Ed Peterson:  Teaching Basketball for ‘Generations’

by Sue LaRoche

Mackenzie Kiluk

There are not many reasons why a teenage girl or boy would get up at 8:30 a.m. every Saturday morning for 10 weeks.  Just ask Coaches Morgan Towle, Kristina Beningo, Amandra Purcell, Derek Li, Max Mahoney, Taylor Terrio -- familiar names to those who follow Alvirne athletics.  Towle, a coach of the “Little Giants,” stated with a smile, “I love teaching the kids how to play and I love seeing them have fun doing it.  Mr. Peterson gives us great examples and teaches us how do deal with different situations.  He is really fun and he brings us donuts every week.”

These coaches, along with many others, volunteer to instruct an excited and willing audience of energetic second grade children through the Hudson Recreation Department-sponsored Instructional League, run by Ed Petersen.  Peterson explained, “I don’t take calls from the parents of these high school kids … I have the high school kids contact me themselves so that I know that they really are committed to doing this.  This age group (high schoolers) has a lot of patience with the kids.  They make it fun for them and can tolerate a lot so it works really well.” 

This year there are over 100 pupils enrolled in this program.  If you count the number of second (and originally third) grade students that Ed Peterson has coached/taught over the 16 years that he has been running this program, it would total well over 2,000 of Hudson’s youth.

Former AHS girls’ basketball star and member of the 1994 state championship team, Laurie (Skelton) Sellingham, was one of the program’s players on the “Jordans” (named after star NBA player Michael Jordan).  When she got to the high school, she became a coach for Peterson. Today, her daughter, Brianah (and when she is old enough, Hannah) is a willing participant in the program.  “Not much has changed in the program from when I went through,” shared Sellingham.  “This program really breaks the game down for the girls.  Even though my daughter is somewhat a ‘girly girl’ she is up at 5:30 a.m. bouncing the basketball because she loves coming here.”  

Tersa Jarvis and Julia McCaffrey practice drills.

Because of the length of his tenure, Peterson has worked with four different recreation directors including Barbara Hamilton, Sherri (Hamilton) Lavoie, Keith Bowen, and current director, Dave Yates.  Both Yates and former director Lavoie are quick to point out that they “came in when this program was already established.  It is so great to see Ed getting the high school kids involved.”  Lavoie continued, “I taught some of these kids, who are now coaches for Ed, when they were in the third grade and I trust them to work with my own kids.” 

Ed Peterson originally hails from Connecticut and moved to Lowell, Massachusetts when he was 15 years old.  He graduated from Lowell High School and went to work for Raytheon.  He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Studies with a concentration in Materials while working for Raytheon, where he has worked for 33 years.  While working with the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) in his home parish as a kid, he met his future wife Collette and they were married in 1977.  They have had three children:  Erin who is now married and attending Keene State College studying Education; Lauren who is attending Lincoln Christian College in Illinois pursuing Adult Christian Formation with a minor in English as a Second Language; and Sarah who passed away at the tender age of eight, on December 18, 2001, following a courageous battle with Osteosarcoma.

Ed recalled the first day that he became interested in working with kids.  “My sister Lisa got me out of bed when I was 23 to umpire a softball game and I was hooked.  I have been working with kids ever since.”  He has coached softball (currently the Varsity softball coach at Bishop Guertin High School) and he coaches the Hudson Penguins, a girls travel basketball team.  “I started coaching Sarah’s friends when they were in the fourth grade, in her honor.  I have enjoyed it so much that I have followed the girls right through to the eighth grade.”

Val Gosselin, parent of Emily Gosselin who plays on the Penguins, has nothing but praise for Ed.  “He has a wonderful balance.  He takes the game seriously and asks the girls to do so, but he adds an element of fun.  He is so patient with the girls.”  Gosselin also shared Ed bought a penguin (his daughter Sarah’s favorite animal) named ‘Pengie’ and each practice and game, the girl who works the hardest gets rewarded and takes it home for the night. 

Ed Peterson with coaches , Kristina Beningo (left), and Morgan Towle.

Giving back to the community is something that the entire Peterson family is accustomed to.  Ed and his wife Collette were directors of the parish CYO program when they lived in Lowell. Collette, a Registered Nurse, will be leaving for the Dominican Republic for her third mission trip to work in a Christian clinic. Every August, the family is also involved with a golf tournament in memory of Sarah -- with the proceeds totaling more than $32,000 so far -- being donated to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.  Ed doesn’t have time for many hobbies as he works, coaches, runs the second grade program and referees high school basketball games in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

This day’s lesson was instruction on rebounding and boxing out.  Peterson asked a group of young boys “How many of you own a jump rope?”  Giggling breaks out and he calmly explained, “This is not a girly thing.  Jumping rope is great for your coordination and your jumping ability.”  The laughing stops.  He is able to bring the game down to the level of the kids.  “If you have the ball, or can get the ball, that means the other team can’t shoot.”  He calls all of the coaches onto the floor to demonstrate the day’s drills and then supervises the coaches while they relay the information to the kids. 

Mike Teague, parent of Nicole, his fifth child to go through this program, is amazed at “how these kids are learning so much and they don’t even realize it.  They are all smiling and having so much fun -- it is phenomenal.”  This happens, thanks to Ed Peterson.

RiverPlace Plans Submitted

by Doug Robinson

Ed Vydra, Project Manager

Nearly a year has past since the words RiverPlace were first spoken.  Since that time, the Town of Hudson has been speculating on the designs, the plans, and the overall impact of the RiverPlace project.

Last week, officials from W/S Development presented to the Town of Hudson Community Development Department stacks of blueprints, dozens of binders measuring six inches in depths, binders detailing traffic studies, as well as the overall site plan for Phase 1 of the RiverPlace project.  Materials were brought in the front door while other materials were brought in through the back door.  Several vehicles, including a pick up truck, were required to accommodate all of the documents.  The piles and mass of materials is so large that they cover about 126 square feet of table top space, or most of the tables in the Community Development room.  

Even Project Manager, Ed Vydra, stated, “It’s extensive.  We are in the process of performing all the pre-applications.  We have had a tremendous amount of discussions with the Department of Transportation, Department of Environments Services, and the Town of Hudson.”  Vydra also emphasized “We wish to collaborate and partner with the Town of Hudson to bring things together for all parties concerned.  We are not in the business of steam rolling projects.  Working together is of utmost importance to us.” 

The RiverPlace project will be transforming the Green Meadow Golf Course, located on the south end of Hudson, into one of the largest shopping Meccas in the United States, and certainly the largest shopping center in New Hampshire.  RiverPlace, when completed, will “envision an integrated neighborhood with new retail and commercial centers, public and open space amenities, access to the Merrimack River, and potentially age restricted residential apartments and condominiums” details the traffic report. 

The lifestyle center will comprise approximately 2.1 million square feet of retail space, 150,000 square feet of office space, 15-20 restaurants, 16-screen cinema with seating for 3200, a 400 room hotel with conference space and special event center.  In addition RiverPlace will include boat landings, walking and jogging trails, bike paths, fishing and recreational areas, an amphitheater, town green, ice rink, and housing for the elderly.

The Phase 1 documents for RiverPlace encompass:

  • Phase 1:  RiverPlace Site Plan
  • Internal Traffic Circulation Assessment
  • RiverPlace Sub-division
  • Highway Signal Traffic Assessment
  • Roadway and Traffic Signal Traffic Improvement.

During the next few months, W/S Development will become very involved with the various boards and commissions, which will be reviewing and authorizing the Phase 1 project.  Phase 1 will involve the creation of the 1.1 million square foot lifestyle center which will be located in the heart of the project.  The life style center is an open air plaza comprised of approximately 110 shops, various restaurants, parks, a river walk, marina, outdoor skating rink, and amphitheater.

Currently, W/S Development is negotiating with various companies to occupy the available retail and restaurant spaces within Phase 1.  No agreements have been made at this time. 

W/S Development has tentatively targeted 2009 for the opening of Phase 1 of RiverPlace.

RiverPlace Plans dominate 126 square feet of the Community Development Room.

Warrant Reviews

by Doug Robinson

Over the next six weeks the Hudson~Litchfield News will be reviewing the warrant articles that the residents of Hudson will be voting on.  The March 2007 elections will place before the voters 22 warrant articles in addition to an operating budget in excess of $26 million.  Along with the warrant article, the Hudson~Litchfield News will be providing a brief description as well as commentary regarding the reason for the specific warrant.  Sample ballots will be distributed as an insert by the Hudson~Litchfield News on March 9. 

  • Article 10:  Ratification of Multi-Year Contract negotiated between the Town of Hudson Board of Selectmen and the Highway Union for Wage & Benefit Increases
    Shall the Town of Hudson vote to approve the cost items included in the collective bargaining agreement reached between the Town of Hudson Board of Selectmen and Local 1801 A.F.S.C.M.E. (Highway Union), which calls for the following increase in salaries and benefits:
    Year                             Estimated Amount
    7/1/07 – 6/30/08             $38,824
    7/1/08 – 6/30/09             $36,850
    7/01/09 – 6/30/10           $35,243
    and further to raise and appropriate the sum of $38,824 for the 2007 – 2008 Fiscal Year, said sum representing the additional costs attributable to the increase in salaries and benefits over those paid in the prior Fiscal Year?  (This appropriation is in addition to Article XX, the Operating Budget.)  (Recommended by the Board of Selectmen)  (Recommended by the Budget Committee)

The Highway union represents 23 employees who work for the Town of Hudson.  The union does not include the Road Agent nor does it include the Assistant Road Agent.  The proposed warrant article represents a 3 percent cost of living wage increase for the truck drivers, laborers, and the secretaries of the Highway Department.  The warrant represents an approximate 9 percent decrease from their 3.3 percent wage increase last year.

  • Article 21:  Capital Reserve Fund for Police Bullet Proof Vest Replacement
    Shall the Town of Hudson vote to establish a Capital Reserve Fund under the provisions of RSA 35:1 for the purpose of purchasing replacement bullet proof vests for all sworn officers in the Police department to be known as the “Police Vest Replacement Capital Reserve Fund” and to raise and appropriate the sum of $12,000 to be placed in said fund and to designate the Board of Selectmen as agents to expend?  (This appropriation is in addition to Article XX, the Operating Budget.)  (Recommended by the Board of Selectmen)  (Recommended by the Budget Committee)

The Hudson Police Department (HPD) issues one Threat Level IIIA Ballistic Vest to each sworn officer to ensure they are protected when responding to calls.  The HPD also issue an additional Threat Level IV Ballistic Vest to the five Special Operations Members (SWAT) who are required to respond to critical incident calls in Hudson and seven neighboring communities.

The vests currently worn by each police officer were purchased with 50 percent funding from a Federal Grant in the amount of approximately $11,000.  Individual vests vary in price from $500 to $600.  The current vests have been in use since 2003.

Manufacturers of Ballistic Vests warranty their vests for a period of up to five years.  After five years, the manufacturer “highly recommends” police agencies replace the vests due to deterioration.  The deterioration is due to the protective threads of the vest separating.  The separation of threads is due to the sweat of the police officer and the overall effects of the daily wear and tear of the vests as the officers wear the protective vest while on duty.  As the threads separate the possibility of penetration highly increases due to the breakdown of vest fibers.  Old worn out vests do not provide the level of protection required to stop bullet or sharp object from passing through the vest.  To keep these vests any longer would create a liability for the town.

  • Article 23:  Feasibility Study for Community Center
    Shall the Town of Hudson vote to raise and appropriate the sum of $15,000 for an architectural/engineering study to determine the feasibility of renovating and making additions to the Community Center with the intent of creating a permanent establishment of a Hudson Senior facility?  (This appropriation is in addition to Article XX, the Operating Budget.)  (Recommended by the Board of Selectmen)  (Not recommended by the Budget Committee)

OPAC (Older Persons Advisory Committee) concluded that “It is a unanimous recommendation the senior population should have a permanent building they can call home.  The council recognizes that currently the building (Community Center) is used for many different town activities ranging from community meetings, voting and other large community activities to senior meals and activities for two days a week.  The Community Center is also used for youth and adult recreational activities seven days per week and an extensive summer commitment to the youth for nine weeks where basically all other activities are displaced” states the report from OPAC.  Of the 225 surveys returned, “nearly three out of four respondents stated that they would like a new building within the Town of Hudson for their senior needs.  Currently the seniors meet at the Community Center where they participate in various programs:  meals, exercise, crafts, health information, informational speakers, educations seminars, and various clinics.”  (OPAC report).  The purpose of the feasibility study is to determine if the Community Center is compatible with the needs and wants of the seniors.

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