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March 21, 2008


Jonathan Edwards

It'll be a cold day in Hawaii before Laidlaw admits the formidable odds they face because their stock value would drop as a result of truth. Perhaps if the winter continues long enough, Laidlaw will assume the cold day in hell has come, and will give you a break from their attempts to make people believers in their pink game, Rocky. But don't count on it. Laidlaw is in the green energy pink sheet business of hype and PR. They are cheerleaders that never frown in attempts to keep the pink sheets going up in value. They are die hards in the game of stocks; they are not biomass energy producers in Berlin NH, nor are they an owner of any part of Berlin, other than in our minds as a nightmare to many of us and at the same time, an undeserved answer to this city's woes by many of the uneducated.

Laidlaw, as has been mentioned before, is a pink sheet scheme based on the potential of green energy that stands a snow ball's chance in Hawaii of coming to fruition on the Burgess mill site, with the heavy hitters in front of them on the queue that will not bow out of the game. Every citizen in Berlin should read the guest editorial in this weeks' Berlin Reporter from Ellicotteville NY where this Laidlaw company is brought into proper perspective. It's about time the local media took hold of some hard facts. Perhaps the Daily Sun, who has access to this same article, will someday report some of the reasons behind the strong opposition to this company. The Daily Sun should be concerned that they focus almost solely on the positive aspects of Laidlaw when in fact there are so many obstacles Laidlaw faces that could literally stall Berlin dead in its tracks of the potential this city could have without a rusty boiler sitting idle for years holding this city back from reinventing itself.


We have an information crisis in Berlin and it's about to get worse with The Berlin Reporter closing its Berlin office. The Berlin Daily Sun is great if you want to know who died and who got picked up for speeding on the Berlin/Gorham speed trap. The staff at the Sun is pre-occupied with staying on the good side of City Hall so they can just walk in and chat with City Hall staff. Then there's WMOU with Bob Barbin reading the newspaper to us, I suppose it's a great service to the blind. That leaves us at the mercy of the Union Leader which covers Berlin when the roof caves-in with bad news. So Jon, where are the local citizens to go to get the "facts"? As a regular advertizer on The Berlin Daily Sun and Reporter, maybe you can suggest some quality reporting or else.......


Thanks for the suggestion, Rocky. I'll follow through with that on Monday. I think, also, that it is the citizens of Berlin who do not voice their concerns to the Editor who are to blame also. That, I've also started to work on as you've suggested.

Frankly, though, I do not have the concern for Laidlaw's operation as much anymore as I understand they face obstacles that are impossible to surpass in my mind. The only thing that really bothers me at this point is that Laidlaw may be naive enough to purchase that boiler so that it will sit and rust while they discover the obstacles we already know about, thereby hurting or stalling Berlin's chance to reinvent itself with such an eyesore in the middle of its city.

With the national economy the way it is, Berlin can't afford a risky partner such as Laidlaw to slow us down when we really need to seize the moment. The push to educate needs to be on in full force. And, Clean Power development and Noble need to come out of the closet and show how big and powerful they really are.


Noble has JP Morgan financing and I think we can hang our hats on that project unless the national economy seriously tanks. I would think Jon, that if you and I can recognize the challenges Laidlaw faces, that the CEO and other principles are smart enough to know too. It's the fact that I believe that they do know that troubles me, that there has to be another agenda that we don't know about. I think you'll be hearing from Clean Power as they move forward. I also think that getting them to work out a deal with Fraser makes a lot more sense than dumping public money into Fraser that has less than a 50% chance of staying afloat. Here's tiny Gorham willing to make a bad investment in Fraser while bigger Berlin completely ignored getting involved with the pulp mill site/NADC......and former mayor Bob has the guts to show up at public meetings supporting Laidlaw! I wonder to what degree PSNH is/was behind all of that?


I'm not at all sold on Laidlaw being smart enough to make smart decisions to bail out of Berlin because they know these details. They are too caught up in keeping their stock from collapsing; they will go to extremes to keep the stock engine running even if there's no oil in the crankcase, and an alternative agenda faces formidable law change at the expense of far more viable businesses. I'm confident no bank will be so naive as to bet on such a high risk because of the state of the economy with banks being significantly more careful these days. In that sense, the uncertain economy is on our side by keeping a huge risk (Laidlaw!) away from Berlin.

Laidlaw has followed the premise that the Burgess boiler can run in the short term and the infrastructure, because it exists, will carry them into a guaranteed future of energy production. Banks right now are cautiously looking at good risk for the long term. A bank wouldn't risk their insurance to place trust in any business oblivious to law and process. Laidlaw has demonstrated lack of process and ridicules current ISO process by which only laws can change. Quite a risk to undertake for any banking institution during tumultuous times, and not a risk to bet on.

Time will provide the front runners and they will not be Laidlaw. Berlin will be the loser if Laidlaw purchases the infrastructure that will never run in the long run, rust and sit idle. We can hope the purchase doesn't take place before the front runners make it very apparent that Laidlaw has no chance of survival in the north country. We can hope their less than penny stock continues to struggle in value so that this company doesn't spoil Berlin's potential at a time when Berlin needs to leap forward without anyone blocking her. Laidlaw could very well be Berlin's cancer if the sale of the Burgess Mill site goes to Laidlaw. Perhaps you should get a local newspaper going, Rocky?


Actually radio interests me more than newspaper, but maybe we're already involved with the media of the future with blogs. Tim Cayer has a very interesting web based project with recordings of meetings and opportunity to comment. I wish I had the skills to hot link it for you.


I totally agree with you. We don't need another paper, we need to get information into the hands or ears of the residents. Online media is the future, and while not everyone in Berlin may be connected, more than 100 people a day read coosconversations, and i do know that some of them are reporters and others can be considered "influencers." Tim Cayer's project can be found here: http://berlinnhonline.com/boa/february62008.pdf and I encourage all residents to check it regularly


Thanks Katie for the link and there's on average around 200 hits on this blog and I'm sure many are the same folks that visit coosconversations. Time will close the gap between newspapers and blogs as the younger generation is more computer oriented than their parents.

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