The signup dates to be held in the
Pittsfield Community Center are: March 9th, 5:30 to 8pm and March
12th, 10am to 12pm.
To the Voters of Pittsfield-
I would like to announce that I am seeking a three-year seat on the
Board of Selectmen. I am especially fond of volunteers – it’s
what makes Pittsfield so special.
Many of you know me as Chairman of the Beautification Committee, a
past school board member, past member of the master plan committee,
Vice Chairman of the Pittsfield High School Alumni Association,
a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and someone who is
single-handedly raising funds to replace the Floral Park Cemetery
Fence. I have a business administration degree from Franklin
Pierce College and spent over 30 years working with the Legislature
in the Office of the Legislative Budget Assistant.
I am especially concerned with the number of homes for sale and the
wonderful people that have left our community because of the tax
rate, and the fact that they feel no one listens to their pleas for
common sense. I am a lifelong resident of Pittsfield and
have a great concern for our retirees, young families and residents
that live on fixed incomes – we cannot continue to support such high
We need to establish a needs list, not a wants list – we need to
look very carefully at our budgets and ask our department heads to
think outside the box. I am very concerned that
decisions are being made in non-public sessions and money is being
spent foolishly without any thought to the affect it will have on
I am a good listener, and anyone who knows me, knows that I have no
problem speaking up. I am not a politician – just someone who
loves Pittsfield and wants to bring some common sense back into the
mix. If this is what you are looking for, please vote for me.
Benefits For Veterans Strengthened By $182 Billion VA Budget
Submitted Via Merrill
WASHINGTON – In his FY
2017 budget, President Obama is proposing $182.3 billion for the
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Funding will continue to
support the largest transformation in VA history; expand access to
timely, high-quality health care and benefits; and advance efforts
to end homelessness among Veterans.
“VA has before it one of the greatest opportunities in its history
to transform the way it cares for our Veterans who nobly served and
sacrificed for our Nation,” said VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald.
“As we work to become a more efficient, effective and responsive,
Veteran-centric Department, we can’t do it alone; we need the help
of Congress. This year, VA submitted over 100 legislative
proposals, including 40 new proposals to better serve Veterans. Our
goal is provide the best care to our Veterans while removing
obstacles or barriers that prevent them from getting the care they
Highlights from the President’s 2017
Budget request for VA
The FY 2017 budget includes $78.7 billion in discretionary funding,
largely for health care and $103.6 billion for mandatory benefit
programs such as disability compensation and pensions. The $78.7
billion for discretionary spending is $3.6 billion (4.9 percent)
above the 2016 enacted level, including over $3.6 billion in medical
care collections from health insurers and Veteran copayments.
The budget also requests $70.0 billion, including collections, for
the 2018 advance appropriations for medical care, an increase of
$1.5 billion and 2.1 percent above the 2017 medical care budget
request. The request includes $103.9 billion in 2018 mandatory
advance appropriations for Compensation and Pensions, Readjustment
Benefits and Veterans Insurance and Indemnities benefits programs in
the Veterans Benefits Administration.
With a medical care budget of $68.6 billion, including collections,
VA is positioned to continue expanding health care services to its
millions of Veteran patients. Health care is being provided to
over 922,000Veterans who served in Operation Enduring
Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn/Operation
Inherent Resolve (OIR) and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel (OFS). Major
spending categories within the health care budget are:
$12.2 billion for care in the community;
$8.5 billion for long-term care;
$7.8 billion for mental health;
$1.6 billion for homeless Veterans;
$1.5 billion for Hepatitis-C treatments;
$725 million for Caregivers;
$601 million for spinal cord injuries; and
$284 million for traumatic brain injuries.
The President’s Budget ensures that care and other benefits are
available to Veterans when and where they need them. Among the
programs that will expand access under the proposed budget are:
$12.2 billion for care in the community
compared to $10.5 billion in 2015, a 16 percent increase;
$1.2 billion in telehealth funding, which
helps patients monitor chronic health care conditions and increases
access to care, especially in rural and remote locations;
$515 million for health care services
specifically designed for women, an increase of 8.5 percent over the
$836 million for the activation of new and
enhanced health care facilities;
$900 million for major and minor
construction projects, including funding for seismic corrections,
two new cemeteries, and two gravesite expansions; and
$171 million for improved customer service
by providing an integrated services delivery platform.
Improving the Efficiency of Claims
The President’s Budget provides for continued implementation of the
Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) robust Transformation Plan
-- a series of people, process, and technology initiatives -- in
2017. This plan will continue to systematically improve the
quality and efficiency of claims processing.
Major claims transformation initiatives in
the budget invest $323 million to bring leading-edge technology to
claims processing, including:
$180 million ($143 million in Information
Technology and $37 million in VBA) to enhance the electronic claims
processing system – the Veterans Benefits Management System (VBMS);
$143 million for Veterans Claims Intake
Program (VCIP) to continue conversion of paper records, such as
Veterans’ medical records, into electronic images and data in VBMS.
In addition, the President’s Budget supports increasing VBA’s
workforce to address staffing needs so it can continue to improve
the delivery of benefits to Veterans. As VBA continues to
receive and complete more disability compensation rating claims, the
volume of non-rating claims correspondingly increases. The
request for $54 million for 300 additional full-time equivalent
employees (FTE) and claims processing support will allow VBA to
provide more timely actions on non-rating claims.
The current appeals process is complicated and ineffective, and
Veterans on average are waiting about 5 years for a final decision
on an appeal that reaches the Board of Veterans’ Appeals, with
thousands waiting much longer. The 2017 Budget proposes a
Simplified Appeals initiative – legislation and resources – to
provide Veterans with a simple, fair, and streamlined appeals
process in which they would receive a final appeals decision within
one year from filing an appeal by 2021. The Budget requests
$156 million and 922 FTE for the Board, an increase of $46 million
and 242 FTE over 2016, as a down payment on a long-term, sustainable
plan to improve services to Veterans.
Ending Veterans Homelessness
The Administration has made the ending of Veteran homelessness a
national priority. The Budget requests $1.6 billion for
programs to prevent or reduce Veteran homelessness, including:
$300 million for Supportive Services for
Veteran Families (SSVF) to promote housing stability;
$496 million for the HUD-VASH program,
wherein VA provides case management services for at-risk Veterans
and their families and HUD provides permanent housing through its
Housing Choice Voucher program; and
$247 million in grant and per diem
payments that support temporary housing provided by community-based
The 2017 budget continues the largest Department-wide transformation
in VA’s history through the MyVA initiative, which is changing VA’s
culture, processes, and capabilities to put the needs, expectations
and interests of Veterans and their families first. MyVA has
developed five objectives fundamental to the transformation of VA:
1) improving the Veterans’ experience; 2) improving the employee
experience; 3) improving support service excellence; 4) establishing
a culture of continuous performance improvement; and 5) enhancing
strategic partnerships. To aid in this transformation, the
Department established the Veterans Experience Office (VEO).
The VEO will represent the voice of Veterans and their families in
Departmental governance; design and implement customer-centric
programs to make interactions with VA easier; and support VA’s
“mission owners” in carrying out MyVA improvements across the
Veterans Choice Act
The Veterans Choice Act provides $5 billion to increase Veterans’
access to health care by hiring more physicians and staff and
improving the VA’s physical infrastructure. It also provides
$10 billion through 2017 to establish a temporary program (the
Veterans Choice Program) to improve access to health care by
allowing eligible Veterans who meet certain wait-time or distance
standards to use eligible health care providers outside of the VA
system. In 2017, VA will use the Choice Act funds in concert
with annual appropriations to meet VA staffing and infrastructure
needs and expand non-VA care to Veterans who are eligible for the
Veterans Choice Program. VA plans to spend $1.4 billion in
2016 and $853 million in 2017 to support more than 9,700 new medical
care staff hired through the Choice Act; $980 million in 2016 and
$116 million in 2017 to improve VA facilities.
Other Key Services for Veterans
$286 million to administer VA’s system of
134 national cemeteries, including additional funding for operations
of new cemeteries and the National Shrine program to raise and
$4.3 billion for information technology
(IT), including investments to strengthen cybersecurity, modernize
Veterans’ electronic health records, improve Veterans’ access to
benefits, and enhance the IT infrastructure; and
$125 million for state cemetery grants and
state extended care grants.
Enhanced Oversight of VA’s programs
The 2017 budget requests an additional $23
million and 100 FTE for the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to
enhance oversight and assist the OIG in fulfilling its statutory
mission and making recommendations that will help VA improve the
care and services it provides.
VA operates the largest integrated health
care system in the country; the tenth largest life insurance program
in the Nation, with $1.3 trillion in coverage; monthly disability
compensation, pensions, and survivors benefits to 5.3 million
beneficiaries; educational assistance or vocational rehabilitation
benefits and services to nearly 1.2 million students; mortgage
guaranties to over 2 million homeowners; and the largest cemetery
system in the Nation.
Information about VA’s 2017 budget
submission and links to related documents may be found here.
Information about the President’s budget may be found here.
Period Now Open For 2016 Globe Gear Giveaway
Eligible departments can apply for four sets of turnouts at
Globe, DuPont Protection Technologies
(DuPont), and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) have teamed
up for the fifth year to provide new gear to volunteer fire
departments in need. The application period for the 2016 Globe Gear
Giveaway is now open, and eligible departments can apply for four
sets of CLASSIX® turnout gear for their members. Thirteen department
awards will be made, for a total of 52 sets of gear. Applications
are due by June 1, 2016. Apply now.
“The Globe Gear Giveaway is helping fill a
critical need for fire departments across the U.S. and Canada. As
demonstrated by the amount of applications we receive each year,
volunteer departments are constantly looking for ways to keep their
firefighters safe while operating on tight budgets,” said NVFC
Chairman Kevin D. Quinn. “On behalf of the NVFC and volunteer fire
departments nationwide, I am truly grateful to Globe and DuPont for
helping more and more departments provide their personnel with
compliant turnout gear.”
The Globe Gear Giveaway launched in 2012
to celebrate Globe’s 125th anniversary. As the world’s largest and
most trusted manufacturer of structural firesuits in the world,
Globe wanted to give back to the fire service and enhance the safety
and readiness of our nation’s first responders. To date, the program
has provided 299 sets of new turnout gear to 56 departments in need
to help them improve the safety and protection of their
firefighters. The first 500 applicants also receive a one-year
department membership to the NVFC, compliments of Globe. NVFC
membership comes with a wide array of benefits.
To be eligible to apply for four sets of
Globe gear, departments must meet the following requirements:
• be all-volunteer or mostly-volunteer
• serve a population of 25,000 or less
• be located in the U.S. or Canada and
legally organized under state/province law
• demonstrate a need for the gear
• department or person applying must be a
member of the NVFC. To help struggling departments meet the
membership criteria, Globe will provide a complimentary NVFC
Membership to the first 500 applicants.
“Globe is honored to give back to some of
the many volunteer fire departments with limited resources by
providing the most advanced turnout gear,” said Rob Freese, Senior
VP of Marketing at Globe Manufacturing Company. “We’re grateful for
the thousands of volunteer firefighters who protect our communities
every day. They deserve the best personal protection to ensure their
“DuPont is proud to be working together
with Globe to support the NVFC again this year through this much
needed gear donation program,” said Christine Christmas, North
American Marketing Manager, DuPont Protection Technologies. “With
our strong commitment to help protect our protectors we want to
ensure that they have the right gear to focus on their job and their
communities. Working with Globe we can make the best for the best –
100 percent of Globe’s turnout gear is made with DuPont™ Nomex® and
Kevlar® fibers providing proven protection and top performance.”
Learn more and apply for Globe gear today at
The deadline to apply is June 1, 2016. Winners will be announced
monthly between July and December.
District 5 Adjutant, Gerard Le Duc,
presents a award to Scott Ward, Commander of the Cram Peterson
American Legion Post 75. The award for the post receiving 100% of
it’s membership goal for the year 2016. The award was presented at
the post meeting on February. 1, 2016.
Dear Pittsfield Voter,
I am running for reelection to the
planning board, and I ask for the honor of your vote.
An important reason for you to vote for me
is that I save taxpayers money month after month. As planning board
secretary, I keep records and do routine research that the board
would have to pay an administrative secretary or lawyer to do if I
were not doing it for free. My work saves taxpayers thousands of
dollars each year.
When I was elected five years ago, I said
that I support land-use regulation when and only when the regulation
is clear, lawful, and necessary for a public purpose. My voting
record shows that I remain committed to that position.
I do a lot of homework to stay current on
land use law. I try to help applicants find the easiest way through
the process. I help the planning board avoid mistakes. Sometimes my
knowledge lets me find solutions that others miss. In this way, I
help the town and save taxpayer money because the town uses the town
attorney less when the planning board stays inside the law and
treats everyone fairly.
Although I try to help applicants whenever
possible, I never forget my own years of experience as an abutter in
the audience. ALL people must be treated fairly--BOTH applicants AND
abutters. I wrote zoning ordinance article 5, section 10, (b), which
the town adopted in 2014, and which requires the zoning board to
state specific reasons for granting or denying variances or special
I am proud of the work that I have done to
save taxpayers money and to make Pittsfield better. Please honor me
with your vote on Tuesday, March 8, 2016.
Deerstalking At The Scenic Theatre
Pictured are two of the cast of “The Game’s Afoot” —
Carole Neveux, portraying Martha Gillette, mother of William
Gillette, played by Marty Williams, right.
Coming to the Scenic Theatre in Pittsfield next month is Ken
Ludwig’s “The Game’s Afoot,” a Sherlock Holmes-themed mystery farce.
Carefully crafted for a cast of eight, it promises to challenge the
wits of mystery lovers who come to view this compelling and humorous
Marty Williams plays William Gillette, a character based on the
real-life American stage actor William Gillette, who portrayed
Sherlock Holmes for several decades. When a murder occurs in
his newly constructed mansion, it does not take Gillette long to
slip into the persona of Sherlock Holmes and attempt to solve the
case. But his dotty mother, Martha, portrayed by Carole
Neveux, seems to be aware of more about the murder than first
supposed. Is Martha’s medication and waning mental
faculties getting her in trouble? Can Gillette work together
with a distrusting female police inspector to solve the crime?
The Pittsfield Players’ production of “The Game’s Afoot” will be
performed March 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 7:30 pm and March 20 at 2 pm at
the Scenic Theatre, 6 Depot Street, Pittsfield, NH.
Letter To The Editor
I am looking to fill one of the three
seats open on the Board of Selectmen, for three years. Here’s what I
would work on:
#1 Stop the Town cops from busting people
for marijuana, because even though they mean well, busting people
for an herb is not helping with our real drug problem. Stop trying
to make us think it is.
#2 Live with the fact I can’t get rid of
the building inspector.
#3 Work on fixing the Town Hall basement
and the Library handicap access and foundation. Hire 20 kids with
shovels to put in a drain. Stipend 10 to 20 dollars a day.
Interviews to be given by Board of Selectmen.
#4 Meet every Tuesday at 6 PM.
#5 Vote enough money in the budget to
include the recording secretary for these extra meetings, and put
back in the budget, the selectmen’s pay. Put in $5,000 for LED
lighting for Town Hall.
I’m thinking long term.
Dan Schroth Piermarocchi
Anthony was born on January 17, 1976 and passed away on February 9,
2016. Anthony enjoyed every minute he could spend outdoors;
from fishing with his son Tyler, perfecting his daughter
Ashley’s softball technique, to snowmobiling and snowboarding.
He pursued a career in landscaping, and taught his children his
passion for it. He was a doting father. He was proud of
his children, and supported them in chasing their dreams.
Anthony loved spending as much time as he could with his children,
and those he loved.
Anthony is predeceased by his father, Alton E. Hanscom. He is
dearly missed and remembered by his children, Katelynn, Ashley, and
Tyler; his former wife Kelly Lorden, and her children Christopher,
and Brooklyn; by his mother, Gloria (Portigue) Hanscom; his brother
Jacob, and his sister Melissa; as well as many nieces and nephews,
other relatives and friends.
A Memorial Service was held on Saturday,
February 13, 2016 at the Park Street Baptist Church, Pittsfield.
The Cremation Society of NH is assisting
the family with arrangements.
Richard “Dick” Anthony
Richard “Dick” Anthony of Mt. Dora Florida
passed away in Eustis Florida on February 7th after a long illness.
Dick was born December 10th 1929 in Conway New Hampshire and lived
in Pittsfield New Hampshire for many years. He was an active member
of the Pittsfield Fire Department, rising to rank of Assistant
Chief. Dick worked for the Pittsfield School District and then
formed his own general contracting company, F & A Contractors, with
his brother-in-law Donald Farnham.
In Mt. Dora, Dick continued to work as a
“Handy Man,” built furniture, and wooden toys. He was an active
member of the Fraternal Order of Moose where he received numerous
awards for service. He also was very active with AMVETS, a veteran’s
service organization that provides support to all veterans.
Dick is survived by his daughter Tracy
Remington of Tucson, Arizona, his son Rick Anthony of Pittsfield,
and four grand children Nick and Ryan Remington of Tucson, Arizona
and Sage and Gabe Anthony of Pittsfield.
No services will be held at his request.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to St. Jude
Children’s Research Hospital.