August 23, 2007

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Publisher's Note: Stress made me steal
By Jody Reese

Admittedly, Linda Bevins has it bad. She’s been fighting cancer for almost a decade and the ordeal had left her broke. So to help ends meet, she took a job at the non-profit Crotched Mountain Foundation, a rehabilitation center for with traumatic injuries. Unfortunately for the foundation, Bevins admits she stole around $1.3 million.

While taking some responsibility for her thieving, Bevins says that the stress of having to deal with payroll issues (she was in charge of the foundation’s payroll) stressed her out to such an extent that it helped push her into stealing the money. She used the money to provide a lavish wedding for her daughter, take her family on a few cruises and pay for her cancer treatments.

Nightclub woes
The owners of the Envy nightclub at the corner of Bridge and Elm streets in Manchester finally called it quits after having their liquor license was pulled about a year ago. The club had survived until now by offering under 21 dancing. News like leaves me torn. While Envy claims that they were treated unfairly, other felt the club was a bad neighbor. Folks publicly spoke out against the club, claiming its customers were responsible for vandalism and fights. No business is an island and bars can be especially tough neighbors. A business reaps what it sows. At the same time, cities reap what they sow. Cities need a vibrant nightlife to attract the young talent that helps keep a city growing. Take those nightspots away and the younger workers leave too. Manchester seems to be walking the line rather deftly lately. New restaurants and bars have continued to open downtown.

A bird of a deal
Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta has gotten some heat from political opponents for opposing a condominium development right next to the Merchantsauto.com Stadium. Fisher Cats’ owner Art Solomon has said that if the development does forward that it could force him to leave the city and take his ball team with him. His point is that his team won’t be able to survive next to a construction site that could last a few years. Guinta’s opinion seems to be a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. While we need more development around the stadium to help pay for it, we don’t want to endanger the biggest source of income down there: the baseball team. The question we need to find an answer to is, can we develop more of the riverfront property around the ballpark without getting in the way of the park customers?

Performing, maybe, but no bonding
Given the controversy over whether or not the ballpark development is paying for itself, it’s now very unlikely that Manchester city government would step up and fund a performing arts center. For this project to happen an alternative source of funding is needed. To beat a dead horse, making it a magnate school for drama-oriented students from around the region seems like a great way to fund it and keep it funded.