To The Daily Sun,
Amid reports of ghastly killing, perhaps we need to look at warfare perpetrated against the Iraqi people. Our military carried out attacks specifically designated to annihilate the nation of Iraq by every possible means. Those means included destruction of food supplies, water supplies, medical accessibility, transportation and power sources. It could be aptly described as a tactic used by the Nazis leading up to World War II.
The intent was to completely wipe out every living person, one way or the other. The result was the death of 500,000 men, women and children. They died as a result of the war — by starvation, lack of clean water, unattended wounds. They perished in the worst circumstances possible — in bombed-out houses, being shot by gunfire or incinerated by exploding bombs dropped 24 hours a day.
These facts are the reality of the terror and bloodshed on a nation that was never a threat to us, indicted on phony documents, innocent of any crimes against our nation. Many of our national leaders say (the war) was a mistake. Today many people ignore this war as if it never happened! If 9/11 was a terrorist attack, what do you call the bombing and invasion of Iraq?
God of mercy and justice lead us out of the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. Bring every soldier home. Restore our lost morality and erase our devious reasoning. Let the truth be known and forgiveness be granted to ourselves for our inhumanity and errors.
Leon R. Albushies
Last Updated on Monday, 16 February 2015 11:36
To The Daily Sun,
Gilmanton voters we are asking for your support to remove our non-historic property, 533 Meeting House Road, from the Gilmanton Historic District. We seek removal because we have tried to work with Historical Commission but are continually denied. We are not trying to change the intent of the Historic District adopted by the voters of Gilmanton in 1977.
The issues we raise have developed since the district's inception and are contrary to the district's intent and unfairly restrict property owners. What are these issues? The commission habitually imposes contradictory decisions that confuses and alienates property owners. The commission has adopted overly restrictive regulatory changes, with little or no public review, further restricting property owner rights beyond what was originally agreed upon. The commission is mostly unwilling to consider options that would benefit property owners, but harmonious with the district's goals and vision.
During the past 10 years, regulations have become substantially more restrictive when it comes to building materials, lighting, and roof and siding designs compared what was originally agreed to by the voters. How can this be when the purview of the Historic District has not changed but more types of quality materials are available? Do you realize there is strong language in the regulations recognizing that changes to houses defined as non-historic must first and foremost be harmonious to the period of the house, but yet this language is consistently ignored by the commission? These actions are disturbing in that it affects property owners choices, and in the long run, their pocketbooks.
Granted, we chose to purchase and live in a Historic District. Along with that choice, we accepted that our options to alter the outside of our buildings were lessened in order to protect the visual impact of the district's unique historical architectural design. At the time of purchase, we evaluated the balance of the loss of personal rights with the benefits of the property. But how did we know that this balance could change due to more restrictive regulations or just as damaging, inconsistent interpretations of the regulations by the Historic District Commission?
Historic District regulations can be altered or added by the commission after considering public comment. Public comment is mostly acquired through advertised public meetings. For the Gilmanton Historic District, there have been three publicly noticed meetings during the past five years soliciting comment on proposed regulation changes. All the proposed changes being considered were more restrictive, but public participation during these three meetings were zero, zero, and one attendees. Proposed regulatory changes are not brought before the town for a vote.
The commission can and does, adopt these regulations under the assumption that no comments mean public agreement. Hence, the property rights agreed to at the time of purchase can become vastly more restrictive and unacceptable. Is this the best system?
We do not accept that the lack of comment verifies public agreement, or that ignoring language that allows alternate choices for owners of non-historic properties is fair to property owners or to the district. Regulations governing building choices must meet the objective of protecting the visual harmony of historic buildings but also reflect the original intent of the voters of Gilmanton and should evolve along with technological advances in building materials.
Regulations that both protect the district's intent and the property rights of residents are in everyone's best interest and best ensures continued public support. I requested a regulations discussion be included during the Historic Commission's next meeting. The commission chose to ignore my request. We have found this to be their modus operandi.
Craig & Mary-Beth Gardner
Last Updated on Monday, 16 February 2015 11:31
To The Daily Sun,
The Budget Committee serves as the eyes and ears of the Gilford taxpayers, questioning in detail every proposed expenditure of Gilford tax monies, and seeking cuts or providing for expenditures where appropriate. No one, including me, "likes" to pay taxes, but they are, unfortunately, a necessary evil.
I respectfully ask for your vote for a full term on the Gilford Budget Committee at the Town's Elections on March 10.
It has been my privilege to serve as a member of the Budget Committee since last May when I was appointed by a vote of the other members of the committee to complete the unexpired term of "Rags" Grenier, who became a selectman. I promised them at the time of my interview that I would run for a full term if I was appointed.
My main interests as a citizen and taxpayer in Gilford are: (1) our first responders (the Police and Fire Departments), (2) our roads and other infrastructure (the Public Works Department), and (3) our schools.
Our first responders in the Police and Fire Departments have difficult jobs, and often they are under-appreciated until you have the unfortunate necessity of having to call 9-1-1 for help. This winter has demonstrated once again some of the tough jobs faced by our Department of Public Works. I received a great education in the public schools from which I graduated and the Gilford Public Schools have an enviable reputation that must be preserved.
There is never enough money in the budget to do everything that everyone wants done (consider, for example, everyone's desire to have their streets repaved). But at the end of the day, we in Gilford are fortunate in having the final say by voting on what our town's budget will be and, thus, what our own taxes will be.
It is a very difficult task to balance the desire to keep our taxes as low as possible with the expenditures required to keep our town's various departments and schools providing services in an effective and efficient manner.
I believe that I have served the taxpayers of Gilford well on the Budget Committee this past year,, and I ask for your vote on March 10 to allow me to continue to serve you.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 February 2015 10:25
To The Daily Sun,
I'm running for a position on the Meredith Selectboard. And before asking for your vote, I need to tell you more about my background.
My family and I relocated to New Hampshire in 1979 as part of a career move. We lived in Londonderry until 1996. In 1984 we bought our "camp" on Waukewan, and in 1992 built a year-round home here, knowing it was our intent to make Meredith our permanent home.
I retired in 2006 after a successful career in the high-tech industry. Starting as a technician I worked my way up in engineering, computer science, and then into management. Among other positions, I have served as the head of customer support, worldwide marketing, and was the CEO of two companies. One was a software startup, and the other a large information technology services subsidiary of Canon.
Some of the organizations I have been privileged to be a part of are: treasurer – Visiting Nurses of Meredith & Center Harbor (now Lakes Region VNA), treasurer – Waukewan Shore Owners Association, chairman – Tidewater Better Business Bureau, senior consultant – Executive Services Corp., a non-profit volunteer group that assists other non-profits with strategic planning, board development, etc.
I believe my strengths lie in common sense, an analytical mind, strong financial management experience, a willingness to listen and see the other person's point of view, and the time and energy to work hard for Meredith's betterment.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 February 2015 10:21
To The Daily Sun,
I have represented the Lakes Region on the N.H. Rail Transit Authority since its inception in 2007 and can say that if passenger service is ever to return to our area it will begin by first bringing back rail to Nashua, Manchester and Concord.
Under a federal grant to the N.H. Department of Transportation by the Federal Railroad and Transit Administrations, the planning and engineering firm of URS Corp. in San Francisco was hired to study and report on what has come to be called the N.H. Capital Corridor — the 73 mile transportation belt from Boston/Lowell into Nashua and Manchester and terminating in Concord. The 21-month study, comprising multiple pages but with a 50-page summary, looked at existing infrastructure, highway and rail along with various transit options, and what each would cost. Included were various options for expanded bus alternatives, such as expanded commuter service and dedicated "bus-on-shoulder" lanes along I-93, currently being widened as far as Manchester.
Increasing highway congestion within the so-called "Boston commutershed", resulting in 12 mph commute speeds and highways that are at times 25 percent over capacity, was an impetus to this study.
Even with the widening of I-93, which is costing hundreds of millions of dollars, traffic conditions do not improve, it only brings more back-up. So now may be the time to look for alternative ways of getting there.
There has not been a passenger rail connection in and out of New Hampshire at Nashua since 1967. (The first rail connection to the Gate City was in 1837.) Laconia lost its service in 1964 but had the foresight, unlike the state's cities to the south, not to tear down its historic railroad station. Someday it will be key again.
Unlike Maine, Vermont, Quebec and Mass., the Granite State has not yet committed to bringing back its once supportive system of passenger railways, choosing instead the highway option. Maine operates its 5-times-a-day service between Portland and Boston — called the "Downeaster", making stops in Dover, Durham and Exeter along the way and accounting for 40 percent of that train's total ridership. To the west, Amtrak's daily "Vermoner" stops at Claremont Junction.
What have our neighbors discovered that we haven't?
For those interested in seeing what the N.H. Survey includes and recommends, go to the N.H. Department of Transportation website and click on nhcapitolcorridor.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 February 2015 10:15