To The Daily Sun,
Two weeks ago I sent a letter to the management at Hannaford. Hannaford is not owned by people In Maine, as most people think. It is owned by the Delhaize group, a large, multibillion-dollar corporation headquartered in Belgium.
I thought my letter might serve as a wake-up call to Hannaford. I explained they needed to lower their prices. Now seemed the perfect time to speak out. I was sure they had received a huge surge of business from the high drama playing out at Market Basket (MB), their main competitor. If they wanted to keep that business surge, they needed to lower prices.
I explained that MB got 90 percent of my food-shopping dollar. The other 10 percent went to them. If they wanted to keep 100 percent of my business they could by matching MB's prices. I shop MB for one reason, price, as do tens of tens of thousands of others. That is especially true given MB's extra 4 percent off everything until year end. I pointed out just about every product I buy at MB's cost less by several cents, often by several percent. In fact many items can be 20 percent less or greater for a single item at MB.
It seems Hannaford agrees with my letter. They will lose all their new-found business if MB reopens. Hannaford's is now acting aggressively, but not in the way I recommended. The Delhaize group is now trying to buy MB to eliminate its biggest competitor to gain even greater pricing advantage. There will be no lowering of prices to match MB. In fact the elimination of MB assures Lakes Region shoppers will experience even higher food prices across the board.
It is estimated MB is (or was) worth $3 billion to $3.5 billions. Its value drops every day their customers go someplace else to shop. The Demoulas family members are all wealthy beyond imagination. The conflict, as always, is about ego, control, greed, and arrogance. One thing is certain, the egos of the Demoulas family notwithstanding and the blind, self interest by MB employees shutting down MB stores notwithstanding. This conflict could produce the absolute worst nightmare ending for every Lakes Region food shopper. That is, Hannaford buys MB.
The Lakes Region shrinks from three competitors to two, where the low-cost seller is taken out. That blows the doors wide open for Hannaford and Shaw's. Those two competitors are now savoring the blood feud at MB. They love the employee strike and protests. They can already taste the higher prices and great profits with a vanquished MB. I guarantee higher food prices are on their way from both Hannaford and Shaw's with MB gone. It is as certain as night following day.
So praise the MB employees and the old MB boss all you want. Just understand, as both owners and employees at MB pursue their best interests, they may be burying yours in higher grocery prices if the stubborn egos allow Hannaford the opening to win the end game. The person who has the most to gain, will pay the most. That, my friends, is Hannaford. The person with the most to lose in this confrontation of egos? You.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 11:20
To The Daily Sun,
It's amazing to me the impact that GOT Lunch! Laconia has on this community. A few weeks ago I was selling raffle tickets for the drawing to win a 2014 Sea Doo Spark 3up and trailer donated by Irwin Marine, when a young adult came up to me and thanked me for the food that was delivered to her house a few years ago. She said, "I was a part of that program. Thank you, it meant a lot to us." While selling raffle tickets at a Muskrats game, a young girl maybe 6-years-old, came to our table and, with the biggest brown eyes, peaked over the table and quietly said "Thank you for the food!" and gave us the sweetest smile.
In the years that we have been doing this program I have come to realize that this program is bigger than just delivering food to children. It shows children and families that this community cares about them, really cares. Just knowing that others care, helps to build resiliency and bring a sense of hope that they aren't alone. It has brought so many diverse community members together who never would have known each other and built a sense of community and pride.
Here are two comments by parents about the program from our end of the year survey:
"Thank you for sharing such a wonderful program with our community. We've had a lot of struggles in the past several years and every kindness shared helps more than you know!"
"Thank You! I don't know what I would have done without it. It is humbling to be in a place of needing to receive this gift as I have always been a giver. I pray this program continues. Your energies are appreciated greatly."
Over 272 volunteers this year, $66,000 raised; people touching the lives of children and making their lives a little better; it doesn't get any better than that! We see the gratitude and appreciation every week and we wanted the community to know just how much the effort is appreciated.
Thank You, Laconia!
The Rev. Paula Gile
Advisory Board Member
GOT LUNCH! Laconia
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 11:15
To The Daily Sun,
Much discussion and controversy has surrounded our county jail in recent months. As a candidate for state representative from Laconia I decided to visit this facility and tour the inside.
The jail is made up of a "hodge-podge" of several additions constructed over the years, making it a difficult place to process and house inmates. The jail was not designed for women, but about two dozen women are housed there — in the gymnasium. The jail was not designed for the mentally ill or drug and alcohol patients. The present jail does not meet the needs of housing the current population and providing space for essential rehabilitation programs.
One of the positive aspects of the jail's policies is to provide programs and activities to help ensure that inmates will not return. For example a GED is required of all inmates who have not graduated from high school. The jail does not simply "house" inmates. Programs are in place to rehabilitate inmates and make them useful in society.
The Belknap County correctional facility does not meet codes and standards that are available to make the facility safe and efficient. For example, this old facility does not meet nationally recognized standards for correctional facilities. It does not meet fire safety codes. As a former New Hampshire State Fire Marshal, it was my job to enforce the Life Safety Code. My consulting practice also focused on understanding and interpreting this major fire code. Special chapters in the Life Safety Code are devoted to detention and correctional occupancies. Our jail does not meet these provisions.
Also, the facility does not meet the provisions of the ADA — Americans with Disabilities Act.
A major problem with not meeting known codes and standards is that should something happen, Belknap County could be sued and might have to pay large amounts of money.
All of New Hampshire's county jails, with the exception of Belknap and Coos counties, have up-to-date, modern correctional facilities. Other counties have addressed and solved this problem. Why haven't we?
To me an obvious problem exists with our current jail facility. It should be easily addressed and discussed with an acceptable solution arrived at.
The question is clear and with a common-sense approach a solution should be easily reached. Of course, this would require that all commissioners and the convention truly understand the problems with the jail facility and are willing to solve the problem.
I would urge any new county commissioners and delegation members who have not seen this building to tour the jail to see for themselves the conditions of this facility before government work begins in January 2015. Superintendent Ward is more than happy to give tours.
Knowledge and cooperation are the keys to his current dilemma. I would like to promote this climate and help solve the jail issue.
Dr. Thomas Dawson
Candidate for State Representative
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 11:10
To The Daily Sun,
It's that time again. Welcome to another edition of Tea Party Potty Tricks brought to you by the Center for the Study of Absurdity. As you know, we here at the center dutifully strive to keep the highest quality of stupid in the news. As a famous Jedi Knight once said, "the crazy is strong in this one".
First up is this week's Lord of the Flies prize winner. In a discussion on the minimum wage workers who would like a reasonable living wage, Fox business analyst Charles Payne lectured you lowly American workers, saying, "You are stuck in this because somehow you were born with deficiencies that you'll only have a certain skill set, the minimum skill set." If you think that is sick, consider Stephen Steinlight, senior analyst for the conservative Center for Immigration Studies. Speaking to members of the Highlands Tea Party Steinlight said, "We all know, if there ever was a president that deserved to be impeached, it's this guy, alright? ... And I wouldn't stop. I would think being hung, drawn, and quartered is probably too good for him". Murica! Freedumb!
From the Twilight Zone of the Walking Dead cometh Right Wing Christian broadcasters this week. You want deficiencies? We got 'em. Wildman Pastor Rick Wiles is pleased that Ebola has emerged because, he says, "Ebola could solve America's problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography and abortion." No kidding. Wiles notes that having the blood of Jesus on you will protect you. Of course it will, Rick.
Neo-Confederate Pastor Kevin Swanson claims that "radical socialists and communists helped launch the Republican Party and put Lincoln in the White House." This is the same fruitcake that said buying Girl Scout cookies promotes lebianism.
What is an edition of potty tricks without Michele Bachmann? Incomplete! Over on the Pastor Lars Larson's show, Ms. Bachman went on her usual wild-eyed blabberfest by calling for Obama's impeachment and then saying impeachment talk was a plot by Democrats to "help Democrat's electoral chances in the fall." House Speaker John Boehner has said the same thing after suing the president. It's a nefarious plot.
Want more senselessness? Boehner is suing the prez because of his use of executive action but as recently as a week ago, he demanded that the prez take executive action on the child immigrant crisis because the Congress couldn't do their job and is now on vacation. That is rich. His suit against Obama is because he used an executive order to delay Obamacare's employer mandate. This is not The Onion, folks, it's Bobby Jingal's Party of Stupid (his words).
Unfortunately, ignorance and absurdity is not always hilarious. As you all know, the Israeli-Gaza situation is deeply troubling. Hamas keeps shooting rockets at Israel like psychos and Israel has killed a thousand civilians, including reckless bombing of some schools and even a hospital. Hamas is nuts. But recently some Israeli officials have joined them in another episode of "Who Left The Bag of Idiots Open?" In an Arutz Sheva op-ed, Israeli Deputy Speaker Moshe Feiglin made a case for ethnic cleansing in Gaza. Adding fuel to the madness, The Daily Sabah reported Ayelet Shaked of the far-right Jewish Home Party called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to "little snakes." After calling for killing them all and demolishing every house, she added, "They are all our enemies and their blood should be on our hands. This also applies to the mothers of the dead terrorists." Moms, too. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan asked, "What is the difference between this mentality and Hitler's?" There is none, sir. In other Middle Eastern matters, actor James Woods claimed on his Twitter feed that Obama released the leader of ISIS in 2009. Nope, that was Bush in 2004.
Those with eyes to see and noses to smell have always known the right-wing Benghazi conspiracy letters from Steve Earle, Tony Boutin, Don Ewing, and Russ Wiles were all spastic gushes of right-wing propaganda from start to finish. The ghost of Joseph Goebbels looks down on them with pride.
But listen, we here at the Center for the Study of Absurdity think they deserve a special prize for their heroic time-wasting effort to spread the lies of Fox News and its junkies. The Republican-led House Committee on Benghazi has now just quietly concluded "that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given." Shucks, boys, you got it all wrong — again.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 11:06
To The Daily Sun,
I was pleased to read in last week's Laconia Daily Sun that state Sen. Andrew Hosmer had attended a Laconia City Council meeting to update the mayor and councilors about what was happening in Concord.
I appreciate Sen. Hosmer's ability to work across party lines and do what's in the best interest of his constituents. His common sense, bipartisan approach to problem solving saved the City of Laconia, and all of us taxpayers, $200,000.
Thank you Sen. Hosmer and I look forward to you serving another term.
Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 10:56