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Only viable solution is for each of us to strive for zero refuse

To the editor,
The various gimmicks the City of Laconia proposes to deal with our trash crisis are dandy ways to increase taxes but fail to address what goes to the curb. The only viable and lasting solution is for each of us to strive for zero refuse. I don't pretend to have all of the answers but here are a few that came to mind:
— Use the Post Office. Save all you junk mail. Once a month, take it back to the post office. The last time I checked they had recycling wastebaskets in the lobby. Keep in mind that for one low flat rate you can send up to fifty pounds of most anything to any address in the U.S. What you put in the box, where you send it and the return address you use is only limited by your creativity.
— Support local wildlife. You might be surprised at the variety of table scraps that will disappear if placed outside your backdoor or that of a neighbor.
— Stop reading newspapers. All the news you can possibly use and then some is available for free on the Internet. Besides, from day to day the names may change but the news remains the same.
— Look in the bathroom. This is especially true if you have city sewer. You might be surprised at what will flush.
— Spread your trash. Even in small amounts, when multiplied by 365 chances, an enormous amount of waste can be distributed. Take what looks like a hearty lunch to work. Visit parks and other public places. Leave tidy bundles in pickup trucks at the mall. Let ingenuity prompt opportunity.
— Compaction is the key. Using the car to run over cans and plastic containers will easily reduce their volume by two-thirds. The kids will love to help. If soaked long enough, any type of paper can be reduced to a sodden mass. This material can then be formed into rustic lawn ornaments
Any serious thoughts about disposable diapers are welcome.
Tom Becker

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 00:22

Hits: 280

Jim Finnigan worked hard & set the tone for N.H. body politic

To the editor,
With news of the passing of retired Manchester Union Leader editorial writer Jim Finnegan last weekend, brings to mind a letter I wrote some 18 or so years ago to Mrs. Nackey Scripps Loeb, then president and publisher of a great newspaper.
Some of what I wrote to Mrs. Loeb applies just as much today, as it did then. I wrote, in part:
Jim Finnegan joined the paper in his late 20s, and for almost 40 years carried the torch — with others — of conservative opinion in the Granite State's largest newspaper.
As a former newspaperman, myself, I was always amazed at Finnegan's output: three or four editorials each weekday. In the old days, this kind of volume was common. Damon Runyon, Ring Lardner, Ernie Pyle, Hal Boyle would write daily news columns, laced heavily with humor and opinion. That's what made them stars. Jim Finnegan was a star, cut from the same mold as these great scribes from the golden days of newspapers.
Writing opinion is hard work. It's more that a relaying the news of the day or quotes from other people. This kind of writing has to come from your own gut. To pull it out of yourself means there has to be something there to begin with. Finnegan had it.
Jim Finnegan worked hard, was consistent, and set the tone of the body politic in New Hampshire. That tone was a traditionalist, up-front, conservative, take-no-prisoners brand of newspapering. Like his late mentor, William Loeb, Finnegan made you think. He made thinking about certain matters unavoidable. His writing for decades launched many a hot jaw session at luncheonettes, bars, and breakfast tables across the state of New Hampshire. Presidential hopefuls, governors, bureaucrats, back-bench politicians alike turned to him every morning.
Now that's a newspaperman, and one who has been long missed.
Dean Dexter

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 00:18

Hits: 331

It's time we started a safe path through Moultonborough village

To the editor,
Every day, students from Moultonborough Central School and Moultonborough Academy leave school and walk up Rte. 25 through Moultonborough's village area. They are walking home, heading to the library or after school program at the rec center. More often than not, they walk two or three abreast, on the wrong side of the road, and are forced to cross busy Rte. 25 wherever they're able.
As the weather warms, cyclists begin to appear on the narrow shoulders through the village, competing for space with traffic that includes logging trucks and 18-wheelers. If you live in town and haven't barely avoided a collision with someone who refuses to wait patiently behind a cyclist and instead crosses the yellow line into your lane, it's a good bet that you don't drive here in the summertime.
It's time we started to take real steps toward creating a safe path through the village for pedestrians and cyclists. Moultonborough's Master Plan Survey (2006) and Master Plan (2008), Safe Routes to School Report (2009) and Village Charrette report (2012) all reflect committee recommendations and community support for a safe pedestrian route through town. Seven years after the latest master plan survey, however, there has been absolutely no movement toward discussing or planning such a route.
On Saturday, March 16th, voters will have a chance to finally start the conversation about a plan for sidewalks in the village area. I urge voters to consider approving Warrant Article 27, which provides for the surveying, planning and engineering of a sidewalk through the village, to be presented to the town for approval at the 2014 town meeting.
A yes vote on Article 27 is a vote to begin a discussion about a subject that has repeatedly been put off, despite strong support and recommendation as demonstrated in the town's own reports and surveys.
Please consider beginning the process of improving the safety and infrastructure of the village area by voting yes on Article 27.
Kim Prause

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 00:15

Hits: 344

I'm so glad people are expressing outrage over ugly wind turbines

To the editor,
Though I do not live around Newfound Lake, I have been there to swim many times over the years. I even hiked up Cardigan Mountain once with my family and almost got blown off the mountain. It is a beautiful area that folks have expressed deep apprehension about scarring with monstrous and ugly wind turbines. To commit such a potentially devastating undertaking should be debated long and hard even if there is a clear economic and environmental benefit. Based on the concerns of many letter writers, one has to wonder if that is the case.
I wonder if anyone has checked into the failed wind turbine operations in Australia? Viv Forbes has some interesting facts derived from that expensive and misguided boondoggle down under.
(1) Unreliable because gentle breezes create no power and high winds necessitate a shutdown to prevent damage;
(2) Winds start and stop suddenly creating network instability plus they create electricity, not when people need it, but when the wind blows;
(3) Back-up gas and coal fired systems must always be idling ready to resume full power. A waste of fuel, labor, land and capital;
(4) Low energy density = large area of land peppered with wind turbines and networks of roads and transmission lines;
(5) So costly that it is highly subsidized with costs passed onto consumers in the form of skyrocketing electric bills;
(6) Even if reducing CO2 levels is an attainable or sensible goal, gas is a far cheaper way to achieve it;
(7) Wind turbines are noisy and dangerous = they kill birds and bats and cause brush fires;
(8) They leave behind a huge decommissioning cost at the end of their short life.
Viv assures us that it wastes community resources and did not benefit the climate or the environment in Australia. Just wondering how thoroughly the pros and cons have been measured before deciding to destroy the scenic beauty of this area? Heck, has anyone bothered to check in with T. Boone Pickens to get his take on how well spent were the millions he poured into wind farms?
As we contemplate placing more of these "giants" throughout this picturesque portion of the state, let's hope we're not chasing some Utopian fantasy in the manner of Don Quixote. Yes I know, he chased windmills that he thought were giants while we chase the wind with giant turbines, convinced we can harness the fickleness of mother nature. Sancho Panza finally anointed Don Quixote as "The Knight of the Sad Countenance". Let's hope that common sense prevails and we don't irretrievably damage our countryside chasing some elusive, far away dream. I'm so glad that so many people are expressing their outrage, unwilling to countenance another sad chapter in the environmental movement gone bad in our own little corner of the world.
Russ Wiles

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 00:08

Hits: 318

N.H. Liquor Commission keeps up with modern marketing

To the editor,
In 1933, the N.H. General Court (House and Senate) established by law the N.H. Liquor Commission to regulate the manufacture, possession, sale, consumption, importation, use storage, and transportation and delivery of wine, spirits and malt or brewed beverages in New Hampshire (RSA 176:1).
The Commission is comprised of three members who are appointed by the governor with consent of the Executive Council to six-year terms. Their task and responsibility is to produce a significant boost to the revenue side of the N.H. state budget each year.
It is my observation over my 35 years on the Council that this agency has been effectively run, dispersing wines and spirits through 74 stores in New Hampshire with some 10 million customers visiting these stores — with $559,114,050 sales annually with a net profit of $139.6 million to the State Treasury.
The Commission is to be commended for keeping up with modern ways of doing business in today's markets.
The 2012 Annual Report of the N.H. State Liquor Commission was accepted and placed on file by the governor and Council. If anyone would like a copy of this document please contact my office anytime.
Ray Burton
N.H. Executive Council - District 1

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 23:57

Hits: 435

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