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Thank you for helping us cope with this tragedy; you honor our daughter

To The Daily Sun,
Our entire lives have been spent helping others; no one would ever have imagined that we would be the ones in need. At a time in a teenager's life where they are so vibrant and full of life, our daughter was taken from us. What she left behind was amazing, she was sweet, loving, caring and extremely hard working both at school, sports and at Gilford House of Pizza.
When people heard about her death, the community really pulled together to support Tim, Rory and I in many ways. WE cannot begin to thank you all individually, the Gilford, Laconia and other police, fire and EMS, school community, hockey, field hockey and lacrosse, coworkers, peers, church, family and friends, people we know and people we don't know reached out to support us with hugs, text messages flowers, and funding to helping us provide a final goodbye and to provide enough to be able to give back in Ava's name.
The outpouring of community love and support both in Gilford, around the state, in nearby states and those across the country, has been heartwarming. We are fortunate that we live in this community; the outpouring of people who are there for you in your time of need is indescribable. We need more of these stories and to share with everyone, to restore the faith in a positive humanity, this was one of the first things that Rory mentioned to us.
We cannot begin to thank each of you for helping us to cope with this tragedy. You have chosen to honor our daughter in a variety of ways and continue to help us celebrate her love for that we are truly appreciative.

Tim, Jen & Rory Doris

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Delegation's main goal should be to ensure county services are provided

To The Daily Sun,

In a time of increasing substance misuse in the Lakes Region, it is shocking to see that the county budget will decimate the newly built county jail's programs. Specifically, the budget lacks appropriate staff for safety and rehabilitation of inmates seeking to become substance free.
We attended the county meeting that included the commissioners and delegates that was cancelled due to a lack of a quorum. This resulted in the budget having been passed to go into effect April first. Warden Gray spoke passionately about how the lack of funds would have on the well being of inmates and staff.
We have been involved on the front line with those misusing substances.This misuse frequently has involved stays at the county jail. Our recent programs, River Crew Art and Creative Recovery as part of Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region have many participants with a history of substance abuse. Many are seeking recovery. Some are seeking treatment for their addiction. The new jail programs would be an incentive to continue treatment once discharged.
The new jail programs will initiate services to those seeking treatment. What better place to have a captive audience but the jail? Having programs in the new jail will offer treatment for those seeking recovery. The plan is to link them to community services once discharged.
If the jail is not properly funded the community may see the recidivism rate continue. Sullivan County has shown that before their new program the recidivism rate was 58 percent. After implementation of the new treatment program the rate dropped to 18 percent. Belknap County has modeled their newly proposed program after Sullivan County. The current recidivism rate for Belknap County is 72 percent.

The current cost of incarceration for Belknap County is $100 per day. A one-month stay would be nearly $3,000. Many taxpayers are looking to save money. If the recidivism rate continues without the implementation of the newly proposed jail program, the taxpayers could be spending a lot more money in the future.
Little is mentioned about the human cost of those misusing substances, their families, employers and the community. The goal of intervention is to help make those in recovery productive members of society; becoming self sufficient and independent.
Some politicians see their role to "save taxpayer's dollars." However it is much more than just saving money. Their main goal should be to ensure that county services are enforced. The feedback that we have heard by those commissioners and delegates who attended the meeting was that these county services were not being currently provided due to budget cuts.
More people need to use their voices to speak up about recent cutbacks that directly affect our community.

Elaine Morrison-Smith
Dick Smith


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