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This week, the New Hampshire Supreme Court declared that, despite its purpose to restrict the rights of young eligible voters, HB-1264 is constitutional. The bill is nothing more than a modern-day poll tax which disproportionately targets the liberal voting bloc of college students, making it harder for them to vote, even though they are legally allowed. And while Democrats have been stalwart opponents to any bill that would threaten our state’s electoral integrity, Governor Sununu and the New Hampshire Republicans are clearly inclined to pass a bill that would disenfranchise young people, because it will help them win elections. This isn’t that surprising given the long Republican tradition of suppressing the votes of their opponents, but it’s disappointing and frightening to see Republican politicians like Sununu so willing to follow the increasingly radical party line.

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Mr. Jim Connolly writes that due to his disgust with the remarks of Councilor Hamel, which he found disrespectful to firefighters, he will not be tipping any of the wait staff who serve him in N.H. when he visits our state this year. I fail to see how that proposed action will have any effect at all on Councilor Hamel. I suggest that he take his concerns directly to the town and not strike at innocent servers.

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We are now making some progress. What started as an issue of excessive overtime costs in the fire department has resulted in a real discussion of problems within the fire department. I would suggest that if the discussion continues, as it should, the overtime pay issue will seem minor compared other excesses there. Tempers erupting at City Council meetings is not a bad thing and I would suggest is long overdue. My thanks again to Councilor Hamel for his courage to speak his mind and to hit these issues head on. He is right and deserves our support. It is now time for the other councilors to weigh in.

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Affordable housing: yes it does sometimes call for taxpayer money but, does it really cost you all that much more? If you want to get on the argument of wasteful spending, I’m sure you can find much better examples leading with defense spending, I am sure. Do you know what the “working class” must endure to try to afford to live in the Lakes Region, for example? Rent for a NICE 2-bedroom apartment in Laconia runs you over $1,000 per month. That’s more than 50 percent of the average working class’s monthly income.

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As I read more about the opinions of some of our city councilors, and in particular, Mr Hamel, I am outraged at the attitude that firefighters are just coming from out of town for a paycheck. The stupidity of that mindset boggles the mind. To suggest that they come here for a few hours and do “this and that?” You’ve got to be kidding. When was the last time you ran into a burning building, jumped out of bed at 2 a.m to assist a total stranger, left your child’s birthday party or other special occasion to go to yet another emergency when off duty, tried to fight a fire in sub-zero temperatures or the sweltering heat, or carried an obese person down several flights of stairs? Never? That’s what I thought.

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I would like to shed some light on the discussion about the overtime budget for the Laconia Fire Department. In all towns and cities, fire administration studies the levels of danger, number and type of calls they may face and come up with a plan for the equipment and manpower they feel they will need to handle the emergency calls they can expect to face. From there fire administration presents the plan to the governing agency and they hash it out to come up with a "minimum shift manning number".

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This week, the New Hampshire Supreme Court declared that, despite its purpose to restrict the rights of young eligible voters, HB-1264 is constitutional. The bill is nothing more than a modern-day poll tax which disproportionately targets the liberal voting bloc of college students, making it harder for them to vote, even though they are legally allowed. And while Democrats have been stalwart opponents to any bill that would threaten our state’s electoral integrity, Governor Sununu and the New Hampshire Republicans are clearly inclined to pass a bill that would disenfranchise young people, because it will help them win elections. This isn’t that surprising given the long Republican tradition of suppressing the votes of their opponents, but it’s disappointing and frightening to see Republican politicians like Sununu so willing to follow the increasingly radical party line.

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Mr. Jim Connolly writes that due to his disgust with the remarks of Councilor Hamel, which he found disrespectful to firefighters, he will not be tipping any of the wait staff who serve him in N.H. when he visits our state this year. I fail to see how that proposed action will have any effect at all on Councilor Hamel. I suggest that he take his concerns directly to the town and not strike at innocent servers.

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We are now making some progress. What started as an issue of excessive overtime costs in the fire department has resulted in a real discussion of problems within the fire department. I would suggest that if the discussion continues, as it should, the overtime pay issue will seem minor compared other excesses there. Tempers erupting at City Council meetings is not a bad thing and I would suggest is long overdue. My thanks again to Councilor Hamel for his courage to speak his mind and to hit these issues head on. He is right and deserves our support. It is now time for the other councilors to weigh in.

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Affordable housing: yes it does sometimes call for taxpayer money but, does it really cost you all that much more? If you want to get on the argument of wasteful spending, I’m sure you can find much better examples leading with defense spending, I am sure. Do you know what the “working class” must endure to try to afford to live in the Lakes Region, for example? Rent for a NICE 2-bedroom apartment in Laconia runs you over $1,000 per month. That’s more than 50 percent of the average working class’s monthly income.

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As I read more about the opinions of some of our city councilors, and in particular, Mr Hamel, I am outraged at the attitude that firefighters are just coming from out of town for a paycheck. The stupidity of that mindset boggles the mind. To suggest that they come here for a few hours and do “this and that?” You’ve got to be kidding. When was the last time you ran into a burning building, jumped out of bed at 2 a.m to assist a total stranger, left your child’s birthday party or other special occasion to go to yet another emergency when off duty, tried to fight a fire in sub-zero temperatures or the sweltering heat, or carried an obese person down several flights of stairs? Never? That’s what I thought.

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I would like to shed some light on the discussion about the overtime budget for the Laconia Fire Department. In all towns and cities, fire administration studies the levels of danger, number and type of calls they may face and come up with a plan for the equipment and manpower they feel they will need to handle the emergency calls they can expect to face. From there fire administration presents the plan to the governing agency and they hash it out to come up with a "minimum shift manning number".

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On Feb. 7 I wrote a letter to the editor titled “Can FBI investigate itself? Let’s watch and find out.” (https://www.laconiadailysun.com/opinion/letters/can-fbi-investigate-itself-let-s-watch-and-find-out/article_301186ca-47f6-57d7-b850-87ee8fd29768.html) It was based on the words of James Comey in his now infamous exoneration of Hillary Clinton and his exchange in Congress with Trey Gowdy. If you reread the article and open the links to the videos you will see that Comey said, yes, Hillary did mishandle classified information but “he” thought it was “extremely careless.” If he had used the words “gross negligence” he would have had to refer the case to the DOJ for criminal prosecution. Well, the Inspector general report is done and it is filled with 500 pages of “fact” and 68 pages of attachments on the investigators. I included a link for those that want to read it.

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I do not believe that residency should be a requirement for a municipal/city employee. Using this to exclude applicants can significantly limit the pool of qualified applicants for positions that have certain technical or professional requirements, as well exclude qualified applicants from a position that needs to be filled rapidly before a candidate can decide if it is possible to move their family to the area.

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The best thing about free speech is that it eventually absolves all doubt if you think someone might be a crackpot. I generally get a good laugh from reading Mr. Cracraft’s hate filled, bigoted columns. I give him credit because he doesn’t hide who he is and has spilled his pretzel logic in his columns for many years. As a young parent, his rantings assured me that I would not waste one dime on sending my children to be educated by someone who is so misinformed about a great many things.

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As a new resident and taxpayer of the City of Laconia, I am appalled by the continued unprofessional behavior and comments of Councilor Robert Hamel. His latest remarks at the July h meeting were uncalled for and way out of line! I could not believe that the chair allowed him to continue his rant. To think that he could make such comments regarding the line-of-duty death of Laconia Firefighter Lt Mark Miller is reprehensible. At the very least, a public apology should be made to the family of Lt. Miller as well as Chief Erickson and firefighters.

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The Congregational Church of Laconia would like to thank all those who helped make the “Peace Cranes” soar. (If you haven’t seen it yet, they are still up; stop by The Congregational Church of Laconia and see the 4,500 Peace Cranes hanging beneath the bridge that connects the church to it’s office building.)

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The word hero seems to have lost its value in our society. Whereas before it may have been used to describe an act of selfless bravery, today we seem far too willing to throw around the label. Does a famous athlete deserve the title simply for hitting the game winning hit? Or does a famous movie star deserve it for donating a small portion of his fortune to a charity? I’ll leave that up to you, the reader, but allow for me to explain my definition of a hero.

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In response to Franklin Mayor Anthony Giunta’s July 10 letter:

Mayor Giunta recently discussed the “long evenings” the City Council faced while drafting the proposed 2018-2019 budget. This new draft provides more money to the Franklin School District. He describes it as “a highly scrutinized, efficient expenditure of hard-earned tax-payer dollars.” What he fails to mention is the reason Franklin faces this problem. A 65-35 percent split of tax revenue sends most tax-payer money to the city, leaving the school system with crumbs.

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This past March the town voted to ban the stockpiling and spreading of bio-solids in the town of Gilmanton. The article to amend current ordinances passed with a 542 (yes) to 277 (no) majority vote. Common sense would dictate that there would no longer be any sludge allowed in town. Apparently the truckers that delivered at least four loads of bio-solids to Bobby McWhinnie's Hayshaker Farm on Meetinghouse Road between June 15, 2018 and June 21, 2018 weren't advised of our vote.

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In more than a decade that I’ve worked for the city, to say contract negotiations are frustrating would be an understatement. This last go-round was no different. For as long as I’ve been here, the city has always had a “take it or leave it” approach to “negotiations.” When all is said and done, the city gets what they want while many of their employees are left feeling underappreciated, with a twinge of resentment.

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A few days have passed since July 4th. I have sent similar letters in the past, but I felt it appropriate to send one again. The Center Harbor July 4th celebration was once again a wonderful testament that reflects all that is good about us. Starting with the foot races in the morning, continuing with a parade in the afternoon and ending with a glorious concert and fireworks display, the Celebration salutes our great country and is a wonderful example of pure Americana.

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Happy 125th, Laconia! Kudos to the Celebrate Laconia team for putting together such a well-orchestrated day of events commemorating this city’s history and future! The souvenir booklet created for the event was beautifully-designed and the content was thoughtful and enriching. The pride and sense of community carried throughout the day was invigorating and is exactly what will lead Laconia to a future bright with innovation and celebration.

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I'm writing this at about 5:30 p.m. here on Monday, waiting for President Trump to announce his nominee to the Supreme Court. When he does, that huge booming people will hear is liberal heads exploding. It won't matter who he nominates, they are against anyone he suggests. It will be WWIII in the liberal media who are already cranking up the outrage machine and they have one of their own to thank when that candidate gets confirmed. That will be Harry Reed, former senator and majority leader who did away with the 60 percent vote necessary to approve these appointments. Thanks Harry!

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Friends, just a reminder that The Loon Center advises us to stay 150 feet away from loons and chicks. The amount of people who feel they need to get close to observe and photograph them is amazing.

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Once again, the Franklin City Council has structured a 2018-2019 budget that provides more funding to the School District than was requested while maintaining the city’s tax cap. It took a lot of work, but in the end the proposed budget going to public hearing on July 18 is legal, meets the needs of all city government, and most importantly remains affordable for Franklin taxpayers.

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In response to Mr. E Scott Cracraft's July 10 column:

Mr. Cracraft seems to be boot step in line with the far left's resist movement. His analogy of the Trump presidency to Hitler and other brutal dictatorships is offensive and divisive, like all the race baiting he far left has been doing over the last several months since the 2016 election. To compare the Trump presidency to fascism is laughable. Fascism and anarchism is what the Wall Street and G8 protesters and the Black Lives Matter movements are trying to push. They want no government or laws, just socialized life where they get hand outs, do not have to work, and sit around the campfire smoking weed and singing Kumbya.

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Hands Across the Table is looking for new guest chefs as it continues to offer free hot meals every week to over a hundred guests. The Guest Chef Program, which began in 2016, is very popular. Past Guest Chefs have experience cooking for a large crowd, owned a restaurant or worked in food service and have volunteered for one or two meals per year.

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I am writing in response to the letter to the editor by Diana Lacey on July 3 entitled, “Chris Pappas is committed to getting big money out of politics.”

The title alone was enough for me to cry out, “Holy Alanis Morrissette, this is ironic!”

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I find your anonymous letters to my home amusing, while my intelligent friends find them pathetic. Perhaps you don’t have any friends, because you seem to have voluminous amounts of time on your hands to spend writing to me. I called you “the admirer” with total sarcasm, but it apparently went right over that large head of yours. I can assure you, you’re nothing to admire; more of an annoying pebble in my shoe.

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After an enjoyable afternoon at the Chase House on July 4, observing the opening of the 1968 time capsule, and then a return to downtown to watch a spectacular fireworks display that evening, I arrived home to hear my telephone ringing. . . a bit unsettling as a phone call that late into the evening for my wife or me is not necessarily good news.  It was a dispatcher from the Meredith Police Department asking if I was missing my wallet!  Sure enoug, it must have dropped out of my back pocket as I folded up my camp chair in front of the town docks at the end of the evening. The dispatcher told me it had been given to one of our fine Meredith officers by an individual who found it lying on the ground. She also informed me that it would be waiting for me at the station the next morning, cautioning me not to return to town that night. . . it was still too congested.  I thanked her and did return the next morning.

 

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I would like to thank all the hard working folks who put together the 125 Celebration for Laconia. You did a wonderful job. The parade was quite nice and the fireworks were fantastic, best I have seen in many, many years. So once again. . . thank you for all your efforts.

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My father, Neil Flaherty, and I recently visited Camp Mayhew, a summer camp for at-risk boys in N.H., in part because my father is a long-time contributor and supporter, but also because the camp receives funds from the Lakes Region Children’s Auction. I help raise money for the Auction through Patrick’s Pub Mania, so I wanted to get a first-hand look at the work they do.

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Twenty-seven months ago I formed a non-profit organization called Celebrate Laconia to plan the 125th Anniversary of the city of Laconia. Over the past year the history of Laconia was celebrated with the Laconia Passenger Station anniversary last August, the Miss 125th Pageant in February, the city’s birthday party in March. This past Saturday’s parade and Party in the Park was the culmination of many months of hard work by a dedicated board of directors. Its success was beyond my wildest imagination.

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Inalienable rights are the rights that all people are born with through the understanding God or our Creator endowed us with. This right and taking this knowledge explains and defines the word of personhood and the meaning of person and personification confirmed in the truth that all of humankind were created equal under the law of right, human rights.

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I would like to take this opportunity to thank Joe Ouellette and Rusty McLear from The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls for once again sponsoring the 4th of July concert performed by The New Horizons Band of the Lakes Region at Hesky Park. For the past eight years The Inns & Spa at Mill Falls served as the 4th of July concert sponsor and their very generous financial support has been much appreciated.

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The Time Capsule committee wishes to thank everyone who came to the 1968 Time Capsule opening and those who supported the event. It was a special day full of fun and enthusiasm.

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As a New Hampshire native concerned with the future direction of our state, I feel it necessary to respond to candidate Morrissey's recent letter regarding his call for "affordable housing." Point two on candidate Morrissey's website calls for, and I quote, "Provide affordable housing in the county working with town governments."

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In your July 3 edition, there was a letter from Bob Jones calling on Sen. Hassan to fire the intern who recently yelled a profanity at the president. While I don’t read the letters every day, I do not recall a letter from Mr. Jones calling out the president for the profanities, verbal abuses and blatant lies that leave his mouth every single day since he started campaigning.

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For the past nine years Tilton has partnered with Lowes and other generous individuals in providing air conditioning units to senior citizens and handicapped residents who live in low income housing in the town of Tilton. These dwelling units do not provide central air conditioning, and sinc…

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Watching our patriots and military sing our National Anthem and God Bless America while the fireworks light up the skies around our country's capitol city, I have renewed hope for the restoration of our nation's freedom and autonomy. My renewed faith in the sovereignty of our country comes from the unlikeliest of leaders. A brash, sometimes vulgar and bombastic former television star has risen from the ashes of a misguided and milquetoast laden Republican party.

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It has long set in my mind the terrible lose the States of the U.S. have suffered in the death of the hundreds of thousand of men who have gone to war, most of their own accord and died. Their courage and fears, their love of home and country as well as their bravery spent to keep us free. More heart breaking are those who didn’t die, suffering lose of limb and mind. Whether in the War of Independence, Civil War, World Wars and all others. How is it that this country has gone forward without them. At the first of the Civil War tens of thousands laid died and wounded (dying) as the armies moved on, abandoned to the field. In WWI dying in the ditches from diseases as well as munitions, and poison gas.

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"No Borders! No Nations! No Deportations!" "Abolish ICE!"

Before last week, these were the mindless slogans of an infantile left, seen on signs at rallies to abolish ICE, the agency that arrests and deports criminal aliens who have no right to be in our country.

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On Feb. 7 I wrote a letter to the editor titled “Can FBI investigate itself? Let’s watch and find out.” (https://www.laconiadailysun.com/opinion/letters/can-fbi-investigate-itself-let-s-watch-and-find-out/article_301186ca-47f6-57d7-b850-87ee8fd29768.html) It was based on the words of James Comey in his now infamous exoneration of Hillary Clinton and his exchange in Congress with Trey Gowdy. If you reread the article and open the links to the videos you will see that Comey said, yes, Hillary did mishandle classified information but “he” thought it was “extremely careless.” If he had used the words “gross negligence” he would have had to refer the case to the DOJ for criminal prosecution. Well, the Inspector general report is done and it is filled with 500 pages of “fact” and 68 pages of attachments on the investigators. I included a link for those that want to read it.

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I do not believe that residency should be a requirement for a municipal/city employee. Using this to exclude applicants can significantly limit the pool of qualified applicants for positions that have certain technical or professional requirements, as well exclude qualified applicants from a position that needs to be filled rapidly before a candidate can decide if it is possible to move their family to the area.

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The best thing about free speech is that it eventually absolves all doubt if you think someone might be a crackpot. I generally get a good laugh from reading Mr. Cracraft’s hate filled, bigoted columns. I give him credit because he doesn’t hide who he is and has spilled his pretzel logic in his columns for many years. As a young parent, his rantings assured me that I would not waste one dime on sending my children to be educated by someone who is so misinformed about a great many things.

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As a new resident and taxpayer of the City of Laconia, I am appalled by the continued unprofessional behavior and comments of Councilor Robert Hamel. His latest remarks at the July h meeting were uncalled for and way out of line! I could not believe that the chair allowed him to continue his rant. To think that he could make such comments regarding the line-of-duty death of Laconia Firefighter Lt Mark Miller is reprehensible. At the very least, a public apology should be made to the family of Lt. Miller as well as Chief Erickson and firefighters.

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The Congregational Church of Laconia would like to thank all those who helped make the “Peace Cranes” soar. (If you haven’t seen it yet, they are still up; stop by The Congregational Church of Laconia and see the 4,500 Peace Cranes hanging beneath the bridge that connects the church to it’s office building.)