To The Daily Sun,
It was with interest and amusement that I read about Matthew Murphy's (executive director for Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire) opposition to the exorbitant 4-cent per gallon of gasoline tax increase. Although he did express it as a 23 percent increase in the state's gas tax, his percent number plays to the game of "voodoo math."
For example, a letter to the editor in another local weekly stated, "The increase in the gas tax to 22.2 cents per gallon is completely unreasonable." Note the use of the larger number of the total tax (22.2 cents) and not the low number of the raise (4 cents). Readers may construe the 22.2 cents to be the actual increase in the present tax. "Voodoo math!"
Surprisingly enough the numbers can be manipulated in a myriad of ways, but Mr. Murphy and the letter writer presented the raise as an unreasonable and irresponsible action by a reckless (innuendo: liberal) governor that would devastate the pocketbooks of our citizens. Of course, another way of looking at this would be to calculate the percentage increase based on the actual cost of a gallon of gasoline. (Hmm! 4 cents on a $3.50 per gallon of gasoline becomes a 1.4 percent raise, certainly less than the use of the 23 percent). Or one could consider that this is the first raise in the tax since 1991, which would calculate to a 4 cent increase over 23 years. (Hmm! This calculates to a 0.17 cent increase per gallon per year, and would amount to a raise of 1 cent per gallon over five years).
Since New Hampshire still has the lowest gasoline tax of the New England states and is ranked as 41st lowest in the U.S., the rise of 4 cents per gallon really can't be judged as outrageous, unless one wants to compare the ranking to state aid to education. (Hmm! New Hampshire is 50th and it's not even close to 49th). An estimate (and that is all it can be due to different citizens' driving habits and choices of gas guzzling vehicles) of 18 gallons consumed per week would calculate to be a (Hmm! 4 cents for 18 gallons) 72 cents per week. Okay, double it to 36 gallons because you are behind the wheel a lot, and it then cleans your pockets of $1.44 per week — less than a can of your favorite beverage. The bottom line of $1.44 per week for 52 weeks is $74.88 per year.
The point of this entire dissertation is that the numbers can be manipulated up and down, depending on the use of 23, 22.2, 4, 1.4, or 0.17; and of numbers or percentages. And due to your personal agenda/political persuasion. Yeah, I know, you're not the average, but then again, 'It's the singer, not the song!"
Frank M. Weeks
Gilmanton Iron Works
Last Updated on Monday, 07 July 2014 10:14
To The Daily Sun,
When an industrial wind company representative comments about only seeing the same familiar faces at meetings of concerned citizens and when a corporate lawyer for an industrial wind company mentions personal lawsuits possibly occurring against individual town officials when supporting opinions of their constituents, is it time to up the ante?
When five towns vote "no" to big wind projects in their region, is that a strong enough statement for Big Wind to get the message that they should not come to our towns?
When, additionally, four towns vote for Rights Based Ordinances against wind industry in their towns, is that enough for Big Wind to get the message?
When the AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club), SPNHF (Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests), LRCT (Lakes Region Land Trust), NLRA (Newfound Lake Region Association), regional summer camps, business groups and tourist-based businesses all express their continued support for opposition by the towns to Big Wind, is that enough to be heard?
When New Hampshire state legislators, over the past two years, created bills and measures to look at the fine-tuning of industrial wind project siting and the structure of state Site Evaluation Committee, is that enough?
Big Wind industry still won't listen, and is in denial about the winds of change in these five New Hampshire towns and the surrounding region. Be prepared.
Hundreds of people feel the need to express their outrage in person, because the wind industry won't listen. Threats to local officials about lawsuits do not sit well with voters. The importance of our rural way of life, and the quiet beauty contained here, matters. The clarity of our streams and lakes, the overall health of our wildlife and human population, the aesthetics and the attraction of this area to tourists is far more important to voters in our region than the dollars going out of state in the form of electricity not needed for New Hampshire consumption, and far far more important than our state resources being used to go out of the country as profits for a Portuguese company.
Enough already. We shall be heard.
Last Updated on Monday, 07 July 2014 10:07
To The Daily Sun,
I recently moved to Laconia from a city more than twice its size and I have enjoyed every minute here. The Lakes Region is a beautiful place, with so many outdoor opportunities and everyone I have met has been so welcoming. This really is a great place to live.
The article you published on July 2nd about the community of Cleveland Place coming together to support their neighbors, the Thayers, after the loss of their vehicles in a fire was inspirational and heartwarming. It's so wonderful to live in a place where neighbors go above and beyond to support each other in times of struggle.
After living in a city filled with crime and violence for most of my life, it is truly wonderful to see this article the front page of the Laconia Daily Sun. It instills hope that there are still good people in the world. And I am blessed to be living in a community with them.
Last Updated on Monday, 07 July 2014 10:02
To The Daily Sun,
I used to think that death and taxes were the only certainties in life but I will add a third: "We all pay for our ignorance."
Most consumers of retail goods and services shop around for the best bargains — especially during these troubled times. The ignorant theory applies not only to goods and services but to religion and politics as well. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to the "ignorant theory." They are constantly being bombarded with one scam or another either by phone or the internet.
Recently, one of our fringe contributors (and I assume a senior citizen) wrote a perfect example of non-critical thinking in which he exhorted everyone to send in their hard earned cash to an organization known as the ACLJ. Just one quote from his piece will suffice: "Jay Sekulow, who is the head of this terrific 'non-profit' (my quotes) organization is a true warrior for liberty."
He is referring of course to the organization known as the American Center for Law and Justice founded by Pat Robertson (remember the "700 Club") and Jay Sekulow, the head counsel for this Christian 'non-profit' organization — although he manages to live like Louis XIV and stacks his board with family and relatives.
Giving money to this organization is like sending money to Jenny Beth Martin (co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots) or James Sokolove who needs no introduction. If you're watching your pennies you might want to be a bit more discerning when it comes to giving your money away. It's always a good idea to check them out first.
Just a friendly tip from your uncle Louie.
Last Updated on Monday, 07 July 2014 10:00
To The Daily Sun,
I had to take this opportunity to write in regards to the article in Saturday, July 5's, paper regarding the Housing Authority will no longer be subsidizing cable TV for its tenants. I did not know this was being done and that the tenants only had to pay $20 for expanded basic service. They are now upset that they will have to pay out $35.95 for just basic or $76.95 to keep the expanded basic.
All I can say is, welcome to the real world.
I work 40 hours a week and cannot afford expanded basic cable. I love all the channels that expanded basic cable offers, but MetroCast is pricing itself way out of the reach of the "common" TV viewer. They do offer a little black box that is free and does offer a few upper channels not included in the price of the basic cable price.
I have also invested $7 a month for NETFLIX which is a good alternative.
Last Updated on Monday, 07 July 2014 09:53