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PSU's Center for the Environment Celebrates 10th Anniversary


PLYMOUTH — One of New Hampshire's most effective environmental research and protection organizations celebrated its tenth anniversary August 29. The Center for the Environment (CFE) at Plymouth State University was created in 2004 to study the science, policies, culture, and economics of the natural environment in northern New England through research, education, and collaboration. In addressing a gathering at the Squam Lakes Association in Holderness, Plymouth State President Sara Jayne Steen said the CFE has provided expert support and expertise in environmental matters critical to the region and the state.

"Since 2004, the Center for the Environment has been a resource for research in New Hampshire's ecosystem, providing critical information for decision makers and linking scientists and local state and federal agencies and the public," noted Steen. "It is a key regional and state player in promoting a sustainable future, creating powerful partnerships that benefit the State of New Hampshire and communities throughout the region. Its cutting edge research focused on environmental science as it relates to New Hampshire's ecosystem, society and economy has far reaching benefits that improve life in New Hampshire. And it is educating the next generation of environmental scientists."

In the past decade, CFE's efforts have directly benefited the people and environment of the Granite State, including projects on water quality, land conservation, acid rain, watershed protection and climate change.

President Steen stated the CFE has forged valuable partnerships in their environmental research and protection efforts, including White Mountain National Forest, Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, the Squam Lakes Conservation Society, and the NH Department of Environmental Services.

Steen also acknowledged Bertha Fauver of Plymouth and Sid Lovett of Holderness who advocated for the establishment of the CFE and helped in its creation.

Commissioner Tom Burack of the NH Department of Environmental Services, was the keynote speaker and praised CFE's accomplishments.

"The Center is fundamentally doing what needs to be done here in the northern end of our Lakes Region and the gateway to the White Mountains," Burack said. "Through numerous projects it is gathering and assessing data that helps local citizens, leaders and communities to better understand the health of their environment and to make better informed decisions about how the environment's health can be improved."

Burack also expressed excitement about continued collaboration with the CFE and its contributions to the state, "In many ways, part of DES's dream would be to have a Center for the Environment in every part of the state."

As for the CFE's future, Director Joe Boyer said environmental awareness and sustainability issues are gaining support around the globe, particularly in the business community, and the CFE is promoting this idea.

"We need to encourage business and industry to become more a part of the ecosystem," Boyer said. "Some corporations are already starting to recognize the benefits of this idea."

Boyer added that the CFE's future plans also include developing new environmental sensors.

"Environmental sensing technology is advancing rapidly and I think CFE can play a big part in this arena," Boyer said. "To that end, we are in the process of re-purposing our main labs to begin developing new sensor technology and new sensor applications. The WatSen Lab will be a R&D test bed for developing cheap, yet sophisticated, sensors which can be deployed by the thousands across New Hampshire."

Boyer also reminded the audience that public and private support is critical for CFE to continue to remain a cornerstone for environmental education. "We want to keep attracting bright and dedicated students to the program. To do that we need to increase our endowed fellowships and scholarship awards," he said.

The CFE, which is located in the Russell House on the PSU campus, also sponsors and hosts the New Hampshire Water and Watershed Conference, an annual event held at the University.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 11:56

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Pleasant Street School taking part in Year of the Book celebration

LACONIA — Pleasant Street Elementary School is one of eight elementary schools in New Hampshire and Vermont taking part in the Year of the Book sponsorships from the Children's Literacy Foundation, an independent nonprofit based in Waterbury Center, Vt.

Each sponsorship is valued at $25,000 and includes literacy programs and events for the school and new books for the school and students.

Pleasant Street School will kick off their Year of the Book on Wednesday, September 17.  Duncan McDougall will tell stories to 290 students, grades K-5. After the storytelling presentation held in the cafeteria/gymnasium, each student will choose 2 new books. The programs will be held 1-1:45 – K-2nd grade; 2-2:45 – 3rd – 5th grade.

Other opportunities over the year may include:

Writing workshops with poets, children's authors and cartoonists; Visits from naturalists and real reptiles and raptors; Conversations with well-known authors about the writing process and field trips and performances.


Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 11:50

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Belknap County Democrats hosting meet the candidates event on September 14

LACONIA — On Sunday, September 14, the Belknap County Democrats will be hosting an event so that Belknap County residents can meet and hear from many of the Democrats who are running for state office in Belknap County and will be on the ballot Nov. 4th. The event will be held at the Leavitt Park Club House, 334 Elm St., in Laconia from 4:30 - 6:30 pm. Refreshments and food will be provided.

Many of the candidates running in Belknap County will be there, including:
Mike Cryans - Executive Council candidate
Andrew Hosmer - running for reelection to the State Senate, District 7
Carolyn Mello - running for election to the State Senate, District 2
Rich Leonard – running for election to the State Senate, District 6
Dave Pollak – running for Belknap County Commissioner
State Rep candidates from all districts in Belknap County

Former State Senator Mark Fernald will also be attending and sharing his perspective on bedrock principles, talk about where NH is now, and challenge candidates and voters to think how we can, as a state, live up to our founding principles. Mark represented District 11 in the State Senate from 1999 – 2002 and was the Democratic nominee for Governor in 2002.



Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 11:42

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Bank of NH gives to Life Bridge program

WOLFEBORO — Bank of New Hampshire recently supported Life Bridge Inc. with a $2,500 contribution towards their youth mentoring program.

"We understand the importance of providing support to organizations such as Life Bridge," stated Edie Carter, AVP – Ossipee Banking Office Manager for Bank of New Hampshire. "The work they do brings students and healthy adults together resulting in positive life changes."

Life Bridge's vision is to give students hope, keep them off drugs and alcohol, help curb risky behaviors and to encourage healthy choices. Trained adults invest 90 minutes each week for a year through a one-to-one mentoring relationship. Mentoring enables a student to develop responsible decision making skills, deeper relationships within their family, improved grades and attendance in school and potentially a rewarding journey into the future as responsible young adults in their community.

For more information about Life Bridge, visit www.lifebridgementoring.org.

Last Updated on Monday, 08 September 2014 11:38

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