BookEnds for a dream come true

Last modified: 2/20/2012 12:00:00 AM
When ongoing renovations at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner are finally complete, it'll be more than just an upgrade, co-owner Katharine Nevins said. It'll be a dream come true.

When Nevins, her husband, Neil, and brother Jim Mitchell opened the bookstore about 14 years ago, Mitchell ensured they hosted frequent events - live music, presidential candidates, author readings.

But when he died of a heart attack in 2008, it became a struggle for Nevins and her husband to keep it all up.

'He had something going on in the bookstore every Friday night,' she said. 'It was really an events-driven little bookstore.'

By April, the barn attached to the store, currently full of children's toys and books, will be fully dedicated as a space for formal and informal gatherings alike.

'There'll be wifi, and there'll be tables and there'll be chance for mothers during the day to relax with their kids,' she said.

The entire property is powered by four solar panels, and the newly renovated barn area will be called MainStreet MarketPlace and Gallery, she said.

The barn, which can comfortably accommodate 75 people, will also feature an upgraded bathroom and kitchen area, which should allow the store to provide coffee and tea.

Nevins said she hopes the location can be a showcase for local artists and eventually, if there's demand for it, food from local farmers. It would have been what her brother wanted, she said.

'This is the culmination of his dream,' she said. 'This is exactly what he was working toward.'

Cav'ern rebuilt, expanding

After rebuilding from a fire last year, the owner of Kimball's Cav'ern in Pembroke is now looking to expand the restaurant's capacity and hours of operation.

Bob Cavanaugh has filed an application with the town's zoning board to raise the seating capacity of his Route 3 business to 92 seats from 72. He is also hoping to have the option of staying open until 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Cavanaugh said he isn't planning to have the later hours every night but wants the option of staying open for special events.

'Needless to say Super Bowl Sunday, when we closed at 8, didn't go over too good,' Cavanaugh said.

He said the extra seats, which would most likely be needed only on Friday nights, would fill out a section of the restaurant that currently doesn't have any tables.

Cavanaugh said he's seen a positive response from the zoning board, which he said had set the earlier closing hours due to concern over alcohol being served in a residential area.

The board will consider Cavanaugh's application at a 7 p.m. meeting Feb. 27 at the Pembroke Town Hall.

Hearings set for PUC nominations

The Executive Council will hold hearings on two people nominated to the Public Utilities Commission and the existing commissioner to be chairwoman.

Gov. John Lynch nominated Bob Scott, manager of the Department of Environmental Services's air quality program, and Mike Harrington, senior regulatory adviser to the commission for the past five years. Harrington worked for the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant for 20 years before becoming a commission adviser.

Lynch nominated commissioner Amy Ignatius to chair the three-person commission.

Ignatius is a lawyer who was director of the state Office of Energy and Planning when she was appointed to the commission in 2009. She is also a past director of the New England Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners.

The hearings will be Wednesday afternoon.

Lawmaker considers school building aid

New Hampshire's Senate is considering creating a ranking system to determine which school construction projects get state aid.

The Senate Education Committee is holding a hearing tomorrow on a bill that would rank proposals submitted after July 1, 2013. The proposal would limit any aid for new projects to money appropriated beyond what is needed to pay the state's share of the debt for existing projects.

The House has given preliminary approval to two similar bills.

Under the current construction aid system, the state pays a share each year of the principal borrowed to build or renovate a school and stretches payments over the life of the school bond. The state's share ranges from 30 to 60 percent of the principal.

Currier acquires Washington sculpture

Visitors to New Hampshire's Currier Museum of Art on Presidents Day can admire a recently acquired marble bust of George Washington.

Sculptor Hiram Powers of Woodstock, Vt., depicted Washington in popular neoclassical style - wearing a Roman toga rather than the more customary military uniform. Powers died in 1873.

The sculpture joins a marble bust of Alexander Hamilton and a bronze sculpture of Daniel Webster at the Manchester museum.




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