Daycare & pre-school center opening in Gilford

GILFORD — A 19-year veteran kindergarten and pre-school teacher will be opening a daycare and pre-school center for 3- to 5-year olds here. Becky Mogee of New Hampton expects her center will be open in October.

"Miss Becky," as she prefers to be called, said her program will be a balanced structure of age-appropriate academics in the morning with structured play time in the afternoon that will incorporate arts, music and science.

"We use a hands-on approach and really believe in getting children ready for kindergarten," she said.

Mogee said they are also offering a class in parenting so individual parents can learn about the things their children are doing. "We want to partner with parents," she said. "We are not there to take over their role but to lend a hand.

She said the parents she has worked with in the past have said that she makes learning fun for their children. "We have music and dance. We let them use their whole body," she said.

Mogee also said that she wants to give the parents and the little ones a sense of community as well.

"Even though they're little, they can still give," she said, adding she just spent two weeks in Rwanda and noted that a single box of crayons are like a pot of gold in parts of Africa. "Little ones can learn that even giving a box of crayons can be a huge gift."

Now that the Gilford Planning Board has given her and her husband site plan approval for an on-site outdoor playground, she is working to get the middle office at 401 Gilford Avenue (Rte. 11-A) ready.

Mogee said one of the reasons she picked Gilford was because she learned there is no full-day daycare. She said she had staggered programs for those who still only want a half-day of pre-school and daycare.

She is allowed a maximum of 25 children in her program with a minimum of three teachers. She said her two assistants are also pre-k teachers.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday is one half-day program, while on Tuesdays and Thursdays there is another. In addition, there are full-day and half-day programs Monday through Friday.

Mogee said the town of Gilford has been wonderful to her. She said one of the librarians asked her to participate by reading to children during stay-time at the beach.

For more information, go to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Meredith Selectboard says yes to Japanese cherry tree in Hesky Park but no to significant memorial

MEREDITH — The Board of Selectmen this week approved the planting of a Japanese cherry tree in Hesky Park to mark the 110th anniversary of the Treaty of Portsmouth of 1905, ending the Russo-Japaese War, but significantly shrank the scale of the memorial.

Earlier this month Miller Lovett, a member of the design committee of the Greater Meredith Program. presented a sketch indicating that the tree would be planted along a path just north of where the spillway from Mill Falls empties into the lake. The tree, projected to reach a height of 30 feet with a canopy 30 feet around, would be the centerpiece of a flagstone patio with two rocks, one either side of the tree serving as resting places. An inscribed granite marker explaining the purpose of the memorial would be embedded in the patio.

Without taking a formal vote, the board expressed its unanimous approval of the project, but specified that a final plan, specifying the measurements of the patio and the two stones, be presented to the next meeting of the board this week. The tree is scheduled to be planted and the memorial dedicated at a ceremony on September 5, which will feature the ringing of church bells marking the day and hour the treaty was signed.

The drawing, prepared by Christopher P. Williams, Architects, showed a triangular stone patio 24 feet across at its base along the pathway and nine-and-a-half feet to its peak where the tree would be planted. The Selectmen Boar of Selectmen balked at the size of the memorial and approved only the planting of the tree and placement of a plaque explaining its significance.

The Japanese-American Society of New Hampshire has chosen Meredith among other towns to receive a Japanese cherry tree to commemorate the occasion.The tree will be a descendant of those in Washington, which the Japanese government gave to the United States in 1912 in appreciation of its role in hosting the peace conference and assisting the treaty negotiations.

Komura Jutaro, the Japanese foreign minister who led his country's delegation in the treaty negotiations, worked on a farm in Meredith while studying law at Harvard.,The son of a samurai family, Komura mastered English as a schoolboy and was the most gifted student of his time at the forerunner of Tokyo University. As a student he persuaded the government to establish a scholarship program to enable students to study abroad and in 1875 was among the first group of 10 to come to America, where he enrolled at Harvard Law School.

During his three years of law school, Komura, who had always tended his uncle's farm during the growing season, did the same in Meredith, working on a farm that Lovett said has yet to be identified. Returning to Japan, Komura joined the foreign service, serving in China and Korea before being named ambassador to the United States in 1898 and foreign minister in 1901.
After the Treaty of Portsmouth was concluded, Komura bequeathed $10,000 to the state of New Hampshire to be put to charitable purposes. The Japanese Charitable Fund remains an active charity to this day.

Weirs storage variance request hearing postponed

LACONIA — Peter Morrissette, the principal of PEM Real Estate, LLC, the owner of the former St. Helena Mission Church at The Weirs, asked the Zoning Board of Adjustment to defer for a month further consideration of his request for a zoning variance entitling him to use the property as a storage facility.

The ZBA was expected to consider the issue discussion when it met this week, but continued the item until September at Morrissette's request.

Neither "indoor storage" or "warehousing, as defined by the zoning ordinance, are permitted uses in the Shoreftont Residential District where the property is located.

Last month Attorney Paul Fitzgerald, representing Morrissette, told the ZBA that the ground floor and basement of the building each provide 5,200-square-feet of undivided space. He assured the board that the exterior of the building would be maintained without change. Nor would there be an office, signage or outdoor storage on the site. Instead, Fitzgerald explained, the space would be leased to one or two commercial entities for a relatively long-term to store seasonal inventory, like motorcycles, jet-skis and snowmobiles. He said that there would be very infrequent comings and goings to and from the site. In particular, Fitzgerald stressed that the building would not be divided into a multiplicity of individual storage units for household belongings with round-the clock access.

However, several residents of the adjacent Pendleton Beach neighborhood, including Warren Hutchins of Boathouse Road, the chairman of the Planning Board who spoke as a private individual, urged the ZBA to deny the request, which they said would have adverse impacts on the character of their neighborhood and the value of their properties.