To The Daily Sun,
I don't always respond to a letter writer who responds to a letter to the editor that I had originally written but I do want to clear some of her statements up. The letter writer is Hilary Seeger, whose letter appeared in this paper last week.
Hilary herself concedes that Senator Forrester voted for cuts to nursing home rates in the O'Brien budget, to the tune of $30 million dollars, proving my point that Senator Forrester's phony outrage is extremely hypocritical.
My second point was that while Forrester says that these nursing home rate increases were promised, the truth is that Forrester and the Legislature promised more than state agencies could actually deliver; they made back-of-the-budget cuts without specifying which services should be cut — and leaving it up to state agencies to actually make the tough choices/deliver the bad news.
The O'Brien budget that slashed funding for nursing homes by $30M also cut cigarette taxes. O'Brien budget showed what GOP priorities are — cutting cigarette taxes while slashing funding for higher ed and nursing homes.
Hilary also stated that, "While it is true that the 2010/2011 budget to reduce funding nursing homes it was because there was an $800 million deficit facing the state — a deficit created by the Democrats over-spending. Our law requires a balance budget and Republicans were faced with difficult choices to meet the law's requirement. However, in the 2014/2015 budget, even though Governor Hassan tried to continue cuts to nursing homes, the Senate Republicans restored funding AND put in a budget footnote to tell the governor she could not use those funds for any other purpose."
The $800M figure that she cites has been rated "false" by Politifact.
A sign posted in the Nashua area during that election cycle written by the New Boston Republican Committee made a simple, 11-word statement, describing the difference between recent Democratic and Republican legislatures.
"NH DEMOCRATS $1 BILLION DEFICIT," the sign reads. "NH REPUBLICANS UNDER BILL (House Speaker William) O'BRIEN BALANCED BUDGET."
PolitiFact decided based on that statement to do some research as to its truthfulness.
I do hope interested citizens like Hillary Seeger and my favorite Republican Mike Hatch will go to the link below and read the whole story.
To read the comprehensive article please go to: http://www.politifact.com/new-hampshire/statements/2012/jul/29/new-boston-republican-committee/new-boston-gop-says-dems-left-deficit/
Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 09:30
To The Daily Sun,
The Laconia Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society wishes to acknowledge the receipt of a grant from Meredith Village Savings Bank Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Fund to support our Food Pantry.
Established in 1962, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is driven by a vision for a stronger, more just, and resilient Granite State. In pursuit of this vision, the foundation invests charitable assets for today and tomorrow; connects donors to effective organizations, ideas and people; and leads and collaborates on important public issues. Annually, the foundation awards nearly 5,000 grants and scholarships totaling $30 million. Based in Concord, the foundation roots itself in communities across the state through its staff, board of directors, and eight regional advisory boards. For more information, please visit www.nhcf.org or call 603-225-6641.
The St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry is one of the largest in the state of New Hampshire. The pantry provides food for approximately 370 households and over 1,000 individuals each month. In addition, the pantry also provided over 800 turkey baskets last Thanksgiving.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society in Laconia has been active in the Lakes Region since 1991 and will mark its 25th anniversary in 2016. In addition to its Food Pantry, the Laconia Conference also operates a Thrift Store that provides about $20,000 annually in free clothing and furniture, a financial assistance program that helps with over $110,000 in direct assistance, the Children's Foundation that provides school related to area children , and a prison ministry. The conference is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit. In its entire history, it has never paid any wages or salaries. For more information or to volunteer, please contact me at 524-5470 or visit their website at http://www.stvdplaconia.org/.
Erika Johnson, President
St. Vincent de Paul Society - Laconia Conference
Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 09:24
To The Daily Sun,
Recently, Lakes Region Community Services (LRCS) celebrated 40 years of service to our community. For me it was a week of reminiscing — thinking about how the organization began, remembering those who together affected change and created a community-based system that supports independence, dignity, and opportunity in the lives of people with disabilities. It made me think not only about how far we have come, but also of all that is left to do.
LRCS was formed in 1975 by a small group of citizens who felt better coordination was needed for human services. We have grown and evolved since 1975 from a state that institutionalized our citizens with developmental disabilities to one that embraces a community-based system. While LRCS started with two employees it now employs over 350, supports over 1,200 individuals and families each year and is an integral part of the community in central N.H.
Now that the pause to celebrate our past achievements is over, the realities of today's challenges loom even larger. As an organization and state, we are facing devastating cuts to Developmental Services as proposed by the N.H. House of Representatives. I am working to inform the community and prepare families and individuals we serve and our employees and contractors to understand what would occur if these cuts come to fruition.
Eighty percent of people served by developmental services live with their families. By partnering with area agencies, families can continue to work, provide for themselves and contribute to their community. The cuts approved by the House of Representatives would undermine and diminish this partnership with families, underestimating the impact of the state's reliance on families in this service model.
The people of New Hampshire have a community-based support system for people with disabilities that we can all be proud of. It is cost effective, falling below our neighboring states and those states that rely on an institutional model of care. This system, which is the safety net for some of our most vulnerable citizens, is being put at risk. The dismantling of existing services proposed for New Hampshire citizens who need support and supervision for their basic health and safety, would result in real harm. The needs of these individuals will not go away; they will not "fix themselves." Any changes to the existing service system must not be done in haste. Change must be careful and thoughtful to ensure that no harm will come to any individual or family served by the developmental services system.
I am proud to be a part of the developmental services system. I am proud to lead an organization with many caring, dedicated employees and providers that are true stewards to the community for the individuals and families we serve. I am deeply concerned and troubled about the impact of these cuts and the irreversible harm they will cause if implemented. It has been a long and arduous road to get us where we are today and if the system is dismantled in haste, the individuals, families and communities impacted may never recover.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 09:20
To The Daily Sun,
How ironic that I'm not PC enough for Mr. Wiles. I used the wrong word, apparently, when I used the term denier to refer to folks who deny that climate change is occurring and also deny that there is human causation. His claim that I was associating climate change deniers with Holocaust deniers is absurd. There is no comparison between those who doubt climate change and those who doubt the attempted extermination of my people.
Mr. Wiles accused me of "attack(ing), demean(ing), and destroy(ing)" him because I didn't like his ideas. I do disagree with his position on climate change, but my letter merely pointed out that his sources were bogus.
I'm not a 'liberal/progressive' ideologue though I do hold liberal opinions in regard to the economy and wealth inequality, among other things. However, I also hold opinions associated more with conservatives on things like the power of free enterprise and the value of entrepreneurship and I find common ground with some libertarians on civil rights and in opposition to our military involvement in other countries. If I'm to be labeled anything call me a "pragmatist". I go where the evidence takes me.
I don't believe liberals or progressives or conservatives, or libertarians, or any other ideologically driven group has the truth. I think we get there by putting our thoughts into the "marketplace of ideas" and seeing what comes out. I suspect that on most things, the truth is somewhere in the middle of the ideologically driven fringes. I enjoy it when my conservative, and libertarian, and, yes, Tea Party friends and acquaintances and I are able to discuss and debate the issues with mutual respect.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 09:14
To The Daily Sun,
I was intrigued by an article on page 11 of The Daily Sun on April 16 about Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments, who decided to cut his own pay so that each employee under him could earn a base salary of $70,000. I would hope and pray that corporate America would take notice of this story and act accordingly. I think most people would agree that greed at the top of most large companies is hurting those at the bottom.
I am employed by a company that the CEO who recently retired earned in excess of $11 million a year. While he has taken all that money out of the company, myself and many co-workers have been struggling to make ends meet. I have worked full time for 11 1/2 years with this company and had all above average evaluations, yet my wages are such that I still qualify for fuel assistance. My wife and I have not had health insurance for more than 5 years now, since my employer has steadily increased the rates for it. In 2008 I filed bankruptcy, in 2014 I avoided foreclosure (at least for the time being) and I am still struggling to pay the bills. My wife and I have only one vehicle between us though we need two and that vehicle will not pass inspection this coming June, nor do we know where the money will come from to replace it. We tend to buy 10-15 year old vehicles since that is all we can afford. So it was nice to read that not all those at the top of companies are so greed struck that they let those under them languish in poverty.
I have a potential solution for this problem. No, it's not a higher minimum wage (that only hurts the small businesses), nor is it having a labor union (though I have previously been a union member and my needs were met). I propose that a law be written that says no one at the upper end of any company can earn more than 20 times the wage of the lowest paid worker if that lowest paid worker is earning less than 400 percent of the federal poverty rate. Also a law like that should only apply to medium and large businesses so as not to hurt the smaller up and coming competitors. I don't know what the exact numbers should be in a law such as that; I'll leave that to our lawmakers.
I think of the biblical example of Jobe and how he was one of the wealthiest men of his time. Not one of the many people that served under his leadership would say anything against him because their needs were taken care of. Now that's a great example of how to treat your employees.
Thank you Dan Price for setting an example and I sincerely hope that you are blessed many times over and others at the top take notice and follow your lead.
One last thought, as our state legislators are about to vote to legalize casino gambling, just remember if it passes no product will be produced, though many workers will be taken out of the workforce to fill these non-productive jobs. Many who can least afford it will become addicted to gambling and most of the money put into it will leave our local economy for Nevada to line the pockets of greedy executives at the top of that industry. Call and write your representatives and let them know your thoughts.
Last Updated on Monday, 27 April 2015 09:10