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Team won LRSF Spelling Bee only second time in 17 years

To The Daily Sun,

We, at Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation, are so grateful to everyone who participated in our 17th Annual Community Spelling Bee. There are so many people and groups to thank. First, our Master of Ceremony, Pat Kelly; enunciators, Rhetta Colon and Rick Crockford; judges, Karen Bianco and Marilyn Lynch — each added a special flair to the Bee. The Laconia High School administration and facility crew provided us with all the support to make the venue inviting and workable. Photographer, Steve Loughlin, Tim Cox from Lakes Region Public Access TV (courtesy of station manager, Grace McNamara), the Laconia Daily Sun, the Gilford Steamer and WEMJ’s Open Mike show hosted by Pat Kelly worked to provide coverage for the event. Each year we are blessed with a donation of homemade cookies from Kathy Calvin, a former president of the LRSF Board. Not only does she donate dessert for our worker bees, but she also works at our registration table. Our appreciation goes out to Laconia and Gilford students Angie Bonnell and Gabby Leclerc as well as our lighting and sound person from LHS student, Imanee Gordon. A big thank you also goes to all who attended the event to cheer on the spellers and all who purchased 50-50 raffle tickets with special appreciation to Mike Soucy who gave all of his winnings back to the Foundation. We were able to raise over $10,000 this year to benefit our “Friends of the Foundation Operating Fund”, which helps us cover the expenses associated with administering our scholarship program.

The Spelling Bee would be nothing of course without our teams of intrepid spellers. We would like to recognize a few of these teams for special achievements: Congratulations to the winning spelling team, the LHS National Honor Society Team “We Put a Spell on You!” Team members Dakota Cross, Isabella Lovering and Amber Patten, who were sponsored by Dana S. Beane and Company, are only the second student team to win the title in the 17-year history of the Bee. The other two teams who made it to the 6th round were the teams from the Laconia SAU office “Highway to Spell” led by Superintendent Brendan Minnihan with staff members Regina Theberge and Beth Vachon (sponsored by Brendan Minnihan) and the “Stand Up Laconia” team consisting of team members Judy Lundh, Mike Soucy and Sarah Jenna (sponsored by the Lawson, Persson, Chisholm law firm.)

Each year prizes are also awarded for best costumes. The costume winners for the student teams were: 1st place – the Holy Trinity School Ninja Turtles: Rafael Vazquez, Kathryn Merola, Ashley Dumont and Adreana Campo (sponsored by Melcher and Prescott Insurance); 2nd place, the Bee winners the LHS “We Put a Spell on You” team; and in third place the Huot Center team “Tomorrow’s Terrific Teachers” including Lexys Bladeciki, Solary Chhun and Isabelle Cutter-Cannuli (sponsored by Meredith Village Savings Bank and Steve & Marlene Hodgdon) For the adults the winners included: first place, the Congregational Church team “The Spirit Spellers” composed of Martha Clement, Lorienne Valovanie and Ruth Gill (sponsored by their church); second place the SAU office “Highway to Spell” team; and the third place team: Stand Up Laconia.

In addition to the above mentioned teams, the rest of the field included: the LHS Diphthongs: Tim King, Kaitlyn Mize and Nathan Papavlo, sponsored by the Ellis Family; the Three Blind Moose: Finnian Mousseau, Madeline Mousseau and Sullivan Mousseau, sponsored by Belknap Landscape Company; LHS Bass Drop: Josh Chandler, Lizzie Gillis and Bryden Wright, sponsored by the Bank of New Hampshire; the GHS Grate Spellers: Abigail Mitchell, Ashleigh Mongovan and Cyndal Vansteensburg sponsored by Civil Takeoffs; the Laconia Librarians: Randy Brough, Deann Hunter and Caleb Kneuer sponsored by State Farm Insurance-Bob Merwin; the LHS Key Club: Alexyah Dethvongsa, Heather Ausevich and Chloe Bertocchi sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Laconia; BHS Team Taco: Abigail Camire, Meagan Leddy-Cecere and Nicholas Randos sponsored by Marcia Hayward; the Gilford Rotary team: Nancy Carsen, Carolyn Scattergood and Chris Ray sponsored by the Gilford Rotary; the LHS Torrid Spelling team: Mike Frederickson (LHS principal), Marcy Kelley and Angel Burke sponsored by Michael Frederickson; the LHS Naturally Heroic Spellers: Nemanja Boskovic, Delia Cormier and Devon Mello, sponsored by the Laconia Rotary Club; the GHS Volleyball team: Samantha Holland, Kasey Moore and Abby Warren sponsored by the Decamp Team at Morgan Stanley; Martin, Lord and Osman team: Joe Driscoll, Patience Morrow and Kristopher Wilson, sponsored by the Martin, Lord and Osman law firm; the Spell Binders from Pleasant Street School: Kim O’Neil, Liz Rosenfeld and Liz Rossner sponsored by the Bianco Child and Family Therapy; the GHS Average Joe’s: Logan Bell, Reise Jacques and Jeremy Lachance, sponsored by Gregg and Sandra Caufield; the Laconia City Hall team: Lindsey Allen, Tara Baker and Cheryl Hebert, sponsored by Matt Lahey, Esq.; GHS Snap-Crackle-Pop: Josey Curley, Persephone Knipping and Tyler Pearson, sponsored by Thom Francoeur-Allstate Insurance; and the BHS Super Awesome McScam City Productions Incorporated & Sons, LLC team: Jacob Bowser, Caleb Brown and Megan Wong sponsored by Baron’s Major Brands,

We have been very fortunate over the years to have a handful of corporate sponsors without whom the financial success of this event would not be possible. We would like to recognize these very generous donors: Baron’s Major Brands, Belknap Landscape Company, Inc., Meredith Village Savings Bank, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, and Lawson, Persson & Chisholm, P.C. and Susan and Mike Smith.

In addition to our corporate and team sponsors, we give thanks to the following donors who sponsored ads in our program or donated gifts-in-kind: Gerald & Mary Albert, All My Life Jewelers, Janet D. Allison, Allstate Insurance, Apple American Group LLC, Bank of NH Pavilion, Dana S. Beane & Co. PC, Belknap County Sportsmen's Association, Judy Bissonnette, Martha Bissonnette, Phil & Jackie Bonafide, George E & Barbara H Brixner III, Gloyd & Janet Calley, Capitol Center for the Arts, Carolyn's Doggie Day Care, James & Janet Carroll, CBH Landscape Contractors, Emily Clement Life Coach, The Common Man, Contigiani's Catering Service, Joan Cormier in memory of Ken & Minnie Blackey, Corporate Images, Denoncourt, Waldron & Sullivan, Divine Inspirations, The Downtown Gym and Wellness Center, D's Hair Stylin Studio, Susan Dyment, East Coast Welding, Edgewater Academy of Dance, Electrical Ninja The Foundry Financial Group, Inc., Fratello's Ristorante Italiano, Friends of the Foundation, Funspot, Claire Giguere, Gilford Hannaford, The Hair Factory, Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant, Marcia Hayward, Hermit Woods Winery, HRO Plus, Irwin Automotive Group, Beverly Jones, Laconia Lodge of Elks, Laconia Police Department, Lakes Region Builders & Remodelers Association, Lakes Region Community College, Lakes Region Floral Studio, Laurent Overhead Door Systems, Paulette & Steve Loughlin, Malone, Dirubbo & Company PC, Market Basket, Isaac McCall in memory of Lance Reason, McDonald's, Scott D. McGuffin, MegaPrint, Inc., Meridian Construction, NAPA Auto Parts, New Hampshire Ball Bearings, Ninety-Nine Restaurant, Normandin, Cheney & O'Neil, Linda Normandin, O'dus LLC, David & Fredda Osman, Patrick's Pub & Eatery, Pike Industries, Inc., PRB Construction, Inc., Katherine Reardon, ReFresh Salon, Salome Family, Salon Amara, Sal's Pizza, Shaw's Supermarket-Gilford, Blanche Sleeper, Susan & David Smith, Michael Soucy of the Soda Shoppe, Squam Lakes Science Center, Stafford Oil Company, Inc., Douglas & Angela Stone, Joni Stover, Tanger Outlet Center, Taylor Community, Taylor Rental Center, T-Bones, Thibeault Family, Tilton Trailer Rental , Travel Health of NH, Tylergraphics, Uno Chicago Grill, Vista Foods, James Waldron, Water Street Café, John & Patricia Weeks, Weirs Community Park Association, Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services and Beane Conference Center.

If anyone would like a copy of our 2017 BEE program, please contact us at 527-3533 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We also wish to remind college-bound students that our 2018 scholarship applications will be available by mid-January on our website: www.lrscholarship.org and also at the guidance department of our local high schools. This year’s deadline is April 1, 2018.

Michael Nolan, President
Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation

  • Written by Edward Engler
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 397

Delegation is not negotiating in good faith with Gunstock

To The Daily Sun,
The purpose of the letter is to update Belknap County residents on the ongoing negotiations between the Gunstock Area Commissioners (Gunstock) and the Belknap County Delegation (Delegation) regarding the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between us.  
Between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2016, an agreement was in place, under which Gunstock would pay the County $175,000 annually.  The 2016 payment was made during March of 2016.  In June of 2016 Gunstock and the Delegation began negotiations on a new MOA.  After several meetings and turnover on both sides of the table due to last November’s election and the appointment of Russ Dumais as a new member of the Gunstock Commission, a proposed Agreement was reached in February of 2017, between the two negotiating groups.  Under the proposed Agreement, Gunstock would pay the County $100,000 annually and commit to adding $100,000 to its reserves, if financial results allowed.   
During a subsequent meeting on May 5, 2017, Rep. Raymond Howard officially pulled the proposed agreement off the table, stating it was not representative of the Delegation’s current position.  After the proposal was withdrawn, discussion ensued, during which Rep. Norman Silber made several derogatory comments regarding the financial management of Gunstock, inclusive of the Commission and management, after which he abruptly left.  After Rep. Silber’s departure, a respectful discussion continued between the remaining parties and an agreement was made to hold an additional meeting to continue good faith negotiations.
The next meeting occurred on May 16, 2017, which included Representatives Raymond Howard, Valarie Fraser and John Plumer and Commissioners Sean Sullivan and Stephen Nix.  During this meeting Gunstock proposed a one year extension of the expired MOA, inclusive of a $175,000 payment to the county, payable upon agreement, and to continue good faith negotiations towards a long-term agreement.  On May 22, 2017, both Gunstock and the Delegation agreed to this one year extension, (with a provision to continue good faith negotiations) through December 31, 2017 and payment was made the next day.
During a subsequent meeting on July 12, 2017, the Gunstock negotiating team proposed a five-year MOA under which Gunstock would pay $100,000 annually plus 5 percent of operating income.  In a year during which Gunstock had negative operating income, a minimum payment of $100,000 would be made. The Delegation negotiating group, comprising Reps. Howard, Fraser and Plumer, requested a presentation be made to the entire Delegation detailing the operations and financial performance of Gunstock.  The presentation was intended to be an  informational session for the members of the Delegation, so they could vote on a long-term MOA with an educated opinion.  This presentation was made on Aug. 29, 2017, at which only Reps. Fields, Plumer, Varney and Spanos attended.  
At the Gunstock Commission’s regular meeting on Sept. 27, 2017, meeting, Rep. Howard informed the Commissioners the $100,000 plus 5 percent of income proposal was not acceptable to the Delegation.  Rep. Howard also informed the Commission that legislation had been filed in the New Hampshire House of Representative regarding the management of Gunstock.  He was not forthcoming as to the content or intent of the proposed legislation.  The legislation was filed without the knowledge of, nor in consultation with the Gunstock Commissioners, and several subsequent inquiries as to its language, purpose and intent of proposed changes have gone unanswered.
As of the date of this letter, the Gunstock Commission knows the following: legislation has been filed: “Regarding the management Gunstock,” sponsored by Reps. Fraser, Howard, Plumer and Abear, and its proposal to pay the County $100,000 plus 5 percent of net operating profits for the next five years has been rejected.
It is the opinion of the Commission that the Delegation is not negotiating in good faith as agreed upon when the Commission agreed to pay the County $175,000 and continue to negotiate towards a long-term agreement.  Although the Commission is open to continued negotiations, we believe until the purpose and intent of the proposed legislation are known, further discussions would not be meaningful. While it is difficult to opine of pending legislation the commissioners cannot see, based on the tone and actions of the delegation’s negotiating team, I believe it will not be in the best interest of either Gunstock or the county taxpayers.   
Sean Sullivan
Gunstock Area Commission

  • Written by Ginger Kozlowski
  • Category: Letters
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