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Ready To Serve!

Restaurants and Social Life – Opening Up!

Karen and Jay, as restaurants begin to open up in New Hampshire

America is opening up – and now it is our time to serve. To support small business, main street and the hospitality industry – who have been so hard hit in recent months. Across the country, Americans of every creed and conviction have stepped up in tremendous ways to continue serving our communities in the face of COVID-19. From medical professionals to store clerks at our local grocery stores, these folks have gone above and beyond for us. They have adapted to their circumstances and made the best of a difficult situation. As we begin to re-open the country this summer, it’s now our time to serve those who have so graciously served us, and we’re seeing great leadership from folks in our community who have begun to do just that.

In a May edition of The Sunshine Report, we highlighted many of our local restaurants to thank them for their continued service to our communities through the pandemic. These establishments continue to go the extra mile and as a result, help maintain a strong spirit of community. In particular I want to recognize a few leaders for their outstanding commitment to serving up something great for their community. I encourage you to post on your Facebook pages or leave a message on mine thanking your favorite restaurants – and add to the list below.

Tom Boucher of Great New Hampshire Restaurants has been on the frontlines educating the public both nationally and locally as to how covid-19 has affected the hospitality industry. He has been an incredible advisor, guiding public officials on best practices and how to implement them. Tom is assisting those in the industry on how to channel their inner entrepreneurial spirit and keep their businesses up and running.

Tucker’s owners Hale and Erica Cole-Tucker are hard at work at their 5 locations across New Hampshire, serving up their delicious dishes and adapting with their employees to remain strong and resilient in order to serve their loyal patrons in Concord, New London, Merrimack, Hooksett, and Dover.

And, Alex Ray and the team at The Common Man Family of Restaurants. Not only an incredible operation since 1971, now with locations throughout the state – but also a truly community spirited mission, consistently giving back generously to important causes and needs.

Chuck Rolecek of CR’s on the seacoast has been innovative in his reopening plans. Being creative has always been part of Chuck’s style, as he was one of the original producers of the Broadway smash hit Rock of Ages.

You can’t have a political event on the seacoast without the Galley Hatch and folks can’t enjoy the amazing food and fun at the Popovers Restaurants in Epping and Portsmouth without John Tinios, owner of Tinios Hospitality. John’s passion for great food and dedication to seeing his community succeed has been a cornerstone of his business success.

And lastly, my good friend Joe Touhy of the Salt Hill Pub in Newport. Joe has taken the time to expand the Newport location with an events space, an add-on to the Main Street staple. The perseverance Joe has shown through these challenging times is best described by a statement he made in a 2017 article, “It’s addicting because there aren’t a lot of opportunities for people to win every day!”

Our communities are winning everyday thanks to the hospitality industry and as we re-open, now is our turn to support and serve them as they have served us.

New England Town Meeting – In the Post COVID World

Every year, residents in many of New Hampshire's small towns do their civic duty and debate issues of municipal importance during their Town Meeting. Newport is one of these communities as it is an SB2 town which means it has two town meetings to hash out issues every year. In previous years, both sessions were held at the Newport Opera House, the old Town Hall. But this year, the community had to make some adjustments. This led to Newport hosting its deliberative session outdoors, a first in many years for the community. A 4,800 square foot tent was set up on Newport's historic Town Common and approximately 60 residents came to discuss the issues of the day. Well done Newport!

Public Servants – Stepping into the Arena

Today marks the last day of filing for public office here in New Hampshire. Our state has a long and cherished history of putting volunteer public service at the forefront of our self-governent. Our State Representatives and State Senators make $100.00 per year (before taxes!) and are often our friends and neighbors. I started out as a young State Representative many years ago, serving two terms and it gave me such joy to know that I was a key part of the process.

For some there will be primaries and for many heated battles in the general election in November. But we all must remain focused. Despite what the media may tell you, we do have common goals and there is much more that unites us than divides us. Even in times like these, where our nation seems torn, we need to focus on our common sense of purpose – a strong and united America, where freedom is our cherished value.

In New Hampshire, people do not run for elected office for the glory and certainly not the pay! They run because they genuinely value and want the best for both their community and our state and want to help be a part of building a better future. I want to applaud everyone who is ready to serve, taking the plunge into political office and, as Teddy Roosevelt would say, having the courage to be that brave person “in the arena.”

Positive Profile of the Week: Ella Casey

We are delighted to honor a valued friend of many years – and a true Newport legend – as our Positive Profile this week: Ella Casey. Longtime Newport Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, and successful business leader, Ella turned 90 this past weekend. To celebrate this wonderful occasion, Ella's many friends drove by her house, honked their horns and left birthday cards. Ella's dedication to the Newport community goes back several decades as she moved to town in 1966. She went on to lead a successful career in banking before getting the top job at the Chamber in the 1990's. Her dedication to the Newport community is unparalleled as she has been part of many organizations and boards over the years. To this day, Ella can be found working on her typewriter at her office in downtown Newport, visiting one of many Newport businesses, or attending a community event. Thanks for all that you do, Happy Birthday Ella!

Quotes of the Week: Ready to Serve

“One thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”

Albert Schweitzer

“As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours, and this we should do freely and generously.”

Benjamin Franklin

“Who serves his country well has no need of ancestors.”


“The more one forgets himself - by giving himself to a cause to serve or another person to love - the more human he is.”

Viktor E. Frankl

“I serve God, and my purpose is to please Him, and if God be for you, who can be against you?”

Ben Carson


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