To The Daily Sun,
Like many of our friends, my husband and I love to spend a day in Portsmouth. We gladly make the hour plus drive any chance we get. While Randy and Sue Bullerwell of All My Life Jewelers recently shared with me that Portland is their favorite day trip. A friend and I recently discovered Peterborough and have plans to return soon. What is it about these three cities that appeals to us? It wasn't the big box stores or food chains, but the uniqueness of the independently owned shops, boutiques and restaurants.
What makes a town or city a destination is the character and charm found only in these businesses owned by people, not corporations. It's knowing that no two are exactly alike that make us want to go inside and experience what each one has to offer. It's the knowledge that every dollar we spend is paying that business owner's bills.
Without independently-owned businesses every city and town would look like the next, all containing the same cookie-cutter looking, brand-conscious facades, with all the same products. Is that what you want for the Lakes Region? If your answer is no, then I beg of you, think twice about where you shop.
Every time you shop online or at a big box store, you chisel away at the very foundation of the uniqueness that people seek out when they choose a destination. A large portion of the Lakes Region's revenue is a result of people who chose it as their favorite place. They aren't all here for a week of skiing or water sports. Many, like my husband and I and the Bullerwells, are just looking for a nice place to spend a day, browsing the unique shops, shipping drinks and dining in interesting restaurants.
Please do your part. Shop local, support your community. Help keep independently owned businesses strong.
Debbie Bolduc, VP & Acting President
Belknap Independent Business Alliance
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 April 2015 09:14
To The Daily Sun,
It is getting to be that time of year again, Spring is finally upon us and with it comes.....PROM! At Laconia High School, we are always excited about this special time of year as our students enjoy an evening of dressing up to the nines (who even says THAT anymore?) and enjoying an evening of fine food and dancing. It is ideally a time of enjoyable celebration among groups of teens who are united by their affiliation to their school and community.
Unfortunately, this is also a time of year where student risk behavior is elevated. The data indicates a significant increase in the incidence of both injuries and deaths that is connected to drugs and alcohol during the prom "season." This is not a new issue, it has been a problem within our nation's communities for many, many years.
Laconia has held the Laconia High School Chem-Free After Prom Party for the past two years. This event has been an outstanding success and has ensured that every participant has remained alcohol and drug free throughout the entirety of the prom and the overnight hours that follow. It has also been a complete blast for everyone who has participated, including teachers, administrators and our local police participants! But the real success has been that our kids have not just had a great time throughout the evening and into the next day. The real success in this effort is that our young people are safe and away from the negative, destructive influence of alcohol and drugs.
We are once again reaching out to you, the community, to help us make this night not just special but safe for our students. Over the years we have had outstanding support from the Gilford Cinema 8, First Student Bus Company and FunSpot have provided tremendous support during that time. Many community businesses, agencies and individuals have also provided financial support that has ensured this event is a hit every year
This year, we are shooting for 100 student participants for the Chem-Free After Prom Party. The event starts directly after the prom and runs until five the next morning, ensuring every student is having a blast and is actively engaged in fun, safe and positive activities during a dangerous time of year for our teens. If you are interested in supporting this important programming, do not hesitate to contact either of us at Laconia High School during the school hours Monday through Friday.
As always, we appreciate this community's constant efforts to support the Laconia High School and its efforts to help keep our students SAFE.....and college and career ready!
School Resource Officer, LHS
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 April 2015 09:10
To The Daily Sun,
To the debaters arguing humanity vs money I say this:
We are not at liberty to deal with one crisis at a time. Our country is falling apart and every crisis that goes unchecked will only contribute to the further deterioration of the United States America.
With that said, we have no room for sugar-coated politics and diplomatic rhetoric. We need to act quickly and accordingly.
In regards to our heroin epidemic, the individuals that should be paying for our people's treatment are the drug dealers themselves and not American taxpayers.
Not only should convicted drug dealers be forced to work while imprisoned to support funding for rehabilitation efforts, but 100 percent of all monies collected in drug raids should go back to the citizens and communities in need of these services.
Accordingly, their sentences should represent an equal amount of time necessary to provide the proper funding in restitution to the community which they have exploited.
To do this, we need to get these criminals off the streets, support our local law enforcement officers to the best of our abilities and be prepared to defend ourselves and loved ones from the threats that come associated with this epidemic.
Heroin not only impacts our budget to treat addicts and house dealers in the DOC, but also increases the crime rate significantly.
Sweeping from town to town like a plague, the number of deaths tolls, ODs and home invasions are increasing like never before.
This isn't just a problem for bad neighborhoods anymore. It's right in our own back yards where our children play and it's time to take the necessary action to protect our families.
I carry a loaded firearm on me everywhere, even at home. Some people think this is a bit extreme but what they do not realize is that in the face of danger things escalate very, very quickly and every second counts. As far as carrying at home, most break-ins occur during the day so as not to draw attention by turning lights on or using flashlights. They also will likely knock on the door to check if anyone is home, posing as someone lost looking for directions or some other sort of cover. Something to think about.
No matter where you stand on the "gun debate", I encourage New Hampshire to utilize our Second Amendment rights to responsibly carry a firearm.
Here's how this helps our problem at hand and the bigger picture.
When criminal plans are thwarted because their intended victim is armed, it not only gets them off the streets but also gives law enforcement a leading advantage in their efforts to conduct an investigation. For the sake of length I won't go into detail about what constitutes being a responsible gun owner but I will say that discharging your firearm should always be your last resort.
I understand many folks are uncomfortable with firearms and that's actually not a bad thing. Your concern and respect for a tool that can be deadly if not handled with proper care is a natural instinct that will keep you on your toes and safe. Firearms are not toys, and should be treated with the utmost care and responsibility.
Now, not everyone is willing to carry a firearm. Likewise, some citizens are not willing support this cause financially and it should absolutely be their choice to decide what they do with their hard earned dollars.
However, the beauty of the American people is that there are all kinds from all different walks of life. To those who may have been affected directly or indirectly by heroin and feel motivated to contribute financially, that is certainly an option but it should be their choice to do so, not the governments.
There are many ways we can work together to help solve this epidemic but relying on our government to solve every problem is not the answer and will only lead to more problems. Let the drug dealers foot the bill for rehab, cooperate with local police. Exercise your right to bear arms and contribute to your community however you see fit.
New Hampshire as well as the American people need to work together in the same way we did to build this country into what it once was or I fear that we will lose our beloved homeland. The loss of a country is not measured in acres of land. Rather, it is the heart of a people that is lost.
We cannot give up.
An effort to restore our nation will not succeed unless We, the People stop pointing the fingers at shady government and take a stand for the country we love.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 April 2015 09:07
To The Laconia Sun,
In a recent letter to The Sun, Bev Buker implies that the answer for school kids with emotional problems is to hit them. She specifically targeted "bi polar" kids. Does she know what that term means? I wonder if she also advocates this for children with learning disabilities? There was a time when kids with emotional issues and learning disabilities like ADHD were labeled as "bad" and worthy of a "whuppin'".
One supposes Ms. Buker is one of those people with nostalgia, with a longing for the "good old days" which, as any historian can tell you, really never existed except in myth. Most of us were raised with "when I was your age" and how things better and worse in the "good old days". Unlike some writers to The Sun maintain, education was not necessarily better in their day. One thing that was worse was the use of corporal punishment in schools.
I have studied school corporal punishment and I am also of a generation to have had more practical exercises in the topic. It was common then and few questioned it. In 1st grade the teacher hit students over the head with the larger, teachers' editions of our textbooks. She also slapped students on the face, In 2nd grade, the teacher and her principal, used a ping pong paddle. My 3rd grade teacher used a yard stick across the back of the thighs while another teacher, in the 4th grade, made students sit in what she called her "torture chair" while she beat them across the top of the thighs with a ruler. My junior high principal used a paddle.
Kids with what today would be considered learning disabilities were often punished corporally. In 2nd grade, I had problems in math and especially with adding two-digit numbers and "carrying". I got paddled for that. Needless to say, it resulted in my not being overly fond of math for a long time — until I realized I was better at it than I (or others) thought.
In junior high school, the principal administered to me what we kids called "cracks" a few times and at the time, I believed I "deserved" it so usually "took it like a man". However, the last time he paddled me, I had done nothing wrong and so he had to fight for that last paddling. Eventually, with the help of other teachers he won but not before his office was a wreck. No one had ever stood up to him before and after he had calmed down, he called me in and said that in the future he would paddle me when he judged it appropriate and I was to take it. But, he never paddled me again.
Of course, for more minor offenses, teachers often made students write sentences over and over such as, "I will never again talk back to the teacher while chewing gum (or tobacco) in class." I guess technically, writing sentences could be a form of corporal punishment since it resulted in writers' cramp. I wonder how many kids were turned off to writing because of these useless exercises used in a punitive manner?
But that was far better than my 8th grade science teacher who punished the whole class by making us hold hands and one person at each end of the line hold a wire connected to a hand-cranked generator. I heard he went on to teach criminal justice at the college level. I always wondered if he served as an advisor to some dictatorship's secret police organization that used electric shock as a form of torture.
While one might concede that parents may have a very limited right to employ physical punishment (such as mom slapping a toddlers hand when he or she reaches for a boiling pot of water), it should not be allowed in any school. Except in the case mentioned above, parents should not hit kids either. I know a lot of parents who have raised perfectly normal and well-behaved kids without resorting to corporal punishment.
As for educators, they often did not administer it fairly. In many cases, teachers had favorites and "whipping boys". Even the "good old days" there were many teachers and administrators who ran good schools without the paddle so there is no excuse educators who feel the need to hit kids should think about another profession. Except in the case mentioned above, parents should not hit kids either. I know a lot of parents who have raised perfectly normal and well-behaved kids without resorting to corporal punishment.
However, the days of corporal punishment in schools are far from over. Today, many school districts have abolished corporal punishment but it still exists in a number of public schools, often in the South. When I was teaching at a college in Missouri, I partnered with a high school where the students were taking a course from me via two-way television. One day, as class was coming to an end, the high school principal came into their studio and I said, " Hi, Mr. ____. You have some hard-working and smart students there." He said, "well of course. We still use the 'board of education' around here." I thought he must be joking but after he left the students told me he was not.
Even in many states where it has been abolished, it is still legal in private schools. While Catholic school students no longer have to fear the nuns rapping their knuckles with a ruler, corporal punishment still exists in a lot of evangelical "Christian" schools. In cases where it is permitted in public and/or private schools, parents have to write a note authorizing the school to paddle their child. I am not sure that his is a "right" that parents can sign away to school officials. What about the rights of the child?
In spite of claims to the contrary, few adults, parents or teachers, hit kids solely "for their own good". Adults usually hit kids for the same reason they hit adults: because they are angry. Corporal punishment amounts to a form of child abuse and should be outlawed in all states as it has been in many other countries. I am not sure what "lesson" corporal punishment teaches unless it is that big people can bully little people with the threat of violence. This may not be a lesson we want to teach.
E. Scott Cracraft
Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 April 2015 09:03
To The Laconia Sun,
I would like to congratulate Michael Pelczar and Jonathan James for being appointed to the open seats on the Meredith Board of Selectmen.
After meeting Michael while running for one of the positions, I was really impressed with this young man. Jonathan I have known since he moved to Meredith. I think both were excellent choices and I know both will serve Meredith well.
I want to thank the three selectmen for interviewing the candidates and making what I think is a good choice.
L. Michael Hatch
Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 April 2015 09:52