CONCORD — The field of Republican candidates for the Executive Council seat in District 1 grew to three as Joe Kenney of Wakefield and Mark Aldrich of Lebanon entered the race, joining Christopher Boothby of Meredith, who was the first to file.
Kenney served in the New Hampshire Legislature for 14 years between 1994 and 2008, four terms in the House and three in the Senate, before mounting an unsuccessful campaign for governor against incumbent Democrat John Lynch, who was re-elected his third term by a margin of more than two-to-one. He served 34 years in the United States Marine Corps, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel, and is a veteran of the Persian Gulf War as well as of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
No stranger to politics, Aldrich was a congressional aide and state director for both United States Senator Gordon Humphrey and Congressman Bob Smith for two decades, whose responsibilities included fostering economic development in the North Country. After leaving Smith's staff he worked as a business consultant and served stint as economic development director for the city of Claremont before retiring.
Michael Cryans of Lebanon, who has served on the Grafton County Commission for the past 16 years, is the lone Democrat to have filed. Mark Hounsell of Conway, who served two terms in the state senate as a Republican but has since become a Democrat, has indicated that he is likely to run for the seat.
The district sprawls across two-thirds of the land area of the state, reaches into six of its ten counties — Coos, Carroll, Grafton, Belknap, Strafford and Merrimack — and includes four of its 13 cites — Laconia, Berlin Claremont and Lebanon — 101 of its 221 towns and 19 of its 25 unincorporated places.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 November 2013 11:49
LACONIA — Cafua Management Company, LLC, the Dunkin' Donuts franchise holder that owns the historic Hathaway House at 1106 Union Avenue, yesterday formally applied for a demolition permit to raze the historic Victorian mansion.
"It doesn't surprise me," said Pam Clark who chairs the Heritage Commission, which has led an effort to preserve the building. Greg Nolan, director of development at Cafua, began distributing applications to the appropriate city departments in September. The process requires applications, which can be downloaded from the city website, to be signed by officials of the Department of Public Works, Water Department, Fire Department and Planning Department as well as the gas and electric utilities servicing the property then submitted to the Code Enforcement officer.
Since the Hathaway House is more than 700-square-feet in area and 75 or more years old, as well as visible from a public right-of-way, the application, once complete, must also be presented to the Heritage Commission for review. Clark said yesterday that the commission will consider the application at its next regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, December 11. She expected the commission would authorize her to decline to endorse the application for a demolition permit and instead schedule a public hearing in an effort to preserve the building.
Once the commission schedules a public hearing, the owner is required by ordinance to post a sign to that effect, along with the date, time and place of the hearing, on the building in plain sight. Should the public hearing close without agreement on an alternative to demolition, the Heritage Commission shall meet with the owner within 10 days to seek agreement on an alternative. Without an agreement to preserve the building, the owner may proceed with demolition while the Heritage Commission, with the consent of the owner, shall photograph and document the building as well as encourage the owner to salvage any of its important architectural features.
Concern for the future of the Hathaway House was first aroused in 2008 when Cafua, which acquired the property in 2000, proposed demolishing the house and constructing a Dunkin' Donuts store and strip mall on the site. However, after a series of meetings with city officials and concerned citizens, Cafua agreed to preserve the Hathaway House and build the Dunkin' Donuts outlet on the remaining 0.75-acre parcel.
When the project was approved, Nolan assured the Planning Board that the Hathaway House would be repainted as well as fitted with a fire alarm and fire suppression system. He said the company had no plans for the building other than to preserve it. Two years later the building, which had not been painted or improved, was offered for sale or lease. At the time Nolan assured the Planning Department "there will be a condition that the house cannot be scrapped." He repeated that he intended to paint the building, but conceded that the work had yet to be scheduled.
While the building went without paint, improvement or repair, its champions charged Cafua with "demolition by neglect." Repeated requests for an explanation of the company's plans for the property went unanswered.
In October, concern mounted when a work crew arrived to remove asbestos from the building and board up its windows, prompting members of the Heritage Commission to begin picketing the property and boycotting Dunkin' Donuts in protest. At the same time, the picketeers have advertised in local newspapers explaining their action and encouraging the public to join the boycott by listing other coffee shops in the city.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 November 2013 11:45
LACONIA - A Bristol man was convicted by a jury in Belknap County Superior Court yesterday of welfare fraud - a class A felony.
Christopher Boisvert was found guilty of aiding and abetting a Belknap County woman of receiving $7,000 in benefits from the state of New Hampshire between December of 2010 and February of 2012.
Belknap County Attorney Melissa Countway Guldbrandsen said $3,000 of the benefits were cash and $3,000 were medical services.
He had previously told the Department of Health and Human Services he was homeless during that period of time when he was seen regularly at the address of a woman. Charged in the Second Circuit Court, Plymouth Division with an unrelated crime, Boisvert also used the same woman's address for getting his court paperwork.
Guldbrandsen said Boisvert "took advantage of the welfare system for over a year at the expense of the taxpayer."
She said her office takes these cases seriously and the female who was unnamed in her media release is also being held at the Belknap County House of Corrections pending sentencing.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 November 2013 11:11
When, after the massacres at Newtown and the Washington Navy Yard, Republicans refused to outlaw the AR-15 rifle or require background checks for gun purchasers, we were told the party had committed suicide by defying 90 percent of the nation.
When Republicans rejected amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegal aliens, we were told the GOP had just forfeited its future.
When House Republicans refused to fund Obamacare, the government was shut down and the Tea Party was blamed, word went forth: The GOP has destroyed its brand. Republicans face a wipeout in 2014. It will take a generation to remove this mark of Cain.
Eight weeks later, Obama's approval is below 40 percent. Most Americans find him untrustworthy. And the GOP is favored to hold the seats it has in the House while making gains in the Senate.
For this reversal of fortunes, Republicans can thank the rollout of Obamacare — the website that does not work, the revelation that, contrary to Obama's promise, millions are losing health care plans that they liked, and the reports of soaring premiums and sinking benefits.
Democrats, however, might take comfort in the old maxim: If you don't like the weather here, just wait a while. For, egged on by Bibi Netanyahu and the Israeli Lobby AIPAC, the neocons are anticipating the return of Congress to start work on new sanctions on Iran. Should they succeed, they just might abort the Geneva talks or even torpedo the six-month deal with Iran.
While shaking a fist in the face of the Ayatollah will rally the Republican base, it does not appear to be a formula for winning the nation. According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll from Tuesday, by 44-22 Americans approve of the deal NATO, Russia and China cut with Tehran to freeze its nuclear program. While two-thirds do not trust Iran when it says its program is not designed to build nuclear weapons, fully 65 percent believe "the United States should not become involved in any military action in the Middle East unless America is directly threatened." Only 21 percent disagree.
This is the nation that rose up last summer and told Obama it did not want to get involved in Syria's civil war, and told Congress to deny Obama the authority to order air strikes — red line or no red line.
Even if the Iran deal collapses, 80 percent of Americans would favor a return to the sanctions regime and negotiations. Only 20 percent would support military action against Iran.
In summary, while Americans do not trust Iran, they do not want war with Iran. They want to test Iran. On this issue, Obama is in sync with his countrymen.
Why, looking at these numbers, would Republicans return to Washington with a full-metal-jacket ,"axis-of-evil" attitude, with John McCain becoming again the face of the party?
Why would Republicans return to Washington and throw away the winning hand that is Obamacare? It is ravaging the president's reputation for competence and his credibility, and calling into question the core philosophy of the Democratic Party — that Big Government is America's salvation.
Why would Republicans return to the bellicosity that cost the party both Houses in 2006 and the White House in 2008?
That 20 percent of the nation which favors war with Iran, in the event of a deal collapse or breakdown in the talks, is already in the GOP corral. If Republicans seek to broaden their base, why abandon Obamacare, where a majority agrees with them, for an issue, renewed hostility to Iran, where a majority disagrees? Would it not be playing into Obama's hand to allow him to assume the role of statesman, who, with "all options on the table," is willing to negotiate with an enemy rather than take us to war with him? Did not Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan all go this same route?
If Bibi, AIPAC, the neocons and their congressional allies should sabotage the negotiations or scuttle the existing or future deal with Iran, maneuvering us into a another war in the Middle East that America does not want, how do they think this will sit with the voters in 2016? If Iran is deceiving us and is hell-bent on breaking out of this deal and making a dash to a bomb, we will know about it months if not years before Iran ever tests a device, let alone builds a bomb, miniaturizes it and marries it to a delivery system. We would have more than enough notice to abort any test and neutralize Iran's nuclear program. And the nation would unite behind action, were it seen that Iran had lied to us to buy time to build and test a bomb.
But if the Republican Party leads Congress in imposing new sanctions, and the Iranians walk out, and the NATO-Russia-China coalition breaks up, and a chance for peace in the Persian Gulf seems to have been thrown away, the GOP will pay the price. And rightly so.
(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 November 2013 01:27
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