Albany Town Column: Budget season in full swing

By Mary Leavitt and Dorothy Solomon
Due to the snowfall on Wednesday, the selectmen's meeting and the public hearing for the budget and warrant articles were postponed to Thursday.
The selectmen began their meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. The selectmen voted to move their future Wednesday meetings to 5 p.m.
They continued to go over the budget that they would be presenting to those Albany residents who would attend the later meeting. The selectmen are limited to what they actually have jurisdiction over in the budget. That is only the municipal portion. The 2016 municipal budget was $12.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This year's budget is $17 per $1,000. (These figures, of course, do not include the school budget which brings the cost to the taxpayer up considerably.) Joe Ferris felt that the budget should include only those items that were need-based not want-based and thereby voted against the budget as presented.
Rob Nadler as chair of the Conservation Committee came to discuss his committee's budget. He also defended the North Country Council's budget request. He claimed that Albany has been helped a great deal by North Country Council over the years.

Tamworth Town Column: A sure cure for cabin fever

By Ann McGarity
This week we are experiencing an old-fashioned February with storms du jour providing excellent conditions for all snow sports. The humming of snowmobiles can be heard from our house night and day. Property owners are scrambling to remove snow from driveways, roofs and footpaths, and there have been many cancellations and delays.
If all this snow is getting you down, consider that the Friends of Cook Memorial Library will be holding its Cabin Fever Book Sale very soon, on Saturday, March 4. The Friends is a non-profit group, focused on the good work of the library as the cultural center of the community. The group funds library programs for all ages throughout the year, and items and programs for the library director's annual wish list. This year this includes equipment, downloadable books, museum and recreation passes, N.H. Humanities Council programs, staff development, landscaping and a video projector.
The Friends of the Library welcomes new babies and their families to the library, with a handmade book bag containing five board books, and a book of games to play with babies, for each newborn in Tamworth. Altrusa generously makes the book bags; the Friends' fundraisers and monthly book sales make this possible. The Friends is requesting donations of baked goods for the bake sale to be dropped off at the library on the Friday before or on Saturday morning (the day of the sale). The group also accepts gently-used books for the book sale, which can be dropped off anytime, and items for the silent auction. Please call Gail Marrone at (603) 323-8841 if you have auction items. Have lunch, browse the second-hand books for sale, and bid at the silent auction tables. The library has free community resources and is a warm and welcoming place to visit.
The art of burning images on wood or leather is known as pyrography. If you have an interest in learning this technique, come to Arts Works Gallery, Route 16, Chocorua. Create your own image or copy one of the selections on a wooden box. Gibson Girl and pine cone motifs are among the available designs. All supplies are included in the $23 fee. Each student will have an opportunity to wood-burn a box and paint an accent in acrylic. Artist is Andrea Kennett, and the workshop is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 4.
The list of candidates for town offices this year includes only one contested position: selectman, three years — Daniel Poirier and Michael Malenfant. The other positions are uncontested: treasurer, one year, Priscilla Remick; cemetery trustee, three years, John B Wheeler; library trustee, two for three years, Anne Chant and Evan Henderson; road agen, three years, Richard Roberts; planning board, two for three years, Patricia Farley and write in; trustee of the trust funds, write in; and fireward, three years, Harry Remick. A big thank you to all the civic minded people who are standing for office to serve our community.
It will soon be time to plan your garden, and Cook Memorial Library has a "Seed Share," thanks to local seed savers Paul King and Hope Requardt, who have provided seeds to start things off. Bring your surplus seeds to trade: Take some or leave some. Some old catalog file drawers have been re-purposed to organize the seeds with envelopes and small bags to put seeds in. Bring commercial seeds or seeds saved from your garden. Open pollinated varieties and seeds that were organically grown are preferred. If possible, please bring original packaging. Seed Share seeds will be available at the library all spring. You are welcome to come share or swap seeds whenever the library is open.
Come to The Lyceum this Saturday, Feb. 18, from 9 to 11 a.m. for a "Mending Sewcial." This is for the mending procrastinators who never get around to fixing torn seams, missing buttons, a sock with a hole. Bring the items along. There will be mending supplies, advice, opinions and instructions for visible and less visible mending. If you think mending something instead of throwing it away is pointless, watch "The True Cost" on the environmental and human rights consequences. Cook Library has a copy, and you can stream it for free on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Perhaps more importantly, mending lets us maintain clothes we love, and deepen our history with garments we care about.
People have been donating to the Community Sewing Basket at Cook Memorial Library, and it could use a few pairs of sharp scissors, and a cutting board, but is otherwise well supplied.
Organizers of the Valentine's Day Blood Drive at Tamworth Congregational Church were pleased with the results: 28 units were collected — 147 percent of the goal of 18. This is impressive and an indication of the Christian spirit of all involved in this life-saving effort. Thanks to all who participated.
Families and friends of the Kennett High School 2017 graduates, please note that Project Graduation 2017 will hold a fundraiser at the Shannon Door in Jackson on March 2. The restaurant will donate $1 from every pizza sold (eat-in or take-out). In addition, a chance auction and 50/50 raffle will be from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Stop by to enjoy a pizza, join the fun and help support Project Graduation, an all-night community-funded chemical-free celebration for the Kennett Graduating Class of 2017 on June 17.
Please send items for this column to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or phone (603) 323-7065.

Madison Town Column: School hosts church supper tonight

By Cathie Gregg
Congratulations to the unbelievable five-time ring-winner Patriots! What an incredible comeback in the Super Bowl game against Atlanta!
There will be a church supper tonight at the Madison Elementary School. There is a new family dinner rate: $25 for a family of two adults and three children. So if you don't have plans for Saturday evening, how about spending it enjoying turkey with fellow friends and family at the Madison Church supper at 5:50 p.m. You can't go wrong with turkey dinner with all the fixings.
It is all too true that we have had a lot of snow this week. But it couldn't be prettier. With three major snowstorms of approximately a foot apiece in a week, hats are off to the town and state crews for their excellent around-the-clock maintenance of our roads. If you see a plow doing its job, stop and give him some leeway. Better safe than sorry. And thank you to the Madison Police Department for the assist in Wednesday night's blizzard when a female red-tailed hawk was injured on Lead Mine Road. She is a beautiful adult and hopefully will be releaseable in the early spring. We have a bumper crop of barred owls which, hopefully, can go back to their homes in the wild next month. March is courting season for barred owls, and should these adult owls have mates waiting for them, it would be nice for them to get back home.

Library Connection: 'It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens' to be discussed March 17

Kennett High School recently sponsored and hosted a free screening of "Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age," which was shown during a school day for students and an evening for adults. The adult portion included a panel discussion including educators, counselors, law enforcement, medical professionals, a librarian (myself) and students.

The documentary takes an inside look at technology habits of youth (and their parents), varying household rules and agreements, screen addictions, and several arguments for and against smartphone usage across children's age development.

As a follow up to the relevant, ongoing discussion about youth and "screen time," the Conway Public Library invites adults with kids and teens in their lives to take part in a book discussion of "It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens," by Danah Boyd, on Monday, March 17, at 5:30 p.m. in the Ham Room of the Conway Public Library.

The book group will explore what is new about how teenagers communicate through social media and how it affects the quality of the lives of teens and their families.

The author who is a a youth culture and technology expert will uncover several myths, and clarify information about identity, privacy, safety, danger, and bullying through the use of technology. Readers will also learn about how teens may be given the opportunity to become informed, thoughtful and engaged citizens through their online interactions. This book is a must-read for anyone worried or curious about kids and their engagement in the cyber-world.

"It's Complicated" is available for circulation through the Conway Library. Refreshments will be provided. Sign up for this event by calling (603) 447-5552, emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or in person at the circulation desk.

Technology assistance
New to the Conway Library is "Technology Thursdays" at 1 p.m. Stop in and friendly library staff and volunteers will help with laptops, phones, composing documents, spreadsheets, Internet, social media set-up, and email. Life is too precious to be stressed about this rapidly-paced world of technology, so come to the library and ease your anxiety.

Tax season
Many people dread the prospect of completing their tax information each year. The Conway Library has most tax forms available for the taking, and forms may be downloaded and printed as well. There are 13 public computers available for everyone's use, and staff available to help when needed.

For more information about Conway Library events and resources stop in, call (603) 447-5552, go to, or follow Conway Public Library on Facebook and Twitter.