To The Daily Sun,
As we all grasp to find answers in the shadow of the darkness of the recent drug overdoses and arrests, we must take intentional steps for change. We need to first really step back and try to look at the root of the problem. I am not a drug and alcohol counselor, I am not a social worker. I am, however, a single mother of two boys who wants a bright future for my children.
In the last couple of weeks as we have held outreach meetings for those concerned about our city I have seen that there is a desire to change the atmosphere. I encourage everyone to start with themselves. What if we smiled a little more at each other, said hello, asked how someone is and really wanted to know? What if when we heard someone was struggling we stopped and listened to the why? What if instead of judging each other we took the time to really hear and feel for the "right now" the person is in.
One common thread we are seeing as we get to know others who have been touched by addiction is a desire to "belong" and be loved. That is a powerful emotional state — to know you belong and that no matter what you say it's OK. I know myself I have struggled listening to someone tell me the same story for the 900th time and I just think to myself, "Get over it!" I'm being honest. But what if that person's 901st time is the last time they cry out and then they meet someone who offers them another way to "cope," a choice of drugs, alcohol or other soul-stealing choices that are out there. Then, they may not care to share anything with us in the future because now they "belong" with that new group because they "understand." This is a danger that everyone and anyone can fall into.
I know the pain of being rejected, of feeling cast aside and wondering if my heart would heal. Why did I not go the wrong road? My faith, my family, I don't know really. I think you can have all those things and still make the wrong choices. I do believe, however, it comes from believing there is something better and a self-worth that must come from inside of us. There are so many incredible resources in Laconia, Meredith, Concord, etc., but something is missing.
We know that prayer is powerful and people loving each other without judgment shines a light into that dark place hidden in shame and when that fades, healing can be powerful. Our outreach is simply people helping people. We are willing to share our experiences with addictions and the pain that came along with it as well as our paths to healing. We are willing to listen to anyone who wishes to speak. We are willing to walk anyone in need to their first step toward recovery, or to keep on listening for that 901st time and so on ... as many times as they need to share their pain we will listen. We are willing to meet and pray for ourselves, our city, our families, our neighbors and lift them up to the Lord because we believe in God's word and that in Jesus Christ, there is restoration and life saving redemption. We hope that those who would like to get involve will reach out or get involve with one of the many great organizations out there. Just get involve, be a light, be the change.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 11:34
To The Daily Sun,
At the recent meeting of the Meredith Routes 3/25 meeting I asked to speak to the committee about a long-term solution to the summer/fall traffic problem through Meredith Village. The chair denied me that opportunity, ruling that my ideas were beyond the scope of assignment to the committee. While I respect the right of the chair to so rule, I disagree that consideration of solutions to the problem should be limited. He could have ruled that my proposal would be on the agenda at a future meeting.
I believe that the public has the right to a public discussion on any alternative to the Meredith traffic problem and, therefore, submit this Letter To The Editor releasing my letter to the Meredith Routes 3/25 Committee:
Letter to the Meredith Routes 3/25 Committee – 3 November 2014
First, I want to commend you on the hard work you have been doing in trying to find a solution to the sometimes traffic congestion which our town experiences. It appears to me from the news reports that you have systematically considered and reconsidered all alternatives. It also appears to me that there are no fully satisfactory solutions, and that you are faced with a choice between less than optimal alternatives that you do not know for sure are better than the present configuration.
Your search appears to confirm the dilemma faced by previous Routes 3 and 25 committees over the past 50 years: That there is no excellent solution available to bring peak traffic through Meredith Village and to adequately handle pedestrian flow. Now is the long overdue time to move on the alternative that has been not pursued in each study: A bypass around Meredith Village. Let me be clear. I am talking about a new route that carries traffic, daily and not only at peak times, located somewhere north or south of the Meredith/Center Harbor/New Hampton town lines to Route 104.
As I see the problem you face (common with all public issues), you must deal not only with the present situation, but make sure that your solution can accommodate the next solution required in the future. The configuration you appear headed into cannot meet that test. Alternatively, consider where we would be now if a previous committee had declared the need for a bypass and staked out the action steps to advance that position.
I know you must choose what to do now to take advantage of state funds available. But in the long run a bypass will be required. It will take many years to be achieved and your committee is best positioned to recommend what needs to be done. Therefore, I ask you to make one more essential decision: To declare the need for a bypass and to initiate, as a continuing committee, action to advance your declaration. I beg you to "bite the bullet" and give a great blessing to citizens in the future.
I acknowledge such a declaration would face opposition, that it would cost a lot of money and would put a heavily traveled road though pristine land. What wastes the most money? Trying solutions through Meredith Village that do not work in the long run and which annually build social and dollar costs to the citizens of Meredith, or to create a highway to ease our Village problem and to vastly accommodate people and merchandise in cars and trucks to better get to desired locations?
The economic and social benefits of a bypass overwhelming favor its creation. Many of us, primarily as volunteers, have worked for more than 25 years to make Meredith a destination community. We have recently succeeded. Yet we are only at the beginning of what it means to be New Hampshire's premiere destination community.
A bypass north of Meredith Village from Route 25, somewhere east of the Meredith/Center Harbor line, crossing Route 3 north, and continuing to Route 104, could open up vast new economic development opportunities, expanding on businesses supporting our present attractions yet allowing traffic the opportunity to move rapidly around us. Put another way, those who want to get to our destination community will come and others will bypass us. The word will spread about this wonderful village and the ease of getting to it (and the ease of parking when we "bite another bullet"). On the bypass will be new restaurants, gas stations, and motels for both types of travelers, a skating rink, movie complex and other retail enterprises for local residents and visitors. A bypass will broaden our tax base, create new jobs, and expand our destination community. Careful planning will be required to maintain the village character of our community.
Furthermore, this is a great boost you can give to our present village businesses and all Meredith citizens. It will enable those wishing to come to our destination community to do so with ease, either to stay for a few days or to enjoy its beauty, have a cup of tea, to do a little shopping, and then move on.
Reflect on all this and you will be able to expand on the benefits to our town. The future of Meredith is literally in your hands. Please enable for our wonderful town this once in a lifetime opportunity which is at your fingertips.
So I call upon you to be a major part in planning what our community will be like in the next 25 to 50 years. Your committee is the key stone for our future. Please have the vision and courage to serve our community through this dynamic opportunity. Future generations will praise you for your vision.
Miller C. Lovett
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 11:26
To The Daily Sun,
I've had a few days to process the results of the election, and to think about what I did right and what I did wrong. I appreciate all the feedback I've gotten. I've congratulated Mr. DeVoy. I believe that he will bring the openness, honesty, and compassion that he displayed in the campaign to his new job.
The next thing I want to do is thank everyone who donated to my campaign, who wrote letters of support, who placed and picked up signs, who held signs, who shared their stories with me, who educated me, and, of course, who voted for me.
Thank you all. I look forward to meeting those of you I don't yet know on the 19th.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 08:45
To The Daily Sun,
Your Nov. 7 edition published a letter from James Veverka in which he castigates a previous writer for setting the rules that "our lives are gifts from God, and only He has the right to take them back." This was within the context of the news report that Brittany Maynard had moved to Oregon specifically to end her own life peacefully on her own terms, rather than suffer a period of pain before God took her "back."
I am with Veverka on this issue. The person who insists only God can take a life is practicing his faith, and I have no quarrel with that. But his faith does not overrule and take precedent over my faith — or Maynard's faith. To each his own, and I vehemently protest any one faith being supreme over all others.
That is not the American way.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 08:41
To The Daily Sun,
It seems to me that enough is enough. Four deaths due to substance misuse in our community in the past few weeks, eight total deaths in Laconia alone this year. Hundreds of families are heart-broken and torn apart because of this disease.
How many of us have put our heads in the sand and said. "It's not affecting me," or "What can I do?" In my opinion, it's time for us all to come together and make a difference. It's not just the schools' problem or a police problem or a mental health problem ... this is our community and it's our problem and it's time for us to do something.
You can start by attending an informational presentation hosted by the Greater Laconia Ministerial Association (GLMA, an interfaith clergy group), Stand Up Laconia, the Laconia Middle School and Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) on Thursday, Nov. 13, at 6:15 p.m. in the Laconia Middle School Cafeteria. Learn about what is happening in our community from the Laconia Police Department and the Laconia Middle School and learn about a few next steps from Stand Up Laconia.
Don't think you can make a difference? Did you know that children who live in families that eat dinner together an average of five times a week are less likely to participate in risky behaviors such as substance use and are less likely to be depressed and have a greater grade point average? Did you know that students report that one of the greatest impacts on their decision making about substance use is what their parents tell them? Do you tell them not to use or just say "they're going to do it anyway"? Research shows that the parent's message matters.
Come learn more on November 13th at 6:15 p.m. in the Laconia Middle School Cafeteria — let's all work together for a better Laconia.
The Rev. Paula Gile
Greater Laconia Ministerial Association
Associate Pastor, Congregational Church of Laconia
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 08:38