Run over by a car in her own driveway in 2013, Barnstead woman sues driver for negligence


LACONIA — A Barnstead woman who was seriously injured when another woman backed up and ran her over has filed suit for negligence in the Belknap County Superior Court.
According to the paperwork, Toni Arditi was standing at the end of her driveway talking with neighbors on Sept. 13, 2013, when Sierra Rollins drove by them at a high rate of speed.
Because Rollins was driving at a high rate of speed on a rural road, Arditi motioned for Rollins to slow down by motioning down with her arm.
Rollins apparently took offense at this and put her car in reverse and backed toward the group of neighbors at a rapid pace. In her statement to police, Rollins said that as she approached the group, she tried to “stomp” on her car’s brake pedal and instead hit the accelerator.
The group tried to get out of the way of the car; however, Arditi was unable to move in time.
She was struck by the car and suffered broken limbs and internal injuries. During her recovery, she suffered a stroke. Some of her injuries are permanent and disabling. Arditi claims she suffered extreme emotional distress as the result of being run over and having a long recovery.
Arditi is seeking compensatory damages, enhanced compensatory damages because of Rollins’ alleged negligence and her wanton and reckless operation of her car, litigation costs and attorney fees.


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A childhood love, rekindled, becomes a career for kayak fishing guide


Hope Eagleson, who guides kayak fishing tours from Fay’s Boatyard in Gilford, displays a great catch. (Courtesy photo)

GILFORD — When Hope Eagleson was young girl, she would tag along with her older sister, Leslie, fishing pole in hand.

“In those days, you could always walk down the street and there was a trout stream around,” she said.

When she was seven years old, her family took a summer vacation to Monhegan Island in Maine.

“All I did was fish,” she said. “I would sit in the skiff and flounder- fish all day.” Today, she’s a decade into her career as a fishing guide, licensed in both New Hampshire and Maine. However, there was long period of her life when she didn’t fish at all.

As Eagleson started to grow up, she grow out of fishing. Instead, she occupied herself with activities more appropriate for a teenaged, then young adult, woman. It had been decades since she had last fished when, in her early 30s, she was visiting a friend who lived on a pond and someone handed her a pole rigged with a spinner lure. She tossed the line in, and was reeling it back when a bass hit the bait and something clicked in Eagleson. In short order, she was the owner of a 20-foot bass boat with a 150-horsepower motor and was mixing it up in the bass fishing scene.

Today, by her count, she is the only female guide to lead kayak fishing trips. She’s more than happy to lead male clients, but she takes special satisfaction in leading women, sharing with them the joys of a sport that has long been considered a boys’ club.

Eagleson’s career as a guide came about through a chance meeting. While still participating in bass clubs, which she eventually departed because of the competitive element, she started to volunteer for the Fish and Game Department’s Let’s Go Fishing program, which introduces beginners to the sport. There, she met Mark Beauchesne, a member of the Fish and Game Department. It turned out that they lived on the same street, and they remained in touch. Beachesne, also a fishing guide, became a friend and mentor to Eagleson. With his encouragement, Eagleson became a guide about 10 years ago.

She began her guide career using her bass boat boat but is now leading about half of her fishing expeditions on kayaks. She guides anywhere from the North Country to the Seacoast, and locally guides out of Fay’s Boat Yard in Gilford. She still has a conventional outboard boat available, but the kayak is most appealing option to a certain type of client.

“It’s the more adventurous person. A lot of people own kayaks, they want to do something else in them instead of paddling around,” said Eagleson.

Fishing from a kayak is more complicated than from a powerboat. In a kayak, the angler has to manage drift from the wind, water currents and wave conditions, and then begin to try to find the fish.

“The fun is when you make it all work and be relaxed at it, and catch that fish,” said Eagleson.

Though she loves to be outside and on the water, Eagleson said that guiding can be a stressful job, especially when the fish aren’t biting. “It’s called fishing, not catching,” she reminds clients, but sometimes it’s the client’s technique that is turning off the fish. That can be a sensitive area – as a guide, she feels compelled to offer tips and instruction, but some people will get angry if they’re told that the way they’ve been fishing their whole lives is wrong.

“If they’re fishing the way that they want to fish, you’ve got to let them do it.”

If clients are open to instruction, though, Eagleson’s greatest reward is helping them to do something they’ve never been able to do before.

“I like to share that moment of fun with people, and I like teaching,” she said. And nothing gives her a greater thrill than helping a female angler hook her first fish.

Although she grew up stalking her local streams for trout, Eagleson knows that not every woman has had that experience. That’s why she is eager to help Fish and Game to put on the Becoming an Outdoors-woman program, which provides workshops and weekend retreats in order to introduce fishing and hunting to a segment of the population that might not have learned those skills at a young age.

Beyond certain skills and knowledge, Eagleson has found that women tend not to give themselves license to spend a day, or a weekend, doing nothing but enjoying themselves on the water. Men, she said, seem to be able to let the grass grow for a week unmowed, let their home improvement project sit unfinished, or even live with an annoyed partner, if it means they get to leave it all behind and catch a few fish. She wishes women would similarly allow themselves the right to occasionally forgo their chores.

“You’ve just got to put down the vacuum and go,” she said. “You’ve just got to do it.”

Still, it can be an intimidating world. Even as a guide, she occasionally will have the experience where she will walk into a bait shop, none of the male employees will look up to initiate a conversation – though she suspects they would if she were male. One of the things she instructs women in is how to speak when they enter such a circumstance, what language to use so that they’re taken seriously. This type of information is as important to their success as which type of fly to use when fishing for trout in Pittsburg in early summer.

Overcoming the challenges is all worth it, she said.

“There’s nothing more beautiful than being on Squam (Lake) at 6:30 in the morning, it’s incredible. Or having someone catch their first trout on a fly rod, especially if it’s a woman.” She recently had such an experience, helping a graduate of the Becoming an Outdoorswoman program take her skills from the classroom to a trout pond in the North Country, and the memory of it brought a wide grin to Eagleson’s face.

“That lady was so excited, she was so happy,” she said. 

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Make local veggies the star of your Labor Day feast

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Pat Williams, of Alton, selects freshly-picked sweet corn at Beans & Greens Farm in Gilford. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)


LAKES REGION — Labor Day weekend might mark the end of summer for most people, but for local farmers, and those who adore their produce, early September is a time when all of the efforts expended during the summer are finally coming to fruition.

"It's the best time of the year," declared Kevin Halligan, chef-owner of Local Eatery in Laconia.

Halligan, and other fanatics of local produce, said the Labor Day weekend presents a great opportunity, as the abundance of fresh produce is arriving in time for parties and cook-outs. So, instead of hot dogs and potato chips – or, at least, alongside them – consider serving something that highlights the best of what grows nearby. Need a suggestion? Keep reading.

As a restaurateur who pledges to serve local ingredients as much as possible, Halligan is busily preparing produce for storage, so it can be used later this winter. One example is kimchi, a fermented cabbage dish, Korea's answer to sauerkraut. Though it sounds exotic, the preparation is simple. Halligan slices cabbage and puts it into a large glass jar, filled about two-thirds. The most basic version adds garlic, salt and chili paste, Halligan also adds sugar, carrots and daikon radish, though there are myriad other flavorings listed in recipes available online. After the ingredients are mixed in the container, he lets it sit at room temperature to ferment, occasionally shaking it to combine the ingredients and opening the lid to let gasses escape. After two days, it reaches his preferred level of fermentation and he refrigerates it until he's ready to use it. Kimchi aficionados use it as a main dish served with rice, or as a condiment on anything from pizza to hamburgers.

If you don't have the two days to let your kimchi brew, Halligan also suggested availing yourself of the many peppers ready for picking at this time of year. He's particularly taken with the shishito pepper grown by White Oak Pond Farm in Holderness. The shishito is a sweet Japanese grilling pepper that Halligan plans to simply roast whole and serve with fish.

At Tavern 27, in Laconia, chef and co-owner Leslie Judice is also inspired by the shishito pepper. She's planning to dice the peppers, along with other local peppers, to stuff inside of discs of cheese that are then fried, a bite-sized dish she calls "pepper poppers." A native of Louisiana, Judice is a fan of all the hot chili peppers that take all summer to develop their heat, and come into season around Labor Day. For people who are nervous about biting off more heat than they can palate, she suggests mixing the peppers with cheese.

"I think peppers and cheese is always safe. The cheese is going to cut the heat of the pepper," she said. For a picnic or cook-out, she suggested mixing diced peppers with cream cheese or sour cream for a dip. Or, for a more adventurous use, cook the peppers with sugar to make a spicy simple syrup that could be drizzled over watermelon chunks or mixed into a cocktail.

Although a transplant from New Orleans, Judice has accepted the challenge of every New Hampshire chef who uses local ingredients – finding ways to serve the zucchini and summer squash gardeners start leaving in roadside ditches and on neighbors door steps in late summer. She has noticed that many people will use zucchini in cakes and sweet breads, but don't use zucchini for other desserts.

"They're kind of fun because they act like apples (when baked)," she said. "Take an apple crisp recipe, even an apple pie recipe, and substitute half the apples for zucchini." Judice slices the zucchini thinly, and leaves the skins on, so that people know what she's serving them, but suspects that if they were peeled and cut into chunks most people wouldn't suspect that their dessert had zucchini in it.

At Moulton Farm, in Meredith, farm chef Jonathan Diola thinks that the tomato is what defines the end of summer.

"For me, with a good product like tomatoes, the simpler the better, as long as you add a few ingredients that bring the flavor out," he said, such as a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt added just before serving, to make a summery tomato salad. For a slightly heartier dish, mix cubes of day-old bread, cucumber and red onion into the salad. The resulting dish is called panzanella.

"It's so good, because the bread just soaks up the flavor of the tomato," he said. And for a yet more unusual use for tomatoes, he thinks to his time spent in Spain, where a slice of bread would be spread with soft cheese and tomato jam. To make tomato jam, he recommended starting with a tomato such as a beefsteak, blanching it so that it can be peeled, remove the seeds, then mixed in a bowl with sugar, balsamic vinegar and a little cinnamon, and finally spread in a pan and roasted at low temperature for about four hours, or until it reaches jam-like consistency.

Martina Howe, at Beans & Greens Farm in Gilford, doesn't need a complicated recipe at this time of year; she's happy to relish in the flavors inherent in the fresh produce. She suggests a simple cucumber salad, where cucumbers are sliced and mixed with a little bit of sour cream, and lightly seasoned with dill, salt and pepper.

For her, though, there's nothing better at this time of year than fresh sweet corn, and she likes hers unadulterated and barely – if at all – cooked.

"The biggest mistake people make with corn is they always want to put something on it," she said. But, if the corn is fresh, it doesn't need butter or salt to be flavorful. "To me, just steam it. Don't boil it, because you boil out much of the flavor. Just steam it for three or four minutes, just to warm it up." She also suggested cutting the kernels off a raw ear of corn, and mixing it with seasonings to make a fresh corn salad.

Whatever home cooks decide as the menu for their Labor Day offerings, Howe hoped they will find a new way to showcase the best of what's ripe at this time of year.

"Get away from your standards, dive out into new territories. If you need help, come on down, we'll help you," she said.

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Moulton Farm, in Meredith, grows cherry tomatoes in colors that range from green and pale yellow to deep purple. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Adam Drapcho)

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