Blog : January 2013
One of New England’s largest, most innovative, and most renewable conferences is well on its way—and it’s very likely you have already heard about it.
For those who haven’t, BuildingEnergy 2013, put on by Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), is happening March 5th, 6th, and 7th at Seacoast World Trade Center in Boston. Even though it is over a month away, the event has already come in with a bang, and all those interested in the future of sustainability should be listening.
According to its home page, “BuildingEnergy (BE) is the most established, most cross-disciplinary renewable energy and high-performance building conference and trade show in the northeastern United States.”
Last year’s gargantuan event had over 4,000 sustainability pros from 31 states and 14 countries in attendance. These “pros” include experienced architects, engineers, builders, developers, policymakers, building managers, manufacturers, installers, as well as students, up and coming professionals, and retirees.
If that’s what 2012 looked like, one can imagine the networking and learning opportunities BE 2013 will hold.
Supporting a good cause doesn’t have to be a somber event – and it never will be as long as Mike McDonald is involved. In association with Cuzin Richard Entertainment Associates (CREA), the Boston comedian will host the 12th Annual Comedy Xxtravaganza this February 15th at the Portsmouth Music Hall. As usual, they will donate proceeds to several worthy New Hampshire organizations while causing a couple laughter-induced hernias.
McDonald, who has appeared on HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central, will belittle and enlighten the audience alongside the likes of a former-District-Attorney-turned-Boston-comedian Paul D’Angelo, George Hamm, and Robbie Printz, who The Improper Bostonian has claimed is Boston’s best comedian.
But laughing until you pop a blood vessel organ isn’t the only reason to attend. Cuzin Richards, which has a long tradition of supporting humanitarian causes, will donate a portion of the proceeds from each show to two New Hampshire organizations.
Of the many New Year’s resolutions made every January, there is one that many Americans have difficulty finding the time for—relaxation. Being a part of such a hard-working culture, it is common for people to spend far too much time on their jobs, and not enough time on themselves.
Luckily, Green Lotus Yoga Studio of Dover, NH is offering some great deals to help those who have yet to fulfill their stress-reducing goals in 2013. The first is on Saturday, February 9th, from 1:00-3:00 pm. Green Lotus is offering a workshop entitled “Metta Bhavana - Loving Kindness Meditation with Dh. Suddhayu.”
The metta bhavana is a core Buddhist meditation practice that helps practicers come to terms with their tendency towards hatred. Participants will actively turn their hearts away from it while creating a new openness within themselves. The event will introduce the entire sitting practice, with a discussion to guide participants in transforming hatred on and off the meditation cushion.
Additionally, during the entire month of March beginning on Wednesday, March 6th, Green Lotus will be holding “Introduction to Meditation - Mindfulness of Breathing with Dh. Suddhayu.” This workshop will occur every Wednesday evening from 7:15-8:45 pm through March 27th.
This course series will delve deeper by introducing participants to the ancient Buddhist meditation that develops mindfulness through maintaining awareness of the breath. Throughout the series, a number of topics will be covered, including finding an alert and comfortable meditation posture, body awareness, how to work with the mind in meditation, how to maintain a regular and effective practice, how to maintain one’s meditative awareness off the cushion, and higher states of consciousness.
BRIDGTON, Maine — It’s a season to celebrate at Shawnee Peak, which kicked off the ski season with its 75th anniversary, making it the longest continuously running family ski park in Maine.
“We're proud of our history and excited about our future. The whole season will be special with contests, giveaways and special events,” says Rachael Wilkinson, Shawnee Peak director of marketing.
Originally founded in 1938 as Pleasant Mountain, Shawnee Peak was purchased in 1988 by Shawnee Mountain, a Pennsylvania ski company, which gave the mountain its current name. In 1994, Chet Homer purchased the mountain, and it has since remained a decidedly family-owned and run operation. Servicing more than 135,000 skiers every year, Shawnee Peak has long been one of New England’s most popular and well attended ski resorts. Half of its 240 acres and 40 ski runs are lit at night, making it an attraction for families and students from all over New England.
But what really sets Shawnee Peak apart from the competition is its growing list of green initiatives. For instance, it employs a fleet of super-efficient snow guns, allowing it to cover 98 percent of the property even when the snow isn’t falling, all while cutting the machines’ fuel consumption by two-thirds. What’s more, instead of using on-site, man-made holding ponds to create its snow — the standard in the industry — Shawnee Peak makes use of nearby Moose Pond. At the end of every season, the melted snow simply runs back down into the pond, making it a unique way of recycling.
Over the years, Shawnee Peak has reduced its fuel consumption drastically while also having invested in more efficient boilers to heat the lodge area. Besides its comprehensive recycling program, the lodge also makes use of natural lighting and houses super-efficient foam insulation in its walls. All artificial lighting on the premises is high-efficiency CFL, and its paperless hand dryers and motion detectors help reduce even further its carbon footprint.
I don't know about you, but the thought of a margarita, a big plate of nachos, and a crackling fireplace after a long workday sounds pretty darn good. What sounds even better is getting all of it 1/2 off downstairs at the Pocos Bow Street Cantina's Happy Hour.
Happy Hour in the Pocos Cantina runs Wednesdays - Fridays, 3PM to 7PM. Half price on all drafts, appetizers, pitchers of sangria, and classic margaritas. That's an amazing deal! What is particularly unique about this Happy Hour versus others in downtown Portsmouth is it's family friendly atmosphere, and how late the deals run. Most Happy Hours only run until 6:30 and they normally don't run on Fridays.
Two weeks ago, a swell of over 200 yoga students filled the old wood-lined floors of The River Mill at Dover Landing for the Fifth Annual Yoga Mala. The goal: To complete 108 sun salutations – a foundational sequence of postures common in most traditional forms of yoga – in a little over two hours.
Some were novices; others had been practitioners for decades. But all of them came with a common purpose: to help raise money for two local nonprofits committed to helping families in need find warmth and nourishment in trying times.
This year’s Mala is expected to net in excess of $20,000 for H(EAT) – which looks to donate 10,000 gallons of heating oil and 10,000 meals annually – and SNAP (Supported Nutritional Agriculture Program), an organization seeking to make locally-grown produce and farmer’s markets eligible for various state and federal food voucher programs.
For the past five years, a contingent of local yoga studio owners have helped broaden Yoga Mala to include more participants, more studios, and – as evidenced by their having doubled last year’s donation total – more help for people who truly need it.
One of them is Lona Kovacs, owner of Green Lotus Yoga Studio in Dover, just a stone’s throw from the site of this year’s Mala. Kovacs has long been at the forefront of the annual winter fundraiser, marshaling her students to the cause (20 of them came for this year’s installment) and even leading her own series of 10 salutations as part of the day’s program.
For Kovacs, Yoga Mala is not only a physical test of strength and endurance, but test of collective, spiritual will as well.
“The passion of the yoga studios I think is what’s helped make this such a huge success the last five years,” says Kovacs, who recently celebrated her third anniversary in her new downtown studio space. “I think all the studios make it a point to convey to their students how important the issue of hunger and heat are, especially here in New England, where I think most of us probably know someone struggling with how to afford them.”
It’s getting W.I.L.D at the Green Alliance office! February marks the next installment of the Green Families Club Field Trip program, with an interactive, live animal show featuring the W.I.L.D Center & Zoological Park of New England.
On Wednesday, February 13th from 5pm - 6:30pm, Executive Director, Derek Small will offer families the W.I.L.D experience, and demonstrate how the programs benefit the mission of animal advocacy and rehabilitation of the W.I.L.D Center. Join us at the Green Alliance office in downtown Portsmouth for this specially designed program and personally meet local and exotic animals!
Whether feathered, scaled or covered in fur, the diverse collection of animals serve as ambassadors, assisting the professional Educators with the Wildlife Encounters® programs, delivered year-round throughout New England. As a non-profit organization and one of the only wildlife education centers in the area, these programs are the most important tool the W.I.L.D. Center employs to educate the public, advocate for animals/wildlife and promote environmental conservation.
Space is limited. RSVP to Tricia@greenalliance.biz with you member # and number of kids/adults attending.
This is an open letter from 350.org calling President Obama to reform his “all of the above” energy strategy. It asks for him to adopt a more environmentally friendly energy policy and to further distance ourselves from fossil fuels. Specifically this letter calls for President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline and to adopt a strong carbon rule to address pollution from existing coal plants and a number of other topics that need immediate attention. It is important to let our voices be heard and the more voices, the louder the message. Their goal for 50,000 signatures is rapidly approaching that mark and the letter along with all of the signatures will be delivered in bulk a few days before their action in DC on February 17th.
350.org is an organization dedicated toward turning the tide of global climate change. Their over-arching goal is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to below 350 parts per million, which is the level scientists believe is the key to saving our planet. Their “Climate Challenge” is specifically directed toward the United States, 350.org’s organization is spread over 188 countries in order to face this environmental problem on a global scale.
To read the full letter or to add your name, click here!
Starting and running a small business is certainly no easy feat—just ask the over 32,000 small businesses in New Hampshire alone. With such a significant presence, one would think that New Hampshire small businesses would have a strong voice with regard to the issues NH faces today, right?
According to the NH Citizens Alliance, this, surprisingly, is not true.
NHCA is a statewide non-profit, non-partisan organization devoted to social, economic, and political justice. Since 1978, they have worked on a range of issues, including ensuring access to affordable health care and coverage, protecting civil rights, protecting and expanding voter rights, creating good jobs through sustainable and smart tax policy, and ensuring economic security for the 99%.
Over their many years of holding hearings, committee meetings, and press conferences, NHCA has seen the voice of small businesses be sparse to non-existent time and time again. They have come to the realization that most small business owners and leaders are reluctant to speak up on account of lack of confidence or time to contribute.
“The reality, in NH, is that business people wear boots and not suits” says Lorrie Carrie, 3rd generation owner of Marshall’s Florist and freshman NH representative. “They are found in every town and many work long hours for low or no wages. Why would anyone work for little or no money, you ask? Because they love what they do and they pay their employees and benefits--such as health care--first.”
Attention all New England residents: Shawnee Peak is trying something completely new this winter—and to the benefit of us all. For 75 years, Shawnee Peak has boasted some of the best slopes in Maine, enjoyed by all levels of skiers or riders at all ages.
Haven’t checked it out yet? Well, here’s the perfect chance.
On Friday, February 8th and Friday, March 8th, Shawnee is offering a deal to New England residents that no one can pass up. On these two days, called All-New-England Ski Days, anyone who purchases a ticket before 11:00am bearing a New England driver’s license can ski or ride all day for only $19!
That’s right, any New Englander can enjoy the mountain from 9:00am to 10:00pm for less than 20 bucks.
Even at the full ticket price, Shawnee Peak has been attracting skiers and riders since 1938, and continues to attract more and more with each passing year. They are not only Maine’s longest continually running family ski park, but also have a list of green initiatives that sets them apart from their many competitors.
Shawnee has invested in a fleet of fuel-efficient snow guns, heat-efficient boilers, an extremely effective recycling program, foam insulation and energy-efficient lighting in their lodge, and much more.
The Peak also makes a point to fully involve themselves in community organizations and initiatives such as the Loon Echo Land Trust and Maine Children’s Cancer Program. They also work closely with organizations ranging from the Boys and Girls Club to school districts throughout the region, allowing children to ski at discounted rates during the school week.
And now, this winter they are offering even more to the New England community with their All-New-England Ski Days! At $19 a ticket, there’s no excuse to keep you from checking out this legendary mountain. So be sure to get those skis polished and boards strapped to the car before February 8th so you don’t miss out!
To learn more about Shawnee Peak’s All-New-England Ski Days, click here!
Remember: GA Cardholders save 20% on lift tickets on ALL ski days, as well as 25% on an appetizer at Blizzard’s Pub! They also can save 50% on a rental package!
Dr. Jessica L. Caruso, Prenatal & Family Chiropractor, Reiki Master Teacher, Childbirth Educator
Dr. Jessica L. Caruso graduated from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY. Her background in personal training has provided her with a thorough and diverse knowledge base in rehabilitation exercises for many of her patients.
Dr. Jess has taught Anatomy & Physiology as well as Nutrition at Hesser College as an adjunct faculty member. Dr. Jess has had the pleasure of working as the local chiropractor for the cast and crew of groups including “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing with the Stars.” In 2008 she was invited to participate in a roundtable healthcare discussion with a presidential candidate.
Dr. Jess is also Webster Technique Certified; a very specific technique used with expectant mothers. Being certified in this technique has allowed her to work closely with many other healthcare practitioners in her community such as midwives, obstetricians, nurses, doulas, naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists and childbirth educators.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jess today, and allow her to share her passion for promoting the overall health, well being and highest quality of life of all patients through natural chiropractic care. Visit healinghandscc.org.
Healing Hands Community Chiropractic is a Partnering Business of the GA, which means Green Cardholders as new patients receive a FREE stainless steel water bottle and receive a new patient consult and exam for just $10! Join the GA by clicking here!
After passionately giving back to the Seacoast community since its 2010 founding, supporting Lakota organizations, the Blue Ocean Society, and area veterans, Hampton-based Visions Kitchens needs help supporting the passions of one of its town. One of their kitchen designers, Lis Bailey of Strafford, needs help raising money for the traveling expenses to send her K-Teris dog sled team, one of the world’s fastest, to Alaska for the North American and World dogsledding championships.
If you didn’t realize a world-class dogsledding team called the Seacoast home, you’d be forgiven; while the dogsledding scene in New England is a quiet community compared with those in Alaska and Scandinavia, Bailey’s passion for dogs and racing, which began when she convinced her parents to let her get her first dogsled pup at ten years old, has turned into a family affair that has stood up to teams around the world and now breeds top-shelf racing dogs. Since showing an early talent for the sport at 11, when she went undefeated in local races in the three-dog category, Lis’ homeschooling schedule and self-imposed discipline afforded her the chance to train “like a full time job:” going on six-mile training runs in the summer, having the dogs gain strength in the fall by hauling an ATV around local trails, and then transferring to light, nimble carbon fiber sleds for the winter race season.
But after 15 years training dogs, Lis’ focus has had to shift to motherhood after giving birth to her first child last year. So her younger sister Grace, who started racing dogs in 100-yard sprint races at the tender age of 5, will be taking the K-Teris Kennel team to Alaska herself as a captain of Team USA, starting with a cross-country drive to the Rockies to get some warm-up races in. They’re currently looking for $3,000 in donations to cover part of the $7,000 overall budget for the trip, and have started an online campaign on FundRazr to do so.