Congratulations to Tom
Jameson who will be Chichester’s new Selectman. He replaces Michael
Paveglio who did not seek re-election. Mary Jane Colbert will become
a Library Trustee for a three year term. Ewen MacKinnon II will be
Town Moderator for two years. Richard Pratt returns as Trustee of
Trust Funds for three years. Gail Laker-Phelps will be a Supervisor
of the Checklist for six years, and Ruth Hammen returns as a
Cemetery Trustee for three years.
None of the School Board positions was
contested. Ben Brown returns as a School Board Member for three
years and Holly MacCleery will be the Treasurer for one year. Pamela
Stiles will be the new School District Moderator for a one year
The zoning ordinance about lighting flags
in the commercial district passed by a very narrow margin - 227 yes,
March 19-20 is Maple Weekend, the time
when maple producers all over New Hampshire hold open houses and
encourage visitors to sample and purchase maple products. There are
several sugar houses in Loudon and at least two in Pittsfield, so it
should be easy to take a short drive to find some sweetness.
Come to the Community Supper at the
Chichester Methodist Parish Hall on March 23 and enjoy Swedish
Meatballs. Supper is served at 6 p.m. twice a month for free,
although donations are welcomed.
Join your friends and neighbors for food
Happy Birthday to Matthew Morey on March
20 and Sharon Wescomb on March 22.
The Chichester Methodist Church will have a Sunrise Service in front
of the church on Easter morning, March 27th. The service will be at
6:30 and breakfast will be in the Parish Hall next door at 7:00.
Please join us.
Save the date of April 2nd for the CYA Spring Fling. The CYA is
hosting an Adult Dance Fundraiser to raise money for Chichester
youth Sports. Please come to the Concord/Epsom Elks on Rte. 28 South
of the Epsom Circle and listen/dance to DJ Eric. Enjoy appetizers
and a cash bar. There will be raffles and 50/50 tickets to
purchase. Come enjoy an evening out and support a great cause. Doors
open at 6:30 with dancing beginning at 7:00. Tickets are $20 per
person or $35 a couple. Please email, Text, or FB Tammy Montambeault
for more information or tickets.
566-5771 or 798-3806
Out Of Your
Attic Thrift Shop News
Submitted By Carol
Remember, St. Patrick’s Day is Thursday the 17th. Everything Irish
Easter is early, March 27th to be exact.
We have some cute girls’ Easter outfits size 5-teen.
Boys 7-18 has a good supply; we need little boys 1-5 anything!
We still have hoodies, sweatshirts, and spring-type jackets.
345 Suncook Valley Hgwy, Chichester; Mon. 8-12; Tues. & Thurs. 8-4;
Wed. 11-4 & Sat. 10-4. 247-7191.
Town Library News
The knitting group will meet this afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
Beginners and experts, alike, are welcome. Bring your
project(s) and/or any questions you may have. This group is
meeting every Wednesday afternoon.
The regularly scheduled story and crafts
time for preschoolers, kindergarteners and their parent/caregiver
will be tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.
The Lovers of the Chichester Library will meet on Monday, March 21st
at 7 p.m. We always welcome more volunteers to provide input
and to support the various programs of the Library, including the
Donations for the Chichester Food Bank are accepted at the Library.
Please help support your neighbors in need.
By Frank Harrison
In the last article, I discussed the problems caused by invasive
plant species in New Hampshire (Suncook Valley Sun, November 25,
2015). Let’s get down to business and discuss the first
invasive you need to battle this year. Japanese Barberry (Berberis
thunbergii) and its cousin, European Barberry (Berberis vulgaris),
should be removed from your landscape. Soon it will be easy to
see this woody shrub, typically more than three feet tall and four
feet wide with tiny, bright green leaves and red berries on long
narrow branches. Local birds and small animals love the red
berries and commonly feed on them and spread the seed throughout the
woodland. Barberry is well adapted to our shady New Hampshire
woods. March is the best time to identify and remove it before
the growing season ensues. Environmental scientists will
applaud your efforts to eliminate this plant before it takes over
important habitat required for indigenous species to thrive, such as
wild blueberries, which share the same niche. In addition, the
spiny shrub provides a home for deer ticks, the primary vector of
Lyme disease infection. Destroying barberry has potential to promote
wild blueberries and eliminate deer ticks…let’s do this!
The reason this is a true battle is that barberry, like most
invasive plants, is notably stubborn and it fights back with small
needle-like thorns. Remember that the reason invasive plants
were introduced is because they are fast growers with great success
rates in variable habitat in the front yards and hedge rows of new
homes. It has tenacious underground rhizomes that can spring
up without notice and take over. It can be hacked or even
razed to the ground, yet survive. Like a tumor, it must be
destroyed completely, preferably by physical removal. The
easiest option is to rip it out with a backhoe, shake the dirt from
the fibrous roots, and leave the remains exposed in the seasonal
burn pile. Don’t just throw it over the bluff or chip it,
because that will just spread the seeds and the roots of a tossed
plant may replant. For most of us who do not have access to a
tractor, the first step is to use sharp loppers to stem all branches
within one foot of the ground. If it is a small plant, you may
be able to loosen the root structure and work the roots out with a
mattock, but with a large plant, you will need to do more digging
and use a root puller to save your back from excessive stress.
Work smarter, not harder. I suppose you could hook a chain up
between the root ball and your pick-up truck, but this hillbilly
fashion of gardening is not recommended.
Homeowners also have the controversial option to engage in chemical
warfare with glyphosphate, the active ingredient in RoundUp ®.
If used responsibly and NEVER near wetlands or open water, this
method is effective, but comes with an environmental cost. Do
some research and make an educated decision. Immediately after
stemming the branches and exposing the pith, douse the ends to allow
absorption of the herbicide. This will penetrate deep into the
plant and begin to kill at the cellular level. You may need to
repeat application to finish the job. After the roots are dead
and release their grip on the soil, you will find it easier to
remove it next year. This should also stop the barberry from
sending those lateral reproductive roots out to propagate new
growth. Keep your eyes peeled each spring for bright green
shrubs in your backwoods. It may seem perfect for St.
Patrick’s Day, but we are not fooled by this pest!
School District Meeting
By Hannah West
The Chichester School District meeting was
not well-attended, but a lot of information was presented. Moderator
Doug Hall called the meeting to order at 9 a.m. Fred Chagnon led the
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. The head table was introduced,
procedural rules were adopted, and non-residents such as the
principal and Superintendent of Schools were granted permission to
Brian Beaverstock, principal of Chichester
Central, gave a presentation about the school. A new state
assessment was used for the first time this year. Students in Grade
3 scored a bit below the standard, but students in grades 4 through
8 exceeded state standards in both reading and mathematics by a wide
margin. A reading program started last year is being extended this
School Board chair Ben Brown gave a
presentation of work done by the Energy Study Group. The group began
work in the summer of 2015 to focus on an urgent problem with the
boiler and the oil lines which supplied it. After the options of
oil, propane, wood pellets, and electric heat pumps were priced and
discussed, a high-end propane 3-boiler system with buried,
supplier-own tanks was installed in November, 2015, by Irving
Energy. It was paid for with $55 thousand from a Trust Fund and $55
thousand from money retained from the previous year’s budget
surplus. An energy audit was done to see what improvements could be
made to the building shell. LED lighting was done in one classroom
and other classrooms will be upgraded to LED lighting in the future.
Other future considerations are automated building monitors and
controls for better efficiency, solar panels to reduce the
electricity bill, and a generator for emergency management. More
information can be found on the school district web page at
sau53.org/chichester. Any resident is welcome to participate in the
energy study process.
Discussion then moved to the budget.
Members of the voluntary Budget Oversight Committee were recognized
and commended for attending all the meetings during the year. They
are Betsy Purvis, Donna Chagnon, Doug Fisher, Paul Twomey, Rebecca
Pillsbury, Rich Edmonds, and Tammy Jameson. Ben Brown gave an
overview of the budget, and then the Moderator proceeded through it
section by section.
The two most-discussed items were the
teacher salary line and the costs paid to the supervisory union. A
break-down of supervisory union costs was passed out and covered at
length. The costs of SAU #53 are met proportionately by the member
towns of Allenstown, Chichester, Deerfield, Epsom, and Pembroke.
Chichester’s share is 10 percent, the lowest of the five towns. The
largest contributor is Pembroke. The cost formula is a combination
of equalized valuation and number of pupils.
The teacher salary line was amended to an
increase of $86, 521, the cost of retaining a teacher who would need
to be let go if a class was combined due to lower enrollment. The
number is not the actual amount of the teacher’s salary, but the
cost to the school district (salary, benefits, state teacher
retirement system and Social Security costs) to employ a teacher.
The concern was not only retaining a valuable and popular teacher,
but also changes to the curriculum and what would happen if the
class numbers increased, as they often do over the summer. The
amendment passed. The money increases the total budget, and the
School Board has discretion over where to spend it; but the intent
of the voting body was made clear, and the Board was listening.
The Chichester staff should certainly feel
valued. Parents and students alike praised the teacher who was in
danger of being cut from the staff. Another student stated that he
thought Principal Beaverstock was not being paid enough.
The final line of the approved budget was