My monthly water bill is almost 100% higher than it was in 2012

To The Daily Sun,

More than 300 persons living in Belmont and Bow communities, many of them senior citizens on fixed incomes, face drastic water and sewer cost increases if the New Hampshire PUC approves Abenaki Water Company's current rate request.

As a Abenaki customer living in the former Briarcrest community and only 200 feet from Laconia water and sewer lines, you would think engineers would have linked our water and sewer together and keep the needed revenues here in New Hampshire. No, it is a complicated situation today causing dissatisfied customers, bloated water and sewer rates and revenues being paid to a Connecticut company.

Of course, my wife and I could move back to the Nutmeg State, but that's not going to happen and that wouldn't solve a very complicated problem. Actually, in June 2012 we here in Belmont paid about $43 a month for our water and sewer fees. This month's bill from Abenaki was $84.80 — almost a 100 percent increase.

Having worked as a manager for a responsible and dedicated public service firm in Connecticut several years ago, we were lucky to get a 7 percent service rate increase. Of course, times and conditions have changed, but an accumulated 100 percent jump in your monthly sewer and water bill does call for concern and action by the PUC.

We know there's no easy solution to this clouded water and sewer rate case, but we are heartened to hear that State Senator Andrew Hosmer (who attended our Briarcrest meeting last week) is interested in our plight and plans to pursue this rate increase problem with the PUC. If we are to curb this unfair water and sewer increase, we should urge affected customers and local commercial firms to share our concerns with letters to the editors, contact our state officials and attend PUC meetings.

Hugh Baird

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Thank you everyone who supported us through Toby's battle

To The Daily Sun,

We, the members of the Knowlton family, wanted to thank everyone who has helped support us through Toby's battle with cancer. Thank you to our amazing friends, family and community. We are so grateful.

Toby, Candace, Jackson, Sam & Libby Knowlton


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Days of fully laissez-faire free market economy are long gone

To The Daily Sun,

Mr. (Tony) Boutin is wildly off-base (again) about Bernie Sanders' beliefs. Comparing Greece to the United States is foolish and misleading. Democratic socialism is defined as having a socialist economy in which the means of production are socially and collectively owned or controlled alongside a politically democratic system of government. Whenever Americans work for the common good and keep investing in that program, the results have been tremendous.

I would like to remind Mr. Boutin that the United States has many programs and services that are socialistic. Listed are but a few examples of democratic socialism which are part and parcel of this country: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the American military, police, firefighters, voting, public libraries, public schools, roads (except toll roads), FDA, EPA, publicly owned mass transit systems, public utilities, the one-fifth of hospitals that are publicly owned, government college grants, scholarships and loans.

As for his Greek red herring, I'd like to refer him to the following excerpt from an article by Jake Novak of CNBC:

"Now it's time to put all of that in perspective. The economic woes America has suffered over the past seven years have certainly been serious. A lot of people did lose their homes, their jobs, and much of their savings. Excessive greed and dishonesty played a big role in it all, and I join the millions of Americans who continue to be disappointed that very few bank officials or brokerage house executives were ever indicted let alone put in jail. Of course I'd like to see the politicians who enabled the crisis be punished too, even as the federal government's role (during the Bush/Cheney Administration) in creating the financial crisis gets less of the attention it deserves. But that aside, I'm thankful we did not see widespread chaos in our streets. We did not see people lining up by the thousands outside banks that were limiting withdrawals. The U.S. did get its credit rating lowered, but we never came close to defaulting on our national debt obligations ... what we're seeing in Greece right now is much, much worse than anything that's happened in the U.S. economically since 2008."

I know Mr. Boutin would love to return to the world he worships of a fully laissez-faire free market. You know, the sort of place where 60-hour, seven-day work weeks are common, child labor is the norm, and if you lose your job you have the wonderful freedom to go sell apples on the street corner. And when you retire you can often look forward to the "golden years" of poverty. Good luck if you get sick.

Well those days are gone, and despite Mr. Boutin's fantasies, most people don't want them to ever return.

Bernadette Loesch

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I am hoping my daughter's wedding will be held as scheduled

To The Daily Sun,

I would like to thank Charles Wibel of Wolfeboro and Thomas LeMay of Laconia for their letters supporting Timber Hill Farm in Gilford.

As the mother of a bride, I am hoping that the issues related to hosting events on the farm will be resolved and my daughter's wedding in the beautiful meadow at Timber Hill Farm will be held as scheduled. For my daughter, who has lived in Gilford her entire life, getting married on a farm less than two miles from her childhood home is the ultimate in shopping locally.

I offer my support to the Howe family and I hope the Gilford community will do the same.

Debbie Brady

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Pat Buchanan - Pope's world & the real world

Pope Francis's four-day visit to the United States was by any measure a personal and political triumph. The crowds were immense, and coverage of the Holy Father on television and in the print press swamped the state visit of Xi Jinping, the leader of the world's second-greatest power.

But how enduring, and how relevant, was the pope's celebration of diversity, multiculturalism, inclusiveness, open borders, and a world of forgiveness, peace, harmony and love is another question.

The day the pope departed Philadelphia, 48 percent of Catalonia, in a record turnout of 78 percent, voted to deliver a parliamentary majority to two parties that advocate seceding from Spain. Like the Scots in Britain, the Walloons in Belgium and the Italians of Veneto, they want to live apart, not together.

While the pope called on America and Europe to welcome the migrant millions of the Third World, Bishop Laszlo Kiss-Rigo, whose diocese stretches across the southern reaches of Catholic Hungary, says of those pouring into Europe: "They're not refugees. This is an invasion. They come here with cries of 'Allahu Akbar.' They want to take over."

The bishop hailed Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who denounced any open door: "Everything which is now taking place before our eyes threatens to have explosive consequences for the whole of Europe. We must acknowledge that the European Union's misguided immigration policy is responsible for this situation.

"We shouldn't forget that the people who are coming here grew up in a different religion and represent a completely different culture. Most are not Christian, but Muslim. ... That is an important question, because Europe and European culture have Christian roots."

The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland joined Hungary in voting to reject EU quotas for migrants. Under pressure from her allies in Bavaria, even Angela Merkel is re-imposing border controls.

A backlash against refugees, migrants and asylum seekers from Africa and the Islamic world is sweeping Europe. Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, the strongest anti-EU party in Europe, has called on Paris to ship all migrants back across the Mediterranean.

This was the solution Dwight Eisenhower settled on in "Operation Wetback," when he ordered Gen. Joseph Swing to send the million aliens in Texas illegally back to Mexico in 1954. Swing did as ordered.

Indeed, the call to repatriate the 12 million aliens here illegally has been a propellant behind the candidacy of GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

Behind this rising resistance to illegal and mass migration is human nature — the innate desire of peoples of one tribe or nation, who share a common language, history, faith, culture, traditions and identity, to live together — and to live apart from all the rest.

Such currents are stronger than any written constitutions.

That Global Citizen Festival concert in Central Park Saturday, featuring Beyonce, may have spoken to the globalist beliefs of Barack Obama, whose wife was there, and of the pope, who was flying to Philly. But in the real world, nationalism, not globalism, is ascendant.

Though Gen. David Petraeus claims Vladimir Putin seeks to re-establish the Russian Empire, this misses the point. If Putin sought that, he would by now, 15 years in power, have annexed Belarus and Ukraine, but he has not even annexed the pro-Russian Donbass.

Putin is a nationalist who sees his country as one of the world's great powers and sees himself as protector of Russian peoples everywhere. He believes Moscow should have its own Monroe Doctrine, and that rival powers should not be planting military bases on Russia's doorstep.

Is that so hard for Americans to understand? How did we like having Soviet troops and bases in Castro's Cuba?

China, too, which abandoned the world Communist revolution, is now a nationalistic power that seeks the same dominance of the waters around it — the Yellow Sea and Taiwan Strait, the East and the South China seas — that the United States has had for over a century in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, the Atlantic, and the Pacific from California to the China coast.

The stronger China grows, the more she will push us away, as we pushed the European powers and the Royal Navy out of our hemisphere.

While China is involved in territorial quarrels with Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines, none of her claims represents a threat to U.S. vital interests. Nor does Russia's actions in reclaiming Crimea or in aiding pro-Russian rebels achieve autonomy in East Ukraine.

What is threatened today is the New World Order of Bush I, the "unipolar world" preached by the neocons and Bush II, and the "rules-based" world of Barack Obama.

Russia and China, and other rising powers, are going to play by their rules, the rules of the 19th and early 20th century, the rules by which we Americans became the first power on earth.

America's "red lines" should be set down clearly in front of our vital interests. Then, we should inform our friends and allies that their defense is, first and foremost, their own responsibility.

(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)

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