CONCORD — Leo Fraser, who represented Laconia in the New Hampshire Senate from 1991 until 2002, passed away at the age of 86 on Friday, Aug. 9.
Born in Boston in 1926, Fraser graduated from the High School of Commerce and Northeastern College before earning his law degree at the New England School of Law. He served in the Marine Corps between 1944 and 1946 and was stationed in the Far East in the aftermath of World War II.
Returning to Boston, Fraser went to work in the insurance industry as a claims adjuster at Gordon Boyd & Company. In 1970, Fraser, his wife Susan and growing family moved to New Hampshire, where he served as Insurance Commissioner until 1976, when he formed Fraser Insurance Services, a claims business still owned and operated by the family on Green Street in Concord.
The Frasers settled in Pittsfield where he served as town moderator and selectman before representing the town as a Republican member of the New Hampshire of Representatives for four terms. As a member and chairman of the House Commerce Committee he played a major role in the overhaul of banking regulation during the 1980s.
Elected to the New Hampshire Senate in the midst of a severe recession, Fraser lent his knowledge and experience of the financial services industry to a series of economic development initiatives pursued by the Senate. When Gov. Jeanne Shaheen chose not to close the Lakes Region Facility (prison) in Laconia as scheduled, Fraser, together with city officials, chiefly then-Mayor Matt Lahey and City Manager Dan McKeever, mounted a determined effort to secure compensation for the city, which culminated in the creation of the Robbie Mills Sports Complex on state land leased for 99 years at a $1 a year.
Fraser was predeceased by Susan, his wife of 48 years, in 1998 and is survived by 10 children, including his son, Mark of Laconia, 20 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two sisters.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 02:14
MEREDITH – A Bay State woman was taken to Lakes Region General Hospital for evaluation after she was injured in a boat in which she was a passenger at 11:51 a.m. Saturday.
State Marine Patrol investigators said Roger Delisle, 49, of Leominster, Mass., was driving a 21-foot Chapparal from Bear Island. Investigators said he was in a no-wake area but was already on plane.
A teenager was following him on a Sea Doo ski craft. When Delisle suddenly stopped his boat, the two crafts collided.
Delisle's passenger, Lori Delisle, was seated in the back of the Chapparal and was taken to the hospital for possible injuries.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 02:00
CONCORD — The state Attorney General's Office has determined that unsuccessful state Senate Republican candidate Josh Youssef of Laconia violated the Provisions for the Purity of Elections during his campaign last year by creating a blog under the name of his ex-wife's attorney.
Stephen LaBonte from the Civil Bureau of the A.G.'s Office ordered Youssef to cease and desist operating the edmoscablog.com or face possible criminal charges.
"Given the similar website design and layout it appears as though if someone had read "'edmoscablog.com'" they could have reasonably thought the blog was written by Ed Mosca.
"The deceptive nature of your blog could have easily misled viewers, in violation of RSA 666.6," LaBonte wrote.
Mosca represented Youssef's wife during their acrimonious divorce — parts of which played out in public after Youssef announced his candidacy for the seat in the newly redistricted Senate District 7. At the time, Mosca was also an attorney who was representing former House Speaker Bill O'Brien.
Youssef, of Laconia, won in a primary race against Bill Grimm, of Franklin, but lost in the general election to Democrat Andrew Hosmer, also of Laconia.
In a ruling issued Aug. 6, LaBonte said investigators determined the fake blog was purchased from GoDaddy and had the same billing address as Same Day Computer – Youssef's business. The investigator reported to LaBonte that when he called the telephone number listed on the GoDaddy purchase he was able to reach Youssef. Mosca filed his complaint in February, 2012 — three months after Hosmer beat Youssef 15,573 to 10,768.
Investigators said the website was created on Sept. 6, 2012 and expires on Sept. 6, 2013.
RSA 666.6 is a section in election law statutes that refers to illegal influence in elections and prohibits falsely representing someone else for the purpose of influencing an election.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 12:38
MOULTONBOROUGH — A public hearing to determine whether two members of the Planning Board — Josh Bartklett and Judy Ryerson — should be removed from office will be held before the Board of Selectmen on Monday, Sept. 9, beginning at 1 p.m.
After Bartlett and Ryerson declined an offer from the selectboard to resign, the hearing was scheduled under the statute authorizing the selectmen to remove both appointed and elected members of land use boards — the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) — for "inefficiency, neglect of duty or malfeasance in office."
The format of the hearing provides 30 minutes for the selectboard to present the charges, 30 minutes for the accused to respond and time for the selectmen to deliberate. The case against Bartlett is scheduled to be presented at 1 p.m. and against Ryerson at 3:30 p.m. Town Counsel Peter Minkow will serve as an adviser to the selectboard.
The selectboard outlined issues to be considered, with the caveat that the proceedings would not necessarily be confined to them, in certified letters to Bartlett and Ryerson dated Aug. 8 and released to the public yesterday. Charges against both stem from their actions on July 10, when the Planning Board approved construction of an observation tower on Red Hill by Bob and Cathy Williams, doing business as Bear's Nest Trail, LLC. However, the selectboard also alleges that Bartlett behaved improperly at an earlier hearing before the Planning Board while Ryerson neglected her duty by failing to attend eight of the last 12 board meetings.
The Williamses built the 900-square foot lookout tower, with an average height of 27 feet, around 1,200 feet up the east flank of Red Hill without obtaining the necessary permits from the ZBA, Planning Board and Building Inspector. After failing to seek permission they sought forgiveness, by asking the ZBA and Planning Board to approve the project after the fact.
The ZBA granted a variance and referred the case to the Planning Board for a conditional use permit (CUP). The board was directed to apply "the de novo standard," that is to approach the issue as if the tower had not been built. To grant the CUP, the board was required to find that the project met 11 criteria.
The minutes record that Peter Jensen, the acting chairman, "polled" the seven members of the board on the 11 criteria. Two of the 11 failed when the board split evenly — three-to-three — with Bartlett abstaining and Ryerson voting no. However, neither believed it was the best interest of the town to require the structure be dismantled. Ryerson changed her "no" to "yes," breaking the stalemate in the "poll," and Bartlett offered a motion to grant the CUP, which carried five-to-two.
Bartlett, the selectmen allege, failed to act by twice abstaining when the board was polled on the 11 criteria. The charge reads that "in failing to recuse yourself, which is to be done for a statutory conflict of interest or bias, and allowing an alternate to be seated to act in your stead you deprived the community of the full and faithful performance of your duties." Moreover, he also stands accused of failing to apply the de novo standard as well as questioning the decision of the ZBA and making "disparaging remarks" about code enforcement process.
Furthermore, the selectmen claim that throughout the hearing on Bear's Nest Trail, LLC's request and an earlier hearing on the application of Rock Pile Real Estate, LLC to operate a bakery on Governor Wentworth Highway Bartlett gave "cause to applicants to fear they will not receive a fair and reasonable review of their requests."
Bartlett, the selectboard conclude, failed to meet his fiduciary responsibilities "by depriving applicants of a full and reasonable hearing," "exhibiting bias," and disparaging the zoning ordinance and those who administer it. Consequently, the selectmen claim "you have created substantial legal risk to the community."
Meanwhile, Ryerson is charged with having changed her vote on the Williamses' application, "without foundation," despite having concluded that they failed to demonstrate there was no "practicable alternative" to the project as completed. The selectboard notes that but for Ryerson changing her vote, the Planning Board could not have granted the CUP. The selectmen allege that, like Bartlett, Ryerson failed to meet her fiduciary responsibilities, since her action "created substantial legal risk tot eh community."
Bartlett said yesterday that he has referred the matter to his attorney. Ryerson said that she has not retained an attorney, but has sought informal legal advice.
Tomorrow night the Planning Board will hold a special meeting at the request of Bartlett and Ryerson and a third member, Paul Punturieri, to discuss "the recent events that have led to the requested resignation of two members"
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 August 2013 02:02
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