Shawn Jasper: Current state budget negotiations

While the legislature has been enjoying a well-deserved summer recess, legislative leadership, along with the governor and her staff have begun a series of meetings for the purpose of crafting a plan that would allow us to move forward in dealing with those parts of the budget on which we disagree. While the Continuing Resolution is in place until December, it was important to have initiated these discussions.
In a recent letter to the governor, I reminded her that we have confirmed, through the Legislative Budget Assistant, that the budget she vetoed is a balanced spending plan, addressing many of the concerns that she had brought to the legislature.
There are a number of different paths that we could have taken in order to resolve the detrimental effects placed upon the people of New Hampshire when Governor Hassan exercised her veto authority.
As a direct result of her action, we very well could witness a spike in property taxes, depending upon how and when the Department of Revenue Administration sets local property taxes, the inability of the state to address the opioid epidemic, as well as any undue pressure felt by the state's health and human services providers.
House Finance Chair Neal Kurk (r-Weare) has pointed out a number of important points that clearly shows how ill advised the governor's veto was.
· The budget appropriates $11.352 billion in total funds for the next biennium, an increase of 5% from the current biennium.

· Dedicated funds were not "raided" in the process.

· The community college system would have been fully funded allowing them to freeze tuition for the next biennium; USNH would have seen an increase in funds.

· Health and Human Services would have received higher funding in this budget than in any previous one--$4.449 billion, up 8% from the current budget. Additionally, funding would have been restored for elderly services, including meals on wheels, services for veterans, the developmentally disabled, and the mentally ill, with the latter at levels meeting the requirements of a legal settlement.

· The nearly 40,000 people served by the expanded Medicaid program will continue to receive their 100% federally funded health coverage through December 31, 2016, as provided for in current law.

· Funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment would have been increased by 49.5%, to $42.3 million.

· A 5% rate increase would have been granted to providers of long-term care in the community.

· Transportation department services would have been funded at $1.172 billion, an increase of 8% in the current budget.

· The Department of Safety would have seen a 9% increase in its budget, largely through the substitution of general funds for highway funds.

· The Fish and Game fund would have received a $1.2 million infusion from the general fund.

I outlined many more examples in my letter to the governor.
There are 160 democratic state representatives and 10 democratic state senators who very much want to address the needs of our citizens, as do members of the majority party. This was clearly illustrated when most of minority party supported the continuing resolution. That vote was necessary to address the governor's veto threat so that the people of New Hampshire would not suffer through a shutdown of state government.
As I wrote to the governor, "The cleanest and clearest path forward for you would be to politically free all 170 colleagues from across the aisle, allowing them to vote their conscience on veto day." We remain confident that the many issues listed in my letter are mutual concerns to us all. In fact, if it were not for the governor's veto, we would have a state budget in place today.
I have called upon the governor to provide us with her thoughts as to the best way to address this issue. None of Gov. Hassan's concerns are of such a critical nature that they could not be addressed in the next legislative session.
The governor's argument over the 21 million dollar business tax cut issue pales in the face of the systemic stresses placed on our service providers, the neediest in our society, and the employees of New Hampshire when she chose to veto the budget. It has proved to be the most harmful of the three choices that were presented to her, i.e. sign, veto, or let the budget become law without signature.
It is incumbent upon us as leaders to evaluate the impact of the decisions we make, apply what we have learned from the results of those decisions, and consider a new course of action. I encourage the governor to consider the current circumstances and the impact of not having a 2016-17 FY plan that addresses the many important concerns for the functioning of our state. I call upon her to free the 170 democratic legislators, allowing them to vote to follow the clearest and quickest path for a sound, pragmatic solution, which would be to override her veto of the budget.

Shawn Jasper is the NH Speaker of the House. 

Poof Tardiff: 1974 VIII

Hello fellow Berlinites. This city's newest bridge in 1974, which starts on Twelfth Street and comes out on Hutchins Street, was almost ready for traffic. This time it was supposed to be ready for all vehicles by December 1, 1974.

During the month of November 1974, the board of trustees of the Androscoggin Valley Hospital appointed Raymond Allford as their new hospital president. Allford succeeded Mr. William J. Thompson and assumed his position on January 1, 1975. Mr. Allford came to Berlin well-qualified in the field of medicine and with a wide range of interest in the health field.

I found a great story that was written in a November issue of the local paper which I would like to share with my readers. It was about the business of Ray's Electric Inc. This account tells how the owner, Ray Binette got his start in the electrical field and became a success story in the North Country.

Mr. Binette was considered and electrician's electrician and his reputation as a master in his field came step-by-step. He collected his first wages in this field at the age of thirteen and worked at his craft almost every day since.

It was around 1959 when Ray decided to go out on his own and start a business. At first he repaired small appliances like toasters, also repairing small electric motors along with other things in his rent on York Street.

So, his reputation and business began to grow and finally a break came when he won the electrical contract for the Federal Building (Post Office) on the Corner of Pleasant and Mount Forist Streets. He also started contract work for Eli Isaacson at about the same time.

Ray worked many hours and seven days a week to service his customers. His hard work paid off and the reputation for satisfaction made Ray's the biggest electrical contracting company in the North Country.

In 1973 he opened a new shop and appliance store at 383 Jericho Road. This replaced his old shop on Wood Street near the Morris Company lumberyard. Ray was proud to have designed his new store by himself and build it with his men.

Ray included his wife Muriel in his business and she operated the appliance and lighting department. Ray and his men serviced many companies and installed the electrical wiring at Brady Chevrolet in North Conway.

They also did all the work for the Appalachian Mountain Club buildings in Pinkham Notch, serviced the electrical parts of Wildcat and Attitash Ski areas, and wired the Town & Country Motor Inn after their first fire.

Ray was especially proud of the fact that he employed local workmen and he often worked with the local Voc-Tech College, training them himself after they finished their schooling.

By 1974, Ray's Electric Incorporated was a big business and had come a long ways since 1959. Today (2015) this company continues to operate out of their Jericho Road business and still does well. Even though Ray and Muriel are no longer with us, their legend and business are still carried on by family members now.

How many people can recall a restaurant that started in 1973 called Ferrantes? By 1974 it was going strong and had great Italian meals. It was owned and operated by Mrs. Donna Ferrante. Mrs. Ferrante had learned her Italian culinary expertise from her husband's parents and then opened the Italian-American restaurant in the Globe Shopping Center. In this second week of November 1974, she was celebrating her first anniversary.

Donna had always loved cooking, so when she married her husband Tony, she made the Italian cuisine her specialty. Her husband Tony ran Mary's Pizza in Cascade Flats, which his mother Maria started in 1957.

Donna found herself spending a lot of time in the business working with Maria while her husband worked construction. She worked making pizzas and spaghetti at Mary's for almost 15 years. Then, in 1968, Tony's parents retired from the business and the younger Ferrantes took over.

It was Donna's dream to own a restaurant along with a dining room one day in her life and on November 25, 1973, that is exactly what happened. It was here, that she introduced quite a menu that people loved and with the help of her son and daughter, along with Roger Brown and Lorraine Payeur, to include pastry maker Lucille Addario the business did well.

On Saturday, November 25, 1974, Mrs. Ferrante celebrated her first anniversary with a buffet dinner and all of her patrons were well satisfied with the great flavor and abundance of food.

The Ferrantes even thought of combining the two restaurants someday, but it never developed. Of course, there is no longer a Globe Shopping Center and the great Italian American eatery no longer exists either. It seems that operating two restaurants became very difficult. Mary's though, is still run by a Ferrante member. We all know him as Jim. How many people remember eating at Ferrantes while this eatery operated?

Believe it or not, the Town and Country Motor Inn had its second fire within a year on Sunday November 24, 1974, but by Monday it was a typical evening at this inn at Shelburne. Area residents and their guests ate in the popular dining room while others visited in the lounge.

The day before though was out of the ordinary. Fire of suspicious origin had been discovered by an employee on Sunday morning, damaging several upstairs rooms with water seeping into the lounge and entry-level.

This fire was brought under control by the local departments within two hours and not long after this, owner "Navy" Labnon, along with family and friends went to work cleaning up. By Monday evening, dinners were already being served and everything was almost back to normal, with this establishment closing down for only a short period of time. It was certainly quite a feat to bounce back from serious fire within one day, but that is what happened back then when family and friends worked collectively.

Finally, in December of 1974, Odore J. Gendron became the seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Manchester, succeeding the most Reverend Ernest J. Primeau. It was later learned that Bishop Gendron had connections to the city of Berlin.

After Gendron was ordained in May of 1947, the late Bishop Matthew F. Brady assigned this new priest to Angel Guardian Parish on Berlin's East Side and he started his duties on June 11, 1947. He became the associate pastor, a post he held until December of 1952, before being transferred to another parish and then moving on to different positions in the state, ending up as Bishop.

Poof Tardiff writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Questions or comments email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also joining the many fans all "Once upon a Berlin Time" on Facebook and guess at the weekly mystery picture.

Gendron-Odore-JOdore J. Gendron

Ferrante-DonnaDonna Ferrante

Binette-Muriel-RayMuriel and Ray Binette

Berlin--Early-70sBerlin Early 70s

Ithaca Bound: No Joy in Mudville

The suddenly surging Boston Red Sox were beginning to stir a bit of optimism among their fans.Returning from a successful road trip, the team began its final home stand before the four-day All-Star Game mid-season break on a winning note. Finally, many thought, the two hundred million dollar team that Red Sox management had put together over the off-season was beginning to come together and produce positive results. The Red Sox might be playing some October baseball, after all.
The weekend series with the New York Yankees suddenly had serious meaning to it. With a bit of luck, the hometown team could find itself only a couple of games behind the division leading Yankees by the end of Sunday afternoon's game. Why not? Boston's pitching, hitting, and defensive play all seemed to be coming together at the right time. Perhaps the dismal showing the team had made in the first half of the season could be forgotten as the team made its long awaited move to the playoffs during the second half.
But the manner in which the Yankees took two of the three games from the Red Sox quickly sobered the heady feelings of the Fenway faithful. Clay Buchholz, who had been pitching at an All-Star level for a string of games, quickly fell apart in the first of the three games. To make matters even worse, the man who beginning to earn ace status on the team's starting pitching roster left the game with an arm injury and quickly landed on the disabled list.
Eduardo Rodriquez, the rookie with the poise of a seasoned veteran, set the Good Ship Red Sox back on course in the second game. Hope for the second half surge stirred once again.
But the on-again-off-again pitching of veteran Wade Miley was off again this past Sunday, and there was no joy in Mudville by game's end. Not only had Miley's pitching let them down, but the team's season-long issue of hitting with runners in scoring position came back to haunt them.
The Red Sox outhit the Yankees 12-11. But the Yankees scored eight runs with their eleven hits. Boston scored only six with their twelve. The Yankees even made two errors, giving the Sox extra at bats, while the Red Sox made none. Still, when a clutch hit was needed, the Red Sox could not produce it. The team that was heralded as a team capable of producing a major league leading number of runs has not even come close to doing so.
What happens after the All-Star break is now anyone's guess. Will the team ignore the loss of the three game set to the Yankees and continue the surge it was on before the Boys from the Bronx came to town? Or have we seen the Beantown team at its beast, and its best is not good enough?
It's hard to get excited about the team's chances this year when its most reliable starting pitcher is a 22-year old young fellow from Venezuela. Rodriguez is a significant part of the team's future, though, and it's 2016 that should now be the basis for the Red Sox's thinking, planning, and maneuvering. Centerfielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Xander Bogaerts should also be hands-off parts of the future, unless, of course, the team is able to get a surefire twenty-game winner in return. Even then, Boston should not be too quick to pull the trigger.
Recently called up Brian Johnson may or may not be able to duplicate the immediate impact on the Red Sox pitching staff that Eduardo Rodriguez did in his call to the big leagues. if Johnson does do well, then the team's frontline pitching is already looking better than it has all season, and the future looks even brighter. But hopes are not fulfillment. What looks good on paper does not always transfer to the field of play, as we all know. Right now, the Boston Red Sox are what their record shows them to be - a two hundred million dollar team mired in mediocrity. And there is no joy in Mudville.
Ithaca Bound writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Ithaca Bound is the pen name of Dick Conway. His e-mail address is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dick Huot: Androscoggin Valley ATV Club Membership Appeal

The Androscoggin Valley ATV Club was incorporated in October 2000. At that time a group of avid ATV and dirt bike enthusiasts adopted the abandoned 20-mile Success ATV Trail. In the ensuing years club members, with hired local contractors and volunteers along with crews from the N.H. Bureau of Trails worked diligently to rebuild this trail into a superb wilderness trail suitable for ATV's, UTV's, trail bikes and snowmobiles. Completed in 2006, the Success Trail System serves as a vital link on the southern end of the "Ride the Wilds" trail.

In 2005, the N.H. Divisions of Forest and Lands purchased approximately 7,200 acres in the Jericho Lake area for a new multiuse, multimodal recreational park. There was a new effort to expand the AV ATV Club to adopt the new trail system. Eventually plans for a "Connector Trail" were developed to connect the new Jericho Mountain State Park trails to the Success trail system via the streets of Berlin. With the backing of the Berlin police department, the city council approved the connector trail in 2009.
Today there are approximately 60 miles of trails at Jericho, 20 miles at Success and the city "Connector Trail" with about six miles. This trail system ties into the Ride the Wilds' approximate 1,000 miles of trails.
The new ATV park generated much enthusiasm. The club sought new members. The turnout was amazing! Approximately 20 or so people turned out for that first meeting and a board of directors was formed.
Like many organizations, membership dwindled over time and attendance at any given meeting was low. Although turnout at meetings has improved slightly the club is encouraging more members to attend meetings. Due to the small member turnout at meetings, all who show up have a vote.
In 2010, the state provided the capital to organize and promote the 1st Annual Jericho ATV Festival. The 2nd Annual Jericho ATV Festival fell totally on the shoulders of the AV ATV Club, which took over all the organization and promotion. The festival was a major undertaking and took its toll on members who were not trained nor had experience with an event of that magnitude. More members left the club.
When the 3rd annual festival was discussed at the club's January 2012 meeting, the few members in attendance were burned out and the mood was against another year. It was suggested the club ask the AV Chamber of Commerce for help. The conversation encouraged the small group to go ahead and organize the festival one more time. The chamber did lend a hand promoting and marketing the festival and providing cash assistance for advertising.
The 3rd Annual Jericho ATV Festival was an undeniable success! Renewed excitement by the small number of AV ATV Club members was evident but the work involved to pull it all off was grueling and demanding. The chamber's involvement, however, opened eyes to a whole new possibility.
The AV Chamber Board of Directors was approached to become a partner for the 4th Annual Jericho ATV Festival with a 50/50 split of any profit. Many chamber directors were not immediately captivated with the concept of taking on this role. The financial information from the 3rd annual festival, however, convinced the board that the festival was economically viable. Chamber directors also saw what the festival was beginning to do for the Androscoggin Valley with thousands drawn to the area. The chamber agreed to become a partner for the 2013, 4th Annual Jericho ATV Festival. There have been no regrets from either the club or the chamber.

The 4th Annual Jericho ATV Festival was the biggest one yet! The chamber's resources, personnel and influence made an absolute difference. The AV ATV Club voted to offer the lead role to the chamber with a 60/40 split. The chamber did the majority of marketing and promoting while the club did all of the groundwork for the festival. The chamber board of directors voted to accept the lead role for the 5th Annual Jericho ATV Festival.

The two organizations met on a regular basis with each contributing profoundly to planning the festival. The proceeds from the festival enable the chamber to significantly increase marketing and promoting the Androscoggin Valley. The proceeds for the club are spent entirely on maintaining existing trails and building new ones.

With the AV Chamber of Commerce taking the leading role, the 5th festival was absolutely electrifying! It was totally obvious to all that the chamber's resources, marketing and promotion skills were second to none! The 5th Annual Jericho ATV Festival was absolutely the best and word of the festival is spreading throughout the country! An Oregon Chamber of Commerce called, wanting to know how the festival committee put on the Jericho ATV Festival and asking for help starting one. Companies large and small are now calling the chamber, looking to be involved in one way or another. What used to take persuasion to get a business involved now only takes a mention of the Jericho ATV Festival. One would be hard-pressed to find a better event partnership than the one the Jericho ATV Festival Committee enjoys! Soon the 6th Annual Jericho ATV Festival will be here. As great as they've been, this year's event will be a blockbuster!!

There are members of the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club who work tirelessly and the trails are in remarkable shape because of their efforts. The NH Grant in Aid and Federal Highway Administration Recreational Trails Program grants, which are crucial for trail development and maintenance, are submitted annually since 2001, by one individual who serves as club treasurer. A total of $911,600 has been raised through these grants in addition to Polaris and Yamaha grants received by the club. All the money was spent entirely on trail maintenance and building new trails using local contractors and purchasing all materials from local businesses.

Posters, club marketing, social media, trail patrol, newsletters and club event planning are essential to the AV ATV Club. All this and much more is done by a small group. It is hoped ATV, trail bike and side X side enthusiasts will join the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club. The club currently has a membership base approaching 90 people and counting. But as much as the club appreciates the support received through memberships, members are encouraged to attend meetings and become involved. It has been a 15-year journey for some members and some are considering slowing down or stepping down from the roles that they have taken on.

The history of the AV ATV Club and the Jericho ATV Festival is fascinating. Much of this information is not generally known. There is a lot of responsibility on the AV ATV Club to help maintain our Jericho Mountain and Success Trails Systems in unison with the N.H. Bureau of Trails.

Hopefully this information creates excitement among the many "backwoods riders" and provides encouragement to join the AV ATV Club! There is so much going on and more to come! The Club looks forward to welcoming you!!

The Club meets the first Wednesday of the month at Northern Forest Heritage Park at 6 p.m. Membership applications can be found at

Dick Huot is the president of the Androscoggin Valley ATV Club. 


Poof Tardiff: 1974 VII

Hello fellow Berlinites. On October 17, 1974, the city of Berlin gave a testimonial dinner to one of its most outstanding citizens, Mr. Laurier "Bee" Rousseau. On this day, Berlin citizens gave public recognition to "Bee" for his many services to the city and its people.

This great French speaking Berlinite was the tax collector for Berlin and always welcomed people with a smile and a French greeting. Thousands more were faithful listeners to his French news on the airwaves of local radio station WMOU with his deep pleasant voice that would always say "Au micro, Bee Rousseau". Many also listened to his broadcasts of sports events at the Notre Dame Arena, when hockey was the king in this city.

"Bee" had been the master of ceremonies at countless social, sports and cultural events and was well known in Canada, as well as throughout New England. In fact, no one ever thought of putting on any type of event or show locally without "Bee", because having him as the master of ceremonies seemed to be a guarantee of success.

Rousseau was a true citizen of Berlin, being born here in 1916 and living here all of his life. He graduated from St. Regis Academy and then Berlin High School. He also took courses at UNH extension at the Vocational School in management and real estate. He was president of the state tax collectors, an officer at the Guardian Angel Bank, a director at the Notre Dame Arena, an exalted ruler of the Elks Club No.618 and a member of the Knights of Columbus.

He had also been a radio announcer for WMOU since 1946 and for 12 years was the unofficial interpreter for the Coos County Superior Court, along with being a Notary Public.

Much more history about Mr. Rousseau's early years in Berlin were in the testimonial write up in the local papers and one could see that he was quite active in many things, along with acting and singing in his earlier years.

I was one of the many fortunate people to know Bee Rousseau connecting with him and his family from my many years at Akers Pond with my parents. He always had a nice greeting for everyone and if you knew him well, he would tell you a short joke. Laurier "Bee" Rousseau passed away in 1999 and is still remembered by many of Berlin citizens after these many years.

During the late fall of 1974, the Berlin Savings Bank and Trust Company officially changed its corporate name to the North Country Bank. This name change was done to more accurately describe the banking area for which the former savings bank had been serving since it was established and built in 1900.

A game called the "Name Game" was instituted to celebrate the new identity of this bank. Several prizes were given away during this event, along with special silver dollars in order to draw in more customers. This bank, which started out on Main Street where today's (2015) Family Dollar now stands, had just built a new facility on the corner of York and Pleasant streets. The same building still operates at this time as the Citizens Bank.

By November of 1974, modern professional babysitting was making his way to the working mothers of Berlin. A new place called the White Mountain Daycare Incorporated, after two years of preparation, was ready to take children from the ages of three to six.

Under its competent board of directors, this new day care center was offering a five day a week schedule, the services of their three experience daycare teachers and room for plenty of new ideas.

The official opening date was December 2, 1974 and all federal specifications had to be met in order to guarantee the welfare of the young toddlers that were attending and White Mountain Daycare had met all of these regulations in order to deal with the children's everyday needs.

Many day care centers have had problems across the country and were closed for different reasons. This area now has several centers that seem to have followed the guidelines provided by the federal government. For Berlin, professional daycare is now 40 years old.

A 40th anniversary was celebrated during October of 1974 by the Club de Raquetteur Joliette Inc. with a weekend of special activities. This once famous Berlin French club was organized in 1934 with the help of Le Parasseux Club of Rumford, Maine. It was formed as a snowshoe unit with seven charted members from the Joliette Social Club.

The first president was Mr. Joseph Dumont. The only living charter member in 1974 was Albert Martel. Marie Ann Duclos was the oldest active member in this year, having helped organize and then becoming the first exhilarated president in 1959.

I know that the old building that once stood on the corner of Pleasant and Mason Street has been demolished, but I do not know if any part of this club is still active today somewhere else in town.

Well, in the middle of November 1974, voters in Errol, New Hampshire approved a change to this town's liquor laws by a vote of 46 to 37. In each election, Jim Barnett, the former owner of the Errol General Store, tried to get a referendum passed that would allow the sale of beer in town. Each year, the townspeople of Errol, which had a population of 194 back then, was voted down, because Errol had been dry since 1944.

Barnett eventually sold his store in this year of 1974 and the new owner, Richard Dion started a petition to make Errol wet, just like Barnett did. This time it was successful. On Tuesday, November 5, 1974, Errol voted to permit the sale of beer in town. However, the referendum to allow the sale of liquor was defeated.

Not everyone in Errol was thrilled with the results of this vote, as many liked Errol's small-town qualities and wanted them to remain untouched. In 1974, at the junction of Route 16 and 26, Errol had a two block long Main Street which contained three gas stations, two restaurants, a combination general store and post office, one church and an elementary school.

Many people were against selling alcohol, because in its earlier days of logging, Errol had a couple of beer joints that allowed woodsmen to come in, get drunk, fight and almost destroy the establishments. The logging days were done now and Errol was catering more to tourists and outdoorsmen.

This change has now been in effect for almost 40 years and the only thing it has done is to help the stores that are still in existence here. Errol has certainly grown since 1974 and probably has a few more problems than it did in that year, but the small town flavor is still there even with the sale of alcohol. I can remember having to go to Wentworth Location in order to purchase beer before 1974.

I will finish with my history of 1974 in my next story.

Poof Tardiff writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Questions or comments email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also join the many fans of "Once upon a Berlin Time" on Facebook and guess at the weekly mystery picture.

Rousseau-BeeBee Rousseau.


Errol-ExxonErrol Exxon.Club-Racqueteers-1934Club Racqueteers 1934.

Berlin-Savings-Bank-and-Trust-CoBerlin Savings Bank and Trust Co.