By Tom Eastman
AND SO THE TRUMP ERA begins. With today's inauguration in Washington, D.C., the focus of the nation — and the world — is all on what's happening down there in Malfunction Junction, a story that is bound to be captivating for at least the next four years.
No matter our political leanings, we should all be Americans first on this day — not Republicans, Independents or Democrats. It's about celebrating our democracy. I wish the country and the 45th president well, but like so many others, I have my fingers crossed. And that's not "Fake" news: that's the truth.
Among those who plan to attend the inauguration is young Zac Mercauto, 19, of Fryeburg, who served as Carroll County Trump co-chair.
PERSONALLY, I HOPE TO spend at least a few moments of inauguration day with a prayerful visit to the Congregational Church in Conway to view the ceiling exhibit of more than 5,000 cranes for peace, created by Pastor Rev. Martell Spagnolo and his church members over the past year.
The church will be open today all day for a day of prayer for a peaceful transition.
The church is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and all day on Mondays from 9 a.m. and on up to the start of the Dinner Bell Community Dinner at 5 p.m. The church holds service Sundays at 10 a.m. For more information, call (603) 447-3851.
FOLLOWING the inauguration, as colleague Daymond Steer reported this week, hundreds of women's marches are expected to take place not only in Washington, D.C., Jan. 21, but on the streets of towns across the country, including in Jackson.
The Jackson march's organizer, Betsey Harding, says the focus will be on making the country a better place and not simply bashing the new president.
The Jackson event is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Jackson Grammar School as well as the parking lot between the school and the Jackson Falls Marketplace. It will probably run until 1 p.m.
FROM POLITICS TO SNOW in the Presidential Range and beyond: Hurray for the winter of 2016-17, which has already surpassed last year's record low snowfall total of 41 total inches, with 44.3 inches having been recorded as of Thursday after Wednesday's storm. The 42-year average is 83.6 inches, so we're on our way.
Wildcat was the big winner in Wednesdays storm, receiving 9 inches to bring their season snowfall total to more than 100 inches. They're up to 43 of 48 trails, with 14.9 miles of open terrain.
On the cross country side of life, the new snow helped to refresh conditions, putting us in good stead heading into the weekend, which is supposed to have temperatures in the low 40s Saturday.
WE RECEIVED some nice feedback about last Saturday's cover story about the Nansen Ski Jump restoration efforts that are now under way, a story that was penned by Berlin Daily Sun colleague Barbara Tetreault, as well as on yours truly's story on local ski jumps of old.
I would like to clarify a misimpression that appeared in my story: Fred Pabst of the brewmaster family did not buy the Intervale ski jump — he bought the land in the 1930s and developed it. It is not known when the jump was built, but it is believed to have been taken down by subsequent owners Dick and Priscilla Stimpson in the 1960s, probably after 1964. Also, the story had the correct information, but a cutline for a Kennett High ski jumper contained an error about when the Kanc jump was built. It was built in 1960, according to former KHS Ski Coach Chuck Broomhall.
Minor things, granted, but as a lover of local ski history, I just wanted to correct the historical record (it is corrected in the online version).
HOT CHOCOLATE: Due to confusion regarding a listing of results of a WMUR TV 9 viewers' poll online, Channel 9 confirmed this week that instead of ranking fifth out of 12 restaurants for "Best Hot Chocolate," the Met Coffeehouse of North Conway in fact was tied for first.
The results now stand corrected online, according to Met co-owner Larry Flaherty.
In last week's article, Flaherty shared the secrets behind the Met's rich and creamy hot chocolate, noting that they use: whole milk, Ghiradelli chocolate, fresh whipped cream and fresh Ghiradelli drizzle, along with "fun toppings that are changed seasonally that harken back to your childhood."
For more call (603) 356-2332, follow them on Facebook or visit metcoffeehouse.com.
A WONDERFUL tribute to late Tin Mountain Conservation Center Executive Director Michael Cline took place at the beautiful post-and-beam center in Albany last Sunday afternoon with many lauding Cline's wit, humor, humility, humanity, love of family and sharing of his knowledge of nature in his years at Tin Mountain, starting in 1998. We lost Cline, 65, on Jan. 3, after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
Like Kim Perkins at the North Conway Community Center, whom we lost at age 87 on Jan. 5, Cline made his mark in this community. They both shall be missed by all of us who were lucky to know them.
IN HAPPY BIRTHDAYS this week, we salute (belatedly) the Sun's talented Hannah Russell (Jan. 19), Marcello Viscardi (Jan. 20); longtime mud Bowl volunteer Mark Riley, Diane Gilmore, Jean Jannuzzi and Judith Hatch Oberg (Jan. 21); Conway Daily Sun co-founder Adam Hirshan and Karla Schwarz (Jan. 22), and Kim WhiteFeather and Martha Miller (Jan. 26).
CHAMBER BISTRO: A good crowd turned out for this month's MWV Chamber After Hours, hosted Tuesday by the Chef's Bistro. Great food and great company was enjoyed by attendees. Be sure to check out this nice village eatery.
ON THE MUSIC SCENE, don't miss Kelly and the Just Rights at the Tuckerman Brewing Company from 2 to 5 pm. Jan 21 or Matt Stubbs and the Antiguas at the Cold River Mini Concert Series at the Wildcat Tavern Jan. 21, with host Jonathan Sarty opening the show at 7 p.m. In other music news, it was nice to hear a cut off Shark Martin's new "Life in Bars" CD, the ska-inspired "Aresnic Woman," aired by Roy "the Skiing DJ" Prescott on WMWV when drummer Danny Spofford dropped by the studio Thursday morning. Great job!
WMWV's "Song of the Year" contest is now underway. Visit www.wmwv.com for the scoop.
LOOKING FOR A WAY to enjoy winter? Be sure to visit "Explore Winter Gardens" in Ossipee, behind Jake's Seafood. It once again doesn't have ice this year, due to frozen hose issues, but there are more than 100,000 Christmas lights set out along the banks of the Bearcamp River. It's open from dusk to 8 p.m. Thursdays and Sundays and until 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, according to operator/restaurateur Alan Prentice and family. "It's a nice thing for families to check out," he said, noting that it offers free admission. For more information, call (603) 539-2805.
Between ice fishing and the Stonehurst's sold-out third annual Ice Bar this weekend, there are many ways to prove that "ice is nice" here in the valley.
GO PATS! The 15-2 New England Patriots take on the 11-5 Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday in the AFC Championship on CBS at 6:40 p.m. — again, like last weekend during the MLK Jr. Weekend, giving skiers, riders and snowmobilers plenty of time to spend outdoors before coming back inside to view the game.