Registration open for Gilford Memorial Day race and walk

By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — Organizers are taking online reservations in preparation for the second annual "Run To Remember" run/walk, to take place on Memorial Day, May 29, in Gilford Village.

Scott Hodsdon, executive director of the Gilford Youth Center, which is co-sponsoring the event with the Gilford High School National Honor Society, said this year's race will include a Kids' 1K Walk, with each participant receiving a T-shirt, and all who complete the route will receive a medal.

"We wanted to give all family members a chance to take part," Hodsdon said.

Gilford's first Run To Remember 5K race, last year, raised more than $1,000, according to Hodsdon.

"Members of the National Honor Society met with us to discuss doing a community service event that would benefit a local charity," Hodsdon said. "The Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving has been such a success, we thought, with the nice weather in the spring, a race would be a nice addition to the Memorial Day parade and church service."

The Gilford Rotary Club, which Hodsdon said has a good relationship with the youth center, regularly invites the center to talk about what is happening there, and they discussed the idea of a race that would benefit the Wounded Warriors organization that serves disabled veterans.

"Members of the Rotary suggested Camp Resilience, instead, and being a local charity, right away, everyone was on board to help out this group," Hodsdon said.

Operated by the Patriot Leadership Group in Gilford, Camp Resilience provides activities, including sports and life skills training, to veterans recovering from physical and mental wounds. By arranging housing for the veterans in the Lakes Region, Camp Resilience provides a pleasant setting for the programs aimed at supporting those with serious injuries, including amputations, traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress.

Close to 100 people participated in the first-year race, with veterans from Camp Resilience and other vets invited to greet the runners at the finish line. Race participants also received American flags to hold as they crossed the finish line, Hodsdon said.

"It's a good event to honor our heroes," he said, "and we're looking forward to doing it again."

The registered 5K course starts and ends in front of the Gilford Community Church on Potter Hill Road and follows what is considered a relatively flat course. The youth center awards medals to the top male and female runners, as well as the top three in the Kids' 1K. Every participant will receive a T-shirt.

Those wishing to honor those in the military have an opportunity to have their names included on the back of the T-shirts by filling out an online form. Reservations to participate also are online at http://www.gilfordyouthcenter.com/memorial-day-5k.html, and participants will be able to register on the date of the race, beginning at 8 a.m.

Hodsdon said the youth center wants to make the event affordable for everyone, so it offers a family rate for multiple participants.

Walkers will start at 8:45 a.m., and runners at 9 a.m., with Gilford's Memorial Day parade following the race. As they did last year, organizers invite local veterans to participate or to stand at the finish line, at the Honored Veterans Tent.

Members of the National Honor Society will guide the young participants, and parents are welcome to run with their children.

05-05 Gilford Memorial Day Race 2016

Running sprint from the starting line at last year's Memorial Day race in Gilford. (Courtesy photo)

Vernal pool discovered in area proposed for Weirs development

By RICK GREEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — A small complication has developed in plans for a proposed 86-unit residential development on Endicott Street East in The Weirs.
A vernal pool, or a small body of water present only part of the year, has been discovered on land where The Gardens at Winnipesaukee is to be built.
Builders are requesting a conditional use permit to build within the required 100-foot buffer for such a body of water. The Planning Board will consider that request after visiting the site to get a closer look at the area.
Existence of the third-of-an-acre pool, which supports salamanders, tadpoles and fairy shrimp, wasn't confirmed until the spring rains came.
Patrick Wood, an attorney for the developer, Phoenix Capital, said Thursday the planning process is moving forward, with needed approvals expected next month and construction later in the summer.
A permit will be sought that would allow the buffer to be less than 100 feet in spots near the pool where land was previously disturbed under an earlier development attempt.
"If we took a 100-foot buffer in a circular area around the vernal pool, a substantial part of the buffer has already been disturbed and would not serve as habitat for these animals," he said. "Rather than take that land away from development, it would be better to focus the buffer to protect an area that is really suitable for habitat."
Wood said pools like these generally dry up by the end of summer.
"The magic time frame is about 90 days worth of water," he said. "Salamanders lay eggs about April 15 and they hatch around May 15. By July 15, tadpoles will have gone through their larval stage."
And then there's the fairy shrimp, which have 11 pairs of appendages and are relatives of lobsters and crabs.
These 1-inch-long translucent crustaceans grow to maturity over several weeks. Before the pool dries up, the female shrimp lay eggs that survive the dry season and hatch when the rains come.
And, of course, mosquitoes hatch in pools like these.
"But we don't go around trying to protect them," Wood said. "They seem to do quite well on their own."
Before its environmental dangers were known, the insecticide DDT was used to fight mosquitoes, and vernal pools were simply drained to make way for development.
Now, these pools and all wetlands are acknowledged as environmentally significant, said Laconia Planning Director Dean Trefethen.
"They are an important part of the ecological system," he said. "Species use vernal ponds for their reproduction and a good portion of their life. It's not something you can just fill in or cover over."

Meredith contractor settles consumer complaint

By THOMAS P. CALDWELL, LACONIA DAILY SUN

MEREDITH — A local building contractor has agreed to repayment and penalty terms in relation to consumer complaints filed with the state.

Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announced on Thursday that Gerard Michael Healy, owner of Mike's Home Improvement of 25 Lang St., Meredith, had entered into a consent judgment that requires repayment of $40,676 in deposits and a $3,000 fine, as well as prohibiting him from accepting any future deposits relating to his business for 10 years.

Healy allegedly took deposits for various home improvement projects that he subsequently failed to perform, and did not refund the deposits, according to MacDonald. The complaints covered a period from April to November 2016.

Belknap County Superior Court approved the consent agreement on April 27. Under the terms of the agreement, future customers will purchase and own the materials needed for contracted work by the company. Mike's Home Improvement will have a payment schedule to reimburse the customers who previously made prepayments, and Healy will have to pay $3,000 in civil penalties to the state.

Healy did not return a call seeking comment on the consent judgment.


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