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Cat path to get speed bumps - seelctmen to hold public hearing on making it one way

GILFORD – Selectmen have voted to add two sets of portable speed bumps to the flatter portions of Cat Path and work on an ordinance to make the short road one-way only.

Once a one-way ordinance is drafted the selectmen will have a public hearing.

Selectmen also decided Wednesday night to put a directional sign along Route 11B in the Henderson Road right-of-way that directs traffic to Gunstock Mountain Resort to travel to the intersection of Routes 11B and 11A so visitors will not take Cat Path as a shortcut.

Cat Path, which was originally a private road that for years led to two homes, runs between Route 11B and Route 11A or Cherry Valley Road. Since the advent of global positioning systems, traffic is often directed to take Cat Path as the way to get to Gunstock, as opposed to going to the intersection of the two highways about a quarter mile down the road.

GPS also tells people leaving Gunstock to make the right-hand turn to return to Route 11B via Cat Path. To accomplish this, traffic must come to a near stop on what is a sharp downhill left-bending curve on Route 11A.

Last year, selectmen posted the road for local traffic only and long-time resident Sue Leach said tractor-trailer traffic has been reduced some, but not completely eliminated.

Leach said automobile traffic, much of which is not from New Hampshire, has not abated. She said speeding is a constant problem, along with people sliding on ice at a particularly steep portion of the road and skidding into her neighbor's mailbox.

Selectmen Chair John O'Brien's preferred solution has been to add a "no-right-turn" sign before Cat Path on Route 11A but the N.H. Department of Transportation will not allow the sign to be in its right-of-way.


Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 01:04

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In Belmont, Smith says only GOP can save country

BELMONT — "If this party goes," Bob Smith told the Belknap County Republican Committee this week, "watch out for America, because I don't see much hope."

Smith, of Tuftonboro, is locked in a three-cornered scrap with Scott Brown of Rye and Jim Rubens of Hanover to become the GOP nominee to challenge Jeanne Shaheen, the incumbent Democrat, for the U.S. Senate.

No stranger to Washington, Smith served three terms in the House of Representatives, and two in the Senate -- from 1984 until 2002 -- when he lost his bid for re-election to John E. Sununu in the GOP primary. Smith decamped to Florida where he twice abandoned campaigns for the Senate after failing to raise sufficient funds and showing poorly in the polls.

Smith is the insurgent candidate in the Senate race. Brown, who represented Massachusetts in the Senate for one term, is the favorite of the GOP leadership that courted him to enter the race as the most electable candidate. Rubens, a former state senator, has been endorsed by the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, but has tailored his appeal to all factions of the splintered GOP.

For Smith the primary is a contest for the nomination, but with it the soul of the GOP.

Sounding a familiar theme to a packed house at the Top of the Town restaurant, Smith said "America is in trouble. The Democrats are not going to save this country," he declared. "They're so far to the left they will never return this country to constitutional rule. Obama is breaking the law, absolutely breaking the law."

Smith insisted that only a Republican presidency and congressional majority could pull the country from the brink. "How are we going to change this?" he asked. "There's one way to win. Stand on principle."

But, Smith stressed "we must elect the right people," meaning not those in the GOP who vote and compromise with the Democrats. He said that "people don't know the difference between us and them." Recalling a conversation with a high-ranking Republican official, Smith said that many fear the GOP will become a party confined to the South and West, adding that the likes of Olympia Snowe of Maine and Scott Brown "are the best we can hope for" in the Northeast. "Don't compromise with the left," he declared.

"You have a choice in this primary," Smith said. "I support the Republican platform 100 percent," he continued. "Not because it's the platform, but because it is right." He reminded his listeners that Brown holds positions at odds with the platform and, during his term in the Senate, often voted with President Obama nearly 70 percent of the time. He bridled at the prominent Republicans, including Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who have publicly endorsed Brown. Noting that the Republican National Committee was soliciting contributions to Brown's campaign, Smith exclaimed, "I'm offended by that and it should offend you."

Asked by Don Sorensen if he would support the Republican nominee whatever the outcome of the primary, Smith replied that the party should "unite around its platform, not candidates." When Sorensen said he would vote for the Republican candidate, Smith replied, "How's that been working out for us? The results have not been favorable," he said, pointing to a string of lost elections.

"We owe it to those who founded this country and climbed the cliffs at Normandy to save this country," Smith proclaimed. When history is written, he noted, it will recall either "they did nothing and like frogs in a pot they lost America or that they saved this country." Appealing for support for "the candidate who is with the party," Smith said "give me a chance."

Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 01:01

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Up With People seeks host families for performers

LACONIA — As the city prepares to welcome the cast of Up With People for performances during the first week of September, organizers are putting out the call for host families.

Performers will arrive from Denver during the evening of Sept. 1 and leave in the morning on Sept. 8.

According to promotion representative Brenda Lopez Amaro of Mexico and promotion intern Marie Bubern of Belguim, some of their best memories during their year of performing all over the world with Up With People have resulted from their stays with their host families.

"It was the first time I was in touch with another culture," said Bubern, recalling the time she spent with a family in Denver who fed her first s'more and brought her to her first open-fire barbecue.

She said she also thinks of her host family in Trieste, Italy, who took her on a trip to Croatia and Slovenia – two countries she had never seen.

She also said she got a email from her host family in Montana a few days ago that "made her smile like a baby."

Lopez Amaro's family was a host family for Up With People when they came to Aguascalientes, her home about six hours north of Mexico City.

She said her involvement with Up With People began when she met two girls from Belgium and Spain who stayed with her family.

Host families are asked to provide a bed or couch for one or two participants, breakfast and a few dinners. The host family is also asked to provide transportation to the Laconia Middle School at 8 a.m. and transportation back to their homes at 6:30 p.m. after rehearsal during their seven-day stay in the city.

Performers are looking for an overall safe and comfortable atmosphere where they can share and customs and cultures with Laconia area families.

Part of the Up With People experience includes some civic participation, and so far some of the advance team has helped with the Laconia Got Lunch Program and with Hands Across the Table.

Up With People performers are from all over the world. Lopez Amaro said some of the countries represented in this company are Nepal, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Germany, Belgium, Mexico, United States, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway and Finland.

There are about 55 girls and 45 boys and if a family wants to serve as a host family to multiple participants the performers will both be of the same sex. Ages range from 19 to 29.

"We are very flexible," said Bubern. "It can be an air mattress or a couch."

Over the past 40 years, Up With People have interacted with 500,000 families in 40 different countries.

Performances are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 5, and Saturday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Laconia Middle School. The group will do a pre-performance at Rotary Park during the annual Multi-Cultural Day activities.

Up With People is sponsored by the Bank of New Hampshire, WLNH 98.3, The Laconia Daily Sun, and Aavid Thermalloy and Laconia Kiwanis. The proceeds from the shows will go to Stand Up Laconia – a program designed to prevent drug and alcohol abuse in the city - the Laconia "Got Lunch" program and Gilford "Got Lunch" program.

To act as a host family, please contact Misa Grenier at 608-606-9694.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 12:49

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Correction: Det. Hart works for Dept. of Justice

Detective Kirk Hart works for the N.H. Drug Task Force that is operated by the N.H. Department of Justice. He is not employed by the State Police. His affiliation with the State Police was incorrectly reported in an article that ran on Page 1 of Thursday's paper.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 August 2014 01:06

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