Kelly to retire from Inter-Lakes Elementary

MEREDITH — After 32 years as a teacher and administrator — 26 of them at Inter-Lakes Elementary School — Steve Kelley has announced he will retire when the school year ends in the spring.

Kelley, who graduated from Plymouth State College in 1983 and later earned master's and doctoral degrees at the University of New Hampshire, first came to Inter-Lakes Elementary School fresh from college. He taught second and fifth grades as well as serving a stint as acting assistant principal for the next five years and in 1988 was named assistant principal, with responsibilities for Sandwich Central School and Lang Street School as well as Inter-Lakes Elementary School.

In 1992, he left Meredith to become principal of Conway Elementary School. He recalled spending several years commuting from Meredith to Conway before he was able to sell one home and purchase another. He said that six years later he began getting phone calls from Jean Schlager,the retiring principal at Inter-Lakes Elementary School who first hired him to teach there. Soon there was a house on the market in the Mount Washington Valley and Kelley was making the same journey he made earlier in the opposite direction.

Kelley has spent the last 17 years as principal of Inter-Lakes Elementary School, noting that he and Schlager have been the only two principals at the school in the past 40 years. Stressing the importance of continuity, he said that the entire administrative team at the school has been together throughout his tenure as principal. "I'm the first out of the gate," he remarked about his retirement. The continuity of leadership, he said, "speaks to the special type of educational we have here in Meredith."

Kelley said he was especially proud of his role bringing the "living classroom," a greenhouse on the school campus, to fruition by helping to raise the $65,000 to fund the project.

Kelley counted being honored as the top elementary school in New Hampshire in 2009 among the high points of his career, which also featured personal awards as a national distinguished principal, which earned him a visit to the White House, and as New Hampshire Principal of the Year in 2007.

Kelley said that the school has "just begun traveling down a path of personalizing learning for our students." The initiative, he said was "in its infancy," but promises to be "a very interesting journey" for his successor.

While "open to possibilities," Kelley said he has no specific plans for his retirement, but is eyeing college teaching. "I think I have something to offer aspiring educational administrators," he said.

Sex offender arrested for failure to register

BELMONT — A sex offender charged with numerous violations for failure to register his whereabouts with local police was being held on $1,000 cash bail at the Belknap County Jail following his arraignment in Laconia Circuit District Court Monday.

Arthur J. Liesner, age 30, of Belmont, was arrested Friday after a lengthy investigation involving several law enforcement agencies. Liesner was charged with a number of criminal offenses related to sex offender laws.

Liesner is alleged to have vacated his Belmont address some time ago without notifying authorities and failed to register at his new address. He is also alleged to have failed to notify of online accounts and social media activities. He was charged with six Class B Felony level offenses which includes four counts of Registration of Online Identifiers (RSA 651-b) Duty To Report (RSA 651-b), and Change of Registration Information, Duty To Inform (RSA 651-b).

Propoal to construct 2 new buildings at marina has Meredith Neck stirred up

MEREDITH — A proposal by the owners Shep Brown's Boat Basin to construct two buildings, one for washing and another for servicing boats, has aroused longstanding tensions between the marina and its neighbors over traffic congestion and noise.

The marina is located on 8.5 acres that reaches from Lake Winnipesaukee to Meredith Neck Road and straddles Lovejoy Sands Road. The marina effectively encircles about an acre of town property that serves as a launch, dock and parking lot. The marina was grandfathered in 1971 when the town adopted zoning and operates in the shoreline zoning district in the midst of a thickly settled residential neighborhood of waterfront and island properties.

The Planning Board has held two public hearings on the proposal, on Sept. 22 and Oct. 27, as well as walked the site on Oct. 1. Both hearings were continued. Bill Littlefield, the owner of Shep Brown's Boat Basin, could not be reached for comment.

A 32-by-72-foot building with three bays for washing boats and connected to the existing maintenance building would be built on the footprint of a concrete pad where boats are currently washed. The design is intended to assure best management practices by collecting, treating and storing the wash water in a holding tank, which would be pumped regularly. Mitchell Locker of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has said the agency supports the project , which "environmentally ... is an improvement" that will "reduce nutrients and sediment from entering surface waters."

The second building, 32 feet by 82 feet, would have four bays for servicing and washing boats with racks to store boats overhead. It would be built on ground, where boats are currently stored, as an addition to an existing boat storage building. The existing floor drains would connect to oil and water separators. The additional storage would house the same number of boats that are store outside.

In addition to the two buildings, a stormwater treatment system would be installed on the site. Stormwater collected from roofs and pavement would be directed to a ground water recharge system beneath an area which is currently filled with gravel but would be paved and ringed by a bioretention swale. Lou Caron, the town's consulting engineer, reported that "stormwater runoff from the site to the lake will be reduced and the runoff that gets to the lake will be cleaner than today."

At both public hearings abutters and other neighbors voiced many concerns, most arising from the prospect of increased traffic and congestion in an area already under heavy pressure in the summer months. Residents claim that any expansion of activity at the marina will increase traffic on Lovejoy Sands Road, which bisects it. Those living on Tall Pines Way, which skirts the marina to the north, fear more traffic through their neighborhood from motorists to seeking to avoid Lovejoy Sands Road. The frequent shuttling of forklifts and trailers, residents claim, poses risks to public safety. Some insist that the noise, traffic and congestion will have an adverse impact on their property values, while others fear the design of buildings fail to meet the standards of the architectural design review ordinance.

In 2003, the marina withdrew a proposal to construct an additional building at the marina, and, in 2008, a proposal to convert an existing building to a recreational facility was also withdrawn, despite being approved by the Planning Board, in the teeth of opposition from abutters and neighbors.

Angela LaBrecque, the town planner, said the public hearing has been continued until Nov. 24. She said the Planning Board will consult with legal counsel to determine if the proposed changes to what is a "nonconfirming" entity in a residential district require a special exception from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.