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LHS band program deserves to be preserved in its present form

To The Daily Sun,

As proposed, the LHS Band would be reduced to an after-school club that will quickly lead to the end of a wonderful instrumental music program that has been built up over the past decades.

On Tuesday a large group of students, parents and educators met with the Laconia School Board to ask them to reconsider. Not only were they shown that there are many other no-cost options — but they heard the compelling personal stories of why this program is so important and why it must be preserved in its present form.

Young people pay much more attention to what we do than to what we say. We tell them that when confronted with difficult problems that a true leader brings together all those with a vested interest and that together they will develop new and creative solutions. Unfortunately what our students have seen has been those in authority taking unilateral action without looking to others for collaboration. This is the wrong lesson for them to learn.

It is my hope that the school board and the school administration demonstrate true leadership and invite students, parents and their professional staff together to develop better solutions.

My fear is that they will claim they do not have time and will resort to exercising authority in the form of command/control in a way that is anything but collaborative in nature. If they do they will not only lose a wonderful instrumental music program, but they will have missed an opportunity to demonstrate to our students and the community at large what real leadership looks like.

I hope that they choose to lead by example.

Howard Chandler
LHS Band Parent

Laconia

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Not attending church is not same thing as not believing in God

To The Daily Sun,

As he usually does, Mr. Ververka does his best to insult and demean those whose views or beliefs differ from his. In his most recent gloat, he cited a Pew Research study showing a decline in church attendance and an increase in the number of people claiming to be atheist or agnostic. Apparently, the numbers alone convince him that people who don't go to church must not believe in an almighty power: God.

According to the Pew Research study, there has been a significant decline in attendance in many Protestant denominations, but there has been significant growth in attendance in Evangelical, Mormon, and Southern Baptist churches. The Catholic Church also shows a growth in attendance, but the growth rate is not keeping up with the overall population growth rates. The reasons for its lower growth rate is not identified but it could be that some of that growth moved to a growing Protestant denomination.

Another facet of the Pew Research study deals with the decline in what can best be described as a shift from traditional moral values. That is evidenced a few major ways. The first is that many couples live together without being married . . . that was not a "normal" arrangement in the pre-sexual revolution days that began in the 1960s. We must also recognize that in 1973, at the height of the sexual revolution, the Supreme Court issued its Roe v, Wade decision and, since that time, there have been about 1.3 million abortions per year in this country. These issues may make people uncomfortable and perhaps less likely to attend church on a regular basis. However, in no way does that mean they don't believe in God . . . it simply means we don't know their religious beliefs.

Next, many young women have chosen to start a business career before getting married. If I remember correctly, the Pew Research study pointed out that couples now have very low birth rates because women are getting married much later and are nearing the end of their ability to give birth to a child.

The problem I have with Mr. Ververka's position is that he assumes that if people aren't attending church, they don't believe in God. As good as Pew Research is, I don't believe they can tell us what is in a person's heart.

Some people seem to want "proof" that God exists, before they will profess "faith." Personally, I find the gift of life in all its forms to be an overwhelming "proof." That those life forms in so many ways work in unison to sustain each other is more overwhelming "proof." That the gaseous matter contained in the "big bang" that created the ever expanding universe, included all the elements of life is even more overwhelming "proof."

Mr. Ververka seems unwilling to accept that people have faith in a God that he doesn't acknowledge exists . . . he wants undeniable proof. I simply ask Mr. Ververka if he will accept the same type of litmus test for himself, and provide us with "proof" that the Big Bang did not happen and, even more important, offer the readers "proof" that God does not exist.

Bob Meade

Laconia

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