To The Daily Sun,
There are some in the own of Bristol who would have you believe that the Selectboard is spending money on frivolous things and just want to raise your taxes on whatever whim we are feeling at the moment. They take every opportunity to take a matter of policy or procedure a personal issue and attempt to show the town in a negative light. Bristol has a lot to offer and every attempt should be made to spotlight the positive issues as well.
There are those who will tell you that we don't need to spend as much as we do for police, fire and highway for a town of 3,000 residents. The biggest question that leads to is when was the last time there were only 3,000 people in town? Best guess estimates for even a winter weekend is 5,000 to 6,000 and how many during the summer weeks and weekends? Twelve thousand?
A few vocal resident have made clear their desire to cut the police budget in half, to contract out ambulance service and to return to a volunteer, on-call fire department. They believe we do not need to invest in capital equipment like fire engines and cruisers and would like to sub a good portion of our police coverage to the state and county. Do we really want to wait for a cruiser to come from Woodsville?
Make no mistake, I want to find efficiencies and savings in these budgets and have made efforts to do that as a budget committee member and selectman. I don't wish to pay anymore taxes than needed. However, I think it is the height of irresponsibility to think we can slash these public safety budgets and keep residents and visitors safe and sound.
Please remember to vote March 11 and to come to town meeting on the 15. Hope to see you all.
Shaun Lagueux, Selectman
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 11:07
To The Daily Sun,
There has been much discussion in the past few months about local residents in the Newfound Region pursuing a Community Rights Based Ordinance (RBO) for our towns. An RBO is simply a Community Bill of Rights that, once passed, becomes a binding law within the town. The RBO defines the rights that the residents of a town proclaim for the purpose of protecting the town from unwanted corporate harm. The concept is so simple: no expensive, divisive, land use zoning to pit one neighbor against another - just a Bill of Rights that protect the residents from specific "corporate harm."
In the Newfound Region, towns pursuing an RBO are seeking to protect ourselves and our ecosystems from the damaging effects of energy systems that are controlled by state and federal energy policies, rather than community controlled energy policies, such as industrial scale wind power when it is not locally or municipally owned and operated. A Community Bill of Rights takes the argument away from regulating the industrial wind energy project and makes it an argument about our right, as a community, to say, "No, not at all, we don't allow it in our town when it violates our rights as defined in the RBO."
A few Newfound towns have placed a Large Wind Energy System Ordinance (LWES) on their warrant in hopes of preventing industrial wind from invading their towns. Some believe that the LWES ordinance "saved" Temple and New Ipswich from the project planned on their ridgelines, so it will "save" their town too.
You have to understand that the project proposed for Temple and New Ipswich is too small to be decided by the state Site Evaluation Committee, and therefore was subject to local land use ordinances. A strict LWES was designed and implemented for Temple and New Ipswich, and was a major reason it has been difficult for the developer to pursue the project there. Not to mention, there is a major migratory route for raptors on the proposed ridgeline that does not exist to such an extent anywhere else in New England. If a proposed industrial wind project is greater than 30 megawatts total, then the SEC will have the final say over the project. An LWES may deter, or delay a permit issued by the SEC, but it will never give residents the right to say, "No, not at all." Keep in mind that the developer for the project proposed for Temple and New Ipswich has not withdrawn. They are still trying to "strike a deal" and work around, or within, the LWES ordinance.
There are currently seven Community Rights Based Ordinances (RBOs) in New Hampshire protecting residents and ecosystems from various threats such as: industrial wind, water extraction, fracking, and sludge. Not one of the towns that has passed the RBO is fighting a developer. In every town, the developer has walked away, withdrawn — no lawsuit, no "striking a deal," just up and leave.
Developers have and will argue local land use ordinances for years and years to come, but not one developer in the state of New Hampshire has argued against an RBO. They would have to take the town to court and publicly strip the residents of each right defined in the RBO, and that just isn't good public relations. For a corporate developer to publicly proclaim through a court of law that they have more rights to destroy the community we live in, than we do to protect the community we live in, would do a lot to hurt their good neighbor policy. Local land use ordinances are not personal, but a Community Bill of Rights is.
Many believe the passage of a Community Rights Based Ordinance (RBO) in the town of Grafton in March 2013 is the reason why they were dropped from the Wild Meadows Wind Project. Some actually believe the developer — that the wind is not as good in Grafton, and there are too many wetlands. Are you aware that there is only about 6 feet difference in height from the peaks in Grafton versus the peaks in Danbury and Alexandria?
And where is the Newfound watershed? Last I knew, it is located in Alexandria, not Grafton. So you can believe the developers that have already lied to each and every one of us when they said they would not force the Wild Meadows Project upon us? Or you can do a little research and learn their words are just blowing in the wind.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:56
To The Daily Sun,
Each Tuesday evening, the local non-profit Hands Across the Table (HATT) provides a free hot dinner to those in need. Our home is the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region, 876 North Main St., Laconia. We make every attempt to live up to our mission statement: "To feed all who are hungry in body and spirit. We do so willingly and with compassion and understanding." All are welcome.
Recently, the HATT Board of Directors made a concerted effort to raise the money needed to fund our program for the next 12 months. In November, we held a dessert auction at the Beane Conference Center. During the months of November and December, we conducted a sustainability campaign by mail, asking for donations. Last Sunday, Feb. 9, we held our third annual Soupathon and Silent Service Auction for the community at St. Andre Bessette Parish Hall.
Each fundraiser was successful, either meeting or exceeding our goals. HATT volunteers and supporting religious organizations, service clubs, businesses and the community at large gave with open hands and hearts. Our donors are too numerous to list in this letter. A notice of thanks is forthcoming in the local papers. For now, suffice it to say that Hands Across the Table is a community organization well-supported by its community.
Whether you bid $50 for a homemade pie at the dessert auction, contributed $1,000 to the sustainability campaign, paid $10 for a ticket to the Soupathon, or won the hot air balloon ride for $55 at the Silent Service Auction, we sincerely thank you.
In 2013, we provided 7,015 meals. We plan to provide as many or more in 2014. We are grateful for your fundraising support, knowing that we could not provide these meals without you.
HATT Board Fundraising Chair
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:48
To The Daily Sun,
Benjamin Franklin understood that for democracy to flourish, all citizens must have access to the knowledge and information they need to participate in that democracy. To this end, he and his colleagues devised a plan to create a single collection of their combined personal libraries and make these books available to the citizens of Philadelphia. Thus was the concept of a public library born.
Now, nearly 200 years later, the Gilmanton Year-Round Library continues the tradition. Resources available at the library allow every Gilmanton resident an equal opportunity to access information regardless of socioeconomic status. Whether it is a child learning the alphabet or a senior searching for computer assistance, the librarians are there to help. Early childhood programs ensure that every student has the opportunity to begin their school years with appropriate language skills. Library resources for older students allow those with less access to information at home to keep up with their peers. Adults benefit by finding information needed to pursue further education, conduct job searches, and research government programs.
Now that we're living in the digital age, the digital divide may have narrowed. But it has become much deeper for those who do not have computers or internet access. As government resources become available only through the internet (including our own town information!), as e-commerce allows for better consumer shopping for those big ticket purchases, as job searching and application submission is available almost exclusively online, we are pleased that the Gilmanton Year-Round Library makes both computers and internet access available -- for free.
As we follow in Benjamin Franklin's footsteps, we encourage all residents to make use of the information and programs offered by the library. Our goal is to provide every community member with the resources needed to reach their fullest potential.
Board of Directors
Gilmanton Year-Round Library
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:44
To The Daily Sun,
The Laconia City Clerk Mary Reynolds and Laconia City Attorney Laura Spector-Morgan continue their quest to punish me for requesting a recount that proved that there was a mistake made in the Sept. 10, 2013, Laconia Ward 5 Primary Election. They believe that I'm required to fill out a IRS W-9 form before I can recover my court cost for correcting their mistake. The following clearly explains who is required to file a W-9 Form. The return of court fees is not included in this explanation because court fees are not income.
This is what the U.S. Tax Center says: "The W-9 Federal Income Tax Forms are filled out by people who have done work for a company but not as an employee. Companies who hire people such as freelancers or independent contractors to do work are still required to report these non-employee's wages to the IRS. Employers get all the information that the IRS requires by asking these independent contractors or freelancers to fill out W-9 Federal Income Tax Forms."
This is the same information that is on the IRS W-9 Form under "Purpose of Form": "A person who is required to file an information return with the IRS must obtain your correct taxpayers identification number (TIN) to report, for example, income paid to you."
The City has not submitted one court case where the winner or loser was required to submit a W-9 Form.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:41