FairPoint-Verizon deal good for N.H.

To the editor:

Every summer, the Business and Industry Association engages in policy development roundtable discussions with business and opinion leaders in 14 locations throughout the state. And every summer, particularly in the Monadnock Region, Upper Valley and North Country, many roundtable participants express their frustration over lack of high-speed telecommunications infrastructure. In the global economy in which we all compete, this lack of high-speed access dampens economic development in these regions of the state, especially with potential high-tech companies where instant online communication is an absolute requirement.

FairPoint Communications’ pending acquisition of Verizon’s land-line assets will help alleviate those frustrations. It will lead to expansion of our state’s broadband infrastructure in underserved areas throughout New Hampshire, and result in the creation of new jobs. Specifically, if approved by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, the transaction will result in:

$13.6 million in expanded broadband service in nearly 20 communities that will receive high-speed communications for the first time and another 47 that will benefit from expanded high-speed communications.

250 new technical and administrative jobs (with strong wages and full benefits) in New Hampshire.

Current Verizon employees being retained with current pay and benefits.

Three new local service centers being created in the region to enhance customer service.

FairPoint is already established in Northern New England, providing service via 64,000 access lines. Ninety-two percent of FairPoint’s current customers in the region have access to the company’s broadband service. With the company’s successful history of providing advanced telecommunications to small urban and rural areas, such as we have in New Hampshire, the company is well suited to serving our business and residential residents.

The Business and Industry Association, New Hampshire’s state chamber of commerce and leading business advocate, believes in the sanctity of contracts between private parties. Barring some unforeseen concern identified by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, this deal should be approved because it is good for New Hampshire and Northern New England.

Jim Roche

President and CEO of the Business and Industry Association


Remember soldiers over the holidays

To the editor:

When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:

A Recovering American Soldier

c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center

6900 Georgia Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20307-5001

If you approve of the idea, please pass it on to your friends.

How blest we are to have so many of our citizens willing to serve our nation in its time of need. God Bless Our Soldiers!

Bob Letourneau


Did you know?

To the editor:

Did you know that the Abramoff scandal directly touched New Hampshire?

Did you know that two of the Native American tribes that Abramoff represented (Cahuilla and Choctaw) each sent $5,000 to the Republican Party in New Hampshire the week of the telephone jamming scandal?

Did you know that three men were convicted (one of them a high level officer of the Republican Party in New Hampshire) because of their involvement?

Did you know the Republican Party has yet to submit restitution for this money?

I didn’t know | and quite truthfully, I never would have believed it.

Isn’t it time we had honesty and justice here in New Hampshire?

Senator Sununu | did you know any of this? If not, why not?

If you did, then we have an even bigger problem on our hands. The New Hampshire citizens have a right to know what you and your party are going to do about this.

Pam Jorgensen


A heartfelt 'thank you'

To the editor:

On Oct. 15, 2007, my wife, Marcia, a teacher at Londonderry Middle School and girls cross country assistant coach, was seriously injured during cross country practice. She has not been back to work as of this writing, but things are looking up medically. She is feeling better and with continued treatment, I hope she will recover fully.

I am writing this letter to express my extreme gratitude for the concern, care and help that the Londonderry Middle School community has shown my family. Thank you to the students, XC team, teachers, parents and administrators for all they have done.

The list of things that have been done is too long to include. A special thanks to Meghan Powers, LHS athletic trainer, who was first on the scene.

I have always felt that there is good and good people in the world, but we just don’t see it as often as the bad things that go on. Superman isn’t visible until you need him. On behalf of myself and my sons, Anthony and Nicholas, I would like to say thank you to the LMS community for taking off your glasses and suit, and flying to the rescue.

The Londonderry School Department should be proud of its middle school administration, teachers, parents and students.

Michael Salvatore


Bring on economic success

To the editor:

We have heard so much discussion about economic development. This is really a good discussion item at all levels of public and private organizations. It is about time we bring together Town, DEDC, Chamber (of Commerce), and DHRA to jointly discuss developing a bigger economic engine in Derry. These meetings will achieve a higher positive sense and level of activity of economic development. What would you define as economic development success?

What do you call economic development successes? Bringing $20 million dollars of taxable commercial property, adding 300 new jobs to Derry, listening and assisting businesses daily, marketing Derry to prospective businesses, administering a lending program for new businesses, introducing businessmen to each other, networking, expanding commercial properties, reviewing zoning laws and unlisted properties to increase responsible commercial and residential development, building a team of business people to carry out the economic development business of Derry, finding available land and matching it to prospects, finding the needs of local businesses, encouraging businesses into Derry, introducing businesses to the planning and permitting processes and officials in Derry, and increasing visitors and commerce by bringing destination businesses into Derry.

Well, that was a long list. What every citizen of Derry should know is that has been the success list of the Derry Economic Development Corporation. It is also why many of Derry’s most successful businesspeople are on the board. It is a positive success and an organization to enable businesspeople to volunteer their skills back to our community.

Yes | read the above list again. In our short history, the DEDC has achieved this and more. Jack Dowd is a huge factor in our success. The DEDC is already geared up and serving as the town’s economic development leader.

In 1991, the DEDC was formed. It was an out-of-the-box concept. It was a way to privatize a critical need in Derry. It was formed by businesspeople and town leaders who wanted to slow the pace of the tax rate increases due to the over-development of residential properties.

When it comes to economic development, you can wait for your municipality to do it, or as the DEDC founders did | just do it! We all knew that a private concern could be a bigger success, and have the respect of business leaders and prospects above a public oversight director.

It is interesting to see how many groups and individuals in Derry, who are against the town in control of every portion of our lives, to be against a very successful private/public partnership as in the case of the DEDC. Others will write letters about the controversy of the DEDC, but none of them can refute our record of economic development. Each and every week, Jack Dowd and the board of the DEDC spend over 80 hours in the details of Derry’s economic development.

Many councilors and town administrators of Derry, including Gary Stenhouse, see the success of the DEDC and agree we must remain in place to service Derry. How do we improve on success?

First set common goals to achieve a higher rate of development. As president of the DEDC, I have been asking for this to occur for the last 12 months. Second | set expectations and responsibilities to each party involved in this private/public partnership. Third | track the successes, fine tune activities, and correct the things that go wrong. These are the current discussions at the economic round table which is in progress.

It makes no sense for the editor of the Derry News to say, “let’s not lose sight of the goal | to shift the responsibility for economic development from the private DEDC to an in-house development director.”

Is that really the only goal? I hope not. That is a goal into the path of slower economic growth | putting all power in charge of the town. That rarely works | a successful public/private partnership is much stronger.

The councilor who talks the most about economic development, Brent Carney, has done less than nothing but say | let’s spend more taxpayer money and hire a $120,000 position. Is that really the only thing to do? That would achieve little for Derry, since the DEDC has already been a success.

In the absence of the town doing little for economic development, at least each and every day the DEDC is at work bringing jobs, new taxable properties, a better workforce, and better standard of living to Derry.

Joel Olbricht


Sununu must fess up in 'phonegate' scandal

To the editor:

Sen. John Sununu has a mess on his hands. Wishing and hoping won't make 'phonegate' go away.

Back in 2002 on Election Day, the New Hampshire Republican Party illegally hired a telemarketing firm to jam the phone lines at the local firefighter's union office and campaign offices belonging to the New Hampshire Democratic Party. The Republican Party succeeded in blocking all phone communication to and from get-out-the-vote offices from the time the polls opened until after the morning rush hour.

That evening, John Sununu won a narrow victory over Jeanne Shaheen in one of the most hotly-contested elections in the country.

Three of the men involved in the phone-jamming pled guilty to felonies; two of them went to jail, including the executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party. A fourth man | a senior official from the Republican National Committee who helped facilitate the crime | was convicted as well, but his conviction was overturned on appeal after the RNC spent $3 million defending him.

This mess has gone on too long! We need a full congressional investigation into the 2002 phone-jamming scandal and we, his constituents, need Sen. John Sununu to testify in that investigation, and tell us once and for all what he knew and when he knew it. Fess up, John!

Laura Aronson


Truth stands unadded

To the editor:

"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself." | Thomas Jefferson (Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 17, 1781).

John Burtis


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