Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Kiwanis Fair is coming up

Around Town with Dick Patten
I can't believe another work week is underway.

The funds for the Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration are slowly starting to come in. We need commitments quickly from businesses and organizations. I have sent out 50 letters seeking letters to help keep this celebration going. Please think about making a donation no matter how large or small. They all add up. I think it would be sad if the capital of this state didn't have a celebration on the Fourth of July.

There's a lot of talk around town about naming the new schools when they are built. I personally, would be sad to Dame lose its name. I realize many people don't know the history of Dame, named after Harriet P. Dame or the schools involved. I hope they think twice when they choose a name.

City Council meeting in May should be quiet interesting when the proposed smoking ban is discussed. There are pros and cons to this. I know as a non-smoker it irritates me to see someone dump their ashtray in the parking space or lot with their cigarette butts. It is terrible as well as the driver or passenger throwing it out the window. There is a hefty fine if the police stop a moving vehicle with this being done.

Sunshine wishes are extended to Ernest Little who is recuperating at Healthsouth, located behind Concord Hospital. Ernie and his family lived for many years on Ormond Street behind the 7-11 Store on Loudon Road. Ernie's two brothers, the late Hollis and Donald were extraordinary. Both of these fine gentlemen were born blind and both worked every day and were very active members of Pineconia Grange. They were excellent at reading braille. Donald, whose late wife Julie passed away a couple of months ago, still resides on the Heights.

It doesn't seem possible the Kiwanis Fair is only a few weeks away. The fair begins Thursday, May 13 and concludes Sunday, May 16 with Family Day. The fair is held at the Everett Arena with a big assortment of carnival rides outside of the Arena. I am still waiting for information if there will be an event inside the arena. The fair continues bring back fond memories when I take some children to enjoy the rides. I think back to the days at the Concord Airport, then the N.H. Highway Hotel, and finally the Everett Arena. I also miss the annual parade which used to kickoff the parade, but as I was told, changes happen. The Kiwanis Club of Concord sponsors the event and all proceeds goes back to the many charities supported by the Kiwanis.

I am so happy that Jean-Michael, my camera director for my show, who found full-time employment the Page Belting. Good Luck Jean-Michael, but don't forget Tuesday nights at the studio. He has been my left hand for a couple of years and I appreciate him so much. Be nice to him Mark!

I am still upset with people who don't pull over to the side of the road when an emergency vehicle is responding with lights and sirens on. They could be responding to an emergency in your neighborhood. The same is also said for a funeral procession. I believe once the hearse starts and the vehicles behind it are supposed to have their lights on and allowed to stay together and pass through any red lights without stopping. The same applies to motor vehicles who are not a part of the funeral procession; they are supposed to respect the deceased and not get into the procession.

I see vehicles not stopping for the crosswalk lights on Loudon Road. When the light turns yellow or red, people are supposed to stop, but instead they continue driving and not slowing down to see if someone is crossing. Beware there is a hefty fine for not obeying the law.

There are cars still parking in handicap spots without the handicap plates or placards. There is a hefty fine for not having the proper handicap identification.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monitor's new website: Lookin' good

The newly revamped Concord Monitor website launched earlier today and it is clearly an improvement over the previous site: ["Concord Monitor"].
The site looks more like a blog, and is a lot airier than the previous site. It also has broader entry points with drop down categories just below the site header.
There are some things that can be improved though.
The weather should be just below the site header, not way down, below ads. That is probably one of the most important things people want to know from a local website. Next should be photo extra, which puts a photo "above the fold" of the site and not just classifieds. This would increase the visuals of the site instead of just seeing text. After that, they could mix it up with ads, most popular, etc.
Missing, which would have been good, is a carousel of feature stories on the front. Our company unveiled this a number of years ago and people love them because it keeps the serious stories with photos up on the front of the page for more than one day (I also publish courtesy stuff up there too, just to mix it up).
They also added the actual numbers of people who have read certain stories and commented on them, which is really great. For example, this morning, one of the top stories had 15 comments. When I got done posting a comment, it was up to 23. The top story views went from single digits into the hundreds. For data geeks like me, this is a cool feature.
Personally, I don't like the color scheme. I think the blue should be darker, more serious. This is the negative side of looking more like a blog site. The newspaper's first impressions answers also has three negative answers; one positive answer. That doesn't seem fair. It's almost as if you are expecting people to hate it. I'm answering "Love it!" but I would really like to answer "I like it, it is better than before," a medium positive answer, because it is better but there are some tweaks that need to be made.
All in all, it looks good and is a real improvement over the previous site.

Locals win Pineconia Grange awards

Around Town with Dick Patten

Pineconia Grange # 322 held their 33rd annual Community Awards Night to celebrate Grange Month recently at Dame School.
A capacity crowd attended the affair while I presented the awards for a 39th year.
The following individuals won awards:
Outstanding Citizen, Mayor James Bouley;
Police Officer, Master Police Officer Ryan Howe;
Firefighter, Lt. Sean Brown;
Noreen Waters, 5th grade teacher at Broken Ground School was not present but will receive the John H. West Memorial Award for Outstanding Educator;
Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Dr. Berger Carlson, Dick Wright, John L. Saturley, Bruce Russell, Doris Ballard, Marion T. Jones, and Grace Walker.
In addition, Youth Awards were presented to Boy Scouts Michael Harris, Derrick Cowen, Brendon Newcott, and Concord Civil Air Patrol Cpt. Josh Thomas.
The Civic Award was presented to former at-large City Councilor Dr. Douglas Black.
The Military Veteran Award was presented to Joseph Shea.
The Heights Business Award was presented to The Stove Barn with a special Business Award presented to A & B Lumber.
A Special Inspiration Award was given to Patricia Pelletier.
The Pioneer Award in recognition of residents living on the Heights for many years was given to the Katherine Dyment Family and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Giulbeault.
The following awards were presented to the following who could not be present:
Legislator of the Year, Rep. Robert Williams;
Commununity Spirit, Dave Mailhot, Alice Blodgett, Dennis Gaudet, and Thomas Cusano;
Award of Excellence/Humanitarian award, Norm Ballard; and State Police Officers Richard Spaulding and Steven Morasco.
Refreshments were served following the awards presentation. The Grange is in need of members either regular, associate, or affiliate. The next community project they will be working on will be the Christmas Parade. In addition there are a number of contests open to everyone, including knitting, sewing, crafts, baking, and so much more.

The following pastoral changes were announced by the Bishop's office recently:
Very Rev. Richard A. Roberge VF, current pastor of Good Shepherd Parish, Berlin and Holy Family Parish, Gorham has been named pastor of Sacred Heart, Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Peter parishes, Concord.
Reverend Steven G. Montesanti, current pastor of Saint John the Evangelist Church has been transferred to Saint Anne Parish, Hampstead. Reverend Anthony F.Kuzia, CM currrent pastor for Sacred Heart Church and Saint Peter parishes has been named pastor of Saint Patrick, Pelham.
Very Rev. Mark E. Dollard, VF current pastor of Saint Theresa Parish, Henniker and Saint Mary Parish, Hillsboro has been transferred to Good Shepherd Parish of Berlin and Holy Family parish of Gorham.
There are several other transfers which I will report next week. We wish them very well in their new roles.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Monitor moving to a pay wall

Interesting note on the website of the Concord Monitor this morning: The newspaper will soon be moving to a membership fee for some online content: ["Tomorrow, a new 'Monitor' website"].
I don't want to comment on the website design until I actually see it tomorrow. But, I can say that anything will be better than what is there now. The Monitor's site is very un-user friendly. Some of the things described by publisher Geordie Wilson are cool and, frankly, standard fare for major news websites at this point.
But, the pay wall thing? Well, it remains to be seen if it will work but it was bound to happen.
The industry trend has been that print subscriptions and sales at daily newspapers across the country have plummeted. In fact, the only one with increased circulation or growth at all in recent years has been the Wall Street Journal. The rest have seen huge declines with some cutting back to printing semi-daily, moving to web-online only, or going completely out of business.
There have been some interesting articles written about what is going on in the industry these days, including nonprofit and grant funded news operations, low-fi community start ups, and other things. There have even been a few new papers started up in the Granite State, which shows that print can still live on in the 21st Century.
But the daily newspapers are dying off, for many different reasons, including staffing costs, other online news options, and lack of time available to actually sit and read the newspaper. In many ways, dailies like the Monitor, which focus on community news and have no real competition, will survive, in some form.
However, there was a little line in Geordie Wilson's note to readers that really stood out:
The internet has been great for community newspapers like the Monitor in that we are now reaching more people than ever before. Our print paper is read by about 40,000 readers every day, by far the biggest audience in the capital region. Online, we serve about 15,000 unique readers a day.
This strikes me as a little low. Sure, if you combine 40,000 to 15,000 to get 55,000, that is probably a larger audience than the Monitor has ever had. No question. But, I would have thought there would be more unique readers online each day than 15,000.
Second, as I wrote in 2008, there is the "readers" versus "actual copies sold" difference in circulation numbers. Newspapers are tending to go with "audience" sampling instead of actual copies distributed and sold because the latter's numbers are actually quite dismal these days. When using audience figures, the numbers are rosier.
Here is what I wrote almost exactly two years ago when the Monitor last made some changes: ["Monitor faces economic challenges"]:
According to Wilson, the Monitor has a circulation of just under 20,000 weekdays, and a little more than 22,000 on Sunday, based on calculations done in June 2007 by the Certified Audit of Circulations. This circulation includes Newspaper In Education sponsorships, as well as other programs, although Wilson noted in a recent email that more than 90 percent of the editions are paid copies.
That was two years ago, using data from three years ago. Who knows what it is now. But, in using his figures, you can come up with a guesstimate based on previous information: If you use previous CAC calculations, which assumed 2.4 readers per edition sold, that would put the Monitor's circ these days at around 16,500 to 17,000.
If this is true, then this is very bad news. I mean, do the math: If you lose 3,500 subscriptions at $200 a year, that's $700,000. That's about what 28 reporter salaries would be.
This doesn't include lost advertising revenue due to advertisers seeing fewer eyeballs looking at the print edition. Since the bulk of revenue for most newspaper companies is the print edition, and fewer people are buying the print edition, the writing is on the wall.
And the Internet ads, as cool as they are, just aren't replacing the print ads as far as revenue. They are a fraction of the costs and, therefore, a fraction of the profit, although most newspaper companies - as well as radio companies - are seeing more growth in this sector (as an example, note all the Monitor web ads that don't advertise in the newspaper).

Will the pay wall succeed?
Will it work? Will it bring in more revenue? Will Monitor online readers pay for content? What will happen to those people who can't afford the Monitor but want local content? There are many, many questions and it will be interesting to see if the Monitor's pay wall efforts succeed where others have failed. It does, however, have possibilities.
First, charging for some paid content online could drive people back to the print edition. Sure, that's hopeful, but it could happen. The Monitor should also try starving web content. That is, not put everything online, even with the pay wall. Build value into the print edition and give people a reason to buy it all the time.
The time factor is one that should be analyzed. While it is fun to read comments and debate with people online, if you have the time to do that, you have the time to read the full edition of the newspaper.
The Monitor has been running specials in an effort to boost circulation. Last year, after letting the print edition subscription lapse for a couple of months, I resubscribed at a special price ($59 for six months, if I recall correctly), and was happy to do so. I don't mind spending a little money to keep the newspaper, but I won't spend $227 a year for it (I always rounded up the bill with a small tip ... hey, I used to peddle that paper; it's hard work and now, you have to pay for the gas)! It might be good to run the special all the time. Better to get $100 all the time than $225 some of the time, it would seem.
This year, when the bill came to renew and it was back up to the old price, I didn't renew. My decision was based on three factors: Time, money, and the overwhelming slant and lack of real investigation into the school consolidation project forward by the Concord School District.
The time issue was a big factor, even for this newspaper/news junkie. My wife noted, during the time period when I was considering renewing, that the Monitor editions sat at the table for days. Usually, I would catch up on them on Thursday or Sunday. And, because they are so thin, the reading was pretty light anyway. She also noted that she rarely read it at all. Hint, hint ...
On the money issue, well, we're all going through that. The Monitor just isn't worth that much a year. Few newspapers are. When I had the WSJ, I was happy to pay $99 for the year. But $150? Nope. They then dropped it down to $139.99. Sorry, no sale.
However, is the Monitor worth $100? Sure. But not much more in my mind. Not when they are giving it away for free online (not for long ...).
Then, there is the school consolidation issue, which I have written about previously here at OurConcord.com.
As the only real in-depth community news source, the Monitor really dropped the ball on this issue. I mean, come on, not a single sentence noting that the school district's own reports stated that the historic buildings were structurally sound. Yikes. I've written about other issues here online, so I'm not going to get into at length here.
Personally, as a journalist myself, I have no problem with editorial page biases. That's what the editorial page is all about. But when it clearly seeps into the news stories or, the news stories completely ignore all kinds of angles that challenge the editorial page views, well, that's a problem. And I'm just not going to support that with what limited money I have.
Some folks in town were also angered at how the newspaper treated me during the consolidation debate. When a Monitor reporter described me as "sashaying" around during a meeting about the school projects, a woman wrote to me and said she was surprised the Monitor published what she considered a gay slur (I'm not gay but I get her point). Another person said it was the first time in 50-plus years he had ever seen that word in a news story. Another older woman from the Heights called me personally to thank me for the efforts I made trying to save the historic schools, which was really nice.
I told folks at the time that it wasn't a big deal. When one challenges any kind of authority, they need to expect to take the hits too, even from reporters or the editors who oversee the reporters and may influence the content; even if you're right. It's just the way it is.
So, the question then becomes, will someone like me pay to read the content online? Doubtful. And it isn't that I don't see the value in paying for content online. Journalists have to eat too. I know that all too well. But, if I had the money, I'd pay for the print edition.
I think that when the Monitor implements this plan, they will see the unique viewers of the site dip. Those folks who can't afford the pay content - or the print edition - will live without it. Whether or not that will hurt the bottom line, I don't know. But it will be an interesting experiment.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Special Mother's Day weekend events

The AUDI has the answer to two questions that pop up with the crocus every Spring: How To Jumpstart the Garden? How To Celebrate Mother’s Day?

How To #1: It’s our perennial May Predicament…how to turn a patch of brown mud into a bed of glorious blooms. Then, given our 90-day growing season, how to jumpstart the color and keep it going until a frostbitten night next fall.
In Concord, lucky gardeners get a perennial solution – the Perennial Exchange – as the city’s General Services Department and The Friends of the Audi turn the first spade every Mother’s Day weekend Saturday. On May 8, from 8am to noon, they’ll host the popular floral “marketplace” which draws 100s of gardeners to the Audi’s parking lot to “split and swap” and share perennial plants and garden know-how. The community spirit event helps folks increase the beauty of their gardens and the streetscape, and like all Audi events, the accent is on affordable and accessible.
Here’s how the Perennial Exchange works: Perennials plants start out small and pricey, but don’t take long to outgrow their beds. Hostas and lilies choke one another, artemesias run amok, and violets are not so shy after all. Soon perennial beds need space and variety, and our frugal Yankee gardeners wonder “How To?”
The answer is at the Perennial Exchange! Find the fattest clumps in the garden. Be ruthless! Take a spade and dig them up. Split them into pretty handfuls or a few shoots, put them in cans or newspaper, and water them well. Bring the plants down to City Auditorium on May 8 and add them to the selection on the tables. Then choose among the varieties brought by other gardeners. The assortment changes all during the morning, with incoming and outgoing columbine, iris, daisies one hour, perhaps herbs, peonies, or green “whazzat?” the next. Back home, try to put your new plants where passersby will see them. One little lily or hosta becomes a bunch in a year, a bouquet in three, and a barrel in five.
Since 2001, the Perennial Exchange on Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend has attracted large crowds of swap-happy gardeners. All have agreed the plant selection is great, the help offered by Master Gardeners (including the renowned “Dr. Splat”) is valuable, and – especially these days -- the price is right. At noon, any extra floral material is given to Adopt-a-Spot volunteers and city parks. The event goes on rain or shine, with the added treat of morning coffee and Panera’s pastries.
The Perennial Exchange also features a sale of affordable annuals and the Audi’s traditional “Mother’s Day Mugs”. Specially selected china mugs filled with annual plants and decked in ribbons are -- at a dollar or two -- charming, affordable, useful gifts.
A special feature this year will be a display of the Concord Dollhouse, a beautiful 1”-1’ recreation of the city’s Victorian “painted ladies” created by Winnie and Bob Baker and donated as a fund-raiser for the Audi’s 2010 Flyspace Project.
The Perennial Exchange is supported by the annual “Great Gardening Raffle”, thanks to prizes donated by Concord’s leading florists and garden centers, including Osborne’s Agway, Aubuchon Hardware; Blue Seal, L.A. Brochu Nurseries, Cobblestone Design, Cole Gardens, Marshall’s Florist, D. McLeod Inc., Murray Farms Greenhouses, plus The Friends of The Audi.

Background Information on the Perennial Exchange: Several years ago, residents of side streets just west of the Audi began planting perennial beds in dooryards and sidewalk strips. Neighbors walking through these streets in the evenings stopped to admire the beautiful little gardens and soon there was a very special sense of neighborhood. Around the corner at City Auditorium, strollers chatted about the plantings and worried about the cost of perennial plants. Soon they hit on the idea of sharing plants through a “Perennial Exchange”. A four-hour perennial swap once a year could provide anchor plantings for new beds, and inspire gardeners to visit local “green businesses” to fill in their beds with colorful annuals. The idea took root in 2001 and has bloomed for 10 years! Every year Concord’s streetscape grows more beautiful.
Volunteers from Concord’s General Services Department and The Friends of The Audi co-host the annual Perennial Exchange, which is a highlight of the “Perennial Favorites at the Audi” events of Mother’s Day Weekend. Everyone is welcome to be part of the PXC Committee.
For information, please call Karon Devoid, Chair of the Perennial Exchange,
at Concord’s General Services Department, 228-2737 or email” kdevoid@onconcord.com
How To #2: How to celebrate on Mother’s Day Weekend? Easy. There are three Perennial Favorite events at the Audi this weekend, starting with PF#1 on Friday evening at 7:30pm, when the Freese Brothers Big Band and Performers Who Care will be Swinging for a Cause on the Audi stage. The “Cause” is the Lend Me a Hand Fund at Concord Hospital’s Payson Center, helping cancer patients and their families with out-of-pocket expenses. Tickets are $20/15, and available at Ballard’s, Caring Gifts, Strings and Things, and the door. Info: gerri@gerriking.com or 227-7000 x 3082.
Perennial Favorite # 2 – Bring the ladies back Saturday morning for the Perennial Exchange, help them pick out plants, and treat them to a mug. And come again on Saturday evening at 8pm for Perennial Favorite #3, The Violin Times Two, as the Granite State Symphony Orchestra season finale stars two concertmasters, Elliott Markow and Gerry Mordis. To Concord’s top musicians add these enticements: an exciting silent auction, the city’s tastiest desserts, and a chance to conduct the symphony! Tickets priced to include the whole family at $7-33 are available at Pompanoosuc Mills, www.gsso.org and 226-4776.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Community Awards held tonight

I hope everyone is enjoying the spring/early summer weather.

The annual Pineconia Grange # 322 Community Awards Night will held Monday, April 19 at 7 p.m. at Dame School School, Canterbury Road.
The event will be open to the public with refreshments served following the awards presentations. Dick Patten, in his 39th year of coordinating the awards event, will present include the Police Officer of the Year, Firefighter of the Year, Citizen, Educator, and more.
Please call Dick Patten at 496-2917 for info.

The City Council meeting held Monday evening drew a few more people than usual. It was nice to see students from the 6th grade reading essays on "If they were Mayor" which included some interesting ideas. The Concord Steam proposal drew several people to speak all in favor of their request.

The annual Fourth of July celebration is once again in jeopardy! David Gill presented his report that reported donations are down from last year. He is meeting with a broadcasting firm this week and hoping to draw up a plan to raise donations. City Councilor Dick Patten requested the City Council to delay any vote in canceling the event until next month giving him a chance to help raise the funds. Funds are needed to help pay for the expenses, such as police, general services, fireworks, and more! A total of $7-9,000 dollars is needed to help pay for the celebration. It doesn't matter how much you can send, any amount is welcomed! The fireworks draws people from all over Concord as well as Boscawen, Pittsfield, Manchester, Portsmouth, Nashua, and more! It would be sad if we, the capitol city didn't have a celebration.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Community outreach meeting on school projects Tuesday

The Concord School District will be holding a public meeting from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20.
Attendees will be able to view elements of the elementary school consolidation plans including a presentation of site plans, including the Dame/Eastman Wood Chip plant, floor plans, elevations, and green elements for each school location. School Board members and administrators will be on hand to discuss the plans.
The event will be held at the Broken Ground gym, 123 Portsmouth St. in Concord.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Police civilian review board tonight

The Concord Monitor is reporting this morning that the city council will be rejecting a proposal about the creation of a civilian review board for the Concord Police Dept.
Personally, I wish I had known about this beforehand. The concept of a CRB has nothing to do with whether Chief Barry is doing a good job or the city manager is informed or the council is informed; this is about whether or not the citizens have the ability to review the performance of the police and have a truly neutral board to review complaints against the department or staffers within the department.
I know of at least two situations where the department did not grant equal protection or investigation to one citizen that another citizen received. Both incidents were minor; but if this is happening on a minor level, what is to prevent it - or guarantee - it doesn't happen on a major level?
The citizens should have somewhere to go when they don't think they have been treated equally or fairly. We should be able to have a civilian review board.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Concord Substance Abuse Coalition’s Town Hall Meeting on Underage Drinking

Crossroads, Choices, and Community Connections ... Youth Perspectives.
When surveyed only 45% of high-school-age youth in Concord responded that they feel like they matter to people in their community. Join us for a Town Hall Meeting on April 15, 2010 from 6:30-8:00 pm at the Concord High School Auditorium to hear young people speak about their experiences in finding healthy connections. Together, we can make a difference in helping youths feel connected. Healthy community connections lead to healthy choices. So, are you connected?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

For those of you who don't have tickets to Wilco tonight at the Capitol Center...

(like me ... arrgh) There is supposed to be a live Webcast tonight from here: Roadcase

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Grange awards coming up

Around Town with Dick Patten

Happy Easter and Passover to everyone!

I was told by a friend that this year and next year 2011 are the only years in which Easter for Christian World and Orthodox (Russian, Greek) and Passover will be celebrated together. This won't happen again until 500 years from now.

Pineconia Grange # 322 will hold their annual Community Awards Night on Monday, April 19 at 7 p.m. at Dame School, in the auditorium. This is open to the public. The Grange's awards night is part of the annual nationwide observance of Grange Month. The Grange will honor the Outstanding Police Officer, Firefighter, Educator, Citizen, and in addition will honor individuals who do Public Service, Legislative, Civic, Youth, Pioneer, and Legend. There will be refreshments served following the meeting. The Boy Scouts Troop 90 and Cub Scout 90 both sponsored by the Grange will present the colors and lead in the Pledge of Allegiance. The Grange recently presented new dictionaries to third grade students in the following
Schools: Concord Elementary Schools, Dunbarton Elementary School, Concord Christian School, Shaker Road, and Saint John's Regional School.
The next project for the members are the two traffic islands at the intersection of Airport and Loudon roads. The Grange is in need of mulch to cover the area. However, due to the cost, the Grange is unable to purchase it. If a landscaper could help by donating mulch for this project, it would be greatly appreciated. The Grange would like to be active in the community, however more members are needed, and the involvement in the Christmas Parade, Christmas Tree Lighting, Banners, plaques for Community Awards, support for the Child and Family Services Group Home, the list goes on and on. Please let me know if you can help, 496-2917. The next meeting will be in May.

Speaking of donations being needed, the annual Fourth of July Celebration at Memorial Field is tentatively scheduled for July 4th. However, the committee needs to raise another $5,000 dollars to pay for police protection, cleanup at the field, music by Nevers' Band, and more. Please contact David Gill at Concord Recreation Department at 225-8690 for information. All checks should be made out to the Fourth of July Celebration and sent to David Gill. As I stated last year, we can't lose our Independence Day celebration. We have lost so many holiday traditions in our city, let's not lose this one.

Bishop Brady High School will have a Spring Open House on Saturday, April 17 at 10 a.m. The school is located at 25 Columbus Ave. Bishop Brady is a Roman Catholic, college preparatory, co-educational high school, founded upon the values of faith, learning, and service. In partnership with families and the greater community, Bishop Brady instills a desire in students to engage in service to others and challenges them to rise above the expected in the pursuit of excellence. Please call 224-7419 for information.

Clean-up day at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church is Saturday, April 17 starting at 8 a.m. Breakfast refreshments will be served with Father Peter agreeing to have hot dogs and hamburgers for those who work to noontime. Please bring gloves, and rakes to help clean the grounds and gardens.

The 6th annual Youth IHM Charity Golf Tournament will be held Saturday, September 4th at Loudon Country Club. The price remains at $100 per golfer or $400 for a team of four players. Please call Paul and Diane Cantin at 223-9999 for more information.

Speaking of events, it is going to be a very tough year and if we can help by donating any amount it will be easier. The 59th annual Concord Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, Nov. 20, with a start date tentative of 9:30 a.m. The Christmas Tree Lighting now in its 24th year will be held the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 26, with activities starting at 4 p.m. Again, donations are going to be needed, although organizers won't be sending out requests until August. This will be my 39th year with the parade and 34th year with the Christmas scene at the plaza and 24th of organizing an event to light the lights. I am also concerned about the possibility of people having to pay for parking until they leave.

Watch out for the detours this week at Exit 14, I-93, Bridge Street or now known as Loudon Road. This will take a while so be patient and please follow the signs.

Happy Birthday to my aunt Irene Spaulding who resides on Heights Road. She has lived on the Heights all her life. I know she has seen so many changes.