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Railroad holds more economic potential than walking trail

To The Daily Sun,

I've read with some interest in the October 26th issue of your paper, the "End of the Line?" article. After digesting what I have read, I realized what a huge mistake that could be in ultimately taking some 7 to 8 miles of track out of the Lincoln/Concord railroad corridor.

The following are some of my thoughts as to the reason I feel that way. I look at Lake Winnipesaukee and the smaller lakes as the basis of the economy in our region. Some of the towns near and around our lakes have taken advantage of this more so than others. Take, for instance Meredith. Look what Rusty McClear and many others have had the foresight to accomplish. The hotels, restaurants, Main Street, a new Mount Washington port, the Winnipesaukee Playhouse and the events that go on year-round. They could possibly create some more public dock space, but they have everything going in the right direction. All that attracts people. It's great for us as residents, second home taxpayers and the people that come here to visit because of what Meredith has to offer.

The monies that have been spent as of late on Lakeside Avenue in The Weirs is a great example of what you can do and not spend a ton of money. Great job. I hope that's only a start. The capacity of the city docks at The Weirs are only rivaled possibly by Wolfeboro. The Weirs area has the base parts to really come into its own with some forethought.

Now let's move to Lakeport. Lakeport has at least three very good restaurants, and a beautiful hotel. It also lies on the shores of Lake Opechee and Paugus Bay. Also, the people of Lakeport take pride in their section of town. Lakeport is ripe for more good things to happen.

Now let's move along the line another mile or so south to that beautiful railroad station in downtown Laconia. The powers-that-be are spending some $17 million-plus redoing the old Colonial Theatre. How are you going to support that expense without the whole downtown being a destination. Downtown Laconia needs a lot more than the rehab of the Colonial Theatre. It needs to become a destination and get the people there that will spend the money. There is some good food, but not enough, there are a few nice shops, but not enough.

Now, let's put this all together, Meredith has done an incredible job. The Weirs is changing. Lakeport needs more positive change. Downtown Laconia needs to get get beyond the stigma of the urban renewal of the seventies and look at the big picture.

I tell you what, there are so many boaters, second home owners and residents on our lakes and surrounding areas that look for excuses to use their boat, ride a train, enjoy the arts, shop, enjoy a great meal or just have a great day.

My belief is the railroad could play a huge part in the success of this nine or ten miles of the corridor. This idea could extend as far north as Plymouth or as far south to Tilton and Exit 20. Tie these ideas in with vehicles like Molly the Trolley in Wolfeboro. There are hundreds of great things we can do to ultimately make the whole Concord/Lincoln Corridor a true destination

By no means am I saying these ideas are the cure-all. It's the tie-in of many good ideas that make things work.

I'm not saying the WOW Trail isn't a good idea, I think it is. But if you're going to walk all the way from Belmont to Meredith, remember, it's a long walk back. The railroad is a great tourist attraction and has been in existence since the mid-1800s. Why would someone ever suggest that it should be eliminated and replaced with a bike/walking trail.

It appears to me that sometimes we have too many "small thinkers" in positions that should be filled by "big thinkers."

I say that with total respect to anyone who works to make things better for all of us. And I thank every one of you for that.

John Goodhue
Gilford

  • Written by Mike Mortensen
  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 222

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: 295