Forum, Monday, June 16: Minimum Wage; Seniors on the March; Crony Government

Minimum Wage Is Too Low

To the Editor:

As per the Valley News (“Minimum Wage Fails in Concord” May 9), New Hampshire’s minimum wage will stay at $7.25 per hour. State Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, said it would cost jobs. What a lie — it will create jobs. If people don’t have any disposable income they can’t buy other products.

A person making $7.25 part time has to depend on Medicaid and food stamps, paid for by the taxpayers while these big box stores rake in millions of dollars. And we pay for it. Minimum wage at $7.25 per hour adds up to $225 for 30 hours, before taxes, food, rent, babysitting, electric bills, oil bills, clothes and so on. After working hard for 30 hours or less a week, you don’t have any money to treat your family to a dollar burger at McDonald’s.

Robert Pollard


Seniors Benefited From March

To the Editor:

On behalf of more than 5,000 Grafton County home and senior center meals recipients, we thank everyone who helped make the 3rd Annual March for Meals a huge success. Working together, the eight Grafton County Senior Centers, ServiceLink, and RSVP raised more than $30,000 to support home-delivered and senior center meal programs. Buses from Grafton County Senior Centers ferried walkers and volunteers to Littleton — the site of this year’s event. More than 160 walkers, dogs and baby strollers made the trek through town and along the Ammonoosuc River.

In addition to the walk-a-thon, March for Meals festivities included a pancake breakfast, a salad/side dish competition, a raffle, a poker run and a dance. Major fundraisers from local senior centers were Jenny Littlewood, Orford Senior Center; Patricia Brady and Debbie Whitaker, Horse Meadow Senior Center, North Haverhill; Donna Cornelius, Betsey Cheney and Kelly Bergeron, Upper Valley Senior Center, Lebanon; and Donald Vinton and Anita Garland, Mascoma Senior Center, Canaan. Thanks also to our major local business sponsors.

Many people don’t realize that each meal costs roughly $8.50 to prepare and deliver. We suggest a $3 donation per meal, though it’s not mandatory. No one is turned away. The average donation we receive is under $1 per meal. Fundraising efforts like March for Meals allow us to continue this important service that not only delivers a meal, but a warm greeting and a safety check.

Community is defined as “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals.” Our goal is to make sure no senior in Grafton County is hungry, unsafe or isolated from his or her friends and neighbors. This has been Grafton County Senior Citizens Council’s mission for more than 40 years. Continued community support validates the importance of this mission.

Roberta Berner,

GCSCC Executive Director

The Rev. Gail Dimick,

GCSCC Board President

Cronies In Government

To the Editor:

On the tough issues, Gov. Maggie Hassan has blocked every attempt to liberalize New Hampshire laws.

A decade ago, there was healthy competition in state health insurance. Now New Hampshire health insurance is practically a monopoly; the lion’s share taken by a corporation that is a Hassan campaign contributor. Ten years of crony capitalism has ended competition and driven up prices.

While other New England states have decriminalized marijuana and turned to harm-reduction policies, Hassan (and Lynch before her) fought tooth and nail against drug war reform. The Legislature has passed numerous decriminalization and legalization bills, including the bipartisan HB 492 this session. All have been opposed by Hassan.

Even medical marijuana has been sabotaged; she has refused to implement the medical marijuana law. Forcing cancer patients to suffer for political points is the lowest imaginable behavior for a politician.

On gambling, she again took the crony route, spending most of her political capital on a scheme to create a casino monopoly. Why not just let businesses operate without subsidy or special favors?

After 10 years of crony-capitalist governors, it’s time to shake things up and get New Hampshire back to its Live Free or Die roots. Andrew Hemingway is the only pro-reform candidate this year. He doesn’t have corporate backing, but maybe that’s a good reason to vote for him.

Bill Walker