An Independent Weekly Newspaper
Hudson~Litchfield News Volume 22 Number 30 February 10, 2012 16 Pages
A 629-Year Tradition
by Doug Robinson The modern Valentine’s Day, for most people, symbolizes a day to honor the love for one another. Giving symbols include the heart-shaped outline of chocolate candy, figure of the winged Cupid., expressions of love sent by cards and letters, all ending, special dinners, breakfast in bed, and the special language of “I love you.”
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the first
Valentine’s Day greeting in 1382 with his poem “Parliament of Foules.” Parliament of Foules reads: For this was on seynt Volantynys day Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make. From that day on, Valentine’s Day was connected to romantic love. The history of Valentine’s Day writes,
“This poem was written to honor the first anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II of England to Anne of Bohemia. A treaty providing for a marriage was signed on May 2, 1381. They were only 15 years old when they married 8 months later. Since then, Saint Valentine’s Day, commonly shortened to Valentine’s Day, a holiday observed on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines”). The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. It was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. Paper Valentines became so popular in England in the early 19th century that they were assembled in factories. Fancy Valentines were made with real lace and ribbons, with paper lace introduced in the mid-19th century. Handwritten valentines cards have given way to mass-produced greeting cards offered by the mass card retailers.
Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
Alvirne Jr. ROTC members, Jonathan Stinson, Cameron McNally, Jed Langlois, and Brandon Dumais present colors
By Kristen Hoffman The few Hudson residents
who attended the School District’s February 4, Deliberative Session approved of the School Board’s and Budget Committee’s proposed $45,789,228 budget. Eighty- nine people attended the Saturday morning meeting. About 50 of them were school district employees.
Salaries alone accounted for $22,886,390 of the proposed budget, a $410,417 increase over last year. Benefits for next year are valued at $10,318,806, a $495,457 increase over last year. The budget reflects both issues that the
School Board Chairman Lee Lavoie addresses the audience of Hudson Voters and School Employees
Phyllis Appler asking a question about a warrant article
boards have a say in, including funding for programs, but also, issues that the boards do not have a say in, including expenditures and raises for union employees. Warrant articles two, which called for a zero dollar salary increase for school district secretaries, and warrant article three, which proposed a zero dollar salary increase for school district custodians, electricians, HVAC technicians and Teamsters also passed without issue. School Board Members and Budget Committee members spent about a half an hour
explaining the reasoning behind the proposed school budget. The $45.7 million budget falls $419,863 below the district’s default budget $46,209,091. The budget reflects a 46-cent increase per thousand dollars, averaging out to an additional $138 in property taxes for a house estimated at $300,000. “The biggest budget increase this year has been benefits and salaries, the second is the decrease in revenue,” Charlie Schweiss, Chair of the Budget Committee said. The Budget Committee and the School Board worked together to come to the final number. According to Schweiss, some projects were cut this year in order to make the budget as stable as possible. Five of the six schools in the district were in need of new tiling, which would have cost the district $35,000. It was decided that only schools requiring immediate attention will be retiled. H.O Smith is one of
Robert Avery Jasper
to Litchfield School District Default Budget
by Len Lathrop As we prepare this week’s edition for you, we have been
advised that the Litchfield School Board will be meeting Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. to address adjustment in their default budget. These changes, per an e-mail to Budget Committee members, announced that the default will be less than the proposed operating budget. The attorney has recommended that the following adjustments be made: • Kindergarten Portable (lease one more year), reduction of $48,970
• Technology Plan – reduction of $142,810.08 (level funded)
• Curriculum Plan – reduction of $4,249.56 (level funded) • Multi-year hardware lease – increase by $11,352 • SAU Recommendation – Adult Education reduction of $9,408.54
• New Default Budget: $20,738,315 continued to page 11- Change to Budget
Robert Avery Jasper died on February 4, 2012, at home with his family by his side. He was born in Nashua on June 25, 1922, a son of the late Grant and Bernice (Fall) Jasper. He was a true son of New Hampshire, a descendant of several founding families of the state. A lifelong resident of Hudson, he attended Nashua High School, Tilton Preparatory Academy and Cornell University. He grew up on the family farm and started working full time with his father at Jasper Poultry Farms in 1942. At the time of his death, he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Jasper Corporation. He was a 65 year member of the Rising Sun Lodge #39 F & A. M., a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and Noble of the Bektash Temple. Bob was a charter member of the Hudson Chamber of Commerce, the Hudson Kiwanis
and a life member of the Hudson Historical Society. He served on the Alvirne Board of Trustees, the Alvirne Agricultural Advisory Committee, the Hudson Planning Board and the Hudson School Board. He was a member of the NH Poultry Growers Association, Director of the Hillsborough 4H Advisory Council and a Director of the NH Community Technical College. He leaves behind his beloved wife of
53 years, Reita (Newton) Jasper and their children, Representative Shawn Jasper and his wife Laurie of Hudson, and Maria VanderWoude and her husband William of Loudon.
In addition, he leaves his children from his first marriage, Attorney Bruce Jasper and his wife Ann of Newport, Susan Wright and her husband Richard of Loudon, James Jasper and
1922 - 2012
his wife Anne of Wilton, and Gregg Jasper of San Francisco, CA. He is also survived by a sister, Nancy (Jasper) Rade and her husband Wallace of Santa Maria, CA; nine grandchildren, five great- grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
In accordance with Bob’s wishes, there are no calling hours. A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring.
Sharma’s Earlier Ethics Violations Questioned by Kristen Hoffman
Last week, a reader visited our offices with concerns about an article we published earlier this year. He was concerned with the story, “Math Expert Talks to Hudson School Board.” The article, published on January 27, focused on the work Mahesh C. Sharma does with the Hudson School District. He wanted to know more about what he had read about Sharma on the Internet. Our research showed Sharma was previously the President of Cambridge College in Cambridge, MA. He was unanimously fired by from the school’s Board of Trustees in January of 2008 due to ethics violations. Sharma was caught using school funds to finance his nephew’s college tuition and purchase items for his home. The Board of Trustees also had issues with some of his hiring practices. He did not face any criminal charges, and Sharma repaid the missing funds. The Hudson School Board hired Sharma in September 2009 as a District Math Consultant.
According to Assistant Superintendent Mary Ellen Ormond, she and the School Board knew of Sharma’s past employment and departure. “From my understanding [he was fired] because of managerial issues,” Ormond said. Ormond added that Cambridge College did not have any issues with his mathematic theories or philosophies and Sharma was greatly recommended by the Department of Education.
Sharma does not handle any funds, as he is just a consultant with the district. He also works with other districts in the area and runs the center for teaching and learning mathematics. Sharma has also published several books on the topic of teaching math. The Hudson School District was satisfied with hiring Sharma, due to the fact that they were only advertising a consulting position, and not looking for someone to take on managerial duties. “We were not concerned. His past issues were focused on managerial
issues, not his math skills,” Ormond said. The district was looking for someone who possessed the philosophical mathematical knowledge that would be a good fit for Hudson schools. Sharma also works as a consultant in other schools in and around southern NH. Sharma’s contract is voted on every year, and, according to Ormond, the district is always following up with the work he does in the classroom and analyzing the outcome. Sharma’s contract outlines that he works with each of Hudson’s four elementary schools once in the fall, winter and spring. He also works with Hudson Memorial School once in the fall and once in the spring. He receives $2,500 on the days he works in the schools. His current contract will end with the school year, and will decide on renewing next year’s contract in September. So far, the school district has been pleased and is confident with Sharma’s work and practices within the school.
those schools. The tiling at the front entrance will be replaced at a cost of $12,999. There was also a decrease in Special Education funding.
Included in the budget is an increase in
technology funding. This increase will go to purchasing smart boards and projectors for classrooms. Schweiss said students tend to be more interested when technology is blended with their studies, “The kids are really attentive, they like it, and they tend to do more,” she said. A few Nooks, a brand of E-books, will also be purchased for a literary course taught at Alvirne. The operating budget was agreed on after 30 minutes. The last two warrant articles were settled in about 15 minutes. The secretaries’ salary budget is established for three years, including the current year. Both boards recommended it as the contract contained no cost of living increase (COLA) for its duration as negotiated. Warrant article three was decided in similar fashion. The custodians, electricians and HVAC technicians’ salaries are also established for three years, including the current year. The groups agreed to a zero percent increase across the contract and both boards recommended its adoption. “I think the School Board and School Administrators looked at everything they had control over, and they did a good job keeping the budget down,” Schweiss said after the meeting was adjourned. “I’m very pleased with the contracts for the secretaries and custodians,” she added. Elections will be held on March 13. If the budget does not pass, the operating budget will be reverted back to the $46 million default.
Hudson Residents Approve of School Board and Budget Committee’s Warrant Articles
Supported Through Advertisers ECRWSS
U.S. POSTAGE PAID
HUDSON, NH 03051
PERMIT NO. 33 Postal Customer
View past issues and our other papers online.
| 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