Portugal Cured Their Heroin Epidemic, Could Their Approach Work for Us?

22688468_10214033665573446_1546690692561318199_nDr. Angela Barlow spent 3 weeks in Portugal studying the policies and impact of Portugal’s public health approach to drug use and addiction. In this discussion, she’ll answer questions such as: What is a harm reduction approach? How did decriminalization impact drug use? Could their model actually work for us in New Hampshire?

There will be a formal presentation followed by an informal discussion between experts and the community at large. All New Hampshire community members interested in ending the addiction crisis are encouraged to attend.

Young Student Center = Mountain View Room

Wednesday, Oct 25th, 7pm – 8:30pm

Full Info

 

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Too. Many. Signs. Stop it already!

Signs

Two of these “Pass Carefully” signs were added to Maple Ave recently. These things are huge. Blotting out the horizon. Quite the eyesore.

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City primary a Waste of resources

The Keene Sentinel, Letter to the Editor by Darryl Perry

Voters in Catalonia went out en mass on Sunday, Oct. 1, despite Spanish police shutting down polling stations, destroying ballots and attempting to stop voters from accessing the polls. Voter turnout was reported at 42 percent and nearly 90 percent of those who did cast a ballot voted for Catalan independence. These results however are being called into question as invalid due to the low turnout.

Contrast that election with the one held in Keene on Tuesday, Oct. 3, where voter turnout was only 5 percent — yet there have not been any claims, especially not from the international community, that the election was invalid due to low voter turnout.

Additionally, the municipal primary was held to remove a single candidate from the nonpartisan race for at-large City Council seats. This is because the city ordinance states: “If in the election for mayor and in the election for each ward councilor two (2) candidates or fewer, and in the election of at-large City Council elections ten (10) candidates or fewer, file for such elected offices as of the close of the primary filing period, then the primary election shall be declared unnecessary by the City Clerk, who shall declare the candidates nominated and shall place their names upon the municipal general election ballot.”

This language was originally adopted in 1973 — is the municipal version of California’s “Top Two” election system, in which only two candidates are allowed on the general election ballot — and perpetuates the philosophy that elections must be a binary choice. At the state level, there are provisions for multiple parties to be ballot-qualified, and the Libertarians met that criteria after the 2016 election for the first time since the 1990s.

During the mayoral debate hosted by the Keene Liberty Alliance on Cheshire TV, both Kendall Lane and Robert Call stated they believe the municipal primary — spending $10,000 to create a binary-option general election — was not a wise use of resources. I’d encourage the mayor and City Council to consider striking the requirement for a municipal primary, or at the very least expand the provision to allow more than a false binary choice in the general election; especially now that New Hampshire has three qualified political parties.

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Insights on the Druggies & Panhandlers Forum

“Don’t Feed the Bears!”

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Resolution against white supremacy and other hate groups

Instead of finding ways to lower our ever increasing tax burden, some members of the city council thought it necessary to put together yet another resolution on behalf of the city, this one stating the communities opposition to Bigotry, White Supremacy, Neo-Nazis, Anti-Semitism, and other Hate Groups. Because that’s the first thing people think of when they think of Keene. Thanks, Cantwell.

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Marlboro Street’s Thin Blue Line

As I understood it, the thin blue line was only to be painted in front of the police station. However, it appears the city was able to scrounge up enough paint to take it all the way to the roundabout on Main St (almost a mile.) But, hey, it’s all good. The wise Ol’ city planners were able to keep this years budget under a 2% increase. Good work guyz. #HeroWorship #OurBelovedCityPlannersKnowBest

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29 – Not My Job

audio [link]

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It Won’t Be Cheap

“Give it a few years. You’ll get there.”

That was mayor Lane’s response to Mike Giacomo, who had just made the comment that Keene should invest its money in projects “that encourage Keene to get younger” and not on non-profit senior centers that won’t accomplish that goal. The mayor’s remark received laughter from many in attendance, but not from all. Not from the “youngsters” who will be set to foot the bill.

This all took place at Thursday’s CIP public hearing. where one of the main issues on the table was a new $36,000 feasibility study which would explore moving the current Senior Center on Court St to the city’s Recreation Center. Of the five who spoke favorably of the study, only two were Keene residents. Four other speakers, all residents, had concerns with the long-term impact of such a move by the city and questions concerning what and how much the next step of the project would entail. The answers to those questions couldn’t be fully addressed and will instead have to wait until the study (if passed) is complete. Of course, we can all speculate. I’m guessing it won’t be cheap.

To be absolutely clear, I have nothing against seniors or the senior center. I do acknowledge how important this institution is to the health and well being of our community and I wish them well. And yes, as was mentioned, I know my day will come. But I cannot support the giving of tax-based handouts to non-profit organizations like Meals on Wheels, the Community Kitchen, or the Senior Center. No matter how important or popular they may be.

I do truly respect these outside agencies and the work they do for the community, as well as those who donate their time and energy to support them. That’s the way that it should be. I also know that the best way to destroy good charities and non-profit organizations is to get government involved in their funding and operations. It doesn’t happen overnight, but socializing these types of programs only leads to one outcome.

It goes just like this: the first year it’s a $25,000 study. Next year it’ll be a $3 million bond to build a new wing on the Recreation Center. That and don’t forget to add yearly requests of $5,000 or more on top of the $15,000 the center is already receiving from the city and before you know it, Voila! The next day the entire agency is fully funded by the taxpayers (aka: other people’s money) and we have a brand new entitlement program that we’ll never be able to get rid of, run by a wasteful and inefficient government.

But it’s alright. I’m told that one day I’ll “get there.” One day I’ll understand.

Except at this rate, what will be waiting for me when I finally do get there? And will I want any part of it? Keene is currently pushing around $1.6 million in annual spending increases with no end in sight. The population isn’t growing and businesses can’t move in fast enough to replace the ones leaving. Every budget and spending increase is passed by city and school officials who clearly don’t understand the long term ramifications of their actions. Many of the residents of Keene who do actually vote only do so to satisfy their own self interests with no concern for the following generations who will be forced to deal with the growing tab.

Keene, I know you don’t want to hear it from me, but you have a serious spending problem. Please get some help before it’s too late.

Keene Sentinel Letter to the Editor – 3/7/17

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28 – Tip of the Iceberg

Audio [link]

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Tax Base Expansion

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