To The Daily Sun,
It amazes me that a number of elected officials to Washington are proud of themselves for passing a law they did not fully understand and for punishing people who were/are prudent about their own health care spending decisions. Millions of responsible citizens are now forced to have health insurance policies with unnecessary coverages — with greatly increased premiums. Many are finding their trusted health care providers are not included in their new government mandated plan.
Is the "Affordable Health Care Law" really about health care? Or about government control and forced wealth redistribution? Yes, many people can now have health insurance for free or with reduced/subsidized premiums. But is making health insurance very expensive for one group of people, so that another group can have health insurance, the way to deal with health care in this county?
Does this redistribution policy improve the overall economic health of the country? Are successful business owners going to be more or less motivated to work harder when the government takes more of their hard earned profits? Are they going to expand their businesses and hire more employees? What about the people on the receiving end of this wealth distribution? Are they going to be more or less motivated to find employment or expend time and energy in learning a new or more marketable/higher paying job?
If we wish to avoid joining the ranks of failed socialist countries, repeal of the mis-named health care law is the only viable option.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 January 2014 11:34
To The Daily Sun,
After reading the letter (Jan. 9) "Learn More About The Expectations Of Common Core", I thought it would be helpful if readers understood the Common Core Standards have come at a great expense to local control in our public schools.
It came as no surprise that an organization that will benefit financially from the new Common Core Initiative would be publicly supporting it. Many refer to Common Core as: No Vendor Left Behind. I guess that's a humorous yet honest response to the number of organizations that will financially benefit from another D.C. "education reform".
What wasn't mentioned in their letter, that appeared to be more of a "sales pitch", was that these academic standards are not considered the best in the nation. In other words, what we got in New Hampshire is a set of mediocre academic standards. That is hardly something parents should be cheering about.
In fact in many states parents and teachers have been vocalizing their opposition to the Common Core Standards. This was such a problem for the U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, that he issued an apology to all of the "white suburban moms" he denigrated for expecting better quality standards for their children.
Parents and teachers across the country are not only looking at the Common Core standards that continue to put their children behind their international peers, but are also looking at the developmentally inappropriate materials and math tests that have left CPA's confused.
Recently a Nashua School Board member sent testimony to a legislative committee where he revealed comments from teachers in the district on the new Smarter Balanced Assessment. Comments from teachers ranged from: "Shockingly negative experience" to "This would be a crushing emotional experience for my students".
Standards can and should be raised for New Hampshire students. However the Common Core standards that are now being translated into materials and tests that are developmentally inappropriate, confusing and frustrating, kills the love of learning and teaching.
What we are seeing now is, a rush to defend Common Core by those who will be cashing in from this new reform effort. It would be wise for parents to do their own research.
Ann Marie Banfield
Education Liaison (Volunteer) for Cornerstone Action
Last Updated on Friday, 10 January 2014 11:30
To The Daily Sun,
At the Bristol selectman's meeting on January 9, long time "Tax and Spend" Selectman Joe Denning attempted to "bully" first term Selectperson Betsy Schneider. It seems, in his opinion, she wasn't whole-heartedly promoting Joe's view that Bristol needs to aggressively increase spending.
To her great credit, Selectperson Schneider cited the law to Mr. Denning, stating she served "ex-officio" on the Budget Committee. Selectperson Schneider further stated she represented the taxpayers of Bristol and would not be a "puppet" of the Selectboard. This statement garnered applause from the citizens attending the meeting.
Bravo Selectboard member Schneider!
Last Updated on Friday, 10 January 2014 11:25
To The Daily Sun,
I think it was very thoughtful for Chief Hempel's neighbor, Joanne Gianni, to write a letter in support of her friend. She made many "observations".
1. Why are the selectmen relying on a 10-year-old warrant article voted on in 2004? It's the job of the selectmen to follow the vote of the people. A few weeks ago the Firemen's Assoc. showed up in force against the new warrant article, so the selectmen deleted it from the warrant.
2. Does Mrs. Gianni think the selectmen would be foolish enough to set a policy that wasn't legal?
3. How does the $20,000 reduction cut services? Mrs. Gianni gives no example. The only affect it will have is on the per diem staff who will no longer earn $200 per day to fill full-time shifts.
4. I don't believe the policy change is an attempt to micromanage, it's just following the will of the people. Had the chief been willing to make the schedule change on his own, a policy would not have been necessary.
5. How is this a personal attack on the fire chief? Mrs. Gianni gives no example.
6. Why would this cause the personnel to feel undervalued? The Gilmanton FF/EMT's do a wonderful job serving the town's people and the selectmen have never said anything to the contrary. The chief should not be dragging down his department because he doesn't want to fill two shifts.
7. Mrs. Gianni states, "I believe that the new policy is detrimental and dangerous"? How so, she doesn't give any example.
Right now the chief is the only one enjoying every weekend off. He can still continue his weekends off and if he chooses to handle the scheduling change properly, each full-time employee could have four months a year with weekends off. The morale might improve with a schedule change. Each full-time employee would have a chance to work weekday shifts, not just the chief and one chosen employee (who had a fixed schedule) as had been practiced in the past. Maybe this is a little unknown fact that Joanne Gianni wasn't aware of.
Although I understand Mrs. Gianni's attempt at wanting to side with her neighbor's position, it appears she doesn't have any facts to support her stance.
EMT & Taxpayer
Last Updated on Friday, 10 January 2014 11:21
To The Daily Sun,
N.H.'s economy has changed significantly over the past 50 years. The textile mills are gone and the paper mills are shuttered. Tourism now generates over $1.2 billion in annual income and is N.H.'s second largest industry. N.H.'s tourism agency states, "A state blessed with unusual scenic qualities is bound to attract many visitors. N.H.'s mix of mountains, lakes , rivers, forests and a strip of beautiful New England seacoast brings tourists of varied interests all year long."
The energy needs of N.H., New England and the U.S. have also changed dramatically over the past half century. There is a major push to supplement or replace fossil fuel energy generation with renewable, sustainable, clean "green" energy. Oil and coal are in disfavor, natural gas "fracking" is suspect and nuclear is considered unsafe. This leaves solar and wind as the major "green" energy alternatives. Solar and wind farms are being built throughout the nation, including New England and N.H. While solar farms can be erected with minimal visual impact, the same can not be said for wind farms. Drive along Tenney Mountain Highway in Plymouth and observe the 24 400+ ft.-tall Groton Wind Farm wind turbines along the mountain ridge and the mammoth transmission line along the highway. A sight unlikely to attract tourists. Iberdrola Renewables, the Spanish energy company that built the Groton Wind Farm, is moving ahead to build the Wild Meadows Wind Farm consisting of 23 450+ ft. wind turbines along the mountain ridges overlooking scenic Newfound Lake in the towns of Alexandria and Danbury. Anyone owning property around the lake is obviously against this Green energy project. Unfortunately their objections fall into the category of NIMBI (Not In My Back Yard ).
Historically NIMBY objections end up as collateral damage, sacrificed for the greater good of the majority who will benefit from the proposed project. (Homeowners in the flight path of major airports, small towns in the river valleys of hydroelectric dams, land owners near major electric transmission lines like Northern Pass are all collateral damage). Will the scenic beauty of N.H.'s mountain ridges and lakes be collateral damage in pursuit of the States 25 in 25 Green Energy Goal? Will N.H.'s tourism industry be sacrificed for the energy needs of Massachusetts, R.I. and Connecticut? I hope not. The just released report on the State's Energy Facility Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), required by Senate Bill 99, contains many excellent recommendations including developing criteria on how visual impacts should be evaluated by the SEC. I hope the report itself will not be collateral damage.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 January 2014 11:17