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Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.

The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Friday, January 2, 2009

Unique winter golfing facility opens in Atkinson Unique winter golfing facility opens in Atkinson

From the Eagle Tribune;

Unique winter golfing facility opens in Atkinson Unique winter golfing facility opens in Atkinson
By John Basilesco
jbasilesco@eagletribune.com

ATKINSON — Three high-tech studios that open onto an outdoor driving range are part of a special teaching facility for golfers opening this week at Atkinson Resort & Country Club.

Willowcreek Golf Academy, a state-of-the-art facility, is unique in terms of its features, said Peter Doherty, the club's golf professional.

The teaching studios, which include 16-foot-high automatic doors that open onto a large driving range, have an overhead heating system to keep golfers warm, Doherty said. Advanced computer software, four cameras and wide-screen monitors will allow golfers to see themselves in action seconds after driving a ball. Instructors will pinpoint right on the monitor in front of them how golfers can improve their game.

Avid golfer Frank Marino of Derry tried one of the studios for the first time Tuesday.

The four-handicap player whacked balls on the outdoor driving range while instructor Marc Spencer analyzed his technique. Using his computer, Spencer showed Marino how to adjust his posture to get more into his swing.

"It's phenomenal," Marino said of the facility. "It's a way to understand your golf swing and improve it. Along with verbal instructions, you can see your swing, which allows me to make adjustments."

In addition to the three studios, the facility features a dozen bays under a roof that opens onto the driving range. The bays also are heated.

Doherty said golfers can work on their swing in the middle of the winter, no matter how cold it gets, and stay warm. Even if the outdoor driving range is covered with snow, it won't matter, he said.

The two-story building, which took about a year to build, includes a foyer with a massive stone fireplace, a pro shop, a cafe, an outside patio that will open in the spring, men's and women's locker rooms, and a function room with seating for 60 for birthday parties, corporate gatherings and other events, said Patty King, the resort's sales director.

"We are so excited to open, we can't wait," King said. "It's quite a unique facility, which is modeled after the main building."

It is expected to draw golfers of all levels from throughout New England, she said.

ÔÇæÔÇæÔÇæ

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have chosen to use my money to show my displeasure with Atkinson Country Club; I boycott any business associated with Lewis Homes, including East Coast Lumber and Hampstead Water. I encourage anyone else to consider doing the same. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Amen. Except for a few isolated cases, which were well exploited, all the Lewis family has done with their various enterprises is take, take, take and given nothing back in return.

Ask anyone associated with the new library. HAWC had an opportunity so show some goodwill. Instead, they went for our money.

There is one word that pretty much sums up Lewis Enterprises: Greed.

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding me!!! The Lewis's have given so much to the town, individuals and the area. It is very apparent that you do not volunteer or take part in town activities, or you would have know this. They have been very generous over the years and should be commended. Go back under the rock you have been hiding under!

Anonymous said...

Like what?

Anonymous said...

How about dumping human septage waste on their fields without:

1. Posting to the general public.
2. Taking into consideration the surrounding wells and the water table.
3. Doing it very late into the night as if trying to hide something.
4. Growing crops were the turds have been dropped.

Thats their contribution, to inflict pathogens, disease and other nasty stuff to the community. In the future to you think they will contribute to the chemo treatments or perhaps a liver donor for what they have done?

Anonymous said...

How about 9 Million in tax dollars. Does that qualify for anything the give to the town....every year?

Anonymous said...

You can do better than that. We all have to pay taxes. That is not an option. If Lewis Enterprises has to pay $9M, that is their obligation based on their property holdings. Certainly does not qualify as a gift or a donation. And, you can also bet they are doing their level best to minimize that obligation. That is why they have tax advisers and attorneys.

What is being discussed is what they have done above and beyond. Where was Lewis when the library was having difficulty with financing? Where where they when town hall wanted an addition? Where were they when the radio tower (no matter how ill conceived) was shot down.

In Peter Lewis's obituary it was stated he ran the 3rd largest construction company in NH. Much of that was made right here in Atkinson. What has Lewis given in return. A country club. Sorry, a for-profit enterprise. Fire hydrants, sorry, for their service area only and there is probably some state regulations demanding such.

I've heard that in some cases Peter Lewis intervened with some elderly residents in trouble. But, that was not an across the board case of assistance.

So, tell us. Beyond Lewis Enterprise's normal obligations, and the occasional act of kindness, what has the Lewis Family, an obliviously wealthy family, done for Atkinson? Last I heard they were trying to monopolize our water and use our tax dollars to expand.

Anonymous said...

Just one correction to the previous. Maybe you can't do better. So far we've seen non descriptive platitudes (January 2, 2009 2:22 PM) and the Lewis Family legal obligations (January 2, 2009 11:04 PM). Helping the occasional elderly resident with their heating bill is hardly representative of a systematic pattern of giving back to the community that has given one so much.

Tell us, how many of our town's elderly can afford a meal at the CC? Even a family with a normal income can barely afford the Sunday Buffet.

You know what is truly amazing here? This country is in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Depression. Yet, what is the LT article about? How the Atkinson Country Club, a prominent arm of the Lewis family, is making life for golfers better. Talk about being out of touch!

Anonymous said...

I was told a while back that Lewis wanted to build something and the town refused. He then stated he was going to hold back paying his taxes. The town quickly obliged to let him go about his building.

MAcciard said...

Why is it that It has become REQUIRED for a businessman to give something back?

Dont get me wrong, I am all for charity. But not FORCED charity. I am for charity, because the giver WANTS to give, not because some two faced politician, was able to extort money from taxpayers, to give to someone they designate.

What has the Town GIVEN Mr. Lewis? Yes the town has allowed him to build, as other have built. It has allowed him to grow his business, all of that has resulted in more and more tax revenue for the town. That means it was not a gift.

So please explain to me the gift. Yes it would be nice for a wealthy man to donate to his community, but ultimately it is his money to do with what he wishes, that does not make him evil.

Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Marc;

You've made an empty and specious argument here.

NO ONE SAID IT WAS MANDATORY TO GIVE.

The conversation was illustrating that the Lewis Mob takes and takes and takes, and someone asked for examples of what they have given.

It is a mark of someone's character, especially a rich family, to see what they have offered the town in terms of giving. Examining what they have given is a good window to the CHARACTER of that family.

What we see with the Lewis family is a group of ruthless money-grubbers that are willing to poison land, empty the water table, and bully their way and use the inside influence of town boards to earn more and more MONEY. It's sickness, but their greed blinds them to it.

I'm sorry Marc, but it's sad to see you stoop to defend such a greedy family. Perhaps you should use this opportunity to examine your own attitudes towards material gain over the good of the community...

Anonymous said...

Mark,

I recently watched a ZBA meeting.

Harold Morse, general manager of Lewis Construction/Hampstead Water/East Coast Lumber/Atkinson Country Club appeared before the board to get the permission to renew the State Inspection Station at their compound in a residential area.

Harold Morse repeatedly bullied ZBA Chairman Frank Polito. When told what the problem Chairman Polito had with the station (that any other business, like a rental car company, the Lewis Construction aquired could have access to the station, greatly increasing the traffic of that RESIDENTIAL community), Harold Morse just kept DEMANDING the permit, irregardless of the concerns and duty Polito had to protect that neighborhood.

It was the performance of a PETULANT CHILD, used to getting anything they wanted in a town the OWN, thanks to people like you that won't stand up to them. Giving the permit was wrong, but Morse bullied his way to the permit at the second meeting. Go and look for yourself.

You know what came up during the meeting? Harold Morse has been using the Lewis Costruction compound to store large lumber deliveries for East Coast Lumber, a CLEAR and BLATANT MISUSE of that land that is clearly not allowed.

Everytime it came up, do you know what Chairman Polito's response was? It was to ask Harold to stop saying it, because it went against the current use zoning of that piece of land.

THE CHAIRMAN WAS WARNING MORSE NOT TO PUBLICLY STATE THAT HE WAS USING THE LAND IN AN UNAUTHORIZED MANNER!

Instead of using this information as evidence that the permit station was against the best interest of the community, the chairman of OUR ZBA was acting as an advocate for the BUSINESS, not the COMMUNITY!

To this day, someone could make a complaint against the deliveries, but OUR chairman warned that BUSINESS to stop saying it in public!

Think about it folks. This town can't work hard enough to go around it's own laws and advocate for a bully that runs a construction company, a bully that sits on the Atkinson Planning Board (confluct of interest, wouldn't you say?), a company that we've learned today thinks TAXES is a CHARITABLE DONATION, but they don't have the money to make significant donations to our public library.

They DO have the money to drain our water table using loans of TAX MONEY from the state (and then offer to SELL the water back to you after they suck our wells dry), develop our rural community into North Salem, and treat public officials like their own personal puppets.

You feel the need to defend this company Mark?

This town is SICK...

Anonymous said...

if you are so unhappy with the town...move..because all you do is complain.

MAcciard said...

To Anon @ 1:29

What I meant; a little more general than just Peter Lewis.

What I meant is the current attitude that running a business and making money, and thus providing jobs, and tax revenue is somehow "taking" or inherently evil. And the concurrent thesis that it is only through the selfless donation of your hard earned wealth that you can hope to mitigate the sin of that wealth.

I read this attitude in the papers all the time. And I find it curious. For example, I have no wealth, but I donate what I can to various organizations, and I will stop to help anyone in need that I come across, if at all possible; does that make me a saint... No! That is just my attitude, I dont expect laurels for it, nor would I expect condemnation if I chose not to live that way.

That was all I was saying, I was neither defending, nor attacking anyone.

Anonymous said...

I don't see anyone here bragging about what THEY have given the town. Anything? Anyone? The land on which the Country Club sits could have been developed into a whole lot of houses. There's 300 acres over there!) Not likely to bring in $9 million in taxes, but it would have brought a lot of kids (up goes the school budget); a lot of people who just aren't satisfied with the town they moved to, they want more. Like sidewalks. Up goes the budget. More complainers; up go the dissatisfied bloggers.

Everyone complains; no one pitches in, offering to do something for the town.

Unless you've contributed; keep your mouth (and your computer) quiet.

By the way, Ive been contributing to this town for a long, long time.
When the Planning Board didn't do what Pete wanted to do, he built a country club instead (after a lengthy law suit, which the Lewises claim to have won.) During those years, Lewises did too pay their taxes.

Anonymous said...

I don't see anyone here bragging about what THEY have given the town. Anything? Anyone? The land on which the Country Club sits could have been developed into a whole lot of houses. There's 300 acres over there!) Not likely to bring in $9 million in taxes, but it would have brought a lot of kids (up goes the school budget); a lot of people who just aren't satisfied with the town they moved to, they want more. Like sidewalks. Up goes the budget. More complainers; up go the dissatisfied bloggers.

Everyone complains; no one pitches in, offering to do something for the town.

Unless you've contributed; keep your mouth (and your computer) quiet.

By the way, Ive been contributing to this town for a long, long time.
When the Planning Board didn't do what Pete wanted to do, he built a country club instead (after a lengthy law suit, which the Lewises claim to have won.) During those years, Lewises did too pay their taxes.

Anonymous said...

Well, it is clear a nerve has been hit, and I'm glad.

Several times we've seen that some view the very fact Lewis Enterprises pays their tax obligations as a sufficient contribution to our town.

It has also been pointed out, I feel correctly, that Lewis Enterprises has take full advantage of their influence to benefit themselves.

Harold Morse, or as he should be more correctly be referred to as, Mr. Cristine Lewis, has repeatedly shown his contempt, and by extension the Lewis family, for our legal process. His behavior before the Zoning Board is one example. The clear example of his membership on the Planning Board is another. Then, the topper. He clearly lied to the PUC during the hearing regarding the pipeline loan request. Read at the hearing transcript and compare that to his last minute cancellations of meetings with the BOS and the general public. Yep, a real standup citzen.

A previous poster got it exactly right. The behavior of the Lewis Family exemplifies their overall character. From all available information it is clear to me the Lewis Family cares about one thing, the Lewis Family. Sure, that is their right. But you will excuse me if I feel that the spreading of human waste atop our aquifer, or their blatant attempt to control same, is wrong. Just plain wrong and being a Lewis does not justify these actions.

Finally, in response to, "Everyone complains; no one pitches in, offering to do something for the town.

Unless you've contributed; keep your mouth (and your computer) quiet."

I have contributed. I have pitched in. And, I don't mean paying my property taxes or serving on a board where a conflict of interest is plain for all to see. So, I will not keep my mouth, or computer quiet. The Lewis Family would like that, wouldn't they?

So, for me, the premise stands. The Lewis Family creed is greed. What is theirs, is theirs, and the rest of us be damned.

MAcciard said...

I have far more admiration and less contempt for the man who does his works of charity out of the limelight, never seeking accolades for his good deeds, merely doing them because he wants to, than for the man who screams from the rooftops all of the selfless acts he performs with taxpayer dollars.

My feeling is if you wish to help other do it because you want to, not for the opinion of others, or public accolade. And if you are performing acts of charity with other peoples money(tax dollars) and then screaming about your virtue, you have achieved no more than a mugger, who happens to give some of his spoils to a charity.

Anonymous said...

Blah blah blah......

Sounds like some are jealousy of the Lewis family. We could all sit here sling arrows at a family that has given or maybe not given enough to please all. If you don't like someone or a place choose not see them or go to the place.
But please don't hide behind words that that could hurt. That has no meaning except to ruin a good name in town.

Anonymous said...

If revealing the truth about someone's actions, especially if they use their wealth and influence for their own benefit, so be it.

Dear Lewis defenders;

Could you please explain something?

Promising the town that they would never send Atkinson water out of Atkinson, the Lewis family lost a town vote on the water ordinance which prevents major water withdrawals.

The NEXT DAY, they applied for $1 million in TAXPAYER supplied public funding to ring Atkinson with water pipes (so when they lower the water table enough with their golf courses we will be forced to buy from them).

And, they revealed plans to connect Atkinson's water system TO HAMPSTEAD!

Tell me, are these the actions of an honorable group?

------------------------------------------------------------------------
And, in light of these slippery and selfish actions, should Harold Morse (or any other Lewis puppet) be reappointed by the Atkinson selectmen to a our planning board, where they are supposed to act for the public good over their own interests? It would be nothing less than an outrage if he is...

Anonymous said...

Well, some here may be jealous. But I don't think so. What has so many people upset is the arrogance and the sense of entitlement this family has shown.

Let's take for example the Midpoint wellfield. According to the dictates of their agreement with the town to build condos off of Meditation, a certain amount of land was to be set aside and zoned as conservation land, meaning it was to be left alone. So, what did Lewis Enterprises do with this open space? Build a well field. This has been documented and all of the town officials are aware of it. Now a large group of citizens are trying to prevent HAWC from using this well field to dry up their private wells.

Another example is what occurred at the last Special Town Meeting. A lot of spirited discussion occurred, topped with one member of the planning board basically calling the audience idiots. The three petitions passed overwhelming at the meeting and the polls. What was not discussed was the pipeline, because it was announced to the public THE DAY AFTER the special meeting. I don't think that was a coincidence because the Planning Board knew about it already. Funny they didn't mention it at the meeting.

You know, all of this could have been avoided if the Lewis family had shown any degree of understanding over the concerns of it neighbors. All I've seen is contempt.

So, am I jealous? Not in the least. Do I feel contempt? You bet'ca. Am I afraid these words will hurt? Not a bit. I would hope they serve as a wake-up call.

Anonymous said...

Ok here are the facts that many you seem to overlook

Facts below taken from the EPA.. Enough said.

Land application of septage is currently the most
commonly used disposal method in the U.S. It is
relatively simple and cost-effective, uses low energy,
and recycles organic material and nutrients to the
land.
With proper management, domestic septage is a
resource containing nutrients that can condition the
soil and decrease the reliance on chemical fertilizers
for agriculture. Septage management maximizes
these benefits of septage while protecting public
health and the environment.

Lewis family offered a radio tower for police to placed on the country club rejected or never followed up on by the town see minutes from planning board.
See board minutes from Feb 7, 2007

I am sure if you look over the years past you will see many items that town refused. So blame the town officers not the one family......

Anonymous said...

Mark, I agree with everything you said in your last post. It does go counter, however, the post of January 2, 2009 2:22 PM . We've seen nothing here to backup January 2, 2009 2:22 PM's claims. If they are doing so anonymously, they sure have done a good job of keeping it that way. It's a small town. I'd think someone would have noticed something.

No matter. I think what can be agreed to is that they have done nothing to help themselves with the public. In fact, they seem to go out of their way to tarnish their image. Examples:

- The water grab. The amount their new wells can pump far outstrips the needs of their current and future customers.
- In the public forum in April Harold says in front of a whole group of residents none of this water will be shipped out of town. However, in May the DES in a letter offers HAWC a low interest, public financed $1.1M loan to construct a pipeline between Atkinson and Hampstead. Discussions regarding this had preceded this letter.
- The public finds out about this pipeline a day after the Special Town Meeting where petitions are adopted to preserve our water. Most people now conclude Harold lied in April.
-During the PUC hearing Harold lies about his attempts to work with the town. He canceled at the last minute one meeting with the BOS, asked for an illegal Executive Session meeting with the BOS, and cancels at the last minute a public meeting at the library, leaving a lot of people standing around wondering what is going on.
- Harold is seen having a hissy fit before the zoning board, admits Lewis property is being used for illegal storage, and Frank keeps telling him to stop saying that.
- The dumping of human waste on the Lewis cornfield. I remember the day they did it. I could smell it at the fire station. A Walker Rd. resident calls the FD to complain is a suspicious smell, possibly natural gas. The fire chief investigates and reports back the smell is coming from "Farming Operations".
- Only after very direct and specific questioning does the NH Office of Consumer Affairs pry out of HAWC that they cannot account for 1 of every 3 gallons of water pumped in Atkinson. During the PUC hearing all HAWC will say is that they are looking into it and dismiss it as an important issue. The NH DES's own rules state that a water utility can have no more than 15% unaccounted for water loss to be considered for a state loan. HAWC is more than double that but the loan request proceeds.

There's more, but I think my point is made. I don't see a kind and compassionate family with the town's best interest at heart. I see one that will say anything, do anything to get what they want.

As far as the previous posting regarding the radio tower, here is what was actually said, "The Chief is requesting a police radio tower on top of the country club roof. Sue Killam contacted Chris Frey, and he said there would be no problem with the equipment on the country club roof, but they had no intention of paying for it."

I believe the sentence says it all. The residents are then asked to pay for it to the tune of $700K. The Budget Committee changes their recommendation after the Deliberative Session from pro to con and the town decisively votes it down.

Enough said.

Anonymous said...

If people are SO tired of all this, why aren't they volunteering for committees, offices and appointments to get involved and run this town correctly?

If you want changes at the planning board, then seek appointment by the Selectmen and point out the conflicts held by other current members and demand change. Same for changes in the selectmen or road agent, budget committee or library trustees or other town departments, run for office!

I for one am getting sick of all the whining and lack of action by people. Its easy to sit their and gripe but it takes effort to make changes occur. The old guard is on its way out and there is an opportunity for a new generation of Atkinson residents to make changes and make a difference. But nothing will change if people do not go out of their way to find time to get involved. It is your town so do something about it. If you don't, who will?

Those with greedy intentions know people are too busy to pay attention which makes getting away with this stuff easier for them. Perhaps not as easy lately since people finally have the internet and email to communicate and collaborate. Reality is your involvement is their worst nightmare.

This town needs volunteers. Now is the time when you can make the most difference.

Anonymous said...

Once again, you point fingers at all the complainers saying that we have just a bunch of Atkinson folk whining away.

If you are intending to make a difference and want to show others that you are serious, don't go posting anonymously. Otherwise your banter is no different than everyone else's.

Anonymous said...

"If people are SO tired of all this, why aren't they volunteering for committees, offices and appointments to get involved and run this town correctly?"

You have missed the point of the discussion. The discussion starts with an LT article on the fantastic new addition at the CC (and you can bet LT did not find out about this by their crack investigative team.)

The discussion moves onto the question of what the Lewis Family, one of the richest in NH, has done for Atkinson other than provide for-profit services.

One person announces the Lewis Family has been very generous to the town over the years, yet we get no concrete examples.

Another person (or the same one) suggests that paying their tax bill is a show of generosity. I guess that makes all of us generous contributors to the town.

Then we get into the meat of things. A poster suggests, correctly, the actions of a very rich family has towards the town that has provided them so much is a sign of their character.

This is followed up with numerous examples their character; lies and contempt.

My favorite is one posters statement that Lewis Enterprises offered space for a police radio tower but town officials did not follow up. The actual transcript of the meeting the poster refers to tells a much different story.

Now someone is trying to change the subject by berating us for not volunteering. What the H*** does that have to do with asking the Lewis Family to do the right thing?

You might say I'm picking on them. Well, they make it so damn easy. Who is running PR for their water program, the Marx Brothers? On the one hand Harold says no water will leave Atkinson. 4 months later they announce the pipeline to Hampstead, and plan on using our tax money to fund it. Then we find out they can't take care of what they have; one is three gallons lost, and this has been going on for years. This country, and many town residents, are facing the worst economy since the Great Depression. What do we get, one LT article with Harold bemoaning he can't sell his condos and another touting a fabulous new addition to the CC. This will be welcomed news to the residents facing foreclosure. And smelling up the town with human waste is another great way to gain allies.

I'm sorry, but with all I've seen and experienced the only feeling I have for this family is contempt and disgust. Strong words, I know. But as long as they keep acting as they have, the feelings will remain.

Anonymous said...

Just curious, why does Harold Morse, General Manager of Lewis Builders and President of HAWC, and a member of the Atkinson Planning Board, have a Hampstead Address, 6 Spruce Drive
Hampstead, NH to be exact. Don't you have to be an Atkinson resident to serve on an Atkinson Board?

Anonymous said...

Yeow! Could it be?

Anonymous said...

RE: January 4, 2009 4:03 PM

From the same article you site (thank you Google): Septage is highly variable and organic, with
significant levels of grease, grit, hair, and debris. The liquids and solids pumped from a septic tank or cesspool have an offensive odor and appearance, a
tendency to foam upon agitation, and a resistance to settling and dewatering. Septage is also a host for many disease-causing viruses, bacteria, and
parasites.

Anonymous said...

January 6, 2009 10:14 AM

No kidding, and add cancer causing pathogens into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. Has anyone done a health check of those households in the surrounding area? I bet you will be surprised of the health issues found.

Anonymous said...

Just so everyone is clear why their is a lot of criticism aimed at Harold Morse, the public face of Lewis Builders and HAWC, consider the following:

Town of Atkinson
Town Administrator
21 Academy Avenue
Atkinson, NH 03811
November 6, 2008

NH Public Utilities Commission
21 S. Fruit Street Suite 10
Concord, NH 0330 1-2429
RE: 08-088-1 Hampstead Area Water Company

Dear Ms. Rowland:
On Tuesday, November 4, 2008, I gave oral testimony before the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) concerning the Hampstead Area Water Company’s (HAWC) request to extend their existing franchise.
The Atkinson Board of Selectmen have questions concerning this request and have made several
unsuccessful attempts to meet with the petitioner, Hampstead Area Water Company. This letter is to
clarify events as they actually occurred concerning the attempts of the Hampstead Area Water Company’s representatives to meet with the Town of Atkinson.

On October 15, 2008, Mr. Harold Morse of HAWC asked to be on the Selectmen’s Agenda for October
20th. The Selectmen were pleased that they would finally have an opportunity to discuss HAWC’s petition at their Regular Meeting. Unfortunately, Mr. Morse canceled his appearance at that meeting. Many residents were in attendance to listen to the concerns the Selectmen, as well as Mr. Morse’s responses to those concerns.

The Selectmen voted to hold another public meeting on October 30, 2008, at the Kimball Library in
Atkinson at 7 PM. I have enclosed is a copy of the letter I sent to Mr. Morse, advising him of the meeting and inviting him to come. Once again Mr. Morse did not come to the meeting.

HAWC’s attorney, Robert Levine, contacted the Town’s attorney, Sumner F. Kalman, to request an
executive (private) session with the members of the Board of Selectmen. The Selectmen would not agree to meet in closed session, preferring to look after the public’s interest in a public meeting.

The Selectmen still await a forum for replies to their concerns, and are requesting that no decision be made by the PUC until the Hampstead Area Water Company’s representatives make themselves available to the Board in a public session in Atkinson in the public’s interest.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
Steven V. Angelo
Town Administrator
Enclosure

October 23, 2008
Town of Atkinson
Town Administrator
21 Academy Avenue
Atkinson, NH 03811

Hampstead Area Water Company
54 Sawyer Avenue
Atkinson, NH 03811
RE: Public Hearing

Dear Mr. Morse:
The Atkinson Board of Selectmen will hold a public information meeting concerning your application currently before the Public Utility Commission. This forum will be held at the new Kimball Library Meeting Room on Thursday, October 30, 2008, at 7 PM.

The Selectmen have asked me to invite representatives of the Hampstead Area Water Company to attend this public forum. The Board is providing this opportunity for a public discussion to help determine an appropriate position for the Town regarding your current application (#08-088-1).

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday, October 30.

Cc: D. Rowland, Public Utilities Commission
C. Bowman, Department of Environmental Services
PUC Service List
Steven V. Angelo
Town Administrator
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
This letter clarified the following testimony before the PUC on 11/04 by Harold Morse:

22 BY MR. LEVINE:
23 Q. Mr. Morse, following the Stipulation, did the Company
24 make an effort to contact the Town to come to some

[WITNESSES: Morse|St. Cyr|Naylor|Brogan|Eckberg]
1 agreement on the franchise request?
2 A. (Morse) Yes. Either directly with the Selectmen or
3 through their attorney, we made several attempts to sit
4 down and come up with what they would consider a
5 minimal agreement.
6 Q. And, because this matter was concerning issues that
7 were in litigation, how did the Company couch its
8 request to the Town, as far as the form of meeting?
9 A. (Morse) We requested to meet with them with their
10 attorney in executive session to discuss it.
11 Q. And, how many times did we make that request of them?
12 A. (Morse) Three that I know of.
13 Q. And, what was their response?
14 A. (Morse) Never got back to us.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. (Morse) And, they proposed holding a public hearing on
17 the 30th of October. We sent in a letter of our
18 reduced franchise area and description of the franchise
19 at that time.
20 Q. So, that was delivered to the Town offices that
21 afternoon?
22 A. (Morse) Yes, it was, prior to that meeting, scheduled
23 meeting, yes.
24 Q. And, what was the result of that meeting?
{DW 08-088} {11-04-08}
59
[WITNESSES: Morse|St. Cyr|Naylor|Brogan|Eckberg]
1 A. (Morse) I believe they canceled the meeting, to the
2 best of my knowledge.
3 Q. Have you ever received a counterproposal from the Town
4 as to what franchise size would be acceptable to them?
5 A. No, I haven't.

So, the town claims it attempted twice to meet with Mr. Morse. Mr. Morse claims the town canceled the meetings, even though there was a good number of citizens at both public meetings. Who are we to believe. And, according to our town administrator, the town is still awaiting a public meeting with Mr. Morse.

At a minimum, I would think Mr. Morse's actions would demand his removal from the Planning Board.

tim dziechowski said...

One of the agenda items on tonight's planning board meeting is a zoning article I introduced to put prime wetlands on the 2009 warrant as a planning board sponsored zoning change. Tune in to see if Harold recuses himself from that vote.

Anonymous said...

Since many residents don't have Comcast and cannot view the proceedings, and the fact that the Planning Board has not published minutes since October 15th, A summary of tonight's meeting posted tomorrow would be welcomed.

Having read January 6, 2009 8:22 PM, and verifying that what the posting says is true (go to the PUC's website. All of the documentation is there) it seems clear Harold Morse lied to the PUC regarding his actions with the BOS.

Planning Board members are appointed by the BOS. They can just as easily rescind that appointment. They certainly have cause in this case. This goes beyond a just an apparent conflict of interest. If we are to place any trust in town government this incident should be dealt with.

Anonymous said...

Let's get this straight;

Atkinson has a sitting member of our planning board that:

> Has lied repeatedly to the town and the townspeople about his company's attempts to withdraw hundreds of thousands of gallons of water from our aquifers

> Promised the townspeople of Atkinson that water would never be sent out of Atkinson, but filed for $1.1 million taxpayer funded loan to connect the Atkinson water system to Hampstead the day after Atkinson voters passed a health ordinance to protect it's water

> Admitted to the Chairman of Atkinson's Zoning Board of Adjustment repeatedly that the Lewis Construction Compound (located in a residential area) was violating it's terms of use by accepting and storing large deliveries of lumber meant for East Coast Lumber

> Is operating his water company on the long term strategy of 1) lowering the level of our aquifers by watering multiple golf courses 2) killing local residents wells, forcing them to 3) sign onto the Lewis operated local water monopoly to buy their own town's water back at a premium

This is the person that Atkinson selectmen have chosen, and Atkinson citizens have allowed, to sit on a board with the duty of monitoring local businesses and protecting the town's lands and resources from thoses businesses?

We're kidding, right?

In 2009 can We, the residents of Atkinson, begin the process of taking back our town boards from the businesses they're supposed to regulate?

In 2009, Harold Morse must be NOT be reappointed to the Atkinson Planning Board.

Anonymous said...

I just noticed that there are some new documents on the water site regarding the PUC hearing for the pipeline. Some really juicy stuff.

Anonymous said...

After reading the letter regarding Regulatory Capture and the letters between the DES and HAWC it seems the DES is just as much to blame for our water concerns as HAWC.

Last year, in the previous forum, I made a statement that I did not trust the DES to protect my interest's. Out of nowhere, some a** h*** starting accusing me of being an anarchist. It was comforting to see the other bloggers did not agree with this opinion.

Well, there it is in black and white - The DES telling HAWC to go spend money, and the fact the DES did not make themselves available for cross examination at the PUC hearing.

Still think I'm an anarchist when the facts bear me out?