Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Exeter Family Needs Home After Fire

Exeter Family Not Sure Where to Turn After Fire
By Lara Bricker
Special to the Union Leader
EXETER__Sharon and Allan Welch are not sure where to turn after a devastating fire destroyed their mobile home Monday afternoon.
“After Thursday, we don’t really know where we’re going to go,” Sharon, 50, said Tuesday afternoon.
The Great Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross was able to provide temporary housing through Thursday for the couple, their teenage daughter, two dogs and one cat. But after that, the family says they are at a loss for what they will do.
Allan, 51, who works on construction, has been out of work for several months and unable to find a new job, his wife said. Every place that he has applied to for a job has told the local man to return in the spring. Sharon, who works as a LNA at Riverwoods at Exeter, was the sole provider for the family, but says they were just making ends meet with her income.
The family had insurance on their home but it will only pay off the mortgage on the house, not provide funds for them to rebuild. So while they do own the lot at 15 Icy Hill Road where the home sat, they say as of now they don’t have the funds to rebuild there.
Sharon’s older daughter, who is 29, lives in Exeter but with several children of her own does not have any space. A group of the couple’s neighbors are meeting Tuesday evening to talk about how the community can come together to help the family in the aftermath of the fire. At this time, a relief fund has not been established for the family.
Allan was at home when the fire started just after 2 p.m. Monday afternoon in a back bedroom. Fire officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation but they do not believe it is suspicious.
Allan escaped the house with the Shitzu and Puggle dogs, but could not find the family’s cat, Autumn. After the fire was extinguished, the cat amazingly came out alive, Sharon said.
“The cat came flying out one of the windows, she seems to be okay,” she said.
Sharon, who was at work at the time, came home to find her home and all of the contents, including family photos, completely destroyed.
“I was completely devastated,” she said. “I never realized a fire could do that much damage—there’s nothing left.”
Doug Hewitt, Emergency Services Director for the Great Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross, said the agency was able to provide for the family’s immediate needs like housing, clothes and food. They also provided care packets with items like toothbrushes and shampoo.
“All disasters have some sort of an impact on a family,” Hewitt said. “It was very, very difficult for them.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Comfort Food in Tough Times?

Stay tuned for Tuesday's Exeter News-Letter where I interviewed Bill Thibeault, owner of the Humble Pie on Lincoln Street, about the increase in popularity of comfort food in these tough times. Apparently meatloaf is flying out of their coolers faster than they can make it up.

Who Drew That Doggie in The Window?

Have you been curious about the paintings along the windows of the new Szanton block building on Water Street? So have I. It turns out they are done by local artist Christine Waniak, who did the dog art on this post. Waniak is hosting an open house/reception this Friday and Saturday in the space. She invites people to come down, see the artwork and watch her actually work on some pieces.

She describes her work as follows:

"Know for my fine detail I have been very proficient as a muralist and also canvas work. Currently working on a book that I am both writing and illustrating. The most common comment I receive about my work is that "it makes me smile", I hope that was your experience too."

For more information about Christine or to see some of her work go to:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Arjay's = Business of the Year

Arjay Ace Hardware Named Business of the Year
Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce Honors Store for Volunteerism,
Exceptional Customer Service, Green Practices and More

Exeter, NH – The Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce has named Arjay Ace Hardware as Business of the Year, based on the store’s commitment to community outreach, exceptional customer service, top-quality products, environmentally-friendly business practices and more.

“We’re thrilled to be part of such a wonderful community, surrounded by extraordinary business owners and sup ported by our loyal customers. It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by our peers in the community and to receive this prestigious award,” said Dan Jackson, owner of Arjay Ace Hardware. “Our mission is to provide convenience, exceptional customer service, a knowledgeable and friendly team, premium products and an unwavering commitment to the community,” Jackson continued. “We pride ourselves on making each customer feel important and valued.”

Jackson and the Arjay Ace Hardware team were also recognized for their devotion to the community. Jackson and his wife, Arjay’s co-owner, Mandy Jackson, have donated significant time and resources to community projects, including the Exeter Chamber of Commerce, the Festival of Trees, the Ultimate Sports Raffle, the Exeter and Greenland school systems and the Acorn School of Stratham, among others.

Their staff members are committed to giving back to the community, as well, volunteering with the Coast Guard, emergency management teams and as local firefighters. Additionally, they dedicate time to local churches, committees, events and organizations that are personally meaningful.

The store’s annual Ladies’ Night event has become increasingly popular in the Exeter area, and Jackson recently added a food drive component to the festivities. Attendees enjoy product discounts, fabulous door prizes, refreshments, free gift wrapping and can also contribute food to needy families in our area.

Store owner Dan Jackson was presented with the Business of the Year award at a reception=2 0on March 12.

“Dan Jackson works hard to be an industry leader, and is well-respected among his staff, peers, vendors and Ace Hardware management. He is also well-liked and highly admired within the Exeter community,” said Thom Kraus, President of the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce. “It was our great pleasure and honor to present him with the Business of the Year award.”

“Dan and I look forward to serving the needs of our community – and our valued customers – for many years to come,” said Mandy Jackson, co-owner of the store.

Jackson holds himself, his store and his staff to the highest standards, which is why the store has consistently won Vision 21 Awards, Ace Hardware’s highest ratings, every year since they joined the Ace Hardware cooperative in 1999.

Arjay Ace Hardware is located at 55 Lincoln Street in Exeter.

Arjay Ace Hardware is a fourth-generation family-owned store that has served the Exeter community for 25 years. They carry the finest brands, including Benjamin Moore paint, Weber, Carhartt, Ace brand and much more, and many of these products come with a lifetime guarantee. Arjay A ce Hardware employees take great pride in their work, offering exceptional customer service and friendly, knowledgeable advice. In fact, the award-winning Arjay Ace Hardware has been consistently named one of Ace Hardware’s premiere stores.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Renewable Energy Forums Planned in Exeter and Dover

Free and Open to the Public
March 17 (Tuesday) 6:00PM Exeter Public Library Meeting Room
March 24 (Tuesday) 6:00PM Dover Public Library Meeting Room

Recent legislation will make renewable energy systems more affordable for New Hampshire residents. The PUC’s Renewable Energy Fund will provide direct financial support for qualified solar electric and solar hot water systems and is intended to help move the State toward its goal of 25% renewable generation by 2025 (see RSA 362-F). When the new state funds are combined with federal tax credits, and other utility rebate programs, the upfront costs of a solar hot water (SHW), solar photovoltaic (PV), or wood-pellet boiler system are greatly reduced. In addition to being a sound environmental choice, these systems represent a real investment value, in the face of fluctuating energy prices and formerly stable stock markets. ReVision Energy LLC has amassed considerable experience in fitting solar and wood-pellet boiler technologies to homes, businesses, and municipalities across Maine and New Hampshire. Solar electric, solar thermal, and wood-biomass represent three of the most efficient and reliable renewable energy systems currently available. This presentation aims to provide details on the environmental, financial, and policy aspects of transitioning away from fossil fuel energy to clean and sustainable renewable energy.

Sponsored by the Exeter Energy Committee

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Day of Voting and Dirty Dancing

I stopped to vote this afternoon and was told by those out in front of the polls that voter turnout was way down. I hope people get out the vote! It's your chance to be heard...

(And if you're really lucky you'll be interviewed by the Fox 25 News crew camped out down there).

They want to hear about Dirty Dancing debate at the high school.

For those not up on the debate, check out the story about Exeter's own Footloose click here

Head Over Heels Closes Up Shop

So, I was walking along Water Street over the weekend to pick up a sandwich at Billingsgate when I saw the sign that Head over Heels is going out of business. I was shocked. The place has been there for quite a number of years.
I guess the shoe business isn't what it used to be, especially for the higher quality type of shoes sold there. Too bad.
I hear that a cosmetic store is coming in to the space?? I should mention that I wear make up about twice a year.. but.. still I was a little surprised. Is there that a big of a market for make up? I guess we'll see.
In the meantime, I am the proud new owner of the shiny patent red leather clogs that I have admired in the window of Head Over Heels for the past six months. They were one of only a handful of shoes left on Saturday, how could I not try them on? Turns out they were just my size.
Now I just have to figure out a place to wear them. (My husband suggested Halloween)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Meet Ugly the Cat--Our Local Celebrity


History for Kids

The Exeter Historical Society will be offering a local history enrichment course geared towards students aged 9-11 who have an interest in history, beginning April 2nd at the Historical Society headquarters at 47 Front Street.
This series entitled, “Unlocking the Past: A Local History Enrichment Course”, will cover life in the Exeter area over the past 350 years. The course will meet on Thursdays at 3:45 for one hour per week for eight weeks, with the exception of the week of April school vacation.

The course will be taught by Deborah Kanner, a New Hampshire state certified teacher with a master’s degree in history. The cost is $75 per child, or $25 per child for those with a Family Membership to the Society.

The course will be based on the Exeter History Curriculum developed by Ms. Kanner under the auspices of Historic Exeter Associates (1997). Students will explore themes related to the history of New England using Exeter, New Hampshire, as a representative model. The focus will be on the study of local history as a means of enhancing the students’ understanding of economic, political, and social development over time. Students will also be encouraged to research their own local interests as a means of fostering appreciation for and involvement in their communities.

Primary sources, documents and artifacts will enable students to experience history in concrete terms. Students will learn to analyze and evaluate these sources in order to gain insight into the past. Utilizing the Exeter Historical Society’s collection will enhance this experiential learning. Sources referenced will include maps, photos, memorabilia, newspapers, and books. The building itself, and its location in downtown Exeter, will offer access to architecture and monuments as sources. This course will involve walking field trips in the immediate area of the Historical Society. Ms. Kanner will require the help of a few parents to help supervise these trips. Students’ classwork will be organized in a folder along with suggestions for further activities and field trips.
To enroll or for additional information, please contact Laura Gowing at the Exeter Historical Society at 603-778-2335 (or at info@exeterhistory.org).