Pelham - Windham News 6 - July 22, 2011
Fishing Line Disposal
Fishing line discarded along waterways can harm animals, and officials urge anglers to dispose of line properly. Every year, dozens of birds and small mammals get tangled up in fishing line along rivers, creeks, and lakes. Fishing line left on the bank is dangerous; an animal can’t untangle itself from fishing line, so it is often fatal. When a bird becomes tangled, it can’t fly, run, or protect itself from predators. Some birds use fishing line to build nests. The result is that
chicks and young waterfowl end up tangled in the mess. Fishing line also cuts into the tender legs and feet of birds, waterfowl, and other wildlife. Those cuts then can become infected and result in an agonizing death for the animals. Pets can also get tangled in fishing line with a potential to cause injury. Monofilament line is very strong and can remain hazardous for years. Unfortunately, line can be found along lakes and stream banks throughout the state. Anglers who see line should pick it up. It’s easy to perform this small service for the environment and wildlife. Carry out your own line and pick up line and other trash you see in the places you fish.
Charlie Chalk can be reached at email@example.com
Town Hall Employees Honored for Dedication
by Barbara O’Brien During the recent annual
Employee Appreciation Luncheon, two familiar faces at Windham’s Town Hall were mutually recognized for their long- term dedication to both residents and other town employees. Assistant Town Administrator Dana Call said that Kathleen Davis and Wendi Devlin were
co-recipients of a “Special Recognition Award,” in honor of their many years of dedicated and exemplary service to the Town of Windham’s Selectmen’s Office. Kathy Davis is the Human Resource Coordinator and has been employed by the Town of Windham since 1983, for an impressive total of 28 years of service.
Stay Alert at the Beach
by Barbara O’Brien Following four recent incidents in which children had to be rescued by lifeguards at Cobbetts Pond in Windham, town officials are urging parents to be even more watchful when their youngsters are in the water. Windham Fire Chief Tom McPherson spoke about the near
tragedies during the selectmen’s meeting on July 11. Although local firefighters weren’t directly involved in any of these incidents, McPherson said Recreation Department Coordinator Cheryl Haas did inform him of the situation afterward. “My advice to swimmers is to know the area, know your
own limitations, and to stay together or in eyesight of others,” McPherson said. “Parents need to keep a vigilant watch … even when the lifeguards are on duty.” With more than half the summer still ahead, there have already been more rescues at Cobbetts Pond than in the past, McPherson noted. McPherson and selectmen expressed their gratitude to
Windham’s lifeguards for doing their job so well. Haas also credits the quick response of her lifeguard staff for averting the possibility of disaster on each of these occasions. The first incident that occurred was the end of June, shortly after
the Town Beach opened for the summer season, when a five-year- old girl swimming in several feet of water suddenly disappeared below the surface. The little girl’s six-year-old brother realized that his younger sister was in distress and went to help, but he, too, got in over his head. Both children were, ultimately, rescued by the lifeguards on duty at the time. Another rescue involved a four-year-old girl who had been holding onto the dock and struggled to stay afloat after letting go. This incident did not involve the raft at Cobbetts Pond, Haas explained. “We have strict rules in place of who can go out to
the raft,” she said. “The bottom line is…drowning can happen in Windham. It can happen anywhere. We just want the word to get out to people so everyone is on alert,” Haas stated. The most recent rescue took place when an eight-year-old boy
swam out to the raft and got into trouble when he attempted to return to shore. A lifeguard assisted the child after he was seen struggling to swim in water that was over his head. Although none of the four children involved in these three incidents required any medical attention, town officials are concerned that the situation might not always turn out with such a happy ending. “I ask all of you to be very cautious when you are around water –whether you are swimming at the Town Beach, in a pool, or at another beach,” Haas emphasized. “Be alert. Be aware. Anyone can become a victim, no matter what your swimming ability is,” she added. “The lifeguards are trained to notice when someone is in distress,
while a parent might not be sure if the child is just playing in the water or swimming,” Haas noted. “However, the lifeguards are not at the Town Beach to watch your children for you…. they are there as extra eyes and to help if needed. It is the responsibility of the parent/caretaker to watch their kids at the Town Beach,” she said. Town officials are also concerned about people who swim after the beach closes in the evening and there are no lifeguards on duty. During hours of operation, however, at least two lifeguards monitor the water at all times. “I just want to get the word out to all families in Windham— because there are so many tragic stories in the news lately about drowning. “ Children should be constantly watched—even if they are strong swimmers,” Haas said.
New Village District Established
by Barbara O’Brien It was not a unanimous decision by residents living near
Moeckel Pond in Windham, but the majority of those who attended a recent village meeting did vote to establish a new village district. The special village meeting was held at Windham’s old
Kathy Davis and Wendi Devlin
Wendi Devlin is the Administrative Assistant to the Town Administrator, David Sullivan. Devlin can also be seen each Monday night recording the minutes for weekly selectmen’s meetings. Devlin has worked for the Town of Windham since 1989, serving in that capacity for the past 22 years.
town hall on June 20. Of the 25 residents who registered to participate in the session, 16 voted to establish the new village district, which encompasses properties surrounding Moeckel Pond, while eight of those residents voted in opposition. One person who attended the meeting chose not to vote at all. A simple majority vote of those residents was required to establish the new village district. By request of abutting property owners, the vote was held by secret ballot.
Only a few weeks earlier, Windham Selectmen had agreed to set up the boundaries of the Moeckel Pond Village District, as recommended by members of that community. Prior to that meeting, selectmen had been presented with a citizens’ petition, one that was signed by the required 10 registered voters, each of whom abides within the proposed village district. The intent of establishing the new village district was solely for the empowerment of water, namely Moeckel Pond. The
establishment of village districts is allowed by State Statute. One of the citizen petitioners, Neil Fallon, said the intent of those wishing to establish the Moeckel Pond Village District was to have the existing dam repaired without incurring any expense to the Town of Windham, then to accept ownership of that dam, as well as full responsibility for all future maintenance of the dam. According to Fallon, the earthen dam and spillway are located between Moeckel Pond and the adjacent Rock Pond, a body of water that is located in the Town of Pelham. At present, the only water in Moeckel Pond is from rainwater or ground runoff. The decision to name the new entity “Moeckel Pond Village District” was confirmed by a unanimous vote of those who attended the special meeting. Also on June 20, Moeckel Pond Village District residents in attendance selected officers for the ensuing year, including the following three commissioners (Thomas O’Brien, Stephanie Young, and Dan Massey); a district clerk (Kim Massey); a district treasurer (Chris Barra); and a district moderator (Neal Fallon). There are currently two other village districts located within the bounds of Windham—Cobbetts Pond and the more recent Breezy Gale.
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