Fast News for June 21

Bigger room

AMHERST – Last March residents packed the selectmen’s meeting room for a “listening session” about creating safe walking and biking routes. Next week, on Thursday, June 28, there will be another session and the town’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee has secured a bigger room for the event: the Amherst Middle School cafeteria. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.

Committee spokesman Rick Katzenberg told the town conservation commission recently that the trails through conservation land are the “best kept secret in town,” and three Souhegan graduates are shooting a film to stimulate usage and build a base “of taxpayer support for hiking, biking and mountain biking … and to get more people to Birch Park.” The new Birch Park, off Baboosic Lake Road, has a disc golf course and a pump track for bicycles.

Katzenberg said more than 500 residents filled out the committee’s survey, offering suggestions about which roads are safe and unsafe and which destinations they would like to walk or bike to.

Moose plates

This summer, license-plate watchers will notice a new letter on the “moose plate” licenses. Some will now lead with a new letter, P, instead of

H and C, part of each standard five-digit-number combination.

Formally known as Conservation Number Plates, licenses feature a picture of a moose and a letter and four numbers. New Hampshire’s motto “Live Free or Die” is also part of the plate’s design.

The letter C is for “conservation,” H, for “heritage” and now licenses with the newest letter for “preservation,” were issued this spring.

Moose plates cost a bit more and the funds support the planting of wild flowers along New Hampshire highways, studying threatened plant and animal species, securing conservation easements and preserving publicly owned historic properties and artifacts.

More than $20 million has been raised since the program began and projects in all 10 New Hampshire counties have benefited from Moose Plate funds, according to the NH Conservation License Plate (Moose Plate) Program.

The annual cost for a Moose Plate is $30; the first year requires a standard $8 plate purchase fee. Vanity Moose Plates and combination Moose / NH State Parks plates are also available for additional charges.

Fourth grade students from Holderness Central School started the idea for the Moose Plate program in 1993, and legislation establishing the program passed in 1998.

Restaurant is tops

WILTON – The Hilltop Cafe in Wilton was recently recognized by Bon Appetit magazine as one of “America’s Favorite Neighborhood Restaurants.”

It was the only New Hampshire restaurant to make the list, according to the Patch news service.

“The turkey sandwich is perfect,” said editor Emily Eisen. “Its greatness lies in its simplicity: locally made seedy bread with smoked turkey, cheddar, pickled onions, sprouts, and mustard finishing on a panini press … It’s the type of sandwich that reminds you of your childhood lunch, but upgraded for adults.”

Three Maine restaurants and one in Massachusetts also made the cut. The Maine restaurants are Hot Suppa and Ten Ten Pie in Portland and The Purple House in North Yarmouth. The Massachusetts restaurant is Trina’s Starlite Lounge in Somerville.

The magazine said the survey was based on feedback from 80 tastemakers, including celebrities, professional athletes and fashion designers.

“These are the spots we return to again and again, the places that make no claim to be the ‘newest’ or the ‘trendiest’ and that’s precisely why we love them,” the magazine said.

Dog park location

MILFORD – Last month the group of residents planning a dog park asked selectmen about fencing in a half acre of the Brox property for that purpose. At the board’s June 11 meeting, however, Town Administrator Mark Bender posed a long list of written questions about use of the town-owned property for that purpose, including long-term costs, road maintenance, rule enforcement, and the wetland buffer.

“Can we please take a look at other possibilities,” both with town-owned, non-town owned land, he wrote, because Brox “doesn’t seem to be the most ideal location.”

Hometown hero

MILFORD – Soccer star and Milford High School graduate Morgan Andrews will be the grand marshal of the Milford Labor Day parade, said Jay Duffy, parade committee member.

Andrews currently plays for the Seattle Reign FC, a professional women’s soccer team.

At Milford High School she captained the varsity soccer team and set new school and conference records for career goals. As a senior she led the team to its first state title (Division II). She was twice named the Gatorade National High School Athlete of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Before moving to Seattle, she played for the Boston Breakers. and helped lead the University of Southern California Trojans to their second-ever NCAA College Cup title in 2016.

The parade’s theme is Our Home Town, and it will step off at 1 p.m. on Labor Day, Sept. 3, and floats and volunteers are very welcomed and there will be float prizes. Call Duffy at 808-389-6576 or Brendan Philbrick at 769-9613.

The parade committee is seeking sponsors and private donations. Checks can be made to the town of Milford Labor Day Parade fund.

The next committee meeting will be held July 9 at Wadleigh Library.

Church and state

MILFORD – Selectmen recently brushed off complaints regarding an old wooden cross on the town’s Rotch Wildlife Preserve.

“I think most courts would say it’s unconstitutional,” said Selectman Laura Dudziak, but the town didn’t put the cross there and doesn’t maintain it.

Town Administrator Mark Bender said a Massachusetts resident notified the New Hampshire chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Humanist Association of a possible First Amendment violation of the principle of separation and church and state.

“Let it ride,” was the board’s consensus, said Bender during the June 11 meeting.

The 40-acre preserve is off Route 13 and donated to the town in 2002. The cross is said to be on the portion of the property where Church of Our Saviour, the Milford Episcopal church, had once planned to build a new church building.Bender said this was the first time someone has complained about the cross.

NH ACLU Director Christina Gibson said by phone that “We are aware of the situation and are continuing to examine it.”

Brox conservation

MILFORD – The Conservation Commission will apply for a state grant to help fund a conservation easement on 75 acres of the town-owened Brox property. The easement is one condition of the Department of Environmental Service’s alteration of terrain permit for the town’s gravel removal operation.

The New Hampshire DES’s Aquatic Resource Mitigation Fund Grant would contribute to the cost of the easement, which would preserve a forested upland area and an “important component of the existing successful wetland habitat that supports a healthy population of wetland species requiring dry soils for nesting,” according to the commission’s request to selectmen.

An easement would have a one-time cost of at least $25,000, Chris Costantino, the town’s conservation coordinator told selectmen June 11.

The town would retain ownership and the easement would define activities allowed on the land.

Selectmen agreed unanimously to support the grant request.

Road closed

MILFORD – Clinton Street is closed to through traffic for a month, from June 18 to July 20, to allow the Milford public works department to install drainage structures and piping, for the water department to do water connections, and for the gas company to install a new line. The work will involve curb and sidewalk removal and replacement, and the road will be repaved. Clinton Street connects South Street and Nashua Street.

Robotics Summit

MILFORD – Cirtronics, an experienced Robotics contract manufacturer located in Southern New Hampshire, attended the Inaugural Robotics Summit and Showcase recently held in Boston. Cirtronics hosted a panel of three senior executives from local robotic companies who shared their perspectives on how DFx can assist in facilitating successful outsourced production of robotic devices. Although the three companies design and sell robots for very different markets, all of them rely on DFx to optimize product design, supply chain, and assembly processes to simplify, accelerate and reduce the cost of manufacturing. This session discussed DFx in the context of manufacturability, included presentations by each of the executives, and provided an opportunity for the audience to ask questions of the panel both during the session and in the break immediately following.

“The goal of DFx is to achieve alignment between the design of a product and production processes in order to yield optimized cost and quality”, says Andy McMillan, Director of Cirtronics’ Board of Advisors and Panel Moderator.

Panel Summary

Each of the panelists, Tom Frost, President, Endeavor Robotics; Youssef Saleh, Founder and CEO, Ava Robotics and Derek Daly, Robotics Thought Leader, addressed how DFx had assisted their projects as they transitioned into manufacturing.

Here is a summary of some of each of the Panelist’s main points.

Tom Frost: Design for cost, assembly and service early in the product design process. Keep it simple-and engage manufacturing partners upfront. Involve manufacturing process and test engineers with the design team to capitalize on concurrent engineering.

Derek Daly: DFx for design for product realization requires integrating product team and contract manufacturing partners Multidisciplinary, collaborative decision making eases the technology transfer and transition to manufacturing from design to manufacturing and production, reducing risk. Choosing a contract manufacturing partner is a challenge. Leverage their expertise, and recognize collective responsibility for success.

Youssef Saleh: DFx means co-building with the contract manufacturer early in the process, in the prototype stage. Consult with supply chain managers, and work with the contract manufacturer to iterate designs toward ease of assembly, increased quality, and integration of evolving technology.

Cirtronics and DFx

Combining leading edge technical capabilities with proactive and collaborative customer relationships through Precision Engagement® and DFx. Cirtronics is in the business of building confidence as well as the next generation of Robotics.

To learn more about Cirtronics, visit www.cirtronics.com .

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