Written by Barbara Tetreault
BERLIN — Fire Chief Randall Trull continues to push property owners to demolish or clean up their fire-damaged buildings. The chief briefed the city council Monday night on the status of five fire-damaged properties in the city.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 23:24
Mount Washington Observatory, whose mission is to advance understanding of earth's weather and climate, had been using several different carriers for telecommunications services before contracting with FairPoint, and wished to consolidate. FairPoint was able to meet all of Mount Washington Observatory's service needs at the remote summit location, the North Conway Weather Discovery Center (an interactive science museum), as well as its video conference link with the ConnectNH program at the University of New Hampshire in Durham - while actually improving the Observatory's existing network and saving money at the same time.
"Our telecom system is incredibly intricate, but FairPoint's team took the time to carefully map out the entire infrastructure," said Mount Washington Observatory's chief financial officer, Gary Plant. "FairPoint worked to really understand our specific needs, and how the technology could be improved to handle those needs. They delivered cost-effective, reliable, higher bandwidth services and traveled to the top of New England to make it happen."
Plant added that, before FairPoint re-configured the system, the Observatory faced challenges from its wireless microwave connection to the summit. Connections could be lost or slowed considerably due to inclement weather and/or not enough bandwidth at peak user times.
An important element of the Mount Washington Observatory is its distance learning program which enables schools, museums, and libraries anywhere in the world to go live to the summit and learn about climate and weather through compatible video conferencing equipment.
"Our videoconferencing program is an essential part of our educational mission and a critical source of revenue," says Plant. "Thanks to FairPoint's expertise and services, the program is stronger and more reliable than ever. It is quite a feat to be able to illustrate to various groups of students what's going on at the top of the highest summit in New England."
Over the span of eight months, FairPoint crews battled inclement weather on the summit and traveled to North Conway and Durham to install a 10 megabit Ethernet Local Area Network (E-LAN) service, 10 megabit Ethernet Dedicated Internet Access (EDIA) service, and high capacity Ethernet data circuits, along with voice services. FairPoint delivered these services over its resilient IP-based network, completing the work just before Mt. Washington Auto Road closed for the winter.
"FairPoint consistently proves its technology can meet the needs of customers throughout northern New England – from urban areas to rural homes and businesses and even to the top of Mt. Washington," said Patrick McHugh, FairPoint's New Hampshire state president. "The success of this project is a testament to the dedication of our employees who excelled in so many ways
Last Updated on Friday, 01 February 2013 16:29
Written by Barbara Tetreault
Cotton said the funds from the city are used to ensure Berlin residents with insufficient resources have access to critical mental health services, including outpatient treatment and 24-hour emergency services.
Cotton said this year's appropriation of $7,312 directly funds 97.5 hours of service at $75 per hour. He said NHS consistently provides outpatient services to up to 700 Berlin residents annually or about seven percent of the population. There is no waiting list for services in Berlin at this time, he said. In addition, Cotton said at least 100 Berlin residents receive emergency care each year.
The city's contribution is used as a match to attract other funding. Cotton said current grant projects in Berlin include Victims of Crime Act services to child victims and Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health.
Northern Human Services also employs 122 people in the Berlin area and Cotton said most are full-time positions with benefits. He said the organization tries to purchase goods and services locally and to help its clients contribute and participate in their communities.
He stressed NHS strives to never deny critical services because of an inability to pay despite the fact the agency is largely funded on a fee for service basis.
Mayor Paul Grenier asked Cotton about the number of involuntary emergency admissions his agency handles a month in Coos County. Cotton estimated the number at about 15 a month.
Councilor Mike Rozek asked about the impact of the closing of the in-patient secure psychiatric unit at Androscoggin Valley Hospital back in 2007. Cotton said the only facility left is N.H. Hospital in Concord, which has 150 beds. He said there usually is a 20-person waiting list for the facility.
When AVH facility closed, Cotton said his agency was given funding to hire some additional staff to focus more on community-based service. He said they have been able to cut the hospitalization rate by 40 percent but said there are not enough hospital beds in the state.
Grenier said AVH was forced to close Riverside, as the unit was known, because its losses were up to $1 million a year. Cotton said he did not blame AVH for closing the unit, noting it had struggled financially for years.
Grenier said he believes NHS provides an enormous service to the city and area. He said still some people fall through the cracks.
Cotton said both the police and school departments have been very supportive of his organization.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 16:40
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