Pittsfield NH News

October 24, 2018



NH Senate and

House of Representatives Candidates Forum

Epsom Public Library

Sunday, October 28th 2:00pm


Do you live in Allenstown, Epsom or Pittsfield?  Are you concerned about our roads, schools and taxes? Come and talk with your NH Senate and House Representative candidates.  The decisions they’ll make will impact all of us every day!  The candidates forum is sponsored by the Friends of the Epsom Public Library and the Greater Pittsfield Chamber of Commerce.



Letter To The Editor

Public School Funding Position Statement


The direct answer to "What will you do to make school property tax rates fair and equal across the state?" is that NH must—must institute school funding that is not based solely on property taxes. Property values are inherently variable across the state and can never provide for equity in our school districts. Other funding sources must be found. No one favors broad based taxes such as sales or income and that is fine so far as it goes. If we don’t want either one of those then we must create some new revenue source that will meet our obligations. Continued runaway growth of rental properties that do not provide sufficient revenues to off-set the numbers of children requiring education must be changed. This is obviously a difficult question, but it must be faced and faced soon. These unfunded children provide for the greatest growth in our school systems. That cannot be sustained. I am not yet experienced enough to understand all of the complexities of a funding model, but I know that if the state accepts an appropriate level of responsibility, then appropriate tables of distribution can be worked out so that all school districts are funded at a workable and sustainable price per student educated. State responsibility also needs to include the particularly high cost of special education. No community should be left to its own devices in paying for this very technical and expensive column on the education invoice.



J. C. Allard



Letter To The Editor

Public School Funding Position Statement


The state’s 2017- 2018 adequacy grant was $3636 per student, with small additional grants for low income, special education, children with English as a second language, and third graders who cannot read at the appropriate level. The average annual cost per year per student in the state is over $15,000 (Pittsfield about $14,723).  The difference is passed on to the local property taxpayers.  This means that property poor towns pay a higher rate just to cover the basic needs of students.  This leads to teacher layoffs, delayed upkeep and maintenance, less equipment, fewer books, and losing talented teachers to other districts.


This system discourages economic growth as businesses opt for lower property tax towns and young families move elsewhere to avoid poorly funded schools.  Local officials are less apt to create affordable housing to attract young families.  As school enrollment declines - higher cost per student. 


The state needs to establish a nonpartisan commission to devise and implement a long-term education funding strategy for NH that works for all towns.  This commission would update the adequacy grants as appropriate. 


NH needs to establish financial advisors to help all districts with long-term planning regarding budgets, etc. We do not need to “reinvent the wheel” across the state, what works in one town, may work in others.


Is it possible to have a teacher pay scale that applies to all districts?  More stable for teachers and might decrease moves for increased pay.


We need a two-year school budget to coincide with the state two-year budget. 


If unfreezing the grants, getting payback from 2015-present, and dedication of some broad-based tax monies (such as increased gasoline tax or increased cigarette tax) do not provide enough relief, then another house or senate bill as CACR 7, might do better if the right people are elected. 


Miriam Cahill-Yeaton, Epsom



Help For Victor's Afflicted Hoof

Submitted By Carole Soule

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Victor's hoof gets soaked


Victor hobbled quickly ahead of me on three legs, his right front foot swinging in the air. He had escaped through an open gate. Even on three legs, he moved faster than me, but I had to get him back to continue treating his infected hoof. Victor is a 6-month-old, 400-lb, red and white Hereford bull calf who was still nursing.


Three weeks earlier Art Austin was cutting cordwood in one of our pastures and said, “I think that young bull has a broken leg.” That can be fatal for a four-legged animal, so we quickly moved Victor into the holding pen where I could get a better look at him. Luckily he had a hoof infection-not a broken leg. Cattle, sheep, and goats have cloven hooves. In wet weather, bacteria can get between their two toes causing a painful condition called hoof-rot. This infection wouldn't kill him, but it was severe. Victor would not put any weight on that foot, and his leg was swollen to twice its normal size. I had treated hoof-rot before by applying a salve called “Foot Cure.” Typically this treatment lives up to its name, and a foot is put right in a day, or two...but it was not helping Victor.


I spent the next two weeks on other remedies – soaking his foot in Epsom salts, then copper sulfate, then Kopertox; nothing worked. It was time to seek advice from a hoof and foot specialist – my farrier. Farriers trim livestock hooves every day and usually have more experience with foot problems than a veterinarian. Besides, a farmer who calls the doctor for every little thing will soon be out of business.


So I consulted my farrier who suggested antibiotics for the swelling. For more specific guidance, I sought out a dairy farmer. Dairy farmers have twice-a-day contact with their cows at milking time, and because milk production can be more stressful on an animal than just grazing (like beef cattle do), the dairy farmer is extremely attentive to each cow's health; right down to and including those cloven hooves. 


At the Deerfield Fair I discussed Victor's condition with dairyman Ben Marston, who suggested that, besides keeping Victor's hoof clean and dry, I should scrape open the infection and dab on some Oxytetracycline. He had treated one of his cows with a similar problem, and after six weeks the cow was healed. Oxytetracycline comes in a bottle and is supposed to be injected into a muscle, but Ben recommended that I just squirt 2cc's directly into the wound.


So I hosed off Victor's hoof, soaked it, scraped it, and then applied the Oxytetracycline. All along, Victor took exception to my nursing. He would knock over the bucket of Epsom salt water and a couple of times he kicked the Oxytetracycline bottle out of my hand. He would often swing his foot away from me or drop to his knees, hoping I would leave his sore foot alone. Victor was alone in a pen during these twice-daily treatments, but afterward, he got some quality time with his mom.


Despite his best efforts to resist, after three more weeks Victor started to improve. Now the swelling is gone, and with a slight limp, Victor is on his way to full recovery.


Dairy farmers know their cows. I seek their advice, not just for hoof-rot, but for bloat, indigestion or mastitis. They know all kinds of things. One of them even told me why milking stools have only three legs: “Because the cow has the udder.”


I never said they were experts on comedy.


Carole Soule is co-owner of Miles Smith Farm, in Loudon, N.H., She can be reached at cas@milessmithfarm.com.



Pittsfield’s History Of Fires And Firefighters

Pittsfield Books on Fires and Firefighters edited.jpg

On Thursday, October 25, Larry Berkson will present a brief overview of his new series of books on Pittsfield’s fires and firefighters.  This three-book series entitled “Great Fires and Great Issues of the Nineteenth Century,” “The Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries,” and “Great Fires and Firefighters of the 20th and 21st Centuries” will be available for sale.  Each volume costs $15 and Larry will also be available to sign copies and answer any questions.  


The books cover topics such as the first fire wards, organization of the early fire companies, participation in early events, equipment developed and used, and responses to major fires. 


Please join us on Thursday, October 25, at 7:00 p.m., at the Historical Society, 13 Elm Street, Pittsfield.



Dorcas Guild Plans Christmas Fair


Mark your calendar! The Dorcas Guild of the First Congregational Church, 24 Main Street, Pittsfield, will hold its annual Christmas Fair, Bake Sale and Luncheon Saturday, November 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


There will be many handmade items to choose from as well as gourmet products, baked goods, “Unique Boutique” and the wonderful silent auction. Corn chowder and sandwich lunch with homemade pies will also be available. Plan to be there for this handcraft goldmine!


All silent auction bids will be due by the close of the fair, 2 p.m., November 17. The successful bidders will be notified at that time.


Plenty of free parking is available in the rear of the church (enter on Chestnut Street), and the church is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call the church office 435-7471.   



Pittsfield VW 4H officers.jpg

Victory Workers 4-H club has installed its new club officers for 2018/19. The officers are, President  Austin Ladd from Epsom, Vice President Trinity Bond Loudon , Secretary Olivia LaValley Epsom, Treasurer is Owen  Mahanns from Center Barnstead, Reporter  Emma Baker from Pittsfield.



Another Donation To The Historical Society’s Building Fund

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Alma and Judge John Korbey.


Judge John Korbey and his wife Alma, have recently made a contribution to the Historical Society’s Building Fund. Judge Korbey was a member of the sate judiciary for three decades before retiring a few years ago. He was the presiding judge of the Salem District Court, later the Circuit Court in Salem. The Korbeys resided in Salem until recently when they moved full time to York, Maine. They have been generous contributors to other projects in Pittsfield, notable the Pittsfield Youth Athletic Park. Judge Korbey was a colleague of Susan Carbon, formerly of Pittsfield for many years. The Historical Society greatly appreciates the Korbeys’ contribution. 



Sanderson Trust Makes Major Donation To Historical Society Building Fund

Pittsfield Trustees of Trust Funds, Scott Brown & Cara Marston.jpg

Scott Brown and Cara Marston (not pictured Katie Bachelder).


The Trustees of Trust Funds have once more generously contributed to an important project in Pittsfield, the building of the Pittsfield Historical Society’s new headquarters and museum.  To be built on the old Washington House Lot at the top of Factory Hill, the new headquarters and museum will enable the Society to display many artifacts, large and small, that currently are stored off-site, or so crammed in our existing space that they are not visible to the many guests and visitors we have each month.


The contribution of the Trustees, drawn from the Sanderson Fund, provides another huge step towards making our vision for the largest and most accessible local museum in southern New Hampshire a reality.  The Sanderson Fund was created to support projects that promote the best interests of Pittsfield, and this project clearly will be a great improvement for our town.


The Historical Society is very grateful to the Trustees, Scott Brown, Cara Marston, and Katie Bachelder, for their generous support of our new headquarters.  With contributions like this, we are well on our way towards our planned groundbreaking in the spring.



Building Camelot

Submitted by Maggie Faneuf

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Camelot costumer Cathy Williams fitting Sir Lancelot for his costume.


Pittsfield Camelotset3.jpg

 Set designer Jim Hart (kneeling) working on one of the trees for Camelot with Vicki Watson and Kevin Kennedy.


Most of us have been there – in a theater or auditorium awaiting a theatrical performance. The audience is buzzing with conversation and laughter, anticipating the entertainment..  Then the overhead lights blink on and off several times, announcing the impending start of the show.  House lights dim and then fade into darkness, and suddenly the stage is alive with lights and actors.  The show has begun!  Also watching, but from behind the scenes, are two key players vital to the show’s success and enjoyment: the set designer and the costumer.


When the Pittsfield Players present CAMELOT on November 9, 10, 11, 18, and 19, the audience will see a forest, a castle, a throne, and beautiful royal costumes bright with color and magnificent material.


Jim Hart, the set designer, does a great deal of thinking and researching long before the set is under construction. He leafs through theater books and observes other companies’ sets, such as the New London barn’s production of CAMELOT this past summer.  He then adapts these into his own creative ideas.  One of the biggest problems for Jim is the small stage in the Scenic Theater. “One of my first questions,” Jim said, “is, ‘What can we do with very little wing space and no fly space?’” Plus, he smiled, “We have to keep the fire Department happy.”


The set for CAMELOT includes both a forest as well as the inside of Arthur’s castle. Usually, Jim has a strict plan on paper, calculating where to store moving set pieces, always keeping in mind the very limited backstage space.  This is the first time he didn’t do that plan  However, he envisioned everything. “I had to create things I’d never done before; for example massive trees that have to roll around. (The trees in the forest eventually roll around to become pillars in the castle.) 


While the audience obviously sees only the outside of the trees, the inside construction is ingenious to someone not familiar with set-building. Construction includes lightweight discs (the bottom one with wheels) vertical boards, Masonite (cut and bent) chicken wire stapled to the Masonite, and then, finally, burlap secured onto the chicken wire The final step is applying a coat of mortar over the burlap. Voila! A tree is built.  Actually, not just one, but six rolling trees.


As far as the king’s throne is concerned, its design is not on paper. “It’s up here,” Jim grinned, tapping his head.


The set is not the only thing to be built for the show. Costumes for both King Arthur (Bill Schultz) Guenevere (Catherine Martinez) and Lancelot (Kevin Kennedy), as well as over 20 other actors, are personally created, sewn or adapted from other costumes by Costumer Cathy Williams.


Cathy began her theatrical career in Ohio as an actress in such roles as Anna in THE KING AND I and Sarah in GUYS AND DOLLS. It was there that she begain to notice that costumers weren’t costuming larger-sized actors.  One day when she was appearing in KISS ME KATE, she noticed a rather large actress playing the part of a princess, but in a very plain dress.  Cathy said, “Let me take that home and see what I can do.” The costumer (who had learned to sew in 4-H) was born.


A huge challenge in costuming, she said, is that the dresses in the 20's and 30's, for example,were very slim.  So costuming a show such as CAMELOT is not a matter of walking into the wardrobe room and selecting an outfit.  Preparing for the show, she began looking for patterns early on and collected them, even Renaissance patterns. With a limited budget, she has to be especially creative. “For material, I looked for beautiful embossed curtains, and from them I made Arthur’s jacket, as well as dresses for the ladies-in-waiting.” Guenevere’s queenly dress and princess dresses for the ladies-in-waiting were made from patterns. “If I don’t like a certain pattern, I use four or five patterns and adapt them into one I like.” 


Although she loves acting, she finds a wonderful reward in costuming. “Costuming helps an actor bring the character to life.  To see people on stage being able to move with the choreography and feeling comfortable with their costumes makes me feel really good.”


Tickets for the show may be obtained by going to the Pittsfield  Players’ website, www.pittsfieldplayers.com or by calling 435-8852 to make a reservation.


Pittsfield VW 4 H fall fest.jpg

Members from the Victory Workers 4-H club held their first promotional event a Fall Festival at Duane's Family Farm in Barnstead on October 13th. The day included animals, crafts, games, bake sale, and luncheon. Those members making this a success were  Derek & Austin Ladd, Charlie & Faith Mewkill, Owen Joubert, Owen and Avery Mahanes, Addison Babcock, Taylor and Keagan Huse, Anna Vyce, Josh Jeremiah and Faith. Chapman. The Victory Workers are just finishing up their garden projects, candy bar sales and BCEP fall garden project. 



National Red Ribbon Week

Submitted By John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Pittsfield School District 


According to national statistics, children whose parents talk with them regularly about drug use are 42% less likely to use drugs than those whose parents don’t talk with them about drug use. However, only about 25% of teens report having drug use conversations with their parents.


Since 1985, the importance of having drug use conversations with children and youth has been strongly encouraged by the National Family Partnership, most obviously through their sponsorship of National Red Ribbon Week. Our Pittsfield students will be commemorating Red Ribbon Week this week, so this is an ideal time for parents to have a conversation about drug use.


This year’s Red Ribbon Week theme is Life is your journey. Travel drug free. Parents who would like some ideas about having drug use conversations are encouraged to take a look at the resources available from the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Hampshire on the organization’s website:  drugfreenh.org.


Parents might also consider taking the National Red Ribbon Campaign Pledge on that organization’s website: redribbon.org. The pledge includes five elements:


1. As parents and citizens, we will talk to our children and the children in our lives about the dangers of drug abuse.


2. We will set clear rules for our children about not using drugs.


3. We will set a good example for our children by not using illegal drugs or medicine without a prescription.


4. We will monitor our children's behavior and enforce appropriate consequences, so that our rules are respected.


5. We will encourage family and friends to follow the same guidelines to keep children safe from substance abuse.


Here’s a chance to increase the odds that your child or youth will be less likely to use drugs – 42% less likely – by having that critically important conversation this week.





To the good Citizens of Pittsfield,

I went to a zoning board meeting the other night.

I feel like I have bee Pritchforked (sic). That's like when you have someone who has too much to do with your community's land rights. You feel like you're in pain.


Anyway, I found a 4'X16" old piece of plywood in the mud. Dried it up. Built a frame for it. Soon, maybe Sunday, I will paint it and print my new repeal zoning message which is repeal zoning, get treatment, get freedom, get back.


Get treatment: Let's see, we are in the worst medical problem I've ever known. Get rid of the zoning ordinance. Get treatment opportunities in Pittsfield. Get freedom. When you control the land, you control the people. Just ask the Native Americans about that.

I would rather the people have opportunity, than the protection.

Get back. To where we used to be.


Just dreaming again,

Dan the Stoneman




Reuben True Leavitt


Reuben True Leavitt 92, died October 13th at Presidential Oaks, following a brief illness.


He was born in Pittsfield, the son of Reuben Towle Leavitt and Helen Maude (Osgood) Leavitt and lived there all his life. 


Prior to his retirement, he owned and operated Dustin’s Store in Pittsfield. He was a Navy Veteran of WWII and was a long time member and  past Commander of the Peterson-Cram American Legion Post. He also was a member of the Corinthian Lodge F&AM Masonic Lodge in Pittsfield. Reuben, a member of the Pittsfield Rotary Club at the time, was a founder of the Pittsfield Hot Air Balloon Rally, which began as a Bicentennial event and became an Annual event having just celebrated its 36th anniversary. 


Reuben is survived by a son, Jerry Leavitt and wife Dotty of So. Berwick, ME; two daughters, Shelley Rill of Rochester and Kim Foster and husband Peter of Pembroke; seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife Doris (Bockus) Leavitt and a son Jackson Leavitt


A Memorial Service with Military Honors will be held on Saturday, October 27th at 11::00 AM in the First Congregational Church, Main St. Pittsfield. The Rev. David Stasiak, Pastor will officiate.  In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to The Pittsfield Historical Society – Building Fund C/O Larry Berkson, 34 Connemara Drive, Chichester, NH 03258.


The Waters Funeral Home, David Pollard, Director, is assisting with arrangements.













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