To the Editor:

Groundwater Ordinance Unenforceable

I would like to respond to Mr. Leon B. Artus'es letter published in Carriage Towne News on November 27, regarding the Atkinson groundwater withdrawal ordinance.

Both Mr. Artus and Mrs. Grant quote from RSA 485-C:1, which is labeled as "Statement of Purpose." It does not give any authority to towns. It recognizes that towns have options under other statutes to protect groundwater, including zoning ordinances, land acquisition, conservation easements, and hazardous waste cleanups. That is why it mentions "programs" and not "ordinances."

I did read the entire chapter 485-C. More important, I read it in the order in which it was written. RSA 485-C:1 is the statement of purpose, and RSA 485-C:2-22 defines how that is to be carried out. It is important to understand that no town ordinance can be passed unless it is specifically authorized by statute, and no procedure defined by state law can have local options unless the law specifically states that it can.

RSA 485-C:21 spells out a detailed process for the regulation of large groundwater withdrawals by the state. There is a limited role for towns to give input, but the decision is made by the state. There is no local option allowed either to have stricter standards or more procedures than those detailed in RSA 485-C:21.

No part of RSA 485-C gives towns any additional power to pass ordinances other than those authorized by other statutes, such as zoning. RSA 485-C:20, "Effect on Local Ordinances" which, I mentioned, reflects the understanding of the statement of purpose in affirming the power of towns to pass ordinances to protect groundwater under other statutes, such as zoning. But it specifically excepts water withdrawals from this affirmation of authority. RSA 485-C:21 lays out the process for regulation of large groundwater withdrawals, with no provision for local ordinances, and RSA 485-C:20 states that towns can not claim authority under any other state statute to pass ordinances to regulate groundwater withdrawals. That is why I state that the Atkinson water ordinance is unenforceable.

Regarding notions of taking local government back, there has never been much power at the local level in the state of New Hampshire. The legislature has always kept the towns on a short leash. I would like to recommend to people in every town that they read a manual called "Knowing the Territory", published annually by the NH Local Government Center, and distributed by most towns to incoming selectmen and other town officials. It explains the roles, responsibilities, and relationships of the town meeting, selectmen, budget committee, and other elected and appointed officials and boards.

Curtis H. Springer


To the Editor:

Let My Caytie Rest

I am writing in response to Jackie Silva's and John Caughey's letters to the editor. I tried so hard to ignore the letters but I can't. I will address Mr Caughey's letter first.

I will tell you of the facts of the trial. First, I want to tell you a little bit about Caitlyn. She was 18 and just beginning to show some maturity. She met Dante when she was 15. Caitlyn was a girl with low self esteem. Dante was a guy who swept her off her feet. At the beginning, I tried to end their relationship but Caitlyn would try and run away. I eventually allowed Dante into my home so I could at least watch the two of them. Caitlyn was not by any means the perfect child, but she was not a heroin user. I tried the best I could to help her make good decisions in life. I sent her to counseling. I talked frequently with her about choices in life. If I felt she was endangering herself, I didn't hesitate to take her to Chief Briggs. Whenever Caitlyn did something wrong, she would tell me about it.!

She could not carry guilt for long. Chief Briggs and Mr Beals (the former principal of SRHS) once told me that she was the most honest girl they knew. After she died, I found two restraining orders she had taken out on Dante. I didn't know about those, but Caitlyn was also a girl that would not tell on her friends. She sometimes took the blame for them. Just before her death, Dante threw a remote control at her and gave her a fat lip. I threw him out of my house, which led them both to Dante's house, a house that has five adults living in it. I had talked many times with Dante's mother and felt comfortable with her being there. I never thought that anything would happen to her over there. I never thought the either Dante or Caitlyn would do anything in his house. I thought that the adults in the house would keep an eye on them. Just before her death, I was thinking of selling my house to get her away from this area. I wish I had done that years before.

The trial was on the charge of dispensing a drug with death resulting. There were 12 jurors, 12 people that did not know neither Dante nor Caitlyn. It was proven in court that Dante was the one who purchased the heroin. Caitlyn was left-handed. The Chief Medical Examiner testified that Caitlyn had fresh, within 24 hours, needle marks in her left arm. No needle marks on her right arm. No hardened veins due to frequent injections. She also testified that more than likely she fell into a coma almost immediately after the injection. That she was in a coma for 6 to 8 hours before she died. I did not know of this until the trial. I thought she died immediately, only to find out she suffered for hours. That she fell in pulmonary edema ( that is when your lungs fill up with fluid) and then developed aspiration pneumonia ( that is when you choke on your own secretions) Dante called his grandmother to check on Caitlyn at noon, telling her she did not feel good when he left. Caitlyn died at approximately 10:45 a.m.

His mother called my house around 12:30 and left a message telling us to call when we had a chance. At that point, they had already known that Caitlyn had died. Mr Sisti suggested that Caitlyn did this to herself yet there was no drug paraphernalia in the house. Dante had taken it and dumped it in a dumpster at the Cumberland Farms. Dante himself told the police that. They then went and got the video of him dumping the drugs at 5:30 a.m. Mr Sisti, tried really hard to make Caitlyn look like this long term drug abuser. Nothing about Dante's past could be said in the courtroom. In fact, nothing bad could be said about Dante at all. It was proven that Dante purchased the drugs, gave them to Caitlyn (whether he injected her or not, although, it is kind of hard to find a vein and inject yourself with your non-dominant hand) and she died from those drugs. Twelve ordinary people found him guilty with that evidence.

Now I would like to address Dante's grandmother, Jackie, and Helene and Gerry Palmer, Dante's aunts. I know that Caitlyn had a mind of her own. But her mind was not a mature mind. As I stated earlier, she was just starting to make some mature decisions. Dante was abusive to her. You cannot deny that. When you take a young girl who is madly in love with someone who is controlling, that person would just about do anything for that person. Caitlyn was not a strong person. She often bended to peer pressure. I tried so hard in her life to make her a strong person but to no avail. She wanted to be loved. She wanted so many friends. She wrote in her diary, "I love Dante. I wish I didn't" I wish I could go back to my old friends" I wish I could just go back to riding my bike".

I am not trying to bring Dante down as you are doing to Caitlyn. As I said before, Caitlyn was not the perfect child. I am only stating the facts of the trial. I was the only one who liked Dante. After Caitlyn's death, her friends told me they knew of the control he had over her. I was shocked when I never heard from him after her death. You can say that there were threats made but any mother will have verbal outbursts when she just found out her child has died. Dante didn't even say anything at the sentencing. Dante, to me, has done everything a guilty person would do. I believe that he has to serve his time and I do hope that he gets the treatment that he needs for his addiction. One more thing, Caytie is spelled with a C not a K.

Jackie, you state you hope that I am doing something for people with substance or alcohol problems. I am trying to do something about the prevention, intervention and treatment of drug and alcohol problems. We have developed a non-profit foundation in Caitlyn's name. All monies earned will be used for the students of SRHS. This year, we gave out a scholarship in Cayte's name at the high school. Something, we plan on doing every year. We gave it out to a student that had struggles in high school and overcame those struggles. I have joined the Sanborn/Timberlane Coalition against substance abuse. I have taken courses on drug and alcohol problems. I still hope to one day have a teen center open in town for the high school students. I would also one day like to form a support group for parents who have lost children to drug/ alcohol abuse. I have written to politicians to pass new drug laws that are in the legislature now. Most recently, for better drug and alcohol treatment in the prisons. I also pray to God that the Silva/Palmer residence is also doing something to help prevent this from happening to another family.

Now, will you please let my Caytie rest.

Gayle Brady


To the Editor:

Huckabee’s Economic and Tax Policies

Former Governor Mike Huckabee has convinced many Americans that he is a nice man with deeply held conservative social beliefs. He’s been glib and persuasive in discussions and debates like the first guy from Hope Arkansas, namely Bill Clinton. Huckabee pleads with voters to give Hope a second chance.

Unfortunately, Huckabee’s rhetoric is masking glaring economic faults. For example, sounding like John Edwards, Huckabee says America is a nation of rising income inequality and shrinking economic opportunity. He promises to address this situation with “reforms”, usually a code word for taxes. Meanwhile, a just released detailed study based on nearly one hundred thousand actual tax returns by the US Treasury Department shows Edward’s and Huckabee’s claims to be, in the words of the Wall Street Journal “hokum”.

Huckabee also champions the “Fair Tax” or a national sales tax to supposedly replace most current federal taxes. Sounds great, but economic analysis by a number of experts shows the proposal to be deeply flawed. Supporters claim a rate of 23% would meet current revenue needs. However, they arrive at this rate by adding a tax of $30 to a $100 purchase and then saying that the $30 is only 23% of the $130 total purchase. Even with this slight of hand, detractors say the rate would need to be doubled to meet the government’s needs. Think about a 60% sales tax.

Perhaps more troubling, the tax would apply to all purchases of new items including cars and houses. The tax would also apply to services, from hair cuts to doctor’s visits. If you’re not ready to cry foul to the Fair Tax yet, consider that town and state governments would also have to pay the tax on purchases, raising all of our other taxes. This tax proposal, interestingly first advocated by the Church of Scientology, has other serious flaws and makes even the current federal tax morass look good by comparison.

Huckabee has minimal campaign staff support for taxes and economic issues which is manifested in ill advised support of the Fair Tax. This makes his popularity dangerous on economic and tax issues, the very issues which New Hampshire voters so famously focus on.

I am sticking with my choice of Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate who is right on economic and tax issues as well as social issues. Governor Romney exudes confidence in the American people as the basis for our hope for a better future. We are all in need of more of that kind of “Hope”.

Mark Sykas


To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the letters written about Caitlyn Brady. I am her aunt and am proud to identify myself as such. I came for a Thanksgiving visit and was shocked and saddened to see that the Silva/Palmer families are still blaming the Bradys for Dante Silva's predicament. Silva was a heroin user. He overdosed on a previous occasion and his friend saved him. He did not die. Heroin overdoses happen very quickly and are immediately apparent to those present. Silva bought drugs from his dealer.

He injected drugs into Caitlyn's arm, probably giving her an amount that he usually injected into himself but since she was not a heroin user it was too much for her. She immediately overdosed. He left her to die. She laid dying for hours in his room. He could have saved her. He chose not to. He has to live with his decisions, just as Caitlyn died because of his decisions. Caitlyn did not have to die. Period.

The family and friends of Silva had an opportunity to say something positive about Dante Silva at his sentencing hearing. We waited to hear something positive. No one said anything positive. We waited for Dante to express remorse or sadness for losing the person he supposedly cared so deeply about. He stayed silent. The family instead chose to bash Caitlyn and the Brady family. Why? They still continue to do so. It is time to stop and let Caitlyn rest in peace. If there was an injustice in the case, the courts will deal with it. Perhaps the Silva family should start nurturing what is positive in Dante instead of blaming the Brady family for his predicament because one day he will get out of jail, and he will once again have to make choices in life.

Elaine Pourinski

North Hampton

To the Editor:

Thank you for printing the announcement of the December 2, 2007 Presidential Town Hall Meeting on Addiction to be held at Timberlane Regional High School’s Fine Arts Center.

This past September, the annual National Recovery Month theme was Join the Voices for Recovery: Saving Lives, Saving Dollars and focused on the financial and human costs substance use disorders have on individuals, their families and the community. Alcohol and other drug use and addiction have taken an enormous toll on the health and wellbeing of too many of our local Rockingham County citizens, most particularly our youth. Families and the community are all impacted when just one person is dependent on alcohol and/or other drugs.

The good news is that treatment is cost efficient and works to get people back on track as healthy, contributing members of our society. But treatment (and prevention/ intervention/ and recovery support) services need to be available, accessible, and affordable.

In 2006, 111,000 New Hampshire residents needed but did not receive treatment for alcohol and drug problems. And in state-by-state rankings by the US Department of Health and Human Services, NH girls ranked 1st and NH boys ranked 2nd in lifetime marijuana use.

Recovery from substance use disorders can be achieved and leads to meaningful, healthy lives. We all need to understand the financial and human benefits that recovery from substance use disorders can have. And it is critical to educate our community members about effective responses to addiction that prevent and treat problems and support people in long-term recovery.

Denise Devlin


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