Community Drives Hudson Post Office to First in ‘Bordering on a Cure’

by Maureen Gillum

The pervasiveness of breast cancer touches nearly everyone.  Most likely, it has or will impact a colleague; your mother, wife or sister; an old high school or college friend.  Across our nation and all demographics, one out of every eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS, www.cancer.org). 

In 1998, the United States Post Service (USPS, www.usps.gov) launched its Breast Cancer Research (BCR) semi-postal program to build awareness and raise funds to help find a cure.  “Our BCR stamps send an important message of hope and support,” states Jim Adams, USPS District Manager for New Hampshire and Vermont, “collectively, the program has raised more than $50 million for breast cancer research in the last 8 years.”


From left:  Hudson Post Office Sales and Service Associates, Mike Pettinato, Madeleine Garon, and Ron Horgan promote the USPS’ Breast Cancer Research stamp. 

To further advance Breast Cancer Research stamp sales, USPS’ local districts competed in “Bordering on a Cure” campaign to sell the most stamps in May and June.  “The Hudson Post Office (77 Derry Street) sold more BCR stamps than any other of the 549 post offices in all of New Hampshire and Vermont,” proudly stated Todd Skulnik, District Communication Coordinator. 

“We came in first and far exceeded all in NH and VT because of the amazing support of our Hudson community,” enthusiastically shared Madeleine Garon, Hudson NH Post Office Sales and Service Associate.  USPS District Retail Manager, Jack Talty, reported, “Remarkably, Hudson sold $21,554.55 BCR stamps during the 8-week campaign.”  “We’re very appreciative of all our generous local customers that spent the extra $1.20 for every BCR sheet to help fight breast cancer,” Madeleine stated earnestly, “they’re great!” 

Consistently Hudson’s top BCR stamp seller, Madeleine modestly claims, “promoting the campaign was pretty easy.”  The PO employee of 19 years explains, “It’s a great cause and patrons liked the “Bordering on a Cure” pink squares to display loved ones in memoriam or celebration.”  Hudson’s Post Office walls are now totally covered with several hundred pink squares.

Hudson PO co-workers, including Matt Pettinato, Janice Faulkner, Ron Horgan and Liz Evans, also helped the campaign and credited Garon as a key “motivator.”  “Madeleine was really excellent at promoting the BCR stamps,” offered Matt and Ron behind the counter.  “She also kept us on our toes,” laughed Matt good naturedly, “if our marketing approach wasn’t good enough, she’d let us know.” 

In part, Madeleine’s passion for the cause is she is a first-hand breast cancer survivor since 1993, and well knows the devastating losses of the disease.  In fact, Garon was one of seven USPS district employees that shared her ‘face and story’ for campaign posters hung up on regional post offices. 

A Hudson resident since 1974, Madeleine was diagnosed with breast cancer during a regularly scheduled examination in 1993.  At the time, she was a 43 year old single mom with a 16 year old daughter and a 14 year old son.  “When I got ‘the call’ at work, I knew before my doctor could say it – I had breast cancer,” recalls Madeleine.  “After serving a few more customers, I took a break to walk outside the post office; facing the cemetery, I had a good cry,” Garon openly disclosed, “Then, I asked God to please let me raise my two teenage children, then do with me as He wished.”

Thankfully, Madeleine’s prayer was answered and she has watched her two children grow to adulthood.  After some tough times -- exhausting days, initial hair thinning, chemotherapy and radiation treatments -- she is now happily cancer free for almost 13 years. 


Proceeds from the USPS’ Breast Cancer Research stamp has raised $50.3 million toward cancer research since its inception in 1998.

Madeleine also attributes “a positive attitude” and “keeping an open mind” as “vitally important” to her recovery.  “I really needed to be with people during the treatment time and beyond,” she explains, “my co-workers, customers, friends and family became my circle of support that kept me going.”  Not wanting to “let her customers and co-workers down” and gaining strength from them, Madeleine astonishingly missed just one and a half days of work during her breast cancer battle. 

As an advocate, Madeleine also stresses the importance of early detection for breast cancer.  Though she was the first in her family with breast cancer, tragically, she was not the last.  Her mother was diagnosed in 1996 and died of breast cancer in 2000; since then two of her three sisters have also been diagnosed.  “You just never know who and when breast cancer may strike,” warns Garon, “for this reason regular check-ups are critical.”

Fortunately, some progress is being made.  Breast cancer death rates – now 1 in 33 – are declining, likely due to earlier intervention and improved treatments.  Still, the ACS projects about 49,700 women will die from the disease this year – or roughly 1 woman every 13 seconds.  So, the desperate fight to build awareness and find a cure for breast cancer continues.  By far, early detection offers the best chances; 5-year survival rates exceed 70% to 85% among those diagnosed early.  The ACS’ three best early detection tools remains monthly self-exams, clinical breast exams, and mammograms. 

Madeleine also proudly heralds the USPS’ continued efforts with the Breast Cancer Research stamp.  She asserts, “BCR stamps are a quick and easy way to help a great cause” and urges all “to support the fight to find a cure.”  The stamp is sold for 45 cents year-round and covers for the cost (now 39 cents) of a 1-ounce, First-Class letter – the net proceeds from the extra 6 cents from every BCR stamp is contributed to breast cancer research.

Thanks to the generous support of customers nationwide, approximately 700 million Breast Cancer Research (BCR) stamps have been sold to date.  Proceeds from those stamps have contributed more than $50.3 million for breast cancer research since the program’s inception in 1998.  

“I’m very proud of the outstanding job our team did in the ‘Bordering on a Cure’ campaign and thankful to our community for their terrific support,” concluded Laura Dugas, Hudson Postmaster, “It helps a wonderful cause, raises awareness, and is an inspiration to all.”


Hudson Eagle Project Completes Freedom Fields

by Maureen Gillum


Carl Marshall (left) and Kyle Harris (right) stand proud with some Troop 20 Scout in front of the completed Freedom Fields sign.

Under sunny skies, Kyle Harris, of Hudson Troop 20 completed his Eagle Scout project last Saturday – a mission he began in earnest well over a year ago.  With lots of community and Troop support, he installed a 3-D carved sign for the Hudson United Soccer Club’s (HUSC) ‘Freedom Fields’ in front of Hills Garrison Elementary School.  “After hundreds of collective hours of planning and work by many, it felt great to actually get this done,” admitted 16 year-old Kyle with a relieved smile, “I’m also pretty proud of myself.” 

“The pinnacle of becoming an Eagle is designing and managing an Eagle project that benefits the community,” states Troop 20 Scout Master, Jeff Bailey.  Another key objective is to “utilize leadership skills,” explains Troop 20’s Committee Chairman, Roland Harris.  Dad also adds, “Kyle did a great job managing other Scouts and working with adults to get this project done well.” 

Two years ago, Kyle had a vision of completing HUSC’s Freedom Fields soccer field that opened in 2004 with a carved sign.  Though he doesn’t even play soccer, he really wanted to leave something to the Hudson youth.  Former HUSC President, Mike Juliano, who was instrumental in the sign’s design, appreciatively attended the installation.  The Hudson United Soccer Club (www.husc.com) sincerely thanked Kyle for the impressive legacy he left to HUSC and all of Hudson.  All were pleased that the patriotic sign ‘kept the spirit’ of Freedom Fields, named to honor our U.S. military serving in Iraq. 

“We’re extremely proud of Kyle,” echoes his mom Donna, “but we honestly never expected an Eagle project to be so involved.”  For starters, Kyle had to address the Daniel Webster Council’s BSA Eagle Review Board, the Hudson United Soccer Club, the Town Planning Board and work with Hudson’s Town Manager.  He also made dozens of phone calls and visits to various companies -- like Marshall Signs, Barlo Signs Nashua, Gate City & Fence, Barlo Signs, and VSS Corporation, -- to seek help and donations.  “Carl Marshall, Barlo Signs, and Nashua Gate City & Fence, were especially generous,” reported Kyle, “I’m very grateful to them and everyone who helped the project.” 

Kyle also enlisted the help of his Troop 20 Scouts and leaders.  Though Mr. Bailey missed the sign installation (he was in Maine leading the Troop on its annual canoe and white water rafting trip, as featured on the cover of Boys’ Life in 9/05), he was “very excited and proud.”  “This has been an incredible learning experience for all involved,” offered Joe Undercofler, Assistant Scout Master and Kyle’s Eagle Project Advisor, “This sign serves as a standing reminder of what scouting can contribute to the community!"

Achieving Eagle -- the highest rank in Boy Scouts of America -- is challenging.  Statistically, just one Scout in 100 who starts as a Cub reaches the rank of Eagle.  While Kyle Harris is the 33rd Eagle Scout to come from Troop 20, other honored 2006 Eagle Scouts (www.nhtroop20.org) were Nick Gaudet and Bryant Chamberlin.  Quite simply, the local Troop has blown away all odds on building Eagle Scouts, most especially under the recent leadership of its Scout Master, Jeff Bailey.

Mr. Bailey became Troop 20’s Scout Master in 1994 – before some of his present scouts were even born.  “Jeff has had an amazing ‘Eagle Streak’ within his dozen years of leading our troop,” shares Troop 20 Advancement Chair, Mike Keegan.  Of the 33 total Eagle Scouts that have emerged from Troop 20 since 1971, Bailey has astoundingly led 21 of “his boys” to their Eagle Courts.  In “redefining” his role “to focus on working on older scouts and BSA’s Order of the Arrow,” Mr. Bailey handed his reigns over to a new Scout Master, an Eagle Scout, Bill Zaharchuk, in late June.  “We’re excited to continue Jeff’s path,” shares Mr. Z, “where every Scout is an Eagle Scout in the making.” 

Congratulations and huge thanks to Kyle Harris and all who helped him on his awesome new Freedom Fields sign -- and to all of the Hudson Boy Scouts who have enhanced our community over the years with their many Eagle projects. 


Structure Fire Caused by Curious Juvenile

Hudson, Nashua, and Pelham Fire Departments all responded to a fire at a garage on 270 Lowell Road Hudson on Tuesday, July 11 at 12:20 p.m.  The fire was contained to a garage causing damage to the structure and a motorcycle.  A juvenile admitted to setting pine needles in the garage on fire using a lighter.  Fire had spread to a gas can and a chair.  There were no injuries reported and the fire was out by 12:40 p.m.


Chief Shawn Murray leaves the garage fire after it was extinguished.

Hudson’s Fire Prevention Division will be providing Juvenile Fire Intervention Education to the juvenile. 

Juveniles playing with matches and lighters can lead to a tragedy.  Please report all Juvenile fire lay to the Hudson Fire Department at 886-6021.  Please keep all matches and lighters away from children.  As a reminder to the public, “Please do not drive over charged hose lines, your communities’ firefighters and your lives may be in danger by doing so.”


Hudson Police Investigate Fire Department 

by Len Lathrop

 At press time, it came to paper’s attention that the Hudson Police Department had launched an investigation into Hudson Fire Department personnel for inappropriate use of Town equipment.  Fire Chief Shawn Murray refused to comment and referred all inquiries to Hudson’s Town Administrator, Steve Malizia.  Malizia stated that the investigation appears to be “focusing on personnel and misuse of town equipment,” possibly involving computers, although this has not been confirmed.  He said he wanted to remain cautious and optimistic so as not to form misjudgment.  He then referred any further questions to the Hudson Police.  Police Captain Donald Breault confirmed only that the police are looking into a personnel matter at the department and could not comment because the investigation is ongoing.


Another Light on Lowell Road:  “I Wanted to Cry”

by Doug Robinson

“I forgot to bring my Kleenex because I wanted to cry when I saw this one,” comments Selectman Kathleen MacLean when referring to the new traffic light being proposed for Lowell Road.  

At the request of the Planning Board for the Town of Hudson, Etchstone Properties, developer of the Mission Point retirement home at the Oblate Home, went before the Board of Selectmen, seeking their approval to install a four way traffic signalization at the intersection of Oblate Drive, Lowell Road, and Hampshire Drive.

Brad Westgate, representing Etchstone Properties, Inc. and Retreat Properties, stated that “One of planning board conditions of approval (in 2004) contemplates that a u-turn accommodation be made at Executive Drive on Lowell Road because of the right turns coming out of this project.  After a lot of back and forth discussions with the town and the NHDOT that approach was not thought of as the best approach.  The developer went back to the planning board and requested the planning board to modify that condition of that approval.  The planning board changed the condition of approval of this project to replace (the original plan) with a four way traffic signalization at Lowell Road and the Old Oblate Drive and an extension of Hampshire Drive...” 

Community Development Director, Sean Sullivan, and Town Engineer, Tom Sommers, “support the installation of a traffic signal at this location.  Etchstone Properties, Inc, at its expense, will cause the final design details and plans for improvements to be prepared by its project and traffic engineers, who design details and plans, will be subject to the review and approval by Town Engineer ... and by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.”

According to Westgate, the type of signalization required was determined by specific warrants as required by the NHDOT.  The four way intersection required the four way traffic light.

The traffic signals at Executive Drive, Oblate, and Flagstone have not been programmed to be timed in sequence to allow traffic more smoothly as the traffic lights are spaced approximately 1000 ft. apart.  “The volumes right now ... there is not need to time them together.” stated Tim Goldie, Traffic Engineer for Etchstone Properties.“


Double Vision is Double Fun

by Lynne Ober


Jody balances on a board on a round cylinder while audience members throw balls into his net.

Couple comedy with education and fun with learning and you have Double Vision, Jody and Linda Scalise style.  They have performed and written about the arts in education for decades and have been praised as two of the best in their field.  Using their unique abilities to use comedy, mime, juggling, circus monologue, rap and inspiration to teach and inspire others, Jody and Linda put on a show that has to be seen to be believed.

These talented performers inspired Litchfield children with their antics in Litchfield Middle School Cafeteria.  Double Vision was supposed to perform on the library lawn, but with the weather threatening, the show was moved to Litchfield Middle School.

Dressed as pirates, the theme of this year’s summer reading program, they brought laughter and learning to the students.  This is one of three evening activities sponsored by the Aaron Cutler Library in support of the summer reading program and it was a great evening.

The result of their collaboration and marriage is exciting entertainment.  As Double Vision, the Scalise’s created a number of shows, each an inspirational theatrical journey using styles from Vaudeville ala Chaplin, Keaton, and Gracie to a visual feast of skills often likened to Cirque du Soliel.  Students and staff began to truly believe that all things are possible after witnessing Double Vision and their engaging antics.


Jody taught audience members to twirl a plate on sticks and fingers.

In complete pirate outfits Jody and Linda performed expert and enterprising juggling, synchronized pratfalls, classic mime, zany characterizations, mystifying illusion, contortion, slow motion movement, a tight rope, a giant floating cube, a human robot, umbrellas, a vacuum, a leaf blower, stepladders, instruments, cigar boxes, a kite tail, a giant pinwheel, gibberish, and taught lessons along the way while their audience members laughed with delight.

Jody began the evening by asking children how pirates fixed the cuffs on their shirts.  After a battle with his cuff, he had Linda fix it for him.  She tried to get him to play his mandolin, but he declined.  Instead he balanced on a beam while audience members threw balls into his net.

He also taught audience members how to keep a plate twirling on a stick or on their fingers.

“Nothing is impossible,” Jody calmly said while juggling more balls than the eye could watch.  “The mind is the playground of your imagination.” 

It was immediately evident why audiences loved them.

In honor of the summer reading program they kept their dialogue in character.

The audience roared when they did a take off on Laurel and Hardy’s Who’s on First.  With a pirate theme, it became:

“What are you doing?”

“Going to sea.”

“See what?”

And it went on from there with the audience laughing along with them.

Linda managed to climb through a picture frame while teaching the students about life and respect.  Jody made everyone believe that he was really climbing down into the bowels of his pirate’s ship.

Double Vision made it seem that you were only laughing, but in reality their charm was that you laughed and learned and had a great time.


Town to Perform Municipal Review of Green Meadows Golf Course

by Doug Robinson

The Town of Hudson has entered into an agreement with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc (VHB) for “Municipal Review Services Redevelopment of the Green Meadow Golf Course to Mixed-Use.”

The agreement states, “VHB will provide the Town of Hudson municipal review services associated with the proposal to redevelop the Green Meadow Golf Course.  VHB will identify community wide impacts on municipal services and infrastructure including but not limited to schools, sewer, water, traffic, environment, economic, fire and police and other Town services.”  

The agreement also states that “For the purpose of defining a Scope of Services, we envision three principal elements of the work effort.  The first element is Direction, which consists of VHB providing initial direction to the project applicant as to the scope and scale of the evaluation that must be submitted for review.  The direction will continue throughout the review process through Advisory Committee meetings, meetings with town staff, as well as municipalities.  

“The second element consists of our Technical Review of the various submittals including traffic impact study, the conceptual master plan, the site plan, and any proposed modifications to the roadway system.   

“The final element consists of our evaluation which includes specific reports and advice that the VHB team will provide the Town with regard to the development’s impact on municipal services and quality of live.”

The three elements, Direction, technical review and our evaluation will involve:

Direction:

  • Traffic scoping meeting
  • Advisory Committee
  • Communication with the NHDOT and other municipalities
  • Coordination with the Project Applicant
  • Meetings

Technical Review:

  • Traffic Study Review
  • Environmental and Planning Review
  • Site Plan Review
  • Off-Site Roadway Design Review

Our Evaluation:

  • Public service requirements
  • Review of town capacity issues
  • Revenue impact
  • Town Operating Expenses
  • Estimate of tax revenues generated
  • Fiscal impact
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