To The Daily Sun,
On Dec. 8, a public input session will be held about the current challenges facing the Belknap Mill Society. Since the Society is a public, non-profit organization, perhaps it should be recommended that an independent audit of the organization's finances be made before any public hearing is held and that audit be made available to the general public. It is important to note that the members of the current board of trustees of the mill are all new, and the public needs to know exactly how the society got into its present-day financial difficulties.
The Save the Mill Society was formed during the turmoil of urban renewal. There were two mills in need of preservation: the Busiel Mill and the Belknap Mill. When attorney Arthur Nighswander bought and restored the Busiel, the Save the Mills Society was renamed the Belknap Mill Society, and its mission was to preserve and restore the Belknap Mill. Four local businessmen were the founders of both organizations. Peter Karagianis, Norman Weeks, Lawrence Baldi, and Richard Davis. They put their entire lives on the line to save those mills, and they were highly successful.
They did it before the field of historic preservation was in place. They did it before there were LCHIP grants for preservation. They had a tremendous passion for their mission, and they hit the ground running. It was hard, hard work, but they never once doubted that what they were doing was right, and that it needed to happen.
When these men were facing the restoration of the Belknap Mill, the mill was in far worse shape than it is today. The mill was unwanted by the city of Laconia, as well as a high percentage of the city's residents. One of them went as far as to set the mill on fire in order to rid the city of such an "eyesore." Fortunately, that fire was extinguished before it caused any damage.
Economic environments are often far from perfect when it comes to conducting historic preservation projects. That's where passion and creativity come into play. The Belknap Mill today is in need of repair, and some of the repairs are costly. That is what preservation is all about, and that is the job of the Belknap Mill Society. There are preservation grants available, such as LCHIP, which this year was funded with millions of dollars.
The Belknap Mill's future is not gloom and doom. There is a one-of-a-kind industrial museum housed within the mill, which includes a power system built in 1918 and a room filled with knitting machines that were made in Laconia. There are tenants that utilize the building on a daily basis and an award-winning school program that is held there on an annual basis. The mill is functioning, but it needs some preservation.
If the four men who saved the mill in the 1970s saw what the mill needed today, I can assure you that they would say, "Is that all?"
Last Updated on Monday, 24 November 2014 10:16
To The Daily Sun,
So what say all you right-wing conspiracy Obama haters?
(Last week an investigative report prepared by the House Intelligence Committee founds little to support questions raised about CIA actions on the ground in Benghazi, Libya, the night of a deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound.)
Our president and his administration did not in fact lie to the American people as the talking heads on Fox News where most of you get your "facts" repeatedly told their viewers. The true patriotic Americans deserve an apology for all the damage you have caused to this great country and the memory of the brave men who gave their lives.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 November 2014 10:10
To The Daily Sun,
One hundred years of the liberal-progressive push to control our education is bearing fruit, rotten fruit. Common Core, the latest government intrusion into our children's education, has already become overripe and smells really bad. More parents and teachers are sifting through the bureaucratic language known as "corespeak" and have begun to understand that it is more about promoting "leftist" values than teaching the necessary information and skills that will allow them to succeed in an increasingly competitive and global world.
And now comes the Department of Education (please make it go away) and the Department of Justice, leaning on public schools to decline punishment for black students who display disruptive class behavior (racial quota limits for punishment - Sowell). Democrats want to ask questions and probe these students to find out why they are being disrespectful to teachers, including assaults on faculty. Of course, the implied if not announced narrative, is that the schools are either being too strict on these students or they are displaying "institutional racism". In the meantime, less and less learning will take place in the classroom.
Playing the favorite liberal games of "blaming authority figures" and "throwing down the race card" before having the facts (see Ferguson, Missouri) is the ideological and political-way liberal progressives choose to deal with serious, societal concerns. Portraying blacks as the victims and liberals as the rescuers is great for Democrats. But for black minorities, not so much (see Jason L. Riley's new book: "Please Stop Helping Us"). For whatever reason, they are loathe to address the real issues, which are the breakdown of the family unit and lack of school choice. It couldn't be the goal of preserving that cherished Democrat voting block could it? Boys with no fathers in the home are more likely to engage in bad behavior, numerous studies have shown. Common sense tell us that letting a child get away with bad behavior is an invitation to more anti-social behaviors later on.
Is it any wonder that the teacher turnover rate is so high? Check out the MetLife survey, Forbes.com report, a failed teacher story in Edutopia and Rita Kramer's book, "Ed School Follies", and you will find much of the teacher dissatisfaction is due to school principals and superintendents not giving them the support they need to survive in the "blackboard jungle".
Charlotte Iserbyt's book, "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America", describes how the education establishment is deliberately seeking mediocre results. Edutopia reports that "every year U.S. schools hire more than 200,000 teachers for the first day of class and by summer, 22,000 have quit". Apparently, the money train pushes the educational establishment's "gravy train". As long as they have to educate many thousands of new teachers each year who will need books, classrooms and lots of instruction, then unending taxpayer funds will continue to flow, regardless of the negative outcomes for students.
Yet far too many teachers believe it is the educational establishment that has their back rather than parents and the community. Along with giving short-shrift to the importance of teaching the literary classics, it seems the "Stockholm Syndrome" concept is also not a part of the teacher's learning curve.
Bruce Deitrick Price believes, "the last thing the Education Establishment would want is a stable core of highly professional, experienced teachers".
Ben Shapiro notes, "the achievement gap will never be closed, so long as school districts across the country punish good students, reward bad ones and let political correctness trump educational necessity". The arrogance and paternalism that began with John Dewey and others continues to thrive (can you say Karl Marx?). The "teach less so no one suffers from low self-esteem" paradigm is progressing swimmingly well while our children drown in a scandalous ocean of academic fraud and failing scholastic achievement. After all, isn't education merely a conduit for more liberal, progressive, social schemes (hello Common Core)?
The GOP has a marvelous opportunity to overhaul an increasingly dysfunctional, educational system fueled by the progressive, government-controlled-learning establishment. Otherwise, teachers will continue to take it on the chin and our children will suffer from decreasing reading, writing, math, computing and comprehension skills and have a more difficult time being successful in the adult working environment. Yes Republicans, keep those big boy (and girl) pants on. You know, the ones you just put on to jump start our economy.
A hat tip to: Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Michael Savage, Roger Hedgecock, Ben Shapiro and Bruce Deitrick Price for much of the content in this letter.
Last Updated on Saturday, 22 November 2014 12:26
To The Daily Sun,
Contrary to the claims of Mr. Earle and those from the religious right, the United States was not founded as a Christian Nation. Those who make the claim portray themselves as knowing, but it's more an expression of emotion, not of empirical fact.
If you read and study the Constitution, nowhere will you find mention of God, Christ or any intention to found a Christion nation. On the contrary, the only reference to religion in the Constitution, before the Bill of Rights, comes in Article VI, which stipulates that political parties in the United States may never be limited to people of one faith, but must be open to all faiths or none.
Our founding fathers took the radical liberal progressive step of founding the first nation in history with no established religion. In their wisdom, the founders of our Constitution knew that the time had come to break from the presidents of history and bar any religious group from ever imposing itself on the nation using the engine of government.
Roger Williams, the founder of the colony of Rhode Island, argued that religious freedom is itself a Christian principle. Any attempt to establish a "Christian Nation", therefore, always has been and always will be unjust, dangerous and profoundly un-Christian.
As to Mr.Earle's assertion that our Constitution is based on Christian values; Christians don't hold a monopoly on these beliefs. Quoting directly from the scriptures of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Baha'I, Buddhism, and others, the principles shared by all, strip away the superficial differences between faiths by showing that the "great religious principles" are expressed almost word for word in every religion. Their similarities express the common origin of the religions descendant from the prophet Abraham. And because they have become standards of social and moral conduct for almost half the population of the earth, they are worth remembering.
Two interesting passages that I came across relate directly or indirectly to the comments of Mr. Earle. From the Quran: Say, O you that reject Faith! I do not worship that which you worship, nor will you worship that which I worship. To you be your way, and to me mine. From the Bible: He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbor, but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.
L. J. Siden
Last Updated on Saturday, 22 November 2014 12:21
To The Daily Sun,
The Gilmanton American Legion Auxiliary Ellis-Geddes-Levitt Unit 102 invites supporters and guests to join us and many other fine craft and holiday gift providers at the 2014 Gilmanton Holiday Craft Fair hosted by the Gilmanton PTA on Saturday, Nov. 29, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Gilmanton School, 1386 Route 140.
For 55 years Unit 102 has served the military servicemen and women and military family needs of the community.
The auxiliary will have many delicious food items to enjoy during your holiday season. We also have a beautiful Holiday/Winter Basket raffle to be won that day. It's a unique and exciting gift for someone special on your list or enjoy this basket of home items, food treats and surprises for your own.
We will be accepting non-perishable food items to be donated to the Gilmanton Food Pantry. Bring along an item or two and have that warm feeling of directly sharing with others in the community.
All proceeds from the Auxiliary's efforts at this and other annual events are used to support service-members, veterans, their families and the community. We look forward to seeing you at the Fair and hope you will stop by our location to browse, enjoy and say hello.
Raelyn Cottrell, President
Gilmanton Ellis-Geddes-Levitt Unit 102
American Legion Auxiliary
Last Updated on Saturday, 22 November 2014 12:16