2 - May 4, 2012 | Pelham - Windham News
Parking Improvements at Griffin Park Near Completion
Charles Pitt, son of Annelise and Charles Pitt of Windham, was named to the Dean’s List for the fall semester at Saint Michael’s College. Pitt is a Senior Religious Studies major. He is a graduate of Salem High School. The Curry College
Communication Department is pleased to announce that Kassandra Spadaro of Pelham was inducted into the Lambda Chi chapter of the Communication Honor Society, Lambda Pi Eta on April 3.
celebrated this accomplishment at a dinner reception on the Milton Campus with faculty, family, and fellow Lambda Chi members. Each inductee received their certificate after a traditional candle lighting ceremony.
Members of this accredited society receive a pin and honor cord to be worn at graduation.
Lambda Pi Eta, founded in 1985,
has over 18,000 members in nearly 400 colleges and universities worldwide. The honor society is sponsored by the National Communication Association and is an accredited member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Lambda Pi Eta members are undergraduate students who have achieved a high level of academic excellence in the communication field. Lambda Pi Eta represents
what Aristotle saw as the three ingredients of persuasion: Logos (Lambda) meaning logic, Pathos (Pi) relating to emotion, and Ethos (Eta) defined as character, credibility, and ethics. Plymouth State University has
named Briana Laura D’Avanzo of Pelham and Heather Kathleen Jacques of Windham to the President’s List for the fall semester.
Named to the Dean’s List for the fall semester at Plymouth State University were Leatrice M. Lafontaine of Pelham and Peter Attila Kovacs of Windham. Katelyn Williams, a lifelong resident of Windham, and the daughter of Chuck and Erin Upton, attends Keene State College (KSC) and was recently elected to the role of Student Body President for the 2012-2013 school year. Katelyn attended school in Windham and is a 2009 graduate of Salem High School, where she also served on the student senate as publicist and was an active member of the band. At KSC, Katelyn has had many accomplishments. Most recently, she participated on a committee to develop a campus-wide Good Samaritan policy (policy to be enacted in the fall 2012; states that students under the influence of alcohol/drugs will not have punitive repercussions if they seek medical attention, rather they will have to participate in educational programs to help them better understand the risks associated with alcohol consumption/ drug use), a committee to change to a paperless format for student course evaluations and is currently on a committee to advocate for additional changes to the smoking policy on campus to protect non- smokers. Katelyn balances her student involvement with her academics and consistently makes the Deans List. She was recently selected to be on the search committee for the next president of KSC.
Demetra Diamantopoulos, a resident of Pelham and a graduate of Massachusetts School of Law, has passed her Bar exam for the State of Massachusetts. She is the daughter of Paul and Helen Diamantopoulos.
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by Barbara O’Brien Just over a year after Windham voters approved an expansion to the parking area adjacent to Griffin Park, the $200,000-plus project is nearing completion. Former selectman Charlie McMahon, who has been instrumental in the development of the town-owned Griffin Park from its inception, met with town officials during their April 23 board of selectmen’s meeting to provide an update on the project. “We’ve come to the end of a 15-year project,” McMahon commented, referring to the length of time the recreational facility has been a work in progress. “The goal of expanded parking and a quality build have been met,” McMahon said. The renovated parking lot, that was scheduled to be paved before the end of April, includes 234 parking spaces, including a dozen spaces for handicapped parking, and now includes a one-way design, with only one entrance and one exit. Previously, there were three entrances to the area, a situation that town officials
considered to be a hazard. The only entrance to the park is now located by Johnson’s Farm Stand, McMahon said. The former entrance, located by Memorial Rock, is now to be used only for emergency access. One potential parking space was lost in this area in order to widen the access for fire trucks The new parking area boasts large signs, ones that McMahon said people “can see even if they’re visually or attention- impaired.”
McMahon said that a proposal to make the parking spaces For All Your Financing Needs!
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angled, rather than straight, was abandoned because it would have meant the loss of 30 percent of the parking spaces that are possible with straight parking. The main reason that the new parking area was constructed
was to eliminate parking along Range Road; a situation town officials and many residents considered to be hazardous, particularly with young children having to cross the busy state- owned road. Selectmen’s Vice-Chairman Ross McLeod said he has
staff photo by Len Lathrop
concerns about motorists having to go back out onto Range Road to reverse direction should they miss a vacant parking space and have to go all the way around again. McLeod said he would prefer to have an internal one-way configuration. McLeod also said that he feels a clearly marked pedestrian
crosswalk is needed in the parking lot, even if it means eliminating another parking space. McMahon disagreed with McLeod’s suggestion, commenting that parking is already at a premium. McMahon said he feels that a crosswalk would only serve to give people “a false sense of security.” “First, parents have to watch their children, and, second, people have to drive slow,” McMahon commented. “I expect people to follow the rules,” he added.
Selectman Phil LoChiatto agreed with McLeod, stating that he also thinks a crosswalk should be painted in the parking lot. “A crosswalk would make it very clear that people might be in this area,” LoChiatto said. “It would be a visual indicator.”
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Despite McMahon’s pleas to leave the plan as it was proposed and wait to see if a crosswalk is actually needed, selectmen voted 4 to 0 to make the change now. Voting in favor of a crosswalk running from the middle gate of the parking lot through the middle row of parking spaces were Chairman Bruce Breton, Vice-Chairman Ross McLeod, Selectman Roger Hohenberger and Selectman Phil LoChiatto. Selectman Kathleen DiFruscia was not in attendance at the April 23 board meeting. “It’s well worth one space to improve safety,” McLeod said, adding that it is also much more cost-effective to create the crosswalk now than later, after the project is completed. McLeod also asked that “invisible fencing” be installed underneath the split rail fence to stop soccer balls and baseballs from rolling into the parking lot. McMahon agreed with McLeod’s suggestion, commenting that the Windham Baseball League might be willing to pick up the tab.
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by Barbara O’Brien Windham Tax Collector Ruth Robertson reports that the still lagging economy continues to have a negative effect on local residents, specifically in their ability to pay their real estate taxes on time. The affect of the economy is also evident in the number of residents who are losing their homes to foreclosures. During the selectmen’s meeting on April 23, Robertson said she has been seeing “a lot more foreclosures” on properties in Windham, than was the case in the past. During 2011, there were a total of 41 Windham properties foreclosed on, while, already this year; foreclosures have affected 19 property owners. In addition, 16 Windham residents have declared bankruptcy thus far during 2012. “This is the most I’ve ever seen,” Robertson told selectmen. As many as 173 properties could also have tax liens placed on them within the next few days, Robertson reported, referring to those with overdue taxes. This accounts for approximately 3 percent of the 5,845 tax bills issued during 2011. This time last year, there were tax liens placed on 126 properties, she said, showing an increase of 47 properties within the past year. As for the possible placement of tax deeds on
Windham properties, Robertson said 34 notices of pending tax deeds were mailed out as of April 16. Three of those property owners were subsequently given 30-day extensions. Those past due taxes were paid prior to the expiration of that extension, Robertson said and no tax deeds were taken. Tax deeds are placed on properties where the taxes are at least two years in arrears.
Robertson said she wants residents to know that
town officials are willing to work with property owners in coming up with payment plans that will ultimately allow them to catch up on any past due taxes. During 2011, property taxes in Windham totaled $46,488,053, while taxes assessed on properties placed in current use totaled $174,800. The population of Windham is estimated at approximately 15,500 residents. The 2011 Windham Tax Rate was $23.08 per $1,000 assessed property valuation. This compares with $21.98 per $1,000 assessed property valuation for 2010 and $18.92 per $1,000 in 2009. 2008 saw an annual tax rate of $18 per $1,000 assessed property valuation. The tax rate for 2012 will be set by the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration (DRA) this coming October.
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