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Instead of being prepared, irresponsible hikers just call for help

To the Daily Sun,

I would like to address the problem of rescuing irresponsible hikers.

All of the information that I am sharing about safe hiking in N.H., I found on the N.H. State Fish and Game website.

Safe hiking in N.H.: Under the safe hiker responsibility code you are responsible for the following:

— With knowledge and gear, become self reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and equipment before you start.

— Leave your plans, tell someone where you are going, including the trails you are hiking, as well as when you will return. Address emergency plans as well.

— Stay together, when you start as a group, end as group. Pace your hike to the slowest person.

— Turn back if necessary. The weather changes quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your hike, so know your limitations and when to post pone your hike. The mountains will be there another day.

— Be prepared for emergencies, even if you are headed out for just and hour, an injury, server weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Don't assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself.

— Share the Hike Code with others, NH RSA-153-A:24 I-(C)-Recklessly or intentionally creating a situation requiring an emergency response. II-A person's liability under this subdivision for response expenses shall not exceed $100,000 for any single public agency incident response.

I am very upset that we continue to see hikers that do not follow the above rules of hiking and being rescued.

For example, on Saturday, January 18th, three hikers climbing Mount Washington were well off the trail (to quote N.H. Fish and Game officials) and one of the hikers tried to find a new route up and icy flowage. She was unable to return to her group and they continued without her expecting that they would meet at the top of the climb. She had trouble and what does she do? She uses her cell phone to call for help. What is wrong with these people? You don't leave your fellow hikers behind. After the rescue an official statement from Fish and Game: she kept a level head and used her skills and available gear to ultimately get herself back to a known location. The group was experienced, had done extensive research on their planned hike and were appropriately dressed for the winter adventure. So if this group was so well prepared why did she need to call for help? She left her group, went out on her own, and they continued on without her. This is not prepared, this is stupid and wrong, it also breaks the Hiking Code in all the research they did not visit the Fish and Game website.

Next example: Sunday, January 19, 15 hikers attempt to hike Mount Washington summit, setting out early Sunday morning, but a smaller group later decides to separate and head back down to Pinkham Notch while the larger group continues. The smaller group misses the trail junction and become disoriented, so they tried do dig themselves into the snow and called 911 and activated their emergency signaling devices.

Is anyone besides myself starting to see a pattern? In both of my examples hikers left their hiking group, and instead of being prepared, they used their cell phones to call for help. At least with the second group they weren't praised for being prepared.

What really bothers me about all of the above rescues is that these hikers are only thinking of themselves when they go our to hike. They have their cell phones and all they need to do is have fun, get lost and call for help and the N.H. Fish and Game, U.S. Forest Service Snow Rangers and the Mountain Rescue Service and I am sure many others will come to save them. On the 19th, winds were 65 mph, with 95 mph gusts, zero degree temperatures, and the brave rescuers came. They risked their lives to save foolish people who didn't follow the rules. These rules are there for a reason, for safety, both for the hikers and for the rescuers.

The above RSA states that hikes that are reckless are responsible and liable for the response expenses. I would like to know if any of the hikers were billed? The state has now recommended that all hikers pay a hiking fee to buy insurance in case they need to be rescued. This is a great idea, but until we start to bill the foolish hikers why should the smart hikers have to pay? I would like to see signs at the beginning of all the trails that state RSA0153-As contents. Until we start to bill these hikers that venture off on their ow, and know that all they have to do is dial 911 on their cell phones, we will continue to have to rescue them and the Fish and Game will continue to be over budget and begging for more money. I know that it can't be done , but I really think that we should be able to tell these foolish hikers to leave their cell phones in their cars.

Sherry Boynton

New Hampton

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 10:17

Hits: 186

Wanted: members & friends of the Laconia High Class of 1977

To The Daily Sun,

We are looking for classmates of the LHS Class of '77 and friends, including under- and upper-classmates from Laconia and Gilford, who would like to join us at a casual get-together on Saturday, March 8, starting at 6 p.m. at Leavitt Park. It will be BYOB and a pot-luck dinner with deejay Tim to follow.

We will be asking for a $10 donation, which will cover any expenses. Those attending will have a chance to buy a brick paver with Class of '77 on it for the LHS Athletic Field Capital Campaign, and add money to a Class of '77 scholarship fund. We may also have a jam session if there are any musicians that would like to play and we know in advance, so we can plan on setting up the equipment needed.

Please let us know if you are interested in coming and if you can help with setup and/or cleanup.

Please contact me at 603-998-1418.

Tony Felch

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 10:08

Hits: 106

Good choice to shop at farmer's market & support local economy

To The Daily Sun,

Consumer choices abound these days. What to eat and where to find good quality food are at the top of the list for many. Consumers also choose whether to head to the mall or support local artisans when shopping for gifts and special things and they often long to support — and feel connected to — their local communities. For many consumers, making choices that support personal values like living a greener life is more important than ever. The Tilton Winter Farmers' Market makes those choices easier than ever.

The market offers an opportunity for shoppers to buy delicious prepared foods, winter greens and other veggies, locally-produced wines, mushrooms, beer, and high-quality crafts and body care products. But this one-stop shopping experience is just the beginning. Many people believe that eating locally is close to impossible in the depths of a New Hampshire winter, but this market proves otherwise. Dairy products, honey, vegetables, baked goods, condiments, fresh herbs and meats — all from local farms and producers.

But that's just the beginning. Just as importantly, the market is a welcome winter opportunity to step in from the cold to chat with friends, sip a hot drink and nibble a sweet treat. There's plenty of sampling to be enjoyed. All to the rhythms of local musicians. It's fun.

The Tilton Winter Farmers' Market, now in its third year, was voted as Editor's Pick in NH Magazine's Best of New Hampshire 2013 awards.
With support from AutoServ Dealerships of Tilton, the market features more than 45 vendors featured every Saturday and Sunday, and the market will continue through the months of February and March. It's a rich and lively indoor destination for weather-weary shoppers.

Choosing to support the local economy by shopping at the market this weekend is a good choice for individuals and the community as a whole.

The University of Vermont recently shared these 10 reasons to buy local food: Locally grown food tastes and looks better; local food is better for you; local food preserves genetic diversity; local food is safe; local food supports local families; local food builds community; local food preserves open space; local food keeps taxes down; local food benefits the environment and wildlife; and local food is an investment in the future.

The Tilton Winter Farmers' Market, located at 67 East Main St. in Tilton, across from AutoServ of Tilton, is open weekends through March, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. To 2 p.m. The market facility is fully handicap accessible. For more information, visit www.tiltonwinterfarmersmarket.com and on Facebook at facebook.com/TiltonWinterFarmersMarket.

Joan O'Connor, Manager

Tilton Winter Farmers

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 10:05

Hits: 189

Lots of us will have to change lifestyles to conserve energy

To The Daily Sun,

Our cities glow at night, consuming fossil fuels. Seven or eight million motor vehicles emit fumes every day, especially while idling. Football games are often at night, using electricity instead of the free light of day. Incandescent bulbs are still legal.

The Colorado River doesn't have enough water to supply our growing needs, much less feed golf courses in desert states. Then there's West Virginia. These are small parts of a world problem. People are really "literally killing" each other for water.

Global corporations are taking land from people who can't prove ownership, and changing its ecology to make money.

Desertification is spreading.

We are on the brink of building the Keystone Pipeline, another answer to the question, "How dumb can we get?". A 'no-brainer' to the uneducated.
Oil is getting harder to find, and will become more and more expensive, affecting food prices.

Energy Tomorrow has a slick ad on TV for "fracking". Know anything about that? It can be Googled.

The burning of coal is polluting our air, more and more every day.

Will global population reach 9 billion by2050? I think 4 billion is more likely. Hundreds of thousands are already dying from starvation every day. Lots of us will have to change our lifestyles as energy becomes more expensive -- shorter showers, LED bulbs, solar collectors. We still think that the economy is more important than the environment.
TransitionUS is a website concerned with life after oil. Permaculture is about producing food sustainably, renewing topsoil. Anything else on the plus side?

Dick Devens
Center Sandwich

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 10:01

Hits: 283

The number of residents joining Briarcrest co-op has doubled

To The Daily Sun,

Regarding Briarcrest Estates, I understand why people are confused and leery of becoming a co-op. I spent some time looking into co-ops and got a better understanding of how they came about.

Some of the co-ops in our area seem to be run-down and not worth much to us. Those are people's homes -- all that they have in some cases. They purchased them many years ago and they have struggled on a fixed income like many people today.

They did not have the good fortune to have the Mooneys as their park owners. They had an owner who took their rent and did nothing to improve or maintain the park. When those people were faced with the sale of their park they only had one choice, to become a co-op in order to keep their home.

They did not cause the park deteriorate as some people might think. Instead, they purchased it in that condition in order to have a place to live. What we look at and see as a run-down park would have been purchased by someone with the sole purpose of making money. In those cases, the people would have been given 18 months to sell, (which is impossible) or to just move out so the entire park could be redeveloped for someone else's profit. But where would these people move to?

Big business would make us a number. We would have no say if they decided to redevelop any portion of this land. We would stand the chance in a few short years to be resold after they have made their profit. I do not want to be known as #642 NH!

Fortunately we are in a position to buy a beautiful park. It is affordable because there is no profit in it for us. We are buying peace of mind and security. Every one of us will own equal amounts. Every one of us will have a voice. Better financing rates and better homeowner's insurance rates.

The number of residents joining the co-op has more than doubled. Any questions you have will be answered. There is no dissension at the meetings as there was in the beginning. Many residents who were opposed, have joined because they have a better understanding after attending the meetings.

Mark Mooney himself has suggested in his letter that we all come together.

Come to the meetings. Get informed.

MaryLou Blaisdell


Last Updated on Thursday, 13 February 2014 09:58

Hits: 129

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