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Deeply disappointed over governor's appointments to site panel

To The Daily Sun,

I have a deep concern over the appointment of state officials to fill the public representation positions on the Site Evaluation Committee, as mandated in SB-245. This is clearly not the intent of the bill in regard to public representation.

Both candidates are legislators, one a career state senator and the other a state representative. Even more concerning, is the past involvement of both legislators in the crafting of state energy bills, the very ones over which they would be providing input and decisions from a public perspective. This is clearly a conflict of interest and ethically wrong.

The three public positions should be filled by laypeople, void of state legislative and political affiliation, who truly represent the public.

Mark Watson

Groton

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:06

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Today is last Thursday downtown Laconia market of the season

To The Daily Sun,

The last day of the Thursday outdoor market season is on Thursday, Sept. 25, and we've arranged for a great finale in the Savor the Season tent.

Rachael Burklund of Laconia Village Bakery returns, preparing butternut squash latkes with sage yogurt sauce, and coffee-balsamic brined pulled pork. All the main ingredients come from vendors at the market, including squash and sage from Minglewood Farm, pork roast from Biblical Acres Farm and the coffee from Woodshed Roasting Company. The yogurt is local too, from Swain Farm in Sanbornton. Rachael will be in the tent serving samples and explaining how to make this savory yet simple combo from 3:30-4:30. Be sure to visit the Savor the Season tent and then check out all the great produce still available from our local farmers.

If you miss the Thursday market, you'll have one more chance at the Saturday Farmers' Market, which is from 8 a.m. to noon in the City Hall parking lot. It has been a great market season and all of the vendors at both markets appreciate your patronage.

The Savor the Season events this summer have been sponsored by the Lakes Region Food Network (LRFN), with grant support from the New England Grassroots Environment Fund and support from the Main Street Outdoor Marketplace. For more information about LRFN, visit www.lrfn.org or call Karen at 528-8560.

Karen Barker
Lakes Region Food Network
Laconia

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:01

Hits: 63

Support LHS Senior Class by taking Ford test drive this afternoon

To The Daily Sun

The Laconia Senior Class has various fundraisers lined up for the 2014-2015 school year that will help pay for the senior trip, end of the year gift, the annual Senior-Senior Dance, and other expenses that come up along the way. Today, Thursday, September 25 from 3-7 p.m. the class will be participating in the Irwin Ford Drive 4 UR School event, held outside of Laconia High School on Union Avenue. 

The fundraiser has the potential to be a big money maker for the class, as Irwin Ford has agreed to donate $20 for each person who takes a new car for a short test drive. By the end of the evening the class could raise up to $6,000, which is the ultimate goal. Participation by parents and local community members is greatly appreciated! 

Seniors class members will be in attendance helping promote the event alongside Irwin Ford staff members. A bake sale table will also be set up, featuring an array of goods available for participants in the test-drive event.  

It is our hope that the community will come out and support the Class of 2015 in this fun and easy way, as it requires nothing more than a few minutes of one's time. The senior class would like to thank in advance Irwin Ford of Laconia, for its generosity and constant support of local businesses and organizations. Fundraising possibilities such as Drive 4 UR School have the potential to make a significant difference is the lives of others, especially the youth of the community. 

Anyone over the age of 18 with a valid drivers license is welcome to take part in this event. Thank you to the community for your constant support of Laconia High School and the Senior Class, we truly appreciate all of your support and generosity. 

Alana Persson, President

LHS Class of 2015

Laconia 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 September 2014 10:52

Hits: 70

Let's keep Up With People momentum going through Stand Up Laconia

To The Daily Sun,

Dear friends, local businesses and community members:
Thank you for your incredible support of Up With People the week of September 1st-8th. Because of YOU, the week long event was a truly phenomenal success!! It was telling as we said good bye to the cast on the Monday morning the hugs, smiles, a few tears and promises of lasting friendships that Up With People had left their footprint on the hearts of many ... and the Lakes Region held a special place in the hearts of the 100 plus cast members too. Many cast members that morning, and since leaving, have commented on what a special place the Lakes Region is — the beauty in both it’s landscape and the warmth and generosity of its people!

So many thank yous to be expressed and please forgive me if I should inadvertently leave anyone out. Thank you to the 46 families within the Lakes Region that hosted cast members and advance- team members. Thank you to our financial sponsors — Bank Of New Hampshire $5,000; Aavid Thermalloy $2,500; Meredith Village Savings Bank $1,000; Laconia Police Relief Association, Penny Pitou Foundation, Better Together, Meadowbrook, Taylor Community, Putnum Fund and the Santa Fund each for their $500 donations; Lakes Region Community Services, Autoserv, Melcher & Prescott Insurance, TD Bank and Lakes Region General Health Care for their $250 donations and to anonymous donors that generously gave over $2,500. Thank you to the following local restaurants for providing meals Fratello’s Restaurant Italiano, Local Eatery, Soda Shoppe, Water Street Café, Patrick’s Pub and Eatery, Burrito Me, D’Angelo’s, T-Bones, Dominoes Pizza, Common Man restaurants. Thank you to Shaw’s, Hannaford and Vista for gift card donations to provide water and snacks for the cast members. Our media sponsors, The Laconia Daily Sun and 98.3LNH. Thank you to our other community supporters which include The Laconia School District, Congregational Church, Laconia Police Department, J&J Printing, Gary Drake Electric, Temple B’Nai Isreal, Central NH VNA & Hospice.

There are so many individuals to who I owe thanks but a few in particular I would be remiss in not mentioning, Beth Clay if not for your vision and commitment the event would not have happened! Also a special thanks to Pam and Rylee Littlefield, Jane and Bob Clay, Shannon Robinson Beland and family, Ed Engler and Mike, Alana and Kate Persson.

I have been hearing from people of all ages from our community about how powerful and inspirational the cast members were during their week here in the Lakes Region. Whether they interacted with these young people during volunteer activities, hosting them or attending one of the SOLD OUT shows they made an impact! This is HOW they positively impacted our community: Through their performances, including two mini Up With People shows for Laconia Middle School and High School students in Laconia and at the Multicultural Festival; two full Up With People shows at Laconia Middle School on September 5th and 6th. Sixty-four senior guests were invited from the Taylor Community, N.H. Veteran’s Home and Sunrise Towers. Four days of community service and 13 local organizations were impacted including Laconia Middle and High School, N.H. Veterans Home, Boys and Girls Club, Congregational Church, Taylor Home Community, Elm Street and Pleasant Street Elementary schools, Meredith Elementary school, Laconia Parks & Recreation, Belknap County Jail, Salvation Army Thrift Shop and the Multicultural Festival. Up With People cast attended 35 events reaching more than 17,000 people. 53 local classrooms received Up With People workshops/presentations focusing on relevant issues from bullying to substance abuse. 37 of our local youth applied to travel with Up With People in the future. 2,665 local youth interacted with our international cast and 1,293 hours of community service were completed!

Lakes Region you attended the two evening shows and were the first community in Cast B tour that sold out both shows!! In doing this you allowed us to pay the remainder of the money we were contracted to pay to Up With People AND you raised almost $4,000 which will go to the benefiting organizations — Stand Up Laconia, Got Lunch! Laconia and Gilford Got Lunch! I suppose it is always a good indication when organizations, businesses and individuals ask when will they be back? We are tentatively looking at 18 months from now as Up With People will celebrate their 50th year.

In closing, I have been asked numerous times in the last two weeks “How to we keep this positive message, hope and possibility of change as we move forward?” I am sure there are many ways to do this, however, as chair of Stand Up Laconia I would ask that you consider joining this local grassroots coalition. The essence of Up With People’s VOICES is very much in line with the mission of Stand Up Laconia. To find out more about Stand Up Laconia please visit our website page at www.standuplaconia.com or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Our next Stand Up Laconia meeting will take place this Thursday September 25th from 4-5:30 p.m. at Laconia Middle School. Please join us and keep Laconia and our Lakes Region moving forward!

Clare Persson, Chair

Stand Up Laconia

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 September 2014 10:49

Hits: 105

Mark Fernald - How New Hampshire's tax on the 1% became a tax on the middle class instead

New Hampshire's Interest and Dividends Tax has strayed very far from its roots as a tax on the rich.

The tax was created in 1923, at the end of the Progressive Era. In the 19th Century, most taxes were property taxes. After the Civil War, as the industrial revolution transformed the economy, it became clear that an increasing amount of economic activity — dividends, capital gains, CEO bonuses, etc. — was never taxed, leaving property owners to carry the load alone.

The solution at the federal level was the income tax. New Hampshire took a different route, adopting a tax on interest and dividends. It was designed to be a tax on the wealthy. Most working class people had little or no interest and dividend income. In addition, interest earned on accounts in New Hampshire banks were exempt, which had the dual purpose of excluding the small saver from tax, and also encouraging the retention of capital in New Hampshire.

Over the last 20 years, the Legislature has transformed the interest and dividends tax into something its creators would not recognize.

First, there was a constitutional challenge brought by wealthy taxpayers in the 1990s, arguing that the tax violated the "commerce clause" of the U.S. Constitution, because the exemption for interest paid by New Hampshire banks gave those banks an unfair advantage. The State of New Hampshire eventually conceded in court that the exemption was unconstitutional, and the Legislature eliminated the exemption for interest from New Hampshire banks effective January 1, 1995. Savers who had deposited their savings in New Hampshire banks were suddenly subject to New Hampshire income tax.

Second, the standard exemption from tax has remained unchanged at $2,400 since 1997. If the exemption amount had kept pace with inflation, it would be over $3,500 today.

Third, dividends paid by corporations are taxed, but dividends paid by most limited liability companies (those with non-transferable shares) are exempt from tax. This is a huge loophole, which gets bigger every year. Over the past five years, hundreds of New Hampshire corporations have converted to LLC status, transforming their dividends from taxable to non-taxable. Remember when Walgreen's planned a "corporate inversion", to avoid paying U.S. tax? We have our own tax-avoiding "inversions" here in New Hampshire. Change the name from "Inc." to "LLC" and you have spun taxable income into non-taxable income.

Fourth, the Legislature has recently exempted all trusts from interest and dividends tax. This means a trust can accumulate interest and dividend income free of any New Hampshire tax. Not surprisingly, there is a cottage industry among New Hampshire lawyers to create trusts for wealthy clients. Stock and bond portfolios are transferred into these new trusts, and the interest and dividends earned on those portfolios are not subject to interest and dividends tax so long as the income is accumulated. When the accumulations are paid out, only the income of the most recent year is taxable — the accumulated income from previous years can be distributed tax-free.

So there you have it. Average people do not have lobbyists in Concord. Over the past 20 years, they have seen their New Hampshire bank interest subject to tax, and they have seen the value of their exemption eroded by inflation. The result is that some retirees pay interest and dividends tax on the money they saved for retirement, even though their income is too low to owe any federal income tax.

Meanwhile, the lobbyists for the wealthy have worked their magic. Their clients are busy converting their corporations into limited liability companies, and transferring their portfolios into trusts, all to avoid the interest and dividends tax. We are now seeing the results. Interest and dividends tax revenue for the 2014 fiscal year was 17 percent below projections.

We are told that the state must "live within its means." What we aren't told is that the "means" of the state are being whittled away by lobbyists, as they carve out tax benefits for their clients. Meanwhile, the citizens of New Hampshire who look to the state to provide a social safety net, environmental protection, well-maintained state parks, and affordable higher education, have a Legislature that cannot do the job because the revenue has slipped away.

(Mark Fernald is an who lives in Sharon, N.H. A former State Senator, he was the 2002 Democratic nominee for Governor. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

Hits: 149

 
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