An Independent Weekly Newspaper
More Blasting on Tap for Windham
by Barbara O’Brien As the next phase of I-93
highway construction gets set to begin near Exit 3 in Windham, representatives of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (DOT) met with selectmen to provide an update on what’s in store for the area. DOT Supervisor Peter
Stamnos told local officials that most of the work involving the initial phase of reconstruction work being done near Exit 3 has been completed. “This is a significant milestone,” Stamnos said, referring to the upcoming opening of the southbound ramp off Exit 3 of Route 93. It is anticipated that the new southbound ramp will open to traffic by mid to late October. The two new bridges for Route 93 are also finished. Only cleanup work remains to be tackled, Stamnos said. Next on the agenda will be the reconstruction of two more I-93 bridges, both southbound, one over Route 111, the other crossing Route 111A. Three and a half miles of the mainline of Route 93, stretching nearly to the Weigh Station north of Exit 3, are also included in the next phase of work. Also included in the upcoming phase is 1.4 miles of reconstruction along Route 111, extending from the Village Green Shopping Center through the Wall Street intersection. The next phase is expected to continue through the end of 2014.
While undertaking the
reconstruction along Route 111, due to a significant amount of ledge being located in the area, blasting will once again be undertaken. According to Stamnos, approximately one- quarter million cubic yards of rock need to be blasted. Although blasting has been a part of the I-93 expansion project from the beginning, there is an added glitch pertaining to the next phase, that being the nearby location of a childcare/kindergarten facility. As a result of the close proximity of Early Years and the desire to create minimum risks for the children who attend the childcare center, the DOT has decided to blast only on Saturdays. It will take the DOT longer to complete the blasting operation and, ultimately, will cost more money, Stamnos said, but State officials feel it is necessary to minimize any risks. “It is out of the ordinary for us to do this,” Stamnos commented,
Pelham~Windham News Volume 9 Number 8 September 2, 2011 16 Pages Pelham’s Carleen DelGreco
“but it’s safer and will minimize the impact.”
Approximately 25 percent of the blasting required for this phase of the reconstruction will take place adjacent to this area. Stamnos said the property line of Early Years Childcare is located about 150 feet from the primary blasting area. Stamnos said he had spoken directly to both the owner of the childcare facility, as well as Fire Chief Tom McPherson, regarding potential options for minimizing any potential hazards. By doing the blasting only once per week, though, the process will take “a good season, plus” to complete, according to Stamnos. Selectman Kathleen DiFruscia asked Stamnos about the potential for damage to nearby structures from the blasting. The size of the blasts will be controlled to lower decibels, Stamnos said, adding that the State specifications used are “strong” and, for the most part, will create a minimum probability of structural damage. “There’s no doubt that the ground’s going to shake, though, and people are going to feel it,” Stamnos said. It is anticipated that only one or two blasts will be done on any particular Saturday during the next construction period. Selectman Roger Hohenberger expressed dissatisfaction that the DOT is using State standards for blasting, rather than the more stringent town standards enacted in Windham a couple of years ago. Stamnos commented that the State’s standards for blasting are one of the strongest in the entire region, with the exception of Windham. Stamnos said pre-blast surveys will be done of all adjacent structures, so that a comparison could be done if damage is reported after the fact. The DOT will “act appropriately” in response to any reported complaints, Stamnos told town officials. One of the buildings located within the proximity of where blasting will occur is the DOT’s own I-93 reconstruction field office. One Windham resident did express concern about the fate of the huge and historic Indian Rock, which is located in the area to be reconstructed. Stamnos indicated that he was not aware of that particular rock, but did say he would check into the issue.
State Intends to
Reclassify Three Sections of Windham Roads
by Barbara O’Brien Town officials don’t appear to be very pleased that the State Department of Transportation (DOT) intends to reclassify sections of three roads in Windham, transferring them from the status of State roadways to the auspices of local government. Although the transfer is not slated to take effect in the near future, it is on the DOT’s schedule. According to DOT representative Peter Stamnos, these sections of roads are being scheduled to be reclassified because they are no longer the main route for people to travel between area communities. These roads are not as heavily traveled anymore due largely to the Interstate Route 93 expansion. Stamnos said that the roads that the DOT intends to transfer to local maintenance include about 3,000 feet of Range Road East (from Route 111 to near the Salem town line at Route 28); 2,500 feet of Range Road West (from Route 111A to the McDonald’s Restaurant) and 3,200 feet of Indian Rock Road (Route 111 from Wall Street to the cul- de-sac at Castleton).
Selectman Phil LoChiatto said he would expect the State DOT to ensure that these stretches of road would be in good condition before making the transfer to town ownership. Stamnos said he understands the selectmen’s position and commented that any maintenance issues would be addressed first, as well as the roads in question being resurfaced in advance of any transfer.
Selectman Roger Hohenberger stated that, personally, he is not
in favor of Windham taking possession of these portions of roads currently owned by the State of New Hampshire. The full board of selectmen would need to discuss the issue together before any decisions could be reached, Hohenberger said. Stamnos said that no action is required of the Town of Windham at this point in time.
Showing their support are Assistant Principal Jessica Van Vranken, Assistant Principal Michelle Viger, School Resource Officer Brian Kelly (PPD), Superintendent of Schools Dr. Henry Labranche, and Principal Alicia LaFrance
PTA members Kim Hunt, Treasurer; Kristen Rodrigue, President; Tera Foye, Co-VP and Chairperson for the Boo Hoo event
Little Jessica sits with her mom, Jaime Phillips, as she snacks on some healthy fruit while attending the Pelham Elementary School Boo Hoo Breakfast on Wednesday, August 31
Experiences the Life of a Rockette
The Rockettes were formed in 1925 by a man named Russell Markert. Originally called the “Missouri Rockets,” this group of talented dancers was known for their long legs, extreme precision, and course, their eye-high kicks. This group was taken to New York City by Samuel “Roxy” Rothafel, where their name was later changed to the Rockettes. Since then, the group has dazzled millions of people, all the while becoming an American icon. Thousands of little girls dream of some day being given the opportunity to perform at the Radio City Music Hall as a Rockette. One can only imagine being given the opportunity to dance under the direction of, to learn the style and technique of, and to live the life of a Rockette. Carleen DelGreco, 16, of Pelham, was given the opportunity to do just that.
Carleen is currently attending
Pelham High School. Entering her senior year, Carleen is a part of the dance team, a member of the National Honor Society as well as President of the French Honor Society, and is also Vice President of her class. Aside from being actively involved in school, Carleen shows great commitment to dance. Starting at the age of three, Carleen began taking lessons at Dance Concepts in Pelham. Since then, she has continued to study dance and has participated in many competitions and other programs, one in particular being the Rockette Summer Intensive this past July. Back in December, Carleen attended an audition in Boston, MA, after hearing about the Rockette Summer Intensive (RSI). RSI is a program for girls ages 14 and up who show a great passion
and dedication towards dance. It is a weeklong program in which young women from across the country travel to New York City to take part in rigorous training at the Radio City Music Hall under the direction of real Rockettes. It was not until late March that everyone was notified of their acceptance. Upon hearing the great news, Carleen began preparing for her trip. Upon arrival in the city, Carleen, along with other girls involved in the program, were given full star treatment as they completed orientation and were given a tour of the music hall, were placed into smaller groups, and immediately began learning choreography. These girls were able to experience the hectic rehearsal schedule of the Rockettes, all the while waking up early, and rehearsing nearly nine hours each day. Throughout the week, several opportunities were given to these girls that are offered to very few individuals. Such as: a personal Q&A session with the Rockettes, an audition seminar, and even the chance to explore the dressing rooms of the Rockettes. At the end of the week, a final showcase provided the opportunity for these young dancers to perform in a real Broadway theater to show friends and family what was learned throughout the week. Upon returning from RSI, Carleen’s view of dance and where she
saw herself in the future differed greatly than prior to the program. “Although this week was a tough one, it was a truly enlightening experience that helped me broaden my horizons and reevaluate myself as a dancer. I have realized that one’s potential can only be limited by themselves, and I decided that I do not want to rob myself of any opportunity,” Carleen said.
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Brian Callahan, Sheri Callahan, Tony DeSimone and Kristen DeSimone attend the social gathering for parents whose children are attending the first day of school at Pelham Elementary School
Rick and Jen Lacoss sit with their daughter Lauren
staff photos by Marc Ayotte
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