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WEEKEND: Roller Derby doubleheader comes to Laconia on Saturday (372 words)

LACONIA — Female Roller Derby, a throwback to the post World War II era, is coming to the city this weekend at the Laconia Ice Arena when the Granite State Roller Derby All Stars will take on the Hartford Area Roller Derby team at 5 p.m.

The event will be a double header with the second match featuring two of the Granite State's home teams — the Demolition Dames and the Fighting Finches.

Roller Derby is played in short bouts by five skaters from each team skating clockwise around an oval. One skater is a designated scorer or jammer who scores a point for each of the members of the opposing team she catches up to and passes.

At Saturday's event, each bout will begin with a demonstration so the audience will know how the game is played.

Women's roller derby is enjoying a world-wide resurgence and, according to an article in Sport Illustrated on line, was one one eight sports being considered for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

According to an article from the Altantic Monthly, the pros for including roller derby as an Olympic sport were that it is a female-based contact sport that involves intelligence, athleticism, and strength. Working against it was the idea that the International Olympic Committee wouldn't make enough money on it to support it and the sport's continuing penchant for using "outlandish costumes and bawdy nicknames" for its teams and players.

The flat-track version of the sport evolved in 2001 and has grown to encompass nearly 400 leagues throughout the world. Granite State Roller Derby began in 2010 and is a registered non-profit organization that works with local charitable organizations.

To the best of anyone recollection, this will be the first time roller derby has come to Laconia. The doors open at 4 p.m. and the Granite State All Starts meet the Greater Hartford Roller Derby at 5 p.m.

Fans will have an opportunity to create posters, participate in raffles and sign up for prizes including tickets to the Camping World RV Sales 301 NASCAR race on Sunday.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Children under 5 are free. Advanced tickets can be purchased through the leagues website at www.granitestaterollerderby.com or at the Spank Alley Stake and Board Shop at 59 South Main St. in Concord.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 10:26

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WEEKEND - Winnipesaukee Watershed Assoc. offering 'Floating Classroom" tours this summer

MEREDITH — While Lake Winnipesaukee is a perennial summer playground, this year the Winnipesaukee Watershed Association has converted it to a classroom by offering floating educational tours designed to encourage stewardship of this unique and valuable natural resource.

The "Floating Classroom" includes an introduction to the geology, history and ecology along with practical experience assessing different aspects of water quality under the direction of a qualified environmental scientist. Passengers can collect water samples, measure water clarity and take water temperatures as well as watch what is living in the lake on the monitor of an underwater camera.

Leaving the dock at The Weirs, Captain Dave Joyce headed across the lake, rounded Spindle Point and snaked through Sally's Gut, the narrow passage between the foot of Meredith Neck and tip of Stonedam Island. Naturalist Heidi Baker noted that Stonedam Island, the last home of the Abenaki on the lake, is a nature preserve owned by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. Clearing Sally's Gut, the boat anchored on the northeast side of the island in 40 feet of water.

Baker, who trailed a plankton tow through Sally's Gut, explained that plankton — from the Greek meaning "wanderer" or "drifter" — may be either plants, like algae, or animals, like protozoa, and the first element of the food chain. Then she tested the clarity of the water by lowering a Secchi disk, which is divided into black and white quarters, into the lake and measuring the depth at which the white quarters became invisible. Noting that a depth greater than four meters indicates good water clarity, she found that the disk disappeared at 8.4 meters. "Between eight and 10 meters is common on Lake Winnipesaukee," Baker said.

The water in the lake, Baker said, is divided into three layers, with the warmest at the top and the coldest at the bottom, and turns over twice in each year in the spring and in the autumn. At the surface, the water temperature was 74 degrees Fahrenheit, but dropped 23 degrees, to 51 degrees, 30 feet down.

With a rig called a Van Dorn Bottle, Baker collected water samples at various depths, which she said could be sent to the University of New Hampshire to be tested for levels of phosphorus and nitrates, the major pollutants in the lake.

Pat Tarpey, executive director of the Winnipesaukee Watershed Association, said that stormwater, which carries phosphorus into the lake, is the primary source of pollution. The watershed stretches over 381 square miles and encompasses 19 municipalities, eight of them fronting the lake itself. Tarpey stressed the role of trees and shrubs, whose roots hold the soil while absorbing and filtering the stormwater run-off, in reducing the level of phosphorus and protecting water quality. "To ensure water quality in the lake, we have to look to the land," she remarked.

The "classroom" pontoon boat will carry eight passengers in addition to the captain and crew. The tour runs for approximately 90 minutes. "The Floating Classroom" departs from Weirs Beach on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am. and 1 p.m. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for children younger than 16. Tours must be booked two days in advance by calling (603) 581-6632 or registering on-line at www.winnipesaukee.org.

The project is funded with grants from the Samuel P. Pardoe Foundation and New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and enjoys the support of 16 corporate sponsors and underwriters.


CAPTION FOR FLOATING CLASSROOM: Naturalist Heidi Baker explains the workings of a Van Dorn Bottle to Laconia City Councilor Armand Bolduc during a recent "Floating Classroom tour of Lake Winnipesaukee. The device is used for collecting water samples at various depths. The tour was hosted by the Winnipesaukee Watershed Association. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Ed Engler)

Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 10:25

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WEEKEND - Tickets still available for Saturday and Sunday NASCAR races

LOUDON — The days of the long waiting list for tickets at New Hampshire Motor Speedway are long gone, as they are at virtually every NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race around the country, and there are still tickets available for Sunday's Camping World RV Sales 301, as well as today's doubleheader at the speedway.

Tickets to Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 start at $25 and range up to $125 depending on location. Check out the NHMS Grandstand Map at www.nhms.com to find the best seats for your interests.

New for 2014, New Hampshire Motor Speedway will offer children's tickets to the Camping World RV Sales 301. Tickets for children ages 12 and-under will be half-price in comparison to the adult price for the same seating section.

Call Guest Services at (603) 783-4931 to speak with a live ticket representative or buy tickets online through Ticketmaster.

Tickets to the doubleheader on Saturday start at $45 for general admission and range up to $55 for VIP reserved seating.
One ticket is good for the doubleheader of races: NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour 100 at 1 p.m.. and NASCAR Nationwide Series 200 at 3:30 p.m.
Youth General Admission (ages 12-16) is $5.
Children General Admission (ages 11-and-under) Free*
(*Children will need a voucher for entrance. It can be added to any ticket order by contacting Guest Services at (603) 783-4931 or attained at the ticket office on race day.)

Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 10:25

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WEEKEND - From 'Keller Vanilla' to 'Moose Poop", Kellerhaus makes 700 gallons of ice cream a week. (544 words)

LACONIA — With its hand-made ice cream and candies, Kellerhaus at Weirs Beach has been a wellspring of taste and tradition treating sweet tooths in the Lakes Region for more than a century.

Otto Keller opened the candy store in 1906 and added ice cream in the 1920s, making Kellerhaus the oldest source of candy and ice cream in the state. Since 2004, Dave and Mary Ellen Dutton have owned and operated the business with an eye to ensuring quality and honoring tradition.

With the original York machine of 1930, used by Otto, Seth and Pitman Keller, the Duttons make some 700 gallons of ice cream each week and go through 70,000 dishes and countless cones each year. "It's kind of finicky," Dutton remarked of the ice cream maker, "but if anybody breaks it, it's going to be me." Fortunately, the working machine is one of a pair and he can turn to the other for spare parts.

The Duttons make 20 flavors, offering at least a dozen at a time from the same scooping station the Kellers used in the 1960s. Kellerhaus features a "smorgasbord," where a sundae can be fashioned with any number of nearly two dozen toppings at no additional charge.

"Keller" vanilla, the most popular base for these chilly treats, is the top seller, though cookie monster, a blue vanilla laced with Oreo cookies, is the favorite of most children. Apart from the staples of chocolate, strawberry, coffee, black raspberry, maple walnut and mint chocolate chip, there are the exotics — cherry chocolate chunk, dough boy, cookie coffee, chocolate chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chip. Dutton explained that because "moose tracks" is a protected trademark he searched for an alternative moniker before settling on "moose poop," which arouses curiosity among the kids.

The Duttons also make a number of the toppings, following the recipes used by the Kellers and prepared fresh each day. Not only is there hot fudge, whipped cream, raspberry and butterscotch, but also a unique marshmallow topping and a very chocolaty cold chocolate sauce that Dutton calls "grandma sauce."

Wednesdays at Kellerhaus are "dollar cone days." Dutton said that in 2007 he hatched "a crazy idea" to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Kellerhaus and what began as a celebration has become a tradition. Mary Ellen said that the line may snake throughout the store on Wednesdays.

In another departure from tradition, Dutton said biodegradable dishes and spoons have been introduced. "I was walking on a lovely beach in Mexico and saw these plastic spoons being washed on to the sand and decided 'that's enough!'" Likewise, two years ago the Duttons added soft serve — vanilla, chocolate and twists — and this year sorbet, but have not included frozen yogurt among their offerings.

"This is really three businesses," Dutton explained, "ice cream, candy and gifts." A former chief financial officer, he noted that when the books close each year, business is divided evenly between the three. He said that in the decade since they acquired the business sales in the off-season have outpaced trade in the summer, which given the quality of the ice cream is hard to imagine.

Kellerhaus is located at 259 Endicott Street North (Rte 3) at Weirs Beach and is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Abagail, with a helping hand from her mother Jennifer, fashions a sundae with selections from the array of toppings on offer from the ice cream smorgasbord at Kellerhaus. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).


Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 10:24

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