Sunapee Seniors to host Health Insurance Marketplace session

HealthCare_have questionsSunapee, N.H. — The Sunapee Seniors will host an educational program about the new Health Insurance Marketplace on Monday, January 13, 2014, from 1 to 2 p.m., at the Lake Sunapee United Methodist Church, Lower Main St., Sunapee. The AARP-led session will explore the implications of the new Marketplace for individuals and families. This event is free and open to the public.

“There’s a lot to learn about the new Health Insurance Marketplace.  And it can be difficult to figure out what it means for you and your family.  That is why Sunapee Seniors is hosting a free one-hour educational session for residents of Greater Sunapee Area,” the release says. “Come and learn about coverage that’s available from the new Health Insurance Marketplace and find out whether you qualify for tax credits.”

“Just about everyone has questions about how the changes will affect them personally, whether they have health insurance, don’t have health insurance, or are covered by Medicare,” says the announcement. “This one-hour educational session will provide an overview of the Health Insurance Marketplace:  who is eligible, how they enroll, tax credits, and options for those with limited incomes.”

For additional information on the Affordable Care Act, visit AARP: www.HealthLawAnswers.org and www.HealthLawFacts.org.

Sunapee celebrates covered bridge opening Sept. 15

SunapeePedBridge2013Sunapee, N.H. — “Following the ribbon cutting, be among the first to cross the bridge!”

Project Sunapee and the Town of Sunapee Bridge Committee invite the public to the dedication and opening of the new pedestrian bridge in Sunapee Harbor village on Sunday, September 15, 2013.

The festivities start at noon along the banks of the Sugar River on River Road.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will include recognizing honored guests and thanking all who donated monies and materials to the project and, most importantly,  thanking the volunteers who actually built the bridge.

The celebration will include music by the Time Travelers and the Whiskey Stones, refreshments from Rocky Cannoli’s hot dog cart and Sanctuary Dairy Farm ice cream, and lemonade and cookies from Sunapee bakers.

For additional information, bridge history and photos, visit: www.projectsunapee.org.

Courtesy photo.

Read related article: Sunapee sets date for placing covered bridge (SunapeeNews.com)

Big happenings at Sunapee Harbor this September

Sunapee opens covered bridge at Sunapee Harbor on Sept. 15

Sunapee dedicates its new pedestrian bridge at Sunapee Harbor on Sunday, September 15, 2013, at noon. The announcement invites the public to gather on the banks of the Sugar River for the ribbon cutting and the opening of the bridge, which connects River Road and Main Street next to the Harbor House Livery.

For more information, visit Project Sunapee, Sunapee Bridge.

Lake Sunapee Chowder Challenge logo

Who has the best chowder around?

Come to the Sunapee Chowder Challenge on Sept. 29.

The Sunapee Parent Teacher Organization will be holding its 13th Annual Sunapee Chowder Challenge on Sunday, September 29, 2013, from noon to 3pm at Sunapee Harbor.

The tasty competition attracts local restaurants and chowder enthusiasts to determining who has the best chowder around!

Last year, The Farmer’s Table, Grantham, won in three categories: Judge’s, People’s, and Kid’s choice awards.

Sunapee’s Sanctuary Dairy Farm with Rich  Ducharme and to Lil’ Red Baron restaurant, Newport, were also recognized for their chowder.

Sunapee Harbor boat ramp to close for Chowder Challenge

The Sunapee Harbor boat ramp will be closed on Sunday, September 29 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the Sunapee Chowderfest held at the harbor.

The police will direct the public to use the Georges Mills boat ramp during this time. The selectmen voted to close the ramp at their August 26 meeting.


Sunapee sets date for placing covered bridge

Photo courtesy of Project Sunapee.

Photo courtesy of Project Sunapee.

Sunapee, NH — The idea has been around for decades, but now it’s about to become a reality.

A new pedestrian covered bridge will soon span the Sugar River in Sunapee Harbor village.

The wooden bridge will be moved from River Road, where it has been under construction, onto its abutments that straddle the river on Friday, July 19, according to a town announcement.

The day the bridge is raised and set on the abutments “will be the day you hear cheers over Sunapee,” said Donna Gazelle, a founding member of Project Sunapee, the fiscal agent for the project.

“The exact time that the bridge will be lifted into place is unknown due to the amount of work that is necessary to set up the crane, and due to the time that is necessary to prepare the rigging that will support the bridge during the lift,” the town alert said.

Long-term community planning and an array of volunteer efforts including fund-raising has made the covered bridge a reality.

All construction is being done by Brent Stocker, Sunapee, and his son Josh Stocker, Bradford, with an able crew of volunteers.

The main structural components were designed by and purchased from Western Wood Structures in Oregon, renown experts in the field, and all other materials have been donated by local businesses.

A pedestrian bridge connecting River Road and Main Street at Sunapee Harbor was first envisioned in a town plan in 1985.

A community design charette completed in 2007 that studied the old town hall (Harbor House Livery) and village traffic flow re-enforced the bridge plan. And recent focus on re-use of the town’s Harbor House Livery gave renewed support for the project.

Time for lifting the bridge

“If all goes as planned, and if the weather cooperates, we anticipate the actual lift will take place between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.,” according to the town announcement.

The town also addressed traffic and pedestrian safety that is “critical for success.”

“The Town of Sunapee Police Department will be on site to assist with traffic and pedestrian control. Safety measures will be implemented at the intersection of River Road and High Street, along River Road from Maple Street westerly towards the bridge, and behind the Livery House.”

“River Road will be closed to all through vehicular traffic from Maple Street to High Street during this event. Residents and media personnel will be permitted to enter within the Work Zone of the project.”

“Residents and media personnel who wish to observe the activities will be allowed to do so from locations that will be outside the perimeter of the Work Zone. Public parking for this event is per all applicable Town Ordinances,” according to the town.

For more photos and information about the Sunapee Bridge Project, visit: Project Sunapee.

Take-Back Day collects old, unused prescription drugs

Take Back 2013On Saturday, April 27, the Sunapee Police Department and other police departments and community partners across the state will take part in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take-Back Day.

The program provides the public a free and safe disposal method for potentially dangerous prescription drugs that are expired, unused or unwanted.

This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Collections will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the following locations in Sullivan County:

  • Charlestown Police Department, 2 Claremont Road, Charlestown
  • Claremont Savings Bank, 145 Broad Street, Claremont
  • Grantham Police Department, 300 Route 10 South, Grantham
  • Sullivan County Complex, 14 Main Street, Newport
  • Sunapee Police Department, 9 Sargent Road, Sunapee
  • Washington Police Department, 5 Halfmoon Pond Road, Washington

The program has both a public safety and environmental protection focus.

Keeping drugs off the streets

“Many people are not aware that medicines that are no longer needed but remain in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse, including theft,” the Sunapee Police Department release said. “Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.”

A majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, according to studies.

“Drug overdoses have been rising in the state and nationally for more than a decade,” said Liz Hennig, coordinator of Communities United Regional Network for Sullivan County.

“More New Hampshire residents now die of overdose than car crashes. Most young people who get hooked on these drugs start by getting them from someone’s medicine cabinet. If we dispose of these medications safely, we help keep our young people free from addiction and drug abuse.”

Protecting the environment

Many people do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash.

Studies show pharmaceutical residues in waterways and in wildlife.

Flushing unused prescription drugs down the toilet or sink drain or putting them in the trash is an unsafe option in many instances. Human medication and other chemicals have been measured in fish, and can result in behavioral changes and a reduction in male fish populations.

The drugs can also affect bacteria in ways that could change our entire ecosystem and spawn antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

Community take-back programs help keep these drugs out of water systems and the environment.

Conservation District extends annual plant sale

Sullivan County, N.H. — The 2013 Sullivan County Conservation District Plant Sale is underway and due to the high level of interest the deadline for orders is now April 4, a week later than previously advertised.

View the Plant Sale catalog and order form via the County website (Conservation District) : www.sullivancountynh.gov.

Plant pick up will be at Log Cabin Nursery in Claremont on May 4.

The plant sale is the Conservation District’s biggest fundraiser and supports their activities throughout the year, including educational workshops, environmental outreach to schools and communities, tours and programs.

The sale offers healthy and hardy plants at good prices. The selection includes: fruits (apples, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and peaches), perennial vegetables, (rhubarb, asparagus, horseradish and ostrich ferns – for grow-your-own “fiddleheads!”), hardwood and softwood trees, and wildlife plants.

Special and hard-to-find ornamentals are new this year. The offering lists six named varieties of lilacs (early-, mid- and late-blooming), an azalea, and two kinds of magnolia trees.

For more information contact SCCD District Manager Lionel Chute at 603-863-4297 or e-mail: conservationdistrict@sullivancountynh.gov.

Opinion: Right-Sizing the Federal Government

By Mark Fernald

Washington is trapped in an endless fiscal debate.  Republicans argue that the Federal government is too big.  Democrats argue that revenues are too low.  The fight is over money, but the larger debate is over the size and scope of the government.

Before we line up on one side or the other, we should look at recent history.Over the past forty years, federal spending has averaged a little over 20% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

When the economy has been strong, federal spending as a percentage of GDP has dipped below 20%.  When the economy has been weaker, that figure has been several points higher.During the same forty years, federal revenues have averaged about 18% of GDP.  As a result, the federal government was in deficit for all but three of those years.

This fluctuation is to be expected.  When times are tough, spending increases for safety net programs, such as Medicaid, food stamps, and unemployment benefits.  The opposite happens when the economy booms, such as in the 1990s. Continue reading

Sunapee voters approve $975,000 for new library

Voters in Sunapee yesterday approved a $6.065 million town budget and all town warrant articles including Article 11, to borrow $975,000 to help build a new library. The article for the library required a 3/5th vote; it passed by 12 votes, 601-380.

AbbottLibraryvotesign_CCThe proposed $2.7 million library, to be built next to Sunapee Center on Sargent Road, will be funded by a mix of private (60%) and public funds (40%), according to the library’s funding plan.

Voters also passed a school budget of $10.7 million and all other school warrant articles except one. A request for $270,000 to improve and expand the art room at the high school failed, 533-413.

In the selectboard race, incumbents Fred Gallup (697) and Emma Smith (515) defeated challenger Veronica Hastings (362) for two, three-year terms. This was the only contest in town this year.

Michael Ripley and Brian Garland were elected to return to the Sunapee school board for three-year terms.

See the 2013 town and school ballot results via the town website.

Capital Comments: Gov. Hassan unveils budget Feb. 14

Capital Comments from State Senator Bob Odell

The long wait to learn what Governor Maggie Hassan is putting into her budget will end on Thursday.  Promptly at 10 o’clock in the morning, she will be introduced into Representatives Hall and with little ceremony will be introduced again for the purpose of making her budget address.

This happens in New Hampshire every two years.  And the Governor’s address sets the framework for the work the House and Senate will do before passing a two year budget in June for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Continue reading

Capital Comments: Briefings give budget writers plenty to ponder

Senator Bob OdellCapital Comments from State Senator Bob Odell

One newspaper’s front page headline on Tuesday read, “For NH budget writers, it’s doom and gloom.”

The article was about a long day of briefings for House and Senate Finance and Ways and Means Committee members. Every two years the House and Senate invite in economic experts and analysts to put things in perspective as the budget writing process is beginning.

I remind my colleagues that the Governor will take the first step next month when she announces her budget plan in an address to a joint session of the legislature. That address will set out her spending plans that will tell us her policy goals. And she will explain her predictions on revenue for the next two years beginning on July 1.

Here is some of the news legislators heard.

First, economic growth is anemic. It is taking us longer to recover from the recession which officially ended months ago. And New Hampshire for the first time in memory is recovering more slowly than other states in New England except for Rhode Island. New England is also recovering more slowly than the rest of the country. That’s not good. Continue reading

Capital Comments: Hassan sworn in as governor, sets out priorities

Capital Comments from State Senator Bob Odell

Inaugurations of New Hampshire governors are always exciting and each one ties us to our long history of democracy as a state and nation.

Governor Maggie Hassan, a former State Senate colleague of mine for four years, is the second woman to be governor of New Hampshire and the first Democrat to replace another Democrat since the 19th century. Last Thursday, she was also the first woman sworn in by a female Supreme Court Chief Justice. Continue reading

Capital Comments: Senator Bradgon announces committee assignments

Capital Comments from State Senator Bob Odell

Organization Day, held on the first Wednesday in December in election years, is the opportunity for the new Senate and House to meet for the first time.  It is an occasion for legislators to share a special day with family and friends. Continue reading

Capital Comments: N.H. biennial budget process underway

Capital Comments from State Senator Bob Odell

The sparring over the size of the state’s next biennial budget began last week.  Over three days, agency heads offered their wish lists for appropriations for the two year budget cycle that begins on July 1.

Presentations at the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2014-15 Operating Budget Hearing, one of several steps in the budget process, gave department heads a chance to tell their stories publicly for the first time.  They will have plenty of other opportunities down the road.

The agency heads were providing the Governor, legislators and the public with what they think the costs will be to run the current programs in each department for the next two years. Their “maintenance” budgets do not take into consideration any new programs or activities … they simply keep programs as they are.

What does that get you?  Adding up all agency requests, if approved and they won’t be, there would be additional spending of $3.3 billion over the next two years, an increase of 26 percent over current spending levels. Continue reading

Capital Comments: N.H. Medicaid and the new healthcare law

Capital Comments from State Senator Bob Odell

A constituent that I hear from periodically wants me to introduce a bill to nullify the new federal health care plan.  He writes, “Obama Care must be nullified within our state to eliminate the vast, new, unconstitutional powers over health care …”

In the days following the election, some legislators, government officials, stakeholders like insurance companies and health care providers and the media are focusing on the implications for New Hampshire of the Affordable Care Act, which even the President has said is appropriate to call Obama Care.   About 100 of them turned out last week at the Department of Health and Human Services headquarters to be briefed on the part of the new law dealing with Medicaid.

HHS Commissioner Nick Toumpas introduced the program explaining that while the U.S. Supreme found the new law constitutional, the federal government cannot force states to increase the number of people on Medicaid, the program that provides services to indigent people.  Commissioner Toumpas said policy makers, the legislature and the Governor need to determine whether or not we will expand the number of people on our Medicaid rolls.

After support for public schools, Medicaid is the next largest spending line in the budget.  To serve about 120,000 Medicaid eligible New Hampshire residents, the state spends $600 million annually that is matched by another $600 million from the federal government. Continue reading

State Representative-elect Linda Tanner thanks voters

Letter to the Editor

I would like to thank the people of Cornish, Croydon, Grantham, Plainfield, Newport, Sunapee, Springfield, and Unity in District 9 Floterial.  Thanks to all who supported me, hosted signs, sent donations and, most of all, voted for me as your State Representative. I look forward to serving all the people of my district as well as the people of New Hampshire to restore balance and common sense to our House of Representatives.  As a citizen legislator, I will keep your interests at heart and I will work hard to represent you and our communities to solve N.H. issues.

Linda Tanner, Georges Mills, N.H.
State Representative Elect
District 9 Sullivan County

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