• Sultan Erdogan’s Uneasy Turkish Turban

    John Metzler

    by John J. Metzler
    Weirs Times Contributing Writer

    UNITED NATIONS—There’s troubling news from across the Bosphorus, the narrow slip of water separating Europe from Asia-minor. In a decisive but dividing referendum, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan narrowly gained the political blessing he sought by winning 51 percent of the nationwide vote. Erdogan’s divisive victory (51/49 percent), allows the increasingly authoritarian Turkish ruler to gain sweeping powers to change the constitution and to allow him near unrivaled power until 2029.
    The main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), has called on the electoral commission to annul the outcome citing “manipulating the referendum results.” Still the newly-minted Sultan Erdogan failed to gain the minimum 55 percent vote he wished for to bless the constitutional changes.
    Turkey remains a key piece on the geopolitical board linking Europe to the Mid East and the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. But its strategic situation has been sadly compromised by its border with Syria whose civil war continues to spill over into Turkish territory both in terms of violent terrorism and humanitarian hosting of nearly three million refugees.


    Contrary to many assumptions, Turkey’s economy in recent years was strong and growth- oriented. Turkish tourism was booming and deservedly so. The Syrian crisis changed the equation dramatically. Tourism has taken a dive downwards.
    The once staunchly secular Turkish Republic of Kemal Ataturk was founded in 1923. The new 18 article constitutional changes focus on granting of executive powers to an elected President and the abolition of the Prime Minister. Equally Cabinet Ministers can be chosen from outside the Parliament. The ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) has changed the rules of the game. Erdogan became Prime Minister in 2002 and was elected President in 2014. Continue reading  Post ID 2767


  • Getting Used To It

    A Fool In NH Column Heading

    Some things just take getting used to.
    Have you gotten one of those new debit or credit cards with a chip in it?
    Supposedly, these are designed to help keep us safer from those evil doers who want to steal our information and go on spending sprees using our cards.
    It seems that this country has been behind the times with these things and we are finally catching up.
    Just in time for the evil doers to have finally figured out how to overcome this nuisance to their livelihood.
    Still, when I first got my new chip card I was pretty excited. After all this was New Hampshire in the middle of the winter and something like this got my blood boiling a bit. I hadn’t been this excited since I purchased my new ergonomically designed snow shovel a few winters ago.
    Of course, like most new things we crave as humans to make us happy, the novelty soon wore off by the second snowstorm. The next winter it was time for a snowblower. Next year, who knows; maybe a new house in Florida.
    I had heard about these chip cards and I was excited to see how they would work.
    My first stop was a local department store to purchase some cat food.


    This in itself was a winter diversion I had planned for a while, so I figured I would kill two birds with one stone, a feat I could never accomplish in reality seeing I never had a good pitching arm. (Even if I did, I could never do it.) But, I digress.
    Our cat, Dagny, needed to add a little wet food to her diet so I needed to find which type she would prefer. It would be a process of elimination by purchasing many different types and bringing them home and then, one by one, letting her taste each flavor until she found one to her liking, if at all.
    Unfortunately, we did not have a dog to make quick work of whichever food was not lucky enough to be chosen, so there would be a good deal of waste involved if Dagny couldn’t decided on her preferred flavor right off the bat.
    I must admit I was surprised to see the selection of cat food available. A few dozen flavors. I might have to make several trips until the magic recipe was discovered. Continue reading  Post ID 2767


  • Syrian Bloodshed Enters Seventh Year

    John Metzler

    by John J. Metzler
    Weirs Times Contributing Writer

    UNITED NATIONS – Syria’s bloody conflict has entered its seventh year with unrelenting killings, displacements and bombardments being “one of the largest man-made humanitarian and protection crises in the world.” As the UN Humanitarian Chief Stephen O’Brien told the Security Council, “Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and million more injured.” He stressed, “Over five million people have fled and are now living as refugees.”
    In yet another impassioned address begging for humanitarian access to besieged towns, O’Brien lamented, “Crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed by all parties time and time again.” He added, “Syrians have watched huge parts of their historic and proud country reduced to rubble.”

    Stephen O’Brien, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief.

    As American UN Ambassador Nikki Haley advised, “Half of all Syrians are displaced from their homes, some living in the ruins of bombed out buildings and others fleeing as refugees to neighboring countries. At this point, two-thirds of Syria’s remaining population, those who have not crossed international borders, require some form of aid.”
    Think for a moment of the dire images of shattered lives and battered buildings in historic cities such as Aleppo, Homs and even the ancient capital Damascus. The pulverized towns and the tragic refugee streams. The lost hopes of toppling the Assad regime replaced not by a dream of democracy but a living nightmare of violent jihadi terrorist organizations such as Al-Nusra or the Islamic State/Daesh.
    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has been visiting the Mid-East and touring the swelling refugee camps in places like Jordan. As the former UN High Commissioner for Refugees Guterres visited this camp far too many times. Yet the numbers of refugees from neighboring Syria have only grown. Continue reading  Post ID 2767


  • Road 2 Ruin by Two Roads Brewing

    Heading_WickedBrew

    Each day we wake up, get up, make a decision on what to wear, make a decision on what to eat and make a decision on what our day will hold for us. It is much the same with our entire life of decisions. Which way will we go? Our friends at Two Roads Brewing seem to know this concept well and have brewed a beer that exemplifies the decisions we face in our lives, day to day. We can either make a good decision or a naughty one which may get us into some trouble. But there is always that decision… And this is why we share today’s brew, Road 2 Ruin.

    Connecticut is home to Two Roads Brewing Company. Located in Stratford, Connecticut, their story of business growth in this beer-crazed nation is remarkable. Four enterprising individuals who had met through unrelated circumstances grew tired of their business careers and took “the road less traveled” leap into brewing and became Two Roads in 2012. Today, they make awesome beer, contract brew for smaller start-ups and teach others interested in the brew life how to succeed. You can find out a ton more at their website, https://tworoadsbrewing.com Continue reading  Post ID 2767


  • Devin Booker Goes For 70!

    Mike Moffett

     by Mike Moffett
    Weirs Times Columnist

    Devin Booker Goes For 70!

    One of sport’s attractions involves unpredictability. To paraphrase Forrest Gump, “Sports are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
    A movie is what it is—a fait accompli. Similarly, a Broadway play has a script. Even a live concert features music that’s already been written. But a sports event unfolds in actual time—a true reality show.
    A game can break your heart OR send your spirits soaring. You never know. The price of admission is the same either way.
    Every time I go to Fenway I hope to see a perfect baseball game. Or a no-hitter. Or a great catch. If the hits come early then let there be a lot of them. Let there be a record set. Or maybe a fight!
    (I was at Fenway when Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk had that fight at home plate and the benches emptied. Loved it!)
    When it comes to Celtics games, I just want to see Boston win with some great plays along the way to get the crowd going.
    And when the C’s are playing a lousy team—like the Phoenix Suns—a friendly wager makes the action more compelling. So during a recent trip to the “Garden” for a Celtics-Suns game I made a couple little bets to make the game more interesting, in case the Celtics romped (which they did). I bet on the Celtics and the “over,” the latter meaning that I guessed that there would be more than 219 points scored in total.
    When there were less than five minutes left in the first quarter, and the Suns had yet to score a field goal, the “over” didn’t look so good. But then both teams got hot and eventually 250 points were scored, as Boston won 130-120.
    One player in particular got hot—Suns rookie Devin Booker, who played one season at Kentucky before joining the Suns last fall as a 19-year-old rookie.
    The Garden scoreboard shows the point totals for the players in the game and at one point in the third quarter someone noticed that Booker had 46 points. So then we focused on the rookie, who stayed hot in the fourth quarter and made a bunch of last minute free throws to end up with 70 points.
    Wow! Only five NBA players had ever scored 70 points before—and Michael Jordan was not one of them. (Larry Bird holds the Celtic record of a mere 60 points.)
    So I went home happy. The Celtics won big and an all-time record was set. The only thing missing was a fight! Continue reading  Post ID 2767


  • Marie Paul Joseph Roche Ives Gilbert de Mottier Marquis de Lafayette’s Visit To NH

    NotSoLongAgo_Blog

    by Robert Hanaford Smith, Sr._DSC2528
    Weirs Times Contributing Writer
    His official name seems to have no end, but he is known more commonly and more simply as Lafayette by those who remember him, and he is also sometimes referred to as America’s forgotten hero.
    Lafayette was a young French aristocrat who was supportive of the American cause to be independent of England and, at great risk to himself came to this country to help as a leader in the Revolutionary War. This “Citizen of Two Worlds” or “Hero of Two Worlds ”, other labels applied to him because of his acts of valor in America and in his native France, visited New Hampshire in June of 1825 during a return trip to the United States which included visits to all 24 of the States which comprised the country at that time.
    In his June visit Lafayette travelled from Massachusetts to Concord, NH, then to Portland, Maine and back to Concord, before continuing west in New Hampshire and into Vermont. He was in the United States at the invitation of President James Monroe in consultation with Congress 40 years after the Revolutionary War and was greeted with many accolades as he moved from state to state.

    George Washington and Lafayette on horseback at Valley Forge.

    In his book about Lafayette, published in 1879, A.A. Parker mentions a meeting with Rev. Dr. Dana on his way to Concord and a visit with him to a ladies school run by a Miss Grant. I wonder if this was the Rev. Dr. Dana from New Hampton who served as a physician, preacher and teacher and for whom the Dana Meeting House where he preached is named. Continue reading  Post ID 2767


  • dom·i·cile (noun)

    Ken Gorrell

    by Ken Gorrell,
    Weirs Times Contributing Writer

    Black’s Law Dictionary, the most widely used law dictionary in the US, defines domicile as “That place in which a man has voluntarily fixed the habitation of himself and family, not for a mere special or temporary purpose, but with the present intention of making a permanent home.”
    Key to the legal concept of domicile is intent, which makes it, like so many legal issues, not as cut-and-dried as the layman could wish. Just as an idle mind is said to be the devil’s playground, a mind’s intent is a lawyer’s playground. Many billable hours have been spent debating a client’s intent.
    According to Black’s, domicile is the “established, fixed, permanent, or ordinary dwelling-place or place of residence of a person, as distinguished from his temporary and transient, though actual, place of residence.” Domicile is not a “place to which business or pleasure may temporarily call him.” In law, a person may have many residences, but only one domicile.
    Why the primer on the legal concept of domicile? Last week our NH senate passed a bill to more clearly define “domicile” as it pertains to voting. Though SB3 was approved by Republicans on a party-line vote, our Democrat Secretary of State supported it. Democrat senators, however, invoked their usual rhetorical hyperbole, declaring in a Caucus press release that “Instead of threatening would-be voters with the prospect of someone banging down there (sic) door to interrogate them on their voting eligibility…” Blah, blah, blah.
    In reality, the bill merely defines domicile for voting purposes as “the principal or primary home or place of abode of a person…in which his or her habitation is fixed and to which a person, whenever he or she is temporarily absent, has the intention of returning after a departure or absence therefrom…” It then provides factors to be considered when determining one’s intent. It’s all very reasonable, especially if you value the idea that only those with meaningful ties to a community and state should be able to have a say at the voting booth.
    The problem with SB3 isn’t that it’s unreasonable, or will lead to “voting police” banging down doors as hyperventilating Dems would want you to believe (even if they can’t possibly believe it themselves). No, the problem with SB3’s definition of domicile is that college residency counts.
    The domicile bill has been framed by both sides as a voter fraud issue, but I think that’s too limited. For me, domicile is a matter of self-determination and the right of citizens to decide how their communities and state will be run. With few exceptions, students choose colleges based on educational factors, not with the intent of settling in the town or state where the college is located. Education is a “mere temporary or special purpose” per Black’s. Students who come to New Hampshire from out-of-state for education should not be allowed to influence with their vote how Granite State governments function.
    This is especially true for students who maintain close connections with their out-of-state parents for financial support. Missing from the senate bill’s factors for determining domicile, but included in other states’ laws, is “sources of financial support.” Most students – undergraduates, especially – depend upon their parents for financial support. If a student at UNH were to drop out, is he more likely to stay in Durham to go it alone, or go home to his parents?
    I support raising the bar for proving intent when it comes to domicile, to a point where most out-of-state students would not qualify. People who come to New Hampshire merely for an education should participate in the electoral process in the communities where they came from, where their parents live, where their true connections lie. Allowing them to vote here distorts our political process. It disenfranchises citizens who truly have made NH their permanent place of residence, their home, their domicile.
    If we are going to allow out-of-state students to vote here, it’s time to revive the text of a bill that was deemed “inexpedient to legislate” back in 2014. HB1255 would have allowed “students whose name appears on the voter checklist eligible for in-state tuition rates at schools in the university system of New Hampshire.”
    Fair is fair. If students have the right to vote here because it is their “intent” to make New Hampshire their principle or primary home, we should consider them Granite Staters for tuition purposes. Of course, acting in the best interests of NH citizens, our legislators should ensure that those students paying out-of-state tuition vote out-of-state as well.


  • Real Stories

    A Fool In NH Column HeadingI never knew how much I enjoyed telling stories out loud until a few years after my first column was published here in the Weirs Times.
    All of those early columns were stories that had to do with my adjustments to life here in Central New Hampshire after having moved here from Long Island, New York in 1985.
    There was always an underlying theme to these tales of adjustment. It was the fact that a handy person I am not. What were experiences of frustration for me, years later turned into amusing tales.
    Of course, there was sometimes some slight embellishment to make the stories a bit more entertaining, but often there was no embellishment at all; I took some of my more embarrassing moments, moments that I’m sure others would be afraid to admit, and turned them into stories for others to (hopefully) enjoy and maybe have a good laugh at my expense.
    I never regretted for a moment using my own shortcomings to give others a good chuckle. In all honesty, it has been cathartic for me. Now when faced with a task I’d rather not attempt, I do anyway since, succeed or fail, it always makes for a great story.
    A few years after the first stories of my misadventures in raking the roof in winter, buying firewood for the first time and spending a morning at the dump appeared, I was asked by a local group to come and tell my stories in person. This was about seventeen years ago now.
    That first presentation wasn’t very good (a story in itself), Still, I was intrigued enough to want to do it again. It has been said that next to dying, public speaking is the second biggest fear for most people. For me it is having to fix a leaky faucet. I admit I was a bit nervous that first time speaking in front of a crowd, but as the years went by and I was invited by more groups and organizations in telling my tales, I became more comfortable with it and looked forward to the next presentation.
    It encouraged me to publish a couple of books with some of these stories as well and people actually bought them.
    Imagine that! Continue reading  Post ID 2767


  • Four Days In A Row

    by Amy Patenaude
    Outdoor/Ski Writer

    Yes, I went skiing four days in a row.
    Why not keep skiing until the snow has all melted away. As I sit here and write the weather forecast is warning me of another Nor’easter! Really? I can’t believe it. I don’t even dare express my glee. I know I am in the minority. Nearly everyone is ready for full blown spring—flowers, green grass, warm temperatures, but not me. I’m still have too much fun skiing.
    Thursday: Night Skiing At Pats Peak
    Becca, Jeremy and I met up to enjoy the last Thursday night of the season at Pats Peak. The Sun was still shining and the slopes were covered from edge to edge with lots of snow. We rode the Hurricane triple chair together.
    At the summit we stopped to admire the Peak double chair and we knew we wouldn’t be riding it ever again. This summer the old reliable lift will be removed and replaced with a lift that will carry more people to the summit per hour—a quad-chair with a loading carpet.
    We skied all the trails from the top except the Hurricane. We timed it just right arriving at the summit to join a dozen others waiting to watch the sunset. We stood near the top of Twister and the FIS trail. We looked west and watched the sun sink quickly behind the hills just to the south of Lovewell Mountain. The sky was gold and red.

    Becca and yours truly out for the last of the night skiing at Pats Peak. There is a lot of daylight for spring night skiing. We watched the sunset from the top of the mountain.
    On top of a very snowy Mount Sunapee, the group of Norwich University alumni stopped just long enough for me to snap a photo. Doug Web, captain of Team Lumber Barn and Norwich alumnus helps organize the ski day and sponsors our team for the annual Mark Parris & Rick Hall memorial ski race at Mount Sunapee.

    Friday: Racing at Sunapee
    Mount Sunapee’s 20th annual TGIF’s April Fools race is dedicated to remembering our friends Mark Parris and Rick Hall. These young men left us too soon but they both loved skiing and they liked to have fun. We shared fond memories and had fun in their honor.
    I arrived mid-morning and I joined up with my friend Doug’s alma-mater skiing group—Norwich University! Doug and his dozen or so classmates are really top notch skiers. I am not kidding we did more than ten runs, raced two runs and then skied another twenty runs.
    These men came to ski. Of course the weather was not much like spring, it was cloudy and snowing. As the day went on the new snow accumulated and we were turning on skis on several inches of soft wonderful powder. No wonder no one wanted to stop.
    Apres ski in the Spruce lodge’s Goosefeathers Pub there were awards and beverages. There are a lot of fast skiers a lot younger than me now and I guess that’s what happens in 20 years. Happy to see the traditions of classmates and fellow citizen racers continue and I plan on being here in another 20 years.

    The good snow more than made up for the cloudy skies hovering over Cannon Mountain. Becca is riding the Mittersill T-bar for the first time. The lift is new this season. Cannon plans to be open at least through April 16th.
    Becca snowboarding in the glades at Mittersill. There is a lot of snow up on the mountain in the trees and on the slopes.

    Saturday: Mittersill Fun At Cannon
    Cannon had a packed house on Saturday. New snow and Bodefest had the skiers and snowboarders arriving at the mountain early. The main parking lots were full and thanks to cell phones I was able to call Becca and tell her I was parked at Mittersill.
    Becca arrived early and following the uphill policy of Cannon she skinned up the ski trail route to the 4,000 foot summit of the mountain. Then she enjoyed a nice ride down the mountain that she had earned with her own feet.
    We met at the Mittersill chairlift and we did eight runs but we mostly skied in the glades. There is a lot of snow on the groomed trails but there is a lot of snow in the trees too. We found lots of fresh snow too. Idiot’s Delight (I have no idea why this glade is named that) was super soft and it was fun winding down the mountain between the trees.
    Then we went to the summit for a couple runs. The clouds were thick above three thousand feet and this made the visibility difficult. So back to Mittersill we went for the best light and snow.

     

     

    Hanging with the kids at Loon Mountain. Last day of the season to ski Loon’s South Peak was last week but Loon’s last day of the season is projected to be April 16th.

    Sunday: Family Skiing At Loon Mountain
    On Saturday night our niece’s husband, Mike and their three daughters arrived to spend the night. Mike also brought along his friend Kevin with his two daughters. They drove up I-93 all the way from Boston. Loon and Cannon are their favorite choices for a day outing because it is an easy drive.
    They made a big supper on the barbeque, beer can chicken. The chicken was moist and yummy and a big salad and other fixings. Then everyone was off to bed early in preparation for getting up early to ski Loon.
    Skiing with these kids is fun, they love skiing and their skills improve each time they get out on the snow. There is a lot of laughter and hustling in the lift line to ride with their favorite pal. Kevin skied with his four year old on the 7 brothers lift, green circle trails near the base of the Octagon Lodge. Mike and I took turns being the sweep behind the gang of children that increased during the day. Mike kept meeting friends from Boston on the slopes and we all skied together.
    We rode the gondola up and then skied down to the horizontal chair lift, the Tote Road Quad, which connects South Peak to the rest of the ski area. This lift is a favorite of children. People ride the lift in both directions and riders are facing one another as the chairs pass by as the cable moves along. The kids yell in unison, “Mustard or Ketchup?” “Cake or Ice Cream?” The approaching riders on the other side of the lift answer back, more often than not, loudly with their favorite choice.
    This was the last weekend that South Peak would be open, not for lack of snow it would be closed. Loon was pleasantly full of skiers and riders but it was more like a nice weekday than a busy weekend. There were little to no lift lines and just a short wait for the gondola.
    We enjoyed it all. From North Peak’s Walking Boss glades to Cruiser on South Peak and everything in between. The sun warmed us and the blue sky and the views of grand mountain peaks were endless. Truly a perfect day to take the children skiing. We even had our choice of tables when we went in for lunch. The luxury of Spring skiing shouldn’t be missed.
    But, but, but April is AWESOME. April has longer and warmer sunny days and the slopes and mountains are still heavily blanketed with nice snow. This is the last weekend for Waterville Valley. Cannon and Loon’s proposed closing date is the 16th and Bretton Woods’ the 17th. Wildcat hopes to hang in there until the 30th.
    Have Fun.


  • Wicked Dark Imperial Stout from Baxter brewing

    Heading_WickedBrew

    When you think you are finally done with winter, yet another snow storm hits and reminds you that New England is that place where it isn’t over until the stout lady sings. So with that in mind, we look at another stout offering from our friends up at Baxter Brewing Company in Lewiston, Maine.
    Baxter Brewing is located in the Bates Mill building which is part of the up and coming Lewiston / Auburn area of Maine. Luke Livingston homebrewed during his stint at Clark University. In preparing for his future, he presented a business plan in 2009 which was expected to begin his brewing career. Along with fellow brewer Ben Low, the two set off to change Maine’s brewing industry with their award winning beers. Their assortment of beers shines a light on why craft beer is so popular… because taste matters!


    Wicked Dark uses 12 malts including barley, wheat, rye, and oats. It is almost black with a rich mocha head. In the appropriate tulip glass used to get the most from the nose of a beer, you can pick up toffee and chocolate notes before your first sip. Malty roasted grains and dark fruit follow. The first encounter lets you know the balance of this stout took some time. Aged for over three months, this brew uses American and New Zealand hops including Apollo, Millennium, and Pacific Jade hops. On the fuller side of medium mouthfeel, Wicked spreads its charm through your mouth evenly and appropriately. It is deceptively potent. If you might venture into your second experience, beware…
    This 10% ABV stout is available in 16 oz cans in four packs due to New Hampshire volume to ABV regulations.
    BeerAdvocate.com hasn’t officially rated because it is so new, but I think they will have to rate it soon since it is so good. Baxter is a respected brewery and this Wicked offering is a testament to its ability and dedication to its followers. Some followers on BA have chimed in giving high kudos of 4.25+ to this amazing stout.
    You will find it at Case-n-Keg in Meredith and Laconia as well as other fine beer providers. Look for any of the Baxter beers as they are all worth sampling!

    Jim MacMillan is the owner of WonByOne Design of Meredith, NH, and is an avid imbiber of craft brews and a home brewer as well. Send him your recommendations and brew news to wickedbrews@weirs.com


  • (Semi) Pro Basketball In N.H.

    Mike Moffett

     by Mike Moffett
    Weirs Times Columnist

    With college basketball’s “March Madness-2017” reaching its climax, many basketball fans can’t help but cast their minds back to great games and players of the past. Through the wonders of You-Tube many of these magic moments can be relived with a couple clicks on a computer mouse. Nostalgia has its place.
    However, some basketball stories are just not available via You-Tube. But they can still be savored via the “oral history” recollections of hoop historians regarding the wonderful players and performances of yesteryear.
    Such a historian is Concord’s Bob Gile. Presently a Vice President for Investments at Benjamin F. Edwards and Company, Gile graduated from Franklin High School in 1951. He later graduated from Dartmouth College and then served as a naval officer before entering the world of finance. Some of Gile’s most vivid memories from his Franklin days involve some of the best basketball in the country taking place right in the Franklin High School gym.

    Did the great Bob Cousy play basketball in Franklin High’s gym?

    Franklin, N.H. Not North Carolina, not Kentucky, not Indiana, and not Madison Square Garden.
    Franklin
    “In the late 1940s a sort of semi-pro basketball circuit evolved in New England,” recalled Gile. “Sunday afternoon basketball became an entertainment staple in Franklin.”
    In those post-World War II days, with television in its infancy, locals packed the Franklin gym to watch the Franklin Comets take on all challengers. John Barry was the coach/general manager, and at first the Comets featured local standouts like Frank Mead, Pete Shanelaris and the Robitaillle brothers. But as other teams in the region ramped things up, eventually the Comet roster featured non-locals, like former Bowdoin star Norm Cook, or 6-foot-6 Jack Darton, who hailed from New York. New Hampton’s Everett Nordstrom also became part of the mix as the quality of play skyrocketed. Continue reading  Post ID 2767


  • When A Newspaper Built Houses

    NotSoLongAgo_Blog

    by Robert Hanaford Smith, Sr._DSC2528
    Weirs Times Contributing Writer

    It is not unusual for a local newspaper company to report the news concerning a building project in the community it serves, but it is exceptional for the media to be doing the building project unless it involves its own facilities. Nevertheless, during the depression years of the 1930’s The Laconia Evening Citizen conducted its own home building program in an apparently successful effort to help stimulate the local economy.
    Begun in 1935 under the leadership of the newspaper’s owner, Edward J. Gallagher, a plan was established to build ten “Model Homes” over a period of time in different areas of the city which would provide jobs for local laborers, a home for a local family, and encourage others to build nearby.
    The national unemployment rate in 1935 was 20.1 percent and the New Deal under President Roosevelt was begun along with the Work Progress Act to provide jobs for millions of Americans.

    One of the model homes built by the Laconia Citizen beginning in 1935.

    Those who were working in the United States in 1935 had an average income of $1,600.00 a year. A new house on average cost $3,450.00 and those who rented payed an average of $22 a month. The ground-breaking for Laconia Evening Citizen Model Home One took place on June 15, 1935 on Belknap Street with the then mayor of the city, Walter E. Dunlap as the contractor. Financing for the first and the following nine model homes was provided by the Laconia Building and Loan Association, and the Secretary-Treasurer of the Association, E. Harrison Merrill said of the project after the sale of the third home: “This is a remarkable contribution to community progress on the part of our daily newspaper since in every instance erection of other homes has been stimulated by the fact that the Citizen goes ahead and does it.” Continue reading  Post ID 2767


  • Human Trafficking & Slavery Byproduct of Global Conflicts

    John Metzler

    by John J. Metzler
    Weirs Times Contributing Writer

    UNITED NATIONS -Modern slavery is tragically thriving in the Twenty-first Century!
    While ethnic, religious and military conflicts seem to be the grist of news headlines, the quiet and brutal backstory from this global violence regards the vulnerable millions who have been displaced as migrants and refugees. Ironically in the midst of such desperation there’s a “business model” used by human traffickers who are profiting from slavery, an ancient scourge, which reap profits of over $150 billion annually.
    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that “trafficking networks have gone global” with over 21 million people ensnared in forced labor, and extreme exploitation. Families and societies were being torn apart by what he called “gross violations of human rights.”
    Addressing a special debate in the UN Security Council, Secretary-General Guterres conceded “flourishing where the rule of law was weak and in situations of armed conflict, trafficking was thriving in Syria, where Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) had organized slave markets.” He added that in Nigeria the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram “had considered slavery legal in areas under its sway.”
    Yury Fedotov of the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime added, “terrorists used human trafficking to exploit instability and vulnerability…armed groups preyed on children” in what was described as a “low risk, high-reward business opportunity.”
    Kevin Hyland, Britain’s Anti-Slavery Commissioner, noted that terrorist organizations openly advocated “slavery as a tactic of war” and that Da’esh was targeting minority groups and establishing slave markets.
    “Conflict also created environments in which modern slavery could flourish,” Hyland added.
    Without question such tactics remain a dark corollary of conflict in many countries. Continue reading  Post ID 2767


  • A New Friend

    A Fool In NH Column Heading

    You never know what the day will bring.
    A corny enough saying, but so very true.
    Working at the Weirs Times presents me with great opportunities. One, of course, is having the freedom to express myself on this page each week. I can pretty much go wherever I want.
    Another part of my job is to get out on the road on occasion and find people, places and things in New Hampshire that would make for a good feature story.
    I have taken a ride on the Gundalow Piscataqua along the river of the same name, I have experienced a zipline adventure in the White Mountains, had a complete spa day and even spent an afternoon with the infamous Wolfman at Clerk’s Trading Post in Lincoln, to name a very few.
    Even the stories which would seem rather mundane on the surface proved to be much more interesting than you might imagine once I met the people behind them. Along the way I have also gathered knowledge that I never expected.
    Last week, working on the paper you are holding in your hand today, my lone assignment for the week was to drive a couple of miles from the office and take a picture of Bill Carter for the front page.
    The story had already been written years ago by Lorrie Baird and we thought Bill’s story should be repeated. His adventures and sacrifice in World War II are the kind of stories that need to be retold so that new generations can fully understand the sacrifice these young people in the 1949s made to save the world. Continue reading  Post ID 2767


  • Storm Clouds Swirl Over Korean Peninsula

    John Metzler

    by John J. Metzler
    Weirs Times Contributing Writer

    UNITED NATIONS -Thunder clouds are swirling over the Korean peninsula as a perfect storm of political instability and regional geopolitical challenges rumble through South Korea. North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests, as well as Chinese bullying, have thrust the region into a dangerous cycle which could affect South Korea’s hard won peace and prosperity. Events over the next six months will be crucial.
    Political crisis has returned to South Korea, a vibrant if fractious democracy for over a generation. President Park Geun- hye, the once popular but tough president has been forced from office after a bitter drawn out impeachment scandal. President Park, the now tarnished daughter of Park Chung-hee the strongman who rebuilt the shattered South Korean economy, was a close American ally. Elections slated for May will no longer be the polite formality as expected where former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would swan into the Blue House, but a tough knockdown contest between the now discredited right and an ascendent left.
    Not since the countdown to the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics has there been such political tension.
    Yet today’s Korea faces a very different dynamic as young people have grown up in a safe, secure and prosperous society no longer shadowed by the Korean War of 1950-53 and the arduous rebuilding era of the 1960’s and 1970’s. The candle holding protesters are hardly the militant firebomb throwing hyper political youth of the mid-1980’s. Continue reading  Post ID 2767