Community briefs for Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019

Saturday, February 02, 2019
Thetford receives grant for book shed

THETFORD — A group of Thetford citizens has received $1,500 in grants to build a book shed at the town’s recycling center, formalizing a book exchange that residents have been conducting for years.

“The books are there for anyone to take and it’s a greatly used and appreciated service,” said Jean Gerber, who helps organize the project. “Unfortunately the only location for their storage is in piled-up boxes beneath the eaves of the recycling building.”

However, that will soon change. The project received a $1,000 grant from New England Grassroots Environment Fund and $500 from Community Bank in East Thetford to build a book shed at the recycling center, 4659 Route 113 in Thetford Center. The shed should be up by May, protecting donated books from the weather.

Gerber and other residents who helped organize the book shed hope this will make the book exchange even stronger.

“This community resource has proven itself over many years as every Saturday morning residents drop off books and shuffle through books looking for treasures to take away with them,” Gerber said. “As one resident put it, unlike a bookstore or library, this eclectic collection of books which people pick through widens the path of availability, helping people discover books they would otherwise never seek out.”

New London talk focuses on youth suicide prevention

New London — The New Hampshire chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Program is presenting “More Than Sad,” a talk about youth suicide prevention from 6-8 p.m Wednesday, March 6, at The Tracy Memorial Library, 304 Main St., New London.

The free event is for parents, educators and other adult community members, who will learn about depression, suicide risk and resources available for depressed youth.

Register online at http://bit.ly/2FFyKmQ, or by contacting Laurie Field at 603-796-2151 or laurie.field@unh.edu. The snow date for the event is Wednesday, March 13.

Electric provider warns of utility scam

MANCHESTER — Eversource and the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission are warning people about scams in the area, where people posing as electric company workers demand immediate payment to keep a resident’s electricity from being shut off.

“The scammers, often sounding legitimate and quite convincing, threaten to shut off electric service immediately unless instant payment is made,” Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner said in a news release. “These scammers can be relentless but they’re only successful if they catch our customers off-guard and scare them into making a payment. We remind customers, if something doesn’t sound right or feel right, trust your gut, and don’t pay.”

Eversource workers never demand instant payment over the phone, the company said. Customers who are legitimately at risk of shut-off will receive a written notice with ways to avoid the shut-off. However, people can be caught unsuspecting by pushy scammers demanding payment.

“One similarity in many utility scams is a sense of urgency, with scammers often convincing consumers that payment must be made immediately,” said Amanda Noonan, director of consumer services and external affairs for the utilities commission. “The more we educate consumers on the basic red flags of a scam, the less likely they are to become victims.”

Scammers often ask people to pay with prepaid debit cards or to meet at a payment center, something utility employees would not do.

Customers should never provide personal financial or account information to any unsolicited person on the phone, at the door or online, even if the caller identification says that the call is coming from the utility customer.

People who are in doubt about whether they are actually being contacted by the utility company should call Eversource at 1-800-662-7764.

Woodstock meeting to review housing study

WOODSTOCK — The Woodstock Economic Development Commission is hosting an informal meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday to share the results of a study evaluating Woodstock’s housing environment. The meeting will be held in the second floor meeting room at Woodstock Town Hall, 31 The Green.

Doug Kennedy, the author of the report, will review the conclusions and answer questions.

“This is a comprehensive study, during which a large volume of data and more than 400 survey responses were analyzed,” Sally Miller, coordinator of the Economic Development Commission, said in an email. “We don’t expect every topic to be covered fully. This is the beginning of a process to learn more about our housing situation and to begin to think about how we can better match our housing supply to meet the necessary demand.”

Pizza will be served at the meeting. For more information, contact Miller at smiller@townofwoodstock.org or 802-299-7806.