Those Celebrating Birthdays are: July 3, Kellen Giuda, Patricia
Freeman, Andrew Dunne; July 4, Linda Fife, Joyce Brewster; July 5,
Jim Adams, Paul Colby, Betty Sweet; July 7, Dave Sweet; July 8,
Stephanie Hetu, Kerianne Hast, Michael Bailey; July 9, Kate Drew.
A Very Happy Birthday To One and All!
Celebrating Anniversaries are: July 6, Joe and Deb Collins; July 8,
Rene and Bev Drolet.
Early Head Start is accepting applications for children under the
age of 3 and for prenatal women who would like to participate in the
program. Early Head Start is free for income eligible families. For
further information and to jump-start your child’s learning, please
Suncook Valley Soccer Club will be holding Fall 2013 Sign Ups at Old
Home Day. Please stop by our table on Saturday, July 20. Sign ups
for SVSC are for boys and girls between the ages of 4-12. SVSC is
always looking for parent volunteers. We need help with setting up
and maintaining fields, help in the snack shack and with coaching.
We look forward to seeing you at Old Home Day.
VA Processes Nearly All Disability Claims Pending Over 2 Years,
Moves To Complete Those Older Than 1 Year
Over 65,000 Claims Eliminated From The Backlog In 2 Months
Merrill A. Vaughan
American Legion Peterson-Cram Post 75
Pittsfield, NH 03263
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today that as a
result of the initiative launched in April to expedite disability
compensation claims decisions for Veterans who have a waited a year
or longer, more than 65,000-claims – or 97 percent of all claims
over two years old in the inventory – have been eliminated from the
Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) staff will now focus their
efforts on completing the disability claims of Veterans who have
been waiting over one year for a decision, while completing the
final batch of oldest claims in progress.
“Over the past two months, VA has been dedicated to providing earned
benefits to the Veterans who have waited the longest,” said VA
Secretary Eric K. Shinseki. “Thanks to our hard-working VBA
employees, we have completed nearly all claims that have been
pending two years or longer. We’ve made great progress, but know
much works remains to be done to eliminate the backlog in 2015.”
“The success of this phase of the effort was due in part to the
implementation of mandatory overtime for the Veterans Benefits
Administration’s (VBA) claims processing staff, as well as the
dedicated support of physicians from the Veterans Health
Administration (VHA), who expedited exams to provide medical
evidence needed to rate these pending claims,” said Under Secretary
for Benefits Allison A. Hickey.
The remaining two-year-old claims will be finalized in the coming
days except for those that are outstanding due to unique
circumstances, such as the unavailability of a claimant for a needed
medical exam, military service, vacation, or travel overseas.
In May, VA announced that it was mandating overtime for claims
processors in its 56 regional benefits offices to increase
production of compensations claims decisions, which will continue
through the end of FY 2013. Today, VA has the lowest number of
claims in its inventory since August 2011 and has reduced the number
of claims in the VA backlog – claims pending over 125 days – by 10
percent since the initiative began.
Under this initiative, VA claims raters may make
final or provisional decisions on the oldest claims in the
inventory, which will allow Veterans to begin collecting
compensation benefits more quickly, if eligible. Veterans are able
to submit additional evidence for consideration a full year after
the provisional rating before VA issues a final decision. If no
further evidence is received within that year, VBA will inform
Veterans that their ratings are final and provide information on the
standard appeals process, which can be found at
a Veteran disagrees with a final decision and chooses to appeal, the
appeal is entered into the appellate processing system, and is not
reflected in the claims inventory.
VA continues to prioritize disability claims for
homeless Veterans, those experiencing extreme financial hardship,
the terminally ill, former Prisoners of War, Medal of Honor
recipients, and Veterans filing Fully Developed Claims, which is the
quickest way for Veterans to receive a decision on their
compensation claim (http://www.benefits.va.gov/fdc/).
Claims for Wounded Warriors separating from the military for medical
reasons will continue to be handled separately and on a priority
basis with the Department of Defense through the Integrated
Disability Evaluation System (IDES). Wounded Warriors separating
through IDES currently receive VA compensation benefits in an
average of 61 days following their separation from service.
VA’s inventory is comprised mostly of supplemental claims from
Veterans already receiving disability compensation who are seeking
to address worsening conditions or claim additional disabilities.
Regardless of the status of compensation claims, Veterans who have
served in combat since Nov. 11, 1998, are eligible for five years of
free medical care for most conditions from VA. This eligibility was
enacted through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008.
Veterans can learn more about disability benefits on
the joint Department of Defense/VA web portal eBenefits at
Varsity Girls Soccer Coach Peter Tuttle presenting Bekah Adams with
the Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award for 2013 for Pittsfield
Middle High School.
Varsity Boys Soccer Coach Derek Hamilton presenting Max Tuttle with
the Male Student-Athlete of the Year Award for 2013 for Pittsfield
Middle High School.
Cabaret For A Cure
In Memory Of Mom
The second annual Cabaret for a Cure, In Memory of Mom will take
place at the Scenic Theatre Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 7 PM.
Following the format of last year’s show, there will be music,
laughter, drama, raffles, refreshments and more. July may be a
little early to be thinking about the fall but it’s never too early
to be thinking about a cure. This year’s campaign by the American
Cancer Society is “Let’s FINISH the Fight” and we’d like to join
them by making this year bigger and better than last year, which
raised over $2,000.00 to help find a cure.
We’re reaching out to Pittsfield and the Suncook
Valley residents to send us your stories, memories, advice,
anecdotes, quotes, poems and pictures and your permission to use
some or all of them in this year’s Cabaret for a Cure, In Memory of
Mom. Please send correspondence to
[email protected] and put
CURE in the subject line. The deadline for your submissions is
August 30, 2013.
Secondly, we’re also asking for donations for raffle prizes. Tickets
will be available the night of the show and prizes will be called
during intermission. Think you don’t have anything to donate? Think
again; make a quilt, create a photograph/artwork, make a basket,
write a poem, make some jewelry, buy a gift card, stuff a pillow,
whip up some salsa, put together a theme basket of goodies, make
soap and/or candles, bake some goodies, send a check, decoupage
something, knit something pink, give a gift certificate, make it big
or make it small, send it to Cabaret For A Cure, c/o Meggin Dail,
243 Black Hall Road, Epsom, NH 03234 or call me (603) 736-8073 and
I’ll come get it from you.
Lastly, (for now), we’ll be looking for sponsors to help get this
endeavor off the ground. We are putting together a sponsorship
package and if you or your company is interested in receiving one
and sponsoring Cabaret For A Cure, In Memory of Mom a tax-deductible
benefit for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides program
please contact me at the phone number or email above. Sponsors can
attach their names to supporting this event in many ways; buying
music, providing refreshments, printing costs (tickets, programs,
posters), advertising, decorating, flowers, raffle prizes, costumes,
and housekeeping items, to name a few.
You’ll be hearing and seeing a lot more of us, so keep your eye on
The Sun and please consider making yourself part of the cure.
Pittsfield Fire Department Receive Two Child Safety Seats For Ambulance
EMT Kristen Ahearn, EMT Kenneth White, and Acting Fire Chief Nick
with the new child safety seats recently awarded to the
On behalf of the Pittsfield Fire Department and community, EMT-I
Kristen Ahearn and Acting Chief Nicholas Abell recently applied for
The New Hampshire EMS for Children Program’s 2013 Child Passenger
Safety Seat grant and were awarded two child safety seats to be used
in the ambulances. The one-time grant is funded by NH Safety Agency
funds. Each seat fits a child from 5 to 80 pounds and can be
appropriately secured to the ambulance cot or seat.
Child safety seats are required equipment on ambulances operating in
New Hampshire and the department’s current seats will expire next
year. The seats due to expire will be used by the Police Department
for the remainder of the year.
The grant included 2 Radian Diono child safety seats, covers, and
carrying bags. Our appreciation goes to EMT Ahearn and Acting Chief
Abell for completing this process and to The New Hampshire EMS for
Children Program for awarding this grant. Thank you.
Pittsfield’s Old Home Day Parade Of Bikes!
Hey, have you heard about The parade? If you’re a kid with wheels;
one, two, three, four or more, the Pittsfield Old Home Day Committee
wants to see what you’ve got. So, on Saturday, July 20, (that’s Old
Home Day) shine your scooter, polish your pedals, strap on
streamers, and join us on Main Street in front of Dustin’s Park for
the Old Home Day bike parade. There’s no cost to enter and you may
just take home a cold cool prize!
Simply join us July 20th at noon in front on the viewing stand on
Main Street. It’s that simple. By the way, if you’d like help
tricking out your trike, come by the park early. We’ll help set you
right... See you there!
VA Starts Campaign To Raise PTSD Awareness
Merrill A. Vaughan
American Legion Peterson-Cram Post 75
Pittsfield, NH 03263
In observance of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) awareness
month, the Department of Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD
invites the public to participate in its “Take the Step” campaign.
“Every day of the year, we should focus on assisting those who have
served our Nation,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K.
Shinseki. “In June, during PTSD awareness month, we take special
care to help Veterans with PTSD. VA is a leader in providing
state-of-the-art, high-quality mental health care that improves and
saves Veterans’ lives. PTSD treatment can help and there is hope
for recovery for Veterans who need mental health services.”
Throughout the month, online at www.ptsd.va.gov, the
campaign has highlighted different topics so visitors can “Take the
Step” to: know more about PTSD; challenge their beliefs; explore
the treatment options available; and reach out to make a difference.
VA provides effective PTSD treatment for Veterans and conducts
extensive research on PTSD, including prevention of stress
disorders. Veterans are encouraged to use VA’s PTSD resources so
they are able to recognize symptoms and seek help if the need
arises. VA also encourages Veterans to share what they learn with
someone they know to build awareness and support systems.
Following exposure to trauma, most people experience stress
reactions but many do not develop PTSD. Mental health
experts are not sure why some people develop PTSD and others do not.
However, if stress reactions do not improve over time and they
disrupt everyday life, VA encourages Veterans to seek help to
determine if PTSD may be a factor.
“Many barriers keep people with PTSD from seeking the help they
need,” said Dr. Matthew Friedman, Executive Director of VA’s
National Center for PTSD. “Knowledge and awareness, however, are key
to overcoming these barriers. For those living with PTSD, knowing
there are treatments that work, for example, can lead them to seek
needed care. Greater public awareness of PTSD can help reduce the
stigma of this mental health problem and overcome negative
stereotypes that may keep many people from pursuing treatment.”
PTSD Awareness Month Highlights:
• The purpose of PTSD Awareness Month is to raise public awareness
of PTSD and its effective treatments so that everyone can help
people affected by PTSD.
• Throughout June explore weekly features at www.ptsd.va.gov.
• “Ten Steps to Raise PTSD Awareness” provides links to materials
that foster greater understanding of trauma, PTSD and treatment. It
offers practical suggestions for the public to raise PTSD awareness
in their own community.
• For continued involvement, please sign up for the PTSD Monthly
Update. Stay up on new information about PTSD and trauma year round.
On June 3, VA announced it had hired a total of 1,607 mental health
clinical providers to meet the goal of 1,600 new mental health
professionals outlined in the President’s Aug. 31, 2012, Executive
Order. Additionally, VA had hired 2,005 mental health clinical
providers to fill existing vacancies, as well as 318 new peer
specialists towards the specific goal of 800 peer specialists by
Dec. 31, 2013 as outlined in the Executive Order.
Throughout the summer, VA will hold mental health summits at each of
its 152 medical centers across the nation to establish and enhance
positive working relationships with their community partners. The
summits will help encourage community engagement in order to better
address and understand the broad mental health care needs of
veterans and their families.
For more information about PTSD, professionals and
the public can go to The National Center for PTSD Web site at
www.ptsd.va.gov. The site
offers resources such as:
• PTSD Coach mobile app, this award-winning app provides
symptom-management strategies and it’s always with you when you need
• Continuing education opportunities for providers, including PTSD
101 courses, on the best practices in PTSD treatment (CEs/CMEs
• AboutFace: An online video gallery of Veterans talking about PTSD
and how treatment can turn your life around.
Silent Auction Highlights
What Is It? Do you know what this scoop was used for? Bid on this
and other NH primitives at the silent auction being held at St.
Stephen’s Church, Pittsfield, on Saturday, July 20
Be sure to circle Saturday, July 20 in red on your calendar and plan
to stop by the Summer Fair being held at St. Stephen’s Church, Main
Street, Pittsfield during Pittsfield’s Old Home Day.
In celebration of the church’s 150th anniversary, St. Stephen’s is
holding its biggest silent auction ever featuring authentic New
Hampshire primitives right out of the barn (can you identify what
the scoop in the picture was used for?) plus a wide variety of
unique articles and gift certificates including vintage sports
trading cards, a wonderful Brio train set in mint condition, a
gardening collection, four tickets to the Red Sox/White Sox game at
Fenway Park in September, and a new braided rug handmade by Joe Knox
The doors open at 8 AM. High bidders will be announced at the close
of the auction at 2 PM. You do not need to be present to win, but
you should be available to pick up your item once you receive a call
from the auction committee. See you at the Fair!
Local Author Publishes Novel
Shadow Dancers, a novel written by local author Levi (Wayne) Gallup,
was recently released by Divertir Publishing, LLC. Levi, a native of
Pittsfield and a PMHS graduate, served in the U.S. Army and returned
to Pittsfield in 1997.
Shadow Dancers is a supernatural thriller based in
northwest Texas. Levi invites his friends and neighbors to read his
novel and to place their honest reviews online at Amazon.com or
their favorite bookseller. Online booksellers may be accessed
through the book’s website:
Your Home Could Be Next, Please Read!
We are writing this letter to inform the community about the
increase in burglaries in the area. We have asked the police to
notify the public about the series of events but to date, they have
not done so. As a victim of a recent burglary, and as we hear more
burglaries are continuing to happen in our town and surrounding
communities, it is important for the public to be on High Alert.
As we hear from people in the area, we have tallied the recent
burglaries and/or break-ins in the greater Pittsfield area to over
25 and growing! This number is represented by only the burglaries we
have been told about by local people.
We are sure that there are more burglaries that we have not been
Our burglary happened during the day while we were at work. However,
some burglaries at local businesses have happened at night. It is
important to always be “on watch” and call the police with anything
out of the ordinary. We as a Community need to come together and
watch out for unusual vehicles and/or behaviors. Let’s all keep our
eyes and ears open so that none of you become another victim of this
Frank and Melissa Babcock
Summer Vacation Bible School Registration
Our Sunday, June 23rd Hip-Hop Hope Children’s Summer Vacation Bible
School registration/cookout resulted in a few sign ups. Thanks to
all who helped out. It was a hot sunny afternoon and the burgers and
hotdogs were super!
We are still accepting registrations for preschoolers through grade
6 for the August 5-9 Summer Vacation Bible School program to be held
evenings from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the First Congregational Church on
Main Street in Pittsfield. To obtain a registration form, or if you
have any questions, please call Sandra Adams at 435-8125.
Pittsfield Clothes Closet
The Clothes Closet, located on Carroll Street, is a busy place of
business for local patrons and an increasing number of area visitors
and new residents. Wouldn’t Vern Taylor and a small staff of
volunteers who started it all over twenty years ago be happily
surprised? At first, it was a matter of compiling donations of food
and clothing in the vacant Grammar School building to help the
needy. When the building was renovated to serve as the Town Hall,
the Food Pantry remained and the Clothes Closet was set up in the
rear section of what was Maxfield’s Hardware Store. Donations
increased in both number and kind. So did the volunteers. In time,
items were separated and sold at minimal cost to cover rent and
utilities. A few years ago a major remodeling project provided
improved space and a more attractive distribution of items resulting
in the nonprofit “shop” it is today.
Although the Clothes Closet continues to be a resource for the
needy, it also benefits town organizations and activities as well as
individuals involved in special volunteer projects. This year the
shop has provided assistance for several homeless and fire victim
families and made contributions to support Old Home Day, The Food
Pantry, Firemen’s Secret Santa program, Rotary Penny Sale, PYW
(Youth Workshop), Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Eagle Scout Projects,
Beautification and Flower Committees, Disabled Veterans, The
Pittsfield Police Association, The Senior Center and presented a
$1,000 scholarship to a graduating senior of Pittsfield Middle-High
Thanks to all who have generously supported us with donations and
purchases allowing us, in turn, to be generous to others.