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Political issues putting all that is good about county home at risk

To The Daily Sun,

As the Interim Administrator of the Belknap County Nursing Home, I need to make sure everyone in the Belknap County community knows how grateful I am for each and every employee on our team. In my eight-plus years in management at the nursing home, it has been an honor to be a part of a team of highly professional, caring and dedicated group of individuals. And despite the recent challenges we have faced, these employees have continued to remain just as professional, caring and dedicated to the residents who need them. I have the highest level of respect for them; beyond what anyone outside the nursing home could ever imagine.

Even through political unrest, part of which will determine whether or not they will lose their health insurance, they continue to maximize quality of life for the residents we serve. When line-item transfers necessary to continue operations in the nursing home were delayed, they all pulled together and placed their own lives on hold. I am astounded by their level of commitment to the success of the nursing home. Despite all of the political turmoil, which has recently escalated to the point of dysfunction, we all achieved a successful health care deficiency free survey two weeks ago. This magnificent team achieved this.

Anyone who comes into the nursing home sees happy residents and families who are well cared for and know what our team is all about. Our community needs this nursing home. We have a lengthy waiting list of Belknap County residents who need our help and want to come to Belknap County Nursing Home because of its reputation. There are many people in the community who want to be a part of our team due to our reputation.

But the political issues place all of this at risk and it saddens me to know that if this continues, in time it will. As a dedicated team, we have persevered and brought this nursing home to where it is today. It is my hope that for many more years to come, we can continue with our mission, "To care for our residents as ourselves, with compassion, dignity and respect."

Thank you to the employees of Belknap County Nursing Home for all you do.

Charlotte Flanagan

New Hampton

Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 02:19

Hits: 101

Nursing home staff is truly appreciated for all they do for us

To The Daily Sun,

Speaking as residents from Belknap County Nursing Home. There a few of us that meet on Friday afternoons, we call ourselves the Pot Holes because life is full of pot holes. We have been meeting for about a year now and talk about many different things. We shared about our past experiences, how we are doing now living in a nursing home. Lately, we have been talking about the "politics" that surround us in our community.

It seems like the county commissioners and the county delegation are acting like children in the sand box. This back-and-forth has been an upsetting to some of us. Not sure if we need to pack our bags, or is the nursing home going to shut itself down. Even the changes that have happened with the administrator's position, it's just one more thing. It starts from the top and works its way down to us, the residents.

Think for a minute and put yourself in our shoes. You get older and have to give up all that you have living in the community because you need help taking care of yourself. So now you're here in a home.

Dave Pollak came in this past week to speak to us. He was so nice and understanding, he listened to our concerns and gave us hope for tomorrow. No one else has done that. We have a voice and we plan on using it when the polls open.

We do know one thing, the staff at Belknap County Nursing Home has been so amazing to us. They are kind, giving, loving and caring. The staff lets us make our own decisions about our day, and does what it can to keep us happy. This is our home. We just want people to know we care about the staff and want to make sure staff members are taken care of as well. They shouldn't have to worry about their jobs, and if they can make enough to feed their families, never mind health care costs.

We know a couple of weeks ago they all worked hard together so we wouldn't be without. The staff always reassures us that they will take care of us and what they need to do. We have been talking about this and feel they deserve a raise and insurance they can afford. We have all gone through many changes in our life time so we know how this thing works. But their dedication is so great, we just want to say, "You are appreciated in all that you do for us and we are extremely grateful ... Thank you Belknap County staff, you're wonderful."

The Pot Hole Group

Marjorie Morin

Arvilla Chapman

Althea Kelly

Judy Holland

Laconia

Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 02:16

Hits: 128

Scapegoating unions is camouflage for attack on public ed

To The Daily Sun,

Tony Boutin: my letter said absolutely nothing about unions or taxes. But like one of Pavlov's dogs, you saw the word "teacher," started foaming at the mouth, and you were off and running on one of your rants on teachers' unions.

I wonder where his phobia about unions comes from. Maybe when he acted up as a little kid his mother would threaten him with a picture of Walter Reuther, telling him that if he didn't behave, Walter and a pack of shop stewards would break into his room at night, kidnap him, and sell him to Gypsies.

But if he thinks that unions are the root cause of every problem in education, he is either clueless or driven by an unspoken agenda. Does he believe that today's teachers don't care and are not motivated or committed to their job and to their students? That's insulting and wrong. He ought to speak with the parents who have children in Laconia's public schools. Does he think that if unions were to disappear that teachers would be magically transformed into better educators? Does he really think that teachers go into that profession only for the wages and benefits? You won't find many teachers among the one percent.

He complains about tenure. First of all, teachers have to work for a certain number of years before becoming eligible for tenure. There are opportunities to weed out the incompetent ones. It should also be noted that tenure came into existence well before unionization. Before then teachers could be, and often were, fired because of race, ethnicity, religion, because they married or became pregnant, or because someone in power didn't like their views.

When it comes to test scores and student achievement, the fact is that the states with the highest ranking are those with the strongest unions, and that the lowest ranking states have the weakest unions. The existence of unions is not what prevents better education. Eliminating teachers' unions does not produce better teachers or students, higher student achievement or higher test scores.

Scapegoating unions is often cheap camouflage for an attack on the idea of public education. It's used as a stalking horse for privatizing it. It's not meant to reform public education, but to turn it into a privately run system whose primary concern is not the students but with making money for those who run it. It's used to promote education that is unaccountable, making taxpayers pay for schools with little or no oversight, and no supervision over how public money is spent. And overall, charter and voucher schools do not have a record of better academic achievement by their students.

When you see someone fixating on teachers' unions, the first question to ask is about the motivation. It usually is neither better education nor the well-being of students.

Ed Allard

Laconia

Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 02:13

Hits: 137

George Hurt's penchant for fiscal responsibility is a real plus

To The Daily Sun,
There are many significant races in the upcoming Nov. 4 election, and an important one is the District 2 race which involves four seats shared between the towns of Gilford and Meredith.

As many of you know, New Hampshire has the largest legislative body among the 50 states with its 400-member House. Hence, it is imperative we elect people who are qualified with experience and intellect to effectively represent us, the taxpayer, these next two years.

A long-time Gilford resident and an accomplished businessman, George Hurt, is running for one of the four seats. George served the town admirably for Gilford, in the Legislature from 1996-98. I personally am enthused and believe, because of his recognize business and legislative experience, he would again, be a voice of reason, and common sense, something that seems to be elusive these days, especially in politics at the state and county level.

His penchant for fiscal responsibility, will be an asset and most likely pay dividends for the taxpayers of both Gilford and Meredith.

If you would like to see the state and Belknap County move in the direction of more accountability and transparency, then please join me and vote for George Hurt this Nov. 4.

Heidi Leandro

Gilford

Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 02:09

Hits: 12

I hope Lakes Region Public Access-TV will get support it needs

To The Daily Sun,

An open letter to Denise Beauchaine, director of Lakes Region Public Access TV:

I know the value of Lakes Region Public Access Television. You, Bob Daniels, Dexter Hecita, the LRPA-TV board and others, were there responding to our local needs for publicity for non-profits — the Opechee Garden Club on many occasions, Multicultural Market Day for every year, Lakeport Community Association events like the grand opening of the Lakeport Freighthouse Museum, Laconia Heritage Commission seeking volunteers, Laconia Woman's Club fashion show, Laconia Historical & Museum Society programs for years and years, Lakes Region Scholarship Fund Spelling Bee and more and more.

I like that I can sit in my recliner and watch Laconia City Council meetings, Laconia School Board meetings, programs for seniors and on health. I can watch friends and acquaintances — Larry's quiet strokes with the paint brush, Esther's breathy, modulated voice interviewing our next presidents, Charlie and Jennifer and Charlie's on the road again trips stopping to talk to the cows in a pasture or a cop in New York City, Alan keeping us posted on social services and health, Dave swimming with the fishes.

I do enjoy the variety of interesting programs they offer. If I couldn't make it to the Putnam Fund performance, the Santa Fund or Gilford Old Home Days, I could catch it on my own television.

When I lived on Long Island, it was exciting to watch public access television grow on Channel 12. Before that, being in the shadows of a big city, it was difficult to be informed of local news or cover or post local events. Today there is News 12 reporting 24 hours a day on local news. This is what I found on their website: News 12 Long Island was the first of its kind when it launched in 1986, and today the News 12 Network is the largest and most watched regional news network in the country.

I regret that our local public access television is encountering such difficulty reaching the public and receiving the funding it needs to continue. I would miss seeing my locals in the comfort of my own home and I'm sure many others would . . . especially those that reign in their recliners.

You're earnest for continuing your work without pay. Such dedication! I hope you get the support you need to continue.

Dorothy Duffy

Laconia

Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2014 02:06

Hits: 71

 
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