Poof Tardiff: 1949 VII

Hello fellow Berlinites. Berlin and Gorham fire fighters battled a forest fire which had burned through an area on Enman Hill for more than 24 hours.

The fire started on Tuesday, August 23, in the mid-afternoon and was fought by at least 40 men until 10 pm on that same day. It was believed to have been started by people who were picking berries above the Cascade reservoir. The wind got hold of the flames and carried the fire toward Berlin and Gorham. A trench was dug around to keep it from spreading beyond control.

After the men had brought this fire in check above ground, they found that it began burning underground. The firefighters who fought this fire all day Wednesday, had to turn the sod to stamp out the underground fire. They also had to break a small dam to get the necessary water down to the fire. Firemen were led by Forest Fire Warden and Berlin Chief O.B. Bergquist.

A sad accident took place in Berlin, when two-year-old Paul Demers drowned at Upper Church Street on Wednesday, August 31, 1949. Paul and his twin brother Andre were playing at the edge of a swimming hole which was located in a field about one hundred feet from the paved portion of Upper Church Street. When the mother noticed that Andre was alone, she became alarmed, as the twins were always together.

Mrs. Demers hurried to the nearby swimming hole attracting neighbors with her yells. Mr. Edward Roy pulled the boy from the water and along with other neighbors tried in vain to revive the young lad.

Meantime, the fire department and an ambulance arrived at the scene a few minutes later and a respirator was used. Two doctors, Dr. L. P. Beaudoin and Dr. Paul Dumontier also aided in the effort to save the boy's life, but the young fellow had been in the water too long.

This swimming hole was said to have been dug out by Mr. Frank Demers years before 1949 to provide a source of spring water and when it proved to be inadequate, it was used as a swimming hole. It is always a great family tragedy to lose a young child like that.

Headlines in an early September paper stated that Notre Dame High School reported a record registration. Berlin's parochial school “On the Hill” reported its largest enrollment since its foundation in 1941. There were four hundred boys and girls that signed up at the office of the new headmaster Sister M. St. Priscilla.

With a Masters degree from Boston College and a doctorate in the art of oratory from the Staley College of the spoken word, Brookline, Massachusetts, Sister Priscilla, for the past eight years was a professor of English journalism in this and the speech arts at Revere College in Nashua, New Hampshire.

The following week it was noted in the headlines that about 3,443 boys and girls had enrolled in Berlin's schools. The opening enrollment for Berlin's parochial schools was 2,358 and for the public schools, it was 1,085.

One of the most interesting events of the 1949-1950 school year was the opening of the new St. Patrick's School on Blanchard Street. Visitors and students declared it to be one of the best looking and most completely equipped schools in all all of New England back then. At this time we had 11 schools in Berlin. They were: Notre Dame, Berlin High, Berlin Junior High, St. Regis Academy, St. Patrick, Angel Guardian, St. Joseph's, St. Benedict's, Brown, Marston and Bartlett.

The North Country and Berlin were saddened on September 19, 1949, with the death of Mr. James E. Laffin who was 70 years of age. Mr. Laffin was the oldest active employee in the point of service for the Brown Company. His death occurred Monday morning at his home in Shelburne, New Hampshire.

Mr. Laffin was a chief scaler with our beloved Brown Company and joined this organization as an employee in 1896, before Berlin became a city with a Mayor and Council.

During his first few years working for the then Berlin Mills Company, Laffin did all types work in the Kennebago, Maine area, where he gained the experience and knowledge in a career that he was to follow the rest of his life.

In 1900, he became clerk in the Kennebago District and the next year took over the duties of clerk of accounts, supplies and equipment at the Brown Farm in the Magalloway, Maine. Remember that all the wood that was cut back then was sent down the brooks, rivers, across lakes and finally to the Androscoggin River to the mills of Berlin. Some of this wood made a journey of almost 100 miles.

Laffin later served the company in the Redington District of Maine, where they maintained a storehouse for long log operations at the Madrid sawmill.

During the years 1908 to 1910, when the company was operating in Cambridge Town, New Hampshire, Mr. Laffin clerked at the storehouse and on the Umbagog Lake Drive. During the building of the Millsfield, New Hampshire railroad, he handled all of the orders and deliveries of supplies for the construction of this logging railway and for the logging jobs in the area.

For five years, beginning in 1912, Mr. Laffin was in charge of accounting for the ordering of supplies for the Fitzgerald Land and Lumber Company, a subsidiary of the Berlin Mills Company with offices in Island Pond, Vermont. In 1917 he became superintendent of the company's Vermont operations.

The following year he was named as an instructor and auditor for woods clerks, but in 1919 returned to logging operations as superintendent of the Little Magalloway River and Aziscoos Lake District.

In 1924-25, when the company maintained few woods operations, Mr. Laffin was one of a group of woods department people who went to New York to work in advertising and sales programs to promote the sale of the Nibroc paper towel.

Mr. Laffin returned to the woods in 1925 to supervise experiments in the coloring of wood in living trees. During these experiments, he invented a method of impregnating the circulatory system of the tree with color.

In 1927, Mr. Laffin accepted the position of chief scaler. During his service as chief scaler, Mr. Laffin wrote “Instructions”to Scalers”, which became a field manual for scalers in the Northeast.

Mr. Laffin had no children and was survived only by his wife Mary Ann. He is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in Berlin. I am sure this man could have related an abundance of early login history stories in this area.

I will continue with the year 1949 in my next writing.

Poof Tardiff writes a weekly for The Berlin Daily Sun. Questions or comments email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also join the many fans of “Once upon a Berlin Time”is on Facebook and guess at the posted weekly mystery pictures.

Notre DameNotre Dame

Laffin James EJames E. Laffin

Dumontier Dr. PaulDr. Paul Dumontier

Chief OB Bergquist 1Chief OB Bergquist

 

Poof Tardiff: 1949 VII

Hello fellow Berlinites. It was announced on July 7, 1949, that the newly built Memorial Field at the end of Willow Street would officially open on August 14, 1949, the anniversary of VJ Day (Victory in Japan). The featured guest would be Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire.

The preliminary plans for the opening of Berlin's newest field were made at a meeting in the Mayor's office at City Hall on Friday, July 1, with the plans being completed at a meeting that took place two weeks later on July 15.

Aside from the talk by Bridges, the tentative plans included a parade during the afternoon, call to colors and planes maneuvering over the field during a part of the ceremony. The parade would begin at Berlin Mills, march down Pleasant Street, over Green Street, Second Avenue, Hillside Avenue and Willow Street to the field.

The Memorial Field would be dedicated to the Berlin men who lost their lives in the two World Wars. The event itself would not include any baseball game or others sports, those could be played at night.

At the dedication on August 14, 1949, a stone memorial was placed, with a plaque that read “ Memorial Field. This field is dedicated by the people of Berlin in memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice in defense of their country”.

This great dedication took place on August 14 with all of the events that were scheduled. The dedication and great parade was witnessed by thousands local citizens. I am sure that we still have a lot of citizens who remember this outstanding event.

Another headline about the Memorial Field stated that “Progress was being made on the Memorial Field house”. This would be the building which stands in the right-field corner of the field. Good progress was reported on the volunteer field house project. It was expected that the outside of this building would be practically completed by the end of July.

The directors of the Berlin Clubs Athletic Association, sponsors of the project, had received excellent cooperation and made a statement that read as follows: “Greatest credit goes to the workers who are giving their time to erect this building. The officials of local 75 AFL are to be congratulated for their success in organizing the various crews”.

Also, local merchants were cooperating by providing material at the lowest possible prices. In addition, the Brown Company, who provided the basic building, also helped in obtaining materials.

The Parks Commission and the Public Works Department provided valuable assistance also. The truck used to move the basic building sections from the Burgess Mill yard to the Memorial Field was provided at no cost by Lavigne's Red Wing express.

The directors of the Berlin Clubs Athletic Association also wanted to thank those who had helped in any way. Now that the completion of this field house was no longer a matter of speculation, it was hoped that everyone would continue the good work and that more people would take this opportunity to render service to the community.

Of course, this building still operates at the Memorial Field, but I think we almost lost it to a fire some years ago. Does anyone remember this fire or did I dream about?

A September 1, 1949 headline in the local paper said: “Labnon Twins set out on road to Broadway”. Yes, Berlin's twin entertainers took their first big step to fame and fortune on September 5, when they began doing shows in a Lewiston, Maine nightclub.

They were entertaining for the love of making people laugh and tap their toes, but this time they were doing it for money. Their nightclub skits were first of a high-hat, cane and gloves routine. Their many Berlin fans new it as the “Al Jolson Act”.

Ray and Bob Labnon were booked for two weeks at this Lewiston nightclub. If at any time they proved they were ready for this type of entertainment, they would automatically be booked in other nightclubs.

If, however, either of these boys or their audiences did not feel that they were yet ready to sink their roots into the entertainment world, they could take advantage of one of the several college scholarships offered to them for their basketball skills.

The tall tuneful twins were twenty years old in 1949 and they had their hearts set on show business ever since they were twelve years old. Through the years, as people knew back then, they sang and danced purely for the the enjoyment of making people happy. “As long as they smiled, we were happy”,said the twins.

They graduated from St. Pat's and then Berlin High School in 1948, then attended New Hampton Prep School for boys. While there, college scouts were attracted by the manner in which they could handle a basketball and offered them scholarships.

Then, along came word of a big amateur contest that was to be held in Franklin, New Hampshire. Among some of the prizes, Columbia Studios was offering auditions before highly classified talent scouts.

The Labnon Twins entered, won, auditioned, were liked and received a booking. The talent scouts suggested that a dance routine should be added to their present act to better enable them to break into show business. The twins accepted the suggestion and started working out a new routine.

Bob and Ray issued a statement which read: “We certainly are very much grateful for the way the people of Berlin have encouraged us. The many wonderful comments have inspired us to stay with it. If luck does remain with us, we certainly will never forget the wonderful people in the city of Berlin”.

I do not know how many years the”Short Twins” entertainment but Bob is still with us and if anyone sits down and talks with him, it is possible that they could get “The Rest of the Story”.

I will continue with the interesting year of 1949 in Berlin with my next writing.

Poof Tardiff writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Questions or comments email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also join the many friends of “Once upon a Berlin Time” on Facebook and guess at the posted weekly mystery pictures.

Memorial FieldMemorial Field

Labnon RayRay Labnon

Labnon BobBob Labnon

Bridges Senator StylesSenator Styles Bridges

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen: ‘Voter fraud’ lie threatens our democracy

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen: ‘Voter fraud’ lie threatens our democracy

By Sen. JEANNE SHAHEEN

Soon after his inauguration, President Trump asserted that up to 5 million “illegals” voted in November, saying “we will strengthen up voting procedures.” Earlier, he claimed that he would have won the popular vote nationally if not for “serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California.”

Republicans in Concord, also alleging fraudulent voting, are advancing bills that would make it harder for many citizens to register and vote. Fortunately, Granite Staters are not naive – and we know the truth: Voter fraud is extremely rare. Let’s be clear, falsehoods about illegal voting are being spread as a pretext for restricting access to the ballot box. This risks disenfranchising eligible voters and undermining faith in our democracy.

Despite the complete absence of evidence to support his claim of massive voter fraud, President Trump has promised a major federal investigation, at taxpayer expense. We have been down this path before. During the George W. Bush administration, the Justice Department conducted a five-year investigation into alleged voter fraud. When U.S. attorneys across the country failed to find misconduct and resisted pressure to bring partisan prosecutions, they were fired. The resulting scandal led to the forced resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

There is zero evidence of major voter fraud in the Granite State last year. Senior Deputy Secretary of State David M. Scanlan, head of the Election Division, said: “There are some isolated instances of individual voters voting improperly . . . But we haven’t had any complaints about widespread voter fraud taking place.”

Meanwhile, the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice has determined that voter fraud happens nationwide as little as 0.00004 percent of the time. A separate, multiyear study by Justice Department senior official Justin Levitt found only 31 credible allegations of voter fraud out of one billion votes cast between 2000 and 2014.

In recent weeks, despite lack of evidence, Republicans in the New Hampshire House have filed multiple bills designed to make voting more difficult by impeding voter registration, making the voting process more cumbersome and increasing waiting times at the polls. Some of these bills are designed to target students at our colleges and universities.

Granite Staters take pride in our state’s brand of open and direct democracy, which encourages maximum participation, including by young people. It is not the New Hampshire way to make voting unnecessarily difficult or to target specific groups of voters with deliberately onerous ID laws. Among other negative consequences, passing such laws could jeopardize our first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

We must learn from ill-conceived voter ID laws in other states. Striking down the laws passed by Republicans in North Carolina, a unanimous federal court ruled that they “target African Americans with almost surgical precision” and “impose cures for problems that did not exist.” Invalidating similar laws in Wisconsin, U.S. District Judge James Peterson wrote: “The Wisconsin experience demonstrates that a preoccupation with mostly phantom election fraud leads to real incidents of disenfranchisement, which undermine rather than enhance confidence in elections, particularly in minority communities.”

When candidate Donald Trump claimed that the election would be “rigged,” and when President Trump now claims that the electoral process has been massively corrupted by millions of illegal votes, these false assertions have real consequences. They undermine confidence in our elections and democracy, and create a dishonest rationale for voter-suppression laws targeting the poor, the young and minorities.

At the end of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, a citizen asked Benjamin Franklin: “Well, doctor, what have we got – a republic or a monarchy.” He famously answered: “A republic, if you can keep it.” Americans should reject falsehoods that discredit our democracy and disenfranchise voters. We still have a robustly democratic republic. And we intend to keep it.

Poof Tardiff: 1949 VII

Hello Fellow Berlinites. Continuing with my history of Berlin almost 68 years ago, the first fatality to occur at the Dolly Copp Forest Camp, since the conversion of that area into a public camping ground took place on Tuesday morning, May 31, 1949.

Seven-year-old Alan Watson of Merrimac, Massachusetts, was killed when a large boulder in a rock-slide toppled onto him as he went over the bank of the Peabody River to go fishing. The young lad had come here with his parents and younger brother in their trailer to spend the weekend and Memorial holiday and were preparing to leave when the accident occurred.

State Trooper Clarence LaDuke, Police Chief Erville Hatch, Dr. F. M. Appleton and the ambulance all responded to the scene, but there was nothing that could be done for the lad. It was certainly a sad ending to what was probably a long weekend of fun.

It was announced in the local news that the third week of June 1949, was one of the hottest weeks in Berlin's history. The average weekly temperature ending on the 19th was 74.1. This exceeded the record for for a week in June, which was 73.9 set in 1946.

In fact the week discussed was the hottest week for any month in 14 years, with the exception of the last week in August of 1948, which averaged 75.2. These facts were reported by Mr. Ed Fenn of Brown Company, who said the average temperature for a week in June is 61.6.

The Red Cross was conducting swim classes in Berlin at our local Community Club. Swimming can be a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous, tragic and fatal. There were 6,900 persons drowned in this country in 1948. Drownings were the second leading cause of accidental deaths among people five to twenty-four years of age.

Since 1913, the American Red Cross had given swimming and water safety instructions here in Berlin, to reduce the number of who die in the water and since then drownings were cut in half locally and nationally.

It was still a fact though in 1949 that only about 7 percent of all Americans who went swimming could swim well. 43 percent could swim a little and the remaining 5 percent could not swim at all. The people of Berlin were exceptionally fortunate to have an opportunity to learn to swim at the Community Club all under the direction of Robert “Bob” Lowe, Red Cross water safety chairman, who taught hundreds of Berlin's youth how to stay afloat.

It was the duty of all adults and every child to learn the art of swimming and also save others from drowning. This would reduce the annual drowning rate and take the worries out of our summer fun. I know that Bob Lowe taught me how to swim at a young age and many of Berlin's citizens were taught how to swim by this same man.

In a story that I wrote almost 15 years ago, Abraham Semerey, 62, who was struck in the face twice by the blunt end of an ax, on July 28, 1949, was reported to be in “not too bad condition”. Mike Yudo, 58, of Green Street, appeared in police court on the same day for a charge of aggravated assault and was placed under $2,500 bail by Judge Jean Louis Blais. The bail was not raised and Yudo was taken to West Stewartstown. His case was scheduled for Superior Court in October 1949.

Yudo claimed that he and Semerey had a fight on Thursday night July 28, 1949. During the court session State Trooper Clarence LaDuke reported that Yudo said Semerey knocked him down and kicked him in the face several times.

Then, Yuda went out to get his ax, returned to Semerey's bunk and him twice in the face with the blunt end of this piece of logging equipment. Mr. Yuda then went to the Dummer selectman Ernest Stiles, who employed the two men. He told Stiles that he had had a fight with Semerey, but did not mention the outcome of the conflict. Styles then found a place for Yuda to sleep Thursday night.

The next morning, Yuda changed his story, telling Styles that he had hit Semerey with an ax. Styles went to the cabin and saw the “gory scene”. He told selectmen Holt, who also went to the cabin and then notified the state police. They in turn notified the Berlin Fire Department ambulance which took Semerey to the St. Louis Hospital in Berlin.

Doctors gave Semerey little chance of living at first, but he gradually gained strength. The report given to Judge Blais when Yuda appeared before him was that Semerey was badly maimed, but that he would probably survive.

The following week the headlines in the newspaper read like this: “Dies after clinging to life since July 28.” Then, Mike Yuda was committed to the state hospital for a mental examination on Saturday, August 6, 1949 according to the solicitor George Keough. An autopsy was then performed by Dr. L. P. Beaudoin, County Medical Examiner, on the body of Abraham Semerey. The results showed that death was due to cerebral injuries resulting from a blow or blows to the face.

Adam Semerey was born in Volhin, Russia. He was a World War I veteran, with no known survivors. His funeral was held at the Rioux Funeral Parlor and he was buried in the city cemetery. I wonder if he was ever claimed by any relatives since.

I went forward to find the court case and result of the Yuda trial and it said the 57-year-old Michael Yuda was listed as being a resident of Dummer, New Hampshire received a sentence of not less than six years and not more than 10 years in the state prison in Concord, New Hampshire. He was charged with manslaughter in Semerey's death. This sentence was handed down by Judge Harold Wescott on October 19, 1949, during the session of Superior Court at the Coos County Courthouse here in Berlin.

After being examined at the state mental facility, Mr. Yuda was returned to West Stewartstown and was never able to meet his bail. After his conviction, he went from the county jail to the state penitentiary.

Ex-mayor of Berlin and famous attorney Arthur Bergeron represented Mr. Yuda during his trial. This must have certainly been the talk of this small town back then. I wonder if there are any citizens left there, that can remember this incident?

I will continue with a history of 1949 in my next writing.

Poof Tardiff writes a weekly column for The Berlin Daily Sun. Questions or comments e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also join the many fans of “Once upon a Berlin Time”on Facebook and guess at the posted mystery pictures.

Lowe BobBob Lowe

Dolly CoppDolly Copp

Blais JudgeJudge Blais

Bergeron Arthur JArthur J. Bergeron

Distant Dome - Sununu's budget priorities clear, but right-to-work centerpiece crushed

By Garry Rayno

InDepthNH.org

A governor’s proposed two-year budget is a blueprint outlining his or her priorities. Along with addressing what the governor perceives as the state’s greatest needs, the budget plan also sends a message to certain state agencies and public institutions.

Of the 1,000 or more bills lawmakers will debate this six-month session, the budget package — House Bill 1 and House Bill 2 — will have far greater impact on the state than the hot-button issues like right-to-work and concealed carry for firearms.

The budget will affect the lives of nearly every citizen and most visitors to the Granite State for the next two fiscal years from low-income people needing health services to tourists buying liquor at the interstate rest areas.

To add to the pressure, first-term governors like newly elected Chris Sununu have little time to produce their first biennial budget — about two months — and often craft a document heavy on past practices with a few specific priorities they want to push.

The governor’s budget proposal is the first step in the process. The House and then the Senate will craft their own plans with their own priorities and then reconcile their differences in June. That budget could look substantially different than Sununu’s.

Last week Sununu unveiled his $12.2 billion proposed budget and many were pleasantly surprised.

Sununu’s focus on educational opportunities for children and youth, enhancing the state’s business climate, improving several health and human services divisions and fighting the state’s still-growing opioid epidemic were all issues he raised during his campaign.

Most everyone would agree with those priorities but might not agree with his method of addressing them.

For example, while Sununu included $9 million to help poor communities offer full-day kindergarten another $3 million would have covered the entire cost for all state districts.

Many were pleased with the amount of money the first-term governor proposed to eliminate the developmentally disabled wait list, to adequately staff the Division for Children, Youth and Families and to address lingering issues in mental health services.

Significant sums of money budgeted for developmentally disabled services have not been spent during the last few budget cycles.

At the same time, the wait list for those turning 21 years old and move from a school district’s responsibility to the state’s has grown despite efforts to reduce it.

One of the chief problems is finding people willing to work for what the state will pay.

Sununu not only increased funding by $57 million to eliminate the wait list he also included $5 million for a workforce fund to boost pay and ultimately the number of people working in the field.

Sununu told lawmakers this week his budget anticipates the real cost of health and human services noting the multi-million dollar shortfall in the agency’s budget this fiscal year.

Lawmakers for years have underfunded Medicaid knowing the state will have to pay the mandated costs anyway.

The department has to juggle money between different agency programs to cover the deficit, which is not honest budgeting.

Despite the deficit in health and human services, Sununu inherited a healthy revenue stream producing an $88 million surplus from the 2016 fiscal year that ended June 30 and a nearly $50 million surplus this fiscal year with four months remaining.

Rather than roll all that money into the next biennial budget Sununu wants to use $84.4 million of the surplus for a “Infrastructure Revitalization Account.” Money from the fund would go to cities and towns for roads and bridges, to school districts for critical health and safety building needs and for drug interdiction programs like Granite Hammer.

By using the money this way, it is not rolled into operating budget increases the next two years and going forward.

But some lawmakers are bound to see other uses for the money.

For example, what was not included in Sununu’s budget plan was any mention of Medicaid expansion which covers about 50,000 low-income adults under the Affordable Care Act. Currently the state’s hospitals and health insurers pay the state’s 5 percent share of the federal health insurance program.

With the program’s uncertainty in the GOP-controlled Congress which has repeatedly voted to abolish the ACA, and the Trump administration, waiting may be warranted, but that does not please providers, recipients and advocates who have worked tirelessly the past six years to find a bipartisan solution unique to New Hampshire.

State officials have cited Medicaid expansion as a key component in the fight against opioid addiction and the drawing card for providers to come or expand their programs here. Not funding the program would be a significant blow to the state’s effort to curb the opioid addiction epidemic in all corners of New Hampshire.

The other significant issue is funding for the University System of New Hampshire. Sununu level-funded state aid at $81 million each year, while officials had asked for a $20 million increase to hold tuition stable.

Long gone are the days of the “university mafia” — Sens. Clesson “Junie” Blaisdell, Ralph Hough and Rep. Bill Kidder — who made sure the university system received its “fair share” of state spending, but lawmakers today are likely to add more money for higher education.

Politically it is hard to justify increasing tuition for parents and students while the state has more than a $100 million surplus.

Sununu did create a governor’s scholarship fund of $5 million to keep New Hampshire students in-state, but there is no guarantee the money will help university system students.

While Sununu flat-funded the university system he increased funding for the community college system and included about $10 million in his capital budget plan while the university system receives nothing.

The message is clear.

Likewise the traditional public school system has little to cheer about in the proposed budget while public charter schools receive an additional $15 million.

Under current law, the state education aid cap on growing schools ends but that also reduces grants for many property poor school districts that have experienced declining enrollment.

Overall, Sununu’s budget has things to please most everyone and many things for certain contingencies to dislike.

But make no mistake, this is a Republican’s budget. Democratic governors begin their budget addresses talking about addressing key state needs, while further down in the speech they say there is no income or sales tax.

Sununu was barely into his budget address when he noted his budget contained no income, sales or new taxes, nor any tax increases.

Yes, Republicans are in control of the State House for the first time in 12 years when taxes and fees are the top priority.

Right-to-Work

Sununu may have impressed with his budget proposal, but he was handed a major defeat Thursday when the House killed the right-to-work bill. Senate Bill 11 was killed on a 200-177 vote with 32 Republicans joining with Democrats to defeat the bill to prohibit unions from charging non-members for the cost of labor negotiations and contract management.

The bill has long been part of the state’s GOP platform and pushed by national organizations such as the Koch brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity.

Sununu touted right-to-work as a key element of his plan to make the state more business friendly.

The bill has come before Granite State lawmakers almost annually, but either the House or the Senate kills it or the bill is vetoed and lawmakers could not muster the two-thirds majority to override.

This session the Senate passed the measure by a razor thin 12-11 margin, but the House refused to agree.

The House did not just disagree. Members voted 193-184 to indefinitely postpone any action on the issue which means right-to-work cannot come before the House for the remainder of the two-year term.

Do you think House members have had enough of right-to-work for a while?

Garry Rayno can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Garry Rayno’s Distant Dome runs exclusively on Manchester Ink Link and InDepthNH.org, where Rayno will explore a broader perspective on State House – and state – happenings. Over his three-decade career Rayno has closely covered the NH State House for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Foster’s Daily Democrat, and his coverage spanned the news spectrum, from local planning, school and select boards, to national issues such as electric industry deregulation and Presidential primaries. He is former editor of The Hillsboro Messenger and Assistant Editor of The Argus-Champion. Rayno graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in English Literature and lives with his wife Carolyn in New London.