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Pittsfield NH News

December 9, 2015

The Suncook Valley Sun News Archive is Maintained by Modern Concepts. We are NOT affliated in any way with the Suncook Valley Sun Newspaper.


Letter To The Editor


There has been some buzz about the ACLU’s condemnation of our town’s curfew ordinance. Some are disappointed with the threat of a lawsuit, and see it as an effort to undermine our freedom of choice to (ironically) restrict the freedom of others. Others will be pleased to finally be free of the startling curfew horn sounding at 9:00 pm every night. Incidentally, since I’m an early riser I appreciate the horn letting me know that it’s bedtime.


But I suppose we should ask ourselves what the real problem is here, and I can’t help but view it through the lens of my faith. I wasn’t yet living in Pittsfield when the curfew was established, but I imagine it was in reaction to mischief caused by adolescents roaming the streets after dark. So what does a curfew solve? Well, it lets us spend quieter evenings in our comfortable homes, sleep without disturbance, and wake up to graffiti-free public buildings. What does it fail to solve? It does not change the hearts and minds of kids with no stability at home or in spirit. It does not force parents to be better stewards of the miracle of life placed in their hands by a loving Creator. It does not give us, as believers, another opportunity to reach out to a troubled and broken world with the peace and love of Jesus.


For those of us in Pittsfield who are Christians, let’s ask ourselves why we are here. Are we here to build walls around our safe and comfortable lives, or are we here to shine a light into the darkness of the ignorance of God’s love? Let’s identify the real problem apart from political distractions, and apply a Gospel solution. We’ve been loved to love; blessed to be a blessing; made free of this life to give our lives away. Let the world see what Jesus is like through our lives.


David Harper



Sing-along Features Old-fashioned Christmas Carols

First Congregational’s Christmas sing-along, “Caroling, Caroling,” is set for this Friday, December 11, 7-8 p.m. The church is located at 24 Main Street, Pittsfield. The sing-along will include a variety of old favorite Christmas carols – with the original words – to sing or to just listen to. Light refreshments and fellowship will follow. Get into the Christmas spirit! Be sure to include this free enjoyable seasonal event for all ages in your holiday plans. There is parking and a wheelchair accessible entrance at rear of church at Chestnut Street. For more information call the church office at 435-7471.



Auditions Announced For “The Game’s Afoot”


The Pittsfield Players will hold open auditions for the March 2016 production of “The Game’s Afoot; or Holmes for the Holidays” at 7 pm on Sunday and Monday, December 13 and 14 at the Scenic Theatre, located at 6 Depot Street, Pittsfield.


Cast requirements for this award winning play by Ken Ludwig are eight adult (three male and five female) actors.  This madcap mystery-farce is a Sherlock Holmes-themed whodunit.


Auditioners will be asked to read from the script.  Performance dates for next spring’s play are March 11, 12, 18, 19, and 20.  For more information, contact Mike Hobson at 724-9060.



Pittsfield Players’ Kid’s Theater Workshop Will Hold Auditions For Music Man, Jr


The Pittsfield Players will hold auditions for their February Kid’s Theater Workshop production of Music Man, Jr. on Sunday and Monday, December 13 and 14 at 4 pm each day at The Scenic Theatre, 6 Depot St., Pittsfield, NH. The Workshop is open to kids ages 8 to 18, and is a program by kids, for kids. The show is performed two afternoons for local schools and three evenings for families and the general public right before February vacation, February 16 to February 20. Auditioners will be taught a song from the show and some simple dance steps and will be asked to read from the script. If you have any questions about the auditions, contact Maye Hart at [email protected] or at 736-9563.



Long-Term Energy Needs In The Pittsfield School District


The Pittsfield School Board organized several open meetings this fall to seek community input regarding the long-term energy needs of the district.  Meetings were held on the evenings of October 7, October 21, and November 18, in the PMHS media center (and were advertised on the school district website).


During the meetings, residents and school officials reviewed an energy audit conducted on the district’s facilities in 2011 (now somewhat outdated due to improvements made since the audit), discussed energy options in the current and future environments, and considered steps to support an efficient and sustainable approach to energy needs in the schools.


To gain additional information and support eventual decision-making, several steps are in the process of being completed; these include:


• Several vendors will be providing the district with cost estimates for the replacement of the current PES boilers (in their 27th year of service) with similar oil-fired boilers; • An application is being submitted to the New Hampshire Wood Energy Council to conduct a no-cost feasibility study of using wood products as an energy sources for schools; • A complete energy audit will be completed, providing an assessment of current and future needs, potential cost-saving measures, and proposed strategies for efficiency and sustainability.


As the district’s energy project is, in effect, being re-started and time will be needed for a thorough study and consideration of options, it not anticipated that a proposal will be brought forward for consideration at the March 2016 annual school district meeting.


The next open meeting will be scheduled once the feasibility study and energy audit are completed and received by the district.  The scheduling of this meeting will be announced on the district website and in The Suncook Valley Sun when established.


Individuals who participated in this fall’s meetings will be also notified by email when the next meeting is scheduled.  Pittsfield residents who would like to be personally informed of the next meeting are requested to email your request to:  [email protected].



VA Makes Changes To Veterans Choice Program

Changes Remove Barriers and Expands Access to Care

Submitted Via Merrill Vaughan


WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced a number of changes to make participation in the Veterans Choice Program easier and more convenient for Veterans who need to use it. The move, which streamlines eligibility requirements, follows feedback from Veterans along with organizations working on their behalf.


“As we implement the Veterans Choice Program, we are learning from our stakeholders what works and what needs to be refined,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald. “It is our goal to do all that we can to remove barriers that separate Veterans from the care they deserve.” To date, more than 400,000 medical appointments have been scheduled since the Veterans Choice Program went into effect on November 5, 2014.


Under the old policy, a Veteran was eligible for the Veterans Choice Program if he or she met the following criteria:


Enrolled in VA health care by 8/1/14 or able to enroll as a combat Veteran to be eligible for the Veterans Choice Program; Experienced unusual or excessive burden eligibility determined by geographical challenges, environmental factors or a medical condition impacting the Veteran’s ability to travel; Determined eligible based on the Veteran’s current residence being more than 40 miles driving distance from the closest VA medical facility.


Under the updated eligibility requirements, a Veteran is eligible for the Veterans Choice Program if he or she is enrolled in the VA health care system and meets at least one of the following criteria:


Told by his or her local VA medical facility that they will not be able to schedule an appointment for care within 30 days of the date the Veteran’s physician determines he/she needs to be seen or within 30 days of the date the Veteran wishes to be seen if there is no specific date from his or her physician; Lives more than 40 miles driving distance from the closest VA medical facility with a full-time primary care physician; Needs to travel by air, boat or ferry to the VA medical facility closest to his/her home; Faces an unusual or excessive burden in traveling to the closest VA medical facility based on geographic challenges, environmental factors, a medical condition, the nature or simplicity or frequency of the care needed and whether an attendant is needed. Staff at the Veteran’s local VA medical facility will work with him or her to determine if the Veteran  is eligible for any of these reasons; or Lives in a State or Territory without a full-service VA medical facility which includes: Alaska, Hawaii, New Hampshire (Note: this excludes New Hampshire Veterans who live within 20 miles of the White River Junction VAMC) and the United States Territories (excluding Puerto Rico, which has a full service VA medical facility).


Veterans seeking to use the Veterans Choice Program or wanting to know more about it, can call1-866-606-8198 to confirm their eligibility and to schedule an appointment.  For more details about the Veterans Choice Program and VA’s progress, visit:



A Note From The Pittsfield Historical Society

“Happy to share with you such as we’ve got, The leaks in the roof, the soup in the pot.”


But wait.  We don’t have leaks anymore thanks to the fastest roofing team around that was able to replace the roof at the Pittsfield Historical Society Museum in – about a day.  (And yes, that was a hot pink dumpster collecting the old shingles.)  So once again the treasures and memorabilia inside the museum are safe from the elements.


But wait.  We don’t have quite enough $$$ to pay for this new roof.  The bill came in at $9200, and unfortunately we’ve been able to raise only about half of that.  Not quite enough “soup in the pot.”


But wait.  Our friends and neighbors in Pittsfield and surrounding towns have been so very generous in the past, and we’re hoping they will be again, during this season of giving.  The Society is but one of several community groups asking/begging for donations to their individual causes.  We understand.


But wait.  Any amount of giving adds to the bottom line.  $5.  $50.  $500.  We’ll gladly accept whatever your heart and wallet can afford.  Please help the Society reach its full goal of $9200.


But wait.  You want to hear the end of the poem?


“You don’t have to thank us or laugh at our jokes, Sit deep and come often, you’re one of the folks.”


Sounds just like the good old days, no?


Merry Christmas to all.


Donations may be mailed (or dropped off at the Museum) and checks made payable to:  Pittsfield Historical Society, PO Box 173, Pittsfield, NH  03263.





To the good citizens of Pittsfield,

“The actual experience of the smoked herb has been clouded by a fog of unrespectability by the unthinking, unknowledgeable few who have not smoked themselves and yet insist upon setting themselves up as centres of propaganda about the said experience.” Allen Ginsberg With this quote in mind I ask your help in signing the following petition warrant article, and your vote at our Saturday Town Meeting Day in March.


To see if the Town will vote to reduce property taxes by means of allowing and taxing the production, sale or possession of up to 8 ounces of cannabis sativa, commonly known as marijuana. Said tax to be at the rate of $10.00 per unit produced or sold, imposed upon each transfer (production to sale) the proceeds of which are dedicated to being applied directly towards the reduction of Pittsfield’s property taxes.


The idea behind this proposal is to have no prosecution of any present marijuana crimes, and reduce property taxes. Remember, change don’t happen by itself.


Dan Schroth Piermarocchi



Candlelight Christmas Eve


Make your plans for a wonderful candlelight service Thursday evening, Christmas Eve, 7 p.m., at the First Congregational Church, 24 Main St., Pittsfield. The program includes beautiful music by the Chancel Choir and the JuBellation Handbell Choir, scripture lessons, the story of the first Christmas, the sanctuary bathed in candlelight and the singing of “Silent Night.” Bring the whole family for a lovely evening service. Parking and wheelchair accessible entry are available at rear of church at Chestnut Street. For more information, call the church office at 435-7471.



She Dreams In Flowers

By Meggin Dail


Gini Hayes, owner of Forget-Me-Not Flowers and Gifts invites you to take a peek and into her tiny, beautiful world.


Boxwood trees, Fairy Gardens, mini poinsettias and tiny holly plants, all available at Forget-Me-Not Flowers and Gifts for your little local Christmas!


There’s a tiny little shop in the middle of Pittsfield’s Main Street that has unassuming appearance and might just be missed if you don’t know about it. That shop is “Forget-Me-Not Flowers and Gifts” and is run by new owner, Gini Hayes.


Originally owned and operated by Paul Rogers and known as “The  Flower Shop” (and, in fact still bears that signage), “Forget Me Not Flowers and Gifts” was bought this summer by Hayes who had a lifelong dream of owning a flower shop one day, as evidenced in her high school yearbook.


Gini, who now lives in Strafford with her husband, Ken, grew up in Pittsfield as one of the Marstons of Webster Mills Road. You might know her brothers, Sam and Tom and sister, Betty; and most definitely you know her mom, Frannie Marston. I mention family here because Gini’s family is a big part of her life. When she was contemplating buying the shop it was her husband and family who debated with her, encouraged her and helped her to come up with a suitable name for the shop.


“I don’t necessarily have a green thumb myself but I love flowers. At lunch one day someone told me that I should be wearing a flower behind my ear to show I’m the shop owner. While I’m not the type to do such a thing, I was asked ‘Well what flower would you wear?” and a forget-me-not just came to mind and the name stuck.”


Right now, Forget-Me-Not Flowers and Gifts is the only flower shop in or around Pittsfield and while the shop seems small on the outside, once you walk through the door, you are transported to a world of sight and smell. The aroma of fresh flowers and the plethora of arrangements, gifts, cards, candles, boxwood trees, fairy garden terrariums  and wreaths are breathtaking.


While Gini spent most of her life doing other jobs, this is her dream, to own a little flower shop in a little town where she grew up and to spend time with customers who are also friends, even if she hasn’t met them yet. Plans for the future? “To just keep growing,” Gini says with a wink.



Don’t Punish A Job Well Done

Submitted By Senator John Reagan


Praising government agencies for a job well-done by reducing funding is a mistake we are watching play out in real-time at the Sununu Youth Services Center [SYSC].


This correctional institution was first established with the hope that we could change the habits of its residents: young people facing criminal charges. With this facility and programs, we aimed to reduce the odds that these youth would repeat criminal behavior that led to their incarceration in the first place. Young people are sent to SYSC by a judge, as a last resort to be treated for any underlying behavioral disorders and often sent through rehab because of drug or alcohol addiction. More than 250 girls and boys ages 11 to 17 are placed in the Sununu Center each year with an average time spent at the facility  ranging from three and six months.


SYSC has done a commendable and notable job of turning lives around for many young offenders, healing their families and changing attitudes. The SYSC has proven that it can steer a misguided young person on a path to a productive life supporting others by working, paying taxes, and not being a threat to local communities.


The Sununu Youth Services Center has been successful, but now, fewer young people are requiring incarceration and the services provided.


Unfortunately, SYSC may be victim to its own success.


The success of the program and short-sighted changes in state law has resulted in fewer individuals being committed to the center, causing many legislators to no longer see the need for the center. Budget reductions that threaten the Center’s closure are now in place, without a plan for the current residents if the center is forced to shut its doors.


It is a shame to see the state fail a successful resource like SYSC, which is a model agency for reforming incoming youth offenders.


Alternative uses for the facilities have been discussed, but many of these well-intended ideas are ill-suited for the purpose of the center’s programs or the facility’s physical structure. For example, it was suggested that the space be used as a homeless shelter a few years ago, but a performance audit found this to be a difficult, costly, and overall, a proposal not fitting for SYSC. And the latest idea, using the Center as a drug rehab hospital, would be prohibitively costly.


A child psychiatric facility, with modest building alterations, however, is feasible and could be a legitimate option for SYSC.


Currently, the state’s only secure psychiatric treatment facility is at New Hampshire Hospital, which continues to operate at capacity with local hospital emergency rooms holding patients awaiting openings. Removing the 18 year-old and younger patients from New Hampshire Hospital would free-up that number of beds that could be used for adults. This hold-without-treatment approach in private hospitals is bad for the patient, their families, and increases costs while often extending the length of treatment.


The Sununu Youth Services Center has the leadership, staff and contacts to allow the center to become a revenue generator, in addition to the work they do to improve the lives of offenders, their families and our communities.


We must not let the success of the Center lead to a reduction in the resources available prohibiting continued operations. Should the SYSC close,  I worry that we would see increased rates of recidivism due to lack of treatment for young offenders, leading our misguided young people on a track to becoming repeat adult offenders, which comes at a much higher cost to the state and a greater negative impact on our society.


The success at the Sununu Youth Services Center has proven that New Hampshire is a leader in the treatment of young offenders and I believe we should continue to support this effort. We have the staff, now let’s continue to make sure the resources are available to maintain a level of continued success and that we are using the Sununu Youth Services Center to the best of its ability.


Senator John Reagan (R-Deerfield) represents District 17 and is a member of the committee studying the Sununu Youth Services Center, chairs the Performance Audit Oversight Committee and is a member of the Senate Finance committee.


Further information: Senator John Reagan: 603-463-5945, 603-463-3009



Coming Soon!

Sanctuary Bodyworks And Sauna Coming to Pittsfield in January 2016:


The Sanctuary Bodyworks and Sauna, owned by Jan Lesieur (integrative skin care) and Nathalie Snyder (Lighthouse Therapeutic Massage).


In addition to all the excellent esthetic and therapeutic services already supplied by Nathalie and Jan, the Suncook Valley community will also have access to the health benefits of an infrared sauna.


The Sanctuary’s mission and purpose is to provide its clients with a safe, quiet, and nurturing place where one can go to recharge from life’s stresses and achieve better health through the detoxifying effects of infrared saunas.


For more information call Jan at 603-731-3855 or Nathalie at 603-608-2411 or visit and like The Sanctuary Bodyworks and Sauna on facebook.



Welcome, Mo!


Pittsfield Listens is growing- we welcome the newest member of the team, Mo Baxley! Mo joins us as our new Assistant Director/Organizer. She brings experience working on issue based public education and community organizing. She has worked in organizations at the local, state, and national level, in grassroots organizing, coalition building and legislative/policy efforts. Look for Mo around town as she joins us in this exciting work. Introduce yourself and say Hello!



What’s Up At PYW?

Submitted By Paula Martel, PYW Program Director




The Pittsfield Youth Workshop (PYW) is so grateful to have such great support from the community, schools, families, volunteers and staff!


As many of you already know, The Pittsfield Youth Workshop has been working diligently to improve the lives of the youth in Pittsfield for twenty nine years! We have had another very exciting year and look forward to many more years supporting the youth and families in our town. The generosity and support from community members like you has allowed us to increase programs that empower youth, build their self-esteem, and help them build stronger relationships and   leadership within the community. Over the past year, we have seen a steady  increase in youth membership - a total of 230 individual youth participated in our programs and activities during the last fiscal year (about 75% of the 6-12th grade youth population in Pittsfield). We have continued to see an increase in the number of youth attending our Drop-In programs each day. On several occasions well over 50 youth visited us on a single afternoon. Just imagine how many snacks we go through each day!


Most of us are grateful to have family, good health, a roof over our head, and food on the table. Not everyone is so lucky. If you feel you want to help but can’t give tangible items, volunteering time is a way to pay-it-forward, and it is a great way to give back to you community and to help others!


Sometimes we can get wrapped up in our day-to-day lives and we can forget to say thanks for the simple gestures or the continued support we receive. We hope that each and everyone of you that has helped support PYW in any way knows that it does not go unnoticed!


THANK YOU for all your support in 2015!


We hope you have a happy and safe Holiday Season!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!








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