Susan Estrich - Trump? No kidding?

Donald Trump: the Republican Party's nominee for president?


Could there be some last-minute twist, some redemption, an unfinished Frank Capra movie?

No. There are no backrooms anymore. Delegates are enthusiasts. Try convincing them — I have — to switch. They don't. We put our faith in democracy, but it's a risky business.

The Republican Party is about to nominate a man who belongs on a television stage, not in the Oval Office. His appeal has absolutely nothing to do with policy, which he doesn't pay much attention to — nor does anyone really ask him about. No, his appeal to many is that he says the unthinkable. He makes sexual references that have given rise to a new cottage industry: "How to Talk to Your Child About Trump." He insults women with a nasty wink that I thought had been banished, at least from any respectable public face. Nope. How about period jokes? Yup. And jokes about penis size? Indeed. (Have you noticed people staring at hands more lately?)

Never in history has a man marched to the nomination with more baggage and less shame than this man.

If you're not scared, you should be. This is happening.

Forget about an open convention. This will be four perfectly produced evenings of Trump, interspersed with tributes to Ronald Reagan and George Bush. The people who become convention delegates by working phone banks, night after night, week after week, are not about to enter the convention hall and suddenly change their minds. Barring video proof of the Donald committing a felony (at a bare minimum), he gets the nomination. No open convention can save the party from the delegates.

Donald Trump is great for the comedians and commentators and pundits who have found manna in the man who knows television better than most of us ever will. Trump jokes abound. Even the president tells them.

The thing is, the man could be president.

Could he win? Why even ask. A year ago, we all said he had no chance of getting the nomination, and of course we were all wrong.

With two candidates in the race — one of whom, despite her very different qualifications, carries a few valises of her own — the answer is of course he could win. Sexism lives. Big surprise. And it is far more difficult for women to get to the top of the executive heap (rather than the legislative ladder) than it is for men. Just look at California, as blue as can be: two women in the U.S. Senate, and never a female governor. The pattern that holds at the top corporate levels holds in politics, as well. Anybody could lose a race, but a female somebody surely could.

And then, as the world looks on, our great democracy having become a laughingstock, only one question will be left.

Who did this to us?

Who debased our democracy to the extent that we would entrust the most powerful weapons in the world to a man with absolutely no experience to guide him, and no respect for what he doesn't know? Who turned us into bobbleheads with no principles of our own, nodding along to a movement armed by anger and little more?

Look to your left. Look to your right. Look in the mirror.

No one has turned us into anything that wasn't there. The question is whether the better angels of our nature will ultimately triumph.

(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)

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Sanborn — Winni Waterfront Sales Report, April, 2016


There were 14 waterfront sales on Winnipesaukee in April 2016 at an average of $1,439,577 and a median price point of $817,500. That compares to seven waterfront sales last April at an average of $1,112,286 and a median price point of $900,000. So things are buzzing on the lake this year!

The entry level sale last month was at 89 Stonedam Island Road in Meredith. This is a 1,720-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bath home built in 2006 with lots of upgrades, including cherry cabinetry, oak flooring, wainscoting, granite counters, a gas fireplace and lots of large windows to bring in the light. There's a farmer's porch, a large back deck for grilling, and a two car garage under. The house sits on a 4.2 acre lot with a large lawn leading down to 500 feet of waterfront with a dock and bunkhouse to camp out in. The waterfront is a little marshy, which obviously affects the pricing. It was first listed in August of 2014 at $629,900, again in December 2014 at $599,000, and then again in March 2016 at $499,000. It found a buyer at $470,000 after a total of 443 days on the market. It is assessed at $466,300.

The median price point representative for the month is at 110 Cattle Landing Road. This property consists of two 1930-vintage two-bedroom seasonal cottages and a detached garage on a 0.8 acre lot with 103 feet of water frontage. This property was listed in June of 2013 for $1.1 million with no takers, brought back in May 2014 at $850,000, and finally found a buyer at $810,000. Total time on the market was 879 days and the current tax assessed value is $795,700. I expect there could be a new house there any second now...

The largest sale for the month was over in Wolfeboro at 428/450 Sewall Road. This property consists of a main house and separate three-story studio workshop, which, when combined has 10,328 square feet of living space, 24 rooms, 10 bedrooms, and 12 baths. That's a whole lot of space! The open-concept main home has all the bells and whistles, including a designer kitchen, butler's pantry, first-floor master bedroom suite, a great room with two-story stone fireplace, and office on the first floor. Upstairs are two more guest suites, a gym and library. The lower level has a fabulous family room with stone fireplace, home theater, wine cellar, and three more guest rooms. The 3,000-square-foot studio/workshop has additional bedrooms in case you run out of space in the main house or Cousin Eddy comes for an extended stay. Both buildings have commercial grade elevators. The 1.1 acre lot has extensive landscaping and stonework and the 200 feet of southwest exposure frontage has an oversized two-slip boat house to die for. This property was listed in October 2013 at $7 million with a price increase to $7.5 million a few months later and was on the market for 776 days. It was relisted in April 2016 at $6.995 million and sold at $6.375 million apparently to a buyer in waiting. It is assessed at $3.665 million.

There was only one sale on Winnisquam in April and that was at 168 Black Brook Road in Meredith. This is a 1996 vintage 2,900-square-foot, four-bedroom, two-bath colonial-style home on a 0.91 acre lot with 154 feet of frontage. This was a bank-owned property, so there are lots of unknowns and some repairs to be done. It was listed at $599,900 and was bid up to $618,000. It is currently assessed at $603,900.


Pl​ease feel free to visit to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data compiled using the NNEREN MLS system as of May 11, 2016. ​Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 677-7012.

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Paying for College

Smart college shoppers take timely action and get help when needed



For many college-bound students, it's the end of their junior year. If they (and their parents) don't know the answers to some critical questions about college, or they aren't comfortable with their answers, maybe it's time to get some help. After all, preparing for college, finding the right college, and making sure the family doesn't go broke paying for college are among the most complex and important issues they will face in their lifetimes.
What are these questions and how do smart college shoppers answer them in their quest to discover outstanding educational values? They ask:
1. Am I ready for college? Have I done all that's needed to prepare myself academically?
2. Have I matched my academic interests with at least five colleges I want to attend so I know in detail why these schools are the right ones for me?
3. Am I (and is my family) prepared financially to attend these particular colleges?
4. Have I formed a team with my parents and/or others to help me address these and other tough questions about what I need to do before, during and after college?

Better ask the questions now. Recently, I received a phone call from some distraught parents. They needed help because they have over $200,000 in undergraduate college debt they incurred getting their child through a pricey university. From my perspective, it's a bit like calling firemen to a home that's already ablaze. The real problems started over four years ago when they selected a school they simply couldn't afford. The choices you make now will have consequences – sometimes negative ones that can last for years.

To experience more positive outcomes, many families form a team to identify a few schools and determine what's needed to get admitted. That's a good start. But too often they don't get much further because the team is incomplete or dominated by one person. Sometimes the dominator is a parent whose done all the leg work. Sometimes it's the student whose gathered information and has presented a fait accompli ... "Mom, Dad, I've worked hard. I've researched several colleges, and I've decided I want to go to New York University. My heart's set on it." Unfortunately, Mom and Dad's pocketbook isn't quite "set on it."

Too often, the right answers aren't forthcoming because the team fails to ask the right questions. They'd do well to seek the help of an objective third party who is knowledgeable about the entire process of getting ready for and succeeding in college, one who at the very least can be an objective arbitrator. They need someone who can determine the right questions because he or she has taken the time to get to know the family, to understand their strengths and weaknesses, who can find viable college choices for the student from both an academic and financial perspective, who can help them select the best value, as well as figure out how to pay for a great education without descending into back-breaking debt.

Nor does this process stop once the student is admitted. College is a huge investment and sometimes the family needs help making sure their investment in a college education is being protected and maximized. Sometimes the college is not delivering on its promise. Sometimes the student isn't performing at a high standard. Sometimes the student's interests change. What's the appropriate response? For instance, one of every three students will transfer to another college. How do you maximize the move?

Where do parents and students get help to answer these and countless other questions? High school guidance counselors are often a good start. Many are very capable. Unfortunately many are overwhelmed by numbers: too many students and too little time to provide meaningful assistance.

Another possibility are financial planners. Even better, if possible find one living near you who is also a "certified college planner." But do your homework before selecting one. Most are expert about only a part of the process. They may know the admissions and financial aid standards at some schools, or have some accounting and/or tax expertise. That's good but recognize you may need more than one person. And don't expect miracles if you are looking for help at the eleventh hour. So start early. Find some help and form a strong team. Identify all the members you need, and then go shopping for a great education – the smart way.


Dr. Ronstadt is a former vice president of Boston University. He consults with parents and students about selecting and paying for college. You can contact him at 267-7349 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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DuBois — The Valley of Flowers, the gateway to extraordinary hiking

Rocky crags below summit of Saddle Peak

Rocky crags below summit of Saddle Peak

By Gordon DuBois

The following article is the fourth in a series on hiking trails that you may want to consider tackling as you make plans for your summer backpacking adventures. Over the next few months I will share my experiences of multi-day hikes. I hope this series will assist and inspire you to take advantage of the many trails that await you, not only in New Hampshire, but throughout the Northeast and beyond.

In 1865 Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune, is credited with writing the famous phrase, "Go West young man (and woman) go West," as part of an editorial promoting western expansion. Three years ago, my daughter Annemarie and her husband Derek took up Greeley's mantra and headed west to Bozeman, Montana from their home in Burlington, Vermont. What better place to relocate if you enjoy fly fishing, hiking and being centered among some of the most spectacular scenery and national parks in the country? Last week, my wife Nancy and I flew out to Bozeman for a family visit and for me it meant getting in another hike to the peaks surrounding the Gallatin Valley, also known as the Valley of Flowers.

Bozeman is named for the early pioneer and trail builder, John Bozeman, who in 1863 blazed the first trail through the Gallatin Valley en route to the gold fields in western Montana and Virginia City. It is also the home of Conrad Anker, renowned rock climber, mountaineer and author. He is known around the world for his mountaineering feats and ascents in the Himalaya and Antarctica. In 1999, he located the body of the George Mallory on Mount Everest, as part of a climbing team searching for the remains of the legendary British climber.

I could only spend a week in Bozeman, but Nancy decided to stay and spend time with her youngest daughter. So, I had to make the most of my time if I wanted to get in a few days of hiking. Bozeman, at 4,820 feet, sits among several mountain ranges: The Bridger Mountains, the Tobacco Root Mountains, the Big Belt Mountains and Horseshoe Hills, the Hyalite Peaks of the Gallatin Range and the Spanish Peaks of the northern Madison Range. To the south, about a two hour drive away, lies Yellowstone National Park and to the north on the Canadian border sits Glacier National Park. The opportunities for backpacking are limitless.

I had originally planned to hike to the summit of Mount Blackmore (10,154 feet) which is accessible from Hyalite Canyon. However, when I arrived at the canyon entrance, the gate was closed, obviously due to the level of the snow pack still in the canyon. Hikers from the east, like me, often forget that the Rockies and other western ranges are much higher in elevation and significant snow levels remain well into the early summer. Having been turned around at the Hyalite Canyon gate I decided to try my luck in the Bridger Range on the following day and climb Mount Sacagawea (9,650 feet) the highest peak in the range. The mountain was named for the legendary Native American Woman of the Shoshone tribe who help to guide Lewis and Clark on their Discovery Expedition from St. Louis, Missouri to the Pacific Ocean. The Corps of the Discovery traveled along the Missouri River and rested at the Three Forks which are just north of Bozeman.

The mountain peaks surrounding Bozeman were still covered with snow and I knew it would be a challenge to reach the summit of Sacagawea. I have hiked several other summits in the area, including Hyalite Peak (10,298 feet) and Storm Castle (7,280 feet), but these were climbed in summer, when most of the snow pack had disappeared. I checked my map and decided to hike the Truman Gulch Trail on the southwestern side of the range. The morning broke with clear blue sky and temperatures were expected to be in the 70s. Knowing that I would be hiking in snow, I brought some winter gear with me, including snowshoes. When I got to the trailhead, it felt and looked like a summer day. The foliage was green, flowers were blooming along the creek, birds singing their hearts out, and the creek running freely. I checked the trail ahead, no snow. After considering the pros and con of packing snowshoes I foolishly left them in the car. I began my hike thinking I would easily make the summit of at least Ross Peak (9,004 feet) or Saddle Peak (9159 feet) by following a series of ridges that hopefully would be free of snow and bring me to the Bridger Ridge Trail. Once on the ridge trail, which follows the spine of the Bridger Range, I would be able to summit Sacagawea.

At the terminus of the Truman Gulch Trail, I turned onto the Bridger Foothills Trail which would lead me to the Ridge. After a quarter mile the trail disappeared into 5 feet of snow. Without snowshoes I was wallowing in snow up to my arm pits. I quickly came to my senses and turned back, knowing I couldn't continue on this route. I then considered an alternative option: bushwhacking to the ridge, by following south facing ridges. Much of the snow pack had melted on the south facing slopes due to the angle of the sun. I looked at my map and began the steep climb, keeping free of the snow pack. I was beginning my climb at about 8,000 feet and bushwhacking or off-trail hiking is far different in the west, especially above 8,000 feet. Much of the climbing is free of snarly blowdowns, thick spruce waves, and the infamous krummholz.

As I climbed higher up the ridge my breathing became labored. I had to stop frequently to catch my breath, before continuing the laborious climb that I hoped would bring me to the Ridge Trail. As I continued my slow climb, the snow levels began to increase and I was slowed to a crawl in my attempt to reach the ridge line. Reality began to take hold of my ambitious plans and I came to realize that I couldn't make the summit of Saddle or Ross Peaks. I had to turn back and get off the mountain before nightfall. With that in mind I began a slow decent back down the mountain. As I made my retreat I heard the Bridger Range "calling me back" when the snow fields have vanished and the entire ridge of 20 miles can be traversed in one day. I'll return to Bozeman again soon to visit Annemarie and Derek, but also to hike the entire Bridger Range.

If you haven't made summer plans yet and you want to experience the high peaks of southwestern Montana, then start to plan now. Bozeman is a great city with lots of amenities and the Museum of the Rockies is also located here. There are hundreds of great hiking trails in the mountains surrounding the Gallatin Valley, just minutes from Bozeman. In addition, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks are within a day's drive. Make your plans now to experience the Valley of Flowers, the sounding mountains and trout-filled streams.

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Finn's Garage - Take care of your toys (581)

The story is as old as the automobile itself. Spring has sprung in the Lakes Region, and my clients are taking their cars out of winter storage. It's a perennial event, dusting off the cars and hitting the road for the maiden voyage.

It was just this week, that I encountered the second of two annual visits. I will share with you the story of two Mustangs, one of Ford's most enduring marks, and a "summer toy" for many automotive enthusiasts.

Customer A, owns a mid-'90s Mustang convertible, a triple black V8 5-speed car. Not a six-figure collectible; howeverl he treats it as such. Since purchasing this vehicle from me at the garage, he has treated it like a treasured possession. It comes to me every fall for a thorough detailing and a proper winterization prior to storage. We then take the trip to the storage place (heated, of course) and park her for the next five to six months. When weather allows, the call comes in, scheduling a pickup date, and we go to the storage facility, dust it off, check the fluids, tire pressures and reconnect the battery. A turn of the key, he's off and running. This is how most of my customers are with their cars, whether antique, classic or more modern special interest.

However, there are a select few, we will call them Customer type B. I just had B's car in my shop. He didn't call last year, he called this week, car is in his own garage. The battery is dead, car is filthy, and he can't find the registration stickers. We get the car to my shop. It was truly parked one day late last fall, just before snowfall. It has not been touched since. It's covered in dirt and sand, and on top of it, the interior is covered in mildew. Now, this is a newer, more modern Mustang, special edition, one of just a couple hundred produced. It deserves a much better life than it is living. The under house garage is a high moisture environment, and the lack of a proper dehumidifier caused the mildew to make a home on the leather interior.

Owner A is a preventative maintenance owner. Owner B is a reactionary owner. Owner A spent a fair amount to ensure his car was left in great shape, and ready to go in the spring. Owner B just got a bill higher than owner A, simply because it's much more work to get the car back to proper shape than it is to keep one in tip top condition.

The moral of the story is simple. If we keep our cars in top condition along the way, we will enjoy many miles of happy motoring! Keep this in mind if you are also taking your summer toys out of storage. Take the time to do the basics, check all fluids, check your battery, make sure tires are properly inflated. Once you have the basics covered, consider the next level of care, have your car detailed, washed, waxed and vacuumed. Take it in, have the fluids changed, check all belts, hoses and other rubber components. All these things will ensure your vehicle is ready for the summer fun we have here in the Lakes Region.

I hope to see you on the road, at a cruise night, car show, or down at the ice cream stand. Safe travels!

- Denis Finnerty is the owner of Finn's Garage in Meredith.

04-20 Finn - Mustang


The owner of this Mustang took proper care of it over the winter, so it was little work to open it up for the nice weather. (Courtesy photo)

04-20 Finn - Ray Allen car

Denis Finn of Finn's Garage enjoys a moment sitting in the Ray Allen car. (Courtesy photo)


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