---- — Proud of law enforcement’s response
To the editor:
I want to thank all the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us all safe during the search for the Boston Marathon bomber. Also, to all the family members of the law enforcement officials who were called in to assist with the search: I was thinking of you.
As the spouse of a Massachusetts state trooper who was called into Boston on Friday, I experienced a multitude of emotions. I spent the day with my children and weighed our realities and how suddenly things could change for the worse. As I watched the news, mesmerized like everyone else, I fought back fear and did my best to appear normal for my three very young boys, making sure not to alarm them or expose them to what was happening during that time.
For our family things ended well. My husband made it home safe that night. My heart aches for the families for which that was not the case. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
We have amazing men and woman in law enforcement and the families that support them. I am fortunate to be part of this community. My husband is my hero. I am extremely proud of him and his brave actions last week. Thank you to all involved. We are Boston strong!
Maura Ryan Ciardiello
What delayed FBI release of suspect photos?
To the editor:
Within hours of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, scenes from business, press and individual cameras were being scrutinized by dedicated investigators and by individuals worldwide. By Wednesday reports appeared that photos of suspects had been obtained and reviewed. Some images had begun to be circulated, however unofficial and premature those might have been. It was suggested as early as Wednesday that officially vetted images might be released to the public by the FBI.
Early Thursday morning, it was announced the FBI would be releasing images of suspicious people to the public. Apparently the dual hopes of the FBI were that citizens who recognized the suspects would come forward or that release of their images might so unnerve the suspects that they would commit errors leading to their apprehension. Each of these objectives was eventually realized. Americans, victims and their families hoped that the perpetrators would be captured quickly, without further casualties.
Reports signaling release of footage to the public persisted throughout the morning, but no images were released until approximately 5 p.m. Two things dominated the day’s coverage. One was an ongoing account of the flight of Air Force One from the Washington area to Boston and back again, carrying the Obamas to an interfaith service and hospital visitations after the service.
The other event that dominated our television screens was the service itself. To one tuning in only occasionally to see if suspect images had been revealed, this appeared as a succession of consoling, reflective and assuring statements spoken by a gathering of clerics and politicians. During the afternoon, for what seemed at least an hour, there were actually a number of cameras focused on a sitting Air Force One waiting at Logan airport for the return of the presidential entourage. No suspect photos were to be seen.
The question remains as to why it took so long. By the time the release of photos began to aid officers in the hunt for perpetrators — tragically at approximately 10 p.m. — the alleged bombers were blessed with the comfort of darkness while the brave, courageous, stalwart and determined force of searchers, as well as the public at large, were in greater jeopardy. Would the second captured suspect, wounded and probably leaving a blood trail, have been able to elude arrest for so long had it been daylight?
Speculation will remain no more than speculation. That does not mean it disappears. What would be appreciated is some believable, FBI explanation for the delay.
Tell me your thoughts on casinos
To the editor:
Expanded gambling is one of the hot issues currently facing New Hampshire. I have heard from surprisingly few Derry residents on this topic and I’d like to hear more before deciding on my vote.
The proponents make the following points about expanded gambling: it brings much needed revenue into New Hampshire in the form of licensing fees, business profit taxes and increased tourist spending; there is significant popular support; if Massachusetts builds casinos close to our border, New Hampshire residents will go there and spend their money rather than it staying here; building and operating a casino will create jobs; and the current bill protects the revenue of nonprofit organizations that currently benefit from charitable gambling.
The opponents make these arguments: expanded gambling has a negative impact on New Hampshire’s brand and status as a family-friendly, safe place to visit and live; predicted revenues are inflated and profits from gaming in other states have steadily dropped the past few years; often the resort casino that is proposed to gain popular and legislative support ends up being a “slot barn” and eye-sore; the high-paying jobs affiliated with casinos often go to current casino employees who are imported from other states; casinos “cannibalize” local small businesses because people spend their money at restaurants and stores in the casino complex and not in the community; and being dependent on a single industry for revenue leaves our state vulnerable to the influence and interests of the casino industry.
I encourage readers to let me know their feelings on this or any issue; I can be reached at 603-930-3462 or by email at Betsy.Burtis@leg.state.nh.us.
State Rep. Betsy Burtis