President Obama will leave but his health plan is here to stay

To The Daily Sun,

It is sad to see that most Republicans have a negative approach to politics and governing. Without going into a litany of all their negativity I would ask you to name the positive programs that have come from the Republicans.

It seems that now is the time to ask them to do something positive for all Americans. Obamacare is now a fact of political life. It will no more be dismantled than will Medicare or Social Security. However, they all can be improved a great deal. Medicare has proven to be an excellent program for all Americans who benefit from it. Improvements recommended by Republicans could make a major reduction in the cost of our federal government. They might even pick up some votes from independents for providing more efficient government.

Obamacare should be joined to Medicare, cutting out the tremendous costs and red tape of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Both of these industries have very powerful lobbies which dictated many of the rules in Obamacare, raising the cost a great deal. I can buy prescriptions through Canada at a fraction of the cost for the same drug here. And why should an insurance company make a profit with Obamacare when they do not on Medicare?

So I would like to see the Republicans of this county, state and country pressure their representatives to act in a positive mode for a change. Obama is leaving and his health plan is here to stay, so take another tack in your letters and suggest something positive.

And I don't mean to imply that the Republicans are the only party that needs to deal with the inefficiencies in Washington. The Democrats are also too much beholden to the named lobbyists and others.

Kent Warner
Center Harbor


  • Category: Letters
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City should put aside its quick Lakeport Landing decision

To The Daily Sun,

I just cannot seem to let this (Lakeport Landing) event rest. I am feeling that our City Fathers did an injustice to a local business without doing justice and or due process. It just seemed that the final decision was done without prudent research or thought before reaching a quick decision.

What bothers me so much is the speed in which our City Fathers arrived at what seems to be a final decision. Erica Blizzard posted a very reaching letter, one that explained Lakeport Landing's reasons for their offer. She gave a complete history regarding the lease between her father, Paul Blizzard, and our great city. She only asked that the city put aside their very quick decision to allow her father's dream to be reconsidered and allow Lakeport Landing a fair opportunity to bid accordingly and have an independent company assess the property. She is asking for a few members of the City Council to vote to reconsider.

I was very surprised at who voted so quickly for Irwin Marine: Bob and Dave, Eva, (a small-business owner herself) voting in favor. Not surprised by Henry Lipman's vote. I expected that.

I wonder, how much it would hurt you all to vote for a reversal of your votes and allow due process to be completed. Of course, one could expect a time frame to complete this due process. I am asking our city representative's to stand up and be the leaders that they were all elected to do. I believe, that our city representatives (or hope) that they look beyond just $$$'s. Does it not bother anyone that the Irwin bid was so much higher? Is there something wrong there. Sure seems like there might be, or are they so wealthy that they can just throw money away. Knowing Jack Irwin, I doubt that he would throw money away foolishly, I can honestly give him the doubt factor. I also doubt that Jack would object to another look to be sure that he has not on purpose hurt a fellow competitor.

So I ask once more, please reconsider this vote, allow both sides to present a honest and fair bid for that property and then re-vote. Live and let live. Please be respectful and honest to Lakeport Landing. They pay taxes too!

Don R. Vachon

  • Category: Letters
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17th Amendment eradicated Republic & substituted mob rule

To The Daily Sun,

What a long letter by Mr. Brunstad. Perusing it left me of the belief that Mr. Brunstad is at least as old as the 17th Amendment. Almost all of his vitriolic could more easily have been summed up in a much shorter letter condemning the mob rule established by the 17th Amendment. While Mr. Brundstad's sensibilities may be offended by laws enacted in a democracy, he must resign himself to that is what the country is and that the 17th Amendment eradicated the Republic and substituted the mob rule we now live under.

Life in a democracy is no different than for a young kid in high school. It is all about being popular. Not every girl or boy for that matter, will be popular as each comes from a different type of home life that shapes their appeal to their peers. I encourage Mr. Brunstad to keep writing but to make it a bit shorter and not so bitter for not being popular.

Get out and hear the Republicans stumping for the presidency and take note that they are talking about their families and their family values not what the rules should be for someone else's family. They are just trying to be popular enough to get elected so that there will not be another four year period of a Democrat appointing the judges to the Supreme Court.

Tim Sullivan


  • Category: Letters
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'Disney Affect' has a firm grip on Laconia's Motorcycle Week

To The Daily Sun,

After reading the local new article from the July 2 edition titled "Heavy-Handed State Police & 'Nothing To Do' to top MW Complaint List" I had to laugh at how people stand around and scratch their heads wondering why the rally has been shrinking each year, but refuse to see or except the facts.

I believe that you can go back in the history of the event and see that the decline accelerated about two to four years after Jean Shaheen became governor of the state and implemented many new rules, laws, regulations and police directives concerning the event. In 2009 after the rally was held, the local Chamber of Commerce posted an article in The Sun looking for why the local businesses where seeing a decline in profit each year for the event week. I wrote this letter to the Chamber in 2009.

I am the owner of Aztec North which is a computer services business. I do very little service to the visiting bike rally crowd, but as an avid biker since my teens, I have attended almost every rally from the '73 to the present. I also grew up working in several local businesses frequented by "bikers". I have noticed two types of changes over the years that affect our local business community other than weather.

First are the annual trend changes ... every "Bike Week" tends to have its own personality in what types of people attend and the general make-up of the crowd. This change in crowd also changes where and how people spend their dollars while attending the rally.

The second change that affects the economic trends of a rally, in an even larger context, is political and economic change within the national, state and town levels. These changes have a larger impact on whether spending ends up in our local business economy or not.

An example of a political change that brought more money into our local economy was when the state passed laws prohibiting camping alongside the roads or in non-camping approved areas. This brought business to our local businesses that sell rooms. This also brought changed the population of the crowd to be based in the Laconia area, which positively impacted many businesses in our area such as restaurants, food stores, clothing stores and much more.

Another political change that I saw as having a positive change at first was the state's passing overly-restrictive laws on having adult fun at the rally. Restrictions were placed and strictly enforced on "dress code," flashing certain body parts, tire burn-outs, drinking alcoholic beverages in public and much more.

This had an initial effect by making the rally a "family" event and the attendance by families increased. This brought an increase to local business, yet again by the type of spending for this crowd.

I have noticed, though, that this type of crowd had dwindled over the last several years. There are two reasons I see that cause this downturn in a desirable spending crowd; one is the economy being down, families are more discerning as to spend their reduced vacation time and funding.

The second is what I call the "Disney Affect", where most families will visit Disney once or twice, then look for something else to do. In essence, the most dependable spending crowds for a bike rally will always be the dedicated "bikers" who attend the rally year after year as part of their passion. The majority of these people are not looking for a "family" rally experience with all of the strict laws in place such as the Laconia rally. A good portion of this demographic will save their limited funds to go to either the Daytona Beach or Sturgis rallies.

This year although weather was probably the main factor in reduced attendance, I notice something else that has affected the spending in local businesses in a negative manner. The Weirs and Funspot have become nothing but a huge commercialized vendor tent full of "gypsy" vendors. These vendors may bring the city income in the form of permits, but they are a very large distraction of funds for the local economy. With an ever increasing limit on non-discretionary spending due to economic times, once someone has walked the vendor tents and bought merchandise and food they will tend to avoid the local shops, restaurants as well as other services.

I notice a trend this year for the true "biking" demographic who are tired of the dictated "Disneyization" of the rally and the commercialization of the Weirs, Laconia and Meredith. These people are staying in hotels and other venues farther form the Laconia area and are spending their time (and hence their spending) taking rides throughout New Hampshire and surrounding states.

Dave Nix

  • Category: Letters
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Commission used impropert non-public session to malign private citizen

To The Daily Sun,

A month ago, the Belknap County Commission, of which I am a member, voted 2-1 to censure me for violating the provisions of 91-A-3; 2c (subsection of the Public Right-to-Know law) on two counts.

The first count was that I had verbally disclosed information from a non-public session regarding the grievance of a county employee.

The second count was that I had revealed the nature of a non-public meeting to a member of the body politic.

Since the vote of censure included referral to the Belknap County Attorney and to the N.H. Attorney General for investigation, I decided not to answer these charges publicly until I had first answered to the county attorney and/or the state attorney general. Since I have been contacted by neither official, it is now time to put the facts before the public.

When a grievance was filed by a county department head after the current county commissioners were sworn in, I participated in a non-public session to hear this employee's case. Soon after the beginning of the hearing, I determined that the other two commissioners had reached a conclusion with which I did not agree. I decided that they were unreceptive to a scenario at variance with their conclusions, which seemed to have been arrived at in summary fashion and without regard for evidence to the contrary.

At this point, I left what I considered to be a biased and unfair hearing and filed a minority report with the employee and further advised him that I would commit this report to writing. The following day, I submitted that report in a sealed letter to the county administrative assistant as well as to the employee. A fellow commissioner followed this same procedure in submitting a report of the majority of the Belknap County Commission.

The second complaint of the majority of the commission is more troubling. While the majority of the Belknap County Commission is on record as stating that it is county policy to have matters put on the agenda prior to a meeting and to have the subject matter for non-public sessions agreed to before a meeting takes place, this protocol was not adhered to in subject instance. This is a fair example of the ad hoc quality of the current constitution of the Belknap Board of Commissioners.

This non-public session having been convened for undisclosed reasons, I noted the presence of the county attorney and of the county sheriff. I was quite surprised that the reason for the meeting was a complaint by a county employee who felt threatened by the comments of a county citizen. I immediately asked the county attorney if this citizen had committed a chargeable offense. The answer was no, he had not. I then stated that the board had nothing before it.

To attempt to improperly use the provisions of 91-A-3; 2c to malign a private citizen who was not present to defend himself struck me as improper. Our society should not be a party to star-chamber tactics. Transparency in government must be a primary goal of anyone who purports to serve his fellow citizens.

When I defended the free speech rights of the party who was being maligned in this allegedly non-public session, a senior county official stated that the person in question had utilized his free speech and that it was time for him to move on. Really? Government officials should quantify how much free speech is acceptable and what the point of terminus should be? The proceeding which I describe was not a legitimate non-public session.

If the county wants to convene a dangerousness hearing for the citizen in question, let it so do. That the sheriff and county attorney would be a party to this meeting is very troubling.

Finally, many people have sent me messages, e-mails and made telephone calls regarding the change in the organization of the Board of Commissioners. I thank them and state that I will continue to advocate for the positions on which I ran for District 2 commissioner.

I stated in March that there was no statute or precedent for unseating an elected chair of the Belknap County Commission. Despite a ruling from Belknap Superior Court to the contrary, I want to state to my supporters that I was elected to be a commissioner and elected to be county chair. I have never, to my best recollection, been appointed to anything. For a judge to rule that the power of appointment implies the power of removal is a non-sequitur as well as an egregious example of judicial activism.

Dick Burchell

  • Category: Letters
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