To The Daily Sun,
ISIL was a JV team that became more of a threat over time. Maybe one of the reasons Obama tried not to make such an issue was more to keep the country calm and under control. Fox News will do it's part to get everyone riled up along with the fear mongering letter writers to our local newspapers. Of course they will also blame it all on Obama and the Democratic Party with calls for John McCain et all to lead the charge of the troops to the Middle East. As usual, the GOP is making more of an issue of Obama not going to France than the French are. We are closer to the French now than ever before, so to the GOP and the local letter writer backers, get over it and move on to your next manufactured problem.
Most of the letter writers seem to have nothing better to do than write a letter a day for publication. Take Linda Riley, who I noticed had three letters published this week. One was a complaint of not being able to find a job and blaming it on Maggie Hassen. Linda I think your problem is in the mirror looking back at ya. However, I do agree with your letter today, Thursday, about spending money we don't have. But I also do believe in investing in our country and some spending should happen. Like raising wages which would allow many people to stop depending on government handouts.
Then we have another right winger, Steve Earle. I agree that we should stand together against those who are against our liberal principles. At least we have more freedoms than the rest of the world and the rights to practice them. But then Tony Boutin shows up with some interesting facts on voting. He says that for the last 20 years the middle class has voted with the GOP. Might be hard to explain how the Democrats have won, not counting BWB, most of those elections. Had Gore and Kerry both won we probably wouldn't have had the economic problems and the deficits we have now. As long as we keep the GOP out of the White House in 2016 things will recover but if they win 2016 we will be in trouble.
The last writer today was Russ Wiles and I'll put him in the Sarah Palin category for now. But the last interesting part is some of the terms used by our local letter writers have just shown up in the news and a day later they show up in letters here. Kinda makes ya wonder doesn't it?
Last Updated on Monday, 19 January 2015 10:12
To The Daily Sun,
Saturday morning, my family and I went to the Soda Shoppe in downtown Laconia for breakfast. This is tradition for us almost every Saturday morning, but today, someone else paid our tab. When we asked for our check, our waitress told us that a customer had already paid for it in effort to "pay it forward". We were so touched by it that we asked her if we could do the same thing for another diner. She said that the person had already paid everyone's tab.
This was truly heartwarming and generous. This act of kindness has stayed on mind and effected the way that I am looking at the world today.
Last Updated on Monday, 19 January 2015 10:05
To The Daily Sun,
To the Belmont Town Fathers, the Budget Committee and the Taxpayers of Belmont:
We attended the Budget Committee Hearing on Jan. 13 and learned that the proposed cost to Belmont taxpayers to reconstruct the Belmont Mill and refurbish it for use as the Town Hall will be $3.4 million. Several people attending the meeting asked a number of questions, some of which were not answered, or answered vaguely.
Regarding questions asked about the previous reconstruction in 1998, we were told that a number of studies have been done but not compiled. Apparently the town has several boxes which we were invited to come and rifle through in the hopes of finding the answers to our questions. Shouldn't it be the job of the selectmen to make a consolidated report available to the public of how the $1 million grant and the $215,000 taxpayer dollars were spent in 1998? Some of the contractors who worked on the mill are still around today.
One thing we were told at the meeting of Jan. 13, contracted work was not properly supervised by a party looking out for the interests of the town and there was no qualified professional in charge of the construction.
The town administrator and selectperson in attendance indicated that they had no interest in providing any report to the taxpayers to answer the questions regarding the mill reconstruction of 1998.
Additional questions were asked at the meeting regarding the breakdown of the $3.4 million cost into what the cost would be to do the necessary repairs and use it for the same use as now — that is renting it to various groups including the Senior Center and doctor who currently occupy it and other possible tenants to replace those who have left. Specific costs need to be provided for repairing the fourth floor, fixing the heating system and repairing the damaged brickwork. Also no cost was given for the extra work to expand the addition for storage. Shouldn't the taxpayers have the opportunity to decide if it is in our best interest to spend less money and do the repairs?
Questions were also asked regarding seeking out other grant programs and community loan funds. The only answer we were given was that one selectperson believed that the taxpayers should pay for the whole thing because there would be no restrictions on what they could then do with the building. Doesn't it seem that a $1 million grant would be worth some restrictions as to the amount of rent we could charge since we didn't have to pay those capital costs for all those years?
When asked when the rent restrictions for the mill will end, the town administrator said five years. However, at a selectmen's meeting on Jan. 7, 2013, it was noted that it was four to five years. On March 26, 2013, the town administrator said that there could be an update to the rent the town could charge for the remaining years of the grant based on the town's costs.
Further questions were asked regarding why the town needs 17,000-square-feet of office and storage space for 11 full-time and five part-time employees (less a small amount allocated to the Senior Center) when they are using less than 4,000-square-feet now. It was noted that the Welfare Department would also move into the new Town Hall. But that department doesn't seem to be enough to justify such a huge jump in space needs.
Questions were also asked regarding use of the current Town Hall if they move, and use of the recently purchased bank building. Unofficial answers given were to tear them down. This is also being seriously considered for the historic Gale School.
All of these are legitimate questions that need to be answered in order for us taxpayers to be informed voters when deciding on how best to preserve and utilize the Belmont Mill.
Please attend the following meetings, ask questions and voice your opinion. The first, a bond hearing, is on Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 6:30 p.m. in the Corner Meeting. The second, the town Deliberative Session, on Saturday, Jan. 31.
Susan & George Condodemetraky
Last Updated on Monday, 19 January 2015 10:02
To The Daily Sun,
Upon reviewing the Meredith3-25.com website, I printed the map to see how three new Meredith roundabouts would affect my personal driving. According to the Traffic Committee, peak congestion occurs "two days per weekend, 3-4 hours a day, for 10 weekends."So this is for 20 days — 60 to 80 hours — per year, but then comes the Big Disclaimer, that this plan is not going to actually prevent congestion (as personally evidenced at the Parade Road Roundabout during many traffic times).
Let's suppose I need to stop at Meredith Village Savings Bank before 3 p.m., then pick grandkids up at the school. In the most direct route, I would twirl around the Parade Road Roundabout, drive straight past businesses and the fire station, come into the Lake Street Roundabout, exit right, down to the Main Roundabout where the lights are now, bear right, pass the bank to the Pleasant Street Roundabout, drive 360 degrees and backtrack to the bank. Upon exiting the drive-through, I have to backtrack to the Main Roundabout, enter two lanes of moving traffic, drive 360 degrees to exit on the same road, pass the bank again, take the second exit at the Pleasant Street Roundabout, and continue to the school. It gives new meaning to the phrase, "Can't get there from here!".
Oddly enough, my drivers license allows me to turn left, so why is it so unsafe now, especially when none of the proposed changes are based on accident statistics? Another disconcerting fact is that the Traffic Committee did not seek input from the school bus company, fire, police, ambulance, or DPW. Town departments were only asked for comments at an internal meeting on December 23, after the plan was submitted to the Selectboard. Their many concerns are well worth reading, especially the one that notes, "The Lake Street Roundabout was not designed to accommodate ladder (fire) truck access to Lake Street," or, that for safety and maintenance, the median centers should be concrete.
A major cause for traffic congestion include pedestrians dribbling across the road in the crosswalk at Dover Street from the shops to the lake. This proposed plan keeps that pedestrian crosswalk, and also adds four crosswalks at each roundabout, ample opportunity for many more to dribble here and there. The premise that the pedestrians can stop at each median to wait for traffic to pass is wrong.State law gives them the right of way in crosswalks without signals, so traffic will back up in the circles and Rte. 3 in both directions to let them pass. In what world is it safer for pedestrians to cross over one or two lanes of moving traffic than to have a designated light assuring safe passage?
A few years ago, the town planners and leaders of the Greater Meredith Program went berserk when the MVSB installed an electric sign. An emergency Town Meeting was called to forbid any "like" signage that might destroy our "village character". With a third of this Traffic Advisory Committee coming from the Greater Meredith Program, it's director, a founder, and an Executive Board member, I can't believe that they condone the 20 plus reflective, directional signs that come with each roundabout. Add those to the Mills Falls Marketplace sign poles, the tent signs advertising Main Street businesses, crafts fairs, concrete medians, and Hesky Park events, this .3 mile corridor will be confusing and ugly.
My last reason for not liking this plan is that I am prone to motion sickness and driving in circles makes me nauseous.
Last Updated on Monday, 19 January 2015 09:58
To The Daily Sun,
With the Meredith Selectboard approaching a vote on a multimillion-dollar three-roundabout proposal for the downtown area whose construction will take all or parts of the 2017 and 2018 construction seasons it is an appropriate time to learn more about roundabouts. There are many question surrounding roundabouts. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), roundabouts are appropriate at many intersections. Note; they specifically did not say they are appropriate for all applications.
So the question becomes where they are appropriate and where they are not appropriate? According to IIHS the places where they are appropriate are high crash locations and intersections with large traffic delays, complex geometry (more than four approach roads), frequent left-turn movements, and relatively balanced traffic flows. So do we know:
— Is Lake Street intersection considered a high crash location?
— Is Pleasant Street intersection considered a high crash location?
— Is the intersection of Routes 3 and 25 considered a high crash location?
— Is Lake Street intersection considered a location with large traffic delays?
— Is Pleasant Street intersection considered a location with large traffic delays?
— Is the intersection of Routes 3 and 25 considered a location with large traffic delays?
— Is Lake Street considered to have complex geometry?
— Is Pleasant Street considered to have complex geometry?
— Is the intersection of Routes 3 and 25 considered to have complex geometry?
— Is Lake Street considered a place where there are frequent left turn movements?
— Is Pleasant Street considered a place where there are frequent left turn movements?
— Is the intersection of Routes 3 and 25 considered place where there are frequent left turn movements?
— Does the Lake Street have relatively balanced traffic flows?
— Does the Pleasant Street have relatively balanced traffic flows?
— Does the intersection of Routes 3 and 25 have relatively balanced flows?
IIHS does not offer blanket support for roundabouts in all applications. They observe that sometimes space constraints or topography make it impossible to build a roundabout. Geometric design details vary from site to site and must take into account traffic volumes, land use, topography and other factors. Roundabouts often require more space in the immediate vicinity of the intersection than comparable traditional intersections.
Further, IIHS asserts intersections with highly unbalanced traffic flows (that is, very high traffic volumes on the main street and very light traffic on the side street) and isolated intersections in a network of traffic signals often are not ideal candidates for roundabouts.
What the concerns of the NHDOT and McFarland Johnson are with respect to the advisory committee's "3 roundabout" proposal have not been plainly articulated. But they are pointedly stopping short of endorsing the proposal. There is no engineering data for review. It is difficult to ascertain the thought process here.
Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 10:57