Larry Day: Congressional change ship already sailed

To the editor:
The fact I have to explain to a grown man with a fully developed brain why most of the congressional incumbents were re-elected is just annoying and probably fruitless since he appears to still be in a catatonic state of denial under the spell of the clown prince of D.C.  
The congressional change ship sailed a long time ago. Actual hope and change was already historically done in the mid-terms which is why most incumbents got re-elected this time around.
After 2014, this was President Barack Obama’s damage: Democrats lost 13 U.S. Senate seats, 69 House seats, 11 governorships, 30 state legislative chambers and 913 state legislative seats during his tenure!
We, the people, thought we would get real radical change by doing all this since Congress makes the laws and the president executes them, but then King Obama decided to go it alone with his pen and phone. Fast forward to 2016 and the people’s only recourse now was the presidency, which is why Trump got elected.
I guess Robert C. Sawyer was too busy kissing Obama’s arrogant behind to notice the obvious. Also, if I hear the popular vote thing again, my head is going to explode. First, Trump won about 2,600 counties, Hillary about 500. That’s telling.
She lost almost every battleground state despite having spent way more money and having 95 percent of the media behind her. That’s telling. Also, he would have campaigned differently if it was by popular vote. He would never leave Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, but you just can’t let three or four cities dictate policy to an entire country.
How the framers of this process knew this over 200 years ago is beyond me. Being a sports guy, I equate the popular vote to a football game; sometimes the team that gains the most yardage doesn’t win. Hillary gained the most yards, but she couldn’t put the football in the end zone at the critical time and moments, playing by the electoral rules of the game. Maybe that’s why the Cleveland Browns and Democrats now want to change the rules.       
Larry Day      
North Conway

  • Category: Letters

Marion Brine: Absentee ballots for Fryeburg voting available soon

To Fryeburg registered voters:

As all of you may know, we have an election on Jan. 10, 2017, to fill the seat vacated by the third selectmen Jeff Cox on July 2016.

I am posting this to notify you all that the absentee ballots will be available on Dec. 8 (mark your calendar) at the Fryeburg Town  Office (207-935-2805). Please call to have one mailed to you (if you are wintering in the south), stop by office and do one or call and have one mailed to you and be sure to have it back to the town office by Dec. 30 (also mark your calendar for this) to make sure that it gets counted on Jan. 10.

I urge everyone to make your voice heard and vote, as this should have been done in September (but an oversight was made on posting the warrant) or on Nov. 8 ballot, but our two selectmen did not see fit to do so.

This forced me to do a petition and, with the help of five very concerned citizens of Fryeburg, we made it happen!

So, I urge all registered voters of Fryeburg to join us in making this a great turnout of voters and stand up for our town, showing them that they work for us and our voices do count!

Also, there will be another item on the ballot and keep an eye out for an letter by Holly Foster explaining what her petition was for, if you already haven’t read it.

Marion Brine

Fryeburg, Maine

  • Category: Letters

Michael Wejchert: A building too far in the White Mountains

To the editor:

On a mountain pocked with buildings, it is difficult to decide where, if anywhere, to draw the line. Mount Washington is not a “wild place.” On a busy summer day, thousands of people visit the summit. People bounce down on pogo sticks, drive up in snow cats, take trains and helicopters and cars and motorcycles to the summit.

In the wintertime, jean-clad city slickers swarm into Tuckerman Ravine to blast music, somersault down the headwall on skis and drink beers on the porch of one of Mount Washington’s many structures.

Amid the chaos, though, resides another mountain entirely.  I distinctly remember, at age 15, topping out on a wind-scoured Alpine Garden after climbing Yale Gully.  Clouds, as they usually do, obscured the summit, and for a moment, as I slumped down in the snow, gaiters ripped, Daschein mitts soaking wet, helmet cocked to one side of my teenage head, I sat and stubbornly decided that mountain climbing was what I would do with my life.  So now, when I top out on Huntington Ravine, 15 years later, I still think of that.  I’ve climbed mountains in places I’d only dreamed of, with men and women I’d only read about in books.

For me — and I suspect, for many others — our civilized little mountain has led us to many greater ones, has driven people towards resourcefulness and conservation, has engendered for many a sense of what the wilds of the world truly are.

The irony about seeking profit from building in a beautiful place — which is what the Cog Railway aims to do, with a 35 room hotel halfway up its tracks on the western side of the mountain — is that, with enough infrastructure, the place ceases to be beautiful. It loses the very draw the Cog wishes to further exploit.

I am aware — painfully aware — that Mount Washington has buildings already.  But most of them have existed in one form or another for 50 or more years. To consider building another one is to travel backwards in mindset. The theme of 2016 seems to be a painful reversion into a more destructive time, and there are certainly injustices occurring in our country that render this one insignificant, but if we can’t protect ideas and places on a local level, how can we expect to do so on a national one?

Is the Cog Railway so uncreative it needs to reach back to an antiquated idea to turn a profit? Do they plan to educate their guests about the fragile alpine environment outside of their 99-foot-wide swath of land?

New Englanders, unlike people in the Cascades or Colorado, don’t have another set of mountains they can turn to when one becomes overcrowded or too popular.  We have buildings enough. Please don’t add any more.

Michael Wejchert

Jackson

  • Category: Letters

John K. Scarinza: Coos planning board committed to hearing from public

To the editor:

As a result of several news articles in the last several days, and the subsequent questions that have arisen as to the “status” of a “proposed” hotel on Mount Washington by the Mount Washington Railway Company, as chairman of the Coos County Planning Board I wanted to take an opportunity to address some of the questions and to inform the public of the purpose of the upcoming meeting and to provide some guidance for folks to review and consider going forward.

The purpose of the agenda item to be presented by Wayne Presby on Thursday, is for a preliminary consultation and review as provided for in the Site Plan Review Regulations of the Coos County Planning Board which states:

“B. Preliminary Consultation and Review

“1. The applicant may appear at a regular meeting of the planning board to discuss a proposal in conceptual form and in general terms. Such preliminary consultation shall be informal and directed toward:

“a. Reviewing the basic concepts of the proposal;

“b. Reviewing the proposal with regard to the county’s master plan, zoning ordinances, the subdivision regulations and;

“c. Guiding the applicant relative to necessary state and local requirements.

“2. Preliminary consultation and review shall not bind the applicant or the board. No discussions beyond the conceptual and general review shall take place without identification of and notice to abutters and the general public as described hereinafter.”

Please note: Whereas the planning board does not have a formal application before it, no formal decisions whatsoever will be taking place on Dec. 8, and the board will not, at this time, be able to take public comment specifically on this conceptual project.

If a formal application is received on this proposed project sometime in the future, the planning board will be utilizing three important documents as it reviews this, or for that matter any development project in the unincorporated places over which the Coos County Planning Board has jurisdiction.

1. The most recent version of the Coos County Master Plan which was adopted on June 13, 2006, and can be found at this address: www.cooscountynh.us/sites/coosconh/files/file/file/masterplanadopted_061 306.pdf

2. The Zoning Ordinance for Coos County Unincorporated Places as adopted on Nov. 15, 2015, and which may be found at www.cooscountynh.us/sites/coosconh/files/file/file/zoning_ordinances_as_amended_nov052015.pdf

3. Site Plan Review Regulations —Unicoprporated Places Coos County, New Hampshire, as amended Feb. 26, 2015, may be found at www.cooscountynh.us/sites/coosconh/files/file/file/siteplanreviewamended02262015.pdf

For the general address to the Coos County website please visit www.cooscountynh.us.

In answer to several questions that have already been received, it is important for the public to know that once a formal application for this or any project is received by the planning board, the site plan review regulations allow that the board may require special investigative studies, environmental assessments, traffic studies, economic impact studies, a legal review of documents, administrative expenses and other matters necessary to make an informed decision.

As in all projects coming before the Coos County Planning Board, our review will be thorough, thoughtful, and complete. Public participation and comment will be welcomed and encouraged at the appropriate time in the application process, as outlined in our site plan review regulations and as per state statute RSA 676:4.

As a result of recently published reports of this project in the local media, many public comments have already been received in regards to this proposed project. In the event a formal application for this project comes before the board, we will be providing the public with the appropriate address or location where all public comments should be sent so as to better gather everyone’s important input for the board to consider going forward.

In closing, the Coos County Planning Board is committed to hearing all public comments and considerations at the appropriate time for any proposed projects that come before the board, and is committed to keeping the public informed as this or any other project under consideration moves through the application process.

John K. Scarinza, chairman

Coos County Planning Board

  • Category: Letters