Sergeant Home from Iraq Thanks Kendall

by Maureen Gillum

Sergeant Steve Dillon (left) visits Kendall in her Litchfield home recently to personally thank her.

When a thoughtful local girl, Kendall Liggett, planned her ninth birthday party with her parents, she never dreamed of the response she would get.  “Instead of asking for presents for my birthday party, I asked my friends to bring some things to help our soldiers in Iraq,” explained Kendall, “We got a lot of great donations from them and I was really excited.”  The third grader, who attends Presentation of Mary Academy (PMA) in Hudson, and her friends, also had a great time at her December 16 birthday party at Boulder Morty’s indoor rock climbing gym in Nashua.

Shortly after Christmas, Kendall and her mom, Adrianne, went to MooreMart’s Nashua headquarters to drop off the collective donations for their next shipment in mid January.  “MooreMart was amazing – there were packages and boxes everywhere,” reported Kendall.  She was also thrilled to meet MooreMart co-founders, Attorney Paul Moore and his sister, Carol Moore Biggio; as well as receive their official Certificate of Appreciation and a tan MooreMart member T-shirt (see photo).

While she was “really excited” about the response she got from her birthday friends and MooreMart, Kendall was “even more surprised” and “delighted” from the response back she’s received from the soldiers deployed overseas.  “They told me I might get a note or two, but I’ve got five soldier pen pals in Iraq already,” beamed the PMA third grader, “so far, the guys are winning 3 - 2.”

However, it was a very special visitor who stopped by Kendall’s Litchfield home on January 30 that was most important.  Sergeant Steve Dillon, an army officer from Hillsborough received Kendall’s special care package a week or so before coming home for his three-week leave from his 18-month deployment in Iraq.  When the Sergeant got home, he visited her to deliver some special thank you gifts, along with the appreciation of his whole platoon.  “It was a very kind thing that Kendall did for all of us that touched us all very deeply,” shared Dillon.  “A lot of guys were very impressed with her,” he added, “I just wanted to thank her personally and let her know how much her support meant.”

“It was pretty nice and really cool that he came to visit me,” remarked Kendall, “I’m also hoping to get even more pen pals to write to.”  She also told of her special thank you gifts that Sergeant Dillon hand delivered to her, including “an embroidered camouflage back-pack with my name embroidered in both English and Arabic.”  He also gave her “a very silly camel that sings in Arabic,” which made her laugh.

“It was very special for Sergeant Dillon to take the time out of his limited time home and with his family to come by to visit and thank Kendall,” shared her mom, Adrianne Liggett, “his personal thanks and gifts were way above and beyond the call of duty.”  Liggett also gave kudos to her only child, whom she adores, “Kendall has always been a very nurturing and caring kid.”  She also enjoys softball and basketball and is proud of her “recent Junior Brown Belt” she earned at Mike Hogan’s Hudson Kenpo Karate Studio.  

As the recent two-part Hudson~Litchfield News feature article (see 1-12-07, page 1) on the local Moore family highlighted, since 2003, the non-profit, dubbed “MooreMart” by its “members,” has shipped more than 6,300 care packages to U. S. soldiers deployed in the Middle East and children in the area.  For more information on how best to support our troops, contact MooreMart (, 888-9030) – and tell them Kendall sent you.

Kendall Liggett (center) meets MooreMart co-founders Paul Moore (left) and Carol Moore Biggio.

Family Science Night at Nottingham West

Bonnie Jean Kuras doing a dry ice experiment.

Nottingham West Elementary School hosted their first Family Science Night on February 8 at the school.  This free event was organized by the NWES PTO, and over 200 elementary kids attended accompanied by190 parents.  Each child was able to participate in all of the nine experiments which were run by NWES staff and PTO volunteers.  Some of the experiments were corn starch “quicksand,” water tension on pennies, dancing raisins, soda bottle symphony, and dry ice activities.  This night was a big success in part, due to the Alvirne Science Club students who offered assistance at the various stations.  The evening was completed with each family receiving a packet with the experiments, a “Junior Scientist” certificate, and a listing of various educational Websites such as and

At the end of the evening it was nice to see so many families come together as a community, sharing in a wonderful enrichment to our curriculum.  As one parent summed up the evening, “We all had lots of fun.  Nights like this are what make Nottingham and the Hudson Community the best.”  The NWES PTO looks forward to planning another family night (sponsored by PTO Today) like this, as a Family Math Night or Family Reading Night, either this spring or next fall.

Matt Quinlan from the Alvirne Science Club helping a group of Nottingham Students at the “quick sand” made out of corn starch table.

AHS House is Finally Home

by Doug Robinson

Students line up a the site of the new home’s location, 8 Pine Road, and watch the large crane transfer the home from the truck to its new foundation.

Wrapped, and bagged, takes on a whole new definition when it comes to moving an entire three bedroom ranch style house.  Students who have been involved with the Building Trades Department at the Wilbur Palmer Vocational School, Hudson, saw their dreams of the past three years come true, as the house they have built was loaded onto the two flatbed trucks and departed for its new home, Pine Road, Hudson.  Building Trades teacher, John Conrad stated, “Holy Moly, things are happening now!”

For nearly three years, the students of Wilbur H. Smith Vocational-Technical Center have been building a house.  Each year, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors would sign up for Building Trades, in hopes of building the house. 

The house that the students have been building has been designated to be transported to a town owned plot of land on Pine Road.  The plan, as outlined by the collaborative effort between the Town of Hudson and the School District, was that the house would be sold and the profits would be split between the Town and the School District.

The Town of Hudson Planning Board had accepted the plans for the house and the zoning board had made all the appropriate approvals.  The office of Community Development for the Town of Hudson was in full support as well as all the town officials.  Everybody thought it was wonderful.

While the on-again, off-again project, has had the full support of the town, the building of the house came to a screeching halt when an abutter, Donald LaForest, came forth, with an unstamped surveyor’s report, and stated that the land upon which the house was to be placed was deemed “unbuildable” by town records.

During the public remarks opportunity of the October 10, 2006 Board of Selectmen’s meeting, Donald LaForest, stated that he owned the property at 6 Pine Road, which was adjacent to the land upon which the school was looking to build.  According to LaForest, the property at 6 Pine Road has been in his family since 1945.  “I have all the deeds going back to 1945,” stated LaForest.  “I don’t think the town went that far back in searching the records for the property upon which they intend to build.”

LaForest was given the opportunity to challenge the town’s surveyor; however, he was unable to produce a stamped plan contradicting the town’s surveyor.  “What the kids are doing is a wonderful thing” commented LaForest, “I have no objections about it, but I don’t think it is a proper way to teach somebody how to build a house, taking somebody else’s property.”

Richard Maddox, Chairman, Town of Hudson Board of Selectmen, commented that “The School Board hired a licensed certified surveyor.  He has put a drawing to the school board, and to us, that says that this is a buildable lot.”

Now, three years since the first nail was driven into the first piece of wood, the students stood and watched as the product of years of planning, patience, and persistence slowly left its safe and secure sanctuary.  As the two tractor trailers exited the school, they turned right, onto Route 102, heading south for the six-mile ride. 

The house had been carefully measured so that the tractor with house atop could easily travel the roads of Hudson without interfering with the power lines above.  The students erected the roof in such a manner that it was hinged, allowing the roof to be lowered for the ride south.  All that was left to sweat was that the careful measurements of the poured concrete would support and align correctly, with the framework of the house.

As each of the two trucks took their final turn from Dracut Road onto Pine Road, a large crane awaited to lift the pieces and set them gently on the concrete foundation.

The high school students who participated in the building of the home cheered; neighbors could be seen peeking out the windows of their warm homes; cars and trucks lined the streets; and School Board Chairman, David Alukonis, watched in wonder as the saga of a new home, built by the students of the Wilbur H. Palmer Vocational School, was coming to a conclusion.

RiverPlace Plans Rejected

by Kathleen Kirwin

The Hudson Planning Board decided to send the plans for RiverPlace, a shopping center to be built on Green Meadow Golf Course, back to the developers by a unanimous vote on Wednesday night, February 7.

The decision to send the plans back is the result of a proposed connector road in the plan that will affect over five acres of wetlands along the east border of the Green Meadow property.  The plans must receive a wetlands special exception from the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) before the plans can proceed any further.

“Like most towns, there is a process to go through,” stated Hudson Town Planner, John Cashell, “They (W/S Develoment, Inc.) will need to follow that process, like everyone else.”  Cashell also detailed, “Because this is affecting wetlands there is a litany of permits that needed to be obtained at the town and state level.”  While “no one knows how long it's going to take,” especially at the state-level, “the permitting process itself may take from several months to up to a year,” Cashell estimated.

For example, the plans, which impact wetlands have to be approved at the state level, by the Department of Environmental Services (DES) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), cited Cashell.  Each permit the State deems is required, such as DES and EPA, can “set this back from a few weeks up to 120 days.” 

On the town side, Cashell suggested RiverPlace plans may be addressed at the Conservation Committee meeting on March 11, and by the Hudson Planning Board on March 28.  While the next Zoning Board meeting is on February 22, it is doubtful that W/S Development will be able to get the wetlands special exception forms completed and in by then, or even if the ZBA’s input will be in for the March meetings.

Ed Vydra, RiverPlace project manager, stated, along with the site plan turned in on January 19, W/S Development Inc. also submitted two specific applications to the Conservation and Planning Boards concerning the Zoning Board of Adjustment wetlands special exception.  W/S Development Inc. can't turn the plans over to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the wetlands special exception, until both the Conservation and Planning Boards have filled out the applications, according to Vydra.

Bob Frasier, the VP of Development for W/S Development Inc., said the company understands that there are many steps that need to be taken before Phase 1 can be approved, not only in the town of Hudson, but at the state level as well.  “There are a lot of moving parts to this,” stated Frasier.

Frasier and Vydra are in the process of trying to get a meeting with both the Conservation and Planning boards to push through their applications for the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

The plan put before the Planning Board in late January, was for Phase 1 of RiverPlace.  This plan included the production of the 1.1 million square foot lifestyle center that will be located at the center of the project.  The lifestyle center will be comprised of 110 shops, various restaurants, parks, a river walk, marina, outdoor skating rink, and amphitheater; this is only a part of the larger picture that RiverPlace will become.

With the extensive nature of the project, it is no surprise that some people have started to speak out against the build.  Friends of Green Meadow, is one group that is comprised of people who live around the golf course.  Another group, Hudson Grassroots Central, is made up of more than 70 people who have only communicated via e-mail so far.  A February 15 meeting at the Hudson Police Department, will unite the two groups for the first time.  The results of this meeting will be featured in next week’s Hudson~Litchfield News.

The latest vote by the town may be of some comfort to the opposition.  While this is likely only a delay, the Planning Board’s rejection of the RiverPlace plans, demonstrates that the town will not be lenient when it comes to compliance with zoning laws, or enforcing the rules and regulations on W/S Development Inc.

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