‘Living hell’ - Neighbor to Meredith crematorium begs selectmen to force change to chimney

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

MEREDITH — "This is about as upset as I get," said Doug Frederick of the American Police Police Motorcycle Museum, who again appealed to the Board of Selectmen yesterday to address the emissions from the crematory at the Mayhew Funeral Home, which abuts his property. "Our life is a living hell up there."
Frederick contends that because the crematory is 15 feet down slope of his lot, its chimney reaches only to the second story of the building housing the museum, causing emissions to collect and ash to fall on his property. He suggested that adding 15 or 20 feet to the chimney would enable emissions and ash to clear his property and disperse in the air.
At the same time, he charges that the process by which the installation of the crematory was approved was secret, corrupt and incompetent as well as contrary to local zoning ordinances and state law.
Frederick has requested that Peter Mayhew, who owns and operates the funeral home, be required to add 15 or 20 feet to the chimney of the crematory, which he believes would enable emissions and ash to clear his property and disperse in the air.
Town Manager Phil Warren has advised Frederick that the town has no authority to address his complaints since crematories are regulated by state agencies, the Board of Registration of Funeral Directors and Embalmers and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
However, Frederick told the board he took his complaint to both the Governor's Office and the Office of Energy and Planning, where he was told the issue is a matter for the town to resolve. Warren, who was echoed by Nate Torr, chairman of the selectboard, repeated that the town had no authority. "It's got to go someplace else," said Torr. "It's not an issue for the selectmen. We have no jurisdiction to do anything."
"I'll be coming to every meeting until the chimney is addressed," Frederick told the selectmen. "We are not here to ask that the chimney be raised, but to demand it be raised."
Frederick found an ally in Karen Sticht, who asked Warren to read the first general provision of the zoning ordinance, " No land in any of the districts herein set forth shall be used in a manner that is disorderly, unsightly, noxious, offensive or detrimental to the public or the owners or occupants of adjacent property," he read.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church gives $1,000 to Got Lunch! Laconia program

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — In a small room in the basement of the Congregational Church of Laconia, jammed with jars and cans of foodstuffs, Pastor Paula Gile held a check from the Caring for Others Committee of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for $1,000 toward the annual budget of Got Lunch! Laconia, the program that provides needy school children with nutritious meals throughout the 11 weeks of their summer vacation.
The program, now on the eve of its sixth year, served 657 children from 294 families last summer and, Gile said, is budgeting to feed 700 this year as the numbers of schoolchildren in the city eligible for free or reduced price lunches has continued to rise. Gile said that the program budgets $120 for each child, which with 700 children amounts to $84,000.
Gile said that the program owes its success to a contribution of $35,000 from the Great Lakes Region Children's Auction together with donations from more than 70 community partners, including individuals, churches and businesses, and the efforts of more than 230 volunteers. She also stressed the role of five farms in the region that have collaborated to provide the program with fresh vegetables every week at wholesale prices.
Since the program began in 2011 Got Lunch! Laconia has served 120,504 lunches.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the record on the donor of the $1,000.)

05-03 Got Lunch

Lee Kruecheberg, the Rev. Paula Gile of the Congregational Church of Laconia, Barbara Ryder and the Rev. Jennifer Hitt of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (from left) are among some 230 volunteers for Got Lunch! Laconia who stock the larder, fill the bags and deliver the lunches to feed more than 650 schoolchildren during the summer. (Laconia Daily Sun photo/Michael Kitch).

French to challenge Hosmer in District 7 (432)

FRANKLIN — Harold French, a Republican serving his first term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, announced yesterday that he will run for the Senate in District 7, the seat held for the past two terms by Democrat Andrew Hosmer of Laconia.

A real estate broker, auctioneer and folk art sculptor, French, who is originally from Concord, has lived in half a dozen towns in Merrimack County and graduated from Hopkinton High School and attended Plymouth State University. Along with his deep roots in Merrimack County, he operated the Gold Street Gallery in Laconia for several years during what he called "my art phase" and was was among those led by the late Wanda Tibbetts who began the Lakeport Association.

French represents Wards 1 and 2 in Franklin and the town of Hill in the House, where he is a member of the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee.

In formally announcing his candidacy, French said in a prepared statement "I am now ready to work for my constituents in the Senate." Noting that he has done business with people throughout the district, he said that "very few have have told me that they think we do not pay enough taxes already" and "the overwhelming majority are opposed to tax increases. " He pledged to continue to oppose any new taxes.

"I just know from my experience," he said Monday, "that we're really tapped out right now."

Instead, he called for easing the regulation of business and lowering the cost of energy to generate opportunity for those seeking better jobs and higher wages. "The more people there are doing business, the more money will be flowing," he said. French also stressed support for "all our schools," including home schooling and charter schools.

French said that state lawmakers file some 1,200 bills each year, three-quarters of them unnecessary and 60 percent of them backed by both parties.

"Then it gets philosophical," he said. "I didn't realize how far apart we are on some things." Nevertheless, French said, "I eat lunch more often with Democrats than Republicans. We just don't vote the same way."

In 2014, Hosmer withstood the challenge by Republican Kathleen Lauer-Rago of Franklin to hold his seat by 155 votes — 9,543 to 9,423 — following a recount. French said that Lauer-Rago indicated to him that she would not run this year, adding that "if she were running, I probably would not be."

Lauer-Rago did not return calls yesterday.

Senate District 7 consists of the city of Laconia and towns of Belmont and Gilford in Belknap County, and the city of Franklin and towns of Andover, Boscawen, Canterbury, Northfield, Salisbury and Webster in Merrimack County.