Local Artist Alyssa Wheeler Leaves Her Mark
Alyssa Wheeler has left her mark, or should we say artwork, on the City of Nashua. Alyssa was one of three artists and the youngest of the artists at only 15, to have her artwork selected in a mural design contest held by the City of Nashua Mayor’s Task Force on Youth. Alyssa’s 24x7 foot mural was painted on the back of a Nashua building as part of the “Rail Trail” project which is a walking trail built along the path of the railroad tracks that used to wind through downtown Nashua. The Mayor’s Task Force on Youth and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Nashua collaborated with City Year New Hampshire volunteers to bring the mural project to life.
In addition to designing the mural, Alyssa took part in the actual painting along with a lively group of volunteers who ranged from very young children to senior citizens. The painting took place on the 17th annual National Youth Service Day, a nationwide campaign that calls on young people across the nation to design and direct community service activities.
On May 10th Alyssa, along with the other two artists, received a standing ovation from the Aldermen at the Nashua city meeting when she was presented with a certificate and cash prize from Nashua’s Mayor Bernie Streeter. In addition, the mural project will be the cover story for Town and City Magazine’s July edition.
Alyssa is a Windham resident and a high honors student at Salem High School. She is an active member of the Red Star Twirlers of Derry New Hampshire and recently competed in the Miss New Hampshire’s Outstanding Teen Pageant where she was a top10 finalist and received the Community Service Award and accompanying scholarship.
Bumpy Road or Smooth Ride Ahead for Windham's Wonderland Playground?
by Lynn McNamara
In their successful effort to build a new playground in town, a local group may have inadvertently benefited an existing one. The campaign by the Griffin Park Playground Group (GPPG) focused attention on the condition of the Windham Wonderland Playground and the road leading to it. As a result, both the playground and the road may soon get needed repairs.
During their presentation to the Board of Selectmen in March, the Griffin Park Playground Group stated that there were considerable safety issues at Wonderland, among them missing boards, raised screws, and toxic pressure-treated wood. They contended that these conditions made the playground an unsuitable place for children to play. According to their survey of residents, the secluded location and poor accessibility of the playground made it undesirable for many residents, and therefore, a new playground was needed.
As a result of that presentation, the Board endorsed the GPPG's plan and stated that they would also be evaluating the condition of the Wonderland Playground. They would then determine if it should be repaired or dismantled. According to information from subsequent meetings, town residents have since come forward in support of maintaining the Wonderland Playground and questioning the claims that it is in a state of disrepair. The playground, which opened in June of 1991, was built by a team of community volunteers and is maintained annually by the town.
One of the biggest obstacles to using the playground is the current condition of Esty Road. This is a private road to which the town is a 50% abutter. At their recent meeting, Town Administrator David Sullivan discussed two bids with the Board, both roughly $5,200, for the repair of the road. Mr. Sullivan has received an agreement from the other abutters to pay $1,000 towards this work. The town could pay more than their share of the maintenance, but doing so would put the town into a gray legal area. According to Selectman Crisler, the risk is "... finding out later that we (the town) bought this road." According to the Board's discussion, if the town generates a large percentage of the traffic on the road, paying a proportionately larger part of the repair bill would be justified.
Barbara Moore, a resident of Fish Road, which lies at the end of Esty Road, stated to the Board that the seasonal residents of Fish Road, while not abutters to Esty Road, have been personally maintaining it for years and are willing to pay a portion of its repair. The abutter on the other side of Esty Road, according to Mrs. Moore, uses Willow Road to reach his property. In addition, she added, the town is generating at least 90% of the traffic, with people accessing the playground.
Selectman Carpenter requested that new bid specifications be put out to include grading of the parking lots both at Roger’s Field and the Wonderland Playground. The Board would do this, he noted, in hopes of getting a better deal for all three projects as a package. These bids may be available at the next Selectmen’s meeting on June 6, possibly with the estimate from the maintenance department for the cost of the playground repairs.
If the costs of repairs is too high, Chairman Hohenberger noted, it is not certain that the Board would vote to spend the funds.
Governor Proclaims "Senior Center Week" in New Hampshire
Submitted by Sue Hovling, Senior Center Director
May was Older Americans month and all of the senior centers in the state were honored by Governor John Lynch. He proclaimed May 8 - 14 as Senior Center week in New Hampshire. We received these proclamations at our state conference of the New Hampshire Association of Senior Centers. A copy of this document is printed for your perusal;
SENIOR CENTER WEEK
MAY 8 - 14, 2005
WHEREAS, Older American are significant member of our society, investing their wisdom and experience to help enrich and better the lives of younger generations; and
WHEREAS, The New Hampshire Association of Senior Centers has acted as a catalyst for mobilizing the creativity, energy, vitality and commitment of the older residents of New Hampshire; and
WHEREAS, Through the wide array of services, programs, and activities, senior centers empower the older citizens of New Hampshire to contribute to their health and well being, and the health and well being of their fellow citizens of all ages; and
WHEREAS, Senior centers in the State of New Hampshire affirm the dignity, self worth and independence of older persons by facilitating their decisions and actions; tapping their experiences, skills and knowledge; and enabling their continued contributions to the community;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOHN H. LYNCH, Governor of the state of New Hampshire, do hereby proclaim MAY 8 - 14, 2005, as SENIOR CENTER WEEK in New Hampshire, and call upon all citizens to recognize the special contributions of the Senior Center participants, and the special efforts of the staff and volunteers who work every day to enhance the well being of older citizens of our community.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Concord, the 22nd day of April, in the year of Our Lord two thousand and five, and the independence of the United States of America, two hundred and Twenty-nine.
John H. Lynch, Governor