Residents plead case for stop signs on Summit Ave.

LACONIA — The City Council this week referred a petition from residents of Summit Avenue, the street leading from Weirs Road (Rte. 1-B) to Governor's Island, asking for measures to curb speeding motorists to its Public Works Committee.

Speaking on behalf of the petitioners, Richard Homsi told the councilors that although the speed limit was reduced from 35 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour and the police are doing all they can, motorists going to and from the island routinely pass his home at speeds "well over 50 miles an hour". He said that the police have recorded speeds at twice the limit.

"Something's got to change," said Homsi, who added that the Governor's Island Association was selling its members custom made signs with a posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour while "speeding on our road getting there".

He reminded the council that the petitioners have suggested placing a three-way stop sign at the corner of Summit Avenue and Wentworth Cove Road, which they believe will slow traffic.

Robert Heinrich, a resident of Gilford who regularly visits his "significant other" on Wentworth Cove Road, disagreed. He said there were not a significant number of speeders on Summit Avenue and pointed out that the speed limit sign is currently obscured by foliage. A three-way stop sign, he described as "a waste of gas and brakes". Discounting the importance of the issue, he claimed that it was simply another chapter in the longstanding feud between Homsi and the Governor's Island Association.

Two other residents of the street attended the meeting and backed Homsi's position.

NOTE: The City Council renewed the lease of the Memorial Park House to the New Covenant Church for a period of five years at a rent of $1,000 per month. Councilor Henry Lipman (Ward 3), who chairs the Finance Committee, questioned the wisdom of the city not asking for an increase in rent, which he described as providing a subsidy to the church, but joined his colleagues in unanimously agreeing to renew the lease.

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Rare piebald deer spotted in Gilford

GILFORD — A rare piebald deer was photographed yesterday in Gunstock Acres by Ed Rushbrook, who said it was the second time this year that he has seen the animal.
Piebald deer have white and brown patches, similar to a pinto pony, a condition which is caused by a rare genetic variation which affects less than one percent of the white-tailed deer population.
Rushbrook, a retired engineer, says that he called the state Fish and Game Department to report the sighting and told that the photographs he took were of a piebald deer.
''It was the second time I've seen the deer. Around four to six weeks ago I saw a doe cross the road followed by a normally spotted fawn and then saw this deer, which had a lot of white with a few brown spots.''
He said that ever since the sighting he has carried his camera with him in the hopes that he would see the rare deer again.
Tuesday morning around 11 a.m. he saw the deer lying in some brush not far off from the road and he was able to stop his car and take several photos of the animal, which did not react to his presence.
In addition to the unique coloration, piebald deer often show a bowing of the nose, often called Roman Nose, and may have short legs and an arching spine due to scoliosis.
A piebald deer was photographed by Ed Rushbrook in Gunstock Acres in Gilford Tuesday morning. (Courtesy photo)

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U.S. Department of Education identifies Gilmanton as Blue Ribbon School

GILMANTON — A decade after being designated as "a school in need of improvement", under No Child Left Behind standards, the Gilmanton Elementary School has been named one of 335 National Blue Ribbon Schools by Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education.

Begun in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Program recognizes schools for their academic excellence as measured by state and national assessments as well as schools achieving progress in improving the academic performance of their students. Gilmanton Elementary School was honored for its academic excellence.

John Fauci, school superintendent, said yesterday that "the school is a mirror of the community and when the community the supports its schools good things happen." Apart from the staff of the school, from the janitors to the teachers to the principal, he said that the award reflects the support of the School Board, Budget Committee, parents and not least the voters of Gilmanton. "They have all given us the resources we need to be successful," Fauci said.

Principal Carol Locke, who began her career at the school as a reading teacher in 1987, said simply "without our staff, all the people in the school, including the janitors, cooks, aides and teachers, we couldn't have earned this award. Everyone," she stressed, "worked very, very hard for this."

Fauci underlined "the culture and climate conducive to collaboration" at the school, explaining that "it's a bottom-up rather than top-down school. We make better decisions collectively than we do individually."

Emphasizing the role of the teachers, Locke said that "they know their students. What they can do, what they can't do and make sure they do what they need to do."

In November, Fauci and Locke, accompanied by Debra Bergeron, assistant principal, and Jan Drinen, a teacher, will travel to Washington for a ceremony where they will receive the award on behalf of the school and the community.

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