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Barnstead, Chichester, Epsom, Gilmanton, Northwood, and Pittsfield NH

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Pittsfield NH News

June 22, 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.




The internment of Matthew Scott Cram will be held Friday, June 24, 2016 at 3:00 PM at the Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen, NH.

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.



HELP NEEDED 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 chair.


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 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 information.



Pittsfield Old 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 [email protected] to register.



VA Partners With KaBOOM! To Support Veteran Families

KaBOOM! to Provide Play Equipment for VA Hospitals and VA Fisher Houses

Submitted Via Merrill Vaughan


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 partnerships.


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 environments.


“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, Utah.


“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:



Selectman’s Update

Submitted By Carl Anderson

Select Board meeting 6/14/16


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 town prosper.


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 accepted.


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 hand.



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- Free admission.


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 for sale.


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 Vaughan


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 he did.”


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 compensation service.



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 Dockham.


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 as possible.


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.








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