Dick Devens: For any who don’t believe fracking is dirty

From The Conway Daily Sun, Friday Oct. 20, Page 3: "But the price of firewood is going up for people in the Northeast. The timber industry said hard wood is in demand for building hydrofracking sites in Pennsylvania, so homeowners are paying about $325 per cord, up from $50 to $75 this year."

To those who still believe that fracking is not one of the dirtiest forms of energy, maybe this price increase will hit home.

Dick Devens
Center Sandwich


  • Category: Letters

Jeff Fowler: Stay safe from scammers this season

To the editor:
Identity theft, investment fraud and scams rob millions of Americans of their hard-earned money every year. Con artists use a myriad of scams to steal your hard-earned money, including phishing scams, tech-support scams, gold coin scams, oil and gas scams, sweepstakes and lottery scams, grandparent scams and many more. Although their methods are different, research shows that the tactics scammers use are the same.
A timely new AARP survey shows that Maine consumers are not only unaware of certain “holiday” scams, but many are regularly engaging in behaviors that could put them at risk of being victimized by con artists. For example, AARP’s survey found that 65 percent of Mainers who donated to a charity or fundraiser in the past 12 months did so without asking any questions about how that donation would be spent, and 61 percent made donations without verifying that the charity groups were legally authorized to raise money in Maine.
In addition, many holiday shoppers in Maine incorrectly believe that it is safe to access sensitive information via free Wi-Fi networks as long as websites are secured by “https.”
In fact, online security experts warn that consumers should never use public Wi-Fi to access bank accounts or to buy products online.
One important step to take right away is to place a freeze on your credit report with all three major credit bureaus. This is the most effective way to protect yourself from identity theft and, thanks to a new law, placing the freeze is free. Call the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection or the Attorney General’s office to learn more.
For more tips, read the AARP survey by visiting www.aarp.org/MEHolidayScamSurvey. There is a lot we can do to stay safe from scammers this holiday season and this new survey is a great way to get started.
Jeff Fowler
AARP Fraud Watch
Network volunteer

  • Category: Letters

Michael J. Cryans: Bring Dorothy Graham's nomination back to the table

To the editor:
The New Hampshire Executive Council recently voted 3-2 against the nomination of Dorothy Graham for the New Hampshire Superior Court. In my opinion, this vote must be reconsidered.
Councilors Chris Pappas and Colin Van Ostern, both Democrats, voted for Graham. The three votes cast against her were by Joe Kenney, David Wheeler and Chris Sununu, all Republicans. Only one of their votes is needed in order to have reconsideration.
During the public hearing, only positive comments were made regarding Graham's nomination. Among those was one from the highly respected Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard. It is clear to me that Graham's 20 years of experience as a public defender makes her more than qualified to hold this position on the Superior Court.
You, the public, can play a role in this important process. If you feel as I do, please contact your executive councilors who voted "no" and ask them to reconsider their vote.
It is a very important position that needs to be filled as soon as possible.
Former Executive Councilor Ray Burton often would say: "You have to learn to count to three on the executive council." In this particular case, one of the three voting against Graham can join with Councilors Pappas and Van Ostern to bring this highly qualified candidate back to the table.
Michael J. Cryans


  • Category: Letters

Paul Bartoswicz: Part of the problem or part of the solution

To the editor:

As chairman of the Effingham Budget Committee, I take my job seriously, and work hard to put together a workable budget for the town of Effingham, as do the other four members of the committee.

We try to meet the needs of the town, and create a budget that does not stretch the taxpayers to thin.

Unfortunately the tax rate is a multi-faceted rate, with several components beyond the town's control such as the school district and the county tax. As I travel about town, and as I work, I hear from many people that the town tax is way to high.

We have commitments to make as well as a need to provide for the security and safety of the town, and we scrutinize every dollar in the budget. What frustrates me is that the budget committee meets in public session most Tuesday nights during the budget season, which runs from November to February, in preparation for the march town meeting. The scheduled time is immediately following the selectmen's meeting. We schedule different departments each week, and this schedule can be found on public bulletin boards around the town, and, at each meeting, usually the only people there are the committee members and the department heads whose budget is being looked at.

Lately, there have been some huge audiences at the selectmen's meeting, but everyone clears out and leaves as the budget committee takes the floor.

If you don't come to the meetings and voice your concerns during the public comment period, we as a committee only have our own input to consider.

Additionally, early in February is a public hearing on the whole budget with a bottom-line number, and, historically, very few people show up for this hearing and input is minimal.

Then finally comes the town meeting where the budget is put up for a vote by the town, and, low and behold, the people who complain to me all year long never show up for the meeting to vote on the overall budget or to give their input as to how the money should be spent and how much should be spent overall.

My father used to beat it in to my head that you are either part of the problem or part of the solution, and through out my life I have tried to be part of the solution.

If you don't show up for these important meetings then you are part of the problem. You have to get out and get your opinions heard. I am only one man on a committee of five people, and we are looking for input from the community as we craft the spending plan for the next year. So, be a part of the solution and attend these meetings and give your input.

Paul Bartoswicz


  • Category: Letters

Ralph Bianchi: Mr. President, please resign

To the editor:

Mr. President, please resign! You have not led the country’s foreign policy properly. Your insane ideology has resulted in the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent people throughout the world.

  • Category: Letters