Saturday, May 29, 2010

Happy Memorial Day

Around Town with Dick Patten

I would like to wish everyone a Happy and safe Memorial Day weekend. Please remember the real reason why we are celebrating this special day. Take time out to thank the members of our Armed Forces both living and deceased for their dedication to keeping us safe and out of harms way.

The annual Memorial Day Parade will be held Monday, May 31 at 9 a.m. sponsored by the Concord Veteran's Council. The parade units will begin forming at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot in front of Burlington Coat Factory, off Storrs Street. The parade units will proceed from the parking lot to Pleasant Street Extension, up the hill to North Main Street. The units will turn northerly on to North Main Street and march to Boutin School where they will stop for brief ceremonies at Old North Cemetery. The units will proceed south to Capitol Street when the parade will come to a halt at the State House Plaza for ceremonies. The parade welcomes marchers, patriotic floats, and bands. Please contact Joseph Shea for information.

The City Council is still working on the proposed city budget. There are still several more departments to be considered. It is not too late to make your concerns felt. The next session will be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Main Street Concord meeting

Main Street Concord will hold its quarterly meeting from 7:45 to 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 25. The meeting will be held at the Main Street Concord Office, 15 Pleasant St., Second Floor.

Clarifying a point

Around Town with Dick Patten

I wanted to clear up something that was mentioned this week at a City Council meeting.
I asked to speak on a matter regarding the voting times for elections. I have been asked by several citizens if the hours were going to stay the same. I was informed that the council voted on this last October and that I was at that meeting and voted for it.
I asked the city clerk to pull those minutes and I was NOT at this meeting. My wife and I were at a computer board meeting of which she is a board member at Wentworth by the Sea for a couple of days. I, then left for Michigan, for my annual football trip. I should have read the minutes but only skimmed them over. So I wanted to correct the statement, I was not in attendance.

Again, funds are needed for the annual Fourth of July Celebration at Memorial Field. It was quoted as saying a donation had been received, however funds are needed. Please contact David Gill, at the Concord Recreation Department.

The Concord Veterans Council is looking for participants to be in this year's Memorial Day parade to be held Monday, May 31 at 9 a.m. The units will form at 8:30 a.m. in the Capitol Shopping Center in the area of Burlington Coat Factory. The parade route is the same as past years. The units will march up Pleasant Street Extension to North Main Street turning onto North Main Street proceeding north. The units will then march the length of North Main Street to Boutin Street. The parade units will pause at Old North Cemetery on North State Street for brief ceremonies. The units will proceed south on North State Street to Capitol Street when the units will proceed onto the State House Plaza. The Concord Veterans Council is coordinating the Memorial Day events. They are looking for bands, floats, marching units including boy scouts, girl scouts, cub scouts, and brownies to march. All veterans of wars or conflicts are cordially invited to march in the parade. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held inside the State House Hall of Flags.

I would like to thank Jim Cusano for helping me to do a adopt -a-spot cleanup at the intersection of Airport Road and Loudon Road. The two of spent three hours raking and cleaning up countless cigarette butts, empty cans, milk carton, and more. I would like to thank Rockys Ace Hardware for donating 6 and one half bags of mulch, Osborne's Agway on Sheep Davis Road for giving us 10 percent in purchasing flowering bushes, and Leon Dupuis who came over and offered to help. We appreciated it very much. Pineconia Grange #322 assisted by Boy Scout Troop 90 and Cub Scout Pack 90 are coordinating the cleanup. They also will be planting flowers in the near the giant spruce tree. A second cleanup will be scheduled within two weeks to finish the project.

I would like to thank Walgreen's Pharmacy (Jim Marston, manager), Makris Lobster and Steak House (Greg Makris, owner), and Foxfire Management (Steve Duprey) for their generous donations to help purchase banners for the summer season along Loudon Road. I had hoped to purchase banners for Manchester Street near the bridge and Old Turnpike Road. The cost for these banners are from $65 to $96 dollars depending on the style and colors. This has been a project of Pineconia Grange and myself as councilor for WArd 8. I also have coordinating the holiday banners during Christmas/Hannakuah. The Grange has been providing lights for the giant spruce tree along with State House Plaza and Eagle Square, along with coordinating the activities for the Christmas Tree Lighting. Please contact Dick Patten at 496-2917 for information.
I also would like thank those who donated funds in memory of a loved one. I had three people who did this and much appreciated.

I would like to offer my condolences to the family of the late Daryl (Skip Houle) who passed away recently. I am going to miss Skip terribly as he gave me anonymous donation for the Christmas Tree Lighting for several years to help with the fireworks. It meant so much to him. I am going to dedicate this year's event to him.

The next budget sessions are this week, Monday and Thursday. Monday, we will be discussing the police and fire budgets. The public is invited to at tend.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Flyspace winners!

Rita and Tom Curtis

The Friends of The Concord City Auditorium are delighted to announce that Tom and Rita Curtis of Concord are the lucky winners of the Flyspace Project's special incentive prize donated by Southwest Airlines: Two unrestricted roundtrip tickets! Their card was drawn from a butterfly net filled by over 800 donor families by Mayor Jim Bouley at the May 10 City Council meeting, and they are looking forward to a trip to Arizona.

So far, The Audi's Friends have responded to the Project's call to "Come Fly With Us" by donating $134,000 toward mechanizing the theatre's historic flyspace rigging and the project's goal of $200,000. A challenger has offered a 1-1 match on all contributions, so there is just $33,000 to go. Tax-deductible donations may be sent to Audi Friends, PO Box 652, Concord, NH 03301.

The Flyspace is the last big project on the Wish List drawn up by The Friends in 1991. Since then, the all-volunteer Friends of The Audi have raised and invested over $1,000,000. in the city-owned building, turning a wreck into a jewelbox which hosts over 100 public events every season.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Budget season is underway

Around Town with Dick Patten

The Budget Season is underway.
City Manager Tom Aspell gave an opening overview of the proposed budget which offers a small increase in taxes. It was an excellent presentation and gave us a lot of food for thought.
The next session will be Thursday at 6:30 p.m. when the City Clerk's Office, Code Enforcement, and the other departments in City Hall proposed budgets will be discussed. The meeting is open to the public.
The next session after Thursday will be Monday, May 24 for the police and fire departments will be discussed.

Pineconia Grange #322 will meet Monday, May 24 at 7 p.m. at Havenwood Retirement Center. A Memorial Day program will be presented. The baking contest will be held with members entering to be judged with the winning entry going to Merrimack County Pomona for more judging.

Money is still very much needed for the Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration at Memorial Field. A false rumor had been made that a donation had been received to cover it. However, funds are needed, so please consider sending a donation of any amount. Donations are sent to David Gill, Concord Recreation Office, White Park, Concord 03301.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Comcast: Change the name ... raise the rates

Crossposted at
Finally got a chance to look at the bills this afternoon. Noticed a $7 increase in the Comcast bill. Hmmm, what's this?
Well, it looks like Internet went up $2 per month. The TV side went up $5.01.
I had to go back to April's bill to look up why this was happening.
The HD cable box charge increased by $0.95 per month. If anything, the more people get HD sets, the more the price should go down. In fact, why are we being charged a surcharge for the HD box again? Basic service went up $3. Digital Classic also went up $3 (we have this for the kids programs and other things). Comcast also warned subscribers that Digital Classic will no longer be available for new subscribers. Hmm ...
Standard cable, something we don't have, went up $2.45 per month. Everything else seems to have stayed the same. Expanded basic service, something we don't have, was reduced by $0.50.
Interestingly, two items I don't use - Digital video recorder, recorder service - were also reduced. The "Digital Additional Outlet Service Charge" was increased by $1.
The letter from Comcast stated that the increases were due to "programming and other business costs." But looking at this, one has to really wonder.
Comcast recently started dubbing its services "XFINITY" ... whatever that means. It looks like it means higher rates and a name change. Big deal. Maybe if they spent less money on commercials, the bill wouldn't have to be so high.

More complaints
In looking at Basic Service, one has to wonder what is going on.
First, there are three free "multicultural" channels, specifically, three Spanish channels. Are these really necessary in New Hampshire, where there are few Spanish people?
Second, New England Cable News' HD channel is not on the Basic lineup (the non-HD version is). One has to wonder why we have to pay a surcharge to view this in HD.
Third, still no C-Span or C-Span II in the free service or the Digital Classic. This seems stupid since these channels are free. I have tried to get answers on this in the past and have not received them. I guess I'll be waiting even longer for an answer.
In many ways, these are small complaints. But the $7 increase is a bit much. If anything, the cost of business is dropping, not increasing. We should be seeing decreases in bills, not increases. And, with no competition in Concord, I guess we'll just have to live with it, unfortunately.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Merrimack Valley Voice turns 1

Congratulations to the Merrimack Valley Voice, the free monthly newspaper serving Penacook, Boscawen, Salisbury, and Webster, for turning 1-year-old last week. The newspaper is a 16-pager, featuring color photos, submitted copy, and a ton of ads. Nice job and here's to another year!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Council budget hearings upcoming

Around Town with Dick Patten
Pineconia Grange # 322 will meet Monday, May 24 at 7 p.m. at Havenwood Retirement Community in the Auditoroium. The Grange will have a Memorial Day program. The Grange received thank-you notes for the dictionaries presented to Broken Ground School. Merrimack County Pomona Grange will meet June 7 at Daniel Webster Grange. The annual baking contest will be held. Winning entries from all the Subordinate Granges in the Merrimack County Pomona District will compete.

The annual New Hampshire Law Enforcement Memorial Observance will be held Monday, May 17 at 10 a.m. at the Memorial located on the grounds of the Legislative Office Building at the corner of North State and Capitol Streets. There will be many people participating. Participants will gather at the State House Plaza and march to the Memorial. Gov. John Lynch will lead a delegation of State of New Hampshire politicians to the ceremony. The 5th and 6th Grade Chorus from Broken Ground School will sing appropriate songs; remarks will be given b y several invited speakers. Following the speeches, family members will place flowers on the their loved one's name located on the memorial. The New Hampshire State Police, New Hampshire Conservation Officers, Police Departments, Correctional Officers, and more will be among those in attendance. This is open to the public to attend.

A breakfast forum featuring Mayor Jim Bouley and City Manager Tom Aspell will be held Friday, May 21 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Grappone Conference Center,Concord. The cost is $20 for Chamber members; and $30 for non-members this includes a full breakfast. This is sponsored by Nobis, Merrimack County Savings Bank, HinckleyAllenSnyder, CWB PA,Attorneys at Law, 3W Design. Please call the Chamber Office to make your reservation at 224-2508.

The 7th annual Blind Awareness Walk-A-Thon sponsored by N.H. Association for the Blind will be held Saturday, June 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. This will be held ran or shine. Please call Mary at 224-4039 ext. 324 for information. The registration fee is $15 for adults, $5 for children under 12.

The City Council gets ready for the budget meetings: Tuesday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. Budget Overview and Review Meeting Schedule: Thursday, May 20, 6;30 p.m., Administration, Community Development, Conservation Commission; Tuesday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m., Fire, Police including parking; Thursday, May 27, General Services; Thursday, June 4rd, Library, Recreation; Tuesday, June 8,Human Services, Social Service Agencies; Thursday, June 10 @ 6:30 p.m., Capital Budget, Bonded Debt; Monday, June 14 @ 7 p.m., Regular Council meeting; Thursday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m., Reserved/optional work session; and Monday, June 21 at 7 p.m., Public Hearing/Budget Adoption.

There is a scheduled session set for Monday May 31, at 6:30 p.m. with Fiscal Monitoring Report, Miscellaneous, Non-public session - Comp Adjustment. However, May 31 is a holiday, and the paperwork states May 24 as the holiday, so stay tuned, as we will get that checked.
These meetings are open to the public and this is where you, as a citizen needs to attend if you have questions. You can voice your opinions on areas that you are concerned about.

Again, don't forget the annual Memorial Parade parade is scheduled for Monday, May 31 at 9 a.m. with formation scheduled at 8:30 the Burlington Coat Factory parking lot off Storrs Street. The parade units will proceed from the parking lot to Pleasant Street Extension marching up the hill to North Main Street and Pleasant Street, turning onto North Main Street traveling north on North Main Street to Boutin Street stopping at the Old North Cemetery where ceremonies will be held along with laying of wreaths. The parade will proceed south on North State Street to Capitol Street to the State House Plaza where ceremonies will be held. The Rundlett Middle High School and Concord High School Bands will provide music for the parade. The ceremonies athe plaza will include laying of wreaths by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Gold Star Mothers, and Gary S.Dillion Marine Corp. The ceremonies lwill include speeches, patriotic music, and 21 gun salute. This is open to the public. The parade is in need of participants. If you would like go enter a marching unit, patriotic float, or band be at the formation site and check with the formation committee. The parade will be held irain or shine. In case of rain, the events will be held inside of the State House Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Turner moving on at ConcordTV?

It looks like Julienne Turner, the executive director at ConcordTV, has found a new job, since the cable access center has an advertisement looking for a new executive director in today's Concord Monitor (and online on the access center's site). No word yet on where Julie will be going.
The center is looking for someone with at least five years experience at PEG stations and is offering pay of between $42K and $50K, with benefits. At least someone is trying to rein in salaries in the wake of the great recession.
Best of luck to Julie. It is a tough job over there but she at least attempted to bring some credibility to the organization.

School Board member Fleming to hold public hearing

From the inbox:

You Have A Lot To Say
Where Have You Been?

I am looking to hear from parent of Kimball and Walker Parents. I am planning additional forums for each school.

My name is Kevin Fleming, I got elected to the school board in November 2008, I was looking to improve education, for the children. And have less parents flee the school system. To date, I have gotten 26 emails, regarding education problems and concerns. How many parents are out there, there are over 500 parents in only Kimball and Walker, but 1,700 in the total school district.

We can only fix problems, when we hear about them, directly. Not complaints in the newspapers, or through the anonymous posts on the Monitor.

I am looking for your help.

Can you help all of the children.

I am hosting an open meeting for parents of both Kimball and Walker.

On May 21, 2010 at 7 pm. West Street Ward House, 41 West Street.

If you can not attend, but would like to say something to me, email me at or call me at 715-1801

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Public hearing about downtown parking slated for Monday

Around Town with Dick Patten
I was reminded that the City Council will be having a public hearing about the price increase for parking in downtown Concord Monday night. This is a good time to come and voice your opinion. I know myself, that I am concerned about events in the evening, if people have to keep putting money in the meters. Not only am I thinking about the Christmas Tree Lighting, what about Nevers Band concerts, Thursday night concerts in Eagle Square, downtown Concord's special nights, and so much more.
Think twice, there are pros and cons and we need to think about it.

This is National Building Safety Month in May according to Mike Santa, city of Concord Code Enforcement Officer. Ted Evans, Concord's Health Officer and Mike Santa were special guests recently with Dick Patten on Around Town. Dick asked the two guests about the building market in Concord and was informed that there is a small increase as compared to previous years. They will host a Building Safety presentation, open to the public on Tuesday, May 25 at 4 p.m. at City Council Chambers. There could be so new changes coming for newly constructed homes, such as requiring sprinkler systems in homes.

I am in need of donations to help with the remainder of the banners on Loudon Road. Pineconia Grange is coordinating the banner project. I have been seeking donations to help purchase a few more. Walgreen's Pharmacy on Loudon Road made a generous donation to purchase two banners. I thought another business was going to donate two more, but so far no donation. Please contact me at 496-2917 if you would like to help.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Flyspace Project prize drawn Monday

From the Friends of the Audi marking committee:
The agenda of the May 10 Concord City Council meeting includes a 7:05 p.m. item of Audi interest: drawing the "butterfly card" of the lucky Flyspace Project donor who will win the two Southwest Airlines tickets. Thanks go to Mayor Jim Bouley for arranging this very public -- and televised -- drawing. Everyone is welcome to be there. The drawing takes place now so the winner may use the tickets over the summer vacation.
If you haven't donated yet and wish to be included in the drawing, please send your check to PO Box 652 Concord 03302 by May 8. Contributions come in daily, and we will continue fund-raising until we reach our goal -- with a to-date amount announced at the Council meeting.
The Audi's Dollhouse, created and donated by Winnie and Bob Baker, is displayed in the lobby now and will be shown in town over the summer...with raffle tickets available at every house "showing." Let us know if you would be willing to host the house at your event, school, recital, business, etc. The Dollhouse Raffle will be drawn at the GALA.
Double the treasure: a challenger has offered to double every contribution to the Flyspace Project in 2010 -- including every donation, every raffle ticket, every cookie jar. With such wide and wonderful community support, we will reach our $200,000 goal before the last bill comes in! Many Thanks to All.
Here's the Flyspace Project time table: last scheduled event - June 19. Stage curtains taken down -- to be sent for repair, cleaning, refireproofing - June 20. Concord Steam Company begins removing pipes on stage left - June 21. Sapsis Rigging begins installation of Flyspace rigging - July 5.
During the summer the "historic" windows in the building will be replaced. When construction is complete and the dust is gone, the curtains will be rehung and the curtains surrounding the proscenium will be steam-cleaned in place.
The Pitch In will polish the house Aug. 22-25...and we'll be ready on the set for the 20th annual GALA Season-Opening on Sept. 19.
There are 16 events on the Spring season schedule leading up to the Flyspace Project... all exciting community-based arts and entertainment -- and we wish great success to them all!
(Remember to come down to the Audi on Saturday Morning, May 8, Mother's Day Weekend, to boost your garden at the 10th Annual Perennial Exchange -- plus affordable plants and annuals, Mother's Day mugs, and the Great Gardening Raffle sponsored by 10 area nurseries. Info:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Disappointed in the lack of coverage for the Grange Awards

Around Town with Dick Patten
Welcome to the month of May! I can't believe the months are flying by before you know it, we will be seeing Halloween decorations out.

The Kiwanis Club of Concord annual Spring Fair and Carnival will begin Thursday, May 13, at the Everett Arena. The fair will continue to Sunday, May 16. The fair will be feature a large variety of amusement rides, games of chance, and typical fair food. The fair opens Thursday, May 13 at 5 p.m until 10 p.m.; Friday, May 14, 5 p.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday, May 15, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, May 16, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. I will be doing a television show this week highlighting the fair as well as the wonderful projects done by the Kiwanis Club of Concord.

I am very disappointing the Concord Monitor has not put any information in the newspaper about the wonderful Community Awards Night which we held at Dame School. It is a shame that good news like this doesn't get printed. Nothing controversial happened so why print a good story.

The donations are coming in slowly for the Fourth of July Fireworks. David Gill reports that he has some pledges coming in. We still need money and it has to come in soon. If you haven't donated, please think about sending in a donation to help with the fund drive. There are many people who come from all over the Merrimack County region to celebrate the Fourth of July celebration at Memorial Field in Concord. Please send donations to the Concord Recreation Department., White Park, Liberty Street, Concord.