Rain Dampened Old Home Days Still a Rousing Success

by Lynne Ober

Old Home Days perenials take a short break from the rain. From left: Jeff Clegg, Lee Lavoie, Len Lathrop, Tony Francore, Ben Nadeau, and Dave Alukonis

“It just wouldn’t be Old Home Days if we didn’t get rain at least once,” grinned Hudson Old Home Days Chairman Priscilla Clegg.  “But rain doesn’t stop the music or the food or the fun.  We just keep right on going.”

This year’s celebration was held over four days.  Thursday night kicked off with carnival rides, live music by the Classic Oldies Band, field games with the Hudson Fire Department and Karaoke by Disco Bob.  Rain held off until late in the evening.

Friday had rain early.  By the time most people wanted to attend, the rain had passed over and there was a full slate of entertainment for young and old.  Live music was provided to the early crowd by Jam Lab with Stan Jr. of the Super Legends taking over for the late entertainment.  

Both Saturday and Sunday there was a Rotary Pancake Breakfast at Alvirne High School.  For early birds, there was a lawn sale at Hills Memorial Library with a used book sale put on by Friends of Hills Memorial Library.  At noon on Saturday, field games for kids began.  The Hudson Fire Department provided a chance for kids to play fire fighter and shoot water out of a fire hose.  The bleachers were packed for a demonstration by K-9 officer Akim and his human partner, Officer Kevin Sullivan.

Throughout all four days there were exhibits and vendors to visit.  When feet got tired, people bought a drink or a munchie and sat in the shade at one of the tents. 

“I like to have lots of places for people to sit,” said Clegg.  There was a poker run on Saturday with proceeds benefiting MooreMart, who send care packages to our troops stationed overseas.

Two haystack hunts were a hit with teens and adults.  “I loved watching the adults in the hay stack,” laughed Clegg.  “They were having a great time throwing the hay and looking for the prizes.”

Smokehouse Lighting Blues played from 6:00 – 10:30 p.m.  RS Fireworks, who put on many of the Canobie Lake Park fireworks, presented a magnificent display of fireworks this year.  Many attendees felt that this year’s fireworks display was the best ever.  A few lucky contest winners got to watch the show from the front porch of Hills House.

But things didn’t quiet down on Sunday.  There was another full slate of events.  The antique and classic car show is always a hit on Sunday.

“What I like about this,” said one mom, “is there are lots of things to do that don’t cost any money.”  Wildlife Encounters, LLC, a non-profit traveling Educational Zoo operating from our USDA-licensed Wildlife Center near the beautiful New Hampshire Seacoast, was on the grounds on Sunday.  They attracted not only young watchers, but their parents too.  The two partners travel around New England and are polished performers who are aided by their animal friends. 

“We are definitely going to have them back next year,” said Clegg.

Alvirne Farm, including their petting zoo, was open for tours as was Alvirne’s Chapel.  Throughout the event the Hills House was open for tours, and, as always, the Historical Society House Committee had an entertaining display for viewers to enjoy.

State Police had their helicopter and also had their bomb division.  Questions were asked and answered and people had an opportunity to see some equipment that you would normally only watch on the 5 o’clock news.

There was another popular K-9 demonstration on Sunday and the carnival rides were a ‘pay one price and ride as much as you want’ opportunity.

It’s always hard to see Old Home Days come to an end and this year, Mother Nature apparently agreed.  Shortly before the event was to end, a torrential rain began. 

“It’s mother nature crying because we are going home for a year,” laughed Sharon Carson.

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Egg Drop Contest a ‘Smashing Success’

by Tom Tollefson

Counselors Tommy Scurini and Sean Sendall with Tyler White, 9, the winner of this year’s egg drop competition

Have you ever considered what it takes to place an egg inside a box and drop it off a building, then smash it with a bat, yet the egg remains in tact?  This is a challenge that has been met by current Hudson Recreation Summer Staff member Matt Brownrigg over the years at the program.  Brownrigg and his younger brother Chris once held a historic streak of 12 consecutive trophies in the annual egg drop contest. 

“We used the same structure.  We found what worked and went with it,” Brownrigg said. 

As a counselor, Brownrigg now helps run the contest he once dominated as a kid.  His role is to smash the boxes carefully constructed to protect the eggs after they are heaved off the roof of the Hudson Community Center.

“They were pretty good,” Brownrigg said about this year’s competitors. 

This year, Tyler, 9, came out as the winner being the only contestant whose protective box kept the egg “smash free” from the “Babe Ruth” like blows of the summer staffs’ bats.

The young contestant also had doubts coming into the contest when he saw a pad locked cooler from Justin, 11. 

“Once I saw that cooler I was just hoping for second place,” Tyler said.  However, a few well-placed bat blows made quick work of the pad lock, leaving the inside open and unprotected. 

“I had a plastic container inside and pillow foam and bubble wrap around the egg,” Justin said.  Many other children had creative ideas as well. 

Shaun, 10, came up with an idea that was quite out of the ordinary.  He tightly packed his egg away in a steel pipe.  Despite the creativity of his steel protection, he did not make it out of the first round. 

“I can’t believe that it broke.  It must have been the vibration of the steel when the bat hit,” Shaun said.  

Vinnie Scurini swings 

Matt Brownrigg swings

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Entegris Corporation Seeks Hudson Facility; Would Bring Many Good-Paying Jobs to Town!

by Gina M. Votour

The Minnesota-based Entegris Corporation is looking for a new home in Hudson.   

A maker of products used in the semiconductor industry, this international company is pursuing a property purchase within the Sagamore Industrial Park for use as a manufacturing facility.  Of particular interest to Entegris is the address of 20 Executive Drive.

“I was excited that someone is interested in moving into Hudson and providing this community with some good paying jobs,” said Sewer Utility Committee Selectman Liaison Roger Coutu. 

Entegris’ Executive Summary states, “Due to cleanliness requirements of our customers, many products require extensive flushing with internally processed ultra pure water.”  Entegris’ Corporate Technical Program Manager Ray Zagars explained that this is due to their products low tolerance for metal contamination.  Therefore, a sewer capacity to support peak discharge amounts of up to 100,000 gallons per day (GPD) must be guaranteed prior to the completion of a purchase agreement.

“Before we can actually proceed with our plans to negotiate for the purchase, we need to get an official assurance from the town that we will be able to get the sewer capacity that we require,” stated Entegris’ Corporate Environmental Manager Mike Bolko at the July 22 board of selectmen meeting.   

At a special meeting on August 5, the board of selectmen passed a unanimous motion to provide Entegris with the required 100,000 GPD.  (The scope of this amount is easier to understand if compared alongside the average daily flow of the typical single family home which, according to Hudson Sewer Administrative Aide Donna Staffier-Sommers, is about 220 GPD.)

A current cost estimate for 100,000 GPD would be approximately $517,000, or $5.17 per gallon.  Entegris requested that the town waive or adjust this fee, since they view this property purchase as a long-term commitment to Hudson, exemplified by the plan to transfer several of their leased facilities operations to the Hudson location.

The estimated $517,000 fee may also be the result of an outdated buy-back formula.  Selectman Shawn Jasper emphasized that, at this point, it is essential for the town to have an across-the-board policy to calculate access fees in order to achieve a goal of fairness to current and future businesses.  The formula itself is scheduled for further examination by the Sewer Utility Committee.  

For the past few weeks, the board of selectmen has therefore been working to devise an access fee amount that would be business-friendly to Entegris, while remaining fair and acceptable to current town businesses.  

After an in-depth discussion at their August 12 meeting, the board decided to offer Entegris a one-time access fee in the amount of approximately $322,000.  This figure was derived by taking half of $517,000 and then adding an additional 25 percent to this amount.  A motion to approve this amount passed 3 to 2, with Selectmen Maddox and Massey opposed.

Also on this evening, Michael Bergeron, a business recruiter from the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, spoke to the board on Entegris’ behalf, saying “It’s an excellent company.  They would be great for New Hampshire.  They would be great for Hudson.”

Time is definitely a factor in Entegris’ potential purchase of a Hudson facility, especially since several of their present leases will be ending shortly.

“Our stated goal is to be signed, sealed and delivered on a property by the end of September,” Entegris’ Zagars stated late last month.  However, if a new site plan is needed, these procedures could be hindered by a few months.

Moving forward nevertheless, Entegris, at this point, has paid for an initial environmental assessment and for building condition evaluations in Hudson.

Over 125 people are expected to be employed at the proposed Hudson branch.  Nationwide, the company employs over 2,700 employees.  The average salary for skilled workers is estimated to be around $50,000 per year.

“I know full well that this board is committed to look for and entertain a resurgence of industry coming back to our town,” selectman Coutu emphasized to Entegris’ Bolko and Zagars.  “I think we’re endorsing your concept.  We are embracing your coming into our town with open arms.  We look forward to having you.  We’d like to see you cease and desist entertaining other towns, and know that you would be welcomed in the Town of Hudson,” selectman Coutu continued.  

“The industrial revolution is not there [at Sagamore Industrial Park] like it was 10 or 15 years ago, because everything is going overseas, and I think a company like [this] is going to add valuable jobs, added acting town engineer Gary Webster.

At this point, Hudson waits for Entegris’ response to the proposed access fee of $322,000.  When they last appeared before the board on July 22, Bolko and Zagars agreed to keep Hudson posted regarding their plans as this deal further unfolds.

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Alvirne High School Places in Top Four at International Thespian Festival

“Technical Difficulties,” a team of five technical theatre students from Alvirne High School, placed in the top four out of 20 teams in the Tech Challenge at the 2008 International Thespian Festival.  Tech Challenge took place on Tuesday, June 24, on the campus of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

Tech Challenge is an event giving students the opportunity to test their technical theatre skills in a multi-task event that simulates a theatre production environment.  Teams of five to seven students work on tasks such as knot tying, light focus, prop shift, costume change, sound execution, or stage management.  Students are evaluated on accuracy, speed, and efficiency, as well creativity, ingenuity, and teamwork.

The members of “Technical Difficulties” are Alvirne High School students Chris Kraemer, Michael O’Keefe, Sara Prince, Becky Razzino, and Zach Spaulding.  They are part of Alvirne’s International Thespian troupe 6986, directed by Jennifer LaFrance.  The team completed the Tech Challenge in eight minutes, 27.82 seconds.

The International Thespian Society (ITS) is an honorary organization for high school and middle school theatre students located at more than 3,700 affiliated secondary schools across America, Canada, and abroad.  The mission of ITS is to honor student excellence in the theatre arts.  High school inductees are known as “Thespians” and junior high/middle school inductees are known as “Junior Thespians.”  ITS is a division of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA).

The International Thespian Festival is an annual, weeklong event featuring workshops presented by theatre professionals, individual and group performances, and opportunities to audition for college admission and scholarships.  The International Thespian Festival is currently held on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

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9/11 Observance Ceremony to be Held in Hudson

by Gina M. Votour

Hudson’s observation of the tragedy suffered by this country on September 11, 2001, will be held at Library Park on Thursday, September 11, at 6:30 p.m.

The ceremony will commence with an invocation by Reverend David Howe of Hudson’s United Pentecostal Church.  Following the summons, Sergeant Charles Dyac will sing the National Anthem. 

A Presentation of the Colors will be carried out by the VFW Post #5791.  Police Chief Richard Gendron and Fire Chief Shawn Murray will then perform the Wreath Laying, followed by the Presentation of Arms by American Legion Post #48.  Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Ben Nadeau will provide the ceremony’s closing remarks. 

Like many other towns, Hudson has officially observed this event each year since its occurrence.  Although this ceremony was not heavily attended last year, the Board of Selectmen agreed through a unanimous motion passed during their August 12 meeting that it is essential to remember this day in history.

“This was an event which seared the national soul and I don’t think we can ever not remember what happened that day.  I think it’s critical that we continue to observe … because we need to continue to remember that freedom is not free,” declared Selectman Ken Massey.  

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