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Putnam Fund hosting free Doo-Wop & 60's British pop concert tonight

LACONIA — An evening of Doo Wop, featuring the Bel Airs and Rockin' Daddios, spiced with the songs and stories of "Swinging London" in the Sixties from Julie Grant, will fill Laconia High School Auditorium with music and memories tonight.

Presented by the Laconia Putnam Fund, the show opens at 7 p.m. with admission free on a first come, first seated basis.

The premier doo-wop quintet in New England, the Bel Airs stir images of girls with beehive hairdos, saddle shoes, bobby socks and poodle skirts with five-part harmonies that have enlivened county fairs, town concerts and car shows across the the region. Twice voted the best doo-wop group in the New Hampshire, the Bel Airs strive to echo the sound of the original recordings of the classic artists, including the Drifters, Cadillacs and Chiffons as well as Elvis, Frankie Lymon and Del Shannon.

The Rockin Daddios — Angelo Gentile, Bo Guyer and Jim Rogato — will will gild their own selection of golden oldies like "Book of Love," "Blue Moon," and "Teenager in Love," hearkening back to those less troubled, more innocent years.

Julie Grant, who began singing professionally at the age of three, signed her first record contract at 15 and was soon performing alongside the likes of the Yardbirds, Hollies and Rolling Stones. "The Stones opened for me a couple of times," she remarked, "then the tables turned." She recalled that her bass player sheepishly told her he was taking a job with an American guitar slinger by the name of Jimi Hendrix.

Grant, who lives in Gilford and works as an agent for the Mohegan Sun casino, will be sharing stories of what she remembers as "wonderful years" and her songs, including her hit with Carole King's "Up on the Roof" from 1962.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 12:47

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Meredith hosts annual 9-11 observance

MEREDITH — Police Lt. Keith True, one of several speakers at a Patriot Day Commemoration of the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, which was held at Hesky Park here yesterday said that he had observed the same faces attending every one of the ceremonies since the first one in 2002.
''Some of those who entered the first grade in 2001 are now serving their country. If we continue to support each other we can still have the kind of country that we have always wanted for our children,'' said True, who urged those in attendance to never forget what happened that day and the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives during the attack.
Meredith Deputy Fire Chief Andre Kloetz said that recent events in Iraq and Syria serve as a reminder of how brutal America's enemies can be.
He said that the loss of 343 firefighters and 72 law enforcement officers in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers was a loss of unprecedented magnitude and that the bravery of the first responders should always be remembered.
He said that he was honored to call himself an American citizen and that while America is not a perfect nation it has always responded to protect those who are being persecuted around the world.
Ralph Ascoli, whose sister Debbie Mannetta was among those killed when the towers collapsed, said that he still feels her loss every day but in recent years has turned his attention to trying to help those first responders who developed lung cancer due to their exposure to asbestos while fighting the fires and digging through the rubble in the days following the attack.
''We should remember those who rushed into the buildings when others were rushing out of the buildings. They went in to help to help those inside without regard for their own safety,'' said Ascoli.
Other speakers included State Senator Jeanie Forrester, Carla Horn, chairperson of the Board of Selectmen and American Legion Service Officer Bob Kennelly, who as commander of the Legion organized the first September 11 commemoration.

Meredith ceremony at Hesky Park marked the 13th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. A giant American flag is held aloft over the gathering by the Meredith Fire Department's aerial ladder truck. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Meredith Fire Department Second Deputy Chief Tom Jolsin sounds the bell for fallen firefighters at a ceremony honoring those who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America. (Roger Amsden/for The Laconia Daily Sun)


Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 12:44

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'Credible threat' leads to lockdown at Newfound High School

BRISTOL — In response to what Police Chief Michael Lewis called "a credible threat", Newfound Regional High School was locked down for 32 minutes yesterday morning and a juvenile suspect was taken into custody.

Lewis said that at approximately 7:24 a.m. a caller, who he declined to identify, advised police that a named juvenile, who was believed to be armed, was going to the high school with malicious intent. By 7:56 a.m. officers found the suspect, who was placed in custody. Lewis said that the suspect was not armed nor were any weapons or explosive devices found at the school. Lewis declined to specify what charges might be brought against the teenager.

Meanwhile, according to a statement by Stacy Buckley, the superintendent of schools, officers responded immediately by securing the high school campus and the building was placed into lock-down. Buckley said that students who had already reached school were confined to their classrooms while those who were arriving by bus, car and on foot were taken to the middle school where the campus was secured.

"We practice fire and safety drills once a month," she said, "and everything went off smoothly."

Buckley said that once the suspect was in the custody of the police the students taken to the middle school were returned to the high school and the lock down and secured campus was lifted at both schools.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 12:36

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Bristol selectmen choose incremental path for expansion of town’s solar power

By Thomas P. Caldwell
BRISTOL — The Bristol Board of Selectmen chose a cautious approach to solar power for municipal buildings, passing on an option to apply for a $2 million grant that would have required taxpayers to kick in $100,000. Instead, the board agreed to apply for a $1.25 million grant for an array of photovoltaic panels that would supply just enough power to cover the electrical needs of the Bristol Water and Sewer Department. Both options would utilize $150,000 in water and sewer department funds as the local commitment to the project.
Bill Dowey, chair of the Bristol Energy Committee, brought the proposals to the selectmen on Sept. 11, outlining the costs and the potential savings of those options, as well as alternative options for power purchase agreements that would require no up-front cost to the town and provide a fixed rate for the purchase of power derived from a solar array on town property.
Selectman Betsy Schneider favored a power purchase agreement, or PPA, because the town would pay nothing and yet still reap the savings of low-cost solar power. According to Dowey's estimates, it would cost the town $1.53 million dollars over seven years for the electricity to power all of the municipal buildings in Bristol with the town ending up owning the solar array at the end of year seven. Over that period, the town would realize a savings of $2.23 million over the projected cost of electricity without solar power.
Alternatively, the town could enter into a 20-year PPA with a lower electric rate, but would have no ownership. Dowey calculated that the town would spend $1.95 million over 20 years, and would realize $1.12 million in savings.
Schneider questioned the estimates, but Town Administrator Michael Capone noted that Dowey's projections had been right on the mark for the solar array that was installed on the roof of the Minot-Sleeper Library. That system is so effective that the library is on track to have 3,000 KWH banked with Public Service of New Hampshire by the end of the year.
Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight into direct-current electricity and inverters turn the DC power into the alternating current needed to power homes and businesses. During the summer, when solar production is at its highest, the panels typically produce more electricity than needed and that excess power feeds into the electrical grid, producing a credit that can be used during the winter when electrical demand may exceed solar production.
Schneider also was skeptical of industry projections for the life of solar panels. While they are said to last for 40 years, she pointed out that none of them have been on the market long enough for those estimates to be proven. She said the town is likely to incur maintenance costs if it owned the array, whereas if the town leased the land to a company that would operate the system, that cost would not fall on taxpayers.
Chair Rick Alpers said he felt that seeking a town-wide array would be perceived by the taxpayers as excessive. "Let's go ahead and pursue the grant, but also start down the track with a small project," he suggested. "We can already show that it works for the library. To sell it to the people, we need to start small, with the water and sewer department."
The NH Public Utility Commission is offering the grants and Dowey said that, with a $250,000 match, the town could seek a $2 million grant that would pay for an array that would power all municipal buildings and provide $3.54 million in savings over the projected life of the system. With a $150,000 match, a $1.25 million grant would build an array that would provide the power for the water and sewer department which would realize $1.66 million in savings.
Because the water and sewer funds are collected only from those on the municipal system, only the users — not other taxpayers — would be providing the matching funds for the smaller project. They also would be the only ones to realize the savings with the smaller project.
Grant applications are due on Sept. 19. Alpers answered Schneider's concerns about making a decision without the voters having a say by noting that, should the grant be approved, the selectmen could schedule a special town meeting to decide whether or not to go forward. "There's no obligation to accept the grant," he noted.
Schneider responded, "If we apply for the grant and get it, and then turn it down, it would hurt our chances down the road."
Selectman Janet Cote said she favored the smaller grant, saying there might be a change down the road that would provide greater cost savings.
From the audience, John Sellers commented, "You would get a $2 million grant with a $250,000 investment? That sounds pretty good to me."
Selectman Shawn Lagueux made a motion to authorize the energy committee to seek the $1.25 million grant and, if successful, to hold a public hearing on accepting the grant. The motion passed unanimously.
During public comment at the end of the meeting, Lucille Keegan, secretary of the energy committee, commented that, while she was happy the selectmen had gone for the grant, she was disappointed that they didn't go for the larger one.
"If we want Bristol to grow," she said, "we need to show we're on the cutting edge."

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 September 2014 12:14

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