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Four Projects Funded by Bicycle Group's First Grant Round

LACONIA — A rail trail bridge, two recycled bicycle programs, and a bicycle rack program are the four applications funded for the Central New Hampshire Bicycling Coalition's first-ever Community Bicycle Grant Program.

In total, CNHBC awarded $7,500 in grants to organizations focused on making bicycling safer, more accessible, and available to residents in their communities. Recipients include:

• Winnipesaukee River Trail Association: Awarded $2,500 to fund engineering and design work for the planning and construction of Gulf Brook Bridge and associated approach trail sections in Tilton.

• Ashland HEAL Bike/Pedestrian Committee: Awarded $1,500 for parts and tools to repair bikes for their Re-cycle program and bike racks for around town. The Re-cycle program collects bicycles from the town transfer station or by donations, refurbishes them and distributes them to town residents in need.

• Laconia Area Bicycle Exchange: Awarded $500 for materials about its program, bike parts, locks and helmets. LABE provides a means of inexpensive alternative transportation in the form of refurbished used bicycles, made available to people who would benefit with greater mobility as it relates to work, family and personal living.

Since the middle of May the Laconia Area Bicycle Exchange has given out 58 bicycles to those in need. Men, women and children looking to improve their lives and mobility. The community has been very generous. The Exchange has received over 80 bicycles in all shapes and sizes. Some bicycles are sold to help raise funds, but the majority are given out without cost. Each bicycle is analyzed then repaired or used for parts.

The "Exchange" has several volunteers who come into the shop on a regular basis to repair bicycles and operate the shop. The Exchange is also looking for someone who would be willing to write a grant to fund a position for themselves or another. Someone who help with fund-raising, publicity, secretarial and administrative duties.

Current hours of operation are Tuesday 4-5:30 pm Thursday 12-1 pm, Saturdays 11-1 pm. Currently the exchange is in great need of men's bicycles.
For information please contact John Rogers at 630-7571

• Bike Manchester: Awarded $3,000 to purchase and install bike racks at or near businesses and commercial properties in Manchester. The Manchester 50/50 Bike Rack Program will give Manchester business and commercial property owners the opportunity to purchase and install bike racks on or near their properties at 50 percent of cost.

The purpose of the Community Bicycle Grant Program is to encourage widespread, safe, and responsible use of bicycles as a form of transportation and recreation. With this grant program, CNHBC is committed to spur creative new projects and encourage the next generation of bicycling advocates to make their communities more bicycle friendly.

The grant was established through funds raised from the Annual Bicycle Swap that CNHBC holds the third weekend in May at S&W Sports in Concord.

Established in 2008, the Central New Hampshire Bicycling Coalition has a mission to get more people on bicycles more often through education, advocacy, bicycling infrastructure, and support for improved bicycle access. CNHBC's vision is to develop a culture in the region that promotes bicycling and supports bicycling infrastructure so that bicycling is a safe and fun experience for everyone. In pursuit of this vision, the Community Bicycle Grant Program invests in communities and organizations that wish to make the region safer and more accessible to bicycle. For more information, visit www.cnhbc.org.


Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2014 08:53

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Architectural Historian Richard Guy Wilson to Deliver Presentation at Belknap Mill


LACONIA — Architectural historian, television commentator and author, Richard Guy Wilson, will present 'Wild and Colorful: Victorian Architecture in Laconia and New Hampshire' on Thursday, August 14 at 6 pm. The presentation will be held on the 3rd floor of the Belknap Mill in Laconia.

Wilson will speak about the architectural heritage of New Hampshire's Victorian buildings--houses, mills, court houses, rail road stations, libraries, and stores created between the 1830s and early 1900s. This presentation will examine these unique buildings with a focus upon Laconia and the Lakes Region. During the lecture, Wilson will provide a slide show that explores elements of visual literacy and point out how architecture can reflect the cultural and civic values of its time and place.

Wilson holds the Commonwealth Professor's Chair in Architectural History at the University of Virginia, where he also serves as chair of the Department of Architectural History. A graduate of the University of Colorado and the University of Michigan, Wilson has received a number of academic honors, among them a Guggenheim fellow, prizes for distinguished writing, and in 1986 he was made an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He received the outstanding professor award at the University of Virginia in 2001. He has directed the Victorian Society's Nineteenth Century Summer School since 1979 that has been located in Boston, Philadelphia and currently Newport, RI. He has served as an advisor and commentator for a number of television programs on PBS, C-Span, History Channel and A&E; he appeared on most sixty-seven segments of America's Castles.

A frequent lecturer for universities, museums and professional groups, he has also published widely with articles and reviews to his credit. He is the author, joint author and/or editor of 16 books that deal with American and modern architecture. Among the most recent publications include Edith Wharton at Home: Life at the Mount (2012), Harbor Hill: Portrait of a House (2008) and a reissued new edition of Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village (2009).

Tickets for the presentation are $5.00 per person. To reserve a space for the presentation, visit www.belknapmill.org or call (603) 524 - 8813.

The Belknap Mill is the oldest, unaltered brick textile mill in the country. It has a permanent exhibit that interprets the history of the textile industry in Laconia, and has changing monthly exhibits focusing on the arts and history, as well as educational programs for all ages. For further information on the mill and its events, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , visit www.belknapmill.org, or call 603-524-8813.


Richard Guy Wilson (Courtesy photo)

Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2014 08:50

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Footlight Theatre Holding Auditions for "Run fo the Hills'

FRANKLIN — Franklin Footlight Theatre has announced that auditions for the original musical comedy "Run For The Hills" by Franklin's own Dr. Barry Taylor and his father William S. Taylor, will premier in October.

The auditions will take place over two nights, Tuesday August 12th and Thursday August 14th, at the Franklin Opera house, 316 Central Street, from 7 to 9 pm on both nights (please note: if it is raining on Thursday, the auditions will be downstairs, and all should enter through the back door). Those auditioning should be prepared to read lines and both sing and perform basic dance moves for Director Jule Finley and Music Director "Doc" Taylor.
The story is about a jewel thief and his gang who, for once in their misguided lives, score big in a heist of a passel of fabulous stones. Trouble is, the victims of the crime are bad guys themselves, and the thief, remembering he has cousins in the middle of nowhere offering an ideal place to hide out, decides to "Run for the Hills", thus setting off a chain of humorous situations accompanied by memorable original music.
There are multiple leading, supporting, and minor roles, running the gamut of ages from 70 to 16. Anyone with a voice is encouraged to attend the auditions, even if you have never auditioned before. Membership in Footlight is not required to audition, but will be required (for a nominal amount, to cover insurance) if selected to perform. Rehearsal and performance schedules will be available when you sign in, as committing to all dates is an absolute necessity (rehearsals run Sun-Tues-Thurs and show dates are Thursday October 16 through Sunday October 19). A character breakdown will also be available so specific roles may be requested.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2014 08:18

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Hands Across the Table Sustainability campaign successful

LACONIA — Hands Across the Table's first Annual Sustainability Campaign was very successful. Individuals, businesses and local organizations were invited to make a donation including the option of sponsoring one or more of the weekly free hot meals. The meals, now offered at the Parish Hall at St. Andre Bessette on Gilford Avenue each Wednesday night attract well over 100 guests and as many as 20 volunteers. Over 7,000 meals were served in 2013 and this year's numbers are up over 30%.
According to Ginger Wells-Kay, Fundraising Chair, "The response to the appeal was overwhelming. Over half of HATT's annual budget of approximately $15,000 was raised over a four week period. We are grateful to the many businesses, individuals and service groups who responded generously to our campaign." Wells-Kay added that the second Annual Sustainability Campaign will roll out after Thanksgiving this year.
This community meal program began when several local women came together with the common goal of providing a free, weekly hot supper to those in need in the Greater Laconia area. Their goal was to create a warm, friendly atmosphere of giving and receiving, similar to that of a big family meal. They designed the program for those in need of food and/or friendship and support. The ambiance, organization and service of Hands Across the Table are structured to support these principals. The first meal was served in June 2011.

Last Updated on Monday, 11 August 2014 08:15

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