Summer Picnic Honors Seniors

by Lynne Ober

Some of the 300 seniors enjoying the lunch provided by town residents to honor their friends and family.

Once a summer, town hall closes and everyone pitches in to provide a picnic for Windham seniors.  This year’s picnic, held on Friday, July 31, was no exception and nearly 300 seniors gathered to enjoy their lunch and music presented by the Ancient Mariners Dixieland jazz band.

Windham’s Fire Department moved all the trucks outside, cleaned the garage even more than usual and set up tables which were gaily decorated.  Thanks to the ever present summer 2009 rain, this year wasn’t as hot as last year, but the walk from the grill to the serving line meant crossing the back parking lot with rain pelting down.

Everyone pitches in and helps out.  “It’s a great event,” said Bruce Breton who was chatting with Windham resident Peter Zohdi.  “It’s a chance for us to show our appreciation for the seniors and what they have meant to our town.”

Town employees helped with lunch.  Some cooked; some served and some helped seniors – but everyone pitched in.

“We love hosting the senior picnic,” said Fire Chief Tom McPherson.  “Everyone pitches in.  It’s just a lot of fun for all of us.”

The serving line was very quick and soon plates were filled and seniors were eating hot dogs, sausages, hamburgers, salads, baked potatoes, chips and all the fixings.

After lunch was over, everyone stayed to enjoy the music.  Some danced and some hummed or sang along with familiar songs played by the jazz band.

Selectman Roger Hohenberger carried hot food from the grill to the serving line.

Cause of Pelham Fire Under Investigation

submitted by Pelham Fire Department

At approximately 4:36 p.m. on Tuesday, August 4, the Pelham Fire Department was dispatched to 386 Mammoth Road for the report of smoke in a residence.  Engine Company 3 was the first arriving company reporting smoke showing from the front corner of the building and the working fire assignment was struck.  Upon further investigation it was noticed that the smoke was coming from a basement window.  Upon entry to the house fire was found in the basement and quickly extinguished.  There was heavy smoke and fire damage to the basement.  One cat was located in the basement and brought out and reunited with it owner alive.  Mutual Aid was received from Hudson and Windham to the scene with Salem and Dracut, MA covering the station. 

There were no injuries to the firefighters or civilians and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

Annual ‘Putts Fore Mutts’ a Huge Success

First place winners of the tournament shown with Chi Chi­Peter Blake, Al Adamson, Chi Chi, Phil Burrows, Bobby DeFronso

Fun was had by all at the Animal Rescue Network of New England’s second annual ‘Putts Fore Mutts’ Golf Tournament at the Windham Country Club on Saturday, August 1.  The golfers were able to enjoy the lovely summer weather while golfing on the beautiful grounds of the Windham Country Club.

ARNNE had their very first mascot at the event.  Chi Chi Rodriguez was rescued that very morning and had a great time meeting everyone and hanging out with the attendees for the day.  Chi Chi is hoping to find his forever home soon.

At the end of the nine holes of golf, golfers and many guests joined at the Club House for a delicious meal prepared by the Windham Country Club.  Everyone enjoyed the award ceremony and were able to choose among a variety of raffle baskets thanks to the generosity of many local businesses such as RE/Max Prestige, Villa Bianca, RGA Tire, The Cutting Company Hair Design, MDL Print Solutions, Anitech Dog Training, Prime Butcher, Ben’s Clubs, Muro Pest, and Different Drummer Farms.

According to Donna Clark, president and founder of ARNNE, “Funds raised through this event and from the generous donations of the executive sponsorships from Tee Em Kennels in Methuen, Harris Pelham Inn in Pelham, and Beaver Valley Farms in Pelham, ARNNE will be able to continue to rescue those without a voice, both young and old.  And it will allow us to continue making repairs to the Pelham town shelter.”

For more information about the Animal Rescue Network of New England, please visit

New High School Meets Fire Safety Standards

by Barbara O’Brien

Windham Fire Chief Tom McPherson has announced that the new Windham High School is “in satisfactory compliance” with all state and national fire code regulations.

For all intents and purposes, the $50 million plus facility is completed and nearly ready to open its doors to students.  Owner’s Representative Glenn Davis has signed off on the required certificate of completion and final preparations are underway.

Construction of the second access to the high school, as is required for safety reasons, is well underway. McPherson said he “is confident the road will be done to a minimum standard” within 60 days of the school’s opening.  McPherson set the 60-day condition of completion last year when controversy over building a second access to the high school was a hot topic of debate.

McPherson said he had spoken with Highway Agent Jack McCartney and been assured the roadwork was going well.

Windham High School is scheduled to begin welcoming students on Wednesday, September 2.  The ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Saturday, September 12.

In other school district related business, selectmen unanimously approved a request for waiving the usual permit fees for the new portable classrooms being set up at Golden Brook Elementary School.  Windham will be offering students a public kindergarten program for the very first time this coming school year.  The new portables, the lease for which is being paid by the State of New Hampshire Department of Education for the first three years, will house the fledgling kindergarten program.

The portable classrooms were scheduled to be delivered by August 1 and are expected to be ready for occupancy well in advance of the start of the 2009-2010 school year.

Community Development Director Job Goes to Current Employee

by Barbara O’Brien

Administrators for the Town of Windham spent two months seeking the right individual to take on the newly created position of Community Development Director.  When all the interviews were completed and the resumes researched, however, the job was ultimately given to someone whose name is already on the town’s employee roster.

Laura Scott, who was hired as Town Planner last spring, following the resignation of former Planning Director Alfred Turner, has been named as Windham’s very first Community Development Director.  The announcement was made during the selectmen’s Monday, July 27 board meeting.

Selectman Bruce Breton said that a total of 30 candidates were interviewed; all of who were quality individuals, according to Breton.  “The Board worked really hard,” Breton said, spending a lot of late nights doing interviews and comparing candidates.  “We ate a lot of meals on the run,” during the search process, he said.

When all was said and done, however, Scott was chosen over these other candidates because she had already demonstrated her abilities to perform the job, Breton explained.  Scott has already been running the Planning and Development Department for several months, Breton said, and has proven to be a real asset to the town.  Breton described Scott as “a new face with a lot of experience; someone who brings a different perspective to the job.”

Scott holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and comes to Windham with an extensive background in community planning and development.  Previously, Scott served as the Director of Planning and Community Development in the Town of Pembroke, New Hampshire.  Just prior to coming to Windham, she worked as a community development consultant in Henniker, New Hampshire.

Scott thanked town officials for giving her this “wonderful opportunity.”  She said she enjoys working with the numerous professionals and volunteers with whom she comes in contact on a regular basis.  Scott said she feels this is the right time for Windham to be focusing on economic development, particularly with the ongoing expansion of I-93.  “My door is always open,” Scott said, encouraging residents to provide her with their input.

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