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It's important to understand high-performance governance

To The Daily Sun,

The interviewing and hiring of the next Franklin School District superintendent is of significant importance to the entire community. In the last few years some progress has been made but much remains to be done.

The hiring process of a new superintendent, with new candidates, provides a great opportunity to move ahead. The current superintendent came out of retirement to help make the transition to really improve the district. He is doing a very good job of helping the district prepare for a more productive future but will retire this year.

In the last few years much progress has been made around the country in non-profit board governance with a lot of the early work done by hospitals. There is beginning to be data available in public education (The School Board Effect). The impact of governing style on student improvement is starting to be noticed. Some school districts will now improve faster than others.

It is important to understand what High Performance Public School Board Governance is all about. It is very clear that both our school board members and the new superintendent will need to understand the specific responsibilities of each in order significantly improve student academic performance. I also believe that increased transparency of board actions would be much appreciated and quite useful by many of the education stakeholders of the community.

I hope the School Board will also determine what our best course is with The Common Core System that is receiving so much negative interest around the country and in New Hampshire. A vast amount of time, money and effort has been invested. (Useable — Results?)

My suggestion is that we ,"The unelected Franklin community residents", first encourage our School Board members to determine a School District vision of what our school system can and should become. What are the targeted metrics of success? It is very important to have community understanding and we need a public education vision (of our future) that the community will strongly support. We will need clear target levels of performance in key areas.

We will need update reports (from the School Board) on progress in key areas. One of the most important predictors of improving academic performance in most public school systems is how well the School Board and the superintendent operate in concert to achieve predetermined academic outcomes and desired future improvements. The classic overarching obligation of a public School Board is ensuring the organization's resources and capacities are deployed in ways that benefit its stakeholders.

Bill Grimm


Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:19

Hits: 81

Is availability of NARCAN going to take heroin use to a new level?

To The Daily Sun,

Something tells me that no matter what I write here, it will not be well accepted. I guess that's why we still fight to express our own opinions.

I applaud the invention of NARCAN. I think it's a valuable and necessary drug.

There are a lot of times that someone has been experimenting with heroin and has no idea what they are doing and perhaps don't mean to, but do overdose. Some could be coerced into trying it at a party, or on a date or with their peers and NARCAN can save their lives. I say thank God.

However, here is my difficulty: Now that we do have NARCAN, the addicts know this, they know they can be pulled back from the abyss if caught in time. Now this begs the question: Is this going to take the heroin use to a new level, to see who can do more to see if they can get close to death, to push the envelope?

I know many out there say, "Let them die." Others have said "thank you" for my second, third and even fourth chance.

Where does the line get drawn? Letting a known addict continue to push the envelope to "see", or do we do everything we can to save a life?

I have no dog in this fight, so my opinion is that of asking you all to come to the Stand Up Laconia meetings and help this town, the neighboring towns, and parents and husbands and wives and who all else get a grip on this drug once and for all.

When is enough enough?

Judi Leavitt


Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:12

Hits: 205

Why do leftists give a darn that other people believe in God?

To The Daily Sun,

Reading letters here in the past few months leaves me with the question of why the left feels the compulsive need to attack Christians and Christianity? The left doesn't believe in God, so what's the deal? Why do they give a darn if others do? What's their purpose other then just to be nasty, mean-spirited and disagreeable? So they don't believe in God or that the Founding Fathers did so what, what's their point? Do they want religion outlawed in America, the world, or what?

I do see them defending Muslims with great vigor, creating a straw man argument that only a minority are terrorists. They just can't bring themselves to admit that Muslim terrorism is the huge problem that it is. They won't even use the words Islamic terrorism. President Obama went to the extreme of telling Christians to get off our high horses because of events a thousand years ago. No we won't, Mr. President. We Christians have evolved. We led the anti-slavery movement in the 19th century and haven't burnt anyone at the stake for hundreds of years, so we can ride proudly, thanks very much.

Jon Hoyt just had to throw in his two cents worth (about what it was worth) trying to defend the stupid, insulting remarks of the president. Apparently Jon listened to Obama and like a bobble-head doll nodded his compliance and agreement just as unthinkingly as the plastic real thing. So let's see Jon, how many acts of Christian terrorism can you recount since the beginning of this year? None. How many last year, or the past 10, 20, or 30? Now how many Muslim terrorist acts can I recount just sense the first of this year is more then you can for Christians for the past 40, so it's time for you and the other leftists to get off your elitist pedestals and take note of the facts.

While I'm at it, let's not hear anymore of these leftists calling themselves liberals. Nothing liberal about them, they do not stand for or support liberal principles. They push Marxist socialist values, nothing more. And for Siden, these are my opinions.

Steve Earle


Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:08

Hits: 102

Thank you Children's Auction for $30k donation to Got Lunch!

To The Daily Sun,

GOT LUNCH! Laconia would like to express its sincere gratitude to the NH1 Children's Auction for granting us our biggest award ever of $30,000 to help deliver healthy groceries to the children of Laconia for the entire 11 weeks of 2015 summer school vacation.

From our very first year, 2011, the Children's Auction has been there for us with financial support. Without their assistance that first year to get us off the ground, we can't be sure we would have made it. Since we began, we have also helped 13 other programs get started in towns throughout New Hampshire.

It's amazing the number of communities coming together to address child hunger in New Hampshire — and it started because the NH1 Children's Auction had the foresight to support this worthy cause.

Our program has grown from serving 273 children with 72 volunteers that first year, to serving 612 children with 233 volunteers in 2014. The $30,000 grant award will feed close to 275 children all summer — thank you NH1 Children's Auction for all your support.

GOT LUNCH! Laconia

Advisory Board

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 February 2015 11:00

Hits: 116

Froma Harrop - Seniors don't deserve discount via economic policy

We've seen senior discounts for buses. We've seen senior discounts at movie theaters. We've seen senior discounts in supermarkets.

Most make some sense, helping businesses attract older customers at slow times when others are working. What makes no sense whatsoever is applying senior discounts to economic policy.

Older Americans vote, and nowadays they tend to vote Republican. Clearly, there's political hay to be made framing President Obama's economic proposals as attacks on seniors. But the results can be odd, especially when the fault Republicans find in one Obama plan conflicts with a fault they find in another.

For instance, you have Peter Morici, an economist at the University of Maryland and a sometime presence on Fox News Channel, strangely suggesting that Obama's proposal to raise taxes on the overseas earnings of American businesses would be "a stealth tax on the elderly".

The argument appears in a column with the superbly loony headline "Tax Grandma to Fund the AFL-CIO?"


Here's how Morici gets there: Companies such as General Electric, Ford and Procter & Gamble earn profits abroad. Many retirement portfolios contain their stocks. Therefore, new taxes on those companies' overseas profits would be taxes on retirees.

One might ask why stock portfolios owned by retirees should be of more concern than stock portfolios owned by others. The answer is politics and the partisans' hope that working people aren't listening in.

What does any of this have to do with the AFL-CIO? Thanks for asking. Morici explains that the taxes would go to fixing roads. Unionized workers would get jobs doing that. America would have better roads and more well-paying jobs — but where's the upside?

(To digress, one hopes that older Americans will rebel to being referred to as grandmas and grandpas. No one belittles 40-somethings by calling them all mommies and daddies.)
This argument goes contrary to earlier Republican complaints about the Federal Reserve's policy to keep interest rates low. You see, many seniors put their money in interest-bearing investments, such as CDs and bonds. Lower interest rates reduce the income from them.

Republicans from Paul Ryan to Mitt Romney hollered about the alleged unfairness of low rates. Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee accused then-Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke of "throwing seniors under the bus".

The point of low interest rates was to breathe life into a moribund economy. The looser monetary policy is credited with boosting the prices of stocks — stocks like GE, Ford and Procter & Gamble.

So what will it be, higher interest rates to provide more income to elderly savers or lower interest rates to help elderly stock investors? The answer should be "not applicable." Economic policy should concentrate on economic growth, not age of investor.

Just as they twist the terms "family farm" and "small business," many on the right try to make "retiree" a stand-in for "struggling old people". Some members of all those categories are struggling, true. But hedge funders own family farms; law firms are small businesses; and many retirees are very rich.

Even less-than-rich retirees are pursuing lives of leisure, their medical costs covered in large part by younger taxpayers. And federal and state tax codes already offer a variety of special breaks for people of a certain age.

So this idea that retirees are being "punished" when some change in policy affects a broadly owned investment is on the wacky side. Investment income, such as that from stocks, is already more lightly taxed than the middle-class salaries earned by the sweat of someone's brow.

Most younger Americans, one assumes, are not following the pity party for retired investors. They're too busy working.

(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

Hits: 113

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