Pittsfield NH News

March 1, 2017


 

Pittsfield Youth Baseball/Softball Sign-Ups

 

Wednesday March 8, 2017 from 5:30-8 and Saturday March 11, 2017 from 10am-1pm at the Community Center.

 


 

VA Offering Up To $8 Million In Grants For Adaptive-Sports Programs That Aid Disabled Veterans
Submitted Via Merrill Vaughan

 

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is providing up to $8 million in grants to fund adaptive-sports programs that offer activities for disabled Veterans and members of the armed forces who have disabilities, VA announced Feb. 22.
The application period for the fiscal 2018 Adaptive Sports Grant begins Feb. 21, 2017, and will close at 11:59 p.m. (EST) on April 21, 2017.

 

“We know disabled Veterans and military members of all ages and abilities report better health and an improved quality of life when participating in adaptive sports,” said VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin. “We encourage organizations to apply for a grant to better assist those who have faced life changes due to their military service. At VA, caring for Veterans, day in and day out, is a noble cause.”

 

Previous VA grants included eligible nonprofits, Veterans’ groups, universities and municipalities, which plan, develop, manage and implement adaptive sports activities. Funding may be used for training, program development, coaching, sports equipment, supplies, program evaluation and other activities related to adaptive-sports program implementation and operation.

 

In fiscal 2016, VA awarded $7.8 million in adaptive-sports grants to 90 programs providing services nationwide.  The Grant Notice of Funding Availability is published on the Grants.gov website (www.grants.gov) under opportunity number VA-ASG-2018-01, linked through https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.

 


 

Letter To The Editor
SB 2

 

Lots going on in our little corner of the world...Northwood’s issue is kindergarten, Epsom’s is town office location, etc... Now for Pittsfield.

 

We have a great opportunity this year to vote yes on SB 2. This basically breaks town meeting into a discussion time and a private voting time. This little piece of legislation will allow the taxpayers to vote in a more private and non-intimidated way.

 

For too many years a vocal minority has been spending away and our highly outrageous taxes are a reflection of this. When our children want something that is not within our means we find a way to make do and are able to live without everything and still find we can do quite well. We cannot have everything-even every good thing. More money and more programs do not cure all ills a town may have no matter how well intended the folks may be.

 

You cannot keep this up, taxing us right out of our pocketbooks. What happens when you run out of other people’s money? It’s not sustainable and is not going in the right direction for our small town.

 

Back to the matter at hand... SB 2 will allow the more frugal among us to vote for keeping more of OUR money. There are many towns in our state with wonderful schools, well-equipped departments, and high property values. This is something you can’t conjure up. It happens in some places and not in others. There needs to be a few places left where we can quietly go about our business and be decent people without feeling year after year that we are bullied into funding all sorts of things to make Pittsfield into something it is not.

 

This may be a hard pill to swallow for some but there is nothing wrong with being a nice, humble, small town and proud of it!

 

Please make the effort to support SB 2 - Come out on March 14th and vote yes on #7

 

Most sincerely,
Sharon Matras

 


 

World Day Of Prayer

 

A World Day of Prayer service will be held this year at the First Congregational Church of Pittsfield, 24 Main Street, this Friday, March 3 at 7 p.m.

 

World Day of Prayer is an ecumenical movement of Christian women of many traditions coming together to observe a common day of prayer the first Friday of March. Each year a different country’s committee serves as writers for the World Day of Prayer service. This year the ladies of the Philippines have written the program.

 

Plan to join in prayer and song in this community of faith service. All are welcome. Parking and wheelchair accessible entry are available at rear of church at Chestnut Street. For more information contact the church office at 435-7471.

 


 

Service Observes Ash Wednesday

 

The First Congregational Church, 24 Main Street, Pittsfield, will hold an Ash Wednesday service, March 1, 7 p.m. The service, signaling the beginning of Lent, will be a time of prayer and reflection and the imposition of ashes. The Rev. David Stasiak will lead the service with the addition of special music by the Chancel Choir and the JuBellation Handbell Choir. Everyone is welcome to attend.

 

Lent is the beginning of the 40-day period of repentance and preparation, which concludes on Easter Sunday, April 16. Parking and wheelchair accessible entry are available at the rear of the church building at Chestnut Street. For more information, call the church office at 435-7471.

 


 

Letter To The Editor
Select Board Meeting 2/21/17

 

Three public heaings;
-$14,095 accepted to continue cemetery fence completion;

 

- Application for Community Revitalization Tax Relief from Wellbuilt Cabinetry, a new business in town intending to expand.

 

- A citizen petition on adoption of Senate Bill (SB2) which would do away with traditional town meetings in favor of all warrant articles (town AND school) being decided by secret ballot on election day.

 

The biggest complaint was voters might not be as informed regarding articles as they would become at town meeting. The counter argument is that changes are made at town meetings preventing voters having sufficient time to consider it all, so snap judgements are made in the heat of the moment.

 

Those favoring SB2 see the 30 days from the posting of the warrant to voting day as sufficient to research articles at their leisure. Voters who want to participate in drafting the articles can be heard at public deliberative sessions. Proponents of SB2 point to the low turnout on Saturday for Town Meeting, in contrast to the much larger number who vote on election day, allowing matters be decided by a fairer share of the electorate. It was pointed out that many voters feel intimidated voting publicly. If every article was petitioned to be secret ballot at town meeting (a right) the typical four hour meeting could go even longer.

 

Neither system is perfect, but I like the idea the largest number of voters would decide ALL matters. SB2 will be on the ballot election day, so be thinking about it!

 

Town Report should be out 3/7/17, specifying where your money goes and  should be required reading for everyone who votes. If you can’t get to the Town Hall for a copy, call me at 608-7570 and I’ll bring you one.

 

Carl Anderson

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

My name is Noreen Rollins and I am a candidate for the Pittsfield Zoning Board of Adjustment. I am currently an alternate on this board and I am also a member of the Budget Committee.

 

A little bit about me.  I was born and grew up in Lancaster, NH and have been a lifelong resident of New Hampshire. I moved to Pittsfield four years ago from Bow, NH. I am retired and, along with my husband, run Tilton Hill Goat Farm, 310 Tilton Hill Road. We raise cashmere goats and alpacas. I worked for the State of New Hampshire for 34 years as a web application developer. In this capacity I was required to interact with different department heads and leaders of State Government. I learned the inner-workings of state and local government and how to get things done.
Although at times I may not have agreed with people’s conclusions, I learned that everyone deserves respect. What may seem a minor issue to some people may be a major issue to the people who are impacted by decisions. I tend not to take issues at face value and ask questions to get to the bottom of the issues, the real story.

 

I guarantee to you if an issue comes before me in which I may have a biased opinion, I will recuse myself from that decision. My view is the burden of proof is on the applicant for the waiver of zoning ordinances. The opinion of abutters carries great weight with my decisions.

 

Thank you for reading my letter and I hope you can support me in this election. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at nikkinomar@yahoo.com.

 

Noreen Rollins
Candidate for Zoning Board of Adjustment

 


 

TOPS News
Submitted By Beth Odell

 

Our recent weather has reminded me of spring, or at least, the hope that spring will be here soon.  Are you hoping to lose some weight by then?  If so, you may want to consider coming to a TOPS meeting for support and inspiration.

 

At recent meetings, good information has been shared by members.  April Ellis shared a motivational writing about seeing life in a negative way or more importantly viewing life from a positive perspective. Jon Martin shared an article about ways to reduce the salt in our diet.

 

Our TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meetings are Tuesdays, 6:30 at Berakah on Fairview Rd., Pittsfield.  Please call Pat 435-5333 or Beth 435-7397 if you have questions.

 


 

Soothe The Savage Beast: Weight Release From The Inside Out

 

Do you want a harmonious relationship with food, one without guilt, shame, or blame?

 

Do emotions sabotage your best efforts, even when you try really hard?

 

Are you looking to feel vibrant and alive in your body without the struggle of diets?

 

If you said, “Yes,” to any or all of these, you are not alone. Science shows that diets don’t work; they are unreasonable and unsustainable. What does work, however, is a way of life that incorporates not just healthy eating but all-important self-care and love. Taking care of our emotional body is just as important as our physical body.

 

Beauty Beyond This Body is all about this. In this 10 week program, we go beyond clean eating to work with the habits and routines of health.

 

Calming the stress body and mind

 

Mindful and intuitive eating

 

Changing habits that no longer serve

 

Releasing weight without deprivation and suffering

 

Building confidence, esteem, and efficacy

 

Let’s build solid strategies with kindness and care, ones that will support your weight release and health for the rest of your life.

 

Join the conversation to learn more on Thursday March 9 at 6:00 pm. The 10 week program starts Thursday March 23 and will be offered The Sanctuary Bodywork and Sauna, 175 Barnstead Rd, Pittsfield.  Seating is limited. RSVP tinyurl.com/BBBody or call Shanti at 228-9007 to reserve. Feel great and free with food again!

 


 

Pastor’s Corner
Submitted By Rev. David Stasiak, First Congregational Church of Pittsfield

 

Irish Author Frank McCourt wrote, “Everyone has a story to tell. All you have to do is write it. But it’s not that easy.” How true. Our lives are a collection of stories. They include happy, meaningful and memorable stories, as well as sad, painful and no doubt stories that we would prefer to re-write with happier endings. In its earliest form the story of God and God’s relationship with humanity was passed on from generation to generation through an oral tradition. That story or compilation of stories now comprises the still bestselling book of all time-the Bible. Elie Wiesel believed that, “God made man because He loves stories.” The Bible is a testimony to that fact. The story of creation, Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the great fish, Moses and the ten commandments; the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are all stories that I feel safe in saying many people have heard. The Bible includes stories about people who struggled with life and its meaning, people who sought to understand God and God’s influence on their lives, people who searched for answers to the suffering, injustice and evil that they experienced and encountered around them. Our stories are not unlike those of the Biblical characters.

 

From the very beginning, God gave people the choice to create or write their own story. Sadly, when they excluded God from their story things didn’t go so well. We have the same choice today. We can include or exclude God in writing our life narrative. When we include God as a co-author in writing our life story we are certainly not guaranteed a life free of pain, disappointment, grief and unhappy endings. There is no assurance given for smooth sailing the entire journey. We can be certain though, based on the stories of the faithful who have gone on to their eternal home and the testimony of those who now include God as the co-author of their stories, that God will be our companion in the struggle and that we will be granted the wisdom, courage, strength, comfort and peace to weather any storm, to brave the roughest seas and to navigate the most dangerous currents of life. The choice is ours to make. As Paul Harvey used to say, “And now you know the rest of the story.”

 


 

Letter

 

Dear Pittsfield Voters,
Please vote for the two SB2 petitions on March 14 to bring about secret ballot voting on all town meeting and school district meeting warrant articles.

 

For me, the SB2 issue is simple: secret ballot voting gives a better measure of what voters want, because secret ballot voting avoids the peer pressure and discouragement that comes with the open voting that currently happens at the town meeting and school district meeting business sessions.

 

At the selectmen’s hearing on SB2, on February 21, the two main arguments raised against SB2 were, first, that voters would be uninformed because the non-voting deliberative session would draw fewer voters and, second, that secret ballot voting is already an option if five people petition for it on any given article.

 

I found these arguments unconvincing. The uninformed-voter argument is unconvincing because the internet, social media, and, of course, The Suncook Valley Sun put information and discussion opportunities right in voters’ homes and because voters would have more time to think under SB2 than they have now at the town/school business sessions. And while it is true that any five people can petition for a secret ballot on any given article, petitioning for anything is always difficult, and each petition applies to only one article, so petitioning on many different articles is impractical. But more importantly, the law does not make the identities of the petitioners themselves secret, so the petitioners themselves do not get the same benefit that they would get if, as with SB2, the secret ballot were automatic on every article.

 

Secret ballot voting is more democratic than open voting. Please vote for the two SB2 petitions (town and school) on March 14.

 

Thank you,
Jim Pritchard

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

 

With all the talk of “identity” I’m led to respond. You see, I too once had a problem with self. I toiled with my individuality and recklessly grappled my existence. The truth is that we all struggle with who we are and what our purpose is, understandably so. After all, the popular philosophy of life is that we’re nothing more than highly evolved animals. Our deceived perspective from childhood allows little wonder as to why our societal problems exist today. It wasn’t until I was brought to the foot of the Cross that I fully understood me and became fulfilled with my life (in Christ).

 

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life;” (Genesis 2:7). God created man in His image to have a special relationship with Him. Sin entering the world in the Garden was not a “whoops” moment for the Lord. His plan of redemption (reconciliation through Jesus Christ) was from the beginning and is clear throughout the Holy Scriptures. While the wages of sin is death (eternal separation from God), “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Now that I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me…my new identity!

 

“New life in Christ abundant and free! What glories shine, what joys are mine, what wondrous blessings I see! My past with its sin, the searching and strife, forever gone, there’s a bright new dawn! For in Christ I have found new life!” (John W. Peterson)

 

Living for Him,
Linda Small

 


 

Pittsfield School Board
2/16/17
Submitted by Ralph Odell

 

The meeting began with three students presenting a petition, signed by over 50 students, supporting the retention of the Student Assistance Program Counselor position.

 

The meeting involved several summaries of various administrative areas:

 

Dean of Instruction, Danielle Harvey, described the evaluation of student progress to identify if the students are on pace and to provide opportunity to address any needs.

 

Dean of Operations, Derek Hamilton, provided school attendance updates for the last quarter of the year. There has been a slight reduction in daily attendance but he gave several examples of individual students taking greater responsibility.

 

Director of Interventions, Kathy LeMay,  described a meeting of the Early Childhood Consortium that provides insight into the needs of  four and five year olds. A flyer will be distributed soon and family activities are being planned to introduce the parents and children to the school.

 

District Administrator, Tobi Chassie, presented a multi-page midyear report summarizing the progress of the Nellie Mae work.
Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Freeman, provided a review of a recent evaluation by the New Hampshire Department of Education- very complimentary.

 

The meeting ended with public input from a citizen who would like to support the position of Student  Assistance Counselor and not to be part of any faculty reductions.

 

The upcoming School District meeting is Thursday, March 17 at 7:00 PM at the PES gymnasium. The budget is available online and if you have any questions, please contact any school board member or Dr. Freeman. We encourage you to become involved.

 


 

Letter To The Editor
Please Vote for SB2

 

According to the Pittsfield town record, the voter turnout for 2016 was: Presidential Election -1959, Town Election - 668, School District Meeting - 124 and Town Meeting - 170.  That means that only 124 voters decided on the over $6 million school budget - and only 170 voters on the over $3 million town budget.  Many more voters participated in the presidential election and the Tuesday town election, both of which provide private ballot voting.

 

There are a variety of reasons why taxpayers are absent on the Thursday evening town meeting and the Saturday morning school meeting.  Regardless of the reasons, it is the ABSENCE of the voters that is the significant issue.  With one of the highest tax rates in the state of New Hampshire, it is clearly time for greater voter participation.

 

On voting day - March 14 - please vote yes for SB2 on both the town and school district warrants. Your vote is important. We need a 3/5 majority to pass SB2  so we can have the “privilege” of voting on all warrant articles on a single day from 7:00 AM-7:00 PM in the privacy of a voting booth or even the convenience of an absentee ballot.

 

God Bless Our Troops,
Rachel Wood

 


 

Pittsfield OhPooh.jpg

Don’t say “Oh, Pooh!”

 

Charlie the waiter (center), played by Jonathan Flower, proceeds down the slippery slope of husband and wife misunderstandings with Mr. and Mrs. Carter, portrayed by Mike Towle and Vicki Watson, in “Eat Your Heart Out” now in rehearsal at the Scenic Theatre, 6 Depot Street, in Pittsfield.  Performances are set for March 24, 25, 31, and April 1 at 7:30pm and April 2 at 2pm.  Tickets, $15, will be available later in March.

 


 

FIVE GENERATIONS

 

Bridget Beckwith - grandmother, Elaine Langevin - great grandmother, Alice (Sabbia) Lunde - great, great grandmother, Samantha LaRochelle - mother, and one day old baby Charlotte - born February 1, 2017.

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

The School District has received a citizens’ petition that for the fifth time places the question of whether the district should change the form of school district meeting to an “official ballot referenda” method of voting. 

 

The School Board is opposed to this change and encourages Pittsfield voters to vote NO on this question on election day, Tuesday, March 14.

 

Pittsfield voters may recall that voters of the district were last asked to switch in 2009; 57% voted NO, and 43% Voted YES.  To pass, 60% must vote in favor of the change:  SB2 failed by 100 votes.

 

The traditional meeting has been called “the purest form of democracy,” allowing voters to meet and actively discuss issues, to convince others of the opinions, and to be convinced by the arguments of others.  This results in decisions informed by discussion and debate.

 

But just as important is a larger question of what would SB2 mean to the kind of town we wish Pittsfield to become?  Town / district meetings exemplify the neighborliness and warmth that is Pittsfield, a place where we talk with our neighbors face-to-face, where we respect the opinions of others, where we can express our own opinions in a civil process.   

 

Town / district meetings have helped newcomers really become a part of our community; they have helped voters to see and know who our elected officials are; they have helped us all to get to know our neighbors and our community a little bit better, a little bit more personally.

 

In the end, we believe that we’d lose much more than we’d gain, both in process and in being the kind of town that we want to be.  Please vote NO to SB2.

 

Bea Douglas, Linda Freese, Ted Mitchell, Ralph Odell, Mike Wolfe

 

Pittsfield School Board

 


 

Letter To The Editor
SB2 will not save us money!

 

I attended the selectmen’s public hearing on SB2.  I heard over and over how it how it would reduce our taxes.

 

Epsom, Gilmanton, and Northwood are all SB2 communities. So, I went to the NH Dept. of  Revenue Administration website to compare some tax history.

 

From 2009 to 2015, all four towns lost assessed value.  Pittsfield about 63 million, Epsom 41 million, Gilmanton 29 million and Northwood 104 million dollars.  In that same time frame, Pittsfield reduced the amount of money spent to operate the town by $278,067, while the other three towns went up. Epsom is up $1,219,929, Gilmanton is up $398,649, and Northwood is up $347,930.

 

How is this going to save us money?  Vote NO for SB2 for both the town and the school.  Please get out and vote and attend the School District Meeting, as well as the Town Meeting.

 

Mike Wolfe

 


Obituaries


Paul E Metcalf SR.

 

Pittsfield: Paul E Metcalf Sr, 86, of Dowboro Road, died at his home February 23rd following a brief illness. He was born in New Bedford the son on Roger and Roxanna (Dustin) Metcalf. He graduated from Wareham, Ma High School in 1948. He earned a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from theStockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Mass in 1951. He was a member of the Alpha Tau Gamma fraternity. He served in the US Air Force fighter Bomber Group as an intelligence operation specialist during the Korean Conflict. He farmed at the Weir-Dale Farm in Hingham, MA from 1953-1959 and the Elm Terrace Farm from 1959 until his death. He was a member of  the NH Farm Bureau, the Jersey Cattle Club and the Deerfield Fair Assoc. He also was a real estate broker for United Farm-Metcalf Real Estate. He retired after 20 years from the NH Public Utilities Commission as a Transportation Inspector. He was a longtime member of the First Congregational Church of Pittsfield. He was a member of the Pittsfield American Legion Post; The Pittsfield VFW Post; Bektash Temple Shriners; and a 50 year member of Corinthian Lodge F&AM.  He served the town of Pittsfield on the School Board, the Budget Committee, The Zoning Board, Recycling Center Committee and the Conservation Committee. He sponsored Little League Teams for many years. He had played Semi-pro football in Mass. He was a hunter and fisherman. He was an avid gardener known for growing “great” pumpkins.

 

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Lucia A(Peirce) Metcalf, 2 sons Paul Jr. and wife Jill and Roger And wife Tina, 2 daughters, Susan Elliott and Husband Peter and Sandra Osborne all of Pittsfield. 7 Grandchildren, Christine, Jennifer, Wesley, Paul III, Kate, Kelsey and Briahanna. 3 Great Grandchildren Caitlyn, Olivia and Evan. Nieces and Nephews. He  was predeceased by 2 brothers Jesse Metcalf and Donald Metcalf.

 

A Memorial Visitation will be held at the First Congregational Church this Thursday from 5:00 to 8:00 PM A Masonic Service will be at 4:30 PM. The Memorial Service will be held on Saturday March 4th at 11:00 AM  followed by Military Honors and a collation in the Church Vestry.

 

Donations may be made to the Alzheimers Assoc. 166 So River Road, Bedford, NH 03110 or to the Congregational Church Music Fund Pittsfield Main St. Pittsfield, NH 03263

 

The Waters Funeral, Concord, David Pollard, Director is assisting with arrangements.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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