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Bob Odell
State Senator
District 8

August 25, 2008

Senator Odell is Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, a member of the Energy, Environment and Economic Development Committee, and the Finance Committee.

Capital Comments

        The work of the current legislature is not quite over.  We have been called back to Concord on September 24 to vote on two gubernatorial vetoes.  The legislature passed hundreds of bills this spring and the governor signed or allowed all but two bills to become law.

            Part II, article 44 of the state’s constitution lays out the veto process.  When vetoing a bill, the Governor must return it, “with his objections, to that house in which it shall have originated.”  Governor Lynch vetoed House Bills 1220 and 1333.  The first bill would create a study commission to study new taxes on alternative fuels and electric powered motor vehicles.  The Governor feels that the bill “may send the wrong message about our commitment to developing alternative fuels and alternative vehicles.”  The second bill deals with the eviction of tenants by the new buyer after a foreclosure sale.  The Governor felt this bill is not fair to tenants.

            The House will vote first on September 24th on both bills.  Only if two-thirds of the body votes to override the vetoes will the Senate get to vote.  My guess is that the two-thirds will not be achieved in the House.  So, the Senate will meet on the 24th and wait for the House action to see if we are needed.

*   *   *

Having lived and worked in Washington, D. C. for a few years, I had the occasion to be in some of the public buildings and monuments that are admired for their architecture and beauty by visitors from around the world.  One of my favorites is now the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue next to the White House.  The driveway and parking area that separates the two buildings used to be the place for photo shots of Presidents and other dignitaries replaced now by shots from the north side of the White House.

            Built between 1871-1888, the building originally housed the Departments of War (later named the Department of Defense), Navy and State.  It has a rich history as many people who worked “in the White House” very often actually had their offices in the old Executive Office Building renamed the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) in 2002. That included Vice Presidents, their staffs as well as many presidential staff members.  It was where Richard Nixon, even in the middle of the summer, would write out his speeches on yellow pads in front of a fire in the fireplace.  It is a building where deals and key decisions have been made by our national leaders over many presidential administrations.  


              Why would I write about the Eisenhower Executive Office Building?  Mark Adams, one of my neighbors in Lempster, recently finished working on a very significant restoration project in the EEOB and was there on August 13 for the ribbon cutting by President and Mrs. Bush.  Washington may seem a long way away from Lempster for Mark, but he actually grew up there.  He and Wendy moved to Lempster in 1977.   Mark is an architectural conservator especially for wooden objects and has travelled across the country to help conserve, restore and reuse wood of special character, high value or unique history along with objects of importance.

            In the case of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Mark and his crew of ten worked on the paneling and floors of what is called the Secretary of War suite. These are rooms that Presidents and other national leaders have used since 1888 and were worn by years of use and damaged by poor maintenance techniques.  Mark’s work began in 2006 and included safely removing dozens of coats of paint and varnish and putting down nearly 1,500 layers of a modified spirit varnish in a technique unique to the time of first construction.

   Periodically I come across people with interesting businesses where they sell their services and products outside of our region.  They help bring revenue to our area and help strengthen our communities.  Mark, for example, is a community leader having served on the Lempster Planning Board for nearly three decades.  The strength of our communities are the people that live there … Mark is one of our region’s strengths. 

            A fellow Lempster planning board member, Bill Rodeschin, Jr., benefitted from Mark’s assignment, too.  As a specialist in woodworking, he assisted Mark during his two week vacation joining Mark’s crew at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to help move the job along.  Quite a vacation, I am sure.  A vacation to tell family and friends about for years to come.

*   *   *

            Saturday was a beautiful New Hampshire summer day.  And it was a perfect time to connect the generations.  The Back-to-School Festival on Pleasant Street in Claremont was great fun even if our children are long out of school.  Parents and students enjoyed the festival as part of every family’s build up to Wednesday’s school openings.  Then, it was off to the Claremont Senior Citizens 38th Annual Barbeque.  It is one of those annual events that is very enjoyable.  My thanks to the Congress’ president, Lou Gendron, and its leaders for including me once again.

            The day was perfect on Sunday for the Second Annual Justin A. Rollins Memorial Scholarship Ride.  Following the ride, there was music, food and celebration at the Middle High School with the parking lot packed with motorcycles.  The ride is a worthy cause and fitting tribute to the memory of our fallen hero.  

Bob Odell
State Senator
New Hampshire State House
107 North Main Street
Concord, NH 03301-4951

Telephone:  603-271-6733

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