AMHERST – Although there was not a lot of snow this past winter, the number of “treatable events,” DPW Director Eric Hahn told selectmen last week, was significantly above average, with 31. Over the past five years there were an average of 24 storms a year that called for sand and salt.
But this past winter there were five in November alone, which he called “quite extraordinary,” because there are usually none in November. Despite seven extra storms, the department spent $116,000 on salt that winter, $26,000 less than the previous year, said Hahn as he gave the board his quarterly report. They achieved that, he said, by calibrating all the salt spreaders and weighing the material coming out of their chutes and following new state application guidelines.
AMHERST – Selectmen took 30 minutes of their meeting last week for a birthday party celebration with cake and balloons for longtime Selectman Tom Grella. The room was filled with his friends and family.
It was a surprise, but Grella said he had wondered why there were so many people. Selectmen’s meetings don’t usually attract a crowd.
No screens for kids
AMHERST – In her quarterly report to selectmen, Amherst Library Director Amy LaPointe said she removed the iPADs from the library’s children’s room after the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended zero screen time for children under 2. Now, the only computer is the one that searches the library’s online catalogue. “We expected pushback,” she said, but after they explained the reason to parents and provided options for the children everyone was fine with it. The library also offered a program, via Skype, with the author of “Be the Parent, Please: Stop Banning Seesaws and Start Banning Snapchat.”
The screen time debate is one of the most important issues facing parents,” LaPointe said, Board Chairman Peter Lyon commended her and her staff for how they deal with emerging technology “in an agile and forward-thinking way.”
AMHERST – The abandoned bridge at the intersection of Boston Post Road and Ponemah Road will be decorated with flowers. “Bridge of flowers” is an Amherst Lions Club project and Lion Charlie Vars brought it to selectmen April 29. Two layers of flowers will be planted on shelves hanging over the water, and the club will be responsible for ongoing maintenance. “Now it’s a bit of an eyesore,” said selectmen’s Chairman Peter Lyon before the board agreed to approve the plan. Town Administrator Dean Shankle said the bridge has been closed to vehicles for many years and only pedestrian traffic is allowed.
AMHERST – Girl Scouts from Troop 11607 told selectmen last week they are working on a “Scoop the Poop” project for their Silver Award and they want to install a plastic bag dispenser and a dog waste container on the town common near town hall. The project will fulfill the requirement of solving a problem in a way that has a long-term effect, they said, because keeping dog waste off the ground will help reduce a non-point source of water pollution and avoid the spread of diseases. Selectmen voted their unanimous support. John D’Angelo has been helping the girls navigate the approval process, and he said they have the Historic District Commission’s blessing as well, and the scouts will work with the DPW to find a good place for it.
MILFORD – Trustees of the Wadleigh Memorial Library and their architects will hold a second listening session on Thursday, May 16, from 6-7:30 p.m. to show the latest plans for a possible renovation and get input.
Meet in the magazine reading area. There will be light refreshments.
MILFORD – Superintendent of Schools Jessica Huizenga is inviting residents to two “community conversations” for the SAU to share work happening with the district’s strategic planning process, and other things happening in the district in the coming year.
They will also be an opportunity for community members to ask questions, share concerns, and provide feedback on how the district can improve services, supports, and communication to students and families.
The first forum is on Wednesday, May 15 at the Wadleigh Memorial Library, from 5-6:30 p.m.
The second will be on Wednesday, June 12 in the Milford Town Hall Banquet Room, from 7-8:30 p.m.
Support for Noah
MILFORD – Jacques Memorial School has raised $19,000 for the family of Noah Lantaff, a first grader battling cancer, and a bone marrow donor has been found for him, schools Superintendent Jessica Huizenga announced at the May 6 school board meeting. The six-year-old boy has acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
WILTON – Because of inclement weather, the annual roadside clean-up day has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 11.
Participants are asked to meet in the Police Station parking lot for assignments and to pick up trash bags.
The event is co-sponsored by Wilton Community Center and the Conservation commission.
Artists open studios
WILTON – The Independent Artists at Riverview Mills will hold a free open studios event over Mothers’ Day Weekend, May 11 and 12. The event will include demonstrations, workshops, special sales and refreshments.
Since 1987, two buildings at the former Abbott Machine Shops, 33 Howard Street (behind the Post office and the old train station) have been home to many kinds of art: jewelry, painting, music, and handcrafts of all kinds. Many are members of the league of N.H. craftsmen.
Studios will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Participating artists include:
Sussy-Rose Shields Jewelry, handcrafted silver and gems
Liesl Clark Photography; stop in for a “Step-and Repeat” photo session
Prayers of Nature; Flower Mandala – art by Linda Weyman; hand beaded wire jewelry by Kate Schmke; copper enamels by Aaron Derman. Workshops offered from 3 to 4 p.m. each day.
Lady Bead and Rook: beading and craft supplies, hand beaded jewelry by Leslie Rook. Store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Dark Flight Designs – airbrushed animal and people portraits, fantasy and unusual insights into the dark arts.
Little’un Miniatures: handmade dollhouses and small hobbies.
Laura Stearns Johnsons Watercolors -still life and nature
Jaclyn Hodgkins Art – visual art and pottery.
Uli Newsted – wire and nature sculptures.
Jack Ahern – nature photography.
Sara Ahern – multimedia art, printmaking, gel prints.
Laura Tyers – oil painting, portraits and pets.
Deb Sutton – oil painting of nature and cities.