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Newfound towns seek protection through Community Rights

To The Daily Sun,

There has been much discussion in the past few months about local residents in the Newfound Region pursuing a Community Rights Based Ordinance (RBO) for our towns. An RBO is simply a Community Bill of Rights that, once passed, becomes a binding law within the town. The RBO defines the rights that the residents of a town proclaim for the purpose of protecting the town from unwanted corporate harm. The concept is so simple: no expensive, divisive, land use zoning to pit one neighbor against another - just a Bill of Rights that protect the residents from specific "corporate harm."

In the Newfound Region, towns pursuing an RBO are seeking to protect ourselves and our ecosystems from the damaging effects of energy systems that are controlled by state and federal energy policies, rather than community controlled energy policies, such as industrial scale wind power when it is not locally or municipally owned and operated. A Community Bill of Rights takes the argument away from regulating the industrial wind energy project and makes it an argument about our right, as a community, to say, "No, not at all, we don't allow it in our town when it violates our rights as defined in the RBO."

A few Newfound towns have placed a Large Wind Energy System Ordinance (LWES) on their warrant in hopes of preventing industrial wind from invading their towns. Some believe that the LWES ordinance "saved" Temple and New Ipswich from the project planned on their ridgelines, so it will "save" their town too.

You have to understand that the project proposed for Temple and New Ipswich is too small to be decided by the state Site Evaluation Committee, and therefore was subject to local land use ordinances. A strict LWES was designed and implemented for Temple and New Ipswich, and was a major reason it has been difficult for the developer to pursue the project there. Not to mention, there is a major migratory route for raptors on the proposed ridgeline that does not exist to such an extent anywhere else in New England. If a proposed industrial wind project is greater than 30 megawatts total, then the SEC will have the final say over the project. An LWES may deter, or delay a permit issued by the SEC, but it will never give residents the right to say, "No, not at all." Keep in mind that the developer for the project proposed for Temple and New Ipswich has not withdrawn. They are still trying to "strike a deal" and work around, or within, the LWES ordinance.

There are currently seven Community Rights Based Ordinances (RBOs) in New Hampshire protecting residents and ecosystems from various threats such as: industrial wind, water extraction, fracking, and sludge. Not one of the towns that has passed the RBO is fighting a developer. In every town, the developer has walked away, withdrawn — no lawsuit, no "striking a deal," just up and leave.

Developers have and will argue local land use ordinances for years and years to come, but not one developer in the state of New Hampshire has argued against an RBO. They would have to take the town to court and publicly strip the residents of each right defined in the RBO, and that just isn't good public relations. For a corporate developer to publicly proclaim through a court of law that they have more rights to destroy the community we live in, than we do to protect the community we live in, would do a lot to hurt their good neighbor policy. Local land use ordinances are not personal, but a Community Bill of Rights is.

Many believe the passage of a Community Rights Based Ordinance (RBO) in the town of Grafton in March 2013 is the reason why they were dropped from the Wild Meadows Wind Project. Some actually believe the developer — that the wind is not as good in Grafton, and there are too many wetlands. Are you aware that there is only about 6 feet difference in height from the peaks in Grafton versus the peaks in Danbury and Alexandria?

And where is the Newfound watershed? Last I knew, it is located in Alexandria, not Grafton. So you can believe the developers that have already lied to each and every one of us when they said they would not force the Wild Meadows Project upon us? Or you can do a little research and learn their words are just blowing in the wind.

Michelle Sanborn

Alexandria

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:56

Hits: 87

Hands Across The Table provided 7,015 free meals during 2013

To The Daily Sun,

Each Tuesday evening, the local non-profit Hands Across the Table (HATT) provides a free hot dinner to those in need. Our home is the Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region, 876 North Main St., Laconia. We make every attempt to live up to our mission statement: "To feed all who are hungry in body and spirit. We do so willingly and with compassion and understanding." All are welcome.

Recently, the HATT Board of Directors made a concerted effort to raise the money needed to fund our program for the next 12 months. In November, we held a dessert auction at the Beane Conference Center. During the months of November and December, we conducted a sustainability campaign by mail, asking for donations. Last Sunday, Feb. 9, we held our third annual Soupathon and Silent Service Auction for the community at St. Andre Bessette Parish Hall.

Each fundraiser was successful, either meeting or exceeding our goals. HATT volunteers and supporting religious organizations, service clubs, businesses and the community at large gave with open hands and hearts. Our donors are too numerous to list in this letter. A notice of thanks is forthcoming in the local papers. For now, suffice it to say that Hands Across the Table is a community organization well-supported by its community.

Whether you bid $50 for a homemade pie at the dessert auction, contributed $1,000 to the sustainability campaign, paid $10 for a ticket to the Soupathon, or won the hot air balloon ride for $55 at the Silent Service Auction, we sincerely thank you.

In 2013, we provided 7,015 meals. We plan to provide as many or more in 2014. We are grateful for your fundraising support, knowing that we could not provide these meals without you.

Ginger Wells-Kay

HATT Board Fundraising Chair

Belmont

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:48

Hits: 120

Ben Franklin's concept of public library alive & well in Gilmanton

To The Daily Sun,

Benjamin Franklin understood that for democracy to flourish, all citizens must have access to the knowledge and information they need to participate in that democracy. To this end, he and his colleagues devised a plan to create a single collection of their combined personal libraries and make these books available to the citizens of Philadelphia. Thus was the concept of a public library born.

Now, nearly 200 years later, the Gilmanton Year-Round Library continues the tradition. Resources available at the library allow every Gilmanton resident an equal opportunity to access information regardless of socioeconomic status. Whether it is a child learning the alphabet or a senior searching for computer assistance, the librarians are there to help. Early childhood programs ensure that every student has the opportunity to begin their school years with appropriate language skills. Library resources for older students allow those with less access to information at home to keep up with their peers. Adults benefit by finding information needed to pursue further education, conduct job searches, and research government programs.

Now that we're living in the digital age, the digital divide may have narrowed. But it has become much deeper for those who do not have computers or internet access. As government resources become available only through the internet (including our own town information!), as e-commerce allows for better consumer shopping for those big ticket purchases, as job searching and application submission is available almost exclusively online, we are pleased that the Gilmanton Year-Round Library makes both computers and internet access available -- for free.

As we follow in Benjamin Franklin's footsteps, we encourage all residents to make use of the information and programs offered by the library. Our goal is to provide every community member with the resources needed to reach their fullest potential.

Board of Directors

Gilmanton Year-Round Library

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:44

Hits: 103

In no way does IRA require I fill out a W-9 form for court costs

To The Daily Sun,

The Laconia City Clerk Mary Reynolds and Laconia City Attorney Laura Spector-Morgan continue their quest to punish me for requesting a recount that proved that there was a mistake made in the Sept. 10, 2013, Laconia Ward 5 Primary Election. They believe that I'm required to fill out a IRS W-9 form before I can recover my court cost for correcting their mistake. The following clearly explains who is required to file a W-9 Form. The return of court fees is not included in this explanation because court fees are not income.
This is what the U.S. Tax Center says: "The W-9 Federal Income Tax Forms are filled out by people who have done work for a company but not as an employee. Companies who hire people such as freelancers or independent contractors to do work are still required to report these non-employee's wages to the IRS. Employers get all the information that the IRS requires by asking these independent contractors or freelancers to fill out W-9 Federal Income Tax Forms."

This is the same information that is on the IRS W-9 Form under "Purpose of Form": "A person who is required to file an information return with the IRS must obtain your correct taxpayers identification number (TIN) to report, for example, income paid to you."

The City has not submitted one court case where the winner or loser was required to submit a W-9 Form.

David Gammon

Laconia

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:41

Hits: 292

Obamacare already turned poor situation into something worse

To The Daily Sun,

There has been no greater political, social or economic disaster this century than Obamacare. The bungled roll-out wrapped in never ending horror stories, millions of canceled insurance policies, ultra narrow provider networks with monster deductibles has overwhelmed the logic of voters. The noisy, nut case supporters that filled this paper have become all but silent.

Democratic lawmakers at high risk of losing their jobs in November are running scared and speaking out. Even Democrat Carol Shea Porter is said to have ripped into Obama last week for not having left a trail of fired bodies over the mind-numbing failure of Obama care. Note, Porter now trails her Republican opponent in the polls. She and other Democrats find themselves between a rock and a hard place after their yes vote uttering you could keep your insurance and your doctor. These people know Obamacare stinks to the high heavens. More scary for them, they know the public smells the stench.

The main purpose of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was to get the uninsured, insured. It isn't working. Only 11 percent of the people signing up were uninsured. The Congressional Budget Office ( CBO) now predicts there will still be 33 million people uninsured six years from now.

The statistics all skew the older and sicker are signing up. Why not, They are getting a good deal. They are going to consume far more health care than they pay for. The young folks, staggering under record college debt are not signing in numbers required to stop future premiums from rising by double digits, annually.

We needed the ACA to stop the uninsured from using the costly emergency room for routine care. The ACA has only worsened that problem. The vast majority of people getting insurance are being thrown on to Medicaid. Medicaid patients are 40 percent more likely to use the emergency room than an uninsured person. Emergency rooms now are being overrun with new ACA/Medicaid patients demanding to be treated for colds, sore throats, head aches and rashes at costs 15 times greater than being seen by a primary care physician. These people cannot find doctors who will treat them and doctors won't treat them because the government pays them a meager pittance to do so, below their actual cost.

The CBO just announced that the ACA was going to kill employment by the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs. Why? Because the ACA produces an incentive to work less, especially at the bottom third of the income ladder. The person who gets a $1 an hour raise or promotion pays higher taxes. In addition the person will likely lose all or a portion of their insurance subsidy making the person worse off financially. The person gains nothing by working harder to get a raise and get ahead. Obamacare destroys the work ethic of Americans and will keep doing it into eternity. Obama has made working less the better strategy.

Wasn't the ACA implemented to cut health care costs. The CEO of Aetna said last week unless the data changes his company would be required to increase premiums by double digits in 2015 to reflect the poor health risk pool of the ACA. Tens of millions are already paying far more for insurance than they were a year ago simply because of the ACA. All with higher deductibles and a much narrower network of providers produced by the ultra low reimbursement rates from government. Doctors and hospitals demanded protection from competitors in order to participate. The result: Less choice for you.

Before the ACA stock holders took the losses on the chin when insurers lost money. Not now. Can you believe it? Obama has promised billions in taxpayer bailouts to insurance companies that lose any money participating in the ACA. Obama demonized insurer profits before the laws passage. Now he guarantees their profits with your money.

Who can deny that Obama care turned an already poor situation into something far worse, now with endless billions of wasted taxpayer dollars for good measure. The same result we get every time government sticks its nose into private enterprise claiming it can do things better and of course to produce equality. All it does is create disasters of biblical proportion with pain and suffering for millions that is incalculable.

Tony Boutin

Gilford

Last Updated on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 10:35

Hits: 101

 
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