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Tea company finds Laconia 89% honest?

LACONIA — A nationwide social experiment conducted by Honest Tea, makers of organic beverages, found that 89-percent of people here — or at least the people visiting here — are honest, placing Laconia 12th among the 61 cities surveyed.

Kerrie Cassani-Levick of Creaxion, a marketing firm in Atlanta Georgia, explained that between July 16 and August 12 Honest Tea set up unattended racks of cold beverages, which were offered for $1 on the honor system. At each site the number of people who paid or just helped themselves, together with their gender and hair color, were observed and counted. Across the country 95 percent of people were honest compared to 93 percent in 2013.

In Laconia, the experiment was conducted on the boardwalk at Weirs Beach on Saturday, August 9 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Altogether 157 people participated, of whom 139 paid the dollar and 18 did not. Cassani-Levick said that all those who paid left currency, not bus tickets or grocery receipts.

The results indicated that honesty is on the rise in Washington, D.C., where 96 percent of people paid, 16 percent more than the year before, while in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Providence, Rhode Island the honesty index dropped by 12-percentage points to 81 percent and 80 percent respectively.

Women proved more honest than men by two points — 95 percent to 93 percent —and blondes of both genders were again the most honest.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 12:48

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Laconia woman charged with kicking police officer

LACONIA — A South Main Street woman is charged with assault and resisting arrest after allegedly kicking a police officer in the shins three times last weekend, while he was trying to get her out of another woman's car.

Affidavits said the officer responded to the Cumberland Farms store on Court Street for a report saying that Bonnie Veilleux refused to get out of a car. She is also charged with criminal trespassing.

When he arrived, he said the driver of the car told him she didn't want Veilleux in her car. He said he spoke to Veilleux and she told him she wasn't leaving the vehicle and refused to tell him why.

The officer's affidavit said he told her to get out of the car five times.

He grabbed her arm to assist her out of the car but she allegedly "stiffened" and fought against him by putting her arms behind her back. He said she allegedly kicked him.

The officer said she kicked him two more times as he was escorting her to his cruiser.

Judge Jim Carroll ordered she be held on $100 cash bail and be medically and emotionally evaluated while in the Belknap County House of Corrections. She is scheduled for a bail review tomorrow.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 12:40

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Planning Board says 'no' to solar panel farm in Gilford

GILFORD — Taking the advice of their attorney, the Planning Board voted Monday night to deny a request from the Inns & Motels to erect 370 solar panels at 16 Kimball Road.

While the vote occurred during the deliberation portion of the meeting, applicant Williard Drew and his attorney Phil Brouillard said only that they would waive the 65-day rule on the time frame a board has to act once it's accepted an application as complete.

The town attorney recommended the Planning Board deny the request because the proposal for the 1.4-acre site at the intersection of Routes 11-B and 11-C does not constitute a reasonable use of the land.

N.H. State law says alternative energy sources "shall not be unreasonably limited by use of municipal zoning powers or the unreasonable interpretation of such powers."

Brouillard said again that there is no ordinance in Gilford that covers solar panels and during the July meeting said the Planning Board was "making it up as it" or flying by the seat of (its) pants."

Absent an ordinance, Brouillard and Drew felt the Planning Board and the town should have worked with them to make the project a reality.

In previous meetings, members of the Planning Board have said that the sheer size of the project makes it a primary use of a residential lot and not an ancillary use as is stated in the application.

Drew has said the power generated by the panels would provide enough electricity for his home and eight other homes on the property. The rest would be sold back into the grid.

With Monday's denial, Drew can appeal the decision to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2014 12:38

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Belknap Commission would like to see LRPA-TV menu

LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioners yesterday told Lakes Region Public Access television station manager Denise Beauchaine that they would like to see a menu listing different options for coverage of their meetings and those of the County Convention so that they could develop of schedule of costs which could be included in the county budget.
LRPA provided coverage at $100 a meeting for the over 30 meetings which it has covered so far this year for Belknap County, including contentious meetings involving the commission and convention as they wrangled over the 2014 county budget, which is now the subject of a lawsuit in Belknap County Superior Court brought by the convention which seeks to undo transfers within the budget made by the commissioners after the budget was adopted.
At yesterday afternoon's commission meeting, Beauchaine asked the commissioners what their budgeting comfort level was and said that LRPA is looking to balance its costs with the service it provides and said that some meetings had cost LRPA as much as $350 to cover.
Commissioners said that a fee schedule, including costs for a second camera at some meetings, would allow them to better determine which meetings should be covered.
Beauchaine observed that there was no way to predict in advance how many meetings would warrant coverage and said that she will ask the board of directors of LRPA-TV to set a fee schedule when it meets next week so that she can bring that information to the commissioners.
Commissioner Steve Nedeau (R-Meredith) said that there has been a healthy partnership between LRPA-TV and the county and noted that the programs had attracted a large viewership around the county.
He asked what would happen if the county provided coverage of its own meetings and Beauchaine said that it might be possible for the county to apply through the city of Laconia to have MetroCast Cablevision provide equipment for the county.
She said that LRPA-TV no longer has a contract with MetroCast and under the terms of a new contract negotiated with member communities earlier this year, nor does it have signed contracts with any of the towns for which it has usually provided coverage.
The contracts with area communities are part of a new business model that the board of directors of LRPA-TV is attempting to implement in order to sustain its operations in the face of crumbling financial support from member communities, which used to fund its operations from MetroCast franchise fees.
The new plan calls for each of the dozen or so member communities served in the MetroCast franchise area to operate their own education and government channels (24 and 26) while LRPA will provide public access on Channel 25 as a regional channel which will air material from citizens, organizations and groups from any community which is a member of the LRPA.
The education and government channels will air only in the communities in which their programs originate but the high cost of becoming a public access provider, estimated at $85,000 a year by the LRPA-TV board, means that LRPA will likely be the only public access provider in the area.
One of changes in the contract has the annual $30,000 grant, which MetroCast has previously provided for LRPA-TV, ending. The grant provided one-quarter of LRPA's $126,000 operating budget.

Last Updated on Friday, 22 August 2014 10:12

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