To The Daily Sun,
I would like to express my appreciation to the Laconia School District for allowing me to serve the district and it's youth for the past 12 years.
Recently, due to significant physical health issues, I needed to submit my resignation as a custodian to the district. I am most grateful to have been able to serve the District in this capacity, and as well to have been involved in several extra curricular activities, mainly at LHS. I truly loved being involved with the student community for many years. I consider this to be the top milestone in my life.
As I write this I am being overwhelmed with cherished memories. Winning seasons, losing seasons, dances, proms, bus rides to Con-Val and Fall Mountain. It's all there hopefully to never be forgotten.
I attempted to know as many students names as possible. Even nicknames: Cheesecrakers, Phatty, Sonar, Patchy, and Chief to name a few. But it was the friendships that I will remember from the students and parents. I am very proud to have served all of your over the years, and I wish you all well, and may you continue to live decent and productive lives.
I would like to express my appreciation to the faculty of LHS and LMS for all of your understanding and wisdom over the years, again, a pleasure to serve you.
For the students and alumnus that I have so proudly served I wish that you live well, do what is right, have a good work ethic always, be kind to others, and always remember your time at Laconia Schools by what Coach Kozens says, "Good people first, good players second". Live by this standard and you will have lived life to the fullest, and a profound thank you from Coach "T", just a simple man, who does what he feels right.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 09:17
To The Daily Sun,
2014 marks the tenth year of the Meredith Library Public Garden. The garden was started in 2005 as part of the America in Bloom competition. Its first year it received first-place honors in the competition. In 2013, the library garden came in third in the Landscape Design Contest. This is the 10th year that it has been designated as one of the All-American Selection (AAS) Display Gardens.
The display gardens are dedicated to growing AAS Winner plants in an attractive outdoor setting that is open to the public. Each year since 1932, AAS has conducted trials and selected winning flower and vegetable varieties as a way for home gardeners to learn which new varieties are truly improved.
This year the garden was supplemented by stepping stones created by teens at the library in an activity led by youth services librarian John Locke. The Greater Meredith Sculpture Walk also added a metal dragonfly sculpture to the front of the garden space.
Throughout the growing season, volunteers from the Friends of Meredith Library weed and water the garden to maintain its pristine condition. Anyone interested in becoming a Friend of the Meredith Library may visit the library website at www.meredithlibrary.org or call the library at 279-4303 for more information.
Thank you to all the parties that made this year's garden possible: The Greater Meredith Program for donating the plants and for adding the sculpture, the Friends of the Meredith Library for purchasing the materials for the stepping stones and maintaining the garden, and the library teens for creating the stones.
We at the library hope that the entire community and visitors to the area have an opportunity to come and enjoy this year's lovely display.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 09:14
To The Daily Sun,
Tony Boutin's latest attempt at misdirection is one of his usual tries at making us believe that up is down or that black is white. His verbal scam was perfectly described by Abraham Lincoln when he said that an opponent was trying to make his audience believe that "a horse chestnut is a chestnut horse."
He mentioned me in that letter, and I think it might be useful to share our families' experience because you want us to believe that many"'Americans are now constantly at Supreme Court to defend liberties."
Everyone in the United States is entitled to "due process rights" under federal law. There was a time when we as parents were involved with getting one of our children an education within the public school system. Our son has a handicap that required intervention at school and other ancillary services.
These were covered under Federal Law: PL 94-142. (PL stands for Public Law). In part the law stated that states and in particular public schools were to provide an appropriate education in the "least restrictive environment" for children with physical and emotional handicaps.
To make a very long story short, after years of non-compliance by the school system with both state and federal law, we reluctantly chose to go through the courts. From numerous mediation meetings (at the COH, otherwise known as the Committee on the Handicapped) on school level all the way up to a Supreme Court case, we were able to win our lawsuit. In conjunction with our case there was a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of this particular group. The law and subsequent ruling allowed us to place our son in a private school setting (his least restrictive environment) at no extra added expense to parents. The group's education was to be paid for by the school district via state and federal funds specifically budgeted for this purpose.
The private school we sent our son to for a couple of years educates children with this disability up through high school. The school is world renowned and is able to successfully educate young people from many states and foreign countries.
Because of our right to due process under federal law, he is very successful in his field of endeavor. But alas, there is a very sad ending to this story.
I should mention that our attorney won many cases for her clients as a result of PL 94-142 being in place. The Supreme Court at that time ruled in favor of the parents being able to send their children to private schools (saying that these placements would be the students Least Restrictive Environment) at no extra added expense to the families enjoined in this class action lawsuit.
Alas, public school administrators were not happy with this ruling. They did not want to "set" a precedent by having to send children with this particular type of handicap to private schools. They traveled to D.C. and had meetings with administration officials in the Reagan White House to plead that PL 94-142 be watered down or totally abolished.
Then our attorney was "summoned" to the Reagan White House where she was told to 'back off' and not take any more cases of this nature.
There were also Republicans in Congress who were more than willing and then proceeded to change or alter the wording and intent of PL 94-142 (sound familiar yet, Mr. Boutin?). In the same time frame many public school administrators and state Departments of Education took their case to the Court of Appeals (the next highest court in the land under the Supreme Court) to appeal the Supreme Court ruling.
The three judge Court of Appeals overturned the Supreme Court ruling stating that parents had to go back to their home school districts and basically start all over again in trying to work with administrators to get their children the education and services needed.
It goes without saying that this ruling was the death knell for all of the progress and hard-won fight on the part of these parents. Parents were tired, drained of resources and sick of fighting the system, only to be sent back to their home school districts. Those parents who had the resources were able to place these children in the appropriate private school setting at their own expense.
This is but one example of why we must never take our due process rights for granted. Nor should we lead people to believe (as you state in your letter) that "government would not only have to intrude, but in many cases make a mockery of the first four freedoms."
It is sad that you believe that a government that will protect people is "more expansive and more expensive, but most importantly, much more controlling and intrusive." Many times, people need government to protect them from being subject to others' personal beliefs or simple convenience.
Public schools and public companies have always had to recognize the rights of people of different beliefs than their own. That is part of being a member of the public. Your twisted use of personal liberty arguments are the same ones used by restaurants and bus companies in the 1950s to refuse service to black Americans. Personal liberty is not the same thing as the liberty to enforce one's personal beliefs on the rest of society.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 08:52
The The Daily Sun,
The members of the American Legion Auxiliary, Ellis-Geddes-Levitt Unit 102 of Gilmanton would like to thank all of the planners, workers and sponsors of the 2014 Gilmanton Old Home Day for continuing to host this wonderful community event.
Twenty-seven new visitors signed our guest book, and our sincere appreciation goes to everyone who stopped by and purchased some of our delicious home-baked goods and took a chance on our raffle. Linda Spinosa won the linen basket, Cindy Caveney won the hand-knitted afghan, and Juanita Hart won the hand-painted lupine tea set.
Our Unit continues to showcase our veterans project, Veterans at Rest in Gilmanton. The purpose being to locate all graves of veterans in Gilmanton and to work closely with the Gilmanton American Legion Post for the placement of flags so that every veteran is duly honored for their service to America. This is truly a community project where everyone can be involved.
Your generous support to the Unit continues to provide assistance to our local veterans and their families.
Raelyn Cottrell, President
American Legion Auxiliary
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 08:46
To The Daily Sun,
The untimely demise of Robin Williams brings back so many memories of his madcap comic genius. It also reminds me again that we just last year lost another comic genius, Jonathan Winters. He of course being Robin's idol, mentor and friend. The other side of their genius is the dark side that so often accompanies brilliance.
Jonathan Winters weathered multiple psychiatric admissions while managing apparent bipolar disorder throughout his adult life. Robin Williams suffered with bouts of severe depression which led to a period of cocaine abuse and alcoholism. The Doors big hit, "Riders on the Storm" laments "Into this house we're born, into this world we're thrown, like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan, riders on the storm." It seems Jonathan found a way to ride out the storms for decades longer than Robin.
"You know the day destroys the night, night divides the day, tried to run, tried to hide, break on through to the other side," bellows Jim Morrison who wasn't able to ride the storm very far at all before leaving his earthly existence. Robin Williams made the decision to "break on through" at the age of 63. Why someone decides to end their life is the eternally debated question far too often judged by those who fail to understand the depths of despair that accompany a major depression.
I have much personal and professional experience in dealing with severe depression. For some, it feels like having fallen into a black hole which has crushed their spirit and sucked the life out of them. Dark clouds descend to envelop them and consume their every waking thought. Psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow says that severe depression feels like being locked in a room, gasping for air and yet there are no doors to offer you an escape. Some people cut themselves because physical pain is preferable to the emotional pain they are feeling. Others believe that rather than actually wanting to kill themselves, they have grown weary of not having figured out a way to live in this world.
The bottom line is that depression can strike anyone and there are few among us who hasn't either suffered from depression or know someone who has suffered from depression. Suicide hotlines are readily available. Psychotherapy, medication and support groups can help. Making personal life changes including nutrition, exercise, meditation and other relaxation techniques can help. Faith in God or a higher power can be a life saver.
The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill website has lots of great information on depression and suicide. Sometimes reminding someone just how much their loved ones would miss them and to focus on those people can help. Getting a distressed person to contract for safety with a trusted professional or responsible family/friend can provide a viable option. Practicing the technique of going to an emotional safe place in one's mind can be a marvelous tool as well.
The hit series "M-A-S-H" had a theme song entitled, "Suicide is Painless." A few of the lyrics claim, "The game of life is hard to play. I'm going to lose it anyway. The losing card I'll sometimes play." Depression can give people the false impression that they've gone down for the final time and that the game of life they have been playing has been lost for good. Making that decision to leave this life can feel empowering when they are feeling so powerless. They falsely believe it is the only way to end their pain. It is anything but painless for those who will grieve their loss.
I can only hope that the willingness of Robin and Jonathan to be so honest and open about their mental illness issues will bring an increased awareness of how very real depression is and that telling someone to just snap out of it is so terribly condescending and borne out of ignorance.
I think that should be a part of the legacy of the comic genius and gut-wrenching mental anguish that represent both sides of these wonderful performers who have given us so much pleasure for so very long.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 08:40