Letters to the Editor

On "111 years ago The Casino stood alone
at Hampton Beach … "

I loved your article! I have some fond memories of the old place myself. We will put your article in the "Illustrated History of Rye" in the Town Museum where it deserves to be.

Thanks again.
Alex Herlihy, Director, Rye Town Museum and Historical Society, Rye, New Hampshire

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On "Mount Washington Auto Road: Going up? … "

My parents owned a ski inn at the base of Cranmore mountain in 1948. They sold it after not owning it for too long. I was two when I lived there. One winter day my parents were at the skimobile and somehow I walked away from them and fell through the opening where the cars were attached to the track. My legs got caught in the cable and there was a scramble to turn off the lift. It was turned off ten inches from basically cutting me in half.  My mom fainted and everything turned out OK or I wouldn’t be writing this. Later when I was 12 we went to North Conway for a ski trip and stayed at the Eastern Slopes Inn. My parents gave me some bear trap skis that were way too big for me and after several hours I taught myself to ski. My dad completely embarrassed me when he introduced me to this really handsome man whom he said helped to release me from the cable. I bought car #49 from the man who refurbished all of them and resold them. North Conway was a really special place back then. It still is - just a whole lot more crowded.  

Marcia Litchfield, New Hampton, New Hampshire

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On "Behind the scenes at Prescott Park … "

I have visited the gardens at Prescott Park and enjoyed them and this article as well. As a gardener, I really appreciate the hard work that goes into planning, planting and maintaining. Well done! In every aspect.  
Sharon Hamil, Overland Park, Kansas

Your article is truly delightful and informative, and conveys the pride that the people of Portsmouth have for the Park.
Deb Stavin, Lawrence, Kansas

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On "Veazey's View - The Fable of Content … "

You've been reading and listening to too much right wing propaganda! What would you do...leave the corrupt system the way it is? Just because you like your health care doesn't mean the sytem doesn't need to be changed. Are there problems with the health care law? With such a huge law,of course there are and they will be addressed as we go along; but you would throw the baby out with the bath water! Expand your reading! Find independent journalist! Liberate yourself from corporate crud!
Alex Herlihy, Rye, New Hampshire

Bill Veazey describes the health system problems that need correcting ("How did we get here?"), then rejects the healthcare bill in its entirety without proposing an alternative solution.  Hmmmm.

Bill Veazey is certainly right to use this bill as a poster child for
the size, complexity, and lack of informed voting ("transparency") that
is all too common with legislation in Congress, as he notes: "Next to no
one in Congress read the detailed, convoluted, repetitive words before
the vote."  In fact, the situation is even worse than he indicates.

A year ago Steny Hoyer, the House Majority Leader, made a splash in the
news.  Asked at the time about requiring every member of Congress to
read the health care bill and to make it available to the public for 72
hours, he famously laughed in his response to the reporter and said that
would result in very few votes.  As Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby
noted in his discussion of the incident, Hoyer committed a Michael
Kinsley gaffe (named for Kinsley describing the phenomenon), one of those moments when a politician accidentally tells the truth!

In fact, Senators DeMint and Coburn just created another Kinsley gaffe
in their complex maneuvering with the DeMint-Coburn amendment to the
Grassley-Wyden amendment to the current financial regulation bill (S.

Let's backtrack a little. The Congressional Research Service (CRS)
issues many reports to Congress, but these are not automatically
released to the public. These reports contain extremely useful
information and there are several projects that try to collect them for
the public.  See:


But DeMint and Coburn just released a CRS report from two years ago that
was not previously available to the public.  See:


It explains the "clearance process" by which the Senate passes most
legislation with no debate.  Party leaders in the Senate propose
measures to be passed by "unanimous consent".  If there is no objection,
then the majority leader calls up the measures individually by number,
or in a block, and they are passed without debate. The CRS studied the
110th Congress through June 30, 2008, and found 855 measures passed by unanimous consent, 3 by voice vote, and 53 by roll call vote.

Of course the Senate ties itself in knots just debating the fewer than
10% of measures subject to roll call votes and would hopelessly slow
down with even more debate and roll calls.  But it highlights the
opacity of the process. In fact, the Senate does not keep a list of
measures passed by unanimous consent and the CRS had to do a great deal of research to determine which measures were treated that way.

This is where I would like to close with some pithy quote worthy of
Winston Churchill (or Pogo), but I'm left feeling defeated by the process.

Jim Cerny, New Castle, New Hampshire and Rye Reflections writer/editor

Here is my take. I'm betting you didn't go to the Library of Congress and read the bill, all 2000 pages. No one does or needs to, because it  
is legalese with language like 'Insert paragraph A6b in Title I  page  
1054, subsection 6, of the ----Act' etc. The LOC does however provide  
a readable summary.  A law which provides universal health care for  
300+ million people is huge, not only adding new benefits but  
reforming and changing many laws on the books, federal and state. The  
size and complexity is an irrelevant talking point for the irrelevant  

To call this health care 'socialist' is ridiculous. Socialized  
medicine would be MUCH simpler and MUCH less expensive. It is still  
run by the insurance companies and profit oriented. That's what's  
wrong with it, in my view. It's a mongrel, the result of many  
compromises intended to get 60 votes, but after all their amendments,  
not one Republican vote. However, it's a good start.

Lois Jennings, Florida

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On "Saving the Greenhead (February 2009) … "

I am the Director of the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center in Maine.  We would like a piece of that 70 millions dollars allotted for the greenhead fly research.  We have greenheads up here that can be studied, especially right now.
Linda Woodard, Cape Porpoise, Maine

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August, 2010