Cub Scout Pack 21 had a Fun-filled Summer and Plans for a Busy Fall

submitted by Joanne Bergeron

Justin Williams poses with his dog shark.

The boys of Cub Scout Pack 21 in Hudson sure had a great summer!  Many of the boys will earn their summertime achievement award for attending three or more summer events. 

Some scouts kicked off their summer with “Movie Night” at the Apple Tree Cinema.  Many enjoyed the Pixar hit, Cars, while others chose to see X-men or Garfield 2.

The next fun event was Day Camp at Camp Doucet in Nashua which lasted June 26 through the 30.  This event was as educational as it was fun.  Some of the boys shot their very first bows. 

In July, some Scouts were adventurous enough to do Residence Camp at Camp Carpenter in Manchester.  Residence Camp involved overnight stays.  Also in July was the “Rain Gutter Regatta.”  This was quite a challenging summer event that involved the boys making their own boat, using a kit, and racing them against each other.

August proved to be the most active month.  Families embarked on a Pack-wide camping trip to Woodmore Campgrounds in Ridge.  Also, families enjoyed a night at the races at the Hudson Speedway.  The boys were lucky enough to be treated to a lap around the track in some of the race cars.  The Fisher Cats event involved meeting up with Scouts statewide at the Fisher Cats baseball park in Manchester.  The boys and their families saw a game and later a movie on the scoreboard.  They were also able to pitch tents for overnight camping on the outfield.  It was raining quite hard by morning, but that only added to the boys’ excitement.  The summer concluded the last week of vacation with a deep sea fishing trip.  Scout Justin Williams was fortunate enough to catch his first shark.

The Cubs Scouts are looking forward to a very active fall in which they will do their annual popcorn fundraiser to help support their many activities.  They hope to support their community by going apple picking and exploring at Elwoods Farm and corn maze.  Among other events, they may even be able to enjoy a sleepover at Plymouth Plantation.

These boys are also planning many charitable acts like the nationwide Scouting for Food drive that takes place in November.  They will be distributing and collecting bags across their neighborhoods for canned foods for the needy.  As winter approaches, they will do a Toys for Tots and also a clothes drive.

The Fisher Cats field, full of happy campers.

Cub Scouts, Tom Labrie and TJ Bergeron, pose with their den leader Scott Roystan.

Anthony Holzhauser goes for his ride.

RiverPlace Conceptual Plans Presented to Hudson Planning Board

by Len Lathrop

Concerned citizens listen on.

With 50 people in the selectmen’s chambers and another 35 watching via HCTV I the Planning Room, the “RiverPlace” development was once again showcased to the town of Hudson Planning Board.

This “conceptual review” included slightly changed plans from the two prior meetings with the Planning Board in November 2005 and March 2006.  S. R. Weiner and Associates, with their offices in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, the developer of “RiverPlace,” hopes to submit a complete plan to the town of Hudson in the late fall or early winter.

The conceptual plan, which can be seen in full size on the wall outside the Selectmen’s Meeting Room at Town Hall shows a “Lifestyle Center” on the 376-acre golf course with more than two million square feet of retail space, including an upscale one million square foot open air mall-like center, surrounded by hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues.  Surrounding this core retail area will be what are referred to as large box stores like Target, and Barnes & Noble.  The plans currently also show approximately 300 apartments and condos, an outdoor amphitheater and conference center.

Questions from interested parties and abutters in attendance centered around noise and buffer zones and traffic impact.

Bob Frazier, Vice President of Development for Weiner, answered questions about buffer zones.  When an abutter stated that he could hear a “match being struck at 150 feet,” and he wanted a 400 foot buffer, Frazier responded the land is expensive and they would do the best they could to block the noise.  When traffic concerns were questioned, the developer pointed out that most of the traffic would come off the Sagamore Bridge via Route 3.  Traffic studies are being done on the surface roads such as Lowell, River, and Dracut roads.

Current plans show a four-lane roadway from the bridge that connects to River Road near where the power lines cross River Road; a roadway also comes out at the intersection of Rena Avenue and Lowell Road and Vectron Drive.

‘I Feel Like I Just Won the Golden Ticket in the Willie Wonka Movie’

by Doug Robinson

Steven Levesque preparing for his duet with Ian Gillan.

Do you have what it takes to be a rock star?  Have you ever dreamed that you would be the next American Idol? 

When Steven Lévesque, 38, Hudson, learned Ian Gillan, the legendary voice of the rock group, Deep Purple, was hosting a national vocal competition in search of the contestant “with the best vocal version of his hit song, “Smoke On The Water,” Lévesque called his friend, purchased a six pack of Stout and made sure he had $20 in his wallet to pay his friend for the use of his studio.   

Gillan’s website refers to Gillan this way: “He has played to tens of millions of fans, and sold over one hundred million records.  He is the voice of rock and roll, and has inspired generations of singers.  He’s an author, a playwright, a screenwriter, a songwriter and a philosopher with a wicked sense of humor and a bit of the devil in his eye.  Pavarotti said he is a genius, and David Gilmour said as long as Gillan is singing, rock and roll is not dead.  And most of all, he’s got a seasoned impassioned voice and lyrical sense still better than any in rock and roll after 40 years of giving it his all.”

“Gillan’s the man,” commented Lévesque.  “He has been the influence for me for my whole vocal career.”  Nearing midnight, he hopped into his car and drove to his friend’s recording studio in Burlington, Massachusetts.

“I took vocal lessons for nine years where I learned not only how to power sing, but also to be able to sing a full range of blues,” continued Lévesque.  “When my wife, Stephanie, and I had our first child, my brother-in-law and I purchased a Häagen Dazs™ ice cream shop in the Burlington Mall.  Before Stephanie and I had our first child, I played guitar in a band called Superstition and we even cut a CD titled:  Strings, Skins, and Good Love.  We played mostly in western Massachusetts.  We played for party boats, in bars, and we toured quite a bit.”

Lévesque completed his rendition of the required song in only four recording takes.  Taking the CD home, he then, with Stephanie’s help, loaded the CD into his computer, reworked the formatting of the song, and hit the enter key, sending of his rendition for the contest during week six of the seven-week contest.  Then, he waited.  He went to bed after 5 a.m., just to get up in an hour or so to drive off to work.

When he learned that he had won for week six, he still needed to wait for the results from week seven, and then continue to wait another week for the official results to be tabulated for the entire contest.

The judges stated that Levesque sang “full of confidence, understands the song, and has a great attitude.”  The judges continued by stating that Lévesque possessed a “strong sense of timing, has a nice vibrato, and was pretty impressive.” 

And then it happened.  On Sunday night following week seven, around 8:00 p.m., (5:00 p.m. Western time zone), Lévesque received an e-mail.

“I was paralyzed,” recalled Levesque.  “I could not respond and Stephanie had to send the email for me and then dial the phone.”

Lévesque was told he had won the contest and that he would be receiving two roundtrip tickets to Las Vegas, two nights of hotel accommodations, and tickets to see Ian Gillan perform at the House of Blues on September 17.”

Lévesque took center stage with Ian Gillan at 2:30 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, at the House of Blues, Los Angeles.  Just before he took the stage, he called home so that his wife, Stephanie, could hear the performance on their cell phone.

“Incredible and unbelievable,” commented Lévesque of his trip to Las Vegas.  “Gillan offered me the opportunity of not only singing the chorus, he also offered me the opportunity to sing center stage with him, and sing the second verse of the song ‘Smoke on the Water.’  He made me feel welcome and comfortable.  Gillan also autographed an album which I took with me for him to sign.

“This has been an opportunity of a lifetime.”

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