Category Archives: Environment

Wednesday morning

The geese are back in numbers. My pillow is maybe 75 feet from the shore of Clemson Pond.

So I drift  off at night with honking and awake to the same. The geese communicate all night long.

One more month here.

I will miss the geese and frogs, and the constant burbling sounds of Clemson Pond. It is a sewage detention pond and it releases gas that forms bubbles on the surface algae mat. These pop and the  sound is audible, from my living room. Last evening we took a stroll. The Clemson Pond half mile and over to the Swasey.

2015-09-12 08.33.45

The Squamscott River smelled like cod liver oil.

Jon Ring who I spoke with on the walk agreed.

I have the taste and odor of cod liver oil in my brain, it was seared there long ago.

Jon said that he had been by the head of tide pool at dead low tide and had noticed a sheen on the exposed rocks.

The odor dissipated once one was past the Swasey Pavilion.

There is practically no water at all coming over the Great? Dam.

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2015-09-22 17.58.28 The river walk could be so unique.

Last evening the sunset was pretty good!

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2015-09-22 18.49.48Mike

employee rights demonstration

We woke up this morning  to loud voices from across the river. We thought it might be something related to the Revolutionary Days events.

I just checked

It’s a revolution all right, a demonstration against two companies currently doing work for PEA.

EnviroVantage and SMS services.

It’s quite a raucous event and sure to embarrass PEA. That is the goal of direct action.

These firms hire low wage workers and do not provide health benefits. The work can be harmful such as asbestos removal.

The work is being done,it is not a stoppage. The Union organizer told me they are not trying to unionize the workers .

The action is against the two firms that have OSHA on their case, and the low wages.

2015-07-16 08.42.10The Exeter Police got this noisy (generator)  inflatable eyesore removed. Imagine the gall of these organizers.

A giant rat  right in the middle of Town!

This is our Revolutionary weekend for cripes sake!

You know the right to assemble was key without being threatened with arrest.

If you want to see the big rat get down there tomorrow morning at 630, the rat will be back.

2015-07-16 08.48.15

2015-07-16 09.16.01

They will demonstrate till about noon, they will return tomorrow at 630am.

Good for them.


Linden St closure

Good Afternoon All,

The Linden Street Bridge project will begin on Monday, July 6th and is expected to continue through October 2015. The project involves removing the existing culverts and replacing them with a concrete bridge. The contractor, George R. Cairns & Sons, will be setting up equipment and materials at the site over the next 2 weeks. They anticipate beginning demolition of the culverts on Monday, July 20th, which means that the bridge will then be closed to all traffic until the end of October. Traffic will be detoured via Pine St, Court St and Gary Lane, as shown on the attached PDF.

We are having an informational meeting about the project on Thursday, July 9th from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the Nowak Room at the Town Office, 10 Front Street. The contractor, project engineer and DPW staff will be there to discuss the project and answer any questions you may have.

Please share this information with neighbors, tenants, customers, employees, etc. to help spread the word.

Feel free to contact me or Jay Perkins (773-6163) with any questions you may have.

Thanks and have a great weekend!
Jennifer Mates, P.E.
Assistant Town Engineer
Public Works Department
13 Newfields Road
Exeter, NH 03833
(603) 418-6431

Great? Dam update

drawdown nov 11 2009 (2)

drawdown nov 11 2009

First off an explanation about all these photos of sunsets on the Crier.

I have been busy. I also was considering just closing the Crier down as I am no longer a taxpayer.

Well, I mean no longer a  homeowner, but  neither is Nancy Belanger and it was true of Dan Chartrand for a while too. So until October passes, the blog will continue. Then we are off to Newburyport and new adventures.

I got most of my answers today on the Great ? Dam removal project from Paul Vlasich of DPW.

I had seen the article in the ENL two weeks ago which quoted the new owner of the Loaf & Ladle.

He stated that he would not have a tenant  till the dam was removed and this really troubled me.  I had heard nothing at all about the dam (with one ear to the ground) in months, longer perhaps. It seemed to me there might be some neglect in place by government. Those in favor of river restoration and dam removal did face opposition.  Dan Chartrand and Julie Gilman were not huge supporters and they are still at the Selectmen’s table.

So here is the new Loaf guy  who poured a bundle into that dump and he  might as I did,  have assumed it was coming down this year. Here we are all about economic development and we are not making phone calls to move things along.

“Voters also passed Art. 8 by a vote of 1,440 yes to 753 no. The petitioned warrant article sought $1,786,758 to remove the Great Dam in downtown Exeter in an effort to restore the Exeter River to its natural condition, reduce flooding, and stop environmental damage. The proposal, which needed at least a 60 percent majority vote to pass, received about 65 percent of the vote.”

March 2014 we voted , after a very long ( too long) study which employed all sorts of professionals .

The final package from the Town was submitted just this April for wetlands permits so we might not get any action this year on removal. This is most disappointing to me as I am a impatient fellow, it seems like foot dragging. Which Mr Vlasich stated is not true.


I was also disappointed that the history buffs were successful in preserving the penstock. The concrete structure with the long  frozen mechanisms on the Founders Park bank.

On that penstock. Did you know the Exeter Mill has decided to purchase water now ? Do you remember all the the nonsense and “concerns” about that stupid pipe to the Mill? All the legal mumbo jumbo about old parchment.

I asked Paul when that went away , he said “about a month ago”.

I saw no report, heard no mention by the BOS,.

Again, I have had my head down since February caring for my Aunt and then ramping up for our Open House weekend.One intense focus swinging immediately to another.

There is a slight chance we could get started on removing the Great? Dam this Fall, but you  better figure on next year. The package is now in the hands of the Wetlands Bureau, maybe the dreaded Army Corp of Engineers. I would be calling them once a week for updates, but that probably is not being done.

The Governor lived  in Exeter, Hillary visited a little  bookstore, but we can’t  get anyone to make a phone  call?

There should be a great deal more excitement  about dam removal and a kiosk at the site extolling the Town’s effort on river restoration.

I had hoped to see it breached prior to leaving Town. I think that indeed could have occurred with more focus by government.

I will see you all in the Fall of 2016.

Update 7/2/15   I just got a call from Don Clement regarding the Mill and the  penstock.

This is the skinny.

We had allocated over 500K in the 1.7 million bond to continue, take care of the water being drawn from the river by the Mill for their HVAC system. This water also may have been used in the sprinkler system, I am not sure.

So now I am told we sat down with the new owner of the Mill The Chinburg Group and negotiated a new deal.

The Town will pay for a new HVAC system for the original Mill building at a price under 500K and the Mill will go on Town water. A few weeks ago or so the Town formally put to bed the old agreement regarding the free water from the penstock. The Mill as an entity gave the decrepit Great ? Dam to the Town many years ago, but retained that penstock free water deal.

So we have ended the handshake with a big bear hug.


Hey , one aside before the weekend.

I watched the  Planning Board for 3 minutes the other day. Gwen was speaking about trails and parking on Epping Rd. This long time member should know that parking is indeed allowed on the shoulder of Epping Rd.

I checked with Chief Kane once  within the last 2 years regarding a tow truck using the shoulder for all day parking.

A tow truck.  On a curve, near a  busy pizza place and a busy moving and storage company.

Chief Kane told me  parking is allowed on Epping Rd.