To The Daily Sun,
Our state's Site Evaluation Committee (SEC), which evaluates and permits the siting of all energy related projects, is in the process of creating and fine-tuning the rules and standards by ,which they will function, following changes created by the Legislature last year. Last week the SEC heard testimony from both private citizens and interested energy companies concerning these changes.
Several attorneys, including Susan Geiger, who at one time was herself a member of the SEC, represented the multibillion-dollar Portuguese company Energias de Portugal. In her testimony she expressed her company's view that private property boundaries are fluid, and do not need to be respected. She urged the Site Evaluation Committee to do the same.
If, once in place, the 499-foot wind towers that the company Ms. Geiger represents do happen to throw ice, snow, or turbine parts, inflict noise or shadow flicker anywhere onto your property, Ms. Geiger's testimony shows that she is fine with that. In fact the only part of your property she would like to require the SEC to respect for permitting is a "permanent occupied dwelling". So, livestock out on pasture or in shelters? No concerns. Pottery studio? Trails or logging roads used on your land? Not important. Sugar shack? Oh well. You don't live in it so if a hunk of ice traveling at 140 mph flies off a turbine blade and through the building and workers inside, no concerns. The testimony advocated by Ms. Geiger is intended to tailor the rules in order to benefit any company involved in obtaining a siting permit, to the detriment of private property owners of New Hampshire.
Neighbors certainly have the right to lease their land to developers and have a company erect 499-foot-high turbines on property abutting mine. However, I have the right not to give anyone permission to impose their "extras" on any part of my property. No ice, shadow flicker, excessive noise or turbine parts. We all have that right, as per our state Constitution, excerpted here:
"[Art.] 12. [Protection and Taxation Reciprocal.] Every member of the community has a right to be protected by it, in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property; he is therefore bound to contribute his share in the expense of such protection, and to yield his personal service when necessary. But no part of a man's property shall be taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that of the representative body of the people. Nor are the inhabitants of this state controllable by any other laws than those to which they, or their representative body, have given their consent.
Ms. Geiger, and New Hampshire SEC members, please keep in mind these words in our state Constitution. We, the citizens of New Hampshire, believe in them. And note that the Legislature has not given private companies such as Energias De Portugal permission to "take" our property. We ask permission before shoveling snow on your driveways. We count on you to do the same.
It is not enough to site wind towers a short distance from abutting property boundaries. These gigantic towers must be sited at distances that do not in any way, override our legal property rights as per the state Constitution.
The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee is, it appears, being told by a former member who is now a consultant to a company which will come before it for project permits, to do just that, to "take" our property rights. Our properties and our property boundaries are not for "the taking", Ms. Geiger. Property owners statewide are counting on the Site Evaluation Committee to abide by the state constitution, not to give in to the self-interests of a company raking in profits from our state, and our taxpayers, from a country thousands of miles away.
We deserve better than that.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 March 2015 08:13
To The Daily Sun,
The Belmont Heritage Commission is grateful to citizens for again supporting the Heritage Fund. As written for the newest Town Report, we have returned $3 for each dollar invested since 2005 through grants and fundraising, besides hundreds of locally volunteered hours annually.
Public thanks are also due to the John M. Sargent Fund committee, for their sponsorship of a Saturday, June 6, evening performance at the historic Belmont bandstand. The program is the first of a Heritage Series, offering free programs June through September. The full line-up will be announced later this spring.
Linda Frawley, chairman
Wallace Rhodes, vice chairman and town historian
Priscilla Annis, secretary
Shayne Duggan, Alyce Jewell & Vicki Donovan, members
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 10:19
To The Daily Sun,
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte has embarrassed the Senate, embarrassed the United States and embarrassed herself by signing a letter to the Ayatollah in Iran schooling them on the way the government works in the U.S. The U.S. government is just one of many partners — the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China — negotiating with Iran to verify that Iran is not in the process of developing a nuclear weapon. Any imposition of further sanctions will be fruitless if these other countries don't agree.
By scuttling these talks, the signatories are saying the only way to stop Iran is a military option. By undermining the negotiations and calling for regime change, they are succumbing to the Bill Crystal neo-cons, the people that greased the wheels for our involvement in Iraq.
Our foreign policy in the area since 1945 has been an abject failure. From covertly toppling a democratically-elected government in Iran in 1952 and installing the Shah (a brutal dictator), to supporting the religious fanatics in Afghanistan against the Soviets — which then morphed into the Taliban — to supplying weapons to Iran in the Iran/Contra scandal in the 1980s, to believing we would be treated as heroes in toppling Saddam in Iraq.
Contrary to the belief that the U.S. isn't respected by the world, the present administration has worked hard to change the perspective after the disastrous Bush years where were derided by our European allies. We can't unilaterally make the world march to our tune and as we become more energy independent — the success of all of the administration's energy policy — we are no longer tied to Mideast oil. The policy has brought the price of oil to under $60 a barrel from $100 and has done more harm to Russia, Iran, and Venezuela than the sanctions the West can impose.
Let's get a senator in 2016 that will work to strengthen the U.S., not embarrass us.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 10:16
To The Daily Sun,
Law is force. Once it is in place we are theoretically bound by its imperatives and constrained by its prohibitions.
The guiding principle of any lawmaker/policy maker ought to be consistency with individual freedom. Government revenue from taxes is a taking by the force of law. It should be minimal, only enough to maintain an infrastructure that protects the liberty of those from whom the money has been taken.
Not a dime of public funds should support a special interest such as a casino. This is not a legitimate way for tax dollars to be spent.
The proposed extension of commuter rail is even worse. This project doesn't even offer a figment of payback to taxpayers. Instead it requires millions in subsidies taken from taxpayers for each year it will operate. It would operate for the benefit only of special interests.
Common Core is a vile usurpation of state's rights by a federal machine that hopes to entrench its influence in every public school. It must be denied.
New Hampshire should be a leader in actions that successfully repeal the "Affordable" Care Act", even if for no other reason than it is not legally in place. A legislative act that requires taxation must originate in the House of Representatives. The ACA did not, and the Supreme Court ruled that the penalties for not signing up are a tax.
Also, history shows that a federal bureaucracy always costs more and delivers less than similar efforts at a state level.
New Hampshire should be a leader in visibly and noisily refusing to put any public funds in support of abortion. One can be pro-choice and still not be pro-abortion. But in any case abortion is no action for which public funds should be used.
Sadly, in the real world, none but the fewest lawmakers/policy makers is guided by principle. Most strive to satisfy the demands of special interests. They attempt to imbue this behavior with integrity by disingenuously saying they are serving their constituencies.
Down with the establishment! Vote 3rd party.
David M. Zebuhr
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 10:13
To The Daily Sun,
Even with lower student enrollments and a suggestion by Shaker School Board members not to fund full-time kindergarten this year, the voters once again were able to stack the meeting and vote them in as well as another pay raise for teachers.
I was not at the meeting, as having been in the past it is a waste of time. This last meeting proves that point. They even funded a teacher's position deemed not to be needed any longer.
Huge tax increase once again for Belmont taxpayers, who are in no position for it, all due to the school district. You should be ashamed of this and the hurt it is causing the taxpayers of Belmont and, to a lesser degree, Canterbury.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 10:10