Atkinson Town Hall

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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.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Time to think about Memorial Day

MAcciard said...


On this Memorial Day, when we have young men and women from our town standing in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan, and still more serving around the world, I would like to take a moment of reflection out of our beach and bar-b-que times to remember and honor those who have ensured that we have this time.

A military member is someone who at one time in their life wrote a check to the rest of us; men, women, children, democrat and republican alike, liberal and conservative, black and white, rich and poor, to stand up and do for us what we can not do for ourselves. They wrote a check that stated; "I will pay any amount up to and including my own life to protect and defend the rights and freedoms of the people of the United States of America."

Memorial day was originally May 30th and it was called decoration day. That was the day set aside to place wreaths, flowers, flags, and other decorations on the graves of our fallen heroes. Some 40 or so years ago, a compliant Congress at the behest of a strong labor union lobby moved it to the "Monday following the last weekend in May" to effect a long weekend that signaled the start of summer. In that move the meaning of Memorial day has been obscured.

I hope that we all take a moment out of our day, today, to stop and think of those men and women who are serving currently, and those who have made the ultimate gift to the rest of us.

To the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and most of all Marines, I want to take a moment to say, Thank you.

Mark R. Acciard

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Osborns whine that town has reated them unfairly in Court Documents!

Osborns file countersuit against Town of Atkinson for failure to give them an Occupancy Permit!

Talk about Stones!!

Recently available Court documents reveal the Osborns claims of unfair treatment. The Osborns CLAIM that they have met all the Town's requests with the exception of removing the boathouse(which they claim the ZBA never made a decision about) and installing sprinklers(which they claim the fire chief told them that if they laid a driveway across Carol Davis' property, they could forego the sprinklers).

They claim that the driveway has been built, and meets safety standards, even though it is currently over 10% grade, and too steep to get a fire truck up, and they have failed to provide the town with engineered plans for anything.

They claim to have provided engineered plans for the driveway, the destruction of the boathouse, and the fire suppression system, but the town has never received any of this. HELL the town doesn't even have the plans that the house was built from!

The osborns submitted plans to obtain their building permit, then had an architect redesign the house to add square footage, without notifying the town, or resubmitting new plans!

It is also highly likely that the driveway across Mrs. Davis' land will be Oredered by the Court to be demolished. thereby adding another violation to thier construction project.

It also appears the town is not enforcing the bond requirement, or the payment of thousands of dollars in fines owed by the Osborns to the town. The Osbonrs appealed these findings to the Court only to be denied, leaving the Town with the legal right to collect this money, which the selectmen apparently feel apprehensive to do.

We will keep you informed of any new developments.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Frank Polito Named Atkinson Lions Club Citizen of the Year

Article Submission

Frank Polito Named Atkinson Lions Club Citizen of the Year

Former Town Moderator and ZBA Chairman, Frank Polito, was recognized as the Lions Club Citizen of the Year. There's little doubt Mr. Polito donated a lot of his time over the many years he was public official in town. In recent years, the controversy and distractions he generated were less helpful and sometimes made no sense, walking a fine line between legal and illegal. He sued the town over an access road and his case was thrown out of court due to a lack of standing. He admitted in court documents he misunderstood RSA 91-A when as Moderator he tried to prevent his picture from legally being taken at town meeting and it was the final straw that led to ultimately led to his resignation after his insurance carrier dropped him.

What inquiring minds would like to know is what contributions justified his selection over hundreds of other residents who volunteered countless productive and valuable hours and manage to AVOID generating lawsuits. I can think of many people deserving such recognition. But must admit Mr. Polito wasn't the first name popping into my mind. Did he deserve the annual award which I presume is reflective of a person's contributions in the past year, since its an annual award? Or is it now a lifetime achievement award that was way past due? What do Lion's club members think? Do they all agree with chairman of the selection committee Phil Consentino's notion Frank deserved it? Or was it a political play by Phil to help his buddy Frank politically and a blatant misuse of Lion's Club good name? You make the call. Is he Citizen of the year or Jerk of the Year and why?

Selectmen ask if they really have to enforce Voter passed Ordinance!

Yes, m fellow Atkinsonians, this is the road oft traveled in Atkinson. In March, the voters overwhelmingly passed an ordinance requiring water utilities drawing groundwater within Atkinson, to place flow meters on all mains connecting to neighboring towns, at the Town borders. Simple enough, right?

Not in Atkinson!

It appears that our erstwhile board of selectmen has directed the town administrator to write to the PUC of all people, to ask if they really have to enforce this! You've got to be kidding me! This is the Vietnam Honor Roll panels all over again, and we know how that turned out.

Why is it our selectmen can not simply do what the people direct them to do? This was a simple ordinance intended to verify HAWC's claims that their connection with Hampstead does not facilitate the pumping of Atkinson groundwater to Hampstead.

This is for the good of the town, we have no water sources here in town, all we have is our groundwater, and that is at the mercy of one company.

It infuriates the people of Atkinson when our elected officials feel that they have to ask the State if they really have to follow our wishes. And of all agencies to ask, the PUC??? This agency not only could care less about Atkinson's best interests, they have a dog in this fight, as they have some control of water management in the state. The selectmen are, in effect, asking them to rule against their own bureaucratic interests. What is the likelihood of THAT happening?

Selectmen all you have to do is your jobs. If the people tell you to do something you do it, end of discussion.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Timberlane board learns animation

From the Eagle Tribune;

Timberlane board learns animation

By Bryan Deyermond

PLAISTOW — The Timberlane Regional School Board was introduced to an animated world of sprites and forever blocks at its meeting last night.

Sherry Hegstrom, a middle-school technology teacher, demonstrated some of the new technology used to teach students. With help from a few of her sixth- and seventh-grade students, she introduced the board to the world of Scratch, a program created at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that allows students to create graphic designs.

"Through moving blocks of code, students work to create animations, graphic novels, games and other projects," Hegstrom said.

Using eight commands, students can make their creations move. Each object is referred to as a sprite, which can be anything from a cat to a shark.

Student Gordon Smith, who Hegstrom said has fast become a Scratch expert, gave a five-minute demonstration on how to create fast-moving animation.

Gordon took a sprite — in this case a cat — and showed board members how to make it walk. Using different motion codes, he was able to create movement with the help of a forever block, which can force any coded action to continue until the end of a particular animation.

Gordon used his walking cat and combined several other codes to create a short computer video of the cat walking down a street, a bat flying overhead, and jungle music playing in the background.

Once videos are created, they can be uploaded to the Scratch website, where people worldwide can comment on the students' creations.

Scratch helps students develop their creativity, Hegstrom said.

"They are teaching me something every day," she said.

The board members applauded after each of the three demonstrations.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

NH's Right to Know law needs to be strengthened.

MAcciard said...


NH's Right to Know law needs to be strengthened.

By: Mark Acciard

It has been my experience that NH largely "gets it right" when drafting laws. They usually strike the appropriate balance between protecting a State interest, and intrusive overreach. The problem usually lies with interpretation and enforcement. It is in this that the RTK law has issues.

First, The definitions of what is allowable in a non-public meeting need to be tightened up.

For example; RSA91-A:3,II. Lists the reasons that a body can go into a non-public session. One of the most abused is the legal discussion. This was intended to protect against the premature disclosure of legal maneuverings during a lawsuit, or land purchase or sale. It is currently used for anything remotely to do with a question to be asked of legal counsel. That is wrong.

Another abused portion of this law is the "personnel reason". This is supposed to be only for discussions evaluating new hires, discussing promotions or discipline. It is currently used for anything remotely to do with an employee, including citizen complaints, and the action, or lack thereof resulting from those complaints, this is more properly a matter of public disclosure.

Then you have the simple "request for information". This is supposed to be answered within 5 days, and a time frame given as to when the information will be produced. Yet Atkinson routinely places exorbitant charges upon the production of information, which purportedly are based upon the cost of; paper, ink, copier usage, employee time for getting material, copying it and refiling it. This makes it not only cost prohibitive to obtain information, but when the town refuses to produce it, the resident is forced to either forego the material requested, or file a petition for injunctive relief in Superior Court. Filing fee is $175.00 and it usually takes about 1 year out of your life to get to a hearing.

These conditions and procedures stand in contravention of NH Constitution Article 8, which states;

"Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted."

I believe a better system would be one in which if the Town or School District refuses you information which you believe you are entitled to, you ave the same right to file for Court Review of the disclosure of said material, HOWEVER, The filing fee would be waived until the review is decided. If the petitioner prevails and the municipality is forced to produce the material, they must pay the filing fee, and a fine at that time. If the municipality prevails, and the request was NOT subject to disclosure, then the petitioner must pay the filing fee.

Also other than the ACTUAL COST of producing a copy( and this does not include an employee's time unless there is some arcane research needed to find it) the Town must not make the requesting of information cost prohibitive to the public as that is merely an indirect restriction of rights.

I welcome any thoughts and discussion on this issue.

Thank you for your time.

Atkinson gets $23K energy grant

From the Eagle Tribune;

Atkinson gets $23K energy grant

By Bryan Deyermond

ATKINSON — The town's municipal buildings are going green.

Atkinson received $23,900 from the federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program, which is designed to help promote the newest methods of energy efficiency and conservation.

Michelle Veasey, chairwoman of the Atkinson Energy Committee, said the grant will help residents make more informed choices on potential energy upgrades for town buildings.

"Our ultimate goal is to become as energy efficient as possible," Veasey said.

The best way to do that is to find out how to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The money will go toward full-scale evaluations of town buildings to see how energy usage can be improved. The project would take close to a year to complete so building use could be evaluated during all seasons.

"This will really allow us to create a road map for the future," Veasey said.

Once the evaluations are complete, the town will be able to make changes, such as retrofitting lights and building improvements.

"There will be some low-hanging fruit that we can go after right away," Veasey said. "Then, we can start working with department heads and selectmen to go after bigger ticket items."

Selectman Bill Bennett said the studies will show the town how to improve energy efficiency.

"It will point out areas where we can make changes that would reduce energy use," Bennett said. "If those changes can be done economically, that will save us money."