New Hampshire State House
New Hampshire State House
New Hampshire State Legislators: Don't Repeal the Freedom to Marry
My brother and best friend, Calvin, was tormented all the way through high school because people knew he was gay. There were nights that I worried I may wake up and he wouldn’t be there any longer; crushed by the misery he was forced to endure. When New Hampshire extended marriage to gay and lesbian couples, two years ago, he finally felt accepted. He finally felt like he belonged. Since that day 1,800 loving and committed gay and lesbian couples have married. Today, the right to marriage is under attack in New Hampshire. If HB 437 passes, same-sex couples will no longer be allowed to marry. This mean-spirited attack is nothing more than state sponsored bullying. The bill actually goes on to allow discrimination in employment and housing based on sexuality. When I enlisted in the Marines, I took an oath to defend freedom and liberty. In 2004, I went to Iraq to do just that. As the co-chairman for Standing Up for New Hampshire Families, I am now defending my brother's freedom here at home, and I hope you will help me by telling legislators to vote NO on HB 437. Two recent polls have shown that Granite Staters overwhelming support marriage equality. One poll coming from the University of New Hampshire shows support at 62 percent. It should be obvious that the majority of New Hampshire believes this is a settled issue. When my wife Berta and I were married, Calvin was right there by my side as my best man. I want the opportunity to be his best man when he finds the person he wants to marry. With your help, I know we can ensure that freedom will still be there when he does. Craig Stowell Republican Co-Chair, Standing Up For New Hampshire Families Photo: Craig Stowell on left, Calvin Stowell on right & their twin brothers. For more information on Standing Up for New Hampshire Familiies, check out:http://action.standingupfornhfamilies.org/Craig
Calling for a Congressional investigation of the CDC, IDSA and ALDF
We are experiencing a health crisis here in New Hampshire and across the country with the growing epidemic of Lyme disease. A number of legislators have personally been affected and have introduced legislation to address this problem. Here are just a few recent examples. Massachusetts Representative David Linsky: “The occurrence of Lyme disease has reached near epidemic proportions in Massachusetts. Virtually every family in Massachusetts has been affected by Lyme disease in some way. Lyme disease is a public health crisis in the Commonwealth.” Read more… Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York Senator Richard Blumenthal: "Today for me culminates more than a decade of work and probably a decade more, because I've seen firsthand the devastating, absolutely unacceptable damage done by Lyme disease to individual human beings, Connecticut children and residents whose lives have been changed forever as a result of Lyme disease” Read more…. New Jersey, Pennsylvania Congressman Chris Smith: "It seems everywhere I go, someone comes up to me to talk about how Lyme disease has severely impacted their lives or someone they know," Read more… Virginia Virginia Governor’s Task Force Chair Michael P Farris, Esq: "Doctors here in Virginia are committing malpractice by saying the ELISA test is sufficient." Read more… Texas Sen. Harris says he was severely affected by the disease, but “got a lucky break.” His doctor, constrained by a disciplinary board that limited antibiotic use for tick-borne illness to 1 month or less, arranged for 17 physicians to take turns writing prescriptions for Sen. Harris’s treatment. Read more… Two HoustonTexas physicians tested their chronically ill patients for Lyme disease via CDC Western blot criteria finding all patients positive for the infection in a state where the prevalence of Lyme infected ticks is only about 1-2%. “No history of bull’s-eye rash or illness following tick bite was reported by these patients.” The CDC defines “Lyme disease” exclusively as a zoonotic illness. Congenital and gestational transfer cases have been disregarded for reasons not evident to us”. Read more… Congenital Transmission of Lyme: 28 Peer-Reviewed Studies After spending four years on this subject the following statement from a physician on the front lines treating the late stage Lyme epidemic for a quarter century rings true: “In the fullness of time, the mainstream handling of chronic Lyme disease will be viewed as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of medicine because elements of academic medicine, elements of government and virtually the entire insurance industry have colluded to deny a disease.” We have studies proving persistent infection after antibiotic treatment for mice, dogs, ponies, monkeys, cows, iris biopsy, and ligamentous tissue but if you perform a simple Yahoo search for the following statement, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that chronic Lyme exists” you will find the top search results are connected to “elements of academic medicine” involved in the denial of the late stage Lyme epidemic. Persistent Lyme infection: 273 Peer-Reviewed Studies Circular reasoning: "Suppress all evidence and then proclaim there is no evidence" “One way to stop an epidemic is to redefine it by narrowing the disease's diagnostic criteria so tightly that it's hard for any chronically ill Lyme patient to fit the profile and obtain insurance reimbursement.” Read more… The following CDC letter (Dec 1996) addressed to former Senator Alfonse D’Amato promising to inform the medical community that the CDC’s Lyme case definition was created for reporting purposes only and not intended for clinical diagnosis is yet another failure on the part of the CDC to follow up on their responsibilities. Countless numbers of Lyme patients have been denied treatment and insurance reimbursement as a result of the restrictive case definition. Read more… Jan 2004 testimony from Paul Mead, M.D., M.P.H. Medical Epidemiologist from the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases: “No surveillance case definition is 100% accurate. There will always be some patients with Lyme disease whose illness does not meet the national surveillance case definition.” Read more… Seronegativity in Lyme borreliosis: 103 Peer-Reviewed Studies There has been a combined effort on the part of the CDC, IDSA and ALDF to use the media for propagating the Lyme disease disinformation campaign following Chomsky's propaganda model. They have used Medscape, Family Practice News, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet Infectious Diseases and now The American Heart Association to spread the disinformation. This deliberate campaign is aimed at purposely confusing our medical community to keep case numbers artificially low by omitting the late stage of the disease entirely as there is absolutely no medical training whatsoever for the later stages of this disease (Willful Ignorance) so patients are often ping ponged though the medical community for years or decades before obtaining a late stage Lyme diagnosis. Nine Steps to Deny an Epidemic on a National Level 101 Letter to the editor of Clinical Infectious Diseases questioning the validity of Dr Alan Steere’s research. Read more…. Letter to the editor of Clinical Infectious Diseases questioning the validity of Dr Gary Wormser’s research. Read more…. Dr Alan MacDonald’s letter to the editor of Clinical Infectious Diseases questioning the reality of the abstract by Lantos, Auwaerter, and Wormser: Read more….. Agenda-driven bias: “People with these types of agendas may be more likely to abuse meta-analysis due to personal bias” NEJM editor: “No longer possible to believe much of clinical research published” When “evidence based medicine” has been spun to fit bias agendas and the patient voice has been intentionally ignored who investigates the dishonest science? Email message sent to the editors of the publications listed above announcing this petition. Read more… It’s all about the VACCINE It has become blatantly obvious that the CDC will go to great lengths to insure that Lyme disease remains within its narrow definition in order to fit the vaccine model. Chronic Lyme does not fit any vaccine model. The CDC has long known about the virulence and persistence of this spirochete focusing on a vaccine as the cure-all to this world wide epidemic. The late stage/chronic Lyme community has become collateral damage for a vaccine market in the course of a government sponsored initiative as Baxter’s phase III clinical trials are underway. The CDC has aligned itself with institutions/researchers with a bias against persistent infection and has misused its authority by inappropriately allotting government funds to Mass General Hospital (Dr Alan Steere) and New York Medical College (Dr Gary Wormser) as identified in the following communications. Read more…. The Principle Investigators of the two previous Lyme vaccines: Allen C. Steere for SmithKlineBeecham's LymeRix and Gary Wormser for Connaught's vaccine (which never made it to market) have conceptualized a disease that would enable vaccine development. The one-size-fits-all Lyme treatment guideline (lead author: Gary Wormser) matches the conceptualized disease. A preventive vaccine for Lyme disease would not satisfy the FDA if a chronic persistent infection and seronegative disease exist. Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome is simply a fabricated medical condition disguising treatment failure. Seronegativity in Lyme borreliosis: 103 Peer-Reviewed Studies It remains questionable that a Lyme disease vaccine is practical for an infection that produces a lack of immunological memory (unlike Measles, Mumps etc.) so the Wormser study fabricating a six year strain-specific immunity makes perfect sense for the marketing/acceptance of such vaccine as identified in a letter to Editor in Chief, Ferric C. Fang, M.D. Infection and Immunity. Read more… The producers of the documentary, “Under Our Skin,” submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to investigate possible conflicts-of-interest of three Centers for Disease Control (CDC) employees who control public health policy for Lyme disease. (Barbara Johnson, Paul Mead and David Dennis) That request was finally fulfilled (May 2012) from the Department of Health and Human Services (five years later!). The information received is highly redacted with approximately half the information cut. What does the CDC know about Lyme disease that requires hiding from the public? The Centers for Disease Control has betrayed the public trust. For more on the FOIA see Poughkeepsie Journal article # 1 article # 2 By Mary Beth Pfeiffer Mary Beth Pfeiffer of the Poughkeepsie Journal highlighted the worst conflicts of interests between federal officials and a core group of researchers receiving government grants in the “ties that bind” page. Read more… Who is responsible for the “highly pathogenic” clone of the Lyme disease bacteria, (Borrelia burgdorferi) found in Europe and North America as reported by the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases? Read more… The following list establishes who knew what and when identifying their contribution to the disinformation campaign aimed at denying persistent Borrelia infection. When subpoenas are issued CDC officials cannot claim conflicts of scheduling issues and must attend to testify under oath regarding the mishandling of Lyme disease. Congressional Investigation Subpoena List 1. CDC Officials DAVID DENNIS (1) (2) (3), C. Ben Beard, Barbara Johnson (1), Paul Mead (1), Joseph Breen Former NIH Lyme Program Officers Phillip Baker, Edward McSweegan (1)(2) 2. IDSA Lyme Treatment Guideline Authors (1) (2) (3) (4) Gary P Wormser (1), Raymond J. Dattwyler (1), Eugene D. Shapiro, John J Halperin (1), Allen C. Steere (1), Mark S Klempner (1), Peter J. Krause, Johan S. Bakken, Franc Strle, Gerold Stanek, Linda Bockenstedt (1), Durland Fish (1) (2), J. Stephen Dumler, Robert B. Nadelman Academic Medicine Paul Auwaerter, Arthur Weinstein (1) 3. The American Lyme Disease Foundation Phillip Baker, (1) (2) Executive Director Please call your legislator and respectfully urge immediate action from the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives to fully investigate the facts surrounding the failures of leadership and management deficiencies by requesting a Congressional investigation of the CDC, IDSA and ALDF (Find your Senator) (Find your Representative) Yolanda Foster on Lyme disease, one of the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” Dr Alan MacDonald on Alzheimer's and Lyme disease, “The Biology of Lyme Disease: An Expert's Perspective” Remarks: World Wide Lyme Rally & Protest Kenneth B. Liegner, M.D. Lyme disease testing flaws and conflicts of interests The Barry Marshall affect on chronic disease Inconvenient truths Bullying of Lyme patients List of abbreviations CDC: Centers for Disease ControlIDSA: Infectious Disease Society of AmericaALDF: American Lyme Disease Foundation Carl TuttleHudson, NH03051 Website: New Hampshire Lyme Misdiagnosis Letter to the Editor, The Lancet Infectious Diseases Published May 2012 The Tuttle family was featured on New Hampshire Chronicle’s “Living with Lyme” with the program archived on their site in six small segments for viewing on the computer Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6
Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families!
I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years, one-third in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered amerasian children, and descendants, of U.S. service members and civilian contractors previously stationed overseas. Filipino Amerasians are abandoned and neglected biracial children of Filipino mothers and American fathers (mostly members of the US armed forces). In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. As a former US colony between 1898 and 1946, the Philippines was home to millions of US soldiers and their dependents, even after its independence. Until 1992, the country hosted two of the largest US military facilities outside the US – Clark Air Base and Subic Naval Base, which played major roles during the Vietnam and first Gulf wars. In 1982 US Public Law 97-359, or the Amerasian Act of 1982, allowed children from Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand to move to the US and eventually become American citizens, but those who were from the Philippines were excluded from the law, an exclusion which was upheld by the US Senate on the basis that many Filipino Amerasians were “conceived from illicit affairs and prostitution”, and were born during peacetime. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. service members who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2018, HR 1520, creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Currently, blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children. John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the life and the personal struggles as a Filipino amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggles to connect to their American military families. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017, HR 1520, now!
Adverse effect of GOP tax bill on Graduate students in the US
Graduate students in the US are already living at the survival line. They are working hard to push forward the frontiers of science in all directions and trying to make a better tomorrow than today. Their disposable income is barely reaches 20k per year ( stipend for being TA or RA) and this money goes all to their consumption needs with almost nothing left to save. The new GOP tax bill is going to make the tuition waiver taxable which is estimated to cost each graduate student about $2000 a year and this will push most of the graduate students even lower the survival level. As a result, they should cut down their daily expenses to get along with the new budget and this means they will buy and consume less necessary stuff. On the other side, local businesses will suffer as well because students will spend less money in local restaurants, bars, games and etc. In all, this bill is going to put more financial pressure on graduate students and also hurt local businesses across the US. Please sign and share this petition to support all graduate students in the US and also opposing this unfair tax bill.
Tell New Hampshire Lawmakers: Helping Animals Is Not A Crime!
My name is Declan. I’m an 11 year old 6th-grader from New Hampshire. I love animals and believe that we have a responsibility to protect them from cruelty and abuse. I need your help to stop the dangerous “Ag Gag” bill that would cause more animals to suffer.New Hampshire’s government is considering a bill that pretends to help animals, but actually protects animal abusers!For years, animal protection charities have been conducting investigations that expose terrible cruelty in the meat, egg and dairy industries. Can you imagine locking chickens in tiny cages where they can’t even spread their wings for their whole lives? Or putting pigs in crates where they can’t turn around or move more than a step forward or backward? I get bored just sitting in my room sometimes when I can't go out and play with friends, so it must be so miserable in these 'factory farm' conditions where they treat animals like commodities instead of living beings.The companies that own the factory farms and slaughterhouses don’t like these videos coming out. You’d think they’d respond by being less cruel to animals so there would be nothing bad to videotape. But instead of doing the right thing, these factory farmers want to just keep us all in the dark about animal abuse and punish those who would expose it!The legislation the meat companies (factory farms) are pushing to try and trick people that they care about the animals, is called House Bill 110. The good news is that we have a chance of stopping this terrible bill. My mom and I are doing this petition because we know our governor, Maggie Hassan, and other lawmakers in New Hampshire care about animals. We need to remind them that animal cruelty is the real crime, not exposing it! I'm just a kid, but I know what's right and what's wrong. And you don't even need to be in school to know that being honest is important. Please join me in standing up for animals by signing my petition – we’re their only voice!
Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!
When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEqualityForPeopleWithDisabilities
Citizens of New Hampshire, it is time to begin working on sensible gun laws
We, Alexandria Baker, Mara Brooks, Mackenzie Finocchiaro, and Violet Villanueva, four students at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire, have written a letter which is to be sent to our representatives, senators, and governor. Below is the letter verbatim. Any signatures which we may receive on here, any posts spreading this petition on social media, would be of great value to us as we begin to fight against our state's senseless gun laws which allow for such violence as the most recent shooting in Parkland, Florida. We would like to thank all of you in advance, the readers, for your time and consideration in reading this letter: We, the undersigned, write this letter in response to recent events concerning gun violence. Similar to many of the victims of the recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, we are currently high school students. In light of this recent event, we have become very concerned for our safety and future as we finish up our final year at high school. We, the writers of this letter, are currently attending Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire, a school with over twenty academic buildings and a student population which matches that of Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Throughout these past few weeks on campus, there has been a notable rise in anxiety amongst our student body, as we are now forced to come to school worrying about when our lives will become the next statistics in a news article. The large size and openness of our campus have left us feeling highly vulnerable, especially in the face of gun control laws that are far too relaxed. In the state of New Hampshire, citizens are not required to be licensed for ownership of a long gun or handgun. In fact, these weapons do not even need to be registered. The appalling ease with which any citizen can acquire such a deadly piece of technology allows for a sizeable gap in the regulation of gun possession and therefore leaves ownership open to even the most unstable or violent civilians. However terrifying these laws, or lack thereof, appear in context with gun violence in America, they only stand in the shadow of perhaps an even greater legal crisis in the state: the ownership of assault weapons. Currently, in New Hampshire, there are no laws prohibiting the ownership of assault weapons. As of present day, any New Hampshire citizen who so desires could acquire an assault rifle with notable ease. In fact, it was the AR-15, the exact sort of assault-weapon allowed in New Hampshire, which took more than forty lives in Sandy Hook and Marjory Stoneman combined. Assault weapons such as the AR-15 are derivatives of military ammunition that have one specific purpose: to kill another human being. One may argue that such weapons may be used for hunting or protection against home invasions. However, any knowledgeable hunter would not choose to use a high-powered assault rifle while hunting, as the magnitude and power of the bullets would severely damage the animal. As for protection against home invasions, such guns are very long and take up much space, and holding the gun while trying maneuver around the house makes escaping the attack very difficult. Assault rifles were not produced to hunt. Assault rifles were not produced to protect individuals from invasions. Assault rifles were produced for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill another person. No law-abiding civilian has any logical reason to own a machine that is built to kill. With this being said, we seek that the New Hampshire state legislature ban the use, sale, and ownership of said assault rifles. One may argue that banning assault rifles will not do anything to prevent future mass shootings, as perpetrators will find other means of carrying out such heinous crimes, such as less powerful handguns, and that there is nothing that can be done to prevent mass murders. This is very true. Shootings can still be carried out with simple handguns. However, less powerful handguns do not have nearly the same power capacity as assault rifles. A mass shooting with a handgun would result in far less damage than an assault rifle, as less powerful non-automatic weapons take much more time to prepare and load with ammunition than assault rifles do. There would be far less damage done, as security officials would be able to apprehend the person in ample time. And we are not calling for banning handguns, as we recognize that there is a time and a place for the Second Amendment. However, our Founding Fathers did not write the Second Amendment to give criminals the means of easily slaughtering numerous innocent people. If we can take away high-powered assault rifles, then any future perpetrator will be deprived of the means to easily carry out such a terrible crime of such a horrible magnitude. God forbid, but if the tragic occasion were still to come about, then we could at least reduce the gravity of the situation and save many more lives. However, none of this can happen without action on the local and state level. Since the events at Marjory Stoneman, New Hampshire has remained largely silent. At Pinkerton Academy, students continue to go about their daily routines, walking from class-to-class through the strip of pavement which extends behind the Hackler Gymnasium and branches out to every one of the academic buildings on campus. While school administration has begun to strengthen school security and increase the regulation of visitors, a feeling of dread still hangs over students at the Academy, as we wait nervously for Pinkerton to appear in the headlines as the newest tragedy, just like Marjory Stoneman Douglas. We do not write this letter in order to repeal the Second Amendment, nor do we write this letter to the strip the law-abiding Americans of their handguns and long guns. Just as importantly, we do not write this letter to criminalize those weapons which have been appropriately used for hunting and home security. We write this letter because we fear for our lives. We write this letter because we fear for our 3,200 classmates who walk that strip behind the gym, for our 3,200 classmates whose lives could be terminated at any moment by a weapon built for murder. We write this letter to ask you, our representatives, senators, and governor, to take action against the senseless violence of which innocent Americans have been victims for far too many times. It is time that we put an end the legal possession of assault weapons in the state of New Hampshire. It is time for us to make gun ownership a process which allows possession of firearms for only the safest and most secure New Hampshire citizens. Most importantly, we write because no student should go to school having to worry that he or she may not come out alive. *Cover photo courtesy of the Union Leader. http://www.unionleader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20150827/NEWS04/150829207/1008/NEWS04
Save Lives: Require Spinal Muscular Atrophy Newborn Screening
August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Awareness Month. Please join our efforts to require SMA newborn screening, and help end the deadly effects of SMA. About SMA: • SMA is the number one genetic killer of babies and children under the age of two.• SMA is a motor neuron disease like ALS.• SMA robs the ability to move, swallow, and eventually breathe. • One in 40 unknowingly carries the gene responsible for SMA.• When two carriers have a baby, there is a 25% chance the baby will have SMA, a 50% chance the baby will be a carrier, and a 25% chance the baby will be unaffected.• One in 10,000 babies is born with SMA. The FDA approved Spinraza as the first treatment for SMA on December 23, 2016. However, newborns continue to go untreated when they would receive the most benefit, as no states are performing SMA newborn screening. Newly diagnosed Type 1 SMA babies treated with Spinraza didn't lose their ability to move, swallow, and breathe, but instead gained strength. Some even crawled and took steps — steps away from the deadly effects of SMA. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks never lost abilities to SMA, and developed as average babies do. They crawl, eat, stand, and walk. Only newborns with older SMA siblings have been treated this way, as their parents knew to screen for SMA. Every newborn needs to be screened for SMA, so babies born with SMA can develop just as babies without SMA do. For this to happen, SMA needs to be added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP), states need to require SMA newborn screening, and funding needs to be provided for SMA newborn screening. The Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (Committee) is scheduled to vote to add SMA to the RUSP at its February, 2018 meeting. Once the Committee votes favorably to add SMA to the RUSP, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will add SMA to the RUSP. This is an important step, as many states look to the RUSP when adding new conditions to screen for. This petition will be delivered to both the Committee, and the Secretary of HHS. States also need to require newborn screening, as the RUSP is only a recommendation, it does not mandate states to test for conditions. We will continue to pursue SMA newborn screening in every state, and this petition will help our efforts. Missouri is the only state to enact newborn screening legislation, and will begin screening for SMA in January of 2019. Federal and state funds are also needed to begin and continue SMA newborn screening. This petition will help us as we advocate for funding with the appropriate federal and state congressional members. Act Now: With an FDA-approved treatment, it is urgent we secure SMA newborn screening. Newborn babies treated within the first two weeks will have the best chance at progressing as they would without SMA. Every baby born with SMA should be afforded this life-saving treatment. Please sign our petition urging Committee to vote to add SMA to the RUSP, urging states to require SMA newborn screening, and urging federal and state congressional members to provide funding for SMA newborn screening.
Ban Assault Rifles in the US
Note: This petition is supporting an improved version of the original federal Assault Weapons Ban. Now, when gun violence is running rampant in our country, when 96 innocent Americans are fatally shot every day, when countless citizens are forced to live their lives in fear - we know that it is not the time to stay silent, it is the time to act. The deadliest shootings in US history were all committed using an AR-15. Just imagine the countless innocent lives that would have been saved ... and now will be once this ban is enacted. During the original ban on these weapons beginning in 1994, school shooting victims were reduced by 54.4%, and the number of overall mass shootings decreased sharply. When the ban expired, however, the number of mass shootings in the US nearly tripled. With an improved version of this ban, it is only obvious that even more lives will be saved. These weapons cause immense tissue destruction, when compared to other guns, and easily pulverize multiple large organs on impact with only a single bullet. In fact, Ernest Moore, an award-winning trauma surgeon and avid hunter for over 40 years stated that these rifles were, "designed to deliver fatal wounds to multiple individuals within a short time period; having no other purpose." The only possible argument for keeping these weapons would be the constitutionality of the issue, however, this argument is fictitious, as they are not actually protected by the second amendment. With the power of jurisdiction, federal courts have ruled four times that bans on assault weapons were constitutional. In fact, no federal appeals court has ever ruled that assault weapons were protected by the second amendment. This clearly depicts how a ban on assault weapons would not infringe on anyone's rights. Now, we as a country must make a choice. We can choose a safer future for our children, a future where we have the right to feel secure in our schools and communities, and a future where dozens of innocents are not slaughtered daily. Or, we can choose to do nothing. We can choose to sit back and watch our children shot down, and mass shootings become only more pervasive. But I have faith in our country's people. I believe that we, the citizens of the United States, will make the right choice, the choice for survival. I believe that we will stand together and against all odds, prevail. With this in mind, I strongly urge you to stand with us, to stand on the right side of history and to support this petition to prohibit assault rifles in our country. Sincerely, a student concerned about our nation's future,Lela Tolajian
Make Historic Ruggles Mine in Grafton NH The 94th New Hampshire State Park
Please visit our Facebook Page Friends of Ruggles Mine to see the visual wonders this location has to offer as well as news articles about the mine and the initiative to make it a State Park The NH Preservation Alliance has added Ruggles Mine to their Seven To Save list. Here is the speech we gave at the event “Ruggles Mine is a 215-year-old historic treasure nestled atop Isinglass Mountain in Grafton, NH. The Mine which has breathtaking panoramic views and is the oldest, largest mine of its kind - Is Up For Sale - $900,000. Ruggles Mine should belong to the people of this progressive state, not in private hands. The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources has toured Ruggles Mine. A specialist will be sent later this fall to look for evidence of the endangered Brown and Northern Long Eared bats. Founded in 1803, Ruggles Mine is the oldest mica, feldspar and beryl mine in North America. Specimens from the mine can be found in national institutions like the Smithsonian and Boston Museum of Science. When the mine closed in the 1950’s it was purchased and reopened as a tourist attraction. For over 50 years Ruggles Mine was advertised as “The Mine in the Sky” and welcomed visitors from all over the country and world. Today Grafton with a population of just over 1,300 has a 12 percent poverty rate. A recent and substantial rise in property taxes has brought the progress of the town to a standstill. Reopening Ruggles Mine as a State Park would revitalize the towns economy and bring people together with a positive and apolitical cause. The 236 acre mine contains top tier forestland, highly ranked wildlife habitat and sits within the Quabbin to Cardigan conservation initiative. I see Ruggles Mine as not only a visually stimulating attraction but also an inspiring learning nature center. A place where children can discover what lies beneath their feet and be shown how important it is to be stewards of our forests, the wildlife and environment. Ruggles Mine belongs to the people of this state, more importantly the children and future generations.” Deb Clough Town Librarian and a positive force in Grafton Andrew CushingNH Preservation Alliance “Founded in 1803, Ruggles Mine is purportedly the oldest mica, feldspar, and beryl mine in North America. Specimens from the mine can be found in national institutions like the Smithsonian and Boston Museum of Science. When the mine closed in the late 1950s, the property was purchased and re-opened as a tourist attraction, which brought thousands of families to this “mine in the sky.” The mine attraction was closed in 2015 and put on the market in 2016. The mine and its 236 acres includes panoramic views north toward Mt. Cardigan and the White Mountains, contains top tier forestland and highly ranked wildlife habitat, and sits within the Quabbin to Cardigan conservation initiative, a collaborative, landscape-scale effort to conserve the Monadnock Highlands of north-central Massachusetts and western New Hampshire. The mine’s natural and historic assets make it a strong candidate for the state’s newest park, a use that the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is investigating. Its addition as a State Park would bring tourists back to Grafton, conserve a key parcel of land, preserve a cultural landscape, and offer unique programming opportunities.” Cheryl Senter freelance photojournalist creator of the change.org petition to make Ruggles Mine a NH State Park “So they were coming up the driveway to the beach. Phyllis pushing a baby carriage and Zander pedaling his bike all happy and shiny faced. He hopped of his bike and said excitedly Cheryl Cheryl Cheryl I’m going on a field trip to VINS in May! He was so excited. I thought wow that’s like 6 months away and in Vermont!I knew at that moment seeing his smiling face that this is what I want to hear all NH school children tell their friends and parents with excitement, We’re going on a field trip to Ruggles Mine State Park! I see the Mine as not only a visually stimulating attraction but also a learning nature center much like VINS. A place where children can discover what lays beneath the grouand be shown how important it is to be caretakers of our forests and the wildlife and environment. The stunning view from up on the mine which is nestled in Isinglass mountain will show them just how vast and beautiful their state is. My hope is that NH youth who visit the mine will take pride in having such a gem in their state and be inspired to make positive productive change in how they treat their environment passing along that spirit to others.” Make Historic Ruggles Mine in Grafton NH The 94th New Hampshire State Park. I grew up in Massachusetts suburb outside of Boston . As a child, my parents took my siblings and I to Ruggles Mine in Grafton NH every summer. The visuals and possibilities of finding treasure always made it a magical learning experience. My imagination would explode in a million directions as I explored the large caves, picked up huge sheets of mica and used my tiny hammer to chip off pieces of what I thought for sure were precious gems. Completely captivated for hours out in the fresh air, I learned as I played about geology and how wondrous the nature is. The only way my parents could lure me to leave was the promise if looking at the large display of semi precious minerals at Ruggles gift shop. Sitting on the tailgate of my dads Chevy pickup in the Mine’s gravel parking lot we would enjoy the panoramic views of dense green forested rolling hills while picnicking on ham and cheese sandwiches, chips and ice-cold homemade root beer. I would always have wonderfully amazing dreams after our trip to Ruggles Mine. And all summer I would marvel looking at my sheets of mica and hunt for special stones wherever I went. To this day I am a rock hound thanks to our summer trips to Ruggles Mine. In my mid twenties I met the man of my dreams who had grown up in and still lived in the city of Boston. We quickly discovered that we shared the same fond childhood memory. My now husband of over thirty years used to go with his family to Ruggles Mine in Grafton every summer to get out of the city and enjoy nature. My husband talked of the same childhood wonderment. Of exploring the caves and hunting for treasure. And they too would picnic in the parking lot after. Only my husbands family would dine on freshly picked local corn that they would cook right next to their car on a camping stove. People from all over the world have come to visit Ruggles Mine. Many like my husband and I were repeat visitors. In 2012 TripAdvisor.com gave Ruggles Mine a five-star review. 68 people took the time to rate share their positive stories. Below are a few reviews. if you want to skip, the gist of the feedback is great place for children and rock hounds. ——————— - Junior Geoligists at Play - “We went for the first time yesterday and had a fun and amazing time. It is a huge place filled with lots of incredible tunnels to explore and rocks and samples to collect. What a truly wonderful place to take your budding geologists of all ages. I was somewhat skeptical based on some others peoples reviews, but decided that if you are not into gathering rocks, then this is NOT the place for you. Skip it because those people's reviews are unfair and misleading to others who truly want a fun place that kids and adults alike will enjoy. Bring your backpacks empty so you can fill them with samples, as we did, and as questions of the staff. They are here to help! And all the staff was most friendly and not unkind as some people posted. Go, have fun, and just be a kid again!” - Rock Hounding - “The mine is as much or as little work as you what to do! I should bring a pad to knee down on or sit on, a bucket to wash stones, short handle tools, and canvas bags. You need a hammer, pick, three prong hoe, and/or folding shovel/pick. We should have spent more time in the cavels. The mine was worked to get minerals out. The unwanted materials were piled and left. You need to go through the piled material to find the good stuff. In the cave the piles a at least 20 ft deep. We went down a couple of feet is a small area. We found a wide selection of materials to add to my collection.” - Great activity for anyone that loves rocks and minerals! - “I have 2 boys ages 9 and 10, and when they heard about this place, they were so excited! Many caves and such we have been at in the past, have those little gem "mining" areas where you get a bag of rocks and its kind of lame. I never let them waste their money on it. Here, at Ruggles Mine, you can really mine for rocks and minerals! It is in the backwoods of Grafton, NH (and I have seen other people review this and say it is so far off route and hard to find. But there are many signs and it was not hard to find at all.) Upon arriving, you pay an admission fee - it is on the more expensive side, but you can take home as many rocks and minerals that you mine as you want! We filled an entire shopping bag full. The hammers they rent are only $3 a piece, so that really isn't too bad, considering if you purchased a mining hammer like that, they would be upwards of $40 or more. The experience itself was awesome! They have a little museum and display on the different minerals you can find specifically there in their caves. Then, after you have looked all of that over, you walk down the path and through a tunnel, and voila! You feel like you are on the set of an Indiana Jones movie, and have just walked into another world. There are cool caves, and rocks and you totally feel like you are out on a treasure hunt. We spent about 2 hours doing actual mining, although I am sure you could spend all day if you were hard core. The great thing was that one of the employees was down helping everyone identify the different minerals they were looking for, and how to find them. This was a huge help. It was great to know exactly what to look for. We were very pleased with our experience - it's not something you do every day!” - very unique - This was a great place to take my children to actually hit the rocks and collect mica... wonderful family thing. but remember to wear your good sneakers!!!!! lots of walking though caves and mines and become a little miner —————— Grafton, incorporated in 1778, is next to the town of Orange where one of the main trails to Mount Cardigan State Park can be accessed. It is a common occurrence at Cardigan State Park to meet visitors who have traveled from all corners of the world to make the breathtaking hike. Spectacular Grafton Pond and Grafton Pond Reservation is a huge draw for locals and tourists alike. Grafton is also less than a half hour away from renowned Dartmouth College. Famous alumni from that college include: Daniel Webster, Robert Frost, Meryl Streep, James Nachway, C. Everett Coop, Mr. Rogers, Nelson Rockefeller, and Dr. Seuss to name a few. Lake Sunapee, home to Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler is about a half hour away as well as Newfound Lake, which is part of the Lakes Region. My parents, now both deceased, loved the tiny town of Grafton so much that in 1962 they bought an old 1740 farm house no running water or electricity on Razor Hill road. We spent our summers there. My parents eventually retired there. Right out of college my brother moved to Grafton and started his own business. My husband and I bought land in Grafton to camp out on and eventually saved up enough to buy a tiny camp. I’m sitting in that very camp right now as I write this plea. Please help make Ruggles Mine a State Park. A 200 year-old historic New Hampshire treasure Ruggles Mine the oldest and largest mine of it’s kind in the United States has been put up for sale again, with a dramatic price drop. The original price for the mine was 2 million now it’s down to $900,000 Grafton, New Hampshire with a population 1,340 is struggling economically. The property tax rate rose dramatically in Grafton from just over $20 on the thousand to almost $28 in four-years. The median household income being about $50,000, roughly 12 percent of the towns residents live below poverty level. Grafton like all New Hampshire towns lives in the shadow of the opioid crisis. The town operates with one law enforcement officer and a volunteer fire department. Making Ruggles Mine a State Park would save the historic landmark from private ownership, protect Isinglass Mountain green space and via collaborative commitment between town and State create a tourism fueled economic boost. Please help and sign