State Representative-elect Linda Tanner thanks voters

Letter to the Editor

I would like to thank the people of Cornish, Croydon, Grantham, Plainfield, Newport, Sunapee, Springfield, and Unity in District 9 Floterial.  Thanks to all who supported me, hosted signs, sent donations and, most of all, voted for me as your State Representative. I look forward to serving all the people of my district as well as the people of New Hampshire to restore balance and common sense to our House of Representatives.  As a citizen legislator, I will keep your interests at heart and I will work hard to represent you and our communities to solve N.H. issues.

Linda Tanner, Georges Mills, N.H.
State Representative Elect
District 9 Sullivan County

Education Legislation | Front Door Politics NH

Via Front Door Politics New Hampshire ,The Daily Dispatch

It’s a lightning rod in many states, and New Hampshire’s education system is no exception. So far nearly three dozen education-related bills have been filed for the upcoming legislative session. Today we take a look at a handful we find noteworthy at this early stage of the game.

old fashioned red schoolhouseHome Schooling

At least four proposed bills involve home education. Five lawmakers — Rep. David Bates (R-Windham), Rep. Marilinda Gates (R-Salem), Rep. Ralph Boehm (R-Litchfield), Sen. Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry) and Sen. Fenton Groen (R-Rochester) are sponsoring a bill which would repeal “the department of education’s rulemaking authority for home education programs.”

The most recent home education standards were updated by the Department of Education in June. A related bill sponsored by Rep. Laura Jones, (R-Rochester), Sen. Raymond White (R-Bedford), and Sen. James Forsythe (R-Strafford ) would amend “compulsory school attendance statutes to permit parent-directed learning programs and repealing the home education statutes.” Read more via the The Daily Dispatch…

Capital Comments: Mollica nominated to chair NH Liquor Commission

By State Senator Bob Odell

Last week seemed filled with bits and pieces of positive news for our region.

Joe Mollica, the former owner of One Mile West, the restaurant on Route 103 in Sunapee, was nominated by Governor John Lynch to be the next Chairman of the Liquor Commission.  He will be confirmed by the current but outgoing Executive Council at a special meeting called by the Governor for Dec. 20. Continue reading

Capital Comments: Flanders from Sunapee Appointed Senate’s Chief of Staff

By State Senator Bob Odell

After winning elections on Nov. 2, there was reason for new representatives and senators to be smiling and enjoying their status as legislators when they were sworn into offices last week that they will fill for the next two years.

The 400 member House will have more than 150 new representatives, men and women who have never served there before.  Another 30 plus members did not serve the last two years but had been state representatives previously; two members are returning after absences of 30 years. Continue reading

Opinion: ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’


By Mark Fernald

“Justice delayed is justice denied.” This old expression has becoming increasingly true in New Hampshire due to cutbacks in the court system.  Plans by the newly elected Republican majority in the state legislature to cut the state budget by 10% should be of concern to all citizens.

Let me try to put a human face on the cost of court cutbacks.

In the not-so-distant past, Cheshire County Superior Court had two full-time judges, and a full-time marital master (hearing officer.) Now the court has one full-time judge, and a half-time marital master. The delays in scheduling hearings have been significant. Continue reading

Capital Comments: Lempster Loses A Man Passionate About His Causes

Yorick Hurd, II, an active resident of Lempster, NH, passed away November 15th. Scroll down to read Senator Odell’s tribute to this “wonderful and unique man who lived every day to the fullest.”

By State Senator Bob Odell

The Secretary of State has sent out notices summoning newly elected and re-elected Senators and House members to a meeting “on the first Wednesday of December … to attend and take their seats on that day.”  That is the requirement in our constitution that will bring together legislators for the first meeting of the new legislature.

It will be a day of celebrations as Representatives and Senators are sworn in with family and friends in attendance.  In addition to being sworn in as new legislators, the House and Senate will come together in a “joint convention” to elect the Secretary of State and State Treasurer.  With no opposition, Catherine Provencher will remain our Treasurer.  And Bill Gardner, America’s longest serving Secretary of State and chief protector of New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary, will be re-elected.

Every winning candidate looks forward to the day they can raise their right hand and be sworn into office.  That day will be Wednesday of next week.

Within each Senate district, there are roughly 16-17 House members.  The election produced many changes in who will represent my district when the House convenes next week.  Starting in Merrimack County, Steve Winter will represent the Sutton-Newbury two town district.  Steve and I served together in the House in 2002-2004 and then Steve served a couple of terms as Clerk of the Senate where his mastery of parliamentary procedure was very helpful.

David Kidder and Randy Foose will continue to represent New London, a part of the 8th Senate district as well as Wilmot and Danbury which are part of another Senate district.

In Cheshire County, the highest profile House Democrat defeated in the election was Dan Eaton. He had been the majority floor leader. Anne Cartwright of Alstead was a winner in the three member district that takes in the towns of Alstead, Marlow, Nelson, Roxbury, Stoddard, Sullivan and Walpole.  Incumbents Tara Sad and Lucy Weber, both of Walpole, were re-elected.  Bob Moore of Westmoreland will be the new representative for the Surry, Gilsum and Westmoreland distirct.

The election produced some changes in the makeup of the Sullivan County delegation to the House of Representatives.  While not part of the 8th  Senate District, the Grantham, Cornish and Plainfield house district will have two new representatives, Benjamin Lefebvre and Andy Schmidt.

Within the 8th Senatorial District, three incumbents, Steve Cunningham, Tom Howard and the dean of the Sullivan County delegation, Beverly Rodeschin, were re-elected to the Newport, Springfield, Goshen, Washington and Croyden district.  Representative Rodeschin will begin her 11th term in the House when she is sworn in next week.

Sunapee businessman Spec Bowers will be the new Representative for his town.  Sunapee is one of the few towns in the state with a one town legislative district.  In the Acworth, Langdon and Charlestown district, newcomers Tom Laware and Steve Smith will be the representatives.

Three incumbents, Joe Osgood, Ray Gagnon and John Cloutier were re-elected in the district that includes Claremont, Unity and Lempster.  They will be joined by first time representatives Charlene Lovett and Paul LaCasse.

The 13 member Sullivan County delegation has 6 incumbents returning to Concord and 7 new members.  After many years of having a Democrat majority, the delegation will have 9 Republicans and 4 Democrats for the next two years.

Very importantly, the House members from each county constitute the “delegation” which plays a critical role in county government.  The delegation works on and must approve the county budget each year.  It is not unusual for newly elected House members to not even know about this critical role they play in county affairs.  Some call it the “county government hat” that legislators wear.

While the tempo and workload of the Senate and House are quite different, I look forward to working with all of my legislative colleagues who will be serving in the House.

Our Lempster neighborhood has lost another resident and special connection to our town’s history.  I live on Hurd Road and part of a beautiful pond, Hurd Pond, is on my property. And down the road is the Hurd family homestead with a unique house that is one of the oldest in town.  The Hurd family history is integral to the history of Lempster.

Yorick Hurd returned to his family’s home 16 years ago.  And once in place, he was everywhere.  He tended to the maintenance of his historic home, sold Christmas trees and was always ready with a warm wave as I drove by going to and from the post office.  And he was the consummate volunteer and activist.  Whatever the task, Yorick was there.

He was passionate about his causes.  And as his State Senator, I heard regularly from my neighbor.  He sent me little messages about issues before the legislature, nearly always had signs in his yard for favored candidates and causes.  My last sighting of Yorick was in Claremont a couple of weeks ago.  He was on a street corner with a few others protesting America’s involvement in current wars.

As I write this morning, I look out at three lilac bushes that Yorick gave to Sandy and me many years ago.  They will serve as a reminder of a wonderful and unique man who lived every day to the fullest … good neighbor and faithful friend, involved in the community and always visibly committed to his favored causes.

Bob Odell represents State Senate District 8—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: 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.