News : June 2012

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Colonial Stoneworks' Outdoor Fireplaces Mesh Rustic with Elegance

Jun 27, 2012

Published in Portsmouth Patch

By Jim Cavan

Few relics of summer are more beloved or imbued with nostalgia than an evening around an outdoor fire – why with the stories, songs, and S’mores infusing the crisp evening air as bountifully as the embers themselves.

Typically, the centerpiece of this seasonal rite is no more complex than a hand-dug hole or a shallow metal bowl – a rustic venue for a rustic ritual.

But what if you’re looking for a little bit of luxury to help temper the always-fickle New England elements? The Donahues found themselves in just this position when, in the summer of 2011, they first looked into adding an outdoor fireplace to their newly renovated stone patio.

“We love our property, and we love large group gatherings – that was our original motivation,” says Marilyn Donahue, recalling when she and husband Jim first considered augmenting their North Hampton property. “As much as we love fire pits, there’s nothing quite like the ambiance of a fireplace.”

Click here to read the full story in the Portsmouth Patch!

Rescue Great Bay from pollution, politics

Jun 25, 2012

Published in Seacoast Online

The Great Bay estuary is in decline. As one of the most-studied estuaries in the world, the evidence is clear — unless we take immediate action, the estuary could reach a tipping point, leading to a collapse of its ecosystem and the loss of a natural treasure at the heart of what makes the Seacoast region such a remarkable place to live, work and play.

 Unfortunately, during a time when it's politically expedient in certain D.C. circles to attack science and the agencies charged with protecting the health of our communities and natural resources, some would rather undermine the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to clean up our estuary than support real, constructive solutions. By sowing the seeds of doubt and confusion about the science of water pollution, and without the benefit of the science EPA and the N.H. Department of Environmental Services have developed over the course of several years, they are trying to scare people into thinking EPA is out to bankrupt their communities.

The June 4 Congressional hearing in Exeter, titled "EPA overreach and the impact on New Hampshire Communities," was a missed opportunity. There, Congressmen Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Frank Guinta, R-N.H., conducted a hearing in which, despite a packed room, only five witnesses were permitted to testify: four representatives of the Municipal Coalition — a small group of vocal municipalities doing everything in their power to delay EPA's permitting process — and EPA Regional Administrator Curt Spalding.

To read the full article, click here

UNH, hospital waste food recovery efforts praised: Diversion to hungry, composting goals for future

Jun 25, 2012

Published in Fosters

MANCHESTER — Several New Hampshire organizations and one in Maine who are trying to take some of the food waste out of our region's landfills were recognized at the Northeast Resource Recovery Association's two-day conference on recycling recently in Manchester.

The conference billed itself as "the one conference to go to for all things recycling." But EPA New England chose this event to focus on the issue of food waste and those who are making a difference in northern New England.

Click here to read the rest of this article or to learn more about EcoMovement Consulting and Hauling, click here!

Greenovations Relocates to York

Jun 22, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

YORK, Maine — Greenovations Eco Building Supply, formerly of Portsmouth, N.H., has relocated to 470 Route 1 in York.

With its new location, Greenovations has expanded its offerings beyond interior finish products such as flooring, tiling and countertops.

The store's mini-house — a model of a smart, efficient and eco-friendly home structure — displays some of the new offerings such as solar installations, HVAC equipment, windows and insulation. Additionally, the larger space allows the locally owned business to increase its selection of such products as hardwood flooring, countertops and cabinet materials.

Greenovations specializes exclusively in healthy, "green" building materials, and the business emphasizes local and regional supply partnerships. With a strong commitment to building science education, Greenovations will continue its outreach efforts with free workshops, seminars and discussion groups related to green building, such as the Green Home Building and Design series that took place at the York Public Library in April.

Greenovations is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays. After hours appointments are available. For information, visit www.seacoastgreenovations.com.

 

Sagamore Welcomes Families to Play Golf and Get to Know Each Other Again

Jun 20, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Patch, Portsmouth Herald and Granite State Centennial 

By Heikki Perry

Traditionally the province of private country clubs, golf has seemed inaccessible to the uninitiated, an activity only people with money can afford to play. But a Seacoast community golf course — with emphasis on the word “community” — belies the notion that golf is exclusive, offering instead a family-friendly activity that is affordable and fun.

Sagamore-Hampton Golf Club, 101 North Road, North Hampton, N.H., and Sagamore Golf Center, the golf course’s companion driving range, 22 North Road, North Hampton, focus on accessibility. You don’t have to be a member to play.

Read the full story on the Portsmouth Patch or the Portsmouth Herald

The Story Behind our Mobile Devices: 'The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs'

Jun 19, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Patch

By Heikki Perry

Consumers enamored with technology may think little beyond the convenience, versatility and wonder that is their iPhone. But the back story to how poorly paid and poorly treated workers manufacture these gadgets should give cell phone users pause: The workers pay a steep price for our convenience, one that we don’t necessarily register — until now.

A play debuting in Portsmouth casts a critical, insightful and often funny light on how these devices are produced, and in a larger sense explores what desiring these marvels of modern technology say about us – a high-tech assessment of the human condition, if you will.

“The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” will be performed from June 15 to 30 at the Music Hall Loft, 131 Congress St. World famous monologist Mike Daisey wrote the play, detailing what he heard talking to Chinese workers and what he saw visiting Chinese factories, including the now-infamous Chinese manufacturer Foxconn, where Apple products are made. Actor Brent Askari plays the role of Daisey.

To read the entire article, click here

'5 Green Tips' from Jenaly Technology Group

Jun 19, 2012

Published in Portsmouth Herald

The Green Alliance presents 5 Green Tips, a weekly offering from its business partners. This week's tips come from Christopher Ring of Greenovations, a green building supply store in York, Maine.

1. Always ask questions about products you are considering. More specifically, ask how a company has arrived at a price. We often ask why something is so expensive, but we rarely ask the more important question: "Why is that so cheap?" Sometimes, you get what you pay for.

2. Look for a "green commitment," not just a "green coincidence." There is hardly a company out there today that isn't trying to market the green credentials of their product, whether those claims are legitimate or not. Sure, wool is renewable, but are wool rugs made with synthetic backings, dyes and stains truly "green?"

3. Respect the laws of nature. If we want to be good to the Earth, we need to respect the Earth for what it is and purchase products that work with nature, not against it.

For the full article in the Portsmouth Herald, click here

Eco Sound builders follow in fathers' footsteps for efficiency and preservation

Jun 19, 2012

Published in the Granite State Sentinel

By Allison Dudas

Most people dream of going to work everyday to do something they love. Ethan Korpi and Peter Robie of Eco Sound live out their passion each day by helping people renovate and build homes that are beautiful, high performing and earth-friendly. Ethan Korpi began Eco Sound Builders, LLC in 2007 with his father, Roger, and Robie joined the duo in 2009. With Roger overseeing operations in the NH Lakes region, Korpi and Robie are changing the way people think about homes here on the Seacoast.

A current project in Rye embodies much of Eco Sound’s philosophy, as their task is to retrofit an old home while preserving its historic character. Walking the line between preserving the old and embracing the new is what these guys do – it’s in their blood.

The father-son connection is obvious with Ethan, who has worked with his father on the construction site since he was a boy. With over 40 years in the building trades, Roger Korpi has undoubtedly passed on a great deal to his son. Perhaps the most tangible is Ethan’s dedication to honoring the historical value of a building. When Ethan was young, the family moved into a log cabin from the late 1800s up in Tamworth, near Mount Chocorua. Rather than tear it down, Roger worked with the structure, renovated it and turned it into a home for his family. “I guess you could say he taught me the art of building recycling; taking the best of a structure and working with it to make it even better,” explains Korpi.

For the full article, pick up a copy of The Granite State Sentinel

View The Granite State Sentinel Website

Chinburg’s Newmarket Mills Project is Building Recycling and Mini Economic Engine all in One

Jun 14, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Patch

By Heikki Perry

Newmarket Mills may be similar to countless other New England development projects in that it offers more than 50,000 square feet of commercial space to local businesses and will eventually feature 112 apartments. But what distinguishes this project is the greenest of green concepts —recycling old buildings; that is, the complete repurposing of a structure in a 21st century makeover.

“The vision originally comes from builder Eric Chinburg’s love of old mill buildings and that something which is beautiful, but falling apart, can be given a new life,” says Jen Chinburg, Newmarket Mills’ marketing director. “The Newmarket Mill buildings were starting to crumble and were in a state of decay. We had an opportunity to save something that’s part of the history and legacy of New Hampshire.”

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Patch!

Green Building Expert to hold HVAC Seminar on Reducing Heating and Cooling Costs

Jun 14, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Patch

By Heikki Perry

The Seacoast’s only dedicated green building supply store will soon provide information that can reduce a homeowner’s energy bills and even the cost of the actual heating and cooling systems themselves. Greenovations will hold a seminar on HVAC — heating, ventilation and air conditioning — at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 16, at its store at 470 U.S. Route One, in York, Maine.

The seminar will prove to be an eye-opening experience for attendees, owner Christopher Ring says. Ring explains that new technologies, and rising oil costs, have made the old method of providing HVAC service in homes obsolete — and expensive. “The traditional approach to designing an HVAC plan is no longer effective, especially considering new and improved technologies and the greater efficiency of today’s homes.”

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Patch!

Redhook Brews ‘Revolutionary’ Beer

Jun 14, 2012

Posted in the Exeter Patch

By Heikki Perry

Interested in promoting local revolutionary history and inspired by its own revolutionary” past, Redhook Brewery has teamed up with Exeter’s American Independence Museum to launch a new seasonal beer.

The aptly named American Independence Ale will be served at the museum’s Folsom Tavern, the inspiration for the beer — where beer has not been served for 100 years — as part of Redhook’s Backyard Brewery Series. The summer seasonal brew will also be available throughout New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont until early fall.

Read the full story in the Exeter Patch!

Newmarket Mills To Get New Life

Jun 11, 2012

Published in Portsmouth Herald

By Heikki Perry

The Newmarket Mills may be similar to many New England redevelopment projects, but what distinguishes it is the greenest of green concepts — recycling old buildings.

"The vision originally comes from builder Eric Chinburg's love of old mill buildings and that something which is beautiful, but falling apart, can be given a new life," said Jen Chinburg, Newmarket Mills' marketing director.

Founded in 1987 by Eric Chinburg, Chinburg Builders has helped re-purpose 10 former mill sites, including Millport in Portsmouth, the Washington and Cocheco mills in Dover and the Canal Street mill in Somersworth.

"We've learned a lot in the process of saving these buildings," Jen Chinburg said. "Newmarket Mills is the culmination of this knowledge."

Click here to read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald!

Trip to India a decade in the making for local yoga studio owner

Jun 11, 2012

Posted by the Granite State Sentinel

By Jim Cavan

Spending a month in a foreign country – diving headlong into the more ethereal aspects of its history, culture, and traditions – would understandably impart a kind of culture shock in most. Lona Kovacs felt it much more coming home.

Kovacs, owner of Green Lotus Yoga Studio in Dover, recently returned stateside after a five-week trip to India. Spending most of her time in the southern Province of Mysore, Kovacs immersed herself fully in the various accoutrement of Ashtanga, a yogic tradition rooted in some of India’s most ancient texts.

Connect to the Granite State Sentinel

Ecomovement goes back to school with new partnership

Jun 11, 2012

Posted by the Granite State Sentinel

By Emma Groves

EcoMovement Consulting and Hauling is well known amongst homeowners and businesses in the seacoast area for their unique composting programs. But now owner Rian Bedard has a new clientele: students.

Thanks to a growing demand by school administrators to have a composting program implemented in their schools, recycling education is about to reach a whole new level. As of the end of February, there were five schools that had partnered with the Portsmouth-based EcoMovement: East Kingston Elementary, Dondero School and New Franklin School in Portsmouth, and Traip Academy and Horace Mitchell Primary School in Kittery, Maine.

Connect to the Granite State Sentinel
 

Local Company Helps Rockingham County Find Energy, Fiscal Savings

Jun 11, 2012

Published in Exeter Patch

By Jim Cavan

In these cash-strapped times, how our government is minding its wallet – be it at the federal, state, or local level – has become just as important as balancing the family checkbook.

So when the Rockingham County Complex, located in Brentwood, had a chance to tack millions of taxpayer dollars to their bottom line by installing a brand new, energy efficient biomass boiler, they jumped at the chance.

The new system will provide both space and hot-water heating to the county Nursing Home, House of Corrections, as well as attendant administration buildings.

Read the full story in the Exeter Patch or in the Seacoast Online GA Blog
 

'5 Green Tips' from Jenaly Technology Group

Jun 6, 2012

Published in Portsmouth Herald 

The Green Alliance presents 5 Green Tips, a weekly offering from its business partners. This week's tips come from Jenaly Technology Group in Portsmouth.

1. Print smarter and less often. By printing smarter, you can save paper, ink and, of course, energy. Edit copy online by collaborating with Google docs instead of printing out paper drafts for editing. Reformat documents to shrink margins and reduce the amount of pages needed. When you absolutely need to print, be sure to use double-sided printing features.

2. Reduce energy use with new equipment. When it's time to replace an aging piece of equipment, make sure you look for Energy Star devices. These are more efficient and use a lot less energy.

Click here for all 5 green tips from the Portsmouth Herald

Checkmate Offers Affordable, Community-Focused Payroll Alternative

Jun 6, 2012

From Seacoast Online Blogs and Portsmouth Patch

By Jim Cavan

A majority of businesses probably don’t pay much mind to their payroll services – once set up, it’s largely out of sight, out of mind. That is, of course, until a problem occurs; when those tasked with dealing with a large, national payroll provider get lost amidst the myriad 1-800 numbers and endless bureaucracy.

But Steve Robinson, President and Founder of Checkmate Workforce Management Solutions, understood enough about the needs of the Granite State’s smaller employers to know there had to be a better way.

In 1994, Robinson – a Certified Public Accountant by trade – recalibrated his accounting firm and formed Checkmate, with the aim of providing a better, more responsive payroll services company for small and mid-sized businesses. In starting Checkmate, Steve sought to create a business partner for his clients and to create a culture of community engagement for his staff.

Nearly eighteen years later, Checkmate services over 500 clients across industries and sectors, priding themselves on their accessible, knowledgeable staff, most of which has been with the company for five years or more. In an industry dominated by a handful of national payroll companies, Robinson and Checkmate’s locally oriented focus has been a breath of fresh air for their growing list of clients. 

Click here to read the full story at Portsmouth Patch, or click here for Seacoast Online!

Ratepayers Subsidizing PSNH's Addiction to Coal

Jun 6, 2012

Published in the Portsmouth Herald

The nation and New Hampshire are relying less and less on coal — our dirtiest, least efficient fuel — to meet our electric power needs. PSNH recently announced it is not operating its flagship coal plant, Merrimack Station in Bow; the plant will sit completely idle for six months of 2012. The two coal boilers at PSNH's Schiller Station in Portsmouth will operate even less. Yet, PSNH customers continue to pay a premium to keep PSNH's coal plants on life support, thanks to a regulatory system that protects PSNH's interests over those of ratepayers.

Coal-fired power plants — expensive new facilities and decades-old dinosaurs like PSNH's plants alike — can't compete in today's marketplace. Investors and customers are moving toward cleaner, cheaper alternatives, principally natural gas, but also renewables (especially wind) and high-tech ways of reducing energy use. Northeast Utilities — PSNH's parent company — admits that this reality is not going away anytime soon.

Click here to read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald!

Information Session on Civic Space

Jun 6, 2012

Published in Portsmouth Herald

By Melanie Gray

NEWMARKET — Members of the business community, local residents and inquiring minds are invited to sip on wine and snack on cheese as they learn about Newmarket's "community living room."

"After the mills shut down, it appears the community lost the drive to have a shared communal space for entertainment and new ideas. The Millspace offers that," said Millspace Committee member John Herman of the upcoming civic space.

"It will be a convergence of history and innovation," Herman said. "It will reflect the needs of the community, whether it take the form of emerging technology, business or entertainment. That is the civic part. In this sense, it aims to become Newmarket's living room."

Click here to read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald!

Balancing History, Innovation

Jun 4, 2012

Published in Portsmouth Herald

By Andrew Tiebout

PORTSMOUTH — The city's historic buildings make it an iconic destination for tourists, but preserving them is a challenge for a city that also wants to earn its place in the modern world.

The Portsmouth Historical Society faced such a hurdle five years ago when it moved its headquarters from the John Paul Jones House to the former public library on Islington and Middle streets. Today, the location is known as Discover Portsmouth and, along with the Historical Society, is home to the Seacoast African American Cultural Center and Star Island Corp.

Discover Portsmouth held its season opening on May 3. While the focus of the event was to draw attention to the building's wealth of information, artifacts and heritage, it also kicked off a new green focus for the two-centuries-old building.

Click here to read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald!