Pelham - Windham News November 26, 2010 - 5
More Letters to our Editor continued from page 4
Windham Musical Arts Association Pie Guy Fundraiser Was a Huge Success
The Windham Musical Arts Association (WMAA) would like to extend an enormous thank-you to everyone who helped make our Thanksgiving and Christmas Pie Guy Fundraiser such a huge success! Your continued support allows us to help fund Windham High School and Windham Middle School band and chorus trips, festivals, buses, scholarships, the purchase of music scores, and much more. We’d also like to extend a special thank-
you to everyone who donated a pie to Shepherd’s Pantry. Thanks to your kindness and generosity during this season of giving, WMAA was able deliver 23 pies to the pantry for their Thanksgiving distribution, and 28 more pies will be delivered for their Christmas distribution. In addition, thank you to everyone who brought non- perishable food items to the Thanksgiving pie pick-up day for the pantry. Just a reminder—the Christmas Pie Pick- up will be Wednesday, December 22, from 2:30 to 6 p.m., in the Windham High School Cafeteria. Once again, we will be accepting non-perishable food items for the Shepherd’s Pantry.
Latest News! Keep the date Friday, April 1, 2011 open! WMAA is holding a fundraiser concert featuring “Roomful of Blues.” Come and experience their winning combination of jump, swing, blues, R&B, and soul at the Windham High School Theatre. Tickets are now on sale at www.ticketstage.com
; they make great Christmas gifts. You can check them out on their Website at www.roomful.com
. As always, thank you so much for your continued support of the musical arts in our schools! Happy Holidays!
The Windham Musical Arts Association - Windham
Dedicated Volunteers of Merrimack Valley Hospice
During this season of Thanksgiving, and in honor of National Hospice Month, I would like to acknowledge the dedicated volunteers of Merrimack Valley Hospice for the outstanding service they provide to patients with life-limiting illnesses and their families. Whether patients are at home, at the Merrimack Valley Hospice House, in a hospital, or in a long-term care or assisted living facility, the volunteers of Merrimack Valley Hospice give selflessly of their time and talent to help those in need. On any given day, you will find our
hospice volunteers with patients providing companionship or reading aloud at the bedside, helping families by running errands, or providing much organizational support of bereavement and spiritual programs. In Pelham, Merrimack Valley Hospice
volunteers include Jason Avis, Elaine Palome, Lorraine Christedes, and Jane Dinsmore. And in Windham, Merrimack Valley Hospice volunteers include Patricia Letizio, Julie Lichtmann, Judy Whitney, and Siri Wilbur-Kamien.
Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement, defined hospice care in her famous quote: “You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but to live until you die.” Every day, the volunteers of Merrimack Valley Hospice work tirelessly to affirm that statement and to honor the wishes of patients and families across our region—to live fully until the end and to die peacefully at home.
Please join me in recognizing November as National Hospice Month and in acknowledging the dedicated volunteers of Merrimack Valley Hospice.
John G. Albert, MBA, FACHE, President/ CEO, Merrimack Valley Hospice - Lawrence, MA
Prepping the Holiday Bird
Here are a few ideas for your holiday bird. Bradley brand smokers provided these for your use. Kitchen oven simple This is an incredibly quick and easy way to put rich, smoke
flavor on an oven-cooked turkey. Put your choice of wood in the smoker. Most turkeys and chicken benefit from 60-80 minutes of heavy smoke and you will get an incredibly rich flavor. Place thawed, washed, and dried turkey into the smoker and allow it to smoke for 60-80 minutes. For this recipe, you need not turn on the Bradley cooker unit—just the smoke unit. Once the turkey is smoked, prepare and cook it in your kitchen oven as you normally would. Smoke and oil frying Generally, the only way to add flavor to deep-fried turkey is to inject all kinds of stuff into the bird before lowering it (carefully) into the deep fryer. This time, try placing the thawed, washed, and dried bird into your smoker for 60-100 minutes (no need to turn on the Bradley cooking unit). After this smoking period, then season and deep-fry it per your fryer’s directions. What you get is a deep-fried bird with rich, smoke flavor—life is good and this fried bird is great. Please visit the Bradley Website at www.bradleysmoker.com
Charlie Chalk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
SAU Staff to Pay Portion of Health Premiums
by Barbara O’Brien Not so many years ago, many people received fully paid health
insurance through their place of employment, but in this economy, it is increasingly common for employees to pay a portion of their health insurance premiums. So, it is with the employees of SAU #28, although the portion of the health insurance they are paying is substantially less than most people have to pay, a payroll deduction that is frequently as high as 50 percent of the total cost. The subject of employees paying a portion of their health
insurance expenses came up during the SAU #28 Board meeting on November 2. SAU #28 includes both the Windham and Pelham School Districts. Frank Bass is the superintendent for both of these school districts.
According to Bass, SAU administrators and those described as support staff began contributing to their own health insurance costs this past July, with the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. This year, Bass said, administrators are paying five percent of their premiums. That will escalate to 10 percent for the 2011-2012 school year, and to 15 percent for the 2012-2013 school year. Support staff personnel are paying even less of their health
insurance costs. This year, they are paying only two percent of these costs. During the 2011-2012 school year, support staff will be expected to pay five percent of their health insurance expenses. During the 2012-2013 school year, the portion of health insurance premiums to be paid by support staff will rise to seven percent.
Is Fund Balance Sufficient? by Barbara O’Brien
“Is the fund balance sufficient?” This is becoming a perennial question in the Town of Windham. While the company auditing Windham’s books on an annual basis, as well as officials from the State Department of Revenue Administration (DRA), recommend that a municipality keep between five and ten percent of its total annual gross appropriations set aside as an undesignated fund balance, local selectmen don’t agree. According to Assistant Town Administrator and Financial Director Dana Call, an undesignated fund balance can be compared to “a rainy day fund.” At the end of the year, a portion of the unexpended budget for that year is set aside, rather than being used for other purchases or projects or being returned to taxpayers to offset the next year’s Tax Rate. According to information provided by Call, for example, in
2009, Windham’s total appropriations for town, school, and county amounted to $43,022,112. If five percent of that total had been set aside as an undesignated fund balance, it would have amounted to $2.2 million. Windham, however, only has $300,000 set aside in its “rainy day fund.” Selectmen voted in September 2008 to maintain a fund balance of $300,000. That is the amount that is still retained for that purpose. Prior to that, in most years, the fund balance was approximately $250,000. Selectmen say they would rather use the excess money to offset taxes. During the past three years, in which $300,000 was kept as an undesignated fund balance, selectmen used the following amounts: $82,836 (2007), $338,615 (2008), and $280,364 (2009) to reduce the following year’s Tax Rate. By comparison, while Windham has $300,000 set aside, other
area towns have been setting aside a much larger amount of money as an undesignated fund balance. Call said that 2007 was the most recent year for which the DRA has records on municipal undesignated fund balances. At the end of 2007, Amherst had an undesignated fund balance of $1,123,354 (2.73 percent of
its appropriations); Hollis had $1,845,112 as an undesignated fund balance (6.67 percent of its appropriations); Milford had $2,688,501 as an undesignated fund balance (8.34 percent of its appropriations), and next-door neighbor Pelham had $1,764,979 as an undesignated fund balance (5.70 percent of its appropriations). Windham, with 2007 appropriations totaling $40,365,839, had less than one percent ($300,000) of that amount set aside as a “rainy day fund.”
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Homemade Christmas Bulbs for your Tree! Enjoy Hot Apple Cider
FREE Photos with Santa from 10-1
at Howie Glynn's Variety Store Enjoy complimentary Hot Chocolates and Candy Canes! Enter to win
a Keurig Coffee Maker! to ring in the New Year at Spanos Realty! Kim TRAINING
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Visit our shop and sample our mini cupcakes during the stroll.
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