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Cooking competition entertains Taylor residents

LACONIA — More than 50 residents of the Taylor Community turned out for an afternoon cooking competition Wednesday which featured chefs Amanda Coburn and Brandon Rutherford matching wits and techniques in ways that tested their creativity and sent delightful aromas through the Woodside building.
Coburn, Taylor's director of dining services, who was the regional winner in a cooking competition sponsored by Kraft Foods last year, said that she was inspired by the competition and wanted to have one at the home which the residents could enjoy.
Both she and Rutherford were presented with the same basic ingredients — scallops, squash and avocados — along with a host of grains, fruits and vegetables with which to work and had 45 minutes to get it done.

Coburn served her scallops topped with an avocado based fresh salsa which was topped with blueberries, oranges and pineapple and accompanied by long-grained basamatti rice.
Rutherford chose pan-seared scallops served with a rustic avocado guacamole, squash and pan-seared french fries topped with cheddar.
Judges were Donna Garrison, Hal Dyment, Beverly Martin and Roger Amsden of The Daily Sun, who was drafted as a judge when a local chef was unable to attend.
The competition ended in a tie as both competitors received high marks from the judges for their creations.
Audience members said they enjoyed the event so much that they would like to see another competition in the near future.


CAPTIONS: Amanda Coburn, director of dining services at the Taylor Home, plates her entree during a friendly cooking competition at the home on Wednesday afternoon (Roger Amsden/ for The Laconia Daily Sun)


Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:23

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Huot advocates county can't build its budget worrying about Laconia's tax cap restrictions

LACONIA — Nearly a decade after the city enacted its property tax cap, Rep. David Huot has become if not the only, one of the few, public officials to openly suggest that the City Council should consider exercising its authority to override it.

Huot, a Democrat, was speaking last month amid a debate at the Belknap County Convention about whether to appropriate $336,170 to fund the pay raise and health benefits included in the tentative agreement negotiated between the Belknap County Commission and the State Employees Association on behalf of 80 full-time employees of the county nursing home.

Earlier, Rep. Frank Tilton (R-Laconia) pointed out that the increase in the 2014 county budget, which the convention adopted in March, matched the increase in the amount to be raised by property taxes specified by the city's tax cap. Therefore, he said any additional appropriation by the county would compel the City Council to trim an equivalent amount from one or more municipal departments in order to budget within the limits of the tax cap. Since Laconia bears about 19 percent of the property taxes raised by the county, Tilton calculated that funding the contract would add approximately $70,000 to the city tax commitment beyond the bounds of tax cap, requiring reduced appropriations of an equal amount. expenditure.

"I represent the people of Laconia too," said Huot, speaking in favor of funding the proposed contract. Noting that the county was obliged to fund the employer's share of the increase in health insurance premiums, he said "it is not a question of the Laconia tax cap." He went on to say that if the City Council overrode the tax cap by $70,000 the impact on property taxpayers would be minimal.

Huot later explained "I was simply pointing out that you can't run the county on the city of Laconia's tax cap." He said that the county is obliged to provide specific services that its 11 municipalities do not provide themselves, including the Registry of Deeds, Nursing Home, County Jail, County Attorney and Sheriff's Department. He said that Tilton "wrote the county budget to accommodate the city of Laconia."

Huot described the tax cap as "the third rail of city government" and likened suggesting it be overridden to breaking the pledge to oppose the introduction of a state sales or income tax. However, he insisted "override is an alternative in extreme circumstances."

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:17

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Tagging mars 3 more buildings

LACONIA — Police are reporting at least three more cases of vandalism or "tagging" that occurred in the overnight hours of Tuesday into Wednesday.

Capt. Matt Canfield said the word "GRIMS" was spray painted on the former Coca Cola building on Messer Street and on the Harvard Street School officel building that houses the superintendent's office.

Canfield also said one of the murals along the WOW Trail was defaced but the city is hoping it can be cleaned.

The recent spate a taggings comes about a week after seven individual instances over a few nights occurred. In those cases, the word "LAKER" was spray painted on a number of buildings.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252 or the Greater Laconia Crime Line at 524-1717.


CUTLINE: (Vandalism.jpg) Vandals struck the former Coca Cola building on Messer Street sometime Tuesday night spray. ( Laconia Daily Sun Photo/Gail Ober)

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:14

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Group looking to open cold-weather homeless shelter in Laconia area this winter

LACONIA — A consortium of people led by members of N.H. Catholic Charities and the Unitarian Universalist Society Association of Congregations are looking into creating a cold-weather shelter for families somewhere in Belknap County.

Should a suitable place and some money be found, the shelter would be open in the winter months and be dry — meaning no alcohol or drugs would be allowed.

"So far we have no money and no place," said Len Campbell of Catholic Charities, who is leading the consortium.

The goal, he said, is to have a cold-weather shelter operational by October 15.

For about a year now there has been some discussion about opening a cold-weather shelter somewhere in the city that would be more temporary than the Carey House, which is operated by the Salvation Army and is more long-term transitional housing.

Some of the hurdles faced by the consortium are how to coordinate shelter services with local welfare officers, where a possible facility would go and how it would fit in with local zoning and fire ordinances, and perhaps most importantly, where to get the money and how to line up volunteers.

The plight of those who are homeless during the cold New Hampshire winters is one both public and private entities have been struggling with for years.

Right now, area welfare administrators and police departments last resource is to put homeless families in crisis into rooms at a local hotel. Increasingly, the Carey House is full and is unable to accommodate emergencies.

The money comes largely from local welfare budgets or, in the case of the Laconia Police, from the relief associations that are funded through donations and fundraisers.

Part of the consortium's research included reaching out to three areas in the state that have some kind of cold-weather shelter — Concord, Strafford County (Rochester) and Keene — and gathering information about their programs.

The Belknap County members have seemingly settled on a model similar to the one in Strafford County that provides for community services as well as temporary shelter.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:11

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