Pelham-Windham News

The Obnoxious Clown Fund Raiser for the Jimmy Fund

by Lynne Ober

As yet another successful Pelham Little League season draws to the close, 8, 9, and 10 year-old players, coaches and family members decided to hold a fund-raiser to support the Jimmy Fund.

The Obnoxious Clown (Lou Turco) invited one and all to dunk him in a dunking booth in Chunky’s Cinema Pub parking lot.  Well…he didn’t just invite – he needled; he dared; he challenged and some of the participants lived up to the challenge.

Hayden Pavao throws a ball that managed to dunk the clown.  He won a movie pass to Chunky’s for his fine efforts.

“This is his [Lou] debut as a clown,” said Cindy Turco.  “He bills himself as the obnoxious clown and he’s living up to the name,” she laughed.

“Lou’s efforts will really benefit a worthy charity with all the funds raised go to the Jimmy Fund,” said Pelham Little League Vice President, Holly Saurman.  “Lou contacted several local businesses to donate raffle items.  He is setting an excellent example of what Little League stands for in being a good sport and helping our community all for the love of baseball!”

“I really want to thank all the merchants who donated raffle items,” said Lou Turco.  “Chunky’s was great by letting us use the parking lot as well as donating movie passes.  The Malt Shop was fantastic.  Grand Rental donated the dunk booth.  I just can’t say enough good about the merchants who supported this effort.”

As filmgoers crossed Chunky’s parking lot – either going or coming from a film – they just couldn’t resist taking a shot at The Obnoxious Clown.  “I had a lot of fun,” smiled Lou.

It was a great fundraising idea that will support a very worthy cause.  People who did not have an opportunity to stop by Chunky’s can still donate by writing a check to the Jimmy Fund.  “People can call me, Coach Lou Turco, at 603-635-1431, and I will come and pick it up or they can mail it to coach Lou Turco, 24 Shannon Circle, Pelham, New Hampshire 03076,up until July 31,” said Lou.

If you didn’t get a chance to dump The Obnoxious Clown, mark your calendars for next year’s Independence Day Celebration.  Lou is already making plans for the second fund raiser.  “This is such a worthy charity,” he said.  “Although my own son is healthy, we had a child die from cancer in my family.  The Jimmy Fund supports research into this disease and I want to continue to support the Jimmy Fund.”

The Obnoxious Clown has been dunked and has to look for his megaphone so that he can taunt the next participant.

Pelham Police Win Awards for Excellence

The Pelham Police Department has been honored by the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council.  The Excellence Award for Proactive Policing was bestowed on Pelham Police is in recognition of the high quality of policing methods in use throughout the department.

The New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council has a dual mission - education and regulation.  They are totally committed to providing high-quality, innovative, credible and responsive basic, advanced and specialized training to New Hampshire Police, Correctional, Probation and Parole officers in sufficient amounts to enable them to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to serve the public with commitment, empathy and competence as well as being committed to adopting and enforcing reasonable professional standards in a manner consistent with the law, considerate of the public and the regulated community, and uncompromising as to basic values and ethics.  Every year they evaluate police departments throughout the state against these standards before making their awards.

Created in 1971 by an act of the Legislature, the Police Standards and Training Council is a unit of the New Hampshire Community-Technical College System.  Among the many activities conducted by this council is a voluntary accreditation program for law enforcement agencies.

“I feel very honored to have received this award,” said Pelham Police Chief Evan Haglund, “but I truly believe that we have an awesome department with very committed individuals working to keep all of Pelham safe.  This award is a credit to the men and women of this department."

Then Lieutenant [now Captain] Joe Roark won an individual Excellence Award for his efforts in 2004.  His award was called “Looking Beyond the Parking Ticket.” 

“That’s something that he always does,” smiled Haglund.  “Captain Roark is an excellent resource to everyone in the department.”

Officer Eugene Stahl also was awarded an Excellence Award for being a DUI Hunter.

Awards:  From left to right Captain Joe Roark, Chief Evan Haglund, and Officer Eugene Stahl and their awards.

VFW Rejects Town Hall Deed

by Lynne Ober

Pelham Selectmen proposed July 5 as a date to sign the deed that would transfer old Town Hall to the VFW, but that didn’t happen.  Selectmen were willing, but the VFW had issues with the draft deed.

  • VFW Commander Charlie Mooskian spoke during Open Forum and strongly objected to a number of clauses in the deed.  He told Selectmen that the Judge Advocate for the VFW had looked at the deed for him and that it wasn’t acceptable for the following reasons:
  • Mooskian felt that the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) restrictions should not be in the deed.
  • Listing the Town on an insurance policy was an issue.  Mooskian felt that the Town would get half of any loss and he didn’t think that was fair to the VFW.
  • The clause that stated if the VFW did not use the building for three months, then it would revert back to the Town was also an issue.
  • Mooskian proposed that instead of requiring the VFW to insure the building, it would be better to have a clause requiring the VFW to rebuild the building to a certain square footage should the building be destroyed.
  • The deed is made out to the local VFW post and not to the national organization as Mooskian thought it should be.

“If you want to make the deed out the way the voters passed it, we’ll take it,” Mooskian flatly stated.

After Mooskian completed his comments, Board of Selectman Chairman Victor Danevich allowed the Town Administrator and each Selectman to respond to the comments.

Town Administrator, Tom Gaydos, tried to explain to Mooskian and Dave Hennessy, VFW member who attended with Mooskian, that the insurance clause was a simple, often found clause that merely would require the insurance company to notify the Town if the policy lapsed. 

Mooskian stated again that he thought that the Town would get half of any insurance settlement if the Town was on the policy.  Gaydos stated that this was absolutely not the case.  “The Town will not get a check from the insurance company.  Only the VFW would get a check.”

Gaydos also said that being listed on the policy would “limit the town liability and that there was absolutely no cost to name the town.”

Selectman, Hal Lynde,pointed out that the voters voted [on the petitioned warrant article] on the assumption that the building was being given to the local post.  Lynde does not believe that the warrant article made any provision for the building to go to anyone other than the local VFW post or to the Town.

Mooskian agreed that the warrant article went back and forth between the local post and the national VFW organization and agreed that the deed should go to the local post.

Lynde asked Mooskian why he was questioning the need for the insurance policy.  He talked about why such a policy was needed and then asked in reference to Mooskian’s request that the deed be changed to require the VFW to rebuild rather than to insure the building, “How do we know the VFW would rebuild?”  Lynde continued by saying that he can’t see anyway around requiring insurance.

Trying to conclude his remarks, Lynde wondered if the VFW was ready to take the building but noted, “You have to go through the process.  I don’t think you can disagree with that.”

“I disagree,” said Mooskian.  “The Board of Selectmen had no right to put restrictions on the VFW.”

Gaydos then pointed out that the petitioned warrant article vote “is advisory only.  It’s not a function of Town Meeting to dispose of assets.  Only the Board of Selectmen will make a judgment on disposal of Town property.”

Selectman Ed Gleason tried to reason the process point by saying, “The voters thought you would comply with the process.”  Gleason, who has experience on a number of Town Boards, including the ZBA explained how the process works – for everyone.  “As far as the ZBA, you have to have variances from Town Code.  I don’t think the Town is trying to impose restrictions.  This is the process for everyone.”

“In terms of insurance.  We have a right to protect Town assets.  You must see that,” Gleason explained and also added, “I am in favor of having the VFW have this building.  I want to be on record with that statement.”

Selectman Tom Domenico agreed that insurance was needed.  “We have to an obligation to protect Town assets.” 

Domenico tried to defuse the regular use clause by noting that if the VFW used the building just to check their e-mail, he would believe that this would be regular use.

Hennessy offered an opinion that “as non-owners of the property, it is unusual for the VFW to have to go before the Boards.”  Hennessy said that he felt the VFW was being treated as tenants and not as owners.  “Are we going to be property owners or tenants?”

When Gaydos commented that he’d be interested in knowing what rights have been lost, Mooskian responded by saying they were objecting to the language of the deed and cited the three month lack of usage clause.

Danevich asked Mooskian what he felt was a reasonable time limit and quietly commented that he was not trying to argue with Mooskian, but was going to try to address each of the stated objections and work on a resolution.

“Let me ask you a simple question.  Do you want the building or not?” asked Danevich.

When Mooskian answered in the affirmative, Danevich said, “Let’s work on these issues one by one.”

Hennessy pointed out that “under ZBA interpretation, if there’s a year lapse, we’d have to go back to them.”

Danevich said, “Ok.  Let’s look at the second issue.”  He pointed out that every deed in the Town has the ZBA variances and requirements listed in the deed.  “Every deed.  Why do you think the VFW should not conform to this?”

Mooskian felt that it shouldn’t be included unless it was challenged in court, but Gleason told him that every other parcel in town has the variances listed as part of the deed.  After additional discussion, it appeared that everyone was in agreement that the ZBA variances would stay as part of the deed.

Next the insurance was discussed and Gaydos reiterated that any payment for any loss would go only to the VFW.  Hennessy, who is a Sales Manager for Coldwell Banker, a brokerage firm that also provides insurance products and services, said that it was a “reasonable approach.”

“Now we’re down to one item,” said Danevich and returned the discussion to the three month clause.  After additional discussion, it became apparent that a subsequent meeting would be needed to iron out this issue.

Danevich asked Mooskian to put his objection into writing and asked Gaydos to schedule a follow-on meeting with Mooskian and other VFW members. 

Bank Robbery in Windham Under Investigation

Windham Police Department is investigating an armed robbery of the Citizen’s Bank located at 115 Indian Rock Road (Route 111).  The robbery occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. when a Hispanic male entered the bank and displayed a silver colored handgun to a teller.  The teller was instructed to fill a multi-colored backpack with money which she did.  The suspect fled the bank without further incident.

The suspect is described as being in his early to mid 20s, with light colored “pencil thin” mustache, beard and sideburns, wearing a navy blue fleece jacket, blue fleece hat with a small brim, 3/4 length blue jean shorts, and white sneakers.

The suspect entered the passenger side of an older model two-door green Jeep Cherokee which fled east on Route 111.  No description of the driver was obtained.

An undetermined amount of money was taken, however, an exploding “dye pack” was included with the money.  The dye pack likely exploded a short time after the robbery therefore the suspect(s), the vehicle, and the money should have red dye on them.

Anyone with information is requested to contact the Windham Police Department at 603-434-5577 or their local FBI office.

Windham Police are being assisted with the investigation by the FBI and Citizen’s Bank Corporate Security.

Nesmith Library News

Canoeing - Safety, Comfort, and Control:  Have you ever been in a canoe and ended up paddling in circles?  Join us at the Nesmith Library in Windham on July 18 at 6:30 p.m. to hear outdoorsman and author, Roger Davies, tell us how to master the canoe.  You’ll soon be paddling like an expert!  This program is appropriate for adults and older children.  Registration is not required.

Wild About Turtles:  What do turtles eat?  Do turtle have teeth?  How many different kinds of turtles live on the earth?  To find out these answers and more about turtles, join us on Monday, July 18 at 1:00 p.m. for this fun and educational program led by Mary Doane.  “Mary, the ‘Turtle Lady’” is energetic, delightful, informative, musical, fast-paced, humorous, somewhat zany, and will make the answers to these questions just plain fun!  This program is open to children of all ages who are interested in turtles.  Space is limited.  Pre-registration is required.  Stop by the library or call 432-7154 to register.

Sing-Along with Penny Kohut:  Come join Penny for a musical party!  This interactive program for babies and toddlers will take place on July 25 at 10:00 a.m.  Music and movement is combined in this one hour session along with instruments, dance, and singing.  Children must be under the age of 3 and accompanied by an adult to participate.  Space is limited and pre-registration is required.  If you would like to register or would like further information, call the library at 432-7154. 

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