Daily Archives: February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day to our Veterans

10 years ago Tom Dolan started a tradition in Londonderry that has gone mostly unknown and out of sight.  While on a visit to a Manchester VA hospital as part of a team from BAE Systems to reach out to veterans in need, he was moved to take action.  The hospital visit occurred during the annual National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans celebrated each year during the week of February 14th by the VHA.

“I was deeply moved by many of the sad and lonely veterans in the long term care facility in Manchester.  I found their life stories and military experiences fascinating.  I shared my experience at the VA Hospital that day with my wife.  She offered to make valentines for the veterans with her 1st grade class at Matthew Thornton School,” said Tom Dolan.

Mrs. Dolan decided to conduct this exercise in conjunction with a teaching module on veterans and their contributions to our country, and the Londonderry “Valentines for Vets” program was born.  It has since spread to other grades and schools in Londonderry. The program has enjoyed wide support from both teachers and administrators alike.  This year Tom was able to deliver several hundred valentine cards to the VA Hospital from our Londonderry school children.

The company motto at BAE Systems is “We Protect Those That Protect Us.”  Tom explained, “It is something with which I resonate and it inspires me every day at work.  As an Army veteran myself, I understand the sacrifices and service given by these needy hospitalized veterans.  But how do we translate that understanding into something multi-generational?”

“That’s the connection to our young school age children,” Tom explained.  “This is a great way to for our kids to gain empathy for the service members while also teaching veterans’ contributions made to our country in a historical context.  I am grateful for the support shown by the Londonderry School District for helping to establish this local patriotic tradition.”

The delivery of the handmade valentines is done with little fanfare or publicity.  The children have fun doing the project and learn history and civics at the same time.  The hospitalized veterans are pleased to be remembered for what most saw as simply doing their duty when they answered their country’s call.

For more pictures check out the darkroom

This is all part of the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans celebrated each year during the week of February 14th by the VHA.


Londonderry High School Suffers a Loss of Outstanding Teacher

Mrs. Carol Camden a French Teacher at Londonderry High School died during the night February 14th, the Londonderry Schools were notified this morning. The following note and offers of support is being distributed by the principal.

Dear Parents / Guardians:

I am sorry to be sharing such sad news, but we were informed this morning of the unexpected passing of Carol Camden (LHS French Teacher).  Mrs. Camden was an outstanding foreign language teacher and advisor to the Equestrian team.  This news has obviously had a significant impact on our staff, whom we met with just before 10:00 am.  Members of our crisis team and school guidance counselors met just before that to put some procedures in place. We then met with the staff, and counselors were on hand in the House Offices.  The counselors met with students on the Equestrian Team, and will be available this week for students and staff members.

School officials have been notified, and I am meeting with Mrs. Camden’s French classes to inform them of this news.  We are preparing information and words of encouragement for our teachers to share with their students, but I wanted parents to know before we took this next step.  I encourage you to have a conversation with your child this afternoon or this evening.  This will be a very challenging week for us as we begin to make preparations and connect with Mrs. Camden’s family who were also notified this morning.

It is very difficult to stay ahead of technology and information that tends to spread quickly.  We decided to take a respectful approach toward informing people in and outside of the high school.  Now that staff and parents have been notified, our next step is to talk with students. If your child is having a particularly difficult time with this news, please have them reach out to a guidance counselor or another adult during the school day.  If there is anything else we can do to assist you during this time, please do not hesitate to ask.

Jay Parent

To view the obituary visit, Carol Camden of Londonderry.


John Robinson School Board Candidate, On-Demand

In this informative campaign video, Londonderry School Board vice chair John Robinson sits down with Cindi Rice Conley for a freewheeling discussion of the school district’s proposed budget for the coming year, as well as John’s reasons for seeking re-election to a second term on the board. Sometimes light-hearted, always thoughtful, this is an outstanding chance to learn where one candidate stands on the school-related issues that matter to the voters.

If you’re a candidate running for one of the positions or a supporter, visit our contact page to submit a position paper, campaign video or a Letter to the Editor!


Local Audubon Hosts Teaching Workshop

If you love kids and gardening and want to meet others who feel the same, “Every Child in the Garden” could be for you. Join UNH Cooperative’s Gardening with Youth Community of Practice on Saturday, March 5 for a day long workshop from 9 AM to 4 PM at the Massabesic Audubon Center in Auburn to explore the in’s and out’s of developing and sustaining youth and school gardens in New Hampshire.

During this active workshop, participants will meet individuals who are running youth and school gardens and hear their stories, both successes and challenges. Everyone will roll up their sleeves and try hands-on, minds-on, fun learning activities from the Junior Master Gardener curriculum and other key resources.

The day will conclude with time to talk about how to become part of a state network of people interested in supporting each other and their own efforts regarding youth and gardening statewide. This workshop is suitable for adults who are 4-H and youth group leaders, afterschool providers, homeschoolers and teachers, as well as Master Gardeners and other volunteers including AmeriCorps and college students interested in mentoring youth.

Stacey Scaccia with prize cabbage in Londonderry, New Hampshire - Image Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program Entry Photo

Stacey Scaccia with prize cabbage in Londonderry, New Hampshire – Image Bonnie Plants Cabbage Program Entry Photo

Participants will receive the Junior Master Gardener manuals for adults and youth. Space is limited to 35 participants. Cost will be $10 per person, including lunch. For registration information, contact Janell George at janell.george(at)unh.edu or (603) 641-6060. For program questions, contact Julia Steed Mawson, Extension 4-H Educator at julia.mawson(at)unh.edu or (603) 660-6373. Please register by February 21.

Staff development certificates of attendance will be provided. This workshop is sponsored by UNH Cooperative Extension, the Massabesic Audubon Center, and the NH Food to School Program, with support from the NH Charitable Fund.


Deliberative Session has record turnout

Does Your Vote Count at the Deliberative Session?

Friday night’s Deliberative Session had record turnout. 508 Voters checked in. Unfortunately there was never a quorum present in the room.

As the meeting began there were 450+ voters present and the Moderator reviewed the rules of voting, should a quorum be achieved. According to the rules of the charter if there were 500 voters present a quorum would have been met and residents could amend any of the warrant articles.

Here are the details of voting. Any vote must be done by a ‘quorum’ of the voters. A quorum = 500 voters. So what happens if a vote is called, hypothetically speaking:

A vote is called and a quorum is present in the hall. There are 520 voters.

Voters cast their ballots and the votes are counted, 490 votes for the amendment and 9 votes against. The amendment passes correct?

NO, the amendment Fails. Why?

Because only 499 voters voted, one less than the quorum.

Friday night was the first time the rules of voting were explained in detail to many of us. In years past we have never come close to a quorum, but Friday night starting the meeting with over 450 residents it looked like a quorum was finally within reach. So the rules were reviewed in detail.

Now back to the failed amendment, 490 people voted for the amendment, an overwhelming majority by anyone’s standard, but the quorum was not met, so the vote does not count.

At Town Meeting (different rules than the School) a majority vote rules. In the scenario above the amendment would have passed, in my opinion, representing the will of the vast majority of the voters.

Back to the School. I know that is the current process, or at least as of Friday night, I and many others, were made aware of the actual voting process.

Can anyone explain to me how it’s fair that 21 people can overturn the vote of 490 people?

There has been a lot of discussion over the quorum. Setting aside the current law suit, I believe the charter should be reviewed.

Glenn Douglas


Glenn is a candidate for School Board for 2011 in the Londonderry School District


Product Safety Commission Recalls More than 400,000 Products

Three companies, in cooperation with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), have recently voluntarily recalled products. These commonly used household products have caused over 100 reports of damage to carpets, electrical outlets, and electrical cords. Each of the companies are offering either full refunds, repairs, or replacement products. The CPSC would like consumers to know that it is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled product.

AmerTac Recalls Night Lights

AmerTac is recalling about 261,000 LED Night Lights because an electrical short circuit in the night light may cause it to overheat and smolder or melt, which can result in fire. The importing company, American Tack & Hardware Co. Inc. (AmerTac) of Saddle River, New Jersey, has received 18 reports of the night lights smoking, burning, melting and/or charring, including three reports or minor property damage and one of a minor burn injury.

Three different models are being recalled: model numbers 71193, 71194, and 327879. Of these models, only those with KML molded onto the back are being recalled.  Model 71193 is a square shaped white plastic unit with a flat translucent square window on the front and a button for changing the screen color. Models 71194 and 327879 resemble a computer mouse with a white plastic housing and inset translucent windows on the front and sides. The nightlights were sold in hardware stores, lighting showrooms, and home centers nationwide from March 2009 through January 2011 for about seven dollars.

Consumers should stop using the recalled night lights immediately, unplug them from the wall and contact AmerTac for instructions on receiving a full refund. AmerTac can be contacted at (800) 420-7511 between 8 AM and 5 PM Central Time Monday through Friday or visit their website. To see this recall on the CPSC website, click here.

Hoover Recalls WindTunnel Canister Vacuums

Hoover is recalling about 142,000 WindTunnel Canister vacuums after receiving 69 reports of overheating or electrical malfunction, including one report of fire and smoke damage and two reports of carpet damage. There has also been one report of a minor injury. Hoover Inc., of Glenwillow, Ohio, is reporting that the power cord between the power nozzle and the wand connector can short-circuit posing fire and shock hazards. Hoover indicates that this can happen even if the vacuum is off but left plugged in.

The recall involves only the Hoover WindTunnel Canister Vacuum, model number S3755. The vacuum is silver and black and comes with a power nozzle. The model number can be found on the bottom of the canister. The vacuum was reportedly sold in department stores, mass merchandisers and independent vacuum retailers nationwide and online from March 2003 through December 2008 for between $250 and $280.

Consumers should stop using the vacuums immediately and contact Hoover for a free repair. Hoover can be contacted for repairs at (888) 564-2066 between 8 AM and 7 PM Eastern Time Monday through Friday, or through their website. To see this recall on the CPSC website, click here.

Lasko Recalls Portable Electric Heaters

Lasko Products Inc., of West Chester, Pennsylvania, is recalling about 107,500 electrical heaters because an electrical connection in the base of the unit can overheat. This causes it to melt and exposes the electrical connection, posing a fire hazard. Lasko has received a total of 36 reports of the electrical connection overheating with no reports of injury. There were 18 reports of minor burn damage to floors and carpets.

The portable electrical heaters are 20.5 inches tall, 8.25 inches wide, and 9.25 deep. They are dark grey with silver front covers and black vent slats. The brand names Lasko or Air King are on the top, center of the front cover. Both the Lasko Model 5540 and Air King Model 8540 that were manufactured in 2002 are subject to the recall. The date codes for these models are four-digit numbers which begin with “2″ and can be found on the bottom left area of the label located on the bottom of the unit. Heaters with date codes “3″, “4″, and “5″ are NOT subject to this recall.

The Lasko Model was sold at Sam’s Club and other retailers from September 2002 through early 2004 for $39 to $49. The Air King Model was sold primarily through the maintenance, repair and operating products supply company W.W. Grainger Inc. from late 2002 to 2004 for approximately $80.

Consumers should stop using the heaters immediately and contact Lasko for a free replacement heater. To request a replacement heater, contact Lasko at (800) 363-8044 or through their website. To see the CPSC recall on the product, click here.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Recall Hotline is: (800) 638-2772
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Media Contact is: (301) 504-7908

Images courtesy of CPSC