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 artist’s work juried in to N.H. national exhibit: It’s Pastel!

"Sunset Over Mt. Sunapee" by Susan Parmenter

“Sunset Over Mt. Sunapee” – a pastel (7″ x 9″) by Susan Parmenter, Sunapee, will be on display in It’s Pastel, the Fifth Annual National Juried Exhibition of the Pastel Society of New Hampshire in Portsmouth, N.H., from October 26 to November 30, 2013.

Sunapee, N.H. — “Sunset Over Mt. Sunapee,” a pastel painting by Sunapee artist Susan Parmenter captures the brilliant lavender/blue hues of an early evening sky with the mountain in the distance.

The captivating landscape of an open green field and spectacular sky, as seen  from a busy location in New London, brings to mind the old adage: ‘red sky at night, shepherd’s delight.’

“Sunset Over Mt. Sunapee” was juried into It’s Pastel!, a national juried exhibition of the Pastel Society of New Hampshire. The show will be held at the Discover Portsmouth Center Gallery in Portsmouth, N.H., from October 26 through November 30, 2013. The opening reception is October 26, from 4 to 6 p.m.

This is a major juried show with works by pastel artists from New Hampshire and other states.

The event is free and open to the public.

Sunapee artist Susan Parmenter enjoys painting in both mediums of oil or pastel. Favorite subjects are landscape, portrait and figure, still life, animals, birds and nature. Parmenter is shown here completing a painting in pastel, “The Unusual Hat.” Photo by Joshua Bushueff Photography.

Parmenter, who paints in a realist style with oil or pastel, works from her home studio in Sunapee, where she has lived for nearly 30 years.

“Painting and drawing,” says Parmenter “take me on a journey of expression that I cannot achieve with words….Inspiration comes from anything that truly moves me or sparks emotion: light, shadow, color, mood, shape, movement and story.”

You can view Parmenter’s artwork at Tatewell Gallery, New London; Monadnock Fine Art Gallery, Keene; Vermont Artisan Designs, Brattleboro, Vermont; and at Susan Parmenter Fine Art (www.susanparmenter.com).

The Pastel Society of New Hampshire is a non-profit organization dedicated to the appreciation of soft pastels as a fine art medium. It also promotes the arts in New Hampshire and fosters connections among pastelists of all levels throughout the region and other states. For more information, go to www.pastelsocietynh.com.

Muster Field Farm will celebrate Farm Days

Muster Field sunflowers and barnNorth Sutton, N.H. — Muster Field Farm announcement — The August Farm Days Celebration at Muster Field Farm Museum in North Sutton will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 24 and 25, 2013.

Enjoy the museum’s largest event of the year, a two-‐day celebration of all things agricultural, historical, and farm-related: blacksmithing, basket making, weaving, rug braiding, square dancing and much more!

Explore an extensive display of antique tractors and trucks while children enjoy free hayrides and homemade ice cream. Cheer on the Grande Parade of antique vehicles each day at 3:00 and take your chances at Cow Flop Bingo on Saturday at 4:00. Don’t miss the famous roast beef supper Saturday from 5-7 p.m. in the Hardy-Pillsbury Barn. Tickets for the supper are $10 for adults and $5 for children, available by reservation (603‐927‐4440), or at the Farm Days information booth.

As always, fresh Muster Field Farm grown vegetables are available in the farm stand.

Farm Days hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. General admission is $5; free for members and for children 6 and under. Information and directions: 603-927-4276 or 603-927-4440, and at http://www.musterfieldfarm.com.

Trailwork volunteers needed in the Lake Sunapee Region

Mount Sunapee's Lake Solitude

The highland trails in the region’s state parks, such as on Mount Sunapee and on Mount Kearsarge in Winslow State Park, are seeing more and more hikers each year. Photo shows Lake Solitude, near the top of Mount Sunapee.

Hikers, walkers and outdoor enthusiasts: The hiking trails in the Lake Sunapee region need your help.

“The need is never-ending to identify and encourage new volunteers who can build and maintain the area’s trails,” says Gerry Gold for the Trails Committee of the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway Coalition.

SRKG, an all-volunteer non-profit organization, is looking for more volunteers to help keep up and improve the region’s trail system, which includes more than 75 miles of walking paths and hiking trails that cross Sunapee, Ragged and Kearsarge mountains and takes in three state forests and four state parks.

The Greenway connects state, town and private lands and gives hikers and walkers access to mountains, lakes, vistas and historical sites across the region.

These trails also connect with other popular hiking areas, such as Mount Monadnock.

Building a Trailworks Community

With organized and advertised events–eight trailwork events in four months–SRKG with support from the Quabbin to Cardigan Partnership hope to grow and strengthen the area’s trailwork community.

Each event will focus on specific improvements to local trails and teach trailwork skills to new volunteers.

The trailwork campaign will also help spread the word about the area’s trails, organizations and conserved lands, which are part of a larger landscape, the Q2C (Quabbin to Cardigan) region.

Volunteers Needed

On Tuesday, July 23, trailwork volunteers have three “help and learn” opportunities: easy, moderate and difficult.

  • Sunapee, Upper Sunapee Village to North Road (Easy) – Blaze a trail: Paint and plastic blazes show the way. To volunteer, contact Lisa Correa (c.lisa7716@gmail.com).
  • Goshen, Lower Summit Trail, Mount Sunapee State Park (Moderate) – Clean a waterbar: Rakes, shovels and a short walk in. Contact Dave Coulter (603-934-0148 )
  • Andover, Ragged Mountain from Proctor Academy (Difficult) – Move a trail requiring a 1.5 mile hike uphill with tools. Contact Gerry Gold (603-526-2857 or geecubed@yahoo.com)

Trailwork is also planned for July 24-26. The Student Conservation Association high school trail crew will be working on the Barlow Trail on Mount Kearsarge at Winslow State Park in Wilmot.  Also, SCA will do trailwork on July 28-31.

Increasing use of highland trails

The highland trails in the region’s state parks, such as on Mount Sunapee and on Mount Kearsarge in Winslow State Park, are seeing ever-increasing traffic including use by large groups that meet up to hike, explained Gold.

With the internet and on-line networking and easy access to information, the area is no longer a secret. The well-publicized areas are seeing many more hikers (of varying experience). More use means more wear and tear to the trails and the need for more trail maintenance.

Also, when new hiking opportunities open up with new or expanded land conservation, the call for experienced trail crews increases.

Ideally, a perfect trail crew member is someone who works on their favorite trails and pathways, Gold added.  However, “even if we only need three or four people on a given day, it may take an email list of 100 to find those people ready and able on that day.”

To learn more about joining the area’s Trailwork Community. Email trails@srkg.com.

For information about the Greenway, including SRKG membership ($10/yr), the SRKG Guide, and volunteer opportunities, visit www.srkg.com or email srkgc@srkg.com.

Kearsarge Regional Ecumenical Ministries receives grant

New London, NH — Kearsarge Regional Ecumenical Ministries (KREM) recently received a grant from the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund. Grant money will support KREM’s ongoing ecumenical mission of meeting emergency needs of people in the Kearsarge/Sunapee region when other services are not available.

The Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund awards grants to tax-exempt organizations, without regard to religious affiliation, for projects that help people in New Hampshire meet their basic needs.

The fund is operated by volunteers – lay men and women – who serve as Directors and who make recommendations to the Bishop of Manchester for grants to any organization in New Hampshire whose mission is consistent with its guidelines. The Fund raises money through solicitation of individuals, businesses and philanthropic organizations.

  • In 2001, five churches in New London – First Baptist Church, Christian Science Society, Kearsarge Community Presbyterian Church, Our Lady of Fatima Roman Catholic Church and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church – established KREM as an ecumenical response to local need.
  • During 2012, KREM provided $40,871 in assistance in 128 instances to households in Andover, Bradford, Danbury, Elkins, Georges Mills, New London, Salisbury, Springfield, Sunapee, Sutton, Warner and Wilmot.

KREM volunteers, called Stewards, work with those seeking help to find the best type of assistance for each situation. To meet the diverse needs of those seeking help, KREM has developed strong collaborative relationships with other area churches, businesses, organizations, individuals and towns.

The ongoing work and success of KREM lies in its continued financial support, its volunteers and a community willing to address the needs of its most vulnerable residents.

More information about KREM is available from any of the five founding churches based in New London. The mailing address is: KREM, P.O. Box 1465, New London, N.H. 03287.

Sunapee dedicates Herbert Welsh Trail on July 6

WelshTrailMapSunapee, NH — On  Saturday, July 6, at 2 p.m., Sunapee will dedicate a new hiking trail that honors Herbert Welsh (1851‐1941), the little‐known leader of land conservation efforts in the Sunapee Region.

The Sunapee Conservation Commission and Sunapee Historical Society, the event sponsors, invite the public to attend.

The dedication will be held along the marsh shore, a short walk in from the road. A hike to the top of Garnet Hill will follow the dedication.  Meet at the trail head parking area near intersection of Jobs Creek Road and Garnet Hill Road.

The Herbert Welsh Trail adds public hiking access to more of the town’s conservation land at Dewey Woods, including the Rogers Brook Marsh and the top of Garnet Hill. The trail was designed and completed last year.

Nature Art Walk

From July 1 to August 31, 2013, the trail will be marked with more than 30 images of historical Sunapee landscapes connected to Dewey Woods, Garnet Hill and Lake Sunapee, as well as Herbert Welsh’s art. The images will also be on display at the Sunapee Historical Society Museum at Sunapee Harbor.

“These historical images tell a story of the evolution of our landscape since 1900 and bring together a display of some of his paintings, many with Sunapee connections,” says Barbara Chalmers, Sunapee, who led the effort to create the Herbert Welsh Trail and the Nature Art Walk.

“Welsh was THE advocate and leader of conservation efforts for Mount Sunapee and the Dewey Woods,” says Chalmers.

The walking crusader Herbert Welsh (1851-1941). Image from his book The New Gentleman of the Road, which chronciled his 450-mile treks from Philadelphia to Sunapee.

The walking crusader Herbert Welsh (1851-1941). Image from his book “The New Gentleman of the Road” that describes his 450-mile treks from Philadelphia to Sunapee.

“A truly renaissance man, Welsh was an artist by training, writer, publisher, conservationist and civil rights advocate. He devoted his life to a variety of causes to aid others less fortunate and to conserve beautiful lands for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Welsh was a founder of the Indian Rights Association, which for 110 years advocated for the American Indian, the International Arbitration Commission, a forerunner of the World Court, the National Municipal League, which still exists today.

He met with three U.S. Presidents regarding Indian rights, civil service reform and good government policies, and in 1892, rode horseback through the Dakota Sioux Reservation with Teddy Roosevelt.

Welsh also was the founder of the Sunapee Chapter of the Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests.

The Walking Crusader

For many years, beginning at age 64, Welsh walked each June from his home in Philadelphia to Sunapee, then back in early fall.

His last ambitious project, in 1929, was to raise funds to build a conference center on land he had bought in Vermont for men and women of all faiths and cultures to meet and discuss the important societal concerns of the day. His dream went unrealized with the Great Depression of the 1930s, explains Chalmers.

Chalmers began researching Welsh’s life a few years back for the 2011 Mount Sunapee Centennial Celebration. She was amazed at what she discovered.

“He was so ahead of his time. His societal concerns became his life’s work: economic and social justice for the American Indian,  fighting corruption in government and the civil service, and land preservation for future generations.  Welsh not only led the effort to conserve land on Mount Sunapee, but he was responsible for conserving Dewey Woods too.”

Among the images along the Nature Art Walk is this “penny postcard” view from 1916: Garnet Hill looking across the lake to Mount Sunapee.

Penny Postcard Garnet Hill to Mt Sunapee

Related articles: New hiking trail in Sunapee honors Herbert Welsh (SunapeeNews.com)

NH Craftsmen’s Fair celebrates 80th birthday

TRichardFoyRakuDemohe Annual League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair celebrates its 80th birthday this year. From August 3 to 11, 2013, at Mount Sunapee Resort at Mount Sunapee State Park in Newbury, N.H., the fair will feature handmade crafts by more than 350 craftspeople, daily demonstrations, workshops for all ages, and special exhibits and tours. Hours: 10 a.m. to p.m., rain or shine!

For more info including ticket purchases and special lodging packages, visit the League website.

CraftWearExplore the League’s Living With Craft Exhibition, the CraftWear Exhibition of one-of-a-kind handmade fashions and accessories and the Sculpture Garden for outdoor living.

SculptureGardenGate

Photos courtesy of League of NH Craftsmen: Richard Foye giving a raku pot making demonstration, CraftWear, and Sculpture Garden gate.

Center for the Arts: All Things Wild and Wonderful

Dave Anderson

Dave Anderson, South Sutton, will be the guest speaker at All Things Wild and Wonderful, a program hosted by the Lake Sunapee Region Center for the Arts, at the Knowlton House, Sunapee Harbor, on April 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Lake Sunapee Region, N.H. — The Center for the Arts will celebrate New Hampshire’s natural heritage with words, music and art in All Things Wild and Wonderful on Friday, April 5, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Knowlton House, Sunapee Harbor.

The free program, a CFA’s First Friday event, will include poetry, music and a photography-illustrated talk by naturalist Dave Anderson of South Sutton, N.H. The public is invited to attend.

Anderson will speak about New Hampshire’s “incredible” natural surroundings and how it improves mental and physical health and quality of life.

Anderson designs and delivers education programs and field trips that teach forest and wildlife ecology, forest stewardship, and land conservation. He is the director of Education & Volunteer Services for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forest.

He also writes a column for the New Hampshire Sunday News and for the Forest Society and hosts the bi-monthly program Something Wild on New Hampshire Public Radio.

The evening will also include readings and music: “The Swan” by Mary Oliver  and Dianalee Velie’s “Claire de Lune” followed by Katelyn Croft’s harp rendition of Camille Saint-Saens’ “The Swan” and Debussy’s “Clair de Lune.” And CFA’s Literary Arts Guild will honor the winners of its Second Annual Springing into Poetry contest.

On the First Friday of each month, the Center for the Arts hosts free programs for the community: gallery openings and receptions, music events, and literary and theater nights. For more information, visit www. centerfortheartsnh.org.

Lake Sunapee Rowing Club: Invite to students

Lake Sunapee Rowing on the waterHigh school students, how about rowing with the Lake Sunapee Rowing Club? The Rowing Club will hold an “interest meeting” on Saturday, March 9, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m, at Pete’s Shed, River Road, Sunapee Harbor.

“High school students aged 14 and up are invited to join our competitive rowing team,” says LSRC coach Brenda Balenger. “Beginners are welcome. No experience necessary.”

LSRC LogoQuestions? Email: lakesunapeerowing@gmail.com.

Sunapee Sighting: Have you seen a bald eagle recently?

Eagle2

Sunapee, N.H. – Have you seen a bald eagle recently?

Might an eagle pair be in the process of establishing a breeding territory in the Lake Sunapee watershed?

A recent Sunapee Sighting posted on SunapeeNews.com prompted Rem Mastin, Sunapee, to comment:

“Speaking of Sightings: A few days ago, while heading toward Newport, on Rt. 11 before Rt 103, close to the Treatment Plant road [in Sunapee], I was distracted for a moment as a beautiful BALD EAGLE flew right down the Sugar River by the highway. Did anyone else have any current sightings in that area?”

In mid-December (2012), Susan Parmenter, Sunapee, who is a keen observer of nature and birds, snapped this photo of a bald eagle on a patch of ice in Job’s Creek, Lake Sunapee. At the time, the lake had not yet frozen over. Several days later, she also saw a bald eagle flying along the Sugar River in Claremont, N.H.

A bald eagle “soaring over the Newbury side of Lake Sunapee near the State Beach,” around 4 p.m. on February 16, was posted on BaldEagleInfo.com. And Kittie Wilson, author of “All Things Pleasant on the Lake” wrote about bald eagles sightings this winter around Pleasant Lake in New London.

Bald eagles in the Connecticut River region

The Sugar River, a tributary of the Connecticut River, flows west from the outlet of Lake Sunapee at Sunapee Harbor, along Wendell Marsh, and then through Newport and Claremont. The Sugar River joins the Connecticut across from Ascutney, Vermont.

All tributaries of the Connecticut River north of the Massachusetts state line are part of a “recovery initiative” — the Connecticut River Bald Eagle Restoration and Habitat Protection Project, Chris Martin writes in NH Audubon Afield (Spring 2013). Martin is a senior biologist at NH Audubon. He coordinates a statewide bald eagle monitoring and management program under a contract between NH Audubon and NH Fish & Game.

“An amazing resettlement by eagles is underway on the Connecticut, as pairs reclaim ancestral breeding areas that have been vacant for decades,” Martin reports.

See: Bald Eagles: New Hampshire’s regal predators reclaim the Connecticut by Chris Martin

“Recovery of the bald eagle population across the Granite State mirrors the rebound taking place in the Connecticut River watershed,” according to Martin. “Across New Hampshire in 2012, biologists confirmed 35 territorial pairs of eagles. Twenty of these pairs had productive nests, and a total of 33 young eagles fledged.”

In New England, adult bald eagles live essentially year-round within their breeding territories. They can be found near their nests in any season. Nests tend to be located high in white pines or cottonwoods and close to predictable food resources found in the always-open water below dams, near rapids, or in tidal areas. Other pairs capitalize on food sources available at livestock farms or local highway department road-kill dumps. An eagle pair maintains their nest throughout the year, but nest-building activities really ramp up as the breeding season arrives in February. Most pairs in New Hampshire will lay eggs in March, hatch young in April, and fledge full-sized 11 to 12-week-old juveniles in July. – Senior Biologist Chris Martin for NH Audubon

To comment or if you have an eagle sighting or other Sunapee Sighting to share, please leave a reply.

See NH Audubon (for info and birding resources, including sightings and list serves) and NH Fish & Game.

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

Winter tapestry: Snow weaves across Lake Sunapee

A winter tapestry: A snow weaving on the ice that forecasts more is to come...

A winter tapestry: snow falls steadily this morning and weaves across the ice forecasting more… much more to come. Winter Storm Nemo brings blizzard warnings to New England.  12-24″ of snow predicted for New Hampshire. Photo of Jobs Creek, Lake Sunapee.

Ice warnings issued for Lake Sunapee

The Lake Sunapee Protective Association and the town of Newbury, New Hampshire, are warning people about unsafe ice conditions on Lake Sunapee.

“The changing temperatures have resulted in areas of very thin ice in certain areas of Lake Sunapee,” says the alert issued by Newbury on the town website and in a public notice announcement. “The ice is very thin in the area between Bay Point and The Fells and those using the lake for winter activities should keep away from this area as well as being cautious in other areas of the lake.”

The lake association released an ice warning on February 6. LSPA Executive Director June Fichter wrote:

“We have reports that the lake ice is very thin, therefore unsafe, in the northern section of Lake Sunapee, between Tilson Point and Herrick Cove. We also have reports of thin ice between Bay Point and the Fells, south of Minute Island.”

A nor’easter, expected to hit the region Friday into Saturday, will likely cover the lake with a fresh blanket of snow, which will hide and insulate thin ice below.

Although Lake Sunapee may look safe, these ice warning suggest otherwise. Caution advised.

How many birds are in your backyard? N.H. Audubon survey is Feb. 9 and 10

 Nuthatch

In a backyard in Sunapee, a Red-breasted Nuthatch finds a special winter treat: a pine cone loaded with suet and seed.

Stock up those bird feeders and dig out your binoculars for New Hampshire Audubon’s Backyard Winter Bird Survey. This annual statewide survey will take place Saturday, February 9, and Sunday, February 10.

Biologists need help from citizens all over the Granite State to get a clear picture of what’s really happening with our winter birds.

Anyone can take part in the Backyard Winter Bird Survey by counting the birds in their own backyard on the survey weekend and reporting on-line or sending the results on a special reporting form to NH Audubon.

Forms are also available at NH Audubon centers in Auburn, Concord and Manchester, and on-line.  at www.nhaudubon.org under the Birding page.

Data from the Backyard Winter Bird Survey is used to track changes in the distribution and abundance of many species. Each year about 1,300 observers across the state count the birds coming to their feeders.

“The strength of the survey is that we can look at trends over the long term,” says Survey Coordinator, Rebecca Suomala. “We now have more than 25 years of data and we can see the patterns of ups and downs in different bird species.”

Last year, there were record numbers of Red-bellied Woodpeckers and near record Carolina Wrens, both southern species that have expanded their ranges northward and are now common on the Survey. Eastern Bluebirds and American Robins were also tallied in record numbers.

“The Survey numbers show these two species increasing since 1997. They used to be harbingers of spring but are now increasingly found all winter, feeding on fruit” says Suomala.

There were 74 species were recorded overall in 2012.

“This year we are expecting high numbers of Common Redpolls, a northern finch that tends to invade New Hampshire every other winter,” according to Dr. Pamela Hunt, Senior Biologist at NH Audubon. Hunt also suggests people watch for Pine Grosbeaks, another periodic winter visitor that feeds on fruit and has been reported in many areas of the state this fall and early winter.

Reports of a lack of birds are just as valuable as reports of many birds.

“If everyone reported only when they have a lot of birds, we wouldn’t be able to see the declines,” says Suomala. The most important thing is to participate each year regardless of how many or how few birds you have. This provides a consistent long-term set of data that shows both the ups and downs.

All New Hampshire residents are encouraged to take part.

Results from past years are on the NH Audubon website.

For more information about the Backyard Winter Bird Survey, please call NH Audubon at 603-224-9909 or go to the web site at www.nhaudubon.org and click on Birding.

Note: There are two bird surveys in February. NH Audubon’s Backyard Winter Bird Survey that takes place in New Hampshire only, and the Great Backyard Bird Count, a nation-wide web-based survey on February 17-20, 2012; www.birdcount.org.

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

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