17th annual HK Powersports Land & Lake Poker Run is July 8

LACONIA — The 17th annual HK Powersports Land and Lake Poker Run will be held Saturday, July 8, and offers $20,000 in prizes and giveaways to those taking part.
The event has been a  major fundraiser for Easterseals NH since it began and will offer a fun day for those taking part, whether by boat, car, truck, motorcycle or personal watercraft. Participants will start the day with registration at the NASWA resort getting underway a 9 a.m.
The run starts at 10:30 a.m. with participants traveling by land or lake and stopping at four checkpoints to pick up poker cards sealed in envelopes and then returning to the NASWA Resort to get their final card and play their poker hand.
A buffet with live music, raffles, a live auction and fun activities and beach games for all ages gets underway at 1 p.m. at the NASWA. Deadline for turning in poker hands is 2 p.m..
Registration is $45 pre-event and $50 on event day and includes a buffet pass, an event shirt, a raffle ticket and a chance to participant in the poker run.
For an extra $100 participants can join the High Roller’s Club, sponsored by Pederson Flooring & Refinishing. The high roller with the best hand will walk away with the $1,000 sponsored prize. This club is exclusive and there are a limited number of entries to help increase the chances of winning, in addition to other “high roller perks.”
The grand raffle has four prizes that include the grand prize of a Sea-Doo GTi 90 with trainer ($9,798 value), an Old Town Saranac 146 Canoe ($807 value), an Old Heron 9XT Kayak ($608 value) and a BBQ Grill ($300 value). Participants do not have to be present to win. The grand prize raffle is sponsored by HK Powersports, Sea-Doo, BRP, Irwin Marine and Winnipesaukee Marine Construction.
In addition to presenting sponsor HK Powersports, other major sponsors include: The NASWA Resort, Mix 94.1, Metrocast, Irwin Marine, Lakes Region Casino, Brady Sullivan, Bank of New Hampshire, Sysco of Northern New England, Pederson Flooring and Refinishing, The Cohen Family, Manchester Harley Davidson, Belknap Subaru, Pepsi, Oldies 92.9, Baron’s Appliances, Samuel Adams, Coors Light, Corona, Optical Design Manufacturing Inc., Plastic Distributors and Fabricators Inc., Zero Waste and Recycling Services Inc., Planet 100.1fm, The Laconia Daily Sun, South End Media LLC, Crown Special Events, Silver Image Photography, and WSCY 106.9fm.
For more information call 1.888.368.8880 or register online at www.easterseals.com/nh and click on “Get Involved.” Group discounts available.
For more than 80 years, Easterseals NH has provided exceptional services to ensure that all people with disabilities or special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities. Easterseals services include autism services, inclusive child care, early intervention, special education, medical rehabilitation, camping and recreation, vocational services, senior services, substance abuse services, adult day programs, community based services, individual service options, transportation services, residential service options, dental services and veteran services.
As a leader in health care services for individuals with disabilities and special needs, ESNH employs more than 1,400 individuals who serve more than 26,900 children, adults and seniors in over 90 programs throughout the state. To learn more about Easterseals NH, visit easterseals.com/nh.

Sand trap

06 30 Gilford dump hill A 1 

A boundary line between the Gilford Transfer Station and the Laconia Municipal Airport runs across the top of a decades old, man-made sand hill. Gilford would like to remove the entire hill, at its own expense, in order to make way for an expansion of the facility but needs Laconia's permission to do so. Laconia's City Council wants to know what is going to happen to the sand that is now on city property and how the new boundary will be marked before granting that permission. The picture above shows the Gilford side of the hill, which has already been substantially mined. (Laconia Daily Sun photo)


Gilford wants to remove sand hill on edge of Laconia Airport but city says not so fast


GILFORD — For anyone who thinks local government officials don't occasionally get in the weeds when parsing minor issues, Exhibit A is a 50-foot sand hill sitting on the border of the Laconia Municipal Airport and the Gilford Transfer Station.

The Laconia City Council had a lengthy discussion about the sand Monday before tabling the matter for further consideration.

Gilford is expanding its transfer station near the Laconia Airport and wants to build a new roadway near the sand, which is apparently left over from an old construction project. The pile has been there long enough for mature trees to grow atop it. Rather than build a retaining wall to protect the road from shifting sand, Gilford would like to truck it away.

Not so fast, say Laconia officials. If Gilford were to haul off the sand, Laconia could be losing out because the sand has potential value. Gilford told Laconia it can keep the sand it wants.

Still, city councilors had questions for Mayor Ed Engler when he presented the matter for consideration Monday. How valuable is the sand? Who would move it to Laconia if the city wants it? Isn't there a gun range near there?

The airport itself is wholly contained within the boundaries of Gilford but Laconia owns the land.

Public Works Director Wesley Anderson is now investigating the quality of the sand. He is awaiting a report from Gilford on the quality of the material and how it might be put to use.

“Gilford is using the sand, but it doesn't meet specifications for road building unless you add something to it,” he said. “They tend to use it when they don't need high-quality sand.”

It turns out not all sand is alike. Some holds up well to compaction and can be used as a road bed. Others have a lot of fine material, and are best used as a bed for pipes.

As for who would move the sand should Laconia want it, Anderson doesn't think that is a big problem.

Heavy equipment would scoop it into huge trucks. It's not like men would deploy with shovels. The work could be assigned on days when workers were between jobs, or when bad weather idles other projects.

It's not unusual for public works departments to collaborate on projects.

In any case, Anderson said he would only want some of the sand.

“I only use five trucks of sand a year,” he said. “Maybe I'd take 20 truck loads. I'm not going to stock a hundred years worth of sand.”

Meanwhile, Gilford Town Administrator Scott Dunn awaits word from Laconia officials on whether they want the material and how they will get it. Potentially, Gilford could move the sand to a new location until the matter is resolved.

“The wheels of government move slowly,” he noted.

Over-loaded minivan only tip of dangerous driving iceberg

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Thomas McNeil, 57, of Belmont was ticketed for driving this minivan with the contents of his condo stacked on top. (Courtesy NH State Police)

Belmont man was at the wheel of the vehicle


BELMONT — While social media users have been bemused by photos from the New Hampshire State Police of a Belmont resident driving a minivan with enough housewares to furnish a two-bedroom condo strapped to its roof, Belmont Police Lt. Richard Mann said his department sees – and writes tickets for – dangerous driving on a daily basis.
A press release from State Police reported that the now-notorious minivan was stopped in Londonderry in the northbound lane of Route 93 at 6:37 a.m. on Wednesday. The driver, Thomas McNeil, 57, was cited for negligent driving and driving an uninspected vehicle. Photos of the vehicle show a pile of items taller than the vehicle itself strapped to the roof and rear, including furniture, lamps, rakes, shovels and boxes, secured with a web of rope and electrical cords.
“The 2003 Honda Odyssey was stopped in order to prevent a potential traffic crash due to the many items attached to the outside of the vehicle,” State Police reported. As the state trooper escorted the tow truck and minivan off of the highway, one of the items fell into the roadway.
Images of the vehicle sparked derisive comments by the hundreds when the State Police posted them to Facebook. But, said Lt. Mann, drivers routinely engage in behaviors that increase their risk of a collision. Often, that behavior is allowing their attention to be removed from the road ahead and instead fixed on something inside the vehicle.
“What we usually see more is (drivers) letting their pets run around inside of the car,” said Mann. Distractions inside the car – such as children or unrestrained pets – can cause the driver to look away for just a moment, and, on the Lakes Region’s curving roads, that moment is all that it takes to drift toward oncoming traffic.
“There’s a lot going on inside the vehicle,” said Mann. “When you put kids and dogs inside the car, it changes the dynamic of what’s going on inside the car.”
Increasingly common this year, said Mann, is the use of phones and other hand-held devices by a driver. Though the practice has been outlawed for two years, he has seen old habits return.
“We have seen a resurgence of people on the phone – and I find it’s the older people that did this before it was illegal,” Mann said. Don’t expect seniority to garner leniency, though. At 50 miles per hour, vehicles cover a lot of ground while the driver is distracted by operating a phone. “We have nearly zero tolerance for it. Unless it’s an emergency, we’re giving a ticket.”
Mann isn’t exaggerating. Since the beginning of the calendar year, department has written 149 tickets for use of hand-held devices, amounting to more than $19,000 in fines.
Another behavior that is sure to catch a ticket in Belmont is speeding, and especially in the work zone on Route 106.
“We are giving out very expensive tickets,” said Mann. The minimum fine for speeding in an active work zone is $250, and the tickets can rise to as much as $500, depending on the speed, Mann said. But, with changing traffic patterNs and road surfaces, and the need for flaggers to occasionally stop traffic, those lowered speeds are there for everyone’s well-being, he noted.
“The goal is safety. We don’t want to go out there and write tickets, unfortunately, there’s no other recourse,” he said.

2017 06 28 Overloaded Vehi copy

State police stopped this overloaded van in Londonderry after it was spotted on I-93 Wednesday morning. (Courtesy NH State Police)