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Let's keep Up With People momentum going through Stand Up Laconia

To The Daily Sun,

Dear friends, local businesses and community members:
Thank you for your incredible support of Up With People the week of September 1st-8th. Because of YOU, the week long event was a truly phenomenal success!! It was telling as we said good bye to the cast on the Monday morning the hugs, smiles, a few tears and promises of lasting friendships that Up With People had left their footprint on the hearts of many ... and the Lakes Region held a special place in the hearts of the 100 plus cast members too. Many cast members that morning, and since leaving, have commented on what a special place the Lakes Region is — the beauty in both it’s landscape and the warmth and generosity of its people!

So many thank yous to be expressed and please forgive me if I should inadvertently leave anyone out. Thank you to the 46 families within the Lakes Region that hosted cast members and advance- team members. Thank you to our financial sponsors — Bank Of New Hampshire $5,000; Aavid Thermalloy $2,500; Meredith Village Savings Bank $1,000; Laconia Police Relief Association, Penny Pitou Foundation, Better Together, Meadowbrook, Taylor Community, Putnum Fund and the Santa Fund each for their $500 donations; Lakes Region Community Services, Autoserv, Melcher & Prescott Insurance, TD Bank and Lakes Region General Health Care for their $250 donations and to anonymous donors that generously gave over $2,500. Thank you to the following local restaurants for providing meals Fratello’s Restaurant Italiano, Local Eatery, Soda Shoppe, Water Street Café, Patrick’s Pub and Eatery, Burrito Me, D’Angelo’s, T-Bones, Dominoes Pizza, Common Man restaurants. Thank you to Shaw’s, Hannaford and Vista for gift card donations to provide water and snacks for the cast members. Our media sponsors, The Laconia Daily Sun and 98.3LNH. Thank you to our other community supporters which include The Laconia School District, Congregational Church, Laconia Police Department, J&J Printing, Gary Drake Electric, Temple B’Nai Isreal, Central NH VNA & Hospice.

There are so many individuals to who I owe thanks but a few in particular I would be remiss in not mentioning, Beth Clay if not for your vision and commitment the event would not have happened! Also a special thanks to Pam and Rylee Littlefield, Jane and Bob Clay, Shannon Robinson Beland and family, Ed Engler and Mike, Alana and Kate Persson.

I have been hearing from people of all ages from our community about how powerful and inspirational the cast members were during their week here in the Lakes Region. Whether they interacted with these young people during volunteer activities, hosting them or attending one of the SOLD OUT shows they made an impact! This is HOW they positively impacted our community: Through their performances, including two mini Up With People shows for Laconia Middle School and High School students in Laconia and at the Multicultural Festival; two full Up With People shows at Laconia Middle School on September 5th and 6th. Sixty-four senior guests were invited from the Taylor Community, N.H. Veteran’s Home and Sunrise Towers. Four days of community service and 13 local organizations were impacted including Laconia Middle and High School, N.H. Veterans Home, Boys and Girls Club, Congregational Church, Taylor Home Community, Elm Street and Pleasant Street Elementary schools, Meredith Elementary school, Laconia Parks & Recreation, Belknap County Jail, Salvation Army Thrift Shop and the Multicultural Festival. Up With People cast attended 35 events reaching more than 17,000 people. 53 local classrooms received Up With People workshops/presentations focusing on relevant issues from bullying to substance abuse. 37 of our local youth applied to travel with Up With People in the future. 2,665 local youth interacted with our international cast and 1,293 hours of community service were completed!

Lakes Region you attended the two evening shows and were the first community in Cast B tour that sold out both shows!! In doing this you allowed us to pay the remainder of the money we were contracted to pay to Up With People AND you raised almost $4,000 which will go to the benefiting organizations — Stand Up Laconia, Got Lunch! Laconia and Gilford Got Lunch! I suppose it is always a good indication when organizations, businesses and individuals ask when will they be back? We are tentatively looking at 18 months from now as Up With People will celebrate their 50th year.

In closing, I have been asked numerous times in the last two weeks “How to we keep this positive message, hope and possibility of change as we move forward?” I am sure there are many ways to do this, however, as chair of Stand Up Laconia I would ask that you consider joining this local grassroots coalition. The essence of Up With People’s VOICES is very much in line with the mission of Stand Up Laconia. To find out more about Stand Up Laconia please visit our website page at www.standuplaconia.com or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Our next Stand Up Laconia meeting will take place this Thursday September 25th from 4-5:30 p.m. at Laconia Middle School. Please join us and keep Laconia and our Lakes Region moving forward!

Clare Persson, Chair

Stand Up Laconia

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 September 2014 10:49

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Mark Fernald - How New Hampshire's tax on the 1% became a tax on the middle class instead

New Hampshire's Interest and Dividends Tax has strayed very far from its roots as a tax on the rich.

The tax was created in 1923, at the end of the Progressive Era. In the 19th Century, most taxes were property taxes. After the Civil War, as the industrial revolution transformed the economy, it became clear that an increasing amount of economic activity — dividends, capital gains, CEO bonuses, etc. — was never taxed, leaving property owners to carry the load alone.

The solution at the federal level was the income tax. New Hampshire took a different route, adopting a tax on interest and dividends. It was designed to be a tax on the wealthy. Most working class people had little or no interest and dividend income. In addition, interest earned on accounts in New Hampshire banks were exempt, which had the dual purpose of excluding the small saver from tax, and also encouraging the retention of capital in New Hampshire.

Over the last 20 years, the Legislature has transformed the interest and dividends tax into something its creators would not recognize.

First, there was a constitutional challenge brought by wealthy taxpayers in the 1990s, arguing that the tax violated the "commerce clause" of the U.S. Constitution, because the exemption for interest paid by New Hampshire banks gave those banks an unfair advantage. The State of New Hampshire eventually conceded in court that the exemption was unconstitutional, and the Legislature eliminated the exemption for interest from New Hampshire banks effective January 1, 1995. Savers who had deposited their savings in New Hampshire banks were suddenly subject to New Hampshire income tax.

Second, the standard exemption from tax has remained unchanged at $2,400 since 1997. If the exemption amount had kept pace with inflation, it would be over $3,500 today.

Third, dividends paid by corporations are taxed, but dividends paid by most limited liability companies (those with non-transferable shares) are exempt from tax. This is a huge loophole, which gets bigger every year. Over the past five years, hundreds of New Hampshire corporations have converted to LLC status, transforming their dividends from taxable to non-taxable. Remember when Walgreen's planned a "corporate inversion", to avoid paying U.S. tax? We have our own tax-avoiding "inversions" here in New Hampshire. Change the name from "Inc." to "LLC" and you have spun taxable income into non-taxable income.

Fourth, the Legislature has recently exempted all trusts from interest and dividends tax. This means a trust can accumulate interest and dividend income free of any New Hampshire tax. Not surprisingly, there is a cottage industry among New Hampshire lawyers to create trusts for wealthy clients. Stock and bond portfolios are transferred into these new trusts, and the interest and dividends earned on those portfolios are not subject to interest and dividends tax so long as the income is accumulated. When the accumulations are paid out, only the income of the most recent year is taxable — the accumulated income from previous years can be distributed tax-free.

So there you have it. Average people do not have lobbyists in Concord. Over the past 20 years, they have seen their New Hampshire bank interest subject to tax, and they have seen the value of their exemption eroded by inflation. The result is that some retirees pay interest and dividends tax on the money they saved for retirement, even though their income is too low to owe any federal income tax.

Meanwhile, the lobbyists for the wealthy have worked their magic. Their clients are busy converting their corporations into limited liability companies, and transferring their portfolios into trusts, all to avoid the interest and dividends tax. We are now seeing the results. Interest and dividends tax revenue for the 2014 fiscal year was 17 percent below projections.

We are told that the state must "live within its means." What we aren't told is that the "means" of the state are being whittled away by lobbyists, as they carve out tax benefits for their clients. Meanwhile, the citizens of New Hampshire who look to the state to provide a social safety net, environmental protection, well-maintained state parks, and affordable higher education, have a Legislature that cannot do the job because the revenue has slipped away.

(Mark Fernald is an who lives in Sharon, N.H. A former State Senator, he was the 2002 Democratic nominee for Governor. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Community Center addition will be great asset for Town of Alton

To The Daily Sun,

On behalf of the Town of Alton Pearson Road Community Center Development Committee established by the Alton Board of Selectman, I wish to thank Steve Dana and his crew for their volunteer effort in building the shell of the final phase of this two-year project. This 40 foot by 36 foot addition with full basement will provide the residents of the Town of Alton with gathering-space for both private and public functions.

Mr. Dana's contribution is the latest in hundreds of private contributions of funds and labor that have made this effort possible. This has made up over 50 percent of the cost, with the rest coming from tax funds. Steve also enlisted Mark Thomas of Bayside Concrete in assisting with raising the roof, and Brad Hunter in adding the windows and doors along with other interior work.

We also want to thank the local companies that have done quality contracted work on the project. It is great to see how much can be accomplished when there is cooperation between governmental and private organizations and individuals. Interior finishing work and expanded septic still need to be funded to bring this project to completion.

Peter Bolster, Chairman

Pearson Road Community Center Project

Alton

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 10:56

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Obama turned out to be just another self-centered politician

To The Daily Sun,

Let's be honest. In Friday's Sun L.J. Siden gave us the umpteenth version of "It's still all Bush's fault", six years into the Obama presidency. It is more than clear the liberal, lunatic fringe is never going to step up to the plate and accept the responsibility for the incredible failure of Obama's presidency. They simply lack the strength of character for such an admission.

With Democrats it is always a "war" on someone. Always someone else's fault. If it isn't Bush, it is Wall Street. If it isn't Wall Street, it is the top 1 percent. If it isn't the top 1 percent, it is racism. If it isn't racism, it is the mean-spirited, greedy business community. It is always somebody but them.

The best any presidential aspirant can hope for is that he catches the bottom of the down slope of the economic cycle so he can claim his policies are the cause of the upturn. Upturns that happen with or without a president. That any sitting president tries to grab credit for an economic recovery is at the least disingenuous, at the worst a bold-faced misrepresentation of the truth.

In 2008 Barack Obama came on the scene as a bright beacon of hope. The man was, and is a gifted orator. He used that gift to wind the American public around his finger, as great orators can do. Barrack Obama spoke loudly and often of the failure of the Bush presidency. Intentionally demeaning his policies, reminding us all politics is indeed a "blood sport," not for the faint of heart. Obama spoke insightfully and with knowledge of every Bush policy mistake while assuring an adoring public "he had the fix" for every problem. Obama was the equivalent of the old Shell Oil Company answer man. If the nation needed a nut for a bolt he had it. If it needed a hammer to bang a loose policy in place he had it. If it needed a key hole saw to rearrange legislation he had it. Barack Obama won the 2008 election overwhelmingly as the nation cheered. All three branches of government went Democrat in the landslide.

This country was off the Bush track and on to the Obama track with promises of happiness and prosperity just over the horizon. The liberal spending machinery sprang into high gear. A trillion dollar stimulus was all the country needed to ignite a new cycle of economic growth and job creation. Shovel-ready jobs by the millions were waiting according to the now famous words of Joe Biden.

As we all know the fantasies of politicians running for office seldom work out as billed. Barack Obama was not a Second Coming of Christ, just another self-centered politician looking out for his best interests before all others. The promised transformative presidency in the shadow of Lincoln has been in fact a Jimmy Carter replay. Washington conducting uncorrupted politics was more than a joke. That Obama would unite a very divided country was the worst deception of all. Promises that vaporized literally the day he took his oath. Within 24 months the public handed Democrats their most sweeping election defeat in more than 80 years from one coast to the other, including the loss of Congress and the loss of countless governorships and statehouses. Major political advantages Republicans still hold today. Advantages they are about to increase in November.

This country is going to turn hard right in seven weeks. I guarantee it. The hard left this country took under Obama 2008 has only put this nation deeper into the economic ditch and more people today feel less safe than the day Obama took office.

In 2014 the public has in good measure lost its confidence in Barack Obama. No president in modern history had higher expectations tied to his presidency, and none made bolder promises to the voters. The man who professed to know how to fix every Bush mistake only doubled down the pain on all of them. The man who promised prosperity has produced none. The middle class has shrunk, the lower class has bulged and the rich have had their pockets stuffed under Obama. It is now more than clear the political equivalent of the Second Coming of Christ turned out to be nothing but a first-class fraud who talked well, but like so may before him, was an empty suit.

Tony Boutin

Gilford

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 10:52

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Gas tax hike will cost the average N.H. driver $14.70 per year

To The Daily Sun,

1. After the 4.2 cent increase: The average motorist in New Hampshire uses about 350 gallons of gas, yearly. This amounts to a yearly increase for the average motorist of $14.70 a year. (350 x 0.042 = 14.70) In exchange, we are already seeing results, as the Department of Transportation (DOT) skim coats portions of Route 109, Bean Road and Squam Lake Road.

2. Every single penny of the increase will go toward our long-neglected and crumbling state of roads and bridges and will not take money or interfere with I-93 improvement.

3. The increase, the first in 23 years, is 23 percent, while gasoline prices have risen over 300 percent. The cost of asphalt, cement, steel and road salt have risen over 600 percent since 1992. Each year we delay repairs that cost taxpayers millions. Thanks to inflation, it takes about three times as many dollars today to maintain our roads and bridges as it did in 1992.

4. Road toll money, or highway funds from this increase are constitutionally protected and cannot be diverted for other purposes.

5. The road toll has been upheld by the state Supreme Court as a "user fee." The logic being, the more you drive on New Hampshire roads, the more gasoline you consume. Therefore, all of us pay for our proportionate road use and share in maintenance costs.

6. About 20 percent of the road toll/gas tax is paid by out-of-state drivers.

Nick Vazzana
Sandwich

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 September 2014 10:34

Hits: 62

 
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