Seacoast Family Promise

2016-10-18-09-07-40 Linda and I were able to get tickets!

 See you there.

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I don’t know who will be sitting in the Selectmen seats when the Great? dam is removed , but I imagine them all in one raft descending the Great! Falls to  open the inaugural Great! Falls Exeter  Kayak  Race.  There will be a significant waterfall at the site. The computer generated side view you may have seen does not show the drop. The imagined Falls should have been shown from a down river or String Bridge perspective. It will be beautiful,  and loads of fun in Spring.


River side seating at the restaurants on Water Street was sold out for weeks in advance of the event. It was wild downtown, all over Town.

Cheat_Fest_BoatsGilman Park was the main staging area , the Swasey too was mobbed . Kayaks were transported,  for a small fee, back to Gilman Park for those wanting another run. Great kayaking and canoeing, fishing, swimming. I cannot fathom why there is even a question before us on this . The 3 Selectmen were wrong to vote no after all the years of study.

I have been writing about dam removal for many years and I have no problem with saying  that if this does not happen it is a complete and utter failure of our local government. The fact that there are those that are nervous that a new Board will somehow screw with the vote if it’s a yea,is ludicrous. If that happens any other fix will be on your dimes, lots of them. There is no grant money for a slapdash fix. So just vote yes and let’s move on to the next project.

Once we do the right thing, the smart  thing, and vote yes to remove the old dam we will reap the benefits. I don’t  think I have heard anyone but opponents use the words “tear down the dam”.

Oh the emotion.

That was funny at the Candidates Forum , Matt describing a block party with  his neighbors  watching the River roar through their basements. The approximate drop in flood levels with the Dam removed  on Franklin St will be 5 feet.

There is no question the dam should come down and come down now, especially with the prospect of funding of the lions share in our reach. We will never have to worry about it ever again.




IMG_1334Extra skill points awarded for those weaving the IOKA arches.

IMG_1332Extra points if you can go across the head of the Island to shoot the right  arch of String Bridge.


A fixed camera here could earn you some money selling the photos of the daring  souls.


IMG_1326If it all could be arranged with the heavens a high tide would be great for the finish.

I will check the tide charts for some weekends in Spring 2016!

Dream a little dream with me.


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Every town needs a broom factory (bookmark#3)

I was very young upon hearing this adage for the first time spoken by my Father and it resonated with me. It was being used as a recognition of the need for a payroll to keep everything going in a small town.The broom  factory also was a place of employment for those possessing the most basic skill sets.

Our leaders prospective and those in control  will still pose  and posture in front of closed factories. The modern textile mill now has  one employee operating  100 looms from a single control panel.

The book mark today  is a  report written in 2010 that springs from a 2005  study entitled “Rising Above the Gathering Storm”.

A redux , a progress check.

From the report

“Rising Above the Gathering Storm was prepared in response to a request by a bipartisan group of Senators and Members of Congress who asked the National Academies to respond to the following questions:

What are the top 10 actions, in priority order, that federal policymakers could take to enhance the science and technology enterprise so that the United States can successfully compete, prosper, and be secure in the global community of the 21st century? What strategy, with several concrete steps, could be used to implement each of those actions”

“In the five years that have passed since Rising Above the Gathering Storm was issued, much has changed in our nation and world. Despite the many positive responses to the initial report, including congressional hearings and legislative proposals, America’s competitive position in the world now faces even greater challenges, exacerbated by the economic turmoil of the last few years and by the rapid and persistent worldwide advance of education, knowledge, innovation, investment, and industrial infrastructure. Indeed the governments of many other countries in Europe and Asia have themselves acknowledged and aggressively pursued many of the key recommendations of Rising Above the Gathering Storm, often more vigorously than has the U.S. We also sense that in the face of so many other daunting near-term challenges, U.S. government and industry are letting the crucial strategic issues of U.S. competitiveness slip below the surface.”

So, here is some heavy reading  for those of you stalking candidates at  barbecues and coming away with comments for the Press of such ilk as “I dunno, I just like the cut of her jib”

If you simply read the executive summary (20 pages) you will be much better armed at that  barbecue. You might  even  enroll your child in a math & science enrichment program.

The broom factory is closed.

Rising Above the  Gathering Storm, revisited. This is today’s bookmark.

“Gentlemen, we have run out of money. It is time to start thinking.”
Sir Ernest Rutherford, Nobel Laureate (Physics)

“While only four percent of the nation’s work force is composed of scientists and engineers, this group disproportionately creates jobs for the other 96 percent.”

Local note

Vicki Geis a key member of the Exeter Area General Federation of Womens Clubs has  been working tirelessly for years now in concert with all the other EAGFWC members staging “Expanding Your Horizons”  The most  recent event now in it’s 6th year, was held in May at the Middle School and attended by 200 local young women. The size of the conference only  limited by the seating in the cafeteria for lunch. Time for a new venue?

It is the only such conference held in NH.

The core intent,  to expose young women to opportunities  in math & science and present them as both attainable and life enriching, personally and for the greater society.

This estimable goal is   accomplished at the day long event by cycling our future leaders and innovators through a series of  workshops prepared and presented by women  engaged in such pursuits.

Expanding their horizons.


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Filed under Around Town, News comment, Peace Now, Public Servants, Stretch yourself technically, The Great Beyond

PKK Women


Too bad we can’t fly some  of these women in for the  conference this weekend at PEA. They are literally  at the front lines of the gender war. You can  view a slide show here on Dilsha( front ) and her unit. Their predicament only  just  came into view for me, a bit of  focus. There has been a great deal of killing  this week between the PKK and Turkish Forces. If you read a bit you will  find a great media push  behind this  movement. It’s quite remarkable. It’s difficult frankly to discern the truth. Some media will refer to them as guerrillas, freedom fighters. Others simply brand them terrorists. Some  think  that no one will suffer them much longer as the area they  inhabit is important real estate.The US does not seem interested in engaging them. You don’t have to wonder given the territory that the  independent woman is considered a real threat. There will be a great  slaughter of women  soon unless a deal is brokered, as 40% of the PKK fighters  are these women. The PKK has  dropped their demand for an independent state. The US maintains a huge air base in Turkey  so  really  this little group of people  will not get much attention from us. US Air base Our World Wide military  presence is part of the problem. It should be a World Wide Peace Program.

There is a great deal of video  to watch on the PKK  .

There  is a higher quality version of this footage however there was no embed code available.  There were some unsavory comments on that particular You tube page.

Many filmmakers and photographers have visited the  PKK and the cinematic quality of the footage is engaging. It can be  hard not to feel manipulated. The women  certainly are dramatic, brave and very beautiful.

We should be working to settle, negotiate and calm all conflicts. This is just one of many. I take great exception to  our President speaking  to  the “inevitability” of War. No one is going to win. Everyone has to  take step back.

I finished  the House of War  by  James Carrol, it is very disturbing. If you are in touch at all with history you will fly through the 500  pages. I will return it today  to the Library. I am donating another book,” War Made Easy”  How Presidents and Pundits keep Spinning  us to Death. It’s very troubling as well. You simply have to understand that the continued  fueling of our war machine means no end to War, ever. They are planning for  War in 2035. We simply have lost the path to Peace. It is too bad we do not have someone that can stare down a room full of brass.Lest anyone forget, the suits  run the show, not the uniforms. President Kennedy during the Berlin Crisis was going over a targeting plan with a General. Nuclear targets. He asked why they  were going to hit so many targets in China if the beef was with the Russians. The answer , “because it’s in the  plan  Mr President”.


merry merry


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Stratham Gateway Meeting update

Last night in Stratham they had their meeting to discuss water & sewer for developers along Route 33. I had told you I would not attend. I did however get some flavor this morning from someone in attendance. Instead a of discussion of their plans for Exeter and meetings between their Town Manager and ours, they discussed me. They actually played the Exeter Selectmens meeting public comment and attempted to refute or answer my comments! I guess I am the only one with questions. Kudos to whoever supplied them the tape, I am surprised we even had a copy to hand them. I guess the Stratham agenda I posted here was only a “draft copy”. The agenda at last nights meeting was not as purposeful as the first.

No Exeter Selectmen attended despite some stating they would be willing to listen to any proposals. Gee, if I was a Selectmen for or against this handshake I would have attended. Armed with this information they could at least answer questions at home. This is not a simple handshake however and making my comments the centerpiece of full disclosure is ridiculous. I am just a citizen asking questions. Active, engaged, yup, and the reason is I really care about the Seacoast. I also focus on the local issues, because here, where you live, you can have an impact. It would seem that I have struck a nerve, but answering my image on a screen?. So , back to the meeting, the Stratham group stated they had plenty of water that what they really want is sewer. A worse proposal. We have no capacity, none. Our DPW is still trying to find all the illegal connections to the sewer system from roof drains! Our old high school actually had roof drains tied into our sewer system. The non sewerage inflow to sewer lines is a big problem in Exeter. The Federal Government is still not pleased with what we release into the Squamscott river, which flows to Great Bay. We can never participate with Stratham in some grand scheme for Route 33. Unfortunately for us the Town has in some circumstances extended sewer and water into Stratham, and Hampton. We supply the water & sewer for get this, the Stratham Industrial Park. Get out a map to see how far this stuff has to float to reach the lagoons. Discussing that deal would require a new post.

Stratham’s Town Planner opined about regional cooperation. In my mind that is a solid grid from Derry to the beach, no thank you. He also brought up the agreement to extend water & sewer into Stratham if St Mikes had built behind McDonald’s. I was at our Selectmens meeting that evening, the Selectmen did agree pretty fast. This discussion about more connections really must end and Stratham will have to make some hard decisions, on their own.

Happy New Year


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We know

2015-10-07 16.33.56 In fact an approaching car spotting you at the stop sign will floor it to keep you waiting. You and all the other cars backed up to Anthony’s Bakery. Why the police can’t get out of the patrol car during these regular backups to direct traffic is beyond me.

There was a discussion many years ago regarding the Bandstand, maybe consider a move.

Why not shrink it?

P.C. Tommy Stephenson Durham Market Controlbox[5]


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last night

2015-10-01 18.36.32

Sun goes down over the beer tents on Swasey Parkway.

The site is ready for fun!

Purchase your tickets for Saturday below.

I have a date with a power sander and some ceilings and cannot attend this year.

More beer for you.


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that was a soakah

2015-09-30 18.30.35


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Seacoast Family Promise Fall Fundraiser

2015 Fall Fundraiser Tickets
Celebrating 12 years of guiding families home
Thursday, October 22, 2015
The Exeter Inn and Epoch Restaurant
90 Front Street, Exeter, New Hampshire
Hors d’oeuvres and cash bar
Donation $60 person, two for $100

Buy your ducats here.

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sunday morning

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Filed under Around Town, Environment, Great Bay, Squamscott River

EAGFWC Golf Tourney

JDRF is a major charitable 501 organization dedicated to funding type 1 diabetes research. JDRF’s stated goal is to “progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D.”


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The Big Dig Meeting Update

The second public information meeting to discuss the upcoming utility project on Lincoln, Front, Winter, and Main Streets will be on Wednesday, October 7th at 6:30 p.m. in the Nowak Room (Town Office) . We will be discussing the schedule and traffic control for the project, followed by a question and answer period. A representative from Joseph P. Cardillo & Son will be there to answer questions also. The meeting will also be on Channel 22 and online at for those that can’t attend.

Have a great weekend,

Jennifer Mates, P.E.
Assistant Town Engineer
Public Works Department
13 Newfields Road
Exeter, NH 03833
(603) 418-6431

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too many steps?

Despite Main Street School having a brand new parking lot, with plenty of room, parking for the school persists on Cass & Main. Visitors and employees should be compelled to use the new lot.


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Wednesday morning

The geese are back in numbers. My pillow is maybe 75 feet from the shore of Clemson Pond.

So I drift  off at night with honking and awake to the same. The geese communicate all night long.

One more month here.

I will miss the geese and frogs, and the constant burbling sounds of Clemson Pond. It is a sewage detention pond and it releases gas that forms bubbles on the surface algae mat. These pop and the  sound is audible, from my living room. Last evening we took a stroll. The Clemson Pond half mile and over to the Swasey.

2015-09-12 08.33.45

The Squamscott River smelled like cod liver oil.

Jon Ring who I spoke with on the walk agreed.

I have the taste and odor of cod liver oil in my brain, it was seared there long ago.

Jon said that he had been by the head of tide pool at dead low tide and had noticed a sheen on the exposed rocks.

The odor dissipated once one was past the Swasey Pavilion.

There is practically no water at all coming over the Great? Dam.

2015-09-22 18.27.02

2015-09-22 17.58.28 The river walk could be so unique.

Last evening the sunset was pretty good!

2015-09-22 18.50.02

2015-09-22 18.49.48Mike

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Filed under Around Town, Environment, Exeter River, mood meter, Sea&Sky, Squamscott River, the long goodbye