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Pittsfield NH News

May 25, 2016

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


Pittsfield Citizen Of The Year


It is time to pick the 2016 Pittsfield Citizen of the Year. Who’s activities and accomplishments to better our town do you feel make them eligible for this year’s award? Please send the name of your nominee and the reason they should be Citizen of the Year to:


Citizen of the Year

P O Box 173

Pittsfield N H  03263

Nominations must be received by June 8, 2016.





The Pittsfield Beautification Committee will once again be participating in the Town Wide Yard Sale on Saturday June 4th and Sunday June 5th  (8 am to 2 pm).    We will be set up at Nancy & John Barto’s house at 515 Dowboro Rd. Pittsfield, just 3.5 miles from the center of Town.


Anyone who would like to donate items for our sale can drop them off at Nancy’s house.  We respectfully request that you do not bring items of clothing or any heavy items.


If anyone would like to make a monetary donation to the Beautification Committee, please send a check payable to The Pittsfield Beautification Committee, c/o Tina Fife 1394 Upper City Rd, Pittsfield NH 03263. Collection boxes can also be found at Town Hall, Bell Brothers, Jack’s Pizza, Town Pizza and Danis Market. 



The Suncook Valley Area Lions Club is seeking donations of new or gently used items for the Town Wide Yard Sale to be held on Sat, June 4 at Locke’s Location, Barnstead Road.  We are willing to take most anything (except we cannot accept TV’s or clothing).  If anyone is interested in renting a space from the Lions Club to set up their own yardsale - spots are available for $10.  Please call Laurie Vien at 435-5052 for more information or to arrange for drop-off or pick-up.  The Lions Club thanks you for your donations.




Drake Field Summer Recreation Program


The Drake Field Summer Recreation Program will begin on June 29 and end on August 6. The program is open Monday through Thursday and FREE to Pittsfield students in grades 1-8.


The summer program consist of sports activities, arts and crafts, children’s games, board games, field trips, water games, story time and many other fun and educational activities. Registration forms and calendars will be sent home through the school by the end of May. Forms may be returned to the school or you may register on June 29th at the park.


For more information please contact Mrs. Louise Sawyer at 267-6733.



The men and women of the Pittsfield American Legion Peterson-Cram Post 75 will hold its annual Memorial Day observance on Sunday, May 29th, 2016.  The day will begin at 10:00 A.M. with a memorial church service with Pittsfield First Congregational Church, 24 Main Street.  (All Post members are asked to be there by 9:45 A.M.)  Then at 1:00 P.M., the Memorial Day observance will begin at the Veterans Memorial, in Dustin Park on Main Street.


At this time, final plans are being firmed up, however, we will have a letter from United States Senator Kelly Ayotte, who is unable to attend.  We will, as in the past, pay a tribute to those who have paid the price and to honor those who are now serving our nation in a time of war.


For further information, contact the Post Chaplain and Project Officer, Merrill Vaughan at 603-344-0264



Congratulations to Paige Corliss who graduated May 7th from MCPHS University Boston with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Paige has been accepted into a residency program focused in ambulatory care, and is a 2010 graduate of Pittsfield Middle High School.



South Barnstead Cemetery Association annual meeting will be on June 5, 2016 at 11:00 AM at the South Barnstead Church, Route 126 Center Barnstead, NH.



If you have a child under 3 or are pregnant, Early Head Start will have openings soon! Fun activities, information, support, and learning experiences are provided through home visiting and play groups. Free for income eligible families. Call us at 435-6611 to jump start your child’s learning.



If you have a 3 or 4 year old child, Head Start has openings for the fall! We are a 5 day a week preschool program that provides lots of fun and learning to prepare your child for kindergarten. Breakfast and lunch are included. Free for income eligible families. Please call Susan Ireland at 225-3295 for more information.



Historical Society Designates Old Barn

Submitted By Larry Berkson

The Washington House and Attached Barns, c1864.


Allan Donovan and the Historical Plaque on Barn at 85 Tilton Hill Road


The Pittsfield Historical Society recently placed a plaque on Allan Donovan’s barn because of its age and significance to the town. Oral history tells us that it belonged to John Cram. Although the date that it was erected has been lost to history, it was at a very early time.


The timbers are hand-hued and vary in width from one end to another. The boards were cut with an up and down saw.


The barn was originally attached to the Washington House at the top of Factory Hill as shown in a picture taken in 1864. It may have been moved to Mr. Donovan’s house when it was owned by Charles T. Cram sometime before 1877 or between 1877 and 1879 when John Cram’s descendant John Cram owned it.



Support The Local Bees

Submitted By Lauren Martin


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 Dockham.


This is the fourth in a series of five articles that will focus on how to combat this problem locally. Resources used, shared by request.

Supporting local beekeepers helps domestic honey bees, but there are more bees that could use help. Often native bees are not included in efforts to create space and resources for their populations in conservation plans. Though what benefits native bees also helps domestic honey bees, they are often forgotten when planning efforts to help bees.


The first, and possibly most important, is to not panic when hives begin to swarm in early summer! Often times people worry that hives are setting up residence when they are only taking a break during travel. But even if found late, the bee hive can be taken care of by contacting a local bee keeper or bee association, like the Merrimack Valley Beekeepers, as opposed to exterminating them. Honey bees present no danger to most and often can benefit a local beekeeper that needs a queen.


Bee hotels are a good option for those that have the time for building one. Bee hotels can be built effectively with some research and cardboard tubes. Most designs include a basic wooden box built to be filled with cardboard tubes of different diameters meant for bees, closed on one side to protect the bees. The hotels have been shown to be more effective in maintained and gardened areas. With some designs, especially manufactured ones, the prevalence of pests- like wasps- makes the situation of native bees in the area worse. The size of the cardboard tubes can just as easily harbour pests that are within easy reach of the bees that nest within the hive, putting them in more jeopardy than if they simply made their own nests elsewhere.


If you don’t have a garden area for bees close by, a watering station can be helpful. While flying to retrieve food, bees need to stop for a drink occasionally. Unlike many other animals, deep water can be life threatening. Without water from sources like rivers or lakes honey bees rely on shallow puddles. These can be hard to come by, especially on hot days in the summer when the bees are at their busiest. To solve this problem, you can build a “bee waterer” or a dish filled with both water and stones or glass pebbles. This can be done in a bird bath or even with self-filling pet dishes, that are fed with a jug to limit the necessary maintenance.


Another option is to simply consider becoming a beekeeper. The hobby can be expensive, but is rewarding, and directly helps the bees in your care. You can participate in your local New England Bee Association group, like the Merrimack Valley Beekeepers, and take advantage of opportunities to learn all you can about bees. The New England Bee Association also puts out a newsletter to help stay informed, in addition to a resource page.


While facing the issue of CCD, every little bit of help is important to all bees. Trying to be more open in your residence by installing a water station and garden alone could make the strain of their daily activity gathering food for the hive more manageable. With this in mind, I hope you decide to help the bees with one of the ways outlined in the article. For more information and ideas, you can read the newsletters published by the New Hampshire Beekeeping Association, at or the Merrimack Valley Beekeepers at for their newsletter or even their “bee school” that offers mentorship for beginning beekeepers. These newsletters cover recipes, developments in research, and connect beekeepers together to exchange information.



Loon Preservation Committee Hosts Live Loon Cam

An image captured from the live webcam shows an adult sitting on a nest on a lake in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.  Both adults will take turns incubating the egg(s) for approximately 28 days.


For the third year in a row, the Loon Preservation Committee has a live webcam focused on a pair of nesting loons on a lake in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire.  The first egg was laid on May 15 so LPC biologists expect to see a chick around June 11 if all goes well.  This pair is among the first loons in the state to initiate a nest; the peak of loon nest initiation usually occurs around the first week of June in New Hampshire.  Since both adults are banded with unique combinations of color bands LPC biologists have confirmed that it is the same pair of loons as last year.  In 2014, the male of the pair was rescued by LPC staff after webcam viewers reported the loon appeared to be tangled in monofilament line, a potentially lethal condition.  Just days after the loon was rescued the pair hatched two chicks and both survived to migrate to the ocean in the fall.  Last year, this pair hatched one chick that also successfully left the lake in the fall.


The loon webcam gives LPC biologists an invaluable look at the habits and challenges faced by nesting loons in New Hampshire, including black flies, predators, flooded nests, and intruding loons.  It also allows LPC to share this intimate look into the life of loons with its members and the public. To see the LIVE loon cam please visit


Loon Preservation Committee biologists recorded 289 pairs of loons on New Hampshire lakes in 2015, more than three times the number of loons present in the mid 1970s when LPC began its work to protect and grow the population.  However, loons are facing growing challenges and the impacts of climate change and other threats are increasingly being felt by New Hampshire’s small loon population.


Loons are a threatened species in New Hampshire and are protected by state and federal laws from hunting or harassment.  If you see a sick or injured loon, please call the Loon Preservation Committee (603-476-5666) or if you observe harassment of loons, please contact the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department (603-271-3361) or Marine Patrol (603-293-2037) for assistance.


The Loon Preservation Committee monitors loons throughout the state as part of its mission to restore and maintain a healthy population of loons in New Hampshire; to monitor the health and productivity of loon populations as sentinels of environmental quality; and to promote a greater understanding of loons and the natural world.   


To learn more about loons in New Hampshire, please visit the Loon Preservation Committee on the web at or call the Loon Preservation Committee at (603) 476-LOON (5666).



The Friday Night Kayak Group begins its 2016 Season on June 3 2016. The group is open to everyone and meets at different local kayaking sites every Friday at 6 PM during June, July and August. The paddling trips last just over an hour. Simply show up at this week’s location. Visit our web site at for information about the next trip and put yourself on our email list. You can also call Paul Oman at 435 -7199 for more information. The June 3 trip will be on Harvey Lake in Northwood. Hope to see you there.





Dear Pittsfield Voters,

At the town election last March 8, voters elected James Hetu to the zoning board of adjustment (ZBA) over incumbent Carole Dodge by 400 to 213. James had campaigned against the ZBA’s practice of being rude, ignoring abutter input, state laws, and our zoning ordinance, and giving few or no reasons for the board’s decisions.


But three ZBA members were determined to continue the Carole Dodge era despite the town’s vote to end it. Right after the election, one ZBA member had to resign, and the remaining members Pat Heffernan, Jeffrey Swain, and Scott Aubertin took this opportunity to have an unscheduled meeting on March 24 for the only purpose of appointing Carole Dodge back to the board. James Hetu did not participate in this meeting because he had not been sworn in.


James complained and the NH Municipal Association agreed that Carole’s appointment was unlawful because she was still a member until James was sworn in. So Pat Heffernan then asked for the town attorney’s opinion. This attorney felt that Carole’s appointment was lawful because, he felt, the oath of office was a “formality.”


This “formality” kept James from participating in the March 24 meeting, where he could have insisted that the vacancy be advertised. After the NHMA opinion, James did insist that the vacancy be advertised, and two strong candidates, Scot Palmer and Noreen Rollins, applied. But because of the town attorney’s “feeling,” Pittsfield residents were denied representation by James Hetu in filling the vacancy, and Carole Dodge now sits as if she were a lawful member--which she is not.


It is time to fire this town attorney who meddles in town politics. And next March will be time to clean house on the ZBA.


Jim Pritchard



Selectman’s Update

Submitted By Carl Anderson

05/17/16 Select Board Meeting


Back to work with a full plate this night. George Batchelder came to us with a bid he’d received from Continental Paving for a road job intended to be in conjunction with the “Safe Routes to School” project. He is concerned that the “Safe Routes” job keeps getting pushed out by other agencies involved and that we could miss out on an exceptionally competitive bid by Continental. He indicated that we have other road work that we’ve put off that could certainly use the bid work if we and Continental would agree to simply change the location if it becomes obvious that the “Safe Routes” project is going to have to be put off a year. This made perfect sense to us, and we gave him our support to proceed as necessary so as not to lose this opportunity.


The Building Inspector came before us with a number of concerns regarding a definitive list of expectations for the building department which were delivered to him at our last meeting. He was encouraged to spend more time adapting to changes we feel are imperative and we would meet with him again in a few weeks to see if the expectations have become more workable with time.


A number of appointments to committees and departments were requested with many being approved. A select board representative, and an alternate, were chosen to get some organization to the status and disposition of the many town owned properties we have in inventory.


The most time consuming issue of the night was the appointment with School Supt. John Freeman and School Board Chairman Mike Wolfe and their ‘follow-up’ of a letter sent last week to the Select Board in which Mr. Freeman expressed his indignation and challenged the right of the select board to continue soliciting input from the public with regards to exploring the viability of tuitioning our high school students to a town other than Pittsfield - a subject that wide support by taxpayers has been expressed to many of us on the board. Without going into details (the full text of the letter is available on-line), the basic issue seemed to be Mr. Freeman’s position that the Board of Selectman was over-reaching their authority exploring a school issue. Mr. Freeman “insisted” in his letter that we leave this to the direction of the School Board. Our position is that the question of ‘where’ (not necessarily how) our children are educated is a matter for the whole town to consider on its own, in a manner independent from the school’s direction, and falls under the authority granted the Select Board in “managing the prudential affairs of the town.” We feel the more approaches taken in researching this important topic the better. After what I would describe as an often contentious exchange of opinions by School Board Chairman Wolfe, some members of the Select Board, and several members of the public, the Board approved the formation of a volunteer committee to research the viability of tuitioning students outside the Pittsfield District. This committee will not be a vendetta with a goal of “closing down the school”- rather a means of gathering all aspects of the issue that satisfies our level of consideration. It will be open to Pittsfield taxpayers that would like to be a part of determining if this concept has sufficient merit to be brought before the town. Please contact the Town Administrator, Cara, at 435-6773 or bring a letter of interest into the Town Office to be included in this research group.



Concert Celebrates America


With rousing American melodies, a salute to our Armed Forces and many other national favorites, all ages will certainly enjoy “A Slice of Americana,” a free patriotic concert, Friday, June 10, 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 24 Main Street, Pittsfield.


It will feature the church’s Chancel Choir and JuBellation Handbell Choir and special guest, Bill Parker. You will even have a chance to join in on a few special songs. Light refreshments will be served.


Join us for this delightful event – an evening of magnificent music honoring our marvelous country. Parking and wheelchair accessibility at the Chestnut Street entrance. More information at: or 435-7471. God Bless America!



Pittsfield School Board Public Input Session


About 75 Pittsfield citizens participated in a public input meeting held by the Pittsfield School Board from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday evening in the lecture hall at Pittsfield Middle High School.  The public input session was expressly devoted to the question whether the Pittsfield taxpayers would benefit from sending Pittsfield’s high school students to an out-of-town school as opposed to maintaining Pittsfield Middle High School as the primary source of education and opportunity for Pittsfield’s youth.


This question was raised, during the Budget Committee public hearing on February 3, when a citizen asked if the School Board had considered potential financial benefits to the taxpayers of Pittsfield could be realized by negotiating an agreement with a nearby high school district that would send Pittsfield’s high school’s students to one of those schools.  The Pittsfield School Board welcomed this inquiry and immediately directed the superintendent to research options outside of Pittsfield.


The superintendent provided an interim report on findings at a public School Board meeting in April.  Also at that time, a citizen presented a letter to the Board making the suggestion of a financial benefit to sending high school students out of town, and supported his question with several supporting arguments.  However, the interim report, which did not yet include data from all high schools surveyed, indicated that the out-of-town option would be more expensive than the current operation in Pittsfield.


The School Board announced that a public input meeting would be held to hear the community’s opinions on this alternate.  At the same time, the superintendent would report on his findings.  This is the session that took place last Thursday, May 19, in the PMHS lecture hall.  School Board Chair Mike Wolfe facilitated the two-hour community conversation; the meeting began with the superintendent’s report.


The superintendent explained the method of calculation of the state’s “per pupil cost” data and contrasted the Department of Education’s calculated cost with the actual cost to Pittsfield’s taxpayers, which is significantly less.  He then reported on his contacts with the six geographically closest public high schools to Pittsfield which resulted in cost estimates for the simple tuitioning out of students to a nearby high school, without consideration of the current facility, the fate of middle school students who also attend the same school, and many other relevant concerns.


The superintendent reported that of the six high schools under consideration, five indicated an openness to considering the acceptance of Pittsfield’s youth.  When reporting on the financials, the superintendent reported that if our current high schools students were tuitioned to the five remaining high schools under consideration, four of the five would immediately be more costly to Pittsfield’s taxpayers than continuing the operation of PMHS for high school students.


One out-of-town high school would provide a cost reduction when the cost of the current high school enrollment is compared with the current year cost of PMHS.  However, when the projected 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school enrollments were calculated, the increased high school enrollment over the next two years would result in tax impacts of $1.87/thousand in 2016-2017 and $2.65/thousand in 2017-2018.


Community members asked a number of relevant and informative questions; others made statements of opinion about property taxes in Pittsfield, the Pittsfield community, and the quality of the education provided by the Pittsfield School District.  At the conclusion of the meeting, Mike Wolfe thanked the citizens for raising the question about potential cost savings in sending Pittsfield  students out-of-town for school and thanked the participants for speaking to the issue at hand.  The School Board, which Mike Wolfe stated is opposed to the tuitioning-out format, will consider the question at a future meeting, having heard last week the voices of Pittsfield’s citizens.



Letter To The Editor


At the recent meeting of the Board on Tuesday, May 17th, I tendered my resignation as the Chief lnspector. I am doing so as I feel that continuing in my present capacity is a detriment not only to me, but the Housing Standards Board as a whole.


There have been a number of personal attacks on me by certain town officials that had nothing to do with my ability to perform my duties, however, all of this reflects in a negative way toward the entire HSA Board.


I have a legal issue pending in court, but at this point I have not been found guilty of any wrongdoing. This case does involve the Board, but it was discussed and resolved at our meeting.


It is my hope that the Board will be looked at more favorable with my resignation.


Thank you to everyone who made my time as inspector an enjoyable experience.


Hank FitzGerald




Inez E. St. Laurent


Pittsfield – Inez E. St. Laurent, 98, a lifelong Pittsfield resident, passed away at Hanover Hill Healthcare Center in Manchester on Sunday, May 15, 2016.


Born in Pittsfield on October 27, 1917, Inez was the daughter of William and Rosa (Bourden) Clark.


She was primarily a homemaker after retiring in 1947 from the Pittsfield Shoe Company.  She developed a love of the outdoors as a child and continued gardening as long as she was able.


Inez was predeceased by her beloved husband, Maurice; her brothers, Everett and Caroll; and sisters, Alnora and Ethel.


She is survived by her son, Gary; grandchildren, Michelle Zyla, Gary St. Laurent, Jr., and Joshua St. Laurent; great grandchildren, Katie Vasquez and Morgan Zyla; and a great- great grandson, Ayden.


A graveside service was held in the Floral Park Cemetery in Pittsfield on Friday, May 20.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Arthritis National Research Foundation.


Tom Petit of the Still Oaks Funeral & Memorial Home in Epsom is assisting with arrangements and offers an on-line guestbook at








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