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.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Atkinson Landscaper adopts 10 traffic islands in salem

From the Eagle Tribune;

Landscaper adopts 10 traffic islands in salem

By Jillian Jorgensen

SALEM — Some of the town's most heavily traveled roads are looking a little brighter lately.

Joanne Lakin of Atkinson grew up in Salem and runs a landscaping business. So when she noticed some of the traffic islands in her hometown were in rough shape, she adopted one. Then another. Then eight more. She's hoping others will join her effort to beautify the town.

"If everyone does one little thing, it'll get done," she said.

Her first traffic island was at Route 28 and Range Road. She pulled out weeds, laid mulch and planted some perennials.

"They don't get watered except for the rain, so I picked some real tough plants that will last," she said.

After her success with that island, the town suggested another one in need of work.

At Old Rockingham Road and Route 28, an island had a marker for Nicholas Arvantis, who was killed in 2006 while serving in Iraq. His grandmother lives nearby and asked town officials whether more could be done to spruce up the spot.

"I went right over," Lakin said. "It's different than any old island."

Yesterday, she planned to tackle a daunting task: eight traffic islands along Rockingham Park Boulevard. Freshwater Farms donated perennials for the project.

"And the town of Salem is lending me some helpers, a couple of workers so we can get it done in one day," she said.

The toughest part is removing the weeds and trash from the islands, she said, but it's worth it.

"The cleanup is the hardest part," she said. "You just mulch it over and it'll look beautiful."

Lakin, whose first gardening job was a flower box full of marigolds when she was 12, owns Lakin Landscaping and Design. She decided to take on the projects when she ran out of space to garden in her own yard.

"It's working out great," she said. "You either find (gardening) relaxing or you don't. And I do."

She said people generally don't notice the drab islands when they drive past.

"We probably pass 10 of them a day without even realizing it," she said.

But people noticed when she was working on the islands, she said. Every red light became a pep rally.

"People that were stopping at the light would roll down their windows and they said thank you," Lakin said. "Such a little thing goes a long way."

That's why she's hoping others — professional landscapers or people who just enjoy gardening as a hobby — will take on some other island. It doesn't take long or cost much, she said, but it makes a big difference.

"They should go to their town hall," she said. "They're probably going to get an assignment within hours."

Planning Director Ross Moldoff said he is happy to hear from people who want to help.

"It's fun to work with people who volunteer their time to make the town more beautiful," he said. "There are plenty of spots in town that could use some help."


Anonymous said...

You could post articles about important stuff and instead I am reading about the typical strategy for shops to advertise their wares and have it appear to be an act of generosity.

Why not do an article about the family just forced to move out of their Atkinson home near Meditation Lane because the PD will not protect the peace? Call them up.

Please no more postings about diamonds in subs or other such junk. Please.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this is the best the moderators can do, copyright infringement.

We have seen what has happened when they tried real investigative journalism. It blew up in their faces. Rumor, character assassination, and out right making up stuff does not a public service make.

This has been discussed before. This blog is long past its prime. The story on Timberlane was good, but a rare exception to the usual LT reprints, the usual ranting that follows, and always followed up with it, no matter what it is, being the chief's fault.

Some will say the blog is doing a pubic service by disclosing all the bad deeds of our town officials. What difference does it make when it is always the same people making the claims and always the same people people reading them.

Don't take my word for it. Does it appear to you that anyone in town government is worried about anything said here?

Anonymous said...

OHHH character assassinations towards the blog people, that is sooooo much better.

Please present any EVIDENCE you have that any story on here was false.

Anonymous said...


Sunday, May 30

Prowler: Academy Avenue

Wednesday, June 2

Harassment: Country Club Lane

Theft: Amberwood Drive

Saturday, June 5

Criminal mischief: Hemlock Shore Drive

Thursday, June 10

Theft: Aspen Drive

Prowler: Lakeside Drive

Anonymous said...

Only 4 calls in 10 days?

It looks like there's lots of time to devote to stopping the out of control parties, if they actually wanted to.

Anonymous said...

It must be bad if people are forced to move. It would take a lot for me to pack up and leave my home but if I were forced to do so, I would be on the phone to the board first.

Anonymous said...

"Please present any EVIDENCE you have that any story on here was false."

I will admit it is difficult since 90% plus of the entries here are reprints, but without going back through every single non LT entry here is some evidence. Careful what you ask for:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Atkinson Reporter would like to issue a Formal Apology to Lt. Baldwin!

[It was true because someone else said it was true because he heard from yet another person. When none of anything said could be verified we got a backhanded apology]
Monday, May 18, 2009
Atkinson looks for solutions to radio communication woes- Selectmen to discuss TONIGHT!
For those who thought our article on the resurrection of the Tower debate was merely "conspiracy theory and rumors", here is your answer. Tonight on the agenda at the selectmens meeting is going to be the discussion of either putting together a committee of police and firemen to look at the tower issue, headed for the third time by Lt. Baldwin!

[Completely Wrong. Committee is comprised of 4 engineers, one who is chairman, a representative of the PD, a representative of the FD, and another with public service communications experience. You can read about it in the last town report.]
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Heard Around Town: Chief is trying to resurrect the Tower!
Yes, folks it is true. The reporter has heard form a number of citizens and officials in town that Phil is quietly trying to resurrect the tower issue.

[Wrong. Selectman Bennett proposed a new committee, and a tower had nothing to do with it.]

You may recall there were a series of "Heard Around Town" entries last year and every one was debunked. Maybe Mr. Moderator learned his lesson and is leaving the reporting to the professionals. Given that, maybe he could give us a break and not post the lame LT stories, like this one.

Anonymous said...

"June 17, 2010 12:00 PM"

We have nothing here even approaching the whole story, even whether it is true or not, and if it is, what is behind it. All there is, is one paragraph in the first entry suggesting there is a story that needs following up on.

I do agree with June 17, 2010 12:00 PM that too much LT junk is posted here. It is one the reasons the blogs relevance is questioned. You want to read what LT has to say about Atkinson, It is the same place the articles here are cut and pasted from.

Anonymous said...

Your information is skewed.

It has not been disproven that Baldwin was fired but the moderator posted an apology anyway. How noble.

The BOS discussed having the FD and PD and Baldwin involved in a new communication committee as voting members. The final decision, after the discussion, was to only let them be advisors, not decision makers. There is nothing false about what was on the blog about this. I watched the meeting live. Rent it from the library if you want.

The tower was being discussed again around town hall and this problem was being refered to as the 'tower' issue. A tower is not going to solve anything, unless of course you put the missing communication equipment on it. Yes, the equipment the Town got for free and have lied about having ever since. Where is it by the way?

Conclusion, you do not know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

"It has not been disproven that Baldwin was fired but the moderator posted an apology anyway. How noble."

Talk about skewed logic. It wasn't proven in this blog, period. Since it was not proven, and given the lame apology, my claim stands as evidence. The moderator made a very serious accusation, could not back it up, and tried to weasel his way out of it. Whether the story is true or not, that is not the point. When you post something that serious you should have real data to back it up. None was provided.

As far as your other explanations: I was referring only to what the moderator posted. That was the evidence asked for. In this context it does not matter what transpired at the BOS meetings or the status of any equipment. The moderator made claims and they were patently false.

This whole topic relates to the integrity of the blog. The moderator heard some things, and tried to pass them off as truth when in reality all we got were rumors enhanced by a vivid imagination.

To his credit, the moderator has not tried this again, but it did happen and it is here in black and white. Evidence was asked for and I provided it. In that context, nothing was skewed. I cut and pasted what was written, period.

But, what is the point of arguing this. You'll nitpick it, I'll respond, etc., etc., etc. What this town really needs is some real investigative journalism. LT certainly isn't doing it, especially with these fluff pieces. The moderator has shown he can't do it. Want the truth, get our equivalent of "Deep Throat" with stories that can be verified. Barring that, all we get here is a lot of words that don't mean nuttin.

MAcciard said...

To 12:50

You picked three stories that I have some personal knowledge of;

While i do not know if the LT. firing story is true or not, I did hear the same story from someone in the Kingston PD. I read on this blog that Chief Briggs will neither confirm or deny, so it probably can not be proven, but either way, it can not be disproven either.

As to the Communications committee, the selectmen discussed two weeks prior to that article about having an "ad hoc" committee with police and fire personell look into it, They DID mention the Lt. heading it up, as he had "already done so much work on this subject".

Same thing with the tower issue, the fact that the result differed from the original idea, does not change the original impetus for action.

Have a great Father's day weekend.

Anonymous said...

Dear readers.

The incidents Mark lists above are classic examples of gossip and hearsay. Gossip in the case of the Lt. Baldwin issue and hearsay for the latter two issues. Seems to me Mark is implying that if he knows about it, it must be true.

Anonymous said...

"When you post something that serious you should have real data to back it up. "

How about first hand knowledge? Does that work for you?

Anonymous said...

This whole topic relates to the lack of integrity of town officials.

Anonymous said...

"The incidents Mark lists above are classic examples of gossip and hearsay. Gossip in the case of the Lt. Baldwin issue and hearsay for the latter two issues. Seems to me Mark is implying that if he knows about it, it must be true."

Oh no. You are wrong and this is slander. The incidents are recorded in meetings and it is fact. It is also fact that there are witnesses that will come forward when it is most advantagous from a damge perspective.

MAcciard said...

How is the communications issue gossip and hearsay, it happened in a selectmens meeting?

As for the Lt. issue, I have no verifiable evidence either way, and the person whom I heard it from refused to say anything after the article came out, and Chief Briggs was asked about it publicly.

Therefore it may have happened, it may not have happened, but that neither proves nor disproves it, so how can you say definitively that it is a false story?

Anonymous said...


Honestly, how people on this blog buy into your quasi-sincere BS is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Hey, lets talk about the stuff that happened on camera, that they can't deny. Like the under stated military pay and calling in sick and going on militarty training instead.

These aren't rumors.

Oh, yeah, and where's the missing federal grant equipment that he got for the comminication problem?

Bennett said he was in charge of it. Where is it?

Anonymous said...

"Oh, yeah, and where's the missing federal grant equipment that he got for the comminication problem?

Bennett said he was in charge of it. Where is it?"

Bill's number is in the book. Call him. Don't expect in you wildest dreams he's going to answer any question here.

First, the equipment in question technically belongs to Plaistow since it was obtained on the same the grant they used to upgrade their equipment.

Second, a major piece of the equipment meant for Atkinson, the receiver, is now housed at Timberlane and being used as a satellite receiver there. Since the receiver belonged to Plaistow, they were free to do this.

As for the rest of pieces I've heard they are now technically obsolete and could not be used even if the communications committee and the town wanted to.

You doubt this; Call Bill or any of the comm committee. Their names are in the last town report.

So, don't go ranting and raving. Pick up the phone and call someone who knows the whole story.

Anonymous said...


While your posts are usually well-reasoned, your comments about the Baldwin incident surprise me.

The Moderator's initial post tarnished a man's reputation, yet could not be substantiated. That genie can never be put back into the bottle (in spite of Moderator's half-retraction), yet your retort is only that we also do not know that the report was NOT true (and that you "heard" the same rumor).

Even if the allegations turn out to be true, it was improper for Modrator to publish them at that time since Moderator really didn't have verifiable facts at that time.

I'm very surprised those events do not violate your sense of fairness.

Anonymous said...


I'm usually a big supporter of yours but with the Lt. story I must disagree. The entire story was presented as a rumor. Unlike other things that go on here, this one was serious, and even if it was true, it had no business showing up here like it did. The moderators apology made it ever worse.

At this point I could care less if it was true. The moderator was completely irresponsible in his handling of it. Frankly, it was shameful.

Anonymous said...

What's shameful is the police chief of Kingston will not pony up the information if Baldwin was fired or not.

Anonymous said...

Bold words from an ANONYMOUS person who probably hasn't volunteered a single moment in his life. So sad to witness such a cynical, self-centered attitude. Have a great day Sunshine!

Anonymous said...

"First, the equipment in question technically belongs to Plaistow since it was obtained on the same the grant they used to upgrade their equipment.

Second, a major piece of the equipment meant for Atkinson, the receiver, is now housed at Timberlane and being used as a satellite receiver there. Since the receiver belonged to Plaistow, they were free to do this.

Funny, this is exactly what Bennett said. He also said that it was Savage's problem, he blames him for the doctored paperwork.

Anonymous said...

Why do people use volunteerism as a defense when it's not relevant to the argument?

Why do some volunteers hold it over everyone heads looking for some credit?

Volunteerism should be about giving, not taking credit or using it to demean other people.

It's also not for scams and graft.

Anonymous said...

"June 29, 2010 8:23 AM"

And your point is what?

People have been asking for months where the equipment is. The only truly significant piece of the "Atkinson" allotment is the receiver. It is now at Timberlane to provide coverage for officers inside a steel framed building where before it was spotty. Also, because of the location this receiver also aides PD handheld coverage in East Atkinson.

So, there is the answer to the "missing equipment" which is really Plaistow's in the first place. You don't like the answer, call Chief Savage. I believe his number is in the book also.

June 29, 2010 8:23 AM - Clear as mud. Which post are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

All the equipment is significant enough. If it was all significant enough to be inventoried for the government, the taxpayers have a right to know where it is and where it's been all this time.

No one has the right to relocate it for a different purpose.

Read the grant agreements and laws before you go off and muddy the waters.

Anonymous said...

Bennett doesn't do his homework before he opens his mouth. He only knows what he's told to think.

Anonymous said...

Another case of PD incompetence and lies. The equipment they had to have and got, sat in a closet for years. Now they give it away and they want to think everything is just fine?


Anonymous said...

"Read the grant agreements and laws before you go off and muddy the waters."

And specifically what agreements and laws apply here?

"No one has the right to relocate it for a different purpose."

Love this part. The equipment belongs to Plaistow. I believe they can put it anywhere they wish. And, the receiver is being used for its intended purpose, to aid handheld reception.

The citizens of Atkinson voted down the "tower" proposals by a large margin. How do you propose the equipment then be used? It got put in a closet because there was no place in Atkinson to put it to use. There was a screw up though. Some uneducated folks figured you could put the microwave link on any old tower and just hook up the receiver. This was a completely wrong assumption but used by Plaistow anyways to get the grant. This was Plaistow's fault for not doing their due diligence when the grant proposal was written.

Plaistow had a problem with handhelds inside the high school. So, they took their receiver (Atkinson had no legal claim to the equipment. Remember, it was Plaistow who got the grant. They own it.) and used it for its intended purpose, a satellite receiver. The microwave link part could not be used because they do not work through trees. The IPMUXs go with the MW links so they were of no use either.

So, please, tell me. How was Atkinson suppose to use this equipment if there was nowhere in Atkinson to put it?

I happen to know Bill Bennett did quite a bit of homework on this, more than you obviously. But, don't take my word. Quit grousing here and call Mr. Bennett or Chief Savage and ask them for the real story. Or, you can keep making up stuff and we can keep correcting it.

Anonymous said...

If they had no where to put it, why did they ask for it?

Why did the Police Chief put his name on the documentation saying he agreed with the plan?

Why did all the great local PD minds put this plan on paper if they didn't know what they were doing?

Why did they file false reports if it was ok NOT to actually install the stuff?


Because the way this was handled was NOT ok.

So everyone covered it up and lied. If they thought it was ok, they would have been forthcoming with the public from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

If you've actually read the LEPP grant the Chief's signature and name shows up in one place, the last sheet where most of the surrounding town chief's also signed.

It was Chief Savage who signed off on the location of the equipment. It was Chief Savage who slightly bent the truth as to the real location of the equipment.

Get this through your thick little head. Chief Savage wrote and submitted the grant proposal. Chief Savage received signatures from other chief's who had absolutely nothing to do with the final implementation. Chief Savage received the equipment. Chief Savage was less than truthful in how the equipment was dispersed.

You're bound and determined place a major portion of the blame for Atkinson not getting any equipment on Atkinson officials. Be stubborn if you like but you are wrong. This was Plaistow's ball game. They screwed part of it up and lied about the rest. The "they" you keep referring to is Plaistow. Read the grant. Make some phone calls. Talk to someone who actually knows the story. As I said, Chief Savage's and Selectman Bennett's numbers are in the book. They even have EMAIL addresses. May I strongly suggest you shut your yap and get some facts straight first.

I'm done here. I'm not the biggest fan of the Chief but not everything is his fault either. If that is your attitude, then you've come to the right place.

MAcciard said...

WOW, someone is going to great lengths to defend this grant equipment misfeasance.

I have the original grant documents, Plaistow put in the grant in co-operation with the six surrounding towns. The purpose was to "obtain equipment to be placed in the plaistow communications center and on a tower in Atkinson, and on a tower in Kingston." to improve area police communications.

It was never obtained to be placed at the high school.

Atkinson received $9,000 worth of equipment on this grant, and it sat in a storage unit for 4 years because we didnt have a tower to put it on.

MAcciard said...

That violates the parameters of the grant.

The placement and use of the grant equipment was certified to the state, and to the Federal Dept. Homeland security, when the equipment was sitting in storage.

It was only given to Timberlane last year because We had no use for it. Again violating the grounds for the issuance of the grant.

As to the Lt. Story, I was eminently fair; as I said, I heard this story from someone in the Kingston PD, who will not "go public" with it. I can not speak for the author of the original article, but they acted with honor by explaining why it was written and apologizing for the lack of verification. This is much more honorable than any of the media do.

All I said is that it is highly unlikely that it will ever be verified, or definitively disproven. How is that unfair. I wish the selectmen, the police chief, the newspapers had been that fair with me.

Anonymous said...

Nice talk.

How many times did you expect to see his signature on the one document?

I care what OUR officials did, not Plaistow. Why didn't they say they had access to this equipment when they were trying to get the taxpayers on board with the tower?


It was the perfect opportunity to say that the equipment was available.

But they didn't. They hid the facts.


Anonymous said...

Get YOUR facts straight and stop trying to pick and choose which ones to include in your weak argument.