Litchfield Firefighter of the Year Chosen
by Lynne Ober
Litchfield Firefighter Les Perrin, who is also a Litchfield resident, was the choice of his fellow firefighters to be named Litchfield Firefighter of the Year.
"I had the men fill out a survey in order to choose the firefighter of the year," said Fire Chief Tom Schofield. "He was 100 percent picked by his peers."
Perrin has been on the force for two years. "He has one of the highest attendance rates at calls and he’s always available to help others. He’ll help anyone," said Schofield, "and I think that’s why his peers chose him for this award."
Perrin worked with many of the men who needed to get their commercial driver’s license. "There’s a lot of skill involved in driving a large fire truck," smiled Schofield. "He was just always available."
Schofield announced the award at the Town Deliberative Session and presented a sparkling new fire helmet to Les Perrin.
Sunday Movie A Success in Litchfield
by Lynne Ober
It’s cold. There’s no football. What could be better than a Sunday afternoon movie that the whole family could enjoy? Absolutely nothing and that’s why Litchfield families made a beeline for Griffin Memorial School where Litchfield’s Rec Committee was offering a Sunday afternoon showing of "The Incredibles."
According to Recreation Committee member Dick Rafferty the committee tries to offer about six movies a year that "aren’t out in video yet. It costs us about $250 per movie, but it’s a great family outing."
Because the Rec Hall was being used for softball and soccer practices, the School District offered the use of Griffin Memorial’s Gym.
As movie time neared happy giggles filled the air as parents and children lined up to buy popcorn and snacks from the Cub Scouts.
"This is all about the community," said Rafferty. "The Boy Scouts use popcorn and snack sales to fund some of their activities. The Rec Committee puts on the movie and all of us enjoy ourselves."
Hudson Chamber Announces Citizens and Businesses of the Year
The Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce recently met to review all the candidates nominated for the distinguished honor or Citizens and Businesses of the Year. It was a pleasurably difficult task for the committee as each nominee has achieved and accomplished much for the community. The winners are as follows:
Each of these winners will be honored at the Greater Hudson Chamber of Commerce 36th Annual Awards Dinner. The dinner will be held at the Castleton in Windham on Friday, March 11 at 6:00 p.m. with guest speaker Dick Kirtley sharing his inspiring concept "Laugh for Health, Happiness, & success." Reservations to attend the dinner and help recognize the award winners can be made through the Chamber office at 889-4731.
Hudson Selectmen Make Huge Change to Rec Activities Displacing Hudson Seniors
by R. Rodgers and L. Lathrop
As the crowd of more than 250 citizens entered the then Lions Hall for Tuesday Night’s Selectmen Meeting it was clear that two sides were present to sway the Selectmen’s decision to their way of thinking during public input. The topic began when Rec Director Dave Yates with his Selectmen Liaison Terry Stewart’s support proposed to move the Rec Program to Lions Hall. That decision would mean the Hudson Seniors who meet at the Hall would be asked to move to the Rec Center on Oak Street for 9 weeks in the summer. The Seniors have been meeting at Lions Hall since it was purchased several years ago. Part of the funds used to make that purchase came from the Seniors.
Last month when Yates made his proposal to the Board he explained that the Rec Program had outgrown it’s location on Oak Street and relocating to Lions Hall would give him the room to keep his current program in the summer and alleviate his need for more basketball space. The basketball program has over 1,000 participants and court time is at a premium. Yates proposal also allowed for all the scheduled activities taking place at the Hall remaining with the exception of for-profit rentals. That is activities scheduled outside the Summer Program time frame, thereby displacing the senior group.
A number of seniors spoke against the change explaining all the things the seniors do including aerobics, line-dancing, bingo, health clinics, weekly meetings with lunch, and the need to have a place to meet to go on arranged trips. They feel that Lions Hall is their home and are unhappy about the proposal to move up the street to the Rec Building. Lucille Boucher requested that the Board of Selectmen allow the attorney hired by the seniors to speak, which was done. When the attorney spoke, she talked about the legalities of the proposed move and provided documentation to back up the senior’s position.
Bob Eldrige, a long time Hudson coach, spoke of the need to increase court time and allow more children the opportunity to play. His comments were received with cheers from one side of the room filled with many families with children sporting team jerseys.
Resident, Ben Nadeau, spoke in favor of the summer Rec Program accepting an offer made by the School Board for the program to expand into Dr. H.O. Smith School which is adjacent to the Rec Center. He pointed out the advantages for the children to have a playground and playing fields as well as the advantages of being able to use the school’s gym and cafeteria areas.
Some residents expressed concern about the asbestos around Lions Hall. "If they move here, my child won’t come back to the summer program," said a mom who asked not to have her name used because "my child also is in the basketball program."
After the public hearing closed, the Board again heard from Yates, who did acknowledge the offer made by the School Board, but called it a band-aid. "I don’t know where we’ll be the next year or the year after."
Yates reviewed the proposed improvements to Lions Hall which include moving the duct work above the ceiling, changing the walls so that basketballs that bounce off them won’t leave holes in the drywall, buying portable basketball hoops and improving the office that he hoped to use as the Rec Office. These improvements will cost over $90,000.
Selectman, Terry Stewart, moved to allow the Rec Department to use the hall in accordance with Yates’ February memo, but declined to speak to her motion. Selectman, Rich Maddox, seconded, but also declined to speak to the motion. When Selectman, Kathleen MacLean, asked Stewart to provide the details included in her motion, Stewart told MacLean to read Yates’ memo. Finally the Chairman Bill Cole asked Yates to review that memo for the Board. Again Yates outlined his plans for improvements to the Lions Hall and to the Rec Building. Cole told the audience, "We are bursting at the seams. We have a problem." He urged people not to characterize this situation as seniors against youth or youth against seniors. "It’s a problem that we need to resolve."
Selectman Ken Massey urged the Board not to vote until Town Attorney had a chance to review the legal opinion the Board had received during Public Input. He asked that the final vote be postponed until that legal review could be done. Massey’s urging failed and they proceeded with the vote. The motion passed with a 3 – 2 vote in favor of the Recreation Department with Cole, Stewart, and Maddox voting for the motion.
"I don’t think it’s right," said Lucille Boucher after the decision. Other seniors felt that the decision was made before they got there and that no one listened to the public input.
A final motion also made by Stewart following a break that cleared the audience called for the name of the Lions Hall to be changed to the Hudson Community Building.