Ham and Bean Supper

by Lynne Ober

Food service line manned by firefighters

Once again, Litchfield’s Firefighter Association held its annual ham and bean supper.  This very successful event is enjoyed by the entire community each and every year.

“This is our only fundraiser,” said President Warren Adams.  “We support a number of activities from the proceeds, including the scholarship that we give to a graduating Campbell High School senior every year.  Last year we bought the Kabota tractor for the fire department — that takes a lot of plates of beans, and you can quote me on that,” he grinned.

Work begins early in the morning, and by supper time the air is filled with savory and inviting smells.  As always, the men served beans that are “Warren’s special recipe” and, as usual, they wouldn’t tell the recipe!  Also served with the beans were ham, hot dogs, potato salad, and delicious cake.

The GMS cafeteria was filled with happy sounds as neighbors chatted with neighbors.  Superintendent Elaine Cutler and her husband Tony joined the happy throng.  Outside the school, children enjoyed chatting with firefighters and seeing a fire engine, until two calls were sounded and Litchfield’s Fire Department roared off to both calls.

“We always come,” said former Selectman Cecil Williams.  “It’s a good time.”

Girl Scouts helped bus the tables and also sold Girl Scout cookies.

Firefighter Farnham and daughter Emma at the dinner

Meagan Fortier from Brownie Troop 458 was one of 10 from the troop who helped clean and reset the tables.

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Annual Fashion Show Held at CHS

Campbell High School’s fifth Annual Fashion Show, Style 2008, brought this season’s hottest fashions and cutting-edge styles for the spring and summer and closed with the latest looks in formal wear.  This fundraiser for the Junior/Senior Prom brought student magic to the runway Saturday night.  Fashions were provided by TJ Maxx of Londonderry, Marshalls of Londonderry, Cache of Manchester, Classic Tuxedo of Manchester, David’s Bridal of Nashua, Deb of Salem, and Fashion Bug of Manchester. 

Mrs. Aimee Burns, Fashion Show Advisor, noted the exceptional hard work and dedication of three seniors who coordinated this year’s show as their senior project:  Danielle Driscoll, Krystal Figlioli, and Alexa Dufault.

Ms. Burns and Ms. Gatherrum are being worshipped by male student models.

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Board Tables Two Proposed School Renovations

by Drew Caron

The Hudson School Board tabled two renovation proposals until the April 21 meeting of the board so that additional information about the specifics of the projects can be gathered.

The renovations could total over $56,000 and would have to be performed as quickly as possible over the summer in order to be ready for the 2008/2009 school year.  Such a quick turnaround would eliminate the bidding process for one of the projects as a minimum of an eight-week delivery is estimated for parts to complete one phase of the project.

With no lift or elevator at the Dr. H. O. Smith Elementary School, the SAU is proposing the installation of such a system that will allow adequate handicap accessibility throughout the school.  The total cost of the project would be $38,000 and would include the $22,000 needed for the purchase and installation of the lift and an additional $10,000 needed for related structural work.

Currently, all Hudson elementary school children who require the use of a wheelchair are sent to the Library Street School and, with the possibility of elementary class realignment in the future, it may have to stay that way.

School Board Member Rich Nolan questioned whether any money should be spent on a building that could face the possibility of closure.  Nolan said that unless at least some of the expense could be recoverable, he did not believe the Board could make an informed decision.  Although members of the Board agreed that if the Dr. H. O. Smith Elementary School would eventually be sold, the new occupant would need the lift anyway and thus absorb the cost.  The Board decided still to table the consideration of the proposal until the School Superintendent could gather more information regarding recoverable funds.

Updates to the Alvirne High School Computer Lab were also tabled until the current use of the computers in question can be determined.  At a cost of $8,000, the district’s electrician would install a new electric panel for the lab for two portable air conditioning units that would help with the heat generated during the warmer days of the spring and fall.  The more expensive option would require $18,286 for the installation of a rooftop unit.

Board members questioned the current use of the computers and the impact on learning should it be discovered they are not being used at all.  Hudson School Business Administrator Normand Sanborn and Superintendent Randy Bell both recollected that the computers intended for the lab are in fact being used, but they exist for use only in the middle of the library and not in their intended location. 

The board also decided to table the item until it can be determined whether the library actually needs the space the computers now occupy, bypassing the expense of having to cool the lab room.

Both projects would be funded from accounts which will have balances at the end of this fiscal year, and were based on new information that was not available to the district during the budget season.

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Hudson BOS Consider Closing Skate Park

by Tom Tollefson

Photo of last year’s vandalism that prompted imposing a curfew on the park.

The Hudson Board of Selectmen (BOS) agree that something needs to be done about the Hudson Skate Park. 

Since its opening on April 1, the youth have greeted the park with “total disrespect” as Selectman Roger Coutu stated.  The lock has been broken, the surveillance camera tampered with, and trash has been left on the premises.

“I think they should go along with the idea of essentially ending its use as a skate park, and putting in a couple of portable basketball hoops,” Selectman Shawn Jasper said.  The other members agreed that converting the skating area into a basketball court would be a viable option.

Chairman Ben Nadeau will bring the BOS’s concerns before the Recreation Committee as the next step forward in discussing a solution to the problem.

“I would like to hear what the recreation committee recommends.  Before we just say we want to close it, we want to hear what they want to do,” Selectman Rick Maddox stated.

The skate park has seen an outbreak of vandalisms since its opening nearly six years ago.  Last year the BOS passed a town ordinance that closed the park at 8 p.m.  This was a result of recent vandalisms. 

“This (park) belongs not to the board of selectmen, not to the recreation department, not to any one or collected small groups in our community; it belongs to our community as a whole, and to show that kind of disrespect tells me that no matter what we try to do for the youth within the community, unless it is self-policed by that group of youth, we will never have anything that the youth as a whole can really enjoy in this town.  We are not in a position financially to police this on a 24-hour basis,” Coutu said.

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