Atkinson Town Hall

Atkinson Town Hall
The Norman Rockwellian picture of Atkinson

There is a NEW POLL at Right--------------------->

Don't forget to VOTE!
Make your voice heard!

Welcome Message and Mission Statement

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!

This Blog will not fall to outside hacks from anyone, especially insecure public officials afraid of their constituents criticism.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Day to all!

This was George Washington's Thanksgiving Day Address;

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Rockingham Co. sheriff resigns to avoid criminal prosecution!

From the Eagle Tribune;

Rockingham Co. sheriff resigns
Jo-Anne MacKenzie

Rockingham County Sheriff Dan Linehan and Maj. Mark Peirce have agreed to resign their posts in order to avoid criminal prosecution, according to Attorney General Michael Delaney.

Linehan and Peirce were investigated by the Attorney General's Office. The investigation revealed that an annulled arrest record of David Lovejoy, Linehan's opponent in the last year's election, was released to two reporters.

Delaney said Peirce or someone in his office provided that information to reporters and it was Linehan's intent that the information be revealed. Reports were subsequently published about a 1989 case involving Lovejoy that was annulled.

It is a misdemeanor to disclose an annulled arrest or conviction record.

In a prepared statement, Delaney said he reached "a negotiated disposition with Linehan and Peirce regarding their unlawful conduct." If the two resigned immediately, Delaney agreed not to bring criminal charges against them.

Both men relinquished their New Hampshire police certification and Linehan agreed not to seek employment as a law enforcement officer in the state again.

"This type of criminal behavior will not be condoned, especially by those members of society who are sworn to uphold the law.’While I am confident that misdemeanor convictions would have been obtained, today's agreement ensures that Mr. Linehan and Mr. Peirce will immediately be removed from the highest levels of Rockingham County law enforcement and they will never again serve as members of New Hampshire's law enforcement community," Delaney said. "I believe that this agreement is an appropriate disposition of this case."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Towns, Schools face crippling State Retirement contributions

From the Eagle Tribune;

Towns, schools to face pension increases
By Doug Ireland

Town and school officials in Southern New Hampshire can only hope the economy continues to improve since in a year and a half, they could face what one local leader calls "crippling" budget hikes.

That's because the latest rate increases proposed by the state Retirement System call for employer pension contributions of up to 31 percent for police officers and 30.3 percent for teachers starting July 1, 2011.

For firefighters, the increase would be 25.1 percent and 21 percent for other municipal employees. Meanwhile, the rate for state employees only rises 11.4 percent.

"That's quite a crippling blow, quite frankly," said Derry Town Administrator Gary Stenhouse, noting taxpayers in his town will have to dig down for an additional $540,000 if the rate increases for police, firefighters and other workers are approved by system trustees in September.

And the more than $500,000 won't even cover the pension contributions required for Derry's teachers since town government and the school district operate independently from each other, Stenhouse said.

"The money still comes from the same poor people's pockets," he said of taxpayers. "It just tells me there is something dramatically and drastically wrong with the state pension system."

When the current rates were approved, the town was forced up to come up with an additional $200,000, Stenhouse said. Now, the projected increase is close to triple that amount.

Stenhouse blames the rate hikes on what he calls the Retirement System's "overly optimistic" projections.

The system's increases, he said, have taken a toll on communities and school districts over the years, forcing taxpayers to pony up more money with no one being held accountable.

He compares the situation to the dilemma some towns face when they do not budget enough money for winter road maintenance and then run out of money for snowplowing and salting long before the last snowflake has melted.

At that point, a lot of finger-pointing takes place and the weather is blamed for causing too many snowstorms. However, proper planning would have avoided such problems, he said.

"It didn't snow any less in Derry than anywhere else," Stenhouse added.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Former Atkinson Police Capt. Succumbs to Cancer

From the Eagle Tribune;

Windham police captain dies from cancer
By Terry Date

WINDHAM — A police captain who valiantly battled cancer for years died Wednesday.

Patrick D. "Rick" Yatsevich, 46, of East Hampstead was mourned yesterday by fellow officers and others.

"He fought a long and hard battle against cancer," Sgt. Carl Wagner said. "We feel terrible for the family."

Yatsevich leaves his wife, Kerri, and their three children, Kimberly, Jared and Jordan.

Sgt. Glenn Record said Yatsevich was a family man, who was religious and very professional.

"He was a family first guy," Record said.

He said his favorite memory of Yatsevich was the fine benediction he gave at the retirement of police Chief Bruce Moeckel in 2005.

Yatsevich left work in May 2008 on disability. Town employees donated six months of earned time to bring Yatsevich's income to its former level.

He was named Windham's Employee of the Year in February 2008.

Yatsevich started his law enforcement career in Claremont in 1981 as a dispatcher, and later became a patrol officer and captain with that department.

He also worked a year in Atkinson as a police prosecutor and captain in 1998-1999.

Atkinson police Chief Phil Consentino said yesterday he was saddened to hear of Yatsevich's death.

"He was a good man," Consentino said.

Yatsevich joined the Windham police force in 1999.

In 2000, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that was surgically removed.

In June 2006, a cancerous tumor was found on his spine. The multiple myeloma cancer put him out of work for a year. His cancer went into near complete remission and he returned to work in June 2007.

Bruce Breton, vice chairman of the Windham Board of Selectmen, said he became close to Yatsevich during the time he was out of work. Breton had suffered a heart attack around the same time.

The two would talk. Often the topic was police service; the subjects ranged from traffic flow to Tasers.

Breton said Yatsevich carried himself as a professional.

"When you walked into his office, you could tell he was a career police officer," Breton said.

In early 2008, blood tests revealed that his cancer had returned. He underwent chemotherapy.

Yatsevich died at Merrimack Valley Hospice House in Haverhill.

Relatives and friends may call today from 2 to 6 p.m. at Brookside Chapel and Funeral Home, 116 Main St., Plaistow.

His funeral will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow at St. Matthew's Church, Main Street, Sandown. Burial will follow in Lakeview Cemetery in Hampstead. Friends and family will gather after the service at Sandown Town Hall.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Atkinson selectmen to decide tower case

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson selectmen to decide tower case
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — Selectmen are to decide on Monday night whether to allow the owner of the Hog Hill tower to add three antennas to the 160-foot structure.

Selectmen and the tower's owner, SBA Tower II, have met several times in recent months to discuss adding the three flush-mounted antennas.

Nearby residents who have attended three recent public hearings have received notification of this meeting but won't be allowed to speak.

"It's not a public hearing but it has the flavor of a public hearing," Selectman Bill Bennett said.

Since the last public hearing in September, selectmen have been reviewing documents on the tower from years past.

The tower's owners have been presenting similar proposals since 2006.

The latest is almost identical to the one denied a special exception by the Zoning Board of Adjustment in March 2007.

SBA Tower II challenged the decision by filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in September 2007, but a federal judge ruled a year later that it was up to selectmen to decide the case. The zoning board issued its decision when the 50-year-old tower was owned by Mariner Tower.

The three antennas are expected to improve T-Mobile's cell phone service in Atkinson, primarily near Route 121.

But there is still more information selectmen would like to see.

SBA Tower II has applied for a building permit to establish anchors for the guy lines needed to support the additional weight of the three antennas.

But so far, SBA Tower II has refused to pay for the town to hire an engineer to make sure the anchors would be able to handle the weight, Bennett said.

"They don't see why they should have to pony up $2,500," Bennett said.

Monday's meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Atkinson Police Chief Receives Federal Homeland Security Grant for Improved Communications and Denies It!

Anonymous said...

Article Submission:

Atkinson Police Chief Receives Federal Homeland Security Grant for Improved Communications and Denies It!

In 2004, several area Police Departments including Atkinson, Plaistow and Kingston, collaborated on a solution to the police radio communication problem plaguing the area. Plaistow Police Chief Savage headed this effort, a study was done and a Federal Homeland Security Law Enforcement Terrorism Protection Program ( LETPP) grant application was filed with the State of NH Department of Safety. Over $81k was received in 2006 and in accordance with Federal law, reports filed detailing the location of the equipment in Atkinson, Plaistow and Kingston.

Police Chief Consentino has repeatedly and publically denied receiving any grant money. In fact, this equipment was purchased and recorded as being installed in Atkinson! Up until recently, requests for the grant documentation under RSA 91A, were denied by the State of NH, Department of Safety. According to the grant documentation, Atkinson received a receiver, canopy microwave and two IPmux.

According to a recent statement by Atkinson Selectman Bill Bennett, Plaistow Police Chief Savage and Atkinson Police Lt. Bill Baldwin thought the the equipment could be placed on the APD antenna but it wasn;t high enough so it was thrown into a closet in Plaistow. The equipment was never installed but the funds were disbursed to 2-Way Communications for the installation and to the town of Plaistow for the equipment purchase.

Bennett claims that a repeater purchased under this grant was instead installed on Timberlane HS to improve police radio communication in the school. Bennett is also looking to find out what happened to the rest of the equipment Atkinson received since the Atkinson Communication Committee is looking for similar or identical equipment to solve the problem now. Bennett claims that Lt. Baldwin has the information but cannot be reached at his post in the Middle East and has no access to email.

Is anyone else wondering why they pushed so hard for a $700k tower to support $9k worth of equipment?

Where did the repeater at the HS come from?

How much more of this solution was not installed and not used as reported?

The Federal grant indicates that a study was done yet no one knew the APD antenna was not high enough, not sturdy enough?

Why does the application claim that the Atkinson equipment would be installed on the Atkinson Fire Department, while Bennett claims the plan was to install it at the APD?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Atkinson cuts trees at dangerous intersection

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson cuts trees at dangerous intersection
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON, N.H. — One of the town's most dangerous intersections was made safer this week, as highway workers trimmed about 10 trees at Linebrook Road and East Road after receiving permission from the property owner.

Police Chief Phil Consentino said the intersection frequently has been the site of accidents because trees blocked the view of Linebrook Road from East Road. Drivers turning onto East Road also had problems seeing other cars.

"You're shooting dice because you can't see if anyone's coming," Consentino said.

Road agent Ted Stewart credited homeowner Bill Fulmore for allowing the town to clear two large maple trees and a couple of spruce trees. The intersection has been a problem for at least 20 years, he said.

The town had made earlier attempts to remedy the situation, but the previous homeowner wouldn't give the town permission to clear the trees, Consentino said.

Stewart said the Planning Board and Highway Safety Committee recently sent a letter to Fulmore and he complied with the town's request.

The intersection, near the Timberlane Regional High School and Middle School, has a lot of bus traffic before and after school.

"It makes everyday life more comfortable on the way to school," Stewart said.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Non- Veteran Hypocrits Get Free Vets Breakfast...

This was gypped from the Plaistow Town Crier, Thank you Mr. Herrick;

This comes from the Atkinson Reporter II Blogspot. Anonymous is criticising Police Chief Consentino and Former Selectman Sapia for appearing at the towns yearly Veterans Breakfast.

Anonymous said...

Kinda of Hypocritical of them after their efforts to STOP the Vietnam Honor Roll Panels!

Phil said in an open meeting "that woman will never get her way with these" Talking about Carol Grants project to get those panels in place.

All it took was TWO town meetings, TWO elections ordering them to do it, FOURTEEN selectmens meetings to discuss it, and ONE Court Case!

And Jack wanted them to go on top of the Town hall leach field! Jack, you seriously wanted to "honor" vets by putting their memorial on top of a "shit field"?

Now they come to the vets breakfast to schmooze with the vets?

You can't make this stuff up!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Trucking firm owner gives up appeal in Atkinson

From the Eagle Tribune;

Trucking firm owner gives up appeal in Atkinson
By Eric Parry

ATKINSON — The owner of a trucking company whose plans were rejected by the town's zoning board has dropped his appeal in Superior Court.

Paul Murphy, owner of PJ Murphy Transportation Inc., said he can't afford to appeal the town's decision to deny him permission to build a 24-hour trucking facility in the town's commercial/industrial zone.

"I've already spent a ton of money on legal costs," Murphy said yesterday.

In May, Murphy said he had spent more than $100,000 on plans and legal costs to build the proposed facility on Industrial Way. Plans included seven trucks and 14 trailers transporting petroleum and swimming pool water in the summer.

Murphy, who owns transportation facilities in Dracut and Methuen, said he's still looking to expand, possibly in the Lawrence area.

The town's zoning board denied Murphy's plans for a 24-hour trucking facility at its meeting April 15.

The project initially was approved by the zoning board in March. That decision was appealed by a group of residents from Atkinson and Salem.

Murphy said he still feels cheated by the town, but couldn't continue spending money in court.

"I just didn't see that working out," he said.

Residents were concerned about the facility generating noise in the middle of the night and environmental issues.

In addition to appealing the board's initial decision, the residents also appealed in Rockingham County Superior Court. That lawsuit was stayed after the town denied Murphy's plans in April.

Members of the zoning board wrestled with the project for months.

Atkinson's zoning regulations specifically identify what is allowed in the commercial and industrial zone, and the trucking facility didn't fit the requirements despite the fact that similar businesses are located in the same area, according to some board members.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Atkinson asks court to force removal of addition

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson asks court to force removal of addition
By Jarret Bencks

BRENTWOOD — The town of Atkinson has requested help from the court to require a local resident to remove work he had done to his house without permission from the town or state.

The town has asked the court to grant a permanent injunction ordering John Mason Jr., of 4 Rocky Point Lane, to remove a 10-foot by 25-foot addition he built on his waterfront property without a building permit from the town.

Mason has been contacted by the town and the state Department of Environmental Services on numerous occasions since September 2007 regarding the addition but no progress has been made, according to court documents.

On Sept. 5, 2007, Mason applied for a permit to "rebuild existing structure," that was rejected because it did not meet wetland zoning regulations — it needed DES approval and a variance from the town zoning board, according to court documents. The addition already had been built at that point, according to the injunction.

A year later, DES officials conducted an inspection of Mason's property and found the construction of the closed porch brought the structure closer to public water, violating state law. On Dec. 2, 2008, DES sent a letter to Mason requesting a wall for the enclosed porch be removed within 20 days. That letter was returned to the DES as undeliverable, according to spokesman Jim Martin.

Atkinson selectmen sent Mason a letter on Dec. 31, 2008, requesting he either take down the addition or appear at a hearing on Jan. 14 to request a variance.

Mason applied for two variances, but didn't attend the hearing, at which both requests were denied.

The town received a letter from Mason on Jan. 22 that stated he intended to resolve all outstanding issues with the state in the next 45 days and would then address the town issues. But that did not happen.

DES sent out a second letter of deficiency on Feb. 5 asking Mason to correct the additions to his property by April 6.

On April 28, Mason applied for a variance with the town's zoning board. On July 8, the zoning board denied the variance. Mason did not appeal that decision.

The town inspection office, in a letter July 23, demanded Mason demolish the addition.

"It is now necessary for you to get a demolition permit and remove the 10-by-25-foot addition that you constructed without a building permit," the letter read.

The DES sent a letter to Mason on Sept. 22 warning him the state would be sending an administrative order demanding he remove the enclosed porch. That order is being drafted and will be sent in the next couple of weeks, Martin said.

On Oct. 22, Atkinson Town Attorney Sumner Kalman filed a petition for an injunction in Rockingham Superior Court. It asks the court to require Mason to remove the work he has done and to pay the town fines and penalties.

The injunction request does not specify how much money the town is seeking, but it states that Mason's failure to comply with the town ordinance "adversely affects the health, safety and welfare of other Atkinson residents," and further states that "civil penalties have and continue to accumulate."

Fred Childs, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said the town has given Mason numerous extensions to apply for permits and he has continued to do nothing.

"It's been a long time; he's had extension after extension," he said. "We've asked him to correct it and he hasn't."

In a brief statement yesterday, Mason said he only received the court papers yesterday and intends to resolve the issue.

"It's in the attorneys' hands and they are going to try to work it out," he said.

Mason's property was last appraised in 2006 at a value of $373,100.

Fiscal Responsibility For These Difficult Times


Fiscal Responsibility For These Difficult Times

Atkinson is now entering the budget season when department heads will either come in with budgets that (1) show their solidarity with our hard-pressed
taxpayers; or else (2)they will selfishly ’thumb their nose’ at our townspeople.

So many Atkinson households are struggling to make ends meet. The number of our townspeople
who have lost their jobs due to lay-offs, down-sizing or business failures is unbelievable. Many homes have gone on the market because financially-pressed owners can not meet their mortgage obligations.

These are very tough and difficult financial times for so many. Our town officials and department
heads have got to respect that when they submit their budgets for 2010.

Some department heads consistently act responsibly and come in with low budgets or at least, hold the line while other department heads regularly selfishly act like pigs at a trough, demanding more and more every year. Each year’s budget is an increase over the previous year’s.

Please REFUSE to accept ANY AND ALL budget increases from dept. heads. Please hold the line
for the struggling tax payers you
are supposed to represent. Announce and then enforce a ZER0
TOLERANCE LEVEL for those giving taxpayers the bird.