To The Daily Sun,
I oppose the three traffic circle proposal for Meredith because it doesn't solve our congestion problem. It slows down traffic, and you don't solve a congestion problem by slowing down traffic. You solve a congestion problem by eliminating and/or speeding up traffic.
Several writers, Miller Lovett, Rosemary Landry, Marc Abear, Lou Kahn, David L. Bennett, and others, have provided useful suggestions, information, and comments.
You eliminate traffic by providing bypassing Meredith as Lovett suggested, e.g., from Route 104 to Center Harbor via Winona Road (or even Hatch Corners Road) to Waukewan Road to U.S Route 3 to Route 25-B. We could start reducing traffic through Meredith today by identifying this bypass. (Yes, improvements to this route would be helpful.)
The fact that a Meredith bypass would not be funded by the state or federal governments is another example of government mismanagement. Government willingly throws money at problems but not real solutions. It's crazy to fund a poor or non-solution when we keep hearing about failing roads and bridges. Government waste like this happens repeatedly (e.g., education, welfare, job retraining programs) and explains why our nation is deeply in debt and why problems don't get solved.
You speed up traffic by eliminating the things that slow traffic, i.e., pedestrians, stop light delays, and left turn delays.
As Bennett suggests, you eliminate pedestrian caused delays by providing overpasses to eliminate pedestrian crossings. (I doubt that the medians in the three circle proposal would help much, but the idea could be tested next summer by use of temporary barriers between the traffic lanes.)
You reduce left-turn delays by eliminating left turns that slow the congested traffic. Signs could be posted to start eliminating these delays today. (The current proposal eliminates some left turns.)
Left turns from Route 3 northbound in the congested area should be eliminated everywhere unless there is a left-turn lane or a stop light. All left turns into Route 3 northbound in the congested area should be eliminated. Traffic can enter at, or north of, the intersection with Route 25.
On Fridays during the summer, left turns from Route 3 southbound onto Route 25 eastbound should be eliminated or the traffic signal could be programmed to delay these turns for several cycles to allow Route 3 northbound traffic to continue mostly unimpeded. A northern bypass from Route 3 North of downtown to Route 25 should also be considered, perhaps an extension of Greemore Road.
Things could be done today inexpensively to help relieve Meredith's congestion problem.
Every citizen and every community can help provide better government by demanding solutions that actually solve problems and by rejecting even "free money" that doesn't actually solve problems.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 11:07
To The Daily Sun,
First off, I want to thank The Daily Sun for publishing so many letters from local writers who offer their views and opinions for debate. Reading them is always a high point of my day.
When someone submits an opinion, they must expect opposing points of view to follow. That is called a civil conversation. When someone resorts to calling another writer ignorant or some other ridicule, that might pass for debate in the third grade, but is not worthy of a gentleman. Still, one must consider the source and in a small town like Tilton, one's past soon catches up with them.
When someone who is prone to committing acts of disorderly conduct in life displays this behavior on these pages, I just consider the source of the attack and brush it off. My observation of "In God we trust" on our money did indeed inspire a great deal of debate and provided an opportunity for all of us to learn something about American history.
When some jackass bully tells you to shut up because you are stupid, you can bet that you have hit a nerve for which that person has no real answer to. For myself, I can only question why that short motto would so enrage anybody. We are so lucky to be living in the age of information, when anything you wish to study about is available instantly online.
Of course, along with the facts comes plenty of misinformation as well. However, when a letter writer cautions you not to watch Fox News, not to watch MSNBC, not to read certain newspapers or whatever, it tells me that this person is not serious about finding the truth. It is past time for us Americans to see the reality that we are considered to be infidels by a billion Muslims in this world, and who would not lift a finger to help us in the next world war. They don't care if you believe in God or not. That is the fact we face, and everything else is just a smokescreen.
It is time now for each and every one of us to decide which side you are on and behave accordingly if you want to survive.
I welcome the hate mail that will surely follow.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:41
To The Daily Sun,
Another week of right vs left in The Daily Sun but nothing on Keystone this week. The GOP has made it its No. 1 issue this year for reasons that are beyond me. One CNN study reports about 3,900 temporary and 35 permanent jobs and no oil for the USA. What is the point? Somebody must be ready to make an enormous amount of cash if the pipeline is built. Is there more to this than meets the eye? Possibly something else in the ground that only a few know about.
Then again, the money spent doing future clean-ups probably will surpass the cash spent completely this pipeline. Just heard about an Alaska spill from 20 or so years ago that is isn't cleaned up. The Yellowstone spill from 2011 is still being cleaned up and now we have another larger spill this week that affects about 240 miles. In the long run, we as the end user, will pay for all of it. Is this really worth it?
On Tuesday Mr. Siden writes about Mr. Demakowski, who is fueling the GOP paranoia strain of death panels run by liberals. So beware of all liberals because if you are sick they will put you on the list. However, we have the ACA and they will help you get healthy and back on your feet again. On Wednesday Mr. Demakowski answers by defending his stance because liberals are not pro-life but are anti-God due to their stance on women's rights. I'm always amazed how the GOP feels it should decide what rights women should or shouldn't have.
Benghazi is back in the news and I often wonder why it isn't mentioned that a Bush prisoner who was released from Gitmo is suspected of being in on the attacks there. Bush released more than 500 from 2007 to 2009, and one was Abu Sufian bin Qumu who is also suspected in being involved in 911. If he was released under Obama Issa would still be screaming.
I think Mr. Wiles might have missed a few things Obama's done since being elected twice to be our president. The economy is better than it was, two wars were stopped and many American lives are out of harms way. A few bad guys are dead in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and in the Middle East. But if you're a neocon like most of Fox News pundits and GOP politicians just maybe we can keep the 1 percent of our citizens who represent our military out of the line of fire. Gitmo is costing us over $5 million per prisoner per year. We have a country that is falling apart at the seams with a GOP Congress that refuses to invest in it. But the worse part is that we are talking/arguing about an election that won't happen for 2 more years and I think we have better things to worry about NOW.
But then again as most of the GOP would like we can always talk about anything and everything but the current problems at hand. The GOP has no plans or ideas for the future only complaints of the past. The only agenda they have seems to be undoing past accomplishments and laws. The campaigns have started and promises have been promised but only to get your vote. But if elected, these will be forgotten faster than a blink of your eye. They will be for it then against it or vice versa. Getting your vote is the only thing that will matter the next two years. They will do this in a couple of ways. One way is promise anything. The other is a bit harder. That will be to deny people the right to vote. They have started and will continue tearing apart voting rights however and where ever they can. It will be a difficult two years of deception and lies.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:36
To The Daily Sun,
The question for Belknap Mill Society members is: "Do you want to assure the future of the Society and are you willing to get involved to shape that future?"
The trustees of the Belknap Mill Society have been attempting to sell the Belknap Mill since mid-2014 without first consulting the Society members. Finally, in response to a request by the Laconia City Council, the trustees scheduled a meeting held at 7:30 a.m. on Jan 14 for the purpose of defending their actions to Society members and to solicit input from Society members. The trustees said they would review the input by the Society members and respond at the February annual meeting of the Society.
The root problem with the Society is that we have no plan for sustainable operation of the mill. We need a 1-year plan to prevent bankruptcy in 2015 (the Society is presently insolvent), a 2-year plan to bring the Society back to solvency, and a 5-year plan to achieve financial sustainability. The "Sell the Mill" approach is warped. Advocates state that the proceeds of the sale could be used for the operation of the Society — which is true to a point — but the Society will eventually use up that money, and then what? Selling the mill building is only a stopgap effort. Also, it's problematic if the mill can find a buyer since there is a toxic-pill in the easements that stipulates that the first and third floors be accessible to the public and the power house must be left intact. This toxic-pill would seem to make the city or the county the only potential buyers, which then makes it a political issue. We must develop a plan for sustainability — nothing else makes sense. And yet the trustees, by their own admission, have been, and will continue to ignore, planning-for-sustainability until the mill gets sold. Had we planned for sustainability two or three years ago, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in today.
I left the Jan. 14 meeting feeling that, despite the many thoughtful and capable Society members who attended the meeting (I counted four Society past-presidents), the trustees will follow the same-old path. Why do I feel this way? Well, the meeting was forced on the trustees by the Laconia City Council in order to get the council to consider their request for financial-aid to the mill, and the meeting was organized to placate the council's request, not as a working meeting to address the real issues. 7:30 a.m. is not a convenient time for most people, and limiting the meeting to one hour and cutting off comments from people who wanted to contribute is not being receptive to member's concerns. At the meeting, the trustees only reluctantly agreed to allow Society members (who, incidentally elect the trustees) to attend trustee meetings. I say that "members elect the trustees", but, In fact, no annual meeting for elections was held last year, and therefore no vote was taken on Trustees — a clear violation of the Society by-laws, and yet another instance of the unconcern by the trustees for the members.
I think it was a revelation to most attendees that the mill borrowed $50K against a lien on the building last year in order to avoid bankruptcy. We will, apparently, use up that $50K sometime in May. It's unlikely that the mill will be sold and the proceeds available by May, so the Society will again be faced with either bankruptcy or borrowing more money. Actually, borrowing money against a lien on the building is selling it piece-by-piece. To that extent, we've already sold $50K of the mill.
The Society has no vision for the mill's future, and no plan for sustainability, and is not working on either. It appears that if Society members want to sustain the mill's operation, they will have to invoke change. That change need take the form of directing the trustees to produce a plan for sustainability – if the trustees are not supportive of attaining sustainability, it won't happen. The present board is not only locked into selling the mill to the city as their only plan, but, in my opinion, do not have the knowledge or experience to prepare and execute future planning. In 2012, the mill purchased a "plan" from an outside consulting firm, an admission that the trustees were incapable of planning. The trustees now say the plan they paid for is of little or no value. Actually, although it was called a "plan", it was really a "road-map" that required planning and execution to implement, planning and execution which never happened.
In addition to directing the trustees to develop a sustainability plan, the members must be willing to lend their own time and skills. A mechanism for doing this would be to create a development committee made up of two members of the trustees, the managing director, and four-or-five non-trustee members of the Society who are versed in planning and fund-raising and are willing to contribute concerted effort to turn-around the mill's financial situation. In addition, the mill needs a volunteer group who can staff fund-raising activities that become a part of the plan.
I believe that if the Society members do not take action at the annual meeting in February, it will be too late to save the Society, which would mean putting at risk programs such as the fourth grade program, Arts Alive, and the summer concerts, as well as any future programs that the Society might develop. I believe these programs are worth saving. Do you? Society members, are you willing to get involved to shape the future of the Belknap Mill Society?
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:33
To The Daily Sun,
House Bill 194, which is currently under consideration in the New Hampshire House, provides that life begins at conception. The bill would give full protection of the law to all fertilized eggs. It would ban all abortions, with no exceptions, as well as indirectly impacting thousands of wide-ranging laws, from the provision of Social Security benefits and how wills are administered, to infertility treatment and contraceptive options, to name just a few. The bill states that it should "not be construed to authorize the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child," although lead sponsor of the bill, Representative J.R. Hoell (Merrimack, District 23) stated during the hearing of the bill on Jan. 23 that he would be pleased should this bill lead to criminalization of abortion in the future.
During the break I asked Rep. Hoell why he would sponsor a bill that would, for example, prevent women with ectopic pregnancy from receiving potentially life-saving care. His first response was that such cases would be exempted in this bill. I pointed out that this was not the case, to which he replied that he would support such an exemption in follow-on legislation.
I am not a lawyer. I am a recently retired reproductive health epidemiologist, but even I know that our country is founded on the principle of rule of law and that how a law is written matters. Commas matter. A bill as poorly written as HB-194 is so inadequate that it does not merit the time that the committee and representatives of concerned organizations have spent in deliberation. For this reason, in addition to my personal opposition to legislation that would limit a woman's decision-making power regarding her own health.
I strongly urge citizens to contact their own representatives and members of the House Judiciary Committee to oppose forwarding this bill to the state House floor.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 10:13