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Pelham~Windham News

Volume 8 Number 1 July 23, 2010 12 Pages Remembering Daniel Gionet by Lynne Ober

When Pelham High School resident Daniel Gionet was killed in action in Iraq, he was awarded a hero’s send-off in Pelham, during which school children lined the streets with flags as his casket was slowly driven to his final resting place. Although Daniel’s smile is no longer with us, he has not been forgotten and Pelham’s VFW Post wants to help provide a memorial for this young man who paid the ultimate price to keep America free. Past VFW Post Commander Kenneth Stubert addressed Pelham’s Board of Selectmen, reminding them of Gionet’s service to America. Stubert said it was his understanding that selectmen had endorsed the idea of a memorial, but that a location and a time line for such a memorial had not yet been determined. According to Stubert, it was the desire of the VFW to have a decision made regarding a memorial so that Gionet’s family could have closure. Selectman Hal Lynde said he had approached the subject and suggested that a fitting approach would be to name one of the two soccer fields at Raymond Park in Sergeant Gionet’s memory. Lynde commented that they wanted to also name a second field in memory of a Pelham soccer player who was killed on Marsh Road. When Lynde asked the Board if they would be receptive to having someone step forward to move the process along, there was no objection. Selectman Bill McDevitt said had spoken Mark McCabe about possible suggestions. The two suitable suggestions that had been brought forth were naming of one of the round-abouts (in the

town center) for Gionet, and the other suggestion was to have an inscribed bench on the Village Green. McDevitt told Stubert that the Board would love to have feedback from veterans as to which of the two might be appropriate. Stubert discussed the possibility of setting up a veteran’s affairs group/ committee to work with the Town regarding activities so that a single point of contact could be created. With regard to Sgt. Gionet, he said the VFW would be happy to have a representative work with the selectmen directly. Charlie Mooskian,

When Board of Selectmen Chairman Doug Viger stated he thought working together was a good idea, Stubert said that the VFW was willing to work in whatever direction would be best to pull the whole thing together.

Selectman Bob Haverty asked if something similar had been implemented in other communities and noted that while he agreed with the concept, he didn’t know how best to move the project forward.

Department Chaplin for the State of New Hampshire VFW, came forward and said the VFW had discussed the veteran’s affairs group and wanted to know if the selectmen would like to form something similar to the Senior’s Council on Aging. He said the point was to work as a team with the town. Selectman Ed Gleason commented that the

Daniel Gionet

Mooskian replied by saying that this was done in other towns and at the state level. Stubert said the VFW could do additional research and provide the selectmen with possible

town had no financial responsibility to the Council on Aging; they worked on their own with the Senior Center and were an autonomous group. Town Administrator Tom Gaydos said he had some ideas about how to achieve what the VFW wanted.

models. However, McDevitt cautioned the Board and reminded them that if the Board formed or appointed a committee, it would then be a public committee to the extent that the meetings would need to be posted and held publicly, and would be subject to the right-to-know laws. He suggested that if the VFW formed a committee and asked for a Selectmen Representative, it would not be considered a public committee. Mooskian said they didn’t mind having the meetings in public.

Viger said there was value in having such a committee, and suggested they keep in contact to discuss ideas.

Mooskian commented that he had spoken with the Gionet family and that they would love to have a ball field named after Daniel. He said it was due to the health of Daniel’s grandfather that the family would like a memorial to take place. Mooskian also commented that the Gionet family and other veterans felt it would be an honor to have one of the round-abouts or a monument named for Daniel. He also said that if both could happen, it would be an honor.

McDevitt commented that if a ball field was

available, they should move forward with it, but Viger cautioned that there may be deed restrictions. However, McDevitt said there was no requirement on the deeds (at Raymond Park) in regards to naming the soccer fields. He said at the next meeting, he would provide information on what the deeds specify and what the Town Meeting said about them. Haverty suggested establishing a time line for the process.

Selectmen agreed to place this on the July 27 agenda for a progress report, and Lynde volunteered to be the contact person for the veterans.

Gleason said he would like the veterans to identify the participants and come back with a conceptual idea of what they envision the committee to be and do.




HUDSON, NH 03051

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Cub Scout Pack 266 Family Fun Day Ends the Year

Granite State Zoo Visits Pelham Summer Camp

by Lynne Ober

Christopher (back) and Nicholas (front) Redard enjoy a ride on the Cub Mobile made by the Webelos Cub Scouts

submitted by Kimber Leuteritz, Pack 266

Despite having to reschedule the Cub Scout Pack 266 Family Fun Day event until after school was let out, many Scout families and new prospective Scouts were still available to come by and enjoy the day. On Sunday, June 27, at Windham High School, Scouts, parents, and siblings met to celebrate the end of school and the Scouting year. We had hamburgers and hot dogs, an assortment of family- made side dishes and desserts, and a make-your-own-sundae bar. The

kids also enjoyed activities and games such as water balloon toss, bottle rocket launches, bounce houses, cub mobile rides, lawn games, and more! Everyone was able to spend time socializing and playing in a fun, relaxing atmosphere. If you have any questions about Cub Scouts, don’t hesitate to contact Kevin Rochford (578-2661, kevinr@kgrtech. com) or Kimber Leuteritz (893-2526, We hope you all have a fun, enjoyable summer!

Current, new, and potential Cub Scouts enjoy a water balloon toss to cool off!

For many years, Wildlife Encounters, LLC, a not-for-profit traveling Educational Zoo, operated from their USDA-licensed Wildlife Center near the beautiful New Hampshire Seacoast. They traveled with their animals throughout the state, providing many wonderful programs, but now they are entering a second phase of their existence and have changed their name to Granite State Zoo. While they still expect to travel with their animals – as they did this week when they visited Pelham’s Summer Camp – they are also working to establish a zoo in New Hampshire. This week, Director Derek Small brought a variety of animals to Pelham’s Memorial Park where he introduced campers to the animals and taught them a bit about each animal. “Right now, we bring the zoo to you,” smiled Derek, “but we hope to allow you also to visit us year-round in a beautiful, new environment.” Derek said that their “collection of rescued and captive born/raised non-native [or “exotic”] wildlife, assist us as Ambassadors of Education … spreading the message of conservation, appreciation, and respect for all of Earth’s creatures. We tailor our programs to the age group and to the purpose. Today, I just brought a variety of animals that I hoped had not been seen by these campers.” First out to meet the campers was Isis, a beautiful African Serval. Ever seen a relatively small cat with a large, ringed tail that looks like a raccoon’s tail, and with a body that

Derek Small with his beautiful African Serval cat, Isis

has both spots and stripes? Neither had the campers. Isis charmed them as soon as she came out. She was as interested in them as they were in her. While they gazed at her, she would often stop and engage the campers in eye contact. This beautiful, medium- sized cat was interested in summer camp.

African Servals have long legs and a small head. Their tails are short and, if Isis is any indication, their eyes are bright with curiosity. Derek told the campers that Servals are excellent hunters who catch their prey approximately 80 percent of the time. Often, according to Derek, they wait high above and drop on the unsuspecting prey, but they can also jump 15 feet in the air. Derek talked about a video he had seen where a Serval grabbed a flying bird out of the air by jumping about 15 feet into the air.

Isis will only travel with Derek and she has only been doing that since February, although she has been with the organization for a number of years. Isis was born in the Kansas City, MI zoo, where her parents still live. In February, she got a routine rabies shot and had a horrible reaction. Derek rushed her to the vet, who gave her a shot to put her to sleep so that she could be safely examined. While Isis was sleeping, the vet discovered that she was having an allergic reaction to the rabies shot and treated her with medicine. When she woke up two hours later, she was much better. Derek’s face was the face she saw as she went to sleep and his face was the

face she saw when she woke up, and from that day forward, she became his friend. At this time, she only travels with Derek and will travel with none of the other wildlife educators on the staff of the Granite State Zoo. As a result, Pelham campers were very lucky to have the opportunity to see this beautiful and unusual cat. Derek also had a seven-month-old

Wallaby who had just arrived at the zoo. He had the camp staff warm a baby bottle filled with milk, which he then fed to the young animal while the campers watched. “This is her first day on the job and normally, she’d stay at home, but we were all going out and didn’t want her to be alone,” he said. Derek had her in a pouch that was hanging from his neck. She slept in her pouch, and was nestled close to his body until he was ready to show the animals. Then, she spent the show time with one of the camp counselors, who is also a volunteer at the Granite State Zoo. The zoo is already affiliated with the American Association of ZooKeepers (AAZK), NH Science Teachers Association (NHSTA), and Association of Professional Wildlife Educators (APWE). Even when their dream of opening a year-round zoo that people can visit, Derek said they plan to continue to bring their animals and programs to schools, libraries, and other public venues. If you missed them at summer camp, they will next perform in the area at Hudson Old Home Days, to be held August 12-15. Check the Old Home Days schedule for show times.

courtesy photos staff photo by Lynne Ober

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