Belmont High School students grow their own healthy food on campus


BELMONT — Since the Food and Drug Administration encourages students of all ages to eat some red and orange vegetables daily, high school Food Service Manager Nancy Cate decided the school should grow its own.

Last year, she started with raised beds in which she, along with the help of the special education students, grew tomatoes and lettuce. This year, they added three more raised beds and are growing two kinds of squash, pole beans, cherry tomatoes, two kinds of slicing tomatoes, kale, green lettuce, cucumbers and zucchini.

"Well, I guess I'm going to pay to eat at the high school salad bar next year," said Principal David Williams.

Williams said he is very excited about the garden and supports expanding it to add potentially four to six more raised beds.

He said this project and others like it help students get closer to the source of their food and educates them as to how easy or difficult it can be, depending on circumstances they can't control, like the weather.

Audra O'Connor runs the transition program as a life skills coordinator for the special education program, whose students do most of the weeding and tending to the garden.

As they picked their beds and carefully removed the weeds, O'Connor explained how important it is to have these students doing work that improves their life skills.

"Anytime you can get kids to use real world skills and skills that can transfer to the rest of their lives is a good thing," said Williams.

"This is promoting healthy choices and the students can get this food right in the cafeteria," he said.

07-20 BHS gardens

Belmont High School Principal David Williams (in black shirt) speaks with food service manager Nancy Cate (in pink) while transition coordinator Audra O'Connor (in blue) shows her students how to properly weed a vegetable garden. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)

Too loud - Bank of NH Pavilion neighbors protest plan to boost sound Aug. 5, 6


GILFORD — Neighbors of the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion spoke in opposition to a request by Meadowbrook LLC for expanded hours and an increase in decibel levels for the two nights of an electronic music concert by Pretty Lights scheduled for Aug. 5 and 6.
About 40 people showed up for a public hearing held last night by the Gilford Planning Board on the request, which would extend concerts hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. both nights and increase the maximum volume of low-frequency sound from 108 decibels to 120 decibels.
Pavilion CEO/CFO Mike Seymour presented the plan and said that the request was being made at the request of Pretty Lights Music in order to allow all of the electronic bands to play a full set.
"When an artist comes to us, we feel as though we should at least put it through the process," said Seymour, who said that the extended hours and higher decibel volume are nor featured in any promotions of the event so that those who attend will not have expectations of longer hours or more sound.
He acknowledged that there have been times in recent concerts when decibel levels have exceeded the limit set for concerts at the Pavilion but said those were of extremely short durations of a few seconds.
Robert Heinrich of Belknap Point Road said he lives far enough away so that concert sounds don't bother him but that is not the case with people on Governor's Island, who hear the booming bass during concerts. He said that 70 decibels is the level of normal conversation while 120 decibels is actually 32 times as loud because decibel levels increase at an algorithmic rate, not a linear, straight line rate.
Charlie Boucher of Dockham Shore Road said that the reverberations from the concert site are very loud and that and seem to be louder this year than last. He also said that increased traffic at the concert venue is causing backup problems on Weirs Road.
Ron Dudley of Wentworth Cove Road in Laconia, who also owns property near the Winnipesaukee Yacht Club in Gilford, said that the sound during concerts is unbearable and noted that during last week's Dave Matthews Band concert Meadowbrook appeared to have run out of parking spaces and was having people park at the former King's Grant Inn and then busing them back to Pavilion.
The Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion has a maximum seating capacity of 9,600.
Joe Routhier of Marina Bay at 60 Weirs Road said that living there has made the last five years the most miserable of his life and urged the planning board "to consider the people who live near by and reject the request.
The board was scheduled to take up the request following two other public hearings which were still in progress last night.

Home course golfer is tops - Chris Houston wins State Amateur championship at LCC

LACONIA — Chris Houston, hometown golfer and a member of Laconia Country Club, defeated Matt Paradis of Concord Country Club 4 and 3 in the final match of the 113th New Hampshire State Amateur Championship Saturday.
Houston got off to a strong start as he went 3 up to Paradis after the 6th hole. Despite being down by three, Paradis stuffed his tee shot in close on the 7th hole to prove a point—that he wasn't going to give up. After 18 holes, Paradis was 4 down, but he had just won the 18th hole and was ready to do some work. There were two times that Paradis actually brought the match back to Houston being only 1 up, the first was after the 6th hole the second time around and the second was after the 12th hole the second time around. Despite all that work, Houston went birdie, birdie, birdie to win the match 4 & 3.
Houston played consistent, strong golf all week.

"When it really counted the most and when I needed to hit good shots the most the entire week, I did it. I played the best golf when I needed to," said Houston.
Being the hometown golfer, Houston had a large gallery following him that included family, friends, and members of Laconia Country Club that watched him grow up at the club.

"It's tough," Houston said, "there's a lot of nerves, a lot of people out there, and a lot riding on it. I have to thank the members and staff of Laconia Country Club, because I wouldn't be the golfer I am without growing up here."
Houston will play golf at the University of Rhode Island, where he will be a graduate student this fall. He has already graduated from Penn State, but has a year of NCAA eligibility left.
Paradis lives in Hooksett and is a member of the Southern New Hampshire University golf team.
Houston has played Laconia Country Club since he was 13 years old and played in the State Amateur "eight or nine times" by his own count. In 2009 he was honored by the New Hampshire Golf Association as Junior Player of the Year. He has also qualified for the U.S. Amateur in 2013.
He says that he was first introduced to golf by his father, Kurt, and grandfather, Everett, at Oak Hill in Meredith.
He enjoyed a stellar high school career at Gilford High School, where he won the individual championship in state tournament play four years in a row and was a member of the Gilford High School golf team which took second place in state play four years in a row.
He says that his high school coach, Jim Swarthout, the pro at Pheasant Ridge Country Club in Gilford, was a big help in improving his golf game and that Todd Rollins, head pro at LCC, "helped me a lot."
Tournament Director, Greg Howell was happy with how the tournament went. "It was great to see a well-played match from two incredibly talented amateurs. The membership and staff at Laconia Country Club could not have been better. We will surely use this Amateur as a model for all future championships."
The 2017 State Amateur Championship will be played at Bretwood Golf Club.

houston Golf
Chris Houston accepts the winners trophy in the New Hampshire Amateur Golf Championship Saturday Laconia Country Club. (Courtesy photo)