Pelham - Windham News February 25, 2011 - 5
More Letters to our Editor. . . . Letters - continued from page 3
Re-Elect Michelle Farrell for School Board My husband, Greg, and I are writing this letter to share our full and enthusiastic support of Michelle Farrell as she runs for re-election to the Windham School Board. Greg and I have enjoyed living in Windham for the past 17 years and plan to do so for a long time! Our three children currently attend Windham schools. We have known Michelle for about six years. I, Mary Jude, have gotten to know Michelle over the years from working closely with her in various volunteer positions. For three years, Michelle served as a Volunteer Coordinator at Golden Brook School. She has also been actively involved in the enrichment program “Destination Imagination” (formerly “Odyssey of the Mind”), along with various fundraisers. While Michelle’s volunteer experience is too extensive to list, the recurring theme is her genuine commitment to the “cause” – whatever it might be – and her exceptional ability to get things done. In this case, the “cause” is education, and it is truly one of Michelle’s passions. As passionate as Michelle is about education, she is able to address it in a reasonable, logical, levelheaded way. This is her nature. It is also her management expertise. Recently, there was an important issue before the School Board, and she told me she had some initial thoughts and ideas about it. However, she proceeded to say that she needed to learn more facts, listen to some presentations, and do some more research before making any final decisions. The extent of Michelle’s commitment and dedication impressed me. It did not surprise me, however, as I have been fortunate enough to experience it in past volunteer opportunities. Throughout Michelle’s first year as a School Board member, she has
proven herself to be intelligent, organized, hard-working, and efficient. I have had conversations with her about various school and fiscal issues, and I have also been present at meetings where she has addressed such issues. No matter what the “venue,” Michelle is always prepared and well informed. She views these conversations and meetings not only as opportunities to communicate facts and ideas, but also as opportunities to actively listen … to the thoughts, concerns, and questions of her fellow Windham residents and taxpayers. She is genuinely interested in residents’ input and feedback, as demonstrated by her diligence in responding to e-mails, phone calls, and other inquiries.
In closing, Greg and I would like to genuinely thank Michelle – and her family – for her past year of dedicated service on the Windham School Board. We are truly grateful that Michelle was able to address the educational needs of our three children and of the larger community’s children, while being mindful of our taxes and our property values. As a School Board member, she demonstrated the same integrity, hard work, and spirit of service for which she is known in volunteer networks within the schools and town. Thank you, Michelle! Please join us in voting to re-elect Michelle Farrell to the Windham School Board on March 8.
Mary Jude and Greg Donabedian - Windham
Early Intervention, Integration, and Expertise
Imagine if your child sent you a signal that things were not quite right. A look in their eyes tells you that they need help. I would guess that your first inclination would be to get them to a doctor. Imagine further that the diagnosis was diabetes or cancer. After the devastation of the news, what would you do next? You would not waste another moment to get them insulin, to get them chemotherapy. You would search far and wide to find experts and facilities to care for your loved one. You would trust the professionals who are trained to deliver their expertise, dedication, and love. You would hope that, since it was detected early, there would be a bright future. Children are resilient. No one wants to hear the words Stage Four. What if you found the experts, but they didn’t have the facilities to support
your child’s unique needs? What if you went for treatment and you were brought to a trailer, which had one giant room? Your child who has lost their hair now sits next to another getting insulin injections? Your painful conversations with the caregivers are drowned by the sound of food heating up in the microwave, of someone making copies, or of another family, in tears, arriving for their first consultation? Now what if your child was diagnosed with Autism or Down’s syndrome.
It’s crushing. You feel lost and alone. I know my wife and I did when our son was diagnosed at age two and a half. We had no idea where to turn. Thankfully for us, intervention, in the form of speech therapy, occupational therapy, and sensory therapy, was provided very early in the diagnosis. A path was chartered, beginning with a fully equipped pre-school at SAU 28 in Windham for 3 years, which included integration with local Kindergarten classrooms for socialization and to prepare our son for the transition to an inclusive classroom at Pelham Elementary School. So, fellow residents, thank you. Thank you for paying for my son to attend SAU 28 in Windham. Thank you for paying to have a bus pick him up and bring him to a kindergarten class so he can learn from them, and so his fellow students can learn from him. And thank you, my fellow residents, for your commitment to investing in our most important asset—our children. We are the only species on Earth who do not abandon the weak, the disabled, the ones who cannot care for themselves. We should be proud to have the opportunity to provide for our children’s needs, particularly those with special needs. They are here for a reason and present a learning opportunity for all of us, if we just open our hearts and give them a chance to make a difference in our lives. Please vote Yes on Warrant Article 2 so that we can give all of our children an opportunity to realize their full potential.
Bill Drover - Pelham continued to page 6- Letters
Proposed School Board Candidates’ Debate
Unfortunately, as of the writing of this letter (February 22), I’ve had no
School Board candidates accept the offer of a debate for the evening of March 4. However, I continue to receive many questions from concerned voters.
I plan to be at the WCTV studio (next to Windham’s Town Hall) on Friday,
March 4, from 7-9 p.m., where I’ll answer the questions I’ve received. I invite any Windham residents who’d like to participate with me in a Q&A session to come to the station and we’ll get through as much information as we can.
Hoping those who can’t attend will be able to tune in and watch the
Q&A. Thank you to those who’ve reached out, and I hope many others will. Please, regardless of whom you plan to vote for, get out and vote on the
8th; every vote counts equally, including yours. Joel Dube - Windham
Vote Kathleen Sullivan DiFruscia for Windham Selectman March 8
A few years ago, a friend was given a fatal diagnosis that was very hard for him to come to grips with. He postponed getting his legal issues squared
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away until it was almost too late. Kathleen was called and asked if she would pay him a visit at the hospice facility to help settle his estate. Not only did she come quickly to his aid, but she dispensed professional and sound advice with sensitivity and compassion. She could have said no on that sunny Saturday afternoon, but she didn’t. Kathleen’s response represents the foundation of her character. Windham needs a Select board member that has Kathleen’s professional credentials, but most of all Windham needs Kathleen’s respectful sense of duty to her neighbors and community. She has been a resident of Windham since 1981. She was awarded a Juris Doctor (J.D.) with honors from Suffolk University Law School in 1978. She was a participant with Master Plan Committee to revise Windham’s Master Plan in the mid-1980s. She is Legal advisor to the Cobbetts Pond Improvement Association, Inc.; a member of the Steering Committee, Windham Endowment for Community Advancement; member of the Windham Economic Development Committee; admitted to the practice of law in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and is a partner in the DiFruscia Law Offices in Methuen, MA. I am voting for Kathleen Sullivan DiFruscia for Selectman. There is no one
better. Dianna Fallon - Windham
Vote Republican for Windham Town and School Offices
Despite the fact that candidates running in the upcoming local elections
in March for Town and School Offices are not designated by party affiliation, it is important to remember that those candidates running for the most part do have personal party preferences. Many running are registered as Democrats who carry a philosophy of government that runs counter to the vast majority of people living in Windham. If we do not vote for these candidates for state and national offices because they prefer high taxes, profligate spending, excessive regulation, wealth redistribution, then why would we vote for them for selectman, School Board, Planning Board, etc.? Do they not bring this philosophy to local government as well? The Democrats, nationally and at the state level, side with and are supported by public employee unions. If we are struggling to control the cost of government at the local level, what are the odds that they side with these unions at the local level as well? Just recently, a newly elected candidate to the Planning Board ran for State Senate from this district. How many people knew when they voted for her for the Planning Board that she was a Democrat and at the first opportunity would grasp for higher office? Do we want to give those candidates a platform for higher offices? To my fellow residents of Windham, vote for those candidates that represent your beliefs and philosophy of how government should work. These are perilous times to be ill-informed about who we are electing to all levels of government. The stakes have never been higher. Please cast votes for Phil LoChiatto and Charles McMahon for selectman, as well as other Republican candidates for Town and School Offices that reflect your beliefs and values.
Richard J. Florino, Jr. - Windham Richard Forde for School Board It is my pleasure to announce that I am again running for the Windham
School Board in the upcoming election on March 8. The School Board has made some progress toward ‘common sense’ in the
way that they do things, but there is still a very long way to go. I intend to apply more common sense and practicality to the way the board acts. ALL of the residents of Town need to be represented on the School Board, not just those parents who have kids in school. It is a given that our students deserve the best possible education, but it is also a fact that these are tough economic times. I have spoken to families whose houses are on the market simply because they can no longer afford to live in Windham. This is not right. I have not even begun to mention those in Town who are on a fixed income. I intend to represent all of those people, and all the while remembering to provide a quality education for our students. I will ensure that every dollar spent will represent the best possible value for that dollar. You, as taxpaying residents of Windham, have the ultimate say as to
how your schools are run. You can do this by choosing a candidate for the School Board who will deliver to you the best-educated student for the most reasonable price. This is so much like a business that it should be run as a business. After all, what we want is the best return on investment. I am an Air Force veteran. I have two college degrees: Lowell Tech and
University of Lowell, cum laude and summa cum laude. I spent my entire career in computers, retiring from Children’s Hospital in Boston as their Webmaster. I taught undergraduate classes at Merrimack College in North Andover. I am deeply involved in volunteer work, including: Pease Greeter, Green Room coordinator for MDA (Jerry Lewis) Telethon, arresting officer for MDA Lockups, driver for the Town senior van, treasurer of Windham Actors Guild, qualified cable studio operator, certified ballot clerk, and ‘Red Jacket’ volunteer at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital. I have lived in town 63 years as a summer resident, with 44 years as a permanent resident. I have four children: two girls and two boys (all of whom went to
Windham schools), seven grandchildren: five girls and two boys (one girl went through the Windham school system and two boys are currently in Windham Center and Middle schools), and two great-grandchildren (boys). I am only going to put out a few signs this year. I do want to remind you that I am running for office, but I don’t want to pollute the street corners with
Fishing Foot Gear Ban
If you plan to fish in Vermont’s streams and lakes, pay close attention to your foot gear. The use of felt-soled waders or boots in Vermont waters is prohibited starting April 1. As far as I can tell, the Connecticut River is not part of the ban. The Vermont legislature enacted the new law to help curb the spread of aquatic invasive species such as whirling disease of fish and didymo, a microscopic algae more commonly known as “rock snot.” Aquatic invasive species can be spread in a number of ways, but felt-soled boots are a notable contributor to the problem, particularly with microscopic species that spread through cells and spores. Felt is especially problematic because it is difficult to dry, clean, or disinfect. Felt’s woven fibers create voids that remain damp for long periods of time, and didymo cells and other small material can penetrate and occupy these voids. Recommended treatments have often been found to be ineffective at disinfecting these spaces. The Fish and Wildlife Department recommends taking additional precautions after fishing and especially when moving between waters. Boots and other equipment should be dried, preferably in the sun, or disinfected with dishwashing detergent or bleach solution.
Further details and information can be found on the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Website at www.vtfishandwildlife.com/felt.cfm
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