To The Daily Sun,
As residents all over New Hampshire open their first electricity bills of 2014, they should consider them a bargain. A low priced electrical bill without the hint of a green wind energy additive mixed in. Should we start preparing ourselves for a significant increase in our monthly electricity bills, not because of increased usage levels, but higher prices?
You see, no comprehensive analysis of feasibility of the proposed amounts of renewable energy has been done to highlight potentially more cost-effective alternatives to renewables, such as further development of our hydro resources or biomass resources in New Hampshire.
Is New Hampshire so quick to cash in on carbon credits at the expense of the Lakes Regions? At the expense of tourism? Or at the expense of homeowners? It seems evidence-based policy has been replaced with government farce.
And now here we are: increases are pending on our horizon. Businesses will cry foul and community organizations will not be able to afford the price increases, all while citizens will wonder why they can't buy cheaper — local power.
N.H. is an exporter of electricity, because we produce too much of it. I would rather pay someone local for energy than watch a foreign company chasing carbon credits — all while sending profits overseas.
How did it come to this? It could come to be, that we will someday pay much more for electricity than states we export to? I hope I am wrong... but I think "I just told you so".
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 11:11
To The Daily Sun,
During some light reading this morning, I came across an article about the "N.H. Free State Project" and I remembered that approximately two months ago a gentleman had written a letter to the paper asking about that very topic.
This letter is intended to inform anyone interested in the topic.
Jason Sorens, a Yale graduate and Dartmouth professor of political science, had an idea back in 2001. He founded the Free State Project. Their goal was and is to recruit twenty thousand liberty-minded, activist-oriented individuals to move to a small state, with the intent of effecting significant political change at the local level. An agreement among participants to move to N.H. for "Liberty in our Lifetime" was created after N.H. was chosen as the first target. Quoting from the FSP website, " The Free State Project, a mass migration movement to concentrate 20,000 liberty activists in N.H. is advancing to the finish line with more than 15,000 participants now signed up, with thousands moving ahead of schedule."
After a slow start in 2003, the group now has 15,206 signers as of January 8, 2014 and the organization anticipates it will "Trigger the Move" in 2015, three years ahead of schedule.
To become a participant of the Free State Project, a person is asked to agree to the follow Statement of Intent: I hereby state my solemn intent to move to the State of N.H. within five years after 20,000 participants have signed up. Once there, I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of individuals' life, liberty, and property.
"People aligned with the FSP have been elected to two-year terms in the 400 member N.H. House of Reps since 2006. Approximately a dozen Free Staters were elected in the 2012 election". It is also the intent of the organization for members to get elected or appointed to local boards and committees.
The FSP logo and mascot is the porcupine. "Porcupines are certainly cute and non aggressive but you don't want to step on them" was found on their website which is freestateproject.org. After further reading I found an interesting interview of Jason Sorens at www.theatlasphere.com
If you find this as interesting as I do just google N.H. Free State Project and you can read until your heart is content.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 11:07
To The Daily Sun,
The holidays have passed. Once again, like millions of others, folks in the Lakes Region watched the most-loved film in America, a traditional Christmas favorite, "It's a Wonderful Life". It's a film about a kind and caring man, George Bailey, who over and over again put his dreams on hold while helping others. His dreams of saving the Bailey Building and Loan Association and building a Bailey Park with affordable housing are shattered by a slum landlord, Henry Potter. In despair, George attempts suicide. His guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, stops him and hence gets to earn his wings and ring his bell. Without George, Bedford Falls would become Pottersville, home to sleazy nightclubs, pawn shops, casinos and immoral people and Bailey Park would never be built.
Yes, it's a fantasy. But we can look right outside our windows and see some of the same. We saw how urban renewal stripped most of our Main Street of its history. Most of our brick buildings are gone and with it fine stores and local owners — O'Shea's, Keller's, LaFlamme's, Oscar Lougee's, Story Drug and Baker's to name a few.
Some brave souls like Peter Karagianis, Esther Peters, Norman Weeks and others sprang forward, put themselves in line for ridicule, encountered closed doors and resistance from town leaders but they did it anyway. They formed the Save the Mills Society to save the Belknap Mill and the Busiel Mill and received the first national grant for industrial preservation. And each New Year, the bell rings at the Belknap Mill to welcome a new year and each spring, it rings to welcome scores of fourth graders for their, hands-on, role-playing at "A Day at the Mill". . . thanks to dedicated volunteers like Tom Tardiff, Diane Wells, Ted Shasteny, Jon Pound, Helga Stamp and others.
Visits to Facebook sites, "You know you're from Laconia when..." and "I love Lakeport" will introduce you to new friends and old acquaintances recalling their hometown favorites — watching Seth Keller make his ribbon candy, being served fast-food by Spider at Jerry's Shore Diner, eating grilled cheese sandwiches at the counter in Woolworth's, foot-long hot dogs at the Red Shanty, lunch at Bill's Diner or dashing to Goody Good Donuts before they sell out. Others remember dates at the Colonial or the Gardens theaters, dancing at Irwin's Winnipesaukee Gardens or the Teen Haven. Fans recall first jobs, favorite teachers or colorful characters. All dearly miss O'Shea's and the fascinating pneumatic cash system that shuttled money to and from the office upstairs and other fine shops with seamstresses and tailors to fit — Rosen's, Levasseur's, Gerry's. Many a gift for mothers was bought at Newberry's or Bloom's.
It all centers on their connections to their Main Street, their community, their favorite old buildings. The Laconia Heritage Commission hoped to help save some important buildings that have become part of their history. Sadly we have lost many and are still losing more — the Tilton House, the Putnam House, the Baker House are historic examples of the architecture in Laconia in the past centuries. The "Hathaway House" is another gem that triggers local memories of historians and others that had first dinner dates at Summerfield's or later wedding receptions. Many remembered the fine shop, the Hathaway House, owned by Constance St. Clair or the later reuse by Florence Cummins as a real estate office where many a local home was bought and sold.
Today, the Hathaway House is owned by Dunkin' Donuts and/or their franchisee, Cafua Management Co. LLC. a.k.a. Laconia Real Estate Co. LLC. It was their Greg Nolan who made many promises in public to Laconia planners and the Laconia Heritage Commission that had formed to save the Hathaway House. They promised restoration and reuse, painting and repairs to leaky roof and other improvements. They acknowledged its significant history and spoke of preserving it in public on many occasions. They spoke of their hopes to use the Hathaway House as corporate offices or to rent. Yet, once their new Dunkin' Donuts was built, they hastened the deterioration of this gem — this "Pink Lady". They ignored safety requirements and made pseudo attempts to do repairs or to offer it for sale or lease, keeping everyone interested in the Hathaway House in limbo, on the back burner until the end of the year when they applied for permission to demolish this classic example of Italianate architecture built in 1872 during the Victorian period and owned for nearly 80 years by the famous Clark family that owned acres of land and properties in Lakeport and Laconia.
We did not sign the demolition permit for the Hathaway house. We chose to conduct a public hearing so your voice could be heard too. So, here we are again, beseeching the community to help — you've seen us walking in picket lines on snowy days during the holidays and the start of a new year carrying signs to "Save the Hathaway House".
We need your local support. Help us to ring our bell by signing the petition (always available in the Laconia Antique Center), writing letters to the editors in support, walking the picket line with us on Saturday or Sunday mornings anytime between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. Another goal of the heritage commission is to revisit our local demolition ordinance and upgrade it with teeth and seek ways to identify and add a protective state to any buildings with historical or cultural significance to our community. Please join this effort.
PLEASE, please do attend this Laconia Heritage Commission Public Hearing on Wednesday, January 22, 6:30 p.m. at City Hall Room 200A, Beacon Street East.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 11:02
To The Daily Sun,
To the person who stole my daughters purse at the Goodwill Store on Monday afternoon, you took more than her personal belongings. You stole her trust in mankind. She will probably not look at another person in public and not wonder if that person is a thief. It only took you five seconds to decide to take that purse. It was a total violation of her personal space and property. Many items in the purse are of value or importance only to my daughter.
Please, if you have any decency left, leave the purse where it can be returned, minus of course the money and cell phone,
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 10:58
To The Daily Sun,
For once, this is not about debating the economics, aesthetics, engineering or need (or lack thereof) of ridgeline industrial wind in the Lakes Region. This is about the behavior of a company (Iberdrola) that seems to operating under an incredible disconnect from the people they claim to want to serve.
From Day 1, the Spanish multinational has stated, on record, "If you don't want us, we will leave." Since then, the company has lost every vote taken. Despite glossy mailers, friendly press coverage, the promise of alleged economic benefit, and a near-unlimited PR budget, Iberdrola has never mustered much more than 33 percent support in an open referendum. And every time they lose, they claim "Well, it's not representative. The silent majority supports us." That's a bold statement, especially considering the recent referendum in Danbury, which saw greater than a 2-to-1 rejection of the Wild Meadows Project. That vote actually drew more total voters than did the 2013 General Election (46 percent vs. 39 percent). To put those numbers into perspective, in a non-presidential election year, the American average voter turnout hovers around 38 percent.
Recently, Iberdrola has incorporated a tactic we're all too familiar with from TV talk shows. Rather than addressing the scientific and economic concerns of their opposition, they have taken to simply labeling those claims "misinformation." Reasonable people can disagree when examining the same data. If the opposition is wrong, show them where they are wrong, and cite sources that don't have a vested interest. Simply labeling data you don't like as "misinformation" is a shortcut of little, if any, use.
Iberdrola's primary mistake appears to be this: assuming that the citizens of the Lakes Region, an ecologically-minded people, would automatically embrace anything labeled "green," without doing a full investigation of the true impact. Oh, they got Groton in, all right. Talk to those who supported it now. Many of those people have become the strongest voices of opposition. And those voices, which organized from a humble meeting of 75 people now range in the thousands And yet, Iberdrola continues to dismiss the opposition as a minority. Frankly, it seems they weren't prepared to deal with the informed and educated people who are Granite Staters.
They said if we didn't want them, they'd leave. They were sent here to win the hearts and minds of the locals. Despite a massive advantage in funding, they've failed. Beyond that, the safety of the Groton installation has been called into question. The N.H. Site Evaluation Committee has deemed the Wild Meadows application "incomplete," citing numerous deficiencies. The list goes on and on.
We have never seen an issue that unifies so strongly across ideological lines. Republicans, Democrats, independents. Conservatives, liberals, and moderates. Hikers and hunters. Permanent residents and summer property owners. It doesn't matter. It's not about holding out for more money. It's not about securing a better deal. It's about protecting a region, a way of life that has attracted people to this area for decades.
Businesses have gains and losses. Iberdrola needs to realize this is a losing cause. To throw additional money at these projects is to do a disservice to their shareholders. You made your case. It was rejected. Cut your losses. Keep your promise. Leave.
Robert Piehler, Alexandria
Scott Piehler, Suwanee, GA
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 January 2014 10:54