Walk MS in Laconia May 9

LACONIA — Nearly 200 people are expected to raise $22,000 to support cutting-edge research and life-changing programs and services for people living with multiple sclerosis at the annual Walk MS in Laconia taking place on Saturday, May 9 at Opechee Park. Check in begins at 9 a.m. followed by the 10 a.m. start.

Walk MS, is an opportunity for people living with MS and those who care about them to connect and join together to be inspired and raise critical funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Walk MS: Laconia attracts friends and families of people affected by MS, people living with MS, corporate teams, and individuals who want to help end MS forever. Participants will walk a five-mile fully accessible route. Each year, nearly 333,000 people walk to create a world free of MS across the country. Walk MS is presented by Biogen Idec; with additional sponsorship from Acorda Therapeutics, Bernie & Phyl's Furniture, and Domino's Pizza.s.

Visit www.WalkMSgne.org, call 1-800-344-4867 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Snow sculpture party to be held in Belmont in February

BELMONT — Snow sculptures are a fun way to enjoy a NH winter, and in Belmont, a great community activity for the month of February. If the temperatures rise enough for snow, especially wet and sticky snow, there will be snow sculptures in the village green near the Belmont Library.

Gretta Olson-Wilder, Special Event Coordinator, is inviting students, businesses, neighborhoods, families, and civic organizations in Belmont to create works of art out of the white stuff. All designs must be pre-approved. Registration forms, which require your proposed design, are available on the town's website (www.belmontnh.org). Those wishing to participate, must drop off all completed forms at Belmont Town Hall before Friday, February 6. A kickoff party for the snow sculptures is planned for Saturday, February 14 at 10 a.m., if we receive some warmer winter temperatures for natural snow making. Enjoy hot cocoa and a waffle bar to chase away the winter chill.

If there is no sticky snow, then the event will be postponed until February 2016. For up to date information on the event or if you have any questions, check out the town's website at www.belmontnh.org, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call Gretta at 603-998-3525.

Local photographer, Meredith Village Savings Bank contribute to Genesis

LACONIA — Earlier this winter, local photographer Jon Secord committed to contribute 25% of his photography sales between the period of November 15 and December 15 to Genesis Behavioral Health (Genesis). During this time frame he was able to raise $500 for the organization through his photography sales. Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB) exceeded their promise to match Secord's donation, by adding an additional $1500 to bring the donation to $2000.

Secord began this charitable endeavor on his own last year, when he raised $225 for Genesis during the holiday season. "When I did this last year, I had no idea how much I would be able to contribute, but I learned that even a small amount makes a big difference. This year I decided to seek out a community partner in hopes that I could make an even larger impact and I was so thrilled when MVSB decided to join in my efforts to help this great organization," said Secord.

"We are so inspired by Jon's mission to give back through his talent as an artist and we are honored to be a recipient of his efforts," said Kristen Welch, Director of Development and Communications for Genesis Behavioral Health. Genesis plans to use the funds to purchase cold weather clothing for local children and families this winter.

Secord specializes in New England landscape photography, especially the mountain, lakes and seacoast regions of the New Hampshire, and Hermit Island in Bath, Maine. His photography can be viewed and purchased at www.jsecordphoto.com.

Boston College professor to lecture on wealth and democracy in Plymouth on Feb. 5

PLYMOUTH — The Saul O Sidore Lecture Series at Plymouth State University will present Boston College Professor Kay Schlozman speaking on "Who has a Megaphone? Who speaks in a Whisper? Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy," on Thursday, February 5 at 7 p.m. in the Smith Recital Hall at the Silver Center for the Arts.
Schlozman is the J. Joseph Moakley Professor of Political Science at Boston College. She has served as secretary of the American Political Science Association (APSA) and chair of the APSA's section on Elections, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior. She won the organization's 2006 Frank Goodnow Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession of Political Science, and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The theme for this year's Sidore Lecture Series is "The State of Democracy," under the premise that Americans consider our political system to be the premier model of democracy, and that we like to think that others around the world wish to emulate us. However, the democratic nature of our institutions cannot be taken for granted—they need to be examined and reexamined. Headlines in the news regarding growing inequality, money in politics, changes in voter registration laws, government surveillance and setbacks of democratic movements in various parts of the world suggest that now is a good time for reflecting on the state of democracy in the United States and elsewhere.
Schlozman will discuss how wealth disparity stands to challenge the American notion of democracy, as the words and desires of the affluent take precedence over the impoverished. With corporations possessing the resources to influence policymakers, questions arise whether there is room left for the voices of everyday citizens to have equal representation.
Policymakers do not hear from everyone, and the political organizations they do hear from are often not representative of the American public. Since the Supreme Court has taken the lid off campaign contributions, those with deep pockets are poised to speak even more loudly in politics.
Schlozman, with Sidney Verba and Henry E. Brady, wrote The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy. Paul Starr (New Republic) says the three are the nation's leading analysts of participatory inequality, and The Unheavenly Chorus "is their magnum opus--a wide-ranging, heavily statistical analysis of how Americans try to make themselves heard as individuals and through organizations of different kinds." Andrea Louise Campbell (Harvard Magazine) calls the book "a troubling story about the state of American democracy."
Named for humanitarian and New Hampshire businessman Saul O Sidore, the Sidore Lecture Series was established in 1979 by PSU and the Sidore Memorial Foundation. The series brings a variety of speakers to campus to address critical issues and events in politics, society and culture—topics that reflect Sidore's interests.
All Sidore Lectures are free and open to the public, but reservations are recommended. A reception follows each lecture. Free tickets are available at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869.