The The Daily Sun,
At the last meeting of the Belknap County Convention, Rep. Frank Tilton stated that the county commissioners' failure to pay the legal bill of Registrar of Deeds Barbara Luther was the single biggest failure of leadership he had seen in a career of over 30 years of public service.
The commissioners had sued Ms. Luther in her capacity as registrar, not personally, to attempt to force her to allow them to be custodians of funds properly owed to the State of New Hampshire. The out-of-court settlement resulted in the vindication of Ms. Luther's position.
The article by Roger Amsden, published on May 1, details another example of the commissioners failure to properly maintain the existing county jail and to plan for its repair and/or replacement. When told by almost everyone who looked at their plans that something on the order of $30 million to $40 million was not affordable, the BCC doubled down on their proposal and would not consider any alternate plans which were presented to them.
I note that the commissioners state that they will await the seating of a new convention, seemingly indicating their confidence that the two commission seats in play in November will stay with the current occupants. Commissioners Philpot and Thomas will face rigorous opposition should they decide to run again for posts which they have so badly mismanaged.
In the meantime, there is something which can be done to advance the jail planning process and that is to implement the recommendations of the Bennett report, which are to do an assessment of county capabilities, and do an assessment of the various county criminal justice departments.
That these reports have never been completed is one more incidence of failed leadership.
State Rep. Richard B. Burchell
Belknap 5 - Gilmanton
Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 11:12
To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to New Hampshire state senators:
We all know that our current minimum wage isn't much, but it's all that many hard working families have. The bill to raise it would add a mere $70 to the paychecks of full-time workers. That is hardly enough money for a day in Cancun, but about enough for a much-needed bag of groceries, groceries purchased with earned money, not food stamps. Families would be earning more and spending more, producing a worker-driven stimulus package. Taxpayers would then not need to subsidize corporation's poverty wages with public assistance.
There are many sound economic and societal for raising the minimum wage, such as: a vibrant economy, job creation, higher productivity, stable families, time for civic engagement, but the over-riding reason is moral. It is evil for the richest country in the history of the universe to have any families living in poverty, any children hungry and homeless. This is a stain on our humanity.
We all know that $7.25 an hour will purchase next to nothing and won't support a family. But these workers, who have no political power, no bank account, but a family to feed, can't jeopardize their meager paychecks. They can't "take-it-or-leave-it" they must "take-it-or-else."
We all know that unions and government are relentlessly hounded by well financed corporate forces, limiting their ability to rescue these workers from poverty. Life supporting economic and nutritional aid is even being eliminated by some governments. The last chance we have to reset our moral compass is to raise the minimum wage. After all, wages have shrunk for generations, while productivity has skyrocketed. It's past time for our workers to share in those gains.
Senators, I implore you to do what is not only economically intelligent but morally right. Pass this bill.
Gilmanton Iron Works
Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 11:07
To The Daily Sun,
As a grandparent, I do feel for parents today (especially those with high school and middle school students) in trying to instill values in their children and being at the same time bullied by our social institutions. In this particular example the Gilford School Board.
So much chatter exists on the "freedom of speech" from those in authority. However, if one disagrees, let's limit them to 120 seconds to say their piece. William Baer is an example of a modern-day hero for taking on the issue of a "pornographic message" in a Gilford High School assigned reading to students. How about "Playboy"?
Come on School Board, awake from the long winter slumber and at least try to show some tolerance for those that see things from a value point of view. Right is right and wrong is wrong.
Maybe the book can best be used as recycled materials for bedding for farm animals.
What say you school leaders?
Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 11:02
To The Daily Sun,
The Lakes Region had a wonderful theater and history experience this past weekend when the The Winni Players, the community theater branch of TheWinnipesaukee Playhouse continued its tradition of presenting a staged reading, or in this case a full-scale production, of a story about the Holocaust experience: "The Brundibar Project".
As a past member of the board and longtime supporter, I can remember the early years when we couldn't fill the 84 seat theater in the Weirs to see a Holocaust Remembrance staged reading. This year, in the new theater in Meredith, they had five shows and the production was seen by more than 650 Lakes Region residents.
The cast of 58 not only learned the lines and the songs well, but had a unique educational experience. They learned about what "Bad Men" did to people, and they learned that in banding together people can endure and even overcome evil, they learned about tolerance. Each cast member was asked to develop their own "back story" so they could find a deeper connection to their character and to others in the cast. They became like family in their rehearsals, their time together and performances.
The show had the support of the New Hampshire Humanities Council, the Jewish Federation of New Hampshire, and Temple B'Nai Israel of Laconia. We also had the exceptional chance in the "talk backs," which were led by scholars from the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Dept. at Keene State, to explore the themes and history more deeply.
As the whole cast, including many young children, sat on the stage to listen and have give and take after each show, I was so impressed with the creative understanding of the children. It was obvious that they had thought deeply about the subject — themes like overcoming "bullies" by working together, about what it's like to be persecuted, what it takes to be courageous. This experience will be part of their lives forever.
The children were marvelous. Kudos and thanks for the work of Director Bryan Halperin, and all who put so much into the production. This was truly a gift to the community.
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 May 2014 11:32
To The Daily Sun,
I can't even bring my children to the beach anymore without finding drug paraphernalia everywhere.
A few inches from where my 5-year-old son was writing in the Bartlett Beach sand was a needle. Luckily, my husband saw it before my son did. My husband went to throw it away, and low and behold there were more needles in the trash. Our kids cannot even be safe playing at the beach.
With nice weather coming I fear for the safety of all Laconia children whose families believe it is a safe place to bring their kids. I did not report this to the police because last year when my children and husband found one, he stopped guarded it and waited for the police only to be told to bring it to the hospital. Like it was his responsibility to get rid of a junkie's needle. Um, no, sorry.
My friends have advised me to call the Fire Department and maybe I will get a better outcome.
I feel I need to warn city residents that Laconia's beaches have become a playground for junkies.
Last Updated on Monday, 05 May 2014 09:10