The Pittsfield Area Senior Center on
Thursday, April 21, from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM is having their annual
Meals on Wheels (MOW) bake sale fundraiser so no senior goes hungry.
There will be a number of baked goods, including cookies, brownies,
breads, and pies. So come on in and purchase the delicious locally
made products while at the same time supporting the senior meal
programs. The center is located on 74 Main St. Pittsfield, NH it is
in the same building as the Pittsfield Community Center. If you have
any questions please call at 435-8482. Donations for the fundraiser
The Pittsfield Post Office is now
accepting passport applications. Hours aer 8-11 AM and 1-3 PM,
Monday through Friday.
Top VA Health
Care Official Announces Initiatives And Progress Made To Improve
Access To Care
New Initiatives Chart
Roadmap to Access-to-Care Improvements
Submitted Via Merrill
WASHINGTON – The
Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) top health care official today
announced progress and new steps VA is taking to improve Veterans
access to health care. Dr. David J. Shulkin, Under Secretary for
Health, announced the measures during a briefing to a group of more
than 100 journalists attending the Association of Health Care
Journalists’ conference April 8 in Cleveland, Ohio.
“We are working to rebuild the trust of
the American public and more importantly the trust of the Veterans
whom we are proud to serve,” said Dr. Shulkin. “We are taking action
and are seeing the results. We are serious about our work to improve
access to health care for our nation’s Veterans. We want them to
know that this is a new VA.”
During the briefing, Dr Shulkin discussed
a new initiative, MyVA Access. MyVA Access represents a major shift
for VA by putting Veterans more in control of how they receive their
health care. It is a top priority for VA’s Veterans Health
MyVA Access is a declaration from VHA
employees to the Veterans they care for; it is a call to action and
the reaffirmation of the core mission to provide quality care to
Veterans, and to offer that care as soon as possible to Veterans how
and where they desire to receive that care. The initiative ensures
that the entire VA health care system is engaged in the
transformation of VA into a Veteran-centered service organization,
incorporating aspirational goals such as same day access to mental
health and primary care services for Veterans when it is medically
necessary. At present, 34 VA facilities offer same-day appointments,
and as a practicing physician, Dr. Shulkin currently sees Veterans
needing same-day appointments at the VA Medical Center in Manhattan.
VA is hoping to be able to offer same day appointments when it is
medically necessary at all of its medical centers by the end of
In addition, Dr. Shulkin introduced a new
smart phone app called the Veteran Appointment Request App. This app
allows Veterans to view, schedule and cancel primary care and mental
health appointments as well as track the status of the appointment
request and review upcoming appointments. It is currently available
in 10 locations and has received positive feedback from the vast
majority of Veterans using the app. VA expects to make the app
available to all Veterans by early 2017.
Other efforts underway include a website
enhancement that will allow Veterans to check wait times in real
time where ever they live – this includes new and existing patients
and a new, easy-to-use scheduling software program. The new program
is being piloted in 10 sites and is expected to reduce scheduling
errors and enhance VA’s ability to measure and track supply, demand
MyVA Access is part of MyVA, introduced in
2014 by VA Secretary Robert McDonald following one of the most
challenging times in the history of VA. MyVA is centered around the
needs of Veterans by putting them first in everything VA does. Since
that time, VA has made significant progress in addition to the new
initiatives announced by Dr. Shulkin.
Among the health care progress made:
Nationally, VA completed more than 57.36
million appointments from March 1, 2015 through February 29, 2016.
This represents an increase of 1.6 million more appointments than
were completed during the same time period in 2014/2015.
VHA and Choice contractors created over 3 million authorizations for
Veterans to receive care in the private sector from February 1, 2015
through January 31, 2016. This represents a 12 percent
increase in authorizations when compared to the same period in
From FY 2014 to FY 2015, Community Care
appointments increased approximately 20 percent from 17.7 million in
FY 2014 to 21.3 million in FY 2015.
VA completed 96.46 percent of appointments
in February 2016 within 30 days of clinically indicated or Veteran’s
In FY 2015, VA activated 2.2 million
square feet of space for clinical, mental health, long-term care,
and associated support facilities to care for Veterans.
VA held two Access Stand Downs, focusing
on patients with the most urgent health care needs first. During a
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 earlier appointments.
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.
VA is also working to increase clinical
staff, add space and locations in areas where demand is increasing
and extending clinic hours into nights and weekends, all of which
have helped increase access to care even as demand for services
VA is addressing critical components
necessary for the delivery of a seamless community care experience
by consolidating all purchased care programs into one Veterans
Choice Program (New VCP). The New VCP will clarify eligibility
requirements, strengthen VA’s high-performing network, streamline
clinical and administrative processes, and implement a care
coordination model across the continuum of care.
VHA offers an extensive community provider
network of over 257,000 providers through the PC3/Choice Programs
and more are joining each month.
VA Telehealth services are critical to
expanding access to VA care in more than 45 clinical areas.
In FY2015, 12 percent of all Veterans
enrolled for VA care received Telehealth based care. This includes
2.14 million telehealth visits, touching 677,000 Veterans.
VA Announces Future Site Of The VA National Archives
VA will have a home for the Department’s history in Dayton, OH
Submitted Via Merrill Vaughan
WASHINGTON – The Department of Veterans Affairs
today announced that the Dayton VA Medical Center has been
officially selected as the site for the National Department of
Veterans Affairs Archives. Secretary Robert A. McDonald made
the announcement this morning speaking to a group of Dayton-area
“I believe that history is incredibly important to VA. We’re
all about keeping the promises of the past to the Veterans of the
present and the future,” said Secretary McDonald. “With the
necessary capital improvements, I can announce today that the Dayton
Headquarters and Club House buildings will serve as a fitting home
for VA’s National Archives and we look forward to working with
community leaders to make the archive a reality and to improve the
lives of Veterans. “ Dayton has a long history of service to our
nation’s Veterans and is home to one of the original United States
Veterans’ facilities. The Ohio community has been caring for our
nation’s Veterans since the Civil War era when it housed a branch of
the A National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, a predecessor
to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Department of Veterans Affairs and its predecessor agencies have
generated archival records and artifacts from the time before the
Revolutionary War. Many of these historic materials are stored at
the Washington-area facilities of the National Archives and Records
Administration along with records from other federal agencies. VA is
one of the largest federal agencies and it owns more historic
buildings than any other civilian federal agency. Many of its
historical documents, photographs, artifacts, and other materials
are spread across the country in its 150 facilities under conditions
that do not meet federal curation standards. The VA Archive at
Dayton will enable VA to organize and protect its important heritage
and eventually share VA’s rich history with the public.
Phase Three Of The Floral Park Cemetery Fence Fund
Submitted By Carole
The fence company has been contacted and
phase three of the project is scheduled for the second or third week
of May – just in time for Memorial Day!!
Thanks again for all your positive comments and generous donations.
This has all been done without asking for any taxpayer funds!
I continue to collect funds for the project and am still in need of
Paul at Jitters has offered yet another chance to support this
project - please save the date – Thursday, May 5th from 4:30-8:00
p.m. at Jitters – an all-you can eat Italian buffet for $10.95,
which will include your beverage, lasagna, stuffed shells,
manicotti, shepherd’s pie, potato salad, mixed vegetables, biscuits
and assorted desserts. Come join the fun (we sure had a great
crowd at the March event) and support the continuation of the fence
on High Street. Thank you.
Submitted By Carl
Among the topics taken up at the meeting,
the subject of Pittsfield police patrolling in Barnstead was
discussed. Along with the Sheriffs Dept, the Town of Pittsfield is
accepting some patrol shifts to help cover Barnstead until a
permanent solution is settled on. We are making sure that our own
coverage is adequate before sending details over to keep Barnstead
covered as well. We’re glad to be of help to our neighbors and it
cannot be stressed enough that they are paying us at a rate that is
financially a sound decision, does not put us into overtime
situations in either town, and is a temporary solution to their
Apparently there is some misunderstanding
with the food pantry that was discussed. The Board certainly doesn’t
consider them a ‘detriment.’ Quite the opposite in fact, and it is
not out of choice that they must vacate the town hall basement, but
rather the fire code requirements for public access that we cannot
meet in that location. We continue to look for a solution.
The Franklin Street parking lot’s use by
the Pittsfield Players was considered, and approved on a temporary
basis until we come up with a final disposition of it- subject to
their taking on the responsibility for safety during use.
John Freeman came in to update us on
exploring tuitioning students to, and from, other schools, from the
School Board’s perspective. The Selectboard expressed its conviction
that any and all cost saving possibilities should at the very least
be up for discussion and consideration due to the very real need to
rein in our tax burden.
A little less time was used for real
estate liquidation this week- most importantly 85 Catamount St. is
being placed in a realtor’s hands right away. A step in the right
direction, with a long way to go.
Cabaret For A
April 23, 2016
He’s at it again! Come see what’s up at
the Cabaret for a Cure, Saturday, April 23 at 7:30 PM. Don’t say you
The Pittsfield Players once again give up
the stage to performers raising awareness of cancer and helping to
raise money for those fighting the battle. We honor those lives
touched by cancer and we join in memory of those no longer with us.
With song we will raise you up and remind you that you never walk
Some great performances, both touching and
upbeat, are planned with raffles throughout the evening to persuade
you to loosen the purse strings for The American Cancer Society and
The Lend Me A Hand Fund of the Payson Center of Concord Hospital,
benefiting those who are undergoing chemo treatment.
Come join us for a night of songs of hope.
Tickets may be reserved through the Pittsfield Players box office
(603) 435-8852; Forget-Me-Not Flowers and Gifts, Main Street,
Pittsfield or at the door the night of the performance. Doors open
at 6:30 pm for rush seating and the show starts at 7:30 pm at the
Scenic Theatre, 6 Depot Street, Pittsfield, NH on Saturday, April
Submitted By Lauren
Lauren Martin is a senior at Pittsfield
Middle High School in Pittsfield. Lauren is earning a Biology credit
based on research and experiments with the bee population through
the Extended Learning Opportunity Program and amateur beekeeper Kate
This article is the first in a series of
five that will focus on how to combat this problem locally.
Resources used, shared by request.
Honeybees are popular pollinators, for
their ability to move pollen from one plant to the next and make
honey from it. You might not know by watching the bees visiting your
garden, but they are in a crisis. Beekeeper’s domestic hives and
native bee populations alike have been taking hits to their
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) was a term
created in 2006, when declines first caught attention, and is still
used today. In the USDA’s article “Honey Bee Health and Colony
Collapse Disorder,” it’s mentioned that in 2006 the die off rate was
30-60% of bees in the United States (USDA). This was the highest
that losses had ever been in history, and researchers began trying
to assess the cause for a solution. Today we are still impacted by
CCD- in New Hampshire the rate of loss between 2014 and 2015 was
39.9% which is twice as high as it should be (ThinkProgress).
Originally, it was entirely unclear why
hives were left bare, but suspects have begun to appear. Varroa
mites, parasites that feed on honeybees, were visible in the remains
of some hives and tops the list. However, CCD is more than just the
final cause of death, and includes a web of factors. The Survey of
Honeybee Losses names several illnesses and diseases to be among the
causes. Decreased nutrition, climate change, a limited gene pool,
and the stress of shipping to pollinate crops are all things that
make surviving inevitable illnesses and mites much more difficult
for bees to cope with. But even with this knowledge, protecting the
hives is easier said than done, as the annual population continues
to decline more each year.
With so much at stake, beekeepers have high interests in preserving
their populations. European honeybees, or Apis mellifera, are the
most relied upon pollinators in the agricultural industry today.
Thousands of them pollinate crops like almonds, fruits, beans, and
onions- even vegetables like broccoli. Farmers rely on
commercial beekeepers and their honey bees to pollinate their crops.
The Survey of Honeybee Losses in the United States reports that,
“...honey bee pollination services to U.S. agriculture has been
estimated to be greater than 14 million dollars” (Engelsdorp).
That’s a lot of money to be resting on bee’s lives.
With so much at stake, beekeepers have
high interests in preserving their populations, but annual losses
continue to exceed the yearly expectation. This forces beekeepers to
move on if they want to continue turning any kind of profit. Few
people supporting could eventually cause the downfall of bee
populations at a large scale, making hives more difficult to sustain
and queens more difficult to get access two. Lessened bee
availability would affect local farmers and beekeepers, and possibly
remove important food staples from produce aisles altogether.
Eventually, CCD impact on the the garden-visiting bees could cause
local ecosystems to become unbalanced.
Submitted By John J.
From time to time, unfounded rumors circulate around town about what
is or isn’t happening in or about our schools. One of the most
persistent of these rumors is that our high school is not
accredited, which seems to be reborn every couple of years (FYI,
PMHS was first accredited in 1955; its most recent review was
successfully completed in 2011; we’re next due for review in 2021).
The latest rumor holds that the high school will be closing and that
high school students will be sent to school in one or more of our
neighboring towns. While I am happy to answer any questions
about our schools, I don’t typically respond to unfounded rumors.
However, with this current rumor, I’ve heard concerns from our
students and staff members about their futures, as both groups are
strongly loyal to our school and our community.
This one may have gotten its life from a question asked at the
February 3 Pittsfield Budget Committee Hearing. One of the
attendees wondered if a cost savings could be realized by the
closing of the high school and the tuitioning of our students to
another high school. The Concord Monitor then published a
front-page story that suggested this option was being given serious
Our Pittsfield School Board has continually expressed its support
for our schools and the exciting opportunities that are being
provided to our students at PMHS. However, because this issue
was raised, the Board requested that I research the impact such a
decision might have. Though not yet completed, my findings to
this point indicate clearly that such action would be more expensive
than continuing to educate our students in town.
Our Board did not hear from the public on this matter either during
the Annual School District Meeting in March nor during subsequent
School Board Meetings. Since the rumor has persisted, the
Board invites Pittsfield citizens who would like to address the
Board on this issue to speak at the usual public input segment of
the Board meeting on Thursday, May 19. The meeting starts at
5:30 p.m. and is held at PMHS in the Media Center (library).
Legion Loudon Post 88 News
Submitted By Shawn
Legion Post 88
In April we will have the new year’s slate
of officers installed. All officers who served last year have agreed
to serve another year. The only changes are that eventually Dave
Zarges will be taking over as the Boy Scout Charter Organizer
Representative for the Post. Dave will be the liaison between the
Legion and Troop 247 including the Pack. Your Commander is currently
serving in this position. I think Dave will better be able to the
post and scouts in this vital program our post sponsors. Mike Hartt
has agreed to serve as our Americanism and Child & Youth Officer.
Mike will be working with on implementing and continuing some of our
former traditional post sponsored programs such as the Oratorical
Program, Boys State and fund raising efforts to assist the children
of veterans. Look for more information and photographs from the
April 20th meeting in a future edition.
Our new post in coming along well. We had
our gas griddle from the former post moved and installed in the
kitchen. I’ve stopped in at the post and I’ve seen the progress that
Gregory Colarusso has been making inside. Perhaps you’ve noticed
some slight improvements to the outside of the building including
new lights and an upgraded electrical meter. Since we are converting
the building over to electric heat from the former hot air furnace
the electrical system needed to be upgraded.
We will be finalizing our Memorial Day
Parade plans at the May meeting. This year we will be forming the
parade up behind Jean Lee’s house on South Village Rd., across from
our old building site. There is ample space for parking and room for
the parade participants to line up. The grave markers and small
flags are in, our new flag pole for the American flag came in and
Dave Zarges has assembled it. He also reports the new flag covers
have been completed. These hand made covers will protect and keep
clean our flags when not in use. Thank you to Amy Zarges for making
them. At this time we will be out on May 14th replacing flags in the
town’s cemeteries. We’ll be looking for help from the Girls Scouts
and Boy Scouts to assist us with honoring our fallen heroes.
Our current membership stands at 95.89%.
We have had three members so far this year that have reported to our
highest Commander and one that has not renewed making it difficult
for us to make 100 percent for the year.
Myself and Larry Hemphill are your post
delegates this year and will be traveling to Lincoln on May 20th and
21st for our 98th Annual Convention. More details on the convention
This concludes my report, look for another
article and pictures after the installation meeting on April 20th at
Jeanne Watson of Pittsfield, NH, born
November 27, 1925 peacefully passed away on April 7th 2016. Jeanne
is survived by her husband Charles “Charlie” Watson of Pittsfield,
NH, and their children and families.
Formal obituary and arrangements will be
noticed and handled by Tom Petit of Petit and Still Oaks Funeral
Home later this Spring.