August 24, 2006

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Concord Publisher's Note: Around Concord
By Dan Szczesny

• I’ll say it again, who cares? Well, it looks like the battle lines are drawn over New Hampshire’s coveted First-in-the-Nation Primary. The Democratic National Committee voted last week to slot in a Nevada caucus before New Hampshire’s primary. Oh no you don’t, go the cries from state Secretary of State Bill Gardner. We’ll be the ones to decide when our primary will take place! If it keeps going like this, our Primary might happen next week.

Here’s the thing. Who cares? The only reason New Hampshire fat cats like WMUR and The Union Leader whine so relentlessly about being first is that it’s their pockets that are lined with political gold. To the average citizen in Concord, the time, trouble, traffic congestion and unwanted hordes of politicians and hangers-on do nothing to make the city better, cleaner or more economically sound. The NH Primary is a racket, folks. Don’t buy into it.

• Leave the seniors alone: The city wants Concord’s Centennial Senior Center. And why wouldn’t it? It’s a beautiful state-of-the-art center at 37 Regional Drive, befitting of both its residents as well as the city that decided its seniors were worth such a center. Or, maybe not.

Concord is trying to capsize the center with a tidal wave of taxes. Why? Because city government claims that because the center was built without city funds, the center cannot claim non-profit status. What nonsense. The real reason is that short-sighted city officials would rather see seniors in some old industrial hulk, out of sight and out of mind, and get the senior center on the tax rolls. Seniors deserve better, and taxpayers, and voters, deserve better leadership.

• A story worth writing about: All too often, the lives and deaths of soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are portrayed in the media in little more than blurbs, just another number. Either that or they become untouchable heroes, and the media creates a person they were not. The Concord Monitor’s Sunday Aug. 20 massive four-page retrospective on the aftermath of the death of Russell Durgin, therefore, is all the more powerful given the understandable temptation to turn a tragedy into a soap opera. Writer Chelsea Conaboy and photographer Brian Lehmann were given access to the family and followed the survivors as they came to terms with Durgin’s death, planned his burial and tried to get on with their lives. The story is told without frills, and without sensation. If you want to read a story done right about real people dealing with the war, go to the Moniter’s Web site and take a few minutes to read it. It’s worth your time.


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