Monday, July 27, 2009

Bar Association pays nearly $1.9M for condo

This morning, while skimming over the Concord Monitor Web site, I saw that the real estate transaction listings were in the Top 10 most read online. I think this is a first, I thought. Hmm, why is that, did someone get something for $1?
Well, no, but the New Hampshire Bar Association did pick up a condo in Steve Duprey's 2 Pillsbury Street building, the old Blue Cross Blue Shield building, for nearly $1,877,000! No wonder he has so much money to noodle around in project after project. Why would anyone pay that for a condo when they could get a whole building for that?
I don't want to fault the guy for knowing all the ins and outs of being a developer and making scads of money. But shouldn't the city be looking at ways to make deals with other developers and not just Duprey, so the ownership in downtown properties spreads around, and isn't in the hands of three people? It would seem to me that one of the big problems with downtown right now is that there are only a few landholders and they keep the rents artificially high, which stagnates growth downtown. Making there that others like Duprey had opportunities would be the best thing in the long run, one would think.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Audi season opening gala slated for Sept. 13

This event is always a ton of fun. From the inbox:

Aug. 1 -- Planning begins for the SEASON-OPENING GALA on Sept. 13. All 2009-2010 Audi Presenters are invited to present an act previewing their coming
attractions, and all area arts groups are invited to the pre-show Arts Fair.
You'll be hearing more from Show Director Allwynne Fine (225-6497,
and Arts Fair Producer Candy Brehm (798-5925,

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tax cap for me but not for thee ...

It's interesting that a judge in Hillsborough County can have one opinion but another judge in Merrimack County can have the opposite opinion. In this case, it's about the tax cap. Manch is probably going to get it while Concord doesn't: ["Judge tosses effort to kill tax cap vote"]. Sigh.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Interactive content provider available for part-time work

Due to the economic climate and a recent pay cut at my full-time job, I’m seeking a small amount of part-time work to get through these tough economic times. If you run a media entity, marketing company, arts or political organization and are looking for a part-time contract worker with diverse life and employment experience, I may be your guy.

I’m an award-winning newspaper editor and broadcast journalist with extensive print, Web, and audio recording experience. Print, audio, Web, text, blogs, and video … you name it. Unlike the normal print journalist or radio broadcaster who may be limited by the format work they can offer, I am an interactive content provider with the flexibility to deliver news and information whenever and wherever possible. I have a good work ethic, and I’m efficient and affordable. I also enjoy working on all kinds of different projects. I know how to tell a story, talk to people, create features, and work on longer, investigative and enterprise-like pieces. I also have previous experience in sales, marketing, and retail, so I could assist with a consulting project too, if you need a fresh set of eyes to look at something.

Are you a newspaper or radio station who needs something done quickly and on the fly? Are you about to launch a new product and need a critical and honest assessment of where you are at? Do you need someone to copyedit your proposal before your big appointment or presentation? Would you like an event or meeting recorded and edited so it can be assimilated by many people, in different parts of the world? I can do just about anything. No job is too small.

I am able to work virtually, anywhere in Southern New Hampshire, some parts of Massachusetts [in areas and formats that do not compete with my full-time employer], and nationally. Potential work hours include most early weekday mornings, Thursday or Friday afternoons [with advance notice] and weekends.

I am not interested in anything having to do with sales or any commission-based pay structure.

Please feel free to contact me for a copy of my resume, news clippings, Web links, or audio work:

Oh wow, George McGovern in town!

Former U.S. Sen. George McGovern will be in town signing copies of his new book about Lincoln. at Gibson's Bookstore downtown. From the inbox:

George McGovern on Abraham Lincoln
Monday, July 20, at 5:15
Senator George McGovern will be at Gibson's to discuss and sign his new book on Abraham Lincoln. Don't miss this chance to meet a true legend and (in the words of Robert Kennedy) "the most decent man in the Senate" and (in the words of William F. Buckley) "the single nicest human being I've ever met."

On Monday, July 20, the day after Senator George McGovern turns 87, he will spend the day in New Hampshire talking about history and signing books. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who created the series American Presidents for Times Books, asked the Senator to write about Lincoln.
For a generation, Senator McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, with its "Peace is Patriotic" message, was instrumental in forming their political activism. As a decorated bomber pilot in WWII, he knew more about the subject than did most others in the debate. His other great cause, ending world hunger, has resulted in the feeding of tens of millions of people--beginning with his job as director of President Kennedy's Food for Peace program, continuing with his work with Senator Bob Dole to revolutionize the U.S. Food Stamp program, and culminating with his work as U.N. Ambassador on World Hunger and other ongoing efforts both domestic and international.
Please join us as we welcome Senator McGovern back to New Hampshire, where 25 years ago he was accorded a 10-minute standing ovation at the NH Democratic Convention. Let's wish him happy birthday, and listen as he expounds on the lessons of Abraham Lincoln and their relevance today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ouch: Audi rental rates increase ...

Clearly, another negative part of the current economic fiscal crisis ... higher rates to rent or rehearse at the Audi. From the inbox:

HEADS UP FOR THE COMING SEASON: RENTAL RATE INCREASES approved in the new City Budget take effect with the nnew July 1 fiscal year, as follows:

Type of organization Per Performance Full Venue Rehearsal
Concord Resident Non-profit $290 to $310 $565 to $575 $115 to $130
Concord Resident profit $565 to $575 $1115 to $1135 $115 to $130
Non-Resident Non-profit $565 to $575 $1115 to $1135 $115 to $130
Non-Resident profit $865 to $875 $1715 to $1735 $115 to $130

NOTES: This is the first increase in rental rates in 5 years, and reflects similar increases in fees for all city properties and services in these very tight economic times. The penalties for cancellations of reservations remain in effect, with the clock starting 120 days ahead of a scheduled date. Please be sure to check the online Audi calendar ( to confirm your dates and be sure to release dates as quickly as possible to avoid charges and to enable others to book shows.
For further information, please contact Nina Piroso at Public Properties, 230-3851 or email

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Audi update ... more upgrades

Last week, I received this update from the Friends of the Audi:

Starting July 13 -- Tri-State Iron Works of Concord will reinforce the supporting beams in the stage ceiling and Sapsis Rigging will do a site survey -- all in preparation for the Audi's next big upgrade, The Flyspace Project slated for summer 2010. Concord's Public Properties Division and H.L.Turner completed the engineering studies for the project, which is funded by The Friends of the Audi.

Monday, July 20 -- 7 p.m. in the Lobby -- THE FLYSPACE PROJECT BEGINS! A Brainstorming session to develop a theme -- a logo -- clever tie-ins -- and strategic plan to gather the $100,000 it's estimated to cost. Everyone is welcome...and needed...along with your wildest ideas (and contacts in Nigerian banks).

This sounds like great news!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Friends of the Audi annual meeting Sunday

From the inbox:
Sunday, July 12, 6pm -- The Friends of The Audi ANNUAL MEETING Starting with a true Pot Luck Summer Supper, the agenda includes a business review, elections, awards, Pitch In organization...and the official start of the Flyspace Project! Everyone is welcome. Info:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Upcoming city council and school board elections

On Friday, Sept. 4, the city clerk will start taking nomination papers or filing fees to run for city council this year.
Ward councilors and the mayor run every two years; at-large councilors run for four year terms. This November, Dr. Douglas Black and Dan St. Hilaire are up for re-election. There is no word yet on whether they plan on running for re-election or not. It is doubtful that St. Hilaire would step down considering that he was just elected four years ago. Dr. Black, who brought me and my eldest son into the world, was flirting with retirement back in 2005. At nearly 80, he might consider stepping down but I haven't heard anything.
According to sources, Mayor Jim Bouley will be running for a second term. One could easily wonder why he might want to run again, since the next two years are bound to be extremely difficult. But, at the same time, he has done a pretty good job being mayor. He seems to listen and gives everyone in the community any interaction they ask for. It is clear that while you may not agree with everything he says or does, he cares deeply about the city. It shows in everything he does.
Right around the same time as nominations for council open up, they also open up for school board. School board members run citywide for their seats. Three are up this year - Kass Ardinger, Christopher Casko, and Clint Cogswell.
There are rumors that Cogswell is planning a run for re-election. No word yet on the other two.
I will say that I voted for Casko in 2005, when he ran unsuccessfully, and again in 2006. I liked his folksy, straightforward manner. But I have to admit that I have been disappointed with his tenure. He just doesn't seem like he is all there during the meetings and that's not a good thing. Compare his presence to Laura Bonk and you'll get what I mean. She wants answers and won't stop pecking away until she gets them. He just sits there.
The school system is at a crossroads and the administration seems hellbent on spending $60-plus million consolidating the elementary schools, warehousing our children into bigger schools that the taxpayers can't afford and parents don't want.
The 2009 election will be a crucial one as it may be the last time for sane, fiscally responsible leaders to be elected to both the council and school board. Here's hoping we get some good challengers and have some good discussions about where the city is headed.