Program tonight about saving Sadhana Forest in Haiti

PLYMOUTH — Tonight at 6 p.m., the Friends of Sadhana Forest will sponsor New Hampshire for Haiti, at the Flying Monkey Theater in Plymouth.

The program will include the showing of the award-winning independent short film, The People's Forest: The Story of the White Mountains, followed by presentations by Chris Rimmer, Executive Director of the Vermont Center for Eco-Studies, (expert on the endangered Bicknell Thrush), and Aviram Rozin, Executive Director of Sadhana Forest Haiti, a world renowned expert in wasteland regeneration and conservation strategies.

Representatives from the Audubon Society, The White Mountain National Forest, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the Museum of the White Mountains and others will be on hand for a discussion to explain the ways in reforestation on the Island of Hispaniola may just be the crucial next step in the journey of restoring habitat crucial to endangered species here in New Hampshire (Bicknell Thrush), as well as a sustainable economic progress for the people of Haiti.

The discussion will be facilitated by Dr. Thaddeus Guldbrandsen Plymouth State University Provost for Research and Engagement.

Today, wilderness and wildlife form the basis for our prosperity and the quality of living that we enjoy here in the Granite State. But it might have been very different if not for the visionary efforts of number of key individuals at the turn of the 20th century.

Here in New Hampshire 100 years ago, after decades of aggressive clear cut logging, the landscape was barren, cleared of the lush forest cover that we consider iconic of our state today.

Fortunately for us, an innovative partnership between environmentalists, members of the business community and other generous private individuals provided the impetus for a truly remarkable environmental comeback for New Hampshire.

The People's Forest tells the fascinating story of the people who established the White Mountain National Forest and the obstacles they overcame to get the job done.


Senior Moment-um group meeting at Pizza Hut

GILFORD —  The Gilford Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring a Senior Moment-um program on Monday, March 2nd. Participants will be meeting at Pizza Hut on Union Ave. in Laconia at 11:15 a.m. to enjoy a buffet lunch. The buffet includes salad, various types of pizza, pasta and breadsticks. Each participant is responsible for their own lunch cost which is $5 for the buffet plus the cost of their drink. Participants are asked to RSVP by Friday, February 27th.

For more information or to RSVP, contact the Gilford Parks and Rec. Dept. at 527-4722.

Belknap County Nursing Home recognized for excellence

LACONIA — On January 14 the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) identified Belknap County Nursing Home one of the top performing skilled nursing facilities in the United States. Each year, ACHCA uses Minimum Data Set quality indicators, occupancy, and three years of survey data to identify excellence among nursing facilities. The Belknap County Nursing Home areas of excellence included:
- three consecutive years of superior performance on Health, Fire Safety, and Complaint Surveys conducted by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, including a zero deficiency survey in 2014.
- 98.75% facility occupancy
- avoidance of Special Focus Facility status
- high performance on Quality Measures associated with the Advancing Excellence in America's Nursing Homes quality goals
Having met these goals; the facility qualified for the ACHCA Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award. This award recognizes facilities for achieving excellence well beyond the Nursing Home Compare Five Star rating system. Fewer than 300 of the 15,000 skilled nursing facilities in the U. S. (less than 2%) qualified for this distinction.
The Facility Leadership Award was introduced by one of ACHCA's most revered leaders, the late Eli Pick, in 2008. Eli worked with colleague John Sheridan of eHealth Data Solutions to develop an awards program that uses data driven criteria to objectively identify high-performing skilled nursing facilities and the leaders who make them excel. Today, Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award recipients are identified using publicly collected data by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which is pulled and evaluated by an independent third party. Leaders of the high-performing skilled nursing facilities will be celebrated and honored during ACHCA's 49th Annual Convocation and Exposition in San Antonio, TX on April 14.

N.H. Electric Co-op names new president/CEO


PLYMOUTH — New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) Board Chair Earl Hansen is pleased to announce the hiring of Steven Camerino as NHEC's new President/CEO.

Camerino, a shareholder and director in the New Hampshire-based law firm of McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, will succeed Fred Anderson as President/CEO. Camerino will officially assume his duties on March 31.

Camerino has been with McLane for over thirty years, and for the last twenty-five has focused his practice on a broad range of energy and utility industry issues for major regional utilities and other clients. According to Hansen, he brings a thorough knowledge of the industry to the job, as well as a clear vision for the future of NHEC.

"The Board joins me in welcoming Steve to the Cooperative," Hansen said. "We have been continually impressed throughout the search process by the breadth of his knowledge and his ability to chart a path forward for NHEC as it enters a new era with significant new challenges. He is a worthy successor to Fred Anderson, who is retiring after a long and distinguished career."

Hired in 1981, Anderson was named President/CEO in 1992 while NHEC was emerging from bankruptcy. Taking over an organization saddled with negative equity and immense debt as a result of NHEC's ownership stake in the Seabrook Station Nuclear Power Plant, Anderson has guided NHEC back to profitability while leading the company through major initiatives like electric deregulation and the installation of a Smart Grid communications and metering infrastructure.

Camerino will inherit challenges of his own, including a regional electric industry that is changing rapidly as a result of the growth of distributed generation, renewable energy mandates, rising electric rates and a region that is increasingly reliant on natural gas to fuel electricity generation.

"This is a challenging and exciting time for electric utilities generally and those in New England in particular," said Camerino. "The issues facing NHEC today create an opportunity for us to ensure that we understand and meet the needs of the utility's members in a reliable and affordable manner. I'm looking forward to working with NHEC's excellent team and its members to do just that."

Camerino brings a wealth of experience to the position of NHEC President/CEO. Over his law career he has worked with numerous national and regional energy and utility companies and other clients on a broad range of complex issues. He has extensive experience in utility ratemaking, power purchase agreements, electric industry restructuring, virtual net metering, competitive supply issues, financings, and numerous operational and customer-facing issues.

"I have been extremely fortunate to work with the talented attorneys and staff of the McLane firm for the last thirty-one years. Their commitment to client service and community are second to none. NHEC's similar commitment to its members and the communities it serves were a key part of my desire to join the Cooperative."

Founded in 1939 and headquartered in Plymouth, NHEC is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative serving 83,000 homes and businesses in 115 New Hampshire communities.