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Wolfeboro businesses optimistic summer will not be tainted by commissioner’s racist remarks

  • The sign on Rt. 28 just coming into town.<br/><br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

    The sign on Rt. 28 just coming into town.


    (GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

  • Bob Dolengewicz,  affectionately called "Hot dog Bob" at his stand near the docks in downtown Wolfeboro doesn't think it will effect business. "People come from all over the world to visit and vacation here, from China to France." <br/><br/>Bob is half polish, half Italian and didn't like the comments made by Commissioner Copeland, " Nobody should use that kind of language about anyone, Polish, Italian, Black, anybody."<br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

    Bob Dolengewicz, affectionately called "Hot dog Bob" at his stand near the docks in downtown Wolfeboro doesn't think it will effect business. "People come from all over the world to visit and vacation here, from China to France."

    Bob is half polish, half Italian and didn't like the comments made by Commissioner Copeland, " Nobody should use that kind of language about anyone, Polish, Italian, Black, anybody."
    (GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

  • Young people hang out on the docks in downtown Wolfeboro, Sunday, May 18, 2014.<br/><br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

    Young people hang out on the docks in downtown Wolfeboro, Sunday, May 18, 2014.


    (GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

  • The sign on Rt. 28 just coming into town.<br/><br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)
  • Bob Dolengewicz,  affectionately called "Hot dog Bob" at his stand near the docks in downtown Wolfeboro doesn't think it will effect business. "People come from all over the world to visit and vacation here, from China to France." <br/><br/>Bob is half polish, half Italian and didn't like the comments made by Commissioner Copeland, " Nobody should use that kind of language about anyone, Polish, Italian, Black, anybody."<br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)
  • Young people hang out on the docks in downtown Wolfeboro, Sunday, May 18, 2014.<br/><br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

Under a cloud-dappled sky and with a light breeze ruffling the surface of Lake Winnipesaukee, it was already hard to find a parking spot in downtown Wolfeboro yesterday, a full week before the unofficial start to summer.

Locals and tourists alike milled around Main Street, and most shopkeepers said they expect the crowds to continue to grow through the annual tourist season. Few said they thought online rumors of a boycott of the town, in light of racist remarks by an as-yet-unapologetic local official, would materialize.

“It’s going to depend on what happens. If he resigns, I don’t think it will have legs for long,” said Sarah Copplestone at the Artisans Corner.

“At least, I would really hope not. It would do things to the nice people in town, not to him,” she said. “We’re in a really tough position because we can’t fire him. We’re just frustrated being on the sidelines of the process.”

State and local officials – including Concord Mayor Jim Bouley – told the Associated Press late last week that they have received complaints from people as far away as California, some threatening to cancel vacations to New Hampshire.

The state and, more specifically, the Wolfeboro Police Department have been in a national spotlight since reports that police Commissioner Bob Copeland called President Obama “that f------ n-----,” and later wrote in an email that the president “meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”

More than 100 people packed the commission’s monthly meeting last week and dozens demanded that Copeland resign. He said then he would think about what was said.

Commission Chairman Joseph Balboni Jr. said last night he had a long conversation with Copeland, and he believed that Copeland will make a decision this morning.

Balboni and Commissioner Ron Goodgame have written a letter to the editor of the local weekly Granite State News, and though Balboni said he couldn’t discuss what it said, he has told Goodgame not to send it to the paper.

“If he resigns, we’re not going to need it,” Balboni said.

The town ordinances do not have a provision for recall elections, according to a statement from Town Manager David Owen that called Copeland’s remarks “reprehensible.”

Lifetime Wolfeboro resident John Rico said he thinks the issue likely won’t die until Copeland is out of office.

“I’ll be the first to stand in line to protect someone’s freedom of speech, but elected officials need to think about what they’re saying because of their office,” Rico said. “Just because you have the right to say something doesn’t mean you should. What you say is listened to when you’re a public figure.”

He watched last week as national online news outlets such as Google and Yahoo distributed stories about his town. Thousand of people read the news in hours, he said.

“I’m not a big fan of Obama . . . but that is not a word that should have been used. It won’t just blow over until he’s resigned,” Rico said.

Other residents were more optimistic.

“Something like this doesn’t put a good impression in people’s minds about the town, but I don’t think anyone thinks the whole town is like that,” said Joe Dupell, owner of Seven Suns Coffee and Tea.

“I’ve seen zero issues of racism, and I hope people will come to town regardless of what happens with this one person. He doesn’t reflect the people of Wolfeboro at all,” Dupell said.

Wolfeboro is a place people plan to visit months in advance, and return to year after year, said Pam Knapp and Cheryl Goodwin, at Mountain Tops.

“This is not a place that depends on a whim. It’s a lot of families, and families will return,” Goodwin said.

Rebecca Gronski, who has worked in a retail shop in town for three summers, said she spent some time last weekend commenting on online videos where people disparaged the town as a whole.

“I don’t think people should judge the whole (town) based on just one person. It’s ridiculous and close-minded,” she said. “But I think anyone that’s been here knows that and won’t judge the town. Anyone who’s been here will come back.”

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

In reality most things are in fact not black and white. Shades of gray. That does not apply to words though. The left has decided that using hate rhetoric is okay if they use it against folks who disagree with their political agenda. So basically they are changing the meanings of words. Wealthy folks who happen to have an R after their name are bad. They are greedy, mean and hate poor people. All corporations are bad unless the owner happens to be a Dem. Then that corporation is good. You should never be biased against someone's religion like a Muslim. But it is okay to be biased if someone happens to be of a Christian religion. Soros is good, Koch bad. They are the same. Feminists state that women should not be abused, should not be called vile names, but if that woman is Sarah Palin, Condi Rice or any other conservative woman it is fine to degrade her. So we have a lot of mixed messages. All because folks are using words they have changed to promote their political agenda. There is white guy mode but no black guy mode. Change the words and put forth the message that hate rhetoric is okay if it is aimed at a certain group that disagrees with you. Hate Rhetoric cannot be applied here and not there, period. Apply it where it is deserved, everywhere. Do not give anybody a pass. because if you do you obviously have no clue what Hate Rhetoric is. Blacks and Hispanics are Christians for the most part and mostly anti abortion. Do you call them the same names you call white folks who are religious or anti abortion? Nope. If you put a concealed mike in a locker room you just might be surprised what you would hear in regards to folks who are homophobic or racist. Are you ready to accept that reality? Nope. Homophobia and racism is a white man's disease. Stop watering down words. Hate is hate no matter the source, Period. It is not a tool to be used based on who is saying it. Anybody who uses hate rhetoric is wrong. It is not complicated. Words have meaning. Use them wisely. And be aware if it is okay to have The Citizen Speech Squad out there who overhear something they do not like, it works both ways, ignorance and hate crosses all political party lines in my book.

Great post, RabbitNH. Great post. I read the following written by Dennis Praeger and it sums it up pretty well. Let;s hope that this spurns some discussion: "One of the more dangerous features of the Left has been its replacement of moral categories of right and wrong, and good and evil with three other categories: black and white (race), male and female (gender) and rich and poor (class). Therefore the Left pays attention to the skin color — and gender (not just “whites” but “white males”) rather than to their ideas. One would hope that all people would assess ideas by their moral rightness or wrongness, not by the race, gender or class of those who hold them. But in the world of the Left, people are taught not to assess ideas but to identify the race, class and gender of those who espouse those ideas. This helps explain the widespread use of ad hominem attacks by the Left You’re against race-based affirmative action? No need to argue the issue because you’re a racist. You’re a tea partier against ever-expanding government? No need to argue the issue because you’re a racist. As a Leftist rule of thumb — once again rendering intellectual debate unnecessary and impossible — white is wrong or bad, and non-white is right and good; male is wrong and bad, and female is right and good; and the rich are wrong and bad, and the poor right and good. For the record, there is one additional division on the Left — strong and weak — to which the same rule applies: The strong are wrong and bad, and the weak are right and good. That is a major reason for Leftist support of the Palestinians (weak) against the Israelis (strong), for example"

I'd say on the contrary, it's marketing genius. This summer, out-of-staters will flock to Wolfeboro just to see what kind of hamlet produces a Bob Copeland.

You're right Larry; of like here of when Sarah wrote that: " Rebecca . . . said she spent some time last weekend commenting on online videos . . . . " of I went to one so far of that being the 12:07-minute one by Tim Black of "Tim the Bartender" dot com at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViluOB1yG1I of with 53 comments and 761 views ( 7 = 768 during the last few minutes) of I finally got some context of: "about why he didn't watch TV anymore. "There too much of the f.....n.....r on every channel!? " of the question might be to Copeland of is that a color or B&W? TV set (;-) Maybe he might upgrade to color? (;-) Plus that of what the Junior in High School "boy" said of: What do you mean by that? of his question never answered, but then he calls for Copeland's resignation anyway. Thus to me the people of Wolfeboro are like a "Lynch Mob"; of to 'Hang 'Em High", and TRY to look for what? in-direct answers later in the writings of his estate!?

Hey! What about Jeb? Jeb Bradley. Reference his zero-ness in Concord as compared to this reference of maybe a conversation on stinginess. Now replaced by Jim, Jim Bouley rhymes with "Jim Bouie" of like sticking his attorney knife into the situation. More people of quantity for less than an answer as to the quality of what was said in context. This reminds me of the Tom Alciere incident in Concord as a State House Rep from Nashua a few years ago of his comments about so-called "Law Enforcement" of quoting like Shakespeare of: "To kill all the lawyers", of which Attorney Linda Dalianis, before she became a judge, said at The People's Law School there in Reps Hall back in the 1990s, was proud of to be in the first line of defense. Instead we have those offended of wanting to have whoever removed because they could not care less about the context. To them with the shallow thoughts, it is they who ought to stop their needling and listen to what the details are of not HOW the message was delivered but of WHAT was said of WHY the President is such as described in such coarse language.

The only reason this is still "news" is that the CM won't let it die. Drop it and in a week's time it will be forgotten. Look at the other side; if everyone who thinks O'Bummer is the worst president (small "p") in history goes to Wolfeboro, business will be booming. Maybe we should respect the office of the President, but I have zero respect for this Marxist who current resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

You are very good at name calling. Exactly why is Obama a Marxist? This is big news across the country, maybe not on the channel you watch, so the CM would not be much of a paper to ignore something happening in their own state.

That is the funny because I could not stand Deputy Dog known as George Bush. Who likes to start wars and not pay for them. Plus get thousands of soliders killed for what was that we were looking for. WMD's? What are those.

zackfoly, Dat be Deputy DAWG. Let's not disparage the real deal now.

Not to forget http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pep%C3%A9_Le_Pew too (;-) The reporter for WMUR-TV Channel 9 out of Manchester, N.H. is a "nosy individual" of a "skunk" according to Robert Copeland at the end of this 2:32-minute video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs4gEyYNFVo entitled: "Residents call for Wolfeboro Police Commissioner resignation" as seen 4,206 times, with 61 comments.

Hey, what about a story on what Mitt Romney said the other day. He came to Obama's defense and denounced Copeland's comments. Oh yeah . . . that would paint a Republican in a positive light, probably the reason why you haven't mentioned it.

I wonder how many people boycott NYC because Al Sharpton lives there?

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