Hudson-Litchfield News

Students Run Neighborhood Lemonade Stand to Raise Funds

Students at Library Street School in Hudson have been raising money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  A few of those students took it upon themselves to have a lemonade stand at their home in order to raise more money.  They then brought the money to school to contribute it to the Library Street School fund.


   Lemonade sale for Katrina Relief by the neighborhood kids:  Thomas, age 4; Hannah Truesdell, age 5; Kelsey Pease, age 5, Jessica Verfaille, age 10; McKenna Hodsdon, age 10; Eddie Truesdell, age 8; Elizabeth Truesdell, age 10; Serena Pease, age 3; Caroline Truesdell, age 7; and Connor Hodsdon, age 8.  Not present but who helped at the setup is Alex Constanti, age 7.


Hudson Public Television:  Going Dark?  Don’t Change that Channel

by Doug Robinson

At the September 13, 2005, Board of Selectmen’s meeting, the Selectmen voted to cancel the Hudson Community Television (HCTV) contract with the present “Service Provider”.  The vote was 3/2, with Chairman Ken Massey and Bill Cole voting no, and Kathleen MacLean (Selectman’s liaison to the cable committee), Terry Stewart, and Rick Maddox voting yes.

Under the “early termination” section of the contract, it states, “The Service Provider contract may be terminated … (if), in the Town’s sole determination (a) the Service Provider has refused, failed or is unable to render services under this contract; (b) the Service Provider has breached any of his other obligations under this contract.  The Town can terminate the contract, with a 60-day notice.”

On May 10, 2005, the Board of Selectmen tentatively wrote a contract for our Service Provider stating that the “Town shall pay their service provider an hourly rate of $20, not to exceed 1081 hours during the period 1 July 2005 through 30 June 2006 and that any hours in excess of 1081 must be first approved by the Board of Selectmen; in addition the service provider must provide a time sheet on a monthly basis.”

On June 14, 2005, a motion was made by Selectman Cole, seconded by Selectman Stewart to award the cable Service Provider contract to Coleman Kelly for the period 1 July 2005 through 30 June 2006.  This motion also stated that a 60–day review period would be held, and at the September 13, 2005 Selectmen’s meeting the signed contract would be reviewed for improvements.  Furthermore the signed contact states,” Contract offered to Coleman Kelly, to be reviewed by BOS on 9/13/05.  If measurable improvements have not occurred, 60-day clause will be invoked.” 

During the September 13, 2005, Selectmen’s meeting, Selectmen Stewart asked of the Service Provider as to why “Service Provider Time Sheets” had not been turned in to the town in accordance with the contract.  Appendix B of the contract states that time sheets are to be turned in “by the tenth of each month.”  No reason was offered.  During the first month of the probationary 60-day period, the Service Provider failed, according to Selectman Stewart, to provide their payment sheets to the Town as agreed, by the tenth.

The written contract for the Service Provider provides for seven areas of Technical Support and Operations Services:

  1. Schedule, operate and maintain all HCTV public access channel(s) provided to the Town by the cable television franchisee.
  2. Prepare accurate and complete records of services to HCTV and to the Town under this contract and submit written records (including actual hours worked) on a monthly basis by the tenth day of each month for the preceding month.
  3. Develop, oversee, schedule, and maintain training programs in the skills necessary to produce quality access programming for HCTV.
  4. Provide maintenance, inventory records and upgrade recommendations on HCTV equipment to the Cable Utility Committee
  5. Maintain weekly HCTV Community Bulletin Board in its current status with messages and background music.
  6. Accomplish such other duties and tasks as required that relate to the operation, scheduling, maintenance and/or management of access channel(s) facilities, and equipment, as directed by the Board of Selectmen and/or Cable Utility Committee.
  7. Provide live cable casting services for these meetings:
    1. Board of Selectmen
    2. School Board
    3. Budget Committee (during budget season)
    4. Conservation Committee
    5. Library Committee
    6. Deliberative Sessions
    7. Three events, to be determined by BOS

According to Selectman MacLean and the cable committee, numbers 2, 3, 4, and 7 were concerns.  Referring to bullet number 6, MacLean states, “if asked, the Service Provider did do what was asked.”

In speaking with the Service Provider, item (d), the Conservation Committee, was not telecast as their meeting was being held the same night as the School Board and “he was unable to be in two places at one time.”  As for item (e), “the July meeting of the Library Trustees was held in the Library Annex” and it is not wired for television production. 

Steve Malizia, Hudson’s Town Administrator, states the cable franchise fees that the town collects is approximately $142,000.  All subscribers to cable television pay their share of this fee.  These monies pay for contract fees, equipment, funding a capital reserve, as well as future expansion activities.

During the September 13, 2005 telecast, it became obvious that the Board of Selectmen are committed to their personal views about the direction of HCTV.  They not only vented their frustration with the contract, they vented their frustration of each other.  While Cole referred to the proceedings as “ludicrous,” Massey stated that it is a “sad day”… in the Town of Hudson.  These comments were offset by MacLean stating that the Service Provider’s “performance was unacceptable,” and the present proceedings are “distasteful.”  Maddox stating that a “matrix” is needed to measure improvement and Stewart looking for a commitment to the letter of the contract when submitting payment requests further represent the diverse views of our Selectmen for this controversial contractual matter..

The Cable Committee is presently finalizing the expected requirements, responsibilities, functions, and matrixes of the new cable contract.  Selectman MacLean expects the document to be ready to be discussed during the next Selectman’s meeting, September 27, 2005.  Upon approval by the Board of Selectmen, the contract will be offered to the public.


Support for Hurricane Katrina

This past weekend Chelsey, Mikayla, and Nicole, all of Hudson decided to spend their afternoons raising money to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina.  On Saturday and Sunday they spent nearly five hours selling lemonade and ice tea.  They decided to do this on their own, set a goal of $100 and kept selling until they beat it!  After raising $121.32 they proudly went to the American Red Cross on Monday to personally deliver the proceeds from their hard work. 

As parents it made us proud.  It is nice to see such thoughtfulness at such a young age.  Many thanks to everyone who beeped stopped by to say hi, make a donation and enjoy refreshments.  It was a great experience of thoughtfulness and generosity.  Hats off to the kids and all who participated!


Win – Win - Win

by Doug Robinson

The only way to win!

The Hudson School Department and the Town of Hudson have teamed up and are making lemonade together.  The sky is so bright on their joint venture some would call it a “Crayola Sky,” blue, not a cloud, and beautiful.  Selectman Maddox considers the venture a “win-win-win,” everybody wins. 

“When we approached our town lawyers, we were told that it was a ‘unique’ idea and ‘we have never heard of it,’ ” says Steve Malizia, Town Administrator for the Town of Hudson.  The Town of Hudson and Wilbur H. Palmer Vocation and Trade School at Alvirne High School have joined together to build a 25 x 40 house and place that house on a “tax deeded” property.  The Town has drafted an agreement “for the town and School District’s development and sale of the Town owned property located at 8 Pine Road, Hudson, New Hampshire.”  The agreement further states that the, “Town owns a tract of land with a street address of 8 Pine Road, Hudson, more particularly described in ‘tax collectors deed’ issued to the Town of Hudson.”  In other words, the previous owners did not pay their taxes and the Town took ownership of the land.

Months ago Malizia was tasked with the responsibility of researching and locating “tax deeded” property upon which a house could be built, and then sold, by the Building Trades department of the Alvirne High Vocational School.  Upon locating six different properties which were tax deeded, 8 Pine Road was selected by the school department.  “The School District will construct a single family home on the property and once completed, (the property) will be sold to a third party,” states the contract.  “The Town will be responsible for the sale of the property once the construction of the single family residence has been completed by the School,” continues the contract.  “The property, including the home to be constructed thereon, will be sold by commercially reasonable means of either a public auction or a sealed bid process.”

Jane Parkin, Vocational Director of the Wilber H. Palmer Vocational and Technical Center states that “this project could not have been possible without the assistance of David Alukonis.  Both he and the Town have been wonderful partners to us, and guiding us through the details.”


Top: Matt Tidd & Larisa Johnson, Bottom: Pat O'Toole & Roy Bell

John Conrad, third year Building Trades teacher shares the same sentiments.  “Jane is behind us 100%.  From the start, and everyday, both she and Dave Alukonis have never said anything but positive stuff to support our efforts to build a house.”  Conrad comes to Alvirne’s Wilber H. Palmer Vocational and Technical Center, after having owned his own construction company for 20 years and having worked with notable contractor and author Norm Abram’s.

Jane Parkin, Vocational Director, states, “Mr. Conrad is not just building sheds, gazeboes, and houses.  He is a builder of character as a skilled and talented professional educator of young men and women.  He leads by example and shows his students how to give back to the community with his skills and talents.  Mr. Conrad has guided the students through numerous volunteer hours, fencing on the farm, reconstructing the silo, and they are in the beginning stages of work on needed projects at the Town Library.  We are very proud of their accomplishments and the students now share ownership in their community.”

According to Conrad, “together, with our students, we have built a 25 x 40” house.”  The house will have three bedrooms, one bath, kitchen, full foundation with a full basement.  We will probably expand the house to include a three season’s porch as well as a 20 x 20 garage.  First, we want to make sure it fits on the lot.” 

“Long ago, we started to look at projects for the kids.  We wanted to get the kids from the classroom to an area of learning where they gain practical experience.  Presently, we are taking orders for sheds, gazebos, and basically any small project.  We are competitively priced and from the monies earned from these smaller projects, we have been able to construct this house without any taxpayer money.  We have raised all the funds ourselves, and the kids are very proud of their accomplishments.  To date, we have about $30,000 invested in the cost of materials for the house,” says Conrad.

“In the building trades, the kids have to do it to learn it.  While 50 kids are in the building trades program, about 30 kids have been actively involved with the building of this house,” says Conrad.  “Pat O’Toole, senior “likes roofing, siding, and framing,” while Roy Bell, junior, enjoys the taping and mudding of drywall.”  “I enjoy doing this stuff,” states Matt Tidd.

The students of Conrad’s Building Trades class also belong to an association of trade and technical students called, “SkillsUSA.”  This national organization serves more than a quarter million students annually.  SkillsUSA “provides quality education experiences for student in leadership, teamwork, citizenship, and character development, and builds self confidence, positive work attitudes, and communication skills.  SkillsUSA emphasizes life-long education and pride in the dignity of work, promotes understanding of the free enterprise system and involvement in community service activities,” states the New Hampshire Career and Technical Student Organizations. 

“I will get to watch someone live in this house… it is something I did in school…  I had something to do with something important,” comment the students of Conrad’s class.  As Selectman Maddox states, it’s a “win-win-win.”

“At this point in time, I am now hoping to get help from the community and local businesses to help the students complete this project.  We have a ‘Program Advisory’ which oversees the forward thinking aspect of this project.  We are especially thank-full to Grant Dearborn of Dearborn Electric for pre-wiring our house.  This house has been a tool for him in his electrical education courses, and his students have done a great job.”

“We are currently in need of help to complete the flooring,” states Conrad.  “We will also need help with transportation of the house to the lot, placing the house on the foundation, site work, sewer/septic or well design, surveying, and the list goes on and on!  I work at the school from 6:30 a.m. until 2:10 p.m., and then I coach football the rest of the day.  I hope we can get some volunteers to assist us with the project.  We will be moving this house in the spring.”

This Building Trades project will also be involving other departments in the school.  The forestry school will be involved with the clearing of the land and the horticultural department will be involved with the landscaping.  “This project has touched many areas of education for many children to participate, grow, and receive hands-on experience,” says Conrad.

According to the contract, “the Town has agreed to waive all municipal fees for permits, including any fees for building permits, driveway permits, water and sewer permits.  The Town also waives any municipal fees associated with inspections, connection charges, capacity charges, and or impact fees.  However, the school District will be required to comply with applicable building codes, town, and zoning ordinances.”

“The Town is committed to helping with the School District with the permit process,” says Town Administrator Steve Malizia.  “The Town Assessor will look at the property and together (School District and Town of Hudson) we will agree on a mutual price for the land and structure.  We will split the proceeds with the property portion going to the Town and the rest of the sale going to the School District.  Whether we sell the land and house openly or through sealed bid is still to be determined.”

“Someone is going to get a good home,” states Malizia, “There will be a house back on the tax roles,” states Selectman Maddox.  And for the students, they say, “In high school, I had something to do with something very important.”

This I call a Win-Win-Win!  A win for Hudson.  A win for the school system.  And most importantly, a win for the students of the Wilbur H. Palmer Vocational and Technical Center.


Congratulations to the Blue Ribbon Award Recipients

New Hampshire Partners in Education announce the 24th Annual Blue Ribbon Awards.  This year’s award ceremony will take place on Monday, October 17 at the Center of New Hampshire in Manchester. 

The Blue Ribbon Awards are presented to school volunteer coordinators and their volunteer teams for their outstanding contributions during the previous school year. 

The 2005 Blue Ribbon Award recipients’ from Hudson, Litchfield, Pelham, and Windham schools are:

Hudson:

Alvirne High School

Hills Garrison School

Hudson Memorial School

Library Street School

Nottingham West Elementary

Litchfield:

Griffin Memorial School

St. Francis of Assisi School

Litchfield Middle School

Pelham:

Pelham Memorial School

Windham:

Golden Brook School

Salem High School

Windham Center School

Windham Middle School

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