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Happy Tails Dog Park group Meeting tonight

LACONIA - Happy Tails Dog Park of the Lakes Region will be having another open meeting at Tardiff Park tonight at 7 p.m.

The board meeting will be focused on 2014 planning for the fundraising to complete the next stage in approval for the city owned location at 55 Growtth Road. This next stage will require a full scale permit acceptable design drawing which includes the completion of a land survey, wetlands survey, and the official engineered plan before going back before returning to request final approval from the city of Laconia and finally breaking ground.

Happy Tails Dog Park of the Lakes Region is a 501(c) 3 non- profit organization founded in 2008 with the objective of serving as a resource for pet families to build strong, whole-family foundations.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 December 2013 10:02

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Homeless Person's Memorial Day Vigil December 21

LACONIA — December 21, 2013, The longest night of this year – officially, the first day of winter, will begin with a "candlelight" vigil in Veteran's Square, Laconia, NH at 5:30 p.m.

The vigil is coordinated by New Hampshire Catholic Charities and the Belknap County Continuum of Care. Individuals will be remembered who died in New Hampshire while homeless or recently housed over the past year.

The annual memorial observation is now a tradition among Laconia area faith communities and community service providers and is held in conjunction with the National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day traditionally held on December 21—the longest night of the year. Laconia is one of more than 175 cities nationwide to observe the memorial.

Those attending are asked to come with a candle of some sort – a flashlight or other instrument.

To learn more about the face of homelessness or to make a difference, contact Leonard Campbell, Parish and Community Services coordinator, 528-3035 or www.nh-cc.org.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 December 2013 09:58

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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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