‘Thousands’ visit Harley-Davidson at Weirs Beach

By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Harley-Davidson Motor Company “definitely wants to be here” for the 100th Laconia Motorcycle Week, but project manager Samuel Klein cautioned that the company, which set up a demo station at Weirs Beach for this year’s 94th running of the rally, will have to see what’s in store.
With “thousands” of riders taking advantage of the opportunity to try out a Harley this year, Klein said the company plans to offer a little more each year over the next six years, including celebrating the 100th Motorcycle Week.
The bike demos allow riders to take one of the latest Harley models out for a self-guided, 25-minute journey along what Klein called “one of the most scenic routes — and one of the longest” of any the company offers.
The route, marked by arrow signs, takes riders along Route 3 to 106, offering “beautiful twists and turns” so the operators can experience the different elements of riding, including the chance to get up to highway speed on Route 106.
“You can feel everything a Harley-Davidson has to offer,” Klein said. “Trying it on a longer route gives customers more time on the best motorcycle out there.”
Riders arriving at the demo area, across from the Weirs Beach sign, will need to register before selecting a motorcycle. Personnel scan in the bar code and attach it to the driver’s record, scanning it again when the motorcycle returns.
The demos had taken place at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the last few years, but Klein said the customers have been asking for them to return to The Weirs, saying the speedway was too far from other Motorcycle Week activities.
The demos are all new models, with special CVOs (custom vehicle operations) that include stage kits to amp up speed and performance. Special features may include bigger engines, heated hand grips, and better stereos. Klein noted that some sound systems increase in volume as the speed increases and lower the volume as speed decreases.
There is navigation on the touring models, making it easier for people to get from Point A to Point B without worrying, Klein said.
For those who do not ride, Harley-Davidson has a motorcycle simulator known as “Jumpstart” that allows people to shift through the gears.
People who try a Harley and decide they want to purchase one will be directed to Laconia Harley-Davidson where they will be treated to a free beverage in the air-conditioned VIP area.
Klein credited Anne Deli, owner of Laconia Harley-Davidson, with helping to secure the new Weirs Beach location.
Along with the demos, Harley-Davidson’s Weirs Beach location offers event pins to members of Harley Owners Groups, and all HOG members will receive a coupon for a free drink and free gift at the Broken Spoke Saloon, where there also is free food from 4 to 6 p.m. each day for HOG members. Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum will be showcasing its products at the saloon through the weekend, Klein said.
Klein expressed his gratitude to the city of Laconia, Mayor Ed Engler, and the Laconia Police Department for their help, noting that the police are stopping traffic for the demo riders going out. He said it also could not have happened without the “foresight and business mindset” of Al Mitchell, whose property Harley-Davidson is using.

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Samuel Klein, project manager for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, stands next to one of the latest models in the demo area at Weirs Beach. The motor company has brought its demo rides back to Laconia this year after several years at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. You can find them near the Weirs Beach sign this weekend.  (Tom Caldwell/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Sit, stay, paws behind your back!

Laconia issues 780 warrants for those with unlicensed dogs

By RICK GREEN, Laconia Daily Sun

LACONIA — Fido and Rover beware.

Unlicensed dogs in Laconia are subject to a warrant approved by the City Council on Monday night.

City Clerk Mary Reynolds is sending out 780 letters today to residents, informing them that they owe a fine for not licensing their canines.

WANTED

“State statute requires that the council issue a warrant for all dogs that are unlicensed and it comes with a $25 fine per dog,” she said. “Technically, they could seize dogs. That's what the warrant does, it allows us to impose a fine and seize a dog.”

However, no dog has actually been seized under such a warrant in Reynolds' 11 years with the city.

“The dog officer doesn't seize dogs unless they are running at large or are vicious,” Reynolds said.

People have until April 30 of each year to license their dogs. Proof of a rabies vaccination is required for a license, which costs $6.50 if a dog has been spayed or neutered. The charge for a dog that has not been altered is $9. If the dog owner is 65 or older, the licensing cost for a person's first dog is $2, and regular charges apply to additional dogs.

Dog owners have the entire month of May as a grace period if they haven't met the deadline. Overdue notices went out the first week of May.

“We got a lot of response from those,” Reynolds said. “A lot of people let us know their dogs were not here anymore. They were deceased, things like that. And we did get a lot of people who came in and licensed their dogs. But a lot of people ignored the notices.”

Ultimately, if people refuse to respond to notifications from the city, they may receive a visit from a Laconia animal control officer dog control. If a court summons has to be issued for failure to comply, a $50 charge can be levied.

“The dog officer chases down the habitual offenders,” Reynolds said.

The best bet is for people to license and re-license their pets on time.

“We don't want to impose fines any more than they want to pay them,” she said. “Our intention is not to take possession of anyone's animals, but to achieve compliance. We want to make sure dogs have their rabies shots and are all licensed. If a dog gets out and bites someone, we want documentation. And, we can find the owner of a lost dog with a license.”

Typically, about 25 percent of the people who get letters regarding unlicensed dogs say they no longer have the animal. Some letters are returned because the owner no longer lives at the recorded address.

People who don't renew a dog license with Laconia because they have moved or no longer have the animal, should notify the city so it can inactivate their account and so that a violation letter is not sent.

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Whalley to challenge St. Clair for Dist. 9 seat

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Steven Whalley, a local businessman whose brother was a prominent legislator, filed candidacy papers Thursday to run for the state House of Representatives seat left vacant by the resignation of Republican Rep. Robert Fisher.
Whalley, a Republican, owns HK Powersports, which operates in Laconia and Hooksett and sells motorcycles, snowmobiles and other vehicles. His brother was state House Minority Leader Michael Walley, R-Alton, a one-time assistant House Speaker who died in 2008 at age 54 from complications from a fall while he was fighting brain cancer.
Steven Whalley, 62, said he and his brother were among five children.
“We were raised to give something back to the community,” he said.
Fisher represented Belknap District 9, which takes in Laconia and Belmont. He resigned in a scandal over his creation of a website critical of women.
The only other candidate to have filed for the race is Charlie St. Clair, a Democrat. He is a member of the Laconia Planning Board and the executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association.
Whalley said now is a good time to pursue his political interests. Family members help run his business, giving him time and opportunity to serve.
“I'm excited by a new, young, popular governor,” he said. “I'm saddened to see so many young people leaving the state. I want to see if we can keep young people in the state and provide them good jobs.
“I see an aging population. The quality of life is still attracting older people and retirees, but I feel we as a state have to turn it around and make it a popular place for young people to bring their education and their good ideas.”
He also said he is concerned about the opiate crisis, and about the popularity of narcotics that are so potent that first responders face health risks in responding to drug calls.
He is concerned about the rising costs of government.
“I feel strongly we can't keep kicking the can down the road on unfunded liabilities,” he said.
“Just as we may have to adjust Social Security as time goes on, we may have to do the same thing with municipal-type pensions.

“We see very young people retiring. I don't want to say they are taking advantage of the system, but they are using the system to their advantage.”

Funding for the new Community Corrections Center has been a major issue facing the Belknap County Delegation, which has been asked to decide on a supplemental appropriation from the County Commission that would allow the facility to open.
Whalley said he doesn't have a strong position on that issue.
“I've watched it from the outside,” he said. “I assume we have some reasonable people who will come through with reasonable ideas.”
The secretary of state's office in Concord will continue to accept candidacy papers for this race until 5 p.m. Friday. The primary is set for Sept. 12, but if there is only one candidate per party, this would be the date for the general election. If a primary is needed, the general election would be Nov. 7.

06 16 Steven Whalley

Businessman Steven Whalley, a Republican, files candidacy papers Thursday at the secretary of state's office to run for the New Hampshire House of Representatives. He'll face Democratic challenger Charlie St. Clair, and anyone else who files by the end of the day today. (Courtesy photo)

  • Written by Rick Green
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