Press Release: February 10, 2013

Snowpocalypse Not: Upper Valley Dodges Brunt of Monster Winter Storm

Randy Hill, of Hanover, smooths a part of his snow sculpture, which represents Rapunzel’s tower, on Occom Pond in Hanover yesterday. Hill has been creating sculptures at locations around Hanover during Winter Carnival since 1987. (Valley News - James M. Patterson)

Randy Hill, of Hanover, smooths a part of his snow sculpture, which represents Rapunzel’s tower, on Occom Pond in Hanover yesterday. Hill has been creating sculptures at locations around Hanover during Winter Carnival since 1987. (Valley News – James M. Patterson)

By Jon Wolper Valley News Staff Writer

Sunday, February 10, 2013
(Published in print: Sunday, February 10, 2013)

Hanover — The winter storm that walloped much of the northeastern United States largely spared the Upper Valley, whose residents saw the snowfall as business as usual.

“It’s not 3 feet of snow,” said Nichole Hastings, who was sculpting a pair of hiking boots out of packed snow. “It’s not even a foot of snow. I’m just happy that it looks like the proper season.”

At any rate, it was enough powder for construction. Hastings, of Norwich, was one of several builders yesterday at Occom Pond, sawing and chiseling at large mounds of snow. It was also enough powder to get several trucks driving up and down the pond, plows affixed, clearing the snow from the iced-over body of water.

Snowfall in Lebanon reached 16 inches, according to National Weather Service meteorologists. Orford, by contrast, received only 6 inches. On the Vermont side of the Upper Valley, snowfall ranged from 8 inches in Wilder to 15 inches in Thetford Center.

And in Hanover, there was plenty of snow to play with. The sculpting and plowing yesterday was in preparation of the annual Occom Pond Party, which will take place at the pond today, from noon to 3 p.m. The theme of this year’s party, like the Dartmouth Winter Carnival — the two events are spiritually connected, if not directly so — is “A Grimm Carnival,” based on the famous fairy tales.

So Hastings’ boots were symbolic of both The Boots of Buffalo-Leather, one of the tales, and the group she was representing: the Hanover Area Friends of the Appalachian Trail.

Read more here.

Two feet of snow!

Two feet of snow!

This image was not included in the Valley News article but was taken by another Pond Party volunteer.  It’s of the Hanover Area Friends of the Appalachian Trail sculpture and Nichole Hastings at the 16th Annual Occom Pond Party.

Advertisements

Press: “Irene: George Mallet Reports From Hanover”

George Mallet reports from Hanover, N.H.  Several areas in Southern Vt., and N.H. have been hit hard by Tropical Storm Irene.  Many Residents Evacuated To Emergency Shelters.

*

WMUR – News Channel 9 Manchester

WPTZ – News Channel 5 Burlington

One News Page

Yahoo! News

Bing Videos

Photo Memory: “Unexpected Morning Symmetry on 02/11/2011” photographed by Nichole Hastings

“It was February 11, 2011.  I was crossing the Ledyard Bridge towards Hanover and there to my left was a treat.  An unexpected image of morning symmetry.  At first I fumbled with my phone after taking the first picture and trying for a second one.  A window of time was closing.  And I thought the first picture had hidden the basket behind the bridge.  I couldn’t get the camera readied quickly enough.  The window closed.  Upon closer inspection later that evening I came to the conclusion that I was satisfied with my one and only shot.”

Journal Entry: July 2, 2010

Yesterday, my friend Maidie and I went to the Co-op in Hanover, New Hampshire to grocery shop.  After we were done, we drove the car to behind the gas station next door to eat the lunches that we had purchased.  There’s a short grassed road running along-side a field, we pull into it and park at the head.  We get out, planning to lunch on the corner of the grassy field.  I see in the distance, at the end of the grass road, a trail sign.  Maidie has walked over and sat down on the field and I head towards her.

There is a small sign planted on the edge and it warns of pesticides.  The field has been treated in the last 48 hours it describes.  We quickly remove ourselves and head over to the picnic table across the parking lot, on the backside of the gas station.  A pleasant couple says, ‘hello’ as they get up from the table to throw their lunch trash away.  We sit down.

Lunch is sushi and a banana.  This is my last time eating fish or seafood.  I have decided to go back to being a vegetarian so I savor each bite.  Maidie and I chat about this and that.  I’m feeling melancholy as she will be moving away soon.  This will be one of our last meals together.

We finish eating and she offers to throw all the lunch trash away.  My curiosity has finally gotten the best of me and I run down the dirt road to read the sign.  Indeed, it is a trail sign.  I see the familiar Appalachian Trail marking and the white blazes on the trees.  I can hardly contain my excitement and I quickly break out pen and paper.  I jot down a brief note saying, “Lakeshore friends, please go to the Dartmouth Outing Club on campus and read the Register.  Girl with Dog.”

Journal Entry: June 30, 2010

I sit here after crossing the Connecticut River from New Hampshire to Vermont, Hanover to Norwich and yet I find no escape. Even while gazing across the wind-chopped water, sitting quietly alone there is no sweet release. It is only away in Nature, hiking through woods and on mountain top do I feel completely free. Free from the prying eyes and tireless voices abuzz with concerns that are so trivial to me.
I sleep little each night, restlessly, since leaving the 100 Mile Wilderness and the comfort of the Appalachian Trail. My neck stiff with tension of being noticed, seen, even called out at as I pass by strangers. My head spinning with the whirring sound of machinery and Man. There is no recognition that I do not want recognition. It pursues me relentlessly, tiring me, seeking me out in mere mundane tasks.
I feel another perfect fork before me only this time it travels North or South. To head North to Monson means struggle, disappointment in unanswered questions and anonymity. To continue South will result in that very thing I wish to escape. That fame, that glory, that living of life I want others to pursue. It falls in my unhappy lap as a cat that persistently pursues that hapless person who does not seek its attention.
Is there no middle ground? Must it be a perpetual wave of extreme ups and downs? I shy away from the recognition, the fame, the glory because all too quickly such things can turn on you and thus subside. The positive and negative energies waxing and waning with the cyclical moon. Round and round and round to what reason? What end? I fear there is none and know that to be the truth. I feel too one with the Earth in this sense. For without rhyme or reason, a chaotic symphony of events occurs finding sometimes a sweetly harmonized or violent clashing of existence.
I curse in vain this knowledge, this thing we call free will, this fate-less existence. I admire, the trees, the water, the sky, the earthy soil. It does not rail and ask why or wonder. They simply are.

Measure for Measure – Act 1

An overview of a phone call at 7:10 a.m. Monday June 21, 2010 to the Hanover Police Department, Hanover, N.H.

I called in, identified myself and referenced the past Saturday’s ‘incident’ to the officer taking calls. I asked for the location of the keys to the Odyssey. The voice on the other end asked me for more information to reference the ‘incident’…the names of the officers involved. I told him that the officers never identified themselves to me so I didn’t know.
The voice then said the keys were at the station under the vehicle owner’s name and could only be picked up by them. I explained that the officers left the driver’s side window down, it had rained and it was a cloth upholstery interior. Also, anyone could reach in, unlock the door and steal the car and or its contents. I explained that the vehicle was not properly secured. I asked if they would please go and put that window up. The officer curtly said, “No.” My words were falling on deaf ears and when I tried to say a few something more he hung up on me.

An overview of the phone call at 7:12 a.m.

I called back asking to speak to the Chief of the Hanover Police. I was directed to his voicemail. I left a message referencing the call just a minute ago and also mentioned this was the second time I called. I asked for him to please return my call so I could speak with him about these matters, expressed thanks, and hung up.

A Comedy of Errors – Act 3

Sunday June 20, 2010

I wake up early, around 8:00am or so.  Maxwell and I start out on our morning jaunt, heading up Green Street, to Allen Street and then on Bank Street towards the Junior High School.  We make it as far as WISE and I stop there, looking in the door.  They’re closed.

I start heading down the stairs.  I hear the door behind me open.  I know the woman and she comes outside to talk to me.  I tell her what happened and a few minutes into it. the woman planting flowers around the corner appears and offers to take Maxwell for a walk.  I share the prior night’s events, every detail I can recall.  She listens. She says I can use her office.

The gardener walked Maxwell around the building a few times and hands him back to me.  Just as we are about to go inside, I see a tiny figure standing inside the door.  Maxwell, of course, gets very excited at the presence of another dog.  Once inside though, the two dogs assess each other.  Circling each other, sniffing.  They start to play.

I head upstairs to use the woman’s office.  She suggests I call the Attorney General and contact Hanover’s Chief of the Police.  She has a meeting to get back to.  Maxwell follows me up, assesses the room, then trots off a little while later downstairs.  I call the Hanover police and ask to be connected with the Chief of Police.  He’s not in.  It is Sunday.  I leave a voicemail.  I call the Attorney General’s number but there is no answering service to leave the call.  I call an alternate number, and a man’s voice answers.  He says he’s with the Security.  I ask him if he’s ever worked for the police before.  A lot of people in Security have and he says. “Yes.”  I tell him about what happened and ask if this is normal police procedure.  He tells me, he doesn’t know.  Then says, he never worked for the police.  I thank him for his time and hang up.

I go and look for Maxwell.  I want to get out of there and decide to take a friend’s suggestion.  I walk over to a law office on School Street crying.  The office isn’t open yet so I sit down at the end of the walkway, my feet on the sidewalk.  I call my friend Gary, the answering machine picks up, I leave a message.  I sit there.  Crying.  My phone rings, it’s Gary.  I tell him about what happened.  A man parked nearby and standing outside his car thankfully keeps his distance.

The door to the law office opens and a man walks out asking me if there’s anything he can help me with.  I tell Gary, where I am and I have to go.  He says he’ll call later.  He’s got a meeting to go to.

I walk up and introduce myself.  I graduated high school with the man’s daughter.  I tell him about the situation and prior evening’s events.  He tells me to get three things, write down every detail, get a copy of the police report and my doctor’s note.  I thank him and walk back to my friend’s house.  There I call another friend who is a lawyer.  She had helped me before and been the Justice of the Peace who married my ex-husband and I.  She listens and says that the lawyer who had advised me the night of the incident made an error.  A possible breach in confidentiality if he was advising me of what to do if he had identified himself as a lawyer.  She gives me the name and number of a gentleman to call who deals with police brutality cases.  I feel despair.

I sit down at the computer and begin typing out what happened.  I get to the part where I get into the police car and I cant go on.  I can’t focus.  My stomach is clenched and Steve gets me to eat a little something.  I wander around the house.  I call my friend, Pete and leave a message.  I ask him what his favorite color is.  I need to get out of the house.  My head hurts just thinking about all of this.  I need to get away from the house.  I decide to finish the morning walk.  It’s around noon.

We head out, walking up Green Street to Shaw, then to Bank Street.  We walk by the junior high school, past where the Riverdale Store used to be.  Past the field I had played T-ball and Little League in.  It was a long time ago but the field still looks the same.  We head left onto the Heater Road.  I feel detached from reality.  When Maxwell and I reach the intersection to cross over heading towards the Mount Support Road I don’t stop.  I don’t look.  I pray for a car to hit me.  I just don’t care.  A dangerous frame of mind to have.  And as I approach the four-way intersection where I’ll take a right I think about my friend, Maidie.  I’m supposed to meet her and hang out today.  A follow-up to her graduation from Nursing School Party.

I call her then my friend, Miriam and ask her what time she is heading to Norwich to Maidie’s.  She says she’ll pick me up.  She’s already on the road.  I ask her to meet me on the other side of the walking bridge at the first gas station.  She agrees but when I arrive, I get the feeling she’ll be a while so I walk on past to the Listen Center where I work.  A new job but I decide to just pop in and get  coffee.  I’m dying for a cigarette.  I hate that feeling because I quit March 17th.

I talk to my manager and some of the others there telling them what happened.  I can’t help but talk about it.  I’m still shell-shocked I suppose.  Love my new job.  The people I work with there are lovely and I gladly call them all friends.  I never did get to that coffee.  Instead, I make sure Maxwell gets lots of water.  It’s hot out there.  Miriam calls me and I head out.  I get in the back seat and ask if she or Horus has a cigarette.  They’re planning on stopping at Dan & Whit’s, thank god.  And on the way I fill Horus in on the details.

We get to Maidie’s and it is just a perfect hot sunny day.  Everyone is getting ready to go down by the river swimming.  They were just waiting for us to get there so we can all eat.  Everyone is starving, we eat and eat good.  It’s nice to be with friends.  We all head down to the river to swim.  It’s nice to have my mind distracted.  I have some good friends.  My friend, Seth calls.  He lent me his digital camera for the trail but it’s back in Lebanon.  We make a plan for him to stop by later to pick me up, drive there and pick it up.

We hang, he shows, I tell him what happened.  We walk with everyone over to the trestle bridge nearby.  Maidie and the kids want to jump off.  I don’t swim much anymore.  It’s rare.  And I haven’t done a jump like that in a couple of years.  Last time it was from 20′ up off a rock into a river pool of icy water.  I hesitated once, twice but the third time’s the charm.  Seth and I head after a short while.  I give Maidie a big hug before I go.  She’s my gal and moving soon with her kids to PA.

I ask if it’s possible to stop by and see the Odyssey and where it’s parked.  I’m so distracted now thinking about all that happened once we’re away we drive by the van twice.  Poor Seth.  How patient he is with me.  How thankful I am to him.  When we finally make it to the car I see the driver’s side window is still down.  It rained last night.  The interior is a cloth upholstery.  I just reach in and unlock the door to take a look inside.  Anyone could.  I can’t put the window up.  The car needs to be on for that.  I lock the car and we get back into Seth’s.  I hate hate hate leaving it there like that but what else can I do…nothing.  It’ll sit there until Monday evening when my friends get back, driver’s side window open.  I just hope to god it doesn’t rain.

Footnote:

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990
[(2) Specific prohibitions
(A) Discrimination
For purposes of subsection (a) of this section, discrimination includes
(i) the imposition or application of eligibility criteria that screen out or tend to screen out an individual with a disability or any class of individuals with disabilities from fully and equally enjoying any goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations, unless such criteria can be shown to be necessary for the provision of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations being offered;]