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Hudson~Litchfield News

Hudson~Litchfield News Volume 22 Number 28 January 27, 2012 16 Pages

National Poverty in America Month

by Doug Robinson In spite of the seemingly limitless prosperity that

many Americans enjoy, millions of others are going hungry, foregoing medical care, doing without winter coats and gloves, and struggling to break free from poverty. To promote public awareness of the continuing existence of poverty and social injustice in America. Individuals are encouraged to support efforts to eradicate poverty by increasing their understanding of the causes and practical solutions and by active participation in and support for antipoverty programs. Sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human

Development, the largest private funder of self-help programs for the poor and disenfranchised in the U.S. regardless of religion, race or ethnic origin There are 37 million Americans living in

poverty. Today, 13 million children – one in six - live in poverty. Yet a recent Gallup poll found that only 5 percent of Americans believe poverty and homelessness are important problems for the country. Poverty in America not only affects the millions of people who are deprived of the common necessities to live, but it also affects the idea of progression and hopefulness in this country. The more than 37 million people in Americans living in squalor, poverty, and hunger are not invisible. During National Poverty in America Awareness Month, non-profit organizations, businesses, and individuals alike come together to combat poverty. The U.S. House Resolution 1024 - Designation of

January as Poverty in Awareness Month, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives January 27, 2010. The resolution stated:

Whereas, in 2008, the Census Bureau found that the number of people living in poverty has jumped by nearly 2,600,000 to 39,800,000, the highest number since 1960;

Whereas that same report found that the

percentage of people living in poverty, 13.2 percent, rose to the highest level since 1997; Whereas, in 2008, the number of children

who lived in poverty increased by 744,000 to 14,000,000;

Whereas the share of people in the United States who have incomes that fall below half of the Federal poverty line reached 5.7 percent, or 17,100,000 people, its highest level since 1994; Whereas the next Census report on poverty will likely illustrate higher levels of poverty as the report will reflect data from 2009, a year in which the economy experienced substantial job loss and historic levels of long-term unemployment, leading some experts to project that the overall poverty rate may increase by 1.5 percentage points and the percentage of children living in poverty may increase by 6 percentage points in the next report; Whereas, between 1989 and 2000, the overall

poverty rate declined by 1.5 percentage points and child poverty decreased by 3.4 percentage points, those achievements have been nearly reversed as the overall poverty rate increased by 1.9 percentage points and child poverty increased by 2.8 percentage points from 2000 to 2008; Whereas there is broad consensus among

researchers and policy experts that the Federal poverty measure is outdated and inadequate in determining the depth and extent of poverty in the United States;

Whereas rising levels of poverty and economic hardship have a severe impact on the overall well being of children in the Nation;

Whereas the U.S. Census Bureau and other organizations have highlighted the unmet needs that exist for some of the most vulnerable families prior to the recession; Whereas while the Federal Government has

provided critical assistance to needy individuals and families in their time of need, more can and should be done to strengthen the Nation’s safety- net programs, and other programs investing in communities and families to ensure that all needy people in the United States have access to the support services for which they are eligible; Whereas, during the present economic

downturn, Congress should do more to help individuals and families rise out of poverty and maintain economic stability through the use of a variety of programs promoting education and training, childcare assistance, housing security, and related services; and Whereas it would be appropriate to designate the month of January 2010 as Poverty in America Awareness Month: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That

(1) the House of Representatives (A) supports the designation of Poverty in America Awareness Month; and (B) recognizes the important contributions of those individuals and organizations that have made a commitment to providing critical support and services to needy individuals and families; and


(2) it is the sense of the House of Representatives (A) eradicating poverty in the United States

continued to page 2- Poverty From left to right, Bob Lapree, Joe McQuaid and Judge Paul Moore

by Lynne Ober Judge Paul Moore, a former Army Ranger,

who began MooreMart when his brother, Bryan, was in Iraq was awarded the first Granite State Warriors award from the New Hampshire Branch of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). This year the award was also given to award winner

photographer Bob Lapree for his work photographing New Hampshire’s Charlie Company when they were in Afghanistan in 2011 and Joe McQuaid, publisher of the Union Leader, who accompanied Lapree to Afghanistan and who had worked to fund their trip.

MooreMart’s Paul Moore Recieves Award “MooreMart began as a family effort to

provide needed, but unavailable supplies to our brother and his fellow soldiers serving in Iraq,” said Moore. “Years later we continue to supply soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan with anything they need that will make their job a little easier. In fact, we have been so successful in our mission that the soldiers have said that we “carry more supplies than Walmart,” and dubbed us “MooreMart.” Moore said he was humbled by the

award and quickly gave credit to the many MooreMart volunteers and the team who helps organize them. He said he was going to dedicate the award to the volunteers. “Today we have expanded our mission to include the local children in both Iraq and Afghanistan. We send new school supplies, toys and outerwear to villages that never had a school or where the schools have been destroyed. Now, thanks to our servicemen and women and the Coalition Forces the local children enjoy the long awaited privilege of participating in the educational process. We require that female children be included in all the activities that we sponsor.”

MooreMart has sent more than 4,200 soccer balls overseas as well as thousands upon thousands of care packages. Moore continued to page 5 - Moore

No Prison for Litchfield, But Officials Still Looking to Attract Business

by Kristen Hoffman Litchfield was embedded in a whirlwind of rumors after word spread that Town Administrators contacted a national, private prison contractor. After town outcry and subsequent research, it was discovered that a private, state prison would not be a good fit for the town. The whole issue arose after an e-mail

was sent to Management and Training Corporation [MTC], a Utah-based company that builds private prisons. MTC had originally spoken to Hooksett officials in regards to building a private prison in their town. Hooksett declined the offer, and Litchfield officials contacted the company to see if the venture would be a good fit. “(We) were looking for business

investment opportunities for Litchfield,“ Jason Hoch, Litchfield’s Town Manager said. But the idea did not sit well with Litchfield residents. “It’s hard for people to get excited about a prison,” Hoch added. The correspondence made the front page of a large newspaper, causing residents to voice concern.

According to Hoch, the concern was misguided, as there was never any real discussion going on at the time. “It was unfortunate for members of the community, it was a distraction,” Hoch said. Eventually, it was decided that a prison would not be built in Litchfield any time soon due to lack of space and demand from residents. “Even if it passed, it would be a challenge to find

a decent place to integrate it into the fabric of our community.” Hoch added that as Town Manager it is important to find ways to expand the tax base while making a minimal impact to the town’s schools and other services. The prison had the potential of generating revenue, and according to Hoch, it was important to look into the dynamics.

When it became apparent that a state

prison would not be a good fit, the idea was shelved. Hoch has been looking into finding ways to attract business, a venture that can be difficult for the mostly residential town. “Litchfield has about 8,500 people,” Hoch added, “It’s a town where people come to go to bed at night, not to work.” Hollis, Newmarket, and Weare all have comparable populations, yet most of those towns are more business friendly. Hoch has been exploring ways to make the town more business friendly including reevaluating zoning usage fees and exploring commercial zoning areas. According to Hoch, Litchfield has not reevaluated their zoning usage impact fees in nearly a decade. While this is probably not the reason for stagnant business growth, it’s best to revisit these fees every couple of years and make necessary changes. Litchfield is mostly zoned for residential

use. Nearly all of Albuquerque Avenue is zoned as residential land, and most of the town’s commercial areas are only accessed via residential neighborhoods. But Hoch

Hudson Superintendent to Retire

by Lynne Ober Hudson school district superintendent, Randy Bell, has announced his retirement at the end of this school year. Over the years Bell has led the school district in a fiscally prudent manner that has seen school budgets in Hudson grow at a slower rate than school budgets in surrounding towns. The school board reluctantly accepted his resignation and extended their deepest thanks

Hudson school superintendent, Randy Bell

Jasper Speaks to School Board, Board Stands Behind Original Vote

by Kristen Hoffman Shawn Jasper, Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, spoke to the School Board during their public comment segment of their January 23 meeting. Jasper urged the School Board to change their vote denying a dollar amount increase for town employees.

“I’m looking for a unanimous vote to

change the vote,” Jasper said. The School Board originally voted against the issue, based on the fact that then number used by the Board of Selectmen did not make sense across the board. Jasper used the Town Clerk as an example. The Town Clerk is an elected official in Hudson who receives a salary. According to Jasper, she has not received a raise

Shawn Jasper

since 2007 when she was first elected. It was decided that the 3 percent salary increase, which was discussed in previous meetings would amount to roughly $72 per year. According to Jasper, that position has seen changes within the past year, including increased hours. Amy Sousa, who originally voiced concern at the last meeting

stood by her decision, citing research she had done. “We want to keep public sector salaries competitive,” Sousa said. She later asked if it was common for a member of another board to speak before the School Board in order to persuade a change of vote. In the end it was recommended that the School Board stay with its original decision supporting a flat rate of $1,500, due to the fact that percentage increases affect employees’ pay scales differently. Superintendent Randy Bell echoed his words from last week,

advising that both the School Board and the Board of Selectman meet together next fall during collective bargaining.

for a job well done. Bell, however, reminded them that his work isn’t over and said that his next important piece of business was to get the upcoming school district budget passed. He will also lead the search of a new director of Special Education as the current director, Irene Sousa, had previously given her resignation. Look for next weeks interview with Superintendent Bell.

added, ”Both areas [northern and southern tiers] of the town have opportunities.” Including areas along 3A and 102 in the south end of town, and 3A on the northern edge of town. Some major area companies already have a presence in Litchfield, including Continental Paving, who owns a sand pit along the northern terminus of Albuquerque. He added that there may be more opportunities to attract companies due to the completion of the new bridge and Raymond Wiezoreck Drive several miles north of town. This access road made the north end of Litchfield more accessible to towns west the Merrimack River. He added that Londonderry’s planned expansion of Pettingill Road may benefit the town as well. There are issues regarding how commercial property will blend with Litchfield’s natural landscape. Right now, the town is home to two golf courses, which blend in with area fields and forests. But it may be more difficult to find an area that will accommodate commercial property like a bank or a restaurant without it looking out of place.

In the mean time, Litchfield officials will continue to look for ways to make the town a little more self-contained, and possibly save residents a daily trip to Hudson or Londonderry.

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Staff photos by Lynne Ober

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