Royal Visit to Pelham Library

by Diane Chubb

Cinderella supervises a young prince helping 6-year old Princess Emily fit the glass slipper.

Every little girl dreams of being a princess.  That is what “dress-up” is all about.

For several little girls in Pelham, this dream came true when Cinderella visited the Pelham Library on Wednesday, July 18, as part of the Summer Reading Program.

The group of children waited anxiously for the arrival of the princess.  Girls were all dressed in their finest play clothes, many wearing glamorous tiaras and sparkly gowns.  The boys sported crowns with various jewels. 

Cinderella entered the room wearing a magnificent ball gown.  She read a story to the group of children with tips on how to be a perfect princess, and then she sang songs.  The children were given a chance to ask her questions, though most wanted to inform her that they had seen the film “Cinderella” or had similar dresses at home. 

The boys in the group were not left out either.  A couple of manly princes were on hand to help all the princesses to try on Cinderella's glass slipper.  It actually fit Arianna, a 9-year old princess whose grandmother had made her a beautiful gold gown. 

Later, children were decorating pictures of princesses using markers and glue to create fabulous artwork, which they presented to Cinderella.  Many moms were on hand with cameras to take pictures of their little princesses with Cinderella as well.

Children's Librarian Debbie Laffond arranged for the princess visit.  “The patrons of Pelham Public Library were honored with a visit from Princess Cinderella today.  The children were enthralled by her lovely demeanor and enchanting singing voice,” sail Miss Debbie.  “Many 'Kodak moments' were captured today!”

The princess was from Little Princess, Princess Visits and Dress-up Parties, based in Pelham.  The company does princess visits for all occasions, including birthday parties.  For more information, please visit their website at or call 635-7778. 

A group of little princes and princesses await the arrival of Cinderella.

Arianna creates artwork to give to Cinderella

Ronald McDonald Visits Nesmith Library

by Tom Tollefson

Ronald with Allison, 5

“Summer reading is fun!,” said a group of about 70 younger children as Ronald McDonald pulled a book in perfect condition from his bag where he had previously put a book with dents and torn pages, as if “magically” repaired.

Ronald’s advice on how to care for library books was one of the main points during his visit to the multipurpose room of the Nesmith Library on Thursday morning, July 19.  He also talked about the importance of the library and exercising your mind and your body. 

Another classic magic trick Ronald used to the delight of the youngsters, was pulling a yard long scarf out of a box. 

“I liked how he promoted book awareness and used magic for the kids, making it fun,” Debbie LeBlac, a mother in attendance said. 

While using his “magic” to get the kids attention, Ronald said that their minds stay active when they read, just like their bodies are active when they play different sports. 

Ronald’s visit was sponsored by the McDonald’s restaurant in Windham to promote summer reading among young children.

“It’s a double treat,” Jane Paquette of Windham said about the event since her granddaughter, Allison 5, had two of her favorite places come together, McDonalds and the library.

Ronald also provided bookmarks for the children at the end of his presentation.

Ronald with Lauren, 4

Material Recovery Facility Coming to Manchester;  Could Windham Recycle There Too?

by Barbara O'Brien

Windham selectmen have spent a lot of time talking about trash disposal during the past couple of years and it's a problem that is only getting worse and more expensive as the town expands.  One solution recently presented to town officials is being built about 18 miles north of Windham; Manchester's new Material Recovery Facility, better known as a "MRF" (pronounced MURF).

Selectmen listened to a presentation regarding Manchester's MRF during their board meeting on Monday, July 16.  Representatives of Corcoran Environmental Services, Inc presented the program.

Corcoran Environmental Services has negotiated a 50-year contract with the City of Manchester (2006-2056) to manage its new MRF.  The facility is slated to be built on ten acres of a total 22-acre parcel off Dunbarton Road in Manchester.  Construction is scheduled to begin in August.  When fully operational, the Manchester MRF will be able to process 350 tons per day of recyclable materials.

In addition to Manchester, numerous other towns in New Hampshire and Maine will be sending their recyclables to the facility.  According to Patrick Corcoran, the MRF will be accepting recyclables from municipalities within a 100-mile radius of the facility.

Corcoran Environmental Services has been in business for the past ten years.  When Patrick Corcoran first started handling recyclables in 1979, his company averaged eight to ten loads per week.  Today, Corcoran Environmental averages between 950 and 1000 truck loads per month, consisting of 60 different types of commodities.  The company operates two offices; the corporate headquarters in Kennebunk, Maine and the logistics office in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Corcoran Environmental currently services a third of all the recyclables in New Hampshire and more than 200 regional communities.

Presently, Corcoran Environmental already hauls recyclable materials from the Town of Windham.  Should town officials and residents approve the idea, Windham could, instead, participate in having its recyclables taken to Manchester's MRF, once it is operational.

The contract Corcoran Environmental Services has with Manchester is based on the construction and operation of a regional "single stream" recycling facility.  'Single stream' recycling is a process in which marketable materials are collected all together with no sorting required by residents or municipalities.  For example, cans and bottles can be recycled together with all paper products, cardboard and plastics.

Corcoran told selectmen that by using single stream recycling, it would be possible to pull out more materials from the town's solid waste; thereby saving money for the taxpayers of Windham.  There would be less separation required of residents, Corcoran said.  Windham's recyclables would still be brought to the existing transfer station, compacted on site, than trucked to Manchester's MRF.  The town would be paid a set amount for their recyclables shipped to the MRF, as determined by contract.

"We would eliminate our sorting (at the transfer station)," David Poulson, Windham Transfer Station Manager, said.  "And by increasing the amount of recyclables, the garbage side of our solid waste would get reduced."

"Recycling is user friendly for residents, even if it is mandatory," Corcoran said of the MRF process.

Using single stream recycling, the following items are accepted:  all steel cans, all aluminum cans, aerosol cans, all glass bottles and jars in all colors, plastic water/soda/milk/juice containers, plastic food and drink containers, plastic grocery bags, all paper products, chipboard and paperboard (such as cereal boxes or gift boxes), all cardboard, junk mail and envelopes, paperback books, office/printer paper, notebook paper, gift wrap paper, newspaper and inserts, magazines, catalogs, posters, brown paper bags, telephone books, hard cover books, waxed cardboard and pizza boxes.

Not acceptable for single stream recycling at a MRF are:  window glass, dinnerware or ceramics, dirty containers, motor oil, insecticides or herbicides, hazardous chemical containers, plastic trash bags, plastic or nylon tarps or sheets, expanded foam or clear polystyrene, metal clips, spirals and binders, Styrofoam peanuts, dirt, wood chips or logs, food waste, diapers, or personal hygiene products.

At the conclusion of Corcoran's presentation, selectmen's chairman Alan Carpenter said, "We will mull it over and run some numbers."  "I imagine we'll be talking with you again," in the fall, when the 2008 budget season gets underway, Carpenter said.

New Gym and Auditorium Specifications Addressed

by Diane Chubb

What would a gymnasium and an auditorium look like at a new Pelham High School?  That was one of the questions that Marinace Architects attempted to answer for the Pelham School Board at their July 11 meeting.  The Board's decisions on these pieces will determine the entire layout of the proposed new building. 

The Pelham School Board had decided to pursue a new high school for Pelham students to address the chronic overcrowding and life/safety issues at the current high school.  Working with Marinace Architects, the Board began review of the education specifications, which will be used by the architects to actually design the new building.

Marinace, who was initially hired by the Board to help resolve life/safety issues identified by Pelham Fire Chief Mike Walker, is continuing its work on the project.  Frank and Paul Marinace are working with the school board to come up with the actual design of the proposed high school.  The initial building presented was not intended to be the final design.  The father and son team have been working closely with the Board to create a design that will best meet the education specifications set forth, and that meets all New Hampshire Department of Education regulations.

The idea, according to Board Chair Bruce Couture, is to “find something that will service the community for a long time.”  He emphasized that the district is not looking for a lot of extras.  “We don't need a lot of flash, just keep it fundamental.” 

At this particular meeting, the focus was on what a new gymnasium and auditorium might entail.  Paul Marinace led the presentation, which first showed what similar-sized school districts have recently built in their towns.  This included a look at the new Bedford High School, which opens this fall, Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, and Pinkerton Academy in Derry.  Paul then presented a drawing of what the areas would look like according to the “ed specs” given to them by the Board.  Finally, he presented what his company recommends, based on past building projects. 

The first discussion was about the requirements for a gymnasium.  Paul noted that for an area such as this, the size is dependent on the number of sports teams in a school, not the number of students.  He pointed out that existing gym at Pelham High School is 10,500 square feet.  Based on other schools with a similar number of sports teams, as well as current requirements, Marinace recommends a gym that is around 14,000 square feet.  Separate locker rooms for Physical Education classes and teams, as listed in the “ed specs,” would require more space.  

Board member Eleanor Burton pointed out that whatever was built, the architects needed to include separate storage space for the community, noting that the community often uses the high school gym for activities.

A possible auditorium was presented next.  Paul reminded the Board that a new school generates a lot of interest among members of the community.  He also added that the cost is really in building the first 300 seats.  “Don't try to keep it small, just to save money.  You are really paying for the infrastructure.”  According to Paul's estimates, the first 500 seats would cost approximately $8,200 per seat.  The next 250 seats are far less, at $1,400 per seat. 

Paul mentioned that the extra capacity of an auditorium can be used to bring in outside groups and revenue to the town, as it provides a better venue for productions for the community.  Pinkerton Academy designed a state-of-the-art auditorium, and the school now attracts numerous productions, according to Paul.

The Board must now decide whether to include an auditorium as part of the initial design, and whether it should be a separate warrant article for voters to approve. 

Paul noted that if the auditorium is designed as part of the entire building, it can share restroom and other facilities with the rest of the school.  Apparently, toilets and plumbing constitute a large part of the expense, which can be reduced if the auditorium shares such facilities with a gym. 

The gym and auditorium are just the beginning of the design stage.  Marinace Architects will be meeting with staff at Pelham High School to discuss specific needs and incorporate those needs into their proposed designs. 

The Board encourages members of the public to provide their input as the building continues to be designed.  The draft of the “ed specs” can be found online at 

For more information about Marinace Architects and photos of their recent projects, including Bedford High School, see their website at 

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