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WEEKEND — From 'in ruins' to 'Best in Show' – the Sachem once again graces Winnipesaukee

LACONIA – The day the Sachem was quietly launched into the water at the western ramp of Irwin Marine was a moment the Kiedaisch family will remember for a long time.

As the water reflected off her white sides and the sun highlighted the topside mahogany woodwork, the completely restored 1952 27-foot, semi-enclosed, custom-made Chris-Craft came back to the only home she's ever known – the waters of Paugus Bay and Lake Winnipesaukee.

For owner Gary Kiedaisch, the Sachem's launch was a family affair with the promise of many hours of boating on his and his family's favorite lake. His son Seth, an artisan woodworker from Andover, had done the entire restoration.

For Irwin Marine owner Jack Irwin, the boat's restoration and launch brought back memories of his halcyon days as the largest Chris-Craft dealer in the country and of May 16, 1952,  the day he sold the boat to one of his best friends, Louis Cushing, who was the owner of the Quarterdeck Motel on the Weirs Boulevard.

Irwin said Cushing had recently built the Quarterdeck Motel and used the boat to take his guests on trips around Lake Winnipesaukee.

"She was a party boat," Irwin said, noting that she had been specially designed without a cab so her passengers could enjoy the sunshine.

Custom designed with twin 95 Model K inboard engines, Irwin remembers how they would race the boat on Sundays in the handicap races that used to be held on a triangular race course delineated with buoys between Weirs Bay and Meredith Bay.

"Being semi-enclosed, she was a great boat for Lake Winnipesaukee because of her design," Irwin said.

He recalled he had a tough time special ordering the boat, and was only able to succeed because of the size of his dealership on the lake. He also said that Cushing was the second owner. The first owner had it less than a year before returning it to Irwin's.

"This was an expensive boat," he said noting that in 1952 the boat cost $9,000. "A boat like that would cost $100,000 today."

Fast forward about 55 years and Gary Kiedaisch, the CEO of Igloo Products Corp. and Gilford resident, was driving down Route 3 in the Weirs section of Laconia when he spotted an old wooden boat sitting on a corner lot belonging to Charlie Gaff – a local boat mechanic and restorer.

Gaff said he had owned the boat for about two years after purchasing it from one his best friends, George Bartemus, who he thinks bought the boat from Cushing around 1972 and also used it exclusively on Lake Winnipesaukee.

He said the craft used to be named the Cruisin' Lady.

"If George could see her today, she'd bring tears to his eyes," Gaff said.

"It was almost in ruins," Kiedaisch said, speaking about the first time he got a close look.

But since Kiedaisch's passion is wooden boats and restoration – the Sachem is his fourth - he said he recognized the boat had a unique design.

"An open runabout with great lines," he said.

Kiedaisch said he worked out a deal with Gaff to purchase the boat, but when he brought two different wooden boat restorers to look at her, both said she was "too far gone."

He said one restorer warned him that if he went to move her, she would likely fall into pieces.

But Kiedaisch had one card left to play and that was his son, Seth, who had studied woodworking at the College of the Redwoods Fire Furniture under master woodworker James Krenov, a Russian immigrant who taught that woodworking was as much philosophy as it was craft.

"In a weak father-and-son moment he agreed to do it," said Kiedaisch.

He said he held his breath as the boat was successfully lifted on to a flatbed and taken to Seth's workshop in Andover.

Seth said the only words he could think of when he first saw the boat on the trailer were "Holy crap!"

Seth, who is admitted into the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, did some research about the style of boat and visited what he described as a sister ship. An added bonus was that Jack Irwin had the original specifications of the boat in the archived files at the marina.

He said it was from the research and the spec sheet that he realized the sides of the boat had been painted white.

The restoration project took Seth two years. Still needing to keep a roof over his head, he said he worked on it between jobs.

"My kids are about a foot taller now than from when I started," he quipped.

"I had her flipped in my workshop," he said, adding there was only about a half inch of clearance space between the hull and his shop ceiling.

But he kept at it, at one point building his own steam box to gently bend to curves of the wood to mesh perfectly with her lines. He rebuilt the transom, added a new deck, and put a whole new bottom on her.

"Everything else is as original as it could be," he said.

Seth said even the brass strip on the bow of the Sachem was reworked and reinstalled.

With all but the finishing touches finished, the Kiedaisches moved the Sachem to Muller Boatworks on Lake Sunapee for the mechanical work.

Kiedaisch said the original engines were taken out and sent to an engine rebuilder who in many cases had to find obscure parts and in some cases had to make them to order.

He said the fuel pumps were converted from 6 volts to 12 volts and Muller Boatworks did all of the rewiring and the electrical work.

Three days before the 41st Annual Lake Winnipesaukee Antique and Boat Show, started by Jack Irwin and his late brother, Jim, the Sachem slipped into the water.

Kiedaisch said he named her the Sachem because his wife Cindy graduated from Laconia High School whose mascot is a Sachem. He said she also went to Camp Sachem on Lake Winnipesaukee when she was a youth.

On July 26, Sachem was awarded First in Class for her size and category and later named High Point Boat – or Best in Show.

"This is a great honor for me," Kiedaisch said.

Because of the honor, Kiedaisch said it'll be a while before the Sachem is housed permanently in the first boat slip at Channel Marine – the same slip rented by his grandfather in the 1940s.

He's been invited to participate at the 50th Annual Antique Boat Show and Auction in Clayton, N.Y., along the St. Lawrence River this weekend, and he said Seth has hauled the Sachem there.

While Kiedaisch's plans are to use the boat on Lake Winnipesaukee with his family, like two other boats that he's restored, the Sachem could one day end up in one of the many boat museums in the country.

His 1930 Chris-Craft is housed at the New England Boat Museum while his 1950 Penyan is in a museum in California.

But for Kiedaisch, the Sachem is more than a boat, it's a family project as well as affirmation of his lifelong friendship with Jack Irwin, who sold his parents one of their first boats in 1959.

"I've known Jack my whole life," he said. "He's just a wonderful man."

Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2014 01:31

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Council strikes deal for curbside pick-up of bulky items


LACONIA —The City Council this week approved an arrangement reached between the Department of Public Works and Cassela Waste Systems to offer residents curbside collection of bulky and metal items for a reasonable fee.

Residents must purchase a tag costing $6 for each item to be collected. Tags may be purchased either at the City Clerk's office at City Hall or at the Department of Public Works on Bisson Avenue.

Non-metal items, including furniture, mattresses, box springs, carpet, and even toilets and sinks, will be collected weekly on the regularly scheduled collection day. A tag must be affixed to each bulky item to be collected.

Metal items, including sleep sofas, shelving, washers and dryers, will be collected on the first Wednesday of each month. When tags are purchased, the name and address of the resident, along with a description of what is to be collected, will be recorded to enable the driver to make the collection.

As with trash and recyclables, bulky items should be on the curb by 6 a.m. on the day they are scheduled to be collected.

No electronic equipment, including television sets, computers, monitors and microwave ovens, or items containing freon, like refrigerators, freezers, air-conditioning units, or construction and demolition materials will be collected at the curbside.

Anyone with questions about the program may call Ann Saltmarsh at the Department of Public Works, 528-6379, extension 300.

After offering recycling bins free of charge and totes at discounted prices for some time, the City Council decided to begin charging the current market price for both. However, the Department of Public Works will provide stickers marked "Recycling" free of charge, which can be placed on any rigid container.


Last Updated on Saturday, 13 September 2014 12:57

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GOP primary result foreshadows change at Belknap County Complex

LACONIA — The outcome of the Republican primary elections last week foreshadows significant changes in the composition and character of both the Belknap County Commission and Belknap County Convention, which have been at each other's throats for the past two years.

Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, who as a member of the convention was a harsh critic of the commission, ousted fellow Republican and incumbent commissioner John Thomas in District 2, representing Barnstead, Belmont, Gilmanton and Tilton. Without a Democratic opponent in the general election, Burchell is assured of a seat on the commission.

Burchell will join incumbent Steve Nedeau of Meredith, a Republican, and the winner of the election between Republican Dave Devoy of Sanbornton and Democrat David Pollak of Laconia. Although both Republicans, Burchell and Nedeau have been on opposite sides of the fence for two years, which leaves the balance of power among the commissioners hanging on the contest between Devoy and Pollak.

Together Burchell and Devoy, both tightfisted, would form a fiscally conservative majority on the commission. Both sided with the convention in its dispute with the convention over the county budget, which appears to have been resolved when the Belknap County Superior Court affirmed the authority of the convention to prepare and manage the budget. As commissioners Burchell and Devoy would likely drive a harder bargain with the State Employees Association (SEA), the union representing county employees, especially over the employees' share of health insurance premiums, which has been a priority for the majority of the convention. Burchell believes the commission should hire a professional negotiator to deal with the SEA rather than expect county administrative staff, who enjoy the same benefits as union members, to negotiate contracts fair to both employees and taxpayers.

Both Burchaell and Devoy are critics of the process the commission has followed in planning for the county jail. But, while Devoy claims that the problems at the jail can be addressed for $2-million or less, Burchell, who is reluctant to cite a specific figure, believes that a larger investment will be necessary.

Should Pollak top Devoy, the commission would have a more centrist character.
Pollak, a professor at Lakes Region Community College, describes himself as "a good listener" and, in light of the wrangling at the county complex, touts his experience as a referee.

Pollak, who has visited several county jails and spoken with their superintendents, said "I'm not in a place where I can say this is the number." Instead, he suggested there are three options: renovate the existing facility, rehabilitate existing space and add new space and reduce the cost of the plan before the jail planning committee. He stressed that the county should work closely with the municipalities to determine what they can afford without compromising their capacity to to invest in required capital projects. Pollak said next week he is meeting with Hunter Taylor of Alton, an associate of Burchell and critic of the current plan who has closely studied the cost of constructing correctional facilities.

The primary ensured that the composition and character of the convention will also change with the general election. Six of the 13 Republican members of the convention chose not to seek re-election: Burchell, Colette Worsman and Bob Greemore of Meredith, Stephen Holmes and Jane Cormier of Alton, and Charles Fink of Belmont. Cormier, Holmes and Fink were serving their first term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives and the voting records of all six were among the most conservative of its 400 members.

Five of the seven incumbents likely to return — Frank Tilton, Don Flanders, Bob Luther of Laconia, Herb Vadney of Meredith and Dennis Fields of Sanbornton — are more experienced or more pragmatic legislators. Among the winners of GOP primaries is Brian Gallagher of Sanbornton, a veteran of the state budget office, Dave Russell of Gilmanton and George Hurt of Gilford are former state representatives and Russ Dumais of Gilford is a former selectman. The other two — Glen Aldrich of Gilford and Ray Howard of Alton — are more conservative and likely to align themselves with Mike Sylvia of Belmont and Guy Comtois of Barnstead, the most conservative of the remaining incumbents.

All five Democrats on the covention — David Huot and Beth Arsenault of Laconia, Lisa DiMatrino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — are defending their seats. The best chances for Democrats to gain seats are in Laconia, where Tom Dawson, a former State Fire Marshall, is running for one of the four seats; in Barnstead, where Bruce Marriott came within 252 votes of defeating Comtois in 2012; and in Belmont, where selectman Ron Cormier and George Condodemetraky are competing with Sylvia and Shari Lebreche, who gained her place on the ballot with a write-in campaign.

The general election will be held on Tuesday, November 4.

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 September 2014 12:45

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After 5 year suspension, Gilford psychiatrist may reapply for medical license

CONCORD — A Gilford psychiatrist may reapply for his medical license after agreeing to a five-year suspension that is retroactive to February 2009 when he voluntarily surrendered the license.

According to a settlement agreement made public yesterday by the state Board of Medicine, Gregory Bahder can ask for his license back provided he provides proof of 18 months of psychotherapy and is favorably recommended by his treating physician. In addition, he must complete a professional boundaries education class, and that agrees to a 10-year contract with the N.H. Professionals Health Program that will allow them to randomly test him for drugs and/or alcohol for at least the first 12 months of the contract.

Bahder voluntarily surrendered his license in February 2009 after he engaged in sexual activity with a female patient following her treatment for cocaine dependency while she was incarcerated at the Belknap County House of Correction.

He agrees that if a disciplinary matter were held, the evidence supporting professional misconduct would include that he had four sessions with the female inmate in late 2007 and into early 2008 and that before her release the two exchanged personal phone numbers.

Bahder also agreed that the evidence would support that in June 2008 and in November 2008 he met with his former patient in Manchester and engaged in sex with her in exchange for money. During the November get-together, the two purchased crack cocaine and smoked it together in a motel room.

Should Bahder's license be reinstated, he must submit four semi-annual progress reports, continue treatment with his own physicians and psychotherapist, and provide a copy of the settlement agreement to any current or potential employer for two years after he gets his license back.

He also agrees that for as long as he practices in New Hampshire he will be associated with a practice that has no less than three other licensed physicians.

In 2010, a jury in the Hillsborough County Superior Court acquitted him of four counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault after his arrest in Bedford in 2009.

It is unlawful in New Hampshire for a doctor to have a sexual relationship with a patient within a year of the time treatment ends.

In all the above matters, Bahder was represented by Atty. Mark Sisti.

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 September 2014 12:03

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