Horse Born at Hey Day Farm
by Lynne Ober
If it’s spring, it must be time for babies to be born at farms. Hey Day Farm in Litchfield was the scene of the birth of Ransom, a quarter horse. He was born in the morning and immediately was loved by the entire family – four footed and two footed.
Ransom’s mother, Abby is almost four years old. She’s a little young to be a mom, but she spent some time with a frisky two-year-old male hose and the rest, as they say is history. Abby is a great mother who watches the antics of her newborn.
Ransom was only five hours old when he posed for the pictures. His legs were still a little wobbly, but he was healthy and interested in his surroundings.
Budget Committee Needs to Budget their own Time and Make Minutes Available
by Doug Robinson
Each year the Budget Committee meets with town officials, department heads, and various committees, to review their upcoming budgets and make recommendations to the voting public in the town of Hudson. During their review, the Budget Committee offers their opinion as to whether the monies should be expended or not.
During these open meetings, New Hampshire State Law, RSA 91-A:2 II states, “Minutes of all such (budget) meetings, including names of members, persons appearing before the bodies or agencies, and a brief description of the subject matter discussed and final decisions, shall be promptly recorded and open to public inspection within 144 hours of the public meeting.”
When inquiring about these records at Town Hall, “try Finance,” or ”try the town clerk” were the responses received. “We have never seen them, and we have been asking for years” were other comments. One employee of Town Hall snickered, laughed, and stated, “Good Luck.”
The minutes for the Budget Committee meetings are required to be collected and kept on file with the Town Clerk’s office. While reviewing the file for the Budget Committee minutes, the most current minutes dated back to January 2005. In fact, the minutes of the meetings reviewed were submitted in group fashion, with up to 20 different meetings being submitted at the same time, by then Secretary, Charlotte Schweiss.
In speaking with Budget Committee Chairman, Howard Dilworth, he stated that “I do have some to turn it, and I have not gotten to it.”
Letters of request from the town clerk have been sent to the Budget Committee, but they have gone unanswered and ignored. In a letter dated, February 9, 2005, it states “Numerous requests have been made to view the minutes.” Another letter dated January 11, 2005, states, “There have been a few requests in the past couple of months from individuals looking to see the minutes of the Budget Committee. We spoke a few months ago about getting the minutes.”
In a letter sent to the Budget Committee dated, February 9, 2005, “If the requests for the minutes are not met, the Budget Committee will be in jeopardy of a court hearing.”
Teachers Resign under Cloud of Inappropriate Behavior
by L. Lathrop and R. Rodgers
When a troublesome comment was e-mailed to the “Thumbs up – thumbs down” column last week, the Hudson~Litchfield News contacted the parent who had submitted it and found reason to investigate further.
The possibility of improper sexual behavior between a female student and a teacher on an overnight field trip had been alluded to in the comment. As soon as the incident was reported, the Hudson School District took swift action involving all community resources including the Hudson Police. The teacher, Junior ROTC Instructor, Chief Mark Smith, was found to have an inappropriate emotional relationship with the student and did resign.
During the inquiry, a second incident was also uncovered involving welding teacher Ralph Odell. Odell had downloaded adult pornographic materials to his school computer. When this was discovered, the district quickly involved the police and worked to ensure that Odell was no longer in the classroom. Subsequently the FBI removed the hard drive from the computer in question. No charges were filed, but, again, the teacher resigned. Hudson School District has a strict policy regarding computer usage that clearly states that viewing pornography on a school district computer is grounds for dismissal.
According to Hudson School District Superintendent Randy Bell, no criminal charges were filed in either case. “The Hudson School District has experienced an unfortunate incident with staff members, who have since resigned,” stated Bell. “This staff member (Mark Smith) engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a student. To the best of our knowledge no criminal activity was involved and no charges have been filed. The district took speedy and appropriate action when made aware of this relationship.”
Litchfield Fourth Graders are Persuasive on Key Issues
by Maureen Gillum
There’s a lot going on in Mrs. Moesel’s fourth grade class at Griffin Memorial School in Litchfield this spring. The nine and ten year olds of Room 26 were recently inspired into civic action. “Our letters began as a writing assignment,” explained an energetic Tanya Moesel, a Hudson resident and Griffin teacher for the last four years, “I asked my students to pick a topic that was important to them – something they wanted to change in their community, state, or country.” Dovetailing into Griffin Memorial’s character education curriculum, this year’s persuasive business letters took on a life of their own.
“After selecting their themes, the kids decided who they could contact to best support their issue or help make their cause a reality,” detailed Moesel. As such, some students wrote to their school principal, while others sent letters to government officials like their senators and New Hampshire Governor John Lynch. Griffin Principal, Martin “Bo” Schlichter, who received several fourth grade letters regarding lunch room and recess suggestions, thought the project was great! Principal Schlichter proudly commended Mrs. Moesel and her students on a project that showed “writing with a purpose at its best!”
Seven others, opted to write to their local newspaper, the Hudson~Litchfield News, to help evangelize their issue and garner community support. For example, nine-year-old Rachel Craig wrote to encourage her audience to plant more flowers, vegetation, and trees to help protect and provide for Litchfield’s animals and wildlife. She shared with an enthusiastic grin, “I’m very excited about being in the paper” and “helping my community and all the animals.”
Ten-year-old, Erin DePew opened her letter with her declaration, “I love the Hudson~Litchfield News, especially the thumbs up/thumbs down section.” She gave a big “thumbs down to not wearing a motorcycle helmet in New Hampshire” as “helmets save lives!” Admitting she was “a little worried about my dad,” Erin convincingly pleaded to all bikers, “Think of those that love you. Your children and family need you – please wear a helmet.”
Other letters from Mrs. Moesel’s class, as featured in full in their original hand, were just as compelling and forceful on a wide variety of key issues. As shown, Steven Caporale outlines the environmental benefits of composting. Morgan Scott tackles the health hazards of smoking. Nicole Lavacchia encourages proper care and respect for pets and farm animals. Cate Walsh seeks a new town park as a “great place for adults and families.” Last but not least, Joey Soraghan promotes more local bike paths to help “stay in shape” and avoid having families watching too much TV.
Moesel, who moved to fourth grade last year, after teaching third graders at Griffin, as well as fifth grade in Chelsea, Massachusetts, shared, “I really enjoy the developmental level of fourth graders and their sense of humor.” She also stressed the importance of this project beyond its lessons in grammar. “We hoped to emphasize to everyone that kids can make a difference,” Moesel concluded with a broad smile, “and that their opinions and ideas really matter.” Check out the excellent solutions her students crafted on some of the issues most important to them in their own words.
I think there are a lot of nice people out there that smoke. Smoking is bad for your body and for the people around you. Please consider quitting smoking.
As you smoke things start to change like … your teeth get yellow. It also makes you cough loudly. Then your breath starts to smell. If you smoke for a long time, you could get lung cancer. You can die from lung cancer, too, and I do not think that you will want to die.
When you smoke, not only does it hurt you, it hurts or affects the people around who can inhale your smoke and you would (cause) second hand smoke. You can give other people lung cancer.
When you throw away your cigarette you can start a fire if it is not out all the way. When you throw your cigarette on the ground you are also littering, too. Please consider this litter.
Please stop smoking because it is hurting you and the people around you.
I love the Hudson~Litchfield News especially the thumbs up/thumbs down section. I have a thumbs down to not wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle in New Hampshire.
Helmets save lives! If you crash, the helmet will protect your skull and brain. Brain trauma could cause death or lots of pain. If you get in a crash, there could be flying metal parts. In an accident, these could damage your head! It’s safer to wear a helmet than not to because it gives you more protection.
Accidents happen to good drivers, too. Motorcycles are hard to see in the dark, and cars could crash into you. Frost heaves could cause you to lose control.
Think of those that love you. Can’t you wear your helmet to be safe? You are less likely to get hurt or die with a helmet on. Your children and family need you!
Please wear a helmet. Thank you for reading my concern.
Dear Community Members,
The Town of Litchfield has many plants, but I think we should plant more of them. I think this because it would provide many more homes for all the animals. We have many animals in Litchfield. We need homes for all the animals that live here. They all need to sleep safely at night so they don’t get hurt. We need more plants in Litchfield.
We should plant more plants because it would provide more food for the animals like the woodpecker. All animals deserve to eat food. No animal will survive without food. Planting more plants will attract more wildlife. We want to keep the animals in Litchfield and possible get more.
Also, plants would provide hiding places for the animals. Do you want the animals to get hurt? I know I don’t. By planting more trees, and flowers they won’t get hurt. They be able to hid from their enemies in more places. They’ll also be able to blend in better. I want animals in Litchfield.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I hope you come to agree with me. If you do, you could start right now. Get your friends and family and start planting right in your backyard, your friends’ backyard, and all over your neighborhood. I thank you again for taking the time to read this.
Dear Hudson and Litchfield Resident,
My name is Nicole Lavacchia and I think pets and farm animals are very loving and playful. They help us a lot but now it’s our turn to help them. Animals are being mistreated by humans and I would like to change that. I have listed some reasons and I would like you to think about helping me.
You can hurt animals if you mistreat them. If you put a shirt on them it could be too tight and choke them. Also they could be allergic to the fabric and get sick. This last reason is as important as the first two. You could pull their hair and hurt them badly. Please think about these reasons and how the animals feel.
One of the most important reasons can affect you a lot. You could get hurt. The animal that you are mistreating could get mad at you and bite you. If the animal bites you it could have some kind of sickness and get you sick. If you mistreat an animal you can get hurt, too.
There are many more reasons but I am only going to tell you one more. Animals can’t talk to you because you can’t understand them. You won’t be able to tell if your animal is sick until it’s too late. So take them to the veterinarian regularly. If they die, you’ll feel bad and miserable. So don’t do things that might make them sick like feeding them the wrong food.
Please think about these reasons and remember animals can die from being mistreated. Please treat animals with respect and take care of them by feeding them the right food and taking them to the vet regularly. Thank you for your time and attention and I hope you help me change people’s bad and poor behavior with animals.
Dear Gardeners of Hudson and Litchfield,
Hudson and Litchfield are quite beautiful already but I think it would be even better if we made more compost. Compost helps to recycle much more. It’s better than finishing an apple or banana and then throwing the core or peel away. We also get something out of compost then just from throwing biodegradable stuff away. I bet that all you gardeners out there like recycling better than thinking of every useless thing as garbage.
Compost would make the trees and the plant so much stronger, too. Imagine looking outside your own local tree and seeing (it) stand high and strong even through the toughest of winds. You don’t have to worry about a tree knocking over a telephone pole or power line anymore because it will be too strong for the wind to push it over. Since the tree will be strong if we use the trees to build houses the houses will be strong, too.
Compost makes the towns more beautiful and much healthier. Think how beautiful that would be. Think how healthy that would be, too. Because the towns will be so beautiful the population will go up and I mean way up.
So I hope you see now how great compost is. I also hope you say yes to compost. Thanks either way. If you’re interested in compost go to www.makecompost.com.
Dear Litchfield Residents,
You know what would make Litchfield a better town? A town park. Adults can read a book on the benches. They also can get good exercise by walking on the paths. Families can have picnics at the park. It is a great place for adults and families.
Kids can run around playing tag in the wide open space. They can also play on the playground. The kids can also bring their friends to the park. Kids also get good exercise running around. We would also have a wading pool – it would be really fun for the little kids.
At the park people can walk their dogs on the paths. The park can also have a fenced-in area just for the dogs to run around off their leashes. It is also safe for dogs to walk in the park instead of on the street where you could get hit by a car.
Please consider building a park in Litchfield
The bike trails we have now are great now but we need more bike trails. We need more bike trails so we can stay healthy. Staying healthy is important. Staying in shape would be easy if you rode a bike. Also you won’t get fat. There would be something to do instead of drugs. If you rode a bike you wouldn’t take drugs. People would be able to stay healthier if we had more bike trails.
More bike trails would make families spend time with each other. Families wouldn’t spend an afternoon watching TV. You would be able to ride a scooter and roller blade. If you could scooter and roller blade more people would use it. The dog might want exercise, too. The dog would see more than just the yard and would stay strong.
If there were trash cans on the side of the trails it wouldn’t get dirty fast. If you ate a snack you wouldn’t throw it on the ground. We could start by putting trash cans on the paths we have now. There should be bags for dogs when they go to the bathroom. It would smell better. People could volunteer to clean the side of the trail. If people cleaned the side of the trail it would look really nice.
Thank you for reading my letter. Please help keep bike paths nice. Hopefully there will be more bike trails soon. More people would get bikes. Litchfield citizens would stay healthy.
Nottingham West Fifth Graders Have Their Eyes on Owls
submitted by Peter Durso
Nottingham West Elementary School’s lucky fifth graders were visited by six nocturnal birds of prey from Eyes on Owls (www.eyesonowls.com) on Tuesday, May 9.
“A key goal of our live owl program is to stress the importance for all of us to know and understand the connection to our natural environment,” explained owl expert, Marcia Wilson. She began each of her three PTO-sponsored presentations (just one to two classes each) with an amazing slide show of owl pictures taken by her husband, Mark Wilson, a naturalist and Boston Globe photographer.
“Having recently studied the food chain and predator/prey relationships, this assembly ties in perfectly with our fifth grade science curriculum,” explained a fifth grade teacher. “It’s also something really fascinating and fun that our class talks about and looks forward to all year!”
During each of the 1 1/4 hour interactive owl shows, students analyzed owl pellets, did “white wash” patrol, and learned unusual owl calls or “hoots” (like the Barred Owl’s “Who-Cooks-for-you”). Marcia Wilson also introduced each of her six disabled owls for the kids to see up close, including a Saw Whet, Screech, Barred, Snowy, Great Horned, and Eagle owl. Please ask your fifth grade naturalist what they liked best and perhaps a few things they learned from Eyes on Owls. Like most enrichment programs, the NWES PTO was proud to sponsor this excellent event and looks forward to the owls’ return next spring.
Crews Respond to Rollover Accident in Litchfield
On Monday, May 8 at 2:20 p.m. members of the Litchfield Fire Department, Litchfield Police Department, and Hudson Fire Department were dispatched to 144 Charles Bancroft Highway for a motor vehicle rollover. Fire crews arrived on scene to find a single vehicle that had run up an embankment and gone over a rock wall. The vehicle landed on the passenger side and was wedged between the rock wall and a guide wire from a nearby utility pole, trapping the driver inside the vehicle.
Fire crews stretched a water line due to the hazards of fluids leaking from the vehicle and began extricating the driver. Londonderry Fire Department’s rescue was requested to the scene for assistance.
The women was extricated through the front window and transported to Southern New Hampshire Medical Center by the Hudson Fire Department ambulance crew.
The driver was Yvonne Willey, 32, of Litchfield, and the accident is still under investigation.
Area News Group Announces New Production Manager
The Area News Group is pleased to announce that Jeff Rodgers, a Hudson native and 2000 Alvirne High School graduate, has been promoted to production manager.
The Area News Group produces two weekly newspapers with a combined circulation of 23,000: the Hudson~Litchfield News and Pelham~Windham News. Rodgers has been with the company for a year and a half. Rodgers began his tenure at the Area News Group as operations assistant. In that capacity he handled ad design and page layout, as well as website design and maintenance.
For the last three months he has stepped up, taking on more responsibilities in the area of production. With this change he is now the hands-on person who ensures that the paper gets to the press on schedule and that the editorial flow of the publications runs smoothly. The position of production manager is new. Previously, Editor-in-Chief Len Lathrop had handled these duties.
“Jeff’s growth over the last year and a half and his willingness to accept the rigors of weekly newspaper production is remarkable, coming from a computer background,” said Lathrop. “His transition has been seamless. I look forward to Jeff assuming a lot of my duties as we continue to grow and venture into new territories.”
Rodgers has an associate’s degree in computer animation from Full Sail Real World Education in Florida. This background has helped him in the technological aspects of his job at the newspapers.
“Essentially I’ve been moving toward this new role for awhile,” explained Rodgers. “From that first day, it was a natural progression to where I am now. Basically the papers are like giant jigsaw puzzles that you have to rearrange each week and put into place. That’s the challenge of the job – making it all fit together.”