Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fez-tival of Trees 2008

Here's some video from the Bektash Temple's 2008 Fez-tival of Trees:

Children's authors, illustrators hold open house Tuesday

From Gibson's Bookstore:
Granite State Reading Council at the Cat 'n' Fiddle
December 2, 2008
Author/ Illustrator Holiday Open House Tuesday, December 2 from 4-8pm, at the Cat ‘n Fiddle Restaurant in Concord, NH.--to benefit literacy.

The Granite State Reading Council of the International Reading Association is holding an Author/ Illustrator Holiday Open House Tuesday, December 2 from 4-8pm, at the Cat ‘n Fiddle Restaurant in Concord, NH. (Sales by cash or check only.)

Thirty-five of our favorite children's authors and illustrators--including Jenny Ericsson, Marty Kelley, Maryann Cocca-Leffler, True Kelley, and many others-- will be participating in this opportunity to purchase great children's books for the holidays.
Along with numerous books for all ages, an art show and sale will include original works of art from such famous children’s book illustrators as Rosemary Wells, Hans Wilhelm, Ed Emberley and others.

A fee of $10 includes light refreshments, cash bar, free gift wrapping, and an opportunity to enter a silent auction. Contact Donna Ciocca: for questions or go to

Friday, November 28, 2008

More study needed on elementary school consolidation plan

Two versions of this column were submitted to the Concord Monitor this morning.
On Monday night, the Concord Board of Education will be voting on a plan to consolidate four of our elementary schools into two. But they are doing so after a very flawed and limited process, and should delay action until more information can be analyzed.
I was involved in the first “community” task force focusing on education. I agreed to participate because, as a parent of young children, I am concerned about the public school system.
At the first meetings though, I was surprised by the lack of community members present. Almost half were school board members, administrators, or other elected officials. Sorely missing from the process were parents of young children. I was also struck by the strange role playing exercises which had us thinking about imaginary schools and watching online videos pontificating about the “fact” that children entering the school system today will be performing jobs that haven’t even been invented yet. This struck me as odd since we really don’t know what the future holds. As well, if this were the case, why are we planning to spend tens of millions of dollars on schools that will soon be obsolete? After the initial meetings, a few of us were completely taken out of the loop, even though we continued to request information about future meeting dates and times. The next thing you know, a report had been issued about the education guidelines.
After this experience, I decided that my time was better spent not participating in the task “farce” process despite the importance of this issue to my family. Watching from the sidelines was the best decision since much of what many of the community members have had to say about this has been completely ignored. It is clear from all the data, number-crunching, documents, and emails back and forth, that this school board has been led in the wrong direction, to a preconceived outcome they had already voted to approve.
School officials are ignoring projected population increases and future enrollment data which all points to a boom in population growth for Concord during the next 12 to 20 years. In my neighborhood alone, which is on the Walker/Kimball district line, there have been many new houses built, all filled with young children, children that were mysteriously missing from the enrollment data maps presented by the administration at one of the meetings [our firstborn wasn’t even on the map and we’ve been here for years].
In looking at the financial projections, it is clear that they fudged the renovation numbers by low-balling capacity at Walker and Rumford in order to make the consolidation plan look less expensive even though it isn’t. When proper capacity numbers are injected into the data, renovating the schools is more affordable than consolidation.
Then there is the historic importance of the buildings, the fact that existing buildings are actually “greener” than new buildings, and the need to do what is best for our children. While everyone loves to build new buildings, renovating old ones is more cost effective and yields less construction debris and waste. As well, every study that I have seen shows smaller schools to be the best learning environments. When it comes to educational excellence, bigger is not better.
This decision is a 50-year decision which will have great impact on our community and families. Simply put, this plan will bankrupt our city while at the same time warehousing our children into schools that will be too big. Many of us who were born, raised, and educated here, decided to have and raise children here because the school system is intimate and relatively affordable. Let’s not change that.
With the economy in a tailspin and Wall Street and the bond market in tatters, now is not the time to implement this flawed plan. Instead, the school board on Monday should delay action until the four new school board members can be seated in January 2009. After that, this new board should continue to collect more data and study the issue, not by using manipulative tactics which lead to a certain conclusion, but by actually reaching out to the parents of the children our school system serves.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Audi holiday party!

The Friends of The Audi invite you and your guests to join the festivities at the Annual Holiday Open House, Sunday, Dec. 7, in the Reception Lobby

Starting at 6pm: A short quarterly meeting and the Audi’s “Famous Punch”
and then enjoy A TRUE POT LUCK SUPPER topped off with desserts and A Very Special Entertainment:

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL GHOST STORY, Book, Music, and Lyrics by Joel Mercier ~ Based on the Charles Dickens Classic, PRESENTED BY JOEL MERCIER AND COMPANY

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL GHOST STORY is an intriguing new adaptation that adds a modern touch to the well-known story. Dickens’ traditional characters, exciting new songs, and some frightful ghosts make this new version a fun and surprising retelling of the famous holiday Ghost Story.

JOEL MERCIER, a professional musician and Equity actor, has credits ranging from nationally recognized theatres, summer stock, and national tours to our Audi, where he was Music Director of the Community Players’ The Secret Garden and will return next Spring for The Full Monty. Preview his talents on YouTube!

Joel’s appearance at our Holiday Open House follows in the spirit of this year’s Page to Stage series introducing new theatre works. With guest singers, he will offer a program of beautiful music, giving an early glimpse of his developing show.

RSVPs appreciated. Contact David Murdo, 225-7474 or email

Monday, November 24, 2008

Something I've been meaning to do ...

but just haven't had the chance: Look at the city's recycling issues. Thankfully, Chelsea Conaboy over at the Concord Monitor, already did it yesterday: ["Simply the best"].
There are some interesting comments on the Web site too. A few mention the need for weekly recycling pick up. I would agree with that 100 percent. As well, if the city goes to PAYT - pay as you throw - and basically levies a new tax on every extra garbage bag you use over a certain number per week, there needs to be some sort of other changes, like weekly recycling pick up, in order to make sure the increase occurs. Otherwise, it is just another tax.

Friday, November 21, 2008

How low can it go?

How low can you go ... How low can you go ... Born to hand jive baby! Gas: $1.85 at the Irving on North Main Street. Down seven cents in less than three days. How low can it go?

UL spanks Concord ...

... in an editorial today: ["Concord's claim: We can't control spending!"]. I too am disappointed in not only our city leaders but its legal "representation." This kind of obstructionist nonsense is annoying and outrageous. What are they so afraid of? Let the voters decide already.
And, there are things the city can cut. There are the three new employees who were hired at the cable media access center less than two years ago. There is one of the existing full-time employees who currently has two other jobs, meaning she probably isn't putting in a full-time week even though she is getting a full-time salary, benefits, and a retirement bonus. There is the silly van they bought. What a waste of thousands and thousands of dollars. There are city departments that are overstaffed when compared to comparable staffing in other communities. There are the TIF giveaways that are costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. Like the one for the parking garage ... which stands vacant. The fact that city officials say they can't live with 4 percent tax increases is incorrigible. Come on. It's not that hard.
Start with zero-based budgeting and work your way up to what you have. You can get to within a 4 percent increase. The problem is that they refuse to make the hard choices.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rep. Shurtleff's School Board plan

I got a bit more information about Rep. Steve Shurtleff's proposal for reformatting School Board elections. While the bill has not been drafted yet, Shurtleff proposes changing the election process from the current nine at-large candidates running for 3-year terms every three years, to three candidates running from three separate districts, one per year. The districts would be the same as the state Rep. candidates. Each year, one person would be elected from each of the three districts for three years.
I don't have a firm position on whether I support this or not but I will say that I think it is good to discuss and analyze the pros and cons.
The largest criticism of the proposal - that each board member would only worry about the schools in their district - is relatively insignificant due to the fact that we have a city-wide middle and high school and the districts would overlap elementary school districts. If you look at District 12, students go to Walker, Kimball, Conant and Rumford. Does anyone really think that somehow the school board members from District 12 aren't going to care just as much about those schools as Eastman or Beaver Meadow?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday shows at the Audi ...

News from the Concord City Auditorium:


Community Players of Concord: The Secret Garden, Nov. 20-21-22, 8pm, Nov. 23 2pm 224-4905; 228-2793

Strathspey & Reel Society of NH: Gala Scottish Concert, Nov. 30, 2:30p, 437-3497

Concord Dance Academy: Holiday Spectacular, Dec. 6, 1pm & 6:30pm; Dec. 7, 1pm, 226-0200

Friends Holiday Open House: Pot Luck Supper & entertainment, Dec. 7, 6pm, 225-7474

Turning Pointe Center of Dance: The Nutcracker, Dec. 13, 2pm, 485-8710

Granite State Symphony Orchestra: Holiday Pops Concert, Dec. 14, 3pm, 226-4776

New Hampshire School of Ballet: The Nutcracker Suite, Dec. 20, 1pm, 668-5330

Please Share the Season’s Blessings. Bring non-perishable food items for The Friendly Kitchen (Collection boxes in the lobby)
Info: Friends of the Audi, 225-7474

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gas prices: $2.09!

Gas was down to $2.09 at the Irving on North State Street. I don't think we've seen these kinds of prices since before Katrina. Amazing. And what is so interesting about all of this is the fact that the dive in the price of gas is due to conservation and a glut of oil. In other words, there is a flip side to supply and demand - if you stop demanding, there will be supply.
While the larger effects of the economic collapse are not yet known and we are nowhere near the breadlines and horrific times of the past, we are all learning very valuable lessons about what is important and why. I'm just hoping that we will all be able to make it through relatively unscathed.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oops! Check out Page A9 of the Monitor this morning

This morning, I was flipping through the print edition of the Monitor and got to the editorial page. I scanned the first page of letters and then, flipped to the second page.
As I was skimming the letters, I thought I was having a deja vu, since some of the letters looked familiar to me. Well, it turns out, it's Monday's A9 page on Tuesday. Yup, the same exact page, including the half page ad from Editor Felice Belman's dad about their 2008 election bet.
A simple mistake? Sure, it happens. But, it was a bit glaring. I bet everyone is talking about this today around the water cooler ... do people still do that these days?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tax cap update ... debunking the Sununu turnout theory?

In the wake of the political shift to the center/left and modest gains by Democrats across our state, it is important to look at how the tax cap fared in those cities that were bold enough to allow it on the ballot. The Union Leader has a story here from Thursday: ["Tax cap: Rochester, yes; Somersworth, no"]. One big win, one big loss.

Now granted, it was a big Democratic year and very high turnout in most places. While it wasn't the tsunami of '06, it was a solid repudiation of the current Republican Party and some of the questionable activities and decisions of its elected members. What is interesting here though is that the results of these two cities seem to debunk two theories forwarded by anti-tax cappers and Democrats: 1) That the tax cap was all about building turnout momentum for incumbent Sen. John Sununu this cycle, and 2) That liberals and moderates would not vote to limit their property taxes to a reasonable amount - the rate of inflation - because it could result in cuts in municipal services.

The stronger of the two cases can be made in Rochester. With about 80 percent turnout, voters overwhelmingly approved the tax cap by more than 5,500 votes. But then, they decided to vote for Jeanne Shaheen over Sununu by almost 1,700 votes [7,808 to 6,117]. Over in Somersworth, the dynamic was slightly different: The tax cap lost by 832 votes but Sununu lost by nearly 1,400 votes, with 65 percent turnout. If the theory about the tax cap being all about boosting Sununu's numbers was correct, his numbers should have been closer to the tax cap numbers. But the tax ballot initiative in both cities did absolutely nothing to assist Sununu in any way, shape or form. This could easily lead to a questioning of the theory altogether.

One might also question the assumption that liberals and moderates voted for the tax cap, especially when looking at the Somersworth numbers. However, it doesn't seem to be the case in Rochester.

In July 2008, the Supervisor of Checklists in Rochester issued a report to the city council there on voter registration. It broke down this way: Total voters: 17,771; Democrats: 6,297 [35 percent]; Undeclared: 5,991 [34 percent]; Republicans: 5,483 [31 percent]. There were probably voters who registered the day of the election but we don't know the exact numbers or if they would change this dynamic [in Somersworth, 884 people registered the day of, or almost 16 percent of the total votes cast, a shockingly high number]. Rochester, with an almost three-way split of constituencies, voted for a tax cap by more than a two-to-one margin. While we don't know the exact number of each side that voted - that would take deeper analysis and a public records request to look at all the ballots - it is clear that there was crossover, with liberals and moderates voting for the tax cap.

In Somersworth, the turnout was lower, with 7 percent of voters not casting ballots for the tax cap at all [Huh?]. Admittedly, a Google search of voter registration breakdown of the city yielded no tangible results [does anyone know where I can find them without bugging the clerk?]. You really need to see those numbers to get a better idea of whether the theory of crossover works here. However, when compared to votes cast in the other races, you can see some minor crossover. Obama and Nader received almost 3,400 votes combined in Somersworth; Gov. Lynch received almost 4,100 votes; Shaheen received almost 3,300 votes; and Carol Shea Porter received almost 3,300 votes. Yet only 2,945 people voted against the tax cap. So, hundreds of people casting votes for Democrats [or Nader] did not vote against the tax cap.
McCain and the conservative indie candidates received 2,072 votes; Republican Joe Kenney and Libertarian Susan Newell received 1,183 votes in the governor's race; Sununu and Libertarian Ken Blevens received 2,046 votes; Jeb Bradley and Robert Kingsbury received a combined 1,976 votes for Congress. The Yes side of the tax cap there received 2,113 votes. So, some Yes voters cast votes for Democrats. These numbers are much closer in line to the theory that conservative turnout assisted the Yes side of the tax cap. But with a full 7 percent of voters not even casting a ballot and a decent amount of difference between the No votes and Democratic candidates, one can safely speculate that liberals and moderates voted for the tax cap in Somersworth.

So what does the future hold for Concord as far as the tax cap? No one really knows but you can make some guesses.
The initiative should be on the 2009 city ballot. And it will actually have a better chance of passing than it ever would have had in 2008, considering the massive turnout for Democrats in the city. In holding the referendum, and thwarting the will of the people who signed the petition to get it on the ballot, the city council seems to have made a huge blunder.
Since 2009 is not a federal election, the turnout will be much lower - 13 to 17 percent vs. the 76 percent 2008 turnout. Essentially, it means that tax cap folks will only have to garner one vote over 2,000 to 2,750, about the middle of a usually 4,000 to 5,500 municipal election turnout, in order to win. Compare this to the 11,000-plus-1 vote they would have needed in 2008. McCain and Libertarians Barr and Phillies didn't receive 7,700 votes; Kenny and Newell didn't break 3,300; Sununu and Blevens barely broke 8,300; Horn and Lapointe barely broke 7,200 ... in other words, the tax cap probably would have failed in 2008. Some will make the case that since it passed in Rochester in 2008, it could have passed here. But Concord is a much more liberal city.

The argument over the tax cap will get heated. A great deal of misinformation will be floated - or, at the very least, an overstatement of the "cuts" - in an effort to not limit property tax increases to the rate of inflation. However, it is in the best interest of renters, working class families, and others struggling to make ends meet in Concord, especially in light of the current economic conditions, as well as much needed frugality on the city level, to give the tax cap consideration.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pride, Heckman to talk war stories Nov. 23

From the New Hampshire Historical Society:
Meg Heckman and Mike Pride, authors of the new book We Went to War: New Hampshire Remembers, will share the stories of New Hampshire people who fought and witnessed World War II in a lecture on Sunday, November 23, at 2 p.m., at the New Hampshire Historical Society's library, 30 Park Street, Concord.

In 2007–08, Heckman and Pride interviewed dozens of New Hampshire people from the World War II generation, and these tales of heroism, violence, love, and duty ran in the pages of the Concord Monitor. We Went to War includes the best of these stories, plus some never before published.

Heckman has been honored as New Hampshire writer of the year and New England reporter of the year. Pride is a journalist and historian who served as editor of the Concord Monitor for 25 years. He is co-author of My Brave Boys, a history of the Fifth New Hampshire Regiment in the Civil War, and co-editor of The New Hampshire Century.

The lecture is free for New Hampshire Historical Society members and $5 for non-members. For more information, call 603-228-6688.

Founded in 1823, the New Hampshire Historical Society is the independent nonprofit that saves, preserves, and shares New Hampshire history. The Society serves thousands of children and adults each year through its museum, library, educational programs, publications, and outreach programs. For more information about the Society and the benefits of membership, visit or call 603-228-6688.

Liz Hager write-in totals not quite, well, right

Liz Hager write-in totals seem to be all over the map at this point.
According to the Secretary of State's office and the Concord Monitor, Hager received 409 write-in votes. However, the SOS's office reports no write-in votes in Ward 7, something that is very suspicious.
According to my sources who were at the Ward 7 poll when the vote totals were printed out, there were 188 total write-ins for the District 12 race. Most people at the polling place assumed they were for Hager. There might be a few loose ones for Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck. But it is safe to assume that the bulk of the votes went to Hager. And yet, there are no votes in the Ward for her. Very weird.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Glahn, MacKay ousted from seats

With more than 76 percent of eligible Concord voters voting, incumbent School Board candidate Bill Glahn was ousted from the board today by three newcomers including two who do not have long ties to the community.
Jack Dunn, Kevin Fleming, and Eric Williams were elected to the 3-year seats on the board by solid margins, according to unofficial election returns posted by the city clerk. Clint Cogswell easily won the 1-year seat.
Dunn, who has lived in the city for about a year, received 7,086 votes. Fleming, who moved to Concord three years ago, came in at 6,715, and Williams came in at 6,480. Glahn came in fourth with 5912. Paul Halvorsen received 5698 and Eric Weiner earned 5587.
Glahn did win Ward 5 but was way behind the others around the city. Dunn won Wards 2 and 6 with Fleming taking 1, 8, and 9. Williams won Ward 3 and 10. Dunn and Williams tied for first in Ward 4. Halvorsen won his home Ward 7 where he was once a city councilor.
Williams sent out an email to supporters early this morning thanking them for all their hard work.
"With four new board members, we have a chance to make positive changes on the school board," he wrote. "I will do my best on the board, and will continue to seek your counsel over the next three years"
Both Dunn and Williams were active at polling locations around the city with Williams talking to voters at Ward 5 and Dunn supporters wearing bright red T-shirts while handing out an extensive double-sided leaflet which talked about all kinds of different ideas the candidate wanted to implement on the board level. Glahn, Weiner, Williams, and Cogswell all had signs around town. Weiner also received the endorsement of outgoing board member Betty Hoadley.
Unlike last year, the Concord Monitor's endorsement didn't seem to help out Glahn or Halvorsen like it did unknowns like Laura Bonk. That could be because of the low turnout in the 2007 city elections.

Republican MacKay loses Rep. seat
In District 11 [Wards 4, 8, 9, and 10], incumbent and long-time activist Rep. Jim McKay, a Republican, lost his seat. MacKay received 3,475 votes, less than 200 votes shy of a squeaked out fifth place finish. Newcomer and Democrat Michael Barlett [3,659] will join incumbent Democrats Rep. Tara Reardon, Rep. Candace Bouchard, Rep. Bob Williams, and Rep. John DeJoie. Republican candidates Lynne Ferrari Blankenbeker [2,701], Elizabeth Cheney [2,599], Jeff Newman [2,243], and Margaret Carnahan [2,110] rounded out the field.

Dems sweep District 12
In District 12 [Wards 5, 6, and 7], Democrats swept all four seats. Incumbent Rep. Mary Jane Wallner led the pack with 3,663 votes. Long-time Democratic activist Chip Rice came in second with 3,475. Rep. Jessie Osborne received 3,305 votes and challenger Rick Watrous rounded out the pack with 3,005 votes.
Republican John Kalb received 1,916 votes. No official results are available from the Liz Hager write-in attempt but I'm told unofficially that it was around 700 strong - far too short to come close to winning.

District 10 remains Democratic
In District 10 [Wards 1, 2 and 3], Democratic incumbents Mary Stuart Gile, Steve Shurtleff, and Fran Potter join newly elected Democrat William Stetson.

Losses by Hager and McKay means that the city is entirely represented at the State House by Democrats.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Some thoughts about Election Day ...

Polling today in New Hampshire will probably break records, if Ward 5 in Concord is any indicator. The line was around three blocks before opening at 8 a.m. Voters quickly moved through the process though. By 9:15 a.m., more than 700 people had voted, or about 20 percent of the Ward. Other precincts across the state have been reporting massive voter turnout with lines at polling locations.

U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes, center, along with his wife, Peggo, talk with a voter from Bristol at the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Where's the Republican infrastructure?
According to many sources, there was virtually no McCain/Palin presence at Concord polling locations. There were a handful of McCain people on Main Street with signs around 10 a.m. but nothing at the polls.
Sen. Sununu had signs at Ward 5. Other lower tier Republican candidates had signs and sign holders. But nothing for McCain. As a matter of fact, there were no Jennifer Horn signs either. Did they all give up and go home or did they decide not to get up early? And where was the teamwork? This would have never happened in the old days.

Massive Dem outreach
Democrats worked long into the night getting ready for Election Day.
In the early morning hours, scads of volunteers hung door hangers around the city. Signs for the Democratic candidates were everywhere showing that they had done their homework and were getting out the vote.

Rep. candidates out in force
Ward 5, 6, and 7 state rep. candidates were out in force this morning.
Democratic incumbents Jessie Osborne and Mary Jane Wallner joined fellow slate candidates Rick Watrous and Chip Rice at the three polling locations.
Republican challenger John Kalb was also at the Ward 5 location, joined by Free Stater Denis Goddard, making the pitch to voters that his team deserves a shot.
Republican Liz Hager, who lost her seat in the primary but has had friends attempting a write-in effort, was also seen outside Ward 5 handing out "NH Votes" lapel stickers.
In the final days of the race, things have gotten a little testy between all involved.
A new good government committee sent out a district wide mailer attacking the Democratic slate for not taking the "The Pledge" against new, broad-based taxes. Osborne and Wallner have been supportive of an income tax; Watrous seems open to exploring the idea of a broad based tax. We're told that emotions have also been running high in the ragtag write-in Hager movement with angry phone calls being made and emails going back and forth between Liz fans and Democratic powerbrokers. However, Liz was all smiles at the polls.

The scene outside Ward 5 around 10 a.m. on Election Day.

Vote today!

Concord polls are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. tonight so don't forget to vote!

If you don't know already, here are the local polling locations:

Ward 1: Immaculate Conception Church Hall - 9 Bonney St. Penacook
Ward 2: West Congregational Church Hall - corner of Hutchins and Garrison Streets.
Ward 3: Beaver Meadow Golf Course - Club House - 1 Beaver Meadow Street Off Sewalls Falls Raod
Ward 4: St. Peter's Parish Hall, 135 North State Street.
Ward 5: Green Street Community Center - Behind City Hall
Ward 6: St. John’s Activity Center - Thorndike St.
Ward 7: West Street Wardhouse - 41 West Street.
Ward 8: Bektash Temple, 189 Pembroke Road
Ward 9: Havenwood Retirement Center, 33 Christian Ave.
Ward 10: Broken Ground School - Portsmouth St.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Down more ...

Gasoline continues to drop ... this morning I filled up my tank at $2.42 per gallon. I'm totally loving this.

Go see George Belli Friday ...

I love press releases like this:
Show your support! George Belli & The electric at the Green Martini, next Friday, November 7th, Concord, NH 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

We hope to see you at the show! George & Louise, Steve, Jim and Mike

Results of my independent poll show that 9 out of 10 music fans.....would vote for George Belli and the Retro-Activists for President....??? Don't forget to vote! I voted with George Belli 99% of the time....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

October: The third biggest month

October was our third biggest month for page visits and views, just a bit behind last month, which was our biggest month in 14 months of doing this. Thank you all so much for reading!


Gas prices around town continue to drop. I just saw $2.47 per gallon for regular unleaded at the Irving on North State Street. The difference in the cost of filling up on a tank of gas is about $10 now. All those $10s are going to add up.
I also noticed some food prices were starting to drop. A pound of boneless chicken breast has gone down from its $2.69 to $2.99 price for the last nine months or so, to $1.99 per pound - or what it was priced in 2007.
And yet, oil companies are still posting massive profits: ["ExxonMobil posts record profits"].
This is something we really have to start wondering about.

Does anyone know anything about these Obama/McCain signs?

Concord has been blanketed with these Obama/McCain for President signs:

At first, I thought it was a funny statement by some indie candidate or group, similar to the Billionaires for Bush/Gore signs from the 2000 campaign. But then, I called the numbers from the sign and the numbers actually go to the HQs of both Obama and McCain! The sign bears no contact information or disclaimer of responsibility. So what is this all about? Does anyone know?