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Hudson~Litchfield News

Hudson~Litchfield News of 366 Days

Volume 22 Number 32 February 24, 2012 16 Pages

Leap Year: A Year

by Doug Robinson A leap year consists of 366 days, as opposed to a common year, which has 365 days. When the year is a leap year, the month of February will have 29 days, instead of the usual 28 days in the calendar. The Gregorian calendar has also been referred to as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar. The calendar was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII (after whom the calendar was named, on 24 February 1582). He believed that the calendar used by Julius Caesar (known as the Julian calendar) was in error. During Leap Years, we add a Leap

Day, an extra – or intercalary – day on February 29. Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun. “It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the Sun writes www. If we didn’t add a day on February 29 every four years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days.” History has taught us that Julius Caesar introduced Leap Years in the Roman Empire over 2,000 years ago, but the Julian calendar had only one rule: any year evenly divisible by four would be a leap year. This led to way too many leap years, but didn’t get corrected until the introduction of the Gregorian calendar more than 1,500 years later. states that “Persons born on leap day, February 29, are called “leaplings” or “leapers.” However fun it may be to rib them for enjoying 75 percent fewer birthdays than the rest of us over the course of their lives, they do have the special privilege, between leap years, of celebrating their nativity a full day earlier if they so choose. It was once thought that leapling babies would inevitably prove sickly and “hard to raise,” though no one remembers why. “Ironically, notwithstanding the fact that the whole point of adding an extra day to February every four years was to align the human measurement of time more closely with nature, in days gone by folks apparently believed that monkeying with the calendar like that might actually throw nature out of whack, even hampering the raising of crops and livestock. It used to be said, for example, that beans and peas planted during a leap year “grow the wrong way” - whatever that means - and, in the words of the Scots, “Leap year was never a good sheep year.” “In keeping with the theme of nature

gone awry, a whimsical tradition dating back at least four centuries (and still trotted out at four-year intervals by newspaper feature writers) holds that leap years confer upon women the “privilege” of proposing marriage to men instead of the other way around. The convention was (in literature, if not in reality) that any man who refused such a proposal owed his spurned suitor a silk gown and a kiss - provided she was wearing a red petticoat at the moment she popped the question.”

Conor Douglas Wins State Wrestling Title Campbell Places Fourth in Team Competition

by Marc Ayotte The Division III state wrestling tournament

was held this past Saturday, February 18, in the Pelham High School gymnasium. Campbell High was one of 16 schools that descended upon PHS’s Snake Pit to take part in individual and team competition. On the strength of six wrestlers making championship bracket semi- final appearances, the Cougars were able to finish fourth as a team. Campbell’s 104.5 team points placed them behind only third place John Stark (109.5), second place Plymouth (129) and this year’s champion Windham (161).

Cougar Coach Bob Gannon presents Conor Douglas with his 145 first place medal and bracket, tracking his road to the state title

The highlight of the event from the CHS perspective was the crowning of Conor Douglas as the state champion in the 145-weight class. The Cougar sophomore swept through his competition en route to his first state title. In Douglas’s first match of the daylong event, he overwhelmingly defeated Frank Cummings of Franklin with an 11 second pin. Advancing on to the semi-finals, Douglas faced John Stark’s Jacob Bumford. The Cougar ousted the General with a tightly contested 2-1 decision. With the win, Douglas advanced to the championship bracket finals where he faced Aaron Williams of Plymouth. In avenging a January 11 loss to Williams in The Cougar Den, Douglas scored a 4-2 decision, going undefeated on the day while capturing the state crown. Adding to Campbell’s outstanding showing during the state event were Kian Fuertes (113) and Jared Suanders (170). As part of the CHS talented sophomore class, Fuertes recorded his second place finish with wins in his first

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Conor Douglas drives Plymouth’s Aaron Williams to the mat on his way to capturing the state title in the 145 division

two matches before falling in the finals of the championship round. In the quarter-finals, Fuertes defeated Adam Hughes (PLY) by way of a 9-2 decision. Fuertes used a 7-4 win by decision over Bow’s Dillon Raboin to advance to the finals. It was there that he ran into a hot wrestler in the name of Zack Sprague of Windham, losing a chance to pick up the first place medal. Also picking up the second place medal was junior Jared Suanders. The philosophical one used a quick, 39 second win by fall over Luka Sprick of Bow in the quarter-finals as his stepping stone to the semis. There he recorded a convincing 8-0 major decision over Connor Golden (WHS). In the finals, Saunders suffered a similar ill fate as did his 113 teammate. Richard Mills of Winnisquam stopped Suanders’ run to the gold with a close, 6-3 decision. The trio of Jack Tremblay, Connor Perry and Robert Schultz each picked up three wins on the day, but in each instance it was an early round

Daniella: Special Effects Master

submitted by Devon Rosier, Grade 5, Nottingham West Daniella, an exchange student from Brazil, lived with my family for part of the fall and winter of this school year. She is amazing at many things, but especially at these three things; being a great person, being a great sister, and special effects! As a class assignment I wrote about her guest visit to my fifth grade class.

As part of our theme in reading, we studied how special effects can be used in movies. Having taken a class at Alvirne in theatre arts, Daniella was able to demonstrate to my classmates some special make-up techniques. In order for Daniella to apply the special effects makeup to anyone, she first had to test the makeup on the participant’s skin. She did that to make sure that they had no allergies to the cosmetics. Second, she said to always make sure you have enough makeup and time to do what you want to do. You don’t want to rush. One of the techniques that Dani demonstrated was aging a person. Dani used Chris (a boy in my class) as the model for this special effect. I thought this was so cool! First, she applied pale foundation to his face. Then, she filled in any wrinkles with light brown powder. It already started to look amazing! After, Dani darkened Chris’s eyebrow. Then she was done. It was incredible how it looked so real and old!

Dani also did a cut and a burn on two other people in my class. They were also very cool, but very graphic. They started the same way by applying wax. Then for the cut, Dani sliced a slit in the wax. Next, for the cut, Dani colored it with lots of red, some purple, and a tiny bit of black makeup. To finish it off, she added

Daniella puts the finishing touches on an imitiation wound she created.

continued to page 8- Championship

Daniella stands with Jake a Nottingham west 5th grader. Jake was Daniella’s canvas for a very convincing black eye.

fake blood and the cut was done. It looked so real! As for the burn, she used red, purple, and black makeup to color it. Finally, Dani peeled the burn. “Voila!“ She was done. The last special effect Daniella did was on Jake (another boy in my

class). He ended up with a black eye! It didn’t look like makeup at all! First, Dani applied dark purple/black eyeliner and eye shadow around his eye. A key for black eyes, Daniella said, was to put the makeup on darker closest to the eye, and get lighter as you go out. That was an excellent tip! After the eye shadow and eyeliner, Dani put foundation around his eye. She used lots of purple, some red, and some black. It looked amazing! I think the aging and the black eye were my favorites. Wow! How do people do this all day? I mean, it took Daniella 15 minutes to do just one application and more than an hour to work on all four “victims!” This was an amazing experience!

Cochrane Named Superintendent of Litchfield Schools

by Kristen Hoffman Dr. Brian Cochrane was named Litchfield’s new Superintendent on February 17. He joins Litchfield from the Nashua School District, where he is currently the Assistant Superintendent for Accountability and Assessment. Cochrane is taking over for Dr. Elaine Cutler, who is retiring at the end of the year.


there were over 20 applicants for the position. On February 13, the School District hosted a Superintendent candidate meet and greet, where interested parents, students and community members could ask the three finalists questions. Ultimately, Cochrane was chosen as the best fit for the town. “At each phase of the interview process,

Dr. Cochrane has demonstrated unparalleled understanding of the education process and the underlying data which will be used to improve

education in Litchfield,” The Litchfield School District announced in a press release. So far, he

Brian Cochrane,

Cochrane has had conversations with students and faculty at all three of Litchfield’s

schools. He said he was impressed

with the way the children conducted themselves, even down to the elementary level. “They were

all very genuine, and they asked a lot of good questions. If we didn’t agree on something, they [the students] would ask more questions,” Cochrane said, adding, “The teachers had some really good questions too, and I’m very pleased with the discussions I’ve had with the [school] board.” He added that the meet and greet session was also impressive, as many parents stayed after the meeting ended for upwards of an hour, still asking questions. Cochrane’s official start date will be on July 1, but he hopes to get involved with the town before his actual start date. “John York [The School Board Chair] and I spoke about starting the transition before the start of the new contract,” Cochrane said. He was invited to some of the meetings regarding new hires in Administrative positions. Griffin Memorial School Principal Bo Schlicter

is retiring at the end of June, after over two decades of service in Litchfield. Principal Robert Manseau is also retiring in June, Laurie Rotthhaus, Campbell’s current Vice Principal is stepping up to the position, leaving the Vice Principal position open.

Although he was invited to some of the meetings, Cochrane will not have the ability to vote, as his contract does not start until July 1. According to Cochrane, he will be invited to the process to give feedback, and also, to meet some of his future faculty members. “The Board has made me feel welcome,” he said. Cochrane added that there is a lot of work to be done on his part, mainly meeting new people and getting a feel for the community, learning about the people he will soon work with and, getting exposure in both the School District and the Town.

Staff photos by Marc Ayotte

courtesy photos

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