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New Beginnings is your local resource for domestic violence issues

To the editor,
New Beginnings would like to invite the community to join us, and organizations across the county in observing sexual assault awareness month. In New Hampshire, one in four women and one in 20 men have been sexually assaulted. Unfortunately, rates of victimization are very high among children and teens. National studies indicate that as many as one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted before they are 18. Everyone in the community has a role to play in ending sexual assault, and this April, there are several ways to join our efforts.
One way to get involved is as simple as checking out your local library. For eight years, New Beginnings has partnering with libraries serving Belknap County towns to create displays that feature readings and educational materials about sexual violence and additional information about New Beginnings. Displays include a variety of genres, such as adult and young adult fiction, non-fiction, and self help books. Individuals and book clubs are encouraged to participate, and facilitated book discussions with New Beginnings staff are available upon request.
Another opportunity is to join New Beginnings and our sister agency, Voices Against Violence in Plymouth, in observing Denim Day. The Denim Day campaign began in 1999 as part of an international protest of an Italian Supreme Court decision to overturn a rape conviction. The basis for this decision was that the victim was wearing jeans, and according to the court, he could not have removed them without her help. The judgment sparked a worldwide outcry from those who understand that coercion, threats and violence go along with the act of rape. Join us in wearing denim to raise awareness, stand with victims, and call for justice.
Another important thing we can all do is to accept the call to action that is at the heart of this year's national campaign: preventing childhood sexual abuse. Communities across the country are standing up for children by proclaiming, "It's time.... to talk about it!" Everyone can get involved in ending sexual abuse against children by talking early, talking often, and taking action. This will help keep the next generation safe, not only through their childhood years, but into adulthood as well. However, it is hard for parents to know how to begin these conversations. New Beginnings is available to present to groups of parents and community members about talking to kids and teens about safety, respect, healthy relationships of all kinds, and strategies for prevention and intervention.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual, domestic, or stalking violence — or even if you simply have more questions about how to help prevent violence and abuse — please contact New Beginnings. As the local "crisis center," we do provide services to people in crisis situations, but we also offer a lot more. Staff and trained volunteer advocates provide information, referrals, and support 24 hours a day and our services are always confidential and free of charge. We can answer questions about any aspect of sexual violence, domestic violence, abusive relationships, and stalking. We can help you gain an understanding of warning signs of abuse, talking to your kids about abuse and safety, legal processes and options, community services and resources, and more. New Beginnings can be reached at (603) 528-6511 for the office, or either of the statewide hotlines: 1-800-227-5570 (Sexual Violence) and 1-866-644-3574 (Domestic Violence).
Kitty Kiefer
Education & Outreach Coordinator
New Beginnings
Laconia

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 11:10

Hits: 363

We all want to find a solution but expanding Medicaid isn't it

To the editor,
The N.H. State Senate is faced with the heated task of voting whether or not to expand Medicaid in NH. The Supreme Court has ruled that states reserve the right whether or not to implement this expansion.
In order to entice states to rule in favor of expanding Medicaid, the federal government is dangling the carrot of 100 percent funding for the first three years, declining to 90 percent by 2020. This may look appealing and appear compassionate. We all detest the high cost of health care and know that "something must be done." However, that "something" needs to be the RIGHT thing, not just a shot in the dark that we HOPE will fix the problem.
The expansion of Medicaid will cost the taxpayers of New Hampshire $126 million over 10 years but unfortunately will NOT fix the problem of high medical costs and access to treatment. Approximately 30 percent of doctors say they will no longer take Medicaid payments, so there will be even fewer doctors to treat these patients. This will require Medicaid patients to continue to flood emergency rooms. My understanding is that hospitals are lobbying our representatives diligently to pass this expansion to receive these federal funds. Of course, these funds are either borrowed and/or printed at a terrifying rate of speed, further hurting the long term potential for a real solution.
This is a non-sustainable fix to a very real problem. Contact your Senator to tell them to NOT expand Medicaid in N.H. under these conditions. We ALL want to find a solution, but this isn't it! We need to sit down in New Hampshire, with both providers and consumers of health care in New Hampshire and find a New Hampshire-style solution to this problem that plagues nearly all of us!
In case anyone is prepared to accuse me of other than genuinely trying to fix this problem, please know that I do not have insurance. I would be happy to sit down with any policy maker or health care provider to come up with real world solutions to this very real problem.
Debbie Johnson
Campton

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 11:04

Hits: 286

2nd Amendment is racist, should have been abolished with slavery

To the editor,
How often have we heard the NRA pontificate on our 2nd Amendment rights? It's obvious by now that this institution does not represent its membership. What sane person can believe that after the slaughter of the innocents in Newtown, responsible gun owners don't want to be "inconvenienced" with gun registration?
Time to call a spade a spade. The 2nd Amendment is a racist piece of legislation that should have been removed with the abolition of slavery. Only the most irresponsible gun owners believe that the 2nd Amendment actually "protects" our freedoms.
Paranoids have to come to grips with the fact that 9mm Glocks are no match for drones, tanks and the strongest army in the world. We derive our "freedoms" from the 1st Amendment. Liberals and clear thinking conservatives need to start educating the public that the pen is mightier than the sword.
The NRA and its gun rituals remind me of another institution that will go un-named. It is about keeping things as they always have been. This is probably why an ever increasing number of people believe that this gun manufacturer's foil is a hindrance to human progress.
George Maloof
Plymouth

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 11:00

Hits: 415

Thank you, towns, for supporting our mental health system

To the editor,
As we come to the end of another town meeting season, all of us at Genesis Behavioral Health are grateful for the generous appropriations we received from so many of the towns we serve. These are challenging times for all of us. Yet, the voters clearly recognized the importance of good mental health to a healthy community. We were humbled by the increased funding we received from many towns, and honored to receive several new appropriations.
Thank you to the towns of Alexandria, Alton, Ashland, Belmont, Bristol, Center Harbor, Ellsworth, Gilford, Gilmanton, Groton, Hebron, Holderness, Meredith, New Hampton, Plymouth, Rumney, Thornton and Wentworth for supporting Emergency Services, and to the City of Laconia for its past and anticipated support. We recognize that you have difficult choices to make, and we thank you for choosing to invest in Genesis Behavioral Health.
One in four adults and one in 10 young children will be affected by a mental health disorder in a given year. Mental illness impacts all of us in some way, whether directly as a client or family member, or indirectly as a member of the community. Without proper treatment, mental illness often affects one's ability to work, participate in school, contribute to the community and maintain relationships. In fact, the economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States, causing unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2011). Reduced access to mental health care leads to increased demand on many of the systems in our community, including emergency rooms, law enforcement, first responders, courts, corrections, schools and municipalities.
The appropriation you made to Genesis Behavioral Health will help us provide emergency services to any resident of your town who is experiencing a mental health crisis. Our team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide crisis intervention, regardless of an individual's ability to pay. The funding we receive from towns alleviates the deficit we incur as a result of providing this program to our communities.
We look forward to a continued partnership with the towns we serve, and invite our community to become our partner. We encourage you to advocate, give, or volunteer. Most of all, we thank you for recognizing that a healthy community requires healthy minds as well as healthy bodies.
Margaret M. Pritchard
Executive Director
Genesis Behavioral Health
Laconia

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 10:43

Hits: 323

Boston Massacre Revisited - A Finish Line Unfinished

"Boston Massacre Revisited- a Finish Line unfinished"

Blood runs on Boylston, instead of marathoners-
The stain will never go away-
Patriot's Day, a family day will never be the same, ever, never again-

I had to stop watching the screen, the endless replays ad nauseam-

I could not see through the smoke-
Just a flash, then a white mist of carnage and the echoed screams in tandem, in the concrete and brick canyon-
No laughter, no rejoicing — "a Finish Line unfinished"-

White smoke, until now, always meant good to me-
A new Pope, not death-
But, I had to stop watching-

Where are you hiding? In a darkened room? In a bar?
"Alone" I suppose, smiling at a fifty-two inch, wide screen television?
How cowardly!-
Mumbling in irrational, celebratory faux dismay-

Are you gloating, cigarette in hand? Are you happy with the flat screen images? The crimson color everywhere — bone and flesh?

What neurons misfired in that simple brain of yours?
The fear of a knock on the door?
They are coming, you know — someone squealed, or will-

Innocence lost-
The death of a child, age eight, and others-
Patriots maimed like it was the "Boston Massacre" revisited-

Who would know you were lurking, hiding, planning deception and terror, then running-
A sunny day, warm day, a festive day — shattered into a black abyss!

Where are you hiding? In a darkened room?
Alone, smiling at the wide screen television? Flipping through the news channels — awaiting your fame? Your sinister " accomplishment?"
How cowardly-
You selfish, simplistic bastard of evil-
Was it the taxes, anarchy, hatred for the black winner, America — What?

Blood runs on Boylston, instead of marathoners-
The crimson stain will never go away-
Patriots Day, a family day, will never be the same-

Jack Polidoro
Laconia

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 10:15

Hits: 467

 
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