Saturday, March 31, 2012

What a great Idea! "Cash Mobs"

A hit of kindness
Cash mobs target businesses to help out in difficult times
By Kathleen Pierce
Globe Correspondent / March 31, 2012

MALDEN - It was a mob hit in a cannoli shop. But cash not crooks descended on The Cannoli Guy Café here Friday at the city’s first “cash mob.’’

The café opened at 7 a.m., and by midafternoon, owner Clark Heighton could not turn out the treats fast enough. “A fantastic, fantastic day,’’ said Heighton, who rang in as many sales - 400 cannoli - in eight hours as he does in an entire week. “I’m trying to figure out a way to thank the city.’’

Customers found out about the event, organized by the city of Malden, days earlier on Facebook and Twitter, and they came out to support the six-month-old cafe. That’s the spirit of the so-called cash mob that combines the buy-local movement with the power of a flash mob: getting strangers together on short notice to make a statement. In this case, the goal is to infuse small businesses at a prescribed time with cash, credit, and community.

There have been several cash mobs in the region from Boston to Newburyport. And while it’s hard to know how many have been held globally, more than 200 organizers have surfaced since last fall, according to Andrew Samtoy, a Cleveland lawyer who popularized the concept.

A thrift store in Cambridge in February was the site of one of the region’s first cash mobs. They have been met with varying degrees of success - some involving one store, others a row of merchants - but momentum is starting to build with more being planned in Lowell and Malden.

“We are always thinking about new ways to invigorate the city. This is the most feasible and we can pull it off with limited resources,’’ said Ron Cochran, director of online services and communication technology for the City of Malden.

A cash mob works like this: City officials, civic groups, or individuals use social media, blogs, and e-mail to spread the word about the event. As @Lowellcashmob tweeted this week, “Infusing revenue into Lowell businesses, you never know where the cash mob will strike!’’

Merchants do not run them, but are selected for a “hit.’’ Participants are encouraged to spend $10 to $20. There often aren’t any discounts or incentives - it’s less about nabbing a Black Friday bargain and more about sharing the wealth.

Malden resident Cheryl Cadigan heard about her town’s cash mob on Facebook and stopped by The Cannoli Guy Café on her way to work Friday. “I had never heard about this place,’’ she said. Even though Cadigan doesn’t eat cannoli, she dropped $30 on a dozen. “The economy is not good. I want to do my part.’’

Last weekend, stores in Brookline along a stretch of Beacon Street hampered by construction were selected for the city’s first cash mob. Around 30 to 50 customers visited a bakery, tavern, and hardware store, among other spots, for a few hours. To capitalize on increased foot traffic, Aaron Mehta, owner of The Wine Press, held a tasting and said sales increased 10 to 15 percent compared with a normal Saturday.  Continued...

“Our goal was to have a single person show up,’’ said Samtoy. “We couldn’t have predicted it would get this far.’’

Friday, March 30, 2012


DURHAM, N.H. -- Coastal anglers should be aware of several new rule changes for 2012 that are now in effect regarding the taking of different species in some New Hampshire coastal rivers and other coastal/estuarine waters. These changes, recently implemented by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, include the following:

* Recent declines in the spawning runs of river herring in the Oyster River have prompted Fish and Game to close this river to the taking of river herring by any method from the head-of-tide dam at Mill Pond in Durham to the mouth of the river at Wagon hill Farm and Durham Point. A map that corresponds to the extent of this closed area can be found on page 24 of the 2012 NH Saltwater Fishing Digest in the shellfish section. The coordinates for the Oyster River shellfish closure and the river herring closure are identical and are identified in red.

* The Gulf of Maine Cod Spawning Protection Area is located south of the Isle of Shoals and was implemented in 2011 to protect large aggregations of spawning cod during the spring. The area is closed to the use of recreational and commercial gear capable of catching cod between April 1 and June 30. A map of the Cod Spawning Protection Area can be found on page 9 of the 2012 NH Saltwater Fishing Digest put out by Fish and Game and on the web at New rules allow fishing within the state waters portion of the Gulf of Maine Cod Spawning Protection Area with hook and line and an artificial weight or single lure weighing one ounce or less. The rule provides anglers with the opportunity to fish for pelagic species such as mackerel while still prohibiting the use of gear that could catch spawning cod. Any vessels transiting through this area must have all hooks and bait removed from fishing rods, commercial vessels must have all gear
stowed, and any groundfish on board the vessel that were caught outside this area must be gutted.

* The taking of sea-run salmon is now prohibited in coastal/estuarine waters. Any salmon caught must be released immediately.

* The area 50 feet above and 200 feet below the fish ladder at the Wiswall Dam on the Lamprey River in Durham, N.H., is closed to all fishing between April 1 and July 31. The lower closure equates to roughly the end of the granite wall on river left, and a USGS pin on river right. Signs will be posted.
Please note that because these rules went into effect after the 2012 NH Saltwater Fishing Digest went to print, they are not included in the publication. The Digest is a good resource for information on other marine fishing rules. Download it at or pick up a copy at any Fish and Game Department office or licensing agent.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's marine, fish and wildlife resources and their habitats. The Department's Marine Fisheries Division is located in Durham, N.H. Visit

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hiker Responsibility Code

You are responsible for yourself, so be prepared:

1. With knowledge and gear. Become self reliant by learning about the terrain, conditions, local weather and your equipment before you start.

2. To leave your plans. Tell someone where you are going, the trails you are hiking, when you will return and your emergency plans.

3. To stay together. When you start as a group, hike as a group, end as a group. Pace your hike to the slowest person.

4. To turn back. Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Fatigue and unexpected conditions can also affect your hike. Know your limitations and when to postpone your hike. The mountains will be there another day.

5. For emergencies. Even if you are headed out for just an hour, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become life threatening. Don’t assume you will be rescued; know how to rescue yourself.

6. To share the hiker code with others.

hikeSafe: It’s Your Responsibility.
The Hiker Responsibility Code was developed and is endorsed by the White Mountain National Forest and New Hampshire Fish and Game.

Have fun and have a great hiking season!

House Kills Casino Bill - Politics News Story - WMUR New Hampshire

House Kills Casino Bill - Politics News Story - WMUR New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire's House has voted against legalizing four gambling casinos licensed to install up to 14,000 video slot machines and 420 table games.
The House rejected expanded gambling legislation and Wednesday's key vote of 154-195 to reject proponents' best amendment was no different. The House killed it 236-108. The bill faced long odds since Gov. John Lynch pledged to veto it if it had reached his desk.
The bill directed that some of the profits be used to reduce business taxes, which had made it more attractive to some in the House. They also argued New Hampshire had to act now because Massachusetts had legalized casinos and that would draw away revenue from the state.
But opponents argued a future Legislature could divert the profits to something else.

Read more:

MBTA Details Fare Hikes, Service Cuts - Project Economy News Story - WCVB Boston

Who is taking who for a ride?  23% increase in Fares....... WHAT!

MBTA Details Fare Hikes, Service Cuts - Project Economy News Story - WCVB Boston

April 1 Opening Day for N.H. Landlocked Salmon/Lake Trout Fishing

CONCORD, N.H. -- Anglers are expected to be out in force on April 1 for the start of the open-water fishing season on landlocked salmon/lake trout-managed lakes in New Hampshire. After an exceptionally mild winter, there will be vast amounts of open water in the lakes region of New Hampshire for early season landlocked salmon anglers.

Because of the much-reduced snowpack, river flows should also be excellent for early April fishing. Fall netting results reveal a strong age-3 year-class of salmon, which will dominate the catch. "The mild winter kept ice-fishing pressure low, and this will likely translate to better opportunities for the open water angler," said N.H. Fish and Game Large Lakes Biologist Don Miller.

New Hampshire Fish and Game manages 15 lakes for landlocked salmon: Big Dan Hole Pond, First and Second Connecticut Lakes, Conway Lake, Lake Francis, Merrymeeting Lake, Newfound Lake, Ossipee Lake, Big and Little Squam Lakes, Sunapee Lake, Lake Winnipesaukee, Winnisquam Lake, and Nubanusit Lake. Pleasant Lake in New London also is managed for landlocked salmon, but is classified as a trout pond, with a 2012 opening date of April 28.

Anglers should seek out high-flow areas in the Winnipesaukee River system, which drives the early season salmon fisheries in Winnipesaukee, Opechee, Winnisquam and Silver lakes, for a chance at “drop-down” salmon (and rainbow trout). Traditional areas include the Lakeport Dam/Opechee Lake, the Winnipesaukee River through Laconia to Dixon Point at Lake Winnisquam, and Lochmere Dam at Silver Lake. The Newfound River in Bristol offers great fly-fishing-only water that can often produce drop-down rainbows and salmon.

Additionally, several popular Winnipesaukee shore fishing locations exist at the Merrymeeting River (fly-fishing-only, barbless, catch and release), and the mouth of the Merrymeeting River as it enters Alton Bay, downstream of the famous stone arch bridge.

Other good sites to visit include the Weirs Channel in Laconia, Long Island Bridge in Moultonborough, Governors Island Bridge in Gilford, Smith River inlet at Wolfeboro Bay, and Meredith and Center Harbor town docks. At these locations, everything from smelt, shiners and worms under a slip bobber to small jigs will take salmon, as well as rainbow trout.

This time of year, salmon are successfully caught by trolling with everything from spoons (such as DB Smelt, Sutton, Mooselook, Top Gun, and Smelt Gun) to traditional streamer flies (for example, Maynard’s Marvel, Pumpkinhead, Mickey Finn, Joe’s Smelt, and the countless Grey Ghost variations), and an early season favorite, live smelt or shiners. Most early season fish are caught from the surface to about 15 feet down, with everything from planer board set-ups to the simplest of monofilament flat lines 50-150 feet behind the boat. When the wind kicks in, drifting live smelt or shiners in the waves can be highly effective. Since 2011, only single hooks for bait while trolling are allowed on certain salmon/lake trout lakes, including Squam, Newfound, Sunapee, Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam lakes. Please refer to the 2012 N.H. Freshwater Fishing Digest for a complete list of waters.

To ensure the future of high-quality landlocked salmon fisheries, anglers must take extra care when releasing salmon, as the percentage of hook-wounded fish continues to be a problem. Hook wounded/scarred fish are significantly shorter and poorer in body condition than non-hook-wounded counterparts of the same age. Using rubber nets and proper release techniques (for example, don’t “shake” fish off the hook) -- and releasing lightly hooked healthy salmon, while choosing to harvest previously hook-wounded fish – are ways to minimize the negative effects of hook wounding, thereby increasing the number of trophy salmon available in the future.

To that end, N.H. Fish and Game is encouraging anglers to take the Landlocked Salmon Anglers’ Pledge, a cooperative, volunteer effort to help sustain quality landlocked salmon fisheries in New Hampshire’s large lakes. Learn more at

N.H. fishing licenses can be purchased online at, or from any Fish and Game license agent. Annual resident fishing licenses are $35. Resident one-day licenses are just $10. Annual nonresident fishing licenses are $53. One-, three- and seven-day nonresident licenses are also available.

Reel in lots more information on fishing in New Hampshire, from depth maps to tackle tips -- and download the 2012 N.H. Freshwater Fishing Digest -- at

Hatcheries Gearing up for Spring Fish Stocking

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
Published Mar 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm (Updated Mar 27, 2012)

Tom Paschal lifts a brail (net)
 of trout at Twin Mountain Hatchery.
 More than a million trout will be stocked
 for New Hampshire anglers this year.
CONCORD, N.H. -- Now that our surprisingly warm and short winter has come to an end, New Hampshire Fish and Game Hatcheries Supervisor Jason Smith can't help but get excited about open water angling, and more specifically, trout fishing. Fish Culturists at New Hampshire's state hatcheries have had another great growing season, and stocking trucks are ready to get rolling in April. In fact, some of the state's southern waterbodies received fish in late March. New Hampshire hatcheries have close to 1 million catchable-size trout ready for this season.

"Anglers – including me -- are champing at the bit, but despite the early warm weather that's allowed us to put a few fish in already in southern areas, we're expecting to stick fairly close to our normal stocking protocols," said Smith.

Smith explained that even if brooks appear to be at “fishable” levels, most trout species are reluctant to bite until the streams reach temperatures in the high 40's. "We don't want to stock too early and risk potential high-water events later in the season that could wash out our stocked fish," said Smith. "We're fortunate to have Conservation Officers in the field that can monitor water conditions and make slight modifications to their stocking schedules when required."

One potential adjustment could come if warm temperatures persist and the water warms up quicker than usual late in the season. "If that happens, we may have to condense the stocking season a little bit by stocking more frequently once the season gets going," said Smith. “This will allow stocked fish to better acclimate and later seek out habitats that provide thermal relief from rising temperatures.”

"The early ice-out is helpful in that it gives stocking trucks access to trout ponds to ensure stocking prior to the designated trout pond season opening on the fourth Saturday in April," said Smith. Many ponds north of Concord still have some ice cover, so pond temperatures should remain relatively cool even under these unusual spring conditions.

Raising a million trout each year is no small task. New Hampshire's hatchery system, funded by fishing license sales and federal Sport Fish Restoration funds, includes six facilities across the state.

The Berlin Fish Hatchery provides the three primary trout species to the North Country, including Coos County and the northern reaches of Grafton and Carroll Counties.

The Twin Mountain and Warren hatcheries provide trout to the White Mountain Region. The Warren Hatchery also will provide roughly 850,000 Atlantic salmon fry for stocking as part of the ongoing Merrimack River Anadromous Fish Restoration Program.

Powder Mill Hatchery in New Durham provides trout from the seacoast through the Lakes Region and into Carroll County. Powder Mill Hatchery also provides the Lakes Region with rainbow trout and landlocked salmon for New Hampshire's large lakes program. April 1 is the opening for salmon season in lakes managed for landlocked salmon. Avid salmon anglers are encouraged to help sustain this fishery by taking the Landlocked Salmon Anglers' Pledge (visit

In the Southwest region, Fish and Game's Milford Fish Hatchery has gained the reputation of growing “the big ones,” and with good reason. Well water provides favorable growing temperatures for trout year round, giving this hatchery a slight advantage over other facilities during the winter months.

New Hampton Hatchery is responsible for providing trout from central New Hampshire up to the White Mountains. In June, fingerling brook trout raised at New Hampton Hatchery will literally take flight, as they are stocked by helicopter into remote ponds in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. These remote ponds provide a special opportunity for those who wish to get off the beaten path and spend a day hiking and fishing in the White Mountains. "Remote pond fishing is a great experience and one of my favorites," says Smith. The fishing season for designated trout ponds, including remote ponds, opens on the fourth Saturday in April (April 28, 2012).

To help fund the remote pond aerial stocking program, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire has established a dedicated donation account. Those who enjoy this experience and wish to contribute to the remote pond stocking program can donate online at; be sure to specify "remote pond stocking fund."

Now that we have a jump start on spring, Jason Smith and thousands of other New Hampshire anglers are eager to welcome the open-water fishing season. Visit to find boatloads of fishing information, fishing reports, stocking updates, and to buy your license online.

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department – connecting you to life outdoors.

I am not usually a big opera fan, but I was blown away!

Opera duo Charlotte & Jonathan - Britain's Got Talent 2012 audition - International version