LACONIA – One by one the canoes and kayaks are amassing at Weirs Beach this morning in an attempt to break the Guinness World record for most boats "rafted" at one time.
Hosted by New Hampshire Lakes Association – a volunteer agency that works to educate and stop boaters including canoeists and kayakers from introducing invasive plant and animal species into New Hampshire's lakes - LakeFest's rafting goal is to link together more than 2,099 canoes and kayaks at one time.
Volunteer and LakeFest coordinator Andrea LaMoreaux said the attempt to break the record is also a way of promoting the organization's Clean, Dry and Drive Program.
LaMoreaux explained that water in boats can host invasive species, such as zebra mussels, in larval form and even a small amount of water can host thousands of microscopic larvae.
She said all canoes and kayaks entered in today's rafting will be power-washed before entering the water unless the owner says the craft has been out of the water and dry for five days.
"The critical part here is the dry part," LaMoreaux said. Five days of being out of the water and dried will kill the larvae.
She said the invasive plant species milfoil is typically transferred by boat propellers but can typically be seen and cleaned before the boat hits the water. LakeFest volunteers through the New Hampshire Lakes Association have been checking boats in New Hampshire for 11 years and have recorded 1,256 "saves" from invasive plant species contamination.
But the fun part is breaking the record.
There are three places where boaters can enter today's event – Weirs Beach, Akwa Marina in Weirs Beach and the boat ramp in Meredith Bay.
She said organizers are aiming to have all of the canoes and kayaks assembled in the Weirs Beach area early in the morning. She said the actual rafting - where every boat has to be in contact with the boats on either side – will begin after the Mount Washington embarks on its 10 a.m. cruise.
The cost to enter on the day of the rafting is $20 and every boater must be wearing a life jacket in order to be counted. A number is assigned to each entrant as he or she registers and a blue wristband will be issued as a means of identification.
She said three auditors will be on hand to count the boaters and report their findings to the Guinness World Book of records.
Caption (Photo in email) Mike Mooney (left) of Irwin Marine and LakeFest volunteer Dan O'Brien portage one of the kayaks that will be entered in today's attempt to break the Guinness world record of 2,099 canoes and kayaks rafted together at one time. (Laconia Daily Sun Photo – Gail Ober)
Last Updated on Saturday, 07 September 2013 01:17
LACONIA — Mike Girardi, the former owner of Nadia's Restaurant, is remembered by his many friends in the Lakes Region as a beloved character whose swagger and sense of humor made him an unforgettable person.
Services for Girardi, 53, who died August 30, were held at Bayside Cemetery Thursday, where a family member said of him ''Michael gave a lot more than he took.''
Jose DeMatos and his wife, Stacie, owners of Channel Marine Cottages, were good friends with Girardi, who their daughters Olivia, 10, and Grace, 8, would call Mr. Karate because they couldn't pronounce his last name.
''He had a lot of Mike-isms and would always say 'what's going on tiddlywinks?' whenever we met. And he'd come into our store and say 'where's Hosey?' instead of pronouncing Jose's name right. He was a great friend and our kids just loved him,'' recalls Stacy DeMatos.
''He was great cook and made the world's best meatball,'' says her husband, Jose, who recalls that Girardi made a special batch of them for his daughter's birthday.
And he says that Girardi had a flair and a sense of style which made him memorable with everyone who came into his restaurant.
''In the 90s NASCAR was just coming into the Lakes Region, Nadia's was the place to go. We'd call up and ask for a table and when we got there he'd have the bruschetta and the balsamic vinegar on the side on our table when we got there, along with a bottle of our favorite wine, Rocca del a Machia, a really good red wine and everything they cooked there was great. His hospitality was wonderful. He'd come and sit down at your table and talk with you. You felt like you were in his home instead of at a restaurant,'' recalls DeMatos.
He said that he and his wife vacationed in Florida with Girardi and his girlfriend and remember him making the best Chicken Parmesan dish they ever had.
''He made a cream-based sauce that was really terrific,'' recalls DeMatos.
Another friend, Tom McCormack, who runs Weirs the Beef, grew up on Boston's North Shore with Girardi and says that Girardi had a John Travolta style personality.
''He was very popular, a funny guy. And when he ran Nadia's and you went in there you could see how he made everyone comfortable. I always remember him riding around in his Mercedes convertible and pulling up and getting out and making some joke that would make you bend over with laughter.''
Friends recounted how Girardi would try to convince people that he was actually the model for the Anthony of Prince Spaghetti ads and how he liked to tell the story of how his mother chased a would-be robber away from her small North End bakery in Boston with a rolling pin.
After the Nadia's restaurant building was sold to TD North Bank, Girardi and his girlfriend relocated Nadia's to the Lobster Pound Restaurant at the Weirs. In recent years he had worked at AutoServ in Tilton.
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Girardi was raised in both Italy and Everett, Mass. and is survived by his mother, Lina, who was a frequent player at the Funspot Bingo Hall, a son, two sisters, two nephews and a niece.
Mike Girardi (Courtesy photo)
Last Updated on Saturday, 07 September 2013 01:17
MOULTONBOROUGH — With removal proceedings against two members of the Planning Board scheduled on Monday, the selectmen last week sought but failed to overcome charges that they violated the Right-to-Know law by deciding to begin the process while consulting with town counsel behind closed doors.
A motion intended to legitimize the actions taken at the controversial meeting failed by a vote of three-to-two with selectmen Chris Shipp, Jon Tolman and Ed Charest in the majority and chairman Joel Mudgett and Russ Wakefield in the minority.
Town Administrator Carter Terenzini, who has insisted that claims that the selectboard breached the law are without merit, said yesterday that the vote would have no impact on the hearings, which will be held as scheduled. "There have been a number of questions about whether the process has complied with RSA 91-A (the Right-to-Know law)," he said. "The purpose of the motion was to remove that issue from the table to concentrate on the real issues." He denied that the motion represented an admission that the selectboard's prior actions we're improper. "That's not what we're saying at all," he declared.
On July 18, a week after the Planning Board approved construction of an observation tower on Red Hill, the selectmen held a non-meeting with Town Counsel Peter Minkow to consider information they had received about the conduct of Josh Bartlett and Judy Ryerson in granting the approval. The selectboard agreed to begin removal proceedings and to instruct Town Administrator Carter Terenzini and Minkow to offer the two members the opportunity to resign rather than undergo a public hearing. After both Bartlett and Ryerson refused to resign, the selectmen outlined the charges against them, which bore primarily on their conduct in approving construction of the observation tower, in letters sent to each and subsequently scheduled public hearings to determine if there is cause to remove them.
Both the selectmen and Terenzini have steadfastly refused to disclose what transpired during the consultation with Minkow, which they have variously claimed was a "non-public meeting" or is protected by "attorney-client privilege." Among others Paul Puntunieri, a member of the Planning Board, has countered that the selectboard contravened the Right-to-Know by conducting deliberations and making decisions during the consultation.
According to the Memorandum of the New Hampshire Attorney General on the application of the Right-to-Know law, consultation with legal counsel does not qualify as either a meeting or a non-public meeting, but instead is a "non-meeting." The memorandum continues "consultation with legal counsel should be limited to discussion of legal issues. Deliberation about the matter on which advice is sought may not occur during consultation with legal counsel. The public body must reconvene and, unless a statutory exemption allowing deliberation in non-public session exists, conduct deliberation in public session."
Of the nine matters that may be considered in non-public session, only those that are likely to adversely affect the reputation of any person, other than a member of selectboard itself, applies. However, if the person in question requests an open meeting, if must be granted.
When the selectmen met last week, Terenzini informed them that Minkow recommended that they "ratify" the letters sent to Bartlett and Ryerson as well as the notice of the public hearings. "Why we're doing this at this juncture," asked Shipp, "I don't understand." He was echoed by Charest, who said "I'm not following the reason either."
"There's no new action," Terenzini replied. "You're ratifying what you've already done." He added that "you don't have to do anything" and assured the selectmen that the hearing would proceed if they chose to do nothing.
Tolman wondered "is it that he (Minkow) is uncomfortable with the procedure we've followed to this point?"
Peter Jensen, vice-chair of the Planning Board, which last month recommended against proceedings against two of its members, told the selectmen "I would encourage you not to do this unless you know what you're doing."
Terenzini intervened, saying "there continues to persist a question as to whether or not the board can consult with counsel and give counsel instructions in that meeting. He (Minkow) requests to have you ratify what you have done in an open and public session to remove and put to rest that question."
"Obviously he's telling you you broke the right-to-know law," interrupted Puntunieri, "and now you're going to fix it."
Terenzini reminded the selectmen that similar charges were brought in the past only to be dismissed by the Carroll County Superior Court. "I leave it to you," he said, again telling the selectmen they were not bound to act. "I think he (Minkow) remains comfortable with the advice he's given you."
With that the selectboard voted to reject Minkow's advice.
The public hearings are scheduled to begin on Monday at 1 p.m. in the Town Hall.
Last Updated on Saturday, 07 September 2013 01:16
LACONIA – One business day before scheduled jury selection, the Manchester man accused of providing the heroin that allegedly killed a 22-year-old mother in March of 2011 has filed a motion to dismiss the case against him, claiming city police and the prosecution have been investigating a different person for injecting her.
Alfredo Gonzales, 46, of Center Street in Manchester is accused of selling the heroin to Karen Mikkelson who in turn sold it to Ashley Denty.
Three others, Karen Mikkelson, Steven Marando, and Amanda Kelly have all pleaded guilty to their roles in Denty's death and are serving or have served sentences in jail or prison.
The crux of Gonzales's motion lies in what attorney Mark Sisti said was an investigation into an alternative theory of Denty's death and, though he just learned of it on August 29, it was information he said the Laconia Police had in April and the County Attorney's Office had in July.
The final pretrial was August 8, and Sisti argued he should have had the information before they agreed on a date to go to trial.
According to Sisti, a different man allegedly said on his Facebook page that he was the one who injected Denty with the heroin. He said Laconia Police applied for and got a warrant for this man's electronic records of which there are 2,000 pages that he hasn't had a chance to read.
"The court deserves an explanation that the state is sitting on exculpatory information" he said. "Now there is an alternative suspect who admits on Facebook he killed the victim."
Assistant County Prosecutor Carley Ahern said she needed until Monday to respond to Sisti's motion. She briefly countered that even if someone else actually stuck the needle in Denty's arm, it doesn't change the case against Gonzales – who is charged with providing the heroin not personally injecting it.
Sisti also filed a motion for discovery, a motion to personally interview the potential jurors, and a motion for Gonzales to be released on personal recognizance bail.
Gonzales has been incarcerated for two years and would agree to wear a bracelet or comply with whatever the court orders if he is freed on bail. He was found not guilty of selling heroin to a confidential informant after a three-day jury trial earlier this year. In an unrelated case, he pleaded guilty to assault on prisoners.
Ahern said he has a previous conviction from Texas for sales of a controlled drug.
Judge James O'Neill said he would give all both parties until Monday at 2:30 p.m. to respond to the motions.
Last Updated on Saturday, 07 September 2013 03:50
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