By Tom Eastman
THERE ARE SOME WEEKENDS when there isn't much of anything going on — but this definitely isn't one of them!
COLD RIVER: Off the slopes, we've got the next Cold River Radio Show at Theater in the Wood Sunday night, March 9, featuring Headliner for the live show is The Ghost of Paul Revere, featuring tracks from their newly-released album, “Believe,” reaching No. 10 on the Billboard Northeast Heatseeker chart.
The show will also feature singer-songwriter Bobby Sheehan, of Fryeburg Academy, storyteller Michael Caduto, award-winning author, Kim Nilsen, and Dr. Peter Crane of the Mount Washington Observatory, who will present “Voices from the Mountain” in a Mount Washington Moment.
Tickets are $25 and are available on-line and at J-Town Deli in Jackson and White Birch Books in North Conway. Theater in the Wood (356-9980) is located at 41 Observatory Way, off Route 16, across from Town Hall Road.
HEATING UP: For the best in live entertainment, there's always annual town meeting, of course!
Discussion on a petitioned article for a 2.5 percent tax cap dominated Conway's deliberative sessions under SB 2 for school and town under Monday and Wednesday at Kennett High's Loynd Auditorium. School voters defeated a motion by selectman Mike DiGregorio to increase it to 10 percent by a vote of 83 to 65 Monday, but okayed an identical amendment by former selectman Theresa Kennett at Wednesday's town session by a narrow vote of 39 to 38 at 10:45 p.m. [EDITOR'S NOTE: This vote tallies was printed incorrectly in the print version of The Valley Voice: These are the correct tallies].
Voting is set for April 8 at the Conway Community Building.
Most local non-SB 2 towns will be holding their town meetings this coming week.
Topping the political calendar in District 1 is the special election March 11 between Republican Joe Kenney, 53, of Wakefield and Democrat Mike Cryans, 63, of Hanover, in the special election to fill the vacancy left by the passing of North Country legend Ray Burton in November from cancer at age 74.
ON THE TRACKS AND TRAILS: Highlights of the weekend include the Winter Wild up-and-down mountain race at Black Mountain early Saturday morning, March 8, to the New England Ski Museum's 17th annual Hannes Schneider Meister Cup at Cranmore, March 7 through 9; Bretton Woods Nordic Center's Nordic Marathon for the benefit of the New England Ski Museum March 8, the Ski (and Snowshoe) to the Clouds March 9, and Wildcat' 100k Vertical Challenge March 10
Black's Winter Wild Race is part of a series that is to conclude March 15 at Bretton Woods, notes organizer Chad Denning, a past Friends of Tuckerman Ravine TuckerMan Inferno Solo Pentathlon winner.
“It'll get under way at 7 a.m., before the lifts, Saturday morning. It attracts all kinds of athletes, from weekend warriors to Tuckerman triathlete types,” said Chad. “Winter Wild is an uphill series with a twist, the finish is at the bottom so you get to come back down, too. Grab your skis, grab your snowshoes, or just grab your favorite winter running shoes and join us for some winter fun.”
Call 383-4490 for further information, or visit www.newinterwild.com.
NINE MOUNTAINS: Also on tap for the weekend is a one-run per mountain, nine-mountain fund-raiser March 9 by the Friends of the Mount Washington Avalanche Center, report board members John Gorman and Bill Downey.
“We'll be doing nine mountains in nine hours,” reports Bill, who runs Portsmouth Kayak Center.
They'll start at Wildcat, and then visit Black, Attitash, Cranmore, Loon, Waterville Valley and Cannon. Visit www.friendsofmwvac.com for entry information.
SPRING FORWARD: We all long, of course, for a hint of spring as we set the clocks forward an hour at 2 a.m. March 9 for the start of Daylight Savings Time.
The good news is that as of this writing March 6, we have 2 hours and 32 minutes more of daylight per day than we had on the winter solstice on Dec. 21. See, there's hope!
Ed Bergeron, North Conway weather observer for the U.S. Weather Service, reported that as of March 6, North Conway had received 70.8 inches of snow, which is 8.8 inches above the 31-year average.
That's pretty impressive, given that we only received 11 inches of snow in January, half the 31-year average of 22 inches. February's total was 29.8 inches, compared to the 31-year average of 16.5 inches. March's average is 17 inches, so we could be due for more.
Meanwhile, the pages of Facebook are full of laments about the winter cold. Our favorite was a photograph of friend Barbara Spofford, shown on her beach chair set up against a snowbank.
HOW COLD HAS IT BEEN? If you think it's been colder than usual, you're right, according to sales manager Dana Jones of White Mountain Oil and Propane.
Speaking as the event sponsor of an economic outlook forum presented by the MWV Economic Council at Granite State College in Conway March 6, Dana reported to the 27 or so business leaders in attendance that it's been:
• 12 percent colder than last winter;
• 26 percent colder than the warm winter of two years ago (remember the 70-degree temps on St. Patrick's Day that year?); and
• 13 percent colder than the 10-year average.
The cold weather has had a big impact on fuel prices, said Dana:
“In addition to a colder winter, we are all facing higher heating costs with fuel oil and propane gas being almost as high as they have ever been with state averages around $4 / gallon … Heating oil is the same as last year; propane gas is the one which is up 25 percent or more.”
He said most employees at White Mountain Oil and Propane heat their homes with oil — so guess that tells us all something, eh?
HAPPY B-DAYS to one and all, including: Jeff Perry (belatedly, March 6); AMC director of public affairs Rob Burbank, the locally ski-vacationing Roy “The Skiing DJ” Prescott and his mom, Mrs. Prescott; Lydia Lansing, former Conway town clerk John Stevens, Cathy Westervelt, Sandra Steele and Laurie Savoy, and happy 64th anniversary to June and Ralph Wiggin March 15…ON ICE: Pat Kittle reports 148 people tried out the sport of curling at the MWV Curling Club's open house at the Ham March 1...SKI NOTES: The Cranmore SnowSports Hall of Fame invites all to its next induction ceremony, set for March 14 at Zip's Pub, notes yodeling member Eric Styffe...Mountain Meisters will race for Jen's Friends at Cranmore for Week 9 March 12. Take as many runs as you want, with proceeds benefiting this fine cause!…ESSC DATES: Tuesday, March 11, is Snow Day for the Eastern Slope Ski Club Junior Program. The clubs annual meeting and volunteer appreciation night is set for the Red Parka Pub March 20, beginning at 6 p.m., Brett Newton reports.
CHALLENGE CUP: See you at the 41st annual Red Parka Challenge Cup at Attitash March 14. Proceeds benefit the ESSC. For entry details, call Terry O'Brien at 383-4344. Terry reports that valley Olympian Leanne Smith has donated an autographed speed suit, the helmet that she wore in Sochi (also autographed), and a day of skiing with her. These will be auctioned off at the awards party after the race. Raffle prizes include 20-minute helicopter ride with Ned Sullivan, skis, boots, bindings, lift tickets for next year, overnight stays and mores, and an RCI vacation anywhere in the world from Joe Berry. There will also be a raffle at the bib draw on Thursday night as well as announcing some new Hall of Fame recipients. It's the best race of the year!
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 05:11
By Tom Eastman
HAPPY POST-OLYMPICS weekend to you and your favorite gold-medal-winning, podium watching TV viewer!
Topping the weekend agenda as March rolls in like a lion is the Mount Washington Valley's 11th annual Chilly Chili Cookoff and the Mount Washington Valley Curling Club's “Olympic Curling Experience” open house, both set for March 1.
Chili and curling — sounds like a good mix. Add the great riding and skiing for the weekend, and it ought to be a good one as the second of two school vacation weeks wraps up.
CHILLY CHILI: Presented by the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Memorial Hospital with help from WMWV 93.5-FM, Magic 104FM, 93.5 FM, and Hannaford Supermarkets, the Chilly Chili stroll has been spiced up a notch this year, note organizers.
New this year are additional tastings, festivities throughout North Conway Village and children’s activities presented by the Mount Washington Valley Children’s Museum. There will be two cook-offs happening concurrently throughout the day.
The Professional Chef’s Division will be held at the Gibson Center for Senior Services in North Conway, with 25 professional chefs competing.
In addition, a People’s Choice chili cook-off will take place at the North Conway Community Center and additional locations in the village. Chili chefs from non-profit organizations will compete for the People’s Choice award for their chili and cornbread.
Last Updated on Thursday, 27 February 2014 05:33
THE EXCITING FINAL DAYS OF the Sochi Winter Olympics, powda for the people everywhere here in the valley, tons of vacationers lined up at the local restaurants and making their way around the pond-sized snowmelt puddles on the snowbank-lined village sidewalks — what's not to like this end to the first of two February vacation weeks?
Some people (they're the ones with skis and snowboards on their snow-covered roof racks) love all this white stuff; others — judging from their disgruntled comments on Facebook — are starting to really feel the back strain from all this shoveling.
When the temperatures got springlike, many sun lovers took advantage of Thursday's 40-degree temps and sunshine to head to their decks and soak in some rays while sitting in lawn chairs, surrounded by snowbanks.
SNOW TOTALS: Just how much snow have we received?
Marti Mayne, publicist for the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce, reports that Bretton Woods has logged in 117 inches of snow to date this season and Wildcat is not far behind with 102 inches. All local ski resorts have measured more than 80 inches of snow, with another 8 to 10 inches falling over the past 48 hours as of Thursday. Great Glen Trails comes in with a reported 34 inches in the past seven days.
My late brother, Steve Eastman (1949-2008), co-founder of The Mountain Ear, always used to say, “Give me one winter with a good Christmas Week, Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend and February vacation week, and I'll be happy.” Well, Steve, at long last, the valley finally is having it!
Between the double and triple shifts, we hope that our local waiters and bartenders are able to get some time off to enjoy this snow — if not, stock up on that cash this busy first of two vacation weeks, and make hay while the sun shines and the snow flies!
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 February 2014 22:35
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO you and your most romantic skiing and riding partner this post-Nor'easter of a day!
Cupid's arrows were right on the mark when he (or she?) shot them at the snow clouds to bring down what was expected to be a foot of new snow Thursday and into Friday. Fellow snowsports lovers waxed ecstatic about the new snow, which fell just as we headed into the first of two February school vacation weeks.
Local kids (and teachers) in SAUs 9 and 13 and MSD 72 join their Massachusetts peers in having Feb. 17 through 21 off, while the rest of New Hampshire has Feb. 24 through 28 off. They'll find fantastic skiing, riding and snowmobiling for the holiday week, just as we did for Christmas Week and Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend.
All ski area and ski touring representatives were pretty psyched about the snow.
At the Jackson Ski Touring Center, they already had all 151 kilometers before the storm. Now, just come out and see how good it can get.
Last Updated on Friday, 14 February 2014 07:12
AS WEDNESDAY'S SNOW proved on a 50-cent rated day, Punxsutawney Phil was right on Ground Hog Day Feb. 2 when he saw his shadow: We are in for six more weeks of winter, which came as great news to snowsports lovers, and which makes everyone else really start dreaming of someplace warm further south — like mmm ... Redstone?
The valley got 8 to 12 inches from the storm. The snow fell as steady powder for Week 5 of Cranmore Mountain Meisters Wednesday, and set it up good for the coming February vacation weeks.
“What a day we had, everyone made it safely down the mountain, yeah! Snow never stopped,” reported co-coordinator Danbo Doucet about snowy Week 5. He said 300 racers braved the fluffy conditions.
ATTITASH RACE LEAGUE: The weather could not have been finer for the second slalom of the season for Week 5 of the Atittash Race League Tuesday, reported series coordinator Corey Madden when he appeared on WMWV's “Morning Show” Wednesday morning.
Host Roy “The Skiing DJ” Prescott said he still had trouble with the slalom format when he took to it a second time Tuesday, but gave it a good second try.
During the interview, Corey announced that come Saturday, Ptarmigan's will host the Pearl Jam tribute band, King Jeremy, from 3 to 6 p.m. (Local favorite Full Circle was there last Saturday, prior to their well-attended gig that night at Hillbilly's, making for a full day for Rob Struble, Rick Hensley-Buzzell, Norm Smith and bandmates). Hope they do Pearl Jam's latest hit, “Sirens,” which has been getting a lot of air time on WMWV.
We ran into Roy at Wildcat Mountain Sunday morning for the third Blues and Brunch presentation of the season. The newly-formed Altitude Blues Band played some classic blues. The group was recently put together by drummer Alan Phenix, and in addition to Alan, featured Audley Williams of WPKQ and Simon “Keef” Crawford both on guitar, and Bud Clark on bass. Mo Blues is next up in a few weeks, followed by the Altitude Blues Band March 2. Call 466-3326 or visit www.skiwildcat.com for details.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 04:42