Thursday, September 15, 2022

EP 74 NH Secretary of State David Scanlan - A Balancing Act with Forward Momentum


NH Secretary of State David Scanlan - A Balancing Act with Forward Momentum

David Scanlan, New Hampshires new Secretary of State seeks to balance the interests of the broadest cross section of voters at the same time that he continues to move the state forward in terms of providing access to the sacred right to vote.

We caught up with him recently to discuss the First in the Nation Presidential Primary status, the balancing act entailed in assuring ready access to voting for those qualified to vote, transparency and security, as well as the newest effort to increase the voter information for those whose primary language is not english.

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Show Notes:

Links and Notes

CONCORD New Hampshire Secretary of State David M. Scanlan announces voting information in Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese is available on the Secretary of State’s (SOS) website at The SOS is pleased to provide an important segment of the NH population multilingual information on registering to vote, voting rights and election-day procedures.

Wikipedia page:

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Episode 73: The New Hampshire Legacy of Walter Richard West Sr. - Wah Pah Nah Yah


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NH Secrets, Legends & Lore

The New Hampshire Legacy of Walter Richard West Sr. -  Wah Pah Nah Yah

Walter Richard West Senior was born in 1912.

West was not born with that name. His name was Wah Pah Nah Yah, translated into english, “Lightfoot Runner”. He was born in a Tipi near the Darlington Agency in Oklahoma, then known as Indian Territory, a member of the Southern Cheyenne Nation.

If you are wondering how a Native American, born halfway across the country, figures into the “Secrets, Legends and Lore” of New Hampshire you will find out in the next 35 minutes and you will meet one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed artists who left a legacy that touched the Granite State in a profound and lasting way.

The West family has a long and storied history. His grandfather “Thunderbow” fought Custer at what the Cheyenne and the Sioux knew as the Green Greasy Grass river battle, today referred to as the Little Bighorn. Both of Wah Pah Nah Yah’s sons, Rick and Jim, would also establish their own NH legacies as you will hear. Each would make their own respective marks, both here and throughout their lives: Jim as the director of “Futures for Children” working with native children to help them achieve a college education; Rick (W. Richard West Jr.) would become the founding director of The Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

From 1936 to 1938, Wah Pah Nah Yah attended Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma,[1] where he earned an associate's degree. At Bacone he played football and worked in oil fields.

West then enrolled at University of Oklahoma (OU), where he would earn a BFA degree in 1941. He later returned for graduate work, earning the very first MFA degree ever awarded to a Native American artist in 1950. 

It was during his years as a student at Bacone that his connection to New Hampshire began when his friend and teacher Edmund Shaw introduced him to Alcott Farrar Elwell, a retired WWI Army Colonel who was the Assistant Director of Mowglis, School of the Open, a camp for boys on the shores of Newfound Lake. Established in 1903 by Elizabeth Ford Holt.

Elwell had an abiding interest in Native American people, possibly as a result of serving, at 20, as a camp cook in 1908 for the U.S. Geological Survey in Wyoming where he met many Native people while serving on the USGS mission. 

A future episode of NH Secrets will feature Elwell, but one interesting aside from this story is that Elwell had NO experience as a cook! It happened that the only position open to join this great adventure was as a cook so Elwell applied and was hired. Elwell, an East Coast boy had never been west before. 

Edmund Shaw, who would be Wah Pah Nah Yah’s best man at his wedding, and the godfather of Wah Pah Nah Yah’s two boys later on, had been spending his summers teaching photography at Camp Mowglis and he encouraged Colonel Elwell to invite Wah Pah Nah Yah to join the staff of Mowglis. 

Wah Pah Nah Yah arrived in 1939 and remained through three successive seasons. Returning twice more in the 70’s and 1990’s for extended visits.

The boys who were campers during his staff years became keenly aware of the Cheyenne traditions, and some of them became quite proficient at the dances he taught them. In later years both his sons Rick and Jim would share the same skills and traditions with the boys of Mowglis. Tim Coons, a music producer who introduced and produced “The Backstreet Boys” to the world was one of those boys. Tim recalls creating full regalia for each boy in the dance club, under Dick’s son Jim West, and being taught many of the unique dances of the Cheyenne. 

Stories of Wah Pah Nah Yah have taken on legendary proportions over the years. The late Frank Punderson recalls a game of capture the flag in 1939. "I was hiding in the bushes waiting to capture someone from the other side as they approached our flag, I peered out of my hiding place and realized that Wah Pah Nah Yah had just run by and I had never heard his footsteps . . . never realized he was near, until I saw him running by at full speed. It’s no wonder, then, that his Cheyenne name translated to “Lightfoot Runner”.

In 1942 Dick joined the Navy, became a commissioned officer, and continued in the U.S. Naval Reserve until his retirement in 1962. Through it all he continued to document the culture of plains Indians. As one of his colleagues has written, he was "on the cutting edge of the Native American art movement that added vibrance, fluidity and dimension to the flat-painting style of the early 1900s, a style in which he was schooled and which he admired."

Stories of Wah Pah Nah Yah have taken on legendary proportions over the years. Stories of his ability to fire his bow from beneath the belly of a galloping horse, or his ability to accurately shoot five arrows into a 5 of spades card placed on a target at 50 yards flawlessly. 

The late Frank Punderson recalled a memorable game of capture the flag in 1939. "I was hiding in the bushes waiting to capture someone from the other side as they approached our flag, I peered out of the hiding place and realized that Wah Pah Nah Yah had just run by and I had never heard his footsteps . . . never realized he was near, until I saw him running by at full speed. It’s no wonder, then, that his Cheyenne name translated to “Lightfoot Runner”.

Wah Pah Nah Yah inspired young boys and staff members at Mowglis during his days as a counselor. Creating both a sense of pride and respect for the cultures of Native American people. He also created a number of his most unique works at the camp, including several depictions of scenes from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Books.

Wah Pah Nah Yah's years at Mowglis came at a very important time to both Mowglis' own traditions and the legacy of this great man. 

In 1937 Mowglis had experienced a terrible fire that had leveled the main gathering place at Mowglis. The fire destroyed the entire building including a mural called the "Lone Wolf" on the stage of the building. Two staff members perished in the fire. 

1938 was the year of the fateful 1938 Hurricane that swept through New Hampshire. The late Myron Braley described the effects of the hurricane on the area around Newfound Lake in his hometown of Hebron: “Trees were down everywhere. I could travel the half mile between Route 3 and the lake walking on the trunks of trees and never need to set foot on the ground,” 

The hurricane was a tragedy but ultimately provided all of the timber that would be required to rebuild the main building that had burned the summer before. A local craftsman was brought into the camp and milled the beams and boards right on site to rebuild the large hall.

The rebuilding of the hall created a new curtain, but without the uniqueness of the original. Wah Pah Nah Yah created a mural depicting the scene of Mowglis' admission to the wolf pack as the central scene as well as depictions of Mowglis with Kaa, the Rock Python; and Mowglis with Baloo the Bear and Bageera the Black Panther on either side of the main scene. The original paintings were modified in 1976 when Dick West and his wife Rene visited Mowglis again to provide needed repairs to the work.

Another example of the legendary sense of humor that characterized Wah Pah Nah Yah came in the latter years of his life when he was asked by the Guggenheim museum to provide three paintings that represented examples of abstract art.

Wah Pah Nah Yah submitted three pieces to them and the director wrote to thank him, saying that they would be using two of the paintings but could not use a third, entitled “The Red Pond”, because it did not fit the kind of representational abstract painting that they were featuring which required colors to be accurate, within the context of an abstract image. “A red pond” , wrote the Director, “was just not realistic.” Wah Pah Nah Yah read the letter and said nothing as he walked out the door of his home in New Mexico and scooped up two fist fulls of red clay, dumping them in a box destined for the Gugenheim. A few days later a sheepish letter arrived from the Gugenheim’s director announcing that they would be including The Red Pond in their exhibition.

Throughout his life Wah Pah Nah Yah continued to grow and develop his art, pushing the bounds from the original - but exquisite - examples of early Native American “skin or hide” painting to the more sophisticated, yet authentic, style that would characterize his later work and secure his place in the firmament of great 20th century painters. 

With his rendering of the Kipling scene at the Council Rock and the mural of Mowgli with his friends, Kaa, Baloo, and Bagheera, New Hampshire has a priceless remembrance of W. Richard West’s affection for this place and his great talent as an artist. 

Some of these images are available from Camp Mowglis at

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Episode 72 "Claremont III" - Steve Rand Steps into the Breach

"Claremont III" Steve Rand Steps into the Breach

Steve Rand is not what one might describe as an educational zealot or a fellow who tilts at windmills.  His family is about as steeped in tradition within the town of Plymouth as it gets. He took over the family business in Plymouth from his dad and, despite Walmart, the migration of business away from the town center, and all the odds, Rand’s Hardware continues to thrive on the main street in Plymouth. He is a blend of pragmatic Yankee and street-smart entrepreneur. But behind that wry smile lies a philosopher and a visionary; a man who wants to “leave the woodpile just a little higher” when his days are done. 

So when the opportunity arose for him to be a plaintiff in New Hampshire’s ongoing litigation over educational funding he did not hesitate. The lawsuit, we’ll call it Claremont 3, though, to my knowledge, no moniker has yet been assigned to it - may be the culmination of more than 3 decades of legal action (and political inaction) based on the New Hampshire constitutional obligation to provide funding for an adequate education to all public school children.

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I wanted to speak with Steve Rand, not because he can recite chapter and verse about the legal history of the Claremont cases or the numeric minutia of tax disparities between towns or their relationship to the quality of schools from high-income or low-income school districts. Rather, I wanted to speak with someone who came at this from an experiential basis; someone who has lived the disparities on a day-to-day and year-to-year basis. Someone who has seen how the system short-changes our kids and our communities.

There are many heroes in the long arc of this story. The late Arpiar Saunders, who (perhaps purposefully) cornered Andru Volinsky, stark naked, in the gym locker room to recruit him to the Claremont team. Andru Volinsky of course. John Tobin, who has spent his life advocating for those living in the shadows of life. Senate President Ralph Hough (R-Lebanon) who despite being named as a defendant in the second suit, filed an Amicus brief and testified on behalf of the children of New Hampshire against the state. 

Today, Steve Rand and the other plaintiffs have stepped into that line. But, they would all be the first to say that the greatest heroes of this story are the good people of towns like Claremont, Berlin, Plymouth, Rochester, to name a few towns, who despite having to dig four to five times deeper into their own pockets to fund education in their communities, continue to step up for their kids, to make sure that they have a shot at a future worth living. 

A procedural history of the Claremont lawsuit

Staff WriterPortsmouth Herald

30 Years Since Claremont: The Monumental Ruling and the Work That Remains


Nebraska Law Review

2005 New Hampshire 's Education-Funding Litigation: Claremont School District v. Governor, 635 A.2d 1375 (N.H. 1993),modified, 703 A.2d 1353 (N.H. 1997) 

Andru H. Volinsky Bernstein, Shur, Sawyer and Nelson, P.A.,

Sunday, July 3, 2022

EP 71 Carved in Granite: Author Jeremy Osgood




Carved in Granite - Jeremy Osgood author

Historic Fiction



Jeremy Osgood grew up in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, a small New England town in the lakes' region, affectionately known as "the oldest summer resort in America". With the picturesque setting as the perfect backdrop, he developed a love for the outdoors, photography, and writing. He combined his passions with a photoblog called Wolfeboro Chronicle while working in town as a real estate agent and basketball coach.


Some of his earlier influences included his time out west where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Conservation and Political Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He spent six years working with National Geographic Maps as the Eastern Sales and Support Manager and eight years selling real estate while coaching basketball at various levels during that time. Currently, he owns and operates Jeremy Osgood Photography.


Fun Fact Jeremy thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail end-to-end in 1997. He hiked 2,180 miles in five months and proposed to his high school sweetheart at the trail's end.


When not taking photographs, or writing, he enjoys spending time with his wife, two daughters, and their rescue dogs near their Nashville, TN home.


Why writing and photography? “I find inspiration from the natural world: the people from all walks of life, the landscapes that make you feel insignificant and the assortment of creatures, big and small, we share the planet with. And every once in a while, when the time is right and the light is just so...magic happens.  I try and find the essence of my subject and capture it for a brief second. Not to hoard it, but to let it shine bright, and maybe give off a little inspiration to someone else.“ 


My prints are available in high resolution with sizes and products carefully selected to ensure a quality finish. Images are available for commercial, marketing, advertising, media, or other projects.   You can also order prints and wall art, with an assortment of options, directly from the gallery and it will be fulfilled by a professional print lab and drop shipped to your door.




Buy Carved in Granite

Friday, July 1, 2022

EP 70 Congressman Dick Swett:: Civility, Vision, and Honor Matter

 Congressman Dick Swett:: Civility, Vision, and Honor Matter

In an era where civility is a rare commodity, recalling the way that Dick Swett conducted himself as a US Congressman and later as an Ambassador to Denmark is a reminder that civility, humility and conscience are still honorable and - perhaps even possible again.

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Dick was elected to the second congressional district seat in congress in 1990 and in 92 he was handily re-elected for another term.


The turning point of Dick's political fortunes came in 1994 with the successful passage of the assault weapons ban. Despite the danger to his own career, Dick voted for the measure and it became law. He lost his reelection bid by less than a percentage point.  FOLLOWING ON THE HEELS of the ban,  there was a decline in gun violence but when the ban was not extended under George W. Bush we reverted to the status quo ante and we all know what that has looked like for our country.


In 1998 he was named Ambassador to Denmark by President Bill Clinton a post he held until 2001.


In this podcast I speak with Dick Swett about his political journey and his life journey since his act of courage led to the passage of the (temporary) assault weapons ban in 1994 and his razor close loss, fueled by the NRA, in the subsequent election.





From Dick to FB friends.

Saw this great quote tonight:

"The person who cannot listen to an argument which opposes his or her views either has a weak position or is a weak defender of it. No opinion that cannot stand discussion or criticism is worth holding. And it has been wisely said that the person who knows only half of any question is worse off than the person who knows nothing of it. He or she are not only one sided, but their partisanship soon turns them into an intolerant and a fanatic. In general it is true that nothing which cannot stand up under discussion and criticism is worth defending."

Elder James E. Talmage



Richard Swett. Richard Nelson Swett (born May 1, 1957) is an American politician from the U.S. state of New Hampshire who served as the U.S. representative for New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district from 1991 to 1995. He also served as the U.S. Ambassador to Denmark from 1998 to 2001.



Richard N. Swett

Ambassador to Denmark

Richard Swett was nominated by President Clinton to be U.S. Ambassador to Denmark on April 2, 1998 and was confirmed by the Senate on July 31, 1998.

In 1990, Richard N. Swett was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives 2nd Congressional District of New Hampshire. In Congress, he served as a member of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation; a member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; and a member of the Congressional Delegation for Relations with the European Parliament and the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. Congressman Swett co-authored the landmark Congressional Accountability Act. He also authored the Transportation for Livable Communities Act and introduced bills to encourage energy conservation and use of renewable energy. In 1996, after winning a primary contest, Congressman Swett was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. He was narrowly defeated in the general election.

In the private sector, Congressman Swett's range of business experience encompasses architectural design, project management, corporate management, project development, and finance. He has been active in real estate design and development, alternate energy development, energy conservation, industrial development, and export promotion. For several years he has operated a consulting firm doing business in the United States and eastern and central Europe. He is a licensed architect in California and New Hampshire.

Congressman Swett is a member of the American Institute of Architects, is the state Chair of the U.S. Olympic Committee, and is involved in various other civic organizations. He is also a contributing author to the book, A Nation Reconstructed: A Quest for the Cities That Can Be, and had numerous articles published as a Member of Congress.

Congressman Swett was born on May 1, 1957, in Lower Merion, Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Architecture in 1979 from Yale University. The U. S. Junior Chamber of Commerce named Congressman Swett one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans in 1993. He was also named one of the Ten Most Influential People in New Hampshire by New Hampshire Business Magazine that same year. He has been awarded the Presidential Citation by the American Institute of Architects, as well as numerous honorary degrees including an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Franklin Pierce College in Ringe, New Hampshire. He received the National Award from the Residential Caregivers Association for work on behalf of residential care facilities throughout the United States. The American Legion awarded him the National Economic Commission Citation of Appreciation.

Climate Prosperity Enterprise Solutions (CPES) is a community-focused development firm working to create sustainable local economies through an innovative wealth creation model.