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Bob Odell
State Senator
District 8

June 20, 2010

Senator Odell is Chairman of  the Ways and Means Committee, and member of the Energy, Environment and Economic Development Committee;  Finance Committee; Citizens Trade Policy Commission; State Park System Advisory Council; and Comprehensive Cancer Plan Oversight Board.

Senate District 8 towns: Acworth, Alstead, Charlestown, Claremont, Gilsum, Goshen, Langdon, Lempster, Marlow, New London, Newbury, Newport, Roxbury, Stoddard, Sullivan, Sunapee, Sutton, Unity, Walpole, Washington and Westmoreland.

 

 

Every year, after the legislative session has wound down, I’m asked many times, "what are your plans are for the summer?" I can always say there will be plenty of work and plenty of fun for the next couple of months.

For some of the fun, the day after the legislature adjourned I joined three others to play in the first charity golf tournament of the season for me. This one benefited Valley Regional Hospital, and even with some pretty heavy rain for part of the day, it was very enjoyable and took my mind completely away from the budget struggles in Concord over the past few months.

There are many tournaments every year in our area. Not only do the tournaments raise money for worthy institutions like Valley Regional Hospital, they are played using some form of a scramble format. For non golfers, a scramble essentially allows you to play each shot from the position of the best hit of the players on your team.

That means a duffer like me can enjoy the game always hitting from positions on the course where my friends have hit … usually longer than I hit, closer to the green that I am and more likely nearer to the hole. That takes the pressure off and provides for an easy and enjoyable trip around the course. Not a bad way to spend some time with old and new friends this summer.

I also try to visit a farmers’ market each week. The new Goshen market kicked off a couple of weeks ago and I stopped by the Newport market the next week. It is great to see the flourish of activity on the Newport Common which has loyal customers who come back every Friday afternoon to pick up food and other items for the coming week.

For me, I was eager to buy some special marinade, called "double garlic," that I had been out of for a couple of months. Plus I could pick up some early produce for my kitchen. There is a social aspect to our farmers’ markets along with knowing that you are buying products grown, raised or made right in our region.

The Sullivan County Commissioners hosted the 22nd Annual Free Pancake Breakfast on a recent Sunday morning. While the rain drove the event indoors, it is always fun to see familiar faces who predictably turn out for the breakfast.

There were displays on county government activities highlighted by the plans and work nearing completion on the rehabilitation and new programming at the county jail. This is one of those events that has a true community spirit to it and is always enjoyable. Plus, it is fun to see county commissioners at work; Ethel Jarvis supervising the buffet line with Jeff Barrette, and Ben Nelson in the background handling the cooking. I can look forward to the 23rd breakfast for another year.

Of the many celebrations that I go to each year, there are two types that I enjoy the most: Eagle Scout ceremonies and school graduations. I was honored to be the commencement speaker at the Claremont Adult High School’s recent graduation. Of the class of 13, there were nine of the 2010 graduates at the ceremony who were joined by nearly 100 of their friends and family members, including children.

These graduates completed their high school academic requirements and are now graduates. They met their graduation goal outside the traditional high school program. Through the adult high school, they had the flexibility to balance work, family and other responsibilities with their classroom assignments and homework.

My congratulations to the 2010 graduates: Katherine Marie Atwood, Allison Marie Brooks, Drew Hanson, Emily N. Holland, Garon Jenkins, Richard E. Johnson, Samantha Elizabeth Page, Aeryl Sacksouvanh and Angelica Quitadamo.

After the graduation, I was off to a meeting of a local select board. The issue was whether or not the town’s project to rebuild a bridge merits an expedited standard dredge and fill permit from our state Department of Environmental Services. There is general agreement that the permit will be approved; the issue is whether it will be issued in time for construction to begin and possibly be completed in August, the best month for this type of construction.

Over the last few years, the legislature has put into law deadlines for the department to respond to applications for a variety of permits. Application fees have been increased to cover the costs at the department to meet these deadlines. Most recently, some fees which used to go into the general fund are now retained by the department to make sure the money stays where it is needed to serve the public. Dealing with DES permitting is a bread and butter task for state senators.

I started a recent Tuesday morning attending the 1,365th meeting of the Newport Revitalization Committee. Meeting weekly for decades, "Revite" provides a forum for local leaders to explain what is going on in their world and for all participants to share information about upcoming events and activities.

During the legislative session, I have committee meetings on Tuesday mornings and so I miss Revite meetings. It is great to get back to a pattern of being a Revite regular.

These are the kinds of activities that help me stay connected with the people of the 8th district . They will take some time this summer but all of it will be enjoyable.

 

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

Telephone:  603-271-6733
Email:  rpojr@aol.com

 

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