Selected shorts for the end of summer

Those who don’t vote should not complain about the results of the primaries


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When you read this, the Sept. 11 primary elections will be just around the corner. Those who have not had a chance to do so, can get a good summary of who is running by going to the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s website to review the filings in both Democratic and Republican Party as they apply to their community.

Those who do not vote should not complain about the results of the primaries or the quality of the candidates. The web address is sos.nh.gov.

New Hampshire has a new voter identification law that is being examined by the Justice Department to see whether it complies with federal law. Assuming it does, the law requires that for any election before Sept. 1, 2013, voters will be asked to provide one of the following forms of identification: driver’s license issued by any state, identification card issued by the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles, U.S. Armed Services identification card, United States passport even if expired, valid photo identification issued by federal government or state, county or municipal government, valid student identification card or other photo identification deemed legitimate by the supervisor of the checklist, the moderator or the clerk or verification of identity by a supervisor of the checklist, the moderator or clerk at the polling district.

Also, those who do not have approved photo identification cards before Nov. 1, 2012 (meaning the Sept. 11 primary), will be informed of the new law and permitted to vote, which means the law really does not apply to this primary but at the November general election and until Sept. 1, 2013, any voter who does not present an approved photo identification will be permitted to vote after executing a “challenged voter affidavit.”

After Sept. 1, 2013, the law’s provisions make the forms of identification much more rigorous, and it is that section of the law that observers believe may cause the U.S. Justice Department to question its validity. Opponents say that making the law this complex will discourage eligible voters from participating, especially the poor or members of minority groups.

In any event, identification or not, all voters should vote Sept. 11.

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One position taken by most of the gubernatorial candidates that this writer finds disappointing is the apparent willingness to support some kind of expanded gambling, in the case of Democrat Maggie Hassan and Republican Ovide Lamontagne, the choice being a single casino assumedly to be built at the site of Rockingham Park in Salem.

Outgoing Gov. John Lynch got this issue right when he promised to veto any expanded casino gambling proposal. Casinos not only are uneconomic, they bring with them a myriad of social problems, and given the number of proposals in the past for multiple casino sites in the state, the single-site option, while continuing to be problematic, seems curious.

Hopefully, the majority of the House will continue to oppose any such thing so that the support or lack thereof of a governor will merely be interesting. The candidates ought to rethink their positions.

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New Hampshire lost a noted music educator when Richard J. Maynard of Manchester died Saturday, Aug. 16, after a brief battle with cancer.

Maynard was known to generations of New Hampshire music students at Manchester High School West, where he taught for 35 years before his retirement in 2004. He was the award-winning director of choirs at West, and his example, like that of many other distinguished Manchester music teachers over the years -- including Arthur Mirabile at Memorial High School, David Bresnahan at Central and Memorial and those continuing to teach in the excellent music program in New Hampshire’s largest city -- inspired many former students to go into the music education profession.

Maynard was a founder of the New Hampshire All-State Jazz Festival, which started in 1983. He led his jazz choirs on foreign trips to Europe and saw them perform in Las Vegas in 1993. He was the Teacher of the Year at Manchester High School West in 1999 and was named the New Hampshire Music Educator of the Year in 2004.

After his retirement, he was employed by the University of New Hampshire as supervisor of student teachers in music education until shortly before his death.

A member of many national organizations, he was well known in his profession beyond the borders of New Hampshire. Not forgetting his own musical talent and enthusiasm, Maynard continued to play tenor sax with various groups, including the Freese Brothers Big Band and the Amoskeag Strummers.

At age 65, Richard Maynard was too young to leave, but he left behind a legacy of grateful students, loving family and great talent.

Brad Cook, a shareholder in the Manchester law firm of Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green, heads its government relations and estate planning groups. He also serves as secretary of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire.

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