Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lax, I know ...

It's snowing outside ... woo hoo!
I know, I've been lax at posting any red meat on OurConcord of late. But I promise I will soon. Early in the New Year, I'll have an update on the city's new "bag tax"... cough, cough, ahem ... I meant the pay as you throw [PAYT] proposal. And, BTW, still no answer to the question yet and no response at all from my city councilor about the idea. Is his power back on yet? I mean, come on ... :-) I hope to get the answers soon.
In addition, I'll have a piece on the great new renovations at White Park - renovations that I initially thought were a mistake. Well, after looking at what they have done so far, I've changed my mind [I can do that ya know!].
So stay tuned.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Page to Stage, Act IV comes to Audi Jan. 11

PAGE TO STAGE, a special theatre project fostering new works by New Hampshire authors, announces Londonderry resident Don Tongue will be the featured playwright at the series’ “Fourth Act” on Sunday, January 11, from 3-5pm at the Concord City Auditorium. The event is free and open to all as a Sunday afternoon salon with dramatic desserts.
Don Tongue will present staged readings of two new short plays, School Portrait Monologues and Void. In addition, his program will include a discussion of the development of his plays through workshops and an audience Q&A.
A prominent member of the state’s performing community, Don Tongue’s long list of credits includes roles with Ghostlight Theatre Company, Leddy Center, Music and Drama Company, Nashua Theatre Guild, Operafest, and Yellow Taxi Productions.
The new season-long Page to Stage series is co-hosted by The Friends of The Concord City Auditorium and The Community Players of Concord, NH, and supported by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. The project welcomes submissions of new and developing works for the stage, which will be considered for presentations ranging from readings to full productions. Playwrights wishing to take part in the P2S series are encouraged to contact Wayland Bunnell, President of the Community Players, at or 668-5466.
The first three P2S events included David John Preece’s adaptation of Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables, Andre Tremblay’s original one-act comedies, Twenty Pages and Vinnie Comes Knocking, and Joel Mercier’s A Christmas Carol: The Musical Ghost Story, retold in the style of Dickens’ period.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rhythm of the Night to rock Audi Jan. 17

So you think you can dance? Concord knows it can dance. New Hampshire’s “Dancing Town” has been on its toes, and its toe-ball-heels, since Baryshnikov wore booties! Just one night a year, the capital area’s best dancers show us why dance has become the country’s new pick-me-up, new all-ages sport, and TV ratings topper
On Saturday, January 17, at 7pm, the capital area’s Prima Dancers step into the spotlights of Concord City Auditorium to present the 18th annual dance extravaganza called the “Rhythm of the Night”.
The 2009 show promises to be the biggest and brightest community dance show in the state, with nearly 200 performers. Director Lisa Drouin Goff of Turning Pointe Center of Dance in Pembroke and Producer David Murdo of Concord have organized a festive 90-minute family show of 23 acts. “Perhaps we might better call it Rhythms of the Night,” said David Murdo, reviewing the performances ranging from classical ballet and jazz to tap, hip hop, and production numbers.
Featured dance schools include Capital City Dance Center, Concord Dance Academy, Creative Dance Workshop of Bow, Dancesteps Etc., Gen’s Dance Studio, New Hampshire School of Ballet, Rockin’ Robin’s School of Dance, and Turning Pointe Center of Dance.
The eight dance schools and their directors – Sabrina Adair, Cindy Flanagan, Lisa Drouin Goff, Joan Kelly, Bridget Boucher LeCompte, Pamela “PJ” White, Jennifer Rienert, and Gen Woodward -- are an important part of The Friends of The Audi.
The dance companies’ several thousand students all appear on the Audi stage during the regular season in individual programs ranging from the GALA season opener to special holiday performances to year-end recitals. With specialties ranging from classical ballet to hip hop, their competition teams have won national honors.
On January 17, they will all dance together in one thrilling performance to benefit The Fund for The Audi, an endowment established in 2004 on the historic theatre’s 100th Anniversary to celebrate its past and assure its future. All proceeds are earmarked for the Audi’s next planned upgrade of the pinrail and flyspace, which will benefit every show.
“Rhythm of the Night”, a fun-filled way for families to start the New Year on the right foot, is a special gift to Concord audiences, for tickets are just $6 at Ballard’s Novelty and Party Shop, 7 Broadway in Concord.
The show will last one and one-half hours with one intermission and be suitable for all ages. Information and ticket reservations are available from Producer David Murdo at 225-7474 or email to

Sunday, December 21, 2008

How long does it take for two city councilors and the mayor to answer a simple question about pay as you throw?

Like, forever, it seems ...
I'm on a short vacation right now. But before I left, I read the column offered by City Councilor Keith Nyhan in the Concord Monitor advocating a pay as you throw program on Tuesday: ["Raising recycling rates will save taxpayers money"].

After reading the column, I sent an email to Nyhan, my own ward councilor, Rob Werner, and Mayor Jim Bouley. In it I stated that I would like one question answered before I addressed my concerns about the program to the council directly [I won't be able to attend either hearing on the matter, due to work conflicts].
To start, I was under the impression that there would be a one or two bag exemption in the program but I didn't read about this in Nyhan's column. In other words, residents would only have to pay for the second or third trash bag they used, not every single one. So, I asked, Will there be an exemption or not? Nyhan's piece insinuates that everyone will have to pay for the trash bags, with no exemption at all.
Well, it's been almost a week and none of them have responded to the question or the email.
Now, I'm not surprised Nyhan didn't respond. He is notorious for not responding to emails from residents who are not his constituents, as if corresponding with us is beneath him or he doesn't have to do it. Historically, ward councilors have always responded to everyone in the city, since issues often cross over wards. Certainly his column and this plan crosses over wards. My question deserved a response from him.
Werner usually responds with an offer to talk on the phone but there was nothing for him. As my ward representative, I was owed a response.
Bouley usually just calls. But this time? Nothing, nada, silence ... from all three. It really makes you wonder ...
So, one has to ask: What are they so afraid of? Why can't a simple question be answered via email ... Here's how easy it is: "Yeah Tony, sorry, it should have said two bag exemption ..." "No Tony, the plan doesn't include an exemption ..." Wow, that was easy ... especially when you consider that they are going to start charging everyone for their trash ... something the tax bill has always historically addressed.
Question: Does anyone out there know an answer to the question? Can you let me know before, I don't know, say, Christmas?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More on that meeting ...

It turns out, according to an inside source, that the school board breakfast meeting was canceled due to questions about whether or not it would be a violation of the state's open meeting law. Hats off to those who tried to keep our government open and honest.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Breakfast meeting between school board, councilors, and legislators canceled

A breakfast meeting tentatively scheduled for tomorrow between Concord school board members, city councilors, and members of the Legislature, was abruptly canceled today after at least one resident raised the issue of whether or not the meeting would be a violation of New Hampshire's Open Meeting Law.
The breakfast meeting was scheduled at the request of school officials a couple of weeks ago, after representatives filed a number of bills which would affect the board. The bills include a change in the way the board is elected, separating them into districts instead of at-large candidates and a bill to put any bonds over $5 million on the ballot, to be approved or rejected by voters via citywide referendum.
It was rumored that public policy would be discussed at the breakfast but it was unknown whether a quorum of the board or council would be in attendance. All meetings involving elected boards where a quorum is present must be open to the public unless they discuss sensitive negotiations, litigation, or personnel records, according to the Open Meeting Law.
When a member of the community inquired to school administration about the breakfast, he was reportedly told it was an "invitation-only" event. The community member then mentioned the Open Meeting Law and said that if a quorum was present and the public was not allowed to attend, it might be against the law. The school employee stated that she didn't know if that was accurate and didn't know if there would be a quorum present. The community member said he wasn't objecting to the meeting but he thought it should not be a means to discuss public policy.
Earlier this evening, a legislator confirmed that the meeting had been canceled indefinitely, with no reason given.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

B&GC raise $70K

At its auction Saturday, the Boys and Girls Club of Concord raised more than $70K, according to the group's site. I totally missed the auction this year. Usually, there are signs around town and notices, letting people know it is going on. But not this year. Oh well. Doesn't matter. They raise a ton of dough without my dough. Better luck next year.

November trumps September ...

I should have mentioned this a few days ago but I spaced it: November here at was the biggest month yet for visits and page views, up slightly [about 10 percent] over September. Thanks so much everyone for reading and commenting!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pride, Heckman at Gibson's Thursday

We Went to War, by Mike Pride & Meg Heckman
December 11, 7 PM
In "We Went to War," men and women from New Hampshire remember how World War II transformed — and often threatened — their lives. More than six decades later, they tell their own stories in words that are often poignant, sometimes tragic, and always human.
Two veterans depicted in the book will be here, too! Please join us to meet Robert S. Wood of Havenwood, and Olga Currier, the former Marine who used to work at Gibson's!

The story of World War II is really millions of stories. It is the story of people all around the globe who lived and died in a spasm of violence like no other before it. Most of those people are gone now, silent in their graves.

In 2007, Meg Heckman and Mike Pride of the Concord Monitor set out to find members of the World War II generation still living in New Hampshire 62 years after the war ended. "We Went to War" compiles the stories the two writers collected and adds several chapters.

In these pages you’ll read about bomber crew members shot down and captured, infantrymen who survived beach landings, sailors who saw an American carrier go down with terrible loss of life. You’ll meet men whose wounds still pain them, a daughter who lost her father to a sniper’s bullet in France, nurses who comforted the wounded. And you’ll get a picture of how the war changed life on the home front. These oral histories touch on the well-known—the Bataan Death March, D-Day, the Japanese surrender — but here you’ll also read about an escape through China, a flight with Jimmy Stewart’s tailgunner, and a drive on the Red Ball Express to supply Patton’s army. You’ll witness the courage of a generation shocked into a worldwide catastrophe. You’ll understand how global the conflict was and how arbitrarily it changed — and ended—lives.

Although some of the women and men interviewed for We Went to War recall the gung-ho spirit of the time, they do not candy-coat their experiences. The war was about death and mutilation. This generation’s “job,” as its members saw it, was to do their part and come safely home.

And one other thing: to remember, no matter how much they wanted to forget.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Endowment for Health Elects Three New Board Members

The Endowment for Health, New Hampshire's largest health foundation, has elected three new members to its Board of Directors who bring a wealth of nonprofit, business and government experience to the foundation.

Joining the Endowment for Health Board are:

Margaret Franckhauser, Executive Director of Community Health & Hospice, Inc, a home care, hospice and community service agency in Laconia. Ms. Franckhauser resides in Meredith.

Frederick W. King Sr., Coos County Treasurer, former State Senator and long-time business owner. Mr. King resides in Colebrook.

Sandra Pelletier, CEO and President of Gateways Community Services, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization based in Nashua, NH with a focus on services to children and adults with disabilities. Ms. Pelletier resides in Amherst.

"We are pleased to welcome these leaders to our Board of Directors," said Dr James W. Squires, president of the Endowment for Health. "Their expertise and service to our state make them invaluable advisors to the Endowment as we work to improve the health of the people of New Hampshire."

For full bios on Endowment for Health Board, Staff and Advisory Council are available online at

The Endowment for Health was established in 1999. Since 2001, the Endowment has awarded nearly 621 grants totaling more than $27 million to support a wide range of health-related programs and projects in New Hampshire. For more information about proposal guidelines and funding priorities for the 2009 program year, visit

More news from Gibson's

Yes, books are great holiday gifts:
It's a great holiday season for books. Below are a few of our gift suggestions. With our new website design, you can view them online and reserve them for store pickup. Please let us know any suggestions you might have, too!
While we're talking about gifts, we'd also like to recommend a new service made possible by the American Booksellers Association. Indiebound (formerly Booksense) is providing a way for you to generate your own wish list of books and to see the wish lists of friends and family. You can specify at what bookstore you'd like them to shop, and you can find great independent bookstores where they live as well. Check it out!
Here are some of our recommendations for this holiday season:
1) The Given Day, by Dennis Lehane. To our minds, Moby Dick is still The Great American Novel. But Lehane has given us The Great Boston Novel, and that's saying something. The opening chapter, featuring none other than the young Babe Ruth, is a tour de force. But it's the purely invented characters that we remember the best, especially the young hero, Danny Coughlin, the willful scion of an old Boston police family.
2) Hallelujah Junction, by John Adams. You have to know a bit about classical music to truly appreciate this warm and engaging memoir. But if anyone on your list is a music buff, please try this book out on them. From Mozart to the big band era on Lake Winnepesaukee, from Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles to Steve Reich and Phillip Glass, this book describes the love of music better than any book I can recall. By the composer of Nixon in China, The Death of Klinghoffer, and other modern classics.
John Adams, who grew up in East Concord and attended Concord High School, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2003.
3) For young adults, The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. Far and away the best YA novel of the season, this futuristic tale combines the best of Harry Potter-style fantasy and characterization with the worst excesses of today's reality-show culture. And it's the first of a series, so the kids will be left wanting more.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Midnight Merriment

It's Midnight Merriment tomorrow night. Here's what Gibson's Bookstore has in store, no pun intended:
Midnight Merriment, Main Street Concord’s official kick-off of the winter holiday season, will take place Friday, December 5, 2008 from 5:00 p.m. until midnight in downtown Concord. We always dress up and have a great time. All bargain books will be 25% off on this day....

The event offers shoppers the opportunity to purchase holiday gifts from downtown’s many unique, locally owned businesses. Sparkling white lights, beautiful windows and old-fashioned warm hospitality will highlight the event. Other activities include horse-drawn hay wagon rides, holiday carolers and, of course, Santa Claus.

Support your downtown! And your local independent bookstore!

'House on Christmas Street'

For all you fans of Judy Pancoast, here's a lil Christmas card/diddy from here that you might enjoy: "House on Christmas Street".

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All kinds of things going on at the Audi ...



Beginning with a note of Thanksgiving…

Your City Auditorium is grateful for all your care and participation this season…from the Pitch In and Gala to the upcoming holiday shows, from onstage performers to behind-the-scenes helpers – grips, ushers, mailers, cleaners, “cookie bakers”…Everyone!

Your AUDI thanks you for your volunteer service and for the gifts of time and talent which keep our theatre affordable and accessible to everyone. These days, it counts. THANK YOU ALL! THANK ONE ANOTHER!



starts promptly at 8am at Public Properties, 125 Hall Street. Mark your calendars!

Information: please call Nina Piroso, 230-3851

And in the meantime, come enjoy these special holiday events –

all affordable family entertainment…and great gift ideas:

*Saturday, December 6, 1pm and 6pm Concord Dance Academy’s third annual

and Sunday, December 7, 1pm -- HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR. Tix 226-0200

This spectacular show provides a special donation to The Friends of the Audi!

*Sunday, December 7, 6pm – Friends of the Audi HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE

Short 1/4ly meeting, True Pot Luck Supper, and a special entertainment:

Joel Mercier introduces his new adaptation of Dickens’ “ Christmas Carol”.

*Saturday, December 13, 2pm – Turning Pointe Center of Dance presents

its annual performance of THE NUTCRACKER BALLET. Tix 485-8710

*Sunday, December 14, 3pm – Granite State Symphony Orchestra


*Saturday, December 20, 1pm – New Hampshire School of Ballet presents

its annual performance of THE NUTCRACKER SUITE. Tix 668-5330

And save January 17 for THE RHYTHM OF THE NIGHT

“The Rhythm” rocks the AUDI for the 17th year, as eight area dance companies appear in a showcase directed by Lisa Drouin Goff of Turning Pointe Center of Dance. Tickets, just $6, make great presents. For early reservations, please contact Producer David Murdo at 225-7474 or email

A special gift: This wonderful dance show is a benefit for the AUDI Fly Space project!

Schedule Updates - good news and not-so-good news:

GOOD: The Fly Space project is starting to take shape, and a proposal will be ready for discussion and a vote at the December 7 meeting.

NOT SO GOOD: After much consideration, the Actorsingers will not be able to present “The Producers” at the AUDI next June. Currently Plan B is being considered and we hope to have another production in the time slot.

Here are some gifts for our Audi presenters:

DONATION NETWORKS – Available to Non-Profit and School Organizations:

Upgrade your computers now! Technical Specs: HP or Compaq Desktops, Pentium 4, RAM 512GB, HDD 40GB, CD/DVD, 6 USB ports, Windows XP Pro, MS Office 2003.

Keyboard, mouse, cords. Fee: $135 per system. Interested? Phone 624-6102.

Visit or hit REPLY for further info.

Donation Networks also offers free Dell printers as well as office and school supplies.

Important New Audi Upgrades:

INTERNET ACCESS! The Community Players of Concord are pleased to announce that we now have internet access in the Audi Box Office. It is an added benefit for presenters who use some form of online ticketing. Access will be managed by the Players. For more info contact CPC President Wayland Bunnell, 668-5466 or

GIFTS TO THE HOUSE: The Audi has a new refrigerator, kindness of K.J. Helms – and with the assistance of Carl Bragdon of Cole’s Appliance and Jeff Hoadley and the Public Properties staff, and a sewing machine with cabinet, kindness of Erika and Vincent Flewelling. All-Brite Cleaning and Restoration generously steam-cleaned the carpets in the lobbies – an annual gift to the Auditorium. We thank them all!!

Publicity and PR Opportunities for All Presenters:

*Concord’s Downtown Merchants Roundtable has announced a new promotion –

“Thursdays…a night on the town”. Want to discuss co-op promotion? Contact Donna Nordlund at Bead It! Phone 223-0146 or email

*Welcome Neighbor USA –If you are interested in reaching New Homeowners in Concord and surrounding towns with information about your organization, contact Terry Zehr at 445-2353 or

*“What’s Happening at the Audi” on Concord TV is an extraordinary opportunity to have news of your activities displayed week by week on Channel 22. David Murdo has volunteered his services as producer and host for over five years. He would appreciate help with tapings on two Wednesday nights a month from 7-9pm. Working behind the scenes on a TV show is like working backstage in a theatre. You get a whole new view and appreciation of A&E. Please contact David Murdo, 225-7474, if you can help...

NEEDED: The loan of a 16mm Projector for short term (and very careful use) reviewing old Concord films. Please contact Merwyn Bagan, 224-1036 or

APPRECIATED: The “cookie bakers” who provide and serve intermission refreshments. Hospitality Chair Allwynne Fine and her committee have just completed a very successful fall season, and would welcome everyone willing to share a “batch” or serve a show this winter. Please contact her at 225-6497 or