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Don Ewing (4-16) 429 SCHOOL CHOICE

To The Daily Sun,

I believe most Americans want other Americans to be happy and successful. However, despite claims to the contrary, progressive politicians fight for the special interests that reward them, even if helping the special interests hurts most Americans.

Let's consider something of vital importance to children, public education.

Over the last 40 years progressive politicians have taken increasing control over public education resulting in increasingly bad results, especially for the children of poor families.

Progressive politicians keep telling us that we must spend more money, and education costs, like health care costs, have tripled (in constant dollars). But unlike health care spending which greatly enhanced life quality and longevity, education quality has declined. The problem is not insufficient money, but the education establishment's monopoly over public education.

The education establishment, like all monopolies, dislikes competition and change, and it wants to protect its 19th century, horse and buggy, model of education. Just putting computers in the classroom or generating top-down programs like Common Core is not exploiting the 21st century possibilities, such as individualized education, which are already revolutionizing education where it is embraced. Unfortunately, the education establishment has been successful using campaign support to essentially bribe progressive politicians for protection from change and competition.

Students in bad schools are condemned to poor preparation for adulthood unless their parents are rich or unless parents can choose their child's school. Often at much less cost than public schools, Charter and private schools demonstrate significant educational results for the same children that were failing in, and dropping out of, public schools.

Yet, instead of embracing the tremendous benefits to children from school choice, progressive politicians, in support of the education establishment, fight against school choice.

Some of the first actions of President Obama, New York's new Mayor de Blasio, and Governor Hassan have been to close down, or stop creation of, charter schools and/or stop school choice programs, despite their extraordinary results.

Progressive politicians have become masters at offering privileges in exchange for campaign support. What is best for most Americans, in this case what is best for children, is sacrificed to benefit the special interest groups and the politicians themselves.

Conservatives believe that the purpose of public education is not to support the education establishment, but to provide an education that prepares students for a successful adulthood. Therefore, conservatives encourage school choice and competition to develop continually improving techniques, tools, and educational results.

Conservatives want everyone to be successful. The fight for changes that improve public school results is just one area where conservatives have been fighting to improve Americans' lives.

Don Ewing

Meredith

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 08:37

Hits: 164

Thanks to all who made this such a special day of Faith, Hope & Love

To The Daily Sun,

On behalf of the Faith, Hope, and Love Foundation we would like to send our sincere thank you to all of our amazing community members that made the eighth annual Gowns for Girls event a raving success.

It started with you all rallying your friends and collecting your old prom and bridesmaids dresses and dropping them off at one of our fabulous dress drop-off locations. Thank you to the Pemi Youth Center, Divine Inspirations, Sunday's Salon and Spa, the Dressbarn in the Tilton Tanger Outlets, the Barn Doggie Daycare and the Nashua/Merrimack YMCAs for allowing us to take over parts of your businesses over the last five weeks.

Next, the local media outlets offered to help spread the word. Thank you to WEZS 1350 for interviewing us about the event, thank you to Bob Martin of the Laconia Citizen for interviewing us and thank you to Mix 94.1 FM, The Citizen, the Concord Monitor, and The Daily Sun for mentioning our event.

A huge thank you goes out to the local schools, guidance counselors and social workers that brought the girls.

We have been blessed to have been given the use of the Meredith Bay Colony Club. Thank you to all of their staff, especially Joey their maintenance man, for helping us set up for the day and clean up. A huge thank you to all those that live at Meredith Bay Colony Club for allowing us to take over there home for 10 hours.

Then came the outpouring of volunteers. We had dozens of emails requesting to volunteer at this years event. Thank you to our amazing FHL volunteers. A special thank you to our Gowns for Girls Committee Chairs Lara Gruner and Aimee Lee

We had to feed our volunteers, so thank you to Hannaford for the gift card and board member Mandy Nartiff for donating food to feed everyone.

This year we were short a few clothes racks, but have no fear, once again our amazing community pulled through without skipping a beat. TJ Maxx of Gilford donated five clothes racks and steamer for our use, and the Ecetera Shop in Meredith offered us two racks. We are so appreciative.

Thank you to Sherri Collis who came to alter the dresses, Megann Sanborn who took the girls' photos, Lea from Sunday's Salon and Spa for doing the girls' makeup and Naomi Hastings for taking a day out to do up-dos for the girls. Thank you to Tammy Giroux for the beautiful donation of corsages.

Thank you to the girls for making it such a special day of faith, hope, and love.

Co-Founder Jessica Dutille kick-started the event with a motivational speech about inner beauty and the importance of being one's self and the epidemic of bullying in our society. She read, "You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are." — by Melissa Etheridge. Jessica's speech certainly did resonate with the girls. An overwhelming majority of girls in their exit survey expressed that this was one of the best days of their lives, and they have never felt so beautiful and accepted for who they are.

So in closing, for whatever role you played in our eighth annual Gowns for Girls Event we thank you. You never know how your actions will benefit a future generation. Thank you for your positive actions for paying it forward and for just being you.

As Margaret Meade once said, "Never underestimate that a small group of individuals can change the world. It's the only thing that ever has."

Thank you and in sincere appreciation the FHL Co-Founders, Advisers and Board of Directors

Laura L. Brusseau
Co-Founder Faith Hope and Love Foundation
Laconia

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:22

Hits: 153

How can you be granted political asylum & then visit same country?

To The Daily Sun,

Today, April 15, is the first anniversary of the terrible bombing at the Boston Marathon.

A family came to this country for political asylum. Yet they traveled back to the country they were escaping from on vacation. How can this be?

I am not one for making government bigger and adding more laws. But, if there ever should be a law, then we should mandate, if a person comes to the U.S. for political asylum, then they should not be allowed to go back to the country they are escaping. Something should be done with their passports.

We should tell prospective immigrants that if they are allowed in the U.S. under political asylum, they will not be allowed back to their country. I wonder how many will change their minds. Maybe political asylum will actually be granted to those who really want it.

Linda Riley

Meredith

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:18

Hits: 133

If we keep spending 40% more than we take in, we all lose

To The Daily Sun,

In his April 15th letter, Mr. Osmer went to a lot of trouble to ferret out people who disagree with the theory behind the "Laffer curve." I applaud him for all his effort. However, I have a few points of rebuttal.

First, in the case of tax reductions under Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush, the results showed increases in tax revenues occurred when the tax rates were lowered. In Mr. Osmer's original post, he claimed that the Bush tax cuts cost us a loss of $1.8 trillion in tax revenues. However, following the citations provided by Mr. Osmer, I could not find anything to support the findings of the author of that claim.

Next, and perhaps most importantly, is the fact that under both President Bush and his successor, President Obama (who retained the majority of the Bush tax cuts), revenues have steadily increased. However, spending has far outpaced that revenue growth. If Mr. Osmer would go into Forbes and add up the net worth of the list of citizens who are billionaires, he would find that even if the government taxed/confiscated their entire fortunes, we wouldn't get enough money to run the country for a year.

I will say again, this is not a Democrat or Republican issue . . . it is about our country surviving. The old adage, 'If you're in a hole, the first thing you have to do is stop digging,' is what we should be paying attention to. If we keep spending 40 percent more than we take in, we will all lose.

Finally, President Obama is in his sixth year in office. At what point does he become responsible for his actions?

Bob Meade

Laconia

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:13

Hits: 140

Theater in our Inter-Lakes schools is alive & well, witness 'Peter Pan'

To The Daily Sun,

As with almost every school program, there has to be a steady and continuous growth if success is to be achieved. At Inter-Lakes High School, drama, in particular, has had rather a long history of emphasis to introduction, of slight interest to increased interest, and of traditional effects to more advanced technological changes. The work of such former directors as Norma Marshall, Roger Blake, Caesar Meledandri, Kathy Holly, Cindy Reid and Patrick Kelly has never gone unheralded nor unnoticed. Their mission was always precise and clear: To encourage students to become involved in drama, and once involved, to be active participants.

Students, aspiring to become actors and actresses, gradually responded, initially perhaps to the one-act plays that were being performed competitively among the various high school classes. Statewide Drama Festivals piqued more student interest and surely became ideal places at which students could showcase their stage expertise and be judged professionally. I believe that Inter-Lakes High School did participate in a few of those festivals.

As teachers saw the renewed impetus in play production, many of them got involved. The Art Department and the Graphics Department stepped up to help with stage set design, and publicity and printing respectively. Other faculty members assisted with costumes, makeup, props and character development. Progress was perhaps a bit slow at times, but it was sure and real. Famous shows that had stood the test of time were being considered by those directors, formerly alluded to in this letter. Those shows had huge casts, demanding lead roles, challenging music, but the directors were optimistic. They persevered with their auditions, and many of these grand shows were eventually produced by the I-LHS Drama Club: "Don Quixote," "Guys and Dolls," "Oklahoma," "South Pacific," "Oliver," "Music Man," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Arsenic and Old Lace," "Steel Magnolias," "Bye Bye Birdie," "Annie Get Your Gun," and "Pinnochio" to name a few. Kudos were readily exchanged ... stage successes were acclaimed.

All that, dear readers, was then. This is now — when the outstanding performances of the ever-popular show "Peter Pan" wowed the audiences which filled the I-L Community Auditorium to capacity. .. and the very capable directorship of Ms. Kathleen Hill was recognized. A lady who really needs little introduction, she has been active in theater, especially in the Middle Tier, for a long time here in the district. In that capacity she has introduced many young students to the challenges and the pleasures of a stage experience. Plays that she chose for them were always appropriate for their age level and their acting promise. Their successes, as well as hers, were never unheralded.

Perhaps as early as 2013, Ms. Hill was debating about choosing "Peter Pan" as the musical for 2014. She knew its cast was huge, its lead roles demanding, its music challenging, and its technical effects varied and costly. Did those factors discourage her? Certainly not. They had little immediate effect on her, for she invested in the show, its books and music, and all of its challenges. Somehow, Ms. Hill must have known that "Peter Pan" would be a winner for her I-LHS and I-LMT Theater Companies.

Certainly to all of us who saw the show this past week and weekend, it was a total winner in every respect. Ms. Hill's choice to blend the various age groups was a phenomenal decision — a first-time decision in the extent to which it was done. Those young actors and actresses from both the Elementary School and the Junior High were not only cute, clever and committed, they were also talented, tireless and theatrically "with it." Their facial expressions, body movements, and insatiable energy were absolutely extraordinary. Singing and dancing by all was totally audible and on key, and perfectly synchronized.

The show's main leads — Peter Pan (Mykenzi Sanders), Wendy (Emily Flanders), Father and Captain Hook (Gage Wheeler) — were expertly cast. All other actors and actresses assumed excellent supporting roles.

Extensive script that was truly perfected, character development and portrayal that were masterfully performed added so much to the grandeur and total effect of the entire show.

Costumes were both colorful and appealing. The Indians, the Pirates and the Lost Boys stood out very convincingly in both their costumes and in their character roles. Stage design and set pieces were highly functional and were utilized very well. Musical accompaniment by Mrs. Fand was great as always. Lighting and technical effects were impressive.

The art and act of flying must have had its first real test on our Audi stage, and Peter Pan's mastery, smoothness and security in doing it were brilliant.

All those students and adults behind the scenes are to be commended, too. Their attention to detail, their perfect timing, and their movement of stage pieces were done without noise or confusion.

For all the actors and actresses, past and present, their theatrical experiences had truly benefited them in so many excellent ways. They had developed more self-confidence and poise. They had mastered the ability to portray stage personae different from themselves. They had learned the tricks of time management, both on and off the stage. They had realized better control of their voices and their speech, and they had surely become good team players.

Theater in our I-L schools is certainly alive and well. Its original mission remains intact. Its role as an extracurricular activity has been confirmed. Its support by our three communities is guaranteed, and the range of its offerings is student-oriented and director-savvy.

Marjorie Lee

I-L School Store Manager

Meredith

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:07

Hits: 119

 
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