Hudson - Litchfield News | March 2, 2012 - 5 More Letters to our Editor continued from page 4
are created equal; that they are all not in good condition, although they might appear to be from a distance. What is considered good condition to some folks, may not be good to others; who
may have some physical health conditions such as arthritis. So, to the smarty-pants- know-it-all Tumbs Down author, I say walk with me and you’ll see why somebody may not walk on the sidewalks. Te macadam sidewalks have many dips and bumps from the freeze and thaw cycles or town construction repairs, all which aggravate arthritis in the knee, ankle, hip or lower back pain conditions. Next time you see me or anyone not walking on the sidewalks, toot your horn at me, instead of in Tumbs Down, wave hello and stop to chat awhile; about sidewalks of course.
Jerry Gutekunst – Hudson
Vote for Dennis Miller and Derek Barka for Litchfield School Board
Derek Barka and Dennis Miller are the best candidates for the Litchfield School
Board. Both are parents of children in the Litchfield public school system with a vested interest in our school system’s educational excellence. Both have already demonstrated their commitment to actively improving the Litchfield public school community in various roles. Mr. Miller is currently a senior member of the school board; he has led the school board as its chairman in the past, as well as serving on the budget committee. For the past six years, Mr. Miller has demonstrated his knowledge, experience and ability to work well with the superintendent and all levels of administration. Mr. Barka has served on the anti-bullying and homework policy committees as well as the playground and kindergarten committees. His leadership style is cooperative, intelligent, positive and enthusiastic. It is critical to the success of the Litchfield community that we support these candidates. Please vote for Dennis Miller and Derek Barka for school board on March 13.
Janine M. Lepore – Litchfield Te Truth According to Cindy I read Cindy Couture’s letter in the February 24 edition of the Hudson~Litchfield
News with great amusement. It seems some will do all they can to stretch the truth in order to make their case. If anyone in Litchfield really cares enough to know what took place at the School Board meeting in which she accuses me of threatening Mr. York just go back and look at the film. Nowhere will you find me making any threatening comments to Mr. York other than that I would do everything I could to see him voted off the School Board when he is up for election. Did I raise my voice? Yes. Why? Because as a citizen I was angered at the willingness of the School Board to put forth a default budget that was questionable at best, if not downright illegal. When Mr. York ran for School Board a number of us that was there that particular School Board meeting were there to remind him what he stood for when he solicited our votes. How many Litchfield residents would have been there that particular night had they known what was being done with the default budget? I believe more anger would have been expressed. How about the angry demeanor Mr. York displayed during the presentation on February 22 regarding the default budget? Not to mention the complete lack of respect he showed by digging into what residents that signed the petition paid in taxes in attempt to discredit the residents that signed the petition. He said that every resident on the petition had nothing to complain about because their taxes actually went down. He totally missed what everyone was angry about. We were angry because of the way the default budget was being put together. Every opportunity was presented for the School Board to make sure the default budget being proposed was compliant with the law. Yet Mr. York and two others on the board opted to defeat to measure to run the budget by legal counsel. Cindy also took issue with how I talked about how business was down. Yes Cindy trickling in. But did you ever hear me say I was particularly suffering? Te volume of our business has dropped off by more than 35 percent but we are still in business because of fiscal restraint while other companies have gone out of business. I do okay Cindy, I’m not particularly suffering. But regardless if I was or was not, should that be a green flag to Litchfield elected officials to take more of what I have? Do we base our taxes on the assessed property value or do we base them on what the residents make? I keep hearing the argument Litchfield is an affluent community. Is that justification for runaway spending? If believing we need a School Board that refuses to find ways to operate above
reproach, to be up front and transparent with the citizens of Litchfield and invite them to the table of discussion on every matter that involves their hard earned money means I have aligned myself with Mr. Guerrette than I am guilty. I don’t operate on Mr. Guerrette’s conscience, however, I operate on mine and mine is driven by my faith in God. Tat causes me to do things honestly and with greater integrity. Mr. York and others on the School Board have been willing to forgo those values. Tere has been none of the searching for solutions or supporting high standards
Cindy wrote about by this current School Board led by Mr. York. Without proper change the money grab will continue and that would be the bigger mistake for Litchfield.
James H. Mavrogeorge – Litchfield
Miller Looking For Re-Election to the Litchfield School Board
Seven years ago I started serving the people of Litchfield in public office, first on the budget committee and one year after that the school board. Over these past six years I’ve done my best to serve the people of Litchfield with a focus on the students in the schools, and I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve for another three years. Tere are clear philosophical differences between the candidates this year, with one group of the mindset that the majority of the board is not advocating for the taxpayers. I personally believe a school board member’s role is to advocate for the students in the schools. Tis belief is the first statement on the school board’s conduct policy: “Remember always that my first and greatest concern must be the educational welfare of the students attending the public schools.“ Tis is where the focus of the next school board needs to be. Too often over the past several years, the board meetings have been tainted by drama and grandstanding antics concerning personal issues, partisan politics, conflicts with the administrators, rejection of adopted board policies and a demonstrated inability to work with others. We need to get back to having the focus being on the students in the district. While there are serious issues facing the district, we also have many great accomplishments we need to recognize. We have to be focused on improving the educational process and results for all of our students and can’t be hamstrung by partisan politics. You will hear many generalized statements from other candidates about fiscal restraint and the financial backing of initiatives the district is taking advantage of. Read closely, but better yet, check the actions of the other candidates. Over the past three years, Litchfield worked to reduce the expected impacts of a $2,000,000 loss of state funding. Tis included cuts to staff that the administration and majority of the school board were not comfortable making, but felt were necessary given the loss of funding. When funding was restored, I supported the board moving to reinstate some of the positions which were eliminated this year. Other candidates for the board worked very hard to remove the people’s opportunity to vote to restore those positions. For example, this statement made by and endorsed by two candidates: “However, it is imperative that we not allow a special election. Te end goal is to steal the taxpayer’s money and refund items that we cut from the budget as excessive.” Are paraprofessionals directly assisting students
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in classrooms at Griffin Memorial School (GMS) “excessive positions?” How about custodial staff to maintain the schools? How about an additional English teacher at the high school? Are these excessive positions? Based on the reductions which were made, these were not excessive positions in my eyes. In the end, voters supported the reinstatement of funding to the budget proving again that Litchfield residents can see through the rhetoric. Te Litchfield School District has made great strides over the past six years, and
we need to ensure we have school board members who consistently put the needs of the students first, can work with administrators and other staff members, and come to board meetings with an open mind. I am one of those board members and ask you to return me to the school board in March so we can focus on students needs, continue what we are doing well, and improve in the areas requiring attention.
Dennis Miller - Litchfield Voters of Hudson Beware! Quote, “Jasper” said in regard to representatives in Concord, “I’ll say again – if
you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Te same attitude is exercised as Chairman of BOS Hudson. Exp: Overriding decision of boards, strong arming school board, abuse of power. We the voters placed him there. He is daring anyone to stop his bullying. Te quote was in another local publication on February 23. Vote him out of offices. No civility!
R. Lemieux - Hudson
Keep the Supervisor of the Checklist Productive: Vote for Donovan
For six months the Supervisors of the Checklist were looking to fill a vacancy on our Board. Te only applicants were people looking for paying jobs which this position is not. Sure we receive a small stipend for our efforts but during a Presidential election year it hardly covers the extra work required. Until recently the board was not adequately staffed as previous members were unable to keep up with the demands of the office. Presently with the appointment of Lisa Donovan the board has finally consisted of
three able and willing workers. Lisa has been a “Godsend.” She has been a very astute learner and is presently becoming certified by the State for the position. We are all working very well together and sharing our duties. I feel that the continuity of the position is important. Lisa is running for a six year position. Two gentlemen have filed to run for the position. One of which held the position
from 1997-2004. As other former members will attest he was not a helpful member and didn’t seem to find the time to do the work necessary to the position. Te other candidate seems to want to apply for any vacancy in Town and has served on several boards and committees mostly by appointment. He was recently voted the Town Democratic Chairman. Te Supervisors of the Checklist Board is a non-partisan position. We do not play politics nor do we use our positions to the advantage of any political party. At this time, Mr. Schneiderman has withdrawn his candidacy, however, his name remains on the ballot. Please help us to maintain continuity and a good working relationship by voting for Lisa Donovan for Checklist Supervisor for a six year term. Hope to see you all at the Polls on March 13.
Sandra L. LeVasseur and Joyce Cloutier, Supervisors of the Checklist – Hudson
Please Pick Up After Your Dog at Benson’s Park To all you irresponsible dog owners [you know who you are] who do not abide by
the rules of the Benson’s Park. Read the sign at the entrance. We have had a dog since he was eight weeks old. He is now over 2 1/2 years old.
Suggested solution: Plastic sandwich bags are cheap. Put your hand into the bag, pick up the feces, which you never touch, invert the bag, twist it, dispose of it in the containers provided at the park. Simple as that. If you want to leave your dogs droppings, leave it in your yard, not at a public park. Your actions show complete disrespect of a beautiful park designated for all the public. In my opinion dogs should not be allowed to go into the children’s play area. Let’s hear from some other ‘dog lovers’ who do go by the rules and respect their
ownership and being able to bring their pet to Benson’s for a leisurely walk. And guess what? We don’t even live in town!
Ed Shiebler - Pelham
Please Vote “Yes” on Warrant Article 2 Tere are 26 part-time and full-time Administrative Assistants who
work for the Hudson School District. Our duties are varied depending on whether we are in the Main Office, Guidance Office, Special Education Office, or at the SAU Office. Answering phone calls, greeting visitors, preparing various reports, preparing college applications, and helping students in a variety of ways are just a few of our duties. Tis year our three-year contract between the Hudson School District
Secretaries AFT Local #6260, AFT-NH, AFL-CIO and the Hudson School Board will be on the School District Budget, Warrant Article 2. We are asking for no raises for three years. Tis Warrant Article will not impact your taxes. Tis was a very hard decision by our members. By not receiving even a cost of living increase and if our health insurance costs are increased, we are taking a cut in pay. We are cognitive of the fact that many Hudson residents are without jobs or may not be receiving raises. We would like to preserve the integrity of our Contract and ask that
you support us by voting “yes” to Warrant Article 2. By doing so you are acknowledging all the hard work we do for the students and families of school-age children and for the staff of the Hudson School District.
Sue Wright, President - Hudson
Piece of the Pie Maintaining Your
Itemized Deductions W.F.Bo
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Taxpayers itemize their deductions in the hope of exceeding the standard deduction allowed by the tax code for their particular filing status. For every dollar that exceeds the standard deduction, the savings realized is proportionate to the tax bracket they are in for their filing status. Categories found on the SCH A, itemized deductions include: medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of the AGI; certain taxes paid, such as state or local income taxes, foreign income taxes, general sales tax (only if not claiming state and local taxes); real estate tax and personal property tax which must be based upon the value of property and charged on a yearly basis; qualified home mortgage interest including certain points paid, investment interest (limited to investment income) and qualified mortgage insurance premiums; charitable contributions by cash or check and contributions other than cash or check. (NOTE: The deduction of cash must have a bank record or written communication from the charity. Contributions of property such as clothing and household items must be in good used condition or better.); non-business casualty and theft losses (subject to a $100 deductible and 10% of the AGI); various miscellaneous deductions which fall into two categories: those that are subject to 2% of the AGI before the first dollar is realized such as employee/employment business expenses, tax preparation fees, investment expenses, safe deposit boxes etc., and deductions not subject to the 2% cap such as gambling losses (up to the amount of winnings), impairment related work expenses and unrecovered investments in an annuity etc. There are many more allowed deductions that fall into this miscellaneous category. Most individuals do not succeed in itemizing deductions unless they
have the cost of home mortgage interest and real estate taxes. Unless a taxpayer does not have medical insurance, or has a medical catastro- phe, most out of pocket expenses for medical do not exceed the 7.5% of AGI. (Pre-tax health insurance purchased through your employer is not deductible since no taxes were paid on these premiums. We will discuss this further when we talk about employer provided fringe benefit plans.) The most understated deduction for taxpayers who do itemize is for the donation of personal property such as clothing and home furnishings. Most taxpayers fill up trash bags of clothing and drop them off at the nearest collection box when they go food shopping or visit their town recycle center. We recommend that you prepare a detailed description of the goods being donated. Then, drop these bags off at the local thrift store; there you can receive a signed receipt for the donation. When you return home, you can calculate the value of what was donated. Many of these organizations have a donation valuation guide attached to your signed receipt, listing the high and low end value that they receive for this merchandise. (We have links at our website that list various donation value guides) Example: Children’s jeans have a value of $4.20 to $14.40 each. If
you included 3 pairs of jeans in your donation, which were in very good condition, the deduction value is $27.90, $9.30 a pair which is the average of the high to low end for that item. We provide each of our clients who itemize a donation value guide
each tax season. A couple of bags donated throughout the year can add up to $600 in additional deductions.
Next week: The Value of Fringe Benefits!
Have a tax question? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
About Total Tax Solutions: W.F. Boutin EA registered Total Tax Solutions in the State of NH as a LLC in the summer of 2006 after 10 years experience working for a major tax preparation company and 8 years of teaching various tax courses. The company mission is to deliver an excellent customer service experience year around, to offer knowledgeable advice so that clients can make informed decisions regarding their financial future, and to provide this service with integrity, confidence and professionalism.
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