During the CTE Night awards banquet on Thursday evening, May 19, the Canaan Memorial High School’s Future Farmers of America chapter welcomed Yvan Doyon as an honorary FFA member, in recognition of his advice and assistance setting up their sugaring operation this year. From the left are President Carl Wheeler, Sentinel Zeb Brigham, Mr. Doyon, Vice President Heather Cluff, Reporter Nathan DeGray and Secretary Emillie Roy. More photos of the CTE Night are inside, on page 18. (Alan Farnsworth photo)
Coös Planning Board Accepts Balsams’ Plan for Hotel Structure, Hearing June 6
By Jake Mardin
The Coös County planning board accepted a site plan application for the Hampshire and Dix Houses at The Balsams as complete, during their meeting in Lancaster last Friday, May 20. The board also deemed complete an application for a two-lot subdivision, which would give the Hampshire and Dix Houses their own parcel within the overall property.
Developers say that the Hampshire House and the Dix House will be renovated, with a portion of the Dix House to be demolished along with the former rubber factory foundation and the Windwhistle. The connector building between the two will be demolished and rebuilt.
Board chairman John Scarinza said that since the last meeting held with Dixville Capital LLC concerning the ski area site plan application, he has met with the developers on two occasions to work through the applications and determine what items require additional documentation. Tara Bamford of North Country Council attended the second meeting and offered comments on the different requirements. As a result, when the board met last week for the Hampshire and Dix House application, members had Ms. Bamford’s comments along with those from the developers on what actions they’d taken to address concerns on various sections.
The board went through the various requirements of the site plan application with Ms. Bamford’s comments. Most of the requirements had been met and no further information was needed, but the board did discuss some portions of the application, one of which was parking. Ed Brisson of Dixville Capital said the revised application presented to the board included a new Declaration of Easement, which was revised and described how parking for the hotel will work. He said the hotel site has about 300 total spaces, with the right to use 141 of them on a non-exclusive basis. He said the former golf course near the site is also slated for potential future parking. Ron Anstey of the N.H. Fire Marshal’s office asked for some detail on the sprinkler system intake.
After some further discussion, the board accepted the application as complete with the following conditions: the old application and the revised one are merged into one package; the Fire Marshal’s office will work with the applicant to designate what areas are not to be used for snow storage; a lighting cut sheet is provided; snow storage areas are added to the easement; and further details of the sprinkler system intake are provided. The motion passed unanimously.
The board next discussed the proposed two-lot subdivision application. When asked why the subdivision was requested, Mr. Brisson said it is so that the resort can control landscaping around the area as much as possible and keep it well maintained. The board approved the subdivision, and Mr. Brisson thanked them for their work.
“We are very pleased and look at last night’s meeting as a strong step forward,” Dixville Capital spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne said. “We respect that this planning board has not encountered a project of this size before. We believe we are on track and moving forward, and we are grateful for the time and effort the board has put into this.”
Public hearings on the Hampshire and Dix House site plan application and the subdivision application will be held on Monday, June 6 in Colebrook. Developers previously submitted a site plan application for the ski area and met with the board in April, resulting in a decision that the board would deal with the village applications first and return to the ski area plan.
(Issue of May 25, 2016)
CHECKING THEIR CATCH
Alexis Collins and Kimber Cross check their net for live specimens from the Connecticut River, during a fisheries exercise as part of the annual Coös County Natural Resources Field Day, hosted by CJEJ Farm in Columbia on Wednesday, May 18. (Alan Farnsworth photo)
SEC Moves Northern Pass Approval Deadline Back to September of 2017
By Jake Mardin
During a procedural meeting in Whitefield on Thursday, the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee voted to set September 30, 2017 as its deadline for issuing a written decision on a Certificate of Site and Facilities for the Northern Pass transmission line proposal.
The SEC accepted Northern Pass’ application as complete in December. Under its guidelines, the SEC will issue a decision on a certificate 365 days after accepting an application as complete, but can extend the deadline if it deems that it is in the public interest to do so. The September 30, 2017 deadline constitutes an extension of about nine months.
Thursday’s decision is “disappointing, since it will only delay the realization of the substantial benefits of this project in New Hampshire and throughout New England,” said Bill Quinlan, President of Eversource New Hampshire Operations in a written statement on www.northernpass.us. “We look forward to the written order outlining the details of this schedule, and in the meantime we will be evaluating our options for seeking reconsideration.”
Will Abbott of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, a vocal opponent of the transmission project since its proposal six years ago, issued a statement on www.forestsociety.org, which said, “The Forest Society applauds the decision, which was followed by a decision by Northern Pass to suggest that interveners be granted additional time to submit formal discovery questions.”
(Issue of May 25, 2016)
Longtime outdoor columnist and newspaper publisher John Harrigan of Colebrook was honored with a 2016 Granite State Award, presented during the University of New Hampshire Commencement on Saturday, May 21 in Durham. On hand for this special event were two of his three children, Karen Ladd of Colebrook and Michael Harrigan of New York City. (Courtesy photo)
John Harrigan Receives 2016 Granite State Award at UNH Commencement
Longtime newspaper publisher and outdoor columnist John Harrigan of Colebrook was on the dais at the University of New Hampshire’s commencement ceremony Saturday, May 21, joining forest industry icon Jameson French of Portsmouth as recipients of the 2016 Granite State Award.
Mr. Harrigan, known statewide as a North Country personality, worked as everything from a logger furniture-maker to a lumberyard worker before beginning his award-winning newspaper career in 1968. He was First Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting in 1998, and at the time owned the Coös County Democrat and The News and Sentinel in Colebrook. He still keeps an office at the latter, which is now owned by his daughter, Karen Ladd.
For 36 years his column “Woods, Water and Wildlife” has run in the New Hampshire Sunday News, and his “North Country Notebook” currently runs in 13 weekly newspapers in the northern two-thirds of the state.
A former volunteer on the Northern Forest Lands Council and the Connecticut Lakes Partnership Task Force, he is certainly no stranger to New Hampshire’s scenic beauty. In 1999, Mr. Harrigan received the Robert Frost Award from Plymouth State University, and in 2010 he received the Profile Award for his work on behalf of the conservation and preservation of New Hampshire’s natural resources.
As Joe McQuaid, publisher of the Union Leader and Sunday News, stated when presenting the nomination, “John has become one of the best-known and most distinctive voices of the North Country in particular and of New Hampshire’s great outdoors overall. He has been a consistent, clear voice for the maintenance, wise use and preservation of the state’s northern forest and lands.”
Mr. Harrigan said, “It was an honor to share the stage with Jameson French, who’s done way more conservation work than I have. But I thought it was nice that the Connecticut Lakes Headwaters Tract initiative, which I had a part in, was singled out for conserving 171,000 acres of wonderful landscape to be kept wild, productive, undeveloped and open to all for as long as we live under the rule of law.
“The UNH commencement ceremony and my part in it were a class act, from beginning to end. University staffers treated my family and me with utmost graciousness, and I got to be part of a small reception herd that trampled President Huddleston’s back yard lawn. The graduates smuggled champagne in to uncork and spray at inopportune serious moments despite the most ardent security against such stuff, while the grads-to-be kept a gigantic light-air ball going back and forth above the proceedings. I was tickled to be a small part of it all, and my compending thought was that as a first-year college dropout it was the only way I was ever going to get to wear regalia and a silly hat.”
(Issue of May 25, 2016)
GREETING HIS TEAMMATES
Maynard Wells of the Granite Bank Braves greets his teammates and coaches during the Colebrook Bambino League’s opening day events on Saturday. (Jake Mardin photo)
Army CSM Brad Cross to Speak at Colebrook Memorial Day Ceremony
Local veterans’ organizations and schools will observe Memorial Day with events starting Friday and culminating on the holiday itself next Monday, May 30.
Also on the weekend, Colebrook Academy students will present their fifth annual Cemetery Walk at the Colebrook Village Ceremony from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27. The students will play the roles of several figures from Colebrook of years past, including Dick Hughes, Susie Keach, Sliver and Henrietta Bunnell, and Trenholme Dickson. The walk should take from 45 minutes to an hour, and admission is by donation.
Friday, May 27
• Stratford Public School will present its annual parade and observances at the veterans’ monuments in Bloomfield and North Stratford, beginning at 11 a.m.
• Errol Consolidated School will again coordinate with members of the Marine Corps Reserve and the American Legion from Berlin to present a 10 a.m. program at the veterans’ monument. If the weather is foul, events will be held inside the Errol Town Hall.
• Groveton Elementary School students in grades K-5 will perform poems, songs, and skits beginning at 10 a.m. at Soldier’s Park.
Monday, May 30
• Fredonwarell American Legion Post 17, its Auxiliary and Sons of the American Legion in Groveton will observe Memorial Day with a parade starting at 9 a.m. at Baches Convience Store, stopping at the town war monuments on Route 3 and ending at the Armstrong Charron Funeral Home.
• Stark’s Memorial Day observance will be preceded by coffee and doughnuts at the Stark Village School at 10 a.m. The service takes place at the war memorial in the Stark Village Cemetery next to the town hall at 11 a.m.
• Northland American Legion Post 47, its Auxiliary and SAL will provide Memorial Day observances, starting with a 10 a.m. parade and ceremony in Pittsburg; continuing with an observance at the monument next to the factory in Beecher Falls; and after a lunch break, concluding with a 1 p.m. parade in Canaan and West Stewartstown
• Army Command Sgt. Major Bradley E. Cross will be the featured speaker at Colebrook’s Memorial Day observance, coordinated by George L. O’Neil American Legion Post 62 and Auxiliary. CSM Cross is a native of Canaan, who entered the Army as a Military Policeman in August of 1988. He currently serves as the Command Sergeant Major of the 89th Military Police Brigade at Ft. Hood, Texas, where he resides with his wife Stephanie (née Hughes) from Cole-brook. His several deployments include Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2008-10 and Operation New Dawn. He has graduated from numerous military schools and is currently working toward his bachelor of science degree in leadership management. CSM Cross will lead the marching units in the parade, which steps off at 11 a.m. from the post on Pleasant Street, and travels south, then north on Main Street for an observance at the Mohawk River bridge. The parade will conclude with a ceremony at the veterans’ monuments on Bridge Street, where CSM Cross will deliver the keynote address. The Colebrook school band is marching in the parade, and the chorus will perform at the concluding ceremony.
(Issue of May 25, 2016)