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It's official: LRCC students will learn restaurant biz at amazing Shaker facility

CANTERBURY — Recalling the lyric of "Simple Gifts," the enduring Shaker song, for both Lakes Region Community College and Canterbury Shaker Village and their partnership to house the college's Culinary and Pastry Arts and Restaurant Management programs at the historic site: "'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be."
Yesterday, when Scott Kalicki, president of the college, and Funi Burdick, executive director of Canterbury Shaker Village, inc. signed the lease both spoke of their "shared educational mission," which Kalicki said they would pursue "in sophisticated and synergistic ways."
Kalicki recalled that the idea of locating the programs in Canterbury sprang from a suggestion by the former president of the college Mark Edelstein. Meanwhile, Burdick said that the village, in seeking "to stay vibrant and relevant," was offering workshops, including those in culinary arts, and "encouraging people to get their hands dirty." When she learned that the college was looking for a new home for Culinary Arts she remembered the Shaker motto — "we make you a kindly welcome."
The college will occupy a three-story building, reconstructed and furnished in the Shaker manner but fitted with a commercial kitchen, where it will conducts its classes and operate a restaurant. For the college the village provides a home for two popular programs that have been adrift since last spring when, after structural issues forced them to leave the Belmont Mill, they shuttled between the technical centers at Laconia and Concord high schools. For the village, the presence of the programs and the restaurant enriches the offerings at the historic site and serves its mission to sustain the Shaker legacy, while providing annual revenue of $40,000.
The production and preparation of food, Burdick noted was prominent strain among the Shakers. She said that the village has hosted chefs from around the state to conduct workshops and prepare meals drawing on Shaker recipes. "Lots of restaurants have wanted to lease the space," she said, "but, we don't want to be a landlord." The college, she continued, represents an opportunity "to integrate education and hospitality with our mission to 'rethink tradition, rethink Shaker Village."
Burdick anticipated that the students would be matched to the "Shaker Box Lunch" offered at the village. Furthermore, she said that the village also intends to develop a farming program, reviving a significant element of the Shaker community, as part of an initiative to encourage organic agriculture and sustainable living.
Patrick Hall, coordinator of the Culinary and Pastry Arts program, was excited at the prospect of what he called "food-to-table. It's the big thing and it's what the public wants," he said. He said that learning in an environment where the ingredients are grown and harvested would enhance the experience of students. Hall is eager to open the restaurant that is expected to serve its first diners in October.
William Walsh, chief instructor of the program, expected the setting would add to the popularity of the program. The commercial kitchen, along with storage and office space, is on the ground floor. What he called an "a la carte kitchen" and dining room, which seats 40, is on the floor above. A function room stretches across the top floor.
Walsh said there were 11 students when he joined the program seven years ago and he expects 110 when classes begin in the fall. The kitchen, he said, will accommodate classes of 10 to 12, which approximates the student-teacher ratio of the program. With the restaurant, Walsh stressed that the venue provides an ideal environment to teach everything from waiting tables to preparing deserts in elegant surroundings.

"When students complete this program here," he said, "they can step right into places like Church Landing."
Kalicki said that that ultimately the college intends to return the programs to the Laconia campus, but quickly added that he expected to pursue the partnership with the village "as far as we can take it." He said that the 2013-2014 state budget includes $3.3-million for construction of a new building to house the automotive program at the college and design the renovation of the space it will vacate.
Burdick is looking forward to an ongoing partnership. "Potential and integration are the key words," she said. "We're just going to joy the ride and hope it lasts for a long time."

 

CAPTION: Scott Kaliicki, president of Lakes Region Community College, and Funi Burdick, executive director of Canterbury Shaker Village, Inc., yesterday signed the lease that will provide the college's Culinary and Pastry Arts and Restaurant Management programs with a new home at the National Historic Landmark where students will operate a restaurant. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).

Caption: Scott Kalicki, president of Lakes Region Community College, and Funi Burdick, executive director of Canterbury Shaker Village, Inc. are flanked by Patrick Hall (right), program coordinator, and William Walsh (left), chief instructor, of the college's Culinary and Pastry Arts and Restaurant Management programs, which will be housed at the village. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).

Last Updated on Friday, 09 August 2013 01:41

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59-year-old Laconia woman identified as victim of Gilford crash

GILFORD — Police have identified Laconia resident Kay E. Sawyer, 59, as the woman killed in Wednesday's three-car accident on Route 11 next to the scenic overlook of Lake Winnipesaukee.

The Daily Sun has learned that Sawyer lived at 1156 North Main Street at the Opechee Gardens.

Det. Sgt. Chris Jacques said Sawyer was driving a silver Toyota and was headed toward Alton or east. He said her two passengers were Theresa Burgado, 29, of New York, N.Y. and a 2-year-old child who was not identified.

Burgado remains at Lakes Region General Hospital while the child was treated and released.

A second car, which was a Honda sedan, was also headed east and was being operated by Brendon J. Lefavor-Hanson, 22, of Gilford.

Jacques said Lefavor-Hanson's car made contact with the car driven by Sawyer who in turn collided with an Ford SUV being driven west-bound by Martin Leary, 62, of Gilford. Leary was also treated and released from LRGH.

Police said they are not releasing the details of what happened on the road up to the collision because of the ongoing investigation, although Jacques said there were witnesses. He said the passenger side of the car Sawyer was driving was most heavily damaged although all three cars sustained significant damage.

The initial call to the fire department broadcast over the scanner said there was multiple cars involved in a crash on Route 11 near Brookside Crossing with a possible fatality.

Jacques didn't say if the witnesses were other people involved in the crash or different people who actually saw what happened. He said to the best of his knowledge, there was no one stopped at the overlook area at the time of the crash.

Jacques said some of the people involved in the crash were wearing seat belts and some were not. He confirmed Fire Chief Steve Carrier's statement that the child was secured in a car seat that appeared to be correctly installed.

Jacques said the road is straight in that area and is reasonably level when one considers Gilford's hilly terrain. "It isn't an area I go to for frequent accidents," he said.

He said that stretch of roadway has two lanes. There is passing allowed, as indicated by a dashed yellow center-line, line but declined to say if it was a factor in yesterday's crash.

Sandy Aldrich was in a car accident in February near where Wednesday's accident occurred.

Aldrich, who lives in Brookside Crossing and drives on Route 11 daily, said in her opinion there are three things that cause many accidents and near-misses along that stretch of road – speed, alcohol and, most importantly inattention.

She said the road gets a lot of travelers who aren't familiar with the curve just west of the scenic area. She also said people like to look at the view without pulling into the scenic area.

"It's a beautiful road," she said, meaning it's well maintained and plowed. But because it is so nice she said she thinks people drive too fast on it. She also said people are prone to passing when they shouldn't because drivers often think they have more room than they really have because they can't see beyond the Gilford-side curve or the Ellacoya State Park Curve.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 09 August 2013 01:35

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Zoning Task Force says 'yes' to keeping chickens

LACONIA — The Zoning Task Force yesterday agreed to recommend amending the zoning ordinance to permit the keeping of chickens in the residential single-family (RS), residential general (RG) and shorefront residential (SFR) districts. A "special exception" to the ordinance, granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA), would be required.

The current ordinance restricts the keeping of livestock, including poultry, to four districts — the commercial resort (CR), airport industrial (AI) and rural residential I and II (RRI, RRII) districts — effectively excluding chickens from the most densely populated parts of the city.

While extending the keeping of chickens to three districts, the committee suggests striking the airport industrial district from the list where it is permitted.

The proposal will be referred to the ZBA. After conducting a public hearing, the ZBA will make its recommendation to the City Council, which is vested with the ultimate authority to adopt and amend municipal ordinances.

The proposal recommended by the committee closely mirrors the ordinance adopted by the Concord City Council in December, 2011, which will be reviewed in September. It would permit keeping not more than five hens — but no roosters, capons or guinea hens — for the sole use of the household in the specified districts by special exception.

The breeding of chickens and sale of eggs would be prohibited. Nor could chickens be slaughtered on the premisses. Chickens would be kept in coops placed in rear or side yards at least 10 feet from the primary residence and 20 feet from any lot line. Chickens would not be allowed to roam free. Not more than three cubic feet of droppings, stored in a closed container, could be kept at one time. Chicken coops could not be located and chicken manure could not be stored within the 50 feet of the Shoreland Protection Overlay District, which includes all land within 250 feet of the high water mark of public waters, or within any wetland or wetland buffer.

Suzanne Perley, who chairs the task force, said that she spoke with officials in all the other cities in the state that have adopted similar ordinances and found that none had experienced significant problems.
Last month, when the task force held a public hearing on the issue, several speakers suggested residents keeping chicken should be required to register them.

Perley explained that requiring a special exception to keep chickens would effectively create a register. Applicants must pay a $125 fee and demonstrate that that the use meets eight criteria, including that keeping chickens will not impair the interests or character of the neighborhood. Perley said that the process will ensure that the city has a record of those with chickens and their whereabouts.

Chickens first drew the attention of the Planning Department in October 2005 when Karianne Shelley, then an aspiring veterinarian at age 15, requested a variance to keep two hens at her home on Old North Main Street in order to complete a 4-H project. The ZBA denied the variance, but when Shelley appealed voted three-to-two to grant the variance until she graduated from high school in two years time. Five years later Charles Drake applied for a variance to keep between four and six laying hens at his home on Bay Street. The ZBA denied his request and refused to reconsider its decision.

Perley said that the task force also recommended adopting an amendment to the section of the ordinance bearing on the floodplain district, which was proposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "We really have no leeway," she said. "We have to update the ordinance in order for properties to be eligible for flood insurance." The amendment to the floodplain ordinance, Perley said, will be recommended to the Planning Board, which in turn will present its recommendation to the City Council.

Last Updated on Friday, 09 August 2013 04:29

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Main Stree bridge project will be put out to bid this fall; city's share expected to be about $1M

LACONIA — City Manager Scott Myers announced yesterday that the governor and Executive Council have approved the agreement between the city and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) for the reconstruction of the Main Street Bridge over the Winnipesaukee River.

The agreement sets the cost of the project at $3,569,1324, of which the state, through the State Aid Bridge Program, will contribute $2,055,307. Another $800,000 will consist of Federal Highway Funds, leaving the city with the balance of $713,827, or a fifth of the total cost.

However, Myers explained that the state and city would share engineering costs of between $275,000 and $300,000, with the state bearing 80-percent and the city 20-percent of the costs. In addition, the city will bear the entire cost of widening the roadway on Beacon Street as it approaches the bridge to address the so-called "pinch point," where large trucks must either ride over the curb or straddle two lanes in crossing the bridge.

Myers anticipated that these expenses would increase the city's share of the total cost to approximately $925,000 while adding some $200,000 to the state's contribution. He said that the additional expenses would raise the total cost of the project to about $4.1-million. The 2013-2014 city budget includes an appropriation of $1-million for the project, which he anticipates will meet the city's costs.

The project will be put out to bid after October 1, the beginning of the federal fiscal year when the Federal Highway Funds become available. Construction would be scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014, proceed in four phases over two and be completed in 2015. Although downtown traffic will be re-routed in each of the four phases, the bridge itself will remain open throughout the construction.

Last month the City Council authorized spending up to $300,000 drawn from the Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Fund on improvements to the plaza at the foot of Main Street in conjunction with the reconstruction of the bridge. This project, together with other similar improvements downtown, will likely be financed by the sale of general obligation bonds, which would be serviced by the annual revenue of at least $173,000 accruing to the TIF Fund.

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 08 August 2013 02:45

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