Motorcycle Week assessment: It was an uneventful event

City officials say all went well; making it shorter is not feasible

By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN

LACONIA — When the Motorcycle Technical Review Committee met yesterday to review the 93rd running of Motorcycle Week last month city officials agreed that the rally came and went without significant incident, apart from the deficit left to the city for the cost of providing safety and emergency services for LaconiaFest.

City Manager Scott Myers said that the event passed "not quite on auto pilot but very close"and congratulated city employees for their handling of the complex logistics and large crowds.

"The city departments did everything we expected of them," echoed Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association. "Overall everything went very well."

Police Chief Chris Adams said that his officers made some 70 arrests in the course of the niine-day event, , but encountered no serious incidents. He said that the number of officers deployed during the rally has been reduced out of awareness of concerns about "over policing." Captain Matt Canfield said that state officials augmented the number of New Hampshire State Police at the event as a precaution in the wake of the shooting in Orlando, Florida where 49 people were killed and 53 were wounded on June 12, the day after the rally opened. But, Adams said that troopers were deployed on the periphery of The Weirs rather than at the "epicenter" of the event.

Myers said that he heard some suggest that at nine days the rally lasted too long and could be shortened to four or five days without diminishing the event. However, Bob Wolfe of Faro's Italian Grille and the Laconia Roadhouse, which hosts numerous vendors and an entertainment venue, said that a shorter event would not financially feasible. Myers assured him that no one was contemplating restructuring Motorcycle Week, which in any event would require a lengthy process.

Myers explained the problem at LaconiaFest arose when the actual attendance fell far short of the numbers the promoters projected, on which the city based its staffing of police officers and firefighters. Moreover, the promoters failed to escrow the funds to defray the estimated expenses. Although staffing was reduced to match anticipated numbers, its was difficult to to project attendance as the promoters offered free and reduced admission. Myers said that he calculated that shutting down the concerts would have an adverse impact on both the city and the rally and took responsibility for the deficit that left the city $63,130 out of pocket. City Councilor Bob Hamel (Ward 5) was quick to say that the council was regularly apprised of the situation and that the onus should not fall on Myers alone.

Car crash in Laconia attributed to possible double overdose

LACONIA – A 19-month-old child was uninjured after both the driver and the passenger of the car the child was in allegedly overdosed while the car was in motion.

The car, driven by Katie O'Shea, no age given, of Meredith, crashed on Roller Coaster Road Tuesday at 7:45 p.m.

Police said Laconia firefighters were first on scene and had administered Narcan to both O'Shea and her passenger.

O'Shea was charged with one count of aggravated driving while intoxicated for having a minor in the car and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.

She was released on $2,000 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to appear in the 4th Circuit Court, Laconia Division on Aug. 8

Anyone who witnessed the crash or who has any information is asked to call the Laconia Police at 524-5252.

– Gail Ober

Meredith invites public to weigh in on Master Plan

MEREDITH — The Parks and Recreation Department is seeking participation from the public in developing a master plan that will shape its programs and facilities in the future.

A survey is posted online at www.meredithnh.org and available in hard copy at the Community Center, Library and Town Hall. Vint Choiniere, director of Parks and Recreation, encourages residents, civic groups, business owners and any organization or individual currently receiving or wishing to receive services offered by the the department to share their thoughts and ideas by completing the survey.

In addition, Choiniere invites individuals and organizations to attend two public forums that will be held at the Community Center, the first on Thursday, July 28, at 7 p.m., and the second on Saturday, July 30, at 10 a.m.

For more information, Choinier can be reached at 279-8197 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

– Michael Kitch

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