Ray Ambrose: Please fund visiting nurse program

To the editor: 

I find it hard to believe the audacity of our elected officials.
They were instructed by the voters not to defund the Visiting Nurses. What could the justification possibly be to do so? Have we suddenly gone to war and the money needed for the war effort? Was there a hurricane that wiped out the infrastructure of the city? Maybe all the schools burned down all at once? No, I think not.
Then go back and do as you should. I am homebound and have made use of the service for about ten years and don't know what I will do if you arbitrarily eliminate it. There are many others in the same position. I rather expect that if you have consciences you will not sleep well at night if you proceed on this penny-wise and pound-foolish mission.
Thank you for reading this.
Ray Ambrose,
Berlin

Matt Hawkins: Thank you for fundraising efforts

To the editor:

We would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone that has been a part of the fundraising efforts in support of Jolinda Hawkins. We will never be able to properly express our sincere gratitude for what you have been doing. We can only say that we are truly thankful for everything that the community has done for us since her cancer diagnosis last May. We have spent the last month doing our best to say thank you, personally, to as many individuals and organizations as possible. If you were overlooked, we apologize. That is not a reflection of our level of gratitude. It’s more of a reflection of the overwhelming outpouring of support we have received from you. We simply can’t keep up with it. So, if you have donated money, your time, food, flowers, gifts, transportation, prayers, positive thoughts, or kind words; please know that we appreciate your efforts. There are some people, however, we would like to thank publicly. Thank you to Kelly Croteau and Roy Robinson. They started all of this. They mentioned that they would like to do something for Jolinda. We had no idea that this is what they had in mind. We also send a huge thank you to Nick Wright, and the entire River Drivers organization, who created an event that we will never forget. The auction after the game was another example of what makes this community so special. We were deeply touched by the love, support, and generosity on display in the arena that night. Our family is forever grateful to our incredible North Country support system. Happy Holidays to all!

The Hawkins family,

Jolinda, Matt, Nick, Elijah, Sydney, and Owen

Bob Pelletier: Public wanted visiting nurses

To the editor:

Well, here is another case of democracy going awry. Last month the public was clearly supportive of the Berlin Visiting Nurses. This is the second time in recent years that the public has expressed their desire to keep the program here in Berlin. I assumed that if the public wanted the nurses, the councilors would follow suit. After all, they were elected to serve the needs and wants of the citizens of this community. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and an institution that has served this city well for many decades is going to be phased out and some talented and dedicated nurses will be forced out of their jobs. Many residents of Berlin have been assisted by these nurses over the years and I know that they were all grateful for the service.
Why, since the people clearly want this service, is the council getting rid of it? It seems that the excuse given is that the money is needed for "education". I'd like to remind our citizens that the majority of your tax dollars are spent on education already. The city has spent very little on the Nursing Department since its inception decades ago. Only recently has the Visiting Nurse Program needed a little help from the city due to numerous changes in Federal reimbursement rules. Changes to the department that were in the works would have helped the program to become self-sustaining again. Even so, Mr. Rozek who was originally in favor of the Visiting Nurses, changed his vote because of some "uncertainty over state school funding". I also wonder if things would have been different if Councilor Allain had been at this meeting?
Another question we citizens have is, what will become of the money that the Visiting Nurses have which was given to them some years ago to be used by the nurses? Some of that could have been used to ease the city's burden with the upgrades.
Berlin residents need to ask their respective councilors if they vote the will of the citizens or if they vote by some personal agenda.
I promise you that the residents of Berlin will feel this loss for months and years to come. Many people depended on the nurses for various services that are important to them. Shame on you Berlin.

Bob Pelletier, Retired RN

Berlin

Claire Aubut: Reach out with a helping hand

To the editor: 

Let us bring joy to one another in faith and hope through this Christmas Season and all through the year! 

There are people we haven't met yet and so many more we know! If you know someone in need of a bit of cheer, please reach out a helping hand. It is much more in giving that one receives. God, so loved us all and when we think of Christmas, a family with a child on the way, once born laying in a manger, on a cold winters night. 

Family and I do mean all faithful brothers and sisters joined in faith, enjoy each other's company, for we know not what the next moment, hour or day will bring forward. Time goes by so fast, we have but one unique life, make it a life of joy, hope and most of all love. 

God bless us all, Merry Christmas. 

Claire Aubut, 

Berlin 

Dick Huot: Thank you for supporting the Knights of Columbus Family Christmas Festival

To the editor:

Overwhelming is all anyone can say regarding the turnout at the 3rd Annual Knights of Columbus Family Christmas Festival held at Service Credit Union Heritage Park. A countless number of children and adults visited Heritage Park. The Nativity Scene adorned the Filer’s Shack! The decorations surrounding the Logging Camp Village were fantastic! Service Credit Union set up games and prizes and hosted many very special tables for the children in the Hovel. Fun and games were had by all who stopped by to visit the Service Credit Union game tables! A special thank you goes out to the Service Credit Union employees who offered games and prizes to the children!
Santa & Mrs. Claus set up shop in the Bosses Shack where children stopped by to say hi to Santa and Mrs. Claus and to share their Christmas wishes. A special thanks to Michael Bump and Lillian Lafleur for their help! Outdoors, Christmas songs could be heard throughout the Park over a PA system loaned from the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce where all enjoyed free marshmallows roasting over an open fire, free hot chocolate and free hayrides provided by the Knights of Columbus all evening which was thoroughly enjoyed by all who climbed aboard for the ride! Thank you to Dick Merrill for the use of his generator!
A beautiful Christmas Village was set up in the Blacksmith Shop by Jonathan and Jill Dubey! One could not count how many ornate buildings made up the Blacksmith Shop Christmas Village. The Cookhouse was brightly decorated and volunteers were busy serving delicious foods for all to enjoy. Special friends of the Knights sold loads of homemade desserts donated by so many wonderful people and we are all so thankful for all they did! People were chatting and passing the time of day.
The Family Christmas Festival could not have happened without the help of our very generous supporters! The Knights of Columbus wish to offer a heartfelt and grateful thank you to our Title Sponsor, Service Credit Union and all of our sponsors; Berlin City Dealerships, Northway Bank, Chapman Scrap Metal & Recycling, Morrissette Financial Center, Absolute Power Sports, Berlin Marketplace, Bryant Funeral Homes, Caron Building Center, Eugene M Kruysman DMD, Edward Jones, Fleury-Patry Funeral Home, Smith & Town Printers, Town & Country Inn & Resort, Bank of NH, Labonville Inc. and Northland Restaurant & Dairy Bar. Special thanks to Norm Grondin for the homemade fishing traps and Bob Lemelin’s Christmas Wreaths & Balls.
In closing the Knights of Columbus offer a big thank to all who stopped in and to all who volunteered their time which so dearly helped to fulfill our mission to donate to charitable needs and projects. Knights volunteer much of their time to charitable causes. We undertake these acts of charity because we see those in need through the eyes of faith. The Knights of Columbus approach these acts of charity together. Pope Benedict XVI calls this the “practice of love...as a community.”

Thanks again and we wish you a very Merry Christmas!

Dick Huot,

On behalf of the Berlin/Gorham Knights of Columbus Council 506