The internment of Matthew Scott Cram will
be held Friday, June 24, 2016 at 3:00 PM at the Veterans Cemetery in
Family and friends are invited.
The Pittsfield High School Class Of 1966 50th Class Reunion
will be held in the Pittsfield Congregational Church vestry on July
23rd from 3-6 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. If you can
attend call Pete Riel at 603-269-8861.
for Pittsfield Old Home Day
Since our theme for Old Home Day is an Olympic one, “Pittsfield Goes
for the Gold”, we would like to organize a TORCH RUN. We need
runners! If anyone is interested in participating in this
event on Sat, July 23, we would like to hear from you. Details
are still being worked out. Please contact ANDI RIEL at
435-6346 or [email protected]
to sign up.
Please join us to celebrate Joseph C.
Rogers’ 90 Birthday, Saturday, June 25, 2016 from 12 noon to 4 PM at
134 New Road, Ctr. Barnstead, NH.
BBQ lunch will be served. Bring your lawn
It’s a surprise! Your presence is gift
enough. Please RSVP to Beth: 603-496-2751 or Lynn: 603-545-7976.
The Friday Night Kayak Group paddled the
Suncook River on friday June 10th, Launching at Drake Field. There
were 12 boats in the group. 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 and are
always in the Northwood to Barnstead area. Simply show up at this
week’s Friday night’s location. Visit our web site at huffnpuff.info
for information and location of the next trip and put yourself on
our email list. You can also call Paul Oman at 435 -7199 for more
Home Day Annual Cook-Off
The Cook-Off for the Pittsfield Old Home Day this year will be
WHOOPIE PIES. It’s a little bit of a stretch, but they could
remind you of an Olympic medal?!!
This event is sponsored by the Victory Workers 4-H Club.
Anyone and everyone is invited to submit their best batch of Whoopie
Pies and bring them to the 4-H Booth at Dustin Park by 9am on Sat,
July 23. The winners will be selected by the public by popular
vote. CASH prizes will be awarded: 1st- $75; 2nd- $50,
and 3rd-$25. The first 10 cooks to call or email will be
registered. Please contact Andi Riel at 435-6346 or email at
With KaBOOM! To Support Veteran Families
KaBOOM! to Provide
Play Equipment for VA Hospitals and VA Fisher Houses
Submitted Via Merrill
WASHINGTON – Sometimes
play is the best medicine. The Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) is announcing a partnership with the national non-profit
organization KaBOOM! to make play more accessible to children
visiting VA Medical Centers and VA Fisher Houses. KaBOOM! is one of
a number of partnerships formed under the MyVA initiative, the
largest transformation in VA’s history, which focuses squarely on
the needs of Veterans through customer service and strong community
Under the agreement, KaBOOM! will provide
their signature Imagination Playground™ and Rigamajigs to VA
locations across the nation. These portable, scalable play systems
create safe, fun-filled environments for children to play in.
KaBOOM! will work with VA to select sites
across the country that have the greatest need for play spaces. VA
medical centers and VA Fisher Houses, which are built by Fisher
House Foundation to provide temporary accommodations for families of
Veterans receiving treatment at a VA medical center or military
hospital, have been identified as ideal locations for these play
“When Veterans are dealing with a serious
illness or injury, it can be incredibly stressful for their
families, especially those with young children,” said Secretary of
Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. “Our partnership with
KaBOOM! will enable us to use the simple art of play to help keep
the children and families of Veterans happy and healthy. These types
of partnerships are a great way for the VA to provide support for
families – an important component of taking care of Veterans.”
CarMax is the KaBOOM! corporate sponsor for this playground project.
As a part of its ongoing multi-million dollar commitment to KaBOOM!,
CarMax will build four playgrounds and provide 30 grants for
Imagination Playgrounds™ and Rigamajigs to select VA medical
centers, Fisher Houses and other organizations that serve Veterans
and military families. It is expected that through this
project, VA, KaBOOM! and CarMax will help reach 85,000 children over
the next three years. The first donations were made to
facilities located in Gainesville, Florida, and Salt Lake City,
“We are grateful to our Armed Forces who inspire us with their
dedication to protecting our country,” said James Siegal, CEO of
KaBOOM! “Through our partnership VA, together we are honoring
and showing commitment to Veterans and military families by
encouraging play, particularly for kids who need it most.
Creating play spaces in Fisher Houses and VA facilities will help
ensure kids can experience balanced and active play so they can
thrive and enjoy the childhood they deserve.”
Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with
its corporate partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,300
playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers, and served
8.1 million children.
For more information about VA
partnerships, visit: MyVA Strategic Partnerships.
For more information about KaBOOM!, visit:
Submitted By Carl
Select Board meeting
In keeping with our Board’s unprecedented
opportunities for public input, without discrimination, the night’s
meeting opened with criticism from Mike Wolfe, who expressed his
general dissatisfaction with this Board then walked out.
Former Select Board Chairman Eric Nielsen
asked what we had managed to accomplish so far, given our promises
to make change, then answered his own question by stating that as
far as he could see, we had just disrupted the Departments. He
stated that we should leave the Departments alone, they know what
they are doing and the Select Board does not.
Noreen Rollins expressed her support of
the Board’s position on decals for all police vehicles stating that
she would not dare pull over for an unmarked car at night.
Bill Elkins reported he was confident that
a room for Narcotics Anonymous would be available at the Community
Center and would be in touch with Dan Schroth.
Also during public input, Pat Heffernan
discussed the possibility of us keeping select town owned property
to insure the public good. Lack of mixed use options in many areas
of town was also a concern, and ways to change some zoning rules
were discussed. The Board agrees in principle with Mr. Heffernan’s
opinions and would welcome more flexible zoning that might help the
In action items, two more High School
Tuition Study Committee members were appointed. Jennifer Mika and
Dan Greene have been added for a total of seven members, probably
all that could hope to get coordinated for meetings. We thank
everyone who has expressed interest in the committee.
Jeffrey Swain came to us once again from
the ZBA asking that we get further clarification from our attorney
regarding the issue of appointments on that Board. We agreed to ask
for a brief clarification, and then for our part, the Select Board
will stand firm on his recommendation and put the matter to rest.
Dave Simpson, EMS, from the Pittsfield
Wellness Coalition came before us to accentuate the troubling
increase reported in the latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey from
Pittsfield High School, as well as his personal daily contact with
drug and suicidal behavior, and the lack of local resources to
combat these problems. He also stressed a need for there to be a
‘point of contact’ for all affected departments and those needing
help. He was given the title Wellness Coordinator and was asked to
keep us informed regarding their progress in dealing with one of
Pittsfield’s most pressing issues.
A grant to demolish 42 Chestnut St was
The sale of 85 Catamount St. went through
last week, so there’s one back on the tax rolls. We have two more
sales in progress.
The Quentin B. Berkson Scholarship Fund
received its first deposit of over $8,000.
In response to credible concerns regarding
safety and security at the Town Hall, we will be installing cameras
both inside and out. Anyone entering the Selectman’s Administration
office will now be required to sign in and out, by an amendment to
the existing 2007 policy for Town Hall Access.
While we anticipate some complaints about
further tightening of public and employee access, the Board is
confident these changes are necessary.
As far as cameras go, given the number of
citizens and employees coming and going at all hours, safety should
be enhanced by announced surveillance.
Signing in and out of the Administration
office should allow us to track missing items (however unintentional
the reason might be) and provide optimum working conditions more
free of distraction so employees can concentrate on their tasks at
Pittsfield Old Home Day
Pittsfield’s Old Home Day Celebration will
be held on Saturday, July 23 and the theme of the day is an Olympic
one, “Pittsfield Goes for the Gold!”
Actually, the fun starts on Friday night - July 22 - The Rotary Club
is sponsoring a Movie at Drake Field at 8:30pm. The movie will
be free and there will be refreshments available for purchase. The
movie is TBD.
The day will be fun filled starting with the Breakfast at Park St.
Baptist Church; a Community Fair with crafters and local
organization booths, jump tent, Kids Craft Table, face painting,
JuJuBee the Clown - Balloon Twister and music. St. Stephen’s
Church will have lots of good food along with other food vendors.
The Historical Society will be open to view all the great artifacts
of Pittsfield. Back by popular demand is the Car show - if you
have a car you’d like to show off please come to Main Street by
8:30am. Jackie Lee will provide music from 10-noon.
KIDS OLYMPICS will start at 10am - come and compete in a pie eating
contest, water balloon toss, sack race, hurdles race and more.
The Kids Bike Parade will start at 12:15pm on Main Street
Some new events and activities this year include - the Fancy
Footworks Jump Rope team will perform and show us some of their
tricks ....and then you can have a chance to try it! We will
have some fun Carnival Games and you can win an adorable stuffed
animal. A softball game “GUNS & HOSES Annual Softball Game” (Police
Association vs Fire Association) is planned for 3pm at Drake Field-
The highlight of the day will be the Parade at 1pm. The theme
“Pittsfield Goes for the Gold” should lend itself to some great
floats. PLEASE have your group, organization, business,
church, neighborhood, school team, school class, friends and family
enter a FLOAT this year. We want to have the biggest & best
parade! (Call Louie Houle at 435-6938 to register your float)
After the parade the F.B. Argue Recreation Area (aka Town Pool) will
be open for swimming and they will have a Cookout of Burgers & Dogs
The Duck Race, sponsored by the PMHS Boys Basketball program will be
held at 2:30pm at the boat launch at Drake Field. Tickets will
be for sale from any basketball player or by calling Jay Darrah at
435-6701. ($5/duck, 3 for $10). FIREWORKS are planned to start
at Dusk (9:15pm-ish) at Drake Field.
If you have any questions, if you need
more information or if you’d like to help out on Old Home Day,
please call Louie Houle-435-6938 or Andi Riel-435-6346.
VA Announces Departure Of Acting Under
Secretary For Benefits Danny Pummill
Submitted Via Merrill
WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
announced the departure of Danny G.I. Pummill from his post as
Acting Under Secretary for Benefits at the Veterans Benefits
Administration (VBA). Mr. Pummill has served as the Acting Under
Secretary since October 19, 2015. Mr. Pummill had previously planned
to retire by the end of 2015, but upon the departure of previous
Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey, he remained as head of
the administration at the request of Secretary Robert A. McDonald.
His continuing service helped ensure the critical continuity
required to complete VBA’s transformation, and help expand the MyVA
effort at the administration level.
“Danny has been the consummate Veteran
advocate. He naturally embodies the spirit of MyVA by frequently
meeting and talking to Veterans and VA employees where they live and
work, listening to their concerns and taking their feedback,”
Secretary McDonald said of the career Army officer. “His hands-on
approach of making Veterans the center of everything we do is
exactly what we are all about. I am saddened to see him go but
deeply appreciate that he agreed to stay on and lead VBA as long as
Mr. Pummill began his tenure at VBA in
2010 as the Deputy Director for Policy and Procedures for the
agency’s compensation service. Two years later, he became Director
of the VBA/Department of Defense Program Office, and in 2013, he was
appointed Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Benefits. Prior to
coming to VBA, he served in the Army for 33 years as both an
enlisted soldier and an officer and then continued with the
Department of the Army as a civilian employee for five years.
While serving as Acting Under Secretary,
Mr. Pummill continued the momentum of reducing the compensation
claims backlog, closing out 2015 with 75,000 backlogged claims – an
87-percent reduction from the 611,000 peak in March 2013. He
pioneered and championed the ongoing compensation and pension exam
experience improvement effort, and he oversaw the implementation of
the agency’s national work queue, the expansion of disability
compensation eligibility for Veterans exposed to contaminated water
at Camp Lejeune and contract awards totaling $6.8 billion for
medical disability examinations.
“The greatest fulfillment of my life has
been serving my country and my fellow Veterans, their families and
their survivors,” Mr. Pummill said. “In my time at VBA, I continued
to be impressed by the dedication and selfless sacrifice of the
employees in service to our nation’s Veterans. It has been an honor
and a privilege to serve as their Acting Under Secretary for
Benefits and it is with mixed emotions that I leave this great
organization to begin the next phase of my life.”
Acting Principal Deputy Under Secretary
Thomas Murphy will be appointed as Principal Deputy Under Secretary
for Benefits and assume the role of Acting Under Secretary for
Benefits. Mr. Murphy joined VBA in 2009 as the Director of the San
Juan Regional Office in Puerto Rico. Prior to becoming Acting
Principal Deputy Under Secretary, he served as Director of
Pittsfield Parks & Rec Swimming Lessons
We will be offering swimming lessons again
this summer, and will continue with the levels used last summer. All
levels will include swimming safety.
The new levels will be as follows:
Level 1 Water Readiness: This level will
help preschool and non swimmers feel comfortable in the water. We
will do splashing activities to help children put their faces in the
water, elephant steps, frog jumps, and floating with support.
Level 2 Float and Go: The children will
begin floating and swimming with and without support and learn the
arm stroke and flutter kick on their front and back.
Level 3 Stroke and Go: The children will
continue to work on arm stroke with water breathing, and will learn
elementary back stroke, breast stroke, and back crawl.
Level 4 Endurance and Strengthening: the
children will work on previously learned strokes and become stronger
and will also learn the side stroke.
Level 5 Lifeguard Readiness: For older
students who have strong strokes and have an interest in preparing
for possible lifeguard training.
To register for swimming lessons please
bring the form to the F.B. Argue Recreation Area. Call the
recreation area with questions. Please mark the level that you think
your child should be in and we will check current skills to place
children in the level where they will feel most comfortable.
F.B Argue Recreation Area Opening
On Wednesday, June 22, 2016 the F.B. Argue Recreation Area will open
for the 2016 summer season at 1:00. We will again be asking parents
to fill out contact information for their child/children if they are
coming to the area without an adult. We will be open Monday - Friday
from 12:00 - 5:00 PM and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00-5:00.
The Saturday and Sunday hours will be with gate and beach attendants
only, NO LIFE GUARDS will be on duty. Tuesday and Thursday nights
during June and July (except for the weeks we are doing night
lessons) we will stay open until 7:00 PM for families. We are hoping
to get more families to use the pool area. Children younger than 11
must be accompanied by an adult during the night time hours. All
children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult during
all of our hours. We will be offering swimming lessons again this
summer. Registration for swimming lessons will be held at the
recreation area from 12-5 beginning on June 21. We will run
three 2 week sessions. You will find more information about
swimming lessons and the registration form on the back of this
sheet. The lessons will run for 20 minutes to ½ hour each. The dates
for the sessions are as follows:
June 27- July 8 daytime 10- 12
July 11 – July 22 night time 5 – 7 • night
August 1- August 12 daytime 10- 12
The daily admission for residents
is $0.75 per person or a family season pass may be bought for $40.
Daily admission for non-residents is $1.00 per person. All persons
entering the area will be expected to pay. Children under 5 years
old will be admitted free with a paid adult.
There will be activities during the summer which will be posted at
the recreation area. They will include airhead bingo, sand
castle building, crafts, book share, volleyball, book walk, and duck
hunt. Contact Forest B Argue Recreation Area (after June 21) at
435-7457 with questions.
The cost for the swimming lessons for residents is $10 per child,
not to exceed $30 per family. The cost for non-residents is
$25 per child not to exceed $75.
Support The Local Bees - A Reflection
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
This is the fifth in a series of five
articles that has focused on how to combat this problem locally.
During the beginning of the year I was
approached about possibly doing an extended learning opportunity
credit for Biology, since I was a senior in a freshman level class.
Instead of simply covering the material required for the
competencies I was able to focus my ELO on the crisis facing bees.
At the time, I didn’t know many of the details I now know about
Colony Collapse Disorder, but I went into the ELO hoping to make a
positive difference in my community by spreading awareness.
I learned more about bees than I ever
expected, including how bees are undergoing multiple threats at a
time and some species are more affected by CCD than others. While
CCD is a primary concern with feral and domestic European honey
bees, African honey bees are much less affected. Additionally,
bumblebees and other native bees are those most affected by climate
change. Ultimately flowers are the biggest factor in the welfare of
any bee, which fit with my final project for the ELO: planting a
pollinator garden on school grounds.
In order to get to the point of planting,
I had to do several research papers and labs to find the plants that
would do best in the planting zone while taking minimal care to
maintain. My labs focused on the two main factors of climate change
that affect plants; soil moisture and frost. Two major concerns with
climate change is the increased gap of times between rainstorms that
had increased in intensity, and frosts that occur when plants have
already begun to sprout. Damage to these plants early on would make
finding food much more difficult for bees, so I chose to study the
effects of simulated versions of these events in the lab. The first
lab focused on the effects of a changed pattern of rainfall to their
survival, and the second lab focused on frost effects on the ability
for plants to flower after undergoing a frost.
The conclusion I was able to draw from my
precipitation lab is that the gap between rainstorms might not be as
big of an issue if the rain has a chance to completely dampen the
soil. Too little water is very effective at killing the plants
early, preventing flowers from ever appearing. During my second
frost lab, I discovered that frost was very damaging to the plants,
and could kill the plants almost immediately, which impacts the
availability of flowers for a whole year. I learned from these labs
what characteristics I would have to select for when choosing plants
for a garden, including the importance of resilience against frost
and limited rainfall.
This whole process has taught me about
prioritization. I had to determine what plants to plant when there
are so many issues that could be faced with climate change, and
balance the garden for the seasons so that the local pollinators
that visit Pittsfield Middle High School’s pollinator garden will
always have food. Another aspect of this was including a variety of
plants, so that there would be multiple options for the bees. A
factor in bee’s health includes their ability to get pollen and
nectar from different plants, because each plant offers something
different nutritionally. All of these factors were important, and I
had to use my knowledge to make a decision that met as many of them
In addition to prioritizing what issues to
take on with the garden, I had to prioritize what I wanted from my
ELO. Even as a student, I was able to contribute ideas to how my
course would work. Not only could I suggest plant-based labs, but I
could work with the middle school science teacher Mr. Shawver, who
has a degree in botany, to plan a garden that would benefit
pollinators in the area. During the process I was consistently
challenged by the expectations of work that I had set for myself,
knowing that a standard biology credit as a senior would not be as
engaging as a class designed with a subject that interested me.
During this process, I found that instead of becoming tired of
reading about bees, I became more interested in the material and the
complex story around bees in our local ecosystem. Presenting the
information I was able to gather through the ELO to members of the
community and other students has been the most enjoyable part of the
process, including these articles, and I’m proud of the work that I
was able to accomplish.