To The Daily Sun,
In response to the letter from Carole Polony of Jan. 30, she states Downtown Laconia is the saddest little town, comparing it to the poor house and claiming it has just empty stores and second-hand shops. As a store owner on Main Street, I was hurt and saddened by Ms. Polony's letter. I can only guess that maybe she hasn't been downtown in a long time. From where Second Feature Antiques is located at 611 Main Street, I see people buying wonderful floral bouquets from Whittimore's, across the street, (by the way they have been here "forever"), a steady flow of people getting their shoes repaired at LaBelles Shoe Repair (we had a customer last week that came all the way from Hudson. N.H. to bring her boots to LaBelles; she dropped them off and was shopping) directly across from us, and in the warmer weather, I enjoy seeing his young son with his shoe shine business on the sidewalk. I also see eople with guitars or other instruments in cases headed to Greenlaws Music Store for lessons or supplies (another store that has been here forever). On my way in to open our shop I stop at the Little Cafe and get a warm muffin and there are people in there serenely sipping coffee and working on their lap tops – it has Wi Fi.
A customer came in the other day with a basketball, she had purchased it for her son, but when it arrived it had no air in it. She had just come from the Bike Shop on Canal St. where they gladly helped her out. Afternoons the young people also flock to Canal Street to Frates Dance studio, in tutus no less! Right next door to our shop is Vintage Emporium, they not only sell antiques but chalk paint, and have painting classes. The big Laconia Antique Center on the corner now has the soda fountain open for refreshments and ice cream and I would be remiss not to mention The Soda Shoppe, who could miss their Friday night fish fry of all you can eat. All My Life Jewelers, can turn your old screwback earrings into pierced, yet again making some new again. The Dress Shop and Bridal Shop, Barber and Hair Studio, Nail Salon, these are not these are not empty stores.
My point being, Ms. Polony's, these small shops and stores and restaurants are all run by hard working people who do their best to provide a service in a personal way. They actually get to know their customers, spend time talking to them. Yes some of the items in these shops are second hand, I prefer to call it repurposed, as we take items and make them into something useful again and in our throw away world today, I find this refreshing. Also if you're buying from the Antique/Collectible stores you're buying Made in USA, not Made in China. You can get the Made in China at the big malls.
Pleasant Street also provides services that are needed, New England Rockers, repairs seats and chairs as well as selling items. Vintage Row around the corner has a cute little boutiques as well. I realize there is a big Goodwill Store and a Salvation Army store but let's face it, in this economy they are needed and provide services beyond their stores to those that need a helping hand.
I invite you to come down, pick a sunny day when you can walk around Main Street, Canal Street, Pleasant Street, etc. Spend some time stopping in and saying "Hi"; have lunch; you can even get your nails done and hair cut. Take the time to check us out anew, even if you only window shop, many of us spend quality time making our windows look as pleasant as possible to the passerby, Whittimore's always out does themselves, then if you still find us sad and forsaken, go to the malls, where no one talks you and pushing and shoving is the norm.
I have lived in Laconia all my life and have seen the Downtown at it's "hay days", and I'm proud to be a partner in store on Main Street; have you heard, Downtown is making a come back?
Second Feature Antiques - Laconia
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 10:16
To The Daily Sun,
After many discussions about the Gilmanton Fire Department and its operation, it is clear that any disagreement is not about money.
At the Deliberative Session on Saturday, Feb. 1, the voters stated quite clearly that they are concerned about public safety and do not want to be put at risk while the selectmen debate costs.
The selectmen have done a good job of lowering taxes, but this is a time when they need to listen to what the citizens of the town want.
Please support Warrant Article 30 at the polls on March 11 to maintain the current level of staffing at the Fire Department while level-loading the budget.
Gilmanton Iron Works
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 10:11
To The Daily Sun,
The Obama administration claims that the economic recovery is moving along just fine after what, five summers of recovery. So then, how is it that these "paragons of paradoxity" are simultaneously screaming for extending unemployment benefits to lengths unheard of? Because liberal progressives are marvelous at obfuscation and double speak. However, at creating jobs they suck muddy canal water.
Ninty-two million Americans who could/should be part of the labor force are not, and that is an all time record. In December, half a million folks gave up looking for work. That explains why the unemployment rate went down to 6.7 percent. Some would say that because there are so few jobs, folks have reluctantly settled for the very generous safety net. Marc Theissen of the American Enterprise Institute notes that the worst aspect of the safety net is not that it is so generous, but rather that so many people need it.
The labor participation rate is the lowest it has been since 1978. Meanwhile, liberal progressives and President Obama in particular, all jut their jaws while frothing at the mouth as they continue their attack on the rich over the age old issue of income inequality. This administration and the Federal Reserve are the cause of the increase in income inequality. Financial guru Melissa Francis brings this confounding conundrum clearly into focus. The Dow went up 26 percent, which is the best jump in stocks in 18 years. Interest rates, through endless quantitative easing, have remained extremely low and so the rich have no other choice except to keep putting money in the stock market.
In 2013, the number of hours worked fell, part time work increased, the number of temporary workers also increased while wages remained stagnant. A new Rutgers University study found that 6 in 10 Americans think our economy has undergone a permanent change and this is the new normal. The negative psychological impact of President Obama's job-killing policies have been immense and devastating to the psyche of the working class.
According to Investors Business Daily, 58.6 percent is the current employment to population ratio. It was 61 percent when Obama took office. Sixty two percent was the past 30 year average. $1006 was the drop in median household income during the 2007 — 2009 recession. $2,535 has been the drop in median household income after the recession ended in June 2009, according to Sentier Research.
The economy is not creating enough jobs to keep up with population growth and nearly one million folks have at some point slipped below the poverty line during the five year Obama administration. The dramatic increase in welfare recipients and disability recipients along with people getting up to two years of unemployment insurance may make liberal progressives feel all tingly with goosebumps of compassion. But the government plantation is sucking the soul out of those who have become dependent on it. All the better to take care of you cackles our secular, progressive nanny state. Vote for me and I'll set you free. Bread and circuses all around sneers the Democratic advocates of dictatorial powers. Please, focus on the twerking of Miley Cyrus and the drag racing of Justin Bieber. Don't worry your pretty little heads about that alleged soft tyranny fever. Will President Obama really use that phone and pen unilaterally? No sir.
Opportunity to work is what gives people self worth and dignity. Giving them free government benefits for longer than that short duration of a helping hand up, saps them of their self respect and takes away their dignity. That kind of compassion brings some short term relief, but far too often, long term misery. 50 years ago, Lyndon Johnson's "war on poverty" began. $20 trillion dollars later, the war rages on while the number of people still living in poverty remains largely unchanged.
Followers of Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek know that unbridled free market capitalism with minimal, trustworthy, objective government oversight would bring back the dynamism of American economic entrepreneurship and dignity for a thriving work force. What a pity that progressive liberals will never give up their socialist ideals in order to see the real truth. And the jury is still out as to whether enough conservatives will have the wherewithal to win the battle of wills for the soul of this Republic. Capitalism versus socialism, which would you rather have? Hint: capitalism offers equality of opportunity while socialism quixotically offers equality of outcome or more accurately, shared misery for all. Please check in with your friends in France who are just the latest to suffer from the slings and arrows of a perpetually failed paradigm.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 February 2014 10:03
To The Daily Sun,
The Planning Board states in their recent editorial that the Town of Alton continues to work on implementing the recommendations outlined in the 2005 Alton Master Plan. Actually, it's the Planning Board not the citizens of the town that are doing this. The board talks glowingly about the grant received from New Hampshire Housing of money from HUD, a federal agency. This grant provided money for a consultant, a traveling road show to promote workforce housing and the appearance of an article on the 2014 ballot. The town administrator insisted (to me) that the grant was not a binding agreement when it obviously was if an article must appear on the ballot. And as for local control remaining in place, read the entire grant document and the fine print and you will see this is not the case.
The Planning Board editorial states that there was community participation. It's true that many citizens participated in public meetings about this issue but they were overwhelmingly against workforce housing when they did. This was reflected last year when several similar warrant articles were voted down. Results of the recent study showed that Alton already meets the requirements of the state law. We have a considerable number of single family homes and rental apartments well within the price range. Putting more multi-family dwellings or cluster housing in town or in our beautiful rural areas is not something the majority of Alton citizens feel will benefit our town. One needs only to take a look at how neighboring towns have been altered by these additions. As for addressing future needs if the economy improves, well this is not likely to happen anytime soon with the current crop of officials in Concord and Washington.
The bottom line is that this article was not drafted by Alton residents but by the Zoning Amendment Committee and the town planner with the help of the consultant from the firm Jeffrey H. Taylor and Associates. We believe that it is time for town officials to challenge the state and federal governments when bad, restrictive laws are forced down our throats. Re-wording the warrant articles does not alter the outcome of what they could do to our town. The Workforce Housing Law is a clear attack on our property rights and freedoms.
Please read all warrant articles on the upcoming ballot carefully to determine if they are good or bad for our town.
Phil & Chris Wittmann
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:39
To The Daily Sun,
Historians have told me that in the past two centuries of its existence, the legislative body of the great state of New Hampshire has enacted many stupid pieces of legislation. One piece of stupid legislation before a study committee of the House Commerce Committee, is shepherded by my elected representative, Ed Butler. He may be my elected representative, but he misrepresents me, and all those who cherish freedom and wish government to stay out of our pockets, and keep their hands off our guns. This bill, HB-1589, attempts to erode our God-given rights a enumerated in the New Hampshire Constitution, and enshrined in our U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights. It is no wonder that this bill was introduced and co-sponsored by a cadre of socialist Democrats. This bill adds expenses to taxpayers and would make felons of many of our citizens. Of course sponsors say there are exemptions which we can accept, but social Democrats are not used to telling the truth, and these exemptions can always be changed by them.
How can you stop this? Tell the chairman of the Commerce Committee, the infamous author of the bathroom bill, that this too is non-sense. ITL is the phrase to use. Inexpedient to Legislate. Pray members of his own party will recognize and be ashamed of this stupid proposed legislation.
Eugene M. Long
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:36