Women 'get her done' at Habitat house

women build 4 Volunteers hammer framed walls together at the Women Build site in Tamworth on May 13. (MIRANDA PIEDRA PHOTO)By Miranda Piedra

TAMWORTH — Forty-one women in matching blue shirts gathered on Lot 41 of Sokokis Pines on a recent Saturday to help build a home for Mount Washington Valley Habitat for Humanity.

The volunteers constructed and hoisted walls that brought a slab foundation one step closer to becoming a home for recipient Greg Tuttle and his two children.

MWV Habitat is one of the few affiliates in the state invited to participate in Women Build, which takes place throughout the week leading up to Mother's Day.

Every year since 1991, Habitat has provided opportunities for women to give back to their communities through Women Build.

Last month, 19 of the volunteers attended a clinic at Lowe's, whose corporate office gives $5,000 grants to eligible Habitat chapters.

Barbara Reilly, vice president of the local chapter, worked with Lowe's to prepare volunteers for the Women Build Day.

According to Reilly, "Since 1994, MWV Habitat has built 18 houses, providing 38 families with simple and decent homes in which 56 children have roofs over their heads where they can be raised in a safe, secure and stable environment."

By 10 a.m. on May 13, the women got down to work.

According to Anthony Ruddy, the MWV Habitat board member who delivered opening remarks at the site, the Lowe's clinic "is the perfect preparation to have the women hit the ground running."

This was Ruddy's third year participating in Women Build.

He opened with, "This is going to be fun for all the guys who are here today ... because we don't have to do anything," because during Women Build Day, men are only supposed to step in and help when asked.

Once the laughs subsided, a woman in the crowd shouted back, "Except tell women what to do!"

The women then divided themselves up into various groups — making headers for windows; cutting needed lumber; drilling holes for electrical wires; building and hoisting wall frames; applying siding to a small shed; or sheathing finished walls.

"Galvanized or not?" was heard often during the morning but less so as the day went on as the volunteers became more experienced.

While the first wall frame was mostly prearranged, with the wood laid out in the shape needed for the build, the following frames were quickly arranged and tackled by the women themselves.

After several hours, the workers broke for lunch to enjoy pizza, sandwich wraps and a variety of desserts provided by Carroll County Altrusa. The non-profit service organization has served breakfast and lunch to Women Build volunteers for the past seven years, said Kathy Somerville, president of CCA.

CCA started working with the project because Somerville's stepfather, Ted Pettengill, was one of the founders of MWV Habitat back in 1994. After his death in 2005, Somerville wanted to keep his memory alive and "keep the enthusiasm" for Habitat going.

The excitement was visible and the constant hammering, as well as laughter, was proof of it.

Among the volunteers was Tuttle.

Tuttle grew up in Effingham and moved to North Conway when he was 12. Tuttle has lived in the area ever since, except for the four years he spent in the military, and he currently works for Jesse E. Lyman Inc. of North Conway.

Despite his working with the company for only the past seven months, his employer has been very accommodating and understanding of the commitment Tuttle has made to MWV Habitat. After all, this is "a hand up, not a hand out," as Habitat says, and Tuttle must be able to deliver the 300 sweat equity hours he agreed to.

Every applicant to Habitat must be willing to put in at least 200 hours of work on a Habitat project. Friends and family can complete the remaining 100 hours, and Tuttle's 10-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son also can earn hours by writing thank-you notes and cards.

Tuttle was familiar with the process because his brother was a Habitat home recipient a few years back.

Looking around at the sea of blue-shirted volunteers at the site, he said, "It's nice to see it going up and how much effort was actually put into it — it's quite a bit."

His girlfriend, Kate Armington of Lovell, Maine, chimed in, "And to see the inside of the walls, see what goes into a house — it's amazing."

Most Habitat homes are single-story ranch homes, with three beds and one bathroom, totaling 1,100 square feet. But different designs are sometimes used due to the peculiarities of the site itself.

To give Tuttle an idea of what his home will look like, Ruddy's daughter Grace, an eighth-grader, took the building plans and made a 3-D rendering of the finished product.

Pictures of her rendering were displayed on an electrical box at the site.

Once construction is complete, keys will be ceremonially handed over to Tuttle, who will continue working with Habitat.

Ruddy said that while he does not know exactly how many hours will be required to complete this house, he did say last year's build was completed by Nov. 15."

"That is approximately 40 workdays. In general, we try to have the homeowner in the house by the end of the year, but that is not guaranteed," Ruddy said.

The work of MWV Habitat is a continuous process, and even though Women Build Day was a success, there is still plenty to do. That's why volunteers are still encouraged to arrive on the site on Thursdays (build days), Reilly said.

"We do have volunteer days for groups when requested," she continued, in case Thursday is not convenient. Another way to help Habitat is to make donations or purchases from the organization's home furnishing sales.

According to Sam T. Johnson, secretary of the MWV board, the organization usually conducts three big sales each summer. They are "our major fundraising mechanism other than grants," he said.

So, he said, "if you have donations, appliances, building materials, miscellaneous stuff and furniture, of course, we'd be grateful if you'd think of us instead of going to the dump with it."

The next home furnishing sale is Friday, June 2, from 2-7 p.m. and Saturday, June 3, from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Bear Peak Lodge at Attitash in Bartlett.

According to MWV Habitat Board President Dick Ficke, "John Lowell, president of Attitash, very graciously allows us the use of the lodge for the entire summer."

For more information on the build, the yard sale or MWV Habitat in general, go to www.mwv habitat.org, call (603) 356-3832 Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

New venue for Expo 17 hailed by many

5-23-17 Expo 17 B2B expo 2Cranmore Mountain's Beth Carpenter (left) and Alexis Brochu greet visitors to the resort's booth at Expo 17 in the North Conway Community Center Tuesday. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)PBy Tom Eastman

CONWAY — The consensus among local business vendors and attendees appeared to be that the new venue was a hit for the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce's Expo 17, held Tuesday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., in the North Conway Community Center.

"I think it's fantastic here at the center. I just popped in. It's been busy from what I can see. We have a booth here, and I think it's great," said Ben Wilcox, general manager and president of Cranmore Mountain Resort.

"I think it's good to change things up once in a while. It's a good downtown location, and it looks like attendance is telling the story. It's good to see this new facility being used for a community purpose, and it's great for the town."

The expo was held inside and on the grounds of the 2015-built center, located adjacent to the former center that is being turned into a branch of the Franconia-based New England Ski Museum.

In the past, the annual expo was held at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods.

"I think that it's good that employees can come and spend time here in shifts, without making a whole day of it," said Steve Cote, president of the Chalmers Insurance Group. "As a business owner, I appreciate that members of my staff can come and spend time, and then go back to work.

"Even though the Mount Washington Hotel is a grand venue, I appreciate this being in town," Cote said. "It allows us to see everybody — you're forced into running into one another, which is good for camaraderie and community spirit."

He said the new centrally located venue at the North Conway Community Center is more apt to draw the general public versus the vendor-to-vendor aspect that typified the Omni Mount Washington Resort experience. Still, he said, organizers should think of ways to draw in more members of the general public.

"Possibly we could do giveaways or have celebrities ... This location allows us to think outside the box a bit more," said Cote.

Tad Furtado, the chamber's president and associate at Conway Village Dental, and Chris Bellis, vice president and owner of the Cranmore Inn, both gave thumbs-up to the new venue, as did Marla and Rob Casella of Northledge Technologies Inc. and Steve LaRusso of Heartland Payment Systems.

"I think it's great for the community. There's a lot of traffic. The quality is similar, but the clientele is a bit different in that, in addition to vendors, it seems that more local people are here, which is good for our particular market," said Rob Casella.

"We've made several new contacts," added Marla.

Added LaRusso, "I've seen several people here today whom I have not seen up north at the hotel in years, so that has been good for us."

The expo featured more than 50 booths and several seminar workshops. The entrance housed the Take it Easy Lounge provided by Easy 95.3-FM to foster conversation and collaboration, with tunes and couches provided by Greg Frizzell and staff of Mount Washington Radio Group.

It also featured a Wellness Corner presented by Memorial Hospital; an IT Corner presented by Northledge Technologies and Genuity Networks; a Business Services Corner presented by Heartland Payment Systems; and the Energy Corner presented by Eastern Propane.

That evening, Expo 17 was partnering with The Conway Daily Sun to present the "Best in the Valley" awards at the adjacent North Conway Country Club's Ledgeview Grill.

Businesses were nominated in each category of Recreation, Adult Beverages, Culture and Community, Business and Retailers, Food and Dining, Health and Beauty, and Professional Service, were open to voting from April 25-May 7. Winners were announced at the awards ceremony.

Janice Crawford, executive director of the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, wished to thank its Premier Sponsors, the Mount Washington Radio Group and TD Bank, for their continued support.

For more information, visit www.mtwashingtonvalley.org.

Wheels: Leaks and drips

By Eric Meltzer

Leaks, weeps and drips. Many cars suffer from them — some even came from the factory leaking.

Some cars leak so badly that some owners believe changing the oil filter periodically and topping the oil off is all that's required for maintenance, and if the leak stops, it's out of oil, a simple way to keep an eye on the level.

I say all this in jest, although I know some drivers who actually live by this technique.

The origin of the leak will be defined by the fluid, and many different fluids are used or consumed in the average car. We all know that engines require oil, which begins as an translucent, brown thick liquid but rapidly darkens with age and contamination. Automatic transmissions typically use a red fluid, which, like oil, darkens with time and contaminants.

Power steering fluid is less viscous than engine oil and lighter in color unless it's a power steering system that uses ATF — automatic transmission fluid, as in may older American cars and trucks, or mineral oil as in many European cars.

Gear oil, for manual transmissions and gear boxes, such as differentials, is usually a very viscous substance resembling a thick oil. Brake fluid starts out clear but darkens with age and contamination, too; however, it is also hydroscopic, meaning it attracts water and it's also corrosive, so don't spill or drip it on paint. Hydraulic clutches also use brake fluid to operate. Are you noticing a trend with fluids? Darkening with age and contamination? That's one reason they should be changed regularly.

Radiator fluid, also known as anti-freeze or coolant, used to be the classic green watery liquid that came in 1-gallon concentrated bottles but now includes nearly every color of the rainbow for various applications and specifications. Yes, green still exists but yellow is considered universal or "global" while red, blue, and orange are out there for specific cooling systems to reduce corrosion, improve lubricity without swelling rubber or synthetic seals, prevent gelling and deposits, and inject confusion into the simple act of topping off your radiator. How did we survive back in the days of alcohol and water in an open system? The easiest way to identify gasoline and fuel is, yes, they smell like gasoline and fuel.

Now that we know what fluid belongs where, let's define a leak. A leak is when a fluid won't stay contained in its vessel. A drip is less severe but will still leave its mark and is almost as it sounds. A drip is a periodic small leak that releases after the fluid accumulates.

A weep is what you do when you see the bill to fix the leak. Actually, a weep is more like a seep or an ooze that presents itself as a damp surface. It may take a long time to become a drip if it ever happens at all. Usually, a weep just spreads back from its origin from wind or air moving over the surface as the vehicle drives. I've seen some cars that have so much oily blowback that the car is virtually undercoated. Everything under there gets lubed and protected against rust, although I don't recommend this procedure.

Depending on the severity of the leak and the cause, you may be able to drive the car with little more than a periodic check of the fluid level. Some leaks, however, require more immediate attention. A cooling system leak, for example, tends to be more serious as the engine heats up and the pressure builds. A drip when the car is cold can turn into a stream when the engine is warm — likewise, power steering, which runs under pressure when operating. Oil leaks can become more problematic with warmer temperatures, too, as oil and lube tend to thin as they heat up.

Finding the true source of a leak can be a challenge. Liquid follows a varied track before hitting the ground, and while a leak might appear to be from a seam on the bottom of the engine, it may actually originate from much higher. Blowback, as previously mentioned, can also mask the actual origin of a leak. Vehicles with multiple leaks can confuse the issue entirely. A thorough cleaning with a solvent is generally the first step in finding a leak, followed by careful observation. Once discovered, there is seldom an easy solution. Tightening a bolt or smearing a sealant on the leaky area rarely works and if so, not for long. Disassembly, cleaning, new gaskets or seals or sealant is the long-term fix. Labor is usually the bulk of the cost in cases such as these.

Those who park on concrete, as in a garage or on a nicely paved driveway, will probably notice a leak first. Dirt driveways tend to camouflage a leak or drip, but it still has an adverse effect on the environment, not to mention the potential harm to your car, so get it checked out before a leak makes you weep.

Eric and Michelle Meltzer own and operate Fryeburg Motors, a licensed, full-service automotive sales and service facility at 299 Main St. in Fryeburg, Maine. More than a business, cars are a passion, and they appreciate anything that drives, rides, floats or flies.

Free program offered to prep students for college success

FRYEBURG, Maine — Lake Region and Fryeburg Area Adult Education is offering a free program that can help residents in the area take the next step toward success through the Maine College Transitions Program.

If you have been thinking about going back to school and furthering your education, the Lake Region and Fryeburg Area Adult Education's College Transitions Program could be right for you.

Our college preparation program sets participants up for success with:

• College and career guidance.

• Skills development.

• Financial planning.

• Ongoing support.

• College admission

The College Success Class is a blended learning class focusing on the essential skills of a successful college student. These skills include study skills, time management, decision making strategies, financial literacy, career pathways exploration and academic readiness.

This class fulfills a required college graduation credit at both Central Maine and Southern Maine Community Colleges. Students who pass the course will be awarded one credit hour on his/her college transcript.

For more information on the Lake Region and Fryeburg Area College Transitions Program, call (207) 627-4291 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.lakeregion-fryeburg.maineadulted.org.