Judy Palm

Heritage dinner...UNH Lecture...Hampton Beach Penguin Plunge...Rye Airfield program...Seacoast Science Center Safari Camp...The Music Hall presents... Firehouse Swing...

Heritage Dinner: Whales in an Urban Ocean...

These first two items must be acted on immediately if you are interested in either one.

On Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 6 p.m. the Seacoast Science Centerís 2010 Heritage Dinner series begins with Dr. Scott Kraus for an insider's look at the current status of whale populations in the Gulf of Maine. Dr. Kraus is Vice President for Research at the New England Aquarium, and leader of the Aquarium's Right whale research program, the longest-running and most comprehensive research program on a large whale species in the North Atlantic. There are only about 300 Right Whales in the North Atlantic - and Scott's description of the impact of humans on their marine world is billed as "enlightening, engaging and at times inspiring." You'll learn about how recent research has reduced some human-caused threats to these endangered mammals, as well as the challenges they still face to survive.

Sponsored by Appledore Marine Engineering, the cost, which includes dinner, beverages and the talk, is $45/person for members; $55/person for non-members. The Nature Store will open at 5:30 p.m. The reception begins at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner and presentation. Seating is limited, and space fills quickly. Full payment is required to reserve your seat; contact Nichole at 603-436-8043, ext. 26 or to sign up. Reservations must be made by February 5.

UNH to host discussion and book signing...

Thursday, Feb. 4 from 7 to 8:30p.m.: Nikki Giovanni will speak on "A Sweet Inspiration: King, Poetry and Movement" at the UNH PCAC Johnson Theatre in Durham. A founding member of the Black Arts movement, Giovanniís outspokenness and commitment to presenting the truth as she sees it, "continue to bring the eyes of the world upon her," according to the host group. With her ability to speak to the moment, Giovanniís presentation will intertwine her reflections on the current culture wars and the larger political and social issues with readings from her work. A reception and book signing with Nikki Giovanni will follow. For more information on this event and others, call 603-862-3290.

Hampton Beach Penguin Plunge...

The Eleventh Annual Penguin Plunge will be a weekend event this year. On Saturday February 6 at noon the High School Plunge will take place with a costume parade starting at 11:30. The theme this year is Circus Under The Big Top, and the costumes are sure to be creative and fun. Sunday, February 7 will see the costume parade at 11:30 again followed by the cold plunge into the Altantic at noon for all other hearty plungers. The Penguin Plunge raises money for the Special Olympics of New Hampshire and directly benefits more than 3500 children in the state by providing year-round sport training and athletic competition. Last year more than $528,000 was raised by this event.
Before you settle in to watch the Super Bowl, take a ride to the beach with the family and watch the brave souls  ó some returning plungers, others new to the sport. Show your support for their efforts by cheering them on.

Some of last yearís plungers showed their creativity with these costumes:

Rye Airfield Read-to-Ride program...

Rye Airfield, New England's premier skatepark and BMX track is host to 40,000 youth of all ages per year, making it a sizable village. The operators use their influence on the young people who visit by stressing the importance of alternative sports options and education. To accomplish this goal they created Read to Ride. A reading reward program that is available to all public and school libraries in New England as a tool to motivate young readers year round.

The Read-to=Ride program is designed to encourage kids 19 and under to read their way to free riding time at Rye Airfield. This is a proven program that fosters the relationship between librarians and children in the community while also providing a valuable reward. Participants can read a book on their own or have a book read to them in order to earn a bookmark. After a book is completed, librarians have the discretion to guide the reader in choosing one of three options in order to obtain a bookmark. These options include:

1. Writing a short essay/book review (1-2 paragraphs) about the book.
2. Providing a brief oral report about the book.
3. Drawing a picture depicting the book they have read.

Kids can enjoy their free all day pass at Rye Airfield once they have collected five bookmarks. All they need to do is bring their bookmarks to Rye Airfield the day they wish to redeem them. Every participant is encouraged to read as many books as they would like to maximize the benefits of the program.

The Skatepark also offer the following dates throughout the year to double the rewards to readers:

February - I Love to Read Month
March 2d - Dr. Seuss's Birthday
April (dates vary annually) - National Library Week
October (dates vary annually) - Teen read week
November (dates vary annually) - Children's' book week

You may also select a week of your own design during which to double the rewards.

If you are interested in Read to Ride, please have your school or town librarian contact Rye Airfield Skatepark and a start up pack will be sent with a poster (actual size is 11x17), bookmarks and information flyers.

Currently only librarians may enroll individuals, so you must work with a library.

Read-to-Ride is presented with support from Wild Waters and KTPX Sports

Seacoast Science Center offers Safari Winter Vacation Camp...

Monday, February 15, to Friday, February 19,. 
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Seaside Safari Winter Vacation Camp is a day program for children in grades K-5. The programs are designed to teach about the natural environment in ways that are both exciting and enriching. Camp staff encourage children to appreciate nature by getting right out into it. Each day's activities are based on themes, which are listed on the downloadable form.

Camp runs for two weeks, Monday-Friday, February 15-19 and February 22-26, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. After-hours care is available until 5:30 p.m.; sign up when you register. Campers enroll by the day $40M/$45NM or $200M/$225NM for the week. Call to request financial assistance.

Contact School Program and Camp Coordinator Henry Burke at 603-436-8043, ext. 16 or e-mail to request a form by mail or fax; or click on the link below to find a downloadable registration form.

The Music Hall presents...

The Portsmouth Music Hall has several exciting performances for the month of February. They include:

Saturday, February 4, 1 p.m. Verdi's Simon Boccanegra starring Placido Domingo in this moving and tragic story of a father and his lost daughter.

Wednesday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m. The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour will be presented. Some of the artists who will perform are Kurt Elling, Regina Carter, Russell Malone and Kenny Barron.

Friday, February 12 at 8 p.m. Mike MacDonald's 9th Annual Comedy Extravaganza. Comedian Mike MacDonald will be joined by four of the world's top comedians for a rib-busting night of Stand-up Insanity.

Sunday, February 14, 8 p.m. Celebrate Valentine's Day with Brazilian jazz pianist, singer and song-writer Eliane Elias. Her sensual voice and impressive jazz, classical and compositional skills are said to be "sure to create an evening of magic."

Friday, February 19, 8 p.m. The program called Umalali:The Garifuna Women's Project features descendants of shipwrecked Carib and Arawak Indians. The Gaifuna present music and dance by blending rock, blues, funk, African, Latin and Caribbean rhythm.

For more information on any of these programs, including ticket prices and availability, please click on

Firehouse Swing in Hampton...

On Saturday, February 27 Ballroom dancing returns to Hampton Beach. The "Firehouse Swing" will be held from 7-9 p.m. Professional dance instructors will be teaching the "swing" dance. Everyone is invited to shake off the winter blues and put on your†dancing shoes for a fun evening. This event is sponsored by the Hampton Beach Village District. Tickets will be $7 per person or $10 a couple. The dance will be held in the Precinct upstairs meeting room (no elevator) in the century-old firehouse. People are asked to also bring a non-perishable food item for the St. Vincent De Paul soup kitchen. A drop off box will be in the lobby of the fire station on Ashworth Ave, Hampton Beach. There is free parking in the HBDV parking lot behind the fire station entrance on Brown Ave. Please RSVP to John & Linda 929-3850 or†Tickets will be sold at the door the night of dance.

Selected Shorts...


DIABETES SUPPORT GROUP: meets the third Wednesday of each month from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, 3rd floor, Classroom 2, 155 Borthwick Ave., Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Portsmouth. For all people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. No fee or registration required. For information, call 433-5160.

AIDS RESPONSE-SEACOAST: holds a free support group for HIV positive women from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of the month in Portsmouth. Contact ARS Prevention Educator Beth Kolanach at or 433-5377, ext. 2226. AIDS Response is also accepting registrations for Healthy Relationships, a new program for people who are HIV positive. Call Mike Amichetti at 433-5377, ext. 2228 or e-mail


February, 2010