Tug of War at Robinson Pond
by Tom Tollefson
10-year-olds Shaun and Eric pull for their Tug of War team!
If you were at Robinson Pond on the afternoon of Friday, August 1, you could hear the grunting and groaning of the children in the Hudson Recreation Summer Program as they strained every muscle, struggling to pull their team forward in the annual Tug of War competition.
“It was really fun, and it was funny when people fell over,” Sage, 13, said about her experience on the winning team for the 12 and up age group.
Jason, 7, from the winning team for the 6 to 8 age group, talked about his own strategy for winning. “I think we won because the strongest person was pulling in the back,” he said.
“Fun” was the key word used to describe this “he man” competition, even by those who didn’t win. “We won in our first round, but it got tough against the bigger kids,” Adam, 12, said.
This time the children were not the only ones competing. The counselors competed in two groups, being the newer staff versus the more seasoned staff. After a hard-fought battle, the veteran staff of Sean Sendall, Derek Lee, Frank Giginis, and Brianna Terrill defeated the newer staff group of Tommy Scurini, Drew Gora, Vinnie Scurini, Matt Brownrigg, and Matt Barry.
“It was a great day full of excitement. The kids enjoyed themselves, the water was perfect, and Tug of War was fun,” Girginis said. “It was also a rewarding day for the veteran staff members soundly defeating the newer staff.”
The winning Tug of War teams:
12 and up
First - Wambui Okiror, Brittany Saab, Nick Benard, and Trevor Knight
Second - Josh C., Alex Martel, Adam C., and Derek Martel
Third - Lunzie Davis, Sydney Wheeler, Taylor Rogers, and Kasey Pulsifer
9 - 11
First - Alexis Goldsack, Jamie Sherman, Brianna Hughes, and Corrine Moore
Second - Jack Callahan, Matt D., Mike Kellher, and Brett Pitre
Third - Eric Charette, Stephen Lacasse, Orion Audet, and Shawn Clark
6 - 8
First - Cynnaea, Sophia Lee, Jason Hamblett, and Amber Hall
Second - Kyle Gora, Jordan Gora, Kaylee, and Autumn
Third - Hunter Smith, George, Matt Mackey, and Matt R.
Joan Dearborn Celebrates 75th with Gift of Music
by Katelyn Haggerty
Joan Dearborn presents check to Gerry Bastien, Music Director.
Leaning against the open door leading to the band room Joan Dearborn, Hudson resident since she was 10, stands with a smile, tapping her foot to the music that has gathered a group outside to listen. Mrs. Dearborn loves the music of the Alvirne High School bands, and having recently celebrated her 75th birthday, gave something back to them.
“She knew we would do something for her birthday but asked that we not accept any personal gifts,” said Dearborn’s daughter Candy Paradise, Assistant Manager and dispatcher for Student Transportation in Hudson. Instead, Dearborn asked for donations to the AHS Music Department. “She has been a fan and a supporter for many years. We recently held that party and managed to collect $500 in her name for the Music Department.”
Dearborn, who graduated with the first class at Alvirne in 1951, was more than glad to do it.
“It was my 75th birthday and the last thing you need for your 75th is more things,” she said. “So the music department really pleases me and I wanted to do something. I thought maybe my friends would donate what they would have bought for presents as a check for the Music Department. And luckily, most of my family and friends did.”
Dearborn did this once before for her 65th birthday, only to raise money for the Memorial School Library, of which she was a volunteer at the time.
“I really didn’t want the picture in the paper; that was my daughter’s idea. But then she explained to me, ‘well, if you do it, maybe other people will.’ And that would be great if other people could do it. There are a lot of other 75-year-olds around Hudson, so they could probably do the same thing.”
“No, I can’t play anything,” she said with a laugh when asked if she was in the band in high school. “I played the triangle in the fourth grade band in Methuen. Otherwise, I have no musical talent. I only know what I like.”
Dearborn enjoyed when the band played “Harlem Nocturne” and the Mardi Gras Cabaret weekend.
“I do like all the Glen Miller music, but that was my generation, that was what we danced to,” she said. “I just enjoy seeing the kids do things, get involved. And you don’t hear enough about them. You don’t hear enough about the good kids. I wish I could have raised a thousand dollars.”
The kids in the band gave Dearborn a surprise for her birthday as well when they all got together at Alvirne.
“The band was doing their photo and I had spoken with Don and Candy,” said Mr. Gerry Bastien, Music Director at Alvirne. “I wanted to do something for her.” Video camera in hand, Bastien recorded the band wishing Dearborn a very Happy Birthday.
“All the kids were in their uniforms with their instruments standing on the bleachers, and you hear this voice say, ‘1, 2, 3!’ And it was ‘Happy Birthday Mrs. Dearborn’ from all the kids. And that really got me going,” said Dearborn. “We watched it at home and it was very touching, very thoughtful and very nice. I couldn’t believe it; it was very exciting.”
“He’s a great guy (Bastien). The kids are so lucky to have him and the school and town are lucky to have him. Now if we could just build an auditorium for him, things would be better. I don’t understand why the town doesn’t. You kids, your generation, you can get in there and push the vote. Show up at school board meetings and say, ‘how come we don’t have this?’ You’re the ambassadors for the town. Really, get your generation to get going and get an auditorium. It would be beautiful, wonderful, to go to a concert and sit in a nice seat with great sound.”
Besides the Happy Birthday message, Bastien gave Dearborn the DVDs of Cabaret weekend 2008, all three uncut versions, and the Elias Brody Memorial Spring Concert.
“It’s really powerful to know that you affect people,” said Bastien. “I used to tell that to my student teachers that you never know, when you’re teaching, you never know, in this business who you will affect. Somebody you would never expect. It’s a huge responsibility and people sometimes don’t take it like that.”
“But can a math teacher really say that somebody had a birthday and the money they made they donated to the math department? That’s the affect that we have that people don’t get. And it’s not the amount of money, it’s the thought behind it that is just absolutely fantastic. To have somebody even think about that, that blew my mind. How unselfish is that? She needs to be the person of the week on ABC.”
“75 years old, class of 1951. You can’t forget those people. You really can’t, you have to remember them because they’re the fabric, they’re what made this place great. I haven’t been here that long, only 13 years, but everybody I’ve ever talked to has nothing but praise for this place,” said Bastien.
“It was good, said Dearborn. “I was glad that my friends and relatives thought enough of me to do it. It was fun too, at the same time.”
Bastien and Dearborn talked about the kids that were graduating in the band, what he planned for upcoming years, and the kids that will be coming to Alvirne in the future. Bastien also promised Joan he would bring back “Harlem Nocturne” for her.
Hudson Selectman Angered Over 'Thumbs Down' Remark
by Gina M. Votour
During a special Board of Selectmen meeting held on August 5, Selectman Ken Massey expressed his extreme disappointment upon reading a ‘Thumbs Down’ comment in the August 1 edition of the Hudson-Litchfield News.
“I really, truly wish that citizens, when they want to use the ‘Thumbs Up’ and ‘Thumbs Down’ column, would at least have the courtesy before they make comments that are not factually based, that they call the appropriate departments, or even the selectmen …,” Selectman Massey began.
The comment he referred to stated, “Thumbs down to the town fathers in Hudson. I know that I had to vote on a new fire truck this year, but never remember voting on that brand new, very expensive road grader. Sounds like once again, the head of the DPW is out of control and the town administration just looks the other way.”
Selectman Massey responded that “Calling into question the integrity of the director, I found extremely disheartening, given all the things that (Road Agent Kevin Burns) does for our department.”
Regarding the referenced road grader, Selectman Massey explained that this purchase was analyzed and approved by both the Budget Committee and the Board of Selectmen and that no part of the purchase negotiations was hidden from the public.
He also pointed out that a replacement was necessary since the previous grader was 27 years old and becoming very expensive to maintain.
Selectman Massey again strongly urged citizens to contact the appropriate authorities for clarification before expressing negativity, which may not be based on accurate information.
“If you hear a little anger in my voice, it’s because it’s there,” he concluded.
Emergency Court Action Sought to Prohibit Block Party
by Gina M. Votour
In an effort to prevent a well-known Hudson ‘block party’ from occurring this year, the Board of Selectmen agreed to seek court action through a unanimous motion passed during a special meeting on the evening of August 5.
Selectman Ken Massey stated that this party, held each summer for the past eight years at 4 Copeland Drive, is not actually a block party. He described it as something much larger since it runs around the clock from Friday through Sunday and involves admission charges, live bands, and sponsorship by two businesses (including one whose liquor license does not extend off of their premises).
Up to 300 people are expected to attend, most likely due to the publicity gained from the Website oldjimdays.com. The Website, established by Jim McGlaughlin, 61, states that, “Old Jim Days is an annual party for friends, by friends” and includes photos of previous parties held over the years.
The Website also encourages people to “bring a tent and set up for the weekend.” Selectman Massey pointed out that sanitation and crowd control issues could come into play in terms of those camping out, however.
“They have not filed for any outdoor gathering permits and they are going to be doing a lot of things that you would expect the town to have some control over,” explained Selectman Massey.
Since there is no permit to sell liquor at this residence, it would violate state liquor laws if alcohol were to be sold during this time. Police Chief Richard Gendron has contacted the State Liquor Commission on this issue.
In a Nashua Telegraph feature for last year’s party, McGlaughlin, a computer programmer said he “doesn’t need a permit because the festival is all held on his own property.” In this same article, McGlaughlin also said he “doesn’t get any complaints from the neighbors about the noise.”
However, Selectman Roger Coutu pointed out this week that, “at last year’s function there was a near-miss with a vehicle and a home in that neighborhood.”
“If you go to the Website, this is not a neighborhood barbeque or a cookout,” continued Selectman Coutu. “Concerns have been raised and it’s time that we do seek this injunction,” he concluded.
For all of these reasons, on the morning of Wednesday, August 6, the board petitioned the court to put forth an emergency order to prevent the party’s occurrence, leaving the matter in the hands of the town’s attorney.
Jim McGlaughlin could not be reached for comment before press time.
Otarnic Pond Sewer Installation Moving Forward
by Gina M. Votour
Rapid progress has been made on the installation of a sewer/water system at Hudson’s Otarnic Pond Cooperative. Located off of Ferry Street at Pond View Drive and Otter Way, the community consists of 30 manufactured owner-occupied mobile homes and one rental unit.
The units at Otarnic Pond became New Hampshire’s 59th Cooperative back in 2003. Originally built as cottages starting in the late 1950s, all of the structures were constructed with private septic systems.
The current water/sewer system conversion is the result of the deterioration or failure of several septic tanks on the property. Recent heavy rains have made the situation even worse.
“We didn’t want to pollute the pond,” said Jamie Poliquin, Otarnic Pond Cooperative’s Treasurer, explaining the decision to convert.
BU Construction, Inc. was granted the sewer/water installation bid in late June and began working during the first week of July. At this point, three out of six main line structures have been constructed. Underground water lines have also been drilled from Adelaide Street to the park. Another water line drilling on Pond View Drive was scheduled for completion this week.
Project work remaining includes the construction of a pump station at the entrance to the grounds and individual water/sewer connections to each home.
Anticipated completion of the conversion is still scheduled for November 2008, with the project’s total cost estimate remaining on target at approximately $792,468.