September 29th, 2015


2015 Monadnock Pumpkin Festival  

Keeping 25 years of Tradition Alive!

Come Join the Fun! The Monadnock Pumpkin Festival is being held at the
Cheshire Fairgrounds in Swanzey, NH, this year. This family-friendly event
features The Great Pumpkin Mile*, A huge Children’s Activity tent, Baking
Contest, Carving Contest, Fireworks Display by Atlas Fireworks, a Pumpkin
Catapult contest, Children’s Costume Parade, Amusement Rides*, Costume
contest, Fright Fest at the Pumpkin Fest!*, Thousands of Lit Jack O’Lanterns,
street performers and Live entertainment presented by the Keene Music Festival.

Saturday, October 24th, 2015


Cheshire Fair Grounds

247 Monadnock Highway

Swanzey, NH 03446


The Community Kitchen Food Pantry Keene, NH

The Community Kitchen Food Pantry is a food pantry. Documentation Required: For all household members: proof of name, address, income, date of birth; prefer photo ID. Food pantry service hours: Wednesdays 12:30-5:30pm and Thursday: 11:30am-4pm. .  * Make sure you check by calling the food pantry to confirm that they still are in operation and the hours as the hours have not changed.  Do you have items to donate? Contact The Community Kitchen Food Pantry at the phone number provided above to see if they can use any items you may have to donate.


Southwestern Community Services assistance programs.

Cheshire and Sullivan County New Hampshire residents are served by the Southwestern Community Services. A goal of the non-profits to help low income, unemployed, and struggling families get back on the path to self-sufficiency. That is the focus.

However, some short term assistance, or referrals to financial aid, may be available as resources allow. A main goal is to prevent homeless and utility disconnection, especially for seniors, families with children, and the disabled.

Energy bill assistance and conservation

SCS Energy Services runs several assistance programs, including some crisis components, that are especially designed to help the residents of Cheshire and Sullivan Counties. Their programs include the Electric Assistance Program, Fuel Assistance, the Senior Energy Assistance Program and also the Neighbor Helping Neighbor Program.

The Electric Assistance Program helps qualified low income customers get a rebate or credit on their monthly power bill. Qualifying factors include the household gross income and the type of space heating installed in the home. Cheshire and Sullivan families can apply for the Electric Assistance Program any time during the year.

Residents over the age of 60 can look into the Senior Energy Assistance Program. It provides funding and energy assistance funds to low-income Cheshire and Sullivan residents who otherwise not capable of caring for themselves with appropriate supportive services.

The New Hampshire Fuel Assistance Program provides funds and cash grants for heating, natural gas and utility expenses to handicapped, elderly, and low-income residents of Cheshire and Sullivan counties.

Southwestern Community Services has a few locations in the area. They are as follows.

  • Cheshire County, 63 Community Way, Keene, New Hampshire 03431, call 603.352.7512 or dial toll Free: 800.529.0005
  • Sullivan County, 96-102 Main Street, Claremont, NH 03743. The phone number is 603.542.9528.


July 29th, 2015



August 2015

Matt Guyette



Drinking moderate amount of water in summer carries several health benefits for individuals. Our body carries 70% water thus needs adequate quantity of it to function properly.

Let’s see what does drinking 7-8 glass of water a day truly bring for your health and how much beneficial it is to keep body and muscles regulated on hot days.

  1. Weight loss. Water is an effective appetite suppressant. So, consuming water cuts down hunger and reduces need for extra meals. That results in losing valuable weight and keeping one fit and healthy during summer.
  2. Water is a wonder drug dealing dehydration. 7-9 glass water intake a day regulates body temperature and replaces the essential electrolytes lost due to excessive sweating.
  3. For mental health, mental creativity and mental productivity water plays vital role. Consuming sufficient amount of water liquefies brain blood that makes brain more efficient, creative and productive. You think better and thus work better. It also combats sudden mental strokes during summer and cures headache as well.
  4. Drinking good quantity of water flushes out toxins and poisonous compounds out of body. It regulates digestion avoiding constipation, acidity, kidney stone and stomach cramps.
  5. More the heart pumps water more it becomes strong and protects against heart attacks. Thus drinking water makes heart healthy. It also increases blood flow to the heart enhancing its health.
  6. Drinking adequate amount of water rejuvenates skin. It keeps skin hydrated making it radiant and glowy. It also combats acne and aging.
  7. When body exhausts, water works like an energy drink. It boosts energy in body fighting against fatigue, dizziness, sluggishness, lethargy and other heat related illness.
  8. Drinking moderate amount of water a day lubricates muscles and joints that is a cure against cramps and sprains.
  9. Water deals various diseases such as giddiness, bloating, belching, obesity, anemia, cough, irregular menstruation and urogenital diseases.
  10. It is simply starting a day with consuming 5-6 glass of water altogether. Water therapy is useful in dealing hormonal problems, blood pressure, kidney related problems and heart attack.


Neighbor Helping Neighbor (SCS)

This program provides funds for utility energy assistance (electric or natural gas) to needy individuals who are experiencing hardships, have disconnects pending, and are ineligible for help from the Fuel Assistance Program. (This non-profit charitable funding is generously supported by corporate matching contributions from customers and employees of Unitil/Concord Electron, Keyspan, Unitil/Exeter & Hampton Electric, Granite State Electric, Northern Utilities, Natural Gas, and Public Service of New Hampshire.)


Cooling Tips

  • Use the thermostat on your air conditioner/dehumidifier so it will cycle on and off only as needed.
  • Attics should be properly vented to reduce heat build-up from the sun.
  • Compact fluorescent lights use 75% less electricity than regular bulbs. Consider using compact fluorescents for most commonly used lighting.
  • Invest in energy efficient appliances. Look for appliances with the ENERGY STAR label.
  • Close windows and shades on hot sunny days.
  • At night, open the lowest living level window and correspondingly highest and furthest away living level window to use the building’s natural stack effect (warm air rises) to draw out warm air to be replaced with cooler night air.


May 29th, 2015



   June 2015

    By Matt Guyette



Mosquito Season is Here – Public Urged to Take Precautions

Warmer weather is finally here and southern New England residents are no doubt spending more time outdoors. However, with increased outdoor activity, the public is at risk of becoming a meal for summer’s most dangerous and pesky pest – the mosquito. As such, Braman Termite and Pest Elimination, a pest management company servicing southern New England, is urging the public to take preventative measures to protect themselves and their families. “Mosquitoes are emerging across the country due to recent rainfall and an increase in temperatures,” said Jerry Lazarus, third-generation owner of Braman Termite and Pest Elimination “With the threat of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, it’s important for people to take the necessary precautions to prevent mosquito bites when spending time outdoors in the coming months.” The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, offers the following tips to avoid becoming a mosquito meal:

  • Eliminate areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects. Improperly pitched gutters are frequent breeding sources. Mosquitoes need only about a ½ inch of water to breed.
  • Screen all windows and doors. Repair even the smallest tear or hole.
  • Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. If you must be outside during those times, consider staying inside a screened-in porch or dressing in clothing that leaves very little exposed skin.
  • Avoid wearing dark colors, loose-fitting garments, and open-toe shoes.
  • Always use an insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus when spending time outdoors or traveling, especially in areas known to have increased mosquito populations.

Diethyl-meta-toluamide, also called DEET (/dt/) or diethyltoluamide, is a slightly yellow oil. It is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents. It is intended to be applied to the skin or to clothing, and provides protection against mosquitos, ticks, fleas, chiggers, leeches, and many other biting insects.



“The Adopt-a-Highway program, also known as Sponsor-a-Highway, is a promotional campaign undertaken by U.S. statesprovinces and territories of Canada, in addition to national governments outside North America to encourage volunteers to keep a section of a highway free from litter. In exchange for regular litter removal, an organization is allowed to have its name posted on a sign in the section of the highways they maintain.”

Chesco is involved with this program. We are responsible for a section of Route 10 leading up to the Gilsum town line, and a sign credits Chesco for litter removal. We collected 27 bags of trash our first time out and we will go 3 more times this year. There are many volunteers from Chesco who participate; it is fun and it feels great to help improve our community!


Keene Public Library

Beginning May 30, 2015, and continuing through the summer, the library will be closing at 1 pm on Saturdays.  Saturday open hours through September 5, 2015, are 9 am – 1 pm.  On September 12 we will resume our regular 9 am -5 pm Saturday hours.


Summer Precautions Against Ticks

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seven varieties of ticks in the United States transmit diseases to humans.  It’s important when you are out this summer that you take a few precautions: 1) Avoid contact with ticks.  Use a repellent and wear light colored clothes.  2) While bathing and showering check carefully for ticks.  3) Immediately remove ticks with a pair of tweezers.  Grasp the tick as close to the surface of your skin as possible.  4) Watch for symptoms of tick-borne diseases.  Symptoms include fever, aches and pains, chills, and can sometimes be followed by a rash.  Should you experience any of these symptoms you should contact your physician immediately.




March 31st, 2015


April 2015


Matt Guyette


Disability Rights Center – NH, 1-800-834-1721

If you or someone you know has a TBI, we can provide: • information and referral • advocacy • legal representation

Here are some examples of the types of problems we may be able to assist on:

  • You are being discriminated against because of a TBI.
  • Your child had a brain injury, and is not doing well at school. Schools are required to identify children who are eligible for special education, and to provide special education to children who need an individualized education. Some children with TBI who are eligible for special education do not receive it. Other children with TBI receive special education, but do not receive appropriate services.
  • You are having difficulty finding or keeping a job because of a TBI.
  • You were denied Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled, or other Public Benefits.
  • You require housing, assistive technology or other types of service to live more independently or in the community.
  • You (or someone you know) is in prison, jail, or other facility and you are not getting medical or other services you need due to your TBI.


Adult Service Coordinators at MDS work with individuals and their families to:

  • -Create an environment that empowers individuals to speak out for themselves and receive the highest quality services available;
  • -Search for opportunities, connections and ways to make the seemingly impossible probable;
  • -Offer information, explore options and network with others;
  • -Increase community awareness of the talents and gifts those with disabilities can offer.

Ladies’ Wildwood Park

A 15.4 acre wooded parkThe park was created in 1890 when a stately grove of trees was threatened by development. Unfortunately the hurricane of 1938 leveled most of the original grove. The City replanted with red pines and a few hugh white pines are all that remain from the original woods. The park is mostly flat and criss-crossed with trails.  To get there: The park is located at the intersection of Park Avenue and Arch Street. Parking is available in Wheelock Park across Park Ave.

Robin Hood Park and Forest

A 130 acre forest park with a pond In 1889 George Wheelock donated 12 acres of land to be called “The Children’s Wood”. In 1896 he added 83 acres which he named Robin Hood Forest. The forest is located on a west-facing hillside with a scenic pond at its base. The park has numerous ledges and massive boulders. A small stream cascades into the pond. A maze of trails criss-crosses the park. The facilities include a swimming pool, tennis courts, playground equipment, picnic tables, park benches and a playing field. Bathrooms are open in the summer and the pond is groomed for skating in the winter. A detailed brochure on Robin Hood Forest and the Children’s Wood is available from the City of Keene Parks and Recreation Department.  To get there: Turn left at 366 Reservoir Street off of Roxbury Street. Parking is in the lot between the pond and the swimming pool.

Ashuelot River Park

157 acre park including the Ashuelot River and adjoining wetlands The main trail along the east side of the river begins at the West Street Entrance. The pathextends north to the bike trail near the Route 9 bypass. At that point you can cross the bike path bridge and follow a much smaller trail along the west bank of the river north to the Tanglewood Estates trailer court or follow the paved bike path which continues on to Wheelock Park. The park was newly landscaped and rededicated in 1996. .  To get there: Heading away from downtown Keene on West Street, pass the Colony Mill Marketplace on your left. Turn right at the next stoplight to park at the main entrance. You can also enter the park from the bike path between Wheelock Park and Court Street. Maintained by the City of Keene Parks and Recreation Department


January 20th, 2015

Jan2015frontJan2015frontFebruary 2015


Matt Guyette



Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) provides nutritious foods to income eligible seniors 60 years of age or older. CSFP foods are purchased by the US Department of Agriculture from national manufacturers, and are the same quality of name brand foods. Nutrition education and useful recipes are available to help plan meals using CSFP commodities.


The CFSP program distributes food packages to local communities on a bi-monthly basis. CSFP food packages do not provide a complete diet, but rather are good sources of the nutrients typically lacking in the diets of the target population. These packages can include a variety of foods, such as non-fat dry and evaporated milk, juice, farina, oats, ready-to-eat cereal, rice, pasta, peanut butter, dry beans or peas, canned meat or poultry or tuna, and canned fruits and vegetables.

Application and Contact Information

Like the WIC program, CSFP staff travels often in order to provide services for both Sullivan and Cheshire counties. The most convenient way to contact the program is to call 603.352.7512 ext. 4240 or 800.529.0005 ext. 4240 and leave a message on the program’s voicemail. Calls are returned as promptly as possible, usually within 24 hours.

Food Pantry

The Food Pantry is a tool used in many of the other Housing Stabilization programs to help consumers lessen their financial burdens. When consumers apply for Fuel Assistance, Homeless Prevention Funds, Workforce Development, and WIC programs, a budget form is completed. Sometimes it is found that consumers are not able to purchase food or other necessary items because a lot of their income is spent on rent/mortgage, auto payments, fuel, child care, and so on. It has also been found that some consumers are not paying their rent/mortgage, purchasing fuel, paying taxes or auto payments because they need to purchase food and other necessary items. In response to this, SCS operates a small pantry that programs can use as a supplement to consumers’ budgets. A couple days’ worth of food or personal care items or a week’s worth of diapers can go a long way in someone’s budget.


For more information about the Food Pantry, please call 603.352.7512



Welcome to the cough-cold season in New England. No other time of year boosts the sale of cold remedies and humidifiers more than this one. Most of the expenditures are not worth it in the final analysis. Coughs are most commonly due to the dry air in our homes. Simply leaving a window open in the sleeping area will humidify a room more cheaply and effectively than any humidifier. Most cough remedies have drying agents in them and actually make cold symptoms worse. A plain expectorant such as Robitussin Expectorant or quaifenisin syrup has no drying agents and can help with nighttime coughs.

Get outdoors and enjoy the winter. Cold weather increases the time that we expose each other to various viruses and flu like illnesses. Studies show that outdoor workers have fewer of these illnesses than those of us who remain in indoors and in close quarters.

Cough & Cold Over 200 viruses cause “colds” in humans. Symptoms include runny stuffy nose, sore throat, cough with phlegm and/or low-grade fever. Colds make children feel miserable but are not dangerous. Over-the-counter cough and cold preparations are generally not effective, especially for the 6 month to 5-year-old age groups, but many parents like to try them. Extra fluids, elevated head of the bed, salt-water nose drops, and humidified air can sometimes help alleviate symptoms. Nasal mucus normally changes from clear to cloudy to green or yellow by day 3 or 4 of a cold. Call the office if:

  • Your child’s breathing is rapid or labored
  • Your child has a fever

Flu Vaccine If your child has a history of asthma, respiratory disease, chronic heart disease or other chronic illness, he/she may benefit from the flu vaccine which is a preventive measure to consider. We run a flu vaccine clinic at Centre Pediatric Associates.

Winter Safety Tips Burns are more common in winter. Heaters, radiators and wood stoves now become a hazard and we serve more hot soups and drinks in the winter. If a child should get burned by a hot liquid remove the clothing immediately as it will hold the heat against the skin. Put cold water or ice on the burned area as soon as possible. The sooner you cool off the burn area the less deep the burn will become. Call us after instituting these emergency measures for further advice.

Encourage your children to use helmets for skiing, snowboarding and sledding. The ski schools don’t seem to push the use of helmets, but we have seen enough severe head injuries due to winter sports to urge you to use helmets.

Sleep Longer — Honor your circadian rhythm, which responds to your environment’s light and darkness. In the wintertime when the sun sets around 6 p.m., use this as a reminder to wind down. Leave your work at the office, keep the lights in your home dim and give into those feelings of sleepiness. Creating a sanctuary of calm in your bedroom with cozy blankets and your favorite pillow will have you dreaming in no time.Feb2015back


November 29th, 2014


December 2014

By Matt Guyette


Easter Seals New Hampshire  12 Kingsbury Street, Keene, NH 03431 Vocational Services – Phone: (603) 355-1067 Early Support Services (Early Inervention) – Phone: (603) 352-0165 Foster Family Program – (603) 352-5724 Easter Seals provides exceptional services to ensure that all people with disabilities or special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities. Family Resource Connection Toll free: 1-800-298-4321; A statewide phone resource center providing information and resources for families with young children. Familystrength 206 Roxbury Street, Keene, NH 03431 Phone: (603) 357-8722; www.familystrength.orgFamilystrength is a non-profit organization that was built on its passion for helping families and individuals find effective and lasting solutions to life’s most difficult challenges that may involve, severe stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, family or sexual violence, child abuse, neglect or mental illness. Salvation Army Thrift Store:  132 Monadnock Highway, Swanzey, NH 03446 Phone: (603) 357-2207; Mon.-Sat. 9-5 Provides clothing and other material assistance.

Friendly Meals  835 Court Street, Keene, NH 03431 Phone: (603) 357-352-2253 Other area offices: Stone Arch Village, (603) 352-7525; Harper Acres, (603) 357-4589; Hinsdale, (603) 336-7087; Troy, (603) 242-7986; Marlborough, (603) 876-3980; Jaffrey, (603) 352-2253; Stoddard, (603) 446-3478, North Walpole, (603) 352-2253; Westmoreland, (603) 399-7085; Marlow, (603) 446-7064 or 446-3490. Available in many Cheshire County communities for seniors and individuals with disabilities who are homebound, and not able to prepare a meal. For those with special needs, breakfast bags, weekend meals and special diets are also available.

Granite State Independent Living 21 Chenell Dr., Concord, NH 03301 Phone: (800) 826-3700, (603) 228-9680; A statewide nonprofit, service, and advocacy organization that provides tools for living life on your terms – so you can navigate your own life and participate as fully as you choose in your community, just like everyone else.

New Hope New Horizons Community Way, Keene, NH 03431 Phone: (603) 352-7512; New Hope New Horizons (NHNH) provides life enriching services to adults of all abilities so that they may achieve their personal hopes and dreams.

Attention Chesco clients and staff…

Our holiday party is Dec 19th at the Elks in Keene on Roxbury St.  The party is 11-1pm

The Community Kitchen, Inc. 37 Mechanic St., P.0. Box 1315, Keene, NH  03431  (603) 352-3200 Fax (603) 355-0179   Take home supplemental food boxes are available once a week on either Wednesdays from 12:30 to 5:30pm or Thursdays from 11:30 am to 4:00pm. The boxes contain staples such as bread, cereal, pasta, protein, etc. Verification of name, address, date of birth and income for all household members is required. We ask that participants bring a box or laundry basket to carry the food. Dinner is served weeknights from 5:00—6:30 pm. We do our best to offer well-balanced nutritional meals: main dish (meal, poultry or fish), vegetarian dish, starch, choice of two vegetables, garden and fruit salads, assorted sides, desserts and beverages. Anyone who is in need of a prepared meal or companionship is welcome. This is an excellent chance for you to learn more about The Community Kitchen in a more relaxed weekend atmosphere. Families, businesses and organizations are welcome to reserve a specific Sunday to prepare a light lunch, then serve and clean-up after the meal. Children ages 14 and over are welcome to volunteer. Please call for more information at (603) 352-3200 Community Kitchen Mid-day Meal on Sundays   Hard to believe, but this program has been offered for almost 2 years now. Our Guest Chef prepares a light lunch every Sunday along with the help of an excellent group of energetic volunteers. This freshly prepared meal is offered each Sunday from 12:00 – 1:30PM (doors open at 11AM). These meals are created in a large part with donated products and the vision of our Guest Chefs. Please give us a call at (603) 352-3200 if you would like more information or to find out how you can participate in this or our evening Hot Meal program.   When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body’s stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won’t be able to do anything about it. Dec2014back

September 23rd, 2014

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  By Matt Guyette

Cheshire County assistance programs.

Financial assistance from your town

The various towns and cities in Cheshire County New Hampshire offer assistance to those who qualify. Individuals and families may get help with paying rent, utilities, heating expenses, free food and certain prescription medications. In addition, the towns are a great place to stop by to get referrals to local charities and non-profits, and to gain access to various government assistance programs. All towns are required to provide these resources to residents per New Hampshire state laws. Keene New Hampshire (603) 357-9809. Roxbury and Surry also offer aid. Phone (603) 352-3075

Cheshire Community Action Agency – Southwestern Community Services, Inc.

Electric Bill Assistance Program – This option provides qualifying PSNH customers with a discount on their monthly electric and utility bills.

Fuel Assistance Program – This is a resource that provides financial assistance for paying heating bills and utility expenses to handicapped, elderly, and low-income residents.

Rent help and eviction prevention – This particular assistance program offers eviction prevention services, including landlord/tenant mediation, budget counseling, one-time financial supports, and referrals to other resources and non-profits.

Neighbor Helping Neighbor Program – This is an energy assistance program that provides funds and emergency help for paying utility bills as well as energy assistance (electric or natural gas) to needy families and individuals who are experiencing some type of financial hardships, if the family has a disconnection pending, and if the family is ineligible for help from the Fuel Assistance Program.

Food Pantry – Can help people provide food for their family.

Senior Energy Assistance Program, which is known as SEAS, provides emergency energy bill assistance, grants, and funds in an amount of up to $270 per elderly household for individuals and families.

Call the Keene NH based Southwestern Community Services, Inc. at (603) 352-7512. While the above list touches upon many of their programs, other resources are available as well. Read more Southwestern Community Services (SCS) programs.

Consumer Credit Counseling is a non-profit that helps people through difficult times. Services offered include budget counseling, foreclosure prevention, and debt management programs. Call the Keene New Hampshire agency at (800) 327-6778. Find other debt help programs.

Emergency help for food, information, and paying bills

The Keene Salvation Army may be able to help people facing a crisis. The phone number is (603) 352-0607. Among the programs and services offered include a food pantry, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and holiday meals and gifts, and they rarely may have funds for paying bills, or can direct people to agencies that can help with bills, rent, and more. For example, find programs that offer rent help.

How to Winterize Your New England Home

This time of year, many of us are busy decorating and planning for the holidays. In doing so, we often overlook preparing our homes for the cold weather. Getting your home ready for the winter season can make a drastic difference in your utility bill. To help, here are some tips for winterizing your New England home from The Boston Globe which we recommend.

The first very simple step you can take is to make sure all of your windows are securely locked. Of course, locked windows are important to ensure the safety of your home, but they also help to prevent any drafts. Many homeowners do not realize that unlocked windows usually leave a 2 millimeter opening at the top, which is plenty of space for cold air to whisk in.

Just as windows may allow a lot of cold air in, your doors are probably doing the same. If your door jiggles or you feel a draft walking by entrance ways, you may want to invest in a door sweep. Door sweeps are long metal or rubber extensions attached to the door to close the gap between the edge of the door and the flooring. A quick way to test your doors is to close a dollar bill in them and try to pull it out. If it slips out with ease, you know you are losing money through that door. Invest in stick-on rubber weather stripping if that is the case.

Lastly, everyone loves to have their fireplace blazing as much as possible in the wintertime, but did you know that it could be costing you a lot more money than you ever thought? Be sure to close the flue in your fireplace when it is not in use. Many people just do not even think of it, and keep it open year round. Doing this leaves a huge tunnel open for outside air to flow into your home.

We wish you a warm and cozy winter at your New England home. For more inspiration, tips and ideas on home design in greater Boston, be sure to like David Sharff Architect on Facebook!


Halloween Safety Tips for Grown-ups

Parents of trick-or-treating kids can get so caught up in the fun themselves that they might forget some simple safety ideas that could keep everyone out of trouble. Having a fun and safe Halloween will make it all worth-while!

Kids love Halloween! They get to dress up and get free candy! What a perfect holiday! Give your kids some precious Halloween memories that they’ll have for life.

If you take your kids to a sponsored event, like a safe Halloween thrown by your church or community center, make sure to keep an eye on them at all times. Even though it seems less dangerous, you are still in a strange environment full of people that you don’t know. All it takes is a minute with your back turned to find your child gone.

Cell phones are everywhere now! Everyone seems to have one, they can be so affordable. Make sure that your child has a pre-programmed cell phone with him/her if they go out on Halloween night! Make sure that all important numbers are already there and ready for use. Oct2014back

July 20th, 2014

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By Matt Guyette



Monadnock Food Co-op

Keene, NH

The Monadnock Food Co-op provides a diverse selection of local, organic, and natural foods in the heart of downtown Keene. We offer bulk foods, meat, produce, frozen food, dairy, and beer & wine departments, as well as a deli with a prepared foods and grab-and-go section.  Come visit the co-op today!

34 Cypress St.

Keene, NH 03431

Phone: (603) 355-8008



Mon-Sat 7am-9pm

Sun 9am-9pm

Investing in the community – that’s what the Monadnock United Way is all about. The United Way adds value to the community beyond the independent efforts of local human service agencies. By promoting partnerships and seeking preventative solutions, Monadnock United Way works to empower individuals and build communities.


MDS services and supports are provided by:

Children’s Service Coordination (CSC) – works with families to determine the best combination of supports for children up to age 21. Includes Early Supports and Services (ESS), Partners in Health, In-Home Supports, and information and referral.

Adult Service Coordination (ASC) – works with individuals over age 21 to identify and develop the support they need to live in their community.

Specialty Services – provides Intake, Respite, Transportation, Nursing, and the Personal Care Services Program.

MDS Individual Services Option (ISO) – provides direct support to people so they can live in their home, go to work, and participate as valued community members.

LifeArt – a community resource center in downtown Keene for meetings and activities open to people of all abilities.

Monadnock Center for Successful Transitions (MCST) – offers transition resources to students and adults with a wide variety of disabilities.

Provider Agencies – work directly with individuals served by MDS to provide residential, employment and other supports.

MDS – Keene 121 Railroad Street • 603-352-1304

Hiking & Biking Trails in the Monadnock Region

Much of the Monadnock Region is covered by woods, some of which have trails maintained for the pleasure of walkers and hikers. The city of Keene maintains a paved walking and bicycling path which runs from East to West Keene, and further unpaved paths branching out to the south through Swanzey, and northwest through Westmoreland.

These pathways follow the railway bed of the tracks which used to run between Keene and Boston. These are multi-use paths which are under development for road bikes, but are currently perfect for mountain biking, hikers or off-road walkers, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow machines and horses.

Snow machines are allowed to use the railbed trail from December 15 until the snow cover becomes spotty in the spring. Motorized dirt bikes, All Terrain Vehicles and other motorized vehicles are not allowed usage of the trail at any time.

Mount Monadnock, with trails off Route 124 in Jaffrey, is a symbol of the Monadnock Region. 3,165 feet high, it is one of the most climbed mountains in the world. The NH department of Parks and Recreation offers a map of routes up the mountain, locations of campgrounds, and other information found at

What are the Benefits of Kayaking

Few exercises provide the entertainment range of kayaking. One minute, you’re gliding through the water as you admire the tranquility of your surroundings — the next minute, you’re zipping down a set of rapids. But kayaking isn’t just a way to create variation in your workout. This water sport has a number of benefits that can greatly improve your overall health.

Strength — Inside and Out – The website Better Health Channel notes that kayaking can elevate your cardiovascular health and strengthen a number of major muscle groups throughout your body. While kayaking provides a challenging upper-body workout, it’s also suitable for your lower body. It’s possible to navigate the boat through leg movements, which keeps your entire body active during the activity.

Overall Health Improvement – Kayaking provides an aerobic workout, which should be a key part of your weekly fitness routine. General benefits of all forms of aerobic exercise include increased endurance, improved heart health, better regulation of cholesterol levels, blood sugar control, lower blood pressure and better lung strength, according to the Cleveland Clinic.Aug2014back

May 20th, 2014

   June 2014

  By Matt Guyette





Why is it so important to stay hydrated?

Your body depends on water for survival. Did you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight? Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. Water is essential for good health.

Tips for staying hydrated

    • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Consider carrying a reusable water bottle and filling it from the tap rather than purchasing bottled water, which is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste.
    • If plain water doesn’t interest you, try adding a slice of lemon to your drink.
    • If you’re going to be exercising, make sure you drink water before, during and after your workout.
    • Start and end your day with a glass of water.
    • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight loss plan, as some research suggests drinking water will help you feel full.
    • Drink on a schedule if you have trouble remembering to drink water. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the top of each hour.
    • Drink water when you go to a restaurant. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it’s free!


The Electric Assistance Program provides income-eligible households with a discount off their electric bill each month for a 12-month period (24-month period for our elderly households on fixed income). The discount is applied to the bill so the amount due is the actual amount due (discount already figured in). The discounts range from 8% to 77% depending on income, household size, etc. 

Neighbor Helping Neighbor is a program designed for folks who have not qualified for Fuel Assistance in the past 12 months (and have not already received Neighbor Helping Neighbor in the past 24 months). This program does not have income guidelines but is for households that have faced a hardship and now have a disconnect notice. It can pay up to $200 to prevent a disconnection (or up to $300 if the household also heats with electric).


Anyone interested in either of the above programs can call Southwestern Community Services (SCS) and ask for Energy Services. (It’s not usually a good idea to have them call me (Beth Daniels) directly because I am overseeing three departments which equals 15 of those kinds of individual programs – my staff will tend to their needs much quicker if they are just put through to one of them). The phone number is 352-7512.


Sunburn results when the amount of exposure to the sun or other ultraviolet light source exceeds the ability of the melanin to protect the skin. Melanin is the skin’s protective coloring (pigment). Sunburn in a very light-skinned person may occur in less than 15 minutes of midday sun exposure, while a dark-skinned person may tolerate the same exposure for hours.


Keep in mind:

  • There is no such thing as a “healthy tan.” Unprotected sun exposure causes early aging of the skin.
  • Sun exposure can cause first and second degree burns.
  • Skin cancer usually appears in adulthood. But it is caused by sun exposure and sunburns that began as early as childhood. You can help prevent skin cancer by protecting your skin and your children’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun.


Factors that make sunburn more likely:

  • Infants and children are very sensitive to the burning effects of the sun.
  • People with fair skin are more likely to get sunburn. But even dark and black skin can burn and should be protected.
  • The sun’s rays are strongest during the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The sun’s rays are also stronger at higher altitudes and lower latitudes (closer to the tropics). Reflection off water, sand, or snow can make the sun’s burning rays stronger.
  • Sun lamps can cause severe sunburn.
  • Some medications (such as the antibiotic doxycycline) can make your skin easier to sunburn.
  • Some medical conditions (such as lupus) can make you more sensitive to the sun.


If you do get a sunburn:

  • Take a cool shower or bath or place clean wet, cool wash rags on the burn.
  • Do not use products that contain benzocaine or lidocaine. These can cause allergy in some persons and make the burn worse.
  • If there are blisters, dry bandages may help prevent infection.
  • If your skin is not blistering, moisturizing cream may be applied to relieve discomfort. Do not use butter, petroleum jelly (Vaseline), or other oil-based products. These can block pores and so that heat and sweat cannot escape, which can lead to infection.
  • Over-the-counter medicines, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, help to relieve pain from sunburn. Do not give aspirin to children.
  • Cortisone creams may help reduce the inflammation.
  • Loose cotton clothing should be worn.


There is a reason the aloe vera plant has been around since the prehistoric times. The gel that oozes out of this cactus contains active compounds which fight pain, infection, inflammation, and can prevent the dreaded post-burn peeling.

March 23rd, 2014

April 2014

By Matt Guyette



Tips for Coping with Spring Allergies

Tree pollen is the major source of itchy eyes and runny noses that affect many people in springtime. Pollen is spread by wind currents which makes it difficult to avoid for the one in five Americans who has a pollen allergy.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Stay inside and avoid exercising as much as possible, particularly during the early morning hours when pollen levels are highest.
  • Avoid yard work such as mowing or raking.
  • Keep windows closed in your home and car. Avoid using window fans that draw in outside air. Use air conditioning and change filters frequently.
  • Shower and wash your hair often to remove pollens. Wash children’s hair before they go to bed if they have been playing outdoors.
  • Wash pillowcases often. Dry clothes indoors.
  • Keep pets that have been outdoors out of bedrooms.
  • Talk to your doctor about new medications that are available to control allergic inflammation and provide non-sedating symptom relief.
  • Check pollen levels in your local area through newspapers, local media websites or at


Pollen from various grasses is airborne during the summer and weeds such as ragweed proliferate in the fall.  Keep these tips in mind throughout the coming months.
Many people are also affected by indoor allergy triggers such as dust mites, pet dander, mold, secondhand smoke or other irritants including perfumed products.
Even common or mild allergies can trigger asthma episodes so it is important to know what you are allergic to, avoid those things as much as possible and follow your healthcare practitioner’s instructions about using preventive medications to control the inflammation in your airways that can lead to asthma flare-ups. For a free copy of “Tips to Control Indoor Asthma and Allergy Triggers,” contact the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, New England Chapter, at 1-877-2-ASTHMA or by e-mail at

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America; New England Chapter offers educational programs throughout the region, publishes a newsletter and other materials and runs a telephone resource and information line to help people live well with asthma and allergies including food allergies. For more information call 1-877-2-ASTHMA or visit

Source: Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, New England Chapter.


Chicken soup: Medical experts considered this as a mere hoax until a year ago when a research showed surprising benefits to the recovery rate of subjects experiencing the common cold. Since spring allergy triggers nasal fluid build-up, it is a smart idea to have chicken soup not only on a rainy day but during springtime as well.

Adult Services

Adult Service Coordination (ASC) provides assistance to individuals over the age of 21 with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities. Services are also available to adults with disorders such as traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease and other degenerative brain disorders.
The Adult Service Coordination team at MDS assists adults with developmental and related disabilities as they identify personal goals, and then secures the supports and resources required to achieve them. Adult services are tailored to the needs of the individuals receiving supports and those closest to them that share in the vision. We help individuals, their families, guardians, friends and staff develop and maintain the system of supports and services that enable individuals to live in their communities, work, develop meaningful relationships, and enjoy life to the fullest.

Adult Service Coordinators work with individuals and their families to:

  • Create an environment that empowers individuals to speak out for themselves and receive the highest quality services available;
  • Search for opportunities, connections and ways to make the seemingly impossible probable;
  • Offer information, explore options and network with others;
  • Increase community awareness of the talents and gifts those with disabilities can offer.



The Adult Individual Services Option at Monadnock Developmental Services (MDS-ISO) helps adults with disabilities to access supports and services based on an individual’s life plan. Our goal is to create rich learning environments for both staff and individuals receiving services by building on the relationship between learning and self-determination. This includes positive behavior change through Gentle Teaching — a process that recognizes the vital role of bonding and friendship in healthy human growth and development. Our services support each individual’s efforts to achieve autonomy and empowerment through self-determination.

For information, contact your service coordinator or Darlene Nash This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at 603-352-1304 or 800-469-6082.