People who call me from Concord on state business often ask, "How’s your summer going?"
This year I can say, "it is one of the best summers." The last couple of weeks were filled with plenty of reasons why, in addition to the natural beauty around us and some picture perfect days, that this has been a great summer.
First, summer is the time many of us are fortunate to have children and grandchildren and other family members come to see us. Judy and I have been hosting my daughter and her husband and two sons. They live in Portland, OR. William at 10 is enjoying his two weeks at Camp Coniston while his brother, Alex, seven, has been hanging around with the family at a cabin on a local lake.
Second. In addition to having family here, events like New London Hospital Days with its parade, other activities and the midway on the town green provide lots for children to do. Hospital Days got off to a slow start on a Thursday evening because of showers. The organizers made it possible for the "bracelet night" to be moved to Friday night.
To have two local granddaughters, Eleanor at six and Finley at four, joined by their cousins from across the country to go on as many rides as possible over a couple hour period provided a rare occasion for them to be together. It was lots of fun for adults and cousins while supporting a community event and the good work of New London Hospital.
Last week it was the 80th edition of the annual Craftsmen’s Fair at Mount Sunapee. There was a family trip there on Thursday. While I did not get to see as many exhibits as I might have wished, I enjoyed shepherding grandchildren around including a stop at the food tent for lunch.
Three grandchildren got a half hour each in Tools for Kids tent where volunteers showed youngsters how to do basic woodworking with old fashioned tools. A simple saw, a bit and brace and a hand drill, a couple of planes and other tools allowed even the smallest youngsters to use the tools with the guidance and supervision of the volunteers.
Given the ages, it is a little hard to explain that in my day these were the basic tools around the house used for all kinds of projects and repairs in the time before electric tools were common and battery powered tools were unknown. The Tools for Kids tent was sponsored by Newbury’s Bev and Dan Wolf. Bev serves as the President of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, sponsor of the fair.
I always look forward to going to the fair. It is especially exciting when you leave with a new treasure for yourself or unique gift for another. But I am also pleased with the local participation by craftsmen from the area. Sue Scalera, a next door neighbor in Lempster and a long time fair participant, won a "best of show" award for one of her beautiful signature bags.
We were joined by two Oregon friends of my daughter and her husband for a performance at the New London Barn Playhouse of Les Miserables on Friday. The Playhouse has been in business for 81 seasons and the quality of their shows is very, very good.
Les Mis, however, may be the best I have seen. As one of our guests noted, Les Miserables may require youthful performers to bring the energy and passion to fully tell the story. That power and passion were certainly there on Friday night leading to a standing ovation at the end from an appreciative audience.
First as a Victor Hugo novel published in 1862, "the musical originated as a concert album, which was subsequently presented in a sports arena in Paris. The English language adaptation … opened in London in 1985 and is still playing there today," according to the program notes written by Tom DeMille.
Hospital Days, the Craftsmen’s Fair and the Barn Playhouse are institutions proven by success over decades that provide enjoyment and are anchors of summer activities for tens of thousands of us. Yes, it is a good summer.
The headline suggested that "research and development tax credits boost N.H. businesses."
That was the purpose of Senate Bill 1 which I sponsored this year with area co-sponsors Senator David Pierce (Etna) and Representative Jim Genier (Lempster). It doubles the annual tax credit allocation to $2 million from $1 million and makes the five year old tax credit program permanent. Governor Maggie Hassan signed the bill into law in March.
New Hampshire does not compete with other states that provide large financial incentives to lure businesses to their states. We work hard, of course, to retain business and to attract new businesses and one of the few tools we have is the research and development tax credit. Businesses can apply for credit against their regular taxes based upon the wages paid for new research and development projects.
Last week, the Department of Revenue Administration reported that 155 businesses received research and development tax credits under the expanded program. Of those companies, 76 reported less than $500,000 in applicable wages showing that small, growing companies are participating. Those are the companies we wanted to encourage when we passed SB 1.
All of Bob Odell's Sunacom columns since August 4,
2008 are free to view in the Archives.