Lakes Region Art Association opens members’ gallery at Tanger Outlets

TILTON — Pat Anderson, gallery manager for the Lakes Region Art Association Members' Gallery at Tanger Outlets, said having the first-ever gallery where association members can exhibit and sell their art is a great way to mark the association's 75th anniversary.
And she credits Eric Proulx, manager of Tanger Outlet, with making the showcase for local art possible.
''He saw that we were celebrating our 75th anniversary, and contacted us to let us know that there was space available for us here. He's been so helpful. When we came and looked at it, we saw that the walls were already lined with flat boards, which were just what we need to display our paintings,'' said Anderson, a retired brigadier general who was an Army nurse and retired to the Lakes Region with her husband three years ago.
Anderson specializes in oil paintings of nature scenes with a strong emphasis on the changing seasons and is one of 32 artists whose works are displayed on the walls of the 59 foot by 23 foot retail space which is located near the mall offices at Tangers Outlet which is located near the Mall offices in the services area.
''This is one of the most exciting projects I've worked on,'' said Anderson, adding that the joy in having the location is evident in the faces of the association's members when they walk through the door.
Two opening receptions will be held this weekend, from noon to 8 p.m. today, and on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Association members are displaying original art, prints, cards and books in the gallery, which will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and staffed by volunteers from the association, many of whom will be working on art projects which will give visitors an understanding of how their art is created.
There is additional space at the rear of the gallery where art classes will be offered by members, said Anderson.
Among the artists exhibiting at the gallery is D.J. Geribo of Alton, who is also a children's book author. Her works feature pastels, oil, watercolor and acrylics and her gift cards help raise funds for shelter animals.
The association, originally known as the Laconia Art Group, was formally founded in 1940 by William Robertson, Wilfred Marsland, George and Harriet Booth and John Hoyt. It became the Laconia Art Association in 1973 and in 2005 expanded to become the Lakes Region Art Association.

CAPTION: slugged D.J. Geribo
D.J. Geribo of Alton, a children's book author and artist whose works feature animals and nature, works on a painting at the Lakes Region Art Association's Members Gallery at the Tanger Outlets in Tilton. (Roger Amsden photo for the Laconia Daily Sun)

Wood stove sales on the rise

LACONIA — Wood, the original heat source dating back to pre-history, continues to remain a viable source for heating homes in New Hampshire, where one of every 13 homes in the state (7.7 percent) burn wood to stay warm.
Bob Gardner of Fireside Living, a hearth and patio store on Union Avenue which sells, designs and installs wood, gas and pellet stoves, fireplaces, inserts and hearth accessories as well as patio furniture and gas grills, says that wood stove sales are up this year.
''Pellet stoves account for 60 percent of our sales but we've seen more people wanting wood stoves this year than we've seen in a long time.'' says Gardner.
A veteran of the wood stove resurgence dating back to the late 1970s when oil embargoes sparked a revival of wood heating and it was seen as a patriotic duty to have a pile of stacked wood next to your home, Gardner got his start in the business assembling the Comforter line of wood stoves marketed by Abundant Life from its Lochmere location.
''Today's wood stoves are a lot more efficient than they were back then,'' says Gardner, who says that efficiency ratings for modern stoves reach the low 70 percent range while improvements in design have drastically reduced the amount of emissions from burning wood.
He says that the newer wood stoves, especially those with catalytic combusters, require dry wood and that using green wood in a catalytic-combustor stove may damage the stove and that owners have to be knowledgeable about how to operate them. He says that non-catalytic stoves, thanks to the many changes in design, now approach the efficiency level of catalytic stoves.
Gardner says that educating first-time buyers of wood stoves about what size stove they need is important. ''Some people say they want something which will heat an entire 2,000 square foot home. But unless you're putting it in the basement you don't want a stove that large. You'll end up keeping the draft so low in order to keep the house comfortable that you'll have incomplete combustion and a creosote buildup in the chimney which can lead to chimney fires.'' Creosote is a black sooty liquid which deposits and hardens on the inside of chimneys.
He says that there are basically three kinds of wood stoves, steel, cast iron and soapstone, all of which have their own advantages. He says that steel stoves give out virtually instant heat but cool more rapidly while cast iron stoves are more decorative and soapstone stoves provide the best heat retention due to their ceramic surfaces.
He says that steel stoves require less maintenance than cast iron stoves while soapstones are slow to provide heat to an entire room.
Fireside Living sells stoves from Vermont Castings, Morso, a Scandinavian style, as well Harman stoves made in Pennsylvania and Pacific Energy stoves made in Canada. ''There's a wide variety which will fit he need of each home,'' says Gardner.
Getting the firewood needed to heat a home is also an important consideration. The UNH Cooperative Extension Service says the amount of wood required to heat a house depends on a number of factors: the size and interior layout of the house, how weather-tight the house is and the type and efficiency of the wood stove. A 1,500-square-foot, fairly weather-tight New Hampshire house will burn between four and five cords of seasoned wood during an average New Hampshire heating season.
The Associated Press recently reported that the demand for firewood sized logs for fracking operations in Pennsylvania, where they are used to make corduroy log roads for heavy equipment, have pushed up prices in parts of New England to $325 a cord, anywhere from $50 to $75 more a cord than last year.
It also quoted Jasen Stock, executive director of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, as saying that the cost of cordwood on the stump (that is, live trees) went from $10 in 2012 in northern New Hampshire to $15 this year.
Ruth Mooney, who sells kiln-dried firewood on Province Road in Belmont, says that her prices for delivered wood in the local area are are remaining at the same level as last year, $320 a cord, and that she has had no problems getting enough hardwood processor logs from her suppliers.
''It's a wild time of year with the logs coming in the deliveries going out.''
Currently all of the wood being processed is committed through January 29 of next year and because kiln-dried wood is insect free is also sold in small firewood bundles which can be shipped anywhere.
She says that she has seen many people switching from wood pellets to firewood because they like the comfort factor of having the hotter fire produced by burning dry wood.

With federal money, Riverwalk plans start to come together

LACONIA — With a federal grant of more than $500,000 matched by the Downtown Tax Increment Financing (TIF) fund, city officials expect to complete five stretches of the downtown riverwalk during the next two years.

The pieces are coming together," said Kevin Dunleavy, director of Parks and Recreation, who, with Planning Director Shanna Saunders, has shepherded the project.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the city a grant through its Transportation Alternative Program, which finances projects other than highways, including those to expand pedestrian access and enhance pedestrian safety. The grant will be matched virtually dollar for dollar by a share of the proceeds of a $6.4-million borrowing serviced by the annual revenue accruing to the Downtown TIF.

On the south bank of the Winnipesaukee River, the riverwalk will be extended westward from the Main Street Bridge along the rear of the Walgreen's property for about 500 feet. When the Main Street Bridge was built, a staircase was constructed to carry the riverwalk to Beacon Street West at the northwest corner of the bridge. Ultimately, this leg of the riverwalk will extend to Fair Street, where it will connect to WOW Trail. The estimated cost of the staircase and first leg of this stretch of the riverwalk is $302,800.

On the opposite bank of the river, where the riverwalk currently ends at the outlet of the Perley Canal, the the span over the canal and joining Beacon Street West will be completed. Originally Chinburg Builders, the firm that developed the Beacon Street West complex, intended to construct a building with seven condominium units over the canal, which would have required diverting the riverwalk around the building or running it across the front of the building. However, that plan appears to have been abandoned, leaving a clear path for the riverwalk over the canal. The estimated cost of this section is $164,000.

The remaining three legs of the riverwalk to be constructed lie east of the Main Street Bridge. The section from the north end of the City Hall parking lot to the Church Street Bridge, which will require spanning the inlet to the Perley Canal, has an estimated cost of $300,000.

Both the other legs to be built are on the opposite bank of the river. One would extend the riverwalk from the Church Street Bridge along River Street to its junction with Arch Street at an estimated cost of $166,000. The second, undertaken in conjunction with the construction of River's Edge, the apartment building developed by the Laconia Area Community Land Trust, would reach from Arch Street to the pedestrian bridge at the Avery Dam. This stage has an estimated cost of $150,000.

When these projects are complete, the riverwalk will run uninterrupted between the Fair Street Bridge and Church Street Bridge on the north bank of the river. On the south bank, a gap will remain between the Avery Dam and Stewart Park to the east of the Main Street Bridge and from Walgreen's to the Fair Street Bridge to the west.

Altogether the projects are estimated cost slightly more than $1-million, with the cost shared almost evenly between the TAP grant and TIF funds.