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14 - April 25, 2014 | Hudson - Litchfield News Proposed Elevator at Alvirne High School Hits Snag

by Lynne Ober In March, voters approved a warrant article to

remove $300,000 from one of the school district’s capital trust funds to install a new ADA approved elevator at Alvirne High School. The school district prepared a Request for Proposal (RFP) and the bids are back.

According to Business Administrator Karen Burnell, two bids were received, but both of them exceeded the $300,000 warrant article amount. Both bids contained a contingency amount as construction typically encounters one or more unknown glitches when walls are opened. The low bidder is Harvey Construction, who proposed the elevator at $295,000, but then

added a contingency amount of $14,750, which brought the total bid to $309,750. Schroeder Construction was the other bidder.

They bid $427,994 with a contingency amount of $20,926 for a total bid of $448,920. Both bids have been checked against the RFP and both meet requirements as stated in the RFP. Burnell plans to recommend that the school board accept the bid from Harvey Construction with the intent to cap the project at the $300,000 amount. However, if there are unexpected expenses she said that additional funds would come from the Alvirne High School building repair budget line. If approved, the elevator would be installed during the summer vacation.

Hudson Crews Battle Shed Fire

submitted by David S. Morin, HFD Public Information Liaison Hudson fi refi ghters on Saturday, April 19, were alerted to a shed fi re on Bush Hill Road at 2:39 p.m. Hudson Fire Alarm received numerous calls from area residents reporting the fi re. The callers reported brush around the shed catching fi re and the home close by. First arriving fi refi ghters found a 12-foot by 20-foot shed heavily involved. Additional assistance of a tanker and forestry

command vehicle from Litchfi eld and a Nashua engine were also called to the scene. At the time of the blaze, the residents were not at home. Fire crews made an exterior attack and quickly had the fl ames controlled. They were successful stopping the fi re from spreading to the house and a tractor near the shed. Neither was damaged due to the quick work by fi refi ghters. The bulk of the fi re was knocked down within 13 minutes of the fi rst arriving

apparatus. Firefi ghters worked an additional 20 minutes to wet down the fi re area. There were a total of eight fi refi ghters and offi cers manning two engines, one tanker, and one command vehicle at the fi re. Mutual aid from Nashua and Litchfi eld was returned before their arrival and there were no injuries reported. The shed and its contents suffered heavy damage during the blaze. The cause of the fi re remains under investigation. While fi refi ghters were responding to the shed fi re call, they spotted a brush fi re in the area of Pelham Road. A Hudson forestry command vehicle and a Nashua engine responded to that call.

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El Niño Returning – Implications for New Hampshire

by Joseph D’Aleo, CCM We have not heard the term El Niño in awhile. El Niños (Spanish for ‘the children’) and La Niñas (Spanish for ‘the girls’) relate to the water temperatures in the Tropical Pacifi c from South America to near the dateline. The reason meteorologists care is because both have specifi c effects on our weather in winter and summer.

In La Niñas, stronger than normal equatorial

Pacifi c easterly winds cause cold water to surface near South America and move west along the equator. In El Niños, the winds weaken and warm water piled up during El Niño in the western Pacifi c sloshes east to South America. Sir Gilbert Walker fi rst discovered this phenomenon in early 1900 while trying to understand what caused India’s monsoon. The monsoon is important to feeding the subcontinents’ huge population by bringing abundant rains some years. In other years, as was the case in 1899, the monsoon fails and famine results. Walker found surface pressures across the

Pacifi c tended to fl ip-fl op. When they were high near Australia and low near Tahiti, the monsoon rains were weak. When the opposite occurred, they were bountiful. He termed it the Southern Oscillation. By looking at global weather data, Walker concluded that the oscillation had global impacts. His notion was scoffed at but was given new life in the 1960s and fi nally statistically confi rmed in 1988; after $8 billion in losses globally occurred after the strong El Niño of 1982- 1983. Scientists were forced to take a closer look. They found that Walker was right. Since the great El Niño of 1997-1998, there

have only been three El Niños. The 1997- 1998 one was warm and rainy but the opposite occurred this last decade. 2002-2003 was remembered for its persistent cold and heavy snows here in New England. The last El Niño was in 2009-2010, the year the Mid-Atlantic from Baltimore and DC to Philadelphia and New York City will never forget with all-time record snows and cold that never ended. Back in 1997-1998, the belief among many climatologists was that we had entered an era of semi-permanent El Niños, thanks to greenhouse gases. After all, from the mid 1970s to 1997- 1998, there were 10 El Niños and only three La Niñas. But after 1997-1998, the opposite has occurred with eight La Niñas and just three El Niños. I have shown on, how this relates to the overall state of the water in the North Pacifi c as defi ned by what is called the Pacifi c Decadal Oscillation or PDO. In the late 1990s, oceanographers at the University of Washington worked to try to understand why the salmon fi sheries had abundant runs in the Northwest for decades at a time and then reduced catches for decades. They discovered the North Pacifi c Ocean temperatures took on an El Niño like confi guration for a few decades (the warm phase) and then suddenly fl ipped to a La Niña like confi guration (the cold phase). When the PDO is warm, as it was from 1977 to 1998, El Niños dominate. When it is cold,

Weather and Climate Wise

as has been the case since 1998 and especially since 2006, La Niñas are stronger, more frequent and often multiyear. La Niñas feed the northern jet stream and often mean drought in California, Texas and even Florida. We have been in drought conditions in the southern plains for fi ve years, much like the 1950s, when similar conditions existed. La Niñas mean more northern cold and snow and springtime tornadoes. They increase the chance of hurricane landfall on the East Coast, as we experienced with Irene and Sandy. El Niños feed the southern storm track and instead bring fl ooding to California, snow to Texas and ruined winter vacations in a wet Florida in winter. They do reduce the hurricane activity in the Atlantic, though it only takes one to make landfall, like Andrew in 1992 or Isabel in 2003, to make the otherwise quiet hurricane season memorable. In winter, those storms often turn up the East Coast bringing nor’easters. When the Pacifi c is in its cold mode, the El Niños tend to have the warmest tropical waters migrate to the central Pacifi c (called the El Niño Modoki), making it colder in the lower 48 states and the nor’easters more likely to bring snow even to the coast. Some of the worst winters are those when

neither El Niño nor La Niña is present. Last winter was one of those years. It ranked in the top three coldest and snowiest in most of the Midwest into the East, the coldest ever in some places. It was driven, not by the tropical Pacifi c, but by a warm water pool that had developed in the very strong La Niña of 2010-2011 near Hawaii and drifted in the currents into the Gulf of Alaska. This rerouted the jet stream north to Alaska and then south into the central United States, funneling northern Canadian and Siberian arctic air into the central regions. This became known as the ‘polar vortex.’ Philadelphia came close to breaking that snowy 2009-2010 record. March 2014 was the coldest ever for Vermont, the second coldest on record for New Hampshire and Maine and there was plenty of snow in the north.

As El Niño comes on through, we can expect a more normal summer for the United States. However, there will be an enhanced risk of late developing tropical systems in the warmer than normal waters near the East Coast that could infl uence the Northeast. The deep tropics are cooler than normal in the Atlantic and should be quieter than normal again. That warm pool in the Pacifi c is still there and

will have the same effect next winter if it persists (they usually last two years). If El Niño behaves as it usually does in the cold PDO, the combination would mean another wild winter focused more in the East. It would also end, at least temporarily, the drought for California and Texas. Even if that happens, the world usually warms some in El Niños and cools in La Niñas, so expect these weather patterns to be hyped as a sign we are back on track for global warming (after a pause going on 18 years). However, these are natural cycles operating as they have since man fi rst walked the planet.

New Cafeteria Computerized Payment System for School Meals

submitted by the Litchfi eld School District SAU 27 The Nutrition and Food Service Department is preparing to implement a new POS (Point of Sales) system called “Nutrikids” in our school district with a launch date of May 13. Every student in the district has been entered into this new computerized system. Students will be using their same lunch card (Griffi n Memorial School) or pin number (Litchfi eld Middle School and Campbell High School) to make purchases at the serving lines. Meal payment deposits will be made the

same way. Students may bring in cash or check to school to deposit into their meal accounts or parents may make deposits online using a credit or debit card. Our new online payment system called “My School Bucks” will be in operation May 19. Go to their website www. to register for a new account. Then, create an account for each of your children by using their name and date of birth as the passcode. Please be aware that only payments for school meals and no other school fees can be paid with this online system. Parents currently using” can continue making online deposits until Friday, April 25, when their service will end. We strongly recommend that parents/ guardians deposit enough money into their children’s online accounts before April 25 to cover the three weeks that

online payment system is non-operational or send lunch payments to school with your child. If your child has qualifi ed for free or reduced meal prices, this information is noted in the system, and the meal will be processed just as it is for all other students without any special indication to the students. If you are concerned about a food allergy that

your son/daughter has, please notify the cafeteria with this information. If indicated, a warning will appear on the cashiers’ screen for a review of the items on the student’s tray. We are excited to bring Nutrikids and My

School Bucks into the district as it has updated and improved features to make operations more effi cient. If you have questions, feel free to Email or call Hilda Lawrence, Director of Nutrition & Food Services 546-0300, ext. 3112 or hlawrence@ litchfi

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