Fast News For Aug. 2

Utility scam

CONCORD – The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission warns gas and electric customers that there is a telephone scam circulating around the state. The caller tells the customer that he or she has a past due balance on the account and demands immediate payment, threatening disconnection of service.

The phone calls are not coming from utility companies. Customers at risk of disconnection due to non-payment will receive a written notice 14-days prior to any proposed disconnection and the notice tells that what to do to avoid disconnection,” said Amanda Noonan, director of consumer services for the commission.

Customers are urged to hang up on scam calls and call the PUC, at 800-852-3793, or the utility company.

Fight an invasive

NASHUA – The Nashua River Watershed Association is looking for volunteers with boats to help scout and pull water chestnuts, an invasive exotic weed, from the Nashua River in Nashua. They will work on plant removal from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Aug. 6 and Tuesday Aug. 7. Volunteers can sign up for one or both days, and Monday’s pull will focus on the river upstream from the dam at Mine Falls. Tuesday’s pull will focus on the downtown area upstream from the Main Street Bridge.

Volunteers have been critical in keeping the plants from spreading and taking hold in new areas. Gathering baskets and guidance on identification of plants and where to look for them will be provided. Recommended: work clothes, shoes and gloves that can get dirty and wet (plants have sharp seeds), sunscreen, bug spray, and water.

PFDs (life vests) are required, and so is pre-registration.

To register, email Kathryn Nelson, NRWA Water Monitoring Coordinator, at Directions to the location to meet, park, and launch your boat will be provided. In the event of heavy rain, the event will be rescheduled. This project is funded by a grant from the Rotary Club of Nashua West.

Road salt and rivers

DURHAM – University of New Hampshire researchers estimate that more than 10 percent of streams in the Merrimack River watershed, which covers areas of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, are impacted by high chloride concentrations as a result of road salt applied during winter. Salt concentrations can be highest in the summer, raising concerns about harm to freshwater plants, invertebrates, amphibians and fish.

“Too much salt can harm a variety of freshwater organisms and many of the plants and animals that form the base of the food web that support fish are affected. We need as much good information as we can to make informed decisions about how to trade off winter safety with preservation of our riverine habitats,” said Shan Zuidema, lead author of the study who conducted the research with colleagues from UNH, Plymouth State University, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Farm to Table benefit

WILTON – A Farm to Table dinner to benefit Gaia Institute will be held on Saturday, Aug. 4, 5:30 p.m. at Wild Rose Farm, 16 Badger Farm Road. All food will come from Temple Wilton Community Farm and other local growers.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $10 for children, and are available at

Wild Rose Farm is an educational farm bringing people into a formative experiential setting. Director Lincoln Geiger says the diners “will be surrounded by our Icelandic sheep and our two very personable goats, Lila and Persimmon, who will be part of the greeting party.”

The dinner will be served buffet style and prepared by Entera Artisinal Catering of Brattleboro, Vt, who are donating all income to Gaia Institute to help fund the farm school building. They are early creators of the farm to table concept.

The menu, includes New England pastured beef (with grilled tomatoes, smoky pepper, tomato sauce and roasted new potatoes); New England Pork House smoked pork loin (with bacon, sweet onion, and cabbage); Vermont roast chicken (with sweet onions, garlic and fresh herbs); and “Pinchito,” grilled tofu with lemon paprika marinade, smoky pepper-tomato sauce); and grilled corn. Salads include beets and kale, cucumber dill, quinoa, and potato salad.

Dessert includes lemon posset ginger blueberry sauce.

Gaia Institute provides a day camp where children can live with nature, learn about agriculture, and help care for the animals at Temple-Wilton Community Farm.