Bob Drinkhall: Water, sewer rates are not equitable for all customers

To the editor:

Are the North Conway Water Precinct water and sewer rates equitable to all customers? You be the judge.

Much to my surprise and without prior notice the fall water and sewer bill increased 28.7 percent. This while offering a lower rate to Cranmore for snow making than any other North Conway Water Precinct customer pays.

The rate charged Cranmore this fall was $1.80 per thousand gallons, while the rate charged for irrigation for my property rose to $3.90 per thousand when including all charges. My rate would be as high as $6.11 per thousand when a lower quarterly usage occurs, as in the past. For over 10 years! And others were told by the North Conway Water Precinct that sewer rates would decrease — no exceptions mentioned — when the majority of their customers were hooked up to sewer, as they are now. Later, it was stated that the decrease in sewer rates would offset the water rate increase.

The reduction in sewer rates not being offered to 14 residential irrigation customers is claimed to be an offset to an increase in electricity usage by North Conway Water Precinct during peak rate hours resulting in higher electric costs.

The same peak rate period when the population of 10,000 in Conway rises to as much as 30,000, with most of the increase of 20,000 people staying and or utilizing services within the North Conway Water Precinct.

I guess these visitors never flush toilets, bathe or use water in any other way.

Could the 20,000 visitors account for more usage than the 14 residential irrigation customers? All this while Cranmore was given a 28 percent lower rate from residential irrigation customers.

This rate  allowed Cranmore is 54 percent lower than residential irrigation when the $60 per quarter charge, with no credit for gallonage, which had been 15,000 gallons, is calculated in.

Bob Drinkhall

North Conway

Jan Goldman: Health care critical to life, liberty, happiness

To the editor:

I find it troubling to read, on a daily basis, that our national government chooses to frame its concern (or lack thereof) over health care in partisan terms. I read, “You’re either for President Donald Trump or Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

I read that the GOP wants pretty much any bill they can ram through to undo Obamacare and that the Democrats want to resist everything that President Trump wants to do. Why look at anything on its merits when we can dismiss it on the basis of its party origin?

I cannot find words sufficient to express my dismay and disgust that we cannot seem, as a nation, to see the importance of health care for all of our people. I notice that our Constitution promises life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but I see that our elected representatives, who are sworn to support it, cannot comprehend that the sustenance of life pretty often requires the care of each person’s health, at least now and then, over the course of a lifetime.

When I vote, I do not vote for representatives to be influenced or owned by corporations, PACs, lobbyists or wealthy individuals. I vote for representatives to listen to and work on behalf of their constituents. I see instead many sophisticated ruses and attempts to get constituents squabbling among themselves, while the rich and powerful ransack the nation’s coffers, handing out lucrative contracts and easing safety regulations (think clean air and water) to benefit themselves and their influential friends. Do others think our interests, including our right to life, have been hijacked?

How shall we reclaim our birthright as citizens of the United States? What can we do locally, statewide and nationally?

Jan Goldman

Center Sandwich

Anita Burroughs: Transgender people are still targeted and victimized

To the editor:

A recent letter to the editor by Rep. Frank McCarthy expresses many commonly held beliefs and fears regarding transgender rights, including how they relate to what are being called “bathroom bills” across the country.  

Rep. McCarthy asserts that these bills will enable so-called predators and pedophiles to use little girls’ bathrooms, showers and dressing rooms, putting many people at risk.

The research and facts on this subject tell a very different story.   Sixty-four percent of transgender people experience sexual assault in their lifetimes (reported by ABC News).  Many are deeply traumatized and live in fear of repeat victimization.  This includes transgender children and disabled people.

People who oppose bathroom bills fear that women and children are at risk.  But over 200 municipalities and 18 states have non-discrimination laws protecting transgender rights to bathrooms. None of these jurisdictions have seen any increase in sexual violence or public safety fears.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center reports that people who are looking to sexually assault someone will go into a bathroom regardless of how that facility corresponds to gender.

It was not long ago that people similarly thought that gay men were pedophiles. Now, the assumption is that transgender people are using every opportunity available to assault women and children. The word “transgender” is being used synonymously with predator and pedophiles.

Several years ago, an acquaintance referred to a transgender male in our community as “it,” rather than as a man. To this day, I regret not having responded to this comment, as this is someone I have known for years who is kind, respectful of others and an integral part of our community.

Most people who are fearful of transgender individuals have probably never had a conversation with a transgender man, woman or child, or reviewed the rapidly growing body of transgender research.

Transgender people breathe the same air as the rest of us, have the same hopes, fears and dreams, and wish to be afforded dignity and safety when using a public restroom.  

Unfortunately, they are targeted and victimized at an alarmingly higher rate than the rest of the population due to our fears and anxiety around processing a very human phenomenon that many do not understand.

Shelving HB-478 was indeed a sad day for New Hampshire.  I am hopeful that moving forward, our elected officials will vote on issues based on research and facts rather than on subjective fears that perpetuate stereotypes and separate people from their innate humanity.

Anita Burroughs

Glen

Ed Parsons: Cog hotel would commercialize hiking

To the editor:

In an article in Tuesday’s Conway Daily Sun, Cog Railway owner Wayne Presby remarked about Mount Washington: “I can’t think of a more commercialized place.” This is telling.

It speaks to the possibility that he has never hiked the Gulfside Trail, part of the Appalachian Trail, which passes close to the Cog tracks above timberline toward the northern Presidentials.

One important characteristic of trails in the populated Northeast is that it is possible to walk away from a developed spot, like the top of Mount Washington, and very quickly feel that you are back in the wilds. Considering the exposure to weather on the mountain, this is especially true there.

Walking away from the summit on the west side, the buildings on top and the Auto Road feel a long way off, and the occasional Cog trains going by can actually add a historical aspect as you gradually leave the busy summit and head toward the quiet northern Presidentials.

Building a hotel at timberline on the Cog would actually make Presby’s statement true and cheapen the experience of countless hikers in the future.

Ed Parsons

Tamworth