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We are meeting to catalogue possible solutions to jail issues

To The Daily Sun,

We are a group of concerned citizens consisting of three Belknap County representatives and two private citizens that has been meeting in an effort to catalogue possible solutions to the issues surrounding the county jail. We are Bob Greemore, Mike Sylvia and Dick Burchell, delegates to the Convention, and two local businessmen, Dave DeVoy of Sanbornton and George Hurt of Gilford, who are private citizens who are knowledgeable about the jail. All of us are concerned that overcrowding be eased, that substandard mechanical systems be improved and that the beneficial programming now in place be expanded as room to do so is made available.

Each of the ad hoc members of this committee has his own favored solution but this letter is not meant to advocate one position over another. The members are concerned that time has passed since deficiencies at the jail were identified and that, despite the investment of several hundred thousand dollars in analysis and planning, the Belknap Commission seems stymied by the almost universal disapproval of the plan presented by Ricci Greene. That plan, at an estimated cost
of $42.5 million, is simply unaffordable and has won almost no support. Should we languish with the current situation because we are not able to afford everything that may be desirable? We think that the most evident shortcomings of the jail may be mitigated by one or more of the following options. We hope that this is the beginning of a public forum where all are encouraged to present their opinions and concerns. Each option will have strengths and weaknesses and these, together with associated costs, will need to be weighed.

We would be remiss if we did not mention that Chapter 30 of State law, section B:12, specifies that twice a year the commissioners are to inspect the prison and to then file a report with the Attorney General within 30 days. This has been done only twice in recent years, once in 2009 when conditions were described as satisfactory and once in 2013 when conditions were described as dire. Commissioner Philpot was central to both reports since he was vice chair in each case. It seems a fair question to ask him "what happened?" and we look forward to his answer.

Option 1: A free standing pod which likely would be a temporary answer to resolve the issue of substandard accommodations for women;

2: A plan previously presented for expansion to the rear of the existing jail in the area near where the sheds now stand. This plan should be located and examined as to its practicability;

3: A women's wing which would be contiguous with, but not attached to, the existing facility. Presumably, a fenced exercise yard could be located between the current facility and the new wing;

4: Relocation of existing executive and administrative office space to rental space until a less expensive wood frame building can be erected to house
the commissioners and county staff. The women's quarters and program rooms could fit within this very expensive space;

5: Temporary relocation of the women to a building which, at least prospectively, could be leased from the state and located at the site of the former state school.

The county needs to evaluate the growth in its jail population as well as the various possible means of contending with that growth. We hope that this document
can serve as a springboard that assists in that evaluation.

Rep. Bob Greemore, Meredith

Rep. Mike Sylvia, Belmont

Rep. Dick Burchell, Gilmanton

Dave DeVoy, Sanbornton

George Hurt, Gilford

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Voters need to keep Bob Hamel & Armand Bolduc working for them

To The Daily Sun,

Municipal elections are never about just one issue. There are many factors that come in to play and they are as diverse as the residents that populate those communities. As taxpayers, our job is to select the most competent representatives possible. In the City of Laconia, we know that two seats will see new representation; Ward 2 Councilor and the office of Mayor. In Wards 1, 3 and 4, the incumbents are running unopposed, while the incumbents in Wards 5 and 6 are being challenged.
Over the past eight years, Ward 5 Councilor Bob Hamel has committed himself to making Laconia a better place to live, work and play. He has displayed a strong sense of fiscal responsibility, while continuing to look for ways for the city to keep moving forward. He is a constant watchdog, ensuring that we are not frivolously spending our community's hard earned dollars. On the same token, he has been diligent in maintaining proper funding for much needed infrastructure improvements and worked extremely hard to provide economic opportunities for our local residents and businesses by championing the Huot Technical Center project. I am a resident of Ward 5 and my vote will go to the individual who will carry on our commitment to growing and prospering. That individual is Councilor Bob Hamel.
If you looked up the definition of "public servant" in the dictionary, you would probably see a picture of Ward 6 Councilor Armand Bolduc. His lengthy service to the city is legendary, having dedicated over 30 years of his life to our fine community. As incredible as that may seem, that is not what impresses me most about Councilor Bolduc. His commitment to his community through events such as Christmas Village, the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Race, the Lakeport Freighthouse Museum, the Lakeport Community Association, the annual Leavitt Park carnival or any one of the countless events he has a direct hand in, is equally impressive. As chair of the Council's Public Works Committee, Councilor Bolduc has worked tirelessly to insure that the city's infrastructure is being maintained at the highest level possible. He is the genuine article — honest, hard-working and selfless. For decades, Councilor Bolduc has always been there, ready to serve his constituents in any way possible. A vote for Councilor Bolduc is a vote for stable and reliable representation.
On Tuesday, November 5th, please honor those men and women who fight for our freedoms every day by exercising your right to vote.

Michael Seymour

Laconia

Last Updated on Monday, 04 November 2013 10:56

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Let's elect Ed Engler & then work with him to reach city's potential

To The Daily Sun,

An open letter to the citizens of Laconia:

Today is election day and I hope to encourage all to fulfill their obligation as participants in a free society, by informing themselves of the issues and candidates' positions and to then cast their ballot for those they believe to be most qualified. As it pertains to the office of Mayor of Laconia, I will cast my ballot for Mr. Ed Engler.

In explaining why, I would first like to thank Mr. Kaileif Mitchell for running against Mr. Engler for Mayor. In another election, at some other time, and under different circumstances, I would consider Mr. Mitchell's leadership abilities and experience seriously. Given the questions and opportunities of today however, most would agree that Mr. Engler is the clear choice.

Here are five observations and opinions that I have made, which I believe vignette the prudence of electing Mr. Engler.

Mr. Engler has been a member of the Laconia Rotary Club since his arrival in Laconia. The motto of Rotary is "Service Above Self". Mr. Engler has embodied that motto, whether he was acting as a member of the board of directors, as the treasurer, or as a volunteer at many, many raffle ticket-selling obligations both locally and out of state. For more than a decade Mr. Engler has taken shifts at the Rotary booth in the Weirs selling tickets in June from sun-up to nearly midnight with scarcely a break for sustenance — all for the benefit of others in our community. Though Rotary is forbidden from making a political endorsements or taking a position on proposed policies or proposed legislation, locally, nationally, or otherwise, it is my personal observation that Mr. Engler is well-liked by his contemporaries and very well respected by all.

Mr. Engler is president of a newspaper business, which immediately conjures images of literacy in language, but please do not sell him short. I have found Mr. Engler to be comfortable and thoroughly literate with mathematics as well. It has frankly been encouraging to witness his thought process in playing out "what if" scenarios and teasing out trends that might not be obvious to the casual observer. In fact I would argue that his ability to write headlines — an art that is harder than one might think to do well — is really about boiling equations down to their lowest common denominators. Mr. Engler excels at getting to the heart of the matter in the fewest number of words.

While holding back criticism of others, I applaud Mr. Engler's approach to seeing and learning first-hand from problems and solutions in other municipalities. Whereas almost all stakeholders remained in Laconia, rather than avail themselves of a visit to Keene last November, Mr. Engler took it upon himself recently as a candidate to get on his motorcycle and ride there, to see the almost mythical economic growth happening there for himself. Just think of what he was able to see and deduce for himself that others were not. How full are the parking lots? How many people are circulating on sidewalks and crosswalks? What is the real vacancy/occupancy rate? Are the lessees truly the highest and best uses for the projects? What is the scale of the projects? How well do they integrate with each other? What were the unspoken and unintended consequences? I applaud Mr. Engler's diligence as a candidate and quietly note that this is a terrific standard to set for others.

Mr. Engler has been following city politics for years. He has watched and reported on the happenings of the City Council, the Planning Board, the Zoning Board, the Trustees of Trust Funds, the Parks Commission, the School Board, the Library Board of Trustees, the Water Commission, the County Delegation, The County Commission, the State Delegation, and more. Topics have covered capital expenditures, tax cap, crime fighting, union negotiations, educational programs litigation and more than can be covered in the scope of this letter. The comment frequently made by residents that, "if Ed doesn't know what is going on nobody does", runs much deeper than knowing what is going on with the City Council; Ed knows what is going on in our community.

Lastly on my short list of attributes, is that Mr. Engler looks at each question armed with the history behind it, but with fresh eyes and an open mind. Take, for example, his own business model. In a world that was seeing plummeting periodical circulation numbers, growing periodical failures and closures, and a general belief that "newspapers are dead", Mr. Engler observed human activity on college campuses and in break rooms everywhere he could. He applied what he observed with his own eyes to his own business model and succeeded in doing what everybody else said couldn't be done. He launched an upstart publication that has grown by a factor of eight-fold in just over 10 years, and which still sees substantial annual growth every year. If you are reading this article in today's edition of The Laconia Daily Sun, then you know exactly what I mean. This endeavor had to have been risky; I am certain that even Mr. Engler himself must have held his breath when he signed the first contracts for commodities of paper and ink, etc. My guess is that hiring writers, reporters, photographers, graphic artists, sales people, before hiring a printer, buying miles of paper and tubs of ink is a much larger scale project than most of us appreciate. It also seems to me to have been substantially more than luck that fueled The Daily Sun's success. No, it took due diligence, hard work, and an open mind to pave the way for his business success today.

I ask my fellow Laconians to not only vote for Mr. Engler, but to work with him, if elected, as he tries to lead Laconia forward. Laconia is legendary around northern New Hampshire as a difficult place to accomplish new ideas. I ask that you trust in Mr. Engler's process as fair, quantitative, methodical and deliberate. With his leadership and our cooperation Laconia will reach its phenomenal potential.

John Moriarty,
Laconia

Last Updated on Monday, 04 November 2013 10:34

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This country needs a guy like Ted Cruz to be the GOP nominee

To The Daily Sun,
I am on a time limit, due to borrowing a computer. So very quickly, first to Mr. Earle: you obviously won't believe any real proof of Fox News's lies. But it's right in the very name of their network. Now if they were to call it something like Fox Right Wing Opinions, they would only be called liars when they actually tell lies. Actually I see lies all the time on MSNBC, they always have Republicans on their shows. Probably Republicans you've actually heard of, not like the list of "liberals" listed by the woman complaining that MSNBC didn't cover the horror show of an abortion clinic in PA. And, of course she was wrong about that, I watch MSNBC in the early morning ("First Look", "Way Too Early", "Morning Joe"), and yes it was mentioned on at least those three shows. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad that that woman want all abortion facilities to be even worse than that nightmare.
I can't possibly not comment on Jack Stephenson's letter about how "lucky" some Africans were to be ripped from their lives and families to be sold into slavery . I can only hope you were being facetious, I sadly don't think you were though. Maybe the reason that African-Americans don't look to take sailing lessons up here in the Lakes Region is there are so very few of them anywhere near here, and who could blame them with people saying things like what you said Jack. You should be ashamed.
In a country where we pay people millions of dollars who can successfully chase a ball around a court or field and I read in this very paper letters from people who claim that teachers are evil, it's no wonder that kid's who are not athletic are treated poorly. The kid that wrote that letter should take heart, there are places where intelligence is actually valued, and not really all that far away.
Now just one more comment to Mr. Earle: Please, please, please work hard to get Ted Cruz higher in the polls for 2016. This country needs this guy to be the Republican presidential nominee. While your letters and those of other right wingers are amusing, we need to have some real entertainment. And from what I've seen of this guy, he can deliver. Go Hillary 2016!
I have to stop now, hopefully I will be all computered up soon and will be able to comment in a more timely fashion.

Marty Valengavich
Belmont

Last Updated on Monday, 04 November 2013 10:26

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Adjustments to the spine to nothing for our immmune systems

To The Daily Sun,

Russ Wiles is at it again in his letter entitled "chiropractic warriors". Published on the 18th of September in The Sun, he attacks me again with little in the way of facts, but full of failed attempts at adolescent humor. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I was out of town at a medical conference when it was first published.

He accuses me of having a "little water on the brain". He calls it "cranial waterloggus". No Russ, the medical term is called Hydro Cephalous. I assume you are in your mid 60s Russ, isn't it time for you to grow up and use medically correct terminology? This is a serious and devastating medical condition especially when it presents itself in the neo natal period. Anyone who can find any humor in this condition is really a sick, sick individual, Russ. It is really ironic that you pick this condition to try and belittle me, but more on that later.

My first job as a PA was in the Department of Pediatrics, in the Division of Genetics, at the University of Florida. Oh , I am sorry Russ, here I am using my experience again in your own words, "as a sledge hammer to put me down ...". Poor Russ, I just consider this a game of Intellectual Whack a Mole, with you Russ, as the mole. The ironic part of this, Russ, is that one of the main culprits for hydro cephalous in the neo natal period is an in utero infection with the Rubella virus. I had the opportunity to witness this first hand 30 years ago. Babies born to mothers with Rubella, or German measles can have severe cranial, ocular, and neurological disabilities. One medical advance that has almost completely eliminated this is the widespread use of the MMR vaccine. Pregnant women to this day are still tested for antibodies to Rubella. Two shots at one year and five years of age provide lifelong immunity. What a concept, Vaccines as immunizations, yes they do work, despite what your hero Tim O'shea, DC, thinks. In your own idiotic attempt to belittle me you have actually allowed me to prove a point. Vaccines save lives and have changed the course of medical care worldwide.
While you find chiropractors to be competent and caring individuals, I find them to be nothing but snake oil salesmen. If I can prevent just one parent from following their advice on not getting vaccinated, and if I can save one child from the devastating effects from a vaccine preventable disease, I consider that a major success. You see Russ, despite what you believe, adjustments do nothing for the immune system. Time and time again, I have given you and them an opportunity to prove me wrong and you both declined the challenge. These ongoing exchanges between us Russ, are starting to play out like an old vaudeville act, with you playing the role of my dim witted assistant, a role, ahem, you play quite admirable. You attempt to rile up the crowd with insane rants, only to be put in your place with a few well thought out facts. Only I don't think you are acting.
Finally , if you consider yourself one of the "chiropractic warriors" , I am more convinced than ever that I am on the right side of this argument.

Mirno Pasquali PA -C

Laconia

Last Updated on Monday, 04 November 2013 10:21

Hits: 165

 
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