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Mike Cote's Business Editor's Notebook: While you're at it, Governor, can you fix...

By MIKE COTE
August 25. 2018 11:04PM
Sing Chiu serves sushi during the grand opening of Market Basket's downtown Manchester location in 2012. Unlike the Market Basket in Bedford, the store does not include a custom meat counter. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER FILE)

We congratulate Gov. Chris Sununu for his victory convincing Market Basket to be more careful with how it places price stickers on packages of deli meat and cheese. Woohoo! No more ripped bags and broken zip seals! The governor's viral tweet last week got us thinking about other things he could fix by making a few phone calls.

. How come the Market Basket in Manchester doesn't have one those fancy custom meat counters like the store in Bedford? Market Basket offers sushi at the Elm Street location and a good wine and beer selection, so why not go all the way? The Manchester store also has a police officer on duty so not to worry about anyone pilfering pricey steak filets.

. We know the governor loves Planet Fitness - the Newington-based gym company is featured in his latest digital campaign ad. Planet Fitness is a great value for the money - who doesn't have $10 a month to stay in shape? But the company can improve on the monthly free pizza night. Our neighborhood Planet Fitness orders too much barbecue chicken pizza. Seriously? Load up on the cheese and pepperoni, please.

. Stonyfield Farm, an iconic national brand, makes its yogurt in Londonderry with organic milk from local farms. That's wonderful, but not so much when my shirt is covered with yogurt, thanks to the exploding yogurt package effect. Carefully peel back that foil label, and you still might get sprayed. Stonyfield is not alone in this problem, but we bet the governor can solve this puzzle. He's an MIT-trained engineer after all.

City schools need support

When I compared Manchester to Boulder, Colo., a few weeks back, I neglected to mention the public school system among the factors people consider as they decide to stay or move here.

"School system ratings are one of the first things people check on when looking to find a new home," reader Judith MacLellan reminded me in an email. "I encourage everyone who wants to bring people to Manchester to support improvement in the public school system."

A group working to do that is gaining momentum. Mike Skelton, president of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, recently sent an email to chamber members inviting businesses to support Manchester Proud, which formed several months ago to create a comprehensive plan for the city's public schools.

More than 100 businesses and community organizations have signed on as Champions of Manchester Proud. The group has been endorsed by the Board of School Committee and the teachers' union.

Skelton noted the success of local businesses - including the tech hub in the Millyard - and the growth of local colleges and universities. But workforce development remains the top challenge for the business community, he said.

"In the absence of action, Manchester's ability to compete for qualified employees will certainly be compromised," Skelton said.

"A prosperous future for Manchester requires public schools that not only educate and train our own kids, but are a source of pride and vital asset in the recruitment of outside talent."

Visit manchesterproud.org to learn more.

The pop of 'live free or die'

We've noted previously about the Granite State becoming part of the story line in "The Sopranos" and "Breaking Bad." (The New Hampshire Union Leader was even featured in one episode of the latter.)

We can add a superhero to the list, although this one's just a cameo. New Hampshire's famous motto makes an appearance in the first season of "Luke Cage," one of five interconnected Marvel superhero series produced for Netflix.

In episode 12, the unbreakable hero, framed for a crime he did not commit, tells a police officer he'd rather die than go back to prison.

"Live free or die? You wanna get all New Hampshire about (this)?" the officer says. "Fine with me."

As Cage would say, sweet Christmas!

Contact Business Editor Mike Cote at 206-7724 or mcote@unionleader.com.


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