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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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Mark Damsell

I just came back down  Newfields Road from Bittersweet Kennel, Bailey had an overnight. I had seen Mark working  when we left Town yesterday at the northern end of the Swasey Parkway. He has really cleaned up that area and plans on  painting  the fence rails soon. Check it out, the debris filled his truck.

I thought perhaps the Boy Scouts were out today on Newfields Road collecting trash as someone had filled  a ton of bags. Nope, it was Mark. I spotted him just now  near the DPW yard and asked him about it. He has been doing it for several years  now, on his own, the State  provides the trash bags.He just loves Newfields Road and the Parkway.

Mark Damsell Landscaping 10 Newfields Road. Exeter, NH 772-2818



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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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40,000 years

I read about the  British  sending  aircraft to Libya to extricate some oil workers. This was early in the “crisis” .

People seeking freedom precipitated  a crisis and now we are preparing to rain bombs on “command & control facilities”.

Same old, same old.

In that report  about the  Brits evacuating oil workers, ( oil, oil, oil) I  read one line about some other crews  hitching a ride. A large group that has been working on a massive project, The Great Man Made River.

The what?

Under all that sand, and I guess even under all the oil, is a vast  water reserve.

Fossil water from the last  Ice Age.

The aquifer is not being replenished, but at  the current withdrawal rates the water could last a thousand years. The aquifer touches 4 Countries.

I have been checking to see if  the now stalled water  project  is making much news,  it’s been sketchy. It’s certainly not on the Google News front page. I do that sometimes, hunt for what is  missing  from the  news juggernaut.

Oil is  a  much more dramatic story for those controlling the narrative.

Water, enough for a thousand years, holds more promise for life and our collective future  than oil .

Great Man Made River


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easy does it

I made it right to the end. It was a great meeting this year. We do need to think about check- in procedures, that was and is too slow.

Comfy seats, thoughtful comments, histrionics kept to a minimum. Ok, Mrs Johnson  did not disappoint.

Chris the Grinch?

Nah, he still has our dirty martini biz.

Doozie thinks the social service agencies would understand. She asked “Wouldn’t this be used for bands? Good thing  HS bands? ” I agree.

Secret ballot, so cool.

Why is the World changing, why can’t I have my Christmas? If Mr Knight is not attending Law School at night he is missing  his calling. Mr Eastman in my opinion continues to push the limits . “Another layer of government” Annoying curve, tear down that barn, eyesore . Renee don’t spend too much money on signs.  Brian was off his game .

Frank want’s in?

“Draconian”. “Not some lunatic fringe group” “Not(generally) in favor of pork barrel spending” “You will have to  move” “This place may  end up like Franklin”

Hey who said  at a previous session a few years ago “I don’t like anyone reaching in my pocket!”


We did not have any gems like that today.

I am trying to contact Mr Childs the candidate for Selectman. If anyone knows his phone number let me know.


He might be my guy . He might be getting the  Town Crier Special Treatment!

We did however  have something happen that  was most unfortunate. The insertion of  politics by Mrs Cheever.

We have done our best keeping these forces in abeyance relative to local stuff. It just wouldn’t be healthy.

Thanks to all  that attended and to the Boosters too. I think Doug Eastman ate my slice of pizza.





We moved to Newburyport, MA last October and things are working out great down here . Just today I decided to begin writing again but have decided not to launch a new blog, just keep the thread going with personal and regional content. I really can’t wait to start given the current state of affairs in our Country . For me it has always been therapeutic to sit down and write. I feel better after posting. Twitter is just not cutting it for me.


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]