For Hudson bus schedules please go to the school district website.

For Litchfield bus schedules please go to the school district website.

Pig Roast Under Sunny Skies

by Lynne Ober

Two young fishermen caught a very tiny fish, which they quickly returned to the pond.

Once again the members of Hudson Fish and Game Club threw a party and invited everyone to come.  “This is our annual pig roast,” said club president Dave Irving, “and today we’re having a great day.”   It was an absolutely gorgeous day with sunny skies and warm temperatures – not too hot and definitely not too cold.

The pig roast, open to the public, didn’t start until 1:00 p.m., but the dedicated cooks began roasting the pigs early in the morning.  Long before it was time to eat, good smells wafted through the air.  The junior rifle team always has a baked goods tent and offers tempting treats.

A band played on a stage under the trees.  Horseshoes and other games were set up for participants to enjoy.  Kids ran around and laughed.  Other people sat at picnic tables nestled under the trees and chatted.  Several people were enjoying themselves down at the pond and it was at the pond where the action was the most energetic.

“Dad, I caught a fish.  Look,” yelled an excited boy.

“Ooh.  Throw it back,” replied his sister.

Finally it was time for the pigs to be removed from the roasting spits and carved for the table.  As soon as the cooks in the kitchen saw the carving, mounds of salad, hot corn on the cob with butter and lots of goodies were moved from the kitchen to the buffet table, set up under the trees.  Pumpkins sitting on hay bales and corn stalks decorated the buffet table. 

No one had to yell, “Come and get it.”   Everyone was watching the food fill the buffet table and when it was finally time to eat, a crowd quickly gathered around the table.  

“It’s just a nice family event,” smiled Gloria, “and the food is great.  These guys are spectacular cooks and I don’t have to wash any dishes.”

The band played under the trees.

Two young fishermen paddled their paddleboats into the pond to chat and fish.

Parent Forum Answers Accreditation Questions

by Lauren Danzi

Campbell High Principal Manseau meets with parents to answer questions about the new school year and discuss the accreditation process.

Last Monday, Campbell High School Principal Robert Manseau held a Parent Forum where a small group of parents met to learn about the schools accreditation process, discuss goals for the school, safety issues, and drug abuse issues.  

The big topic was the accreditation process. Campbell High started in 2004 by applying for initial accreditation with New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and the school is now in the self-study phase of the process.  “Virtually every New England high school is accredited by these people,” said Manseau. Known worldwide, they were actually the first in the United States to start accrediting schools.  All other U.S. companies are modeled after them.  

From October 28 to 31, a team of about 15 evaluators from NEASC will come to observe school and compare with how teachers already evaluated it.  They will talk with the school board and teachers, and even shadow students. NEASC evaluates schools base on seven categories: mission and expectation, curriculum, instruction, assessment, leadership and organizations, school resources for learning, and community resources for learning. 

Manseau discussed some Campbell High’s strengths at the forum.  He felt that the advisory program would be an important asset to the leadership criterion because it allows students to form a close relationship with at least one faculty member during the four years.  He also felt that the sophomore and senior projects put them ahead of most schools in the assessment criterion.  He felt the interdisciplinary structure of freshman and sophomore history and English classes were also strengths of the school.  

On Sunday, October 28, there will be a panel presentation in the music room from 1:30 to 2:40 p.m., where the school will give an overview to the accreditation team.  Parents are welcome, but space is limited.  The team will also interview a small group of parents that represent as wide a cross section as possible; they will talk with parents who have students with a variety of focuses and abilities, such as parents of athletes, honor students, music students, and politically active students. Parents who wish to be considered for interviews should let Principal Manseau know, and he will inform the Steering Committee, which is made up of Campbell High faculty overseeing the self-study portion of the accreditation process.  They will choose the parents to be interviewed. 

A reception for NEASC will be held at 4:40 p.m. in the café, which will also be open to parents.  Interested parents should let the main office know if they are coming by before Wednesday, October 24.  

At the forum, parents asked questions like does lack of accreditation affect students’ ability to get into colleges.  According to Manseau, they have relationships with many colleges, and most of them understand that they are a new high school undergoing the first accreditation process.  He felt it might affect their ability to get into some colleges, but colleges are not monolithic in how they view accreditation.  He used the SATs as an example, saying that many colleges have stopped looking at the writing portion of the SATs.   

Other parents wondered how accreditation would help the school.  In answer to this question, Manseau explained that accreditation helps the school to improve.  “It’s a built-in way to have continuous improvement,” said Manseau.  The idea behind it is that there is always room for improvement, and the school should not settle or stagnate but constantly improve its methods for helping students learn and grow.  

Along similar lines, Manseau felt that student aspirations needed to be raised.  He wants to see them excel at Campbell and see more students go on to higher learning after high school.  Parents were in general agreement with Manseau.  “No worse than anyone else, isn’t good enough,” said one parent, and there were murmurs of agreement.  

“SAT scores concern me,” said Manseau, who went on to explain that they are below the state and national average.  He also stated that they were not below it by a lot.  “I want to get over the national average consistently.”  He has been focusing on three key things this year: the idea that all kids can learn and should be learning at high levels, breaking down the isolation between classrooms so teachers share teaching strategies that work with one another, and focusing on results not activity.  He explained that activity does not always equal learning.  When he walks into a classroom, he asks kids, “What are you learning today?”  Rather than asking, “What are you doing today?” 

Other topics of discussion included school lunches.  There was a concern that students who had last lunch didn’t have enough food to buy.  It turns out there is plenty of food but less choice for those with the later lunch. Manseau talked with the cafeteria manager, who felt that after the month he would be better able to predict what sells and what does not so he can meet the demand.  Hopefully, this will also take care of the choice issue.

Drug use was also a concern among parents.  Manseau is looking into something called a salvia strip; it would allow teachers to administer a drug test to students if they suspect something.  The test should pick up alcohol or marijuana.  The school board is in the process of considering them. 

Parents praised Manseau for the way he has been enforcing rules.  They were particularly happy that he, along with other staff, addressed the issues of students speeding around the back of the building to race the buses.  They changed the traffic pattern; students can only exit one way.  Manseau along with other faculty and staff have been standing outside directing traffic.  “Think of school culture like cement,”  Manseau said, who went on to explained one last thing before he brought the meeting to a close. 

He explained that if you left a support beam in cement over night it would dry by the next morning, so you better make sure the beam is the way you want it.  He felt that the school culture was like cement because habits form very early, and if you enforce the rules and expectations early in the year, those are the habits that are formed for the year. Manseau plans to continue these forums each month to hear feedback, concerns, and answer parents’ questions.  

Litchfield Files for Dismissal of O’Brion Case

by Lynne Ober

The town of Litchfield has responded to O’Brion’s court suit.  From the beginning, the town’s position has been that many of the allegations in O’Brion’s current suit are false, and the dismissal petition is based on one of those allegations.

Selectmen suspended O’Brion for 15 days and, during that time, promoted Lt. Gerard Millett to “acting chief” for the duration of O’Brion’s suspension.  Once the suspension period had been served, O’Brion immediately returned to his position as chief; however, in his petition, O’Brion claimed that selectmen had terminated him. This is now the crux of the dismissal petition filed with the courts.

The town’s petition asks for dismissal of the case brought by Litchfield Police Chief Joey O’Brion.  The main points of the petition are as follows:

  • “The Petitioner has specifically requested that ‘… the Court enjoin the action of the town of Litchfield and order that the town immediately reinstate Chief O’Brion to his position as chief of police for the town of Litchfield …’”  The dismissal request petition noted that O’Brion was, upon the end of his suspension, immediately reinstated to his position as Chief of Police.
  • “The Petitioner likewise requests lost wages and the loss of employment benefits ‘… as a result of his termination as chief of police …’”  Attorney David LeFevre wrote in response, “As a matter of law and fact, the Petitioner’s employment with the Town of Litchfield was never ‘terminated’.”  The employment action complained of is a suspension “… without pay for fifteen (15) working days commencing on Monday, July 30, 2007.  See Exhibit 1 to Petition.”

The argument used by LeFevre was that “the Petition in this case was not filed with the Court until August 14, 2007, only three (3) days before the last day of the Petitioner’s suspension without pay, with the Court’s Order of Notice being issued on August 15, 2007, only two (2) days before the last day of the Petitioner’s suspension without pay.  The suspension ended August 17, 2007, and the Petitioner returned to work in his capacity as Chief of Police immediately thereafter.”

In the dismissal petition, LeFevre continued, “In the context of employment, a ‘suspension’ is a ‘[t]emporary withdrawal or cessation from employment as distinguished from permanent severance accomplished by removal.’”  Black’s Law Dictionary,1447(6th ed. 1990).  A “suspension” is not to be confused with “termination of employment,” which “… means a complete severance of relationship of employer and employee.” (Ibid, 1471)

To substantiate his petition, LeFevre cited the New Hampshire Supreme Court, which has recognized that “… suspension from the performance of certain duties of an office is not removal …” Eames v. Rudman, 115 N.H. 91, 93 (1975) (attorney general temporary suspension of county attorney).

  • “The Petition incorrectly states the nature of disciplinary action taken against the Petitioner, and the Petitioner’s request for relief to be reinstated to his position as Chief of Police as a result of being terminated should be dismissed.”
  • “The Petitioner has, in fact, returned to work as Chief of Police, and the Petitioner’s claim for reinstatement is moot.”
  • “The Petitioner’s remaining claims for relief ‘as a result of his termination as chief of police’ should likewise be dismissed.”  Throughout the dismissal petition, LeFevre’s position is that the chief was on suspension, but had not been terminated, and that he returned to work once his 15-day suspension had ended.  O’Brion, however, in his petition claimed that he had been terminated.
  • “The Petition in this case is 20 pages long, with 56 separate numbered paragraphs, together with an additional 18 pages of attachments.  The New Hampshire Supreme Court has indicated that it does ‘… not condone pleadings that reach such a level of prolixity.’ Snierson v. Scruton, 145 N.H. 73, 77 (2000).”
  • LeFevre’s final position in the dismissal petition is that “it is fair to conclude that the Petitioner ‘meant what he said,’ and therefore, should not be allowed to amend or clarify its pleading in response to this motion to dismiss.”

Because of this, LeFevre requests that “this Honorable Court:

  • Rule that the Petitioner was not ‘terminated’ from his employment with the Town of Litchfield;
  • Dismiss the Petitioner’s claim to be reinstated and other claims ‘as a result of his termination as chief of police.’”

Board of Selectmen Chairman Raymond Peeples said that it would be inappropriate for selectmen to make public comments at this time.  “The chief filed his suit, and we have responded.  This is a matter for the courts.”

Hudson BOS Redirects Recycling Committee

by Tom Tollefson 

The Hudson Board of Selectmen met with the Recycling Committee Chairman Leo Bernard and Vice Chairman Ted Luszey at their recent meeting to remind them of the committee’s charge of increasing awareness about recycling.

One of the ways the Board believes will help the Recycling Committee expand their exposure in raising recycling awareness is to participate in the upcoming annual Hudson Harvest Fest.  The Board unanimously approved the $15 fee for the committee to be at this event.

However, two selectmen were not in favor in the committee’s focus on past-year statistics.  Both Chairman Shawn Jasper and Selectman Richard Maddox did not believe analyzing recycling records and data for the past three years would be relevant to the goals of the committee.  

“I don’t think that’s a way we get to a recycling goal.  We know what our recycling number is at 28 percent, and now we need to work above that.  It doesn’t matter to me or anybody else what we were doing three years ago.  What matters is what were we doing yesterday, and how can we do better tomorrow.  That’s all that matters is one day to the next, not going three years back,” Jasper said.  “I supported Selectman [Doug] Robinson’s motion at the meeting of the 28th primarily because of that one question that said how much waste was picked up in bordering towns by mistake.  What is going on here?  If we were sending trucks over the line, the phones would have been ringing off the hook, and where is this committee coming from.  Even if that happened, what difference does this make about recycling today?  What are we going to do with that information?  You can’t go to the landfill take it back and bring it to Pelham, Londonderry, or anyplace else.”

Jasper wants the committee to look forward with the goal of finding out how Hudson can recycle better tomorrow.  “We need to normalize the data.  Are we truly recycling those numbers, or did that just happen to fall off because rather we picked up by mistake in surrounding towns.  It’s not a true number; you need to get to the base of the normalization of the data that says here is the true starting point.  If you have a goal of getting us to 60 percent, then we need to be able to show citizens of this town where we are and what we need to do to get there,” he added.  “If you want to get numbers go out there and see what Dover is doing, what other communities are doing.  Educate that way.”

Maddox agreed with Jasper, referring to the data as “mind numbing numbers and is just trash to me” 

“Going forward is the fork I think we need to send this group on.  I attended their meeting last night, and they had some good ideas about where they want to go as far as getting people the knowledge to know the different between plastics that can and cannot go, getting more into schools again, and looking at other towns.  I think they are on the right track, maybe just one or two people are hung up on the numbers that I don’t think are going to go anywhere for most citizens,” Maddox said.  

Bernard stated that a three-year record of recycling history and statistics would help establish data points that would be used to help find solutions to increasing recycling.  “To establish a true trend, we need to normalize that data so that when we take a look at how we’re doing in 2007, and going into 2008, how did we truly do versus 2004, 2005, and 2006.  That is the motive and the methodology behind using the data.”  

According to Robinson, the Committee is looking for the last three years of waste tonnage reported out as follows: 

  1. Year over year, totals for each of the following categories: waste, recycle, and transfer
  2. Quarter over quarter, for the following: categories: waste, recycle, and transfer
  3. What our current numbers are for the following categories: categories: waste, recycle, and transfer

Robinson acknowledged that he had concerns about bringing up numbers, financial data, and analysis from the past, but is positive about finding ways to provide the statistical information about recycling numbers over the last three years to the committee.

“I know that’s an important part of how you do what you do, and we need to respect that, and for you to participate, we need to provide you with what you need to have, and if that’s what you feel you need, then we need to discuss that,” Robinson said.

Bernard stated that it’s been hard to get the word out about recycling over the summer because people are on vacation.  He also mentioned that education is the dissemination of information to change people’s behavior of thinking in order to change their behavior.  “That’s what we’re trying to do.  We’re trying to get to a place where people instinctively think about what they’re doing and their impact to the environment,” Bernard said.  

He also began a discussion on the notion of using the ISO 14,001 Framework to start talking about the impact on the environment.  “When you do that you set goals, objectives, and targets around those areas you would like to measure and see if you’re truly having an impact on the environment,” Bernard stated.

Robinson also apologized for his previous motion to disband the committee.  

“My motion to disband the Recycling Committee was acted in haste and it was very inappropriate.  For that I apologize to every member of the Recycling Committee and every volunteer of the Recycling Committee who has spent months working diligently trying to get the word out.  I’m sorry for what I said.”

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