they are insignificant to the point." Oh really? A clutter to Steve maybe. The statistics in my letter — http://www.laconiadailysun.com/index.php/opinion/letters/68016-james-veverka-5-3-685 — clearly negated his claims in the first letter that background checks don't work. They do. The statistic were from Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, not Breitbart, Fox, or the NRA liars. The data clearly said that in the states that had universal checks and forbade anyone under a domestic abuse order to possess a firearm, the intimate partner homicide rate dropped 19 percent. That is a significant number of lives saved. The study also showed that states with loose gun laws undermined the states with better laws. It also noted that gaps in federal laws drastically weaken intelligent state gun laws.
Take Chicago, the right wing's favorite punching bag. In other parts of Illinois, the gun laws are looser. That is why 43 percent of the guns seized by law enforcement in Chicago were originally purchased in other parts of Illinois, particularly Cook County. Illinois does not license or otherwise regulate firearms dealers which opens the door to Chicago's gun trafficking. The remaining 57 percent of Chicago guns all came from out of state, most significantly from nearby Indiana and distant Mississippi. (http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/08/where-chicagos-guns-come/3090/) Here is a NYT article complete with map on where 50,000 Chicago crime guns came from. (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/01/29/us/where-50000-guns-in-chicago-came-from.html?_r=0)
The next time I read a sentence with "law abiding citizens" from a gun nut I am going to throw up. The whole idea of gun checks is to find the one's who AREN'T law abiding citizens. 700,000 people have been denied guns since 2000. Unlicensed dealers at gun shows who don't run background checks open the door to criminals, terrorists and the mentally dangerous. Just ask al Qaeda.
As far as the fast and furious program goes, it was a Bush plan, not an Obama plan. The Obama administration inherited it just as it did Bush's terrible economy and his miserable foreign policy.
James Veverka

Last Updated on Saturday, 11 May 2013 01:09

Hits: 449

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