Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014-Be Part Of The Solution

The Three Rs Aren't Enough Any Longer by Kyle Leach

Earth Day/Earth Week isn't something to celebrate any longer. Forty years have passed since its inception and in most ways the Earth and humanity are in much worst shape environmentally than they were forty years ago. We have much work to do; there is little time left for play or celebration, when it comes to the environment. Don't get me wrong we have accomplished many things in those forty years, but careless attitudes with regard to the Earth still prevail in industry, in government, and in our private lives. These obstacles must not continue to distract us. Those of us in The West live very sheltered, privileged  lives and unfortunately we inflict tremendous damage to the Earth. Because of that, we must be the first to step forward to mend our wounded world and it must be done quickly.

Making smaller changes won't be enough any longer. We need to be bold and we need to be innovative, and above all else we must be resilient and not loose hope. It is also essential that we work together and that we help each other make these changes. Humanity has shown many times throughout history that we can overcome great, formidable obstacles. I won't lie to you, to do such great things in the past we had to make huge sacrifices and large portions of the populace were unhappy with the sacrifices. We had to make hard choices and some of us often had to alter our future paths. In the end we found the best in ourselves and in each other. We prevailed.

I'm not asking you to do this for yourselves, for those your know, or even for others in the world. Most of us will be elderly or will have passed through The Great Veil, by the time sweeping changes will overwhelm the Earth. I am asking you to do this for all life on our planet and for the future of our species. Most of the people inhabiting this planet have no idea how special life is. Most have no idea how rare it is in our universe. Most have no concept of how unique sentient life is or how important the Earth's diversity is. As the dominant sentient species on the planet, the mantle of  Earth's stewardship falls on our shoulders. We are all responsible for changing everything we have put into place in order to build a sustainable future.

Every day must be Earth Day. Every decision needs to be in the interest of preserving and restoring what is left of of our natural world. The steps toward change will seem outrageous at first, but we do not have time to bicker and keep the status quo, we do not have time to continue our selfishness. The question is no longer should we do something, when should we do it, or what will it cost all of us? Those modes of thinking are terribly outdated. We are hardly in any position to negotiate. If we continue to sit on our hands, or worse, pretend nothing needs to be done, the results will be catastrophic for our species. Suffering and destruction will continue to increase over our lifetime, until it is everywhere and until no one is immune. Is that the world you want? On our current path it is the world we will get.

Now is the time to make sweeping changes. Most of us need to change many things about our lives and governments and industry around the globe must do the same. The only things stopping us form reaching these goals quickly are our own selfish fears and the selfish fears of those with power and money. This is our world and we must do what is right for our world. The elite, top five percent of earners in the world have lived quite nicely off of the rest of us for as long as civilization has existed. It is time for them to pay the piper. The changes with be hardest for them to swallow, but swallow that jagged little pill they must, even if it has to happen by shoving it down their throats. We need to make them change, by changing ourselves and demanding our place and voice in the world. They will not help us otherwise.

I'm not going to spend time pointing to resources or outlining everything you need to do. Forty years of environmental discussion and the online world have made that completely unnecessary. Everyone reading this knows how to do a search and certainly knows how to make plans. Information and education about environmental issues hasn't been a problem for two decades. Most of it is common sense anyhow. The choices are up to you, your education is up to you, and  the work is up to you. 

I will tell you that from my experiences, the hard stuff and the most difficult decisions do get easier with time. Once some of the "things" and "stuff" and "fluff" are out of your ideology and out of your life, you don't miss them so much. The hardest part is peer pressure, but eventually you will learn not to give in so often.It is kind of like aging. The older you get, the more you know. Trivial things become less important. It gets easier to spot the jewels of life and avoid the pitfalls. Your fear probably won't disappear with time, mine hasn't, but you will find ways to cope with it. Stan and I will be right there with you making changes. You aren't alone.

I'm hoping for a future with us in it, but I would be remiss if I was not honest about the possibly we won't be a part of this world's future. We are on shaky ground and  we as a species are shaped by our evolutionary line. There are some things we can tolerate and other things that we can't adapt to quickly. Human beings and our civilizations are more fragile than you think. There is no way of knowing exactly what will happen and how soon each change will occur. There are simply too many variables to easily identify all the outcomes. That may seem fatalist, but from my view it really isn't. It is entirely possible that some species could survive, even if we did not. It is also possible some could become sentient and leave the planet before our sun goes dim. There is always hope when you look outside yourself.

We are going to make mistakes, we will have failures, and things may not turn out as we thought they would, but life is about the journey, not the destination. As Five for Fighting would say, history starts now, let's build a masterpiece.

 May this day bring many opportunities for growth, understanding, and action for us all.


Reduce- Reuse-Recycle-Rethink-Replenish-Restore-Renew

  1. Reduce what we use, what we waste, and how many children we have.
  2. Reuse as much as we can, as often as we can.
  3. Recycle everything we possibly can.
  4. Rethink our lives, our goals, and our future. What is really meaningful?
  5. Replenish that which man has plundered.
  6. Restore as much of the world to a natural state as we possibly can. 
  7. Renew our connection with all life and the planet itself.

 The Story Of Stuff

If you have never seen this, you should. Trust me.

Seven Things You Can Do For The Earth That Actually Matter And That Collectively Make A Huge Individual/Global Impact

  1. Don't Use Plastic.(This is one of the hardest things on the list believe it or not.)
  2. Add Alternative Energy Sources And Alternative Heating and Cooling Sources To Your Home/Business(This one is pretty easy, but it does take some cash. Better start saving.)
  3. Go Vegetarian Or Vegan(Start with just one day a week and then up number of days over time)
  4. Don't Use Planes(We really need these for transporting goods, not people. Use other forms of mass transit.)
  5. Don't Drive A Car(See above)
  6. Nix The Idea Of Having Children(I know this one is hard, but it can make the future much brighter. Less people for the world to support is a win-win situation.)
  7.  Grow your own food. Start small and expand with time.
  8. Buy Local(Start with a few products and then expand)
Take a look at this Huffington Post article to find out why these all have such a huge eco-impact.

A Little Humor


What Kind Of World Do You Want?

One of my favorite videos of all time, Five Four Fighting's song, World. It makes me sad and happy at the same time. It hurts yet, empowers me. Could you ask more from a song?

2nd Annual Town Clean Up- Saturday April 26th-Meet At 7AM, Clean 8-12

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Tri Town Democrats Honors Dinner-Saturday, May 24, 2014 6 – 9PM

Tri Town Democrats
The Town Democratic Committees of
Farmington Milton New Durham
cordially invite you to attend the
Tri Town Honors Dinner
to celebrate the accomplishments of
Ronald Chagnon Leo Lessard
with Special Guest
Carol Shea-Porter
Saturday, May 24, 2014
6:00 – 9:00 PM
Farmington Recreation Center
531 Main St, Farmington, NH 03835 
Dinner will consist of a fresh salad and a selection of specialty breads for starters, followed by your choice of Lemon Chicken Lasagna or Egglant Napoleon (vegetarian), catered by the Portable Pantry, Hanson Street, Rochester. www.PortablePantryNH.com
Tickets $25 individual $45 couple
Please RSVP by May 8th to
Tri Town Dinner Reservations
PO Box 637, Farmington, NH 03835
Reserve your tickets online at

Who Are The Koch Brothers And What Do They Want?

"The truth is that the agenda of the Koch brothers is to move this country from a democratic society with a strong middle class to an oligarchic form of society in which the economic and political life of the nation are controlled by a handful of billionaire families.

Our great nation must not be hijacked by right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers. 

For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we must fight back."

 Sen. Bernie Sanders

Why Americans Pay Way More For Health Care Than Everyone Else

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Super Rich Are Richer Than We Thought, Hiding Huge Sums-Government Listens To Lobbyists And The Wealthy

Read the full papers on wealth concentration here, and the one on offshore tax havens here.

The Government Listens To Lobbyists And The Wealthy, Not You And Me
Bernie Sanders Warns Americans Are Losing Faith In The Political System
"What exists all over America today is that millions and millions and millions of people - working people, low income people, young people - they look at the political process and they say, 'Not for me...'" Senator Bernie Sanders

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

U.S. Corporations Have Over $2 Trillion Stashed Oversea

Huge Security Bug 'Heartbleed' Hits Up To 66 Percent Of The Internet

Help Repeal The NH Death Penalty

Granite Staters - write, call or email your senator about HB1170 the bill to repeal the death penalty Some are still trying to decide. Very close to making this happen, but we need everyone on board. Contact info here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/Senate/members/wml.aspx

Call on New Hampshire’s elected officials to support the repeal of the death penalty in New Hampshire in 2014. Supporters of death penalty repeal want capital punishment ended for many reasons, some of which follow:
  • The risk of killing those who are innocent. Over 130 people have been released from death row due to evidence of wrongful convictions since the 1973.
  • Belief in the sanctity of human life until natural death.
  • Friends and family of murder victims seek swift and sure justice on behalf of their loved one and closure for themselves. Trials that seek death for the criminal are lengthy and the death penalty is not often actually carried out.
  • Taxpayers would rather spend their hard-earned money on other priorities, such as help for crime victims’ families and programs to prevent crime, instead of on the expensive appeals process required in capital cases.
  • Killing of convicted criminals is unnecessary because society can be kept safe by sentencing them to life in prison without parole.
  • Opposition to killing criminals to show to killing is wrong.
  • Racial and class bias result in a disproportionate share of poor and minority Americans being condemned to death.
  • Over two-thirds of countries have eliminated the death penalty. The United States stands alongside China, Iran, North Korea, and Yemen in committed the largest share of executions around the world.
  • Executions require the state to employ one or more citizens in the killing of the criminal.
  • Those sentenced to death are sometimes suffering from mental illness, which may have influenced them to commit crime.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Boeing Got $7,250 In Tax Breaks For Every $1 It Spent Lobbying

Medicaid Expansion Signed Into Law: Democrats Claim Victory

Census: Urbanized Counties Of NH Grow As Rural Counties Shrink

HB 1170- ROCK THE SENATE Event Moved To Rep's Hall On April 3rd!

New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty


Come rally to repeal the death penalty in NH on April 3rd!

We're asking all repeal supporters to come to Concord and Rock the Senate for the hearing on the death penalty repeal bill (HB 1170) in the Judiciary Committee, in Rep's Hall in the State House. Since the capacity is 400 in the lower section alone, we face no space restrictions and if we want to MAKE A STATEMENT that NH can live without the death penalty, the most visible way to do that will be to show up in vast numbers. Please Register Now.

For those who can come early, please bring signs, posters, etc. (and we'll have more on hand) to show support outside the State House starting around 8:30, before the session begins at 9am. You are encouraged to bring a written statement that will be entered into the record.

We will again have a number of leaders, experts and citizens from NH ready to testify -- from the faith community, members of law enforcement, murder victim family members, former Attorneys General, former NH Supreme Court Justices, and others.
If you can drive others from your area to the event -- or if you need a ride -- please call or email us (contact info below).

Rep's Hall can accommodate a huge crowd, so there's no limit to how many can come.
See you there!

John-Michael Dumais, Campaign Director
April 3rd, 2014 8:30 AM   through  ???

NH State House
107 N. Main St
Rep's Hall
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-230-2335

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Forty-Eight NH Towns Called For A Constitutional Amendment To Overturn Citizens United-Add Your Voice

From Public Citizen:

Forty-eight New Hampshire towns called for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United at town meetings this month. New Hampshirites have clearly shown that they want a nation that is truly of, by and for the people — not one bought and sold by the ultra-wealthy.

Now the New Hampshire state Senate is considering an amendment resolution of its own.

Tell your New Hampshire state senator to follow the will of the people and back a constitutional amendment.

The state Senate will decide this Thursday, March 27, whether to support a constitutional amendment.

Sixty towns considered the issue, which translates to a 4-to-1 margin of victory for pro-amendment forces. And the vast majority of Granite State residents polled support an amendment, so the choice for senators should be clear.

Email your state senator and ask that she or he stand with the people of New Hampshire for democracy and against the big outside spenders.

Critics Pan Republicans' 'No New National Parks' Bill

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Let’s Jumpstart the American Dream

By Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter

Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH1)
The celebrated promise of our country has always been that hard work would lead to good jobs, fair pay and a shot at the American dream.

For many, though, that fundamental promise has been unraveling: a bailout for Wall Street, too few jobs bills for Main Street, a growing gap between the wealthy and poor, and smaller take-home pay that’s squeezing middle-class families.

I believe that our biggest challenge is to jumpstart the American dream for middle and working-class families who are the foundation of every New Hampshire community. We must recommit ourselves to building an economy where all can work, where hard work merits fair pay, and, as our economy grows, everyone prospers.

America has a jobs crisis, and Congress must take action. During this session of Congress, I’ve helped introduce jobs bills that would jumpstart our economy by putting money back into the pockets of hardworking families, ending the job-killing policy known as sequestration once and for all, and investing in New Hampshire’s infrastructure. There are many jobs bills waiting for a vote. I’ve sponsored legislation to keep jobs in America. I’ve also written legislation that would permanently double the tax deduction for new businesses, and would help teachers who pay for educational supplies by expanding a tax deduction for them. I’ve cosponsored legislation that would allow employers to claim a $2,400 credit when they hire a recently discharged veteran. These are common sense steps to help our small businesses grow, support middle-class families and stand up for veterans.

Over the past couple of decades, American workers have become more productive, but wages have remained mostly stagnant. A study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that the minimum wage would have reached $21.72 an hour in 2012 if it had kept up with increases in worker productivity.

The reason I, along with 63 percent of Americans, support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for hardworking men and women is because a stronger minimum wage means a stronger economy. Raising the minimum wage helps working families make ends meet, and it drives economic growth for local businesses.

Women still make only 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. This pay gap is unfair, it hurts working families, and it’s a drag on our economy. State Sen. Sylvia Larsen is leading the charge for paycheck fairness in New Hampshire, and in the U.S. Congress, I was proud to help launch the Women’s Economic Agenda. Jumpstarting the American dream means supporting American women who are working to achieve job security and economic stability for themselves and their families.

Retirement security is another cornerstone of the American dream. Before Medicare, only half of seniors had health insurance. Today, virtually all do. Thanks to the prescription drug benefits in the Affordable Care Act, 11,962 Granite State Medicare beneficiaries saved an average of $807 each in 2013. I joined colleagues to introduce the Strengthening Social Security Act of 2013, which would improve benefits for current and future Social Security beneficiaries, protecting the American dream.

Recently, there have been a number of proposals to balance the budget on the backs of New Hampshire seniors. The Ryan budget would eliminate the Medicare guarantee for seniors and reopen the Medicare doughnut hole, costing seniors hundreds of dollars more each year. I strongly oppose this type of budget and any budget that contains cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security benefits.

The promise of America is not that we guarantee equal outcome; it’s that we try to provide a ladder of opportunity for all those willing to work hard. We need to increase investments in education from preschool to college, because education is the key to a nation’s prosperity. Education brings higher incomes, which helps not only the individual and his or her family, but the community as well.

I believe that risk-takers and entrepreneurs should be rewarded for their visions, their discoveries, and their innovations. I also believe that those who work each day to carry out that vision should be paid a fair wage. Fair play and opportunity are woven into the American dream.

As I travel throughout New Hampshire’s First District, I hear my constituents say the same thing, regardless of their political differences. Our citizens say that people who work hard and play by the rules should still have a shot at success. We might live in a time of divided government, but that is no excuse for inaction. Let’s work together and jumpstart the American dream now!


Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter represents N.H.’s First District.

Let’s Jumpstart the American Dream in the Bedford Journal

Image Credit:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Media Should Stop Giving Space To Climate Change And Science Deniers

"I think the media has to sort of come out of this ethos that I think was in principle a good one, but doesn't really apply in science. The ethos was, whatever story you give, you have to give the opposing view, and then you can be viewed as balanced...you don't talk about the spherical earth with NASA and then say let's give equal time to the flat-earthers.

Plus, science is not there for you to cherry pick. You know, I said this once and it's gotten a lot of Internet play, I said the good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.

I guess you can decide whether or not to believe in it, but that doesn't change the reality of an emergent scientific truth. "  Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Tri Dems Meeting Tonight- Emma Ramsey Center, Milton, 6:30

We will be meeting jointly with Milton and New Durham, at the Emma Ramsey Center in Milton at 6:30. we'll discuss some of the election results, campaigns for the next cycle, and joint fundraising efforts.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

2014 Farmington Town Elections And Town Meeting

Town Elections will be held on Tuesday, March 11th.
Town Meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 12th.

Just in case you didn't hear, the town meeting has been postponed until Thursday, March 20, 7:00 PM at the Rec Center.  Hope you all can make it.

Two items of interest that might come up are the removal of the COAST bus system from the budget, which would effectively cancel bus service to Farmington, and the shrinking of the Goodwin Library budget.

Election of Town Officers

The last day to preregister to vote for the March 11th Town Election was Saturday, March 1st 2014. You can register at the election. Please remember that voter ID is needed to register AND/OR to vote. If you do not have an acceptable ID you may be “recognized” by an appropriate election official or sign a challenged voter affidavit form which will allow you to vote.

The following offices are available for this year’s election. The incumbent is listed to the right of the office:

Board of Selectmenone 3 year seat    Four individuals filed for candidacy
Joshua Carlsen
David Connelly
Brian St. Onge
Ann Titus

Budget Committee - three 3-year seats   Three individuals filed for candidacy
Sam Cataldo
Stephen Henry
Brian St. Onge

Supervisor of the Check List - one 6-year position      One individual filed for candidacy
Kathy King (R)

Budget Committeeone 1year seat   No one filed for candidacy
Town Moderatorone 1 year seat    No one filed for candidacy
Town Treasurer – one 1 year seat     No one filed for candidacy
Trustees of the Trust Funds -  three 1 year seats.   No one filed for candidacy

School Board -  two 3-year seats     Five individuals filed for candidacy
Joshua Carlsen
Timothy Moody
Penny Morin
Joseph Pitre
Brandy Sanger

Sample Ballot
Sign-up for Town/School Offices ran from January 22, 2014 through January 31, 2014.

Download the Sample Ballot document.

Town Warrant
Petitioned warrant articles for the Town Warrant deadline was February 4th, 2014.

Download the Warrant Articles document.

Proposed Budget

Download the Proposed Budget document.

For more information, visit the Town Meeting Information  page on the Town of Farmington website.

A Story About Why We Need Libraries- By Kyle Leach

A Story About Why We Need Libraries- By Kyle Leach

My journey and experiences in life are not that different from tens of millions of people in our nation and billions around the globe. If we want better localities, if we really want a better world we have to entrust a large part of our future growth to libraries and allow them to empower, enlighten, and prepare us. We have to make a commitment to fight for them and make a conscious effort to use their services and programs. Now I'll tell you why they are so important to me personally.

The late seventies and early eighties were very hard years for Americans in the lower classes. The precursors that would lead to the decimation of the working class, to ever increasing poverty, homelessness, and dis-empowerment were already at work. My family lived a fairly comfortable life in the late seventies, just the four of us. Lower middle class is about where we would fall if you chose to label us. My mom was a public school educator; she taught sixth grade, worked the full school day and then spent most evenings grading or planning. She really loved teaching. My father was a pressman, a term you don't hear much anymore. He worked very hard. He worked long hours and often worked six or seven days to try to make ends meet. My mom worked in town and did not drive and my father drove two hours each way to get to work. We had a house and one car, but only because my mother's parents had helped to make those things happen. My brother and I were in school, four years apart, and we always had what we really wanted. One thing I really loved to do was read. I had lots of books and I always wanted more. I read voraciously and I can tell you from experience that the old adage that a person who reads, lives a thousand lives before they die, is very true. What's more important is how much I've learned from all those varied lives.

Like most people we were close to the financial edge and we had the unfortunate luck of being pushed over it as the eighties approached. My mom was quite ill for several years, requiring surgeries, hospitalizations, medications, etc. Her illnesses would compound over the next two decades.Within a couple of years we lost the house, the car, and everything that had been a part of our life, save each other, was gone. We always had a roof over our head, we always had food and presentable clothes to wear, and to a great degree my brother and I always had the things we needed for school. My parents made tremendous sacrifices to make sure that was true. For me libraries helped to fill the gaping hole left in our lives. No matter where we were there was always a library. On weekends we would all go to the library as a family. Well, my mom, brother and I would, dad would normally stay in the car and sleep. Working at night and working lots of double shifts will do that to you. I'd take out six books each time and have them read by the next weekend and my love of learning only increased with each book I read. Books, newspapers, magazines, reference materials were there for everyone. They had gallery shows at the library, poet, writer and author nights, cultural and historical features, book clubs, and art and craft activities. In every library community news was just as you walked in and if you expressed even a small interest in something, the librarians always knew what to point you to, whether it was in the form of a book, a person, or a place. I learned to use computers at the library, well if you don't count making that print out picture from code in school. Years later I'd be able to get films, music, and audio books at the library and programs just seemed to expand no matter what library you were in. Best of all every one of these things was available without a fee from the library.

I read the second book I ever read about LGBTQ at the library when I was a young teen. The first book was in a bunch of books that were hand me downs from a cousin; it was short, disheartening, and didn't really help me because the real issues of the protagonist were hidden. Being a teen I could go to the library alone and the librarians unknowingly helped me through some tough days; they kept me away from that edge which no one comes back from. They steered me clear of the psychology section and showed me the works of the great LGBT writers and poets of the late nineteenth century and the early and mid twentieth century. They showed me some of the works of emerging authors of the LGBT community, people who would eventually become household names; they showed me I had a bright future, even though I couldn't see it yet. It isn't easy being a gay teen in the South, but they made it a bit easier. The library was a sanctuary for me where the playing field seemed leveled. I was never bullied, I was never belittled for being smart or inquisitive or not seeing the distinctions everyone else seemed to hold so dear. I was always treated with dignity and respect. I learned to value myself there and to value other people even when they didn't agree with me. My second hand clothes and cheap glasses didn't matter at the library. The library helped to teach me what was really important in life. Community-building connections, is all that really matters. Taking care of each other is all that matters.

I have to tell you that as I went through my twenties and early thirties my use of libraries went down. It wasn't a conscious effort, but as I put more effort into personal endeavors and built a life for myself I didn't seem to need the library so much. Relationships came and went. Jobs came and went. Things ambled in and out of my life based on whim and need and to be honest I became somewhat self concerned like so many of us do. Now that I've reached middle age I've realized that push for self realization was a false, indulgent, unsustainable, endeavor. When I first came back to libraries they were patiently waiting for me in the background. They had not stayed the same, rightfully so; to be stuck in the past is the worst fate I can imagine for a library. The great stacks still exist in most libraries, but now they have ample space for meetings and collaboration. More modes of imbibing information exist and libraries do their best to keep up with our ever changing consumption of data and media. Transliteracy is a central piece to most mission statements and the cultural and digital advancement of patrons is globally linked. One thing that hasn't changed is their commitment to building communities and opening opportunities for everyone.

Libraries gave me the intellect, the compassion, and the wisdom to be a good citizen. There is no better institution poised to empower such a large cross section of our people than libraries. Libraries exists to strengthen our localities and make them whole. Libraries do not focus on specific groups in their communities; they are all inclusive. Libraries do not try to place band aids on systemic issues, they confront them where they originate, within each individual. Libraries seek to unite us through our differences and our similarities. Different genders, races, ages, people from varied backgrounds and modes of thought can all come together in one place with no entrance fee or price tag attached. Libraries are the last existing localized nexus that truly can unite us all. In the face of constant defunding of social services and infrastructure, shrinking budgets, and lack of vision from many of our elected officials, we need to invest in libraries more than ever to strengthen and rebuild our communities.