Heat is on for Motorcycle Week

LACONIA — Three riders fainted in Monday’s heat, prompting Laconia Fire Chief Ken Erickson to remind motorcyclists of the importance of staying hydrated.
The chief said the temperature at The Weirs on Monday reached 97 degrees, in sharp contrast to the 45-degree temperatures a mere eight days earlier. Those who had trouble were in slow traffic, so were not seriously injured, he said, but drinking “good, plain water” can prevent fainting and more severe medical problems.
He noted that one rider refused treatment and got back on his motorcycle, then crashed.
Making his remarks during the daily press conference, Erickson said people normally should drink eight glasses of water each day but, during hot weather, should increase it to 12 glasses. “But not beer,” he said.
“If it’s hot and you stop sweating, call 911,” Erickson said. “You’re going into have heat stroke. Get into the shade and get some fluids.”
He also warned of troubling headaches or confusion as danger signs.
Jennifer Anderson of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association urged people to keep an eye on others around them in case someone is experiencing difficulty.
Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-70s today and tomorrow.

State Police Detective Sgt. David McCormack offered other safety advice for riders. Having attended a motorcycle training school, McCormack said most motorcycle accidents are caused by cars, so watching other vehicles and anticipating what they might do is important. In this area, it's also important to watch out for wildlife.
McCormack said there was a crash on Route 106 in Canterbury around midnight in which a vehicle crossed the centerline in front of a motorcycle. The vehicle sped off but police were able to locate it and subsequently charged the driver with operating while intoxicated. He said he believed the motorcyclist sustained a broken leg.
The state trooper who handled the accident was not available yesterday for further details on the crash.

Earlier, around 5 p.m., a Massachusetts-registered motorcycle collided with a deer on Roller Coaster Road. The rider sustained only minor injuries, but the deer did not survive.
McCormack warned those in automobiles to stay alert and avoid texting while driving, and not to follow too closely, as a motorcycle has to slow down in advance of stopping or turning. Anderson added that many riders downshift instead of using the brakes, so the brake light does not come on.
In other Motorcycle Week news, Anderson reported that the organizers of the Mae West Pet Run had set a goal of raising $10,000 for the New Hampshire Humane Society and, with more than 200 riders, they likely exceeded that goal.
She said the Covered Bridge Run will take place today, along with the return of the Hillclimb to Gunstock Mountain Resort, and tonight there will be a cake on the beach at the Naswa Resort, celebrating the 94th Motorcycle Week. There will be fireworks at 10 p.m.

06 13 Press Conference
Charlie St. Clair and Jennifer Anderson of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association are joined by Laconia Fire Chief Ken Erickson and State Police Det. Sgt. David McCormack for yesterday's press conference. (Tom Caldwell/Laconia Daily Sun)

Briarcrest Estates says ‘no’ to buyout


LACONIA — Members of a residents' cooperative that owns Briarcrest Estates, a bucolic, 230-acre manufactured housing park, have decided not to pursue a potential sale of the property to the Hometown America Corporation.

The 121-31 vote Monday night to maintain the status quo at the park comes after weeks of conflict between two factions within Lakemont Cooperative. One contends management of the park would improve under corporate ownership. The other asserts that residents' interests and pocketbooks are best protected by the cooperative.

Members of the community reported angry phone calls and arguments among neighbors. There was even a report of a physical confrontation between two neighbors in the mail room. Members of the cooperative board who suggested investigating a possible change of ownership resigned after coming under sharp criticism.

Louise Rosand, a resident in favor of continued ownership by the cooperative, hopes the decisive vote puts an end to the conflict.

“It was a very nice ending to a nasty story,” she said. “Everyone cheered except for 31 people.”

She said she never understood the rationale for selling the property.

“They're essentially wrong,” Rosand said. “It is managed well, financially stable, the banks love us.”

She also said the grounds are well maintained.

City Council Brenda Baer, a Briarcrest resident, has been in favor of a sale and was disappointed at the outcome of the vote.

“I've lived here for 21 years, 19 under private ownership,” she said. “The present ownership has not been a very good experience. There's been a lot of division. They depend on voluntary services to run the place. This is a $10 million to $12 million business, and I don't think you should run it with volunteers.”

Hometown America Corporation offered to retire the outstanding balances on an $8 million loan from TD Bank and a $2 million loan from the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund as well as pay the prepayment penalty for the loan, closing costs and real estate transfer taxes.

Tara Reardon, director of ROC-NH, a program of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, said there are 121 resident-owned communities in New Hampshire and none have entertained an offer to sell their parks.

“We think that's for obvious reasons,” she said. “Rents are lower in a not-for-profit community than under ownership by a for-profit corporation.”

Mark and Ruth Mooney opened Briarcrest Estates in 1988. Its land covers an area in Laconia and Belmont.

The cooperative matched an offer from Hometown America to purchase the park from the Mooneys for $10 million in 2014.

Maine couple wins Passport trophy


LACONIA — A couple from Berwick, Maine, was the first to complete the 2017 Laconia Passport tour, earning the right to hold the Passport trophy.
The Laconia Passbook Program, dedicated this year to the memory of Robert Locke, sends riders on a journey to collect passbook stamps from restaurants, shops, and attractions throughout the state, with some stops in Maine.
Matthew Cobb and Pam Shattuck earned the trophy for making the rounds and collecting stamps between Saturday morning and Sunday morning and turning in their passport Sunday evening.
The trophy is a perpetual award, provided by Locke’s parents after his death during last year’s rally in a Maine motorcycle accident. He and his friends, Bill Saar, Bevil Long, and R.J. Drew, had been attending the Laconia rally since its inception in 2013, and were the first to complete the Passbook tour each year.
Saar and Long turned over the trophy to the new recipients during Monday’s Motorcycle Week cruise aboard the MS Mount Washington. Cobb and Shattuck’s names will be engraved on the trophy, recognizing them as the 2017 winners.

06 13 Passport Winners
Bevil Long, left, and Bill Saar, right, last year's Laconia Passport winners, turn over their trophy to Matthew Cobb and Pam Shattuck, the first to complete the tour this year. (Courtesy Photo)

06 13 Locke
The 2017 Laconia Passport Program is dedicated to Robert Locke, second from right, who died in a motorcycle crash last year. With him at Rally Headquarters, from left, are Bill Saar, Jennifer Anderson of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, and Bevil Long, right, when they were the first ever to complete the Passport Program in 2013. (Courtesy Photo)