WinterFest: February 8 at DCS
Join your neighbors for a frosty day of fun.
By Jen Bergeron

The Dublin Recreation Committee invites you to our annual WinterFest celebration on Saturday, February 8, from 11 am to 2 pm at the Dublin Consolidated School. Join us for a day of winter fun!

Photo by Brie Morrissey of BLM Photography
Photo by Brie Morrissey of BLM Photography

We will have music and a bonfire to help keep us warm. Hot chocolate, coffee, hot dogs and chili will also be provided. WinterFest’s main activities include Snowmobile Tow Rides (courtesy of the Monadnock Trailbreakers Snowmobile Club) and the famous Box Sled Race!

Qualifying heats for the Box Sled Race will start at 1 pm. Please arrive by 12:30 to register your box sled. Rules for the Box Sled Race are as follows:

1. The sliding surface of all sleds can be made only of cardboard and duct tape. Sleds cannot be built on skis, manufactured sleds, snow tubes, cafeteria trays, etc.
2. Plastic, metal, and wood items may be used for ornamental purposes only.

Start designing and building your box sled for the big race — or be there to cheer on the racers. Either way, think snow! You can also do traditional sledding before and after the races so bring your sled.

For more information, contact Dublin Recreation Committee Member Jen Bergeron at 563-8308 or at

The Women’s Club pre-town meeting is March 4,
downstairs at the Town Hall
(snow date March 5 same time and place).

Refreshments at 7:00;
discussion on the budget and warrant articles at 7:30 pm.


Monadnock Trail Breakers Offer Full Fun Day March 1
Experience the thrill of snowmobiling.

Dublin’s resident snowmobile club, Monadnock Trail Breakers, has prepared a full day of snowmobiling entertainment on March 1 for the whole family, whether watching or participating.

John Beckta pulls Hailet and Lily Albert at last year’s WinterFest. Photo by Brie Morrissey of BLM Photography
John Beckta pulls Hailet and Lily Albert at last year’s WinterFest.
Photo by Brie Morrissey of BLM Photography

“Trail Breaker Challenge” will take place at the Engine Meet Field off Rte. 101 in Dublin, NH, and will offer two professional snowmobile stunt shows by the freestyle riders who fly more than 40 feet high with their machines performing acrobatic tricks in the air. Other featured events will be Snowmobile Side by Side Racing; Obstacle Course & Barrel Race; Oval Track for Youth & Vintage Racing; and a Vintage Snowmobile Snow. Vendors and concessions will be present throughout the day.

Funding from this event benefits the trail system through grooming and maintaining trails from Dublin through Peterborough and all the way to Hancock for walkers, runners, hikers, equestrians, skiers, snowshoers, snowmobilers as well as maintaining club equipment. A portion of the event’s proceeds will be donated to Easter Seals. Currently the club is able to provide these trails for public use through fundraising and the volunteer efforts of its members.

The Monadnock Trail Breakers, a nonprofit organization, have partnered with a snowmobile racing series, Rock the Hills VT, to create this day of family-friendly snowmobile fun. The Trail Breakers belong to the NH Snowmobile Association.

Registration begins at 9 am; festivities at 11. For admission pricing and racing details please visit our website, please visit


Michael Scully in Olympic News (updated link)

Originally aired on NBC, this documentary follows the process of realizing the BMW 2 Man bobsled for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s Olympic teams; designed by 1990 Dublin School graduate Michael Scully. Since press time, one of the links at NBC seems to have gone down, but this one works:


Dublin Public Library

Red will be the color of books on display for the month of February!

The weather has been kind to us on Wednesday mornings, and we had a great group singing, putting puzzles together and creating crafts during the Dublin Public Library Story Time. We will continue the fun in February with some new books and some old favorites.

On February 5, it will be easy to introduce the children to the Olympics with Dream Big Little Pig! by Olympic figure skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi. Dreams can be achieved! February 12 we will make Valentine’s Day cards and read Who Goes There? by Karma Wilson, a sweet story about love.

On February 19 we will sing “Happy Birthday” and read The Little Cupcakes by Anthony King. It’s a book about differences but one thing we all share: we all have a birthday! This program will make you feel special whether it’s your actual birthday or not. On February 26, we ask if the bears are still sleeping. We’ll find out in the book, Baby Bear Counts One. A different craft is offered each week and refreshments will be served. Programs run from 9:30 to 10:30 every Wednesday morning.

New Books
Collision Low Crossers by N. Dawidoff
Organizing your Family History Search by S. Carmack
Radiance of Tomorrow by I. Beah
Slow Reading in a Hurried Age by D. Mikics
The Invention of Wings by S. Monk Kidd
Standup Guy by S. Woods
Decoding Your Dog by D. Horwitz
Fear Nothing by L. Gardner
Why We Make Things and Why It Matters by P. Korn

Dublin Public Library Book Sale

For sale: picture books, history books, children’s books, cook books, thrillers, mysteries, a selection of videos, and many works of fiction, from Thomas Hardy to the latest best seller. Books on gardening, traveling, needlepoint and knitting — forget Amazon! You’re sure to find the perfect book here. Do come on Saturday, February 15th, 9:30-noon. Admission is free.

For FDPL members, the preview Thursday, February 13th, from 5:30 to 7:30, is free. Otherwise it’s $5 per person.


Help with N.H. Audubon’s Statewide Bird Survey

Stock up those bird feeders and dig out your binoculars for New Hampshire Audubon’s Backyard Winter Bird Survey on Saturday, February 8, and Sunday, February 9. Biologists need assistance from citizens all over the Granite State to get a clear picture of what’s really happening with our winter birds.

Anyone can participate in the Backyard Winter Bird Survey by counting the birds in their own backyard on the survey weekend and reporting online or sending the results on a special reporting form to NH Audubon. To receive a copy of the reporting form and complete instructions on how to participate, send a self-addressed, stamped, long envelope to New Hampshire Audubon, Winter Bird Survey, 84 Silk Farm Road, Concord, NH 03301 or call 224-9909.

Find more information about the survey at under Birding.


Dublin Fire Department Seeks Your Vote
By Tom Vanderbilt

Dublin has no hydrant system. The old saying, “if you have it, a truck brought it,” even applies to the water used to put out a fire here in town. Some of the small towns around us have a “hydrant district” – Dublin does not have that luxury. The tanker brings the water to the fire!

Our planning, through the capital improvement plan, helps to space out large purchases so we are not faced with several large items in one year. If we put off purchasing needed equipment even for a year or two, the result will be a bunching up of expensive purchases.

Safety is the highest priority for the Fire department – yours and ours. The National Fire Protection Association writes the standards for all fire services. The NFPA recommends that front-line fire apparatus be replaced at 20 years. The current tanker is now 25 years old. The NFPA standards have changed so that even if our present tanker were “overhauled” it would not meet current standards.

Today’s fires are much different than those of even 20 years ago. Buildings are constructed for efficiency and low cost. Furnishings are no longer wood and natural fiber, but often made of synthetic fiber and foam — in other words, “built to burn.” The “room and contents” fire of today can double every 30 – 60 seconds! The importance of a “quick knock down” cannot be overemphasized.

The current climate to borrow money is good, but the rates show signs of increasing.

The cost of fire apparatus continues to climb making this an opportune time to invest in a new tanker to provide fire protection to the town, and after a lot of hard work and research, we have designed a tanker to meet the needs of our town.

Our present truck is showing its age. Though the tank is stainless, it is starting to fail from “stainless fatigue.” The steel plumbing is rotting from the inside out. The pump cannot be rebuilt again without a new pump body – essentially a replacement. Even if these were corrected, the current tanker would not meet the current NFPA standard.

Even though fire protection is a very small piece of the Town tax pie, all dollars today are crucial. This is a critical part of our firefighting arsenal and benefits our town 100 percent!

We will ask to borrow to lessen the impact on taxpayers. This will allow us to pay for the truck over seven years and use the existing capital reserve account to pay the note. Because of this, we will need two-thirds vote to pass, but the burden to taxpayers will be minimal.

The new tanker will help us to keep insurance rates down by continuing to bring the needed resources to fire emergencies. Our tanker runs more miles than any of our other trucks and is 100% loaded, with 3,000 gallons of water, 100% of the time.

Help us protect you and your home…come to Town Meeting and vote “Yes” on your tanker!

Tom Vanderbilt has served as Dublin’s Fire Chief since 2001.


DHS Holds Annual Potluck

The Dublin Historical Society will hold its annual potluck supper on Friday, February 7th, at 6 pm at the Dublin Community Church. In recognition of this centennial year of the commencement of WWI, come join us to view the film, “An American Nurse at War.”

Marion McCune Rice. Circa 1915.
Marion McCune Rice. Circa 1915.

This documentary chronicles the experiences of Marion McCune Rice as an American Red Cross nurse during her four years in France during WWI, based on her own photographs and letters. Steve Hooper, the filmmaker, will join us to introduce the film about his great aunt.

All are welcome.



Everyone Is Welcome

The Dublin Community Church will hold its “Mardi Gras” Jazz and Gospel  service Sunday, Feb. 16, at 10 am. The choir anthems and congregational hymns will feature well-known gospel music and spirituals, accompanied by Scott Mullet on the sax and his jazz quartet. The church is handicapped-accessible and babysitting is provided. For more information, call Barbara Summers, 563-7184.


More on the Town Tax Rate
Budget Hearing Feb. 11 at 7 pm
By Dale Gabel

Edie Tuttle did a signal service in the January Advocate by initiating a conversation on tax rates. I’d like to extend the dialogue a bit by bringing forward some additional information, and perhaps suggesting some other areas that deserve our attention.

Historically, the Town portion constitutes only about one-quarter of the total tax rate (in 2013 it was 27.5%). County assessments, and assessments for local and state educational expenses, make up the other three-quarters. During the same 2006-2013 period discussed in the previous article, the County assessment went from $1.94 to $3.11 per $1000, an increase of 60.3% or approximately 8.6% per year, compared to the 5.8 % per year increase in the Town assessment. The local educational assessment increased by 20.9% over the same time period, an average of 3% per year (although the increase from 2012 to 2013 alone was 10.3%.) The only portion that went down over the time period under consideration was the state educational assessment, which decreased by 12.4%.

The Town’s operating expenses have remained relatively flat from 2006-2013, increasing 8.7%, or approximately 1.2% per year. Gross appropriations (operating expenses plus all warrant articles) fluctuate significantly when big warrant articles (like Traffic Calming) and large contributions to capital reserve accounts enter into the mix in a particular year. But the overall trend line is flat or slightly down over the period under consideration.

Some observations:

a. Tax rate calculations are more complex than they appear at first glance. Revenues received by the Town, grant funding, offsets from capital reserve accounts, status of the Town’s fund balance, changing property valuations and other factors all affect the Town portion of the total tax rate. Town spending, as represented by the gross appropriation, is just one of many elements in the calculation.

b. Since the Town portion is only about a quarter of the total tax rate, our vote on a budget at Town Meeting is a vote on only 25% of the total tax bill.

c. The Town portion of the total tax rate is approximately one-half of the combined local and state educational portion. In other words, the Town allocates twice as much to educational needs as it allocates to operating requirements.

I hope that this information provides additional context for the discussion from last month’s Advocate. It should be factored into the decisions we make at Town Meeting in March when we vote on the annual budget proposal. It should also be borne in mind when we vote on school funding initiatives, and State and County officials, during elections throughout the year. As the January article noted, keeping a close eye on the Town portion of the total tax rate is clearly very important. But keeping an eye on the other tax rate components is arguably even more important given their much greater contribution to the total tax rate.

And as a reminder, the Budget Hearing this year will be held on February 11 at 7 pm in Town Hall (snow date is the 12th at the same time and location.) The Hearing will provide an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed 2014 town budget and warrant articles. All residents are encouraged to attend.

Finally, the Budget Committee has two positions to fill each year during the March Town elections. If you have any interest in helping develop the budget, see the Town Clerk to have your name placed on the ballot for one of the positions.

Dale Gabel is Chairman of the Dublin Budget Committee.


NH Charitable Foundation Gives Grant to Film Company

Dear Friends,

I wanted to take special note to announce a $4,000.00 grant from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (NHCF) to Rabbit Ear Films to benefit our film project Monadnock: The Mountain That Stands Alone.

The NHCF has been a key supporter over the last three years and the Rabbit Ear Films Board of Directors is very appreciative of the Foundation’s belief in our project. Without its support we would not be at the point of editing our film in 2014.

Rabbit Ear Films plans to give back to the New Hampshire residents through presentations of our film around the state. Showing the importance of land conservation and preservation by sharing the history of Mount Monadnock is central to our mission of education through film.

Rabbit Ear Films is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization registered with the NH Charitable Trust Unit and the NH Corporate Business Division.

Please visit our site:

Steve Hooper is Executive Producer, Rabbit Ear Films, and will be speaking at the DHS Potluck Dinner at DCC on February 7th.


By Cathy Carabello

One morning 20 years ago, I walked into the lower Town Hall in Dublin with my four-year-old son and began a relationship with Dublin Community Preschool that still continues today.

While Jon happily painted at the easel, I was enveloped by the warmth as I watched children playing cooperatively with blocks and listening to stories as they sat on a teacher’s lap on the floor. Some children were involved in dramatic play, busily donning dress-up clothes; others were putting puzzles together or working with Playdough. There were plenty of choices to please all, and we were hooked! Jon didn’t want to leave that morning and I left trying to figure out how I could continue to be a part of the fun as well.

That day marked the beginning of what would become my eleven-year mentorship with (then) Director, Karen Newell, an amazing educator and friend.

As the years went by and I eventually took over as teacher and director of DCP, the program continued to evolve as we responded to needs from the community. DCP became more than just a preschool, offering important services such as before- and after-school care and summer programs in addition to the strong preschool program that Karen had modeled.

In the years that followed, I had the privilege of being a part of many young lives — memories that I will cherish forever.

As we continue to prepare for the 50th birthday of Dublin Community Preschool, we want to hear from our alumni. Each and every one of you helped to shape this wonderful school! We want to know what you remember about your time here. Perhaps you made a first true friend during your preschool years. Maybe you remember a field trip that especially stands out. Maybe a teacher made a difference in your life. No memory is too insignificant to share.

The responses we have received so far have been heart-warming. Please spread the word to alumni you know who now live out of the area. Please e-mail your thoughts to or mail them to DCP, 1281C Main Street, Dublin, NH 03444.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Cathy Carabello is the director/lead teacher of the Dublin Community Preschool.


DCA’s Annual Alumni Basketball Game
By Jordan Moody

We always enjoy alumni who come back to visit Dublin Christian Academy! In January, at Peterborough Elementary School, we held our annual alumni basketball game. There is always friendly rivalry between our high school team and the “mature” alumni team. This year was no exception.

DCA bball

Highlights from the game included several father/son matchups, including Colby Mitchell playing against his dad, Brian Mitchell, and Blake Wullbrandt playing with his older son, Sam, against his other son, Zach Wullbrandt! One dad, who will remain unnamed, received a swollen eye and cut to the head from an unintentional elbow from his son. The game was exciting to watch, and we even added in a little competition at halftime to get the crowd involved.

The half-court shot competition took a lot longer than expected. Who would have thought making a basket from half court was so difficult? But when you’re playing for a Dunkin’ Donut gift card, no one was giving up easily! When all was said and done, the varsity team pulled off a win against the alumni this year. It was a close game, but youth trumped experience in the end. Congratulations, DCA varsity!

Jordan Moody is Athletic Director of DCA.


The Jaffrey Civic Center announces the Call of Entry
for the Annual Spring Show, February 21 through March 22. Opening on Friday, Feb 21 from 5-7 pm.
Forms and more information are available at the Center, 532-6527, and on


News from the Dublin Consolidated School
By May Clark

As I write this, there is still half of January to go, and who knows what the ground will look like by February 1. Twice this winter so far we’ve had a ton of snow, and each time it has disappeared completely! Sledding at DCS has been alternately wonderful and nonexistent! Our ski program has run successfully during January though, with one more session this month.

Huge thanks go to Dr. Lara Scheinblum for her work in planning, organizing, and supervising this undertaking. Half of the DCS population has taken part in the skiing and snowboarding program at Crotched Mountain. Our non-skiers have a few extra treats on ski days — a longer recess time and some hot cocoa to warm up with!

January was winter testing month for us. All our students took part in Aimsweb reading and math screenings, and students in grades 1-5 took the NWEA/MAPS tests on computers. All of these assessments enable teachers to better determine children’s individual needs in reading and math, so that we can address those needs in our teaching. It’s very useful, but we are always glad when it’s done!

February is short but productive, a quiet time of learning in our cozy classrooms. Come visit any time! Just call or email first.

May Clark is Teaching Principal at DCS. She can be reached at 563-8332 or


Peter’s Pondering
By Peter Hewitt

My memory has a wonderful way of selecting happy events in my life for review while sweeping the bad stuff under the rug.

My favorite play-backs have to do with family, relatives (whom I liked), music (especially playing with other people), sports (chiefly games I could play with some skill), and, most of all, funny friends.

One thing that will always be near the top of my happy memory chart is the visit I had on December 23 from a sizable part of the Dublin Community Church Choir. They sang a half dozen of my all-time favorite Christmas carols at RiverMead and I loved every measure of it.

Thanks x 1000 to Barbara Summers and Co.

Peter Hewitt retired several years to RiverMead from Dublin.


From the Broadband Committee
By Kate Albert

Although it is disappointing that the Town of Dublin was not selected as one of the three towns to receive the educational opportunity from the NH Broadband, Mapping and Planning Program (NHBMPP) for 2014, the Broadband committee will continue to seek better broadband solutions for Dublin.

Since this was only an offer of education, it will not be the end of our efforts. Perhaps Fairpoint may do some upgrades, although nothing is certain yet.

Kate Albert heads up Dublin’s Broadband Committee.


Make a Difference for a Child

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of NH believes that every child deserves a safe, permanent home. CASA of NH is a non-profit organization that recruits, screens and trains everyday citizens from the community to be the voice of abused and neglected children in the courtroom, seeking to ensure them a safe and permanent home. Our goal is to provide an advocate for every child in New Hampshire who needs one.

The first trainings of 2014 will take place in Coos County, the Seacoast, and Manchester.

Diane Valladares is Training & Recruitment Director for CASA of New Hampshire. She can be reached at 800-626-0622, ext. 2106 or


An Aspiring Journalist

Mike and Diane Sykeny, Dublin residents whose daughter, Angie, is a senior at Gordon College (Wenham, MA), recently sent in a link to an article posted in the Salem News about her career choice. She is an aspiring journalist who has had articles posted in the Boston Globe, Salem News, Gloucester Times, and is the news editor of her college paper. She graduated from Dublin Christian Academy (DCA) in 2010. Here is a link to her Salem News article []. She is a proud “Dubliner” who misses her small town life.


Save these Dates

Town voting: March 11th
8 am – 7 pm at Town Hall

Town Meeting: March 15th
9 am at DCS


Andy Freeman Loves His Volunteer Firefighting Job
“I should have done this when I was 18.”
By Ramona Branch

The name Andy Freeman is known in just about every Dublin household. As co-owner of the Dublin General Store we have all seen Andy behind the food counter busily preparing the delicious food offerings for the day. Andy has another calling less frequently known…Dublin volunteer firefighter.

Photo by K Horgan
Photo by K Horgan

Andy began his firefighting work with gusto. In three years he has obtained four certifications: Fire Fighter I, nationally registered basic and advanced EMT, ice rescue technician and member of the New Hampshire Wildfire Crew. In February, Andy will seek yet another firefighter certification: Fire Fighter II. His enthusiasm for fire fighting is evident and impressive.

This is the sixth story that I have written on Dublin’s volunteer firefighters. I continue to be curious as to why folks that I interview would want to put their life in danger and become a firefighter for which they receive no compensation. “I really enjoy the action, stress, operating the equipment, and the people I work with and help,” Andy says. “I should have volunteered as a firefighter when I was 18. I think everyone has a duty to contribute in a small community.”

Moving on from firefighter, EMT training was a natural for Andy. (He obtained his nationally registered basic EMT certification in 2011 and the EMT Advanced certification in 2013.) Describing himself as a biology kind of kid — “I always enjoyed the study of the human body.” When he was young he wanted to be a doctor, and he was a pre-med student at Vanderbilt University. He also studied environmental sciences at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Andy Freeman, far right, fighting a 50,000-acre wildfire 400 miles north of Montreal, Quebec.
Andy Freeman, far right, fighting a 50,000-acre wildfire 400 miles north of Montreal, Quebec.

Being a business owner, and especially running the General Store, involves a 12- to 16-hour day. I asked him how he could do this demanding work and also be a firefighter. “My wife and business partner, Michelle, makes it seamless,” he said. “We get called out about every other day. She doesn’t miss a beat. There has not been a time that I have not been able to respond.” He added, “The years of experience that people like Matt, Bubba and Joe have shared with me have been very helpful.”

Andy and Michelle moved here from Halifax, MA. Andy ran an auto parts warehouse and machine shop in Roxbury. After extensive research they bought the General Store in 2002. The couple was seeking a good place to own a business and raise their daughter, Lucy, who is now 14.

For the last 13 years the General Store has been the warm and hospitable bright spot in Dublin — the place to meet your friends over a good cup of coffee, and a scrumptious Texas-sized cookie. How fortunate indeed we are that Andy, Michelle and Lucy Freeman chose our little town.

Ramona Branch is on the staff of the Advocate and continues, with relish, her stories of Dublin’s firefighting team.



A Fond Farewell to Chief Letourneau

Photo by Ramona Branch
Photo by Ramona Branch

Friends and family gathered at the Dublin Consolidated School for the retirement party of Chief of Police Jim Letourneau in mid January. The community came to honor the Chief for his 25 years of service and to wish him well in the next phase of his life. Pictured in the photo left to right are Selectmen Charlie Champagne, Sterling Abram and Sturdy Thomas presenting the Chief with a plaque of recognition and commendation.


Art Show Under Way

The Biennial Keene State Art Faculty Exhibition, at the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery (Wyman Way, KSC), runs through March 13, 2014.

To view recent work by studio art and graphic design art faculty in a variety of media, the Thorne’s hours are Sunday through Wednesday from 12 to 5 pm; Thursday and Friday from 12 to 7 pm; and Saturday from 12 to 8 pm. Admission is free.

Contact the Thorne at 603-358-2720,, or


From the Monadnock Area Food Pantry

Food donated via the Dublin Community Church yielded 2,056 pounds of food last year! This was the second largest of church donations in the Monadnock Region. With it, the pantry was able to feed 10,623 people in 2013 and gave out a total of 72,686 pounds of food to people in 18 different towns in the Region.

Meredith White, Director of the Monadnock Area Food Pantry (51 Concord St, Peterborough, NH) reports that she is “very proud and thankful to 34 volunteers, and for the volunteers and parishioners at The Dublin Community Church.”


“Ordinary Extraordinary Junco” Film Showing
Thursday, February 27, 2014, from 7 to 9 pm
Monadnock Center for History and Culture, 19 Grove Street, Peterborough, NH

Readily found in backyards and city parks as well as wilder landscapes, juncos can be easily overlooked. But for scientists who study animal behavior, ecology and evolutionary biology, the junco is a rock star. This visually stunning, feature-length documentary film brings to life more than 100 years of groundbreaking research in animal behavior, evolution and ecology featuring one of North America’s most abundant groups of songbirds.

Presented by Monadnock Conservancy, Harris Center for Conservation Education, and New Hampshire Audubon and Monadnock Center for History and Culture.

Contact Brett Amy Thelen at 603-358-2065.


Rich Connell, Dublin School’s Pied Piper of Rowing
By Rusty Bastedo

Rich Connell, born and raised in nearby Billerica, MA, had no interest in competitive rowing until he reached his junior year at Franklin Pierce College (now University). Then he stepped into a racing shell and was seated at the center of the boat with a “sweep” (oar) in his hands, and his life changed. Rich liked the sport so much that he became assistant rowing coach at FPU following his graduation, and he began to train seriously for U.S. Rowing Association events.

Rich, at right, and training partner rowing on Dublin Lake.
Rich, at right, and training partner rowing on Dublin Lake.

Modern-day racing equipment for racing on water has changed vastly because modern-day composites have altered traditional equipment. Oars and racing boats (a.k.a. sculls, shells) are now made with carbon fiber and other Space Age materials; the waxing and care of crew racing equipment is pursued as diligently as skiers and athletes in other sports prepare their equipment for races where 1/100 second means the difference between first and second place.

Preparing for modern-day racing on the water involves rowing machines, weights, running and cross-training prior to setting out on the water; athletes train all year long in order to compete well, as they do in most other sports at the present time.

Rich Connell has taught at Dublin School since 2010 while also training with the Merrimack River Rowing Association in Lowell, MA. Working at “pairs,” or two-man racing, Rich has competed in time trials at venues all over New England. At Dublin School he has turned recreational racing into competitive racing, with 35-40 students training on Thorndike Pond as soon as the ice goes out, and time trials and races scheduled during the spring (soon to be spring and fall).

A team picture from the end of last spring season including Charlie Imhoff, Brendan Palmer, Tatum Wilson, and Myles Spencer (all of Dublin), along with participants from surrounding towns.
A team picture from the end of last spring season including Charlie Imhoff, Brendan Palmer, Tatum Wilson, and Myles Spencer (all of Dublin), along with participants from surrounding towns.

Away from Dublin School, with the Merrimack River Rowing Association, Rich and his fellow crew members were chosen last spring to be one of two United States teams to represent the USA in the Britannia Cup races, competing in the “4s”. The Britannia Cup races are held during the first week of July, at England’s famed Henley Regatta. Conquered by a half-length in the quarterfinals, Rich and his fellow crewmembers hope to be chosen again for the honor of representing their country at Henley.

In the meantime, it’s full speed ahead with the rowing machines, weights and endurance tests that currently engage almost half of the Dublin School student body.

Rusty Bastedo has been on the staff of the Dublin Advocate since its inception.


The Walden School Receives Adventurous Programming Award

The Walden School (, which holds its summer Concert Series at the Dublin School, was recognized with a 2014 CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming at the 36th Chamber Music America National Conference in January. This is the second time that The Walden School has been honored with this award.

The recipients, chosen by an independent panel of classical and jazz chamber music professionals, were evaluated on the basis of their programming and innovations in attracting audiences to performances of new music.

To learn more about The Walden School, whose administrative office is located in San Francisco, please visit


About Dublin’s Zoning Board of Adjustment
By Neil R. Sandford

The Zoning Board of Adjustment is the quasi-judicial board in Dublin that hears appeals concerning Dublin’s zoning ordinance and decisions by other boards or town officials (except the police).

There are three basic issues that come before the ZBA. If the zoning ordinance allows something by special exception, it has to be reviewed by the ZBA. As long as the applicant meets established criteria for a special exception, and there are no significant concerns raised by neighbors or other townspeople, special exceptions that are listed in the ordinance are approved.

Members of the ZBA (l-r), front: Susan Phillips-Hungerford and Mary Langen. Back: Paul Delphia, Mary Liz Lewis, Dan French, and Secretary Neil Sandford. Photo by Sally Shonk
Members of the ZBA (l-r), front: Susan Phillips-Hungerford and Mary Langen. Back: Paul Delphia, Mary Liz Lewis, Dan French, and Secretary Neil Sandford. Photo by Sally Shonk

Another type of appeal is for a variance from Dublin’s zoning ordinance. This applies to any situation that the ordinance doesn’t address or that the ordinance prohibits. The ZBA has the power to grant a variance if the applicant can clearly prove the five points outlined in NH RSA 674:33, I (b). The board can also hear appeals from an administrative decision. If you feel a decision by the code enforcement officer, selectmen, planning board or other Dublin administrative person is unjust or unreasonable, you can appeal to the ZBA, and they have the power to reverse, affirm, or modify the decision.

Applications that are complete are acted upon quickly, and for that reason the board meets when needed or on the 4th Thursday of the month. Please note that the ZBA needs to receive your application by mid-month if you would like them to review it at their next meeting. (Please contact the secretary at 563-8120 whenever you have an application to present.) Since the board is a judicial body, they are not allowed to enter into discussions about any situation except when a case is before them in the context of a public hearing. You can’t negotiate with them, but they often add provisions to their decisions.

Since I serve as their secretary and attend their meetings, let me tell you a little about the members of our ZBA.

Susan Phillips-Hungerford is the present chair. As an architect, she often has to go before ZBAs in other towns so she is very sensitive to the needs and feelings of applicants who come before the Dublin ZBA. Her caring attitude and sense of fair-mindedness is a real asset.

Mary Langen has had experience serving on the ZBA in other towns and knows how state laws and town ordinances work together. She clearly outlines the procedures for the process so that applicants don’t have to guess what is going to happen. Her personality puts applicants at ease.

Dan French has been on the ZBA for many years and as postmaster he knows the townspeople first-hand. His can cut through unnecessary regulations to get to the heart of the matter.

Mary Liz Lewis has pushed for the ZBA files to be made available to everyone, especially when there is a controversial or complicated case coming before the board. Mary Liz is a champion of conservation issues and will ask probing questions to be sure that those concerns are adequately met.

Larry Ross senses what the real underlying issues are in a case and asks discerning questions to make sure the board has all the information needed to make a good decision.

Paul Delphia, an alternate board member, is a great researcher and makes sure the board is fully informed. He promotes full documentation so that there is a complete file for all decisions.

Bill Gurney is another alternate who fills in when one of the regular board members is not available. Bill’s background as an educator means he knows how to work with people as well as thoroughly assess a case before making a decision.

So when you are up against an ordinance that seems to be a misapplication of justice or common sense, you don’t have to remain frustrated. Submit an appeal to a “court” made up of your peers who will listen carefully to your concerns.

Neil R. Sandford serves Dublin’s Zoning Board of Adjustment and Planning Board (see December 2013 Advocate) as secretary as well as filling the role of Dublin’s Deputy Town Clerk. His primary job is pastor of Fairwood Bible Chapel, Administrator of Fairwood Bible Institute and station manager for WVKJ, Dublin’s only FM radio station.


Woodpeckers: Forest Engineers
By Tom Warren

Our Woodpeckers are among the oldest known birds with special abilities to drill holes and drum on their favorite trees or gutters. They are a major indicator of forest health.

Through natural selection they have developed specialized anatomical adaptations including a straight bill with a chisel-like tip, and a specialized skull and skeletal structure, which protects their brains from concussions. They have two toes facing forward and two facing backward (most birds have three forward and one backward), which assist in gripping efficiency.

Downy Woodpeckers nesting; photo by Anne Marie Warren 2008
Downy Woodpeckers nesting; photo by Anne Marie Warren 2008

The tail feathers are stiff and end in points, which assists in climbing up trees. This has been compared to a lumberjack with spikes and a safety belt to provide stability while keeping hands free for the work to be done.

A woodpecker’s tongue is quite long and has backward-pointing hooks, much like a porcupine’s quills. This allows the woodpecker to stab insect larvae deep in a tree hole. The tongue can be withdrawn deep in the skull like a coiled watch spring.

The brain case has little cerebral fluid so there is little danger from shock waves. Specific muscles act as shock absorbers.

Woodpeckers are different in other ways. Sex roles are partially reversed during breeding. The male excavates the nest hole and guards it against competitors. Only males incubate and brood nestlings at night while these duties are shared by male and female by day.

As excavators, woodpeckers provide nest and roosting cavities for a wide variety of other birds and mammals. All of their activities contribute to a rich forest biodiversity.

Here in Dublin, our most common woodpeckers are Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Pileated Woodpecker, Flicker and the Red-bellied Woodpecker. They will come to suet feeders. You can buy suet at the local grocery store. This is a better choice than commercially prepared suet and peanut butter blocks, which attract squirrels and other mammals.

Tom Warren is Dublin’s resident ornithologist, and serves as a trustee of both the Harris Center and the Audubon Society.

Partnership Funds Conservation Projects in 10 NH Towns
2,500 acres to be protected in priority area of Western NH and Mass.

The Quabbin-to-Cardigan Partnership (Q2C) announced the recipients of its sixth round of Land Conservation Grants, which help underwrite conservation projects that protect ecologically important forests in the highlands of western New Hampshire and north central Massachusetts. In the latest round, the Q2C Partnership awarded grants totaling $100,000 to 13 projects that will conserve a total of approximately 2,500 acres of land. The total value of the land to be protected in the latest grant round is conservatively estimated at $3.4 million.

The two-state Quabbin-to-Cardigan region spans 100 miles from the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts northward along the western spine of New Hampshire to the boundary of the White Mountain National Forest. Encompassing approximately 2 million acres, the region is one of the largest remaining areas of intact forest in central New England, and is a key headwater of both the Merrimack and Connecticut rivers.

The Q2C conservation grants are guided by a strategic plan that prioritizes the region’s most ecologically significant forests, and key connections between them for wildlife passage and human recreation. All projects are on a strictly voluntary, the funded projects are in Hanover, Gilsum, Danbury, Goshen, Wilmot, Stoddard, Temple, Hebron, Lempster, Orford, and four townships in Mass.

With this latest round of projects the Q2C grants program has funded 49 separate projects that have conserved almost 15,000 acres of land.

For more information, please contact Chris Wells at 224-9945 or Information is also available at

(For an earlier installment, see cover story, Advocate, Nov. 2010.)

February 2014