‘Horsing Around’ can Get You All Wet

by Len Lathrop

A curious seven-year-old horse decided to go exploring in the early morning hours of June 1 at Rock Hill Stables in Hudson.  The aptly named Blue didn’t realize that a pool cover would not hold his substantial weight.  The result was a very wet and very frightened quarter horse.

Call Firefighter Pat Weaver tends to Blue while plans are established for his rescue.

Upon arrival, Hudson Fire Department personnel found the animal in the deep end of the practically filled in-ground pool.  After leading the horse to the shallow end of the pool, which had only about two to three inches of water, a makeshift ramp was formed out of a set of hay bales and wooden fencing and the 1,000 pound horse climbed out to safety.

Captain Clint Weaver and Firefighter Jason Fritz support the temporary steps as Blue is led from pool.

Blue’s owner, Karen Hallett, was extremely grateful to the emergency crew for their level-headed approach and ingenuous means of getting her horse to safety.  “It is hard to explain to anyone unless you own an equine, just how magnificent these animals are,” said Hallett of North Reading, Massachusetts.  “They truly become a member of your family.  From the bottom of my heart, thanks so much to all for helping Blue survive what could have been a fatal day for him and a devastating loss for our family.”

Police Dogs Compete in Merrimack

by Len Lathrop

More than 40 K-9s from across New England were at the Merrimack, Anheuser – Busch plant Saturday and Sunday for a Region 4 competition.  The dogs and handlers were tested in six different proficiencies - obedience, agility, article search, suspect search, and total search with and without gun fire.

Hudson’s K-9 Akim stops the decoy, Hudson officer Kevin Pucille.

The event was supported by the Hudson Police Department and was organized and coordinated by Officer Kevin Sullivan.  Officer Sullivan also competed with his partner, Akim, scoring 518.49 out of 700 points.  The high scoring team for the trial was Officer Joe Ryan of the Manchester Police Department with his partner, K-9 Arlo.

K-9 Alex of the Burlington Mass. Police Department.

Turmoil Erupts at Selectmen’s Meeting

by Doug Robinson

Selectmen, as required by law, are to conduct all business openly and in view of the public.  Secret handshakes, private winks, personal agendas, and acting unilaterally are not allowed.  Phone polls are not allowed, unless there is an emergency.  Dictionary.com defines emergency as, “A serious situation or occurrence that happens unexpectedly and demands immediate action, and a condition of urgent need for action or assistance: a state of emergency.”

According to Selectman Kathleen MacLean, during the Tuesday, May 23, Hudson Board of Selectmen’s meeting; the decision was made by the board to have Selectman Richard Maddox, Chairman, call VHB, the town’s consulting firm for the Green Meadows project.  MacLean said Maddox was to seek authorization for developer W/S Weiner to pay $600 for the services provided by VHB, if they were to attend the planned scoping meeting on May 25. 

Massey reacting to words expressed by Selectman Jasper.

Both Selectman Kathleen MacLean and Selectman Ken Massey believed that Chairman Maddox had overstepped his “authority,” when he conducted a phone poll regarding the upcoming VHB scoping meeting. 

MacLean read from a prepared statement:  “At our last meeting, after much discussion, this board directed the chairman to make a phone call to the developer to ensure that they would pay for the traffic study meeting that would be taking place within 48 hours.

“The chairman stated that he was busy with a real job and consequently asked the town administrator to make the phone call.  Before 24 hours passed, I received a phone call asking me to change my vote to have the town/taxpayer pay for the meeting because VHB was insulted and wanted to withdraw.

“If the chairman did as the chair was directed, and the developer refused to agree to pay for VHB to attend the designated meeting … I would gladly have changed my vote in support of having the town represented on the taxpayer expense.

“What is troubling is that the chair didn’t have time to make a phone call to the developer, but had time to call at least three selectmen and request that we change our vote, less than 24 hours after a public vote was taken.

“The chair stated to me that he was not going to ‘beg’ the developer … yet he spent time begging me to change my vote.

“I want to be on record this evening … for not having changed my vote via a phone call poll.  And I also want to be on record stating that had the developer refused payment … I would certainly have approved VHB attending the meeting at the town’s expense.

“As I understand it, the developer agreed to pay for the items in question and this whole phone polling episode should never have happened.”

Selectman Massey piggybacked off MacLean by stating that “all decisions are to be made in public, unless it goes to non-public.  All votes are to be recorded.  No single selectman can act on behalf of the board unless authorized.” 

“The problem we are in right now is that a certain selectman on this board (Maddox) has consistently throughout his public life said it was important for government to have transparency, and this is a prime example where non-transparency has caused us the problem,” stated Massey.  In reading from a response to an email from Selectman Maddox, Massey read, “On the 24th I (Maddox) am told that Sean Sullivan called Ed (Green Meadow Project Manager) from W/S.  They, the developers, did not agree to fund.”

Chairman Maddox explained that on the 23rd, “I foolishly said I have another job.  I should have said I thought it was unethical for me as the board chairman and as the liaison to the Planning Board to call up a developer and ask for money.  I still do.  I opted not to, turned to the town administrator, and delegated it to him, who in turn, delegated it to the Community Development director.  Because there was only one day, because our meeting was Tuesday night and the scoping was Thursday morning, we only had one day to get an answer.  He did not get an answer within that time frame and I thought it was important enough that we attend the scoping for the $600.  I called other selectmen … and got an approval from two other selectmen to expend the $600.  I did what I thought was right, and I think I did what should have been done as far as ethically calling up a developer asking for money.”

Selectman Shawn Jasper spoke to Selectman Massey’s motives for by stating that “if you are going to start attacking and accusing other selectmen, I will begin to question your motives, and I will begin to reconsider my personal opinions of  ... you always having the best interests of the town at heart.  This is disgraceful discussion.”

Jasper continued by stating, “When the selectman (Maddox) called me about dinner time, he told me we have not been able to reach them at this point.  VHB will not be able to go to the meeting based on our vote.  Something I had not thought about … what if we cannot get an answer from them on Wednesday morning about a Thursday meeting? … it should been obvious to me … it was a  short window (and) $600   it was stupid of us not to be there.  So, I agreed to have them be there.  It was in the best interest of the town.”

Massey continued his assault on Chairman Maddox by questioning statements he had heard regarding town land being leased to the Seniors.  “One member of the board is making statements about leased land … (and) no member can make such statements,” continued Massey.  “I fear the individual, who heard what is going to happen, if it does happen, will be perceived as a done deal.” 

Jasper spoke to particulars and asked if the land in question was the 10 acres of land located in the Industrial Park, Hudson, which had been taken by the town.

Massey also referred to the public’s perception of the current board in reference to Green Meadow.  Massey referred to the board being “transparent” and in front of the public.  Massey also asked of Maddox to “have the courtesy and at least discuss it (Senior Center) with the board.” 

Selectman Jasper stated that he thought the comments by Selectman Massey were “disingenuous."  He (Maddox) was feeling the idea out with Ben and me.  What we are doing is only gathering input and talking to others.  That’s how government works, don’t insult my intelligence.”

In retrospect, Selectman MacLean stated, “The more I thought about the reaction to my comments; I decided to apologize that they may have come across as ‘mud slinging’ or ‘personal attacks.’  However ... the point of my comment was to make it perfectly clear to the public that what we as a board had decided in a public vote on Tuesday was then vetoed by private and individual votes on Wednesday.  (And it all took place under the precept that ‘the sky was falling.’)  The public needs to know that after all the healthy discussion about ‘who pays?’ that this board was convinced to reverse its decision the very next day!  And in my opinion the whole thing could have been avoided with one simple phone call ... the one the record will show (99 percent sure) the board directed the chair to make.”

For Alvirne Musical Legacy Candace Friborg it was all ‘Natural’

by Doug Robinson

Senior members of Nothin’ But Treble give going away gifts to Mrs. Friborg.

For decades, the four walls of Alvirne High School have been filled to the rafters and have reverberated with sweet sounds of wonderful music, coming from the beautiful voices of the students who range in ages from 14 to 18 years.  And, in the center of this musical arena, stands Candace Friborg, Coral Music Director, for Alvirne High School.

In speaking of Friborg’s retirement, Bryan Lane, Alvirne High School Principal, stated, “The program that Candace has created has brought life to lots of kids as well as to the community.  As a whole, music is a gift and she is always been willing to give the gift, and that is what has made her special.”

Friborg  has received similar accolades from the First Lady of the United States, Barbara Bush who stated “Best wishes,” and in May 1998, the Speaker of the House from the State of New Hampshire, acknowledged Candace Friborg and the B Naturals with the “highest accolades and plaudits” when they performed at the State House.

In 1981, while teaching at the Griffin Memorial School, Friborg was awarded “Teacher of the Year.”  She repeated this honor in 1997, while at Alvirne High School. 

Candace Friborg directs the Alvirne Singers.

Friborg recalls, her “fondest memory was when Principal Nase of Alvirne High School had the B Naturals, while singing my favorite song Danny Boy, present me with my second Teacher of the Year of Award at Alvirne High School.”

Friborg’s journey to become an educator in the field of music began at the early age of five.  “I was influenced by my piano teacher and my high school music teacher,” stated Friborg.  “In music, you connect with your students, and I had that connection with my music teachers.  You know them (students) for four years.  Music opens up the emotions within you and it also help with communication.  Music is a world language; it is the language of the soul.”

While a student of Nashua High School, Friborg gave piano lessons to fellow high school students.  Following graduation, she attended Rivier College where she received her major in classical piano.  During the summers she studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music, in an effort to fine tune and further develop her music.  Friborg formally studied music, as a student, for 18 years.

Throughout Friborg’s 35-year career as a teacher, her different chorale’s have not only entertained their audiences, they have also connected with thousands of students and tens of thousands of those who watched as well as participated during their concerts.  The different ensembles Friborg has formulated have performed at the state, regional and international levels.

Victory trophies line the cabinets and walls of Friborg’s Alvirne High School office.  Six Flags New England, Best Overall High School Choirs, overall and  Music in the Parks Mixed Choir II AA - First place - excellent are only two of the many trophies documenting a long line of successes for Friborg, Alvirne High School, and most importantly, the students of Alvirne High School.  As Friborg states, “It is all about the kids.”

Graduating Singers of Alvirne Stage Band honor Gerry Bastien.

These trophies stand in testament, to the double decade of successes of both the music program at Alvirne High as well as the impact this program has had on the lives of her students.  “She glows,” said Alvirne High School Junior, Jill Tatem.  “She wakes everyone up and she gets them to sing from their hearts.”  Catherine Prestipino, Alvirne High School student commented, “She has been my teacher for three years.  Her personality is infectious.  She makes the shy, go-getters, and she brings our voices out.  She has been a very big inspiration to us all.”

Friborg’s biggest challenge was the meeting of deadlines for the performances.  “Just getting it ready,” commented Friborg, was always difficult.  When discussing what she will miss the most, she states that “I will miss the students the most,” and then with a smile, and glint to her eye, she added, “I will miss Gerry too.”

“I knew we were going to be a great team, (like) Burns and Allen,” said Gerry Bastien, District Music Coordinator for the Town of Hudson.  “From the first time my phone rang at home and it was Candy at the other end introducing her and welcoming me to Alvirne High School, I just knew I would like her.  After our two-hour conversation, I felt that I had known her all my life and that transitioning to Alvirne from Londonderry would be seamless.”

Bastien continued by stating “Our relationship has always been that of an equal partnership with our students being the number-one priority.  I could always depend on her to be my sounding board on both the professional and personal level.”

Some might say that Friborg’s legacy could be found in the various chorales she formed or the various performances that she and her peers orchestrated.  Some may say her legacy may be found in the B Naturals, the highly talented singing group of students which she organized in 1986.  “Over the years, the B Naturals have made a name for themselves locally and at the state level.  They (have) performed for Governor Jeanne Shaheen, stumped for almost every Presidential candidate, the Hudson Chamber of Commerce, as well as raised much-needed funds for the Nashua Soup Kitchen by singing yearly holiday concerts at the First Baptist Church in Hudson.  The B Naturals have traveled to Montreal, Toronto, Six Flags NE and have even sang the National Anthem in the lobby of the Empire State Building” in New York City,” stated Friborg.

Nothin’ But Treble graduating singers

But the true legacy of any special teacher, such as Candace Friborg, is represented in the long-lasting, loving relationship created by that special bond between teacher and student.  At the recent Elias Brody Memorial Spring Concert, which is held annually at the high school, 56 former B Naturals, representing different student classes from 1989 to the present sang Amazing Grace in tribute to Friborg.  Jen Simard, a former Friborg student and now a Broadway star, attended the concert, and sang shoulder to shoulder with fellow students honoring Candace Friborg.  As David Capone, Alvirne High School junior stated quite simply, “She helped me.” 

And for the thousands of other students, who reflect back upon their high school careers, they too will remember that very special music teacher, teaching, and saying, “Blow a C sharp, and then hear it … stand tall … hands down … breath … deep breath now … stop, do it again … now hum it ... (talking to a student) … you are in uniform … feet apart … tap the toe inside the shoe … big breath … I can’t hear it … yes you can … that’s it … you heard it … nice job … very good … great.”

Pelham Man Serving Second Tour of Duty Makes Ultimate Sacrifice

by Lynne Ober

Freedom isn’t free.  There’s always a cost and some, like Pelham’s Daniel Gionet, 24, pay the ultimate price.

Gionet died in Taji, Iraq, Sunday while patrolling with his unit.  What the military calls an improvised explosive device (IED) exploded near his tank, killing him. 

This was Gionet’s second tour in a combat zone since joining the Army after his 2001 graduation from Pelham High School.  

Gionet, an aspiring chef who knew the comforting value of good food, decided to join the Army in order to earn money toward college.  He served a tour of duty in Afghanistan at Kandahar Air Field as a cook, providing food that helped keep his unit’s morale high.

His family was surprised when he re-enlisted when his tour of duty was up.  Gionet wanted to become a medic.  “He always wanted to help people,” said his mother, Denise Gionet, a Pelham resident.

After re-enlisting he trained as a medic at Fort Hood, Texas. 

Gionet was home last November for Thanksgiving, but was due home in just a couple of weeks for a 15-day leave.  “We were looking forward to having him home again,” said his mother, “but now …”After a pause, she said, “He was a true hero.  He was always helping someone.”

While at Pelham High School, Gionet was a good student who was well liked.  He was a student athlete who was a member of both the wrestling and baseball teams.

Denise Gionet praised the out-pouring of support that she has received since she received the horrendous news.  “People have been helping.”

Funeral details have not been finalized.  It is expected that Daniel Gionet’s body will be home within a week.

In addition to his mother, Daniel Gionet leaves behind his father, Daniel, in Lowell; his wife, Katrina; two siblings, Darren, 20, and Alycia, 18.

Les Brown once said, “A lot of people do not muster the courage to live their dreams because they are afraid to die.” 

Daniel Gionet had the courage to follow his dreams.  Although he made the ultimate sacrifice for defending America’s freedom, he will never be forgotten and will live on in hearts and memories.

“God Bless America”

The parents and families of Early Start Children’s Center’s four-year-old classes had tears and chills when the children sang “God Bless America” and other patriotic songs.  The Memorial Day presentation was dedicated to the men and women in the Armed Forces serving our country.  As the children practiced their songs and learned about our country’s freedoms for the Memorial Day presentation, they felt “Proud to be an American!”

Campbell High School Student Council Receives Prestigious Award

by Sarah Viafora

On May 19, the Student Council at Campbell High School was presented with an Honor Council Award for 2006.  This annual award is given to high school student councils that have displayed impressive leadership skills, involvement in the town and school communities, and have portrayed impressive leadership in all of the activities they sponsored throughout the year. 

The council also had to create a scrapbook within a series of guidelines posted by the New Hampshire Association of Student Councils.  Within each book, each council had to include a description of its role as a student council, describe five events the council organized, and explain why the committee should receive the title of Honor Council.  Mary Howley, a sophomore representative of the student council, describes the winning experience. 

"When they called our school, it felt like all of the time and effort we put into this year paid off.”  Anthony Savani, the Treasurer of the Student Council, explains what was involved in creating the winning scrapbook.  "The Honor Council Committee worked incredibly hard and put in countless hours to make a wonderful display of our activities this year.  I am happy their hard work was recognized."

Campbell’s Student Council kicked off their busy year with a tree-lighting ceremony around the holiday season.  This event brought the Litchfield community and the school’s staff and students together to celebrate members of the town.  In February, council members raised more than $700 for the LEA (Litchfield Education Association) scholarship fund, by selling flowers for Valentine’s Day.  The money was given to fortunate members of the 2006 graduating class.  Campbell’s Student Council hosted a "Make-A-Difference" week in which students and staff throughout the entire school brought in canned goods for a Knights of Columbus food drive.  Overall, the council raised more than 2,000 cans for the needy. 

Many of these activities were featured in an NHASC newsletter that is sent out to all councils involved in the association.  Members also worked on a variety of proposals that will enhance the students’ experience in high school.  The council also worked in conjunction with Campbell High School Principal Mike Parent to host student forums that gathered students’ ideas on certain pre-determined topics.  One of the council’s major events roused the spirit within their school by sponsoring a weeklong celebration of spring entitled "Spring Fest.”

Student Council Adviser Shawn McDonough sums up the successful year.  "The leadership, service, and commitment of our Student Council to Campbell High School demonstrate to the community that they are a state Honor Council!"

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