Welcome to The News Cafe, a virtual meeting place where members can share their thoughts and questions about the news of the day — or any topic — and where we select a subject for in-depth analysis. All this will be compiled into bulletins, available to subscribers.

So fill your cup with your favorite drink, pull up a chair, and join us at The News Cafe. Give us your thoughts through the online form here, or Tweet your message to to us @The_News_Cafe.


Free Introductory Bulletins

Bulletin 2: Even before Indeck Energy announced the closing of its Alexandria biomass plant, Shaun Lagueux was worried about the challenges facing the forest industry. Pulpwood and chip prices have been dropping, and without the ability to get rid of that low-grade wood.

Bulletin 1: Towns in Grafton County District 9 are considering whether to hold a special election to fill the unexpired term of Jeff Shackett, R-Bridgewater, who resigned 30 days after being sworn in for his fourth term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.


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The Buzz

117-Year-Old Bequest

I am glad Charles Mason is finally deemed worthy of recognition.You get the credit.

I tried to get ongoing  recognition for him one summer circa 1977 while I was representing performing artists in Winston-Salem. I got the idea to instigate interest in forming a Mason Music Series in Bristol to honor him to make up for what at the time I considered my father’s poor judgment.

In my opinion the money should have been used to at least bring turn-of-the-century opera house fare to Bristol in some way. However no one picked up the idea of a Mason artist series and I lived in North Carolina so could not help.

My self-realized Mason Music Series was a two-concert effort while I was at the Profile Falls house. It featured the Duo da Salo( piano and viola) and David Pelton, tenor. The musicians needed to be able to show where they had been performing so it was a public relations effort for their benefit on my part. It was held in the parish hall of the church on the hill. I am sure there was no charge for the use of the parish hall at the church.

An ongoing way to recognize Charles Mason might be through a series of an affordable number of concerts, or even one memorial concert a year of quality as-one a year to start or more as feasible.

A non-profit could be formed to support it as a public-private partnership such as State Universities form to carry on important work. For any of the building projects as well. There must be one philanthropist of stature in the Newfound area. Then taxes would not be so great an issue.

Mary Elizabeth Nordstrom
Kennebunk ME

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Background: The News Cafe traces its roots to the late 1990s when Tom Caldwell published The Telegram in Franklin NH. There was a brick patio in front of the office, and he had a vision of setting up an assortment of newspapers for people to peruse while enjoying coffee and pastries that would be provided by local restaurants on a rotating basis. Those patrons who were willing to participate would discuss the day's news on video, to be shown on public access television and published in an expanded format in The Telegram. (This was at the same time he was developing the idea for the Liberty Independent Media Project, which would present stories in various formats, for print, web, and cable.)

The concept was never implemented at the time, but he brought it up again after moving on to The Citizen of Laconia NH. Management never bought into the concept of offering competitors' papers as well as their own, so the idea was dropped again. He would offer the suggestion one more time, at the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News, but again it didn't gain traction.

By this time, the trend was moving away from getting information from a printed newspaper and toward online news sources, making the physical newsstand unnecessary. And with email and social media, the comments could be gathered on the go ... so why not make The News Cafe a virtual gathering-place for those with computers, tablets, and smartphones?

And so, here we are — and welcome.

Many of these stories could just as easily be published in traditional media, except that newspapers struggling to adapt and survive are limiting their content to bring costs in line with revenues. It may be a self-defeating strategy, but it means that there are stories that are not being told, and that is what we aim to do here. And that is why we are charging a modest subscription fee as compensation for the time it takes to put all this together. It is a continuing work in progress, and will be shaped by those who "drop in" for a visit.