I worked at HP; I can tell you, Carly turned that company around

To The Daily Sun,

I worked at Hewlett-Packard for about eight years, and left the company just a few years before Carly Fiorina took over. I can tell you from first-hand experience what HP was really like back then.

While her detractors paint an idealistic portrait of a company before her tenure — where everything was in good order and people were happy – this could not be further from the truth.

It is true that HP was still a great company when I started working there in the '80s. But by the '90s, the company was struggling. HP was operating in a cutthroat economic environment and made a series of managerial missteps that destroyed the morale and the customer focus of their employees.

I personally witnessed this stressful work environment that led to employees breaking down emotionally and physically. Many were pushed to work long hours of overtime while their family lives suffered.

If they did not work overtime and were then unable to keep up with increased workloads, they received poor performance reviews and were pressured to leave the company. When they did leave, their positions would then be filled with temporary workers who could be hired and fired much more easily than a permanent employee — even though HP's written policy had long been not to be a hire-and-fire type of company but, rather, one that professed to value its employees.

This situation impacted our customers as well. From 1992 to 1995, I worked as a contracts specialist in the Customer Support Business Center, where I and my fellow employees worked with many of HP's best customers. This was an area of the company that was critical to HP's long-term success because services were producing higher profit margins than equipment sales.

However, ongoing, multiple reorganizations left customers confused because their employee contacts within the company kept changing, and response times to customer inquiries suffered because there weren't enough people to handle the load. Additionally, outdated, cumbersome, time-consuming software was used to manage our customers' service agreements, leading to still more frustration for both customers and employees alike.

I kept in touch with several of my former coworkers after I left HP in 1995 and, according to them, the problems only got worse. Bad decisions at the top trickled down to both employees and customers, ultimately leading to lowered earnings.

It became clear that a change was needed, and HP brought in Carly Fiorina. Among other accomplishments, she streamlined the bureaucracy within the company and made it easier for customers to get the help they needed. More to the point, Carly took a company that had been significantly diminished by gross mismanagement and turned it around.

Just a few months into her time at HP, the dot-com bubble burst, followed by a major stock market crash. Everything changed. Layoffs, mergers and bankruptcies became the norm. Several of HP's competitors no longer exist.

Carly's critics have tried to blame her for what happened next at HP, but they fail to mention the terrible impact the recession had on companies all over the country, and the fact that HP remained a viable company that employed tens of thousands of American employees while Carly was at the helm. That is far more than you can say for other Silicon Valley companies at that time.

In short, Carly Fiorina is exactly the leader we need in the White House and my family and I are proud to support her.

Tom Ambrose


  • Category: Letters
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Having a baby should be a happy, cheerful, exciting time

To The Daily Sun,

Today, while watching TV with a grandchild, we were delighted with "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood" on WGBH 2 Boston. This segment focused on babies, Daniel's mom is soon to give birth. Daniel is excited to become a big brother. A little girl is gleeful and happy to help her dad put a crib together for the coming baby. The school teacher happily congratulates Daniel's dad when she learns of the event. Daniel helps to paint the baby's room.

There is no mention of abortion. There is no mention of killing the infant or selling the baby's body parts. Take a hint from this children's show, having a baby should be a happy, cheerful, exciting time, not one to be clouded over by an abortion.

Thanks to WGBH for airing this program, for covering this sensitive topic with positive pro-life ideas. The focus was totally on cherishing and wanting the child, not at all on killing it.

Keep a baby. Life is precious.

Harry Mitchell

  • Category: Letters
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Mill Society proud to have played a role in Pumpkin Festival

To The Daily Sun,

The 25th Anniversary of the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival, hosted in our very own City of Laconia, was truly an amazing event! The only light outshining that of close to 10,000 jack-o-lanterns was the light emanating from the faces of our local residents and businesses, New Hampshire community members, and visitors from a far.

The Belknap Mill Society also beams with pride to have been able to take part in this event with our very own haunted house, Mayhem at the Mill — a Russ Davis Production. Russ and Maria Davis, along with their extended family and friends, worked tirelessly to completely transform the third floor of the Belknap Mill into a frightful haunt for our visitors. The Davis crew volunteered their time and efforts in order to raise funds for the Mill that will help us sustain our mission to preserve and protect the Belknap Mill for all of the Lakes Region to enjoy.

We extend heartfelt gratitude to Russ Davis' crew and look forward to working with them in the future. We'd also like to thank our generous sponsors, who put their faith in our event, and helped to make it possible: Boulia-Gorrell Lumber Co., Wallace Building Products, the Laconia Antique Center, the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, Wescott Law Firm, WEMJ, and Pepsi.

In addition to our sponsors, the following businesses donated to our bake sale and awesome raffle prizes: Penny's Craft Biz, Cider Bellies, Faro Italian Grille, Winnipesaukee Playhouse, Patrick's Pub & Eatery, and Funspot.

The New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival was a great reminder to all of us what can be accomplished when a community rallies together. We offer our sincerest gratitude to Let It Shine, Inc. and the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, organizers of this event, as well as Mayor Ed Engler, City Manager Scott Myers, our Laconia city councilors, the Public Works Department, the Laconia Police Department and Laconia Fire Department. The Belknap Mill stands tall on the shoulders of our community, members, and all of our volunteers who not only helped us during that weekend but who also support all of our events throughout the year.

Thank you, Laconia.

The Board of Directors

Belknap Mill Society


  • Category: Letters
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Heroin use is, in fact, not a choice; substance abuse is a disease

To The Daily Sun,
There was a letter published that was written by Eric Rottenecker. He points out that the heroin use is a choice, not a disease. This is entirely incorrect. Addiction and any form of substance abuse is a disease. It has its own numerical designation in the Diagnosis Guide to illnesses that is used by physicians. It is managed by both physicians and psychologists, both of whom are medical professionals. He is correct in one sense, it is no longer an epidemic, it is now pandemic. It is not only here in New Hampshire, but is both nationwide and worldwide.

This writer has worked in multiple settings in his nursing career. Those afflicted with addiction impact in a number of ways upon our society. Many have died. With this kind of background, having seen the trembling hands of the addicts, shaking of bodies during withdrawal, solutions are ones that need to rebuild the addicts lives from the ground up. No, addiction is not a choice. Assisting those who are sick is a societal responsibility. The main source of revenue must come from the taxpayers, as they will benefit from these programs directly, while help is provided for the addicts. The rationale here is that by providing these services, this will preserve and protect the safety and welfare for our families, home, property, as well as our communities.

Such services will actually reduce crime rate, lessens one source of dangerous violence that permeates our country and state. This writer has seen addiction centers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, as well as a nurse working in the prison system here in New Hampshire. Addiction is not a pretty picture.

Mr. Rottenecker seems unaware of the nature of this disease, and it is hoped he can open his eyes as well as develop compassion for these stricken victims.

Solutions are not that simple. There is no one-size-fits-all plan of care. Gov. Hassan used the wrong approach; stop the drugs, make us spend more unnecessary time at the primary care doctor's office and multiple trips to the pharmacy is not going to work. To make those afflicted with daily pain from cancers, spinal injuries, or the dying process suffer as a result of this pandemic is wrong and unfair. The start is not stopping the drugs, but working with the addicts to embrace the entire socio-economic as well as socio-education that can help these people. The focus is to provide a resources necessary to pave the way back to society for these addicts. Substance abuse and addiction care cannot proceed without this.

Support systems and a strong foundation must be put in place, so that these addicts can be ultimately mainstreamed safely. One of the first steps implemented was the drug courts. More needs to be done. Counseling, training for employment, learning how to manage a drug-free home are part of this picture while gradually reducing this dependence to prevent a more serious issue of withdrawal, some of which can be life threatening.

Addiction is a disease. There are both medical as well as psychological approaches with both counseling and medications to help with this disease. It is pandemic and reaches across every socio-economic ladder from the very rich to the poor. It is for the greater public good the source of revenue must come from the citizens of the communities and taxpayers. It is all of our responsibility.

Robert T. Joseph, Jr.
New Hampton

  • Category: Letters
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Creationism goes up against mountain of scientific evidence

To The Daily Sun,

Sweet tears of Teabilly Butthurt! Did you see the Ayatollah steam coming from James McCoole's ears? Then Steve Earle asks whether believing in creationism makes a person bad. What does that have to do with anything? This may be a little over Mr. Earle's head but politicians and science teachers should be up to date on the latest scientific consensus and discoveries. Creationism goes up against mountains of scientific evidence and does not belong in schools or government. It's not about being good or bad, it's about competency. It is of paramount importance that policy makers make their decisions based upon the latest knowledge.

Creationists are today's geocentrists. They refuse to accept the mountains of evidence that support evolution from common descent. Mr. McCoole certainly does not belong on a school board where providing up-to-date education is of primary importance. By the way, those three right-wing school board members in Jefferson County, Colorado, who made a stink about the Advanced Placement American History curriculum were recalled last week and kicked off the school board. Let that be a lesson to conservatives who want to push their history and science from an alternative universe in public schools.

Mr. McCoole, forgetting it is 2015, not 1015, claims that there is no evidence for evolution by common descent. Maybe he should read some science instead of books and sites which advance religious apologetics in the guise of science. Below I have included some links. One is about eing apecies which demonstrate speciation in the here and now. The second presents 29 examples of macroevolution. This will not be easy but one has to start somewhere. As I wrote a while back, one can ditch literal readings of ancient religious texts, redefine what creator could mean, and still maintain some sort of faith. As Thomas Paine said, the Bible is an insult to the Almighty. Its the dogmatic doctrines that have to go.

Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are full of tales that require gullibility on steroids for acceptance. Supernatural nonsense like revelations, visions and dreams, virgin births, original sin, hell-fire, salvation and a need for a savior, resurrections, angels, demons, Satan, prophecies, and much more have to be tossed in the trash bin of mankind's worn out ideas. Deism is compatible with today's science because it doesn't make ludicrous claims like claiming to know what God is or what IT thinks. Evolution by common descent is a big problem for ideas such as original sin and salvation because with evolution there was no "fall of mankind" so there is no need for a savior. If humanity is actually ascending by means of natural selection, the tribal superstitions of the Middle East which became the three great religions have it completely backward.

The problem with learning about evolution is that it is a study which brings together many fields of science. Evolution is supported by so many lines of evidence that a young Earth creationist has to ignore genetics, biology, chemistry, biochemistry, immunology, physics, astrophysics, geology, archaeology, paleontology, paleo-climatology, botany, bacteriology, virology, and more in order to maintain belief. One can't learn this subject overnight.

With Intelligent Design believers, it's not as bad because they have faced the facts of the geological record and the distant galaxies that are billions of light years away. But they still cling to myths like Michael Behe's "irreducible complexity," which claims that there is an irreducible level of biological complexity that could not have evolved from any previous state. This has been widely refuted and rejected because it's demonstrably wrong. There are no examples of irreducible complexity.


James Veverka

  • Category: Letters
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