Just a few degrees off topic: casinos and running nuns

Not precisely “life issues” here, but certainly cultural ones:

A New Hampshire House joint committee of Finance and Ways and Means voted 23-22 today to recommend that a casino bill be killed. SB 152 has been studied and amended and studied some more, after a decade or more of failed casino legislation. The full House will vote next Wednesday, the 22nd. A remarkably broad and diverse coalition of state residents (including your humble author) are working together to kill the bill. Both sides have an intense week of lobbying ahead.

A casino without a regulatory structure in place, being pushed as a solution to the state’s financial troubles? I don’t buy it. (I disagree with some good people on this one.)  I find the potential social costs a dealbreaker.

St. Charles Eagles in action
St. Charles Eagles in action

And now for something completely different: The University of New Hampshire will honor the “running nuns” of St. Charles Home in Rochester at this weekend’s commencement ceremony. Formally known as the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Healing Love, these women care for troubled kids who are temporarily removed from their families by court order. A few years back, one of the nuns started running with a girl who was a temporary resident, and the running did wonders for both of them. Since then, everyone at St. Charles has gotten into the act. The nuns run in full habit (with running shoes) at local 5-Ks alongside the kids who are decked out in red “St. Charles Eagles” singlets. Those who don’t run come along to cheer for the rest of the team.

Their annual 5-K race in Portsmouth on Labor Day is a great opportunity to see the St. Charles Eagles in action and to meet some of these extraordinary people. Information on the 2013 race should be available shortly.