A mix of CHEERS and JEERS for action taken in New Hampshire on Friday, which finally ended a hot debate about whether to accept $22 million in federal funds to boost vaccine rates.

First, CHEERS to the six members of the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee who wisely voted in favor, and JEERS to the four who did not. It’s impossible to fathom why this important funding would be rejected.

Even more JEERS to disruptive and angry protesters, including Frank Staples, who was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and breach of bail conditions, as reported by InDepthNH.org.

It’s one thing to make your voice heard in healthy political debate. It’s another thing entirely to work to derail proceedings. After being cleared from the building by state police, some protesters remained outside swearing and shouting “treason” and “we know where you live” to lawmakers.

Opponents of taking the funds, including state Sen. Bob Giuda, R-Warren, who read a long statement Friday, warn that liberty and freedom are at stake. They say New Hampshire will become indebted to the Biden administration and forced to enact vaccine mandates.

But in support, fiscal committee member Rep. Peter Leishman, D-Peterborough, said the additional resources are critical to ongoing efforts to inform the public about the COVID-19 vaccine.

“COVID is not going away, as case counts are growing to record numbers in the Granite State,” Leishman said.

He’s right about the shelf-life of the virus, especially in light of the Delta variant. In his column “Distant Dome,” writer Garry Rayno points out that last week New Hampshire hit its all-time high for active COVID-19 cases, approaching 8,000. That number, Rayno wrote, is higher than the peak in December 2020 and January 2021, when the count was between 5,000 and 6,000.

Treason, opponents cry? No, this isn’t treason at all. It’s simply the right thing to do.

And CHEERS to the folks behind the effort to restore the massive, 111-year-old timepiece in the Ayer Mill Clock Tower in Lawrence.

The iconic landmark, at one time the largest clock of its kind in the world, had been showing its age recently. High winds disabled its arms in 2020, rendering it inactive.

Last week, the clock was disassembled and taken piece by piece to Maine for repairs. It is due to start telling time again in about six months.

The story behind the clock renovation, as reported by staff writer Will Broaddus in The Sunday Eagle-Tribune, is fascinating. Not only does it tell time, it also tells something about the history of Lawrence.

The clock was originally installed at the Ayer Mill in 1910 by The E. Howard Clock Company of Boston. It began operating Oct. 3 of that year.

When the Ayer and Wood mills closed in 1955, the clock stopped with them.

“If the clock was once a symbol of Lawrence’s industrial might, it became a reminder of its decay after it stopped,” Broaddus wrote.

In 1991, the Merrimack Valley Community Foundation, which has since merged with the Essex County Community Foundation, raised $1 million to restore the clock. The foundation hired Balzer Family Clock Works in Freeport, Maine, to conduct the restoration. Once restarted, the clock became “an expression of hope for the city’s future.”

Special thanks must go out to Chris Waites and his father, the late Charles Waites, who have maintained the colossal time piece since around 1995. Charles was originally hired to maintain the clock, something he did for 30 years. Chris remembers climbing into the clock tower when he was a teenager, helping his dad and learning about its inner workings.

As he helped disassemble it recently, he voiced his appreciation for the historic importance of the Ayer Mill Clock Tower.

“It’s funny,” he told Broaddus. “You don’t realize what it means to the city until one of the dials comes off and someone calls.”

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