Written by Barbara Tetreault
From switchboard operators and young loom workers at a Georgia mill to workers on the Empire State Building and women delivering ice, the exhibit explores how work became a central element in American culture.
The free exhibit is divided into five separate sections focusing on ‘The Way We Worked’, ‘Where We Worked’, ‘Who Works’, ‘How We Worked’, and ‘Why We Worked’.
It draws on the rich collections of the National Archives and Records Administration with historical photographs, archival accounts of workers, film, audio, and interactives to look at work and the changes in our work environment over the past 150 years.
The college and Berlin Public Library were approached by the N.H. Humanities Council to jointly host the exhibit as part of the Museum on Main Street Project. WMCC President Katharine Eneguess said hosting the exhibit is quite an honor for the two libraries. WMCC Librarian Katie Doherty said the council wanted a site in the North Country. The two libraries have sponsored Humanities Council book discussions for many years, making them a logical choice for the exhibit.
“We are very pleased with the community’s reaction thus far to ‘The Way We Worked,’” said Doherty. “Our visitor count so far has been wonderful. It’s great exposure for the college and the town. And our public programs so far have been fascinating and well-received.”
Eneguess pointed out that the exhibit is geared to kids as well as adults.
“Kids will understand what work is currently and in the past,” she said.
Berlin Public Librarian Denise Jensen said the libraries have already held two book discussions in conjunction with the exhibit and there are two upcoming events scheduled.
A panel discussion on “The Way We Worked in the North Country will be held Wednesday, November 14 at 7 p.m. in the college Bistro with Barry Kelley, Bill Thomas, Linda Upham-Bornstein, and Jim Wagner discussing aspects of work here in the past with Craig Doherty acting as moderator.
The following Wednesday, Nov 28, Historic New England Museum Historian Jennifer Pustz will talk on the history of domestic servants in New England. That talk will be held at 7 p.m. at the college’s Fortier Library.
The WMCC Fortier Library is open Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission to the library is free.
Last Updated on Friday, 09 November 2012 00:45
Written by Melissa Grima
Beiner was not visible during the campaign season, but the strong voter turnout and conservative leanings of many in Coos resulted in a respectable showing for Beiner. He received better than a third of the county's votes despite granting no local news interviews, buying no local advertising, and engaging in little public campaigning. Beiner was admitted to the NH Bar Association in 2011.
“I think it's reflective of the two party system, and loyalty to parties,” McCormick, a five year veterans of the county prosecutor's office said of the results. In a few northern towns, Beiner won by slight margins — single digits in Clarksville, Columbia, Errol, and 20 votes in Stewartstown.
McCormick on the other hand had campaigned for the job left open by County Attorney Robert Mekeel's decision not to run for re-election. Mekeel tendered his resignation effective yesterday, leaving the prosecutor's office short one attorney until McCormick can find a replacement assistant.
“I am very appreciative of the support that I got throughout the county...now its time to just get back to work,” said McCormick. “It's a big responsibility and I do take it seriously.”
Of his first foray into elected office McCormick said, “It was an interesting experience, I have a lot more respect for people who run for office.”
Beiner said he did campaign, just not at public events. He described his efforts as more person-to-person. “I appreciate the voters putting their trust in me.” Beiner said, but conceded defeat graciously. “They're (voters) in good hands with John McCormick, he's a very good attorney,” he said. Beiner said he will now focus on opening his new law practice in downtown Whitefield. His practice will focus on civil law, including bankruptcies and estate planning.
The County Attorney and his assistant handle felony prosecutions for crimes that take place in Coos County. The County Attorney's office is based in the Coos County Courthouse in Lancaster.
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 November 2012 00:13
Written by Barbara Tetreault
Berlin Daily Sun unofficial totals have President Obama defeating Mitt Romney by more than 2,700 votes in Coos County. In the District 2 U.S. Congressional race, Democrat Annie Kuster enjoyed a substantial lead over Republican incumbent Charlie Bass in the rematch of their 2012 race. Bass lost in Berlin despite the endorsement of Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier, who crossed party lines to support him.
In the governor’s race, Democrat Maggie Hassan was an easy winner over Ovide Lamontagne who frequently cited his ties to the region because of his family camp on Lake Umbagog.
If there was a bright spot for Republicans, it was Raymond Burton. The ever-popular executive councilor received 10,013 votes in the county compared to 4,119 for his Democratic challenger, Beth Funicella of Jackson.
Woodburn said his strong showing in Coos County, particularly in Berlin and Gorham helped him overcome strong support for Warner in some of the rural western Grafton County communities. He also carried Warner’s hometown of Littleton.
Woodburn said he will take a bipartisan approach to the position. He noted that while Democrats will control the governor and house and the Senate will be fairly evenly divided, he plans to work on a bipartisan basis to get things done. He said he will get together with Gallus next week to seek his advice.
“We’re going to have to work across party lines,” he said.
The Whitefield native said he will make sure the North Country and Androscoggin Valley are well represented in the Senate. He said he expects Grenier, who actively worked on his behalf, will hold his feet to the fire.
His opponent, Debi Warner, said campaigning throughout the region had been a wonderful experience. She said she handed out about 10,000 business cards and had a chance to make a lot of new friends.
“It was a real privilege to be part of the different communities in the North Country,” she said.
Warner said she sought to voice her concerns about the economic well-being of the region and promoting moderate sized business that are compatible with the North Country.
While unsure of her future political plans, she said she is not afraid to “move forward”.
There will be a new look to the Coos County delegation with a possibility of four new members and a new Democrat majority. Because of redistricting, the delegation will drop from 11 to ten members.
Rep. Evalyn Merrick, (D-Lancaster), said she will file a request for a recount in her District 7 race. The Secretary of State’s office shows Merrick losing by 12 votes to Republican Leon Rideout of Lancaster, with the final tally of 3,265 to 3,253 in Rideout’s favor. Merrick said she has been encouraged by her constituents to go for a recount.
In other upsets, Duffy Daugherty, (R-Colebrook) did not win re-election in District 1. Larry Rappaport, (R-Colebrook) and Larry Enman, (D-Errol) took the two seats. Enman edged out Daugherty by 20 votes but Daugherty told N.H. Public Radio that he would not request a recount. And in District 5, Delegation Chairman John Tholl (R-Whitefield) was defeated by Marcia Hammon (D-Whitefield), 1,235 to 1,154.
In District 2, Wayne Moynihan, (D-Dummer) defeated James Tierney (R-Groveton) by a substantial margin. Moynihan served a term as a representative back in the early nineties.
In District 3, Democrat incumbents Gary Coulombe, Robert Theberge, and Yvonne Thomas were all re-elected over Republican hopeful Eric Catman. The district consists entirely of the city of Berlin.
In District 4, Republican incumbent Herb Richardson of Lancaster defeated a challenge from Democrat Troy Merner, both of Lancaster.
Democrat Bill Hatch ran unopposed for re-election in District 6.
As a result, the delegation will now include at least seven Democrats - Coulombe, Theberge, Thomas, Hatch, Enman, Hammon, and Moynihan. Republicans, who currently hold the majority, will be in the minority with Rappaport, Richardson, and Rideout. The gap could widen if a recount overturns Rideout’s election.
Thomas said she does not think the change of parties will matter much on the county level. She said the delegation has always worked well together.
“It’s not a Democrat against Republican. We’re all there to do the best we can for the county,” she said.
But Thomas and Merrick said they think the new Democrat majority in the House will make a difference in Concord. They anticipate a less partisan atmosphere in the legislature when current Speaker of the House Bill O’Brien has to turn the position over to a Democrat.
Thomas said she thinks there will be more cooperation, especially with the party holding the governor’s office and gaining members in the Senate.
“I’m looking forward to that,” said Thomas
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 November 2012 00:13
Written by Barbara Tetreault
The council met with Primex officials two weeks ago to hear a presentation about the services offered by the N.H. Public Risk Management Exchange. Director of Member Services Carl Weber explained that Primex offers recruitment services free to members as a risk management tool.
At Monday’s work session, Mayor Paul Grenier said he gave the council time to think about the presentation before asking for a decision. He said he is familiar with Primex’s services because of his work as county commissioner. The county used Primex to hire a corrections superintendent and finance director.
Grenier said Primex serves as a facilitator in the process and does a lot of the legwork. MacQueen said Primex will not select a person for the position but will suggest options.
Councilor Lucie Remillard said she was in favor of using Primex. Councilor Diana Nelson agreed and made a motion to go with Primex. The motion passed without opposition.
Grenier said he would like to see the bulk of the work done before the council starts the budget process in late winter.
In other business:
* The council decided not to move forward on a resolution to change the zoning on Enman Hill Road. The planning board had recommended changing a section of Enman Hill Road from residential single family to rural residential. David Poulin had requested the change so he could build a large garage on his property that would exceed the square footage allowed for an accessory building in a single-family zone. Most of the street is zoned rural residential but five homes fall within the residential single family zone.
But at Monday’s public hearing, Richard Lapointe told the council he opposes the change. He said it would increase his property tax bill by $250 annually and impact a second lot he owns. Lapointe said a rural residential zone would also allow uses such as a manufactured home park, a farm stand, and an overnight campground that he feels would change the neighborhood.
Lapointe said he is not opposed to Poulin’s proposed garage but said the city should find a way to allow him to build it without changing the zoning designation.
Grenier said the council was inclined to support the zoning change until it discovered that it would increase taxes for the property owners. He agreed with Lapointe that there has to be a way to accommodate Poulin’s request without changing the zoning.
* The council did approve an ordinance amending the city’s property maintenance to require landlords to promptly exterminate insect and rodent infestations. The measure started out as a way to address bedbug infestations. But the city discovered its ability to deal with bedbugs is limited because they do not carry diseases and are thus not a health issue.
* The council approved an agreement reached between the school board and Local 1444, representing custodians and bus drivers. The union had filed a grievance over the elimination of the custodial foreman’s position and the creation of a non-union director of buildings and grounds position. The issue went to the Public Employees Labor Relations Board, which ruled the school district had the authority to reorganize and the union should have requested impact bargaining. As a result, the parties reached an agreement that the buildings and grounds director could perform custodial duties to supplement the work force but not to replace union custodian positions. In return, custodians will receive a five-cent an hour increase. The total financial impact to the school district is $969.
* The council voted to continue a solar energy exemption for another five years.
* Councilor Mike Rozek praised the Public Works Department’s paving job on the stretch from Hutchins Street from Napert Village to Turcotte Street. The work was part of almost two miles of paving done this fall at a cost of $365,264. While Pike Paving did the bulk of the work, public works did the Hutchins Street section at a savings to the city of almost $15,000. Paving was also done on Route 110, Riverside Drive, and Twelfth Street.
* City Manager Patrick MacQueen pointed out the RiverFire had attracted over 5,000 people and was the biggest and best ever. He said Theatre North did a great job with Horrorfest and the event also drew a large number of vendors. MacQueen cited the work of the many volunteers who he said worked together to made it a great community event. Councilor Diana Nelson said credit also goes to MacQueen who originally suggested the event and every year oversees the lighting of the bonfires. Councilor Lucie Remillard said she was proud of the event, calling it “unbelievable”.
* Mayor Paul Gernier said he wanted to recognize Bob Vachon, whose firm handles the city’s annual audit. Grenier said Vachon, a native of Berlin, donated $1,000 to allow all Berlin boy and girl hockey players to attend the recent Monarch Canadian heritage Day in Manchester.
* Councilor Russell Otis said the Gladiators football team played its first championship game last weekend at Gaydo field and it was a nice event. “Berlin football is back,” said Otis.
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 November 2012 00:12