Airplanes Land at Aaron Cutler Memorial Library

by Tom Tollefson

A squadron of paper airplanes flew around the front lawn of Aaron Cutler Memorial Library on the afternoon of Thursday, July 12. 

Five of the six contestants: (left to right) Hannah Rousseau (5th grade), Sammie Fletcher (5th grade), Alex Trevains (6th grade), Karissa Prue (6th grade), and Amy Bois (10th grade)

A paper airplane competition was held for students in grades 6-12 (it was also open to a few fifth graders). This competition included judging the planes’ decorations and performance in distance and accuracy.  McKillop, who served as the competition’s judge for the six participants, also gave candy prizes to the winners.

Amy Bois (10th grade) won the best decoration, Alex Trevains (6th grade) won for best distance, and Sammie Fletcher (5th grade) won for most accurate flight path. 

 “I liked how everyone had their own ideas and did their best,” said Hannah Rousseau, a 5th grade participant in the competition.

After the students had several throws to measure distance, McKillop set up hula hoops on the ground for them to aim to land their planes inside. 

“The wind was good and carried my plane really far,” Karissa Prue said about the distance of her plane’s flight path. 

The final test came when McKillop held up a hula hoop and asked the students to aim to fly their planes through it. 

“It’s very informal.  Our theme this week is books can take you anywhere,” Adult Service Librarian Ann McKillop said about the paper airplane competition.

The competition is part of the 7-week (June 26-August 10) summer reading program for kids going into grades six and up.  The theme for this summer is that reading can take you anywhere.  This theme can be seen in the airplane and world traveling activities throughout the summer.  These activities include Origami Craft Night, Harry Potter Trivia Party, and a Wind Chime Craft Night. 

Another aspect of the program is a passport.  Each child has a passport booklet and receives stamps for reading magazines and books and for participating in the program’s activities. 

As the students begin to collect more stamps, they are eligible for raffles and win prizes such as movie passes donated by O’Neil Theaters in Londonderry. 

Hannah Rousseau (5th grade), Sammie Fletcher (5th grade), Alex Trevains (6th grade), Karissa Prue launching their planes.

Robinson Road Fire Station Now Open

For the first time since it was built in November of 1978, the Robinson Road Fire Station will be open daily.  Starting on Tuesday, July 17, the station located at 52 Robinson Road, Hudson, will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. 

Firefighter/Paramedic Kevin Blinn and Firefighter/EMT-I Dennis Haernick will be stationed at the Robinson Road station.  Along with the two members, the training division will be reassigned with the Captain of Training/Safety Kevin Grebinar (EMT-I).  Seven call firefighters will also be redistributed with the full time staffing, who currently work out of the Library Street station. 

Having the fire station open daily will help firefighters cover Hudson completely, since the station is located in Northern Hudson.  The other two stations are in Central and Southern Hudson.  Firefighters will now be able to have quick responses to emergencies in any part of town. 

Selectman Ben Nadeau believes the fire station is great for Hudson.  “So far, it has been working out pretty well with calls, responses, and manpower.  We have seen massive improvements in response times since the opening of station 4 at Burns Hill for our south end residents, and hopefully this is the first step in providing rapid response to the north end residents.  After two days, service calls and response times have greatly improved.  We’re looking forward to that continuing as our town grows and our emergency services grow to meet our residents’ demands.”

An August 10 Open House is planned from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the newly manned station.  It will coincide with Old Home Days weekend.  Please call Deputy Fire Chief Robert M. Buxton at 886-6021 for more information. 

Fold a Bus

by Lynne Ober

This summer’s reading program at libraries across New Hampshire is Reading Road Trip USA.  It’s a chance to open your atlas, unfold your maps, and get ready to explore the world through books.  In addition to reading, libraries are providing a whole series of fun activities related to the summer reading program.

It took a lot of creative effort to get the bus painted.

At Hills Memorial Library, Thursdays are make a craft day and the theme of the craft fits into the summer reading program theme.

This past Thursday kids were eagerly folding a bus.  The first step was to decorate your bus.  Markers and stickers were provided.  There were as many different bus designs as there were kids – and there were plenty of kids.  Some sat at the craft table while others used clipboards and sat on the rug to create their buses. 

Once colored, the next step was to cut it out and then to fold it until you made a bus shape.  Folding caused a lot of cheerful conversation as some folds were in and some were out.  Once you got a bus shape, you could glue the tabs to hold your creation together.

“I’m making a fast bus,” said Randy.  “I’m not making just a school bus.”  Randy “painted” flames on the rear of his bus to show how fast it was going.

Lizzie turned hers into a modern art creation that would have pleased Picasso.

Computer Audit Finally Happens

by Lynne Ober

When selectmen wanted to do a computer audit of all town owned computers, Litchfield Police Chief Joe O’Brion strongly objected and called town counsel, the county attorney, and selectmen.  Selectmen could not agree on the wording of a motion so the audit died over their lack of unity.

Now, several weeks later, the audit has been completed.  Selectmen continued to work on the process.  Litchfield Fire Chief Tom Schofield, who was concerned about his department’s computers, asked Selectman Al Raccio to buy the software and audit his computers.  Once that was complete, Schofield asked to meet in non-public with selectmen about what was found.  At that time he explained that most of his computers had been in the department longer than he had been chief and freely admitted that he was not a computer guru.  Schofield felt that not only would he like the audit, but that his men would be happier knowing that everything was clean.  Since he met in non-public, selectmen and Schofield have declined to discuss what was found, why they needed a non-public meeting, and what the next steps were.

During the intervening weeks many of the hard drives on police computers have been replaced, according to a police officer who asked not to be named.

The county attorney agreed that the audit could take place.  She asked that a neutral party be present.  The neutral party chosen was Hudson Police Chief Dick Gendron who told O’Brion that Hudson police computers are audited once a month.

Also attending the meeting were selectmen Pat Jewett, George Lambert and Al Raccio.  According to town counsel, all three selectmen could attend the audit as observers without posting a meeting, as long as they did not discuss town business.

Since the audit has been completed, selectmen have not issued a statement nor have they held a meeting.

Benson’s Easement Update

by Tom Tollefson

After six years, the issue of what to do with Benson’s easement remains almost as much of a mystery as before. 

The Board of Selectmen carried a motion to only accept the restrictions set by the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources (DHR) on Benson’s railroad depot, office and kitchen wing, and if the state does not release the restrictions on the Hazelton Barn, then ask the state to sub-divide the barn from the Benson’s property. 

The next step to resolving Benson’s cloudy future revolves around the DHR’s decision to revise their restrictions to the easement.

Selectman Massey had several suggestions for changing the recommendations of the Division of Historical Resources.

Massey is opposed to adding the phrase “as a guide.”  The complete sentence reads as following:  “Standards for Rehabilitation and Guidelines for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings as may be promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior, and amended from time to time, shall be followed as a guide.”  (Taken directly from the recommendations by DHR)

“My problem with putting the words in ‘as a guide’ is what would prevent them from adhering to the guide, there’s nothing in there that says what would allow a deviation.  I think it’s too broad and too much in favor of the Department of Transportation,” Massey said.

He also believes the following phrase is too restrictive:  “No alterations shall be made to existing Historic Structures without the prior written consent of the DHR.”  (Taken directly from the DHR’s recommendation document)

Massey also believes that the section on standards of the easement property does not leave the town with a good sense of how they will be measured, and he was distressed that the document lacked any discussion of the potential to demolish some of the standing structures.

“Right now, I’m not certain the old woman in the shoe and red barn is worth saving,” he added.

In addition, Massey does not agree with the statement that the town will take on the total cost of maintenance and repair. 

“Until we know the what pro form of cost projections are for maintaining that property, we could be buying ourselves a cost structure that we’re not prepared for, especially since the barn is six years from when the state first said we’ll sign a letter of memorandum.  That barn has deteriorated since that time,” he said.

Selectman Maddox agrees with Massey’s concern that the cost for maintenance and repair could be more than what they are willing to pay.  He mentioned that there was a hole in the attachment to the elephant barn big enough for “all of us to fit through.”

Maddox was also concerned and wants price quotes on how much it will take to restore Benson’s. 

According to Jasper, the depot will be restored as a welcome center.  The office building does not have much space, but has yet to be determined. 

Selectmen Maddox and Robinson would like to arrange a site visit of Benson’s to see the condition of the easement.

“We don’t have to do anything.  We are not committing ourselves to doing anything to the property, except maintaining those two buildings at the baseline,” stated Jasper about the future for Benson’s. 

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