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July 12, 2016

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Spence

The Disease is Our Government, We Have a Government Problem. Too Much Government. Justifying It's Existence with Violence and Fear mongering. Too Domineering, too Mighty, It has become "a Fearful Master". BTW, It is Time to put Our Foot Down and Scream; NO WAR WITH RUSSIA ! .. BACK OFF !

Greece Shows Everyone in Europe How,

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/0/natos-united-front-under-threat-after-greece-signs-arms-deal-wit/

Antonio Andolini

Meanwhile,

"Consumer advocate wants purchase price of Northern Pass power made public

By ALLIE MORRIS
Monitor staff
Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The state consumer advocate is fighting Eversource Energy’s request to keep secret the price it plans to pay for power off the Northern Pass transmission line.

'In any contract for the purchase of goods or services, the key term is the price,' said Donald Kreis, who represents ratepayer interests before state energy regulators. 'It’s especially important here.'

At issue is a power purchase agreement between Eversource and HydroQuebec, filed at the Public Utilities Commission for approval last month.

The deal secures 10 percent of the 1,000-megawatt Northern Pass line for Eversource customers if the controversial transmission line is built. The 20-year agreement is 'expected to produce economic benefits' for New Hampshire customers that exceed $1 billion in energy cost savings, Eversource said.

But the utility is requesting to keep the deal’s price data confidential. The documents Eversource filed at the PUC are heavily redacted, and all information about cost is blacked out.

Kreis is asking the PUC to unseal the information because he said customers have a 'pressing' interest to scrutinize the details. Ratepayers will be responsible for the deal whether it proves beneficial or not, Kreis said.

'It is in the best interests of residential utility customers for the Commission’s evaluation of this controversial proposal from PSNH to take place in the sunshine,' he wrote in a petition filed at the PUC.

Eversource, formerly Public Service of New Hampshire, argues that the information should remain confidential because public disclosure could damage its ability to attract negotiating partners in the future. Eversource promised price confidentiality in its contract with HydroQuebec, it said, and revealing the information could harm the ability to sell its remaining power on the competitive market.

Kreis has read the unredacted documents, but can’t speak freely about their contents unless the PUC rules to make the information public. The commissioners have yet to issue a decision.

Eversource announced the power purchase agreement last year in the wake of local criticism that Northern Pass would not benefit New Hampshire customers. At the time, executives declined to reveal any pricing information, or how much the PPA would cost Eversource customers.

The documents filed last month show Eversource plans to sell the Northern Pass power and then credit customers with the profits.

The deal is unusual. Typically, utilities factor power purchase agreements into their customers’ default energy charge, which ratepayers can avoid if they buy power on the competitive market.

Eversource’s proposal would be applied to all its consumers, without exception.

'This is mainly to ensure the benefits of the PPA are provided to all Eversource-NH customers,'spokesman Martin Murray said.

Eversource said the agreement is expected to reduce energy price volatility and will lower customer costs in all but 'one aberrant scenario,' according to testimony from Vice President of Energy Supply James Daly. That unlikely scenario, Daly said, would occur if both energy prices sharply declined and the market experiences low volatility in the years after the agreement took effect.

The PPA filing comes as Northern Pass works its way through the state permitting process. The proposed transmission line needs sign-off from federal regulators and the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee.

Northern Pass plans to erect a 192-mile transmission line through New Hampshire, that would run mostly overhead from Pittsburg to Deerfield. It would carry more than 1,000 megawatts of Canadian hydropower – enough to power roughly 1 million homes – to the New England grid.

The project faces pushback from environmentalists and homeowners, who argue that the mostly overhead transmission line will mar the natural landscape and lower property values. Supporters say Northern Pass is needed to help stabilize regional energy costs, and diversify the power mix.

Kreis suggested the PPA is a 'publicity stunt' meant to diffuse public opposition to Northern Pass, and help the project’s permitting chances at the state SEC.

Eversource disagrees. When it filed the PPA, President of Eversource New Hampshire Operations Bill Quinlan called it 'great news' for the state’s ratepayers.

'New Hampshire is guaranteed a significant amount of clean, affordable power delivered to Deerfield, New Hampshire, when customer demand is highest,' he said in a statement. 'Our residential and business customers will get much-needed relief from the price spikes that have plagued the New England energy market in recent years.'"

http://www.concordmonitor.com/Eversource-confidential-power-purchase-agreement-with-Northern-Pass-3405043

Rocky

Secrets are not acceptable in public deals. The consumers are captive customers of the utility and at the mercy of that utility. If I can be forced to pay your bills I should be able to force you to tell me what and why I'm paying that bill.

Spence

- Feeding The Military Industrial Complex ...

Obama Says He Will Keep More Troops in Afghanistan Than Planned

By MARK LANDLERJULY 6, 2016

WASHINGTON — President Obama said Wednesday that he planned to leave 8,400 American troops in Afghanistan until the end of his term, further slowing the drawdown in a 14-year war that Mr. Obama pledged to end on his watch but now seems likely to grind on indefinitely.

Acknowledging that the Taliban had retaken territory and were terrorizing the population, Mr. Obama said he was again adjusting his plan to withdraw American forces. The announcement will leave his successor with a substantial military commitment in the country, though far less than the nearly 40,000 troops deployed there when he took office.

“The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious,” Mr. Obama said from the Roosevelt Room of the White House. “Even as they improve, Afghan security forces are still not as strong as they need to be.” Those troops, he said, had not been able to quell a string of attacks and suicide bombings, including in the capital, Kabul.

The United States has close to 10,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, where they train and equip Afghan forces, and carry out counterterrorism operations. When he last tinkered with the drawdown schedule, Mr. Obama said he hoped to reduce that number to 5,500 by early 2017.

Now, more than 8,000 troops will remain, and it will be up to Mr. Obama’s successor to order any further reductions. The president recently loosened the rules of engagement for American troops to give them the ability to fight the Taliban directly, and more flexibility to carry out airstrikes or wage ground combat.

Mr. Obama cast his decision as a vote of confidence in Afghanistan’s government, led by President Ashraf Ghani, as well as in the support of NATO members and other partners, who have contributed 6,000 troops. But it also underscores the fact that American hopes of building an Afghan force capable of securing the entire country had fallen short.

“We have to deal with the realities of the world as it is,” said Mr. Obama, who was flanked by Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr.

“It is going to continue to take time to build up military capacity that we sometimes take for granted. Given the enormous challenges they face, the Afghan people will need the partnership of the world, led by the United States, for many years to come.”

Mr. Obama announced the decision a day before leaving for a NATO summit meeting in Warsaw. Administration officials said the timing was intended to clarify American intentions and demonstrate that the United States was committed to Afghanistan.

The president made the decision, which was very closely held, after a lengthy internal debate, and based on a recommendation from the American commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr.

Keeping 8,400 troops in the field, a senior administration official said, would allow American forces there to advise Afghan commanders “at the two- and three-star level out in the field” over a sustained period, something that would not have been possible at lower troop levels. The number represents a slight decline from the 9,800 troops currently deployed.

“It’s an important and timely shift,” said Daniel F. Feldman, who was Mr. Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. “I welcome it as a demonstration, not only of the administration’s flexibility in best advancing our national security interests in Afghanistan, but of the long-term commitment we’ve said we’ve had to Afghanistan, but which was being questioned there.” Mr. Feldman was among more than a dozen former military commanders and diplomats who had urged Mr. Obama last month in a letter not to cut troop levels.

Two prominent Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, added their voices to that call. “If we go to 5,500, this place will fall apart quickly, quicker than Iraq,” said Mr. Graham, who joined Mr. McCain on a July 4 visit to Afghanistan. “If we keep 9,800, there is a decent chance we can succeed.”

But Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts and a critic of the war, said, “We are engaged in what appears to be an endless war, with no strategy about how to end the conflict and disengage our troops.”

Besides fragile security, the decision reflected American worries that Al Qaeda was regrouping in Afghanistan, and that the Islamic State had established a foothold there. Mr. Obama repeated his vow that he would not allow Afghanistan to be used as a safe haven for terrorists.

There have been other signs that the United States is preparing for a long-term counterterrorism campaign. In May, a missile fired from an American drone killed Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, the head of the Taliban, as he was traveling in Pakistan’s Balochistan Province. The decision to strike him on Pakistani soil, and then to announce it publicly, suggested a new, more aggressive approach by the United States.

“We can’t forget what’s at stake in Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama said. “This is where Al Qaeda is trying to regroup. This is where ISIL continues to try to expand is presence,” he said, using the administration’s preferred acronym for the Islamic State.

The Afghan government had lobbied privately to keep the troops, American officials said. “We were expecting a decision based on the ground realities, and we welcome President Obama’s decision,” said Haroon Chakhansuri, a spokesman for Mr. Ghani.

The government has struggled with security as American soldiers have left, steadily losing territory to Taliban insurgents. They briefly captured Kunduz last year, the first time they had seized a major urban center since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.

Insurgents claiming affiliation with the Islamic State have also contested districts in eastern Afghanistan, and have remained a persistent threat despite major military operations against them.

Despite the assassination of Mullah Mansour, the Taliban have retained their ability to carry out attacks in cities, most recently killing at least 33 people, almost all of them police cadets, in a bombing in Kabul.

The deployment, Mr. Obama noted, was a far cry from the 100,000 combat troops once there. But he acknowledged the frustration people might feel at the inability of the United States to draw this war to a close. “When we first sent our forces into Afghanistan 14 years ago,” he said, “few Americans imagined we’d be there — in any capacity — this long.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/07/world/asia/obama-afghanistan-troops.html?_r=0

Antonio Andolini

"Special Series: A Closer Look at The Balsams Redevelopment
By Chris Jensen • Jul 13, 2016

The Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch is one of New Hampshire's historic grand hotels. The expansive property sits on about 11,000 acres which include a downhill ski area, an 18-hole golf course and miles of Nordic trails.

In 2011 the struggling, outdated hotel finally closed and was sold to two businessmen from the North Country. Their efforts to revive it failed and in 2014 Les Otten, former head of the American Skiing Company, stepped in to take over the remote resort's redevelopment effort.

It is a hugely ambitious project and holds the promise of hundreds of jobs and an economic boost not seen in the struggling North Country for decades – if ever.

However, there remain major questions about the project’s environmental impact, the state’s role in its financing, and the long-term viability of The Balsams as an economic stimulus for the region.

In partnership with Business NH Magazine, NHPR is taking a closer look at the issues around the proposed redevelopment of The Balsams in this special three-part series.

Balsams Promises Jobs, The Problem Is Finding The Workers

Does New Hampshire Really Need Another Ski Resort?

Should The State Back A $28 Million Loan for The Balsams?"

http://nhpr.org/post/special-series-closer-look-balsams-redevelopment?utm_source=getresponse&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nhbr&utm_content=NH+Business+Review+News+Browser

Spence

Je Suis Nice.

"Forgiveness is the Fragrance the Violet Leaves on the Heel than Crushes It" - Irish Proverb.

Spence

Wednesday, Apr 27, 2016 10:59 AM EST
Democrats, this is why you need to fear Hillary Clinton: The NY Times is absolutely right — she’s a bigger hawk than the Republicans
"Clinton is the last true hawk left in the" race, more belligerent than Cruz and Trump, the New York Times says
Ben Norton

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is even more of a war hawk than her Republican counterparts, the U.S. newspaper of record says in a new report.

“How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk,” a long-form article published this week in the New York Times Magazine, details how Clinton’s hyper-hawkish “foreign-policy instincts are bred in the bone,” based on what one of her aides calls “a textbook view of American exceptionalism.”

Clinton’s extreme belligerence “will likely set her apart from the Republican candidate she meets in the general election,” the Times explains, noting “neither Donald J. Trump nor Senator Ted Cruz of Texas have demonstrated anywhere near the appetite for military engagement abroad that Clinton has.”

In the 2016 presidential campaign, the report concludes, “Hillary Clinton is the last true hawk left in the race.”

The almost 7,000-word piece in the New York Times, which endorsed Clinton, details how, as secretary of state, Clinton pressured President Obama to take more aggressive military action in a variety of conflicts, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Syria and more.

Early in her career, Clinton cultivated her hawkish reputation on the Senate Armed Services Committee, where she was “looking to hone hard-power credentials,” the Times writes. Eventually, she “become a military wonk.”

http://www.salon.com/2016/04/27/democrats_this_is_why_you_need_to_fear_hillary_clinton_the_ny_times_is_absolutely_right_shes_a_bigger_hawk_than_the_republicanse/

Spence

The Solution ?

Key points of the Power to the People Plan:
A Green New Deal:

Create millions of jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, and investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, and conservation.
Jobs as a Right:

Create living-wage jobs for every American who needs work, replacing unemployment offices with employment offices. Advance workers rights to form unions, achieve workplace democracy, and keep a fair share of the wealth they create.
End Poverty:

Guarantee economic human rights, including access to food, water, housing, and utilities, with effective anti-poverty programs to ensure every American a life of dignity.
Health Care as a Right:

Establish an improved “Medicare For All” single-payer public health insurance program to provide everyone with quality health care, at huge savings.
Education as a Right:

Abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude. Guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university. End high stakes testing and public school privatization.
A Just Economy:

Set a $15/hour federal minimum wage. Break up “too-big-to-fail” banks and democratize the Federal Reserve. Reject gentrification as a model of economic development. Support development of worker and community cooperatives and small businesses. Make Wall Street, big corporations, and the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Create democratically run public banks and utilities. Replace corporate trade agreements with fair trade agreements.
Protect Mother Earth:

Lead on a global treaty to halt climate change. End destructive energy extraction: fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, oil trains, mountaintop removal, and uranium mines. Protect our public lands, water supplies, biological diversity, parks, and pollinators. Label GMOs, and put a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe. Protect the rights of future generations.
Racial Justice Now:

End police brutality and mass incarceration. Create a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to understand and eliminate the legacy of slavery that lives on as pervasive racism in the economy, education, housing and health. Ensure that communities control their police rather than police controlling our communities, by establishing police review boards and full time investigators to look in to all cases of death in police custody. Demilitarize the police.
Freedom and Equality:

Expand women’s rights, protect LGBTQIA+ people from discrimination, defend indigenous rights and lands, and create a welcoming path to citizenship for immigrants. Protect the free Internet, legalize marijuana/hemp, and treat substance abuse as a public health problem, not a criminal problem.
Justice for All:

Restore our Constitutional rights, terminate unconstitutional surveillance and unwarranted spying, end persecution of government and media whistleblowers, close Guantanamo, abolish secret kill lists, and repeal indefinite detention without charge or trial.
Peace and Human Rights:

Establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. End the wars and drone attacks, cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire. Stop U.S. support and arms sales to human rights abusers, and lead on global nuclear disarmament.
Empower the People:

Abolish corporate personhood. Protect voters’ rights by establishing a constitutional right to vote. Enact electoral reforms that break the big money stranglehold and create truly representative democracy: public campaign financing, ranked-choice voting, proportional representation, and open debates.

http://www.jill2016.com/

Spence

Still On Topic ...

Summary

The Green Party and Dr Stein foreign policy calls for a more humble approach, shutting down most of the US military bases overseas, and halting the military involvement in foreign countries unless it is to stop atrocities. This includes ending the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and halting the progression of wars in Syria, Lybia, and all other countries. Included in this foreign polciy is a pledge to end the first-strike policy and the pre-emptive strike policy.

http://www.thepoliticalguide.com/Profiles/President/US/Jill_Stein/Views/Foreign_Policy/

Antonio Andolini

Meanwhile, hopefully this can spread successfully to the North Country:

"Monadnock Region to test new crowdfunding program
USDA-backed pilot designed to boost rural entrepreneurial ecosystems
By Liisa Rajala0

Published: July 20, 2016

http://www.nhbr.com/August-5-2016/Navigating-New-Hampshires-new-accessory-unit-law/?utm_source=getresponse&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nhbr&utm_content=Navigating+NH%27s+new+accessory+unit+law

Antonio Andolini

Oops, wrong link for new crowdfunding program:

http://www.nhbr.com/April-1-2016/Monadnock-Region-to-test-new-crowdfunding-program/?utm_source=getresponse&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nhbr&utm_content=NH+Business+Review+News+Browser

Spence

So Much Hate in this Violent World ...

http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/asia/item/23677-philippines-rejects-stupid-un-climate-deal-globalists-freak

Spence

If the Northern Pass gets built ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl9zLTmMyrw

Spence

smh ...


Wasserman Schultz resigning as party leader

By Jeff Zeleny, Eric Bradner and John King, CNN

Updated 8:22 PM ET, Sun July 24, 2016

http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/22/politics/dnc-wikileaks-emails/index.html

Antonio Andolini

"Workshops scheduled in 5 communities on Northern Pass impact
Project would build 192-mile transmission line

UPDATED 5:59 AM EDT Jul 25, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. —A New Hampshire assistant attorney general representing the public will conduct five workshops from Concord to Colebrook in the coming weeks on the impact the Northern Pass energy project could have on places of scenic beauty or that have cultural or historic significance.

The first meeting will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Ashland Elementary School auditorium. Other workshops are scheduled in Concord, Littleton, Colebrook and Lancaster.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Peter Roth says the workshops will open with presentations by experts hired by the state to provide evidence of the potential impact of the 192-mile transmission line.

Community members will then identify local places and resources important to them.

The state's Site Evaluation Committee must consider that information in weighing whether to approve the project."

http://www.wmur.com/news/workshops-scheduled-in-5-communities-on-northern-pass-impact/40867020

Antonio Andolini

DNC replaces former Hillary Clinton campaign manager with former Al Gore campaign manager. Progress, eh?
Spin, spin, spin; Hillary knew nothing; the Russians did it.

Spence

- Exactly.

Portia Boulger, Featured in Viral Video Viewed by Millions, Explains her Anger at DNC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozDeQTB0LIs

Spence

Speaking of Michael Moore, and believe Me, I find Him truly Loathsome. This IS His Opinion, Just for Your Consumption, Rocky.

http://michaelmoore.com/trumpwillwin/

Antonio Andolini

"Loggers will miss Concord Steam as a market for wood chips

By DAVID BROOOKS
Monitor staff
Saturday, July 30, 2016

There is one group that’s really going to miss Concord’s unique wood-powered steam heating system as it shuts down over the next year or two: Loggers.

'It’s a link in the chain – and you know what happens when you take a link out,' said Marlo Herrick, who owns Hopkinton Forestry and LandClearing with her husband, David.

Hopkinton Forestry is one of several land-clearing companies that for years has chipped low-grade wood like treetops and limbs at logging sites and sold the chips to Concord Steam, which burns around 50,000 tons of such chips each year to power the state’s only municipal district heating system.

'We usually take them 10 to 15 loads in the winter, five to six in the summer' at 30 tons a load, said Herrick.

But not for much longer. Concord Steam Corp., which has struggled with financial and equipment issues for years, recently agreed to be bought by Liberty Utilities for $1.9 million. If regulators approve and all goes through, the plant on Pleasant Street could shut as early as May, forcing roughly 180 Concord buildings to find alternative heat sources.

Concord Steam isn’t a huge part of Hopkinton Forestry’s business, since chips delivered to large power plants from the landing area of a logging operation are the lowest-profit product of land clearing, much lower than sawlogs or firewood.

Over the years, Concord Steam has paid between $20 to $30 a ton for chips, a price that has stayed 'relatively consistent,' said Concord Steam Vice President Mark Salzman.

'In the grand scheme of wood usage in northern New England, that’s a drop in the bucket – but it’s not a drop in the bucket to the long-standing supply relationships that Concord Steam has,' said Charlie Niebling, a consultant with Innovative Natural Resource Solutions in Boscawen and longtime observer of the region’s wood industry.

But the loss of Concord Steam as a customer will be painful to loggers beyond the immediate financial hit, for a couple of reasons.

For one thing, it comes alongside the collapse of another major market, the regional pulp industry.

A decline in the market for the glossy, coated paper used in magazines and catalogs that has long been a mainstay of paper mills in New England has led to mills shutting throughout the region, especially in Maine. That has sharply curtailed the market for lower-quality wood sold to paper mills, making the biomass-energy market all that more important.

For another thing, location matters. It costs a lot to truck 30 tons of wood chips every extra mile, so a replacement customer like Eversource’s Schiller Station plant in Newington or the Burgess Biomass plant in Berlin is much less profitable to central New Hampshire loggers."

http://www.concordmonitor.com/wood-Concord-Steam-Concord-NH-3666925

Spence

What a Shame. Why wouldn't Liberty Utilities decide to take care of those "equipment issues" and Operate Concord Steam into the Future, I wonder ? However, Here in northern New Hampshire, something Else is just not Adding Up ...


Balsams Site Plan Review Application still not complete

July 27, 2016

By Edith Tucker
The Berlin Daily Sun

LANCASTER — The Coos County Planning Board reached consensus at a nearly four-hour-long meeting on Tuesday night that the site plan review application for the redevelopment and expansion of the ski area at The Balsams, submitted by development team members Burt Mills and Ed Brisson of Dixville Capital LLC still does not have all the needed information.

The board set its next meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23, in Lancaster to review the draft document drawn up to record the conditions of two previously agreed-to subdivisions and two lot-line adjustments.

Since it is unlikely that developer will be able to check off every item and fill every gap on the board’s list of missing items, the board agreed to set a “date certain” in September after it is assured everything is in order.

The developers admitted that they still have not applied for the all-important alteration-of-terrain permits from the state Department of Environmental Services, which often requires a two-to-three-month turnaround period. Gathering the detailed information required for DES review is a costly proposition, they pointed out.

Once the planning board determines that an application is complete, a public hearing must be held. Only then will the board begin the actual review process and set conditions.

Dixville Capital’s attorney is working out an safety plan to address the board’s concern about ice throw and other potential hazards around the Granite Reliable wind towers (owned by Brookfield Power) in the expanded high-elevation ski area, based on an engineer’s report, board attorney Bernie Waugh reported.

Board member Tom McCue noted that ATV riders in Berlin are getting dangerously close to the blades of some operating wind towers in order to take dramatic-looking selfies.

Board member Mike Waddell said that after working on Mount Washington for 20 years he really understands that falling ice kills people. The Tramway Board of the state Department of Safety will have to agree to any plan.

The board also asked for design, but not construction drawings, of the proposed ski-back bridge over Route 26 as well as a letter from the state Department of Transportation that it has approved the plan. Building both a gondola and the ski-back bridge would reduce the number of parking spaces needed at the expanded ski area, since hotel and condo guests would be able to go directly to the village “campus” either on skis or on foot.

The board and the developers noted during the site plan review discussion that a site plan can be amended, if need be.

The application requests approval of the entire ski terrain: lifts, including the gondola; snow making and three associated support buildings; trails; ski-back bridge and service roads.

It does not include the existing shuttered Wilderness Base Lodge or a proposed mid-mountain lodge. The developers have agreed that the adequacy of parking would have to be demonstrated before opening new ski terrain.

The meeting was marked early on by a heated interchange between Waddell and the developers due to a misunderstanding over the scope of the application, likely exacerbated by continuing this agenda item at least twice.

At meeting’s end, Dixville Capital spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne said that longtime ski area developer Les Otten and other stakeholders have arranged for financing from Northern Bank & Trust Company, a community bank in Woburn, Mass., as well as private equity.

Dixville Capital has not yet applied for the $28 million "credit enhancement" from the Business Finance Authority, but does plan to.

Art Greene of Littleton attended the meeting on behalf of Trout Unlimited that is interested in the developer’s permit to withdraw snow making water from the Androscoggin River at Errol.

Development team member Dave Norden has left the Balsams project to be the CEO of Taos Ski Valley, where he started work on July 25. The online announcement points out that he will oversee all resort operations, including the launch of the Blake, a new slope side hotel. A hedge fund billionaire bought the resort in late 2013.

http://www.berlindailysun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58681:balsams-site-plan-review-application-still-not-complete&catid=103&Itemid=442

Spence

- You Go, Girl ! ... Sock It to US !


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNTwYQGeWow

Antonio Andolini

"Balsams Will Seek Government Backing On $40M of Balsams' $143M Project"

http://indepthnh.org/2016/08/04/balsams-will-seek-government-backing-on-40m-of-balsams-14 3m-project/

Spence

Smells Fishy, AA. Lot's of Hoopla to get folks to Sit Up and Beg, Yet Lester doesn't seem to be in any Hurry to actually Go Out on a Limb with those Applications. And He Won't Say How Much He ACTUALLY Has Invested in The Balsams. This should raise the alarming Question of What could He be Aiming to Bail With when the "Deal" falls Through ?

BTW, Is Mike Waddell Really the Best Man to be Representing Coos on This ? ... Owns TWO Houses in Gorham, one Condemned and seeks to be on Every Board and Committee this side of Canada. What does He DO for a Living, exactly ???

Spence

- SAY WHAT ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdIHFbIW9R0

Spence

‘Balsams Boondoggle’ balloons to $40 million in taxpayer-backed funding

By Kimberly Morin

On Friday it was reported by New England Ski Industry that the amount of taxpayer-backed funding now being requested by Les Otten for the Balsams’ “renovation” is $40 million rather than the original $28 million. This on the heels of a report that Otten hasn’t even requested the proper permits to even begin working on the project.

The Balsams project has been a boondoggle from the very beginning. The last owners, who still have a share in the Balsams, bought it for dirt cheap then literally closed it up and stripped it of everything inside they could possibly sell. The buildings have been left to rot and are falling apart. Otten came in with a grandiose idea for the Balsams but couldn’t get his own private investors.

Last year the legislature passed Senate Bill 30, sponsored by Senator Jeff Woodburn (D – District 1) which would enable Dixville Notch unincorporated areas to become a “tax district” so they could get bonds for redevelopment. Of course, this bill was only brought forward because Otten needed bonds to get backing for the Balsams. It wasn’t made clear until after the legislature voted on this bill that Otten couldn’t even get some bank financing unless New Hampshire taxpayers would back him by guaranteeing a private bond to the tune of $28 million.

This is on top of the $2.8 million taxpayers are paying to fix the roads which will then be transferred over to the Balsams. And of course the $850,000 that’s being spent by taxpayers to build a tunnel for snow cats and snowmobiles. Why are taxpayers paying a dime for a private resort? Something about low-paying jobs that will someday be available to the people who live in the area.

The project was supposed to begin in June 2015 but there have been delays due to Otten not getting the proper permits necessary and not providing the proper detail for the Coos Planning Board to approve their site plan. For a guy who has his hand out to the taxpayers of New Hampshire, one would think he would at least get the proper paperwork into the authorities so work can actually begin on the project. It’s now over a year later and still no work has begun.

Once again, this project and all the grandiose ideas about how it’s going to be so great are brought to Coos County by a man who had the same grandiose ideas for ski areas in Maine (Otten actually lives in Maine). Many of the things he said he would do there never got done and when he left American Ski Company, he left them with $400 million of debt.

Apparently legislators, the governor, the executive council and the Business Finance Authority (who has to authorize the bonds) don’t actually take a person’s record into account. No matter, it’s only New Hampshire taxpayers who will be on the hook for the money. And those dollar signs seem to be growing each year.

http://nhpoliticalbuzz.org/balsams-boondoggle-balloons-40-million-taxpayer-backed-funding/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork

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