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Brenda Richards Named Breathe NH December Volunteer of the Month

MANCHESTER — Breathe New Hampshire has recognized Brenda Richards of Laconia as its December Volunteer of the Month.

When Brenda's mother passed away from complications of COPD in 2008, the family suggested that donations be made to Breathe NH in her memory.

"She was a smoker for most of her life," says Brenda. "It was painful to watch my beautiful mother succumb to this addiction. Though everyone is familiar with the effects of smoking and the dreaded diagnosis of Lung Cancer, COPD was relatively unknown to our family." Her mother had been using inhalers and taking other medicines to relieve symptoms, but she was not using oxygen. "I wish I had been aware of Breathe NH before 2008," says Brenda.

Three years ago, Brenda started volunteering with her daughter at Breathe New Hampshire's Eager Breather's Fresh Air Day Cruise on Lake Winnipesaukee. The annual cruise is a big deal for the many pulmonary rehabilitation patients who participate and who look forward to the event each year. "You can tell by the smiles on their faces," Brenda explains. "There is much laughter, eating, gift shopping and even a little bit of dancing (some doing wheelies in their wheel chairs)."

While the cruise is Brenda's favorite event because she can directly serve those living with lung disease, she has also been involved with Breathe New Hampshire's Golf Classic and Bike Tour fundraisers and more recently joined the Volunteer Action Committee.

In this fast-paced world in which we live, Brenda continues to believe that it is important to make time to help others. "If we can help a person who is suffering from a chronic lung issue feel not so alone and provide them with the tools to live better lives, then mission accomplished!"

Brenda has over 20 years experience with marketing and publishing and currently freelances as a graphic designer. With a daughter in college and son in the Air Force, Brenda and her husband are now empty nesters and like to spend their spare time traveling and boating on the lake or the ocean.

Established in 1916, Breathe New Hampshire is the state's oldest nonprofit voluntary health agency and is committed to promoting lung health in New Hampshire. For more information, visit www.breathenh.org or call 1- 800-835-8647.

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 December 2013 12:27

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Bio-retention Gardens Help Reduce Water Pollution

LACONIA — Recognizing that the city of Laconia has taken strong efforts over the last 5 years to protect regional water quality, the Lakes Region Planning Commission (LRPC) recently acquired funds from the NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) to support the city's Department of Public Works (DPW) with installing a bio-retention basin at the foot of White Oaks Road at Paugus Bay.

City officials recognize that, due to climate change and intense development over the last 10 years, its aging stormwater infrastructure is no longer meeting the needs of the community. Several areas are experiencing flooding due to undersized culverts and piping networks. At White Oaks Road, the older system was designed with the intent to move stormwater off the roads and into the lake as fast as possible. Unfortunately, this design method also moves the pollution into the lake.

As part of a Comprehensive Drainage Study started in 2009, the DPW identified several areas where simple changes to the stormwater system could help improve stormwater management and water quality protection. The most recent project is a bio retention garden located at the intersection of White Oaks Road and Weirs Boulevard. Stormwater in this area enters a series of catch basins that is channeled onto the lawn of a private residential property located along the shoreline. Recognizing the stormwater quantity and quality issues this discharge creates, the city is constructing an 850 square-foot bio-retention garden to capture stormwater and clean it before it goes into the lake.

The bio-retention garden, engineered by Michael Redding of Loureiro Engineering Associates, is designed using the powerful properties of compost and plants. Compost is very effective in removing stormwater pollutants such as petroleum hydrocarbons, bacteria, nutrients, and metals. The bio-retention garden on White Oaks Road will have the capability of treating and infiltrating the majority of rain storms, while safely bypassing overflows associated with very large storms.

As the rain enters the basin it will infiltrate through the open rock surface and pass through a two and a half foot layer of compost. The compost will absorb the stormwater like a sponge and begin to remove the pollutants from the water. The treated stormwater will also slowly drain into the surrounding soils making its way into the groundwater, reducing the discharges to the lake. When storms are larger and the stormwater begins to pond in the basin, plants and amended soils located on the slopes will begin absorbing the water and removing the pollutants.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) bio-retention gardens are capable of removing between 80% to 90% of petroleum hydrocarbons, sediment, and bacteria and 70% to 80% of nutrients like nitrogen and metals like copper and zinc which can affect the health of fish.

Improving water quality in the Lakes Region requires cooperation from all communities within a watershed. For this project it was the collaboration between the city and an adjacent condominium complex that made this effort possible. The Paugus View Condo Association recognizes the importance of protecting the lake and, when approached by Luke Powell of the DPW, was willing to allow a drainage easement on their property to accommodate the size of thes bio-retention garden.

While the working simplicity of this system will not be as evident until spring when buds start sprouting on the diverse species of plantings, the roots of the now-dormant plants and the soil around them are already working hard. The plantings include silky Dogwood shrubs, and variety of shapes and colors represented in perennials, such as Bee Balm, Meadow Sweet, Caesar's Brother Iris, Black Eyed Susan, and Feather Reed Grass. They will also provide habitat for birds and insects and will remind visitors entering Weirs Boulevard of Laconia's commitment to water quality protection.

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 December 2013 12:17

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Praise Assembly plans Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

TILTON — Praise Assembly of God will have a Christmas service on Sunday, December 22, which will be geared towards children. The service, entitled "Through the Eyes of a Child" will incorporate songs, video presentations, and vignettes with costumes to tell the Christmas story in a way that a child can understand.
Praise Assembly of God will also be holding a Christmas Eve Candle Light Service at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 24. The church outside will be illuminated with luminaries that the congregation has decorated. Some are decorated in memory of lost loved ones.  There will be a message of hope and a mix of contemporary and traditional Christmas songs during the hour long service.

The community is invited to participate in this special time that Pastor Jay Hughen and Pastor Bill Williams will co-lead. There will be no Wednesday night service on December 25. The church is located at 180 School St., Tilton. If there are any questions, call the church office at 286-3007.

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 December 2013 12:02

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Weight Institute Web Award presented to LRGH

LACONIA — LRGHealthcare's Weight Institute of New Hampshire (WINH) recently won a 2013 eHealthcare Leadership Award in the Best Overall Internet Site category from eHealthcare Strategy and Trends.

The annual eHealthcare Leadership Awards honors the nation's best digital health resources, and the competition evaluates and judges content and design using a proprietary multi-point standard of Internet excellence. The best overall Internet site category, for example, had to pass muster on more than 40 factors and winners were selected from more than 1,100 entries.

As a medical weight loss center, the Weight Institute of New Hampshire offers weight loss options such as; bariatric surgery, lifestyle and nutritional counseling programs, behavioral weight loss and management and support programs.

"We designed the website to directly support the valuable programs and services WINH offers for weight loss and nutritional education," stated website manager Patricia Rice. "We are truly honored to be recognized for this effort, and we are committed to building upon this excellent online resource."

Last Updated on Friday, 13 December 2013 11:54

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