Boy Scout Troop Continues Leaders Challenge

As the colors were presented, Richard Riendeau’s wife Vicki with her sons Robby and Cliff , as the program in honor of Richard began at BAE Systems

The eleventh month, the eleventh day, and the eleventh hour celebration unfolded at BAE Systems in Nashua Tuesday morning in a very emotional way.  Richard Riendeau, an employee of BAE Systems who died unexpectedly in September, had issued a challenge to Boy Scout Troop 266 in Windham, of which he was their Scout Master, the day before he passed away to prepare gift packages for veterans serving overseas.

As the scouts accepted the challenge, Richard’s wife Vicki contacted BAE Systems to see if they could help the boys fulfilling their Scoutmaster’s challenge.  Richard previously volunteered with Operation Noble Cause, an employee-based effort to support our war-fighters and their families.  This is not a BAE Systems directed activity, but BAE Systems employees participate in Operation Noble Cause on a strictly volunteer basis, and on their own time.  Employee volunteer efforts and employee monetary and material contributions go to those Military Support Organizations, which are IRS-recognized charitable organizations.

Gerry Finnegan, BAE Systems’ Operation Noble Cause champion, introduced the event and asked that Troop 266 post the colors, following which he gave a brief history of how Veterans Day started.  Tom Fitzpatrick of BAE introduced Paul Moore, who with his family operates the MooreMart Foundation that sends packages to troops serving in foreign conflicts.  MooreMart, working with Operation Noble Cause, will package and deliver the stockings filled with items for our soldiers that Troop 266 collected.

There were very few dry eyes in the room as the scouts assembled the 75 holiday stockings to be sent in front of the room, shook hands with Judge Moore and received a commendation from BAE.  Finnegan presented a plague to the troops for their service and to Vicki Riendeau in honor of her late husband’s work with Operation Noble Cause.  Vicki spoke of Richard’s devotion to his family, his country, the scouts and to taking care of our veterans, accompanied by her two sons, Richard Clifford “Cliff” and Robert David “Robby”, both members of Troop 266 and both planning to follow their dad’s footsteps with careers in the military to serve their country.  As the program closed, members of BAE on hand formed a line to wish Vicki and her family well and to remember Rick and all his great work. 

Troop 266 posed with their collected gifts with Vicki Riendeau and Judge Paul Moore of the MooreMart Foundation

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Center of Town, New Fire Station, and Impact Fees

by Lynne Ober

After Pelham selectmen discussed traffic in the center of Pelham, they were still unresolved as the best way to proceed.

New Hampshire Department of Transportation officials said that changes could be made in the center of town to facilitate the traffic, but it would require many changes to the fire station: closing the front doors, moving the septic system, and building an auxiliary storage building.  The auxiliary storage building is required because the front bay doors on the existing fire station will no longer be usable.

The cost of moving the existing septic system is unknown and would require a thorough engineering study to evaluate current plumbing, possible positioning of a new septic system, and an understanding of how much of the existing fire station would have to be torn up and then remodeled in order to move the septic system.

In addition, the road would come within seven feet of the corner of the fire station, leading to questions about safety during icy driving conditions.

Town Administrator Tom Gaydos discussed options with the Board.  He asked if they wanted to pursue having a warrant article for a new fire station.  Gaydos said that work would need to be done in preparation if they wanted to present such a warrant article.  Gaydos outlined some of the work and said they’d need to have new drawings and make some potential changes.  In order to do that, he would have to request an additional appropriation out of the Fire Impact Fees.  The question to the board was whether there was interest in pursuing this year or not.

Chairman Doug Viger believed selectmen had unofficially discussed revamping and updating the fire station numbers and presenting them again.  However, Selectman Bob Haverty thought the selectmen had left it as they wouldn’t rule presenting another warrant article out as long as selectmen knew what the updated costs would be and could speak in defense of the warrant article.  Haverty said he was in favor of having Gaydos use impact fee monies and prepare the costs for a warrant article.

Selectman Hal Lynde also wanted to see updated numbers for the fire station, but also talked about gathering costs for option B, which would include a new septic system and an auxiliary storage area.

Gaydos felt that option B was a separate issue and felt that he couldn’t legally use impact fees to gather costs of option B.  However, he offered to put together a schedule of projected expenses and post a public hearing for that portion of the project.

Selectman Bill McDevitt said he wouldn’t object, but reiterated his belief that in this economy people wouldn’t support a large warrant article.  McDevitt has cautioned the board previously about what occurred last year at the polls and worried about the ongoing downturn in the economy.  He indicated that it was reasonable for the selectmen to make a fair determination to have fair and correct numbers for the projects, but he also worried about plan B.  McDevitt pointed out that selectmen had no indication of the costs of moving the septic system, remodeling the plumbing in the fire station to accommodate the new septic system location, and building an auxiliary building.  In addition, there may be an additional cost for land acquisition as the town does not own the land next to the fire station and so cannot build on it without acquiring the land.

Viger asked Gaydos to draft a timeline and get rough costs so a public hearing could be posted.

Gaydos told selectmen that he was currently compiling a list of the items that would have to be changed and getting the prices for those items.  Gaydos will report back to the board at the next meeting.

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Pelham High School Students Host Annual Breakfast for Veterans

by Karen Plumley

Veterans enjoy their morning together at Veterans’ Breakfast. From left: Les Dixon, VFW Post Surgeon Fran Walsh, George Squires, and Bob Schweida. Standing: Gerard Jutras

The heavy aroma of maple syrup drifted through the hallways of Pelham High School (PHS) on the morning of Monday, November 10 as the student government hosted its annual breakfast to honor community Veterans before the commemorative holiday.  As Pelham senior Ryan Ormsby finished his earnest reading of an essay written by classmate Bradley Shapiro on being thankful for veterans, he was treated to a hearty applause from the crowd.  The Pelham High School English department chose the essay as the winner of this year’s Voice of Democracy essay contest.

Veterans and members of the Pelham High School student government enjoyed a hearty pancake breakfast with fruit and coffee during the presentation that concluded with a word or two from PHS senior class president Gina Guimond.

Later, Guimond expressed her appreciation for the veterans in her community.  “They have shown consistently throughout the years, long after they have served, that they continue to care for their country,” she noted.  “They have truly changed all of us for the better.”

Although the turnout this year was small, there was no lack of enthusiasm among the veterans that did attend.  “I think that many veterans would have liked to come, but maybe didn’t know about it,” theorized veteran and Pelham resident George Squires.  “I know I come out every year and it is a great breakfast.  The kids to a fantastic job,” he stated.  All of Squires’ companions concurred with his sentiments and seemed to be enjoying the chance to get together and as Squires described it, “hack things over.  It’s a great way to pass the morning.”

Interestingly, U.S. Marine Corps and Army veteran Bob Schweida proudly pointed out that the date of the breakfast this year (November 10) coincided with the USMC organization’s 233rd birthday.

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Come and Cheer on the Pelham Pythons for Their 21st Straight Win

by Tommy Gates

State Semifinal Game Saturday 11/15 at 1:00 pm

The Pelham Python football team boasts the second longest winning streak in New Hampshire right now, as the Pythons trounced the Epping Blue Devils 43-0 last Saturday and are now focused on beating the Kearsarge Cougars this Saturday November 15 beginning at 1 p.m. at the Harris Family Track and Field behind Pelham Middle School.  We’ve been getting okay crowds for the Pythons games, but it seems as if it’s as quiet as a ghost town in the stands.  I think the Pelham cheerleaders have to get this crowd whipped into frenzy, to let our visiting Kearsarge fans know that Pelham Football is all about winning.  Head coach Tommy Babaian and his assistants had twice as difficult of a regular season schedule compared to last years, but the 27 kids that put on those Python uniforms every weekend, are getting the same top notch results, and I believe the home fans are really taking them for granted.  We’ve got two more home games to get everybody in town to attend. Bring down the sandwiches and drinks, get there early and tailgate to get a good seat to show the Cougar fans why we have the second longest football win streak in the state of New Hampshire at 20.  All-State running back, Bruce Vieira and his hard-working teammates have thought about nothing else this week than letting the Cougars know that it’s playoff time after Pelham only beat Kearsarge 26-20 a month ago in Pelham’s closest game of the season.  Let’s get a big crowd down to Harris Track and Field on Saturday and be loud in whooping it up for our Pythons.  We also hope to see George Harris and his sons and daughters down at the game too because it is the field that you gave to the kids of Pelham and they are going to show you once again that they really appreciate it!  Gatesy’s final score prediction…Pelham 34 Kearsarge 7!  Bring on Trinity again!

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