Local police make a difference in Torch Run
To the editor:
Thank you to everyone in the Derry and Londonderry Police Departments who participated in the 2013 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Hampshire.
Together with the Windham, Hudson and Salem Police Departments, New Hampshire State Police Troop B, and area volunteers, they ran the “Flame of Hope” from Salem to Hudson to raise awareness and funds for the athletes of Special Olympics New Hampshire.
We would also like to thank the communities of Derry, Londonderry, Windham, Hudson and Salem for their support of this year’s Law Enforcement Torch Run. Your commitment and dedication to celebrating the accomplishments of the Special Olympics New Hampshire athletes is truly an inspiration. Thank you.
President & CEO
Special Olympics New Hampshire
New bill will protect young campers
To the editor:
One of my most proud moments in my first legislative session is enhancing the protection for our children while they are enjoying New Hampshire’s great camps. By requiring criminal background checks for volunteers and employees at camps, this bill protects our children, our economic engine of tourism, and filling the gap to enforce safety at camps.
We are choosing our children, and putting their well-being first, like it always should. This bill reinforces protecting a family’s most precious resource, their child. It also supports New Hampshire’s image of family and the reassuring that yes, New Hampshire cares about our children. Our most precious resource is our children and this bill protects young campers from those with records of sexual abuse and violent behavior.
The New Hampshire Camp Directors Association supported this bill because state camps want families to know that their children will be protected while under the camp’s care. Nearly all New Hampshire citizens agree that the interest of children should be put first. With the successful passage of HB 295, our goal for protecting young campers from avoidable harm is achieved, and the long term economic benefits of tourism is an added bonus.
Our communities could not thrive without our economic engine of tourism. New Hampshire is blessed with natural beauty and creations — from our majestic mountain ranges, to our forests, and spectacular views with a bountiful variety of recreational pursuits. An average of 34 million visitors enter New Hampshire each year, and they contribute more than $4 billion dollars of revenue to the state; along with providing 62,000 tourism jobs each year. That supports New Hampshire in a very positive way, fed by campers who visit New Hampshire as children. They return throughout their lives for the recreation and tourism of our state that they fell in love with at camp.
We as parents, grandparents and legislators have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the state’s most precious resource, our children. This legislation is an important step in providing necessary protections for our children as they experience a great New Hampshire tradition, summer camp.
Rep. Tom Schamberg
Some say GOP isn’t conservative enough
To the editor:
The GOP (Grand Old Party) is dead, long live the GOP (Greedy Obstructionist Party)! The consensus of political pundits is that Reagan — a collegial guy with a sense of humor, willingness to compromise and a desire to get the job done — could not win a current Republican primary. How can the behaviors that made a man a hero become unacceptable as a governing style?
Sarah Palin and Mark Levin are threatening to leave the GOP and start the Freedom party. Note to the GOP — let them go, everything they do is all about them not the party.
To them the GOP is not conservative enough! Which congress have they been following this past five years? If the intentions, actions and pronouncements of the current congress have not been grossly conservative maybe Webster needs to work on a new definition.
Is there a single term that describes a group: which rejects evolution, compromise/cooperation, balance, getting results and global warming; abhors abortion but opposes sex education and contraception; is anti-education/gays/immigration reform, wants to reduce voting rights/union rights/women’s rights and puts tax reduction for the 1 percent ahead of everything else?
How can a party with these beliefs survive when influential members define already ultra-conservative behavior as abandoning basic party principles? How far right is alright?
If this denial of demographic trends and social values continues to guide the GOP, a new party will emerge, but not the one they expect.
As a political junkie, this scenario is better than an endless cup of coffee, but as a concerned citizen I hate to envision the damage to the country from increased gridlock.
Dave Potter, N. Hampton
There’s no fairy dust from college loan wand
To the editor:
A few days ago, Congresswoman Kuster left a robocall on my answering machine. She wanted me to participate in a telephone town hall about keeping student loan rates artificially low.
It didn’t take her long to drink the water in Washington. She thinks that whatever the problem, Washington can wave a magic wand and the problem will go away. What she and the rest of Washington fail to understand is that each wave of the wand has many consequences, and many of those are unexpected.
Even in the rare cases where the wand wave has the desired effect there are negative consequences elsewhere. Even when it’s as simple as taxing or borrowing to keeps some people’s student loan rates low, there are negative consequences felt by each person who pays increased taxes or each person who might otherwise have invested the money borrowed by the government.
Some 20 or 30 years ago, Washington decided that college education was an unqualified good thing, and that everyone should have one. They established loan and grant programs to make college education affordable and available to everyone. The result was that lots more people went to college.
However, many of them would never benefit from a college education because they were going to end up in a field where their cost of college would not add to their earning power. Then there are the people who drop out when they find that a college education isn’t for them but still have loans that won’t be forgiven. Wouldn’t these people be better off if they’d just gone to work after high school?
Now that the system is in place, and colleges have expanded to bring in more students (and loan money), Washington can’t turn things around. Any discussion of sending fewer people to college is treated as heresy. The education lobby would have the head of any legislator who suggests that universal college education funded by loans guaranteed and subsidized by the taxpayers isn’t a good idea.
So the beat goes on: Kids get into college programs that will never pay off financially, some kids who never should have started drop out of college, then members of both groups find that they can’t pay off the loans that “advisors” told them were a good idea. If I were one of the young people misguided into 15 years of trying to pay college loans while working at a low paying job, I would have a great deal of resentment toward guidance counselors, college admissions departments, and the wand wavers who think they know what’s best for everyone.
Maybe it’s time to talk about the true value of college education. Perhaps we could even talk about how the wand wavers in Washington more often turn out to be “wicked witches” than “fairy godmothers.” The hubris of those who are willing to force their good intentions on all of us has resulted in what was once the greatest country on Earth becoming a nation in debt and decline.
John Lewicke, Mason