Tele-Talk: Is the school board's reticence to allow online courses "as a substitute to traditional curriculum" justified?

The parents of eighth-grader Mackenzie Carr met with the Bartlett School Board to ask if she could take a summer math course online to make up for classroom time she might miss due to her skiing schedule. Mackenzie is considered one of the top young skiers in New England. The school board questioned whether it was wise for her to miss classroom time, then voted to send the request to the policy committee for further review.

This week's Tele-Talk: Is the school board's reticence to allow online courses "as a substitute to traditional curriculum" justified?

Call 733-5822 Saturday and Sunday and leave your comments on our machine. You may fax your responses to 356-8360 or e-mail them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Comments can also be posted on The Conway Daily Sun's Facebook page. Results will be published Tuesday.


Tele-Talk: Do you think there should be security cameras at town buildings?

Conway selectmen this week adopted a security-camera policy, saying such cameras will "record images for future identification, investigation and possible prosecution." Surveillance cameras are currently in place at town hall and the recreation center, and plans are being discussed to put them at public works facilities.

This week's Tele-Talk: Do you think there should be security cameras at town buildings?

Call 733-5822 Saturday and Sunday and leave your comments on our machine. You may fax your responses to 356-8360 or e-mail them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Comments can also be posted on The Conway Daily Sun's Facebook page. Results will be published Tuesday.


Tele-Talk: Do you think it's safe for students to travel overseas at this time?

High school student trips to France and Spain were conditionally approved by the Conway School Board, but not before board member Mark Hounsell voiced concerns about the safety of the students given the recent terror attacks overseas. Fellow board member Joe Lentini said he didn't think international travel was any more dangerous than U.S. travel, and he even thought travel to Paris was probably safer than Philadelphia, where Kennett eighth-graders have gone the past four springs. Hounsell disagreed, given "what's happening in a volatile continent at this time."

This week's Tele-Talk: Do you think it's safe for students to travel overseas at this time?

Call 733-5822 Saturday and Sunday and leave your comments on our machine. You may fax your responses to 356-8360 or e-mail them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Comments can also be posted on The Conway Daily Sun's Facebook page. Results will be published Tuesday.


Tele-Talk responses: Do you think it’s safe for students to travel overseas at this time?

There were 39 responses to this week’s Tele-Talk question: “Do you think it’s safe for students to travel overseas at this time?” Nine people said students should not travel to Europe at this time; 30 people either said the trip should be allowed or that it is no more dangerous to travel outside the United States than inside the country.

Mark Hounsell should not project his own personal paranoia and fears onto others. Let the parents, students and chaperones decide. Mark, staying home and hiding is just what ISIS wants us to do.

Of course it’s OK to send the kids to Europe so that they can take advantage of a great and possibly once-in–a-lifetime opportunity to broaden their cultural frames of reference. To hold them back based on one school board member’s  “sense” of fear is to surrender to terrorism. Thankfully (for the kids), the other school board members see their way clear on this. Ted Sares, North Conway.

This teacher and this school board member who think it’s safe to go to Europe or France or Spain should try going there themselves and try make it through the airport. Those two were absolute idiots to think it’s OK to go there. Go west and explore our own country. There are a lot of different wonders to see out there. Stay in the country and go west. Do not go to Europe. You people are just a couple of idiots to suggest this.

It is probably safer for students to travel to Europe, given the fact that anyone, anywhere, anytime, here in the United States can carry an assault gun and start shooting randomly at crowds of people. I call that terrorism. Why stifle the experience these students will gain by visiting a foreign country, with this fear-based thinking? Everything carries some degree of risk. These students should not be taught to be afraid of everything outside the valley.

Absolute safety cannot be guaranteed in any place at anytime for anyone. I think that I’d feel safer in Madrid, Spain, than I would in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Definitely not; not at this time. Maybe sometime later. Travel to overseas at this time, every American is being targeted. Please do not send our youngsters over there at this time.

When I read the article at the Conway School Board has approved these trips, I immediately thought they had lost all responsibility that was given them when they were elected to office. I do not think it is safe for anyone, students or adults, to be traveling overseas at this time. I realize bad things can happen anywhere, but I think the chances are much better that Conway is one of the safest places to be. Patricia Swett, East Conway.

It is quite obvious that foreign travel is not safe for students. Our school board and many parents do think differently. If you are in doubt, why don’t you talked to the Madison, Wisc., parents whose son flew to Italy last week. We are living in a very dangerous world, that is out of control. Douglas M. Swett, East Conway.

I think it’s taking a very bad chance by sending the students overseas at this time. If it was my child, I would not let them go. RW, Conway.

My name is Rip, and in regard to your question, do you think it’s safe for students to travel? I certainly think it’s more hazardous now to travel overseas. It depends on the country you’re going to and it depends on whether or not you can keep your eyes open and see what’s going on around you. If you see it happening, get away; simple enough. Open your eyes.

I believe our children are in danger every place in this world. The most dangerous, manipulative predators in this world are people. The politicians, business leaders, lobbyists and unions have used empathy and chaos to create this worldwide situation for personal power and profit. It is just as dangerous to have another children live and work among convicts, alcoholics and obsessive, unstable, overly-medicated drug addicts, as it is living anywhere. After the murders at Cranmore, Lamplighters, that motel on Route 16, the near beating death of a child at the Golden Oaks and the kidnapping by Kibby, and still no leaders or protests demanding surveillance cameras in our valley, that speaks volumes to the lack of leadership and personal responsibility in our valley.

I’m phoning to support Joe Lentini’s move to make sure that students go to Europe this coming year. Mark Hounsell, I’m afraid, has shown his attempts to veto anything the people might enjoy; he’s a nay-saying power maniac aimed at stopping people’s pleasure. Paris, Berlin, Madrid, etc., are far safer than  New Hampshire even in terms of deaths and murders and the like. And a few terrorist strikes, which nobody wants, and one hopes will not occur, are unlikely to make that situation any worse. We do not need Hounsell’s attempted vetoing of anything pertaining to pleasure.

Yes, of course it’s safe for children to go to Europe on the school trip Mark Hounsell is a fear-monger.

Of course they should travel overseas.

It’s a dangerous business going out your door.

That person who said that it’s safer to travel to Paris than to Philadelphia should be ashamed of himself. On the other side of the fence, why do you have to go to France and Spain? If you wanted to practice your language skills, there are places in the states where you could practice Spanish and French. Why’d be so disloyal to your country. Keep the traveling money in the states. Why flitter over to Europe, which anybody with half a pea brain knows the terrorists in Europe take people and kill them for no reason at all. So, what are they going to say? “Oh, I’m just a tourist from the United States. I won’t harm anybody”? And their heads will be blown off. Those who approved this trip to France and Spain should be fired. You never put your children in harm’s way. Are you crazy?

This is Jim from Glen. In response to your question: With President Barack Obama’s continued lack of leadership, disrespect for our police and the military, and failure to define America’s enemies, no place in America or abroad is safe. Our local elections are on Sept. 13 and our national elections are on Nov. 13 or Nov. 8. Be there!


The following responses were posted on Facebook:

I think 10 kids to one adult is not the right ratio for travel overseas. While in the United States, access to parents is easier, cultural expectations are known, and U.S. civil rights protect the students, overseas that ratio is too large to adequately protect our children. Additionally, while the countries themselves may not be any more dangerous than many places in the United States, the fact that they are Americans makes them a target in a way that simply arriving in Philadelphia does not.

I went on an overseas trip to Paris when I was 14. It was very exciting, and I learned lessons I never forgot. Overseas travel is a great opportunity for teenagers, and travelling with their peers and teachers is an experience they will remember forever. However, a destination needs to be considered that is as safe as possible and the hotels need to be safe with plenty of security.

As an international director for Global Leadership Adventures, I took high school students to both Fiji and Tanzania(with a one-to-10 ratio) to do volunteer work for local underprivileged communities. I strongly advocate for the overseas experience! Exposing your children to other cultures is teaching them to be more educated, compassionate and curious young adults. I strongly feel that international travel makes us all better people. We cannot live our lives in fear. And despite a strong social conditioning of fear that is constantly being placed upon us, there is more good than bad out there, and you must put yourself out in the world to see it firsthand!

Best lesson for kids: Don’t let others control your fears and make you hesitant to experience the world. You have a right to take charge of your life choices. Now, of course, until you are 18 your parents can make those choices for you. Discuss it with them. Honestly.

I had the chance to go to France when I was in high school, and then 9/11 happened. I let fear win and dropped out of French class to avoid flying while the rest of my classmates went over and had a blast. It’s one of my greatest regrets. Don’t live your life in fear or you will miss out.

As someone who grew up in the valley and now lives overseas, I personally feel so much safer over here. The small possibility of a terror attack shouldn’t stop kids from really learning about the world.

Let the students go. If need be, send more adults to watch. Exploring the world is a keystone experience. We have done these trips many times and, truth be told, we are no more or less safe than before. Media just highlights it more. Do not live life in fear.

If something happens to them, parents, don’t come ask for a pity party. They know the dangers of having their children going overseas. American are not well liked at this time. It is like playing Russian roulette; chances are nothing is going to happen but there is a chance of it all going wrong. Just my opinion.

This is an issue for individual parents to decide. Your opinion is just that. Should we keep our kids in a womb through to adulthood and see where that gets us? It will breed ignorance and intolerance.

It should be left up to the parents to decide if their child goes. As a whole, if we decide to not offer things like this then the scumbag terrorists get a win!

It can happen anywhere. So, why take a chance of a lifetime away from the students? It should be up to the parents.

Yes, and probably safer than travel in the United States!

I don’t think Mark Hounsell has ever left North Conway!

I feel it should be up to those going. If the parents, students and chaperones are comfortable, go ahead.

You’re more apt to be shot in America than in Paris. Check out the stats.

Pretty sure the events of last week show us it’s just as dangerous here as it is there. If we give in to terror, they win.

We can’t let fear drive our decisions. Accidents and violence can happen anywhere. Our media is excessive and risks may appear greater than they are. We see a tragic bus accidents but don’t stop our kids from traveling in buses. We need to have the same balance for other travel. Give the kids a chance to go experience other countries; its costly for a whole family to go and many cannot afford it but want their kids to have the experience. Paying for one child, or fundraising makes this possible when a group is led through the school.

The odds of another significant event happening this summer are fairly high. The odds of any particular group of people being impacted by such an event is quite seriously low. You are in greater danger crossing the street in the village on a Saturday night.

You can’t live your life afraid of boogymen.

Don’t live your life in fear.

Live your life with curiosity not fear. Danger exists everywhere; there are times to be fearful but have an agenda, plan out what to do in an emergency and live your lives with passion for life.


Tele-Talk responses: What advice do you have for the graduating class of 2016?

There were 16 responses to this week’s Tele-Talk question: “What advice do you have for the graduating class of 2016?”

To the class of 16, all unsolicited advice is is usually wrong, my advice is don’t listen to any of it, including this!

Protect your town’s precious water resources and push for local control so your community will enjoy accessible clean water for generations to come. The future of this valley is in your hands and water is life!


Live life, work hard, play harder.

Go to be educated not indoctrinated. Think for yourselves and do the research then make up your own minds. Good luck!

Truly find your talents. You can look at the type of personality you have, that is best four your chosen career path, by seeking help from places like, reading books like “What Color is Your Parachute.” Don’t be afraid to be an entrepreneur, seeking help from the SBA, or Score, or strategically work with several successful business people. Aside from school and college, you can learn a lot on the Web alone. From by the founder of the world’s biggest Catholic TV net: “Your plans, your projects, your dreams always have to be bigger than you, so God has room to operate ... get good ideas, extravagant ideas. Nothing is to much for the Lord to do.” — Mother Angelica

You are owed nothing.

Everything you’ve been taught is a lie.

Save your money.

Enjoy your life.

My advice for the graduates is to get out of this town. There are no jobs, and they will tax you to death. Their best bet would to go where there are the jobs, not just retail. Julie from Conway.

Start thinking right now about whether you want to make a lot of money or live in a friendly, close-knit community, because you can’t have both. The tightest communities are those where money is tight, too. Where money is abundant so is greed, and it’s every faction for itself. Just look at Conway.

My response would be in this fallen world, seek the Truth and do your best. This is Jim from Glen.

This is J.J. from Conway. When you get a job, the less you do, the less you do the less you get blamed for. But then you’re going to get blamed for not doing anything.

The only one thing that I have to say is the best advice to people graduating from Kennett High School to have is whatever you do, do not vote for any of the Democrats. You need to get out and do an honest day’s work. We don’t need the government taking care of you. It’s time some of you young kids get off your lazy you-know-whats and earn an honest day’s pay. Just because your parents are deadbeats doesn’t mean you need to be.

Never lose that twinkle in your eye. Never dismiss the beauty of a butterfly. And when you’re down and out, just belt out a loud version Kumbaya; that’ll put you right on the right track. And take a close look at your grandmother who walks with a cane, at your grandfather who can hardly hear. That’s going to be you in the future. It’ll be coming sooner than you ever imagine.

Don’t take any wooden nickels.  If you break anything, don’t get hurt.