Injured Marine Home Safely

by Lynne Ober

Hudson resident and Marine Corporal, Anthony Kimungu, was stationed in Al Fallujah, Iraq when he was shot in the head by a sniper.  Kimungu is one of the lucky ones because he will live to tell the story of his injury and he has recovered and can expect to live a normal life.

Kimungu, a member of the Marine’s 2nd Battalion, spent a total of seven months in Iraq.  “Our mission was to train the Iraq Army.  We were also trying to disrupt the terrorists and insurgents.”

Kimungu characterized his time in Iraq as horrible, said that he was shot in November, 2005.

His mother who still lives in Hudson, was notified, but then could get no details.  Finally a friend of hers appealed to Arthur Martel, who is a Vietnam vet and whose son, Patrick, is serving his second tour in Iraq.

“I was a lobbyist for Vietnam vets after I got out,” said Martel, “so I knew what to do to get information.”  Martel interceded on the family’s behalf and called Congressman Charlie Bass, who took steps to get information about Kimungu’s condition, treatment and whereabouts back to his mother.

“I was just happy to help,” said Martel.  When Martel knew that Kimungu was coming home, he went up and down Lowell Road and asked businesses to put a welcome back Anthony Kimungu sign on their signboards.  It’s been a town-wide celebration of his safe return.

Kimungu was born in Kenya and moved to America when he was four.  His family moved to Hudson when he was in the fifth grade and he graduated from Alvirne High School in 2001.  He’s been in the Marines for 3 and a half years and plans to get out in October.

Martel said that he has a six inch L-shaped scare on the left side of his head.

“I’m getting back to 100 percent,” said Kimungu, “but I still have a numb spot on my head.”

Once he gets out, Kimungu plans to go to college to study financial planning.

If you see him, or any other vet in town, remember to thank them for protecting America.

Nadeau Development Before Planning Board

by Lynne Ober

The proposed development of Nadeau Farm by Qroe Farm Preservation Development has taken another step by submitting plans to Hudson’s Planning Board.  The proposed development has already gone through a Zoning Board of Adjustment review and has an extensive archeological study completed.  That study was presented as part of the package to the Planning Board.

Qroe presents their developments as preserving 80 percent or more of farm land, while creating new residential space integrated into the landscape.  The have proposed the use of a unique combination of strategically located home sites, low impact development techniques, recorded easement rights and restrictions, and protective overlays, substantial quantities of preserved farmland and green spaces are permanently created through the free market, but they have also asked for significant waivers from existing town code.

Proposed site map showing potential homes, road and shared driveways on Nadeau Farm.

The completed archeological survey, required by Army Corps of Engineers’ regulation under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 included the results from background documentary research, field inspection of the project area and production of the final report.  It concluded that “Hudson town histories, historical documents, historic maps, and field inspection did not identify any significant historic development of the project area.”

In the 1760s the property was part of Nathaniel Hills Farm.  The Hills family are recognized as the first settlers in Hudson.

In the 1800s the property was owned by Jackson E. Greeley.  They are the first recorded owners of the Nadeau Farm House.  Several members of the family lived in the area.  Greeley was both a farmer and a bank president in Nashua.

The 50 legal heirs of Jackson E. Greeley sold the property in 1902 to Joseph and Mary Lambert of Nashua.  The couple operated a dairy farm on the property, using much of the land for grazing and growing feed for their cows.  They added chicken coops in the 1920s.  Their six children were raised on the farm, including their daughter Marion, who married Emery Henry Nadeau in 1935.

Emery Henry Nadeau and Marion Lambert purchased the farm from her father in 1940.  In the 1940s oil rags exploded in the stove in the shed and the shed and ell of the house burnt.  The rest of the house was saved.  A two-car garage was added in the 1950s.  The 19th century dairy barn was replaced with a concrete barn in the 1950s – 1960s. 

The farm passed to Emery A. and Shirley Nadeau.  In the 1990s it was the only operating dairy farm in Hudson.  The farm was incorporated in 1992.

Qroe Farm Preservation Development proposes to build 30 homes scattered about on the 145 acre parcel, described on their website as being comprised “of expansive farmland affording broad open views of hills to the northwest as well as sunset views.  Farming activity will be encouraged and supported according to established Qroe Farm Preservation Development tenets.”

In the package submitted to the Planning Board, Qroe asked for the following variances to town building code:

  • Town code 93-10 H – driveways with in side and rear setbacks.
  • Town Code 93-10 I – shared common driveways.  The plan proposes 3,130 feet of road that is one long cul de sac.  The homes then are built off shared driveways.  According to Selectman Rick Maddox, the longest shared driveway is 2,000 feet and seven homes would share it.  “Can you see someone dragging their trash nearly half a mile to the road for pickup,” Maddox questioned.  “It seems that might be a problem.” 
  • Road Agent Kevin Burns also is concerned about trash pickup and mentioned that topic in a lengthy memo to Planning Board members.
  • Town Code 289-18-B 2 – Cul de sac to exceed the 1,000 foot length.  The proposed cul de sac is 3,130 feet or triple the length allowed in town code.
  • Town Code 289-20-A 2 – No storm water runoff allowed to cross over a roadway.  The archeological study found that storm water runoff and other drainage problems had existed on the property for years.  According to the report fields had been leveled in order to allow machinery to operate more efficiently.  “After various leveling episodes, areas of poor drainage would often form.  Mr. Nadeau would then install gravity operated drainage systems into the fields to alleviate the poor drainage,” stated the report.
  • Town Code 289-26-10 – Waive the High Impact Soil Study (HISS).  A search of Planning Board minutes in New Hampshire finds that it is common for developers to ask and be granted exemption from HISS.  Maddox concurred that this was frequently waived for developers.
  • Town Code 289-28-B 2 – Qroe Farm requests a variance to build their road only 24 feet wide instead of 28 feet wide.  The state standard is 24 feet, but Hudson at some point passed an ordinance making minimum road width 28 feet.  Maddox is uncertain why this proposal was passed.  The original proposal called for roads less than 24 feet, but Road Agent Kevin Burns pointed out that 24 feet wide was the minimum width needed if the town’s snow plows were going to plow the street.
  • Town Code 289-28 G – A variance from installing sloped granite curbing along the road.
  • Town Code 289-28 G – A variance that would allow them not to install bituminous concrete sidewalks.  “It probably saves the developers half a million dollars not to put in sidewalks and curbing,” said Maddox.

At the last Planning Board meeting a brief discussion was held on the proposal.  Because it was noted that the developers were asking for so many waivers to town code, Maddox asked them if they would consider giving two acres to the town.  That acreage to perhaps be used for a fire station or other needed facility.  “We’ve given more than enough for the town,” retorted Qroe Farm President Robert Baldwin.

But Maddox disagreed and wondered, “Exactly what have they given the town?”

The Planning Board then deferred discussion of this proposed development until the May 10 meeting.

Historical maps showing Nadeau Farm property lines.

Origami Originals

by Lynne Ober

Hudson youngsters got a look at the ancient art of Origami or paper folding.  Paper folding originated in China around the first or second century A.D. and reached Japan by the sixth century.

The Japanese named this art form origami (the name coined from ori, "to fold," and gami, "paper"). From that time it has enjoyed a rich history with many followers.

Today it’s not only a way to create beautiful art, but it’s a great way to have fun with kids and that’s exactly what happened at the Hills Memorial Library Origami Workshop.

Miss Heather had prepared folders for each participant showing all the projects that they would be making.  They began with a zig-zag puppet.  Miss Heather demonstrated every fold.  Her students watched with big eyes and then folded their own papers.

As the workshop progressed, they moved onto to projects requiring more folds.  They made a swam, a Trick Plane and a Hopping Bunny.

“This is so cool,” said Paige Weisinger.

Paige Weisinger, 7 and her best friend, Kaitlyn Allen, 8 learned to fold paper.

Ryan, 7.5, but I’ll be 8 in August, works with Miss Heather on his zig zag puppet.

Idol Fever Comes to Hudson

The cafeteria at Hudson Memorial School (HMS) came alive with “HMS Idol” Fever last Wednesday night for a crowded and appreciative audience.  Though it wasn’t the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood California, there were many gifted Hudson youth featured at the eighth annual HMS Dessert Theater on April 19.  

In all, almost 50 students performed under the direction of music teacher and choral director, Mrs. Diane Destrempe.  “The wide variety of our talent was great this year,” explained Mrs. ‘Dee,’ “we were fortunate to have several excellent solo singers and instrumentalists, some wonderful duets and fun ensembles.”

Among the evening’s many highlights were several great tunes from Swing Choir; a classic rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love; a lovely Minuet; Dancing Queen; several strong vocalists (What is this Feeling, Buttercup, Wind Beneath My Wings and Reflections); a heartfelt Josh Grobin piano solo, and some great toe tapping from the Clydesdale Dancers.  “All these kids worked really hard to pull HMS Idol all together,” shared Mrs. Destrempe between acts, “we’re all so proud of them.” 

In true Idol spirit, three judges -- Mr. Spagnelli, Ms. McDonough, and Mr. Martens – offered their comical and constructive commentaries after each performance.  Many of the HMS Idol acts were “performed with a lot of feeling,” assessed Ms. McDonough, “we loved it.”  Every student participating earned the right to call themselves a true HMS Idol.  I’m sure Simon, Paula, and Randy would be impressed. 

Thanks to some help (Mr. Bell, Mr. Bastien, and Mrs. Nadeau), the evening also marked the debut of the school’s new piano, a long-awaited addition many were excited about and most grateful for.  Congratulations to the many talented HMS Idols and special thanks to the students, staff, and parents for all their hard work, which made the entertaining and fun evening possible. 

HMS Idols sing and dance their way into audience hearts. Photo by Mark Levesque.

HMS Idols take their bow.

Horse Trouble Again

by Lynne Ober

Litchfield like many other towns is becoming much less rural.  More houses.  More traffic.  More people.  However, Litchfield still has lots of horses and there is on-going conflict between the cultures of the formerly rural town and the more sophisticated town.

At the past two Selectmen’s meetings, Selectman Pat Jewett has expressed grave concern about the damage being done to the grass along the new section of Albuquerque Avenue.  “Rich Charbonneau went above and beyond his budget putting in that grass,” Jewett explained.  “You should see it now.  There are deep horse hoof prints all along it.”

Jewett asked her fellow Selectmen to go look at the damage noting that she was afraid that the grass had already been ruined and that it would be impossible to mow.

20 Miles of Trash

by Lynne Ober     

If you drove on Litchfield streets on Saturday, you saw one bulging blue trash bag after another.  All in all approximately 20 miles of Litchfield streets were cleaned and Litchfield has Campbell High School Junior Jessica Streitmater to thank.

“We went to a college fair at Southern New Hampshire University,” recalls her mother, Kim.  “They gave out a website for young adults.  On that website were a variety of service projects and she [Jessica] just decided to do something nice for Litchfield.  This wasn’t a sophomore or senior project – it was just something for the community.”

Jessica got a fifty dollar gift certificate from Home Depot and she used the money to buy annuals and perennials to plan around town signs.  Her mother also dug up some hostas and split them for her.  “The hostas were originally from my grandmother and I had moved them to our home.”

Gardens were planted around the Darrah Park reader board sign and around the Police sign at Town Hall.

In addition, Jessica made up flyers that she took throughout her neighborhood and gave to classmates. 

She wrote to Selectmen and asked for permission to hold the clean-up day.  Selectmen were very supportive of her efforts to beautify the town.

“About fifteen people participated,” said her mother.  “They sure picked up a lot of trash.”

Plastic gloves and bags were provided, and refreshments were served to all the workers following the clean up.  “A group from Littleton, New Hampshire the Beautiful provided the bags,” said Pat Jewett a “perennial” clean up volunteer. 

Barbara Valenti and her daughter, Angela, 10, helped pick up trash.  The Valenti are neighbors and responded to Jessica’s flyers

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