DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

November 29, 2012

Letters to the editor


Derry News

---- — Thanks for supporting me as county attorney

To the editor:

I want to thank the citizens of Rockingham County for choosing me to lead the county attorney’s office for the 8th term. It humbles me to realize that the public has entrusted me to protect the public safety, while trying to ensure that the criminal justice system in Rockingham County produces justice.

At the same time I appreciate the recognition of the tremendous progress that has been made at the county attorney’s office.

We have recently installed a new statewide database system that was entirely funded by a federal grant. This improvement will bring the county attorney’s office into the 21st century and position the office to be ready to comply with the JOne system for the entire criminal justice system.

I am proud that the Rockingham Chiefs Association endorsed me again this year. I am grateful for the partnership that we have formed and credit that partnership with the success that I have had. I look forward to continuing to serve the best interests of the citizens of Rockingham County and continuing to build the best prosecution office in the state.

Thanks again for your support.

Jim Reams

Hampton

Thanks for help with food drive

To the editor:

Thanks to all that participated in Scouting for Food recently. In Londonderry we collected, sorted, and packed 123 boxes of food exceeding last year’s total.

Half of the proceeds were received by St. Jude’s Food Pantry, while the other half will be distributed by the town to needy residents in time for Thanksgiving.

Brian D. Williams

Londonderry

Republicans should end war on drugs

To the editor:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, columnist Charles Krauthammer and others have suggested changes that they believe will lead to GOP victories in the future. I have one, too.

Stop the war on drugs. It has targeted black people and those in poverty, has made it harder for those convicted to find jobs once convicted of drug-related offenses, and has encouraged single-mother families without even a chance of receiving alimony.

The stereotype of a drug user is a black man. Here is some New York University information about the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisks.

In 2003, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 160,851 times:

140,442 were totally innocent (87 percent).

77,704 were black (54 percent).

44,581 were Latino (31 percent).

17623 were white (12 percent).

83,499 were aged 14-24 (55 percent).

The number of stop-and-frisks increased. The attention to whites has decreased; the attention to minorities has increased. The accuracy has decreased.

In 2011, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 685,724 times:

605,328 were totally innocent (88 percent).

350,743 were black (53 percent).

223,740 were Latino (34 percent).

61,805 were white (9 percent).

341,581 were aged 14-24 (51 percent).

Comparing these two years, we see that the profiling (guessing) about whom should be stopped worsened from 13 percent correct to 12 percent correct. Blacks represented 54 percent of the stop-and-frisks before, down to 53 percent now. Latinos went up from 31 percent to 34 percent. Whites are being chosen for fewer, down from 12 percent to 9 percent.

The GOP would have a competitive advantage among the minority groups with a change in perspective on the war on drugs. The issue of legalization needs to stop being seen as the movement of drug addicts and college kids looking for a good time. It is a civil rights issue, and it is damaging our country. More and more people are being put on prison welfare. The prison population is heavily skewed against minorities. About 35 percent of the jailed and imprisoned population is black, even though they make up only about 12.5 percent of the entire population. And what do you know? The poverty rate for blacks is also 35 percent.

The Democrats claim to be the party of the people because they want bigger government programs, but they are also throwing people into jail for drug crimes. This has been a bipartisan effort since the 1980s. What a chance to take the right side of the issue and play it for all it’s worth!

Conservatives should be able to get behind this, and the poor among us should also be able to support this wholeheartedly. Those who are concerned about the increase of those dependent on government handouts ought to consider what happens when a person is sent to prison for a drug “crime.” They are supported by taxpayer dollars, and it is much more expensive to support them in jail or prison than by just putting them on welfare. We should consider how much money we could save if we took them off government handouts — jail and prison handouts!

Let us be the party of freedom — from jail!

Jonathan Meadows

Raymond

Republicans’ tired ideas lost the election

To the editor:

Attention, Republicans! It was not Hurricane Sandy and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie that defeated Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. It was not government gifts. It was not a solar flare. It was most certainly not black helicopters that dropped “urban voters” into rural districts to steal the election.

Simply put, Romney and Ryan lost because they and their ideas did not appeal to a majority of voters and they insulted the intelligence of the American people with too many lies, egregious attempts to disenfranchise voters and just plain stupid statements.

The Republican Party is wrong on several fundamental assumptions. In fact, average Americans want a separation of church and state, the basic concept of “fairness” does motivate voters, most people disagree with their beliefs that individualism trumps community and that government is always a problem and never a help. After the disasters of deregulation and the crash of 2008, voters do not accept that private enterprise, if only left alone, will do what is best for everyone, every time.

If the Republicans continue to pursue a political strategy defined by self-hypnosis, hyperbole, hypocrisy, hysteria and hyper-partisanship, it will cost them more Congressional seats in 2014.

A party that lives in a bubble will become the party that ends up in rubble.

Dave Potter

North Hampton

Thanks to volunteers on food drive

To the editor:

How does one say thank you? The Salem community and the Scouts did it again! The Scouts and their parents worked very hard and helped fill the pantry shelves. The Salem Fire Department allowed the use of their building on Main Street for sorting.

Sally Perkins and all the volunteers at the Food for the Hungry Food Pantry want to express our appreciation to all who were involved in this endeavor. The food pantry is a mission of the Pleasant Street United Methodist Church and 66 of our clients were given a turkey and all the fixings for Thanksgiving. These food drives need volunteers to pack and sort the food. Bless you. You show up, year after year. How could we do it without you?

Our thanks to Marilyn Campbell owner of the Scottish Highlands Golf Course. Each year, Marilyn allows golfers to play golf for free, provided that they bring a turkey or the price of one. This remarkable woman and the golfers have been doing this for 14 years. In that time,they have donated $4,135.00 in cash, 20,894 pounds of turkey (1,431 turkeys). This year they provided 131 turkeys. Our thanks also go to the 15,014 golfers who have made this happen over the last 14 years. Bless you, one and all. You certainly are “your brother’s keeper.”

Catherine Panciocco

Salem