Conferences Being Scheduled Now Pittsfield Middle High School
Conferences are being scheduled from April 11th through April 22nd.
The purpose of a student-led conference is
for the student to take the lead role in a presentation that
articulates his or her academic, personal, and social growth. Each
student creates a portfolio that contains a collection of work,
reflections, and evidence of their growth over time to be used as a
communication tool regarding their learning.
Students may invite their parents, family
members, friends, teachers, and other community members to share in
If you would like to know more about
student led conferences at PMHS, please feel free to call us at
Legion Loudon Post 88
Submitted By Commander
L-R Department Commander John Graham, Annora Brown winner of
the Jr. Oratorical contest, D5 Commander Richard Dube & D5 Adjutant
We held our March meeting on the 17th with 16 members present plus
one new prospective new member. Gary Tasker from our building
committee gave us an update on the building renovations. The
bathroom had to be enlarged from the original specifications to meet
the new ADA requirements. A small amount of space will be
taken from the kitchen floor plan. It was recommended that we
consult with a kitchen designer on how to best utilize what existing
space and cabinetry that we have. In addition we will be
looking at replacing the kitchen stove and possibly our current gas
flat top griddle for a newer one. Gary also recommended that
the roof be replaced sooner than later. He and Stan will be getting
bids to replace the roof. Gary said he and Stan will be working on a
parking lot design and Tasker’s Landscaping will be donating the
labor and material for the landscaping.
Our Americanism Chairman Michael Hartt gave us a report on the High
School and Junior Oratorical programs. He showed us the
informational boards he made up and will be working on ones for Boys
State and Girls State programs. Applications for either
program are being accepted. Please contact Mike or myself for an
application or go to wwww.legionnh.org for more information and an
application. On March 5th Contoocook Post 81 hosted the District 5
Jr. Oratorical contest and Annora Brown a 6th grader won this year’s
competition and will advance to the state level competition to be
held on March 19th at Saint Anselm College in Manchester. For
her efforts she was awarded $100.00 from the District as well as an
additional $50.00 from our Post. We also voted to retroactively
award the High School Oratorical winner Sophomore Hana Testerman an
additional $100.00. Hana and her mother will be traveling to The
2016 National Finals April 16-17 in Indianapolis to compete against
her peers from the other states.
We voted to make a $100.00 donation to the
Global War on Terrorism Memorial that will be erected at the NH
Veteran’s Cemetery in Boscawen. We also voted to spend money to buy
a new parade flag pole, three handmade bags to cover and protect our
flags when not in use. We also voted to purchase two gross (144 per
gross) of grave marker flags, holders and stationary for our
We will be sending me and Larry Hemphill
as delegates to the May convention to be held in Littleton. We took
nominations for post officers for the 2016-2017 year. All positions
where unchallenged so there will be no new names being sworn in. I
did nominate a few individuals to serve as Committee chairpersons
for Boy Scouts, Americanism, Children and Youth and Community
Swearing in for all officers will be at
the April 20th meeting. We welcome family members as well as post
members to come out and support those who have once again
volunteered to serve your post. We will be having a light dinner
buffet following the installation. We’d love to see some support
from our membership.
We received a Thank You letter from the
Marine Corps Toys for Tots program for our $150.00 donation this
past December. We tabled for further discussion the
possibility of making a donation to Bishop Brady High School for
their permanent memorial honoring their veteran alumni. I’ve
been in contact with the school’s director of fund raising who will
be sending us a packet of information.
Our Commanders Fund Raffle winners March where: $50-S. Elliott,
$25-G. Timmins, $10-B. Boardman, $10-J. Sweeney & $5-L. DiCecca.
April drawing winners where: $50-D. Chamberlain, $25-H.
Elliott, $10-H. Stevens, $10-S. Dyment & $5-C. Ives.
Congratulations to all of the winners.
Our next meeting/installation is scheduled
for April 20th at 1900, at Charlie’s Barn.
Update On The
Floral Park Cemetery Fence Fund
Submitted By Carole
Thank you to all of you who attended the fence fundraiser at
Jitter’s Café on St. Patrick’s Day. What a fun festive evening
– it was a sell-out! Thanks to you, I now have an
additional $1,285 for the fence fund. Apologies to those who waited
outside and were told that the event was sold out. It was
extremely difficult to plan on how many people would be in
attendance. Special thanks to Paul and David for all their
hard work in preparing the meal and providing the facility for such
an event – Pittsfield is extremely fortunate to have such caring
business owners who have always been so supportive of this project
as well as many others. Thank you to Paula Belliveau,
Ryan Wood, Pat Smith, and Joan Osborne for waiting on patrons, and
to Paul Richardson and Don Fife for washing dishes. We could
not have done it without you.
In order for Phase 3 of the fence project to be completed by
Memorial Day, I still need to raise another $7,500. This may
sound like an impossible task but Phase 1 and Phase 2 were completed
on budget and on time. We still have two months to raise these
funds and I am completely confident that with your help it can be
accomplished. Remember, thanks to all of you, this project has
been completed without any tax dollars.
Paul at Jitter’s Café has offered to do another fundraiser on
Thursday, May 5th with an Italian cuisine buffet. Please keep
this date open and come join us for another fun night out in
Pittsfield. More details on this event will be available in the very
Combat Veterans Get Telephonic Health Care Application
Accelerates Enrollment of Combat Veterans; All Veterans to Get
Option on July 5, 2016
Submitted Via Merrill Vaughan
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) announced today that it has amended its enrollment regulations
to allow Veterans to complete applications for enrollment in VA
health care by telephone without the need for a signed paper
application. The change is effective immediately for Combat Veterans
and will be effective July 5, 2016, for all Veterans.
This phased implementation accelerates
VA’s effort to enroll all Combat Veterans with pending applications
as part of its ongoing Veterans Enrollment Rework Project. The VA is
working to complete the review and rework of all pending health
enrollment records for living and deceased Veterans this summer.
Veterans can view the amended regulation on the Federal Register
“This improvement to our Veterans’
experience is one we can implement now, and it’s the right thing to
do for Veterans,” said VA Deputy Secretary Sloan D. Gibson,
“Enrolling all 31,000 Combat Veterans with pending applications is
the top priority in our effort to fix our enrollment system. Our
analysis of our current application process convinced me we could
enroll Veterans more quickly using this method, particularly Combat
Veterans and those who are transitioning from active duty to Veteran
status,” Gibson said.
By adding this telephone application option to VA’s regulations, VA
will now offer three ways to enroll. This change provides
Veterans an even more convenient way to apply for enrollment, in
addition to the paper VA Form 10-10 EZ and online enrollment
application process. With publication in the Federal Register today,
Combat Veterans may now apply by phone. All other Veterans may apply
by phone starting on July 5, 2016.
When Veterans choose to enroll, VA offers an enhancement to their
enrollment experience through “Welcome to VA” (W2VA). Veterans
enrolled since July 1, 2015 have received a personal introduction to
VA health care services, programs and resources to help them become
more familiar with VA’s services. In addition, VA sends each new
enrollee an introductory letter and personalized handbook in the
mail. W2VA enhances communication by reaching out to newly enrolled
Veterans through personal phone calls upon enrollment, providing
assistance with health care inquiries and assisting with their
initial appointment at their preferred VA healthcare facility.
For more information, Veterans can contact
the Health Eligibility Center Enrollment and Eligibility Division
toll free at 1-855-488-8440.
The March meeting of the Dorcas Guild of
the First Congregational Church of Pittsfield began with a welcome
to the attendees by President Mary Jo Powelson. Bev Murdough began
with devotions reading Psalm 96. All joined in “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Correspondence was read and cards were passed for signing. Both the
secretary’s report and treasurer’s report were accepted.
The food basket brought by Gailann Newton
went to MaryJo Powelson and will go next to Bev Murdough and then to
Audrey Moore; the mystery package brought by Linda Stasiak was won
by Bev Murdough.
We next discussed our project, which is twin-sized spreads,
blankets, hats and mittens, etc. for the VA. We will hold off on
purchasing the new plastic vestry tables until the spring. Easter
breakfast was discussed and the items still needed.
There will be a funeral service and
collation for Sally Lewis at the Congregational Church of North
Barnstead, May 21, possibly at 11 a.m. We will wait to hear about
Mission support for the Open Air
Ministries and the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness as well as
the World Day of Prayer organization were discussed. Motions were
made and carried to donate to each group.
While on the topic of the World Day of
Prayer, the Guild agreed to be the hosting group/church for the 2017
event. It will take place March 3, 2017 with the Philippines as the
The Women’s Fellowship of the Congregational Church of North
Barnstead is sponsoring the Eleventh Annual Retreat, “Women Rising:
Sensing God.” This is a daylong event Saturday, May 7, 8:15 a.m. to
4:15 p.m., at the Berakah Retreat and Spirituality Center, 96
Fairview Road, Pittsfield. The registration fee is $10. For more
information or to register, contact Clare Bolster at 776-1622 or
[email protected] by April 7.
Linda Towle gave an update on the nursery
refurbishment project and showed photos of what was done at another
church. She offered many modern ideas to include in our nursery
making it child-friendly and interesting. Background checks will be
needed for anyone volunteering with the children. Linda will
Bev Murdough mentioned the Pittsfield
Senior Center/Community Center’s need for new stoves. More
information will be coming.
A motion was made and approved to purchase
an Easter plant for placement in the church at Easter in memory of
deceased Dorcas Guild members.
Delicious refreshments were enjoyed by
all. Prayer Partner cards were passed around for “Secret Pal”
mailings and prayers. Next meeting is April 12 at 6:30 p.m. with
Peggy Jacobs and Gailann Newton as hostesses. Prayer Partners will
Submitted By Terrie
Well, Spring has sprung and the days are
getting longer and at TOPS we are getting busier with our TOPS Best
loser of week, Suzie, and KOPS best loser, Sandy. Great job ladies
and a kudos to our runners up! Miss Angel is Suzie. We know you can
We had an Easter Raffle and our winner of
that was Barbara. We have upcoming SRD in May, something to look
forward to. Pat had a nice crossword puzzle that we all did together
for our program.
To anyone who is trying to lose weight, we
welcome you because TOPS is a way to come to the scales and be
accountable each week and make some friends who are there to support
you, sending you a card or a phone call to keep you on track. Now is
the time to think about those summer clothes sitting in your closet
and I sure don’t want to have to go out and buy more just to have
them fit. So, if interested, come on out on a Tuesday night at 5:30
for weigh-in and our meeting at 6:30.
We meet at the Berakah on Fairview Road in
Pittsfield. Any questions please call Pat Smith at 435-5333 or Clair
Coll at 435-7271. We always welcome new faces! “Spring is a time to
find out where you are,who you are, and move forward where you are
going.”(Penelope Trunk) Hope everyone has a good week and see you
all lighter next week!
2016 Youth Tackle
Football And Cheer
We are a youth Football and Cheer program
formed on the belief that every child plays. We strive to offer an
environment that kids and parents will be proud to be a part of.
We are here to offer an organization to
help develop the ideals of sportsmanship, team work, honesty,
integrity, courage and loyalty in all of our participants.
The Bulldog organization has been formed
to coach football and cheer fundamentals to all student athletes
from but not limited to the following towns: Deerfield, Raymond,
Northwood, Pittsfield, Epsom, Chichester, Pembroke, Allenstown,
Hooksett, Candia and Auburn.
All games will be played locally in the
Grade Levels: 2nd/4th grade football &
cheer (instructional) 5th/6th grade football& cheer 7th/8th grade
football & cheer The bulldogs football/cheer board is committed to
providing our student atheletes with the most commited and
experienced football and cheerleading staff.
For information on the bulldogs program please contact: President
Joseph Brown 603-370-7764 or
Deerfield Parks and Recreation, George B White Building, 6pm to 8
pm, March 29th, April 5th and 19th Epsom Public Library, 9am to
11am, April 9th and April 23rd Pittsfield Public Library, 10am to
Noon, April 16th and April 30th Not for profit association.
This is not a school sponsered event.
Under Secretary For Health Meeting With Commission On Care
Submitted Via Merrill
WASHINGTON – Today, Under
Secretary for Health, Dr. David Shulkin, spoke to the Commission on
Care and shared the actions already underway to transform the
Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the vision to move it into
the future that embraces an integrated community care model.
Dr. Shulkin stressed the need for the
Commission to fulfill its collaborative mandate to fully explore all
options under its charter, and underscored that simply forcing a
choice between a community provider or the Department of Veterans
Affairs (VA ) will weaken the ability of VA to develop a truly
integrated community based network that can evolve and improve.
He expressed agreement on many issues of
concern that some members of the Commission have brought forth about
VHA, but also provided candid feedback where VA disagrees. He made
clear that we have made key advances in access, quality and patient
satisfaction within the larger transformation we call MyVA.
He also reminded Commissioners that the VA
health care system has an understanding of the consequences of
military exposure, PTSD, polytrauma care, prosthetics and other
types of care that are unrivaled by any other health care system in
the world. Any recommendations for reform must be sure not to impede
the contract VA has with Veterans to translate that understanding
into state-of-the-art care that helps Veterans manage illness and
achieve their highest level of health and well-being.
Dr. Shulkin made clear that VA is
committed to bold transformation and has already begun its largest
reorganization in history, which is MyVA. Defined as our effort to
modernize VA’s culture, processes and capabilities, we are
transforming the Department into a Veteran-centered service
organization. Within the 12 Breakthrough Priorities laid out by
Secretary McDonald, several focus squarely on health care outcomes
specifically improving access to care and improving community care.
We have submitted to Congress a plan to
streamline and untangle our community care programs so that we may
improve relationships with community providers, process and pay
claims more timely and assure that Veterans can see a community
provider within 30 days of their referral. We are also working with
Congress to enable the development of high performance networks.
We have established the Office for
Community Care, which is in charge of this effort and is
coordinating outsourced bill payments, improving the customer
service experience, and enhancing technology to support the exchange
of health information.
VHA created and has begun to implement the
Blueprint for Excellence, which offers a detailed vision for the
evolution of health services provided by VHA.
Increasing Access to Care
Dr. Shulkin laid out our efforts already
underway to increase access to care for Veterans highlighting the
two recent Access Stand Downs, and our efforts to focus on patients
with the most urgent health care needs first. During the nationwide
Access Stand Down that took place on February 27, the one-day event
resulted in VA reviewing the records of more than 80,000 Veterans to
get those waiting for urgent care off wait lists. 93 percent of
Veterans waiting for urgent care were contacted, with many receiving
VA increased its total clinical work
(direct patient care) by 10 percent over the last two years as
measured by private sector standards (relative value units). This
increase translates to roughly 20 million additional provider hours
of care for our Veterans. He also laid out our efforts to increase
clinical staff, add space and locations in areas where demand is
increasing and extend clinic hours into nights and weekends, all of
which have helped increase access to care even as demand for
Providing Quality Care
Dr. Shulkin discussed independent reports
showing good care is being delivered every day at VA including:
A recent study published in the Journal of
the American Medical Association in February 2015 shows that VA
delivers high-quality care for some of the sickest, most complicated
patients, finding specifically that VA hospitals had 30-day
risk-standardized mortality rates lower than those of non-VA
hospitals for acute myocardial infarction and heart failure.
The Independent Assessment found that VHA
health care quality is better on many measures than non-VA
providers’ care, VHA performed the same or significantly better on
average than the non-VA provider organizations on 12 of 14
effectiveness measures in the inpatient setting.
It also concluded that, on average, VHA
performed significantly better on 16 outpatient Healthcare
Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures of
effectiveness compared with commercial health maintenance
organizations (HMOs); on the 15 outpatient HEDIS measures of
effectiveness measures with Medicare HMOs.
A 2015 study documented that VA quality in
mental health care was better than private sector care by at least
30 percent on each of seven performance measures. Patients with
depression were more than twice as likely to get effective long-term
treatment than private sector patients.
Another 2015 study comparing cancer care
through VA, Medicare, Medi-Cal and private insurance found that
outcomes for VA patients compared favorably to patients with non-VA
health insurance. Moreover, VA patients were generally more likely
to receive recommended evidence-based treatment.
Measuring and Improving Patient
Satisfaction Dr. Shulkin shared key data showing patient
satisfaction. VA utilized sign-in kiosks at VA facilities all across
the country to assess patient satisfaction with their ability to get
their appointment when they wanted it. Eighty-nine percent of
Veterans were completely satisfied or satisfied with their ability
to get care when they wanted it.
Innovation and the Way Ahead
Dr. Shulkin talked to Commissioners about
the innovations taking place at VHA and some of the changes to come,
particularly as we continue to explore and add new ways for Veterans
to connect to their healthcare. VA has recently developed an app,
called Veteran Appointment Request, which allows Veterans enrolled
in the VA health care system to both request and directly schedule
VA appointments. The pilot for this app is targeted to begin in late
spring. Last Veterans Day, we launched Vets.gov, a centralized
website for VA online services. We will continue to add additional
services and functionality through the end of this calendar year.
VA research produces cutting-edge medical and prosthetic
breakthroughs that improve the lives of Veterans and others.
The list of accomplishments includes therapies for tuberculosis
following World War II, the implantable cardiac pacemaker, CAT
scans, functional electrical stimulation systems that allow patients
to move paralyzed limbs, the nicotine patch, the first successful
liver transplants, the first powered ankle-foot prosthesis, and a
vaccine for shingles. VA researchers also found that one
aspirin a day reduces by half the rate of death and nonfatal heart
attacks in patients with unstable angina. Today, we conduct
ground-breaking research on spinal cord injuries, the findings of
which inform the entire medical community for a population that
wouldn’t likely get the funding support of non-VA researchers.
VA is also at the forefront of evolving
the U.S. health care delivery model toward team-based care through
inter-professional education, and developing new capabilities
including quality, safety and value, health informatics and
analytics, telehealth, to name a few. VA has been an integral part
of health professions education in the country training 70 percent
of American doctors. It is also the largest employer of nurses in
Importantly, he laid out our ongoing work
to adopt best practices from the private sector and focus on
enhancing capabilities within VA for services that are not available
or as strong in the community.
In 2015, VHA completed 21.3 million
appointments in the community. VA supports local determinations of
Veteran needs and provider capabilities. However, forcing a choice
between a community provider or the VA will weaken the ability to
develop a truly integrated community based network that can evolve
Present Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform At Smart Fabrics Summit In
Innovative Solution Makes a Difference in Firefighter Safety and
Globe Manufacturing Company announced that
it has been invited by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the
Industrial Fabrics Association International to speak at the
first-ever Smart Fabrics Summit in Washington, DC on April 11. U.S.
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will moderate a panel of senior
level business leaders at the Summit.
“Recent advances in technology have
brought together the apparel, technology, and textile industries to
develop new capabilities in fabrics with the potential to change how
athletes, patients, soldiers, first responders, and everyday
consumers interact with their clothes and other textile products.
Known as ‘smart fabrics’, these new
high-tech products have the capability to interact with their user
or environment, including by tracking and communicating data about
their wearer or environment to other devices through embedded
sensors and conductive yarns.
To foster greater collaboration between
the U.S. apparel, technology, and textile industries and to identify
the public policies that could accelerate the design and manufacture
of smart fabrics products by U.S. companies, the Department of
Commerce in partnership with the Industrial Fabrics Association
International will host the Smart Fabrics Summit.”
Globe and its project team partner,
Propel, will present its Wearable Advanced Sensor Platform (WASP™),
the world’s only system for real-time monitoring of physiology and
location designed for firefighters and first responders. Globe will
present the multi-year process of bringing wearable technology for
firefighter monitoring from idea through to commercial availability.
Firefighters experience extreme
physiological stress during the course of their duties. According to
the U.S. Fire Administration, stress and overexertion account for
50% or more of firefighter line of duty deaths. Factors that affect
firefighter physiological responses include exertion of work
performed, elevated thermal environment, wearing heavily insulated
protective clothing, carrying heavy equipment, as well as individual
health status, fitness level, medication, and hydration level.
Firefighters are also exposed to extreme hazards during the course
of emergency response.
The WASP™ system tracks heart rate, heart
rate variability, estimated core body temperature, respiration rate,
activity levels, posture, and other physiological factors, as well
as 3D location inside a building.
Currently WASP™ provides instructors and
trainees at training academies with missionessential situational,
real-time awareness of both physiological status and
location/tracking of personnel to aid in decision making to improve
safety and outcomes during training. In the future, WASP™ will
provide a tool for incident commanders on scene to track the status
and location of team members to improve situational awareness and
potentially shorten the time needed for a rapid intervention team to
rescue a downed firefighter.
“Globe is committed to research and
development with the objective of advancing protection and safety
for every firefighter and first responder,” said Mark Mordecai,
Director of Business Development at Globe. “Using the WASP™ system
during live fire and resiliency training scenarios can help to
improve safety and outcomes and paves the way to using this wearable
technology in the field to improve safety for firefighters
everywhere. Together with health screening and physical fitness,
firefighter monitoring is a critical element to make sure that
everyone comes home.”
Globe’s WASP™ system is now commercially
available to training academies and special operations teams and is
being installed at the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute
(IFSI) in Champaign, Illinois.
WASP™ qualifies for FEMA’s Assistance to
Firefighters Grants, the goal of which is to enhance the safety of
the public and firefighters with respect to fire-related hazards by
providing direct financial assistance to eligible fire departments,
nonaffiliated emergency medical services organizations, and state
fire training academies for critically needed resources to equip and
train emergency personnel to recognized standards, enhance
operations efficiencies, foster interoperability, and support
Detailed information about WASP™ is
Raffle To Benefit Baby Life Home
On April 5, 2016, the Josiah Carpenter Library and Pittsfield
Middle High School will be hosting local author, Dan Szczesny, at
PMHS. Mr. Szczesny will be discussing his book, “The Nepal
Chronicles.” After the devastating earthquake in Nepal in
April 2015, Mr. Szczesny and his wife decided to help the orphanage
in Nepal which had been destroyed by the earthquake. Proceeds
from his book have already gone to fund a roof for the orphanage.
In conjunction with Dan Szczesny’s book presentation, The Friends of
the Josiah Carpenter Library are holding a raffle, of which, all
monies will go to the “Baby Life Home” orphanage in Nepal to
purchase educational materials for the children. Please help
the Friends with this worthy cause by purchasing raffle tickets.
Tickets are being sold, now through April 5th, for $1 each or 6 for
$5, and may be bought at the Josiah Carpenter Library or for more
information call 435-8406.
Items included in this raffle are 3 hand
woven Nepalese “purses”, a Kathmandu T-shirt, a Nepali Phrasebook &
Dictionary, the wilderness book “Soft Paths”, a campers guide to
Knot Tying, a handmade beaded bracelet, and a signed copy of the
book “The Nepal Chronicles.”
Thank you for your valuable support !
Epping Well & Pump Celebrates 30 Years In
Thirty years ago, in January 1986, Henry DeBoer opened the doors to
Epping Well & Pump on route 125 in Epping. Since then, they’ve
expanded to include an office in Pittsfield, as well as a NELAC
accredited drinking water lab in Lee. Servicing their
customer’s needs in water testing, water treatment, wells & pumps,
irrigation system design and installation, and the operation of
small community water systems, has kept them growing, even with
changes in the economy over the years.
Congratulations to Epping Well, Henry
DeBoer and his staff for being successful for thirty years of
business and for giving back to the community, the state, and around
Epping Well has given back to the community through educational
outreach to local schools as well as by being involved with the
Epping Youth Athletic Association and local scout troops since the
1990’s. In the early 2000’s, Epping Well donated the design,
materials and installation of irrigation systems at Mary Blair and
Michael Regan fields. They continue to start-up, service and
winterize these systems every year. In 2012, they took on a
very long distance project by donating well pumps and solar panels
to the Congo Village School Project in Africa. The mission of
the project was to drill a local well with a solar powered pump.
Sara Brettell, representative of the Congo Village School Project,
sent a thank-you note that, in part, reads, “Your generous gift will
free people, especially women, to attend school, instead of walking
2 ½ hours round trip each day carrying the only water currently
available to them, contaminated river water, to their
families. With your help, a legacy is being created which will
improve the villagers’ health, literacy and prosperity.”
NH Water Works Association, NH Water Well
Association, Irrigation Association of New England and New England
Water Works Association are just a few of the professional groups
that Mr. DeBoer and his employees have worked with.
“We are the epitome of the opportunity that America gives its
citizens to create their own opportunities. If you work hard
in this country and you provide an honest product with integrity,
then this country will afford you the capability of being
successful. We provide a professional and unique service for
our customers and offer training and advancement opportunities for
all of our employees. There is nothing that makes me feel more
successful than the success of my own employees and seeing them
fulfil the American dream.” says Henry An employee of 24 years,
Wayne Titus states, “I talk with repeat and first time customers
every day. Listening to their panicked calls and being able to
help them is a great feeling.” Abby Fopiano, Professional
Geologist and General Manager of Epping Well agrees. “Working for
Henry and our customers is very rewarding. First, it seems
like we are always giving, helping those in need and providing the
right solution to our customers water problems. Second, I honestly
think there is no other company that truly cares about their
employees as much as ours.”
Buddhist Spring Workshops
Submitted By Deb Godin
Sage Wellness Center at 175 Barnstead
Road, Pittsfield, NH, will be holding two Buddhist workshops
starting on Tuesday April 5th and Thursday April 7th, both from 6:00
to 7:00 PM.
The Tuesday workshop is intended for those
who have taken previous Buddhist workshops at Sage Wellness, and the
Thursday workshop is intended for those who are new to Buddhism or
wishing a review.
Both workshops will be led by Tom Adamson.
Tom Adamson is a retired University Professor, Buddhist researcher,
author, and teacher of Applied Buddhist studies. He has edited
several books on the subject and his latest work “The Secular
Buddha” was released this year. He lives in New Hampshire with his
wife, two cats, and dog. He practices T’ai Chi, meditation, writes,
and enjoys teaching.
There will be an open house at Sage
Wellness Center with Tom who will be there from 4:00 to 6:00 PM on
Thursday, March 31, to discuss the workshops. All are invited to
attend. Refreshments and tea will be available.
The Tuesday workshop will be on-going
until late Fall. The Thursday workshop will be conducted in eight
week sessions. Each workshop is only $12.00 per sessions or $10.00
per session if you wish to pay ahead for future sessions.
For more information, you may, contact Tom at 435-7695, or visit the
Sage Wellness web site at:
Submitted By Carl Anderson, Selectman
Selectboard meeting 3/22/16 in brief; the
board voted to put some repairs into the highway dept. loader in
order to keep it in good running condition and get a lot more use
out of this expensive piece of equipment.
A citizen concern regarding the lack of a
crosswalk at Tilton Hill and Manchester St. will be looked into, to
see if the situation will be part of the Safe Routes to school the
town voted for, or whether we need to address it separately.
Again this week there were numerous tax
abatements to act on. There was discussion regarding the accuracy of
not only the original assessments, but the abated/denied requests as
well. A popular solution seems to be to hire our own part-time
assessor, with the proper credentials, who is better positioned to
address individual discrepancies that undeniably exist. This would
be a cost saver as well- hiring a large company has proven very
The board is moving forward with plans to
liquidate several town owned properties with the goal of recouping
the outstanding taxes and costs (which is all we are allowed to keep
from a sale) and to get them back on the tax rolls as quickly as
Our regular meeting on Tuesday, April 26,
will be dedicated to an informal public forum and allow general
information gathering by and from the boards, who will all be there.
Public input is critical for decisions regarding a number of items,
including but not limited to: overnight parking ban, cost/benefit of
continuing the drug dog/K9 handler program, and sharing of services
with neighboring towns.
Some decisions of the board appear, to me
at least, to be “no-brainers.” Others have impact on both sides of
an issue and a lot of thought needs to be put into what we all hope
is the right answer. It’s very hard to address a major concern
without doing so on someone’s toes- however, it comes with the
territory. We will be providing written questionaires that can be
filled out privately so the public input will be as representative
VA To Commemorate 50th Anniversary Of The
Exemplifies a MyVA priority to Improve the Veteran
Experience While Thanking Vietnam Veterans and Their Families
Submitted Via Merrill Vaughan
WASHINGTON – The Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced it will conduct hundreds of
events in VA facilities across the nation on Mar. 29 to recognize,
honor and thank U.S. Vietnam Veterans and their families for their
service and sacrifices as part of the national Vietnam War
VA Secretary Robert McDonald will host a wreath-laying ceremony at
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial – “The Wall” to initiate VA’s
contribution to the Commemoration. He will be joined by
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. “We are proud to partner with the
Department of Defense in this endeavor. Secretary Carter’s
Vietnam War Commemoration staff has greatly assisted us in planning
this humble tribute to our Vietnam Veterans and their families.”
VA, along with more than 9,000
organizations across the country, has joined with the Department of
Defense as a Commemorative Partner to help Americans honor our
nation’s Vietnam Veterans.
Authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense,
and launched by the President in May 2012, the Vietnam War
Commemoration recognizes all men and women who served on active duty
in the U.S. Armed Forces from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975.
Nine million Americans, approximately 7 million living today, served
during that period, and the Commemoration makes no distinction
between Veterans who served in-county, in-theater, or were stationed
elsewhere during those 20 years. All answered the call of
“This Commemoration has special significance for those of us at VA
because of our honored mission to serve those who have “borne the
battle,” said McDonald. “It’s also an opportunity to remember
our VA colleagues who served in this generation of Veterans, to
extend our heartfelt appreciation to them and to their families who
shared the burden of their loved one’s service.”
More than 329 VA medical centers, regional
benefit offices and national cemeteries will host events, many in
partnership with local Veteran service organizations and volunteers.
By presidential proclamation issued on May
25, 2012, the Commemoration extends from its inaugural event on
Memorial Day 2012 through Veterans Day 2025.
Commemorative Partners – local, state and national organizations,
businesses, corporations and governmental agencies – have committed
to publicly thank and honor Vietnam Veterans and their families on
behalf of the nation and have pledged to host a minimum of two
To learn more about the Vietnam War Commemoration, go to:
Mike’s Meat Shoppe - Keeping The Faith
By Meggin Dail
It’s a family affair at Mike’s with M.J.,
Jacob, Brenda and Mike all on board.
Webster’s Dictionary defines faith as
“(noun); strong belief or trust in someone or something.” When one
has a calling, defined by Mr. Webster as “a strong desire to spend
your life doing a certain kind of work” or “the work that a person
does or should be doing,” it is not only his/her desire to do what
he is doing, it’s as if he must do it if he is to be content. You
don’t choose your calling, it chooses you.
What does all this have to do with Mike’s
Meat Shoppe? The answer may surprise you. Mike Courchene got his
calling when he was eight years old. He stood in his backyard
watching Victor Huse slaughter a pig and knew that it would be
something he, too, would someday want to call his profession. While
it may be hard to believe that an eight year old could find his
calling so young, all you have to do is spend a little time talking
to Mike to know the truth.
Mike has an affinity for meat cutting. He
loves the activity from start to finish. Starting with the whole
animal and cutting it down until every piece is packaged nicely for
you to bring home.
At sixteen, Mike began working at Hardy’s
Market, here in Pittsfield, in the butcher shop. Mike is a meat
cutter. A meat cutter is an artist, someone who can envision each
cut of meat and how to make it the most appealing in the store and
then on your plate. Being an artist of meat is a talent, a talent
Mike picked up along the way under the wings of Victor Huse and
Brody Wilcox. Victor instilled in Mike the passion for the
profession and Brody helped him hone his instincts. By the time Mike
was nineteen years old and working at Twin M under Brody’s guidance,
Mike had practically mastered his calling. Brody showed Mike how to
cut down the full pig rather than just the boxed parts as is common
at grocery butcher shops. Cutting down the whole animal is much
harder than cutting the boxed parts not only because you have to
recognize the animals and its parts but because it’s more physically
demanding, after all these animals are hundreds of pounds. Soon Mike
had it down and while working at Twin M had a small, after-hours
business taking in full animals and cutting them down for customers.
Once again, Huse was at the scene, spreading the word to local
farmers that there was an experienced meat cutter in town open for
business. Mike would get done cutting his orders somewhere around 1
AM and have to be up at the meat counter again at 5 AM.
By this time, Mike knew the meat cutting business inside and out. He
had converted his dad’s garage and worked out of that for sixteen
years; smoking, curing and wrapping meat. The time came that he
outgrew the small garage and had people encouraging him to open up a
store. You could say Mike’s staunchest supporter was his wife,
Brenda. Brenda has known Mike for 24 years and they’ve been together
for eleven of those.
Mike and Brenda love what they do. For a
short time Mike worked for a supermarket chain in Concord and soon
realized his folly. “In that job, I lost the local flare of people I
knew coming to me with their animals. There was no creativity to the
meat cutting, no personal one-on-one with the customers.”
“He was miserable,” agrees Brenda.
With a knowing look in her direction Mike
declares, “I was an ornery cuss.” Brenda nods and smiles. “But now I
know what I need to do.”
Brenda is no silent partner in Mike’s Meat
Shoppe, though she gets teased that her name’s not on the sign. She
can answer any questions you may have about the process. She knows
just as much about the meat cutting business and is not afraid of
getting her hands dirty. In fact when Mike was out of commission
after his shoulder surgery (yes, a result of how physically
demanding this profession is) Brenda ran the business almost
single-handedly. While Victor Huse and M.J. were doing the whole
animal cutting Brenda was scheduling the pigs, smoking the meats,
curing, wrapping, but it wasn’t easy. The stress of trying to keep
up with orders put some major strain on both Brenda and Mike, which,
ironically helped fuel the decision to move the shop. They had faith
that this was the direction they needed to go.
Roger and Janet Heath had approached the Courchenes about leasing
the building on Upper City for their business that was quickly
growing in popularity. Brenda and Mike had toyed with the idea off
and on but it wasn’t until the weekend before Easter 2015 that the
dream became reality. This reality was a boon the locals who already
knew Mike and Brenda and loved their work and their product.
Realizing how quickly popular Mike’s Meat Shoppe became, they knew
they needed to completely move the business, after all, Brenda was
taking orders at the store while sons, M.J. (Mike Junior) Courchene
and Jacob Nickerson were running back and forth to Mike’s place
further up Upper City to pick up the cut meat and bring it back to
the store. This was crazy and they knew something had to be
Mike’s Meat Shoppe closed in August of 2015, mere months after it
had opened. The plan was expansion. The Heaths were all for the
Courchenes leasing the rest of the building and converting it into a
meat-cutting, cold storage, meat smoking, full scale retail shop.
Mike refers to the this as “the big scary step,” but his faith paid
It took Mike and Brenda another five
months to move the meat cutting business to its new home, just a
little ways down the road on Upper City and they re-opened Mike’s
Meat Shoppe Valentine’s weekend 2016 to the delight of their
customers, old and new.
It’s obvious that the Courchenes are passionate about what they do.
Mike takes a lot of pride and loves his job. While Mike refers to
Brenda as “the face” of the store, the one being out front most of
the time, it’s clear they are both equally knowledgeable to answer
your questions and produce your meat cutting needs. It seems M.J.
might have received the same calling as dad and has been holding a
knife since he was six years old. Son, Jacob Nickerson
recently joined the family business and son, Corey Courchene
occasionally comes down from Maine on weekends just to cut bacon.
Mike says he owes so much to Victor Huse and Brody Wilcox, his
mentors in meat cutting; Brett Tiede, who taught him how to smoke
meat at Tiede Farm Smokehouse; Roger and Jan Heath for the
encouragement, support and gift of the store mascot, Boss Hog;
Alfred “Tiny” Courchene for the use of the garage for 16 years,
family, friends and the general public who have been so supportive
of the local, family owned and operated business of Mike’s Meat
Please drop by for fresh meat, cut,
smoked, cured, wrapped on premises; samples; tours; recipe advice
and enjoy the local flavors of the other shop artisans’ maple syrup,
bread, jams, and more. And as always, as Mike says, “Keep the
Faith!” He sure did and looked how it turned out for him.
(P.S. Mike’s Meat Shoppe is looking for a
Farmers’ Market to set up this summer in their highly visible
parking lot. Call Brenda for more information 603-491-7966)