Holiday Crafts Create Snow in the Library

by Lauren Danzi

Molly Fraser, age 4, uses glue to make a holiday mouse at Nesmith Library.

Lisa Thornton the chair person of FLOW read a story about a little mouse that got frightened by the snow after teaching the kids to make a holiday mouse decoration out of felt and foam at Nesmith Library.  The kids were excited when Thornton told them she would try making magic snow inside the Library.  She filled a bowl with water and then mixed in an instant snow mix and stirred it around with her hands.  “Its cold,” Thornton told the kids.  She offered them each a handful and they tossed the snow up into the air and it snowed in the library.  Thornton explained that she learned of making instant snow in a science magazine. 

The older kids ages 6 and up were working on making Santa’s on a wooden paddle.  They used a rubber ball as the nose and added cotton for the beard and drew on a face.  In addition to the Santa’s they also made Shrinky-dink Christmas trees.  The kids were surprised and happy to learn they were doing two crafts.  “Were doing painting, pasting, cutting, and coloring,” said Chris Andon their instructor who felt like she was combining every craft into one.  

The kids colored and painted trees on two special pieces of paper and cut the design out carefully.  Then Andon put them in a toaster oven and the trees shrunk to half their size.  Many kids gathered around the oven careful not to get to close and watched as the trees were shrunk even some of the parents were fascinated as the trees withered, and shrunk.  One of them said “I’m even more fascinated then they are.”  During the shrinking process the trees curled and twisted and some wondered if it was working correctly.  Andon explained that even though it “looked like a big mess.”  The tree would eventually lie flat and if it did not she would help it along with a spatula.  Once they were two halves of the tree fit together to form a 3 dimensional tree which the kids added colorful sequins as ornaments after they cooled. 

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Rockin’ the Runway

by Lynne Ober

Pink Ladies and T-Birds

Pelham High School’s two fashion classes under the tutelage of Ms. Martin have produced another high energy, delightful fashion show.

The fashion classes meet in Pelham High School classroom 34 and so, it seemed appropriate that they dubbed themselves Studio 34.

The students organize the show into sections, write skits for each section, choose fashions, fashion models and do all of the organization and staging.  

This year’s hosts, Scott Connatser and Kaytee Dinnette had the unenviable task of keeping the show moving and filling in any dead spots if the timing was delayed.  They did a magnificent job.

The show opened with School House Rock, a section with two skits, Pink Ladies and T-Birds, lots of fashions and special guests, Coach Babaian, Mr. Brennan, Ms. Detellis, Mr. Locke, Mr. Regan, Dr. Mohr, Emma Detellis, Mr. Novak, Coack Powers, Ms. Bonaventure, Ms. Walker and Mr. Torrisi, all of whom got a warm reception.

Then it was onto Workin’ for the Weekend, quickly followed by Gimme the Rock with the Athletes Skit.

Intermission brought special entertainment by Steph DeLoria.

From the audience’s perspective, you could not tell that behind the scenes it was pure bedlam as models rushed to change from one garment to the next.  The intermission brought a little breathing room, but it was quickly back to bedlam as the second half of the show opened.

The Nightlife brought a First Date Skit followed by many lovely outfits.  The show quickly moved into Rockin’ the Red Carpet.  Were those really your classmates dressed up and looking so glam?  Yup… familiar faces in gorgeous outfits.

The last section was called Rockin’ Out and all too soon the evening was over.

The students gave special thanks to the merchants who supported them with fashions:  EMS, DEB, Bob’s Cache, JC Penney, Marshalls, Target, T.J. Maxx, PacSun, David’s Bridal and Wal-mart.  They also knew that the show wouldn’t have been as successful without the backing of a number of other student groups and faculty members and they thanked Ms. Colby, Mr. Changler and the PHS Jazz Band, Mr. Lyder and the Academic Decathalon, the PHS Drama Club for the lighting, Jimi Stanton for choreography, Phil Gaudette for music and Ms. Fournier’s Chefs classes.

Money raised from this fun event will defray the cost of the fashion classes annual trip to New York City to gaze at the beautifully decorated Christmas windows.

Amanda Echteler and Amber Faucher

Chelsie Clogston

Amber Faucher and Billy Sullivan

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Pelham Could Lose High School Land if Not Approved

by Diane Chubb

Pelham voters are used to seeing some issues appear on the ballot year after year, until they are finally approved.  The construction of Pelham Elementary School took several years before voters approved the project. 

However, they will have no such luxury in the vote to approve the purchase of the Atwood/Sutton property for the proposed new high school.

The current owners of the proposed site for the new school have given the school district an option to buy the land for $3 million.  However, this option expires in March 2008. 

Thus, if voters do not approve the purchase at the March 2008 Town Meeting, the opportunity to buy it may be gone forever. 

According to William Spike Hayes, who was instrumental in facilitating the deal for the school district, the owners have been waiting patiently for the school board to wrap up negotiations and put the land on the ballot.

Hayes states in his Position Paper that this may be our one and only opportunity to purchase an ideal high school site for an initial cost of $3 million and a final cost of only $2 million, after a $1 million reimbursement from the State of New Hampshire.

Hayes goes on to say that the owners of the property were promised that the purchase would be voted on in 2006, then in 2007.  None of the delays can be laid at the feet of the property owners, who have cooperated fully at every stage of the negotiations. 

The owners would prefer to see the land used for a high school.  According to Hayes, Shirley Sutton said to me early on, four of my sisters and a niece were school teachers — I want a high school on this land, not a housing development.’”

However, the owners are not getting younger.  Hayes states, Although they (the owners) have kept the property off of the market for more than two years and have incurred significant legal fees, the owners have not received any compensation from the School District.

Therefore, he believes that if Pelham fails to approve the purchase, the option will not be extended.  In fact, some of the owners have told Hayes they are likely to accept the first fully funded offer to come along.

Because the school board already has done so much testing and surveying on the land, potential developers would not have to repeat the tests.  This would save developers money, making the property all the more desirable.  If not approved by the town, the land could be used for a housing development. 

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Talks Continue Regarding Long-Term Water Lease

by Barbara O'Brien

Selectmen have again met with the representatives of a private developer who is interested in initiating a long-term water lease and water withdrawal agreement with the Town of Windham.  That proposed development is planned for Windham's historic Village Center District.  The latest meeting on this ongoing issue took place on Monday, December 3.

Peter Zohdi of Herbert Engineering and Attorney Bill Mason of Salem, New Hampshire spoke with town officials in regard to a possible agreement between the Mesiti Indian Rock Road Corporation and the Town of Windham, by which the developer could withdraw water from wells located on town-owned property at 3 Fellows Road.  The area is adjacent to the municipal complex, which houses the police and fire departments, as well as the Nesmith Library.  Most of the water withdrawn from that site would be used for a housing development Mesiti plans to build in the area.

Selectmen had also met with Zohdi in late October, instructing him, at that time, to draw up a draft document, spelling out the details of the concept.  It was this draft proposal that town officials reviewed on December 3.

Town officials had given developer Anthony Mesiti permission this past spring to drill three test wells on that parcel of town-owned land, in order to determine the output of water from that location.  According to Zohdi, the three test wells produced, respectively, 30 gallons per minute; two gallons per minute; and 35 gallons per minute.  The second well, which produced only two gallons per minute, is of no use to the developer, Zohdi said.  The ultimate goal, according to Zohdi, is to have a total output of about 57,000 gallons of water per day. 

Zohdi said each of the five dozen housing units Mesiti plans to build would require about 300 gallons of water per day, for a total of about 18,000 gallons per day.  However, state officials would likely mandate that some 36,000 gallons of the total 57,000 gallon per day output be designated for the proposed development.  According to Mason, although the actual requirement for the development is about 18,000 gallons of water per day, the state doubles that figure until there is proof that less is needed). 

Zohdi said 57,000 gallons per day would not only provide sufficient water to the proposed housing development, but to town offices in the area, as well as to the town's housing authority, should elderly housing be constructed nearby.

Mesiti plans to build 60 housing units, plus some commercial development on land close to the town-owned property where the wells would be situated.  Zohdi said there are approximately 19 acres contained on Mesiti's property.  The proposed development would include a significant amount of land which would be left as open space, Zohdi said.

"We are trying to benefit both the town and the developer," Zohdi said, explaining that Mesiti wants to create a town common area on a section of this property that would be for use by the public.  Zohdi said the developer could put the wells on his own property, rather than on town-owned land, but that would not leave enough land to create a public town common area, nor would there be enough water for town use. There is a sufficient quantity of water on the Mesiti property, however, to supply the 60 proposed residences and any businesses, Zohdi said.

Selectman Roger Hohenberger asked if there would be less houses built on Mesiti's property if they had to use water from their own site, rather than acquiring it from town-owned land.  Mason said that the same number of house lots would be created if the water came from the developers' land, but, under those circumstances, the developer would be unable to provide the town with a "green space" behind the town hall complex.  According to Zohdi, if the wells across the street from the development, those on town property, are used, the park space behind Town Hall would total about 1.5 acres.

Selectman Margaret Crisler said she wants to be sure town officials are kept apprised of where any water from town property goes. She also said she thinks a provision must be enacted which ensures that this water cannot be sent to other areas for use.

Chairman Alan Carpenter emphasized that selectmen cannot act as planning board members and that any determinations on the makeup of the proposed development must be made by members of the planning board.

Zohdi said the proposal could eventually result in the proposed water system being run by Pennichuck Water Works.

Pennichuck Water Works ("PWW") is the leading private supplier of water for domestic, commercial and industrial use and fire protection to customers in the City of Nashua and the Towns of Amherst, Hollis, Merrimack and Milford.  In addition, PWW owns and operates 11 community water systems in Bedford, East Derry, Epping, Milford, Newmarket, Plaistow and Salem, New Hampshire.  Attorney Mason said that Pennichuck would have a permanent easement on the designated property.  Zohdi said that a representative of Pennichuck is willing to come to a future meeting to discuss related issues.

During the public input session of the meeting, resident Susan Mesiti said she believes Windham needs a downtown area similar to the one in Andover, Massachusetts.  She said she and her husband, developer Anthony Mesiti, aren't proposing this water system for their own benefit, but if the system is not something the town wants, then she and her husband can stop the process now and proceed with the development on their own.

Resident Doug Yennaco questioned whether or not there's enough water available for the rest of the landowners in the Village Center District.  He suggested that town officials come up with a formula for the distribution of the water.

Resident Peter Griffin recommended that any development approved for the Village Center District be integrated.  It should be of mixed use and no developer should be allowed all residential or all business, Griffin said.

Resident Carol Pynn said she is concerned about the amount of water which will be used if the housing or related business development uses the wells on town property.

Selectman Hohenberger said he would like to see an overall master plan for the entire area involved in Mesiti's proposal.

At the conclusion of the discussion, a motion was adopted to proceed with a draft contract relating to the water system on town property.  Selectmen asked that this proposed contract be formulated as soon as possible, so that town officials can review and edit the proposal prior to the next public hearing on Monday, January 7.

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