Portsmouth NH Herald housing stories are good local journalism

Herald housing stories are good local journalism despite company ownership

November 1 − To the editor:

I really enjoyed Jeff McMenemy’s articles on housing in Portsmouth.(“Portsmouth needs more accommodation“, October 30 and”Amazing locationNovember 1). The housing article was a more in-depth look at the problems we face here in trying to provide so-called affordable housing. There are many obstacles to solving this problem and McMenemy tries to present several of them .

The article on Ruth’s Place was a nice celebration of a success. PHA faced a tremendous amount of pushback when this project was first proposed, so I appreciate that the document has made an effort to show how this type of housing really benefits the community.

These articles are examples of local journalism done well. Good for the Herald to continue to represent the Seacoast although it is now owned by a national chain.

Christine Bastienelli


Sending fake attacks to Somersworth

November 6 − To the editor:

I have been made aware of a political letter claiming that our local representatives in Somersworth, myself included, keep books promoting pornography in our schools. It’s scandalous!

I do not keep pornographic material in my home! I have never promoted pornographic material to anyone! Me neither in the future!

I may be a transgender person, but I don’t impose my gender identity on anyone! And I certainly don’t promote pornographic material, especially in schools. In addition to being a state representative, I have also been a member of the Somersworth School Board for 5 years. I will not promote pornographic material in our schools!

Gerry Canon


Brighton is wrong, but he has the right to express his views

November 1 − To the editor:

I read with interest the latest missive from Mr Jonathan Sandberg criticizing both the editor of the Portsmouth Herald and our eccentric resident Mark Brighton. While I disagree with a single word Mr. Brighton said, I support his right to speak out and the derogatory comments and use of the term “Gerry’s Kids”.

It’s despicable speech in my opinion, but Mr. Sandberg would be the first to scream like a stuck pig if someone tried to avoid him or prevent him from expressing his opinions, which he often does here in the Opinion columns. Mr Brighton has every right to express his views as the editorial column follows the constitutional guideline of ‘time, place and manner’.

I think Mr. Brighton’s comments are off the mark, but they are still his own and from what I read in these pages his comments are moderate compared to the others.

So the moral to this is that Mr Sandberg is thicker skinned or maybe you should start looking at the Christian Science Monitor pages compared to the Portsmouth Herald. Portsmouth, in every way, is politically like the Wild West and you have to be able to sing the Republic battle anthem and whistle Dixie with equal enthusiasm.

T. Stephen McCarthy


Corporate price hikes to maximize profits drive inflation

November 6 − To the editor:

I’m writing too late for the election, but during the campaign we heard a lot about inflation, on one side saying it’s because of Liberal overspending on bridges and such, on the other side saying it’s supply chain issues caused by the war in Ukraine. The fact is, inflation happens when companies raise prices. Uh. Companies raise prices to maximize profits for their shareholders, because they can. Uh. True, they have rising costs due to war-related supply chain issues and upward pressure on wages caused by labor shortages caused by anti-immigrant sentiment that closed the routes of legal entry into the country; but prices rise faster than costs almost by definition because rising costs multiply at each level of the supply chain. What good are higher wages with lower purchasing power?

Now we have a Federal Reserve Chairman, Powell, who has pledged to get inflation under control by slowing the economy, the logic being that a temporary recession is less painful than long-term inflation. He may be right; that’s what Paul Volker did in the 80s when it was much worse. But it should be noted that President Powell was first nominated by Trump in 2018 and reappointed by Biden last February. It is not a partisan position. The rise in interest rates is not a function of the party in power. Also note, Europe is facing the same phenomenon, and several European countries levy taxes on excess profits. Given the record earnings, i.e. price gouging just announced by Exxon/Mobile and Chevron, we should seriously consider doing it here. Remember, when the Republicans took control in 2017 and lowered the corporate tax rate, we expected them to plug the loopholes. But they didn’t, allowing Amazon to make $10 billion and legally pay no taxes. This must stop. It shouldn’t be partisan.

Jeffrey Cooper


For your health, learn more about pancreatic cancer

November 1 − To the editor:

Today begins Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and November 17 is World Pancreatic Cancer Day. I’m reaching out to promote the month and help raise awareness and see if you’d consider posting a story or mentioning it. We requested a proclamation from Governor Sununu, reached out to NH Senators and Congressional Representatives to mark this month on social media, and for Portsmouth Memorial Bridge and the Concord Hotel to be lit purple on the 17th.

I have been volunteering for the Boston branch of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) for a few years after my father was diagnosed and then died of the disease last year after a four year battle. Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers in the country, with a five-year survival rate of just 11%. PanCAN’s mission is “to work to improve the lives of all people touched by pancreatic cancer by advancing research, building community, sharing knowledge and advocating for patients.”

My father was a Vietnam veteran turned businessman who left a successful career in New York 27 years ago to move to NH to spend more time with his family. He dedicated his time to building a new community center in Wilmot and started the youth lacrosse program in New London, which he served as director for over 20 years. My brothers and I were blessed to grow up with him coaching our lacrosse, baseball and football teams. He was visiting me in 2017 while I was in the Navy stationed in San Diego when I noticed something was wrong after he refused a beer and mentioned stomach pains. A month later, I was crying in my car after coming home from work when he told me on the phone that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and had six months to live.

Thanks to his strong spirit, faith and the help and support of friends and family, doctors and PanCAN, the family and I were blessed with four more years and some more family adventures with him. Two months before his death, he started a new immunotherapy treatment through PanCAN, but unfortunately the cancer returned before the treatment had a chance to show up. We have all benefited enormously from the work of PanCAN, and I want to give back to help future patients and their families. The family started a foundation holding an annual golf, pork roast and lacrosse tournament held the past two summers to raise money for the New London Outing Club, PanCAN and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Thanks for your help!

Tim Morgan


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