Hootie is back and he whispered in my ear something crazy He said…..

HOOTIE 2(January 10, 2020)

By the light of this January full moon my Hootie has returned…..

 I Thaddeus J. Hootie declare myself “sympathetic to the folks who work and have very little time to attend meetings or research how and why our town has such a high property tax burden.

Whether you agree that our property taxes are too high or not, what can’t be debated is that our taxes are very high relative to nearly every other community in New Hampshire.

It might be helpful to view our respective property taxes in relation to a per diem or weekly expense.

For example, if the average property tax in Henniker is $9,000 per annum that would mean that each day the owner of that property goes to work the first $35 earned goes directly toward paying property tax.

 That assumes a five day work week for 52 weeks. Now, consider that the weekly cost to you in property taxes is $175.

Is it any wonder that we always hear about cost per thousand when debating taxes?

Sometimes, gross numbers are just that and don’t invite us to assess the day to day cost.

What WAS in your wallet at the end of the week?

 

WELCOME BACK HOOTIE!

OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..

“There are things public officials would never do if they thought somebody might call them out on it.”

http://www.onlyhennikerbruce.com

Does Henniker have an Azalea Park Slush Fund????? Vice-Chair Hooper vows to get to the bottom of this…

SLUSH FUNDApparently NO tax dollars to be used for Azalea Park does not mean much to Select-board member Osgood…even after the town voted NO to a warrant article seeking to establish a budget line item for the Azalea park project.

Last night at the select-board meeting in Public Comment #2 @ 55:40 of the meeting’s broadcast, a homeowner directly asked if general fund money was being used to pay Azalea Park bills….

Sitting silently and not responding was select-board member Osgood who is the select-board’s representative to the Azalea Park Committee. Earlier in the meeting @ 45:30 mark, Vice Chair Hooper mentions to Mr. Osgood that it appears that money is being fronted with the Town Administrator (TA) not having any reports from the Azalea Park committee.

Mr. Osgood makes an insolent and degrading remark about instability of the TA’s position as the reason why the committee failed to send report…despite the fact that we have had able coverage from the Town Finance Director Russ Roy-an employee of more than 25 years-filling as an interim TA, who @ 45:53 mark admits to not having the information.

Then @ 46:55 mark, Vice Chair Hooper once again reaffirmed that at the 2019 Town Meeting voters voted NO to using general operating funds for this project. Mr. Osgood then incorrectly states that the funds were not asked for.

He even lies to his fellow select-board members by stating that the committee did not even have it on the agenda. The committee put forth a petition warrant article at the Meeting; Warrant Article #27 (page 27). 

Then @ the 47:10 mark, when confronted by a resident about changing the $10,000 warrant to $1…which failed, Mr. Osgood finally comes clean and tells the truth and takes back his erroneous statement.

Mr. Osgood has no intention of abiding by the will of the people, as Mr. Marko points out in the Public Comment#2 portion of the meeting.

Three things need to happen immediately:

  1. The Select-Board needs to determine who authorized the use of the general fund money to pay for for Azalea Park expenses?
  2. How were those expenditures reported on the accounting ledger?
  3. Considering Mr. Osgood’s blatant attempt to hide and misrepresent the facts about Azalea Park expenditures (which he takes back @ the 46:15 mark) the Select-Board should request he resign.

 

OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..

“There are things public officials would never do if they thought somebody might call them out on it.”

http://www.onlyhennikerbruce.com

Henniker Sues Homeowner After Approving Driveway and Ditch Design…Legal fees over $7,300 and counting….

DITCH WITCH LARGE Back on September 19th, OHB filed a Right to Know Request seeking the legal bills for the ongoing conflict with a homeowner on Davison Road.

At that time, I was told that my Right to Know request had to be reviewed by town counsel. (more money unnecessarily spent)

The Town forwarded those records to me on Friday September 27, 2019. Upon review of those legal bills it appears that Henniker filed a Complaint against the homeowner in Merrimack County Superior Court last June.

As of August 31, 2019 more than $7,300 of your taxes has been spent suing a homeowner over an esoteric nuance in the deeded property lines along Davison Road.

The homeowner and his attorney, appeared before the Board of Selectmen in late summer/early fall 2018. It was made clear at that time, that upon completion of the Rte. 202/9 by pass, an extremely rare and unconventional conveyance of the Davison Road property to the Town of Henniker had occurred.

Upon receiving the Town Approved Driveway Permit, the homeowner improves the ditch as per the plan.

APPROVAL BOX 2

Seriously select-board members, if you have no other problem solving skills other than taking this homeowner to court, over such a rare set of circumstances….you ALL should step down!

OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..

“There are things public officials would never do if they thought somebody might call them out on it.”

september 28, 2019

http://www.onlyhennikerbruce.com

How U.S. Social Media Manipulates Election…An Introduction, meet Dr. Robert Epstein

social-media-buttons-2 In the coming weeks we will be putting together a series of posts that will give you information that will help you research and understand how Social Media collects and uses the information they collect from you when you use their platform.

All of the information they collect is subliminal, invisible and noncompetitive.

This information obtained unwittingly from the users, is being used to modify your behavior in ways researchers never imagined.

The ephemeral effects from the use of this information, makes the Russian ads placed during the last election cycle look childish by comparison and cannot be counteracted.

The foremost behavioral scientist studying this is Dr. Robert Epstein, Ph.D. We here at OHB suggest that you become familiar with his work;  Epstein 1 Epstein 2 Epstein 3

For the purpose of this introductory bog, OHB would like to start with Dr. Epstein’s Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) and how it can manipulate the VOTE.

It is no secret that higher search engine results, consumer likes and thumbs up or likes make people feel good about themselves and a product that they are searching for. What most people don’t know is that your search results have already been manipulated to shows you results that you most likely will act upon;

[SEME] “leaves people thinking they have made up their own minds, which is very much an illusion. It also leaves no paper trail for authorities to trace. Worse still, the very few people who can detect bias in search results shift even farther in the direction of the bias, so merely being able to see the bias doesn’t protect you from it.Bottom line: biased search results can easily produce shifts in the opinions and voting preference of undecided voters by 20 percent or more –up to 80 percent in some demographic groups.” (Epstein1)

What makes SEME so effective; page rank/search list. This is the back bone of BackRub/Google, created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

As students the two developers were against pop-up ads or advertising funded search engines…However,  in 2000, the pair began selling advertising from key word searches.

Page and Brin probably realized how much their page rank/search list priority programming was worth when Mr. Bill Gross came a calling with a pay/click patent infringement law suit in hand.

But the real key to Google’s success and Dr. Epstein’s research is the search list;

“Why do search rankings elicit such consistent browsing behavior? Part of the answer lies in the basic design of a search engine results page: the list. For more than a century, research has shown that an item’s position on a list has a powerful and persuasive impact on subjects’ [sic] recollection and evaluation of that item (16–18). Specific order effects, such as primacy and recency,show that the first and last items presented on a list, respectively,are more likely to be recalled than items in the middle (16, 17) (Epstein 4)

Next: The psychology of it all

OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..

“There are things public officials would never do if they thought somebody might call them out on it.”

http://www.onlyhennikerbruce.com

 

Mayor Buttigieg fires off race card talking point…And another opportunity to learn is lost!

SEARCH II

CBS News report: At Mayor Buttigieg ‘s 4th of July campaign event in Carroll County Iowa, a man suggest that the Mayor should, “just tell the black people of South Bend to stop committing crimes.”  The crowd booed the man…

Mayor Buttigieg’s immediate response was, “I think that racism is not going to help. The fact that the black person is four times as likely as a white person for the exact same crime is evidence of systemic racism, [emphasis added] [snip] but racism has no place in American politics or in American law enforcement,” 

The man tried to clarify his comment, “No, just stop committing crimes! Has nothing to do with race!” The crowd eventually directed the chant, “shame on you ” toward the man.

I will concede that the man in the audience could have found a better way to approach the nagging FACT, “that blacks remain 3.6 times more likely to be incarcerated in local jails nationally than white people.” (Vera Institute of Justice)

The Mayor’s comment about systemic racism in our Justice System is more than irresponsible. It is factually inaccurate. The Mayor should know that the public deserves a better answer to a complex set of issues.

The Vera Institute Report 2018 (Vera Report) draws attention to the complexity of those issues;

  • The Vera Institute of Justice is renowned in the field of American Justice reform. (read more)
  • Their involvement in The Bail Reform Act of 1966, was touted by President Johnson as, the most significant reform of the bail system since 1789.”

“The reasons that underlie emerging differences in jail incarceration rates between white and black people are likely a function of the priorities and practices of a particular locale.” [emphasis added] (Vera Report)

Political rhetoric about racism in the justice system does more harm than good. By ignoring legitimate research facts, Policy makers and reformers are left with no other choice but to chase fallacies and enact bad policy.

Vera finds that; “Despite persistently higher rates of incarceration when compared to rates for white people, black jail incarceration rates have fallen [emphasis added] significantly since the nationwide peak in 2005, including declines in nearly all regions and types of geographies along the urban-rural axis. In contrast, white jail incarceration rates have steadily grown [emphasis added] across all regions and jurisdiction types since 1990.”

“Also, The root causes of these diverging jail trends are not yet clear. To prompt discussion and further action, this report proposes a remedy to fill current gaps in knowledge: deliberate collection of race and ethnicity data related to jail incarceration — much of which is presently non-existent. Such information will be crucial in understanding why recent jail population patterns are occurring in an era of widespread criminal justice reform. To begin exploring the reasons behind recent trends, this report suggests a few questions to consider.” [emphasis added]

The Vera Institute’s report has one very distinct message, up until now most of the data collection has either been non-existent or poorly collected and collated. The empirical studies have drawn an improper image of what is happening in our justice system. “Thus, policy reform efforts have focused primarily on understanding and remediating disproportionate racial or ethnic representation at the bookends of the criminal justice process — arrest and sentencing.” [emphasis added]

The Vera Report shows that more comprehensive data sets and better collation of all data is necessary to truly understand and properly portray the jail incarceration pathway.

Because of Vera’s involvement in improving data collection, a new picture of the American jail incarceration pathway is emerging.

We now recognize that this pathway, “is the product of a complex web of highly discretionary decisions [emphasis added] made within a connected, but not always synchronized, local justice system. This includes many different autonomous system actors, all of whom exercise varying degrees of influence [emphasis added] over who ends up in jail and for how long; and who act according to different incentives and answer to different constituencies.”

“These include:

  • law enforcement officers who choose to arrest, release, or book people into jail
  • prosecutors who determine what charges to pursue or decline; whom to divert from prosecution; and the content of plea bargains they decide to offer
  • judicial officers, including magistrates or bail commissioners, who decide to detain or release people pretrial, and under what conditions;
  • court actors whose action or inaction can determine how long a person’s case lasts and, if that person is in custody pending case resolution, how long a person may languish in jail
  • judges who can sentence someone to serve time in a local jail instead of in a state prison or in the community;
  • probation and parole officers who decide whether to process people through local jails as part of sanctioning someone for not following supervision conditions.”

I realize that campaign stops are short and sweet. Not much time to dig deep into the meat of issues…but to reflexively say that systemic racism is the cause of the disparity in incarceration rates, when research proves otherwise is unacceptable from a Presidential candidate.

OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..

“There are things public officials would never do if they thought somebody might call them out on it.”

http://www.onlyhennikerbruce.com

 

President Trump’s brilliance on immigration…exposes democrat’s political hypocrisy!

PASSPORTS

May 10, 2019 (onlyhennikerbruce)

In March of 1980, Congress passed the Refugee Act.

That law gives the authority “to fix a number/year of refugees to the U.S.” to the President — but only “after appropriate consultation” with Congress as defined by  section 207(e) of the Refugee Act:

“207(e) For purposes of this section, the term ‘appropriate consultation* means,     with respect to the admission of refugees and allocation of refugee admissions, discussions in person by designated Cabinet-level representatives of the President with members of the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and of the House of Representatives…”

Immigration policy regarding REFUGEES, by law is a function of the Executive Branch.

It would appear, this consultation process with the Senate and House Committees on the Judiciary  is nothing  more than a courtesy. The statute has no firm language requiring the President to heed congressional advice.

In November of 2016, when the Republicans were in the majority and fresh off President trumps election win, the committees became aware that President Obama failed to disclose plans (inked in September of 2016) to accept refugees from Australia;

“Congressional Judiciary Committee leaders are expressing frustration and concern with an Obama Administration plan to admit into the United States an unknown number of refugees who Australia has refused to admit.  The Administration never disclosed to Congress that it was negotiating a deal with Australia, even though it was apparently in the works when Administration officials provided a legally-required consultation to Congress on refugees in September.”

The refugees were largely from Iran, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Sudan. The State Department, then and now, had designated Iran and Sudan as state sponsors of terrorism.

Looking back: In January of this year Anne Richard, the Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration (2012-2017) published a two year retrospective;

“Amazingly, the Australia-US deal has survived anti-refugee politics of both governments. Today, refugees continue to be screened by the Department of Homeland Security and moved from the South Pacific to the US, albeit slowly and in small numbers. This is a rare good news story emerging from an administration that has, tragically, slashed the numbers of refugees being resettled in America.”

I too look at this as a good news story, but I disagree with the characterization that the restrictions imposed by President Trump’s administration are tragic.

We Americans must come to an understanding on two things;

  1. Good and Evil people will exploit the refugee system. Obviously those dark forces who profit from human trafficking, play on American’s compassion. We cannot continue enforcing hard line policy in one administration only to become soft in another. We cannot afford to have a vacillating Refugee Relocation Policy. It must be strong and unified.
  2. President Trump is correct: CONGRESS MUST ACT. The law regarding Refugee Relocation must be changed. We need to clearly define what branch of government has the authority to set limits on this element of immigration.

 

We the People; cannot continue to allow IMMIGRATION POLICY to be weaponized by either side of the aisle.

OHB…keeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..

“There are things public officials would never do if they thought somebody might call them out on it.”

http://www.onlyhennikerbruce.com

 

 

 

 

 

Ring…Ring…Wise Old Owl calling. The library wants to spend how much?????

wise old owl iii

Greetings,
I have completed watching the Library Renovation propaganda and find myself very confused.
I believe I heard the presenter make a case indirectly for the need to make the “wonderful” attic space into a wonderful “ community” room that will not be part of the library.
Let’s see if I have the actual “ needs” identified…
1. A new handicap resource for accessing the main floor of the library due to the age and condition of the current wheelchair lift.
2. A new bathroom in a new location to provide safety for the children in the children’s library.
3. See #s 1&2

To meet these needs we are considering the following:
1. A three story elevator to provide handicap access to each floor including the “ community” room which we have no demonstrable need for now or in the foreseeable future.
2. Not one, not two, but three handicap accessible bathrooms. One on each floor.
3. Reconfiguring a part of the library so that those in the “community” room can’t access the library when the library is closed.
4. Revamping or replacing the HVAC system to accommodate the new space.
5. Reviewing and making adjustments to the traffic flow in the back due to the increased traffic resulting from the park renovation and the library renovation.

Of course, as a footnote, we hear that the considered renovations will require sprinkling the entire building. ( I’ve seen that done. The price will choke an elephant)

So, how about this solution to the actual concern…
1. Buy a new handicap lift and have it installed.
2. Turn the Librarian office on the Main Floor into a handicap bathroom.

Needs identified. Solutions obvious.

Let’s take this multiple million dollar boondoggle and flush it down the new handicap bathroom and spend the money on our roads that actually are a need and which everyone uses.
As a token, I offer the supporters of this ridiculous proposal a thousand dollar gift card to Paul’s Peyote Emporium where the can purchase enough to continue to hallucinate.

Tell me where I went wrong.

Thanks Owl…you are such a HOOT!

 

OHB…all the news fit to printkeeping it real… making it easier for you to find the facts so you can draw your own conclusions…..

“There are things public officials would never do if they thought somebody might call them out on it.”

http://www.onlyhennikerbruce.com