Monday, June 30, 2008

Monitor at 20 pages ...

The Concord Monitor was 20 pages this morning. I was a little alarmed by how small it looked. Of course, with all the bad headlines about the newspaper industry these days, no one should be surprised by this. At the same time, when all the newspapers go away, who is going to tell people what is going on? I have to finish that piece about how important local news is, very, very soon.

Friday, June 20, 2008

U.S. House honors American hero, Christa McAuliffe

U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey. D-Mass., joined his colleagues in passing legislation yesterday to establish a scholarship program in honor of Christa McAuliffe, the teacher-turned-astronaut whose journey captivated a nation and sparked a renewed interest in space exploration. McAuliffe grew up in the seventh congressional district in Framingham, Mass. and later attended Framingham State College, as well as a teacher in Concord, N.H.

Rep. Markey said in a press release, “Despite the tragic Challenger explosion that claimed her life along with the lives of her fellow astronauts, Christa’s courage, creativity and curiosity embodied the best values of our educational system and remain an inspiration to students around the world. She was a true American hero.

“This scholarship will encourage women to enter the space sciences, a fitting goal considering Christa’s life work. While women have made significant gains in the last few years, they continue to be underrepresented in space sciences and aeronautics. There is no better way to honor a pioneer that inspired millions while promoting education and space exploration than with a scholarship program to advance that very cause.”

The Christa McAuliffe scholarship program passed the House of Representatives as an amendment to H.R. 6063, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2008. H.R. 6063 now moves to the Senate for approval.

The dish on Lynch challenger Kathryn Forry

She supports broad-based taxes, according to this morning's UL editorial: ["Lynch and taxes: A challenger emerges"]. Well, that solidifies my vote for John Lynch in the primary.
I'll have an update of my piece on the Concord candidates because it seems as though some folks jumped into the state rep. race at the last minute. In addition, it looks like Liz Hager has changed her mind and decided to run again after all. I have an email in to her which she hasn't answered yet.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

George Belli plays Friday

George Belli & The Retroactivists play at the Green Martini Friday night from 8 to 11 p.m. So, you know there will be a lot of good tunes ... but don't yell "Free Bird"!

Eh, kids ...

sometimes do the stupidest things: ["Teens Arrested In School Break-In"]. That will look great on the college transcripts. Boy, has WMUR been on the ball lately with Concord crime? What, are they camped out outside the police station waiting for stuff to happen?

Friends of the Audi plan annual meeting

The Friends of the Concord City Auditorium will hold its annual business meeting on Sunday, July 13, at 6 p.m. in the reception lobby of the municipal theatre located on Green Street.
The evening begins with a true pot luck supper and the program will include elections, presentation of special awards, and an announcement about exciting new programming in the coming season.
As with all Friends of the Audi activities, the public is cordially invited to attend.
For further information, please contact June Iffland, Friends President, at 228-0660 or via email at

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A few quick takes ...

First, the Concord Monitor has a pretty neat Graduation section on its Web site including video and links to stories about graduations in the newspaper's reading area. It's nice to see them taking advantage of the "new medium" opportunities to help tell the stories differently.
The paper did, however, get slammed today by the father of the Concord High School valedictorian in a letter today [It isn't online yet or I would have linked it].
I can just imagine how tough it is being the father of someone who accomplishes a lot and then doesn't get recognized like other graduates of the past. At the same time, readers of newspapers [and viewers of TV and listeners of radio] have to understand that just because something was done one year, doesn't mean it will be done the next. Media employees don't just phone it in [Well, alright, most don't phone it in]. We're creative types. We like to change and experiment and challenge ourselves even if you, the reader, don't care for those changes.
Next, regular readers of the Monitor probably didn't miss another story about problems with the tannery site in Penacook: ["Grocery plans at tannery set aside"].
So, once again, big Concord plans are slowly slipping away like sediment into a runoff ditch. The whole point of this project was to have an anchor tenant - like a grocery store - for Penacook. After all the money that has been spent on this thing, including millions in federal grants, something better come of it all. Maybe the city should try to look beyond the huge grocery chains and talk to someone like the owners of Colonial Market in Hopkinton. Let's hope the city can get it together and find a tenant for the site. And in the future, let's try and scale down some of these projects into intimate, attainable ideas that fit in with the Concord that we all know and love and not Manchester or Boston.
Lastly, I was one of many who noticed that the 99 Restaurant at the Steeplegate Mall complex was closed over the weekend due to an electrical problem. I didn't know it was due to alleged drunk driver who smashed into the restaurant!: ["Concord '99' Misses Out On 'Bike Week' Due To Alleged Drunk Driver"].
As my son and I pulled up to the restaurant to grab a Father's Day lunch, we were met with a waitress and coupons. I had to explain to my son multiple times that they didn't have electricity and we couldn't eat there. He was very upset and kept asking why he couldn't eat nuggets and fries at his favorite restaurant. Finally, by the seventh time explaining it, he started to repeat to me what I was telling him, in his all-knowing and adorable way. Phew. Then we went to Wendy's.

Monday, June 16, 2008

KIDS COUNT numbers released; NH #1

Hmm ... without a sales or income tax? From the Tip Sheet:
The numbers are in and New Hampshire is ranked #1 on the annual KIDS COUNT national report. Though New Hampshire's children rank very high on some key indicators of well-being, the Granite State cannot rest on its achievements. There are places in our state where there are concentrated populations of needy children and, even in communities with strong resources, there are needy children and families.
The KIDS COUNT report, just released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, indicates that the state fares very well when compared to others. We should all be proud of the strides we have made in several areas, especially the percentage of high school dropouts, which decreased from 9 percent to 4 percent statewide, placing New Hampshire 2nd in the nation on this indicator.
The four broad areas measured in the report are children's health, safety, education and family economics. New Hampshire consistently ranks among the top states in this nationwide data-gathering effort. This is the 19th annual KIDS COUNT report.

Now, the mall isn't safe ...

["Concord Police Search For Suspect In Sexual Assault"]. Also, why did it take 9 days for this information to get out?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Primary ballots heating up for Concord voters

Friday was the last day to file for state and county elected offices and Concord voters will have a bunch of candidates to choose from during the September primary [does anyone know what date that is? Sept. 16?].
Gov. John Lynch, to the surprise of many, will face opposition in the primary via the candidacy of Kathryn Forry of Jaffrey.
Joseph Kenney of Wakefield will be the Republican nominee for governor.
At least two people have filed intentions to run as indies for governor: David Boyle of Concord and Susan Newell of Winchester. Not much is known about Boyle except that in 2006, he formed a political action committee [DAC PAC] to stimulate discussion about a potential independent or Libertarian gubernatorial candidacy. Newell also has Libertarian-leanings according to a Google search. She was a selectwoman in Winchester and serves on the Town Budget Committee.
For the U.S. Senate seat, incumbent John Sununu will have a primary opponent in libertarian-leaning Tom Alciere of Hudson, a former state representative from Nashua. Tom has a Web site here: [""].
Over on the Democratic side, former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen will face off against Raymond Stebbins of Nashua, who recently received more than 50,000 votes in the vice presidential primary. Stebbins does not have a new Web site up for his Senate campaign.
Libertarian Ken Blevens of Bow is also seeking ballot access for the final election.
For Congress, in the Second Congressional District, incumbent Democrat Paul Hodes has filed to run for a second term. He has not primary opposition.
On the GOP side, five candidates have filed to run. They are:
Grant Bosse of Hillsboro, an award-winning radio journalist and former staffer for Sen. Sununu: ["Bosse2008"].
Bob Clegg, a state Senator from Hudson: ["Clegg for Congress"].
Jennifer Horn, a talk show host and newspaper columnist from Nashua: ["Jennifer Horn"].
Alfred L'Eplattenier of Rindge: ["Border Secure"].
Jim Steiner of Concord, an attorney and former Green Beret: ["Join Jim 2008"].
Chester L. Lapointe II of Swanzey will seek to gain ballot access on the Libertarian line and Roy Kendel of Fitzwilliam will also run as an indie.
Democratic Executive Councilor John Shea will have a Republican opponent, once they shake things out. County Attorney Dan St. Hilaire, Businessman Bernie Sparks, and Richard Wasson are all competing for the seat.
State Sen. Sylvia Larsen will again face off against Republican Kristie MacNeil for the seat.
With St. Hilaire running for Executive Councilor, the County Attorney's seat is open. On the Democratic side, Ted Barnes will oppose former City Councilor and Mayoral candidate Kathy Rogers. Republican Tom Reid is also seeking the seat.
With Rogers running for County Attorney, the County Commissioner seat is open. Running for that seat on the Democratic side are City Councilor Elizabeth Blanchard and former City Councilor Doris Ballard.
Sheriff Scott Hilliard, a Republican, has won his election by default since he had no challengers this year.
Concord has 13 state representatives in three districts. Some of the districts will have primaries. Some won't. Democrats have escaped primary battles in District 10 [Ward 1, 2, and 3] and District 12 [Ward 5, 6, and 7] but not in District 11 [Ward 4, 8, 9, 10]. Republicans have no primaries for state rep. seats in the city.
In District 11, six candidates will seek five seats on the Democratic side: Incumbents Candace Bouchard, John DeJoie, Tara Reardon, and Bob Williams, will face off against challengers Michael Barlett and Klee Dienes.
Five Republicans are also running: Incumbent Jim McKay, and challengers Lynne Blankenbecker, Elizabeth Cheney, Jeff Newman, and Frank Rosano.
District 10 will see Democrats Mary Stuart Gile, Fran Potter, and Steve Shurtleff, all incumbents, and challenger William Stetson, facing off against Republican challenger Angela Harman.
In District 12, incumbent Democrats Jessie Osborne and Mary Jane Wallner, along with challengers Harold "Chip" Rice and Rick Watrous, will face off against Republican challengers Pamela Ean and John Kalb. Dwight Haynes of Concord will be running as an independent for one of the four seats.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Multicultural festival announced: 'Celebrating Our Multicultural Community'

Event to celebrate, and raise awareness of newcomers in the community, and to inspire neighborly acceptance, assistance and appreciation of cultural diversity.
The Greater Concord Area Task Force Against Racism & Intolerance announced that a multicultural festival, "Celebrating our Multicultural Community" will be held in Concord on June 21, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. The purpose of the event is to celebrate, welcome and raise awareness of newcomers in the community, and to inspire neighborly acceptance, assistance, and the appreciation of cultural diversity within the greater Concord area. The festival will be held on the State House Lawn and Plaza, and Capitol St., in downtown Concord (rain location is across the street at the atrium in Eagle Square). Admission is free.
The event will feature a variety of live and recorded music from around the world, hosted by DJ Franklyn Rosario, with live performances including: Rwandan Dancers (5:15 p.m.), Scottish Bagpipe Music (6 p.m.), Black Bear Moon African Music (7 p.m.) and French singer Lucie Therrien (7:45 p.m.). Activities and crafts are planned for children. Booths and exhibits will share information and offer art, crafts, books and other items for sale, including items from Russia, Baltics, Rwanda, Bhutan, Sudan, Scotland, Greece, Egypt, Dominican Republic, India, China, Japan, the Mediterranean area, and many more. Food from many countries will be served. Special events include learning Hispanic dances, a Parade of Flags, and a native attire fashion show!
Helen McGlashan, president of the Greater Concord Area Task Force Against Racism & Intolerance said, "Concord is a growing city, welcoming newcomers from around the nation – and across the globe. This diversity makes for a rich blend of culture that can benefit the entire community. By hosting 'Celebrating Our Multicultural Community' we are providing an opportunity for the greater Concord area to welcome our newer members – and for all to sample and truly appreciate the excitement and vitality of our diverse community."
A raffle will be held to offset the costs of the festival, featuring a quilt made by Dancing Crane Quilting.
Sponsors for the event include Merrill Lynch, Casey Family Services, Lutheran Social Services, Owl Woman Design, New Hampshire Highland Games, Concord Chamber of Commerce, Assist-2-Sell, Dancing Crane Quilting, MyPCTEC, and Speedy Printing. In-kind supporters include Constantly Pizza, Imagination Village, Gondwana, Temple Beth Jacob, South Congregational Church, New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord Hannaford, and the City of Concord.
Local service organizations will also be represented at the festival, including Zonta Club, the Interfaith Refugee Resettlement Project, Friends program, Casey Family Services, Community Action Program, and more.
For more information on attending or participating as an exhibitor or vendor, please contact: Nancy Jo Chabot, 746-5892 or, or see the Web site at

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Landry named New Hampshire Charitable Foundation's

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has hired Shari Landry of Concord as its new Vice President of Philanthropic Services. Landry will be a member of the Charitable Foundation's Leadership Team and will maintain a portfolio of prospective donors, fund establishers and professional advisors. In this position, she will also manage the Philanthropic Services Department, which is responsible for helping donors organize their philanthropy.
"Landry is a relationship-builder who enjoys working with donors and professional advisors," said Helen Goodman, the Foundation's COO. "She is also a strong leader who loves to build, manage and participate in highly effective teams. Landry embraces change, thrives in a fast past environment, and brings energy and enthusiasm to all that she does. We are delighted to have her aboard."
Landry most recently served as Vice President of Development at the Crotched Mountain Foundation in Greenfield, New Hampshire. She has worked with Child and Family Services and Easter Seals New Hampshire, and has owned her own consulting firm. She holds a Masters of Science Degree from Springfield College and a B.A. from UNH. In 2007, she earned a Certificate in Fundraising Management from the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, Indiana University.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Candidate filings starting

The filing period for state rep. candidates in Concord began earlier this week. I stopped by the city clerk’s office late Friday to take a look at some of the candidates running. In Concord, districts have four representatives and, historically, Democrats and liberal [and connected] Republicans tend to win the seats. The seats also tend not to be contested primary races.
All eyes will be on District 12, Wards 5, 6, and 7, which will have two new representatives after Democrat Donald Brueggerman and Republican Liz Hager made it known that they would not be running for reelection this year.
At least one new candidate has emerged in District 12: Rick Watrous, a media educator and Democratic activist who just missed winning a Board of Education seat last year by a shy 129 votes. Incumbents Jessie Osborne and Mary Jane Wallner have also filed to run for reelection.
Over in District 10, Wards 1, 2, and 3, incumbents Mary Stuart Giles, Fran Potter, and Steve Shurtleff, who is also an at-large city councilor, will be seeking reelection. William Stetson, who represents Ward 2 on the council and is a retired firefighter, is also seeking a seat. On the Republican side, Angela Harman has also filed to run.

In District 11, which covers Ward 4, 8, 9, and 10, incumbent Democrats Tara Reardon and Bob Williams have filed. Incumbent Republican Jim McKay, also a former Mayor, is also running for reelection. Challenger Michael Bartlett, a Democratic, has also filed, as well as Frank Rosano, a Republican who ran in 2006 but was not elected. Eleven people ran in 2006, so expect this race to have some more folks in it soon.
According to Democratic Party officials, the deadline for filing is Friday, June 13.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Concord Coachmen play Eagle Square June 12

The New Hampshire Historical Society will host the Concord Coachmen Chorus in a free outdoor concert, on Thursday, June 12, at 7 p.m., in downtown Concord's Eagle Square, just outside the Historical Society's museum.

The concert is made possible by the Duncan S. McGowan Memorial Fund for Eagle Square.

The Concord Coachmen Chorus is a member of the Barbershop Harmony Society. In addition to barbershop, the group sings doo-wop, Gospel, jazz, and pop tunes. Established in 1957, the Concord Coachmen Chorus has been entertaining audiences in communities throughout New Hampshire for more than half a century.

In case of rain, the concert will be moved indoors to the adjacent Atrium at 7 Eagle Square. Attendees should bring their own chairs for the indoor concert. For directions to Eagle Square, visit or call 603/228-6688.

Founded in 1823, the New Hampshire Historical Society is the independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving, preserving, and sharing New Hampshire history. The Society serves thousands of children and adults each year through its Museum of New Hampshire History, research library, educational programs, and award-winning publications. The Society is not a state-funded agency. All of its programs and services are made possible by membership dues and contributions. For more information about the Society and the benefits of membership, visit or call 603/228-6688.