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Pelham - Windham News | December 23, 2011 - 5 Selectmen Delve Further- continued from page 2

considered would be outsourcing IT services. LoChiatto said he wants to conduct a study in an attempt to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of service, at the same time. He said it might be possible to save $50,000 to $60,000 on annual expenses. The other selectmen said, while it might be a good idea to

investigate other options, it is just too late in the budget process for this year and any concerns LoChiatto had should have been brought up months earlier. When asked if he had spoken to DeLong about his ideas, LoChiatto said he had not. DeLong also indicated that the public discussion on December 15 was the first time he heard anything about the issue. Chairman Ross McLeod had also not heard about LoChiatto’s concerns prior to the meeting. “I’m not sure where this is headed,” McLeod said. The proposed 2012 IT budget was reduced by $2,000, however, based on a motion made by Selectman Roger Hohenberger. Hohenberger said he believes the purchase of 10 new computers can be accomplished for less than the recommended $1,200 each. DeLong replied that his goal is to purchase higher performing

mission – “Light into Darkness” for children in need in Austria and abroad. It continues largely with generosity and courtesy of Austrian Airlines.

Since 1986, there has been a great deal of co-operation between the Cub, Boy, Girl, Venture, etc., Scouts and Guides in many countries which has allowed the light to travel throughout Europe. In all the light is passed on to 30 European countries and for the past few years, to Canada, the United States and Mexico. Each year, a scout from Upper Austria kindles a flame from the “Eternal Flame” tended and kept by Greek Orthodox Monks in a grotto beneath the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. It is that spot where Jesus of Nazareth is believed to have been born. The light is drawn and is then flown to Austria it is distributed at a Service of Dedication to scout delegations from across Europe. Once commissioned as Ambassadors of Peace, these delegations take their light back to their communities with a message of Peace. Scouts and Guides pass the light to neighbors, local churches, hospitals, nursing home facilities, hospices, VA homes, prisons, etc. The light is passed on and through to public, cultural and political importance. In past years the light has been presented to Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, Michail Gorbachev, the former King Hussein of Jordan, EU President Romano Prodi and other member of the European parliament in Strasbourg, and to UN Troops in Kosovo. By 2001 the Peace Light had only gone as far west as Canada.

LaFrance- continued from front page

and helping to get others excited about change,” says LaFrance. She found being principal at PES to be “an exciting adventure.” Her biggest challenges came from the fact that she had very little experience with first and second grades. “I’ll just never forget the first day of school on my first day at PES, the first graders were so small, I never thought we would get all 200 home safely, but we did and every day since then has been easier,” said LaFrance. She says that her greatest challenge has been the size of the school and trying to stay connected with staff, students and parents. “I want to give them more of me, but the day just doesn’t seem long enough. It has been great working in the community where I live, that has been a bonus!” In fact, LaFrance has spent her whole life in Pelham. “In 55 years, I

have only moved about 10 acres,” she jokes. She loves the kids, saying that elementary school-aged kids “are the

best!” She has appreciated being at PES, and having almost all the kids under one roof. “I get a chance to see everyone in the school.” As she reflects on her time at the school, she has two main accomplishments of which she is most proud. “We are currently serving over one-half of the kindergarten age population in Pelham at our school,” she says. In 2009, the state mandated that each town was required to provide public kindergarten services. Currently, the Pelham kindergarten is located in a portable unit located on the school grounds, behind the Memorial School. “I am also pleased to have put together an administrative leadership

team,” says LaFrance, referring to the fact that PES currently has two assistant principals.

Two Grants Received by Town of Windham

by Barbara O’Brien “The cash is in the bank.” were the words of Windham Assistant

Town Administrator and Financial Director Dana Call in regard to federal grants recently added to town coffers. The first funding totaled $26,860 and came from the Energy Efficiency Block Grant program. The money was used to pay for a lighting upgrade in town-owned parking lots, as well as the energy audit and report completed early this past summer. “The work is done,” Call said, referring to both projects. The second grant received by the Town of Windham came from the Urban Search and Rescue Task Force and amounted to $7,914. The purpose of this grant is to cover expenses incurred during area disasters. There were two such events that affected Windham during 2011, Call said. The two grants were accepted by selectmen by a vote of 3 to

0. Chairman Ross McLeod and Selectmen Kathleen DiFruscia and Roger Hohenberger voted in favor of accepting the money. Selectmen Phil LoChiatto and Vice-Chairman Bruce Breton did not attend the meeting where the vote was taken.

When asked about what projects she wished she could complete,

LaFrance discussed the standards-based report cards. “We got it done for the first grade class, but it needs to be completed for the rest of the grades.” LaFrance leaves Pelham on Saturday, the day before Christmas. She is excited to start a new chapter in her life, but it is bittersweet. She says she will miss the kids and the staff. “They are my family,”

she says. “I have gotten to know them all. There isn’t one piece of this job that I don’t love.” She adds, “I will miss the PTA, and all the fun activities with the students. But most of all, I will miss announcing the birthdays every morning.” Birthday announcements were something that LaFrance brought to

the school, on the advice of her son. When he was at E.G. Sherburne School, his strongest memories were of the daily announcements, and the monthly celebrations. LaFrance celebrates all the birthdays in a given month by giving those students popsicles and birthday pencils. “Elementary school is about creating a positive experience.” LaFrance will be missed by staff, students and parents. On the Pelham Message Board, Kristen Mader posted, “Our family

will certainly miss Mrs. LaFrance. She was someone whom I admired and respected both as a person and an administrator.” Students at PES stopped LaFrance in the cafeteria and in the hallway to wish her well on her big move to Florida. Pelham School Board chair Rob Hardy expressed his good wishes

for LaFrance. “We wish to thank Alicia for her service and wish her and her family the very best in future endeavors.” Mr. Thomas Adamakos, currently the assistant principal at Pelham Memorial School, has been named Interim Principal effective January 1, 2012. Stacy Maghakian, formally the Assistant Principal of Griffin Memorial School in Litchfield will serve as the Assistant Principal at Pelham Memorial School. The Board, as a whole, was pleased with the speed in which the administration was able to make the necessary changes to make sure that PES would have a principal after the break. On Friday, December 16, Dr. Henry LaBranche, acting superintendent, send an alert to parents notifying them of the change in staffing. Alicia LaFrance has the following advice for Mr. Adamakos. “Keep smiling,” she says. “The kids love that.”

machines that will be viable for several years. Selectman Kathleen DiFruscia noted that “efficiency is critical” in deciding which type of computer to purchase, after which Town Administrator David Sullivan said it was up to DeLong to decide which departments needed higher performing models and which could do with less sophisticated computer systems, as long as he stayed within the total amount of money budgeted for that purpose. After further discussion, it was decided that money could be

saved by eliminating the extended three-year warranty on each of the 10 new computer systems, thereby saving about $179 on the price of each machine. DeLong said, historically, he has not needed to use one of the warranties very often; only three times in the past 11 years, he told selectmen. Any problems encountered, he said, are usually “right out of the box.” Problems seldom develop once the systems are up and running, he added. Selectmen subsequently voted unanimously (5 to 0) to reduce the IT Department budget for 2012 by $2,000, bringing the new computer systems line-item to a total of $10,000.

International Peace Light- continued from front page

After the events of 9/11, Canadian scouts arranged for the Peace Light to come to the U.S. for the first time.

By 2010, the light had spread to some U.S. cities but only as far east as Connecticut. As word of the Peace Light grew within the Scouting world, Peace Light chains formed where scouts in one state pass the light on to scouts in another state. With the addition of New Hampshire, the Peace light will soon be coast to coast with Minnesota scouts passing it west, eventually to California. Passing the Peace Light forward, members of Pack 610 were

invited to share in Sunday Service, December 18, at the First Congregational Church in Pelham. Here scouts serving as acolytes brought the light into the church and were invited to light the Advent wreath candle of Peace. Pack 610 scouts are planning to place “Peace Luminaries” on their porches and driveways on Christmas Eve and invite their fellow neighbors to do the same. If you would like to receive the “Light of Peace” for your home or to share in your neighborhood and community, contact Cub Master, David Wilkerson, by e-mailing To learn more about Pack 610, visit their Website, www. Pack 610 still has space available for boys in grades one and two.

If you are interested in exploring what values scouting can in instill in your sons, feel free to contact us.


Charlie Chalk Hunting is Safe


Compared to Other Activities

Hunting ranks third in safety when compared to 28 other recreational pursuits, ranging from baseball to wrestling. Hunting with firearms has an injury rate of 0.05 percent, which equates to about one injury per 2,000 participants, a safety level bettered only by camping (.01 percent) and billiards (.02 percent). For comparison, golf has an injury rate of 0.16 percent (1 injury per 622 participants), while tackle football topped the list of activities with an injury rate of 5.27 percent (1 injury per 19 participants). Jim Curcuruto, NSSF’s director of industry research and analysis; “Comprehensive hunter education classes that emphasize the basic rules of firearm safety and a culture of hunters helping fellow hunters practice safe firearms handling in the field are responsible for this good record.” To put hunting’s safety standing into perspective, compared to hunting a person is: • 11 times more likely to be injured playing volleyball • 19 times more likely to be injured snowboarding • 25 times more likely to be injured cheerleading or bicycle riding

• 34 times more likely to be injured playing soccer or skateboarding

• 105 more times likely to be injured playing tackle football. Charlie Chalk can be reached at

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