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6 - March 2, 2012 | Salem Community Patriot

More Letters to our Editor

continued from page 5

facilities in which their children will spend half of their day. People want to live in a community where they can see the “value” of their tax dollars at work. Tis is the return on their investment. Look at Windham whose enrollment has gone up the past five years in a row despite their higher tax rate. Upgrading our school and municipal facilities demonstrates pride in our community and will actually attract more young families to Salem. We are not asking for the Taj Mahal. We are asking for adequate facilities to meet the existing and future needs of our student population regardless of the swings in enrollment. We are asking for schools that will ensure proper student/teacher ratios now and in the years to come. We are asking taxpayers to provide adequate space for proper instruction so that all of our students are awarded the same opportunities. Our elementary schools need to be renovated. Bond rates and construction costs are extremely low right now. If we wait, the cost to renovate these three schools may be an additional $5 million. I believe that moving forward with Phase 2 renovations is fiscally responsible. Why would we pass up the opportunity to renovate three schools for what it will cost to renovate two in the future? Please consider the “cost of waiting” when casting your vote. Join me in voting “yes” to Article 2 on March 13.

Kristine Nippert - Salem

Vote for Phase 2 and Finish What We Started

It pleases me that we finally have a plan, a direction, and a goal in place to improve and modernize our schools. Phase 1 of the goal has already taken place. Te results are fantastic and anybody who has been into the Barron, Lancaster and No. Salem Schools can not but feel good and proud about the results.

Te Phase 2 is now up for consideration. Tis phase would

modernize the Fisk, Soule and Haigh Schools. I would urge Salem voters to pass this warrant article. First of all, whatever enhances schools in any given town enhances the property values of that town. Secondly, when society and communities put a high value on education and stress its importance, then the pupils who are our future will put a high value

on it.

Finally, with the completion of phase 2, the final phases of the plan will move forward with much needed and overdue modernization to the Woodbury and the High School.

Richard J. O’Shaughnessy – Salem

Every Child Deserves a Good Beginning

Salem is a community where the elementary schools provide

an opportunity for each child to learn and thrive in their educational environment. I am a grandparent of two children in a “Phase One” completed school. I enjoy listening as they share their positive feelings about school. Tey look forward to each day with anticipation and return home with new and interesting information.

Te students in the Fisk, Soule and Haigh schools deserve the same opportunity as the children receive in the “Phase One” schools.

If the schools are in need of renovations and improvements, this should be done. Our children are the future; we should not hesitate to do our best for them. Young families considering relocating to New Hampshire, look for a good school system. A strong school system can lead to a more vital and successful community. Te “Facility Restoration Project” is important and ”Phase

Two” should be supported by the citizens of the greater Salem community.

Shirley E. H. Sowsy - Salem

Phase 2 Will Add Years of Life to Our Schools

On March 13, voters will be asked to approve Phase 2 which will renovate the remaining 3 elementary schools. I’d like to add my support and echo the reasons that were so well presented by Melanie Norcross and Sherry Kilgus-Kramer in the February 2 edition of another local publication. I’d like to mention a couple of considerations which I

haven’t heard much discussion about. When I toured the Phase 1 schools, I questioned the architects closely about the expected lifetime of the renovated schools. Tey walked me through the various design considerations that supported a 50-plus year useful life. Tis thinking is critical. I’ve been teaching at the high school for over 20 years. While high school renovations have been discussed in recent years, this 50-year-old building is still serviceable due to the careful planning that went into its design. Tat same thinking was evident in the Phase 1 work that I saw. If we do this now, and continue to do it right, we will not see another school bond for renovations for, as we hope, 50 years. Each year we can thus put off a future bond is good news for the taxpayer. As I looked at how inviting the renovated schools looked, I thought of the changing role of schools in our society. School and the Boys and Girls Club are becoming where many children spend nearly half their waking hours. For example, we’re not surprised to see that the high school is nearly a 16- hour a day operation. While there is no such use or intention for the elementary schools at this time, who knows what changes 50 years might bring. It is good to know that in addition to the many reasons

already presented for Phase 2, a long life time and the possible versatility of these buildings enhance the value of the improvements that Phase 2 will bring to Salem and its schools.

John Sytek - Salem

Is the Curbside Collection Bill Legal?

Tis letter is in regard to curbside trash collection. If this trash collection bill goes through, isn’t it going to be paid for by an increase in Real Estate taxes? Doesn’t this mean that if my house is assessed for $400,000 that I will be paying four times as much for the same amount of trash that my neighbor will pay if his house is assessed for $100,000? Is this legal? Hasn’t the State of NH been told that something similar was illegal (I don’t recall what it was)?

Bob Wilks - Salem

In My Opinion... Curbside Trash Pickup

by Ron Penczak Since moving to Salem during 1970, every year I heard people complaining that the town gives them little for the taxes paid, usually finishing off with, we don’t even have our trash collected by the town.

We have to take care of our own garbage.” Now that the town is offering trash pickup many are complaining. I pay for trash pickup and looking at my current costs and comparing it to what I would pay for it through taxes I would save money over the contracts five year period and for the following several years. I suggest the 48 percent of residents who use a pickup service do the calculations. Keep in mind, your current pickup costs will increase with the increase in gas prices. With Harvey, the town will have a five year contract with a 3 percent per year escalation. If gas increases the way experts are predicting, we save money. Harvey’s fuel costs are set for five years. I’m retired but busier than ever and consider

my time valuable. I won’t spend time loading my car with garbage and I don’t want to spend time in lines at the transfer station. This is my choice. I suggest you consider what else you could be doing with your time and put a dollar per hour value on your time and estimate the costs for fuel and add them. You may be surprised. That’s only a suggestion. I know others consider going to the transfer station pleasurable and have the time. Transfer station costs increase every year and are based on the CPI. The cost of operating the transfer station is paid for in your real estate taxes. Consider the $10 permit could increase. Cutting the operational days down to two will save money and might reduce taxes. At a designated location, Harvey twice a year, will shred paper and take away video devices for free. Residents currently pay $5 for dropping off video devices. Also, after contract award residents can still continue dropping video devices off at the transfer station for the same fee. Harvey, for additional charges will pick up other items like sofas. With Harvey’s contract the town transfer station will be open Wednesdays and Saturdays. If you want to use it, it requires a $10 permit and you will be able to drop off everything you currently drop off except trash. Whether or not to recycle is up to each resident. Those currently dropping of trash at the transfer station have a poor 12 percent recycling rate. Salem’s current recycling rate is only 18 percent (combined residential pickup and transfer station). Yet the national average for recycling is greater than 33 percent (2008 estimates). Keep in mind taxes will stabilize if the recycling rate increases. It’s a win-win for taxpayers to recycle. Salem does have a mandatory recycling but it is


We recently learned that Discount Pet Supply in Salem, NH has communicated false information about Taste of the Wild®

brand premium pet foods. We

apologize to those of our customers who have been misled by this retailer, and are setting the record straight – Taste of the Wild has always been and remains 100% safe for your pets.

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38 Pearson Street Andover, MA 01810

Derry Feed & Supply 3 Martin Street Derry, NH 03038

Doc’s Petland, Inc. 90 Main Street

North Reading, MA 01864 Pet Life

Dodge’s Agway 25 Old County Road Plaistow, NH 03865

Dodge Grain Co. Inc 59 N. Broadway Salem, NH 03079

Dog Town Care Center 296 Shawsheen Avenue Wilmingon, MA 01887

517 South Broadway Salem, NH 03079


301 Littleton Road Westford, MA 01886

Pets Choice 454 Daniel Webster Highway Merrimack, NH 03054

Pets Plus

123 Nashua Road, Unit 7-8 Londonderry, NH 03053

Under One Woof 37 West Main St, Suite #4 Georgetown, MA 01833

Village Pet Supply 6 Ash Street

Hollis, NH 03049

Woof It Down 33 Indian Rock Road Windham, NH 03087

Woof Meow Family Pet Center 19 Manchester Road Derry, NH 03038

Taste of the Wild is an American, family-owned company committed to providing the highest quality natural pet foods. If you have any questions, please call our team at 800-977-8797 or visit us at Thank you for your continued business.

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By Jonathan Lee

603-890-9019 FULLY INSURED

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Interior & Exterior Painting Interior Trim Work Water Damage Repair Wall & Ceiling Repair Mortar Work AT THESE LOCAL RETAILERS:

Family Pet & Aquarium Somerset Plaza 379 Amhearst St Nashua, NH 03063

Food for Pets 76 State Route 101A, #2

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Gimme Chews & Moore 908 Salem Street, Middle Unit Groveland, MA 01834

Healthy Pets, Food & Supplies 145 Broadway Rd Dracut, MA 01826

K-Nine Comforts 265 Boston Road

North Billerica, MA 01862

Pawsitively Yummy 440 Middlesex Rd Unit A & C Tyngsboro, MA 01879

Pets Plus

2286 Main St., Rt 38 Tewksbury, MA 01876

Pets Pets Pets 8 Carlisle Road Westford, MA 01886

South Chlemsford Agway 24 Maple Road South Chlemsford, MA 01824

State Line Pet Supply 137 Plaistow Road Plaistow, NH 03865

The Animal Haus 7 Summer St #3

Chlemsford, MA 01824

The Grooming Emporium 1275 Pawtucket Blvd Lowell, MA 01854

Tractor Supply 55 Crystal Ave, Unit 17 A Derry, NH 03038


Monday – Wednesday 8 – 6, Thursday 8 – 7, Friday 8 – 6, Saturday by appointment

Gayla Levine, DDS

Located in the Village Green on Route 111 33 Indian Rock Road, Windham, NH

603-552-3486 258257 1-10-08.indd 1 never enforced.

One 96 gallon tote for trash is large enough for most families especially if they recycle. I currently have my recyclables collected every two weeks as do my neighbors. If you need additional totes for recyclables they’re free. These totes have covers which will keep the trash from being blown around and keep critters out. You could also swap a 64 gallon tote for the 96. Elderly residents might want to do that. Many who use pickups or car trunks have

their trash precariously positioned and in many instances the trash falls to the road. I’ve witnessed this and I never did see the driver stop to pick up their trash. I have observed trash illegally dumped on town roads or just off the road. I’ve seen evidence of illegal dumping behind the electric station off of Town Farm Road. The trucks that provide residential pickup now fill their vehicles to the top, inviting trash to drop. Drive down Bluff Street, the Town Farm Road and Shannon Road and look at the trash lying alongside those roads. Town employees spend countless hours every spring collecting an estimated 5-6 tons of trash. Too many residents get emotional about new proposals brought forward by the town and some display a bit of paranoia with comments that anytime the government gets involved costs go up. Me too, I’m skeptical of any changes the town recommends that has a cost to it. However, I suggest one looks at all the factors to include one’s own estimate of the value of their time, and cost of fuel. Those who currently pay for curbside pickup compare your costs with the proposed costs and keep in mind the increasing cost of fuel will add to your current costs. With Harvey we know what the costs will be for five years and if the town is not satisfied with the service they can terminate the contract at any time. Unlike some trash contractors, Harvey thinks green and will spend time educating students grades K1-12 about environmental and recycling issues that will include math and science examples. They believe students are instrumental in educating parents about the value of recycling. Harvey will also host seminars for residents. As for the future, if residents after five years are unhappy with curbside pickup, I’m sure a passionate citizen like Everett McBride will generate a petition to eliminate curbside pickup. Considering the median home in Salem is valued at $275K those residents would only pay $33/year or 53 cents per week. This is a small price for the convenience of leaving your trash in front of your home for pickup. In My Opinion is strictly an OP-ED column that stands on the opinion of one writer, Ron Penczak, as opposed to a newspaper reporter who does not provide an opinion but reports the facts. This column, in many instances, is a counterpoint to published stories and does not reflect the unbiased reporting policy of the Salem Community Patriot or the opinion of the management, advertisers and ownership of Area News Group.

NH High School Film Festival Submissions Due

submitted by NH Department of Cultural Resources The New Hampshire Film & Television Office

is now accepting submissions for the 2012 New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival. All


Septic Systems • Sewer Hook-ups, etc. Gravel • Fill • Loam • Sand

2 Way Radios for Quick Service & Son, Inc.

Residential & Commercial Excavating & Grading

38 SCHOOL ST., SALEM, NH 603-898-2236

submissions must be postmarked on or before March 31, or arrive at the Film & Television Office at 19 Pillsbury Street in Concord by 4 p.m. on that date. Now it its fifth year, the New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival fosters interest in filmmaking and rewards future members of the industry for their craft. The Festival is open to students currently enrolled in grades 9-12 at New Hampshire public or private high schools. Submissions do not have to have been created as part of a school project.

A new reason to smile.

Advanced Dental Treatment in a Safe and Relaxing Environment 4/15/08 2:38:14 PM

Rules and guidelines, film submission forms and other information about the New Hampshire High School Short Film Festival can be found online at The New Hampshire Film and

Television Office, as part of the New Hampshire Department of Cultural Resources, works to expand business activity and employment throughout the state by acting as a liaison between the film industry and an established network of government agencies, the state’s film industry workforce and local property owners. For more information about film and television production in New Hampshire, call 271-2220 or visit

by Ron Penczak







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