LACONIA — Belknap County Commissioner Ed Philpot of Laconia yesterday stood by his remarks critical of the Republican leadership of the Belknap County Convention made while speaking last week at the annual picnic hosted by the Belknap County Democratic Committee and reported by the local press.
After Philpot referred to members of the convention as "bad people looking to do bad things," Alan Glassman, chairman of the Belknap County Republican Committee, immediately called on him to that he publicly acknowledge that his statements were "unprofessional, inflammatory and inappropriate" and apologize for them. Glassman suggested that the acknowledgement and apology were required for the commission and the convention to improve their strained relationship and "work together on such critical matters as the county budget and a county prison."
Refusing to withdraw his remarks, Philpot replied to Glassman by e-mail yesterday, explaining that "prior to my statement, there was no progress toward any sort of discussion. Since I was not significant enough in the minds of the majority delegation to be even civil towards me," he continued, "I cannot see how now I can stand as the only impediment to progress."
Philpot agreed that cooperation is "an admirable goal," then told Glassman "there has been no indication of any inclination on the part of the majority of the delegation that this is their goal. In fact," he claimed, "the commissioners were repeatedly denied the opportunity to speak with the delegation on critical issues, were subjected to name calling and accusations, and were generally ignored on substantive budget questions during the convention's deliberative process despite repeated offers of additional information, cooperation and input on topics with which we were familiar."
Likewise, Philpot said that while the commission has been working "quite publicly" on planning for the jail for the past four years, there has been "little participation" on the part of members of the delegation. He said that that since the current members of the convention were elected they have been invited to visit the jail "without any takers." He said that "despite this lack of participation or even civil discourse, we, the commissioners, are faced with unfounded accusations and recriminations from delegation members who have never taken the time or effort to speak with us."
Glassman said only that he had received Philpot's e-mail and declined any further comment.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 02:48
LACONIA — Police used an electronic stun gun and pepper spray to defuse a Gale Avenue man who was allegedly trying to burn his estranged wife's belongings in fire pit behind their home yesterday afternoon.
John W. Swett, 53, of 53 Gale Ave. is charged with one count of criminal mischief, one count of disorderly conduct, one count of resisting arrest, two counts of simple assault (both on police officers) and one count of obstructing government administration.
Police said they were called to the home by Swett's wife who reported she had been talking with him on the cell phone and he told her he was going to burn all her things.
When police arrived, the report Swett was burning what appeared to be items belonging to his wife.
When Officer Kevin Shortt confronted Swett he allegedly got angrier. When Sgt. Dennis Ashley and Officer Kendra Neri arrived he stormed into his house.
After Ashley got a garden hose that was nearby and began dousing the fire, Swett allegedly continued being verbally combative and turned off the hose. He returned to his house.
As Ashley went to turn back on the water, Swett allegedly rushed toward him and when Neri tried to stop him he allegedly grabbed her arm and body.
Ashley zapped him with his stun gun and Shortt placed him in handcuffs who took him from the property to wait for an ambulance.
Swett was able to get one of his hands free from the cuffs and began fighting with Shortt. When the two went to the ground, Ashley deployed his pepper spray to get control of Swett.
He was treated for minor injuries, including the removal of Taser prongs from his body, and exposure to oleo-resin capsicum — the actual name of what is referred to a pepper spray.
About four hours later, firefighters and police went to the home to completely extinguish the smoldering fire and to stand by while the victim removed her things from the home.
Swett refused bail and will appear in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division this morning.
Ashley said neither Shortt nor Neri was injured.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 02:46
BELMONT — An unidentified female was taken by ambulance after striking a telephone pole on Ladd Hill Road around 7 p.m. last night.
Firefighters said the woman's car left the road between Marilyn Drive and Diana Drive, struck a pole, and landed in a ditch. The pole was broken in two.
The woman sustained non life-threatening injuries.
At 9 pm. police and fire remained on the roadway while Public Service of New Hampshire changed out the pole.
Last Updated on Saturday, 20 July 2013 04:20
LACONIA — The Laconia Parks Commission was told this week that ''Hands Across the Water'', an event designed to put Weirs Beach in the Guinness Book of World Records, is shaping up as a success.
''Things are coming together nicely,'' Tom O'Brien, president of the New Hampshire Lakes Association, said of that organization's plan to have more than 2,000 canoes and kayaks assemble and paddle together on Saturday, September 7 to form the world's largest raft .
''We're at the point where we're going to be bringing in an event organizer for about six weeks,'' O'Brien told the commission this week.
He said that the canoes and kayaks will be launched from a number of shoreline access points, public and private, roughly between Awka Marina to the west and Pendleton Beach to the east. Once all of the boats are assembled the 3,000 to 4,000 participants will raise their paddles, and then join hands and raft together for at least 30 seconds.
He said the event will break the current world record, set in upstate New York last summer, when 1,925 canoes and kayaks gathered at 4th Lake at Inlet, New York in a ''One Square Mile of Hope'' fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
A blast of the horn from the MS Mount Washington cruise ship will be sounded at 10 a.m. as the signal for the participants to paddle out to a designated area, 1,000 feet by 1,000 feet, just off from Weirs Beach, which will be surrounded by support boats..
''We'll be off the water by noon,'' said O'Brien, who said the focus will then shift to Endicott Park at Weirs Beach, where there will be educational exhibits as well as live music.
''We're not planning on having any food vendors. We want participants to do business with local establishments,'' says O'Brien.
Commissioners noted that the request for use of city facilities will go before the Laconia Special Events Committee and will be taken up by the City Council when it meets Monday night.
O'Brien said he plans to update the Parks and Recreation Commission next month on the event.
The commission was updated by Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Dunleavy on plans by Happy Tails Dog Park of Belmont for a dog park on city-owned property located between the end of Spruce Street and Growtth Road in the South End.
The commission has given conceptual approval for the dog park plan, which has also been presented to the Laconia Planning Board and will come before the City Council for discussion Monday night.
''At some point they'll be going ahead with a full-fledged design,'' said Dunleavy.
He also updated the commission on plans for repairs to the Smith Track at Opechee Park. The City Council in its budget approved in June appropriated $300,000 for repairs to the track.
Dunleavy said the contract for repairing the track has been awarded to Cape and Island Track and Tennis and that work will commence as soon as they are available, most likely in September.
He said that work will be done in two phases, with the first one being removal of the rubberized material which currently covers the track.
''They want to look at the existing asphalt first. It may need an overlay before they can do the next phase.'' said Dunleavy.
He said that the new surface will be polyurethane based but still permeable, which will allow water to be dissipated.
He said that the new surface will have an eight-year life expectancy, compared to five for the old surface and that by the time it has been resurfaced once that the underlying asphalt may need to be replaced 16 or 20 years down the road.
The six-lane, 400 meter track was installed in 1998 and refurbished in 2001, 2005 and 2011. The track has been closed since last Spring.
Last Updated on Sunday, 25 August 2013 05:29
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