Keeping Children Safe

by Lynne Ober

Allie, 9, chose a pink poodle for her face.  

Child Safety Day Fair was held at Windham’s Center School and was a way for parents to learn about safety and a chance for kids to have a rousing time. 

Although it rained Saturday morning, the sun was shining brightly by the time the bike fair kicked off at 10:30.  It was a chance for kids to learn bike riding skills while having fun with Windham police.

Inside the school’s gymnasium several booths were set up.  Collins Dentisty of Pelham set up a booth to talk to parents about childhood dentistry needs.  Their pediatric dentists specialize in treating very young children to teens and because of the limited practice they are able to keep current on the latest diagnostic and treatment procedures for young people.  Parents could ask questions and get informed answers.

Parents also had an opportunity to talk about child identification and taking procedures to ensure that children could be identified later.  Options ranged from Child ID Kits to tooth imprints.

Karel DiPietro was inspired by a trip to Disney World with her family many years ago, and when she came back to New Hampshire, she was determined to develop her own niche in the professional world of face painting.  I have always had a love of art and making children happy, which has brought me to becoming a professional face painter, she grinned.  Thanks to the sponsors of the event, face painting was a free and very much enjoyed activity.  DiPietro had a board showing all the elaborate and sparkling faces she could design for youngsters, who couldn’t wait to climb into her chair.  Today DiPietro owns MakeAFace4u and enjoys sharing her love of painted faces.

Selectman Bruce Breton was on hand to enjoy the festivities.  This is a great opportunity for parents.  Our police will check their child safety seats out front.  Parents can learn about options to keep children safe.  Their kids can be fingerprinted and records made of those for parents.  You can munch on popcorn.  What more could you ask for on a sunny day, he said.

Outside the gym Windham police had set up their SWAT truck and other specialized vehicles.  Youngsters could try out all the equipment under the watchful eye of the police force, who obviously enjoyed interacting with the young residents.

Recreation Director Cheryl Haas said this event was really a result of many sponsors.  She thanked Debbie Mackenzie Realty, Boyden’s Landscaping, Senibaldi Contracting Corp, Delahunty’s Nurseries, Victoria Noel and Brenda Brophy from Century 21 D’Amico.  They really pitched in and make this happen.  I think it is an important event for kids and parents, said Haas.

Alex and Gregory peer at the many faces that they can choose for face painting.

Alex, 7, posed with Windham Police on its ATV.

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Pelham High FBLA’s Leadership Conference

The Pelham High School (PHS) chapter of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) attended the State Leadership Conference on April 3 and 4 at the Raddison Hotel in Manchester.  Students from around New Hampshire business skills competitions and new state representatives were elected.  Congratulations to Pelham High School sophomore and FBLA member Nicole Overy for winning a seat on the New Hampshire FBLA State Officer Team! 

The following students placed in the business skills competitions. 

Nicole Overy - Introduction to Technology

Scott Cloutier - Marketing )

Leslie McCabe - Word Processing II

Jennifer Stanton - Spreadsheet Applications

In addition to awards being presented to the students, PHS was recognized for its participation and donations to the March of Dimes.  PHS was given Honor Chapter status. 

Scott Cloutier and Jahaira Negron were also recognized as Who’s Who in FBLA.

Congratulations to these students and for all the students who participated in the Spring Leadership Conference Competitions.

Pelham High School Future Business Leaders of American members, from left, Jennifer Stanton, Leslie McCabe, Nicole Overy and Scott Cloutier 

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Pelham Town Center Project Conundrum

by Lynne Ober

Work has continued on Pelham’s town center.  Everyone agrees that traffic is not only a problem now but will get worse.  Selectmen previously asked state and federal officials for help and were pleasantly surprised to get enough funding to fix the traffic problems without asking town taxpayers to kick in money.  

The Context Sensitive Solutions project started and has continued.  Alternatives were developed and the best alternative chosen.  Plans were underway to hold a public hearing this coming May and to release design bids, but now all of that is up in the air.


The voters overwhelming voted against building a new fire station.  There were 2,226 no’ and 1,669 yes’ votes.  Selectmen who had not wanted to tie the new fire station directly to the re-design of Pelham’s town center are now faced with a conundrum.  If they vote to continue with the May public hearing and to release the design of the project without moving the fire station, there will be a significant lapse of fire suppression services.

Selectman Hal Lynde reminded fellow board members that if the fire station remained at that location that the front doors would no longer be usable.  Fire apparatus would have to enter and exit from the rear doors where there is limited turning capacity.  In fact, Lynde told the board that CSS engineers doubted there was enough space for an adequate turning radius.

To make matters worse, Pelham might be in danger of losing the nearly $4 million pledged by state and federal sources.  Selectman Bob Haverty reminded the board that Pelham jumped over several communities to gain that funding.  If we lose it, we will also lose some political clout because we failed to complete the project that we fought to get.

Lynde urged looking at unconventional options such as using the classroom space at the municipal building for fire offices and building a temporary building to house the equipment.  He noted there is $400,000 in the project funds for the fire station.

Haverty asked that he continue to work on the project.  He said he wanted to look at privatizing some of the services, such as ambulance to cut down on the footprint of a new fire station and he also said he wanted to look outside the box.

Haverty urged the board not to tie the fire station project to the traffic improvement project, but after lengthy discussion selectmen seemed to agree that the solution to the traffic problem was one with the fire station moved to a new location.  Given that, it is difficult not to tie the two projects together.  If the fire station doesn’t move, the solution that solves Pelham’s traffic problems not only today but also into the future cannot be completed.

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No Right-Turn-Only Lane At Shaw’s Entrance

by Barbara O’Brien

It was a split vote, but selectmen have decided not to pursue making the right-turn lane near Shaw’s Supermarket on Route 111 in Windham a right-turn-only lane.

Several residents, as well as some town officials, wanted to see the existing right-turn lane into Shaw’s Supermarket (Wall Street) made a right-turn-only lane, rather than giving drivers the option of either turning right or continuing straight north on Route 111, as is the current situation.  At a left lane at that location drivers are required to continue north on Route 111.  Some say the problem is the merging of traffic that must take place as the left and right lanes turn into a single lane a short distance north of the Wall Street entrance to Shaw’s Supermarket.

Because Route 111 is a state road, approval by the State Department of Transportation would be required to make any changes along the busy route.

Concerns over potential hazards regarding the existing situation have been a continuing topic of conversation at selectmen’s meetings for the past couple of years. It came up for discussion again during the Monday, April 7, board meeting. 

Following input from the Windham Highway Safety Committee, selectmen voted 3 to 2 not to ask the State Department of Transportation to make any changes.  Voting in favor of keeping the intersection as it is were Chairman Dennis Senibaldi, Vice-Chairman Bruce Breton and Charles McMahon.  Opposed to keeping the status quo were Roger Hohenberger and Galen Stearns.

Members of the Windham Highway Safety Committee, of which Fire Chief Tom McPherson is chairman, determined that eliminating the two merging lanes could cause hazards.  In addition, statistics show no increase in traffic accidents since the merging lanes were created several years ago. Highway Safety Committee members, who met most recently on Monday, March 31, voted not to take any official position on a recommendation, however.

Hohenberger said he appreciates the input provided by the committee, but still has concerns.  Hohenberger said he still wants to pursue the issue with the state.  Stearns said he agrees with Hohenberger and would like the right lane be a right-turn-only lane.

McMahon, who also serves as Windham’s state representative, said he feels no change is needed.  The sky is not falling in that area, McMahon said.  McMahon said he believes that making the right lane a right-turn- only lane could cause a traffic backup on Route 111.  Motorists simply need to drive with manners, McMahon said, referring to the need for traffic to merge near Shaw’s.

Senibaldi said he has never been in favor of making the right lane on Route 111 a right-turn-only lane onto Wall Street.  Senibaldi said the state did surveys before constructing the road as it is.  The state did this for a reason, he said.  Breton agreed with Senibaldi, adding that he feels the traffic pattern should remain as it is.

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