The FY 2019 Seabrook Budget Message

The Seabrook FY 2019 Budget has been presented to the Board of Selectmen. We will post that budget online shortly. Below is the budget message presented to the Board yesterday.

Budget Message FY 2019

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The Seabrook 2019 Capital Improvement Plan and Supporting Documents

The Seabrook 2019 Capital Improvement Plan, with some additional information, has been filed with the Planning Board as well as with the Seabrook Board of Selectmen. I have created a CIP Plan supplemental document with a narrative that includes the Seabrook debt schedules as well as a look at the progress of the approved 2018 warrant articles. That is the top document. The actual CIP book, in traditional Seabrook format, is the second document. I have also provided a review of the six year history of capital spending in Seabrook, showing where voter approved spending has been directed, by category, and by department. The fourth document provided is the 2019 departmental requests, offered in what we are calling “cut sheet” form, allowing for another way of looking at the 2019 capital requests by department. We will further refine this document, which is simply another way of looking at our departmental requests for 2019. Thanks to Shaylia Marquis for all of her work on this document, as well as to our department heads for all of their work.

Seabrook CIP Supplemental Final

2019 CIP

Seabrook CIP Spending Six Year Review 2018 Latest

Seabrook Cut Sheets 2019

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Seabrook Trunk or Treat and Ribbon Cutting

The Friends of Seabrook Community and the Seabrook Board of Selectmen came together for the first annual “Trunk or Treat” at Veterans Park in Seabrook. It was a great event, with lots of participation by the community. The Board of Selectmen and FOSC, as well as the American Legion Walton Post 70, joined together to cut the ribbon on the new additions to the Park, including the brand new full basketball court. (Pictured below) Many thanks to the DPW, who worked very hard on the basketball court. Thanks to FOSC for all of their hard work, and the voters for their generosity. A big thank you to the Board of Selectmen, who have been big supporters of the park addition.

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Halloween at Seabrook Recreation

What a great Halloween event Friday evening, hosted by the Seabrook Recreation Department and the Seabrook Adventure Zone. Very big thanks to Recreation Director Katie Duffey and Forrest Carter Jr and all the staff for their hard work! A very great, and scary, haunted house, and lots of other fun for many, many kids. Promoting after school activities for our children has to be one of the most important things we do, and we are grateful for the work at our Recreation Department, and through the Seabrook Adventure Zone.

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A Look at “The Boys on the Bus” by Timothy Crouse

The Boys on the BusThe Boys on the Bus by Timothy Crouse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A gift from my daughter which hung around a bit before I got to it and I am glad I did. As I was picking through it I saw the foreword by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, read that, and knew I was all in. Author Timothy Crouse covered the media who covered the 1972 presidential race between Richard Nixon and George McGovern, highlighting the changing media landscape in 1972, and offering his take on how the media did its job.

Some of the critiques I saw of the book mention that it may not have aged well but I think it is worth a look. It may be less enjoyable for those that do not know or remember some of the very notable media giants that are covered. We have Evans and Novak, Jules Witcover, James Reston, R.W. (Johnny) Apple, Dan Rather, and many others, including the inimitable Dr. Thompson. Despite that the book does offer some amazing insights. This book shows us the start of modern political journalism, critiquing the press honestly, showing us the system that brought us the news as flawed, and subject to manipulation by press savvy media operations like President Nixon’s. Crouse is not a Nixon fan, with Press Secretary Ron Ziegler taking a pretty good beat down in the book. The Ziegler coverage betrays some grudging respect of the ruthless operation of the Nixon re-election effort, with access to the “inside” of the Nixon effort carefully rationed, with “bad” stories bringing punishment to the offending journalists. Crouse gives his take of Nixon, and the hard lessons he learned from his losing campaigns in 1960 and 1962:

“Richard Nixon, however, was different. Nixon felt a deep, abiding, and vindictive hatred for the press that no President, with the possible exception of Lyndon Johnson, had ever shared. Nixon had always taken personally everything that the press wrote about him. The press, he believed, never forgave him for pulling the mask off its darling, Alger Hiss; so the press tortured him, lied about him, hated him. Over the years Nixon conceived and nursed one of the monumental grudges of the century, a loathing so raw, ugly, and obvious that it only served to make him vulnerable. To borrow a phrase from Iago, Nixon wore his heart on his sleeve for daws to peck at. The daws had a field day. Painfully, Nixon learned his lesson. He learned to control and disguise his hatred, to use it in subtle ways to defeat his enemies in the press. It was precisely for this reason, because Nixon hated for so long and studied his foes so well, that he had become the nemesis of the press. No other President had ever worked so lovingly or painstakingly to emasculate reporters.”

Crouse, Timothy “The Boys on the Bus” page 180

Crouse is fair about looking at how the press did its job, hitting critical points but taking into account the difficult environment that they were operating in. The issue of “pack” writing is frankly looked at, as well as some of his criticism of the “objective” style of covering Nixon and McGovern, where both sides of a controversy are covered, with the reporter making no judgement in the story as to which side of the controversy may be more credible. It is a major criticism issued these days by Paul Krugman over at the New York Times. These challenges in journalism are covered pretty well in the book. We see the rivalry between print and TV, the differences in print between daily newspapers and news magazines, when news magazines had pretty big circulation numbers. Things have obviously changed considerably, but some things look the same (on steroids.)

Crouse was working for Rolling Stone when he wrote this book, connecting him to Hunter Thompson, and bringing to mind the Thompson book on the 1972 campaign, “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72.” I read that book many years ago but may need to take another look. Crouse includes some of the good Doctor’s more outrageous antics.

“The first sign that Hunter had caught on with the straight press was when they began searching newsstands all over the country or phoning their home offices to get them a copy of his lengthy chronicle of the Florida primary. Thompson had loaned his press card to a freak, who had run amuck aboard Muskie’s whistle-stop train, insulting reporters and heckling the candidate when he tried to speak at the final stop in Miami. Many of the reporters, seeing only the badge on the freak’s lapel, had taken him for Hunter S. Thompson of Rolling Stone. In the article, Thompson explained the mistake but revelled in its consequences. The piece was a big hit with the press corps, and they soon began to read him regularly. Thompson’s best lines were quoted in Newsweek. ‘Ed Muskie talked like a farmer with terminal cancer trying to borrow on next year’s crop.’Hubert Humphrey was a ‘treacherous, gutless old ward-healer who who should be put in a bottle and sent out with the Japanese current.’”

Crouse, Timothy “The Boys on the Bus” page 313

I always felt that Hunter Thompson was a bit hard on Humphrey, but I digress. The lifelong war with the press that Richard Nixon engaged in has been ramped up by the current occupant of the Oval Office, making Nixon, in my view, a piker by comparison. But the seeds of the coming war with the press were planted in the campaign of 1972, and Crouse covers it admirably. A good historical book, and a great media book. After all these years it still has relevance.

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NH DOT and Pease Development Meeting Scheduled for October 25 in Seabrook.

The Pease Development Authority Division of Ports and Harbors (Port Authority) is reaching out to all mooring holders and Pier users in the Hampton and Seabrook Harbors.

Arrangements have been made for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to hold an informational meeting with the users of Hampton and Seabrook Harbors to discuss the upcoming rehabilitation or replacement of the Hampton Harbor Bridge, also known as the Neil R. Underwood Bridge (NH DOT Bridge No. 235/025), which carries NH 1A over the inlet to Hampton Harbor and Seabrook Harbor.

The meeting is scheduled for October 25th at 4:00 p.m. at the Seabrook Beach Village District Building, 210 Ocean Blvd., Seabrook NH 03874.

For further meeting details please see the attached notice.

DOT Meeting Notice

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At the Seabrook Civic Association Monday October 15

Thank you to the Seabrook Civic Association, who invited me to be the guest speaker at their last meeting of the season on Monday evening. We discussed beach safety issues that had been the subject of discussion at the Board of Selectmen meeting earlier in the day, as well as the beach work, including the placement of storm fencing and the beach management movement of sand by our DPW. Thank you and congratulations to newly elected Civic Association President Vicki Sawyer.

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