Effingham Town Column: Cleanup day is Saturday

By Henry Spencer

One sign of spring: Folks toting blue bags full of roadside litter. Here's the begging and pleading part. There are very few folks who do not know about roadside cleanup day, and fewer yet who can't put two and two together and know that is what is going on when they drive by the volunteers out there doing their bit. "Maybe I'll help out next year "might go through a mind or two when the blue bag patrol is out and obvious. Perhaps I forgot, wish I had the time might be the response, but one thing for sure; there are more who think they should help out than actually do. So change it up a little this year and stop by the municipal offices on School Street on Saturday from about 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. to pick up bags and register which section of which road you are willing to clean up. When done, join other for a potluck and cook out at noon back at the offices. Look at it this way: A couple of burgers and a hot dog or two with associated soft drinks, not to mention various potluck offerings, would basically gut a $20 bill at a restaurant; add a couple of bucks for a tip and a $5 bill is reduced to change. Say you go out for two hours and clean up the inconsiderate leavings of motorists. That comes out to about $12 an hour; a wage some of us travel a great distance to achieve. So cutting to the chase, Saturday get on your feet and help out. It's a good deed and the calories-to-cash ration is in your favor.

File under hope: Driving by a certain address last Tuesday a wheel barrow with a bag of peat moss, shovel and rake was seen in the front yard. This wheel barrow also had about three inches of snow on top of all the gardening supplies. It did strike your reporter as a particularly New England scene; one not unusual on a yearly basis. It sure seemed like spring around here and there are probably few local homes that haven't heard the sound of rakes over partially frozen ground. None of which makes, what can only be hoped the final snow storm of the winter of 2015-16, any more a celebratory event if only because history shows it may not have been the last one. But here's the good news: Black flies hate snow more than any of us. It's nice to think about how many of them froze to death.

One casualty of the last snow was the stuffed animal sleep over at the library. No new date for the outing has yet been set, but it will be. Also at the library there are upcoming discussions on how to be smart with money today starting at 11:30 a.m. with a talk on preparing for "final expenses." No new date has been set for the CPR classes yet.

Horse sense: Katherine Ricci of Effingham took highest honors with her first place finish in the 4-H sponsored Hippology contest. Hippology is about horses not hippos of the potomus variety and covers those aspects of horse care that can lead to both a healthy horse and avoid a healthy attack on the old wallet. Basically it's all about the care and feeding of equine friends. Hippology is a comprehensive horse knowledge event, consisting of a hands-on problem-solving phase, a written test, identification of items in a station component and horse judging. There was a photo of Ms. Ricci in the press release and she is holding a positive bouquet of primarily blue ribbons. She looks very very happy.

Henry Spencer can be reached at (603) 539-4964 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Albany Town Column: Gayer returns as animal control officer

By Mary Leavitt and Dorothy Solomon

Only two selectmen were on duty at the Wednesday meeting as Cathy Ryan was on vacation. Kathy Vizard reported that the road posting signs have been lifted. Other signs (no parking, for example) will be replaced, so be careful not to park in these areas so as to avoid a ticket. JoAnne Gayer, Albany's previous animal control officer, has returned to this area. Hearing this, Steve Parker has resigned as of April 30 and the selectmen voted to appoint JoAnne to the position of animal control officer. A letter of thanks will be sent to Steve for taking on the position when he did. Kathy advised the selectmen that the insurance company has issued a check for the repair of the stone wall in front of the historical society building. The wall was damaged by a car that swerved into it. The selectmen are looking into a state bill that would prevent a property assessment raise for those homes that have solar, wind or bio-mass.

The selectmen reviewed Fire Chief Steve Solomon's notice of problems at town hall. Nearly all have been taken care of and most that are still undone will be addressed when the electrician comes. The selectmen have asked for quotes for the cost to add safety exit doors in the meeting room.

Selectman Rick Hiland reported that the planning board is working well. Leah Valladares has been elected chair and Kelly Robitaille has been elected vice-chair.

Jackson Town Column: Police to offer firearms safety class April 28

Experience "The Wonderful World of Gourmet Exotic Mushrooms" on Wednesday, May 4, at 7 p.m. at the Whitney Community Center. A trio of friends who shared an interest in foraging for wild mushrooms have created a premier mushroom producing operation in Tamworth. One of the co-founders, Dennis Chesley, will tell us about several of the gourmet, exotic mushrooms cultivated indoors year round by their company, the NH Mushroom Co. He will also talk about some of the more popular edible wild species of mushrooms. Join us to learn more about these fascinating fungi and the success of this local business. This program is free.

The Jackson Police will once again be conducting a firearms safety class. This will be the third class and based on previous interest and attendance we look forward to having many people attend. The class will be held on Thursday, April 28, from 6 p.m. to approximately 8 p.m. The class will once again be covering the concealed carry permit and process, constitutional rights, firearm recognition, firearms in the home, safe handling and storage of firearms and beginner shooting techniques. As always, everyone age 10 and above is encouraged to attend. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want and participate to the degree you are comfortable.

The Town of Jackson Planning Board seeks a person interested in taking minutes at Planning Board meetings. This is a paid position, at $25 per hour, for the time necessary to take notes during the meetings and then type them into a Word-style document for distribution within about 6 days. Planning Board meetings are typically held at 7 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month and lasts about two to two and a half hours or less. Submit a letter or email of interest to: Betsey Harding, Planning Board Secretary, P.O. Box 702, Jackson, NH 03846 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The library is thrilled to announce that in addition to their usual hours, the Jackson Public Library will be open on Sunday afternoons from 2 to 5 p.m. this summer. Come and take advantage of the beautiful building and the sunny work spaces it offers; the busy children's area; movies and games; magazines and newspapers; and all the services we provide.

These expanded hours are able to be offered thanks to our committed board of trustees and library staff who work so hard to provide for the diverse Jackson community. If you have any questions or comments about this, or anything else, email Lichen. She is looking for a kind and talented volunteer to help make two wooden signs to hang below our hours boards announcing this addition. If you are handy with a saw and/or a paintbrush, get in touch.

The Friends of the Jackson Public Library are having their annual book sale on Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 28, from from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, May 29, from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Whitney Community Center, located in downtown Jackson (off Route 16N) adjacent to the Jackson Grammar School.

There will be plenty of nonfiction, fiction, and children's books in both hardcover and paperback. A large selection of cookbooks, gardening, knitting, and quilting books will fill the Center, along with plenty of beach and cabin reading selections for your summer vacation. You will also find a varied selection of DVDs for that rainy day entertainment. On Sunday, visitors are encouraged to bring a canvas bag, such as used for groceries, and fill it with their favorites for only $5-per-bag. Available materials are a combination of donations from the public and items weeded from the library collection. Proceeds from the sale go towards new additions to the collection and programming at the Jackson Public Library.

Join the Jackson Library on Thursday, April 28, at 10 a.m. for knitting, crocheting, spinning, or any portable craft on the second and fourth Thursday of the month.

A note from Charlotte: There will be no yoga at the Whitney Center for the next two Thursdays. Will start up again May 5.

Art in Bloom, a walking tour of art interpretation in Jackson Village sponsored by the Mountain Garden Club, will be on June 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stay tuned for more details.

Jackson Grammar School hosts Children's Stage Adventures every two years to lead us in an all-school theater production. They are returning this year as artists in residence from May 9-15. This year's musical is based on "Oliver Twist." Throughout the week, mostly during the school day, students, led by Children's Stage Adventures teachers, will learn their parts, rehearse and regale us with a performance on Friday evening.

Parent volunteers are needed Call Susan if you can help out at any of these times: Monday, May 9, 1 to 3 p.m.; Tuesday, May 10, 9 to 11 a.m. and/or 1 to 3 p.m.; and 
Wednesday, May 11, 11 a.m. to noon.

It's My Heart New England is pleased to be supporting the aspiring non-profit, Katy M. Murphy Foundation to present a night at the Shannon Door on Thursday, May 5. This event will raise money to fund the mission and programs of the Katy M Murphy Foundation. The Katy M. Murphy Foundation is a pre-non-profit organization created to support families who have experienced the loss of a child in a unique and caring way by providing financial support to purchase cemetery headstones and to encourage continued smiles through the Clown Care Unit at Boston Children's Hospital by providing support to the Big Apple Circus Clown Care program.

All money raised at this event will go toward this mission. Donations can be sent to Katy M. Murphy Foundation — 2016 Fundraising Committee, P.O.Box 73, Jackson, NH 03846, www.KatyMurphy.org 
c/o It's My Heart New England P.O. Box 111, Danvers, MA 01923; (351) 201-1533, www.itsmyheartnewengland.org.

Fire permits are now available through Road Agent Pat Kelley. See Kelley at the Highway Garage (56 Main St.) Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. or call (603) 348-4001. They can also be obtained through Fire Warden Ken Crowther by calling (603) 986-6111.

The town clerk's office hours are as follows: Monday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The town clerks from Bartlett and Jackson will be joining forces to assist residents with getting their dogs vaccinated for rabies and being able to register their dog with the towns at the same time. Under NH RSA 466:1, every owner or keeper of a dog four-months-old or over shall annually, cause it to be registered, numbered, described, and licensed for one year in the office of the clerk of the town in which the dog is kept. You must show a current rabies certificate to be licensed. If you have any questions, contact True North Veterinary Clinic at (603) 374-5130.

 The 16th Annual Valley Pride Day. Registration is on Saturday, May 7, from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Pick up your trash bags, gloves and road assignments at your towns registration station. Locations are in Bartlett: Bartlett Elementary School parking lot; Jackson: Whitney Community Center; Glen: Patch's Market parking lot. The event will be followed by a barbecue, music, prizes and more at the Hampton Inn in North Conway from 12 to 2 p.m.


It has been disheartening and annoying to see the amount of trash that accumulated on the sides of the roads over the winter. Rather than complain, Leslie Schomaker decided to do something about it. On a 1-mile stretch of Tin Mine Road from Black Mountain Road to Middle Mountain Trail, she picked up five shopping bags of trash, plus several things too big for a bag. Thanks, Leslie!

The next time you go for a walk or to enjoy Jackson Falls, consider putting a bag in your pocket and picking up any litter you come across. Valley Pride Day is a good time to volunteer, but any day will work as well. Our town road crew is doing a great job sweeping up sand and otherwise sprucing up the village. They can't be walking our roads on a continual basis. If everyone pitches in a little, we can keep Jackson tidy.


Jackson Art Studio & Gallery, located 1 mile outside of Jackson Village at 155 Ridge Road in Jackson, is a working art studio and gallery featuring the work of local Mount Washington artists and artisans. Art classes are taught by professionals. Jackson Art has a large selection of art classes coming up for the spring.

There are also ongoing kids after-school art classes, teen open studio evening classes and our ever popular Sip and Paint classes that run almost every weekend. Coming up this summer, Jackson Art will be offering plein air (outdoor) painting classes. These classes will take place at scenic locations around Mount Washington Valley. They also offer Art Camps for kids in July and August.


Check out new classes at www.jacksonartnh.com. For more information, call (603-387-3463).


The Ellis River Art Gallery (formerly Group 8 Gallery) has original works of art in oil, watercolor, pastel and mixed media on display in a wide variety of subject matter and styles. There is something for every taste and budget. Hours are Fridays 2 to 6 p.m.; Saturdays 10 a.m. to  6 p.m.; Sundays 10 a.m. to  2 p.m. Located at the corner of Route 16 and 16A in Jackson. For more information, visit www.ellisriverartstudiosllc.com or (603) 236-1141. Ellis River Art Studios offering art classes, printing press, life drawings and more.

Jackson Grammar School kindergarten registration day is May 26. Children who are 5 years of age on or before Sept. 30 are eligible to register. Appointments are necessary for registration. Call the school at (603) 383-6861.

Tin Mountain community nature programs are open to the public, and are made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of L.L. Bean. The cost of the program is $5 for families, $3 per person and free for members. Tin Mountain's monthly EcoForum Series is held the second Thursday of the month and is free and open to the public. Enjoy free pizza from series sponsor The Flatbread Company, and coffee from Frontside Grind. Check out the website for detailed information at www.tinmountain.org/. These are the lectures for the remainder of April and beginning of May:
• Birding in the Brownfield Bog, Saturday, April 30, May 7, 14 and 21 at 7 a.m. Meet at Grants store, Brownfield. For more information or reservations, call (603) 447-6997.
• Earth Day Celebration: Solar in the Valley – Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Nature Learning Center in Albany. Call (603) 447-6991.
• Wildflower Walk at Humphrey's Ledge: TBD based on blooms.
• Morning Volunteer Coffee Break: Monday, May 2, 9 a.m., Nature Learning center. Treats courtesy of Front Side Grind and Old Village Bakery.

Approximately 75 well-wishers attended a farewell gathering for Stacey at the Wildcat Tavern on Thursday, April 14. Contributions were made to cover a marvelous offering of appetizers and gratuities for the servers. People were so generous, in-fact that we received enough to cover the costs but also send Stacey $300. Many other Jackson residents sent notes and gifts to Stacey individually.

One of the respondents to the invitation summed up the feelings of everyone there by the following: "Stacey will sure be missed. I don't even know how best to describe her to give her all the accolades she deserves. She has been amazing, kind, thoughtful, efficient and her personal and caring touch have captured all of our hearts."

That being said, we should now give a big welcome to the new smiling face behind the desk at our busy little post office, Sheila. With 10 years in the area, and over 28 years of postal experience, Sheila brings not only a happy face, but decades of professional experience to Jackson. Be sure to stop by to introduce yourself to her, and welcome her to our Jackson community.

 Cathi Belcher can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tamworth Town Column: Retired police chief to be feted at concert, potluck supper

By Ann McGarity

It's almost May and it was quite a shock to see a snowy landscape on Tuesday morning. As I write this, it's been snowing steadily for at least seven hours, a pleasant surprise to gardeners who have already planted seeds.
Everyone is invited to the Chocorua Community Association's concert and potluck supper on Sunday to honor recently retired Chief of Police Dan Poirier. A musical event will precede the supper featuring Peter Heimlich and Friends starting at 4 p.m. At 5.30 p.m., potluck starts at nearby Runnell's Hall. Please bring a dish or dessert to share, along with a favorite story or two or any crimes that you want to confess to now that Dan is retired! There is no charge for the evening, but contributions will be accepted to defray the cost of the hall and supplies. This event is BYOB and it's expected to be a memorable occasion, so please plan to come.

Freedom Town Column: Freedom Village Store to host paint night fundraiser May 6

The Freedom Elementary School sixth-grade is have their annual spaghetti dinner and auction at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, at the town hall. Proceeds benefit the sixth grade class trip to Sargent Camp. It's always a good time.

New members are always welcome at the First Christian Church of Freedom. The Membership Committee is hosting an information session following the worship service on Sunday, May 1, in the Davidson Room in the rear of the church. Pastor Larry Wogman will address the various ministries of the church and answer any questions that you might have about becoming a member.

The church is non-denominational and welcomes all religious affiliations as full members or associate members. Check them out on Facebook or visit our website at www.firstchristianchurchoffreedom.org First Christian Church is located at 12 Elm Street in Freedom. They look forward to greeting you.

The Freedom Old Home Week Committee welcomes all artists to submit an illustration to be used for this year's tee shirt and/or commemorative tile. The theme is simply "Freedom" whatever your interpretation of what Freedom means to you, or a specific image of the town of Freedom.

Entries can be sent to P.O. Box 359 Freedom NH 03836, or a jpeg image sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can always find updated information about Freedom Old Home Week at freedomoldhomeweek.net or on Facebook at Freedom Old Home Week. Deadline submission is May 1.

Freedom Village Store is hosting a paint night fundraiser by Littlmoon Art on Friday, May 6, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Freedom. You know know how much we all enjoy viewing the paintings and artwork of our famed local artists on display at the store? Here's a chance to have a fun night out and create your own masterpiece.

All supplies will be provided and our instructor will guide you through the process of creating a painting, entitled "Moonlight over Loon Lake." Canvas, paint, brushes, easels and instructions are all provided. The cost is $20 per person. Preregistration by April 30 is required. A minimum of 12 people is needed to hold this class, with a maximum of 25. Sign up in person at Freedom Village Store or call the store to reserve your space.

Artists take note: The Freedom Historical Society has expanded the 2017 Paintings of Freedom calendar "Call for Art" to include any and all artists. The deadline for submissions has been extended to ­May 13. Visit FreedomHistoricalSociety.org for more information.

Because our customers asked for it, cream, heavy, light and half and half, in pints and quarts is now available for your berries, ice cream, cake and coffee at the Freedom Village Store. Now we need you to stop by and purchase our latest products from Sherman Farms, so we know that we really do have customers who want these items.

Lisa Wheeler can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..