Archive for » February 13th, 2012«

Brunswick Corporation : Boston Whaler Joins Sea Tow’s Sea Care Program

         
EDGEWATER, Fla., Feb. 13, 2012 – Boston Whaler and Sea Tow — the world’s leading professional on-water assistance organization — are proud to announce a new partnership that features Boston Whaler’s participation in Sea Tow’s popular Sea Care program. As part of joining the Sea Care program, Boston Whaler will extend a complimentary 95-day Sea Tow membership to all new Boston Whaler boat owners. Additionally, existing Boston Whaler owners are eligible for 14 months of Sea Tow membership for the price of 12, a special offer available through the Boston Whaler Owners Club. Sea Tow members enjoy a comprehensive set of services, ranging from ’round-the-clock, on-water vessel assistance to the expert advice of Sea Tow’s experienced team of professional captains.

“Boston Whaler is a storied boat brand, and Sea Tow is the top name in boater assistance,” said Jeff Vaughn, Boston Whaler’s vice president of sales, marketing and customer service. “Our customers use their Boston Whalers in practically all types of seas, sometimes encountering harsh conditions. Participation in Sea Tow’s Sea Care program allows Boston Whaler to provide even more confidence and peace of mind to its customers.”

“Sea Tow is so pleased to welcome Boston Whaler to our Sea Care program,” said Kristen Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow’s chief administrative officer. “Our expert Sea Tow captains and staff are standing by 24/7 and look forward to helping make the boating experience worry-free for new Boston Whaler owners. Working with the official Boston Whaler Owners Club allows us to extend a special offer on Sea Tow membership to ensure that all Boston Whaler owners can focus on enjoying their day on the water.”

Boston Whaler owners interested in learning more about Sea Tow membership, can contact Debbie Saulnier at debbie.saulnier@whaler.com. Owners of Boston Whaler 345 Conquest or 370 Outrage models should contact Doug Wolf at doug.wolf@whaler.com.

For more information about Sea Tow and the Sea Care program, please contact Cindy McCaffery at seacare@seatow.com or 631-765-3660 x3161.

About the Sea Care Program: The Sea Care program was designed to empower both boat manufacturers and dealers with the ability to provide their customers with the highest level of service after the sale by offering access to expert Sea Tow captains who, among other things, provide professional on-water assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Members are automatically enrolled in the program upon delivery of their new boat. Membership includes free towing, jump starts, fuel drops, covered ungroundings, prop disentanglements, navigational assistance and more. The Sea Care program is easy to implement and the results are 100 percent trackable. Those interested in participating in the Sea Care program may submit a request to seacare@seatow.com or call (800) 4-SEATOW and ask to speak with Cindy McCaffery at x3161.

About Sea Tow: Sea Tow Services International Inc. is the nation’s leading on-water assistance provider. Established in 1983 by Founder CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow now serves members in more than 100 locations throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For a full list of membership benefits, or to inquire about becoming a Sea Tow franchise owner, please visit seatow.com.

About Boston Whaler: For more than 50 years, Boston Whaler has been building superior quality unsinkable sportfishing, pleasure and yacht tender boats. Founded in 1958 and currently headquartered in Edgewater, Fla., the company’s unique foam-cored construction process contributes not only unsurpassed flotation, but also superior ride characteristics and durability. The current product line ranges from 11 to 37 feet and is distributed around the world by a network of exceptional dealers. For more information about The Unsinkable Legend(TM), please visit www.bostonwhaler.com.  Boston Whaler is owned by Brunswick Corporation, the largest marine manufacturer in the world.

About Brunswick Corporation: Headquartered in Lake Forest, Ill., Brunswick Corporation endeavors to instill “Genuine Ingenuity”(TM) in all its leading consumer brands, including Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines; MotorGuide trolling motors; Attwood marine parts and accessories; Land ‘N’ Sea, Kellogg Marine, and Diversified Marine parts and accessories distributors; Arvor, Bayliner, Boston Whaler, Cabo Yachts, Crestliner, Cypress Cay, Harris FloteBote, Hatteras, Lowe, Lund, Meridian, Princecraft, Quicksilver, Rayglass, Sea Ray,  Suncruiser, Triton Aluminum, Trophy, Uttern and Valiant boats; Life Fitness and Hammer Strength fitness equipment; Brunswick bowling centers, equipment and consumer products; Brunswick billiards tables and foosball tables. For more information, please visit www.brunswick.com.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Traci Davis  
Phone: 386.409.6419
Email:  tdavis@whaler.com

Cindy McCaffery
Sea Tow Services International Inc.
Phone: 631-765-3660 x3161
Email:
cindymccaffery@seatow.com


This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients.

The owner of this announcement warrants that:
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the
information contained therein.

Source: Brunswick Corporation via Thomson Reuters ONE


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Whales wintering off Va. draw crowds

Whales by the dozen are wintering in the unseasonably warm waters
off this resort city, attracting a flotilla of recreational boats
packed with sightseers hoping to glimpse the big mammals gorging
on tons of bait fish within sight of the oceanfront’s high-rise
hotels.

While elated by the unexpected visit, scientists are also
concerned that the offseason attraction could create potentially
deadly conflicts between boats and their propellers and whales
working the waters to satisfy their prodigious appetites.

Ships from the world’s largest naval base in Norfolk and cargo
traffic up the Chesapeake Bay to busy port facilities in Virginia
and Baltimore also pose a potential threat, they say. The waters
off Virginia are much shallower than those where whales are more
commonly found.

“We feel they don’t have the depth refuge and the whales can’t
dive under the ships,” said Susan G. Barco, a senior scientist at
the Virginia Aquarium Marine Science Center Foundation.

The cause for the concern was apparent this past weekend when
whale-watching boats departed Rudee’s Inlet, a fishing and
boating center located at the southern end of the resort’s famed
boardwalk, for the short trip offshore.

Scores of fishing boats were bobbing in the water as a touring
boat with passengers on two decks sailed into prime whaling
grounds. The distinctive spouts soon signaled the whales’
presence as they broke the surface, creating an excited scramble
on deck as people flocked to the rail to look at the whales’
glistening, stout bodies surfacing. Some whales were scarred from
unknown encounters.

“It’s surprising how tolerant they are of us,” said Donna Dorroh,
a Richmond attorney who was on the tour with her husband, Mark.
“We were thrilled and cheering every time we saw one. They seemed
less impressed with us.”

As a guide directed passengers to the latest sighting, she also
cautioned nearby recreational boaters to give the whales a wide
berth and to reel in any fishing line and hooks.

At least a couple of whales have been snagged on parachute gear
— an array of hooks usually intended to catch a striper.
Monofilament line is the real concern because it could sever a
fin, said Jackie Bort, another scientist at the Virginia
Aquarium.

“We’re not discouraging people from fishing,” she said. “We’re
asking fishermen, if they’re around whales, to take their gear
out of the water or don’t approach the whale.”

The whales and many boaters are drawn by the same thing: silvery
menhaden and other bait fish. The whales eat a ton or more of the
protein-rich fish each day. The bait fish are also on the menu of
blue fin tuna and striped bass, which has attracted a large
number fishing boats. Gannets dive-bomb the churning water for
the bait fish, intent on getting their fill, too.

Nolan Agner’s AquaMan Sportsfishing Charters has three boats for
hire, and he’s seen both sides of the equation. He was sitting in
one of his charters while customers hauled in striped bass
circled by whales feeding on the same bait that attracted the
stripers.

“I saw a whale the other day come up and his mouth was full of
dogfish,” said Agner, who has run his charter business for more
than a dozen years and has never seen whales congregate so close
to shore.

“I’ve seen that many offshore. I’ve never seen that many
inshore,” he said.

Water temperatures of 40-plus degrees have kept menhaden in these
waters rather than seas farther south, which has drawn the fin
whales, humpbacks and smaller minke whales. During a more
seasonably cold winter, the humpbacks would have continued their
migration from the Canadian Maritimes, the Gulf of Maine and New
England to warmer waters in the West Indies to mate and calve.
Scientists are not sure where finbacks and minke winter. The
finbacks can measure up to 70 feet.

More than 40 individual whales have been identified since they
began arriving in December.

The Navy said it is always mindful of whales and other marine
mammals, and especially so this year.

Navy vessels are “exercising increased due diligence to avoid
marine mammals while operating off the Virginia coast and
approaches to the Chesapeake Bay,” Julie Ann Ripley, a public
affairs spokeswoman for U.S. Fleet Forces Command, wrote in an
email.

The Navy, for instance, uses trained “watchstanders” to scan the
waters for whales, and some training exercises can either be
delayed or modified to ensure their safety, Ripley said.

As for recreational boaters, they require a polite reminder at
times. When fishing boats navigated too closely to whales during
the watch cruise, one of the guides would caution captains to
honor NOAA guidelines on viewing the mammals.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forbids an
intentional approach within 100 feet, and operators are advised
to put their engines in neutral until whales are clear of the
vessel.

So far, NOAA said it has received only one anonymous complaint to
its enforcement hotline.

The Coast Guard and police with the Virginia Marine Resources
Commission also patrol the waters off Virginia Beach.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act prevents the “taking” of marine
mammals on the high seas. Taking includes attempts to harass.

“The more energy that it has to use to maneuver around you,
that’s wasted energy for a wild animal that needs a certain
amount of food go through the day,” Barco said.

As word spreads of the whales’ presence, more and more people are
heading to Virginia Beach to get a look at them. The Virginia
Aquarium said the number of boats was doubled this past weekend
to accommodate increased reservations.

Regina Asmutis-Silvia, a senior biologist with Whale and Dolphin
Conservation Society, said the interest is understandable.

“They have intentional relationships. They have unique behaviors
akin to personalities,” she said. “I think we can relate to them
on a different level.”

But at a safe distance, she said.

 


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VIDEO: Hacker Boat Co. shows steady growth

VIDEO: Hacker Boat Co. shows steady growth


Posted on 13 February 2012


Written by Mike Trocchi


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In the last three years the Hacker Boat Co., the builder of mahogany runabouts, has hired 25 employees, opened a huge showroom and a new production building, increased its annual sales and is chasing new markets.

The Silver Bay, N.Y., company expects to display at the Miami International Boat Show and the Yacht Brokerage Show in Miami Beach, both running Feb. 16-20, and the Palm Beach (Fla.) International Boat Show, which runs March 22-25.

Hacker sold 10 boats in 2009, 12 in 2010 and 16 last year, according to George Badcock, the CEO of new owners Erin Investments. Revenue has jumped, too, from $2 million in 2009 to $2.8 million in 2011, he says.

Click play for a profile on Hacker by Trade Only’s Chris Landry.

“People continued to buy the boats during the 2008-09 downturn, and we continue to have tremendous interest now through the middle of the winter,” says Badcock, 63, an avid boater and an owner of antique wooden vessels.

Badcock says he took over management of the company in 2010, then ownership in early 2011.

Florida has become a hot market for Hacker. In the past 18 months it has sold seven boats that were delivered to the Sunshine State, Badcock says.

Hacker has renovated its old production building and turned it into a 2,600-square-foot, two-story showroom. The boats are built in nearby Ticonderoga in three buildings totaling 32,000 square feet.

Badcock also brought in a wooden-boat restoration expert, J.R. Smith, as production manager to improve efficiency and modernize building materials and methods, he says.

Naval architect John L. Hacker founded the Hacker Boat Co. in 1908. Today it builds boats from 22 to 35 feet, and its 24-foot Runabout and 30-foot Sport were its top sellers in 2011, says director of sales and marketing Ken Rawley.

“The classic Runabout is based on the design that is widely acknowledged as John L. Hacker’s masterpiece series,” Rawley says. “The boat’s ride is free from pounding, vibration and [engine-related noise]. It has a perfect balance of weight that produces a level planing position at all speeds.”

Introduced in 1998, the more contemporary Sport is an ideal family boat, Rawley says.

Look for a feature article on the Hacker Boat Co. in an upcoming issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— Chris Landry

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Beach life gives a taste of real Senegal


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Dakar is the capital of Africa’s westernmost nation, Senegal. For generations, life in the sea has sustained life on land there.


The traditional fishing boats are colorfully designed and hand-painted by the local fishing community.


Fishermen return, after hours at sea, with their catch of the day.


Young boys help their families transport the day’s catch.


Wives of fisherman act as “brokers” helping them sell to local vendors.


Chef Ishmail N’Dour purchases fish, a key component of “Thiebou Jen,” the national dish.


Vegetables are abundant in Senegal and are an important part of “Thiebou Jen.”


Aged wooden boats parking along the beaches of Dakar, weathered by time.


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Dakar, Senegal (CNN) — A colorful platter steams with heat, rising from seasoned fish and an assortment of fresh vegetables all on a plush bed of rice. This is Senegal’s national dish and recently my task for “Inside Africa” was to search for its origins, prepare the ingredients and taste a sample of the West African culture.

What I discovered were firm family bonds, handmade artwork and a flavorful surprise. So let’s rewind.

Africa’s westernmost nation hugs the North Atlantic coastline and for generations, life in the sea has sustained life on land. Soumbedioune, one of the many fishing beaches of Dakar, is illustrative of this symbiotic bond. As I walk its crowded sandy shoreline, narrow wooden boats approach from the horizon.

Men darkened by hours at sea hop out of the brightly colored vessels. Yellow, red, green, white, all dance along the hull in bold fashion revealing a variety of circular designs. These traditional boats are hand painted and crafted by teams of men working in this busy fishing community.

See also: Taking a look inside Zambia

In fact, as I watch with confusion at the apparent chaos around me, a methodical process emerges. Young boys run up to the boats, placing rollers underneath as the men hand off large coolers of fresh fish, proceeding to push the boat inland. The boys, typically sons or nephews of the fishermen, then wheel or carry the coolers to the women in the family waiting on the beach nearby.


Unearthing the secrets of Table Mountain


A family of wine makers

But this is no leisurely endeavor. The women work as a sort of broker for their husbands, displaying the best catch prominently. I hear empassioned sales pitches in French as they try to attract restaurant vendors and others searching for a good price for buying in bulk.

The entire process happens in two waves each and every day, each family member with their own essential role. I learned not to get in the way either.

As I snap pictures of the frenetic scene around me a woman approaches, holds up her hands, reaches for my camera and wags her finger. I don’t understand a single French word she’s saying but the message is clear: “Don’t take my picture or I will take your camera.” I smile, apologize in broken French and move on.

Fish is the primary component of “Thiebou Jen,” Senegal’s national dish. Later I meet with local chef Ishmail N’Dour as he walks me through a Dakar market showing me what it takes to bring all the flavors together. The key is to only use the best, freshest vegetables; because they will become a stuffing for the fish. How is that stuffing made? With hard labor, I can tell you.

See also: Sights and sounds of Sahara

Once we return to N’Dour’s seaside restaurant, he hands me a deep wooden pot with a long, rounded, wooden handle. He tosses coriander (cilantro), onions, peppers and spices inside, telling me to get to work.

I mash, push, pound and pulverize for 30 minutes, breaking a sweat. This type of food preparation is common in Senegal with each member of the family taking on one important role in the food preparation. N’Dour prepares and slices the fish into smaller portions each with a slit ready for the stuffing.

The mashed vegetables are slimy in my hand, a testament to my good work, I think. I push them in each chuck of fish. N’Dour continues to cook the fish with vegetables inside, as well as surrounded by an assortment of carrots, potatoes and more. Hours later when he serves it, the taste is divine, far superior to anything I’ve ever cooked.

The appearance may look quite messy but as I’ve learned in Dakar looks can be deceiving. This is a culture that begs for closer inspection, something that reveals strong family bonds, a stubbornness for good quality and vibrant, tasty cuisine.






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McDonald’s Thunder Funder back as drink sales support fireworks, air show – Louisville Courier

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McDonald’s Restaurants of Kentuckiana will again be the title sponsor of the Thunder Funder program, which will help raise funds for Thunder Over Louisville, the Kentucky Derby Festival air and fireworks show scheduled April 21.

Ninety-seven area McDonald’s restaurants will donate part of their drink sales to support Thunder. The promotion coincides with their $1 drink campaign from March 26 to April 16. The 32-ounce drinks come in a commemorative Thunder cup.

The McDonald’s Thunder Preview Party will be from 5 to 9 p.m. April 5 at the Central American Airways Flying Service hangar at Bowman Field.

The event, which will give visitors a sneak peek at the Thunder air show, will have planes on display, a Coast Guard exhibit, helicopter rides, a family interactive area and a pilot “meet and greet.” Admission requires a 2012 Pegasus Pin or a McDonald’s Thunder Funder cup.

Since 2006, the first year of McDonald’s sponsorship, the Thunder Funder program has raised about $100,000 a year, with most of the money going for Thunder-related expenses.

Boat slip auction

The Waterfront Development Corp. is again auctioning off boat-slip permits at Waterfront Park’s harbor for use during Thunder.

A slip will be assigned based on the amount of bid, size of vessel and the date the bid is received in the Waterfront Development office. The corporation reserves the right to reject any bids.

Bidders must agree with the terms outlined at www.louisvillewaterfront.com. Payments will be due one week after the notification date of a winning bid. This information should be sent along with the bid:

• Name, address, telephone number and email address.

• The size of the vessel (overall length and width).

• The name of the vessel and registration number (if applicable).

• The dollar amount of the bid.

The information should be sent to Catherine Cundiff, Waterfront Development Corp., 129 E. River Road, Louisville, KY 40202, or sent by email to catherine.cundiff@louisvilleky.gov.

All bids must be received by 1 p.m. March 6.


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Fish stocking, life jacket rule changes debut this year – Williamsport Sun

Outdoor enthusiasts should be aware of several recent changes made by the state Fish and Boat Commission, including new stocking protocols, new life jacket regulations, and a “no fishing” season for several local streams.

Last week, John Arway, executive director of the Fish and Boat Commission, updated the local chapter of Trout Unlimited on the new regulations and the reasons behind them.

A new cold-weather life jacket regulation, which was passed Sept. 27, goes into effect Nov. 1. The regulation requires that all boaters wear a Coast Guard-approved flotation device from Nov. 1 to April 30 while on any boat less than 16 feet in length, including canoes and kayaks.

Arway said the change in regulation was due to the cold temperatures of the water during these months.

“I’ve gone through the ice in the winter time. It’s not a pleasant experience. Luckily, I had a friend with me who was able to help me get out. You don’t have a lot of time when you’re talking about sub-zero temperatures,” he said.

Fish stocking will experience a change, due to new regulations for stocking truck drivers.

“It used to be our drivers had an exemption from log books and they could spend time distributing the fish across a river,” Arway explained. “This exemption no longer applies to them. They will need to get in and out as quickly as possible, in order to meet the times required for their log books.”

The commission is looking to anglers to help spread the fish across rivers and streams for an even stock distribution.

Due to the lower bass population, several rivers, including the Juniata River, will have a closed season.

“Catch-and-release may be causing a negative effect to the fish. We want to close some areas for a season and study the effects that has to the ecosystem,” Arway said.

William Worobeck, fish and boat commissioner for Lycoming, Tioga, Sullivan, Union, Montour, Columbia, Northumberland, Bradford and Snyder counties, said the study will be done on Class B streams that have been stocked in the past.

He promised anglers would not lose fishing opportunities. For every stream experiencing a closed season, a different waterway will be stocked, he said.

“We want some of these Class B streams, which have been stocked in the past, to hopefully become Class A streams. Ideally, we want all of our streams to become Class A. Hopefully this will bring us one step closer to getting there,” Worobeck said.


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Smooth Sailing at Poland Library

PHOTOS and story By Robert K. Yosay

yosay@vindy.com

POLAND

The Poland Public Library is under attack by an armada of sailing ships with one intent: to make patrons enjoy their experience at the library and have a smooth diversion from everyday life.

The “Fleet of Sailing Ships” was commissioned by Robert Mastriana of 4M Company architects as he designed the Poland Library.

The new library is nestled beside Yellow Creek in the style of Nantucket architecture.

To complete the project, Mastriana had well-known local artist Tom Antonishak as commander. Antonishak had almost two dozen ships made to be placed throughout the building ranging from racing yachts to pleasure sailing boats.

These ships are authentic in detail right down to the rigging for the sails. They also include life rings, anchors, steering wheels and sails. Even the ropes holding sails are tied in authentic knots used at sea.

Several additional models have been donated by area enthusiasts since the library opened in 2001. The boats, besides being well-crafted, are a pleasure to patron and enthusiast alike.

The Poland Library is open Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.


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The Week Ahead: February 13-17

What’s going on this week? Good question. Here’s the scoop to keep you in the loop.

Monday, Feb. 13

Boats. The New England Boat Show is under sail all week at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. In addition to sales on the newest boats and products from the region’s leading dealers and retailers, the 2012 show will feature nine days of family-friendly activities and education for novice and experienced boaters.

Meetings. There are several meetings on Monday, including the Council on Aging, which meets in the Senior Center Game Room at 6:30 p.m., the Board of Library Trustees, which gathers at Reading Public Library at 7 p.m. and the Cultural Council which meets at the Library at 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day)

Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen meet on Tuesday in the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at the Town Hall. Among the items on the agenda is a public hearing with regards to the town’s policy on amplified sound. Click here for the full agenda.

Meet and Greet. The Reading-North Reading Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a candidate forum Tuesday at RCTV Studios on Main Street. Residents are invited to come and meet Board of Selectmen candidates John Arena and Karen Gately Herrick and enjoy complimentary coffee and pastries.

Characters. Lord Timothy Dexter was a prominent citizen of Newburyport who was well-known for his many eccentricities. People are still debating whether he amassed his fortune by being an extremely shrewd businessman or if he was just plain lucky. Jim McAllister of Derby Square Tours will appear at Reading Public Library’s LiveWires Coffee More program series on Tuesday at 10 a.m. to tell stories about Lord Timothy Dexter and other colorful characters from our region’s history.

Gluten-Free. On the second Tuesday of every month, the Natural Food Exchange hosts an informal open forum, run by the Healthy Villi, a group dedicated to supporting those with celiac disease and their families in New England. This meeting is open to ALL celiacs, newly diagnosed, or diagnosed 20 years ago. It is an opportunity to discuss anything relevant to a gluten-free lifestyle. Come and share information on restaurants, college experiences, recipes, or to find out about the latest research. All questions are welcome. The group is a wonderful resource. No sign-up is required.

Sports. The Reading High girls and boys basketball teams are both in action Tuesday night at home against Arlington, with the girls tipping off at 5:30 p.m. and the boys getting underway at 7 p.m. Click here for the complete RMHS schedule.

Wednesday, Feb. 15

Economic Development. The Economic Development Committee meets Wednesday night at the Town Hall’s Berger Room at 7 p.m. Click here for the agenda.

Caucus. Registered Democrats in the Town of Reading will be holding a caucus at the Reading Public Library, Meeting Room, 64 Middlesex Avenue on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at precisely 7:30 p.m. to elect 14 delegates and 3 alternates to the 2010 Massachusetts Democratic Convention. Delegates will be divided equally between men and women. Registration opens at 7 p.m.

Open House. Are you shopping for a nursery school for your child for the 2012-2013 school year? Please stop by Sawyer on Wednesday Feb. 15 between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. You’ll have the opportunity to meet our director, staff and some current Sawyer parents to learn more about our program. We look forward to seeing you!

Berries for Beauty. Debbie Drechsel, Northeast Educator from Genesis Today, will speak about super, antioxidant rich berries such as acai, noni, goji and mangosteen. She’ll discuss the roles they play in digestion, detoxification, immune health, cellular rejuvenation, vision, mood and more. Come and separate fact from fiction regarding these much hyped super fruits. 

Sports. The RMHS action is on the ice Wednesday as both girls and boys squads skate against Arlington High in Middlesex League Large School Division play. The boys play at the Spy Ponders, while the girls take on Arlington in the friendly confines of Burbank Arena. Both games start at 6 p.m. Click here for the complete RMHS schedule. Austin Prep. The Lady Cougars hockey team skates against Notre Dame of Hingham at home this evening, with the puck slated to drop at 6 p.m. Click here for the complete Austin Prep schedule.

Thursday, Feb. 16

Business Forum. Sen. Katherine Clark will host a forum focused on using the internet and social networking to grow businesses and connect with customers. The forum, held with the Malden Chamber of Commerce, will highlight ways for small businesses to utilize social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter and other methods to increase a small business’ exposure. The forum is the fourth in Senator Clark’s small business series being held around the district.

Books. The Not-Too-Stuffy Book Group will meet at the Senior Center, 49 Pleasant St., on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. to discuss One Good Dog by Susan Wilson. The discussion will be led by Barbara Currie. Copies of this book are available at the Reading Public Library and at the Senior Center. All adults are welcome to attend this program, and no registration is necessary. The group meets in the Senior Center Lounge on the second floor.

Beauty. The Hallmark Health Cosmetic and Laser Center invites you to join them for some sparkling refreshments while learning how to enhance your beauty at the Center’s Bubbly and Beautiful event on Thursday 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Center is located at the Hallmark Health Medical Center, 30 New Crossing Road in Reading. The evening of beauty is designed to pamper you with complimentary cosmetic and laser consultations, chair massages, prizes and the opportunity to meet the Center’s new registered nurse, Stefanie Magnant. To pre-register for your complimentary massage and consultation, please call 781-213-5130. Availability is limited. Please note this event is alcohol free.

Great Decisions. Would you like to learn more about U.S. foreign policy in an engaging community forum? The Library will host a Great Decisions series for nine weeks.  The series begins on February 2 and continues on Feb. 9, 16, 23, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 (with a snow date of April 5). This series will discuss many of the important foreign policy topics facing the United States.

Sports. The Reading High girls and boys indoor track squads are in action Thursday at the MIAA Division II Indoor Track Championships at the Reggie Lewis Indoor Track Center. The start time is still TBA. The boys hockey team is also in action, squaring off against powerful BC High at Burbank Arena starting at 7:45 p.m. Click here for the complete RMHS schedule.

Friday, Feb. 17

Dance for a Cause. What better way for teens to have a little fun while supporting a wonderful local animal charity than to attend the Teens for PAWS Valentine’s Day dance? Tickets are $10 at the door and admission includes a raffle for a $25 iTunes gift card. Youth ages 14 and up are welcome at the event and all proceeds benefit Protection of Animals in Wakefield Society, Inc. (PAWS).  Come enjoy live music by the band “The Change Up” along with pre-recorded music. Snacks and water will be sold at the event.

Winter Classic! Come join Reading Youth Hockey as it sponsors this exciting outdoor pond hockey tournament open to all Reading residents running Feb. 17 through 19 at 9 a.m. on Castine Field near the Birch Meadow Athletic Complex. This tournament was originally scheduled for February 3-5, the date has been postponed due to unseasonably warm weather. The tournament will be 4 on 4 (with teams of 6) who will play 14-minute games with the goal of being crowned the Winter Classic champion of 2012 for each division. Proceeds will benefit Reading Youth Hockey and the Peter Doherty Scholarship Fund.  

Office Hours. House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. will be hosting office hours on Friday for constituents of the 20th Middlesex district from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Reading Public Library. “Office hours are a great opportunity for my constituents to meet with me or a member of my staff and to ask any questions they may have, or voice any of their concerns”, said Representative Jones. Constituents are encouraged to visit at their convenience during office hours and will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. No appointment is necessary.

Sports. The Rockets hit the hardwood in full force on Friday, with the boys taking on Woburn on the road starting at 7 p.m. and the girls facing the Lady Tanners in Woburn at 5:30 p.m. The RMHS swim team competes at the state meet at Harvard University starting at 8:30 p.m. Click here for the complete RMHS schedule. Austin Prep. The AP boys and girls basketball teams both play Friday, with the boys at Shawsheen Tech, while the girls take on the Rams at home. Both times are still TBA. Click here for the complete Austin Prep schedule.


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New boat ramps could ease congestion at other Brunswick County landings

Plans for the new public boat ramp, slated for a two-acre site on Bricklanding Road near Bricklanding Plantation, feature a launch lane, one floating dock and 25 trailer parking spaces, said Erik D. Christofferson, with the state Wildlife Resources Commission.

The wildlife agency bought the land for the dock last month. Construction on the ramp is expected to begin this summer, Christofferson said.

Wildlife officials have had their eye on the spot for several years but couldn’t afford to pay what property owners were asking for the land.

In an apparent change of heart, property owners called state officials last year and began negotiations. The state paid $750,000 for the land with funds from motorboat registration fees, Christofferson said.

The launch should provide some relief to busy ramps at Ocean Isle and Holden beaches, he said.

“Other ramps in that area are always full, especially on the weekends, so we were looking to expand some access,” Christofferson said. “Bricklanding was the perfect opportunity. We just needed to get the cost down to what we could afford.”

On Monday, the Brunswick County Commissioners voted to turn jurisdiction over the road at the site over to state for construction of the ramp’s parking lot.

Construction at the site will be funded with a $350,000 grant from fees from fishing licenses and motorboat and marina fuels taxes, Christofferson said.

Wildlife officials also are seeking coastal environmental permits, a process they hope will wrap by July when construction is expected to begin.

The Bricklanding ramp isn’t the only new public launch in the works for the area.

Others include:

Sunset Beach

At this site, the Town of Sunset Beach bought the property and Wildlife Resources Commission officials are handling the design, permitting and construction costs.

The Sunset launch, which is expected to be complete before the summer boating season, and the Bricklanding site will bring the total number of Wildlife launches in Brunswick County to six.

Hampstead

A new ramp with three launch lanes, floating and fixed docks, and 65 parking spaces at Lewis Road in Hampstead in Pender County is expected to be finished in about two months, Christofferson said.

Pender County bought the site with a grant from the state. The county then transferred the property to the Wildlife agency for development.

Cassie Foss: 343-2365

On Twitter: @EyeOnBrunsco


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