Hudson - Litchfield News January 28, 2011 - 3
The Word Around Town... Letters to our Editor
Quality Education for Our Children
My parents always said that they wanted me
to have more than they did. Like you, I want the same for my children. But in these tough economic times, many of us question whether that dream will become a reality. Ironically, it is when times are tough that I am most proud to be from New Hampshire. We are known for paying our bills, stretching a dollar, and taking care of our own. However, I was not particularly proud when I read an unsigned comment referring to our School Board members as “bums.” Our economic circumstances may have changed, but our principles have not. In times of both strength and uncertainly, we
know that the best way to advance our community is through the education of our youth. It is our responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure that our children receive a quality education that includes core curricula, as well as instruction in health, technology, music, and the arts. Hudson maintains these programs while spending less money per student than any other community in the state, relying on the dedication of parents, teachers, volunteers, coaches, and administrators.
Education is not just a budget; it is a process that calls all of us to be involved. As we slash dollars and tighten belts, our priorities should remain the safety and education of our youth and valuing those who teach them. It is only then that we can hope to create a better life for our children than we have today.
Amy C. Sousa - Hudson Running for School Board
My name is Patricia D’Alleva and I am announcing my candidacy for the Litchfield School Board. I will work to see that the interests of the
taxpayers and students are our top priorities. The spending reductions that the School Board is finally implementing should have happened before the state cut $2 million in funding to Litchfield schools—a cut that the School Board knew the state would impose. Taxpayers here in town could have benefited from the savings, thus reducing stress on families before the economy worsened. I believe that a fresh set of eyes is essential in order for all of us to refocus and prevent the unnecessary spending that occurs. The School Board needs someone who will consistently ask the hard questions “Why?” “What is the purpose for the program we’ve been paying for?” and “Is the program meeting its objective?” Litchfield is a wonderful community and I know
that when we begin to work together, we will get through these trying times and come out of it with
a leaner, superior school system. All across the country, we have been witnessing that the status quo in government is no longer acceptable. I’m just a regular person who has decided that it’s time to stop griping and to start doing something about it.
I ask for your vote on Election Day, March 8. Patricia D’Alleva - Litchfield
GMS to Lose its Assistant Principal
Over the last few weeks, I’ve spoken to many parents of the situation at Griffin Memorial School (GMS). To my surprise, many were not aware that due to the budget cuts next year, GMS will be losing its assistant principal (AP). There was a time when all three schools were going to be without an AP. However, now it’s only GMS that will be without. It was deemed that even though GMS has the most students, this AP position would be the only one cut. Some have argued that because the kids are younger, the troubles are less difficult for the staff to handle. I respectfully disagree. Isn’t it better to handle situations while they are “smaller” than to let them grow? I spend a lot of time volunteering at GMS and
I can tell you without a doubt that the AP position is not a luxury at GMS. I’ve also spoken to many of the staff (teachers and administrative) and all are in agreement that it would be detrimental to the quality of education to our elementary-aged children to lose the assistant principal. Some have indicated that the position can be covered by teachers in the school who are AP-certified. Again, I respectfully disagree. Although I have no doubt these individuals could do the work, this would cause much disruption to the children in the teacher’s class. Think about it: something happens that requires the teacher to act as AP. She must get someone to cover her class, catch that teacher up to what’s going on, and that replacement must then get the class back in order and continue with what was going on. Then, the acting AP must be caught up to what the situation is and take action. Then, once everything is taken care of, she returns to her class and tries to re- establish the routine and get back to teaching. This is far from an ideal situation.
I do understand that difficult decisions have had to be made due to the loss of funds and I don’t envy the School Board’s situation. However, I think that the AP position is too important to cut. With over 2,500 households in Litchfield, that’s approximately $35 per household to maintain the position, which costs the town $95,000/year for salary and benefits. Isn’t it worth skipping Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts for a few weeks or dining out one evening to maintain the integrity and the quality of our school? Talk to people why they move to Litchfield and the school system is always at the top of the list. Shouldn’t we
make sure that we maintain this appeal for future homebuyers? To support the assistant principal position and to request it be re-entered on the budget, please go to the upcoming deliberative session taking place on Saturday, February 5. The more parents and Litchfield citizens are present to support the AP position, the better the chances are that it will be put back in the budget. Support GMS, our town, and our children. Let the School Board know that we want GMS to have its assistant principal.
Nathalie Hirte - Litchfield
Gratitude for Officer Lamarche On Thursday, the 20th of
January, our daughter Nicole rear-ended another car on Dracut Road. Officer Lamarche responded to the scene and handled all the necessary police duties. Marie and I were truly impressed with his balance of professionalism and compassion in dealing with all of the people involved. Even when it came time for the less pleasant things (Nicole received a ticket), he took the time to properly explain all the facts, including why she was getting the ticket, and did it in a caring way so as to not make her feel any worse.
Poor Condition of Chimney is Probable Cause of Fire submitted by Steve Dube, Fire Prevention Officer, Hudson Fire Department
On Monday, January 24, at 2:12 a.m., fire crews from the Burns Hill station responded to a call from a homeowner on Parkhurst Drive. First arriving was Engine 4 under the command of Lieutenant Jim Paquette, who found smoke inside of a two- and-a-half-story, wood-framed, split-level dwelling. Next arriving was Engine 2 under the command of Captain Todd Hansen, who then assumed command. Firefighters found heavy smoke banked down to the floor with no visible fire in a bedroom. After about 13 minutes, the companies inside the building found fire within the walls above a basement fireplace that had extended into the interior walls of the structure. The fire was extinguished and no extension was found beyond the basement ceiling bay, where the fire started. The fire started in the basement in the firebox of a masonry chimney and below the smoke shelf. There appears to be either missing fire bricks at the metal lintel or
bricks that had fallen out of the firebox prior to the new owners using the fireplace. There was direct connection between the firebox and combustible wood framing for the home that was exposed to direct fire and flame contact that the owner was not aware of. A fire was started in the fireplace due to the conditions outside and the home has only electric heat. The wall framing became involved in fire and when the firefighters exposed the area, the fire continued to grow in the area above the firebox until the Hudson fire companies extinguished the fire. Fire damage
was confined to 33 Indian Rock Rd. (Rte 111) │ Windham, NH 03087
the combustible construction above the fireplace and into the bedroom above. Firefighters opened up an adjacent room’s wall to check for fire extension and found that the fire did not progress beyond the bay above the basement’s fire box.
That’s a wonderful quality for a police officer to have. It was a big relief to us to have so many friendly, helpful folks at the scene. All the officers and the firefighters were cheerful and professional. In addition to Officer Lamarche, many of the other responders took a moment to check on everyone involved, including teasing Nicole about sharing her hot chocolate. We’re really happy to be part of such a wonderful, caring community.
Jerry and Marie Mayotte - Hudson
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