To The Daily Sun,
I want to thank my family, friends, supporters and voters who helped me get elected on Nov. 4 to the Executive Council. I look forward to working with the governor and my fellow councilors on the important New Hampshire issues. The Council meets every two weeks and votes on state contracts, state board and commissions and judicial appointment. If you need any assistance in State government please do not hesitate to call my office at 271-3632.
I will continue to work hard for you and look forward to serving the citizens of Executive Council District 1 for the next two years. The Council will be sworn in on Jan. 8 at the State Capitol in a Joint Session.
Thank you again for the wonderful support in the Lakes Region.
Joseph D. Kenney
Executive Councilor District 1
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 11:26
To The Daily Sun,
After the recent (Nov. 12) Sun article on the Belknap Mill being "up for sale," we need to understand the importance of the mill.
The building is a historic landmark Indeed, it's a national treasure. Its importance is often described as the oldest brick mill building in the U.S. Although this is true, I prefer to think of it as the oldest example of an integrated-mill. An integrated mill is a mill where raw cotton/wool enters the building and finished cloth goes out.
Prior to the integrated mill, the different steps in the cloth manufacturing process were handled in different factories, or parceled out to cottage industries, a system that required significant movement of materials. The first integrated mill was built by Francis Cabot Lowell circa 1815 in Waltham, Mass., with water power produced by the Charles River. Lowell proceeded to build two more integrated mills in Waltham before he ran out of water power from the Charles River. He then relocated to the area of the Merrimack River that is now the city of Lowell, Mass.
The Belknap Mill was built in 1823 and was modeled on Lowell's Waltham Mills, which have since been torn down. Thus the Belknap Mill, if not the oldest, is at least close-to-the-oldest example of the original integrated mill, not only in the U.S., but in the world, since the concept of an integrated mill originated in the U.S. with Francis Cabot Lowell.
The Belknap Mill is a very unique piece of history. It contains a collection of antique knitting machines. Through the efforts of volunteers, several of these machines can still produce products including shoestrings, stockings, and baby hats. Many of these knitting machines were made by the Scott & Williams Company here in Laconia. In addition to the 1823 mill building, the mill houses a hydroelectric powerhouse that is nearly in the same condition as when it was built in 1918. This power-house produced hydroelectric power up until 1960. It's doubtful that any similar facility exists in this pristine condition. This powerhouse, along with the Avery Dam, allows children in the fourth-grade program to understand energy and energy conversion as practiced in the early 1900s.
Each year since 1995, over 1000 fourth grade students from Belknap County, as well as surrounding cities, towns and states have enjoyed the history of the Belknap Mill's architectural features, manufacturing process, knitting machines and turbine power demonstration.
The mill houses over 10,000 archived artifacts related to the mill, the manufacturing industries in Laconia, and the culture of early Laconia. Included in this archive are over 100 audiotape interviews with mill workers made in the 1990s. Many of these mill workers have since passed-away. This archive was the main reference for Carol Anderson's excellent book "A History of the Belknap Mill" which is recommended reading to better understand the mill's role in the community.
The history of the mill outlines the history of Laconia. Laconia was born of the American Industrial Revolution due to its location near available water power, and Laconia and the Belknap Mill were shaped by that Revolution into what they are today. The Belknap Mill represents pride in that heritage and pride in Laconia, something to remember in the ongoing discussion.
Member, Belknap Mill Society
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 November 2014 11:21
To The Daily Sun,
The election is over. Although I am disappointed in some of the outcomes in New Hampshire, I am pleased that the Republicans will have the majority in the Senate in Washington, D.C.
One benefit of having the Republican majority in the Senate is, the House will create a budget and it will send it to the Senate and should not get thrown in the trash like Harry Reid did. We might actually get a federal budget. We have only passed one since Obama was elected.
I believe the election was a mandate telling the president that the majority of U.S. citizens do not like his policies. However he does not think this. He is so arrogant that he wants to sign an executive order for amnesty.
The Democrats evidently do think the election was a mandate against Obama, as many Democrats that were opposed to the Keystone Pipeline now have voted for it. They do this in hopes that their vote will help Senator Mary Landrieu in Louisiana win the runoff election. I certainly hope this does not happen. I hope the voters are smarter than this. Louisiana could use the jobs, but they deserve a better senator.
Recently MIT professor/White House consultant Jonathan Gruber called the voters stupid for being in favor of Obamacare. He said the penalty part was deliberately written that it was not a tax because calling it a tax would kill it. He praised the late Senator Kennedy for ripping off the American public for $400 million a year. He deliberately did not let the bill be transparent because he did not want the public to know anything about it. Pelosi just recently said she did not know who Jonathan Gruber is, but she certainly could not praise him enough when the bill was passed.
The Democrats are the stupid ones. They are the ones that voted for it. I do not know of one single Republican who voted for it. So essentially Gruber is calling Democrats stupid.
Well we shall see soon enough. I hope the Republicans will repeal Obamacare. I hope the Republicans will defund amnesty if the president writes an executive order. Let's see if some Democrats vote with the Republicans. Time will only tell. And 2016 is not that far away......
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:59
To The Daily Sun,
To my constituents in Northfield and Franklin:
Thank you for sending me back to Concord as your representative. I will do my best to represent your interests, and I promise to be as accessible to you as I had been when I last served.
While there are many false or misleading claims made by political campaigns, one issue that I believe must be corrected is the false impression given in certain campaign literature about political agendas.
You may have noticed ads complaining about "Bill O'Brien and the Koch brothers," as if they were some nefarious team out to hurt our state. While I've never met a Koch brother, I do know Bill O'Brien quite well. I know that he has the best interests of the state at heart.
Bill is a state representative from Mont Vernon who was Speaker of the House from 2011-2012, the years I last served. Under his leadership we delivered on our promises, particularly the promise to keep state spending under control. Unfortunately, that success earned him enemies — people who seemed less concerned with keeping our state finances healthy than in catering to special interest groups.
The record shows that during that biennium we spent 10 percent less than the previous budget, something unheard of in New Hampshire history. We balanced the budget without any new taxes. We cut spending without hurting state services. Despite our economy limping along and providing less state revenue, we were simply unwilling to burden citizens by raising tax rates.
I'd like to see Bill O'Brien back in the Speaker's office, and build on the strong results we achieved two years ago. You can be sure we will do our best to reduce spending, provide substantive tax relief, and get our state economy growing again.
Thank you for this opportunity.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:54
To The Daily Sun,
I want to thank the thousands of voters in my district who re-elected me as their Grafton County commissioner for another two years. I am gratified and humbled by your vote and will continue my efforts to keep moving our wonderful county ahead in many arenas. This will include advocating for increased mental health services in our northern regions, supporting programs that keep our elderly safe and healthy in their own homes, encouraging the development of supervised residential homes for our youth-at-risk, and continuing to oppose the Northern Pass and the siting of industrial wind projects in our region.
It's also time to seriously increase planning for our aging demographics and its many implications for both our county and state — this has huge consequences for town budgets, facilities and trained workers to accommodate this group, as well as our local civic groups losing their members and leaders.
Our young people are leaving the state for "greener" and younger "pastures" and this drain will also affect our economy, educational opportunities, and especially the job market which must adjust itself to creating a vibrant setting to attract this group.
We should all appreciate anyone who runs for public service and to that end I commend my opponents, Paul Simard and Allan Monica, who ran good campaigns. Best wishes to them as they hopefully continue to give back to their communities in civic endeavors.
Let us all move ahead after a long campaign season and use that energy to make Grafton County and New Hampshire even better and stronger. Thank you all again for your support and please contact me whenever I can be of help.
Grafton County Commissioner, District 3
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:50