News Updates

I have decided not to run in 2016 for public office.  As a full-time employee I had devoted most of my vacation time to my work in Concord and felt my job and family had sacrificed enough for now.   When I retire I may run again and expect with a full-time focus on legislation and constituent work to be even more effective.  Thanks to all in New Ipswich, Temple, Sharon, Greenville and Peterborough for letting me serve as your State Representative.

5 /25/15

Wednesday evening the citizens of New Ipswich and others packed the high school auditorium for what was billed as an "informational meeting" on the proposed KM NED pipeline project. Unfortunately, the format was changed at the last minute to include an anti-pipeline evangelist who opened the meeting, ran over his allotted time by at least half an hour and, with the help of a few dozen visiting groupies in the audience, turned the crowd into an angry lynch mob. With none of the program information yet exchanged our Select Board was the first to come under attack, scolded and heckled in what had now become a general gripe session.
Eventually, an hour behind schedule, we "heard" the speakers from the original program: an SEC member from the NH DES, a State Rep from the NN House ST&E Committee and four KM executives, all of whom had to speak through jeering laughter, angry ad-hominem attacks, and general mayhem. The four KM representatives were made to stand and take "questions" until 11pm. The only things missing from the surreal scene were the stocks and rotten fruit. It was clear many attendees went away feeling satisfied, having been able to lash out at someone and vent understandable frustration. Our guests were remarkably gracious under the circumstances absent even a modicum of respect from their hosts.
I was personally embarrassed and disappointed that anyone would be treated this way in our town and plan to send our other invited guests a letter of apology.

The NED pipeline was the dominant issue discussed in a meeting today with Governor Hassan and Senator Kevin Avard.  The Governor again expressed her support for more gas infrastructure to alleviate the current strain on supply responsible for high and volatile electric rates.  We all agreed that at the state level we would work together and make every effort to protect property owners affected by the project.

In 2015 our most immediate challenge is the proposed pipeline that has the potential to stabilize and lower energy costs in New England, but may also displace property owners along the way.

As a returning member of the House Science, Technology and Energy Committee I have a unique perspective and opportunity to ensure my neighbors concerns are heard and addressed.

That said, our influence at the state level will be focused around the Site Evaluation Committee.  The  SEC was recently reformulated and given a stronger mandate to consider local concerns when reviewing and approving project siting plans.

The Town of Temple voted to approve a $11,000 warrant article to expand DSL coverage to 100% of residents.  While criticized as inferior to cable and fiber, the solution was preferable to no internet service at these unserved locations.   This article was recommended by Ken Sullivan as an affordable alternative to Comcast at $300K and fiber at $1.5M plus.  My involvement was simply to bring the commercial providers in to meet with the select Board and provide competitive quotations.
  4/15/2013  The Temple Board of Selectmen are now technically not allowed to investigate broadband.  Really.   The Town of Temple passed an ordinance that was curiously linked to the passage of a broadband bill that has been retained in my old committee, ST&E.  Because I chaired the Telecom Committee I was called in to help with HB 286, a bill that would allow towns to bond overbuilding broadband infrastructure.  This bill is being promoted by Fast Roads, a private company that, working with taxpayer grant money, is building a middle mile fiber backbone around the state.  Fast Roads hopes to get more money to build out last mile fiber in towns using these bonds.  What is not certain is who will rent this fiber and provide the actual service.   Meanwhile, the town already has a very high percentage of homes covered by both Comcast and Fairpoint.  A better/cheaper option would be to get these companies to finish building out broadband access to the last few un-served residents, rather than put property taxpayers on the hook for $1m plus to install redundant dark fiber.

4/10/2013   Temple, Sharon and New Ipswich are fighting to keep windmills out at taxpayer expense.  Because the project spans multiple towns and because of the overly restrictive ordinance promoted by the Planing Board in New Ipswich to zone out wind power I supported the developer's right to petition the State Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) for oversight of the application process.    That said, I oppose taxpayer subsidies of wind power and as your state rep voted for a one year  (failed) moratorium on wind farm development to give the SEC time to better define an approval process that would take more local interest into account.

3/20/2013   After redistricting I was elected to the newly formed district 25 comprising New Ipswich, Temple and Sharon.   I was appointed to the House Committee on Environment and Agriculture and have been involved in several constituent matters.  Most recently the bill dubbed Kyle's Law passed the House and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee and is expected to pass with strong bipartisan support.    This bill will allow child support awards for disabled children ages 18-21. 

10/28/2011  The report of the Telecom Oversight Committee is complete and the key recommendation to the legislature is to deregulate retail pricing, contracts and tariffs for the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILEC), the largest being Fairpoint.  With cable and cellular companies competing for many of the same services offered by the ILECs there is no reason to have restrictions on only one provider.  This environment leaves the incumbent serving only high cost areas while other technologies cherry pick the low cost service areas.  

10/23/2011  After scolding the local paper in a letter to the editor for blatant partisan policies I was asked to contribute a column to provide some balance to the constant advocacy for Democrats and harsh criticism of Republicans.  The first article that appeared in Tuesday's Ledger shed light on the work of the 2010 Legislature.  Contrary to the hyperbole, alarm and opinion the State is now on a more sustainable path to fiscal health.   Overall spending was reduced by 11%, to 2007 levels, and public employees were asked to contribute tp pensions, allbeit at a far lower rate than their private sector counterparts.  This was a system that was certain to go broke if not reformed.  We now have a far better chance to keep our commitments to public employees.

9/25/2011   Restart blogging - the latest development has been my appointment to the Telecommunications Oversight Committee and my election as Chairman.  This extension of my ST&E responsibilities involves key stakeholders in the industry the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED).  With many competing interests the task of maintaining a fair environment with providers who are monopolies, utilities, private, public, regulated and unregulated is difficult and the issues complex.   Our focus is in three main areas: broadband, cellular access in unserved areas, and policies to drive universal access.
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11/14/2010  Happy Birthday , Mom!  You are 75 today.

11/3/2010 At about 4:30AM I couldn't sleep and went to the computer to find we had swept the District!  Maybe I'll get some sleep tonight.

11/2/2010  We all gathered tonight to bring in the results and possibly celebrate.  First Results: The Republicans basically got trounced in Peterborough.  We were each about 500 votes behind the average Democrat.  
Second Results: New Ipswich gave us about 700 vote lead over Dems on average.  But we had to go home wondering about Sharon and Greenville.

10/29/2010 4 Days to go!  Tomorrow we have a 2 hour meet-the-voters time at the plaza in Peterborough where Brady's and Dunkin' Donuts are located.  Donations are coming in and we are about half way to raising our total budget. Thank-you all who sent in contributions and helped out with sign postings!

10/24/2010 9 Days to go!  Church this morning was refreshing with food & fellowship making up the second half of our gathering time.   Folks are anxious to talk about the issues, so we took turns on the soapbox.  
Lydia's giant sign at the New West mall was set up yesterday and it is raining.  Hopefully the paint will stay on the sign .... (-:  Now it's back to work.
We could use more sign locations.   I am trying to follow the law and ask permission.   If you see a sign misplaced or want one please call 878-5001.

10/23/2010  10 days to go!  Meeting people, eating donuts, talking issues (while freezing our buns off ) from 8-10AM this morning was encouraging.   People are energized and ready for stable leadership and smaller government.  Many gave my "stump speech" better than I do.

10/21/2010  12 days to go!  Signs are finally in and assembled - the first few are hitting the yards and roadsides.  Please call right away if you can host a sign in front of your house.  If you have a friend who lives in a high traffic location, ask if they would like to post a sign, too.

10/20/2010  13 days to go!  I met with Charlie Bass, Andy Peterson, Bruce Marcus, James Coffey, and Republican strategists to discuss how best to get the message out in the next few days.   
Be sure to give the Bass campaign a call and offer your support.  Charlie's opponent is getting tons of DNC money to run a character assassination campaign.  We receive a big glossy nastygram every other day from the Kuster machine.  The stuff is usually outright false or very misleading.

10/19/2010  14 days to go!   We spent most of last night getting ~5000 pieces of mail printed and folded.  Brochures go in the mail tomorrow.  The Ledger-Transcript sent me a request for my info and a couple of points from my legislative agenda.  Curiously, they didn't bother to contact the other three Republicans running in Hillsborough District#3; James Coffey, Bruce Marcus and Rob Huxley.