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Pelham~Windham News Volume 8 Number 35 March 25, 2011 24 Pages
Voter Guide Error Goes Largely Unnoticed
by Andrew Sylvia A significant typographical error in a voter’s guide sent
out by the town of Pelham appears to have played little role in impacting school district elections earlier this month. The guide, which is sent to Pelham residents annually with information on proposed warrant articles prior to town and school district elections, noted the Pelham School District’s proposed budget at its pre-Deliberative Session total of $24,501,498: a figure well below the $24,651,498 that what was found on the ballot and the $24,569,21 that district would have received for default appropriations if residents voted down the warrant article for the budget.
continued to page 5- Voter Guide Error Unnoticed
‘Slight’ Chance State Funding Could Be Eliminated for Kindergarten Addition
by Barbara O’Brien The chance that state building aid could be eliminated is less than five percent, but there is a slight possibility, according to Superintendent Frank Bass.
Bass, who serves as superintendent for SAU #28, comprising Windham and Pelham, spoke about the issue during the Windham School Board’s March 14 meeting. The issue is of particular importance to Windham, due to the recent passage of a warrant article designed to raise and appropriate $2.9 million to build a kindergarten addition to Golden Brook School. Presently, the now two-year-old public kindergarten program is housed in portable classrooms on the grounds of Golden Brook. The State Department of Education is presently paying the cost of leasing those portables, but that money will be gone at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. School Board members proposed and voters approved the warrant article based on the idea that Windham will receive 75% State building aid of approximately $2,175,000. In addition, it is anticipated that there will be a fund balance left at the end of the current school year (June 30) amounting to approximately $750,000, which will also be used to offset the cost of construction. The remainder of the money is to come from general taxation.
Approximately 70% of
voters who cast a ballot on March 8 voted in favor of building the seven-room addition to Golden Brook for the sole purpose of constructing a permanent kindergarten facility.
the right time, for the right reasons,” newly elected School Board Chairman Ed Gallagher said. “This reflects well on the project,” he added. “It’s quite a vote of confidence.”
During the March 14 meeting, Business Administrator Adam Steel said he didn’t want to alarm anyone, but did want to alert Board members that there is a small possibility that State Legislators could end the building aid program at
anytime between now and the end of the current 2010-2011 school year. “Can we stop the project if funding disappears?” School Board member Michelle Farrell wanted to know. “Yes,” Steel responded, adding that “an exit strategy” would have to be developed to deal with any contractual obligations already in effect regarding the construction of the kindergarten addition. As for the possibility of funding continuing as originally expected, Steel told School Board members, “We won’t know for sure, for sure, until the Governor signs the budget” sometime in June. Even if some of the work is done before that time, Windham would not be able to cut any checks for the project until July 1, Steel stated.
Steel said plans are still to move forward aggressively and immediately with the planning phase of the construction project. He said a meeting was planned to that effect on March 15. “My gut feeling is that we shouldn’t put a shovel in the ground until the money is assured,” School Board Vice Chairman Bruce Anderson said. Anderson also said that one of his “biggest fears” is that site work will get underway and the playground will be dismantled, then the State funding will vanish. Newly elected School Board member Stephanie Wimmer noted that the reality is that state funding for any project could be removed from the proposed budget. “It’s not kindergarten that’s being specifically targeted,” she said. “It’s highly unlikely”
that the Windham School District will lose the State building aid, Bass reiterated. “We just want to be up front and transparent” that it could happen. School Board member
Jeff Bostic wanted to know what “Plan B” is, should the State funding be revoked. Bass responded that the district does still have use of the portable classrooms for another year, after which the issue would need to be rehashed again, prior to the March 2012 School District Meeting.
Seventh Graders Celebrate Medieval Day
by Robyn Hatch An annual event, the Windham Middle School seventh-grade class presented Medieval Day last week to conclude their unit of study on medieval times. The students and staff participated in a Medieval Parade and Banquet, with costumes, entertainment and activities representative of that period. Always looked forward to as a special and fun time of the year,
Chad DeSauters, Joe Fara, and Teddy Piardias
students dressed up in medieval garb and participated in a Royal Procession through the gymnasium, with a Medieval Banquet in the cafeteria immediately following the procession. The day featured dances and special performances by the students, and concluded with jousting tournaments held in the gymnasium. This year’s King was portrayed by Bill Buckley, with Erin Shirley playing the queen.
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Kelsey Kendzuiak, Delaney Shea, Alexis Miedico, Amanda Desimone, Julia Hyatt, and Gabby Hatem
Medieval jester entertains Queen Erin Shirley and King Bill Buckley
‘Toolbelt Diva Party’ Raises Funds for Breast Cancer Awareness
by K. Robinson A fundraiser was held at Windham
Presbyterian Church on Sunday, March 13. This fundraiser was organized by Team BellaDonna, which is raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness. The team members will be participating in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk in Boston on May 13. The team leader, Donna, is also the public relations person running this fundraiser in hopes of meeting their goals. “This fundraiser is designed to give back, familiarize people with tools and become empowered,” she said. Team BellaDonna is an inspirational team of 20 people consisting of men and women, four of whom are breast cancer survivors. The youngest member is Donna’s 16-year- old son. The fundraiser also had volunteers from the Windham Fire Department, managers from Home Depot, consultants, real estate agents, an interior decorator, and Lia Sophia hostesses. “I’m so passionately driven. This is a year-round commitment and it’s all volunteers,” expressed Donna. One particular volunteer donated his woodworking skills by donating tables he handcrafted to be auctioned off, with the proceeds to go to their cause. This is the eighth year that Team BellaDonna has put on these fundraisers. Donna’s husband, John, expresses his support for what his wife and her team has
accomplished. “They have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to go towards research. This is a great fundraiser because
it is creative and it empowers women in more ways than one,” he said. The Avon Foundation is the national sponsor for Tomboy tools, which were demonstrated at the fundraiser. “The purpose is to model and mentor the youth,” said Donna, who meets every week with the local youth group called ‘Smiles Club,’ where she acts as their mentor and advisor.
Victoria and Felicia, 9, of Windham use real paint and brushes to paint hearts and the breast cancer symbol on a piece of plywood
Donna is a two-time survivor of breast cancer and is devoted to not only raising money in hopes of finding a cure, but acting as an advocate to those who are dealing with this disease. “I am a trained counselor for the American Cancer Society to newly diagnosed women,” she said. She explains how her phone is constantly ringing, as women call her for support and questions. Her husband, John, shows his support by being actively involved and wearing a shirt that says, “Real Men wear pink: Avon Walk for Breast Cancer,” and expressed that “our phone rings day/night in need of support.” “We are trying to find a sense of purpose through adversity,” explained Donna. You may support Team BellaDonna and the Avon Foundation by attending their next fundraiser on April 10 at 2 p.m., located at Windham High School, or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
. This is the second year in which a fashion show will be held. Last year, they were able to raise over $4,000 towards their cause.
Pelham Cub Scout Pack 610 Goes Ice Fishing
submitted by Kevin Haley Pelham Pack 610 enjoyed a day of ice fishing on February 12. Gary and Wendy Williams organized the troops, with members of Pack 610 meeting at the Hannaford parking lot at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. After some deliberation, it was decided our best bet for fishing was to be had at Long Pond in Pelham. The caravan left for Long Pond with all the gear needed for a day on the ice. Ted Zajchowski was the local expert who helped drill all the holes and show the kids how to rig the lines. Ice fishing is similar to regular fishing, except that the pole looks like a cross and rests over a drilled hole in the ice. Bait is put on a hook at the end of a string attached to the pole and it needs to rest near the bottom of the water, but not on the bottom. An avid fisherman calls the process of determining the perfect spot for the bait “sounding.” When there’s a bite, the force of the fish causes a spring on the surface attached to the rod to throw up a small flag. Then, you just need to drag the line in and hope there’s a fish attached to it. After getting 10 lines rigged and in the holes, we had our first bite. One of the boys yelled, “The flag is up!” and the whole crew went running to see what was on the line. Sure enough, it was a fish. After a couple
Cubs of Pack 610
of hours, we caught (five to six) fish, with a couple big ones. On each occasion, a dozen or more boys ran like mad to help reel in the catch. It was a big rush to see how genuinely thrilled the boys were.
The Williams then fired up their grill and cooked us all hot dogs and served hot chocolate. You couldn’t have asked for a better day of ice fishing.
staff photos by Robyn Hatch
staff photo by K. Robinson
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