Morton Pearlman delivers a speech at the Cemetery on the Plains, Monday morning at the annual Memorial Day Ceremony.
Monday May 28 at 9:30 a.m. the annual Memorial Day Parade left the Windham Central School and marched to the Cemetery on the Plains.
At the head of the parade was Morton Pearlman, the Parade Marshal. Following him where Veterans representing all the branches of the United States Armed Forces. They were followed by many local groups including: the Board of Selectmen, the Salem High School marching band and color guard, the Salem High School JROTC, Girl Scout Troop 51, the Boy Scout Troop 266, the Windham Central School marching band and the Windham fire, police and EMTs.
The ceremony at the cemetery began with the National Anthem, then the invocation was given by Reverend Gilbert of Saint Matthew Church in Windham. Pearlman gave a few words in recognition of all the servicemen and women, past and present. Next to speak was Lieutenant Colonel Casey of the US Air Force. Casey started his speech off with a brief history of Memorial Day’s dedication in 1876, when Memorial Day was made a National Holiday. “Freedom is not free. The least we can do is honor those who have fallen,” reminded Casey. The ceremony concluded with a 21-gun salute, a final blessing from Reverend Gilbert and Pearlman’s closing words quoting a 1907 speech from President Theodore Roosevelt on Immigration.
The Salem High School JROTC marched down Lowell Road in the Memorial Day Parade Monday morning.
The Pelham Girl Scouts salute the fallen in the Pelham Community Parade.
A Pelham six-gun salute in memory of our heros.
Last week, Pelham police discovered threatening notes being written by a freshman at Pelham High School. A series of notes had been found on lockers and in a bathroom that labeled some students as gay or lesbian.
A notice was sent home to parents to let them know what happened. However, some parents were upset that they were not notified sooner, especially since their child’s name was on the list.
Tammy Kfoury posted to the Pelham Message Board, indicating that her son was one of the students named on the list.
“When I went to school yesterday morning (May 15) I was concerned. I did not know the extent of what was happening until Monday night … which made me pretty angry and upset. The school was aware of what was unraveling and I felt I should have been notified that my son’s name was on a list … regardless of whether they perceived it as a threat or not. Again … I feel I should have been notified.”
Communications with parents on such issues should be improving in the next school year.
At the May 9 meeting, the Pelham School Board voted to approve grant money to lease the AlertNOW!® system. Once this is in place, the school district will have a much easier time contacting parents via a recorded message to let them know what is happening at the schools.
AlertNOW! was developed by Saf-T-Net, a North Carolina company the provides a variety of rapid notification services to public and private K - 12 schools. The system was developed to be available “anytime, anywhere, regardless of the situation a school is facing,” according to the company’s information.
Once AlertNOW! is in place, parents will be able to give up to five numbers to be contacted for any situation. There will also be e-mail options as well. This system can dial up to 6,000 calls per minute.
Board member Mike Conrad says that AlertNOW! was tested in Windham where they have had great success and positive feedback from parents.
Adam Steel, Pelham’s technology director, says that the AlertNOW! system should be implemented for the next school year (starting August, 2007).
“The way the system works, the superintendent will decide when to send a message to all parents. Building principals will be able to send messages at their discretion to parents of their building,” explained Steel.
Parents will be able to opt-out of the system if they do not want to receive the calls.
Pelham resident Daryle Hillsgrove is pleased to see the system win approval. “With the recent power failure and this incident (the threatening notes), it would benefit families to have quick notification in a timely and efficient manner,” she posted to the Message Board.
More information about the AlertNOW! system is available at www.alertnow.com.
Should food and beverage vendors be allowed to sell their wares on town property in Windham? This is one of the questions town officials are trying to answer prior to the official kickoff of the summer season. Selectmen have been discussing the issue at meetings for several weeks now.
Recreation Director Cheryl Haas has proposed two possible policies to selectmen:
“I’m not opposed to ice cream,” Haas laughed. “I like it, in fact.” What Haas and other town officials are concerned about is the noise generated by vending trucks, as well as safety issues they can potentially cause.
Relative to Griffin Park, Windham Police Chief Gerald Lewis said, he is “adamantly opposed” to allowing vendors to sell items there. He said he has “witnessed the chaos over there already.” “It’s a tragedy waiting to happen,” Lewis said, referring to children dashing across a congested parking lot to buy ice cream or other snacks.
As for food and beverage sales at the town beach on Cobbett’s Pond, Lewis said, “I can live with it, if there’s a designated area for vendors.”
Several vendors have attended these recent Monday night board meetings. One vendor from New Hampshire said he thinks it’s more dangerous to park the trucks along Range Road, than inside Griffin Park. “It’s safer for the public and the kids to be in the parking lot at Griffin Park than on the road,” he said. “We’re talking a couple of hours a day; (we) make a couple bucks and leave.”
Another vendor, based in Massachusetts, said the flashing lights and ringing bells alert motorists to the presence of his truck. “We need to make a living and a ban hurts,” he said. “Kids love ice cream. That’s all there is to it,” he added. Chief Lewis said he enjoys eating ice cream himself, but is more concerned about child safety, than providing frozen confections at Griffin Park.
Lewis also noted that Johnson’s Farm Stand, located adjacent to Griffin Park already sells ice cream and is convenient for those using the park.
Another Massachusetts vendor, who said he’s been in the business for 40 years, said he’s never seen a kid get hit while running to an ice cream truck. “I have … and it’s a tragedy when it happens,” Chief Lewis responded, referring to the years he worked in law enforcement in Connecticut.
Haas’ current proposal would not allow vendors inside Griffin Park, but would allow them at other outdoor town-owned facilities, including the beach, which officially opens on Saturday, June 9.
Former selectman Galen Stearns said he is opposed to allowing vendors to sell snacks on town property. He said he feels the practice is encouraging obesity, adding to the litter problem and is a potential issue for those with peanut allergies. “If you’re going to ban smoking, you should also regulate what is sold by vendors on town property,” Stearns said. On Monday, May 21, selectmen voted 3 to 1 to ban smoking on the town beach and adjoining parking lot. “You should just go ahead and ban pb&j’s (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) from the beach, while you’re at it,” he said.
Windham resident Gail Webster said she feels allowing vendors on town property would be “opening another can of worms.”
According to the proposed policy developed by Haas, vendors may offer for sale food products, including, but not limited to hot dogs, popcorn, ice cream, ice cream products, water ices, frozen water products, or frozen confectionery products.
A vendor is defined as an individual or corporation traveling from place to place by vehicle and carrying within it consumable goods for the purpose of selling them to consumers, or; an individual or corporation traveling from place to place for the purpose of temporarily offering consumable goods to patrons.
A vendor’s vehicle refers to a self-contained motorized automobile, van or truck, as well as human-propelled portable wagons, pushcarts or similar modes of transportation wherein a vendor may offer consumable goods to patrons.
Based on the proposed policy, the Windham Board of Health (selectmen) would have the authority to limit the number of vendor permits issued in any given year. In granting a permit to a vendor, the following information would be taken into consideration:
Selectmen also discussed requiring liability insurance for any vendor being granted permission to sell his or her wares within the Town of Windham. A criminal background check would also be required of any applicant.
A final public hearing on the vendor issue will be held during the selectmen’s meeting on Monday, June 4. That meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the planning and development building, adjacent to town hall.