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I meant no harm in walking neighborhood collecting recyclables

To The Daily Sun,

I am writing this letter to apologize for unintentionally offending one of my neighbors on Grant Street here in Laconia. I certainly did not want to cause any alarm or have you think I was trying to perform any criminal act or do anything without permission. I want to assure you that I am not a bum or a criminal.

It is too bad that we did not have a chance to converse, as I would have explained the following to you.

For the past two years I have walked around a couple of the streets in my neighborhood, collecting recyclables every other Friday. It takes me about 20 to 30 minutes, as that is about all I can handle physically. I never go through anyone's trash, only their recyclables. I have been collecting Box Tops for Education, Coca-Cola points for veterans and homeless people and Kellogg's points for books for education, a program for planting trees in areas of the world and feeding children around the nation.

During this time I thought that I had talked personally to the owners of each recycle bin that I look through. I know most of the residents of the street as my fiancée and I walk our two Corgi's around the neighborhood practically every day for the past four years. Several neighbors even saved their box tops, points and codes for me and would give me a stack from time to time when they would see me.

I was collecting points and codes for several reasons. First, it makes me feel good that I can contribute to my community and country in some small way. Second, it helps me feel as though I am pulling my weight (again in a small way) and being productive. Almost three years ago I incurred several injuries that are permanent. I also started having seizures shortly after and now have adult on-set epilepsy with some early aging.

Obviously, this has been life-altering for me. I am unable to work, drive or get through many daily activities that healthy people take for granted. I have no income. I have had to sell my vehicle and am just hanging on to my home.

However, this one little act of kindness gave me a feeling of worth. It made me feel as if I was still fighting the good fight. I was always a giver and have contributed towards many good efforts in the past.

That's why I was surprised when the police stopped me during my routine. I would again like to say thank you to the officer who responded to a call in regards to my "suspicious activity." He was professional and had a positive approach to the matter and his backup remained neutral. I was informed that what I was doing was illegal and that I could only collect recycles from public collection areas, unless I had permission from the property owners.

The officer also said some of the not-good people are going through trash to obtain prescription pill bottle information and I applaud them for following up on that. I actually see many pill bottles in the recycle with people's names and all other information still on the bottle. It is hard to believe people still throw them away like that. Not to mention, I have witnessed illegal activity in this neighborhood much more serious than my matter.

Also, we seem to be one of the few that pick up after their dogs.

Hopefully, those crimes will be addressed with a similar prompt approach.

In conclusion, after much reflection, I have decided to stop collecting recyclables starting immediately. Again, I would like to say I am sorry for any misunderstanding. You will not have to worry about me doing that good deed anymore.

Scott Kipreotis

Laconia

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Bee was meaningful collaboration between LHS & city leaders

To The Daily Sun,

On behalf of Laconia High School's English Department, I'd like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone who made our first Team Spelling Bee possible.

Keith Murray from WEMJ radio was instrumental in the production and promotion of the event. His dedication to local sports and news is unmatched in the Lakes Region.

Sarah Gray, owner of Body Covers Screenprinting & Embroidery, donated T-shirts for the event and served as a pronouncer on our panel. Two other pronouncers, Karen Bassett, owner of Wayfarer Coffee Roasters, and Greg Packard, manager of Burrito Me, graciously donated door prizes. The role of pronouncer is daunting — especially when the competition is broadcast live. These three members of our local business community deserve much of the credit for the event's success.

Our fourth pronouncer was Mayor Ed Engler, and his enthusiasm was contagious. Ed's contribution to our students' educational experience proves his commitment to our city.

Ken Martin from Laconia's Huot Technical Center engraved our winners' plaque. Steve Bouffard from Laconia High School designed our posters.

Showcasing our young learners' academic achievements was not the only success of the night. The Spelling Bee collected 286 jars of peanut butter and jelly for Laconia's "Got Lunch!" program. "Got Lunch!" also collected $200 in cash donations. Thank you to all the "Got Lunch!" volunteers for your tireless effort in feeding our students.

Laconia High School's Team Spelling Bee proved the power of meaningful collaboration between our public schools and our community leaders.

Thank you so much, and see you next year.

Tate Aldrich
English Department Chair
Laconia High School

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