Pittsfield School Board
Submitted By Ralph Odell
recent School Board Meeting was highlighted by several success
stories and examples of the school addressing current issues. Ms.
Danielle Harvey described a gift from Tammy Rollins of a guitar rack
in memory of her son, Jacob Rowell. We all appreciate the gift and
it will be a valued asset for the school.
Derek Hamilton reviewed an antibullying program that has been
established for grades 4-12. Two representatives from the Merrimack
County Juvenile Service Program helped prepare and present the
program. Additional programming is being planned. The effort appears
to hit a current topic.
impact of technology in the elementary school was described by Ms.
Kathy LeMay. A marked increase in the number of students working at
grade level has occurred in mid year, by the use of the Lexus Core 5
program. A second program, “Dreambox” is being utilized with good
Deliberative Session was discussed and issues that need further
clarification were identified. A citizen’s call led to a description
of safety procedures related to the recent school shooting in
Florida. The Department of Education and Homeland Security have
assisted the school in developing an emergency plan, drills are
being held and critiqued. It was evident the school administration
has been prudent in addressing the issue.
running for reelection to the Pittsfield Planning Board, and I ask
for your vote on March 13.
voters have little or no direct contact with the planning board and
thus may not know what the board does. The planning board’s
basic functions are to (1) ensure that proposed development is safe
and doesn’t overly burden taxpayers, (2) ensure that survey plats
define boundaries and easements clearly and are recordable, and (3)
propose zoning amendments that separate commercial and residential
uses to the benefit of both use types.
common misconception is that the planning board can bring about
development, for example, to lower taxes. In fact the board
cannot give developers incentives. The board decides land use
applications judicially, and the NH Constitution requires all
judicial processes to be impartial. Listening to both abutters
and developers and deciding applications impartially is important in
ensuring fairness and that proposed development is safe and doesn’t
overly burden taxpayers. The planning board under former chair
Ted Mitchell and current chair Clayton Wood committed the board to
following state law, listening and responding to abutter concerns,
and protecting property values by supporting sensible development
that benefits Pittsfield and the taxpayers.
of the board’s commitment, the board revised and clarified
subdivision and zoning regulations that were sometimes vague or
confusing. I was active in these projects and took the lead in
revising the sign regulations to allow businesses and home
occupations the flexibility of posting signs without ZBA approval,
and I plan to be active in designing a zoning district to protect
our historic downtown. Please give me your vote so that I can
continue to support the Mitchell/Wood commitment to fairness and
sensible development that benefits our town and taxpayers.
Letter To The Editor
Penney wrote in last week’s Sun that growing Pittsfield’s tax base
with development—“specifically more taxable real estate that doesn’t
overstress town services”—will solve the town’s tax problem, that
the planning board is uniquely positioned to make such development
happen, and that he is running for planning board to help make such
perception of how development affects taxes and what the planning
board can do is a view that many people have when they have never
attended a planning board meeting and thus misunderstand the tax
problem, how development actually affects taxes, and what the
planning board can and cannot do.
simple calculation shows that development cannot solve Pittsfield’s
tax problem. The town’s total real estate valuation is
$292,546,617; the town’s highest value property, Globe
Manufacturing, is $2,474,500; and the tax rate is $33.46/$1000.
Globe is thus only 0.85% of the town’s total value, and somehow
magically adding three Globe-value properties that would draw no
town services would lower the tax rate by only $0.83/$1000.
Pittsfield must reduce spending in order to reduce taxes.
making development happen, the planning board is powerless to entice
developers, and trying would violate the board’s constitutional
obligation to be impartial. The board’s only means to
encourage development are to eliminate regulations designed to
prohibit development that is unsafe or that drains town finances.
This type of development benefits no one except developers.
believe that Nick wants to help Pittsfield, but he has attended no
planning board meetings, and getting on the planning board after
attending no meetings is not the way. A planning board that
misunderstands its obligations and limits can cause many problems.
Pittsfield Select Board Meeting 2/20/18
Submitted By Carl Anderson, Selectman
public hearings were scheduled; acceptance of a gift to the fire
dept. of an inflatable boat, motor and funds for a storage building
had no opposition, and Dan Shroth volunteered to captain the boat,
if he could bring a fishing pole. A warrant article which proposes
to add a $5 surcharge on vehicle registrations specifically for
sidewalk improvement was mostly well received. If it passes it
should add $26,000 annually to repair/replace sidewalks. Thirdly, a
Rep. of the State explained the proposal to allow Keno at certain
eligible establishments, some of the proceeds of which go toward
funding $1100 to $1800 per student for full time kindegarten. Some
attendees favored the additional state contribution (supplimenting
revenue from lotteries) while another warned of “moral degredation”
from gambling. Keno and the “sidewalk surcharge” will be on the
warrant, and decided by voters. The gift to the fire dept. was
accepted by the BOS, with appreciation.
their request, the Old Home Day Committee was brought under the
umbrella of town administration and a revolvng fund expressly for
costs associated with that purpose will be established.
State police officers briefed us on what we could expect, and what
not to expect, from the State Police in assistance of coverage until
we are able to fill some of our recently vacated positions. Troop D,
Merrimack County has 34 positions and only 14 officers, so they have
the same issue as local and county departments. Ability to respond
could be nearly impossible depending on circumstances, however, they
assured us that if called, they will respond if possible. Pittsfield
and our neighbors typically respond to calls for mutual aid in each
others towns and this will continue, with some shift coverage as
submitted my Declaration of Candidacy for re-election to the
position of Town Moderator and I am writing this letter to ask for
your vote and support for my re-election.
an office Ihave held for the past year and one half. My current term
expires at the end of Town Meeting in March of this year, and I look
forward to the opportunity of serving this community for another
being Moderator and take my role seriously. I have attended classes
at the NH Municipal Association and continue to do so. In addition,
I have attended training on election law offered by the Secretary of
State and Attorney General’s offices.
proud and honored to be able to help preserve New Hampshire’s
tradition of free and fair elections. I believe I have been as fair
and impartial as anyone can be.
member of this community for over 25 years and as a participant in
the community, I care a great deal about what goes on in the
community from the perspective of a citizen and taxpayer.
again, I ask for your vote on Election Day. Thank You for giving me
the privilege of serving you.
is Heidi Asdot and I am excited to be running for School Board in
the election coming up on March 13th.
husband and I purchased our home in Pittsfield in September 2010 and
have fallen in love with our little town! We have a daughter
that is currently in 6th grade at PES.
worked in the retirement plan compliance field for over 10 years and
I am currently a supervisor for a nationwide firm. I have
worked with numbers since I have been out of high school (working in
a bank and in sales) and I am currently working with large
corporations and their budgets and how different factors (such as
their retirement plan) can impact them.
husband has been working with the Parks and Recreation Committee in
town for almost two years now and I have been looking for an
opportunity in which I could give back to Pittsfield. I feel
that the School Board is a wonderful way for me to do that.
having a child in the school system and owning a home in town, I
feel that I have a vested interest in helping the school be the best
it can be while keeping in mind the effect the school has on the tax
rate. I want to see the school succeed at providing the
children of our town with every possibility that is available to
you for your support!
Concord Regional VNA Seeks Therapy Dog Owners
Regional VNA is seeking therapy dog owners to volunteer to visit
Comfort is a program offering the unconditional love of certified
therapy dogs to hospice patients who may benefit. Therapy dogs
typically make patients feel more comfortable and reduce the stress
of a situation. All dogs must be certified under Therapy Dogs
International or Delta Society.
learn more, please call Lisa Challender, Volunteer Coordinator, at
(603) 224-4093 or (800) 924-8620, ext. 2826 or e-mail
The Cast of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest - Part Two
all mad here. I’m mad, you’re mad.” Okay, so that’s a quote from
Alice in Wonderland but it still applies. Director Meggin Dail often
gets teased for taking rehearsal time to discuss the characters in
the shows she’s directed. Some cast members think it’s that
rehearsal they’re allowed to skip without notice. Dail believes her
Character Discussion “rehearsal” is what sometimes makes the show.
directed this show 18 years ago,” Dail says, “I remember we asked
the guy playing Billy, if Billy loved his mother. His response
was, ‘no.’ When I asked the rest of the cast what they thought, they
answered with a resounding, ‘YES!.’ This is why these discussions
are so important, they help the actors figure out who they are
playing. What the characters’ backgrounds are, stuff that goes
beyond what’s in the script.”
time around the character discussion proved just as interesting. The
cast discovered things about each other as well as themselves. “I
guess he’s kind of like me in a way.” One of them said. “I was
bullied all through life,” was another reply. “I had some mother
issues of my own.” Each admittance helping themselves and each other
develop their characters further.
Griffin plays Martini, a seemingly docile acute whose soothing
mechanism is to pat an imaginary cat. Other times it’s clear Martini
suffers from PTSD, a diagnosis that would not become known for
another decade. Griffin, being in the military himself, plays the
role with interesting insight, ranging between dramatic
hallucinations, both funny and sad, to moments of such lucidity it
makes him want to hide.
Williams becomes Cheswick on stage. Not “plays the role of,”
becomes. Marty, as Cheswick is eerily believable as an older
gentleman who should not be left to his own devices. Cheswick
believes the world owes him something and sometimes he actually gets
up the nerve to demand what’s owed. Unfortunately when he does, he
immediately backs down, realizing that perhaps if he gets what he’s
owed, there may be nothing left to ask for. Cheswick seems stuck in
his childhood when times were much easier and he had someone to take
care of him. At the arrival of McMurphy, played by Ernie Bass,
Cheswick clings to him as a life raft after timidly feeling him out
as someone he could rely on who is not the “Big Nurse” played by
Archambault struggles with Scanlon and comes across brilliantly. The
few lines Archambault has to get the character of Scanlon across to
the audience gives him very little time to establish this recluse of
a man who is angry enough to “blow up the world.” His fellow actors
have been known to remark, “He gives me the chills when he says
that.” Meaning the deadpan delivery of lines that seem to crave
emotion. When the words fall from Archambault’s mouth as Scanlon,
there’s no question he means business.
you’re not intrigued yet, hold tight, there’s more to come. One Flew
Over the Cuckoo’s Nest comes to the Scenic Theatre, Home of the
Pittsfield Players as part of their 50th anniversary season, March
9, 10, 16, & 17, 2018. It is sponsored by The Iron Dragon of
Pittsfield. Tickets are now available by ticketleap at www,pittsfieldplayers.com or by
calling for reservations at (603) 435-8852.
Letter To The Editor
March 13, please vote yes for both Article 8 to adopt the
provisions known as SB2 for the town and Article 9 to delegate the
determination of the default budget to the budget committee.
main reason for supporting Article 8 is that SB2 allows more people
to vote. Important issues that affect the town like a $3 million
budget should be determined by a true representation of the town’s
voters. With SB2, voting hours are very flexible from 7:00 AM to
7:00 PM and absentee ballots can be used. This also does not
disenfranchise people who cannot attend a several hour town meeting.
I have waited over 3 hours before voting on the operating budget!
Almost as important is the privacy of a secret ballot. Many people
have complained that the public voting at the traditional meeting is
very intimidating. Who wants to vote against a town contract in
front of the town employees? Also, the time between the deliberative
session and the election does not allow for any surprises, giving
the voter 30 days to get informed. With the traditional meeting,
articles can change within minutes prior to the vote and testimony
cannot be verified.
Regarding Article 9, many have noticed that this year’s school
default budget is almost $100,000 more than they actually spent last
year! The law allows for the figure to be reduced or increased based
on obligations previously incurred or mandated by law. The selectmen
will determine this figure if Article 8 passes. Article 9 will
delegate this to the budget committee. I believe that this extra
layer of scrutiny will help avoid unnecessary increases.
year, SB2 failed for the town by 10 votes to make the 60%! All votes
are important. Please vote yes for both Articles 8 & 9.
Josiah Carpenter Library March News
library extends a huge thank you to The Circle of Home and Family
for sewing window valances for the children’s room. The
valances are truly lovely; visit the library to admire the Circle’s
talent and handiwork!
Teen Book Worms will gather on Monday March 5th at 5:00pm; they will
enjoy a light supper and discuss This Shattered World by Amie
Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. The Pittsfield Writer’s Circle
will meet at the library on Monday February 15th at 5:00pm.
The adult book club will meet to discuss Gwendy’s Button Box by
Stephen King and Richard Chizmar at 10:30 am on Tuesday March 27th
at the Pittsfield Senior Center. Join any of our ongoing
activities whenever you can.
March the preschool story hour will explore colors, and then begin a
unit on transportation at 10:00am on Thursday mornings. The
afterschool Adventure Club meets at 3:30pm on Tuesdays and will
finish up pets, then begin making marvelous movers and fantastic
fliers. The Stay and Play group for toddlers and their
parents/caregivers meets on Tuesday mornings at 10:00am for a brief
story, simple games, movement and time to socialize.
library will join with Pittsfield Elementary School the week of
March 12th thru 17th to celebrate Dr. Seuss and Read across America.
Children will enjoy the books of Dr. Seuss, crafts and activities.
At 10:30am of Saturday March 17th come to the library to decorate
Dr. Seuss (gingerbread) houses!
Chichester-Epsom-Pittsfield Libraries Memory Café Mike Faiella will
share the tale of a New Hampshire farmer, down on his luck, who
sells his soul to the devil. Find out what happens when he has
regrets and asks for the help of his neighbor, the great Daniel
Webster. The Café will be held at 2:00pm on Monday March 12th
at the Epsom Public Library. Caregivers and folks living with
memory loss are invited to come and savor supportive socialization.
your calendar for an awe inspiring evening of entertainment
presented by mentalist Preston Heller on April 10th at 7:00pm in the
community room at the Pittsfield Community Center. Mr.
Heller will amaze the audience with the feats he can perform using
just the power of his mind.
voters of Pittsfield,
many public sector positions have as much impact on our town as
School Board member. The member should be carefully scrutinizing the
way the school is being run and the way their budget of over
$10,000,000 is spent. If we’ve got to pour that kind of capital into
an entity, we should be getting our monies worth.
same person should be able to also keep our children’s education at
the forefront of each discussion, and to be able to walk that
tightrope. Having spent the last two years on the Select Board
seeing Adam Gauthier’s cap out in the audience at nearly every
meeting, knowing that when public input comes around he’ll be
holding our feet to the fire about any number of things, I’ve seen
firsthand his attention to detail. He’s not afraid to politely
address sensitive subjects if they need scrutiny as he has
demonstrated as a member of the budget committee. If elected to the
School Board, Adam will take his job seriously and be an asset to
both the school and the town.
From the Farm: The Drama of Farming
Submitted By Carole Soule
Farmer Carole snuggles with Charlotte, an 800-pound “pet
clashed, fighters groaned and the audience gasped as a battle raged
on stage and actors fell to the ground. At the end (spoiler alert)
the bad guy, Macbeth, was killed by Macduff in this Shakespeare play
at the Hatbox Theater in Concord. Some of you may already know the
outcome, but I was glad Macbeth died.
play was enacted at the former location of Coldwater Creek, now
Hatbox Theater, at Concord’s Steeplegate Mall. Surrounded on three
sides by seating, the stage is only a few feet away from the
audience. Without special effects, other than metal swords and
period costumes, the actors made the action real. It’s hard to
imagine rhyming English and a 400-year-old story coming alive but it
next night I watched ‘Vana, Sasha, Masha and Spike’ at the classic
Concord City Auditorium (Audi). While this play didn’t have any
sword-swinging, the verbal barbs were flying and the actors
does farming and acting have in common? Maybe nothing, but maybe a
lot. Sitting in a space, with other people, watching actors repeat
thousands of words they’ve memorized is astounding. These are not
actors on TV or on the movie screen. These are people like you and
me making magic happen real-time, in front of me and others.
is the connection. These are local actors on a local stage,
performing for their neighbors. Just like buying locally-raised food
helps neighborhood farmers and tastes good, going to a
locally-produced play supports neighborhood actors and also feels
are a lot like farmers. How many people have second jobs to support
their careers? Most actors have ‘day jobs’ to pay the bills so they
can pursue what they love; acting. Many farmers or their spouses
have second or third jobs so they can farm. Actors act because they
want to provide entertainment. Farmers farm because we want to
provide food. Paying the rent or mortgage is important but not
primary for farmers or actors.
appreciate actors, I never want to be one. I could never memorize
all those words, but I’m glad someone can. For now I’ll converse
with my monosyllabic cattle with a good Moo or two! It is worth
checking out local plays. Visit your local farmer to buy food and
attend a play for amazing entertainment. Like me, you just might get
Soule is co-owner of Miles Smith Farm, in Loudon, NH, where she
raises and sells beef, pork, lamb, eggs and other local products.
She can be reached at email@example.com.
Citizens of Pittsfield,
is Ruth Thrall and I have lived in Pittsfield for 20 years. I have
worked in the local pharmacy for 12 years. I am now retired and have
never before written any kind of letter supporting a candidate for
town office, but I feel that this is important.
supporting Daren Nielson for another term for planning board. I came
to know him over the many years I have been here and find him to be
a very concerned citizen and a productive member of the board. He
sincerely cares about our town and has ideas that will serve our
town well in the future. He wants only the best and will work hard
to help achieve that goal. Darren Nielson is a caring and kind
person and one we should be proud to have continue working for us.
you all for reading this letter and please consider voting for him
for another term.
March 13th I ask that you vote for Clayton Wood and Daren Neilsen
for Planning Board. Clayton has been the Planning Board chair for
several years and Daren is currently the vice-chair. Through their
leadership the Planning Board has not only run smoothly but made
many voter approved changes to the zoning ordinance. These changes
have brought the ordinance into compliance with state law, clarified
language and enhanced its overall usefulness. Their experience and
thoughtful thoroughness is important to the consistent enforcement
of the zoning ordinance.
vote for experience, vote for Clayton Wood and Daren Nielsen.
Ruth L. Bagnall
PITTSFIELD- Ruth L. Bagnall, 84, of Pittsfield,
passed away on Friday, February 23, 2018 at her residence surrounded
by her loving family following a brief illness.
April 13, 1933 in Boston, MA, she was the daughter of the
late Lawrence and Alice (Hodgdon) Douphinette.
joined the U.S. Navy in 1951 and proudly served her country
before raising a family. Ruth worked as a Catechism Coordinator for
St. Jude's Church in Londonderry for 17 years until her retirement.
She was a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Pittsfield,
where she resided. Ruth was known for her ability to spread joy and
her love of handing out smiley face buttons. She had extensive
Seashells and Rock collections, was an avid reader and always
enjoyed a good John Wayne Movie.
her parents, Ruth was predeceased by her husband, Donald Bagnall in
1977 as well as a sister, Barbara Pettipost.
survived by a daughter, Alice Young and John of Pittsfield;
her sons, Lawrence Bagnall, Richard Bagnall and Glee of Franklin,
Ralph Bagnall and Susan of Fort Myers, FL and Robert Bagnall and
Lisa of Ashburn, VA; a brother, Alfred Douphinette; eleven
grandchildren, seven great grandchildren with another on the way as
well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2018 at
10 A.M. in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Pittsfield. In lieu of
flowers, donations in Ruth's memory may be sent to the St. Jude's
Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Assisting the family with arrangements is the Still Oaks Funeral &
Memorial Home of Epsom. To share a memory or offer a condolence,
please visit www.stilloaks.com