Bob Meade - Equal justice? Or presumed guilty?

We are brought up to believe that everyone is entitled to equal justice under the law. We are to be judged by a jury of our peers who are charged with determining beyond a reasonable doubt, that we either have or have not committed the crime for which we have been charged. And, we are to be presumed innocent until the jury makes a determination otherwise. But, we may find that what we call "equal justice" is often absent.

When someone is brought before a judge to determine the amount of bail required in order to be released from jail, pending the date of their trial, the decision of the judge may actually imply the guilt or innocence of the person being charged. For example, a person bought before Judge "A" for aiming a rifle and shooting at a group of people may be required to post a "cash-only" bail of $25,000. Another person charged with having inappropriate sexual contact with a minor, six or seven years earlier, may receive a "cash only" bail requirement from Judge "B" that is three times larger than what was imposed on the alleged shooter by Judge "A". A case brought before Judge "C" charged a man with participating in the armed standoff between federal authorities and ranchers, in the Cliven Bundy case. The person being charged is a veteran, a family man, the sole support of his family and an elderly parent who requires continuing care. He was denied bail and is being held in a jail about 3,000 miles away from his family, awaiting trial, which is not expected to begin for at least a year.

These examples pose a few questions. Let's start with the "cash only" bail. Normally, when a person is required to post bail, he or she can purchase a bail-bond for about 10 percent of the bond's face value. However, when the court imposes a "cash only" requirement, the person must present to the court the entire amount in cash. In the examples above, Judge "A" would require $25,000 in cash before the person being charged could be released from jail, pending their court appearance. Judge "B" would require the person brought before him to provide the Court with $75,000 in cash in order to be released pending trial. The imposition of "cash only" may make it virtually impossible for the person being charged to be released from jail pending his or her court date. How many average citizens or their families can stop at the bank and walk out with $25 or $75 thousand dollars in cash to bring to the court?

In each of these examples, the person being charged may appeal the cash only bail, or the dollar amount of the bail, or the denial of bail. However, pending the appeal hearing, the person must remain in jail, which most often takes a number of months. That doesn't seem to be "innocent until proven guilty", but a pre-judgement of guilt.

There are a few major issues that need to be reasonably resolved. The first is the issue of the cash-only bail. By its very nature, requiring a person to pay a cash-only bail inflicts a penalty that is 10 times more costly than a regular bail assessment would be. As the examples above showed, cash-only bail for the two individuals was equivalent to purchasing bail bonds in the amount of $250,000 and $750,000 respectively. Excessive?

The second issue deals with the apparent disparity in the amount of bail assessed in the three examples, by three different judges. The person charged with shooting his rifle multiple times was assessed the lowest bail amount. The person charged with having inappropriate sexual contact with a minor six or seven years ago, was assessed an amount three times larger. And, the person participating in a protest by ranchers because of what they believed to be significant government overreach, has been denied bail and has essentially been deemed to be guilty and will be confined to jail, for over a year before he will be able to have his case heard by a jury of his peers. Equal justice?

The third issue is that there needs to be a way for a citizen to present an appeal to an independent judge/arbiter panel to plead for some reasonable level of bail equality. The dollar disparity in the examples shown should be a cause for concern. And, the denial of bail for an individual who has been a pillar of his community, is a veteran and an honorable man, and who is the sole provider for his family, appears to be the worst kind of governmental bullying that may well lead to bankrupting his family before his case is even brought before the court. There should be an urgency in the appeal processes so the independent judge/arbiter can reasonably quickly ensure there is equal justice in the assessment of bail . . . being ever mindful of the presumption of innocence.

(Bob Meade is a resident of Laconia.)

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Froma Harrop - Sexism is business at usual at Fox News

What to make of Gretchen Carlson's suit against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes alleging sexual harassment? If Ailes did demand sex as a condition of her employment and Carlson can prove it, then she'd seem to have a good case.

But other complaints about "inappropriate" behavior at Fox News don't sit quite right: So she was mocked on the air over her high hemlines and paid slithering compliments about "looking good today." On the air, a male co-host pulled down her arm to shut her up. I mean, what ballpark did she think she was playing in?

With a few exceptions, the Fox News sets purposely pair men in business attire with women in sleeveless, short dresses — some featuring adorable peekaboo cutouts revealing cleavage. You don't need a fashion anthropologist to tell you that this dress code screams inferior status.

I hit upon "Fox & Friends" on Saturday morning when the discussion centered on the Dallas tragedy. There was Abby Huntsman, all arms and legs in a flamingo-pink dress, flanked by two male anchors encased in conservative business suits with ties. Huntsman was offering the smartest commentary, but how many viewers took notice?

It's not just Fox News Channel. All over TV you see women doing news dressed for the cover of Cosmo. The need to play the babe is why so many newswomen get yanked off the air the moment they age. Carlson herself is now 50.

(It's especially painful to watch one of the survivors, Andrea Mitchell at 69, displaying arms and legs alongside fully dressed men with lesser intellects. It does not matter that she's in terrific shape.)

Carlson sat on the "Fox & Friends" set for years as an accomplice. She soldiered through the lame sexist joshing. She once stomped off the set in seeming complaint but came back saying she was kidding. Her recent book praised and thanked Ailes with profusion.

Now, we can say this is entertainment. She was hired to perform as the ditzy foil to the men. The formula includes a revolt against politically correct feminism.

Whatever. In the age of hipster androgyny, the female hootchy-kootchy on Fox News Channel seems increasingly dated. It may account in part for CNN's narrowing the ratings gap with the once-dominant Fox News, particularly among younger viewers.

The fashion industry has been in on promoting retrograde aesthetics for working women. Decades ago, there was a brief "dress for success" movement, urging women to wear suits in professional settings. But the notion of women getting by with a work wardrobe of five business uniforms — as men do — could not be tolerated. Women in suits with those floppy bow ties were quickly made fun of. The message was: You can flaunt your femininity at the office and be powerful at the same time. That women in well-tailored suits are actually quite alluring (check out the Hitchcock movie heroines) got lost in the demands of selling fast fashion.

Some may argue that enduring fraternity-level taunts was the only way some of these women could get on camera, become famous and make good money. That may be so. And I won't begrudge their trading dignity for fame and fortune, if that's their wish and they don't pretend otherwise.

The main problem with Carlson's suit is the timing. It was filed only after the network decided to not renew her contract. While gainfully employed, she helped advance a business model that championed overt sexism. And that's why the sisterhood probably isn't losing a lot of sleep over Carlson's case, even as it quietly hopes she prevails.

(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)

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DuBois — Hiking the Grafton Notch Loop Trail

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Looking west from summit of East Baldpate

By Gordon DuBois

The following article is the sixth in a series on suggested backpacking trips that you may want to consider as you make your outdoor plans for the summer. I hope this article will inspire you to take advantage of the Grafton Notch Loop Trail, a classic multi-day hike through a spectacular combination of scenery and geology, with landforms illustrating the power of glacial ice and running water that have shaped this and other notches in the mountains of New Hampshire and Maine.

After having read an article in a hiking journal about the Grafton Notch Loop Trail, my daughter Annemarie and I decided to check it out. The previous year, while hiking the Appalachian Trail, from North Adams, Massachusetts to Mount Katahdin in Maine, I remember seeing the trail signs and blazes for the Grafton Notch Loop Trail. I was captivated by the views of the notch from Old Speck and Baldpate Mountains and intrigued by the ruggedness of the terrain. I vowed to return to hike the GNL trail. When I mentioned this to Annemarie, she jumped at the chance to join me on this four-day backpacking trip.

Grafton Notch lies in Western Maine, along the border with New Hampshire, just east of Mahoosuc Notch. Route 26 runs through the middle of the notch and it can easily be reached from the Lakes Region in about three hours. This 38.6-mile loop trail located in the Mahoosuc Mountain Range of Maine was completed in 2007. It was constructed over a six-year period by members of the Grafton Loop Trail Coalition, which included the Appalachian Mountain Club, Maine Division of Parks and Public Lands, the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Maine Conservation Corps, Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, several timber management companies, Sunday River Ski Resort, and other private landowners. Funding was provided by several private donors and foundations, as well as by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund and federal Recreational Trails Program funding. The trail serves as a great example of organizational collaboration to achieve a common goal. The trail crosses several mountain peaks, including Old Speck with its observation tower, Puzzle Mountain, Sunday River-White Cap, Long Mountain, West and East Baldpate Mountain. Because of its length and the terrain it traverses, the trail is strenuous and requires appropriate equipment and preparation. The GNL Trail parallels Grafton Notch and Grafton Notch State park on the east and west sides of this U-shaped valley created by Laurentide Ice Sheet of the last glacial era. Within the park are several very interesting geological features, such as Screw Auger Falls with its beautifully carved potholes, Mother Walker Falls, Moose Caves and The Eye Brow.

Annemarie and I were joined by Reuben, who was equipped with his own pack for toting his food, water, dog dish, leash and other related canine necessities, including his tennis ball and play toys. We began our hike by parking the car at the parking area where the AT crosses Route 26. Our plan was to hike into Baldpate lean-to, 2.3 miles. Since we arrived early in the day, we decided to hike the Eye Brow Trail, which we found to be very steep and lined with rope rails which assisted us in the climb. We arrived at the overhang and found stunning views of Grafton Notch. We then descended via the Old Speck Trail (AT) and hiked into the three-sided shelter on the side of West Baldpate.

The following day, we woke to temperatures in the 40s with a howling wind. The hike over East and West Baldpate was a challenge with wind gusting between 30 and 40 mph. We had to push hard to get over the bare, rock summits of the two mountains. We layered up and were thankful that we brought extra clothing. Under good conditions we would have lingered on the summits to take in the views and the warming morning sun, but we had all we could do to muster enough energy to push forward over the summits and drop down below the tree line to get out of the wind.

On this section of the GNL trail, the trail drops gradually off of East Baldpate Mountain, winding through beautiful stands of spruce and fir. There were several nice campsites that we hiked by, as we needed to push on. This turned out to be our longest day, hiking 14 miles to the Stewart Campsite on the side of Puzzle Mountain. We arrived at the campsite and found several nice sites on raised earth tent pads. The water source was located down a ravine a few hundred yards from the campsite. After getting water for the evening and morning meals, we quickly ate our supper and headed to bed exhausted, with Reuben curling up beside me. As we dozed off to sleep, we heard the calls of coyotes in the distance. Then, during the night, we were awoken by the noise of a moose heading up the ravine, in the direction our campsite. As the thrashing in the brush got louder, we suddenly began to fear that the moose would stroll through our tents and crush us. However, as the moose came closer, Reuben was startled from his sleep and began to bark. With Reuben's yelps the moose suddenly changed direction and headed into the woods. We were saved by Reuben and lived another day to continue our hike.

After our restless sleep, we awoke to the sun shining brightly and temperatures beginning to warm into the 70s. Today we planned to hike to the Sargent Brook Shelter, about an 11-mile hike. We made our way over Puzzle Mountain, a beautiful mountain with many rock outcrops and views to the west. We spent some time taking in the views and then made our way down Puzzle Mountain, hiking five miles to the Route 26 road crossing. After crossing the road, we found a picnic shelter alongside a beautiful mountain stream, where Reuben swam and Annemarie and I bathed our tired, sore feet. After a long break we set out on the trail, heading north on the western side of the loop.

We crossed the stream on a snowmobile bridge and began our climb along the mountain ridge that makes up the western side of the Bear River Valley. This section of the trail was the most memorable with outstanding views of the White Mountains, Grafton and Mahoosuc Notches. We climbed over Bald Mountain and onto Stowe Mountain, where we encountered a steep, challenging climb with rock steps and a series of wooden ladders. We then crossed over the flat ledges of Stow Mountain with limited views. The best part of the hike lay ahead as we made our way up the southwestern side of Sunday River White Cap. Along the trail leading up the mountain, we found the spur path that led a short distance to the Sargent Brook Campsite. Here we spent our third and final night on the trail. This was a great camp site and hopefully no moose would be waking us up in the middle of the night. After supper, we settled down to a quiet evening. We encountered no other people on this hike, which we found strange, given its close proximity to a major road, a state park and some of the best back country hiking in the east. Annemarie and I were thankful that we could find solitude without the human traffic found on other trails in the White Mountains.

Our last day on the trail, we began by hiking a long rocky ridge to Sunday River White Cap. The trail crossed the summit following along the crest of the mountain, where trail crews had constructed scree walls and raised pathways to protect the fragile alpine vegetation. Here we found the best views of the entire hike. We spent some time admiring the vista that lay before us. We then continued our journey along the side of Slide Mountain and past Bull Run Campsite. We were tempted to camp here to prolong our memorable adventure together, but we were running low on food, and needed to return home. So we continued our journey toward Old Speck. Having reached the summit, we climbed the observation tower and found a 360-degree view of the Maine and New Hampshire wilderness. From here, we began our descent down Old Speck to the parking lot. When we arrived at our vehicle, we took in one last view of Grafton Notch.

It was a memorable four-day backpacking trip. It is still quite astonishing to me that we never met a single soul, except the moose, on our journey. I'm quite sure that the trail since then has gained notoriety and many more people can be found hiking the GNL Trail. If you are considering this hike now or in the future, I suggest you carefully research the trail and the mileage to the various camp sites. This is a 38.6 mile rugged, remote back country trail, much of it on private land. The only camping is at five designated campsites on the eastern section and three on the western section. All campsite are for tents, except the Baldpate Lean-to, and tenting space is limited. Water is available at each campsite and remember to use Leave No Trace practices. You can also hike this trail in sections, doing only the eastern or western halves of the entire loop. In 2011, after I hiked the GNL Trail, the Woodsum Spur, a new 1.8-mile side trail off the GLT, was opened. It traverses the open ledges around the summit of Puzzle before returning to the GLT. I hope that you take the opportunity to explore this amazing piece of back country on one of the premier hiking trails in the Northeast.

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Lakes Region Profiles — The search is on for waterfront property

By Mary O'Neill

Sales associate at Roche Realty Group


It is not unheard of to find a property you love right up front. But for most of us the process to match property against a wish list is less inspirational and more practical, requiring a long search and compromise. Buying property on the water adds another parameter to the mix, especially in the Lakes Region, which offers a great variety of lifestyles and four-season activities. Here are some factors to consider in your search for the perfect waterfront property:

What size lake?
Lake size is directly correlated to lifestyle. Do you like to explore? Do you want to be able to boat to lakeside restaurants or venues? Larger lakes including Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam, Squam, Newfound, and Ossipee have different towns, multiple islands, and vast and varied shorelines, providing endless possibilities for recreation and amusement. Are you an avid waterskier? A quieter, mid-size lake such as 426-acre Lake Opechee or 912-acre Lake Waukewan may be exactly what you are looking for. Some lakes have horsepower restrictions but might be perfect for those who only want to kayak and canoe. Paddleboard, kayak, and canoe enthusiasts can choose from the 273 lakes, rivers, and ponds in the Lakes Region. Among those waterbodies are small, secluded coves surrounded by pristine natural settings and diverse wildlife, or miles of open water for long distance paddling and exploring – something ideal for every type of paddler.

Do you want to be near a town? Would you like to be able to walk to restaurants, shops, and concerts? Or are you looking for a more private setting with access to trails and wildlife? Both are readily available in the Lakes Region.

Westerly or easterly exposure?
Do you want long evenings by the shoreline lit by the flickering sun as it sets behind the mountains? Property with westerly exposure will likely meet this criteria and provide 3 to 4 more hours of sunshine at the end of the day. Conversely, property with easterly exposure will welcome the sun in the morning hours and appeal to early risers or those who prefer cooler temperatures in the summer.

What depth of shoreline?
How do you want to use your shorefront? Do you, your kids, and grandkids want to swim from a sandy beach that gradually stretches out into the lake? Do you want to be able to dive into deep water? Water depth is also an important consideration when docking or mooring your boat. If you already own a boat, will the depth accommodate it? Is the water deep enough to moor a sailboat? Different lakes and areas within the lakes can offer accommodations for every kind of boat.

What do you want for a view?
Do you envision gazing across a great expanse of water with long-range views to the mountains? Would you like to look out over a tranquil cove as you are serenaded by the call of loons? Some waterfront properties on the larger lakes are situated to watch the passing boats – an amusing pastime but one that could also bring more turbulence to your shoreline.

What kind of fishing?
Fishing is a popular sport in the waters in the Lakes Region. All the lakes, ponds, and rivers provide a different experience and a variety of species. If fishing is important to you, the first consideration is whether you want to live on a cold or warm water fishery. According to the NH Fish and Game, cold water species in the area include brook trout, rainbow trout, landlocked salmon, lake trout and whitefish. Some of the warm water species include small and large mouth bass, horned pout, bluegill, black crappie, and walleye ( Cold water fisheries in the area include Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam, and Newfound. Kanasatka, Webster, and Wentworth are among the warm water fisheries. Many Lakes Region waterbodies provide for both cold and warm water species (

The general rule is, the larger the waterbody, the more popular, since a larger waterbody offers more opportunities. Naturally, with popularity prices rise. If budget is an overriding factor, this makes it extremely important to determine your top priorities and to be realistic about what your lifestyle will be on your lakefront property. Why pay a high price to be on one of the larger lakes, for example, if you have no desire to own a boat? One of the smaller lakes might fit your needs and be available at a lower price point.

The bottom line is there are a host of important considerations when choosing a waterfront property. Those enumerated above only touch upon the topic. But you can rest easy. You have already made the most important decision – the decision to live in the Lakes Region, a true haven in this busy world.

Please feel free to visit to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Mary O'Neill is a sales associate at Roche Realty Group in Meredith and Laconia, and can be reached at 603-366-6306.

Lake Lifestyles

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Sanborn — Winni waterfront 2016 six-month report


Winnipesaukee waterfront sales in June equaled last June's total of 18 properties finding new owners at an average price of $689,250 and a median price point of $587,500. However, the average price last year was considerably higher at $1,053,398 and the median price came in at $723,750.

Sales for the first six months of 2016 are up 36 percent with a total of 71 transactions compared to 52 for the same period last year. The average sales price this year so far comes in at $1,009,086 compared to $1,028,590 for the same period last year.

So what price points are selling best so far this year? The following chart clearly shows that the big increase in sales comes in the $500,000 to $1 million price range with an 86 percent increase in sales numbers for the first six months compared to last year. The $1 million to $2 million range is off a couple of sales, the $2 million to $3 million is up from four to eight sales, and there has been only one sale over $3 million compared to two last year.

As of July 12, there were 185 waterfront properties available on Winnipesaukee for sale. Based on the rate of sales over the last 12 months, there is a 10.7 month supply of homes under $1 million, a 16-month supply between $1 million and $2 million, a nine-month supply in the $2 million to $3 million range and a whopping 70-month supply over $3 million! That's almost six years! There were 35 homes on the market over $3 million but there were just six sold in the last year. So if you are lucky enough to have a home on the market in the top tier pricing, buckle up because it could be a long ride.

Over on Winnisquam, there were four sales on the lake in June at an average price of $494,225. That compares to just one last June. For the year thus far there were 11 sales at an average of $465,900 compared to eight sales at an average of $617,450 for the first half of 2015.

Pl​ease feel free to visit to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data compiled using the NNEREN MLS system as of 7/13/16. ​Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012.

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