Pittsfield Citizen of the Year
It is time to pick
Pittsfield’s 2017 Citizen of the Year. We need to know who you feel
should be honored this year. Please send the name of your nominee
and why you feel they should be honored to:
Citizen of the Year
P O Box 173
Pittsfield N H 03263
The deadline to receive
nominations will be June 19. A panel of former Citizens of the Year
will choose this year’s honoree from the nominations submitted.
Thank you for your nominations.
Pittsfield Old Home
On July 22nd Pittsfield will celebrate Old Home
Day “Pittsfield Goes to the Circus!” The community fair will be in
Dustin Park from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The Old Home Day Committee is
looking for crafters and community organizations to join the fair.
Community organizations can participate for free, and the vendor fee
is $10.00. If you would like to set up a table or booth please
contact Leslie Vogt at 435-7993 or
To The Editor
The Pittsfield Beautification Committee will once
again be participating in the Town Wide Yard Sale on Saturday June
3rd and Sunday June 4th (8 am to 2 pm). We
will be set up at Nancy & John Barto’s house at 515 Dowboro Rd.
Pittsfield, just 3.5 miles from the center of Town. Donated
items are welcome (no clothes or heavy furniture).
would like to make a monetary donation to the Beautification
Committee, please send a check payable to The Pittsfield
Beautification Committee, c/o Tine Fife 1394 Upper City Rd,
Pittsfield NH 03263. Collection boxes can also be found at Town
Hall, Bell Brothers, Jack’s Pizza, Town Pizza and Danis Market.
See you at the Yard Sale!!
Pittsfield Beautification Committee
The 20th Annual Multi-Town Yard Sale is June 2nd, 3rd
How do I get a map? This is our most frequently
asked question and you’re not alone.
Beginning June 1st at 11pm,
the map will be available online at
The map will be posted in the form of a link to a Google Map.
Additionally, there will be a printable address list by town.
While we understand that several people miss the old paper map of
Pittsfield locations, it just isn’t feasible for this larger event.
Some communities have their own maps available however, so keep your
If your organization is interested in printing and
selling maps for the 2017 Yard Sale please get in touch with us.
Drive safely, and have a great time at the Annual Multi Town Yard
Summer Programming Updates
The Pittsfield Youth Workshop has
finalized the 2017 summer schedule! A few of the fun and exciting
trips we are planning include: Mel’s Funway Park, Six Flags N.E.,
Squam Lake, Water Country, Kayaking, Franklin Park Zoo, Frisbee
Golf, An Escape Room & a Production of Mary Poppins in Prescott
Park, a mountain bike trip and eight weeks of outdoor rock climbing.
We are hoping the Pittsfield Fire Department will be coming in to do
CPR with the youth. We will have a few community service projects
were youth can help teach technology to the senior citizens at the
PYW’s drop-in center will be open every Monday,
Wednesday and Friday from 2-6 PM, unless otherwise noted, during the
summer. On some afternoons PYW will be holding special activities.
Check out the summer calendar on our website
On Monday, June 12th, PYW will be holding an Open House from 4:00 to
6:00 PM for new youth and parents to check out the Drop-In Center,
and for everyone to sign up for summer trips and/or activities
(current PYW members will have the first opportunity to sign
up for the summer trips). Although this will not be the only time to
sign up, we are suggesting that everyone who is interested in the
summer programs stop by. Some trips fill up fast! PYW trips and
activities are open to youth in grades six and up (that means youth
who just finished 5th grade), from Pittsfield and the surrounding
towns. There are a lot of great opportunities this summer and we
can’t wait to get started.
Yearly membership dues are $25 per
child (maximum of $50 per family - no matter how many children
participate) and runs each year from July to June. If you would like
information on scholarships or need financial assistance, please
stop by PYW and speak with Zach or Paula.
Foundation Named World’s Outstanding Foundation For 2016
Association of Fundraising Professionals recognized The Rotary
Foundation with its annual Award for Outstanding Foundation at its
2017 conference in San Francisco.
The award honors organizations
that show philanthropic commitment and leadership through financial
support, innovation, encouragement of others, and involvement in
public affairs. Some of the boldest names in American giving —
Kellogg, Komen, and MacArthur, among others —are past honorees.
The announcement came on 15 November, known to industry
professionals since the 1980s as National Philanthropy Day. The
award was presented 2 May at the AFP’s annual conference. Rotary
Foundation Trustee Chair-elect Paul Netzel accepted the award on
Rotary’s behalf, and Eric Schmelling, Rotary’s chief philanthropy
officer, also attended the conference. The event drew more than
3,400 senior-level fundraising professionals from 33 countries.
“In our Centennial year, we are deeply honored to receive this
recognition from the Association of Fundraising Professionals,” said
AFP’s committee of judges cited Rotary’s comprehensive
campaign to eradicate polio as a major driver of the selection.
“With the generous support of our members and partners, we’ve taken
on some of the toughest humanitarian challenges in the world, none
more so than the devastating disease of polio,” said Netzel. “We
will defeat polio, and it will be a landmark achievement for global
The committee also mentioned that Rotary applies
a methodical, purposeful approach to support a wide variety of
causes, from providing clean water to educating the next generation
of peace professionals.
“This award helps to spread our belief
that service to humankind truly changes our world, and for that
reason, it is the greatest work of life,” said Netzel.
Statement By VA Secretary Shulkin Supports Senate Accountability
Submitted Via Merrill Vaughan
Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA) Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin is issuing the following
statement in support of the Senate Accountability Bill:
“I’m pleased to see the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee moving
forward tomorrow on our much-needed accountability bill, and hope
the senators pass it promptly without delay.
Another example from
this month underscores the need for accountability at VA: An
employee who was convicted no fewer than three times for driving
under the influence of alcohol, and who just served a 60-day jail
sentence, is now returning to work at a VA facility.
hospital system or business would have to put up with this, and the
Senate bill is a solid first step on accountability. More to come.”
Pittsfield School Board
May 18, 2017
Submitted By Ralph Odell
The focus of the meeting oriented around end of the school year
activities. The graduation schedule was outlined by Derek Hamilton
and opportunities for School Board involvement were finalized. The
annual Exhibition Night will be on Thursday, June 8. The program
begins at PES at 5:00 P.M. Students have projects they present
demonstrating the skills that they have developed. I found the 2016
program to be excellent and I encourage parents, friends, and
taxpayers to stop by. Derek also presented end of the year
expenditures for Board discussion.
Danielle Harvey presented a
potential candidate for an elementary school vacancy, appears to
have an excellent background. She also summarized participation in
the recent parent-teacher conferences. Fewer parents attended than
the fall, a common characteristic.
An open house was held for
upcoming Kindergarten families and Kathy LeMay described at home
activities for the families and support activities by the school.
She further described the summer program including Friday field
trips. She finished her presentation with a demonstration of a
software program (Lexia) used by first and second grades. I was
impressed by the skills the students were developing and the
features of the program.
The traditional school may be ending but
it was obvious that with summer programs and the professional
development opportunities for the teachers, the needs and progress
of the School District will not be ending.
and Benefits for Veterans Strengthened by $186.5 Billion VA Budget
Submitted Via Merrill Vaughan
In his fiscal year (FY) 2018
budget, President Trump is proposing $186.5 billion for the
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The budget request will ensure
the nation’s Veterans receive high-quality health care and timely
access to benefits and services. The budget also supports the
continued transformation of VA to rebuild the full trust of Veterans
as a premier provider of choice for their services and benefits.
“The 2018 budget request reflects the strong commitment of the
president to provide the services and benefits that our nation’s
Veterans have earned,” said VA Secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin.
“VA has made significant progress in improving its service to
Veterans and their family members. We are fully committed to
continuing the transformation across the department, so we can
deliver the standards of performance our Veterans expect and
This year’s budget request includes 82
legislative proposals that will help enable the department to better
Highlights From the President’s 2018 Budget
Request for VA
The FY 2018 budget includes $82.1 billion in
discretionary funding, largely for health care, and $104.3 billion
in mandatory funding for benefit programs, such as disability
compensation and pensions, and for continuation of the Veterans
Choice Program (Choice Program). The discretionary budget request is
$4.3 billion (5.5 percent) above the 2017 enacted level, including
nearly $3.3 billion in medical care collections from health insurers
and Veteran copayments. The budget also requests $74 billion,
including collections, for the 2019 advance appropriations for
medical care, an increase of $1.7 billion and 2.4 percent above the
2018 medical care budget request. The request includes $107.7
billion in 2019 mandatory advance appropriations for Compensation
and Pensions; Readjustment Benefits; and Veterans Insurance and
Indemnities benefits programs in the Veterans Benefits
With a total medical care
budget of $75.2 billion, including collections and new mandatory
funding for the Choice Program, VA is positioned to continue
expanding health-care services to over 7 million patients. Health
care is being provided to more than 858,000 Veterans who served in
Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New
Dawn/Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
Major categories funded within the health care budget are:
billion for community care;
$8.8 billion for long-term care;
$8.4 billion for mental health care;
$1.7 billion for programs
for homeless and at-risk Veterans;
$751 million for Hepatitis-C
$604 million for Caregivers’ benefits; and
million for treatment of traumatic brain injuries.
The president’s budget ensures that care and other
benefits are available to Veterans when and where they need them.
Among the programs that will expand access under the proposed budget
$13.2 billion for community care, compared with $11.2
billion in 2017, a 13 percent increase;
$505 million for
gender-specific health-care services for women, an increase of 7
percent over the 2017 level;
$862 million for the activation of
new and enhanced health-care facilities;
$855 million for major
and minor construction projects, including a new outpatient clinic
at Livermore, California, and expansion of cemeteries at Calverton,
New York; Sacramento, California; Bushnell, Florida; Phoenix,
Arizona; Bridgeville, Pennsylvania; and Elwood, Illinois.
Disability Compensation Claims Backlog and Appeals Reform
has continued aggressive efforts aimed at bringing down the
disability compensation claims backlog, completing a record-breaking
1.3 million claims in 2016 and reducing the claims backlog by 88
percent, cumulatively, from a peak of 611,000 claims in March 2013
to 71,690 on Sept. 30, 2016. In 2016, Veterans waited, on average,
203 fewer days for a decision than four years ago. In 2018, VBA is
projected to complete 1.4 million claims, and the number of claims
pending longer than 125 days is anticipated to remain at about 70
thousand claims. This pending claims status may change as the volume
of claims receipts increases or decreases, and as claims processing
becomes more efficient. VBA’s success in reducing the rating claims
backlog has also resulted in a growing appeals inventory.
2010 through 2016, VBA completed more than 1 million disability
compensation rating claims annually. Approximately 11 percent to 12
percent of VBA decisions are appealed, with nearly half of those
being formally appealed to the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (the
Board). While the appeal rate has remained steady over the past two
decades, the appeals volume has increased proportionately to the
increase in claims decisions. The average processing time for
resolving appeals in 2016 was three years. For those appeals that
reached the board, average processing time was six years, with
thousands of Veterans waiting much longer.
VA has worked with
Congress, Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) and other
stakeholders to develop a legislative proposal to reform the appeals
process. The appeals process under current law is ineffective and
confusing, and Veterans wait much too long for a decision on appeal.
The new process will: 1) establish options for Veterans, 2) provide
early resolution and improved notifications as to best options, 3)
eliminate the perpetual churn of appeals inherent to the existing
process, 4) provide Veterans feedback loops to VBA, and 5) improve
transparency of the process by clearly defining the roles of VBA and
the board throughout the appeals process.
is one of VA’s top legislative priorities, and the department will
continue to work with Congress and the VSOs to ensure Veterans
receive the best possible service.
Improving the Veteran
National Call Centers (NCCs): In 2018, VA
expects the NCCs to sustain the average speed of answering in 30
seconds or less, while maintaining exceptional customer
National Work Queue (NWQ): In 2017,
disability compensation claims are moving through the process faster
than before implementation of the NWQ process — on average, claims
are ready for decision 14 days faster. In 2018, NWQ will be expanded
to other key VBA priorities such as the nonrating and appeals
Veterans Claim Intake Program
(VCIP)/Centralized Mail: By the end of 2018, VCIP will relocate the
entire file banks of remaining Regional Offices and convert the
documents electronically, an integral element of VBA’s comprehensive
transformation and modernization strategy.
In 2018, Centralized
Mail will build upon sustained progress in disability compensation
and expand to additional stakeholders, to include the Board of
Veteran Appeals, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, Fiduciary
Service, Support Services Division, Debt Management Center (DMC) and
The budget requests $1.7
billion for programs to prevent or reduce Veteran homelessness,
$320 million for Supportive Services for Veteran
Families (SSVF) to promote housing stability;
$543 million for
the HUD-VASH program, wherein VA provides case management services
for at-risk Veterans and their families and the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides permanent housing
through its Housing Choice Voucher program; and
$257 million in
grant and per diem payments that support transitional housing
provided by community-based organizations.
VA is requesting a total of $13.2 billion
in 2018 for Veterans Community Care. This consists of a request for
$9.7 billion in discretionary funding for the Medical Community Care
account, plus an additional $2.9 billion in new mandatory budget
authority for the Choice Program. When combined with $626 million in
estimated start-of-year unobligated balances from the original
Choice Program appropriation, the total Community Care funding level
is $13.2 billion in 2018. The budget also requests $3.5 billion in
mandatory budget authority in 2019 for the Choice Program. This
additional funding will allow VA to continue increasing Veterans’
access to health-care services by allowing them to choose VA direct
care or community care.
Other Key Services for Veterans
million to administer VA’s system of 136 national cemeteries,
including funding for the activation of three new cemeteries that
will open in 2018 and 2019. Funds are also included to raise,
realign, and clean headstones to ensure VA national cemeteries are
maintained as shrines.
$4.1 billion for information technology
(IT), including investments to strengthen cybersecurity, modernize
Veterans’ electronic health records, improve Veterans’ access to
benefits, and enhance the IT infrastructure; and
$135 million for
state cemetery grants and state extended-care grants.
Oversight of VA’s Programs
The 2018 budget requests $159.6
million for the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to enhance
oversight and assist the OIG in fulfilling its statutory mission of
making recommendations that will help VA improve the care and
services it provides.
Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Legionnaires linked up and
worked together on May 20 to make sure flags were flying
appropriately over veterans’ graves in Loudon’s cemeteries in time
for Memorial Day.
Field Summer Recreation Program
Summer vacation is coming soon.
If you are looking for fun and education activities for your child
be sure to check out the Drake Field Summer Recreation Program.
The program is free to Pittsfield children in grades 1-8. High
school students are welcome to join in and help for community
service credit. We are located at Drake’s Field and open Monday-
Thursday beginning June 26th and ending August 3rd. The only cost
is for admission is to some field trips, many are free. Breakfast
and lunches will be provided free of charge. Good behavior is
This year’s field trips include the NH Humane
Society, NH Farm Museum, Polar Caves, Ellacoya State Park, Wallis
Sands State Park, Shaker Village, WMUR TV Station, Derry Field Park,
Opeechee Park, York Wild Animal Kingdom, Telephone Museum and Fire
Museum in Warner, Fort Jefferson (formerly Six Gun City), the Town
Pool, and Candia Springs (formerly Liquid Water Planet).
addition to field trips we also offer many arts and crafts, games
and sporting events. The library will also be part of our program
this year with weekly visits. Their first visit will include a
juggler to entertain and teach the children the art of juggling.
Signup sheets will be sent home with school children soon. For more
information please contact Mrs. Sawyer at 267-6733.
To The Editor
In the May 10, 2017, Suncook Valley Sun, selectman
Carl Anderson wrote,
“An appeal of the assessed value for 60 Main
St. was heard for Northway Bank by their representative Mark Lutter
of Northeast Property Tax Consultants. Mr. Lutter argued for an
assessment reduction below that recommended by the town’s assessors,
Avitar. The Board decided to continue to follow the advice of the
firm that we pay for expert opinion, and take our chances with
Northway’s appeal to the State Bureau.”
Years ago, a member of
the zoning board of adjustment said the same thing about following
town attorney advice. Fellow board member Bob Lincoln disagreed. He
said that the board should consider the attorney advice but that the
board should make its own decision based on all the evidence. Bob
said that if the board just followed the attorney advice, then an
administrator could fax the applications directly to the attorney
for decisions and the board would have no reason to exist.
wisely understood that citizens look to town boards to correct
injustice done by employees, contractors, and others not accountable
through the democratic electoral process. Citizens do NOT want their
local representatives to be a rubber stamp. When a selectman writes
in the newspaper that the board will “continue to follow the advice
of the firm that we pay for expert advice, and take our chances with
[the citizen’s] appeal to the State Bureau,” that selectman sends a
loud message to both aggrieved taxpayers and the town’s contract
appraiser that the selectmen will provide no meaningful review of
individual taxpayer complaints.
I have been to the state bureaus,
and justice is not to be found there because the state bureaus defer
to the local officials.
With rousing American melodies, a salute to our
Armed Forces and many other national favorites, everyone will
certainly enjoy “Let There Be Peace,” a free patriotic concert this
Friday, June 2, 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 24 Main
It will feature the church’s Chancel Choir
and JuBellation Handbell Choir and other musicians. You will even
have a chance to join in on a few special songs. Light refreshments
will be served.
Join us for this delightful event – an evening of
great American music. Parking and wheelchair accessible entrance
located at rear of church on Chestnut Street. Call the church office
for more information: 435-7471. God Bless America!
To The Editor
Select Board meeting 5/23/17
regarding 81 Main and the proposed gifting to the Historical
Society. Given the problems preventing us from conveying clear
title, there’s limited opportunity to sell and recoup uncollected
taxes. We have two choices- sell for a very low price to a
private contractor who will take on the expensive task of taking an
action to quiet title through the courts and its return to the tax
rolls, or; donate the parcel to the Historical Society for
demolition of the existing building and construct a new one. They
have outgrown their location on Elm St. The hearing was well
attended and a ‘straw poll’ indicated strong support for donating
the property- with conditions- a time limit on demolition/cleanup;
new building design that’s ‘appropriate,’ and a deeded return to the
town if the Historical Society no longer wanted it. It’s up to
the BOS as to the future of this town-owned property, so we’ll weigh
all aspects- including public sentiment. Anyone who wishes to
have input please contact the BOS.
Numerous actions on timber
cutting intents, current use, tax abatement, committee resignations
and appointments, and other housekeeping paperwork was addressed.
The property tax warrant of $4,211,170 was approved and tax bills
will be going out soon. I still find the cost of running this
Donations to the police and Emergency Management
were accepted, with appreciation.
A bid notice for the LED
lighting that was approved at Town Meeting was tabled. We’re
trying to make sure that as the street lights are replaced, we have
them where we need them. The PD and Highway Dept. have given
their input, as have several citizens concerned with dangerous dark
areas. Once we have established a final number and locations,
bidding can begin.