News from New Hampshire Council of Churches

Public Hearing - Death Penalty Expansion Bill, Feb. 2, 2 PM
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a public hearing on SB 472 Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 2 PM in Room 103 of the State House. The bill would expand the capital punishment statute to include individuals who commit murder during the course of a home invasion. The bill is a direct response to the horrible murder of Kimberly Cates in Mont Vernon. It is important that people opposed to the expansion of the death penalty come to this hearing and make their position known. We cannot allow the passion of this moment to overwhelm us. Please attend this hearing and plan to testify.
If you cannot attend, you can contact the committee's chair, Sen. Deborah Reynolds, at: Statehouse Room 302, 107 N. Main St., Concord, N.H. 03301, or (603) 271-3042 or
You can find the name and contact information for your own Senator at:
Dead Man Talking - Death Row Survivor, Juan Melendez,      Tours NH,   Feb. 4 - 6,     Thurs - Sat.
Juan Melendez, who spent nearly nineteen years on Florida's death row for a crime he did not commit, will speak in Manchester, Keene, Concord, Henniker, and Nashua next week to support efforts to repeal New Hampshire's death penalty.
Melendez, a Puerto Rican migrant farm worker, was accused of a 1983 murder for which there was no physical evidence. Following his conviction in 1984, he spent 17 years, 8 months, and 1 day on death row before being released on January 3, 2002, making him the 99th death row survivor to be exonerated and released since 1973.
Since his release Melendez has dedicated his life to work with youth and to speaking out against the death penalty.
His schedule includes:
Thursday Feb. 4
10 a.m. MANCHESTER -- Trinity High School
 2 p.m. KEENE - - Madison Street Lounge, Student Center, Keene State College, 229 Main St..
5:30 p.m. CONCORD -- Franklin Pierce Law Center, Rich Room
Friday Feb 5
10 a.m. - CONCORD - Death Penalty Study Commission, Legislative Office Building, Room 305
Saturday, Feb 6
10 a.m. - NASHUA - Catholic Charities, 261 Lake St., Nashua
All events except for Trinity HS are open to the public. 
For more information, see
Death Penalty Study Commission
    Public Hearing Friday - Feb. 5
The Commission to study the death penalty will hold its first public hearing on Friday, February 5 at 10:00 AM in room 305 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord. This is your chance to show your support for repeal of the death penalty in New Hampshire.
For more information, contact Barbara Keshen at 224-5591 or  For background on the Study Commission, visit:
What's At Stake? Gambling Expansion Weighed by Eleven Community Conversations
Weigh Costs and Benefits of Gambling Expansion
Saturday Feb. 13 - 9 am to 4 pm
Sign Up Today To Participate
Hundreds of citizens in 11 locations across New Hampshire will have an opportunity to participate in small-group, facilitated day-long community-based conversations to address the question: What's At Stake in Gambling Expansion? Results will be reported out to the New Hampshire Gaming Study Commission.
Saturday, February 13th (snow date Feb. 20), from 8:30am to 4:00pm. Lunch and snacks provided.
Who May Participate
All persons who sign up in advance may participate. 
Why Is this Important?
Expanded legal gambling - if authorized by the legislature and governor - will touch the lives of every New Hampshire citizen in different ways, making it vital that citizens from all walks of life participate in this discussion. In a quiet atmosphere with no interruptions, you can make your voice heard and learn from others.
Groups will consider a wide range of options - from no change in the current policies to the legalization of casino resorts. Each small group will submit a report of its deliberations and outcomes, and all of the small group reports will be summarized and submitted to the Governor's Gaming Study Commission in March, 2010.

This process is not intended to reach a single conclusion or group consensus. The process is intended to capture the essence of the participants' diversity of views-and why those views are important to this issue-as well as their hopes, concerns, and new ideas for the Study Commission to consider.
The Locations

To Register
·     Or call toll free: 877-338-5322 
This project is sponsored by the University of New Hampshire, with support from UNH Cooperative Extension and the New Hampshire Humanities Council. It has received funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the WK Kellogg Foundation, with in-kind contributions by the University of New Hampshire and UNH Cooperative Extension.

Grow Your Faith-based Community Service
            The NH Nonprofit Capacity Building Project
In February, The Center for NH Nonprofits will launch an important new project offering a host of free training programs in leadership, management and board development to qualifying faith-based and community nonprofits serving low-income individuals in the Nashua and Concord regions.
Funding has been provided by the stimulus recovery act. If chosen, your program receives two years of service at no cost to you.
Looking to take your organization to the next level? This is the project to help you achieve that goal!

Interested? Visit or call #225-1947 to register for one of the FREE sessions below! Learn More about an Exceptional Opportunity
Tuesday, February 9th
9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Harbor Homes in Nashua
(Snow date - Tuesday, February 16)
Tuesday, February 9th
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
NHHEAF in Concord
(Snow date - Thursday, February 18)

Pandemic Flu Shots - Not Out of the Woods Yet
You can schedule H1N1 vaccination clinics for faith communities if leaders would like to make these available to their congregations. 
The NH Division of Public Health  Services is supporting  each of the 15 Public Health All Health Hazard Regions (AHHR) statewide to provide vaccination opportunities to the communty. While their efforts to date  have focused on large-scale clinics, the strategy going forward is to look for opportunities to do smaller-scale clinics in existing venues.  A  contact list of AHHR coordinators follows.

It is recommended that there be no fewer than 20 people that need to be vaccinated. 
Please forward this message widely to churches in your community.
Faith community leaders might reach out to health care workers in their congregations to help coordinate this effort--quantifying number who would like this opportunity, working on logistics with their AHHR, etc.
Northern NH North Country Health Consortium Amy Holmes
7 Main Street, STE 7
Whitefield, NH 03598
603-837-2519, X 224

Upper Valley New England Center for Emergency Preparedness
(Dartmouth College) Chris Christopoulos
Lebanon Fire Department
12 South Park Street
Lebanon, NH 03766
Greater Plymouth
Mid-State Health Center Donna Quinn
6 Post Office Square
Plymouth, NH 03264
Carroll County Coalition for Public Health Carlene Ferrier
PO Box 250
Center Ossipee, NH 03814
Greater Sullivan County Jessica McAuliff
5 Nursing Home Drive
Unity, NH 03743
Franklin/Bristol Health First Family Care Center James Richardson
841 Central Street
Franklin, NH 03235
603-934-0177, x 135

Laconia/Meredith Lakes Region Partnership for Public Health Susan Laverack
67 Water Street, STE 105
Laconia, NH 03246
Greater Monadnock Cheshire County Amanda N. Gaspard, MPH
Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene
580 Court Street
Keene, NH 03431
603-354-5454, x 3030 
Capital Area Concord Hospital Leigh Cheney
250 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03301
Strafford County Health and Safety Council of Strafford County Katie Kemen
652F Central Avenue
Dover, NH 03820
Greater Manchester  Health Department Brita Nettleton
1528 Elm Street
Manchester, NH 03101
603-624-6466, 317
Greater Nashua Nashua Health Department Patricia Crooker
18 Mulberry Street
Nashua, NH 03060
Greater Derry Town of Derry Garrett Simonsen
14 Manning Street
Derry, NH 03038
Greater Exeter Town of Exeter Susan Geier
20 Court Street
Exeter, NH 03833
Greater Portsmouth City of Portsmouth Kim McNamara
1 Junkins Ave
Portsmouth, NH 03801
For further information contact:
Division of Public Health Services Coordinator Mary F. Miller
Division of Public Health Services
29 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301-6504
N.H. Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Curtis Metzger, Hospital Preparedness, Medical Reserve Corps,Coordinator
33 Hazen Drive
Concord, N.H.  03305
Phone: 603-223-3620
Fax: 603-223-3609