To The Daily Sun,
After reading the local new article from the July 2 edition titled "Heavy-Handed State Police & 'Nothing To Do' to top MW Complaint List" I had to laugh at how people stand around and scratch their heads wondering why the rally has been shrinking each year, but refuse to see or except the facts.
I believe that you can go back in the history of the event and see that the decline accelerated about two to four years after Jean Shaheen became governor of the state and implemented many new rules, laws, regulations and police directives concerning the event. In 2009 after the rally was held, the local Chamber of Commerce posted an article in The Sun looking for why the local businesses where seeing a decline in profit each year for the event week. I wrote this letter to the Chamber in 2009.
I am the owner of Aztec North which is a computer services business. I do very little service to the visiting bike rally crowd, but as an avid biker since my teens, I have attended almost every rally from the '73 to the present. I also grew up working in several local businesses frequented by "bikers". I have noticed two types of changes over the years that affect our local business community other than weather.
First are the annual trend changes ... every "Bike Week" tends to have its own personality in what types of people attend and the general make-up of the crowd. This change in crowd also changes where and how people spend their dollars while attending the rally.
The second change that affects the economic trends of a rally, in an even larger context, is political and economic change within the national, state and town levels. These changes have a larger impact on whether spending ends up in our local business economy or not.
An example of a political change that brought more money into our local economy was when the state passed laws prohibiting camping alongside the roads or in non-camping approved areas. This brought business to our local businesses that sell rooms. This also brought changed the population of the crowd to be based in the Laconia area, which positively impacted many businesses in our area such as restaurants, food stores, clothing stores and much more.
Another political change that I saw as having a positive change at first was the state's passing overly-restrictive laws on having adult fun at the rally. Restrictions were placed and strictly enforced on "dress code," flashing certain body parts, tire burn-outs, drinking alcoholic beverages in public and much more.
This had an initial effect by making the rally a "family" event and the attendance by families increased. This brought an increase to local business, yet again by the type of spending for this crowd.
I have noticed, though, that this type of crowd had dwindled over the last several years. There are two reasons I see that cause this downturn in a desirable spending crowd; one is the economy being down, families are more discerning as to spend their reduced vacation time and funding.
The second is what I call the "Disney Affect", where most families will visit Disney once or twice, then look for something else to do. In essence, the most dependable spending crowds for a bike rally will always be the dedicated "bikers" who attend the rally year after year as part of their passion. The majority of these people are not looking for a "family" rally experience with all of the strict laws in place such as the Laconia rally. A good portion of this demographic will save their limited funds to go to either the Daytona Beach or Sturgis rallies.
This year although weather was probably the main factor in reduced attendance, I notice something else that has affected the spending in local businesses in a negative manner. The Weirs and Funspot have become nothing but a huge commercialized vendor tent full of "gypsy" vendors. These vendors may bring the city income in the form of permits, but they are a very large distraction of funds for the local economy. With an ever increasing limit on non-discretionary spending due to economic times, once someone has walked the vendor tents and bought merchandise and food they will tend to avoid the local shops, restaurants as well as other services.
I notice a trend this year for the true "biking" demographic who are tired of the dictated "Disneyization" of the rally and the commercialization of the Weirs, Laconia and Meredith. These people are staying in hotels and other venues farther form the Laconia area and are spending their time (and hence their spending) taking rides throughout New Hampshire and surrounding states.
Last Updated on Friday, 03 July 2015 08:17
To The Daily Sun,
What a long letter by Mr. Brunstad. Perusing it left me of the belief that Mr. Brunstad is at least as old as the 17th Amendment. Almost all of his vitriolic could more easily have been summed up in a much shorter letter condemning the mob rule established by the 17th Amendment. While Mr. Brundstad's sensibilities may be offended by laws enacted in a democracy, he must resign himself to that is what the country is and that the 17th Amendment eradicated the Republic and substituted the mob rule we now live under.
Life in a democracy is no different than for a young kid in high school. It is all about being popular. Not every girl or boy for that matter, will be popular as each comes from a different type of home life that shapes their appeal to their peers. I encourage Mr. Brunstad to keep writing but to make it a bit shorter and not so bitter for not being popular.
Get out and hear the Republicans stumping for the presidency and take note that they are talking about their families and their family values not what the rules should be for someone else's family. They are just trying to be popular enough to get elected so that there will not be another four year period of a Democrat appointing the judges to the Supreme Court.
Last Updated on Friday, 03 July 2015 08:10
To The Daily Sun,
A month ago, the Belknap County Commission, of which I am a member, voted 2-1 to censure me for violating the provisions of 91-A-3; 2c (subsection of the Public Right-to-Know law) on two counts.
The first count was that I had verbally disclosed information from a non-public session regarding the grievance of a county employee.
The second count was that I had revealed the nature of a non-public meeting to a member of the body politic.
Since the vote of censure included referral to the Belknap County Attorney and to the N.H. Attorney General for investigation, I decided not to answer these charges publicly until I had first answered to the county attorney and/or the state attorney general. Since I have been contacted by neither official, it is now time to put the facts before the public.
When a grievance was filed by a county department head after the current county commissioners were sworn in, I participated in a non-public session to hear this employee's case. Soon after the beginning of the hearing, I determined that the other two commissioners had reached a conclusion with which I did not agree. I decided that they were unreceptive to a scenario at variance with their conclusions, which seemed to have been arrived at in summary fashion and without regard for evidence to the contrary.
At this point, I left what I considered to be a biased and unfair hearing and filed a minority report with the employee and further advised him that I would commit this report to writing. The following day, I submitted that report in a sealed letter to the county administrative assistant as well as to the employee. A fellow commissioner followed this same procedure in submitting a report of the majority of the Belknap County Commission.
The second complaint of the majority of the commission is more troubling. While the majority of the Belknap County Commission is on record as stating that it is county policy to have matters put on the agenda prior to a meeting and to have the subject matter for non-public sessions agreed to before a meeting takes place, this protocol was not adhered to in subject instance. This is a fair example of the ad hoc quality of the current constitution of the Belknap Board of Commissioners.
This non-public session having been convened for undisclosed reasons, I noted the presence of the county attorney and of the county sheriff. I was quite surprised that the reason for the meeting was a complaint by a county employee who felt threatened by the comments of a county citizen. I immediately asked the county attorney if this citizen had committed a chargeable offense. The answer was no, he had not. I then stated that the board had nothing before it.
To attempt to improperly use the provisions of 91-A-3; 2c to malign a private citizen who was not present to defend himself struck me as improper. Our society should not be a party to star-chamber tactics. Transparency in government must be a primary goal of anyone who purports to serve his fellow citizens.
When I defended the free speech rights of the party who was being maligned in this allegedly non-public session, a senior county official stated that the person in question had utilized his free speech and that it was time for him to move on. Really? Government officials should quantify how much free speech is acceptable and what the point of terminus should be? The proceeding which I describe was not a legitimate non-public session.
If the county wants to convene a dangerousness hearing for the citizen in question, let it so do. That the sheriff and county attorney would be a party to this meeting is very troubling.
Finally, many people have sent me messages, e-mails and made telephone calls regarding the change in the organization of the Board of Commissioners. I thank them and state that I will continue to advocate for the positions on which I ran for District 2 commissioner.
I stated in March that there was no statute or precedent for unseating an elected chair of the Belknap County Commission. Despite a ruling from Belknap Superior Court to the contrary, I want to state to my supporters that I was elected to be a commissioner and elected to be county chair. I have never, to my best recollection, been appointed to anything. For a judge to rule that the power of appointment implies the power of removal is a non-sequitur as well as an egregious example of judicial activism.
Last Updated on Friday, 03 July 2015 08:04
To The Daily Sun,
Regarding a recent column entitled "The Walmartization of higher education", nothing new there, just another indirect criticism of adjunct faculty. The writer and many elected officials are quick to point out the need to find a way to control the spiraling cost of higher education, yet continue to avoid a major part of the solution: more, not less, adjunct faculty.
What they miss is the fact that adjunct faculty members are the backbone of the American college education system as far as student affordability goes.
Another response to that letter highlighted a major issue: unions. In Massachusetts, the state university union sued in court for enforcement of the 15 percent rule, which the court upheld. With a few exceptions, that means no more than 15 percent of the faculty can be adjuncts. The state community college union currently has two bills (Senate and House) that, if passed, will limit adjuncts there to 25 percent of the faculty staff. And although adjuncts must pay union dues to teach, neither union is doing anything to protect the jobs of adjunct faculty members by giving them priority to any of the full-time openings created by these actions.
Private or state run, with 70-plus percent of teaching positions filled by adjunct faculty, the addition of significant numbers of full-time faculty replacing those adjunct positions can and will only result in unsustainable costs for salaries and benefits at schools, bringing up the cost to students and/or their parents.
At state colleges and universities, doing so will add to the cost of benefits for insurance and retirement, two areas that are currently spiraling out of control in most state budgets, thus also placing additional burdens on taxpayers. And even today, without more adjuncts positions, most state schools remain under-funded.
The article's reference to the "negative effects upon higher education" through a high dependency on adjunct faculty is just another criticism directed toward many adjuncts. Most adjunct faculty would be happy to perform some of the functions of full-time staff, such as student advising, but few schools offer compensation for performing those additional duties.
And it is worth noting that very few schools, including most state community colleges with more than 50 percent adjunct faculty, have not lost certification because of the performance of adjunct faculty. This is a testament to the fine job most adjunct faculty are doing in the classroom.
Yes, some adjunct faculty are seeking full-time positions, but many are retirees with 30-40 years of actual experience, not textbook theory, to offer their classes. Many are former high school teachers who bring years of teaching experience into their classrooms These adjunct faculty already have benefits such as health insurance and retirement accounts, providing schools with significant additional cost savings.
More, not less, adjunct faculty will help colleges better manage bottom lines while offering students what many full time faculty cannot: actual on the job experience in the areas covered in the text being used without having to rely upon "case studies" to do so to educate their students and themselves.
Yes, higher education has become a business, the business of providing education, and it should be at the lowest possible cost to students. It will not be long before Massachusetts state colleges and universities approach the tuition and fee costs of private schools. New Hampshire should continue to maximize the use of adjunct faculty if New Hampshire students and parents are to be given the opportunity of an affordable higher education.
Alton Bay & Chicopee, Mass.
Last Updated on Friday, 03 July 2015 07:49
To The Daily Sun,
Where did the global warming alarmists come up with the fictitious 97 percent claim?
Skeptical Science blog founder John Cook claimed to have reviewed 12,000 abstracts of studies published in peer-reviewed climate literature. His claim: that 97 percent of the papers "endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming."
Of those 97 percent who listed with the alarmist were Willie Soon, Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir Shaviv, Nils-Axel Morner and Alan Carlin as supporting the pretended consensus.
Nicola Scafetta is a physicist. "What my papers say is that the IPCC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel On Climate change) view is erroneous because about 40-70 percent of the global warming observed from 1900 to 2000 was induced by the sun."
Astrophysicist Nir Shaviv objected to Cook's claim that his paper supported global warming. His response was, "Nope." It is not an accurate representation. The paper shows that if cosmic rays are included in empirical climate sensitivity analysis, then one finds that different time scales consistently give low climate sensitivity. This means that part of the 20th century (warming) should be attributed to the increased solar activity and that 21st century warming under a business as usual should be low (about 1 degree centigrade). "I couldn't write these things more explicitly in the paper because of the refereeing, however, you don't have to be a genius to reach these conclusions from my paper."
Also objecting to Cook's classifying him as "No position," astrophysicist Soon responded, "I am sure that this rating of no position on AGW by CO2 is nowhere accurate nor correct."
Another paper reviewed was by scientist Craig Idso. His paper was listed by Cook as supporting the consensus. He responded, "That is not an accurate representation of my paper ... It would be incorrect to claim that our paper was an endorsement of CO2-induced global warming."
Dr. Craig D. Idso and Dr. Sherwood B. Idso compiled peer-review studies done on CO2 and its benefits. The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment.
Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D. is a recipient of NASA's Exceptional Scientific Award and is bestselling author of "Climate Confusion: How global warming hysteria leads to bad science, pandering politicians and misguided policies that hurt the poor." Dr. Spencer wrote the forward to Paul Driessen Ph.D. "Miracle Molecule, Carbon Dioxide: The Gas of Life." They exclaim rising atmospheric CO2 levels spur forest and crop growth, help plants survive heat and drought, and feed the world.
If it were not for CO2 nearly all life on earth would end. Without this important chemical, heat would escape and the earth would chill.
Dr. Spencer had this to say, "Well, plant physiologists have known for a long time that most vegetation loves more carbon dioxide. It grows faster, is more drought-tolerant, and is more efficient in its water use. While the the pre-industrial CO2 concentration of the atmosphere was only 280 parts per million by volume, and now it is around 380 ppm, some greenhouses pump it all the way up to around 1,000 ppm. How can environmentalist claim that helping vegetation to grow is a bad thing?" And he further states, "still, the main worry has been that the extra CO2 could hurt the growth of plankton,which represents the start of the ocean food chain. But recent research (published on April 18 in Science Express) has shown, contrary to expectations, that one of the most common forms of plankton actually grows faster and bigger when CO2 is pumped into the water. Like vegetation on land, it loves the extra CO2, too."
The U.S. Department of Agriculture researched the effects of CO2 increases on sugarcane. In sunlit greenhouses with CO2 at 720 ppm CO2 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit higher than outside ambient air produced stem juice an amazing 124 percent higher in volume than sugarcane grown at ambient air temperature and 360 ppm carbon dioxide. They concluded that higher temperatures and carbon dioxide uses less water and more efficiently while handling dry spells better and produce more sucrose." There may be more to the global warming alarmists' strategy than meets the eye.
Tim Ball, Ph.D., wrote "The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science." His discipline is climatology. He had this to say: "I watched my chosen discipline-climatology get hijacked and exploited in service of a political agenda, watched people who knew little or nothing enter the fray and watched scientists become involved for political or funding reasons, willing to corrupt science, or, at least, ignore what was really going on."
"An Inconsistent Truth-Global Warming Debunked" is another eye opening job of shredding Al Gore's
scheme. The film explores the science and culture of the global warming movement. Multiple scientist are interviewed and disproves there is no consensus to global warming.
Documentary: The Great Global Warming Swindle shows overwhelming evidence that the chief cause of climate change is is not human activity, but radiation from the sun.
Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Ohio) is the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. While attending the 10th International Conference on Climate Change to speak and receive an award for Political Leadership on Climate Change in early June. He spoke of his thoughts on climate change how he once thought that the U.N. had the experts, until he did his own research.
He found that the burden of the climate con would be roughly $3,000 per year for a family of four.
Georgia's Envirotron, specialized greenhouses that can adjust CO2 levels and other environmental parameters to analyze plant growth. Researchers grew cotton plants. At harvest time the boll weight was 1.6 times heavier at 600 ppm, compared to 400 ppm and 6.3 times heavier at 800 ppm than at 400 ppm.
They experimented with lob lolly pines and found similar results. They determined that plants also would fare well in drought conditions. In flood conditions they found rice species also would do much better in increased CO2 levels.
University of Minnesota scientist found that plant growth rates became less vulnerable to drought as carbon dioxide concentrations increased.
Switzerland researchers examined high altitude alpine plant species that were sensitive to warmer temperatures, and found the plants were proliferating, biodiversity is on the rise. They found most growth had occurred after 1950. "Animal species (including insects,reptiles,amphibians and mammals) habitats, ranges and populations have increased in recent decades, and much of this is due to rising CO2 levels."
The 2009, 2011 and 2014 volumes of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change report, Climate Change Reconsidered, and Dr. Craig Idso's CO2science.org website summarizes hundreds of similar research on forests, grasslands, crops and deserts enriched by CO2.
There are thousands of results listed on http://www.co2science.org/data/plant_growth/plantgrowth.php)
So how is the hoax planners to profit from the deceit of the century? One hundred years a go the Federal Reserve Act went into law and suddenly our money became debauched in favor of a private non audited company.
Similar schemes are planned for CO2. Simply taxing its use. The tax can be turned into derivatives so companies like Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street money trusts can profit from the very breath you exhale. It is called "carbon credits." Every company will be assigned a quota, go over the quota and you pay. As quotas are lowed the credits grow in value.
In June of last year, "cap-and-trade" legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives. When might we get our carbon credit card? What is planned is an annual allowance of carbon you will have allowed to spend on food, travel, energy and any other restriction that might be contrived. It suppresses productivity and increases unemployment. It profits the biofuel makers and will destroy our ecosystem. It is a Ponzi scheme that delights international bankers. The Chicago Climate Exchange is all set to go. Large oil companies are overjoyed. Increase in profits from their oil and even more profits from the increase in value of their portfolio. The nightmare has only begone. The Establishment has many more tricks up their sleeves.
Gene F. Danforth
Last Updated on Thursday, 02 July 2015 07:27