An Independent Weekly Newspaper
Pelham~Windham News Volume 9 Number 21 December 2, 2011 16 Pages
International Persons with
Disabilities Day: December 3
“Together for a better world for all: Including persons with disabilities in development,” writes United Nations Enabled. Persons with disabilities make up an estimated 15 percent of the world’s population. This year, in an effort to renew our global commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms for persons with disabilities, the United States became a proud signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This treaty represents a paradigm shift, urging equal protection and benefits for all citizens, and reaffirming the inherent dignity and independence of the 650 million people living with disabilities worldwide. Today, as we commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we celebrate the skills, achievements, and contributions of persons with disabilities in America and around the world. We recognize the progress we have made toward equality for all, and we rededicate ourselves to ensuring individuals with disabilities can reach their greatest potential. According to the Governor’s Commission on Disability, the self-reported number from the State of NH lists New Hampshire with an 11.2 percent (2011) or approximately 1,323,531 (2010) individuals who have a disability. Of those facts, 30 percent of those over 65 are recorded with a disability.
A view of all the Christmas trees donated and decorated by area businesses and individuals to help support the third annual Southern New Hampshire Festival of Trees in Pelham
by Marc Ayotte The Pelham Community Spirit recently sponsored their third annual Southern New Hampshire Festival of Trees at Sherburne Hall in Pelham. There is still time to get out to the Town Hall and take in the beautiful assortment of festively decorated Christmas trees, as the festival runs through December 3, ending at 5 p.m. You owe it to yourself to take a break from the hectic holiday pace and enjoy a visit to the exhibit of cleverly and creatively decorated trees. According to Mark Jedraszek,
who is the President of the nonprofit organization - Pelham Community Spirit Inc. this year’s festival features 48 Christmas trees, three wreathes and one deliciously looking, special exhibit of the classic and seasonal
ginger bread house. The trees are decorated and donated by businesses and individuals from surrounding communities and reflect a wide range of personalities and themes, and will be raffled off at the conclusion of the festival. Visitors to the festival can purchase a set of 30 raffle tickets for $5 and enter the drawing for their favorite tree; each decorated tree and presents under that tree will be going home to one lucky winner (per tree) while all the proceeds will benefit the Pelham Community Spirit organization. As Jedraszek pointed out, “the proceeds are used to support the Concerts on the Village Green, the Fourth of July celebration and various community services including the Pelham Food Pantry.” The Spirit
continued to page 7- Festival at Pelham Town Hall
Supported Through Advertisers ECRWSS
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
HUDSON, NH 03051
PERMIT NO. 33 Postal Customer
View past issues and our other papers online.
Not “forgetting” the meaning of Christmas, brothers Jack and Cole Garcia (right) stand by the elephant theme Christmas tree sponsored by Valerie Lincoln and Hamor Hollow/Kelly Sosik-Hamor
Dirt Mounds and Stone Structures Mystify Homeowner
New Part-Time Position Proposed to Replace Full-Time Job
by Barbara O’Brien During his November 21 presentation of portions of the
proposed 2012 town-operating budget, Windham Town Administrator David Sullivan recommended hiring a part- time bookkeeper to partially replace the full-time human resources director, who will be retiring effective July 1, 2012. According to Sullivan, the person who is retiring as the full-time human resource director would be willing to stay on a part-time basis of 20 hours per week with no benefits. To compensate for the loss, a part-time bookkeeper (25 hours with no benefits) would be hired. In addition, the person currently working as the administrative assistant would take on some of the duties currently handled by the human resources director. “We would gain five hours of office time by doing so,” Sullivan stated, while still saving taxpayers some money. According to Sullivan $3,800 in salary and benefits
would be saved during 2012, since the change would not take effect until halfway through the year. However, beginning with 2013, there would be a savings of approximately $18,000 in salary and benefits. Assistant Town Administrator Dana Call, who also serves
as Windham’s Finance Director, and has held that job for the past 10 years, said, “We need a doer and a reviewer.” Call was referring to the need to have two sets of eyes overseeing the town’s bookkeeping. Sullivan said they would be seeking someone with accounting experience when hiring a bookkeeper; a job that he said would pay about $16 per hour. “That is on the low side for this type of position,” Sullivan commented, when some selectmen thought the salary level was a bit too pricey. Sullivan also said it might be difficult to find someone willing or able to take the job on a part-time basis with no benefits attached. Taking the new position in conjunction with the retirement of a long-time employee, Sullivan said, “The time is right to reorganize.” Selectmen’s Chairman Ross McLeod agreed with the proposal, saying it would “provide more centralized control.” Vice-Chairman Bruce Breton said he agreed with the proposal and would support hiring a bookkeeper for the Town of Windham. No final decision was reached, as the proposed 2012 budget continues under review for the next couple of weeks.
A curved, man-made stone structure out in the woods behind Ed Stanley’s home.
by Jay Hobson Edward Stanley bought his land and built his ranch style home on 10 acres in Pelham about 25 years ago. As any new landowner would do, Stanley with his wife Carol, walk around the property together and they enjoy the nature that the wooded land affords. It was during these walks that Stanley noticed things that appeared different, odd. Through the dense trees, he could see what appears to be the remnants of foundations. A mound constructed of what appears to be hand hewn stones stacked in a curved manner that is about three to four feet high with what appears to be a vent hole at the top. A hole in the ground that is lined with stone that appears to be a well. A slight mound of earth with a stone standing vertically at one end - grave-like. There is the remnants of what was once a stone pillar made of three stones standing atop each other like an obelisk. A tree that fell during a recent storm knocked the “obelisk” down, but Stanley shows the height, a good six feet, where it once stood. Some of the structures are on his property, others are in the woods nearby. “I don’t know what these structures are but they appear to be man made and very old,” Stanley said.
Indeed, Stanley has found shards of
clay pottery and what looks to be the remnants of a broken clay pipe. All indicate that someone lived here a long time ago. Walking along the property farther
up what was once a wall-lined road, an old shovel is leaning against a tree. The metal of the spade is split and the handle has long since rotted away. Did some farm worker generations ago forget he leaned his shovel against a tree when he went back to the farmhouse for dinner? That’s just one question of many that Stanley has entertained since finding the structures. A low stone wall marks the boundary
What appears to be a stone well.
Homeowner Ed Stanley shows the outline of what could be remnants of an old foundation of an animal pen or small cottage.
of what on the map is noted as Baldwin Hill Road. What appears to be a foundation of stone, which includes a doorway, is nearby and could either have been an animal pen or the remains of a small cottage. “Whatever the site is, I’d like to find out. It’s a real mystery,” Stanley said.
State Board Accepts SAU Withdrawal Request
by Barbara O’Brien The New Hampshire State Board of Education has accepted the
Windham School District’s proposal to withdrawal from SAU 28 (School Administrative Unit) and to create a separate entity of its own. The ultimate decision, however, will be made by Windham voters this coming spring. Currently, Windham and Pelham share SAU 28, although the actual facility that houses the administrative offices is located on Route 111 in Windham. The issue was brought up this past March when voters decided to create a study committee, a group of school district personnel and citizens who ultimately recommended that Windham withdraw
from the dual-town SAU to which it has belonged for the past several decades. A similar study that was done a couple of years ago resulted in the opposite decision, with the recommendation being that the two school districts remain together for both financial and educational benefits. This time, however, members came to the unanimous conclusion that it would behoove Windham residents to have a separate SAU. There will most likely be an increased financial cost to Windham as the result of the SAU split, but the burden on Pelham is likely to be considerably higher. During a recent meeting of the State Board of Education, Interim Superintendent Dr. Henry LaBranche and study committee chairman
Richard Horrigan presented evidence citing the reasoning behind Windham’s desire to withdraw from SAU 28. Dr. LaBranche said that Pelham School Board Chairman Rob Hardy also addressed the State Board, stating that Pelham is opposed to the split. Dr. LaBranche said that the State lived up to its responsibility in accepting the information put forth by Windham representatives, as all required protocols and procedures were met. The question of withdrawing from SAU 28 will now be put on the
school district ballot this coming March. The issue requires a 60 percent majority to pass voter scrutiny. If adopted, the withdrawal would not take effect prior to the start of the 2013-2014 school year.
Festival of Trees
Staff photos by Jay Hobson
Staff photos by Marc Ayotte
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16