To The Daily Sun,
This is in response to your lead story last Tuesday, Aug. 25, which describes the Greater Laconia area as "The 21st richest small city in the USA." Michael Kitch is an excellent reporter, and I have no reason to question the accuracy of the study described in his story.
However, we all must take care not to be fooled by the thin veneer of lakes, scenic beauty and fine homes that hides our real community. A peek behind that veneer will reveal the stark reality of way too much poverty. To see it for yourself, just take a drive around town. Or if you prefer data — do you know that 58 percent of Laconia's school kids qualify for free or reduced-price school lunch based on family income, compared to 29 percent statewide? For many of these kids, the healthiest food they eat all day is at school or at the Boys and Girls Club. That doesn't sound like a rich city to me.
Or if you prefer, take a look at our area's frighteningly high rates of crime and drug use. While the wealthy aren't totally spared, there is a proven link between poverty, crime and drugs.
So, fellow citizens . . . . don't get lulled to sleep by statistics and averages. Remember, if you have one foot in a fire and the other on a block of ice, on the average you are not comfortable.
Al Posnack, Board Member
Boys & Girls Club of the Lakes Region
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