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Raft-a-palooza is water quality 'education in disguise'

LACONIA — As the kayaks and canoes begin gathering Saturday afternoon at Weirs Beach for Sunday's second Annual Raft-a-Palooza, participants will also be getting an education about water quality and keeping invasive aquatic species out of New Hampshire's lakes.

Event organizers, including New Hampshire Lakes Association Vice President Andrea LaMoreaux, actually began the event as a way to not only bring family and friends together, but also to educate the paddle boating community.

"It's education in disguise," LaMoreaux said. "Plants and animals hitchhike rides to our waters."

LaMoreaux said "Clean, Drain, and Dry" is the motto for the Raft-a-Palooza.

"Any boat that participates with be inspected by a blue-shirted person who will inspect the boat and assist the owner in cleaning the obvious materials, draining the water from the bottom, and making sure the vessel is dry before entering Lake Winnipesaukee," she said.

She said plants tend to be the easiest to clean because they are, for the most part, visible. More tricky are the invasive aquatic animals, like the zebra mussels and Asian clams that come to new waters through drops of water.

For the first time this year, there will be a festival for children, after the attempts to break the Guinness World Book records for most boats in a raft and most boat to launch at the same time.

She said the festival will consist of seven interactive stations where children (and their parents) can learn about water and the environment.

The first station will teach about how lakes form while the second station will teach about how water moves and circulates around the planet.

Station 3 teaches about the aquatic food web or food chain. "We'll teach them about what eats what," she said.

Station 4 will describe a watershed with a goal of letting students know that even if they don't live right on the water, everything they do eventually drains into a lake or river.

The fifth station describes ways to get pollution and dirt out, while the sixth station is about invasive species.

She said each station will have hands on activities for the children and will be staffed by volunteers from the New Hampshire Lakes Association.

Finally, she said the students will get to Station 7 where they will take a pledge to do something to help the water and get a certificate and a patch for their new-found knowledge.

She said the pledge would be one thing that a child can do to help protect the state's lakes and waters — like picking up pet waste or taking shorter showers.

LaMoreaux said N.H. Lakes hopes to begin recruiting a whole new generation of "Water Warriors" who will assist in preserving the environment and keeping New Hampshire waters clean and free of invasive species.

Raft-a-Palooza check-in begins at noon on Saturday, although people can continue to check in until right before the launch on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. She said the rafting will start at 11 a.m.


Last Updated on Friday, 01 August 2014 12:49

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Police union and commission in accord on proposed contract


LACONIA — The Police Commission and the Laconia Police Association have reached an accord over a proposed union contract.

Police Capt. Bill Clary, who announced the development Thursday, said the next step is for the contract to be sent to the Laconia City Council for review and acceptance of the cost items.

This is the second go-around for the commission and the union. The first proposed contract was approved by the six-person negotiating team, but later rejected by union rank-and-file.

The negotiating team met again last week and proposed an amended contract to the members who approved it on Tuesday afternoon.

Commissioners discussed the changed in a "non-meeting" yesterday morning and then convened in public to take a vote.

Union police have been working without a contract since July 1 when the previous contract expired.

Should the City Council accept the cost provisions of the contract, the Police Department will be the only municipal department with a contract. About two months ago, the council rejected a proposed Fire Department contract.


Last Updated on Friday, 01 August 2014 12:39

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Southworth adding to Meredith Bay

LACONIA — Southworth Development LLC, the owner and developer of Meredith Bay at The Weirs, has submitted plans to begin construction of the first of a pair of duplexes overlooking Scenic Road at the foot of Brickyard Mountain, just south of the North Lodge, which is nearing completion.
Earlier this year Southworth purchased the 2.15-acre lot, where an A-frame home stands, with plans to demolish the building and replace it with units to match The Townhomes on the opposite side of the street overlooking Lookout Rock.

More than two-thirds of the 19 Townhomes have been sold and last month Southworth began marketing the 24 single-floor condominium units at the North Lodge. across Scenic Road, which are scheduled to be complete in November. Southworth tailors the pace of construction to the pace of sales and maintains a diverse inventory of townhouses, condominiums and single-family homes priced between $500,000 and $700,000.

The duplex will house two units, each with approximately 2,800 square feet of living space and a garage, in one two-story building. The building will be finished in the Adirondack style of the townhouses across the street. Chris Duprey, project manager for Southworth, said that a second, matching duplex will be built to the north of the North Lodge.

Meanwhile, the Planning Board has approved construction of another 72 units divided among three buildings mirroring the North Lodge, which would be built opposite the townhomes. Duprey anticipated that when 14 or 16 of the units at the North Lodge are sold, work would begin on the first of the three buildings.

Southworth Development acquired Meredith Bay in 2006. The development stretches across more than 400 acres on either side of US Route 3 and consists of two elements. On the east side of Route 3, there are 129 house lots on 140 acres atop Brickyard Mountain, of which some 30 have been sold, as well as the townhouses and condominiums under construction along Scenic Road.

Another 215 acres remain to be developed on the west side of Route 3.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 July 2014 01:03

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Man who vandalized cemetery faces second probation violation

LACONIA — A local man convicted of vandalizing some gravestones in the Union Cemetery in July 2012 is facing his second probation violation since pleading guilty to criminal mischief in August 2013.

Jagger Richer, 20, was sentenced to serve 12 months in jail but all 30 days of his sentence was suspended. He was placed on probation for two years.

In February 2014, Richer violated the terms of his probation by failing to report a change of address to his probation officer. Belknap County Superior Court Judge James O'Neill found him responsible and sentenced him to serve 30 days for the violation.

Richer is scheduled to appear this morning in Superior Court for his second alleged probation violation.

According to submissions from the Division of Probation and Parole, Richer failed to appear for a meeting with his probation officer on April 23 and May 28.

His probation officer also said he was ordered to complete 50 hours of community service, but failed to do any of it.

Richer is also accused of not reporting his contact with Gilford Police on May 1, 2014, when he was charged with driving while intoxicated and unlawful possession of alcohol.

His PPO said Richer also failed to be of good conduct, obey all laws, and be arrest free.

Last Updated on Thursday, 31 July 2014 01:03

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