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Pelham~Windham News Volume 9 Number 05 August 12, 2011 16 Pages
Single Check Motor Vehicle Transactions
by Barbara O’Brien Anyone who has conducted motor vehicle
registrations at the Windham Town Clerk’s office knows it takes two checks to complete the transaction; one for the State of New Hampshire and one for the Town of Windham. That might be changing at the urging of Town Clerk Nicole Merrill.
Merrill met with selectmen during a recent board meeting, encouraging them to support the idea of allowing single check processing for motor vehicle registrations. The one check processing is common in a number of other area towns, already, Merrill explained. Saying that she had spoken to other town clerks in this section of New Hampshire, Merrill said these other officials feel it has “been a good idea” to reduce the number of checks having to be written and processed. “Residents love it,” Merrill said, “The line moves along much faster.” “It cuts out an extra step,” she said. Assistant Town Administrator and Finance Director Dana Call said she was in favor of making the switch to single-check processing when registering motor vehicles. The 20 cents per transaction fee would not be passed on to residents, Call explained, but would be picked up by the town at a total cost of approximately $30 to $40 per month. Single check processing would save money on labor costs, Call explained, perhaps offsetting the 20 cents per transaction fee.” It’s definitely more efficient,” Call stated.
Merrill said that all transactions would be double-checked right in the town clerk’s office. The electronic transfer of funds to the State of New Hampshire would continue to be done at the end of every business day. There will be internal processing controls amongst the three town clerk employees, Merrill said. Merrill said she is also looking into the possible use of credit cards for motor vehicle transactions, something Call has also looked into in the past. Further information on the possible use of credit cards will be discussed at a future date.
Selectmen voted to support “the concept” of single check motor vehicle registration processing unanimously (5 to 0).
Little Red Wagon Brings Children’s Theatre to Windham Town Beach
by Sarah Cotton It was a perfectly hot morning to spend by
the water this past Monday, and Windham town beach-goers were treated to a magical performance of “Strega Nona” by the children’s theatre troupe The Little Red Wagon. The touring ensemble, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is a nonprofit children’s theatre group that hails from the University of New Hampshire. With a different cast each summer, five young actors perform two different plays in over 70 locations throughout New England. This summer, the performers brought to life a musical adaptation of Tomie dePaola’s “Strega Nona.” Although parents and children watched from beach blankets and umbrellas scattered around the sand, the audience was transported to Italy,
summer swimming program. For others, seeing theatre on the beach is a long-time tradition. “We’ve been coming for years,” said Sherry Abruzese, “since Jake was little.” Jake is now 17, and his sisters Carly and Isabella are 10 and 5. Jake regularly performs in the Windham High School theatre, and it seems his sisters may follow in his footsteps. “It’s important for them to see this theatre,” Abruzese remarked. The kids all enjoyed some of the more magical aspects of the show, like huge pasta noodles emerging from everywhere and consuming the town. Perhaps the greatest benefits of the event are its accessibility and the fact that it is free, thanks to the Windham summer recreation programs.
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Joe Coppellotti as Big Anthony in “Strega Nona”
Te townspeople, Joe Nelson, Nicole Jones, and Gabrielle Archambault are furious
where a kind “grandmother witch” saved the day from her disobedient, pasta-loving apprentice named Big Anthony. For some town members, such as Jake and Max Bishop and their mother Michelle, this was their first time at the annual beach production. “We’ve done many of the summer recreation programs,” said Michelle, “so we knew it was coming up.” Her boys, 5 and 1, are avid beach-goers, also participating in the town’s
Windham residents enjoy the show on the beach Eagle Scout’s Project Benefits Pelham Library by Marc Ayotte In the process of earning his Eagle Scout
Rank, Jake Wormald, a member of Boy Scouts Troop 25 in Pelham, decided his community service project was going to be something that would enhance the public library’s outside events and activities. While volunteering in the Library’s summer reading program, the 16 year old Pelham High School junior, got together with Debbie Laffond to discuss potential projects. Laffond, as the children and youth librarian, suggested building an outdoor patio - as ‘Miss Debbie’ described it, “an outside space for programming.” Her goal for the patio was to create a “defined space (outdoors), which is important for children.” Laffond, who has been in her current position for five years, went on to say that the area would make it easier for the children to participate in the outdoor programs, in effect giving them a more defined area.
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Boy Scout Jake Wormald and Librarian Debbie Laffond stand on his Eagle Scout community service project a 15 by 15 foot brick patio
Living Without: A Gluten-Free Guide to Windham
by Sarah Cotton With these last few weeks of summer upon us, there is still time to squeeze in some lively family cookouts. But imagine enjoying your backyard meal of hamburgers and hotdogs without those warm, toasted buns or mom’s signature pasta salad or Aunt Mary’s delicious baked goods. Does the idea of grilling and chilling on the patio seem less enticing knowing that you can’t crack open a nice cold brew? For one in every 133 people in the United States who suffer from Celiac Disease, eating these foods–and many more–is not an option.
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is primarily found in wheat, rye, and barley. When the protein enters the digestive system, it damages the lining of the small intestine, preventing the body from absorbing essential nutrients such as iron and calcium. The exact cause of CD is unknown, and it is often misdiagnosed due to the wide range of symptoms associated with the disease, such as: indigestion and abdominal pain, lactose intolerance and anemia, depression, fatigue, and joint pain. Currently, the only treatment is to follow a strict gluten-free diet and lifestyle. Unfortunately, gluten allergies and intolerance do not discriminate against age or profession, but Laura Scott, Windham’s Community Development Director, finds it easy to cope. She has been on a gluten-free diet for six years, but has suffered the aches and pains her entire life. “Most of my childhood, I never felt right,” Scott recalls. “I would sleep for twelve hours and still have huge dark circles under my eyes and be tired. I always took Advil, because everything hurt; I didn’t know what was wrong with me.” Her symptoms did not stick out as those most often associated with food allergies, and it wasn’t until she graduated from college that Scott suspected a gluten intolerance. “I did my own research and tried to follow a gluten-free diet myself, but I was doing it
Klemm’s Bakery sells gluten- free cookies, cakes, and other baked goods
Gluten-free treats await at the Village Bean
Laura Scott (left) and I find gluten-free treats at the Village Bean, including these Lucy’s cookies.
wrong. Ten years ago, there was not as much information,” she says. As the gluten-free trend in this country grows, more and more businesses are recognizing the niche in the market and coming out with products to ease the transition into this new lifestyle. Still, most of the unaffected general public remains in the dark about the specifics of the diet. Foods such as rice, corn, and potatoes do not naturally contain gluten. Oats are also free of gluten, but problems occur with cross- contamination; when oats and granola are packaged in factories that also produce gluten- containing foods such as bread, there is a chance that they can become contaminated. Similar to peanut allergies, some sufferers are so sensitive that even particles floating in the air can trigger a reaction. This cross-contamination can also easily occur when restaurants use the same oil
to fry French fries and chicken fingers that have been covered in flour. Although the potatoes are naturally gluten-free, touching the flour makes them inedible for someone with CD. This risk is why Scott favors small business and
restaurants over chains. “I usually frequent sole proprietorships, places where the owner is the cook. I never trust [chains], even if they have a gluten-free menu. I feel like they don’t care,” she explains. “Small businesses want to go out of the way because they care about the repeat customers. They realize that so many people have food allergies that if you don’t accommodate them, they’re never coming back.” Part of Scott’s role as Community Development Director is working with local businesses that wish to expand, making sure that they are sustainable and thriving. Her job allows her to get to know these restaurant owners, which also makes it easier for them to accommodate her needs. She goes on to give an example, saying, “The Windham Restaurant has an appetizer of fried broccoli. I love broccoli, but it is a flour mixture, so I can’t have that. Well, [the owner] specifically went out and bought cornmeal and
Te Windham Deli will make any sandwich on Udi’s gluten-free bread
makes it with that. The next time I was in there, he said, ‘Oh, I did that for you – do you want to have it?’” Accommodating customers in this way is a comfort and a relief for those with CD. Many other stores in Windham cater to the needs of the gluten-free community, which is surprisingly large. The Windham Deli, for example, carries Udi’s gluten-free bread and will gladly make any of their mouthwatering sandwiches or paninis with it. In order to avoid as much cross-contamination as possible, employees will wipe down the work area and panini press beforehand. Also, the deli uses Boar’s Head meat, which is completely gluten-free. Yes, even deli meats can contain gluten, because of certain food additives and starches that are used as fillers. For Scott, the physical benefits of living without gluten far outweigh the limitations of the diet, although she does miss enjoying the occasional donut or cupcake. However, for those not yet ready to part with these sweet treats, Klemm’s Bakery offers gluten-free goodies such as chocolate chip cookies and almond macaroons. They also make a variety of breads, brownies, and
continued to page 6- Gluten-Free
staff photos by Sarah Cotton
staff photos by Marc Cotton
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