Pittsfield NH News

September 20, 2017


 

The Pittsfield Police Association is currently conducting it’s annual fundraising campaign. Area businesses and residents are being contacted for sponsorships and ticket sales.

 

The officers will once again be hosting a “Night of Laughs” comedy show at the Dell-Lea Country Club on Friday, November 17th at 8:00 p.m. Three comedians from the Boston area who have appeared on Letterman and Leno as well as performing at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun will entertain our donors in a hilarious evening of laughs.

 

The Association is raising funds for youth athletics, scholarships, toys for children at the holidays and the many other worthwhile endeavors they sponsor. We hope to see you at this fun filled show!

 


 

Letter To The Editor

 

Pittsfield Select Board meeting, 9/13/17- full docket after 3 wk! First, a public hearing re: additional state highway block grant of $99,212. 

 

Several residents had suggestions as to how to spend this modest amount were heard.  The road agent wants to use it in conjunction with the safe routes to school project (which is finally ready to go to design) to repave Manchester and Onieda streets when Berry Ave. and Catamount St. are done.  There are plenty of places it would be nice to use it, but realistically it won’t go very far. We were also advised by the state that they will be ditching part of Barnstead Rd. this fall- presumably to prepare for the long awaited repaving by the state of their roads through town, which are extensive, next year.

 

The LED lighting project approved at town meeting will also finally happen this fall by Affinity, the only company interested in a project this small.  They are also reputed to be the best.

 

We have $35,000 in the capital improvements fund for the wastewater treatment plant.  We are going to begin the task of ‘slip lining’ about 5,000’ of leaky sewer pipe with these funds.  With a total cost approximately $400,000, it will take many years, but we must remedy the situation so we might as well get it underway.

 

Another cost we have no choice but to accept is the cost of improvements to the Clark’s Pond (town pool) dam.  $22-25,000 in engineering, just to prepare us for spending another $400,000 to do the work!  We do not have the money appropriated by the voters, so we are getting the engineering scheduled, but contingent on what voters say in March.

 

That about uses up the 300 word allotment for letters to the editor, so I’ll continue next week with the rest of the meeting. 

 

Carl Anderson

 


 

Local Completes Basic Training At West Point

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Cadet Morgan R Corliss, daughter of Chuck and Kathy Corliss of Pittsfield, N.H., has completed Cadet Basic Training at the U.S. Military Academy.

 

Corliss entered West Point on July 3 and successfully completed six weeks of CBT. CBT is one of the most challenging events a cadet will encounter over the course of their four years at the academy.

 

The initial military training program provides cadets with basic skills to instill discipline, pride, cohesion, confidence and a high sense of duty to prepare them for entry into the Corps of Cadets. Areas of summer instruction included first aid, mountaineering, hand grenades, rifle marksmanship and nuclear, biological, and chemical training.

 

Corliss began classes Aug. 21. The West Point curriculum offers 37 majors balancing physical sciences and engineering with humanities and social sciences leading to a Bachelor of Science degree.

 

Corliss graduated from Pittsfield Middle High School. She plans to graduate from West Point in 2021 and be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

 

About West Point

The U. S. Military Academy at West Point is a four-year, co-educational, federal, liberal arts college located 50 miles north of New York City. It was founded in 1802 as America’s first college of engineering and continues today as the world’s premier leader-development institution, consistently ranked among top colleges in the country. Its mission remains constant--to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country and prepared for a career of professional excellence and service to the nation as an officer in the U.S. Army.

 


 

Return From Hopkinton

Submitted By Carole Soule

Livestock returning from the fair must be quarantined to protect other animals on the farm.

 

When I returned from the show ring with my oxen on Monday night the crew was already packing up our barn at the Hopkinton Fair. I was exhausted and the cattle were ready to go home but we all had to wait until the posters, wheel barrow, show trunk, yokes and other stuff was jammed into the goose neck trailer.  The barn had to be clean or we would face a $100 fine. 

 

The cattle, tied to the outside of the trailer, waited patiently for us to finish so they could be loaded up for the trip home. It was dark when we pulled into the farm and I unloaded the animals by trailer lights (the barn yard lights at Miles Smith Farm stopped working a few months ago) into a “quarantine pen,” where the cattle will stay separated from the rest of the herd for at least 10 days. Even though all the cattle are inspected for diseases when they arrive at the fair grounds, animals stabled together for 4 ½ days can still get sick. In a new environment livestock can be stressed and get sick even if they get the same feed and care they receive at home and every year a few fair livestock need veterinary care. With animals stabled closely together undetected diseases can spread and may not be obvious for days. So when we bring our livestock home from any fair they stay separated from the rest of my herd until we are sure they are disease free.

 

Stress works on people too. I slept pretty much non-stop for two days after the fair. I did have to wake up briefly to help husband Bruce secure our fifteen piglets who were terrorizing the neighborhood while we were at the fair. The piglets figured out how to scoot under the electric wire gate handles and some even dove under the charged wire to pester the cattle pastured across the road and annoy our neighbors. The only secure place for these escape artists was our stock trailer where they will stay until we reinforce the pig fencing. 

 

The cattle did well in the show ring. Topper and Stash, my five year old Scottish Highland oxen team, had to drag a log scoot through an obstacle course in the log scoot class.  Unfortunately they came in last because we knocked over all of the cones mostly because of my inexperience but also because the hitch chain was too long.  In another class, the Yankee hitch (where four steers are hitched together,) they followed all my commands and came in first in their class. 

 

Of course I’ll never be as professional as the 4H working steer teamsters, the Ox Bows, who all weekend cleaned up in the show ring and also taught me and helped me with my new team, Ben and Snuff. I learned a lot from those kids who are amazing and who know what they are doing.  Maybe someday I’ll grow up to be a 4Her.  Do they have a 4H club for those of us who are 60 and over?

 

Carole Soule is co-owner of Miles Smith Farm, in Loudon, NH, where she raises and sells beef, pork, lamb, eggs and other local products. She can be reached at cas@milessmithfarm.com

 


 

Concord Regional VNA Holds October Flu Clinics

 

Concord Regional VNA is holding seasonal flu clinics in October. Specially-trained nurses administer seasonal flu shots to people age 3 and over and answer your flu-related questions.

 

The discounted cash or check charge is $30 per immunization. Clients who present an insurance card from Medicare B, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, Harvard Pilgrim, Tufts, or Anthem do not need to pay a fee. 

 

Wednesday, October 18, 4 - 6 p.m.

Epsom Public Library

1606 Dover Road, Epsom

 

Friday, October 20, 10 a.m. - Noon

Pittsfield Senior Center

74 Main Street, Pittsfield

 

Seasonal flu clinics are dependent upon the availability of the flu vaccine and are subject to change. To confirm clinics and for a full schedule, visit www.crvna.org or call (603) 224-4093 or (800) 924-8620, ext. 5815.

 


 

Blessing Of The Animals-   Save The Date!

 

On Sunday, October 1, at 11 AM, the Pittsfield community is invited to bring their pets for a “ Blessing of the Animals”  by Rev. Dr. Miriam Acevedo, Priest-in-Charge at St. Stephen’s  Episcopal Church in Dustin Park, next to the church building.  Following the tradition of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, we will celebrate the special bond we have with our pets and with all animals.   

 

All pets must be on lead or in a secure pen or you may bring a picture of the animals you love or one of an endangered species in the wild.    More information will be posted in the “SUN” and on our website www.ststephenspittsfieldnh.org as we get closer to the event.  Everyone is welcome to attend this outdoor event.  Rain date will be Sunday, October 22.   Please join us!

 


 

A Matter Of Balance

 

Pittsfield Area Senior Center and the Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association is offering, A Matter of Balance class, which is a program that addresses concerns about falls. Starting on Tuesday, October 3, at 10:00 AM at the Pittsfield Community Center located on 74 Main St. The class is in the upstairs Bicentennial Room. This floor is wheelchair and walker accessible. 

 

Matter of Balance is about managing concerns about falls. Have you turned down a chance to go out with family or friends because you were concerned about falling? Have you cut down on a favorite activity because you might fall? If so “A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls” program is for you. 

 

Fear of falling can be just as dangerous as falling itself. People who develop this fear often limit their activities, which can result in severe physical weakness, making the risk of falling even greater. Many older adults also experience increased isolation and depression when they limit their interaction with family and friends. A Matter of Balance can help people improve their quality of life and remain independent. 

 

A Matter of Balance is designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. Participants learn to set realistic goals to increase activity, change their environment to reduce fall risk factors, and learn simple exercises to increase strength, and balance. Please call 603-435-8482 to register or for more information. If living in the Pittsfield and Barnstead area transportation can be provided for you. 

 


 

My First Novel

Submitted By Dan The Stoneman

I think it was early spring when Lucille Noel called and asked my brother, Mark Colby, and me if we would help rebuild a stonewall with the Heritage Commission, Historical Society members, and Chichester volunteers.  This was an old wall on the inside curve of Main Street, near the Town Hall.

 

I told her we were in and we would bring a truckload of ledge rock from the southeastern slope of Catamount Mountain in Pittsfield. But we would need more fieldstone from Chichester, more flat stone and some old granite for the corners.

 

We set a building date in early June. June 3rd came, I beat Bernie Reinhardt to the site by over five minutes.

 

We looked at the wall. It had been half removed, probably by Nate. The remaining half had some big boulders in it. It could take the whole day just to remove this section.

 

We talked with Bernie about the utility box at the beginning of the wall. He told me we needed to give it some space, as it might be worked on from time to time.

 

We started stringing the wall and with help, finished the bed for the base for the first section that had been cleared. By now, Bob Mann had showed up. Also, Gayle and Charlie Kojigian offered their help. Ed Millette also showed up to help. Jim Plunkett pulled in early to help set the strings and build. Enough off the road, hopefully the snow plows miss it. It is on a little rise so that should help. We were starting to figure things all out when I looked across the street and saw a backhoe heading our way. The operator was Nate Brannenberg, who live across the street. He was driving a John Deere backhoe loader with an extended hoe. While we started building the first section, he started removing the second section, boulders and all. Then, when we needed him, he would help set the big ones in the first section.

 

We had a good supply of rocks. Earlier in the week, Jim Plunkett had moved rock to the site. Also, Fred Chagnon and Bernie dug up Fred Shaw’s walkway for flat stone. (I’m sure they had permission!) We also had a good supply of water, thanks to Jennifer Pickard from Rite Aid. Staying hydrated is important to prevent leg cramps at night. Dr. Dan says, “Take a Tums to eliminate the cramps, or just stay hydrated during the day.” 

 

Dick Pratt, Carolee Davis, and Frank Curatalo brought doughnuts from the Chichester Country Store to keep us happy. By 10 AM, we started getting a rhythm. Everybody was busy, either chaining rocks, setting base, filling in, or making a bed on the second section after Nate had it cleared.

 

I started on the corner near the utility box with Bernie and Bob’s help. My brother Mark took the far end toward the intersection. My son, James, had delivered rock in the AM to us and helped build. I give Jim Plunkett credit for the granite and rock he managed to find, load, and truck to the site.

 

Lunchtime came. We went over to the Methodist Parish house across the street. Lucille Noel, Ann Davis, Donna Chagnon, and Joyce LeMay had quite a feast, for I have never seen so many varieties of Subway sandwiches, or goodies ever assembled.

 

I was the last one back to work, but back to work I went.

 

“Put that rock there. Shim that one. Nate, could you chain that large boulder and set it on these two base rocks? Bob, could you straighten that rock with a shim and fill behind it? Mark, could you cut this granite to use on the corner? We need more shims over here. Where are all the shims?”

 

Now I have to do something. That’s how we work. I let everyone go, until someone has a question. Sometimes we have a discussion, and then everyone gets into it. Sometimes things get a little heated.

 

Now you can’t get anybody too mad, as we are all volunteers, and it would not be a bad idea to just go home and rest and let anyone who gives us cr*p to finish it themselves.

 

What we do instead is have a polite, respectable (most of the time) debate why we want to do something a certain way. “Does that rock qualify? Is that rock crooked?” Just simple debate.

 

We decided, always, what was best for the project. We had a good crew. The afternoon flew by. Most of the wall was built. We left a mess, but felt good with our progress. Nate, with his dog, “Flash,” and their backhoe made us all heroes.

 

Day Two

The next Saturday, June 10th, came quickly. Mark brought buckets of shims and plugs and we had a lot of stone to finish this project. It was 6 AM. No Bernie. A little later, no Gayle or Charlie. No Ed and Jim. No Nate. Everybody was busy except for Bob Mann. Was he in for a treat. Mid way through the day, my brother, Mark, wanted to put the larger corner rock on the wall without a machine to lift it. I told him he was crazy and that I did not want to get hurt today. Well, if you know Mark, you know he won’t quit. He got it over. We propped the four foot long rock against the back wall and with our bars, lifted slowly, one side at a time, putting rock under it as it went up, until we felt we could push it and finish lifting it until we got it up on the wall. It took us three, just barely, to get that rock on the wall.

 

My brother is relentless, just ask Bob Mann, who went along with him. And I had to help.

 

Once again, plenty of water, juice, and food. We slowed down in the afternoon. It was hot. We were tired, but the wall was 95% complete. Just a few details Mark wanted to do.

 

Now we still had a pile of rocks left. Maybe we should stack them into a wall at the back of the project.

 

Day Three

Over the next couple of weeks, it was determined by the Heritage Commission, to meet July 1st, with Nate, Bob, Bernie, Jim, Ewen McKinnon, and Jordan Davison who helped build also.

 

The two things I remember about that day were Bernie beat me to the job and it was hot. I felt like slacking. Bob and Bernie helped set the string. Jim came along and told to shorten the string. A tree was going in that section. I told him, “I don’t care about trees. The wall looks better, longer.” Bernie pulled out the plan. Sure enough, there was a tree there. This is where I had to give. It’s their community’s wall. I had to cooperate.

 

Once again Nate worked his magic with the John Deere backhoe loader. He, through constant focus, listening to all of us barking orders, using his knowledge of stonewall building, having the patience, put up with us. Anyway, he did the work of 50 men that day, setting and hauling the rock from our front wall clean up.

 

A special feature of the day was when Karl Merrill pulled in with an overload white pickup truck, loaded with large fieldstones. He told me it was his son’s truck and if I wanted, he would unload it by backing up real quick and slamming on the brakes. I told him I had heard that’s how he unloaded his truck. Ewen jumped up and with some help, rolled them off the tailgate. I didn’t want any part of that deal, except the rock, of course. Did I tell you it was hot? We were all struggling by 2 PM. We called it a day around 3:30. My brother and I headed to talk granite for the dam with Karl Merrill at his home in Chichester.

 

Dawn Marshal and Sharon Higgins also contributed to lunch. My favorite time of day.

 

Day Four

I ran into Lucille in Jitters Café. She told me Bernie wanted to finish the wall. They needed to clean up and plant grass. I told her we would be there in two Saturdays, and we needed Nate.

 

I showed up at 6:30. My brother, loaded with shims, shortly after. No Bernie. I heard he was in Iceland. You can’t build walls in Iceland, can you? No Bob either. But Nate and “Flash” got there early.

 

Nate helped us set the string height. Ewen McKinnon, from up on Bailey Rd. and John Healy from up the road, worked the day, mostly capping the wall. I built the corner toward the Town Hall. My brother, Mark Colby, built the far end corner. Ewen, being his second day, was getting the hang of it. John stepped up and started picking rocks to put  in the wall. Nate, once again, was invaluable.

 

I quit with my brother around noon and went up the road to hassle the fire department. On my return trip, the project had been cleaned up and, as I drove by real slow, I saw what handful of volunteers who love their town can do. I have tears of joy.

 


 

From The Superintendent’s Desk

Submitted By John Freeman, Superintendent of Pittsfield Schools

Response to Misinformation

 

A letter published in last week’s Sun contained false and misleading information regarding Pittsfield schools and school funding in New Hampshire.

 

Among other things, the letter stated that “our cost per student is already one of the highest in the state.”  According to Department of Education records, Pittsfield’s cost per pupil was ranked at #68 (from the most costly) out of 161 districts (https://www.education.nh.gov/data/financial) in cost per pupil for the 2015-2016 school year, the latest year available.

 

It is also important to note that the district was the recipient of a competitive private foundation grant that added more than $2000 per student for our high school costs in that year; unfortunately, this current year is the last year of this grant, so we can expect to see that cost per pupil drop even further in the years ahead as this source of external funding dries up.

 

It is accurate that this year’s school budget looks like a large jump from last year, but factored into that increase is the $518,228 in fund balance “returned” to the town at the end of the previous year; this “return” represented a more that $2/thousand decrease – less than was approved by the voters at district meeting – in the anticipated tax rate for last year.

 

Finally, as many who have been involved with schools know, the state funding scheme disadvantages small, property-poor towns like Pittsfield.  In fact, Pittsfield was a party to the well-known Claremont Lawsuit in the mid-1990’s in which the funding scheme was challenged and was found by the court to be inadequate.

 

Despite this victory, a report by the non-partisan New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies issued just this past June (http://www.nhpolicy.org/UploadedFiles/Reports/Education_Funding_-_2017_For_Publication.pdf) provided an analysis of the state’s “solution” to the funding inequities and concluded that the goals of the original lawsuit – equity for all New Hampshire students – have not been met.

 

The report states that “rural, property-poor communities, in both demographic and economic transitions, are those that will experience the most significant reductions.”  According to the report, “the state will be paying approximately $16 million less in state aid [in 2010] than in the current year.”  For Pittsfield, that’s an additional $85,000 reduction per year, every year, for the next twenty-four years.

 

Our legislature has established a study committee on school funding, and I have been invited to testify regarding the detrimental impact of the funding system on our students and on our taxpayers. I would like to be optimistic about a positive outcome.

 

Until that day of greater equity occurs, the Pittsfield School District will continue to practice fiscal responsibility while meeting our responsibilities to our students.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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