Pittsfield NH News

September 14, 2011


Don’t forget the Flu Shot Clinic being held at the Pittsfield Senior Center (downstairs) next week Wednesday, September 14th from 10 am to noon.

The EDC, Town and Plan NH want to share the plan for the redevelopment of the downtown area near the railway depot with the public and hope you can attend the presentation at Pittsfield Elementary School, on Saturday, October 1, 2011. There will be 8:30 coffee and donuts, and a 9:00 presentation.

Please contact Paul Skowron, Town Administrator with any questions at (603) 435-6773.

Those Celebrating Birthdays are: September 15, Jane Adams; September 16, Mary Zahn; September 17, June Valentyn; September 18, Pat Alexander, Joseph Suchomski; September 20, Kegan Feeny, Jennifer Kearns.

A Very Happy Birthday To One and All!

Preschool Storytime will reconvene at Josiah Carpenter Library on Thursday, September 15th at 10 am, please use the side door. All young children are invited to come for stories, activities and a snack.


Plausawa Valley Country Club Hosts

The Pittsfield Players’ Encore! 2011 Dinner Theater

The Pittsfield Players’ Encore! 2011 variety show will be coming to the Plausawa Valley Country Club for an evening of great food and entertainment on Friday, September 16. The delicious Italian Buffet will begin at Bunker’s Bar and Grill at 7:00 pm, followed by the show. The cost for the evening is $25 per person, not including beverages, tax and tip. Both members of the club and non-members are invited. For reservations call 928-7473.

The Encore! 2011 cast is made up of 14 men and women who will be singing and dancing up a storm with some fabulous harmonized numbers, including songs from the Broadway sensation Jersey Boys, a great medley of Beatles’ songs, a swinging 50s number, and a salute to the rock group Queen. There will also be some hilarious specialty songs guaranteed to make you laugh. The show is certain to keep your toes tapping and have you singing along. This years’ cast includes Bea Pzsonowsky, Lena Luongo, Louise Maheux, Jean Gentile, Dee Dee Pitcher, Angelo Gentile, Angel Douglas, Nathan Strong, Jen Kearns, Mike Hayes, Cassidy Kearns, Kate Belanger and Mark Ward, a group of really talented singers and performers. Keith Belanger is the accompanist, who also sings with the group in some numbers.

Call now for your reservations as space is limited and don’t miss out on this great evening.



Thank You

“Kevin’s Benefit” 2011 was a weekend long softball tournament played for one purpose: To raise money for Kevin Keene from Pittsfield who is battling cancer. Due to Hurricane “Irene,” 7 local teams played the entire tournament in one day!

I would like to thank the following teams for playing so hard on Saturday, August 27th! The Slammers, Rednecks, Team Oliver, Ramrod, Team Alton, Cindy’s Boys, and the Buzz/Outlaws! 

Congratulations to The Slammers for winning 3rd place, The Rednecks for 2nd place, and Team Alton for 1st place!  I would also like to thank Parkers Restaurant in Chichester for the donation given to Kevin.

Thank you to the Town of Loudon for allowing us use of the ball field, to the The Barnstead Elementary School for the use of the school field, and to Kenny Thoroughgood for the use of the 126 field.

Together everyone did a great job and raised $1,000.00! What a great way for us to reach out to a member of the community and have fun at the same time!  See you all next year!

Jamie Thoroughgood



VA Posts Online List Of Ships Associated With

Presumptive Agent Orange Exposure
Submitted By Merrill A. Vaughan Vice Commander

American Legion Peterson-Cram Post 75 Pittsfield, NH 03263

Veterans who served aboard U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships operating on the waters of Vietnam between January 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, may be eligible to receive Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation for 14 medical conditions associated with presumptive exposure to Agent Orange. 

An updated list of U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships confirmed to have operated on Vietnam’s inland waterways, docked on shore, or had crew members sent ashore, has been posted at http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/agentorange/ to assist Vietnam Veterans in determining potential eligibility for compensation benefits.

“Posting of the ships list is an important recognition of the sacrifices U.S. Navy and Coast Guard Veterans made for this Nation,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “It provides an easier path for Veterans who served in Vietnam to get the benefits and services they are entitled to under the law.”

VA presumes herbicide exposure for any Veteran with duty or visitation within the country of Vietnam or on its inland waterways during the Vietnam era.  Comprehensive information about the 14 recognized illnesses under VA’s “presumption” rule for Agent Orange is also located on the webpage.

In practical terms, Veterans with qualifying Vietnam service who develop a disease associated with Agent Orange exposure need not prove a medical link between their illnesses and their military service.  This presumption simplifies and speeds up the application process for benefits. 

For questions about Agent Orange and the online list of ships, Veterans may call VA’s Special Issues Helpline at 1-800-749-8387 and press 3.

When a claim is filed by a Veteran, surviving spouse or child, VA will determine whether the Veteran qualifies for the presumption of exposure based on official records of the ship’s operations.  Ships will be regularly added to the list based on information confirmed in these official records.

Even if a Veteran is not filing a claim, a Veteran may conduct his or her own research and submit scanned documentary evidence such as deck logs, ship histories, and cruise book entries via email to 211_aoships.vbaco@va.gov.

Service on board ships anchored in an open water harbor, such as Da Nang Harbor, or on ships on other open waters around Vietnam during the war, is not considered sufficient for the presumption of Agent Orange exposure.  For Veterans interested in obtaining deck logs, contact the National Archives at College Park, Md., at http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/college-park/researcher-info.html

The Agent Orange Claims Processing System website located at https://www.fasttrack.va.gov/AOFastTrack/ may be used to submit claims related to the three conditions added to the list of Agent Orange presumptives last year (Parkinson’s disease, hairy cell and other chronic B-cell leukemias, and ischemic heart disease). 

This website makes it easy to electronically file a claim and allows Veterans and their physicians to upload evidence supporting the claim.  It also permits online viewing of claim status. 

Veterans claiming other conditions may file online at VA’s My-eBenefits website at:  https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal.  They can check the status of their claim with a premium account (confirming their identity), and use a growing number of online services. 

Service members may enroll in My-eBenefits using their Common Access Card at any time during their military service, or before they leave during their Transition Assistance Program briefings. 

Veterans may also enroll through their myPay or MyHealtheVet accounts, by visiting their local VA regional office or Veteran Service Organization, or by calling 1-800-827-1000.



Pittsfield Middle High School Graduate And Former Student Survey

Recently the Pittsfield School District was awarded a School Improvement Grant (SIG) by the New Hampshire Department of Education to help raise the achievement of students at Pittsfield Middle High School and better prepare them for college and career. 

In order to help Pittsfield students get a better quality of education, the school wants to know from you:

a.) What they did well and
b.) What they could have done better to prepare students for a successful life. 

Graduates and former students are invited to complete an online survey to help guide these efforts to improve.

The survey can be found online at the following website:  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PittsfieldAlumniSurvey

If you need a paper copy of the survey mailed to you or need assistance with Internet access, you may contact Leslie Bergevin, Guidance Director at Pittsfield High School, 23 Oneida Street, Pittsfield, NH 03263-3414 or call (603) 435-6701. 

The findings from this survey will help the school to take action and make changes that can improve the quality of education students receive, and better prepare them for college and career success.

We look forward to receiving your survey soon!  Thanks for taking the time to help future generations of students in Pittsfield.  Your feedback really matters.




Dear Pittsfield Residents:

The Planning Board met on August 17th and discussed:

1.  Rules of Procedure: Use of Alternates

Determination made:
a.  Alternates participate fully during work sessions (excluding voting.)
b.  Alternates sit with public during Site Plan Reviews, applications and other public meetings (unless called upon to fill a vacant seat on Board or for a recused member.)
c.  During Site Plan Reviews and other applications, alternates can participate only as a member of the public (ie: ask questions.)
d.  Other issues with Rules of Procedures to be decided at the next meeting.

2.  Definition of Frontage
It was previously decided upon and put in last published letter; however, the Board is concerned that Article 9, section 2 is vague about whether it allows lot mergers if the result is a non-conforming lot.  The Board concluded that it does allow such mergers but the Board will clarify the language at a later date.

As always, thank you for your interest and please continue to visit “Pittsfield-NH.com/Planning.”

Ted Mitchell, Chairman
Pittsfield Planning Board



Letter To The Editor

To the good citizens of Pittsfield:
I was elected to the Ethics Committee this past March for a one year term.

I never supported making more stupid rules.  This happened 5 or 6 years ago with the creation of the ethics rules and committee.  During that time 6 or 7 complaints were filed and dealt with.  None were deemed, to my knowledge, to have merit.

I feel you can’t legislate ethics.  One person’s ethics is another person’s unethics (sic). Ethics are overrated.  If one or more persons in the world of politics, in the world of business, in the world of life, screws you over, you can minimize your dealings with them.  We don’t need a committee for that.

The main reason I ran for the Ethics Committee was because I was running for the Planning Board and thought having my name on the ballot twice might help secure my Planning Board seat.

Well, I’m stuck on the Ethics Committee and Jim Pritchard is sitting on the Planning Board. 

Anyway, consider this my six month report.

Over the past two months the Ethics Committee received a complaint against a Selectman.  The complaint was deemed not to have merit.  Over the past two months, the cops have been called twice for our meetings being disrupted; the town attorney and another attorney have gotten involved; missing records; a police investigation, and possibly an Attorney General’s investigation; friendships ending; causing general havoc. What a waste.  Other than that, everything else is going good.

Dan Schroth Piermarocchi



Jennifer Carter and Joseph Chevrefils of Concord announce their engagement. Carter, daughter of William and Sharon Carter of Blackstone, Mass., and Jeffrey and Kimberly  Casey of Pittsfield, earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University and is pursuing a graduate degree in education. She works at Concord Oral Surgery. Chevrefils, son of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Chevrefils of Concord, earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire. He works for the State of New Hampshire. A September 2012 wedding is planned.



Military Retiree Pay Dates To Change

Paydays for military retirees and those who receive portions of retired pay are changing for September and December, as the Defense Finance and Accounting Service changes its pay schedule to comply with the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act.

The 2011 NDAA requires military retiree pay to be processed on the first day of the month. When that day falls on a weekend or national holiday, the pay date is moved to the previous business day.

This year payments normally scheduled for Oct. 3 will be issued on Sept. 30, and payments normally scheduled for Jan. 3, 2012, will be issued on Dec. 30. For calendar 2011, this means military retirees will receive 13 rather than the normal 12 payments.

The 13th payday on Dec. 30 falls within the 2011 tax year which could affect the tax liability of some retirees and those who receive portions of their retired pay. Customers should speak with a tax adviser, the Internal Revenue Service or their state tax authority to determine if their tax withholding will satisfy federal and state income taxes when they file returns next year. DFAS officials cannot provide tax advice.

For tax year 2012 and beyond, retirees will receive their normal 12 payments.

This change affects regular retired pay, Concurrent Retirement and Disability Pay and Combat Related Special Compensation. The new rule also applies to retiree allotments, garnishments and court-ordered former spouse and child support payments. It does not affect annuity payments.

If retirees need to make changes to their federal or state tax withholding, the quickest and most secure way to do so is through myPay. Available 24/7, myPay enables eligible users worldwide to make routine changes to their pay information, including tax withholding, that become effective within days.

Customers who cannot access myPay can change federal withholding amounts by completing a new IRS Form W-4 or W-4P, or change state withholding amounts using a DD 2866. These forms can be found on the DFAS website (www.dfas.mil/retiredmilitary/forms.html) and should be mailed or faxed to the below address once completed:

Defense Finance and Accounting Service U.S. Military Retired Pay,  P.O. Box 7130, London, KY 40742-7130; Fax: 800-469-6559.

It may take up to 30 days for changes to be made when mailing in a paper form. (Courtesy of DFAS)

For more retiree news and information, please visit www.retirees.af.mil.



VA’s Telephone Service Helps Family Members
Submitted By Merrill A. Vaughan

Vice Commander American Legion Peterson-Cram Post 75 Pittsfield, NH 03263

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has launched a telephone service, Coaching into Care, to provide assistance to family members and friends trying to encourage their Veteran to seek health care for possible readjustment and mental health issues.

“Those closest to Veterans are often the first to recognize when Veterans are having difficulties,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  “Family members and friends may not know what to say to encourage their Veterans to seek much needed readjustment and healthcare. The Coaching into Care line will help them find the right words.”

To help Veterans address problems and support Veterans in making decisions about getting care, the Coaching into Care program offers unlimited, free coaching with family members or friends over a series of telephone calls.  The priority is connecting Veterans with VA care in their community through the family member’s help and encouragement.
Callers receive professional coaching on solving specific logistical obstacles and encouraging sometimes reluctant Veterans to seek care while still respecting the Veteran’s right to make personal decisions. 

Coaching into Care, launched in March 2011, has had more than 650 calls with family members or friends of greater than 175 Veterans to encourage them to seek care.  This phone line is connected to VA’s Veterans Crisis Line, Caregiver Support Line, and the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans. This way, if the caller or Veteran is in an immediate crisis, or has concerns regarding caregiving for a disabled Veteran, or seeking assistance regarding homelessness, there is no wrong number for families to call.
Callers can reach VA’s Coaching into Care program at the toll-free number 1-888-823-7458, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and online at http://www.mirecc.va.gov/coaching/.  As always, Veterans can reach immediate help at the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, press 1 for Veterans.



Jay Cee Ell Teen Writer’s Group First Meeting Thursday, October 13th

A new teen writer’s group is starting up at Josiah Carpenter Library!

The Jay Cee Ell Teen Writer’s Group is for ages 13 to 19 who love to write and are willing to share. The purpose of this group is to promote the art of writing and to further the cause of reading and writing.

Members of the Jay Cee Ell Teen Writer’s Group must be devoted to helping each other to refine and polish our writing skills through the sharing and analyzing of each others’ work within a friendly atmosphere. This will also be a meeting place to exchange ideas, offer encouragement and receive inspiration.

As a member of the Jay Cee Ell Teen Writer’s Group you will be expected to be actively writing, and will be requested to submit your own original stories or poems, participate in support and constructive criticism of each others’ work, and have the determination to improve your writing skills.

The first meeting Jay Cee Ell Teen Writer’s Group will be held on Thursday, October 13th, from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. Monthly meetings will be scheduled at this same time on the second Thursday of every month, year-round. If you love to write, this is the group you want to join!

Preregistration is required. Please call 435-8406 for more information.



Pittsfield Area Senior Center Open House

The Pittsfield Area Senior Center will celebrate national senior center month on Thursday, September 22nd at 11:30 am with an open house and luncheon.  Representatives Carol and Dan McGuire, NH House of Representatives will be the guest speakers.

A senior center is a community location where older adults gather to participate in programs and services for healthy aging.  The selection of options may range from exercise and painting classes to educational seminars on topics such Medicare part D, or computers for learning new skills and internet access.  Come to the open house to enjoy an informative discussion with the Representatives McGuire, and delicious lunch and socializing with your neighbors, friends and community leaders.  Call the Senior Center at 435-8432 to RSVP.



What’s Up at PYW?
Submitted By: Paula Martel, PYW Program Director

Hello Pittsfield and our surrounding neighbors! Much has been happening at the Pittsfield Youth Workshop (PYW) despite the tons of hot, humid days that we had this summer. The youth are back to school and we are back to our fall schedule. I want to recap just a few of the memorable moments from the last couple of months.

This summer, PYW offered a total of 21 trips. Most of our excursions were on Tuesdays and Thursdays, along with Drop-In on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There was a Wise Guys boys group on Mondays facilitated by Jeff Martel; Full of Ourselves girls group on Wednesdays run by Paula Martel; All Stars group run by Kristen Treacy and a mountain bike group every other Friday with a final trip to Franklin Falls where I had my first trip over the handle bars! There was also time for cooking, making homemade ice cream, tournaments and lots of fun games and activities.  

Our first official trip for the summer was to York’s Wild Animal Kingdom. This park was about more than tigers, monkeys and butterflies it also had amusement rides. As one of the youth rode to the top of the Ferris Wheel with me she got very excited. Why?  It was the first time she had ever seen the ocean.

A week later we were off to hike Blue Job in Strafford, NH. On the way home we stopped at Buzzo Quarry, a former surface mica and feldspar quarry started in the 1880s and last worked commercially in 1959. The youth were able to bring home a few of their favorite finds.

Next, a group of youth loaded up in the van for a day of rides, games, live entertainment and attractions at Canobie Lake Park. Yes, the youth rode on the new ride Untamed and they loved it. Zach also went on it with the youth - he is braver than me - I think I will save that one for next year. We want to thank Rick Walter for being brave enough to spend the day volunteering with us. The log ride wasn’t that bad, was it Rick?

Deep Sea fishing anyone? Some took Dramamine, but for one young man it did not work. After he got sick, not over the side, he started fishing and felt much better. Everyone caught at least one fish. The youth that caught a lot of fish or didn’t want to keep their fish ended up sharing them with others who did not have as much luck.

Who doesn’t love the Red Sox? Even with humid temperatures in the upper 80s we had an amazing breeze and plenty of shade while sitting in the Dunkin Dugout. One of the youth wanted to sing Happy Birthday to Dustin Pedroia. As he started to sing, the crowd joined in. It was great! We want to thank our bus driver Sam - he got us back and forth safely - and Julie and Dawn for helping chaperone.

For one of our last trips we went kayaking. It was a perfect summer day. Many of the youth were beginners or had never kayaked before. They were a little nervous but it was not long before they became comfortable. We stopped at Daisy Beach for lunch and swimming. During our time there some of the youth got a chance to tip over in their kayaks and learned how to do a T-Rescue. Thanks again to Julie who helped chaperone for the day.

Throughout the summer we also offered two four-week sessions of outdoor rock climbing. For the first session we had 11 youth sign-up to test their skills at something new or to just continue expanding their climbing knowledge. During the second session many of the youth continued to climb with us and wanted something a little more challenging. We decided for the last climb of the summer to take our more experienced climbers to do a 135 foot rappel. All the youth were a little shocked they were able to do it, but at the same time, they were pleased with themselves for taking the opportunity and not giving up! They also got to see a baby Turkey Vulture in a small cave. The adult Vultures (parents), which are huge, were flying nearby the whole time we were there.

There is nothing boring or uneventful at PYW and I would not have it any other way. We would like to thank everyone who participated, volunteered and supported us during another great summer!  If you would like to learn more about the trips that PYW offers during the summer and school year please call Paula or Zach at 435-8272 or stop by to see what we are up to. We offer great opportunities, trips and activities for the youth to do year round.













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