First, we have to stop controlling of our country by the wealthy

To The Daily Sun,

Our middle class is the key to the future success of the United States. Most Americans want to strengthen the middle class but, we are being prevented by the wealthy who have different goals.

A weak middle class has grave consequences. It results in not investing in the overall public good, including infrastructure and education. In the long run it is proper investment in our infrastructure and education that will ensure the well-being of our country. This trend of weakening the middle class has been going on for about four decades — a long time.

Investment in infrastructure and education actually drives future growth. Currently, we are beginning to slip back into Third World status with our poor roads and bridges, inadequate water distribution and sewer systems, electrical distribution systems, mass transit systems, modernizing of our airports, and a whole host of necessary components.

Our educational systems are not being properly funded and emphasized. Public schools are continuously being underfunded, which affects the quality all parents seek. The Community College System in New Hampshire. seems to be deteriorating, and higher education (once free) costs so much that students are in debt for years. We must get back to free and quality education at all levels to compete with other countries of the world for the foreseeable future.

Republicans, controlled by the wealthy, have not allowed infrastructure projects. Paid for free education is scoffed at, which is continuing the downward spiral of the overall education of our population.

Looking at other countries we can see that they are spending on infrastructure and they are making it easier for those inclined to get a top-notch education without incurring individual crushing debt. Compare their budgets to ours — it is easy to analyze.

The middle class is the key, with the values of the middle class, which included building up our infrastructure and educating our young people. But first we have to stop the power and controlling of our great country by the wealthy and their surrogates the Republican Party.

Tom Dawson

  • Category: Letters
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Sorry, Bob, but that Sharia law in Michigan story was a joke

To The Daily Sun,

Bob Meade does well to raise concerns about elected officials smashing the church/state barrier. His most recent column contained the following: "in a 5-4 decision by the Dearborn City Council, it was decided to officially implement all aspects of Sharia law."

What he didn't say, or didn't know because he didn't bother to look at the source, is that the statement comes from a satirical website. It's a joke.

Bob's repeating it as if it were true reminds that if you want to believe that something is true, you will, no matter how ridiculous. Academics call it "motivated reasoning". But Bob has made it clear he has no use for academics, unless they agree with him, so he wouldn't have heard of it.

Bob's right about one thing. There are elected officials all over the country breaching the barrier between church and state trying to force their religious beliefs on everyone else. And, they aren't Muslims doing the damage.

Dave Pollak

  • Category: Letters
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Committee looking at long-term needs of T-N Fire Department

To The Daily Sun,

At the March 2015 Tilton-Northfield Fire and EMS annual District Meeting the voters approved hiring a fire station consultant to work with the district to help determine the current and future facilities needs. The commissioners have hired Warrenstreet Architects of Concord to provide these consulting services.

A committee of town residents from Tilton and Northfield has been assembled to work with the consultant, the commissioners and the fire department to look at the long term needs, gather pertinent data, receive input from stakeholders and provide recommendations. Our hope is to provide options to the district at public hearings to be held later this year and with input from these hearings develop a plan for the next District Meeting.

While all are in agreement that the district has some very urgent needs, the solutions are far from clear. We are well aware that we have our work cut out for us. We look for your support as we move through this task together. Our meeting dates are listed on the district website at and our public hearings will be announced and advertised to encourage participation from as many residents as possible.

On behalf of the committee, I thank you in advance for your participation and assistance with this process.

Tim Sattler, Chair

Tilton-Northfield Fire & EMS Facilities Committee

  • Category: Letters
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Froma Harrop - GOP allowed immigration issue to rot & Trum is beating the party up with it

You can count on Donald Trump to spark a conversation. Not necessarily an intelligent one but a conversation. His provocatively offensive anti-Mexican comments have energized a significant segment of the Republican right wing. Some polls now put Trump ahead of other contenders for the party's presidential nomination.

Everyone says these insults hurled at the growing Latino electorate will harm Republicans. Everyone is correct.

Trump can be expected to mar the upcoming Republican candidate debates with new incendiary remarks about immigrants. That will leave those sharing the stage a choice. They can make common cause with Trump and offend a large part of the general electorate. Or they can swat him down and displease the slice that calls the shots in many Republican primaries and caucuses.

Treated with derision, Trump could run as a third-party candidate, draining support from the eventual Republican nominee. Asked on CNN whether he'd consider a third-party candidacy, Trump said, "If I do the third-party thing, it would be, I think, very bad for the Republicans." He added, "Everyone asks me to do it."

That's not a "no".

Republican leaders have mainly themselves to blame. By rejecting a sensible plan to deal with illegal immigration — which is, yes, a problem — they have let the issue rot into a moldy pinata for the far right. The comprehensive plan for immigration reform was a solution for Republicans, nicely tied with a bow. It passed in the Senate, and the Republican National Committee called for its passage after the most recent general election.

The comprehensive plan would do two things. It would mandate a computerized system for serious enforcement of the immigration laws. And it would normalize the status of people who are here illegally because of lax enforcement in the past.

Americans have a right to an orderly and lawful immigration program. The lack of one has helped harden the lives of natives and documented immigrants with only a high school diploma or less. Honest labor economists have noted this fact, an expected outcome of forcing lower-skilled workers to compete with millions of undocumented foreigners accepting substandard pay and working conditions.
That doesn't make these people working here illegally bad folks. Trump is cracked in saying that Mexico sends its worst people. On the contrary, Mexico has been sending us its best — those fired with ambition and a desire for work. (If American authorities fail to expel criminal foreigners, even after multiple convictions, America's to blame.)

For this reason, the migration has been Mexico's loss. Mexico has not only exported superior workers but also lost those most likely to push for political reform. Some Mexican labor activists have noted this, arguing that mass emigration north has weakened their cause.

Low birthrates, a stronger Mexican economy and improved enforcement of the current law have sharply curbed the flow of undocumented workers from Mexico. Illegal immigration will soon become not a thorn in U.S.-Mexican relations but a common concern.

What better time to put order into the American immigration program. Foes of comprehensive reform should cut the looping tape about "those people" having broken laws in taking jobs here. These laws were held in contempt by American political and business interests at their highest levels. The new plan would restore respect. It would grow new teeth on enforcement while recognizing that many undocumented foreigners have become rooted in their American communities.

By removing immigration from the power-boil burner, Republicans would oblige their Donald Trumps to look elsewhere for inflammatory remarks. Publicity hounds will no doubt find replacements, but GOP leaders can hope the next wave of vile quotes will be of less consequence to them and the nation.

(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.)

  • Category: Letters
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Simply lowering N.H. business taxes won't energize our economy

To The Daily Sun,
Recently, State Representative Peter Spanos submitted a letter to the editor in which he professed to have concerns about the poor and working poor and the fact that they are over-taxed, having to pay for such things as health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. I am pleased that Republicans have concerns for the less well-off and am equally pleased that Representative Spanos does not want to see those who are less able to have to pay high taxes. Perhaps then, he feels that it is the more fortunate in our society who should be paying a greater percentage. Or maybe not. He supports the "trickle down" theory of economics — a theory that says a cut in taxes on the wealthy will benefit everyone. He also does not believe that society, through government programs, should assist the poor and working poor. He voted for a budget in committee and on the floor of the House that cut funding for Meals on Wheels, ServiceLink, homeless shelters, substance abuse programs, developmental disability services, Lakes Region Community College, and would have cost the city of Laconia hundreds of thousands of dollars in education funding. If that weren't bad enough, he voted to raid funds for renewable energy ($50 million) and completely wipe out the state's Rainy Day Fund ($9 million). His votes were fiscally irresponsible and had his priorities become law, our economy and all the citizens of New Hampshire would have paid dearly —especially those whom he seemed in his letter to be so concerned about.

When it comes to the ACA and New Hampshire's Health Protection Program, early results clearly indicate that it is working. Contrary to Rep. Spanos's assertion of its "debilitating effect" on our economy he should note that our unemployment rate now is 3.6 percent and our economic growth for 2014 was tied for highest in New England and greater than the national average. Without the New Hampshire Health Protection Act, employers and families would continue to pay the hidden healthcare tax that resulted from excessive numbers of uninsured. Moreover, the New Hampshire Hospital Association has provided data that indicates that with more people having insurance, free care is declining and for the first time in 50 years overall healthcare spending has slowed.
Simply lowering business taxes will not energize our economy. Nor will it benefit many businesses (except perhaps Planet Fitness). Look at how this economic theory failed in now nearly-bankrupt Kansas and Louisiana! This tax policy will certainly continue to reduce the limited resources we have to address our heroin and mental health crisis, our transportation infrastructure and public safety, to name a few. The less the state can to do to combat these challenges, the more these costs are down shifted to local communities. After all, the needs do not disappear simply because the funding for the programs is cut. The reality is our property taxes will continue to rise because of the increased cost to police departments, fire departments, jails, etc. This down-shifting will be a drag on our economy and we will find ourselves in a fiscal crisis similar to Kansas and Louisiana.
I support Governor Hassan's veto of the budget. Even though this compromise between the Senate and the House version is much better than the original House version, more work needs to be done. I hope legislators can forge a compromise that is based on facts and puts the people of New Hampshire ahead of partisan politics.
Dorothy Piquado

  • Category: Letters
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