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River Crew Art on exhibit at Busiel Mill

LACONIA — The photography, artwork, and pottery created by participants in the River Crew Art program will be showcased during the group's third annual art exhibit at the Busiel Mill, located at One Mill Plaza in downtown Laconia. The exhibit is free, open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will run through the month of July.
The exhibit's opening reception will be held on Tuesday, July 15 from 5 to 8 p.m. Artwork on exhibit is available for purchase, and all proceeds will directly benefit the program.
The year's exhibit theme is "River Connections." Participants in the program have produced artwork throughout the year in various media including, painting, wood sculpture, and new this year: pottery. Also new this year are mandalas created by River Crew Art participants that reflect on their lives, identities, and heritage.
The program began in January 2012 with local volunteers Elaine Morrison and Dick Smith. Morrison is a retired special education teacher and an artist, and Smith is a retired medical social worker and an amateur photographer. This year, the program boasts three new volunteers. Ursala and John Allen are teaching participants the fine art of pottery, and professional photographer Susan Brown is lending her  talent to help members learn about photography.
Morrison and Smith began the program with the idea to use art and photography as a tool for empowerment for the homeless. Challenges of addiction persist as most are in the later stages of alcoholism. River Crew members come together as a family to create art and photography as a means of expressing themselves.
The River Crew Art program relies strictly on donations to purchase art supplies and lunch for members. The program is structured so that members not only create art, but they also give back to the community that willingly supports River Crew. Projects have included making a flower wreath for the Newtown, Conn. residents, flower pins honoring the late Lilyanna Johnson, decorated pumpkins for the pediatric patients at the Laconia Clinic, and cards for the Wounded Warriors.
The program has been highly successful and has grown far beyond the expectations of its founders. The work of the talented members of River Crew has been exhibited in many places throughout the community including the Lakes Region Camera Club, Downtown Deli in Laconia, Laconia Congregational Church, Hands Across the Table, Friendship Club, Better Together, and the Taylor Home.

— by Carol Lee Anderson

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 07:51

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Observe nesting birds at Loon Center

MOULTONBOROUGH -- The Loon Preservation Committee has reported that loons are nesting off the Markus Sanctuary on a nesting raft that is floated there every year. The raft can be seen from a vantage point along one of The Loon Center's hiking trails overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee.

This nest site has been used since the early 1990s, but in the last seven years there have been four nest failures and no chicks have hatched. This year, chicks are due to hatch on or about July 22, which makes it a good time to visit The Loon Center. Even after the chicks hatch, the loon family will still spend time in the bay.

The peak hatch of loon chicks generally occurs around the Fourth of July holiday. Loon pairs are very vulnerable at this time to disturbance as human activities on the lakes increase.

Loon Center officials note that  couple of simple precautions can help ensure a good year for loons in New Hampshire:
• Try to stay back at least 150 feet from a nesting loon or adult with chicks, or more. If the loon shows any signs of distress such as craning its neck low over a nest, thrashing about in the water, or vocalizing, then people should give them more space.
• If someone inadvertently causes a loon to flush from the nest, they should leave the area immediately to let the loon return to incubate its eggs. Time off the nest leaves the eggs vulnerable to cooling, overheating, or predation.

Last year Loon Preservation Committee biologists floated a record number of rafts to help loons nest and protected a record number of nesting pairs with signs and ropeline. They recorded 157 loon chicks hatched, but 24 percent of those chicks did not survive. Studies indicate that a minimum breeding success rate of 0.48 surviving chicks per loon pair is needed to maintain the loon population over the long term, but New Hampshire's loons have achieved that level of breeding success in only two out of the last eight years. The loon Center biologists are hoping for a more productive breeding season this year for the state-threatened loon population.

Loons are a threatened species in New Hampshire and are protected by state and federal laws from hunting or harassment, including following adults with chicks. Anyone who sees harassment of loons, is asked to contact the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (603-271-3361) or Marine Patrol (603-293-2037) for assistance.

The Loon Preservation Committee is also reminding the public to leave any lead tackle at home if they are fishing on the lakes this summer, as lead poisoning from ingested lead tackle is the largest known cause of adult loon mortality in New Hampshire.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 July 2014 07:44

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Rebecca Rule to visit Gilman Library

ALTON – Storyteller Rebecca Rule will lead a public discussion on life in New Hampshire at the Gilman Library on Tuesday, July 15, at 7 p.m.

Rule's program, titled "That Reminds Me of a Story," is being made possible by a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities Council.

Rule has made it her mission over the last 20 years to collect stories of New Hampshire, especially those that reflect what's special about the state. She'll tell some of those and invite audience members to contribute a few stories of their own.
This program is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided by the Alton Historical Society and the Gilman Library.

Signed copies of Rebecca's books will be available for purchase.

Additional local support is provided by The Alton Historical Society and the Gilman Library.

For more information, contact Holly Brown, 875-2550, hollybrown@gilman library.org

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 09:12

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Belknap Mill Hosting Book Release Party for author Carol Lee Anderson on July 11

 

LACONIA — The Belknap Mill is proud to host the book release event for A History of the Belknap Mill: The Pride of Laconia's Industrial Heritage written by Lakes Region historian, Carol Lee Anderson, on Friday, July 11 beginning at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The Belknap Mill played a significant role in the hosiery industry with Laconia's Industrial Revolution during the nineteenth century. J.P. Morin purchased the Belknap Mill in 1913 and his family operated the business for three generations. With a personal investment, made by J.P. Morin, of $100,000.00 in a hydro-electric power plant, the Belknap Mill began to produce its own electricity. With plenty of power, the Mill was in good position to increase production and established a contract from the military to supply its soldiers with socks during the World Wars, as well to produce hosiery for the general population of Laconia and beyond.

By 1969, the Belknap Mill had ended its operations as a hosiery mill. Under the Laconia Urban Renewal Plan many structures in downtown Laconia were razed. In the 1970s a non-profit organization was founded that came to the rescue of the Belknap Mill. The Save the Mills Society (today's Belknap Mill Society) bought the mill and mounted a capital campaign. It defined its mission as to preserve and maintain the building and its history, promote the arts and humanities, and provide community services.

Today the Belknap Mill is the only remaining example in the United States from the first stage of the Industrial Revolution. The fact that the building was left unaltered gives it a special and highly-significant historic value.

Visitors are welcome to arrive as early as 5 p.m. on July 11 to tour the facility; browse the museum and art gallery spaces and learn more about what is currently happening at the Mill. Morin's great-grandson, J. Paul Morin, wrote the foreword of the book and will be at the book release to begin the evening's event. During the Meet the Author session, there will be a presentation, a question and answer period followed by the book signing by the author.

A History of the Belknap Mill: The Pride of Laconia's Industrial Heritage can be purchased at the Belknap Mill on 25 Beacon Street East in Laconia or online at www.belknapmill.org. Pre-orders and reservations are encouraged.

Anderson is also the author of The New England Life of Cartoonist Bob Montana: Beyond the Archie Comic Strip and the award-winning, The History of Gunstock: Skiing in the Belknap Mountains published by The History Press in 2011. For more information, visit CarolLeeAnderson.com.

The Belknap Mill is the oldest, unaltered brick textile mill in the country. It has a permanent exhibit that interprets the history of the textile industry in Laconia, and has changing monthly exhibits focusing on the arts and history, as well as educational programs for all ages. For further information on the mill and its events, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , visit www.belknapmill.org, or call 603-524-8813.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 09:05

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