Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH Welcomes 2 New Board Members

Deborah L. CoffinDeborah L. Coffin of New London, brings to the board a wealth of non-profit experience and an expertise in the field of fundraising and development. She has served on the board of the NH Locked Moose Antler Project (“Forever Locked”) since its inception, is a board member of the League of NH Craftsmen, a former board member of Habitat for Humanity of the Kearsarge/Sunapee Area, a past president of the NH Spinners and Dyers Guild, and the former Education Coordinator for the Enfield Shaker Museum. She also served on the Springfield (NH) Board of Selectmen for 6 years. Ms. Coffin is the owner/founder of Moose Country Gourmet. Her professional career was spent in the mental health field, providing private counseling on addiction and relationships. She is a board member of the Society for Advancement of Sexual Health, and previously taught at Colby-Sawyer College and Granite State College.

Richard A. Estes Jr.Richard A. “Rick” Estes Jr., a native of the Granite State, spent 28 years with the NH Fish and Game Department as a conservation officer. He was named the Department’s team leader for the state’s specialized search and rescue team and was instrumental in implementing GPS technology into search and rescue operations.

He now owns and operates Owls Roost Outfitters in Ossipee, a registered fishing guide service in New Hampshire and Maine. He is well known for his fly tying expertise and offers popular clinics in fly tying. He holds an outfitter/guide special use permit in the White Mountain National Forest. Mr. Estes brings to the Board his passion for fishing and expertise in wilderness navigation and survival.

Board Chair Steven White states “We are excited to welcome these experienced professionals to our Board with their passion for both the enjoyment of the NH outdoors and the conservation of wildlife, particularly at a time when the Foundation is striving to meet the increasing needs of the NH Fish and Game Department.”

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation of NH is the official non-profit partner of the NH Fish and Game Department. The Foundation raises funds in support of the Department’s critical wildlife, conservation and educational programs important to New Hampshire family traditions of hiking, fishing, hunting and watching wildlife, and is dedicated to preserving these outdoor gifts for generations to come.

To learn more about the Foundation and how you can help conserve New Hampshire’s wildlife and wild places, visit their website.


Easter Blessings in and around town

John has been on a quest to walk the newest part of our town’s Rail Trail 53 times in honor of our friend Mark who passed away at the age of 53 over a year ago. Yesterday evening when we got out of our car with Shea to get ready to walk I overheard the nicest conversation. A young girl maybe 18 was walking along side of an elderly man as they were both finishing their walk on the trail.

The girl was so happy and bubbly as she talked to the man, and we could tell they had just met. She said something like, “Yah this is the best thing, I just found it about a week ago and I didn’t even know we had this beautiful place right in our town.” She was lovely and had so much energy; the older man was just so happy to have this nice girl talking to him and sharing time. It was just an “Easter Blessing” I would say. If you haven’t been yet, maybe that would be a nice thing for you to do with your family over this Easter Weekend. Remember it’s right in front of North School, you can even park right there.

John took this picture of the sign for me. How great is that, we have a new place that will bring us all together? This is exactly what Mark would have wanted and if he were here with us he would be helping to complete more of the Rail Trail and he would be donating his time to do it too.

There were two other signs on the Trail, one said North School is having a very special Rail Trail Day coming up to celebrate this free open space. I can just imagine the nature walks and exercise the students will get from having this right across the street from them. The other sign and we saw a couple of these along the trail is to remind us that we can still make donations. If you’re looking for something nice to do for others this Easter, make a donation “big” or “small” to help complete another section of that beautiful trail.

John told me to complete “One” mile of the Rail Trail it cost $100,000 dollars. I had no idea! You probably would have never guessed that either! I know it sounds like a lot, but once you walk “Mark’s Mile” across from North School, and down toward the highway, you will understand why! It’s just one of those gifts that you can’t put a price on.

Take your family there over the Easter Weekend and talk to your children about beauty, nature, exercise, and “Giving”. Pick a number your family can afford $5, $50 or more, and have them make the donation with you. When you get home write the check and address the envelope with them or show them how to do it on line. Have them include a little note or picture even. Talk to them about the “blessing” that someday this trail will connect to Manchester, Derry, Salem and beyond. They might be walking it with their children someday and grandkids, too.

Another Easter Blessing that will be happening this Monday is our Boston Marathon. I think it’s beautiful that it will be taking place the day after Easter. I believe that was a meant to be. It’s as though there will be Devine Intervention there with each runner to keep them safe and to help us all live Boston Strong together. I just stopped to check the weather and I think that too will be a gift from God to the runners.

One of the weather sites is predicting it will be 53ish and cloudy. This will be a perfect day for running. It really doesn’t get much better than that. Mark always said that when you are running you can add 20 degrees onto the temperature outside and that’s how you will feel on the course. So for Mondays Marathon Runners it will feel like about 73 degrees to them. Shorts, tanks, and lots of water, pretty close to ideal.

Two years ago I was blessed to be able to run “Jog” the Boston Marathon, the last year before everything happened. A few days before the marathon I received a call from a runner and friend in Raymond, Andrea. She said she wanted to meet me briefly and that she had something she needed to give me. I was baffled but we met in the Rite Aid Parking lot in Derry. Here is a picture of what she gave me.

As Fate would have it, it was a book that many years ago I had read at an Inn in Boston, when my dream of running the marathon didn’t even seem like a possibility. When you slide the book out of the sleeve it opens up like an accordion and what I loved was one it was easy to read and two it takes you along the entire course and shares “stories” with you about each section of the run. When I was done reading it years ago, it took less than an hour, I carefully put it back on the library self and never thought I would see it or one again.

Andrea had called me to give me this book. Through our “van” windows she told me the story of how when she ran her Boston Marathon that “out of the Blue” a runner had called her and said he needed to give her something before she ran.

From what I could tell and no one knows for sure, I think a runner name Dan ran the Boston in 2006. I think he might have asked a couple runners there with him to sign this as a memory for him. He decided to pass it on with the “dream” that it would continue to live on with other runners of the Marathon through the years. Andrea explained to me that my quest would be to find another runner the next year and pass it to them so that the legacy could continue. It seems so very strange to me, that last year I really thought about finding the right person to pass it to, but I just didn’t. I knew many runners who would be there, but I held tight to it.

I really wasn’t sure I would “give it up” this year either and then just a few days ago, with a very strange unexpected phone call all that changed.

Our Teddy from Giovanni’s Roast Beef and Pizza had told me months ago I should give an amazing Physical Therapist Michele Holland a call about something completely not related. I never followed through on the call, but for whatever reason last week I did. I called her physical therapy Office, Performance Rehab. Inc. in Nashua. I have heard it is the very best place if you need Physical Therapy or Injury Prevention. I never expected I would be able to talk with her on the phone. I planned to just leave a message. The receptionist was a great guy who put me right through to Michele.

Through the years our paths have crossed many times but fate just never allowed for us to share much more than quick Hi’s and great to see you’s. We talked about the reason for my call and then started talking about running. Mark was a friend to everyone and he had brought many of us together for fun runs through the years. Out of the blue I asked her if she was doing the Boston Marathon this year and she said yes.

This may sound corny, but suddenly I got “Chills” I had found “My Runner” to pass the book onto. When I told her the story of the book and we talked about the love of running that our friend Mark had, I knew she felt the same way on the other end of the call. I can’t even put into words how I felt. I thought this year would pass too, and I would hold the book again. Andrea had stressed to me it didn’t have to be shared each year, that only when the right person came along. When I called Michele this was the farthest thing from my mind. I’m getting chills again just typing it to you. To me that was another Easter Blessing.

I asked Michele if she could meet today so that I could pass this gift onto her. I stopped writing to you so that I could complete my quest.

I didn’t really understand why God had put Michele in my path this week, but after we hugged and got pretty teary, I understood why. Oh no I’m getting teary again trying to type to you now. Michele explained to me that this will be her 7th year running the Boston Marathon. She was there last year when our New England world changed. Michele was at mile 25 when she was told she had to stop. It was a nightmare for everyone there and all of us watching it on TV, through our computers or phones.

She also told me that a month later on Memorial Day runners and their families were invited to run the last mile. They started at Kenmore Square and ran to the finish line at Copley. Here is a picture of Michele with her son Sean at the end. Michele said it was a beautiful time of healing, tears and remembering for everyone.

Say a little prayer for all of the Runners that will be out there on Monday, they will be carrying a little piece of our hearts with them each step of the way xo

With a Grateful Heart and an Easter Prayer, Sherry

The amazing thing about being part of Visit Londonderry is that I never know exactly where a week will lead. Even though I have lived here since the 60′s, grew up at Kendalwood Condos, taught at the High School, and raised my family here, each day I learn something special about our community. One thing is for sure, Londonderry is the best place to Live, Work and Play! Each week I will share with you some of the amazing businesses and things I have learned about Londonderry.

Sherry is an account manager for the Londonderry Commerce and Visitors Center.  You can follow her at Twitter.com/Sherry_CVC

You can visit the Londonderry Commerce and Visitors Center, where “Business is Good. Life is Better!”


Free Turkey Hunting Workshop

A free workshop covering the basics of hunting wild turkeys is being offered by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department on Saturday, April 19, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Owl Brook Hunter Education Center at 387 Perch Pond Road in Holderness, N.H. Pre-registration is required. Space is limited. To sign up for the workshop, or for more information, call 603-536-3954.

“This workshop is highly recommended for anyone looking for tips and techniques that may help them become a successful turkey hunter; whether you are a beginner or an experienced turkey hunter, this session is a great resource,” said Tom Flynn, manager of Fish and Game’s Owl Brook Hunter Education Center.

At the workshop, Dave Priebe, a Hunter Education instructor and Quaker Boy Turkey Calls pro staff member, will cover the basics of turkey hunting, turkey calling and turkey hunting safety. Fish and Game wildlife biologist Ted Walski will talk about the natural history and behavior of wild turkeys.

New Hampshire’s spring gobbler season runs from May 3 through May 31. The state’s youth turkey hunting weekend will take place April 26-27, 2014. Hunting licenses and turkey permits can be purchased online by clicking here.

To find out about course offerings at Fish and Game’s Owl Brook Hunter Education Center, get directions to the center, or explore volunteer opportunities at Owl Brook, visit this website.

Activities at Owl Brook Hunter Education Center are supported by federal Wildlife Restoration funds, a user-pay, user-benefit program funded through your purchase of firearms, ammunition and archery supplies.


NH Fish and Game Issues Warning About Life-Threatening Polar Plunge Activities

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department today issued an urgent warning about potential danger associated with a statewide, social media-driven craze enticing teens to jump into frigid icy waters. Responding to the “Polar Plunge” dare, young people are jumping, dressed only in summer swimwear and without life vests, into frigid New Hampshire lakes and ponds, as well as fast-flowing rivers and streams coursing with snow melt. An insidious aspect of the trend is that participating youth must dare five other youth to take part, creating a fast-growing phenomenon with enormous potential for tragic outcomes.

Recent information received by the Fish and Game Department indicated that today (April 14, 2014), a large number of North Country youth had reportedly made plans to jump into the raging Connecticut River. Right now, the Connecticut River is boiling with fast, high water from the spring snow melt, with chunks of ice and debris coursing past.

Members of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Dive Team, who are responsible for drowning recovery operations in the state, are very concerned about the unsanctioned Polar Plunge activities youth are engaging in. “We are strongly urging youth not to participate, and we are asking families and community members to stay alert,” said Conservation Officer and Fish and Game Dive Team Member Glenn Lucas. “The potential for life-threatening incidents to occur, because of the Polar Plunge trend, is huge.”

Lucas noted that even when ice is not visible on top of the water, there can be ice below that can easily cause a slip into dangerous fast-moving water. In one recent incident recorded on Facebook, two New Hampshire teenage girls jumped into Garland Brook in Lancaster, slipped on the ice and were nearly swept into the current without life jackets.

According to the N.H. Marine Patrol, immersion in cold water can quickly render even a good swimmer helpless within minutes. Even short amounts of time exposed to the rigors of frigid water can exacerbate hypothermic effects. Hypothermia is an abnormally low body temperature, often caused by prolonged exposure to cold. Symptoms of hypothermia can include shivering, a lack of fine or gross motor skills, slurred speech, stumbling, confusion, poor decision making, drowsiness or low energy, apathy, loss of consciousness, weak pulse and/or shallow breathing. Those suffering from the effects of hypothermia may not be aware this is taking place. A person experiencing hypothermia while in the water is at a greater risk of injury or drowning.


Londonderry Woman to Run 2014 Boston Marathon!

Sarah McKitterick has been hard at work training throughout the winter getting ready to run the 118th Boston Marathon in support of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress and their mission of promoting acceptance and inclusion. Sarah has set a fundraising goal of $5000 for the MDSC’s critical programs and services.

Over the past year and a half, Ms. McKitterick has worked closely with the MDSC through her work as Community Relations Manager at Boston Ballet’s Department of Education and Community Initiatives. One of the department’s programs, Adaptive Dance, provides creative movement to individuals with Down syndrome ages 2 through adult, and many of the students involved have found support through the MDSC.

Through the program, she had the opportunity to work with the MDSC and was consistently impressed by the depth and breadth of the services that they provide to ensure that individuals with Down syndrome are valued, included, and given the opportunities to pursue fulfilling lives.

Inspired by the individuals involved in Adaptive Dance and in the MDSC, Ms. McKitterick was moved to run the Boston Marathon in their honor in 2013, but due to the tragic events on April 15, was unable to finish the race.

But thanks to the Boston Athletic Association, she has been given a second chance to finish on April 21, 2014 and is looking forward to finishing strong.

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Hockey, Racing and Basketball Highlights this Week

Meredith Farrell is a Sports Communications major at Marist College. She was a four-year varsity athlete at Trinity High School. Table Talk is her unique female perspective on sports.

The Olympics have come and gone. Sadly, the Sochi Olympics were disappointing for America to say the least. We finished fourth on the gold medal count falling behind Canada, Norway, and Russia. These Olympics seemed to lack excitement in some areas, but mostly in the chosen topics of our media. The media focused on so many negatives of Sochi that it made it nearly impossible to focus on the history, tradition, and unity that the Olympics possesses. Despite the negative articles focused solely on poor conditions and political controversies, the Olympics did have its moments.

The most talked about event of the Sochi Olympics was hockey. The gold medal game did not disappoint. Canada and Sweden faced off and by now you all know who emerged victorious. Canada won. The game was not as exciting as Canada’s 2010 Olympic victory when Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal in overtime, in fact this year’s game was very different. In the 2014 Olympics Canada dominated the Gold Medal Match and won in a shutout with a score of 3-0.

With this year’s win, Canada becomes the only team to repeat as Olympic champions in the NHL era as well as being the first team to go unbeaten through the Olympic tournament since the Soviet Union in Sarajevo in 1984. Canada’s win was the country’s ninth gold in hockey which is the current record. The Canadian Men joined the Canadian Women to complete Canada’s second straight Olympic Hockey Sweep.

There has been talk that this might have been the last Olympic games that NHL players were allowed to participate in, but unfortunately we won’t hear ruling on the issue for at least another 6 months. If this was the end of the NHL era in the Olympics, the NHL and its players put on a grand show. However, after watching the Canadians accept their gold medals at the Bolshoy Ice Dome it would be hard to imagine the Winter Olympics without the NHL.

In other sports news this week as of this past Sunday night, Dale Earnhardt Jr. became the fourth man ever to win the Daytona 500 with two different teams. Dale’s first Daytona win came exactly 10 years ago in 2004, but Dale says he is looking forward to his victory lap this week. In an interview with USA TODAY he said, “I don’t remember too much about 2004 – it was such a blur – so I’m looking forward to all the places we’ve got to go,” he said. “I’m going to make sure everybody hears about (his team’s accomplishment).”

Daytona breaks Dale Jr.’s 55-race winless streak that dated all the way back to June 2012. Dale Jr.’s fans are ecstatic and team owner Rick Hedrick is thrilled to have Dale Jr.’s fans off his back for a little while until his next race in Phoenix. To end his interview Dale Jr. said, “I think it’s our time,” he said. “This is our year. I’m going to fight every week.” I must admit that NSCAR is not my first choice of sports, but I will definitely be keeping my eye out for Dale Jr. in his upcoming races.

Last weekend was a big weekend in sports and if you weren’t watching the Daytona 500 maybe you tuned into the Nets game on Sunday night. Regardless, the game was completely overshadowed by Jason Collins. Jason Collins told the world that he was gay last year and after being traded to the Nets recently, Collins became the first openly gay player to ever play in any of the four major sports leagues.

Collins became an icon of change to come the moment he spoke out publicly about his sexuality. After coming out there was no need for Collins to ever play another minute of basketball, his place in history was all ready secure. However, that wasn’t the point of telling his story. The point was to keep playing and to refuse to back down, and as of Sunday night Collins became the first active openly gay player in a major pro sports team.

Collins’ road to the court after coming out was challenging, regardless of his sexuality. He was 34 years old when he came out and his skills were declining. There was no guarantee that he would get the opportunity to be the first openly gay player to step into a game as a professional. This is why Collins became the first gay player in the middle of February rather than at the start of the season. The Nets finally decided to be the NBA team to give him a chance. It took 8 months of lingering questions regarding controversy between not being signed due to skill level depletion or segregation due to sexuality. Collins will continue to play and continue to make a statement about the changes in society and sports that are around the corner.

The new National Basketball League Commissioner, Adam Silver, had an opportunity to shine with his comments released to the press regarding Jason Collins.

Silver stated, “I’m excited for Jason. I’m honored, in so many ways, that the NBA presented to him a comfortable environment in which he both felt comfortable coming out last April, and one in which an NBA team felt comfortable signing him based on his ability, and in no way to make a political statement.” Silver also noted, “I think we all have to be a little cautious about congratulating ourselves, because it’s also long overdue.”

Collins’ debut with the Nets went off just as the team could have hoped. He played well setting hard screens, dove to the floor for loose balls, and handed out his fair share of fouls. Fans cheered the moment he stepped on the court and fellow players were supportive. The issue of differing sexuality is beginning to break its way into sports and so far it has been integrated comfortably and sufficiently without unneeded attention. Sports have a history of making an impact on societal changes, as openly gay players become more common in all of the four major leagues it is the hope that soon a gay player revealing his sexuality will no longer make headlines.