Hudson Kiwanis Ice Fishing Tournament

Adrian Robert Lamb shows his fish that he proudly kept in his pocket most of the morning.

The 24th Annual Hudson Kiwanis Ice Fishing Tournament was held Sunday, February 15 at Robinson Pond.  There were 236 participants; the largest crowd ever, including 90 children under 15, and 146 over the age of 15.  It was a beautiful sunny day as contestants began gathering as early as 5:30 a.m.  With the ice measuring between 18 to 27 inches, many anglers were able to drive their SUVs and minivans onto the ice.  It was truly a family affair with most anglers arriving with children and grandchildren in tow.  Going from bob house to bob house the telling aroma of chili, steak tips and other dishes made it evident that many were enjoying a hearty lunch.

Thanks to Norm Cloutier and Walter Mansur once again who did an outstanding job pulling this event together, and a special thanks to Steve Rodimack for his extremely generous donation.

Alex Rackliff watches a fish finder in the 2.5 foot ice.

John Weldon of Hudson with the largest fish of the Tournament, a 24 inch, 68 ounce pickerel

When the contest concluded at 1 p.m. the following winners in the Children’s Division (under 15) all received a trophy:


First place:  Emily Smith of Hudson, 20 inches, 44 ounces

Second place:  Marissa Cassidy of Londonderry, 19.5 inches, 34 ounces

Third place:  Jordan Guill of Hudson, 19.5 inches, 33 ounces

Fourth place:  Kaylee Gamby of Hudson, 19 inches, 32 ounces

Fifth place:  Josh Galvin of Reading, MA, 18 inches, 27 ounces

Sixth place:  Dawson Fortier of Nashua, 18.5 inches, 26 ounces


First place:  Heather Fortier of Nashua, 10.5 inches, 12 ounces

First place:  Randy Johnson of Manchester, 10.5 inches, 12 ounces

Second place:  Justus Brady of Manchester, 10.5 inches, 11 ounces

Third place:  Raymond Dumont of Laconia, 10.5 inches, 9 ounces

Fourth place:  Shaun Clark of Hudson, 10 inches, 9 ounces

Fifth place:  Mikayla Howes of Hudson, 10 inches, 9 ounces

Unusual Catch (Crappies)

First place:  Mikayla Duval of Manchester, 12 inches, 16 ounces

Second place:  Mikayla Howes of Hudson, 10.5 inches, 12 ounces

Third place:  Drake Alas of Hudson, 10.5 inches, 12 ounces

Fourth place:  Adam Charron of Hudson, 10.25 inches, 10 ounces

Fifth place:  Brandon Rackliff of Hudson, 10 inches, 10 ounces

Sixth place:  Adam Charron of Hudson, 10.25 inches, 9 ounces

Winners in the Adults Division, First place, $50; Second place, $30; Third place, $20


First place:  John Weldon of Hudson, 24 inches, 68 ounces

Second place:  Tom Lacey of Manchester, 21 inches, 40 ounces

Third place:  Joe Rondeau, Lexington, MA, 19.5 inches, 39 ounces


First place:  Randy Sherman of Manchester, 12.5 inches, 17 ounces

Second place:  Chris Dumaine of Hudson, 21 inches, 40 ounces

Third place:  Tina Lamb of Manchester, 11.25 inches, 13 ounces

Most Unusual (Crappies)

First place:  Tina Lamb of Manchester, 12.5 inches, 18 ounces

Second place:  Gene Sargent of Hudson, 11.5 inches, 12 ounces

Third place:  Kevin McIntyre of Hooksett, 10.75 inches, 14 ounces

The following businesses generously sponsored this event:  Subway, T-Bones, Hudson Cycle Center, Postal Center USA, Tate’s Garage, Susie’s Diner, Five Star Espresso, Cyr Lumber Home Center, Clean Monster Wash, Country Village Authentic, Steve Rodimack, Sports Authority, Manchester Monarchs and Hudson Kiwanis.

Hudson Candidates Night Displays Diverse Question Mix

by Gina M. Votour

Selectman candidates Ben Nadeau, Marilyn McGrath, and Shawn Jasper for the 3-year seats, and Maryellen Davis and Roger Coutu for the 1-year seat

In anticipation of next month’s town meeting, Candidates Night occurred in Hudson on the evening of Tuesday, February 17, offering registered voters the opportunity to question those seeking elected positions within the town and school system. 

Held at the Community Center, the event was once again hosted by the GFWC Junior Woman’s Club, a 42 year old organization made up of women working to better the world at large through volunteerism. 

For the upcoming election, three of the five selectmen seats are up for grabs, two for three years and one for a single year.  Incumbents Shawn Jasper and Ben Nadeau are seeking re-election for three year terms.  A lifelong Hudson resident, Jasper has spent a total of 14 non-consecutive years on the board of selectmen and 15 years as a state representative.  Jasper described his primary goal would be “to see we have the best town services for the lowest tax rate.”

Nadeau, also a lifelong resident, was a member of the Budget Committee and has worked in his family’s Nashua business for nine years.  “This year, the board has been working very well together,” stated Nadeau, who currently serves as the board’s chairman.

Zoning Board alternate Marilyn McGrath is also seeking one of the three year selectmen seats.  McGrath, who additionally spent 17 years on the Planning Board, has worked as a financial analyst for BAE Systems for 21 years and explained that she has been “increasingly dissatisfied with the current board of selectmen’s decisions and behaviors.” 

For the one-year term, incumbent Roger Coutu revealed that he did not have an agenda when he came to the board a year ago but that he quickly “identified two items of unfinished business;” those being the Benson’s property issue and addressing the needs of Hudson seniors.  Coutu, who runs a small business within town, explained that of utmost importance to him is performing a job with integrity.

Coutu is being challenged by Zoning Board member Maryellen Davis, a 14 year Hudson resident employed for the past 19 years by Sun Microsystems.  For the last five years, Davis has been on the Zoning Board, where she is now the Vice Chairman.  Davis explained that a plan is needed for the future of the town and that balance is needed on the Board of Selectmen.

Jacob Nazarian, the town’s Cable Facilitator, has also applied for a three year term on the Board of Selectmen but was not present for this event.

On the Budget Committee, four candidates have expressed interest in filling the two available seats of three years each.  Incumbent Jonathan Maltz, who moved to Hudson a few years ago, is currently the President of the Hudson Kiwanis Club.  Twenty five year Hudson resident Susan Guarino is a registered nurse, while Normand Martin, a Zoning Board alternate, explained that the Budget Committee needs to be “more frugal with spending.”  Also running is incumbent Steve Hellwig, who could not attend this meeting. 

Bob Haefner is seeking a one-year, write-in term on the Budget Committee.  Haefner, who is a state representative and also the Conservation Commission Chairman, planned to retire from the Budget Committee but was later urged to run.  Haefner is also an unopposed incumbent candidate for Cemetery Trustee.

Other incumbents running unopposed are Arlene Creeden for Library Trustee, Karen Burnell for Town Treasurer, Paul Inderbitzen for Town Moderator and Edmond Duchesne for Trustee of the Trust Funds.

Since there are currently no candidates for three seats within the Code of Ethics Committee, a minimum of ten write-in votes is necessary for those seeking candidacy.

Within the school district, incumbent Chairman David Alukonis will be challenged by newcomer Laura Bisson for a three-year seat.  Alukonis is a lifelong resident who has spent nine years on the School Board.  Among the future school board goals listed by Alukonis were improving academic performance, increasing minimum graduating standards and the incorporation of public kindergarten.

School Board canidates, Dave Alukonis and Laura Bisson

Bisson, a 15 year resident who has worked as a substitute teacher, explained her desire to “make a difference for [her own children] and all other children of Hudson” through this position.

Incumbents running unopposed for one year seats within the school district are Paul Inderbitzen for Moderator, J. Bradford Seabury for Clerk and Cecile Nichols for Treasurer. 

Verbal sparring between McGrath and the incumbent selectmen began early in the evening when McGrath stated that the former Town Engineer and recently retired Police Chief had both resigned due to issues with the board of selectmen.  McGrath additionally ventured that Coutu’s previous appointment to the board was questionable due to an unfair stalemate.  Jasper and Nadeau disagreed with these statements.  McGrath quickly countered that her statements were authentic.   

Voter questions then began pouring in.  Most selectmen candidates agreed that a new fire station should be one of Hudson’s top priorities with the widening of Lowell Road and a senior center additionally mentioned as concern topics. 

When asked how the Benson’s property could best be developed given the current state of the economy, the incumbent candidates responded that money from impact fees and potential grants could largely fund initial clean up efforts.

Regarding a potential casino on the Green Meadow property, the incumbents explained that the board has not yet seen a proposal, with Coutu urging the public to express their views once a proposal is made.  McGrath added that a casino would bring a “criminal element to the town,” a statement with which Davis somewhat agreed.

After being questioned on how to make the town’s business climate more friendly, Jasper and Davis agreed that the town could be more accommodating in this area with McGrath countering that the town is not anti-business.

All BOS candidates agreed on the importance of examining future public safety issues, with Davis mentioning a desire to work with the Planning Board to look into sidewalks and traffic lights with push button controls.  Jasper added that the increase in theft could be a future challenge.

Regarding Hudson’s senior population, candidates concurred for the most part that these programs should serve the senior community as a whole.  Davis added that seniors need a sense of community but with independence.

Nadeau then faced the inevitable task of explaining his “gorilla comment” made a few months back regarding the seniors using the gorilla cage on the Benson’s site.  Once again, he explained that his “comment was misconstrued” and that he did not intend to hurt anyone. 

Coutu additionally defended Nadeau.  “I’m going to say this from the bottom of my heart…Trust me, Ben Nadeau is a good…kind-hearted person,” he emphasized.

Other questions fielded by Selectmen candidates centered on managerial styles, conservation land purchases, Hudson cable television plans, and the use of the Robinson Pond area for recreational space.

For School Board candidates, questions naturally turned to the kindergarten issue with candidates being asked if they would “sue the state every time they change the educational requirements for students.”  Bisson replied that the state is mandating but not funding while Alukonis described a 1985 amendment necessitating state funding for programs outside of public education’s grades 1-12.  Alukonis later added that kindergarten is coming, regardless.  The lawsuit outcome will simply decide who pays for it … the state or the taxpayers. 

Regarding the desire for a better than “adequate” education, Alukonis and Bisson agreed that Hudson is well above the state level.  After a few other questions, candidates were asked if they were proud to send their children to Hudson public schools to which Alukonis replied “unequivocally yes” followed by Bisson’s statement that she “wouldn’t send them anywhere else.” 

Budget Committee candidates were questioned on how they would improve the current budget process.  Haefner responded that the committee currently “has a pretty decent process” with Guarino concurring that she was impressed with the committee’s approach to cost effectiveness.  Maltz added that it would be helpful to have the budget figures in electronic format, available on the town website. 

Candidates were also asked what they would trim from the budgets if given the chance.  Haefner replied that to make deep cuts could involve cutting essential services.  Regarding future budgets, Maltz and Martin agreed that unnecessary spending could be monitored.

At the session’s conclusion, Inderbitzen thanked all candidates for running. 

Official voting will take place on Tuesday, March 10, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Community Center.  “Please everyone come out and vote and make your opinions known … I’d love to see a turnout like we had in November,” added Inderbitzen.

For those interested in viewing the Candidates Night session, re-broadcasts will occur several times prior to the election.  Check for a time schedule. 

A ‘Sorry I Missed You’ Visit to Griffin Memorial

by Len Lathrop

Bridget Shraghan, Andrew Chamberland, Ben Klaft and Elena Muleski answer Governor Lynch’s questions.

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch was unable to meet with the Litchfield fourth graders when they visited the State House last fall.  So the governor came to visit them, armed with questions for fourth graders who have been studying New Hampshire history.  Correct answers came quickly about the state insect and fruit – ladybug and pumpkin.  The branches of government were simple for student Bill Mahany; however, when asked which was most important, Mahany, after thinking, answered “Executive,” and Lynch reported that they are equal.  The fourth grader responded that it was a trick question.

Lynch asked the students what they would do if they were governor.  From around the room, students responded with the likes of “stop smoking,” “lower taxes,” and many statements about making recycling more important.

Principal Bo Schlichter told the governor how proud the school was of the fourth graders as “88 percent scored proficient or proficient with distinction on the NECAP standardized testing.”

The visit ended with Governor Lynch having his picture taken with each of the five classes.

Thank you to Mrs. Ashe, Mrs. Cullenkent, Ms. Moriarty, Mrs. Parent, and Ms. Paul for allowing the Hudson~Litchfield News to tag along on the Governor’s visit.

School Board Develops Strategic Plan

by Lynne Ober

The Hudson School District has developed a strategic plan for the future.  The first step is to divide their mission statement into three strategic areas.  These areas — academic rigor and high expectation, sound fiscal management and integrity, and safe and secure learning environment — became the foundation for the goals and objectives of the district.

The overall goal was to ensure that each child was successful at the next educational level, while providing a safe environment and offering sound financial management to the district.

The academic rigor and high expectation section looked at ways to improve student achievement in language arts and mathematics by designing grade level benchmarks and identifying ‘at risk’ learners who need alternative learning strategies to succeed.

The board identified a need to lessen the student dropout rate and to increase the percentage of students who will attend college.  As part of this goal, they hope to offer transitional counseling to students who will explore apprenticeships.  The board also recognized that truancy and tardiness needed to be evaluated.  They hope to develop alternative scheduling opportunities at the high school to make this happen.  The instructional day will be examined and the board hopes to increase the educational day as well as provide a kindergarten learning experience for all students.

Staff retention is one of their key objectives and they would also like to encourage more teachers to earn an advanced degree.  However, they also recognize that parents must be actively involved in the process and to do that they hope to improve communication between the district and parents.

“We also want to increase communication about student progress,” said Superintendent Randy Bell.

Under the safe and secure learning environment umbrella, the board wants to provide an environment that is free from bullying.

“No child should be afraid to come to school,” said Bell.

A longer range goal will be to make all facilities ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.  Hudson, like other school districts, has some older buildings that were built long before ADA compliancy rules were developed.  Along with developing a plan for ADA compliance, the board wants to develop a comprehensive master plan that addresses grounds and facilities.  Summer programming, adult learning opportunities, and ongoing staff development are also included in the plan.

The last area, sound fiscal management and integrity, has long been a concern of the Hudson School Board.  The board plans to develop a 10-year plan so that all programming can be covered, enhanced, and improved in a fiscally responsible manner.  With a ten-year plan, budget development can be targeted toward priorities that have already been developed.  The budget cycle will fit within those plans and ensure that the school district maintains a sound environment for educational offerings within facilities that are safe and secure.

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