Hudson-Litchfield News

Hudson Neighborhood Kids Raise More than $1,000 to Help Katrina Victims

by Maureen Gillum

In the aftermath of Katrina, the devastating hurricane that decimated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast last Monday, most all of us felt a deep human sorrow and sense of helplessness.  However, a remarkable group of dauntless kids in a small southeast neighborhood of Hudson banned together to help Katrina victims in their own way.  By putting on a marathon Labor Day Weekend bake sale with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross, the gang of thirteen 6 - 11 year olds provided some much needed help to those on the Gulf Coast -- and a most welcome sign of hope for all of us.  Perhaps most heartening, is that such local and impromptu grass roots efforts – bake sales, lemonade stands, drive by donation buckets -- were duplicated all across the region and country this week.


Left to right, HKHRF’s Evan Manning Laura DeAngelis and Alicia Raitt serving their bike customers, the McNays.

“My Mom and I were feeling really bad about all the hurt people and children in Louisiana and Mississippi and we wanted to do something about it,” explained David Jarry, a fair-haired, Hudson Memorial 6th grader.  After talking to his neighborhood friends, he found others were feeling the same way.  David soon found himself as President of a newly formed group, called Hudson Kids Hurricane Relief Fund (HKHRF) and began to rally his underage troops.  They decided to hold a four-day drive-by bake sale in their quiet neighborhood, starting on the bright and sunny Friday morning of September 2, 2005.  In all, The HKHRF team consisted of David Jarry, Kyle and Evan Manning, Laura DeAngelis, Alicia and Brenden Raitt, Meghan and Lauren Moore, Cam and Gillian McNally, and Jessica Fanjoy.  On Sunday, Sabrina Carter and Katelyn Wagner, who were ironically doing the same thing just two streets over on Little Hales, joined forces with HKHRF.  

“These kids have devoted their personal time, money, and efforts over their entire four-day holiday weekend on this venture,” said Paula DeAngelis, one of several Moms that helped HKHRF and official host of the ‘Louisiana Snack Shack.’  Each day, from about 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., the kids set up the drive-by shop, complete with checkerboard tablecloths and neon menu posters, at the end of the DeAngelis’ driveway at 4 Somerset Street.  Sandy Manning, another neighborhood Mom, details how the baker’s dozen, collectively gathered baking supplies, made signs, called the press, set up tables, and flagged down customers, with a little parental help.  “They baked, bagged, sold, (and ate), a whole lot of home-made goodies over the weekend,” reported Mrs. DeAngelis enthusiastically, “and they really seemed to love it!” 


Left to right, HKHRF’s Alicia Raitt, David Jarry, Laura DeAngelis and Evan Manning.

“At our half-way mark, around 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, we just topped $250,” reported an excited Kyle Manning, HKHRF Treasurer, smiling, “which broke our goal of at least $100 a day!”  Sometime late Saturday afternoon bike customers, Georgia and Jay McNay of Chiswick Road, remarked, “I think it’s wonderful these kids are working together to help those in need, and the response is amazing!”  

All totaled, by Monday night the group raised $540.15, which included about $30 from the girls from Little Hales, according to Mrs. DeAngelis.  “Actually the kids raised more than $1,080, when including the generous matching donation program they used, through BAE Systems,” estimates Sandy Manning, proudly.  HKHRF President, David Jarry, perhaps summed it up best for all, “It was a lot of work, but it felt good doing this because I really like helping people.” Awesome job, HKHRF!

According to the latest releases, the Red Cross response to Hurricane Katrina is “the largest response to a single, natural disaster in the 125-year history of the organization.”  As of September 4, 2005, the Red Cross estimates it has received $352 million in gifts and pledges for the hurricane relief effort.  Contact the Red Cross (www.redcross.org, or 1-800-HELPNOW), or its local chapter (889-6664, www.nashua.redcross.org, 28 Concord Street, Nashua), to best help, if you haven’t already.


Meeting the New Principal

by Lynne Ober

Litchfield School Board held a reception for parents and community members to meet Campbell High School Principal Michael Parent, who started at Campbell after last year’s school year had ended.

Parent came to Campbell from Keene High School where he was Assistant Principal in charge of Red House, one of the high school’s five separate divisions.  “My biggest change since coming to Campbell is the size of the school and the number of students,” he smiled.  “Keene High School was much larger and that’s why we tried to divide it into smaller schools.  I like the feel here at Campbell.”

Parent began as many educators do as a teacher.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in English and secondary education.  He taught both English and Social Studies at the high school level.

In 1985 he moved to the Keene School District as a Social Studies teacher and taught at both Keene High School and Keene Middle School.  In 1997 he became Department Head for the Social Studies Department at Keene High School and began to hone his leadership skills.

“I liked teaching, but I also found that I liked and was good at the administrative end,” Parent said.  As Social Studies Department Head he oversaw a department of 15 and 2/3 positions.  “I liked working with the people.”

His leadership skills were noticed and he became the Interim Assistant Principal of the Red House in 2000.

He decided to pursue a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and graduated with a Master’s Degree in Science from Keene State College in 2003.

With his completed degree he was named Assistant Principal of the Red House, a position he held until he resigned to come to Campbell High School.

“I spent the summer learning the culture and learning more about the school and school district,” Parent said.

He also spent part of the summer interviewing for new teachers and when Campbell High School opened this fall, Biology was offered to students for the first time since the school opened.  “It’s great to be able to offer Biology,” Curriculum Director Joyce Choate beamed.     Parent is also thrilled to add this course to the school curriculum. 

“We think that he will be a great communicator,” said Superintendent Kathy Hamblett.  “While he was at Red House, he published a weekly faculty bulletin, re-wrote the parent / student handbook on a yearly basis and was the administrative representative on the Keene High School Parent Advisory.  We want him to bring all of those skills to Campbell.”

“I had butterflies the day school opened, but that’s normal for me,” Parent smiled.  “We had what I’d call normal opening day glitches.  These are relatively easy to solve if you just work with people.”

The reception was held between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. so parents and students could drop in after work and the end of sports practice.  Everyone had a chance to chat with the new principal, who has a calm, quiet manner with a quick smile.  “I’m adjusting to the new culture.  It’s been a learning experience all summer,” Parent told a parent. 

Parent has been on both sides of the negotiating table – both as a teacher and as a negotiator for the administration.  He helped found the win-win negotiating process that is used at Keene and Hamblett wants to use those skills when union negotiations are held in Litchfield.

With the school year successfully underway, the School Board decided that the reception would provide a way for parents to meet the new principal. 

One of the parents wanted to discuss a scheduling issue.  “We have had some scheduling issues,” admitted Parent, “but we are working through them and expect to have them resolved before the end of next week.”  He listened quietly while the parent talked and then responded in a positive manner. 

“I’ve been looking forward to this,” said Parent.  “It will give me a chance to talk with some of the parents.  I think open communication is the best tool to making the school great.”


Is it Just Politics Regarding the Illegal Immigrants Issue

by Doug Robinson

The August 30, 2005 edition of the New Hampshire Union Leader quotes the New Hampshire Second Vice Chairman of the Democratic Party, Ray Buckley, saying, “The only way they (New Ipswich and Hudson Police Departments) are capturing them (illegal immigrants) is by profiling.”  Vice Chairman Buckley, our States second most powerful Democrat, continues his statement, with the Union Leader by stating:  “New Ipswich Police Chief W. Garret Chamberlain and Hudson Chief Richard Gendron are trying to scare the bejusus out of brown-skinned people who are minding their own business.”

In speaking with Second Vice Chairman, Raymond Buckley, he explained his remarks as having been “misquoted” as that the Union Leader was upset with a letter that he had written to them in response to an ongoing dispute between the Union Leader and the columnist/talk show host, Bill O’Reilly.

On 8/30, when the Union Leader contacted Ray Buckley to discuss his letter and his position on the illegal immigrant issues now facing New Hampshire, Buckley is quoted as saying:.  “I’m still waiting for a Mexican to blow something up.  This national security thing the right wingers come up with is laughable.  It’s just an excuse for racism.”  Buckley continues his platform on illegal immigrants by stating that he has “two decades of support for treating all the people the same.  I am sensitive to the race issues as I have two nieces, one who is Hispanic and one who is Afro-American.”

Buckley also states in the Union Leader story that the “Behavior of the two police chiefs is an attack from two small town renegade police chiefs.  It’s a publicity stunt, they live it, they are milking it” states Buckley.

In response to the Union Leader’s story, Ray Buckley wrote the following letter to the Hudson-Litchfield News.  

“Here are my points...

  1. I never called anyone a racist.
  2. I do not support allowing any illegal alien anywhere in America.
  3. I have a two decade record of support for the law enforcement community in my city and state as an elected official.
  4. I strongly support increased border support.
  5. I strongly support the arrest and deportation of any illegal alien.
  6. I strongly support the prosecution of anyone who employs, harbors, transports or entices illegal aliens to America.
  7. I understand that illegal aliens come from everywhere, from Ireland, Canada, France, the UK, and Mexico and many other countries too.  I support treating illegal aliens from all countries exactly the same.  (All of this was clearly explained to the Union Leader editorial writer.)”

He went on to say,”But what I do not support is the perceived profiling by two small town police chiefs on the Massachusetts border.”

“New Hampshire is an overwhelmingly white state; one can go months without seeing a single nonwhite person in certain areas in New Hampshire.  New Hampshire is certainly not being overrun by illegal aliens from Mexico.  In order for those two small town police chiefs (whose actions have been deemed not legal by a New Hampshire judge) to arrest those numbers of Mexican illegal aliens in their towns it is illogical to believe that they found them by any other manner other than to pull over every perceived Latino driving through their small towns.  There are simply not enough people of color in their towns for any other possibility.

New Hampshire is a wonderful state, welcoming of diverse interests and cultures but these two chiefs have sent a frightening message across the nation that says that if you are other than white and you come to New Hampshire to vacation, for business, or think about moving here to raise your family, you should expect to be pulled over by the police.

That is not the message of my state, or representative of the people or our law enforcement community.

Keeping illegal aliens from working or living in New Hampshire is an entirely different issue than searching small town New Hampshire for anyone who is not white for a publicity stunt.

As the proud uncle of both a nine year old African American niece and four year old Hispanic niece, I am particularly aware of ensuring that these two beautiful young girls never feel that this is not their state, too.  I will do everything I can to protect them from two publicity starved renegade small town police chiefs.”

Four of our local State Representative have written to the Governor asking the Governor to, “Condemn the statements of Democratic Vice-Chairman calling Chief Gendron a racist because of his illegal alien stops.”  Our State Representatives have also written a press release sent out by the New Hampshire House Republican Alliance condemning the comments as well. 

Their letter states:  “There is no place for racism or race baiting in New Hampshire politics.  Therefore, as the leader of our state and the titular head of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, we ask you to publicly condemn, in the strongest terms, the statements of Democratic Party Vice-Chairman Raymond Buckley.  As titular head of the New Hampshire Democratic Party you must demand his resignation.  To do anything less would be to condone his statements.  Mr. Buckley’s statements in the New Hampshire Union Leader article were not innocent comments subject to misinterpretation.  They were slanderous attacks appealing to prejudice and the basest instincts in society.  This was an attack on the integrity and reputation of men who have devoted their lives to the protection of others.  To state that any police force in New Hampshire is engaged in racial profiling is an assault on every member of law enforcement…”

In speaking with Chief Gendron, Gendron chooses to take the high road when asked out Buckley’s comments.  ”He made some very serious attacks on me with no basis whatsoever…it is unfortunate that someone in his position could make those statements…I would be appalled if he represented me.”  The police for the Town of Hudson have identified 15 illegal immigrants of which three individuals had felony warrants outstanding.  Of the three immigrants, one immigrant had already been deported once by ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) and had re-entered the United States again!”

In discussing Buckley’s statement of profiling with Captain Mello, Hudson Police,”… what I do not support is the perceived profiling by two small town police chiefs on the Massachusetts border”, Mello states that  the Hudson Police Department, year to date, has made 7,525 motor vehicle stops.  Of these stops, 4,223 stops were done from 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and 4,223 stops were done from 6:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.  Of these stops, 15 illegal immigrants have been identified, or.002%.  In short, it will take the Hudson Police Department 501 traffic stops to identify one illegal immigrant.”

Further statistics from the Hudson Police department show that in 2005 only 3.1% of their traffic stops involve minorities.  In the years 2002, 2003, and 2004, the Hudson Police Department averaged 3.4 overall in minority traffic stops.  “No individual has ever been singled out and questioned,” states Ray Mello, Captain Hudson Police.  “All of our cases have involved traffic stops or motor vehicle violations.  In fact, it is unlawful for any police officer to target, profile, or question any citizen because of race.  The Hudson Police Department, however, does agree with Ray Buckley that all immigrants as well as U.S. citizens should be treated equally and the same.”

For the situation with illegal immigrants to change, Chief Gendron suggests that it starts in the voting booth.  “Ask hard questions of our politicians and then hold them accountable.  Ask the politicians where they stand on immigration and what their record on immigration matters is.  And then, most importantly, exercise your right to vote.”


When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade

When Brittany Boudreau, 9 years old, heard about the devastation left after Katrina, she wanted to do something to help those in need.  Instead of playing, she dedicated her day off from school to set up a roadside Coffee Shop and Lemonade Stand.  She was up bright and early Friday, September 2, serving those their morning coffee and provided a refreshing lemonade to others in the afternoon.  She was able to raise $65 for the cause.  She personally went to the Red Cross to deliver the donations.  Thanks to everyone who patronized her and supported her cause.


Alvirne Students Holding Lap-A-Thon to Benefit Hurricane Relief Fund

In the past, students from Alvirne have held events to raise funds for the community and other charitable organizations.  On Saturday, September 10, from 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. they will be doing a lap-a-thon to collect donations for the Hurricane Relief Fund which will go directly to the American Red Cross.  Students have already taken pledges from community members for the number of times they walk around the track. 

For those who have not sponsored a student, or would like to sponsor a student, or just help in the effort, stop by Alvirne High School on Saturday between 4:00 and 10:00 p.m. 


Katrina Relief Fundraiser for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund

King's Court & Banquet Hall will hold a Katrina Relief Fundraiser, benefiting the American Red Cross, on Thursday, September 15, with a Special Home Style Buffet, and Saturday, September 17, Dinner and Show, with a choice of Country Style Dinner and a live band, "The Classic."  A portion of all food purchased will go to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Like so many others King’s Court & Banquet Hall has been touched by the recent disaster and can personally relate to the devastation these people must now be dealing with.  Their hearts go out to those affected and they just want to do their part to help.  They invite everyone in the community to come out and join them.

During the Katrina Relief Fundraiser, Thursday and Saturday, $3 of every food purchase will go directly to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund for helping the victims of Katrina.  As usual guests will enjoy good food and on Saturday, live entertainment.  Other activities planned for the Katrina Relief Fundraiser include a prize raffle for great prizes, all proceeds from the raffle going back to the fund.  They will also be collecting cash donations and come fill up their container with nonperishable food items such as can goods, peanut butter, dry goods, baby food, etc.

For more information or questions about this event, call Susan Sullivan King’s Court & Banquet Hall (603) 821-5100.


Hudson Firefighters Ready to Assist in the Gulf Coast

Firefighter Gerald Carrier, a member of Hudson Fire Department Group 3, was once again deployed with his National Guard Unit.  Jerry returned earlier this year from Iraq where he spent a year serving for his country.  In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Jerry's Unit was once again called into action.  He is one of 450 to 500 Guardsmen sent to assist those in need.  Currently his unit is providing security outside a hospital.

Three other members of the department are ready to jump into action if the need arises.  Firefighter Dean Sulin of Group 4 and Firefighter Jason Fritz of Group 2 are members of the New Hampshire Air National Guard.  Each of these firefighters was contacted to see if their unit was called to assist would they be ready.  They are currently standing by, continuing to perform their duties at the Fire Station until needed elsewhere.

Lieutenant Tim Kearns of Group 1 has been put on stand-by the New Hampshire Forest and Lands.  Lieutenant Kearns recently returned from fighting brush fires in Canada.  The Forest Fire Service called Tim to see if he would be able to respond to Texas to work as a Firefighter Paramedic.  Currently he is awaiting the call to jump on a plane and head south to help in any way he can.

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