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120 unit Laconia apartment complex sold for $4.9 million

LACONIA — For the first time in three decades Lakeshore Estates, an apartment complex on Blueberry Lane, has changed hands. The NAI Norwood Group of Bedford announced yesterday that the Estates Circle Apartments, LLC, whose principal is David L. Goolgasian, Jr. of Jupiter, Florida, acquired the land and four buildings for $4.9 million last month.

The complex, consisting of 120 units divided among four three-story buildings with a swimming pool on 6.38 acres, was built by Marina Development, Inc. in 1974 and subsequently acquired by Lakeshore Estates Associates, LLC of Laconia in 1982. At the time of the sale 112 of the 120 were leased. The property was assessed by the city for $2,769,300.

The transaction was financed by Franklin Savings Bank with participation of Sugar River Bank. In a prepared statement the new owners assured tenants that they intend to manage the complex in the manner of the previous owners and plan to improve the interior of the units as well as upgrade other aspects of the property.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 01:16

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Putnam Fund hosting long-amazing Kreskin Saturday night

LACONIA — Six decades after he first began astonishing the public with the demonstration of his abilities as a mentalist, the Amazing Kreskin continues to push the envelope of the uncanny as he did in February this year with his Super Bowl prediction.
His prediction that the Seahawks would win wasn't exceptional (he had a 50/50 chance, right?) but his choice of the score, 43-9 was, as the Seahawks won 43-8. And he also predicted that a M. Smith would make a big play for the Seahawks, which was exactly what Seattle linebacker Malcolm Smith did with an interception which was returned for a touchdown, leading to his being named Most Valuable Player in the Super Bowl.
Kreskin will be putting his talents on display Saturday night at 7 at the Laconia High School Auditorium in a special free performance sponsored by the Laconia Putnam Fund.
According to Kreskin's website, The Amazing Kreskin has, for some six decades, dramatized the unique facets of the human mind...his own. His very name has become an integral part of pop culture throughout the world, invoked in comedy clubs, comic strips, print stories, and TV shows from sitcoms on through national magazines.
Born in Montclair, New Jersey, in 1935 it was during the childhood game "hot and cold" that Kreskin's remarkable ability to find hidden objects emerged. He was inspired to become a mentalist by Lee Falk's famous comic strip Mandrake the Magician, which features a crime-fighting stage magician. His ability to read thoughts expanded, and by his teens he also became nationally recognized in the United States as "The World's Youngest Hypnotist."
From 1970 to 1975, Kreskin's television series The Amazing World of Kreskin was broadcast throughout Canada on CTV and distributed in syndication in the United States. He appeared on The Tonight Show 61 times from 1970 to 1980. In the 1980s and 1990s he came to prominence again through several appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. In 2009, he became the first guest to make three appearances on the new Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
In his late teens, this icon of thought transference developed a mental test that has become the highlight of his performances all over the world. This signature piece has Kreskin requesting that his check be hidden somewhere within the venue he is appearing. If he fails to find it, he will forfeit his fee. That has happened nine times.
Actor/Producer Tom Hanks released in 2009 a feature film, The Great Buck Howard, starring Tom Hanks and John Malkovich. It is announced at the end of the movie that the inspiration for the key character of the screenplay is The Amazing Kreskin, the character played by John Malkovich.
In the 2010 movie, Dinner for Schmucks, the character played by Zach Galifianakis has as his hero and influence The Amazing Kreskin, which further exemplifies the wide scope of exposure and attention which Kreskin has had.
The return of The Amazing World of Kreskin series can now be viewed on the website Hulu.com by searching The Amazing Kreskin.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 April 2014 01:10

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Financial Stability Partnership aims to reduce poverty in Belknap County by 20%

LACONIA — A diverse group of Lakes Region citizens is banding together in an effort to reduce poverty — a reality which directly affects one out of every 12 people in Belknap County.
Alan Robichaud, who is one of the people spearheading this effort, calls poverty "a wicked problem." But he and others involved in the Financial Stability Partnership which aims to reduce poverty in the county by 20 percent by the year 2020, believe the problem, though daunting, is not insoluble. They believe that by bringing as wide an assortment of individuals and groups together to work collectively to address poverty real progress can be achieved.
"We're a partnership, not a program," stresses local attorney Mike Persson, who chairs the effort. The endeavor is working to bring together representatives from the non-profit sector, the business community, local governments, faith communities, and anyone else who wants to become involved in finding ways to address specific issues that impact the poor and make it difficult for them to break out of poverty. "The whole community needs to come together (around the issue)," Persson adds.
Overall, 8.5 percent of people living in Belknap County meet the official definition of being in poverty. That figure is fractionally higher than the state poverty rate which is 8 percent. Here in Belknap County poverty affects more children — 9.9 percent — than the population as a whole.
Interestingly, while Belknap County has a higher rate of poverty than the state, its rate of unemployment is less than the state average — 5.7 percent for the county versus 6.3 percent for the state.
Robichaud and Persson point out that a family of four (two adults with two children) needs to have an income of nearly $40,000 to be financially stable, and that's providing they don't have any childcare expenses. If that family has to pay for childcare, the living wage is almost $15,000 higher. That kind of income requires good-paying, full-time jobs — ones that pay at least $19 to $20 an hour, nearly three times the minimum wage of $7.25.
"We want to put a more solid foundation under these people," Persson says.
Those helping to direct this effort say it is important to have as much of a cross section of the community involved in the endeavor because poverty is not just a problem for the poor. It's an insidious problem.
"Poverty is impacting all of our lives," says Kate Bishop Hamel, consultant for Granite United Way, who plays a key role in the partnership. "It's not just for the non-profits and the government to solve."
Robichaud concurs. "(Poverty) affects our property taxes and our crime rates," he notes.
Hamel hopes this undertaking will first help to educate people about poverty and then get them to think of one thing they can do in their personal or business lives that would help to reduce poverty.
Robichaud, who is community development director for Granite United Way, says the United Way is particularly suited to bring groups and individuals together to address the issue of poverty. But he stresses that people should not think that the partnership is somehow limited to those groups or agencies which have traditionally been associated with the United Way.
"It doesn't matter whether you get United Way funding or not, but we need you at the table," he says.
Persson acknowledges than when the topic of poverty comes us it's easy to become overwhelmed by the numbers. But he sees the partnership as a meaningful endeavor.
"If we don't try different approaches, how do we know that this a problem that can be solved, but that we have given up (trying to solve)," he says.
Robichaud adds, "It doesn't change (just) because we want it to, it takes a lot of hard work."

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 12:53

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State wants plan for old Laconia burn dump by June 1

LACONIA — The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has asked city officials to submit a plan for addressing lingering contamination from an abandoned burning dump that once operated off Frank Bean Road and Morin Road, near the Laconia Ice Arena, by June 1.

In December, Sovereign Consulting, Inc. of Concord, after undertaking a third assessment of the site, concluded that "a plan for mitigation of future risk at these properties is warranted." Last week, Molly Stark of DES responded to the report in a letter to City Manager Scott Myers.

Myers, who included $1.2 million for the project in his recommended 2014-1015 city budget, said yesterday that city officials are weighing different approaches and options to the site in consultation with Sovereign and DES. He said that the city was exploring measures to minimize the removal and disposal of hazardous material and contaminated soil, which represent the greatest potential cost of the cleanup. Meanwhile, Myers said that the city has already undertaken to pour concrete floors in the basements of two residential properties on the site.

The old burn dump is part of a site that sprawls over some 75 acres on either side of Frank Bean Road, most in the city and some in Gilford. which also includes an abandoned landfill, the Morin Road Landfill. The burn dump itself extends over four lots — two residential and two commercial — totaling about 3.5 acres. Three of the lots abut one another on the west side of Frank Bean Road and the fourth is bordered by Frank Bean Road to the west and Morin Road to the east.

Sovereign sunk monitoring wells and soil borings to determine the extent and nature of materials at the burn dump. The report estimates the dump stretches along Frank Bean Road for about 1,000 feet and is 250 feet wide at its widest point. Likewise, the dump is between 15 feet and 20 deep, though some refuse was found at a depth of 32 feet. Assuming dimensions of 1,000 feet by 200 feet by 15 feet, the report estimates the contains approximately 110,000 cubic yards of "burn dump material."
Like earlier investigations, Sovereign also found metals and polycyclic aromatics hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)in excessive concentrations. In addition, chlorinated VOCs were detected on three of the four lots, trichloroethylene on one lot and petroleum residues on another. But, the report noted "significant adverse impact to native soils has not been documented." Nor did samples of private wells serving the four lots indicate adverse impacts to the quality of drinking water.
Sovereign suggested that a mitigation plan could include some combination of removing and covering the burn dump materials, differentiating between the commercial and residential properties and changing or restricting uses of the site. However, Stark advised Myers that DES was unlikely to support restricting the use of residential property to spare the cost of reducing contamination of soils to safe levels.
Sovereign also recommended additional rounds of drinking water and groundwater samplings, along with additional borings to define the southern extent of burn dump materials. Stark confirmed that DES expected that these further tests would be conducted and the results attached to the plan — known as a "remedial action plan" or RAP — for mitigating the risks to public health, especially groundwater and air quality.
Stark acknowledged that the city would defer investigation and remediation of conditions at the Morin Road Landfill until the issues at the burn dump are resolved.
The site first drew the attention of DES in May, 2003 when David Farley, doing business as Dolphin Point, LLC, a marine contractor, complained of encountering buried refuse and foul odors while excavating for a foundation on his lot on Frank Bean Road.
In 2008, Weston Solutions, Inc. found levels of six metals as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and polycyclic aromatics hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are byproducts of burnt fuels, in samples collected across the 75 acres, including the burn dump. Levels were sufficiently elevated to warrant further investigation.
Three years later Terracon Consultants, Inc. reported that a thin layer of clean fill covered the site and concluded that surface soils were unlikely to pose a significant risk to human health. However, DES replied that a risk assessment of surface soils would not diminish the requirement for mitigation, suggesting resources would be better applied to remedial measures, and requested the further investigation performed by Sovereign.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 April 2014 12:48

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