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Volume 8 Number 7 September 3, 2010 16 Pages Spencer’s Mountain
by Jay Hobson Most people go through hills and
valleys in life, but Spencer Desfosses, 9, from Bow, has been dealt a mountain. Diagnosed at age 5 with Becker’s
Muscular Dystrophy, Spencer has a positive attitude that rivals any adult. According to the Muscular Dystrophy
Association (MDA) Website, Becker’s Muscular Dystrophy is a degenerative disease that usually occurs in teens and adults and affects the voluntary muscles, causing a weakness and wasting of the shoulders, hips, and thighs. Spencer, this year’s NH Goodwill
Ambassador for the MDA, traveled around the state on the last two Mondays kicking off the firefighter’s Fill the Boot campaign on August 23 along the seacoast, and last Monday, Spencer traveled in fire trucks from Franklin with stops in Tilton, Concord, Hooksett, Manchester, Bedford, Merrimack, Nashua, Hudson, Pelham, Salem, Windham, Londonderry, and then back to Manchester, where he threw out the first ball at the Fisher Cats game. Spencer was accompanied on his trek
by Fungo, the Fisher Cats mascot and Spencer’s new friend. Spencer’s mom, Jill Lanoie, marvels at
his stamina. “Every day is a struggle; he’s pulled
out of class constantly because of learning disabilities associated with muscular dystrophy, and he’s starting to
WCTV Cable Coordinator Resigns
by Barbara O’Brien During the approximately two Spencer boards Engine 1 in Pelham after riding with Hudson on his way to Windham via Salem
feel a little bit different because he can’t keep up with the other kids. He can’t ride a bike, can’t run, and has fatigue, but he tries. He’s got motivation like you wouldn’t believe,” Lanoie said. The fire truck trek came out of the
blue when at a function in May, Spencer let it be known that he liked fire trucks. “Fire trucks are fun.
I really like fire
trucks,” Spencer said. Quiet and friendly, Spencer didn’t
talk much on the ride from the Icenter to Canobie Lake Park, where he was greeted by park officials and given a
welcome that included a welcome sign just for him. Then, it was on to Windham. The whole time, he just held Fungo’s hand and hugged everyone. Trails along Spencer’s mountain
have been blazed through research and medical discoveries; however, much more research needs to be done. This weekend, firefighters in Salem and Windham, along with stations nationwide, will be out with tall rubber boots collecting donations for muscular dystrophy—for kids and adults who are navigating their own mountains.
years that Anastacia “Stacey” Sofronis Barr has served as Cable Coordinator for Windham’s WCTV, the studio and the broadcasting that she has overseen have made tremendous strides forward. Unfortunately, however, Anastacia, as she prefers to be called, is going back to her home state of Vermont. Windham Selectmen made the announcement of Barr’s resignation on August 23, a resignation they accepted with “deep regret.” Voting in favor of accepting the resignation were Selectmen Charles McMahon, Roger Hohenberger, Ross McLeod, and Bruce Breton. Selectman Galen Stearns was not in attendance when the vote was taken. Barr’s resignation takes effect on September 24. She has accepted another position; one that provides new and exciting opportunities to advance her skills and knowledge. “This is a great opportunity for Anastacia,” McMahon said. “But, truth is, we are really going to miss her [here in Windham].”
Selectman McLeod commented on “the exemplary job” that Barr has done for the town’s residents and WCTV. Barbara Coish, who is a long- time cable volunteer in the Town of Windham, is sad to see her friend and co-worker leave. “I love to call Stacey Anastacia, using the Greek and Russian pronunciation. It is so beautiful,” Coish said, reflecting fondly on the past two years. “Volunteers at the cable facility always become closely attached
to whoever is the coordinator at the time,” she said. “Our facility is unusual, as compared to other facilities, in the way things are run. Whoever works for Windham, in this capacity, coordinates the day-to-day activities, but the cable committee, through the person who serves as chairman, oversees the entire operation. For some people, this can be a very difficult arrangement to which to adjust,” Coish explained. “But Stacey handled the situation well, and managed, through her hard work, to move our studio ahead, in many aspects.”
Referring to all the assistance
she provided at the new Windham High School, Coish commented, “Stacey spent much time over the past year helping the board as we/ the town worked toward equipping the high school studio. This project is complete as she moves on to her next challenge.” I know that we will stay in touch with Stacey, as she has made some real friends here in Windham, Coish said. “The friendships made here are lasting.” An example provided by Coish is how often the studio’s previous coordinator, Jim Dadonna, stays in touch and visits the area.
Although saddened to see Barr
leave Windham, Coish added, “In reality, I am happy that Anastacia is going back home to her roots.” Barr has said she is willing to help with the transition period when someone new is hired to take on the duties of Cable Coordinator. The search for a new employee to fill the vacancy has already begun.
Temporary Lighting of Fields Okayed at Griffin Park
Salem firefighter Ryan Gott gives Spencer a hand getting out of the fire truck at the switch-off with Windham
Fisher Cats mascot Fungo, Spencer’s brother Cameron, and Spencer are joined by Salem and Windham firefighters
Herb Currier Receives Boston Post Cane
by Robyn Hatch The Pelham Senior Center threw a huge birthday
celebration for everyone aged 90 and over, including a surprise birthday wish to Carol Law, who recently moved to Pelham and turned 101 years old. During the celebration, the Senior Center presented the Boston Post Cane, a 100-year New England tradition, to Herb Currier, the oldest male voter in Pelham. The oldest voter in a town, male or female, always receives the award. But it wasn’t always that way. In 1909, a letter was received
from the Boston Post classifying the intention as to what was meant by the oldest citizen to receive this award. Women were not to be considered and the oldest citizen meant the oldest male who was a voter. However, on August 26, 1920, Congress passed the 19th
Amendment giving women the right to vote, thus stirring interest by women that they also had the right to receive the cane.
1923, the small town of Maynard, MA, presented the cane to the first woman, and she held the cane for the next five years. The first recipient of the cane in Pelham was David Narch
Gould, who was presented the cane on August 28, 1909, at Old Home Day. Since that first presentation, many rules have been put in place, such as the length of time you must be a resident. Pelham has a person older than Herb this year; however, she has only been a resident of Pelham for one year, which does not qualify her to receive the cane. So today, the true roots of the cane allowed Herb Currier to qualify and receive this award. Congratulations!
Right: A quiet smile from Herb Currier – 2010 Boston Post Cane winner
see more photos on page 11- Post Cane
by Barbara O’Brien After last year’s successful trial run of temporary lighting at Windham’s Nashua Road Field, members of the Windham Soccer Association decided to ask for similar permission this year, except that the new location will be at the town-owned Griffin Park. Selectman Ross McLeod,
who recused himself from being a voting member during the discussion, presented the soccer association’s request to the Windham Board of Selectmen on August 23. McLeod is the president of the Windham Soccer Association.
McLeod said that two practice sessions are held each evening throughout the fall soccer season. The problem is that, as September moves into October, dusk settles in earlier each night. It’s virtually impossible to get all the practice sessions in without artificial lighting, McLeod said. The lights would not be used for any soccer games, McLeod assured his fellow selectmen. “We’ll be out of there by 8 p.m.,” he promised. McLeod said the soccer association would like to begin using the temporary mobile lights on September 6. The temporary lights include four fixtures, arranged only around the soccer fields at Griffin Park. It is not expected that they will
by Barbara O’Brien Rental fees charged for the use of Windham’s
town-owned Searles School and Chapel are proposed to go up. Before making a final decision on the issue, however, selectmen held a public hearing on the new rates. The hearing was held during their weekly board meeting on August 23. Selectmen will not make a final decision, however, until a second public hearing is held on
Celebrating 17 Years in Business
Public Hearing Held on Searles’ Fees
Monday, September 13, at 7 p.m. Increasingly, income derived from renting out either the chapel or the schoolroom is not sufficient to offset annual operational and maintenance expenses. The goal is to make the building self-sustaining. There are also several projects that still need to be completed on the century-old building and the existing special
revenue fund is running low on money. Searles School and Chapel has been owned by the Town of Windham since 1906, when it was traded for one of the district’s historical schoolhouses. The existing rental fees are the same regardless of the day of the week on which the function is scheduled. Currently, a resident can rent the chapel for $225 (three hours) or the schoolroom
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for $300 (three hours). The cost for a non-resident to rent the chapel is $450 (three hours) or the schoolroom for $525 (three hours). Presently, town-approved non-profit organizations can rent either the chapel or the schoolroom at a cost of $25 per hour, with no minimum number of hours required.
As for the proposed rates, there are different
charges assessed for certain weekdays, as well as escalating costs for weekend use. There are also different charges for day and evening use, as well as out-of-town or in-town non-profit groups. Prior to proposing the new fees, members of
the Windham Historic Committee said that they “assessed our competition,” making phone calls and checking online for the rates and amenities of various area function halls. What they came up
continued to page 10- Searles Fees
disturb any neighboring residents. McLeod also said that the mobile fixtures could be moved if anyone complains about the sound of the generator that runs the light fixtures.
Members of the Windham Recreation Committee have already given their unanimous approval to placing the temporary lights at Griffin Park. The Windham Soccer Association will pay the cost of leasing the lights, as well as the cost of the electricity used. The only selectman who voiced a complaint was Galen Stearns, who said he feels that they are “moving too fast” on the issue of lights at the park. Stearns said he wanted the use of the lights stopped if any complaints were received. It was decided that Windham Recreation Coordinator Cheryl Haas would investigate any abutter complaints received and attempts would be made to rectify alleged problems before permanently dousing the lights. As for the other lighting project at Griffin Park, Selectmen’s Chairman Charles McMahon said that the light poles and transformer, to be used for lighting the parking lot, as well as the walkways, have been installed and were expected to be operational by September 1.
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staff photos by Robyn Hatch
staff photos by Jay Hobson
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