Mushing season to begin soon in Waterville Valley

WATERVILLE VALLEY — The Valley Snow Dogz are slated to begin the mushing season at Waterville Valley on Friday, December 19. Valley Snow Dogz offers twilight dogsled rides on Friday and Saturday evenings all winter into March. Guests can join mushers and their friendly teams of traditional sled dogs for a unique tour by moonlight or headlight.

The Mountain Taster excursion starts at the base of Tripoli Road and travels to Osceola Vista for an experience of moonlight or headlight vistas followed by a fun downhill run back to the staging area. The experience is approximately 30-40 minutes, a portion of which is educational time at the staging area, and costs $65 per rider.

Each sled holds one person, with a maximum weight limit of 200 pounds. Participants must be at least 7 years old. Up to four sleds can be made available to go out on each run. Reservations are necessary, and available through the Town Square Condos front desk office. Gift certificates are available.

Valley Snow Dogz combines several local mushers and a combination of traditional Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies. Leading the pack is Lidia Dale-Mesaros of Uktousa Sled Dogs, joined by Kim and Kelly Berg of Kelim Siberians. The trio have been running dogs together for 20 years, and Lidia has placed top third in New England dog sled races. Life with sled dogs means many hours each day dedicated to the dogs and basic kennel chores, as well as hours of training on the trails. The dogs are more than just trail companions; they are all house trained and obedience trained and enjoy activities outside of sledding.

Plymouth State University hosting ‘Silent Witness’ exhibition, focusing on climate change and lichen


PLYMOUTH — The Lamson Learning Commons at Plymouth State University will present an exhibition of works by Professor Kimberly Anderson Ritchie, December 12 through March 6 at the Library and Learning Commons on Highland Street in Plymouth. An opening reception and gallery talk will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, February 10, at the art display wall on the main level of the facility.

Ritchie is coordinator of printmaking in the PSU Department of Art. She says her curiosity, love and respect for the natural environment has directed her artwork, which focuses on an array of environmental issues. Some works use the issue as a starting point, while others clearly demonstrate the concern.

The works in Silent Witness focus on global climate change and the impacts on lichen. Ritchie says, "When one change happens in the environment it affects something else, even if it is on the opposite side of the globe. As a small, fragile, many-times-overlooked but crucial part of the ecosystem, lichen is a silent witness to the effects of global climate change. This work is bringing attention to the fragility of our changing environment."

Ritchie earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Appalachian State University, and a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from Colorado State University. She has participated in solo and group exhibitions across the United States, and recently created a collaborative children's book at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Triple comedy bill at Pitman’s on Saturday

LACONIA — Live stand up comedy returns to Pitman's Freight Room, Saturday, December 13 at 8 p.m. with a triple header line-up featuring co-headliners Jim Lauletta and Steve Scarfo along with regional favorite Steve Halligan.

Lauletta, who has just returned from a two week stint in Hollywood, is one of Boston's top comedians and is one of the most popular headliners in New England. Lauletta's television credits include numerous Comedy Central appearances such as, "Two Drink Minimum," "Stand-up Stand-up," "Comic Re-mix," "Shorties Watchin' Shorties," and "Make Me Laugh." Lauletta is a regular in Las Vegas and on cruise ships as well as having been seen on Comcast Comedy Spotlight, and HBO's U.S. Comedy Arts Festival "Best of the Fest," "Comedy Showcase" and NBC's "Friday Night". Lauletta is also a regular performer in New York, Las Vegas and Atlantic City as well as headlining at the major comedy clubs across the country.

Scarfo is a 20 year veteran of the comedy scene and is a regular at the Comedy Connection, Nick's, and major clubs across the country. Scarfo headlines from Maine to Los Angeles he has shared the stage with many of the top comedians in the business including Jeff Dunham, Bob Marley, Lenny Clarke, Victoria Jackson, and many more. Scarfo is a high energy comedian who has an odd perception of the world and humorously relates those ideas connecting with a wide range of audiences. The Maine based comic is also a playwright and actor having appeared in numerous films and television shows.

Halligan is a rising star on the Boston area comedy scene having already worked with some of the top names in the business and the top clubs in the New England region.

"This is a great way to end the 2014 season," said Pitman's owner Dick Mitchell. "Lauletta was here about two years ago and it was the first time we broke 200 for attendance. The people loved him. Scarfo was here for one of our summer shows more than a year ago and he was a hit as well."

Alton Masons hosting Breakfast Buffet Dec. 21

ALTON — On Sunday, December 21 the Masons of Winnipisaukee Lodge in Alton will be hosting its monthly Breakfast Buffet, open to the public, at the Lodge from 7:30 to 11 a.m. 

Breakfast includes fresh fruit, biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, omelets, bacon and sausage, home fries, beans, pancakes, french toast, coffee and juice being served. Cost of meal is $10 per person. For more information, go to, or contact John Alden at 603-566-1722.