Louder, longer concerts at BNH Pavilion get final ‘no’

GILFORD — The Gilford Planning Board has unanimously rejected a request by Meadowbrook LLC for expanded hours and an increase in decibel levels for the two nights of an electronic music concert by Pretty Lights scheduled for Aug. 5 and 6 at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion.
Te action came Monday night following a public hearing at which many neighbors of the concert venue spoke in opposition to the request.
About 40 people showed up for a public hearing on the request, which would have extend concerts hours from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. both nights and increased the maximum volume of low-frequency sound from 108 decibels to 120 decibels.
Pavilion CEO/CFO Mike Seymour, who presented the plan, said that the request was made at the request of Pretty Lights Music in order to allow all of the electronic bands to play a full set.

– Roger Amsden

Belmont High School students grow their own healthy food on campus

By GAIL OBER, LACONIA DAILY SUN

BELMONT — Since the Food and Drug Administration encourages students of all ages to eat some red and orange vegetables daily, high school Food Service Manager Nancy Cate decided the school should grow its own.

Last year, she started with raised beds in which she, along with the help of the special education students, grew tomatoes and lettuce. This year, they added three more raised beds and are growing two kinds of squash, pole beans, cherry tomatoes, two kinds of slicing tomatoes, kale, green lettuce, cucumbers and zucchini.

"Well, I guess I'm going to pay to eat at the high school salad bar next year," said Principal David Williams.

Williams said he is very excited about the garden and supports expanding it to add potentially four to six more raised beds.

He said this project and others like it help students get closer to the source of their food and educates them as to how easy or difficult it can be, depending on circumstances they can't control, like the weather.

Audra O'Connor runs the transition program as a life skills coordinator for the special education program, whose students do most of the weeding and tending to the garden.

As they picked their beds and carefully removed the weeds, O'Connor explained how important it is to have these students doing work that improves their life skills.

"Anytime you can get kids to use real world skills and skills that can transfer to the rest of their lives is a good thing," said Williams.

"This is promoting healthy choices and the students can get this food right in the cafeteria," he said.

07-20 BHS gardens

Belmont High School Principal David Williams (in black shirt) speaks with food service manager Nancy Cate (in pink) while transition coordinator Audra O'Connor (in blue) shows her students how to properly weed a vegetable garden. (Gail Ober/Laconia Daily Sun)

Too loud - Bank of NH Pavilion neighbors protest plan to boost sound Aug. 5, 6

By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN

GILFORD — Neighbors of the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion spoke in opposition to a request by Meadowbrook LLC for expanded hours and an increase in decibel levels for the two nights of an electronic music concert by Pretty Lights scheduled for Aug. 5 and 6.
About 40 people showed up for a public hearing held last night by the Gilford Planning Board on the request, which would extend concerts hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. both nights and increase the maximum volume of low-frequency sound from 108 decibels to 120 decibels.
Pavilion CEO/CFO Mike Seymour presented the plan and said that the request was being made at the request of Pretty Lights Music in order to allow all of the electronic bands to play a full set.
"When an artist comes to us, we feel as though we should at least put it through the process," said Seymour, who said that the extended hours and higher decibel volume are nor featured in any promotions of the event so that those who attend will not have expectations of longer hours or more sound.
He acknowledged that there have been times in recent concerts when decibel levels have exceeded the limit set for concerts at the Pavilion but said those were of extremely short durations of a few seconds.
Robert Heinrich of Belknap Point Road said he lives far enough away so that concert sounds don't bother him but that is not the case with people on Governor's Island, who hear the booming bass during concerts. He said that 70 decibels is the level of normal conversation while 120 decibels is actually 32 times as loud because decibel levels increase at an algorithmic rate, not a linear, straight line rate.
Charlie Boucher of Dockham Shore Road said that the reverberations from the concert site are very loud and that and seem to be louder this year than last. He also said that increased traffic at the concert venue is causing backup problems on Weirs Road.
Ron Dudley of Wentworth Cove Road in Laconia, who also owns property near the Winnipesaukee Yacht Club in Gilford, said that the sound during concerts is unbearable and noted that during last week's Dave Matthews Band concert Meadowbrook appeared to have run out of parking spaces and was having people park at the former King's Grant Inn and then busing them back to Pavilion.
The Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion has a maximum seating capacity of 9,600.
Joe Routhier of Marina Bay at 60 Weirs Road said that living there has made the last five years the most miserable of his life and urged the planning board "to consider the people who live near by and reject the request.
The board was scheduled to take up the request following two other public hearings which were still in progress last night.