Windham 8th Grade Dance

by Lynne Ober

Last Friday night was the time for the eighth grade to celebrate moving on to high school.  The Windham Middle School cafeteria was gaily decorated and the lighting appropriately dim.  The DJ got everyone to gather for a large class photo and then the music and dancing started.

It was a night for memories, laughter and friendship.  It was the last school dance at Windham Middle School.  It was time to enjoy before thinking about moving to high school and the eighth grade class did all of that in grand style.

The DJ organized a group photo before the music and dancing started.

Scott Priestly Jr., Denise Jones, Sabrina Baiguy, Ryann Frank and Mike Guilmette

Giana Contrada and James Beaulieu

Tess Powell, Lindsey Wolfe, Christy Thibodeau, Brittany Ventriello and Briana Silve

Joey Thompson and Christine Kuckl

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Pelham Little Leaguer on Red Sox Field

Pelham resident Karen Halde-Orciuch works for a Wakefield, Massachusetts company that recently purchased over 100 tickets at a charity event for employees and guests to attend the June 4 Red Sox game against the Tampa Bay Rays.  Because of the amount of tickets the company bought, they qualified for the Red Sox “Leader of the Pack” pre-game ceremony, which allowed one member from the group to go down onto the field prior to the game, be introduced in front of the crowd along with the company’s name, and have their picture and name put up on the scoreboard.

The lucky chosen winner for this honor was Halde-Orciuch’s 9-year-old son, Narrik Orciuch, who is a student at Pelham Elementary School, plays for the Pelham Little League Athletics team, and is a huge Red Sox fan!

Narrik on Fenway Park’s Jumbotron. 

Narrik is beaming as he stands behind home plate on Fenway Park field.  Can a 9-year-old’s smile get any bigger?

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Pelham Fire Lieutenant Tirrell Honored

by Lynne Ober

Where do the years go?  If you are Pelham resident Jack Tirrell, the years have been devoted to service to Pelham.  

Id like to thank you on behalf of the town for your 20 years service to Pelham, said Board of Selectmen Chairman Dennis Viger.

Tirrell had been an on-call firefighter for the Pelham Fire Department for four years when he was hired as the departments first full time firefighter in 1988 and now 20 years later, hes still doing what he loves.

My grandfather was one of the founding members of Pelhams fire department, Tirrell recalled.  Its been a privilege and Ive been proud to serve the town.

Tirrell tested for lieutenant and was promoted in 1990.  He has served under three fire chiefs, four town administrators and countless boards of selectmen.

Tirrell had always sought to learn new techniques and over the years has completed 2,000 hours of continuing education.  Theres always something new to learn.

If theres a piece of fire apparatus, Tirrell has been trained to drive it, but hes also one of the knowledgeable go to officers in the department.

Tirrell is ICS/NIMS certified.  ICS [Incident Command System] which morphed into the National Incident Management System [NIMS} are complex management tools used to coordinate large and small multi-agency events.

Tirrell is also the departments infection control officer and just became the safety officer.  He also is a deputy fire warden for the state.

Already his attention to detail and knowledge is making a difference in his role as safety officer.  As safety officer, Lieutenant Tirrell has identified and corrected numerous areas for improvement, Fire Chief Michael Walker  said.  Personal protective equipment, blood-borne pathogens, and ambulance decontamination standard operating guidelines are all a result of Lieutenant Tirrells attention to detail and dedication.

Tirrell had helped the department in many unexpected ways.  When the police department moved into the new municipal complex, Tirrell worked tirelessly to make the old police station into fire administrative offices, and a training room.  Ask him to fix something and he not only knows how, he probably already has done something similar.  He has been a leader in the department for years and has his pulse on needed work.

Tirrell, of course, endured some good natured ribbing from selectmen as they traded stories from the old days.

Viger presented a plaque honoring him for his two decades of service to the department.

Listening to others talk about Tirrell and his service, one starts to get a picture of an Energizer Bunny who is advertising under the Just Do It Nike brand.  Lieutenant Jack Tirrell has worked tirelessly for this community. He has taken on projects above and beyond his normal duties to enhance service, Walker said.  From building repairs to vehicle maintenance, we would have had to pay significantly more for many services had he not simply gotten it done. 

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New Windham Motorcycle Officer on Patrol

by Barbara O’Brien

Two officers now are certified to patrol Windham roads on the police departments motorcycle.

Bryan Bliss is completed the required training last month, Police Chief Gerald Lewis said.  The other motorcycle-certified officer is Scott Rogers. 

With two certified officers, I hope to get more use out of the motorcycle, Lewis said. I hope to have them out there as much as possible.  With the cost of gasoline hovering around $4 per gallon, use of the motorcycle, as opposed to a police cruiser, will save money for taxpayers, Lewis said.

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Pelham Selectmen Set Strict Budget Guidelines

by Lynne Ober

“We got a clear message from our voters,” said Pelham Selectman Bob Haverty.  The message?  Spending must be capped in these tough economic times.

Selectmen are listening and have planned steps in that direction.  Department heads will be asked to zero-budget.  Selectman Bill McDevitt noted that he hated to take such draconian measures, but pointed out that the economy was in a recession, gas and home heating oil prices were rising constantly.  “Our voters have to make cuts.  They are stepping up to the plate.  They are going without salary increases and still paying bills.  We need to do the same.”

Town Administrator Tom Gaydos said he already had talked to department heads about level of service.  Selectmen acknowledged that level of service would go down if this year’s budget becomes next year’s budget.  Gaydos said he would instruct the department heads to identify those level of service effects.  Gaydos gave an example of how this would affect some departments by saying that Highway Agent Don Foss would not be happy if he had to wait until snow reached a depth of three inches.  “They like to start plowing and keep in front of it rather than waiting, but that’s an example of a reduction in service.”

Board of Selectmen Chairman Dennis Viger said he wanted the budgets to be “as frugal as possible.  Some departments can afford to cut back.”  He also noted that he wanted the board to fully understand what services would be reduced and the potential effect of such reductions.

Haverty said the board must understand the effects on the town of using this year’s default budget for next year’s budget.

Haverty also updated the board on his search for a private ambulance company.  He said the ambulance calls were so few that no private company had stepped up to house in Pelham the equivalent amount of equipment in place and reported that companies were afraid it would not be cost effective due to the total number of ambulance calls.

Selectman Hal Lynde suggested looking at an expenditure history and pointed out that the police department always produces at least 60 pages of backup.  “They tell us about each round of ammo that they are going to expend.”

Other selectmen disagreed and said the message from the voters was clear and loud.  Discussion covered asking department heads to document costs for every service item that was cut and perhaps putting some of those cuts out as individual warrant articles for the voters to decide how much service was cut.  Selectmen hoped that department heads would think outside of the box and be creative with dollars they would have.

McDevitt and Viger noted they faced similar situations in the corporate world and it was always a matter of deciding what service could be provided for the available dollars and thinking how to stretch those dollars.

Selectmen have a tentative budget review schedule beginning with the July 15 meeting.  

The three departments directly responsible for providing life/safety services to residents may be the most uncomfortable with projecting cuts.  The police department is scheduled for a budget review on July 22.  The Fire Department/EMT services and the Highway Department will be reviewed August 5.  All budget meetings, beginning with the July 15 meeting will be televised and interested residents should review those proceedings to understand the effect of lowering the spending.

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Update on Route 93 Construction

by Barbara O’Brien

The continuing reconstruction and widening of the Interstate 93 project between the Massachusetts state line and Manchester, is about to begin a new phase – which substantially will affect those traveling in the Windham area.

In anticipation of upcoming work near Exit 3 in Windham, Police Chief Gerald Lewis and Fire Chief Tom McPherson, recently met with State Department of Transportation officials.  Windham selectmen were briefed at their meeting on Monday, June 2.

McPherson said this portion of the construction is expected to be put out to bid in August, with the awarding of those bids to follow and work to get underway in late August or in September and last three to four years.

The construction will involve adding a northbound lane from Salem to the weigh station just north of Exit 3.  The new lane will be located closer to the existing southbound lane, than the current northbound lane.  Traffic will be detoured.

As for the nearly completed Route 111 bypass, it is expected to be completed by the time the newest phase of the Interstate 93 construction begins.  They will not be underway concurrently, McPherson said.

Town officials will be given periodic updates on the Interstate 93 project in the Windham area.

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