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Pelham~Windham News

Pumpkin Carving at Pelham Public Library Pelham~Windham News 10 % Volume 9 Number 15 October 21, 2011 16 Pages

Little sister Cailyn MacIntyre helps out with finishing touches on her brother’s pumpkin while she waits for dad to complete hers

by Marc Ayotte The Pelham Library, as part of its children’s’

activities, program held a pumpkin carving night on Thursday, October 13. It was a smaller than expected turnout, but those who came enjoyed the evening. And while mom and dad helped with the actual carving, which included the creative use of a drill to let ‘out’ light from the back of the pumpkin, librarian Debbie Laffond had plenty of books and toys available for the tots to keep themselves busy. The pumpkin carving event, in its fourth year, is planned around Pelham’s “Horribles Parade” which is being held on the 22nd of this month.

Left: Tyler Ohanian sits quietly with a pumpkin his mom helped him carve

Kevin Macintyre shows his artistic side as his son Ashton looks on Cub Scouts Discover Hidden Wonders of the Forest

submitted by Deb Zimmerman, Cub Scouts Pack 25 On Saturday, October 15, the Pack 25 Den 8 Webelos took advantage of a beautiful autumn day to discover the hidden wonders of the forest. They were led through Pelham’s Raymond Park Gayle Plouffe, of the Pelham Forestry Committee. The hike coordinated many aspects of scouting including a value and commitment to Leave No Trace Behind. The scouts set out to explore and accomplish requirements for their Forester and Naturalist pins with bags in hand, and collected the trash that others had left behind. Plouffe headed the group into the woods starting a the entrance to the scout obstacle course. As we proceeded , the scouts pointed out many different types of trees and vegetation. We also began to explore the many forestry habitats as well as the rules to preserve these habitats by not removing or disturbing the trees and rocks in the forest. We discussed and discovered the benefits of forestry management. Other interesting discoveries that peeked the scouts interest was the path of an old trolley track which once passed through these woods on its way from Hudson to Canobie Lake. Rock walls of long ago were spotted as well. Deer tracks and a lively little snake were also found. Parents, Scouts, and Den Leaders all enjoyed the hike. A very special thanks to Gayle Plouffe who was a wonderful educator to the scouts on our hike.

Scouts: George Michaud, Patrick Zimmerman, Ethan Patten, Cody Fox, Rami Eid, John Galeotalanza, Max Beland. Leaders: Pack 25 Andre Michaud and Deb Zimmerman and Pelham Forestry Committee Gayle Plouffe

Nathan Macintyre smiles while holding his scary pumpkin at the Pelham Library on October 13.

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Approved for SAU 28 Budget

by Barbara O’Brien School board members have unanimously

approved the proposed SAU 28 operating budget for the 2012-2013 school year. Appropriations include a 10.43 percent increase from the current year’s allocation. SAU 28 includes both the Pelham and Windham School Districts.

All 10 members of the dual school board agreed with the proposal, following a public hearing on October 11. According to Adam Steel, who serves as business administrator for SAU 28, next year’s operating budget is $140,780 higher than this year’s appropriations. Steel explained that some of the increase is due to a reallocation of money for employee health benefits, funds that were previously included in the individual school district budgets “by error.” “In the past, the health and dental insurance premiums of both the business administrators and the bookkeepers [a total of four employees] were not charged to the SAU budget, but to the respective district budgets,” Steel said. “This practice is not in accordance with [State Statute], which requires expenses related to the operation of the SAU office to be included in the SAU budget,” he explained. As a result of moving the health benefit expense to where it belonged, “the benefits portion of the budget is up $172,216 from the fiscal year 2012 budget, while the remaining parts of the budget are actually down $31,436,” he said. The decrease is due largely to personnel changes, including the reduction from two assistant superintendents to one person. In place of the second assistant superintendent, the job of curriculum director has been created, a position that pays less than that of an assistant superintendent. According to information provided by the

SAU office, the grand total for the 2012-2013 operating budget is $1,490,517. This is an increase from $1,349,737 for the current school year, which concludes on June 30, 2012. Included in next year’s budget is an estimated

Penny Power Creates Smart Savers

submitted by Pelham Brownie Troop 10213 We have all heard the saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Money is a part of every day life - earning it, saving it and spending it. On Monday, October 17, the girls of Pelham Brownie Troop 10213 got a lesson in budgeting. Melissa Remillard from Sovereign Bank in Pelham visited with the troop to discuss tracking savings and spending in a bank account. She also gave each girl a coloring book that teaches more about how money works. Leaders Jo Riopel and Shannon Sprague also led the girls through an exercise in creating a budget for their troop. Decisions were made about how to raise funds, the amount to be given to the community, and how to spend the remaining money they earned. For their efforts in learning money “CentsAbility,” the girls earned their Penny Power badges.

Brownies earned their Penny Power Badges by learning about money.

Girls from Pelham Brownie Troop 10213 enjoyed arts and crafts time during their meeting.

15 percent increase in health and dental insurance rates for SAU employees. It is anticipated that the actual guaranteed maximum rates will be made known before the end of October “and could result n a reduction in those lines,” Steel stated. Steel also said that he feels the 15 percent estimation “is a safe margin” for planning purposes. Last year’s health and dental benefits cost increased by an average of 9 percent, he told school board members. New next year, will be a “salary pool” that reflects a 3 percent increase for all employees of SAU 28, including the cost for employer-paid benefits. According to this plan, raises would not be made across the board, but based on each staff member’s individual performance. Windham School Board Vice-Chairman Bruce Anderson questioned the 3 percent pay raise, noting that Windham is currently in the process of negotiating a new contract with the teachers’ union and he was concerned that including a 3 percent pay increase for SAU staff might “be taken as a precedent” for the teachers. Anderson did acknowledge, however, that he “likes the flexibility of a salary pool,” as raises could be performance- based. “The pool is intended to recognize high-performing employees,” Superintendent Dr.Henry LaBranche said. “It’s not intended to be across the board, by any means.” Dr. LaBranche said he realizes that 3 percent is high in the prevailing economy, but also noted that SAU staff did not receive any raises this year. Windham School Board Chairman Ed Gallagher said he fully supports the salary pool concept. The superintendent’s salary for next year is budgeted at $135,000. Former superintendent Frank Bass, who left SAU 28 in June, was paid an annual salary of $121,000 during his final year. Bass left SAU 28 to take a similar position in Hanover, New Hampshire. “The SAU Board may choose to assign any salary they wish, but I believe this budget will be sufficient for covering this potential expense,” Steel said. Currently the position is filled by Interim Superintendent Dr. Henry LaBranche. A search for a new superintendent is just in the process of getting underway. Dr. LaBranche said he will stay on the job for the remainder of the current school year, but could not make a commitment beyond the end of June 2012. Windham resident Bob Coole questioned

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when school board members had established a new assistant business administrator position, commenting that he was not aware of any vote to do so being made public. Steel said the new position was ratified at the SAU Board meeting held last May, during a non-public session. The minutes of that meeting were, subsequently, sealed, he added. Coole noted that no announcement of the vote was made when board members came out of non-public session.

continued to page 6- SAU 28 Budget

Courtesy photo

Photo by Beth Knight

Staff photos by Marc Ayotte

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