To The Daily Sun,
I was in the Meredith Municipal Building Wednesday. While there I found out there were two open positions for selectman. Only one person had signed up. After going home, I called a couple of friends and they said I should go for it.
At this time I am announcing, I will be a candidate for the position of selectman. Come May I will have been a resident of Meredith for 73 years, as we like to say, a native. Please don't use that against me.
I served during Vietnam as a Navy hospital corpsman from 1960-1964. I hope I spelled it better than our president said. Ask a Marine. I know they know how to pronounce it.
After coming home from the Navy I started getting involved. The first thing I got involved with was the local American Legion. I was on the honor guard rifle party, and than I became the post commander. In all I served four times. Other involvements were Parks and Playgrounds Commission and the Community Center Committee. I was involved two times when we brought the Vietnam Moving Wall to Meredith.
Most recently I served on the Route 3-25 Committee. Any one that attended the hearing can tell you that even though I was on the committee I urged the selectmen to listen to the taxpayers. There were almost 400 people there, and only two or three spoke in favor. The selectmen did the right thing by turning it down.
I know if I should be elected I will have a lot to learn, but with the help of present and past selectmen I am confident I can do the job. I do not consider myself a big spender and try as hard as I can to be open to all the taxpayers of Meredith.
If I can't give you the answer you are looking for I will try to point out the person that does. I can promise I will work to the best of my ability.
L. Michael Hatch
Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 11:12
To The Daily Sun,
Readers of The Daily Sun have doubtless become inured to the strident letters regularly published from correspondents on the political left and right. By now, the familiarity of their arguments makes for less than compelling reading, and no useful purpose would be served by commenting on them. But Thursday's letters page produced a missive from one Tom Dawson of Laconia so dismal in thought that an exception must be made.
The villain of the Dawson letter is Fox News, described as "a propaganda machine supporting a Republican, right-wing agenda" that "lies and continually slants its reporting to achieve some [nefarious] end." The sentiment has a familiar ring to Daily Sun readers — except sometimes the descriptives are altered and it is MSNBC being denounced in such terms. What distinguishes the Dawson letter from the standard editorial page fare is its assertion that the reportage/commentary of Fox News is not merely deplorable. According to Dawson, it is criminal in nature. This is because Fox broadcasts threaten to "cause commotion, confusion, and anger among the American citizenry" and/or are "aimed at disrupting the American government," and therefore constitute sedition on its way to treason. Making this all the more sinister is the fact that Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch, admittedly an American citizen, but one of non-native origin (having been born in Australia).
Sadly, there were times in American history when criticism of the government was a crime, and many of those whose speech discomforted government office holders ended up in handcuffs. Ironically (given Dawson's apparent sympathies), sedition statutes and other anti-free speech enactments were most often used to suppress the voice of the political left. But thankfully, such laws have been off the books for nearly 100 years, and today anyone, from the John Birch Society to Mother Jones, can express views critical of government without jeopardizing their liberty.
Finally should letter writer Tom Dawson prove to be the Thomas Dawson who stood as candidate for state office in the November election but lost, it would appear that New Hampshire residents dodged a bullet. The specter of someone with so shallow an understanding of history and such disdain of the First Amendment (with latent nativist tendencies, to boot) holding political power is a far more scary thought than anything uttered by the talking heads on TV.
Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 11:09
To The Daily Sun,
After attending the bond hearing for the reconstruction of the Belmont Mill, we came away with more questions than answers.
We read Donna Hepp's letter to The Daily Sun, published on Jan. 27, and congratulate her for explaining, in great detail, the town's proposal.
With one vote, the town is asking us to:
1. Raise $3,357,250 to renovate the mill to be used for town offices.
2. Bond $2,957,250 as partial payment for this project.
3. Authorize the selectmen to negotiate the terms and interest rate for said bond or note.
4. Authorize the town to take $400,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund to pay the balance.
These are far too many questions to expect the voters to answer with a yes or no, all-or-nothing, vote and with no other options offered.
In reality, there are two separate issues here.
The first is: What should we do with the historic Belmont Mill? As Donna pointed out, we could repair the damage for less than $2 million and recoup some of the expenses by renting some of the space as has been done up until now. There are also ways to pay for the necessary renovations to the mill other than tax dollars. Again, as Donna stated, there are public and private funds available.
The second issue is what should we do for town offices as the selectmen are not happy with the Town Hall as it is? There are a number of alternatives here. The existing Town Hall has a second floor that is not used. The floor space could be doubled with some improvements that would cost around $400,000 (a rough estimate). A second option, that was mentioned when the town purchased the former bank building, is to repair the leaking roof and heating system on this building and move in some of the town offices. This would cost around $250,000 (again a rough estimate). The third option, moving the town offices to the Mill, is by far the most expensive.
The Town of Meredith is to be commended for holding a hearing on their issue of whether or not to put in roundabouts. Four hundred to 500 people attended this meeting, spoke up, the selectmen listened, and changes were made.
Belmont can do the same. We are currently taxed higher than other towns and the school meeting on March 6th proposes additional costs which will increase our taxes further.
We have the opportunity to attend the Belmont Deliberative Session on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 10 a.m. at Belmont High School and have a thorough discussion of these issues and what is best for Belmont. Only you can make this happen by coming to this meeting, speaking up, listening to what others have to say, and asking the selectmen to go along with what the voters want. Then, go and vote on March 10 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Belmont High School.
George & Susan Condodemetraky
Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 11:05
To The Daily Sun,
I am pleased that the Town of Meredith Selectboard listened to the people and put a stop to the proposed roundabouts along Route 3 and Route 25 at this time. We will still have traffic issues going forward and hope that a viable option will be presented in the future.
We still need to look at the uncontrolled pedestrian crossing along Route 3 near the town docks. There are two crosswalks within 500 feet of each other with one at Dover Street right at the point where the two lines of traffic are trying to merge into one lane going South.
Why can't the two crosswalks be joined together at Dover Street with a crosswalk signal tired into the traffic light system at the intersection of Route 3 and Route 25?
The sequence at the lights now is as followed. Green arrows allow Route 3 North to turn onto Main Street and Route 3 south onto Route 25. They then allow Route 3 South to go and after a short pause allow Route 3 North to cross the intersection. Next is Route 25 traffic to go south on Route 3, north on Route 3, or across onto Main Street. Main Street now allows traffic to cross to Route 25 West or Route 3 North and if needed Route 3 South. If the pedestrian buttons are pushed during the sequence all traffic is stopped in all directions, allowing pedestrians to cross. If the Dover Street crosswalk light was to be activated at the same time there would be plenty of time for pedestrians to cross in both directions with the least amount of traffic trying to go south.
I think that this idea should be looked at and given an opportunity to see it will help. I do not think the cost will outweigh the benefits.
David L. Bennett, Sr.
Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 10:56
To The Daily Sun,
Guess what? The $435 million bill is coming! The $435 million bill is coming! Just like Paul Revere, riding out to tell everyone to mobilize and confront the coming danger to the community, we must now do the same, every one of us, thinking citizens, who can take part in any way (phone calls, emails, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) to stop this cold.
$435 million for what, exactly? The previous New Hampshire state Legislature passed a bill, signed and sealed, which demands the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) force Public Service New Hampshire (PSNH) to sell off, against its will, its nine hydroelectric power generating plants and three fossil fuel power generating plants as soon as possible, and in so doing, they will incur a $435 million loss, to be paid off by all electrical consumers in the state.
What a concept! (Even if you pay your electric bill through another company, they are selling you electricity that uses PSNH infrastructure, so you are still a part of all this.) Our home-grown, on-the-NH-soil and rivers, currently functioning, built and paid for over the past century, up-to-date, utility-company-owned electric generating capacity is required to be sold off piecemeal, to the highest bidders, who can then sell them off, and ship all the equipment, piecemeal to overseas buyers, if they like, maybe China, Iran and Cuba, and they can get the benefit of our century of building them instead of us having light and heat from them into our future. And, we take a $435 million loss to do so. Boondoggle! Crazy! Madness!
I bet you don't believe it. Well, guess what? It's true. Please refer to the Associated Press (AP) article published in The Laconia Daily Sun Saturday, Jan. 17, page 15. (Thank you, Laconia Daily Sun) The focus of this article is the PUC wrestling with how PSNH will be reimbursed for its $422 million loss and how the $435 million loss to be paid for by consumers is to be structured.
In the article, the PUC says it is proceeding as required by the previously enacted legislation, "unless and until that legislative directive is changed." This current Legislature, if they have the will to do so, could take up this subject in one day, pass it, get it signed by Gov. Hassan or override her veto, and this particular piece of madness would stop.
But, guess what? Again, referencing the article, above, it seems no one down there in the Legislature is even bringing up the idea of stopping the sale. No representative or senator is saying, "Stop the Madness, Stop the selloff of the 12 plants." Instead, it seems from the article that their focus is on how to structure the billing to minimize the effect on consumers of the $435 million debt to be paid by them. (And nothing about how that loss of home state generating capacity will compromise our future energy independence.)
Every representative and senator in this current Legislature needs to be made aware of this ongoing boondoggle and that the sell-off needs to be stopped — by them. They are the only ones who can stop it. One day, one bill, passed, signed, done. It would be out of the ordinary, but they could do it if they really wanted to. (Think how fast-one day-they put through the guns in the Statehouse rule.)
Space requirements, unfortunately, do not allow me to tell the whole story in one letter, so please watch for my next letter(s), where I address how PSNH has been fighting this sale all along and why the original rationale for the sale (eventual higher rates) in the first place was (and still is) bogus and why it is likely the buyers of our plants probably will not operate them in place, but will ship them, physically, elsewhere. Also, what this sell-off would mean to us as consumers and how it will affect our future ability to attract new businesses into our state. And, why we won't be able to fix this mistake once the plants are gone and we then discover it was a mistake.
But, meantime, please start spreading the word. This sell-off needs to be stopped.
Last Updated on Friday, 30 January 2015 10:51