Hudson - Litchfield News February 18, 2011 - 5
Letters to our Editor Continued from page 3
awarded recipients were warmly applauded by their peers, of special note was the rousing standing ovation received from the crowd for ‘AHS’ bearded lady’ (Alvirne’s head custodian, Jerry Michaud), whom Bell also called a “true educator and inspiration to all.” Most recently, I had the honor to witness this custodian, Gerry, competing for, and winning, the honored title of Mr. AHS, beating out several other faculty members, and again received a standing ovation by the students and faculty that hold him in high regard. I can’t remember my History teacher’s name, but Gerry’s name comes up in conversations on a regular basis with my past classmates and my high school- and college-aged babysitters that have attended AHS. There is a specific issue that bothers me and compels me to write. Through friends and students, I have learned that Gerry was asked by the several student groups to support their class and wear a school themed T-shirt in lieu of his uniform shirt in support of the student body. While I am sure these custodians are required by contract to wear a specified uniform, I would think that this request would not be an issue at all; being that it was only requested on a few occasions throughout the school year. I was shocked to hear that the request was denied. The student body fought back at this denial and took it upon themselves to lead a petition in hopes that they would change administrations mind to allow Gerry to defer from his required uniform in order to show his support just once. This should have been enough. Sadly, an administrator at the high school decided it needed to go to a School Board vote, ultimately being denied. My question to you is who pays the price? My answer—we all do, but especially the students that went above and beyond for a cause they deemed appropriate, only to be let down. The decision should have been and an exception to uniform granted, not wasting taxpayer dollars being brought to a School Board meeting. I am fairly certain there are more important issues to deal with at School Board meetings.
Name Withheld by Request - Hudson Prime Wetlands Warrant Articles There are two articles on the March Hudson ballot that are about Prime
Wetlands. Article 4 seeks to designate about a dozen Hudson wetlands as Prime Wetlands. Article 6 says that we shouldn’t designate a wetland as a Prime Wetland if that will adversely affect homeowners around that wetland unless all the affected property owners agree. I believe that Article 4 creates restrictions that would severely impact many property owners. Many of the proposed Prime Wetlands have little or no development around
them. I have no problem with them becoming Prime Wetlands, but several of the proposed wetlands have houses close to or inside the new buffer zones. This puts undue restrictions on those property owners. In addition to the current Town process for projects within the buffer zone, they would have the added paperwork and cost of first applying to the State for permission. This includes house additions, new garages driveways or sheds, and clearcutting enough brush or trees to put in a lawn or garden. You may think of some of these as minor projects, but the NH Department of Environmental Services states that all projects adjacent to Prime Wetlands are major projects. What do these additional rules do to protect the wetland near developed lots? Little or nothing. The Conservation Commission says the additional buffer is needed to let sediment settle and to filter contaminates nitrates and phosphates before they reach the wetlands. This sounds responsible, but on developed properties it actually adds no protection. The Conservation Commission admits that in New Hampshire you can till the soil, use pesticides, and fertilize lawns and gardens inside wetland buffers. So why do we want to create the additional restrictions of a Prime Wetland on developed lots where you can use all the fertilizers (nitrates and phosphates) and pesticides (contaminants) you want inside the new buffer zone? And when you till your garden or aerate your lawn, you create sediment. So much for the benefit of the Prime Wetland buffer on developed land! What it does do is limit your ability to build a shed to store those lawn and garden chemicals. We wouldn’t want any chemicals leaking inside the shed, would we? Not when you are going to take them outside next spring and spread them directly onto the ground!
On wetlands with no development, Article 4 makes some sense. Around wetlands that have any developed lots surrounding them, it makes little sense, and will unjustly lower property values. Some critics believe that State law would supersede Article 6. This is not so.
Towns use a series of about 15 “wetland functions” to evaluate Prime Wetlands. What most people overlook is that that same law, Section Env-Wt 701.03(b), says that “Up to 3 additional functions may be added if the municipality provides justification for the additions.” Article 6 will create one such additional “function” by saying that the financial impact on property owners must be weighed against any environmental gain when evaluating Prime Wetlands. Article 4 is OK in principle, but it went a few wetlands too far. As such, it will deprive a number of homeowners of some of the freedom they currently have to use their property. That’s just wrong. To prove this, none of the Article 4 proponents have already volunteered a conservation easement of 100 feet around wetland property they currently own! Article 6 corrects this situation. I recommend a “no” vote on Article 4 and a “yes” vote on Article 6.
Glenn Della-Monica - Hudson
Litchfield Baseball I typically don’t respond to negative
Thumbs comments because I don’t condone them in any way, shape, or form. I think it is a gutless and cowardly way out. It is even more shameful to start bringing the kids who participate in our sports programs into these anonymous attacks. Keep them out of it. They have nothing to do with the management of local youth sports programs, be it at the rec, AAU, or school level. Don’t think they are not reading these negative comments. They are. These kids deserve our support and our respect; nothing less will suffice.
Furthermore, if you have an issue with a sports program, why wouldn’t you raise the issue with those managing it? Slinging mud from the darkness doesn’t fix anything. Have some character. Step up offer your feedback to the program, or volunteer your time to be on a board or booster club. Our kids are served by very dedicated people who spend countless hours behind the scenes running our programs. Yes, these people sometimes make mistakes. But instead of berating these volunteers, please get in contact with them. Let them know if you think something needs to be fixed or if you have ideas on how to improve things. Be a part of the
solution, not part of the problem. There is plenty of work to go around, and your assistance will be welcome. Regarding this year’s Arsenal AAU U12 team … Last year, the Arsenal board tried a different head coach solution for that team that didn’t work out exactly as hoped. (Special thanks to Coach Moe for stepping up when needed!) This year, tryouts were held and a search for a new coach was under way, but in the end there were not enough players to field a team. There are 44 new AAU teams this year, and competition for landing players and coaches was high. Other clubs have been affected by this; it is not unique to the Arsenal. There is plenty of disappointment regarding these developments, not only for the parents and the kids that were ready to join that team, but also for the volunteers that ran the tryouts, the Arsenal board, and the Litchfield Baseball Association (LBA) board. As you can see, there is more than one contributing factor, but the boards are pursuing ways to maintain the program going forward. As for the Cooperstown Dreams Park (CDP) spot, down payment had been made before we knew the outcome for this team. The reservation for this year was canceled. However, the LBA has been told by CDP that the Arsenal should get their spot back in 2012 since they are the very first team to register for 2012. Finally, to the Hudson~Litchfield News: I find it ironic that your publication touts itself as a resource that has “a focus on community.” Allowance of negative responses like what we’ve seen over the years does nothing of the kind. Nothing. To all of our volunteer boards, sports or otherwise, and to our public servants,
I offer you my thanks for what you do. There may be differences of opinion, but you still deserve thanks.
Peter Moore, President, Litchfield Baseball Association - Litchfield Petitioned Zoning Amendment – Article 5
The subject amendment would reverse town code items that have been in place going back as far as the early 1970s and which are backed by scientific studies and data. The petitioned amendment introduces new definitions such as “Artificial,” “Ornamental,” and “Incidental.” Artificial are defined as “wetlands “created by human activity such as ornamental ponds and drainage ditches.” • This unsupported definition could include Robinson Pond, Ottarnic Pond, and other wetlands that are in place and have been made by dams.
• There is no definition provided for “Ornamental.” • “Incidental wetlands” are defined as those areas of poorly drained with a surface area of 500 square feet or less. Again, there is no scientific data supplied as to why this is a prudent Choice.
• The amendment would delete any buffer for “Artificial” and “Incidental” undefined wetlands. There is no scientific data to support this elimination of existing and proven buffers.
• The amendment would also reduce the existing 50-foot buffers to 25 feet. There is a great deal of data and reports that show that a 50-foot buffer is
the minimum effective buffer.
Timothy Quinn, Chairman, Hudson Conservation Commission - Hudson
Cynthia Couture for School Board
I am writing to you and asking for your continued support for Cynthia Couture as a member of our School Board. Cindy has been for several years an outstanding member of the leadership team of our superb school system. She has always worked tirelessly for the best interest of our students balanced by a sincere respect for the ability of us taxpayers to support our schools. It is obvious from her election to Chair of the NH School Boards Association that she is highly respected by the members of other school boards throughout the State of NH. The present School Board members have all worked diligently in cooperation with Superintendent Cutler and the Budget Committee to minimize the effects of our precipitous loss of over $2,000,000 is state funds on the excellent quality of our schools. Keep in mind that the excellence of the Litchfield Schools is a significant factor in the value of our homes. Cindy has made a major
contribution of her time and talent to maintain the quality of our schools. I am totally convinced that she will continue to be dedicated to seeing that our kids get the best possible educational services at a price that we taxpayers can afford.
Philip M. Reed - Litchfield continued to page 6 - Letters Protect your FAMILY with us
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Those of us who hunt need to carefully watch for the banning of lead in ammunition. While waterfowling has long been lead- free, most other shotgunning has allowed it—until now. Any encroachment on the use of lead shot can lead to an outright ban on all lead.
Citing the need to prevent lead toxicity hazards to wildlife,
the Federal Government’s primary wildlife management agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), has banned the use of lead ammunition for hunting nuisance birds. The decision was published by FWS as a final rulemaking action in the Federal Register.
American Bird Conservancy (ABC), the nation’s leading bird conservation organization, expressed support for the decision in a letter sent today to Fish and Wildlife Service Acting Director Rowan W. Gould.
Depredation orders are issued by FWS to allow the killing of
migratory birds such as crows, grackles, and blackbirds, which are causing damage to public or private property, pose a health or safety hazard, or are damaging agricultural crops or wildlife. This new regulation will require the use of non-toxic ammunition in the control of these nuisance birds. In my opinion, scientific studies do not show conclusively that lead shot is causing the loss of wildlife.
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