World Fellowship Center celebrates 75 years

By Daymond Steer

ALBANY — For 75 years, those seeking a more peaceful planet have found a second home in the World Fellowship Center in Albany.

6-22-16-World-Fellowship-Center Andy-and-Andrea-Davis-4Andrea Walsh and Andy Davis, co-directors of the World Fellowship Center in Albany. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)Situated on 455 acres, with a view of Mount Chocorua, the center calls itself a place "where social justice meets nature." According to Andy Davis, co-director with his wife, Andrea Walsh since 2001, it's basically a summer camp for adults and families who have progressive values.

People can attend a speaking event, stay for a day or two or even the whole summer. Accommodations range from campsites to modern guest rooms. There is also a dining hall where members of the public are welcome to have dinner (at 6 p.m., for $19.75) prior to the talks, discussing important issues of the day, that take place over the summer.

World Fellowship has access to nature trails and Whitton Pond, and guests are free to hike, swim, canoe and fish.

The mission to make the world a better place and give a voice to the voiceless hasn't always been easy, and the center's mission was tested in the age of Sen. Joe McCarthy and the Cold War.

Today, it is focused on leading the charge on such things as economic injustice and climate change. Speakers have included social critic Noam Chomsky, peace activist David Dellinger, writer Grace Paley and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

SIDEBAR: A diverse selection of programs at World Fellowship Center

ALBANY — The summer season at World Fellowship Center began Thursday, with a wide-ranging lineup of programs. If early music doesn't float your boat, perhaps discussing water safety or making your own hula-hoop will.

Here is a sampling of upcoming programs. (For a full lineup, go online to For information or to get a brochure, call 603-447-2280.)

• Saturday, June 25, 7:30 p.m. "Peregrine Players Perform!" — Concert by Early Music Week faculty. All welcome!

• July 4, 7:30 p.m. "Toward Global Citizenship" — Joia Mukherjee is chief medical officer of Partners in Health, a non-profit focused on reducing global health disparities by strengthening health systems through public sector support and community-based programs.

• July 12, 7:30 p.m. "Disappeared in America: Secret Detention & Interrogation in Fiction & Fact" — Ellen Meeropol reads from "On Hurricane Island" (Red Hen Press, 2015), her novel set at a fictional detention/interrogation center in Maine. Robert Meeropol examines the realities of human rights abuses. Robert is founder/former director of Rosenberg Fund for Children.

• July 20, 7:30 p.m. "Our Bodies, Ourselves and the Women's Health Movement: Where We've Come and Where We Need to Go" — Judy Norsigian looks at 45 years of global health activism. Editor of the iconic publication from 2001-2015, Judy now volunteers with Our Bodies, Ourselves.

• July 31, 7:30 p.m. "Keeping Drinking Water Safe from Lead" — Thomas Hooker is a New York attorney with a strong interest in environmental law.

• Aug. 2, 7:30 p.m. "Transmitting Progressive Values Across Generations" — With Frida Berrigan and Joanne Sheehan. Joanne is an activist for 45 years, War Resisters League organizer, non-violence trainer, the niece, mother and mother-in-law of activisits, with a commitment to working across generations.

• Aug. 14-21. "Hula Hoop Week" — Sarah Daly of Hoop De Doo in Worcester, Mass., teaches how to keep the basic hoop spinning around your waist, intermediate tricks, and more. $50 includes making your own personal hoop.

• Aug. 30, 7:30 p.m. "Grass Tops and Grass Roots: NH Climate Justice Movement Update" — Sean Carney of NextGen Climate, on building a movement and taking the climate discussion to the front lines of this election cycle.



Sweet stuff: It's strawberry festival season

By Tom Eastman

CONWAY — It's strawberry season, and between pick-your-own programs at Schartner Farms, local farm stands and other venues, from late June to early July is a delectable time of the year.

6-23-16-Strawberry-FestivalVaughan Community Service Administrator Denise Leighton (left) and Vaughan Learning Center Director Heather Oullette look forward to Saturday's festival. (JAMIE GEMMITI PHOTO)Today, the East Conway Community Hall's annual Strawberry Festival is being held from 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the hall on East Conway Road a quarter-mile north of Sherman Farm.

Salads, hot dishes, cold cuts, drinks and strawberry shortcake will be featured. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. Proceeds will benefit the building's maintenance fund for updating the exterior of the building.

Also making the most of the season will be volunteers from Vaughan Community Service Inc., who will be presenting the fourth annual North Conway Strawberry Festival on Saturday for the benefit of programs like the Vaughan Learning Center (formerly North Conway Day Care) and the Conway area food pantry.

That festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the First Church of Christ, Congregational campus at 2503 White Mountain Highway in North Conway Village.

It will offer a fun day of feasting on locally grown strawberries served in shortcakes, smoothies and hand-dipped chocolate-covered treats, all at affordable prices. There will also be free kids games, balloons, live music courtesy of two great performers — the Mango Groove Steel Band plays 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and Jackson's Miss Maybell and Slimpickin's will play their American roots music from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

First Bridge river project includes new memorial bench

By Tom Eastman

CONWAY — Thanks to a gift to commemorate a longtime annual visitor, and the work of town crews, a new bench was installed Friday on a handicap-accessible platform overlooking First Bridge and the Saco River off River Road in North Conway.

6-25-16-first-bridge-bench 5986Conway Highway Department Foreman Andy Smith (left) and Parks and Recreation Director John Eastman at the First Bridge Friday. (TOM EASTMAN PHOTO)The widow and daughter of the late Craig Zehner of Union, N.J., are donating the bench to the town, and plan to visit for a dedication ceremony planned for July 25, according to Conway Parks and Recreation Director John Eastman.

That dedication will fall one day short of the first anniversary of Zehner's passing at age 70 from heart failure.

"This is really going to be a great addition to that park by the river," Eastman said Friday as town parks and highway department crews worked on replacing riprap at the site on the east bank of the river.

"It is designed for everyone, but it will be accessible for anyone who may not be able to go down to the water's edge and the rocks. The platform will give an elevated view of the river from the northeast side of the banking near First Bridge," Eastman said.

He said Town Public Works Director/Engineer Paul DegliAngeli and Highway Department Foreman Andrew Smith were undertaking the riprap project, as well as clearing brush from the edge of the park area, working with the Parks Department.

The bench and granite slab platform idea took hold after Eastman's wife, Lisa, got a call at the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce from Dawn Zehner, daughter of Craig and Barbara Ann Zehner.

"She told Lisa about how her parents had come to the valley to vacation for years," said Eastman. "This was his favorite place to come, and she and her mother wanted to honor her father by donating a bench to the town.

"Lisa directed her to call me, and that's how it started," he said.

Eastman said there are several memorial benches in Schouler Park and Davis Park. Although Dawn Zehner was not familiar with the park at First Bridge, he suggested it as a good place to honor her father.

McCarthy, 78, seeking two more years to finish what he started

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — After serving two separate terms in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Frank McCarthy said he thought long and hard before deciding to seek another two-year term.

10-13-Candidate-forum-at-Gibson Frank-McCarthyFrank McCarthy wants another two-year term in the Legislature. (JAMIE GEMMITI FILE PHOTO)The longtime Republican from North Conway said he "loves constituent service," which is why he's running to retain his District 2 seat.

District 2 has three seats and covers Chatham, Conway and Eaton.

McCarthy, 78, is one of 10 candidates running. Fellow Republicans include incumbent Karen Umberger of Conway, Billy Cuccio of Conway and Daniel Bacon of Chatham.

On the Democratic ticket are incumbent Tom Buco of Conway, Kate Frederick of Intervale, Bert Weiss of Chatham, Sean Carney of North Conway and Syndi White of Conway.

Nicholas Mercauto of Conway is running as an independent.

"There seems to be a lot of interest in the seat," McCarthy said. "I think it'll be good to have a primary."

The primary is scheduled for Sept. 13. The general election is Nov. 8.

"For the past 18-20 years, we've had a Democrat as governor," McCarthy said. "I think and hope with all my heart that (executive councilor) Chris Sununu (R-Newfields) will be our next governor. He's a conservative, is extremely smart. It's my belief that with a Republican governor, we can turn the state upside-down in a good way."

Gov. Maggie Hassan (D-Exeter) is running for U.S. Senate, leaving the governor's seat with no incumbent candidate.