UNHCE offers “Making Money Work for You”

Did you know that University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension offers a variety of family and consumer resources…including money management programs…that are available locally in Sullivan County?

For example, in Newport, the Cooperative Extension will be offering a three-part series—“Take Control of Your Money”—starting May 11. (See our prior post.)

And starting June 2 in Claremont, a five-week series—“Making Money Work for You”—is scheduled for Thursday evenings through June 30. Topics covered will include how to: gain control over spending, reduce expenses, manage credit, reduce debt, and understand the importance of saving for your future. Location: Claremont Savings Bank, 145 Broad Street. For more info and to register: Call the UNH Cooperative Extension, 603-863-9200; pre-registration required by May 27; and if special accommodations are required to attend, contact the Cooperative Extension at least 15 days before the first class.

Gail Kennedy is the UNHCE educator in Family and Consumer Resources for Sullivan County.

Capital Comments: The Election Results and the Legislative Process

By State Senator Bob Odell

Legislators have often worked to impose mandates on local schools to teach civics.  It is natural that politically active people would want to make sure that public schools engage and motivate students to become good citizens.

And while school work is important, the power of an idea to pay respect to the staff and graduates of a high school who are serving or have served in our military seemed to this writer a very powerful addition to our attempts at civic engagement for students.

With the support of Stevens High School principal Paul Couture, substitute teacher Carol Thebarge’s idea for a Veterans Day ceremony for the students and staff to honor alumni who have served in the military was a new approach for involving students in our annual Veterans Day holiday.

An American flag, which had been saluted by our fighting men and women, and sent to Carol by Stevens High School graduate Army Sergeant David Carrier now serving in Afghanistan, was raised during an emotional ceremony.

I was at the ceremony to read a letter of support and congratulations to Stevens High School from Governor John Lynch.  Standing during the ceremony at the top of the stairs at the entryway to the school, I could see the attentiveness and respect the students showed during the program.

The highlights of the program were the reading of names of staff and alumni who have served and the raising the flag that so recently had flown in Afghanistan by Stevens High School teacher and nearly 40 year veteran of the Coast Guard, Tom Liveston.

I saw no texting, no cell phones in use and general student appreciation as all of us learned a new way to show our respect and to honor our men and women who have served or are serving our nation in the military.  Congratulations and thanks to Carol Thebarge for implementing a wonderful idea that is as good as any civics mandate from Concord.

While the majority in the new Senate has decided that Peter Bragdon (Milford) will be the Senate President and the House majority will determine the next Speaker of the House this week, there are hundreds of decisions on standing committee appointments, committee chairmanships, assignments of office space and parking spaces to be made.

There are dozens of statutory committees, commissions and councils that have members appointed by the House Speaker or the Senate President.  I canceled a meeting last week of the legislative subcommittee of the State Parks System Advisory Council. There are two Senators on the subcommittee and one was defeated in the election.  There are three House members; one was defeated, one did not seek re-election.  Only two of the five legislators are left on the committee.  Subcommittee work will have to await new appointments.

The Commission to Study Business Taxes has been meeting weekly to insure that we meet our statutory obligation to submit an interim report by December 1. The final report is not due for two years.  Business taxes are a complicated subject on the best of days and the input of veteran legislators with professional tax experience is important.

There are four House members on the commission; two were defeated.  One is a CPA and the other is a lawyer and CPA.  Three members are from the Senate.  One was defeated. And she is an experienced attorney with a practice involving general business and real estate matters.

The ripple effect of the decisions of voters on Election Day is forcing change throughout the legislative process. The new House Speaker and Senate President will need to move quickly to fill dozens of vacancies on study commissions and other committees.

The new leadership teams in the House and Senate will have full court presses put on them by members seeking appointments to favored committees.  A letter has been circulated to all newly elected House members asking them to submit their three choices for committee assignment.  The process in the Senate is no less deliberate, just a bit more subtle.

Our local Chambers of Commerce provides many services to our small business community. We all know it is those small businesses that are at the core of our successful regional economy.

Twice a year, for example, the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce hosts a “salute” breakfast to recognize businesses being established, moving into the area or changing location.  It is an opportunity to have chamber members see what is going on and to encourage and possibly help the new or expanding businesses.

The new businesses in the area recognized last week at the Fall Salute Breakfast included People’s United Bank, a mortgage lender; Watts Bakery, a new Main Street store; City Auto Sales, a trailer and used cars dealer; Pinnacle, a bait and tackle shop that will also sell hunting and fishing licenses; and, Northwood Power Equipment, a new location for a major regional dealer of tractors, backhoes and other power equipment.

The Community Alliance has a new volunteer driver program which will match volunteer drivers with people who need rides to go shopping, to get to medical appointments and other daily tasks that require transportation.

Two businesses were recognized as they expand and move to new locations.  Lake Sunapee Plumbing and Heating has relocated to their newly renovated building on Sunapee Street.  NAPA Auto Parts has also moved to their new location on Sunapee Street.

NH Senate Okays District Court Funding Compromise

Senate vote today that will allow for four district courts slated for closure to remain open if their local communities contribute financially. Also attached is a photo of Senator Bob Odell as he spoke on the Senate floor today about the bill.

The NH Senate voted today to allow for four district courts slated for closure to remain open if their local communities contribute financially. Senator Bob Odell spoke on the Senate floor today about the bill.

The NH Senate voted today to allow for the continued operation of district courts in Claremont, Colebrook, Milford and Keene that were slated for closure in 2011. House Bill 1516 would require these four communities to pick up the costs for leasing the courtroom space if they want to maintain their local district court. But it also calls on the state court system to cover security for these four district courts within its existing budget, according to  the NH Senate Office release.

“We’ve heard from the communities about the importance of these courts and seen a willingness by them to financially participate in order to keep their courts open,” said Senator Odell (R-Lempster). “The city of Claremont was among those willing to come forward and participate in funding their district court so access to the court could be maintained in that community. This is a good compromise.”

“In Cheshire County and the city of Keene, leaders came together and made a commitment to keep their district court,” said Senator Molly Kelly (D-Keene).

“I brought together a task force, which has been moving forward to find a home for the district court in a new court complex in Keene,” said Kelly. “Passage of this bill allows that process to continue and for us to maintain the district court in Keene over the long term.”

House Bill 1516 was amended by the Senate to provide for local financial support and will have to return to the House to garner approval there.

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Capital Comments: NH Revenues Up in Nov. Yet Caution Advised

By State Senator Bob Odell

There were no major legislative activities in Concord last week as the focus is shifting to the quiet period around the holidays.  That is the way it should be.  Legislators should take breaks from time to time so that we do not lose our perspective on what is important to our communities and citizens.

The committee studying the closure of courts in Claremont, Colebrook and Milford did meet.  This time the committee heard from the Commissioner of Administrative Services and her court facilities manager.  The Judicial Branch of state government, the courts, does not operate the dozens of court facilities across the state.  Part of the Judicial Branch budget is allocated for operations and maintenance of court facilities, but the management of those responsibilities is assigned to the Department of Administrative Services. Continue reading

Capital Comments: Comm. Reports on District Court Closings in December

By Senator Bob Odell

The committee studying the closing of three district court facilities including the Claremont District Court met for its next to last meeting on Thursday, Nov. 19.

While the public meetings held in recent weeks in each community facing a court closing drew 25 to 50 residents and local officials, the committee meeting in Concord drew an audience one Senator (John Gallus, Berlin), one House member (John Cloutier, Claremont), one staff member, one newspaper reporter and two court officials.  It was proof again of the importance of holding our meetings in the impacted municipalities. Continue reading

H1N1 hits young children hardest. Preparing for flu pandemic.

The “novel H1N1″ flu has caused a spike in pediatric deaths across the country, said Melody Actouka, the community disaster educator for the NH West Chapter of the American Red Cross. According to the latest national reports provided the regional Red Cross chapter last Friday, the flu has already caused 540 pediatric deaths nationwide vs. 80 child deaths during a typical flu season.

More young children ages birth to 12 and 13, compared to other age groups, are experiencing H1N1 and their illness tends to be more severe. This is resulting in more hospitalizations and deaths especially for children with other health conditions and compromised immune systems, explained Actouka today in a phone interview from her office in Keene.

Regional chapters of the American Red Cross are actively monitoring seasonal and H1N1 flu reports and working with state and county agencies to provide public education. The NH West Chapter works in Sullivan, Cheshire and part of Hillsborough counties.

A three-hour seminar designed to provide schools, businesses and community organizations with information on how to best maintain business and keep staff healthy this flu season is coming up. It will be held on Wednesday, December 2 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Claremont Savings Bank in Claremont. Continue reading

Capital Comments: Bettering the Lives of Claremont Seniors

By NH State Senator Bob Odell

One of the true pleasures of being a State Senator is to participate in celebrations of accomplishments by volunteer organizations.  That was certainly true when the Congress of Claremont Senior Citizens (CCSC) celebrated forty years of service and the Earl M. Bourdon Centre was recognized for providing housing and a seniors’ community center for thirty years.

It must have been quite a day back in 1979 when 81 units of housing for seniors was opened.  To have senior housing that was safe, attractive and affordable was a fairly new concept thirty years ago.  Since then, many not-for-profit entities have created similar housing units across the country.  I have been to ribbon cutting ceremonies for new facilities in Alstead and Newport built and owned by Southwestern Community Services in the last couple of years.

America seems to make progress gradually in establishing its social service infrastructure.  Today, we take social security, Medicare and even affordable housing for the elderly for granted.  The battle continues in Washington over what our national health insurance policies will be.  But, there is a long history of gradual change in how we serve the needs of ourselves and our fellow citizens.

Two days before the CCSC and Bourdon Centre celebrations, I went on a tour of the Tenement Museum in New York City.  I was there to visit with my daughter, Dawn, who was in the city for a professional conference and suggested we go to the Tenement Museum. Continue reading

Capital Comments: Governor Lynch in Clarement last week to discuss jobs

By New Hampshire State Senator Bob Odell

Governor John Lynch was in Claremont last week hosting the first in a series of Jobs Cabinet Roundtables to be held around the state.  Some area employers and civic leaders were invited to sit down and discuss the employment picture in our area with the Governor, Labor Commissioner George Copadis, Employment Security Commissioner Tara Reardon, Commissioner George Bald of the Department of Resources and Economic Development and other Concord officials.  Senator Matt Houde (Plainfield) and I were also asked to participate.

The Governor is following the pattern of his successful Jobs Roundtables three years ago.  And he took action on some of the suggestions he heard then and restarted the job training fund and encouraged the legislature to create the research and development tax credit and NH HealthFirst.

The economic environment has certainly changed since 2006.  The Governor kicked off the meeting saying: “My priorities are helping our businesses grow and become more competitive; helping families struggling in these tough times; and continuing to make government more responsive and efficient.”

What was the overriding theme of the discussion with employers?  There are jobs that need to be filled but finding qualified employees is not easy.  Qualified means a prospective employee has technical skills but also life skills.  Life skills include being presentable at an interview, getting to work every day and on time, working hard in the workplace, no violations of rules on drug and alcohol use and many others.  At least five employers cited the lack of these basic personal attributes as why they cannot find workers to fill current openings.  The same situation is raised at every business meeting and plant tour I take.

To reduce or eliminate this problem will take decades.  But it needs to be addressed if our region is going to be competitive in the United States and around the world.

*   *   *

I have enjoyed going to the annual Sarah Josepha Hale Award at the Newport Opera House for more than 20 years.  As I look at the list of New England authors honored with the Hale award since the award was first given to Robert Frost in 1956, the list has many of the greatest writers and poets of the last half century.

In my time I remember Tom Wicker talking about the focus of one his books, the historic year of 1968.  And William Manchester who I always think of as the biographer of Winston Churchill but in his Hale presentation he read dramatic passages from his book on his experiences as a soldier in the Korean War.  Ernest Hebert before becoming a novelist had worked as a lineman out of a utility substation right in Newport.  He said he wrote to lift up the working person, often those at the bottom of the job ladder.

Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the first African American to win the Hale award which was presented to him recently.  Not simply reading from one of his books, he went high tech using a computer generated presentation that awed the large crowd.  He told the story of his family within the context of genealogy and the use of DNA to trace a person’s heritage.  Thanks to DNA he traces his own heritage several generations back to an Irishman and an English woman.  While he heads the African American studies program at Harvard University, he is just barely African American genetically.  He is 49.4% white and 50.6% black.

Using stories from his own PBS series, “African American Lives, Their Past Was Lost Until Now,” Professor Gates’ fact filled presentation was a real change from traditional acceptance speeches.  And I think it will be long remembered.

Professor Gates, in his answer to a question from the audience, let us know he is in regular contact with the Cambridge, MA police officer who arrested him.  And that they drank cold Sam Adams beer at their White House meeting with President Barack Obama.

*   *   *

One satisfaction for legislators is to see that legislation they worked to pass is having a real impact.

In February, 2005, I was the prime sponsor of legislation (Senate Bill 5) to create a study committee to look at the operations and finances of our state parks system.  The bill passed without dissension and was signed into law in June, 2005.

I chaired what became known as the “SB 5 study committee.”  We traveled around the state and collected data on the park system and produced a report.  The recommendations included state funding for capital improvements, creation of a bureau of historic sites and a State Parks Advisory Council.  In the last biennial budget, there was the first appropriation of funds for capital improvements in 40 years.  Another appropriation is in the current budget.  The historic sites bureau is up and running and the State Parks Advisory Council meets regularly and has substantial input to the department on important park system policies and long range planning.

In my first term, I was asked to chair a study committee on school drop outs.  There were many important issues that came before the committee but the overriding one, surprisingly, was that we could not track school children.  They were being lost.

The proposed answer was a unique student identification number.  I co-sponsored legislation introduced by Senator Jane O’Hearn (Nashua) to create this number.  At a meeting of the Statewide Education Improvement and Assessment Program Legislative Oversight Committee, on which I serve, the Department of Education reported that the student number system is working and giving local school officials a new tool to measure progress and make adjustments in their curriculum and programming.  And we also know where to find our students.

NH State Senator Bob Odell (District 8) is chairman of Ways and Means, a member of the Energy, Environment and Economic Development Committee, and the Finance Committee. Senate District 8 comprises: Acworth, Alstead, Charlestown, Claremont, Gilsum, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Marlow, New London, Newbury, Newport, Roxbury, Stoddard, Sullivan, Sunapee, Sutton, Unity, Walpole, Washington and Westmoreland.

Capital Comments: Grant will enhance primary care at Newport Health Center

By New Hampshire State Senator Bob Odell

The legislative study committee on the closing of district courts, including the Claremont court, has met.  And the committee’s plan is to visit the three court facilities which are slated to be closed and hold a public hearing in Claremont, Milford and Colebrook.

Members of the committee include Representatives Peter Leishman (Peterborough) who will chair the committee, Gene Charron (Chester) who is the former superintendent of the Rockingham County Department of Corrections, Anne Grassie (Dover) who will act as the committee clerk, Senate Majority Leader Maggie Hassan (Exeter) and me.  I will serve as committee vice chair.

The current state budget has money to operate the three courts only for the first year of the biennium.  So, Representative Leishman has drafted legislation to fund the three courts for the fiscal year beginning on July 1, 2010.  Between the work and recommendations of the study committee and Representative Leishman’s appropriation bill, the legislature will have plenty to consider concerning new court consolidations.

*   *   *

“Business After Hours” are regular events sponsored by the chambers of commerce throughout the area.  Each event is hosted by a different local business or not for profit organization.  The Newport Chamber recently sponsored events that allowed participants a chance to catch up on news about two important organizations.

I am at the Newport Health Center from time to time so I know it is a busy place but I learned much more at a business after hours event there.  The number of patients at the Newport Health Center has been going up.  And New London Hospital has received a NH Department of Health and Human Services grant to enhance primary care health services for Sullivan County residents through the Newport Health Center.

The center is on top of one of the hot issues in Washington … electronic medical records … and will implement an electronic records system next year.  Not surprisingly, with a growing number of patients and additional services and providers at the center, plans to expand the clinical space sometime over the next two years is receiving serious discussion.

*   *   *

About 20 years ago, Larry Zullo came through the door at Holiday Travel, which I had just bought, telling me I needed to contribute so the town could have a new senior center.  That was my introduction to the Newport Senior Center.  Although I have been there many times, at another business after hours, a tour through the facility with the President of the Board of Trustees, Joan Willey, reminded me of how many services and activities are provided.  There is the trip program, computer training, AARP tax preparation services, cribbage games, health and physical fitness activities, library and the list goes on and on.

Most interesting to me is that the senior center is also the home of Sullivan County Nutrition Services (SCNS).  Many readers are familiar with one service most of us know as “meals on wheels.”  SCNS prepares and delivers 400 meals every weekday to people in their own homes.  They also provide lunches every weekday at the Newport center, in Claremont and in Charlestown.  Primarily focused on nutritional needs of local seniors, anyone can drop in for a meal.  A small contribution is requested of seniors and a slightly larger amount from those younger.  But no one is turned away for lack of money for a contribution.

The Newport Senior Center is a wonderful and welcoming place for area seniors … just what Larry Zullo was saying it would be 20 years ago.

*   *   *

It was a beautiful sunny September Saturday.  And it was a great day in Lempster to hike a couple of miles from the old Wright summer house site to Long Pond and then cross over to Sand Pond and return.  There were nearly 40 hikers with several from Lempster with others coming from distant parts of the state.

The hike was part of the public education and fund-raising for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests effort to protect the source of the Ashuelot River.  The Society is attempting to purchase 1,750 acres including three miles of undeveloped shoreline on Long Pond and Sand Pond as well as the summit of Silver Mountain.

A top goal of the project is to protect the water quality of the river which empties into the Connecticut River.  There are 25 towns in the Ashuelot River watershed and it provides drinking water to the City of Keene.  In addition to protecting the water quality, the land tracts will provide an outstanding recreation area open to the public for hiking, blueberry- picking, hunting and other outdoor activities.  We saw many signs of wildlife on the hike including bear and moose.  Protecting these land tracts combined with adjacent Pillsbury and nearby Mount Sunapee State Parks along with the 11,000 acre Andorra Forest in Stoddard will help sustain healthy and varied species of wildlife.  And economically, the lands will be managed for sustainable logging.

More than one person was heard to say “we need to come back here” indicative of the rare beauty and unique natural characteristics of the landscape.  On the trail between the shorelines of Long Pond and Sand Pond, there is a huge rock outcropping and cave that got plenty of attention.  Most hikers tried out a walk in cave.  What a pleasant way to spend three hours right in your hometown.

NH State Senator Bob Odell (District 8) is chairman of Ways and Means, a member of the Energy, Environment and Economic Development Committee, and the Finance Committee. Senate District 8 comprises: Acworth, Alstead, Charlestown, Claremont, Gilsum, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Marlow, New London, Newbury, Newport, Roxbury, Stoddard, Sullivan, Sunapee, Sutton, Unity, Walpole, Washington and Westmoreland.

A Postcript about The Compass

To read The Compass on-line, visit: www.compasspaper.com

Read related article: The Compass will publish weekly says Rapsis from HippoPress (SunapeeNews.com)

The Compass Will Publish Weekly Says Rapsis from HippoPress

“We believe that a great region deserves its own great community newspaper.” – Jeff Rapsis, associate publisher and partner/owner of HippoPress

Have you read The Compass? It’s already on the street and in communities in and around the Claremont area, says Associate Publisher Jeff Rapsis of the HippoPress. With a coverage area similar to that of the Eagle Times that folded in July, The Compass is pointing in the right direction, and has “been met with an incredible reaction from readers and advertisers,” according to Rapsis. It will publish weekly starting Thursday, August 20. The first issue, 8 pages circulated July 23.

A partner/owner of Manchester’s HippoPress, Rapsis said today, The Compass printed 7000 copies of the paper’s second edition (16 pages), the August 6 issue, and will be making them available at 250 locations in the Sunapee-Newport-Claremont-Charlestown region and across the river into Springfield and Windsor, Vermont.

The Compass is free because that’s what works, said Rapsis. It’s all about putting the newspaper in front of as many people as possible and maximizing the dollar invested by advertisers. The ad-supported journal will initially start with 16 pages and a 50-50 mix of news and ads. We want people to pick up the print edition and read it all week long, Rapsis explained.

Rapsis started his newspaper career 20 years ago surrounded by veteran reporters at the Eagle Times. Now a half-dozen former Eagle staffers are contributing to The Compass. The priority will be “community news” and stories with a broader focus or that are “overlooked.” Readers can expect “neighborhood news, local happenings,” sports, obits and some local government and school reports. However, rather than attend and recite what goes on at a meeting, we’ll “pull stories out of the community,” Rapsis said.

The Compass, the latest HippoPress publication, looks to hire a few full time staffers, have an office in Claremont and work with freelance writers.

And to get input and answer questions, The Compass will hold an open meeting in Claremont on Wednesday, August 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the new Common Man restaurant, 21 Water Street. Everyone is invited.

Hippo Press also publishes the York Independent (ME), Manchester Express (NH) and Oxx, a motorcycle magazine with one or two issues per year.

Here is a related article published today by the NH Business Review.

If you’ve read The Compass and want to comment, please leave a comment below. And if you know of other print or on-line newspapers getting started, let us know.

What’s the News About the Valley News

Thursday evening, July 30 at 6 p.m. at the Claremont Savings Bank, 145 Broad Street, the public will get a chance to hear directly from the folks at the Valley News about their plans for news coverage for Claremont and surrounding communities. “We’d like to tell you a bit about us, offer some light refreshments from the Stone Arch Bakery, and respond to your questions and comments,” says VNews publisher Mark Travis. Continue reading

Valley News “Deepens Commitment” to Claremont. Plans Public Meeting.

Readers of the Valley News have recently seen more articles coming out of the Claremont area, and for good reason. Yesterday, the newspaper announced they’re expanding coverage in the region and will also be holding a public forum to get ideas from residents on Thursday, July 30. at 6 p.m. at the Claremont Savings Bank, 145 Broad Street.

Today’s Valley News has an interview with Harvey Hill, owner of Eagle Publications, which July 10 shut down the presses and left Claremont reeling and without a newspaper.

The Sunday VNews, indeed, demonstrates expanded reporting with articles out of Newport, “RDS Machine Moves to New Plant,” and “At-Risk Student Blooms in Greenhouse Job,” and a Charlestown piece, “Aspiring Eagle Scout Learns About Region’s Bats.”

Based in Lebanon, the Valley News has for years included Claremont and surrounding communities in its daily news coverage of the Upper Connecticut River Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont. But with a surge in new readers following the Eagle’s demise and repeated requests from the city for coverage, Travis said, the newspaper decided to deepen its commitment.

“In the past two weeks, we’ve heard the same thing hundreds of times over from former Eagle readers,” Travis said. “They want daily local news coverage, and we’re going to deliver it.” – Valley News, July 25, 2009. (See full story.)

It’s All About the New Media Says YourClaremontPress Publisher

Claremont, New Hampshire

Image via Wikipedia

Last week, the Claremont NH area lost an old stand-by, the Eagle Times newspaper, when its parent company Eagle Publications owned by Harvey Hill filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy. Within a few days, a new “new media” outlet, YourClaremontPress.com went live, on-line.

“I wish I could hire 100 reporters,” Nancy Zullo Brown, publisher of YourClaremontPress.com, said about her plans for providing content and community news to the area of Claremont, Newport, Springfield (VT) and beyond. However, a large paid staff, reporters and photojournalists are not in the mix for now.

Depending on advertising income, Brown will hire “hopefully more than one reporter” to gather and report local news. Other content on-line or in the plans includes: police reports, AP stories, a national news feed, sports, obits, engagements, classified ads and daily horoscopes.

The “new media” newspaper, Brown described to SunapeeNews.com in a phone interview on Thursday, looks to reach both a local and far-wider audience, a virtual community of readers, bloggers, tweeters, and social-networkers on Facebook.

The website went live on Wednesday, just five days after the Eagle Times stopped publishing and only three days after Brown decided on undertaking her latest web-based enterprise. The response has been very positive, said Brown, who has been working long hours responding to emails, reading tweets, making contacts and adding website features.

She also publishes yourmilitary.com http://www.yourmilitary.com and two talk radio shows, YourMilitaryLife.com and the BusinessGuruShow.com.

“I’ve designed many, many websites”…250 or more, explained Brown. “I’m all into the new media.”

Support from advertisers and content from the community are critical. Brown says she is very confident advertisers will come on-board. And she’ll be looking at the schools and individuals interested in journalism for local news, features and sports.

As for a print edition, “that’s not the way of the future,” Brown responded. However, some print copy may be in the works. On YourClaremontPress.com, Brown said, she had a plan to meet the needs of those not on-line; she “would like to present this in a town hall meeting within the next two weeks.”

Brown grew up in Claremont and graduated in 1977 from the home of the Cardinals, Stevens High School. She’s a self-taught webmaster. Her sister who lives in Newport is helping, taking photos, designing announcement forms, and distributing old-fashioned fliers to spread the word.

Although Brown lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, she looks at the city of Claremont as her community. “I see it in my mind everyday,” Brown explained. She looks forward to visiting the city as soon as next week.

Opportunity Arises From Death of Eagle

“There’s a business opportunity in Claremont for a weekly newspaper coupled with a good bloggy local web site. One quick-minded entrepreneur, Nancy Zullo Brown, is rounding up ex-employees and others interested in at least launching an online venture,” writes Martin Langeveld, and published by Nieman Journalism Lab. It looks like the death of the Eagle Times is giving opportunity to a new on-line publication.

According to Langeveld, Brown is a “veteran of online publishing, with a family of sites focused on local information for military personnel called YourMilitary.com. Brown’s site will be called YourClaremontPress.com; she aims to have it in operation by Wednesday, and it may branch into a printed version as well.” Read more…

A year ago, publisher Harvey Hill abruptly stopped publishing the the Argus Champion, the local weekly that covered the Newport-Sunapee, NH area. Last week, the big news was about the death of the Eagle Times, another Hill publication.

“There are a lot of quality people working at the Eagle and they didn’t deserve the hand dealt to them in such tough economic times,” a veteran reporter of the Claremont-Newport area said in an email to SunapeeNews.com. “With a little hard work and determination I believe the Argus could have not only survived, but thrived.” With a change in management practices, “the same can be said of the Eagle,” he added.

Can small local newspapers survive? “Papers with less than 15k circulation reported that they were able to lift revenues despite a slump in advertising that started in 2006 and has accelerated every quarter since,” according to  veteran journalist Alan Mutter in his Newsosaur blog . Read more…

SunapeeNews.com welcomes your comments and interest in bringing back news coverage to the Newport-Sunapee area. Comment below or email Catherine at SunapeeNews@gmail.com

Disclosure: The author of this article was a Sunapee community columnist for the Argus Champion in 2005-2006.

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