Open House at Serenity Steps in Berlin

It is that time again. Everyone is invited to Serenity Steps Peer Support Center’s Annual Open House on Friday, October 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Serenity Steps is located at 567 Main St. in Berlin. There will be nibbles available all day, and it is a great chance to see what peer support looks like.

Serenity Steps provides both support groups and individual peer support, with peers who have experiential knowledge. They are living with it and are taking the same type of recovery journey themselves. Mental illness is often an isolating experience. At Serenity Steps, people learn they are not alone and that recovery is possible. People can, and do, recover from mental illness. At Serenity Steps people are supported to create a vision of their own best life, and receive the support in making that vision a reality.
It has been estimated that 1 in 5 people in N.H. will struggle with some form of mental illness in their lives. Those people are your neighbors, friends, children and other members of the community. The services offered by the Serenity Steps are free of charge, and offered in a supportive, hope-filled environment. There is no intake process. In order to use the services, you just have to want to move forward, and the courage to come in and try new things.
At Serenity Steps, there are computers and WIFI available to members, as well as social and recreation activities. There are monthly educational speakers. The coffee pot is always on and the door is always open. Please drop in for the open house and see what the Center is all about. Meet the members of the community who are moving forward in their lives. For more information, please call 752-8111

Saturday is Pumpkin Day in Berlin

More than 5,000 people attended last year’s RiverFire in Berlin, so the event is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to show off his or her carving skills.

The Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the RiverFire, provides pumpkins for people to carve for the event.

Even though it has been a tough year for pumpkin growers because of dry weather conditions, Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Direction Paula Kinney expects to have enough pumpkins to light up the RiverFire Pumpkin Bridge.

Saturday, Oct. 7, is the day to get started. Pumpkins will be available for pick up at the Service Credit Union Heritage Park on Riverside Drive between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. You can access the park using the entrance across from the VFW.

Carved pumpkins are to be placed on the Pedestrian Bridge during the day on Oct.14. The chamber will see to it that they are ready and lit up for their show by nightfall.

Granite United Way to host scarecrow contest at RiverFire

Granite United Way will once again be hosting its annual scarecrow contest during RiverFire this year on Oct. 14. Residents and families are encouraged to use “Live United” T-shirts in their scarecrow designs. The winner of the contest will receive a Kindle Fire.

“This is a great opportunity to have some fun and add to the excitement of RiverFire,” said Laura Boucher, Granite United Way’s Northern New Hampshire Area Manager. “One of Granite United Way’s impact focus areas is education and we are excited to promote reading in our community.”

T-shirts and scarecrow contest registration sheets can be picked up on Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Service Credit Union Heritage Park or at the Granite United Way Office, 961 Main St., Berlin.

All scarecrows must be delivered and registered before or at RiverFire by 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, to the Granite United Way booth. Judging will take place during RiverFire and the winner will receive a Kindle Fire. Winners do not need to be present to win.

For more information on how to get involved with United Way during RiverFire, contact Laura Boucher at (603) 752-3343.



Mentors hunt with teens on Youth Deer Hunting Weekend

CONCORD — New Hampshire's youth deer weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 21-22, is the perfect time to take a young person hunting. This special weekend gives young people age 15 and younger the opportunity to go deer hunting with an adult mentor, without the pressure of competing with thousands of adult hunters.

Accompanying adults must be licensed hunters and are not allowed to carry a firearm; the idea is to concentrate their time and attention on coaching their young companion.

Prospects for this year's youth season are good, according to Dan Bergeron, Deer Project Leader for N.H. Fish and Game Department. New Hampshire's deer population is healthy and will provide excellent opportunities. In 2016, young hunters took 257 deer during the special youth weekend.

"The weekend presents a great opportunity to introduce your son or daughter, grandchild, or even a young friend, to the excitement and rewards of deer hunting, all under the careful guidance of an experienced adult," said Bergeron. "You can help teach them about the sights and sounds of the forest, how to interpret wildlife sign and how to use this knowledge to track and harvest a white-tailed deer."

"We hope hunters will spend the weekend teaching the state's youth what hunting is all about," said Bergeron. "Teaching a young person how to hunt, and seeing their excitement, can help even the most avid hunter remember why they love the sport so much. This shared experience can build bonds that last a lifetime."

Bergeron notes that hunting can also help young people learn about the environment, conservation, tradition and ethics, and it can build a deep and abiding appreciation for the wildlife and wild places that many of our citizens and visitors cherish.

New Hampshire has offered a special youth deer hunt since 1999. Non-resident youth may participate in New Hampshire's youth deer weekend only if their state of residence allows New Hampshire youth to participate in its youth deer hunt.

For more about New Hampshire's youth hunting weekends, visit To learn more about deer hunting in New Hampshire, visit


More for SNAP dollars with Double Up program

Berlin – The Berlin Marketplace has launched a healthy food incentive program called Double Up Food Bucks.

Double Up matches the value of SNAP benefits spent on locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. This not only helps low-income families bring home more nutritious food, but the program also supports local farmers. (SNAP stands for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly known as food stamps.)

At the Berlin Marketplace customers will receive 50 percent off New England grown produce purchased with their SNAP/EBT card up to $20 per day. The discount will be automatically applied at the register. Customers should let the cashier know before checking out that they will be paying with their SNAP/EBT card. Customers do not need to sign up to receive this discount. As long as they are paying with SNAP/EBT, they are eligible.

The program is already in place in Berlin and will extend through the end of the year for locally grown produce that remains available.

Local produce items are marked on the shelf with a Double Up sign. Some highlights include salad greens, kale and tomatoes from the Six Acre Farm in Milan.

Double Up New Hampshire, located on the web at, is supported by a coalition of local funders and is run in partnership with the Fair Food Network. A key partner includes the New Hampshire Food Bank, which will be conducting a tour through its Cooking Matters program at the Berlin Marketplace on Friday, October 13. You must register to attend. Call nutrition educator Zeanny Egea to register at 603-788-4961, or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All attendees will receive $10 to shop at the Berlin Marketplace after the tour.