Sunday, December 20
Friday, January 7
January 7, 2011
The Eagle Tribune Fri Jan 07, 2011, 12:06 AM EST
ATKINSON — Photographer Paul Wainwright's new book, "A Space for Faith: The Colonial Meetinghouses of New England," has received the New England Book Festival Award for best photography/art book of the year.
Wainwright works with a wooden large-format camera and sheet film, and develops all his images in his darkroom. He uses traditional processes that force him to slow down and really think about what he wants his images to be.
"A Space for Faith shows a true artist's eye for detail and serves as a wonderful guide to a part of the region that deserves more attention," said Bruce Haring, director of the New England Book Festival.
The New England Book Festival Award will be presented at the Festival's award ceremony at 7 p.m. Jan. 15, at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston.
Wainwright's black-and-white photographs paint a composite portrait of these once ubiquitous landmarks of the New England landscape.
"I am extremely honored by this award," he said. "New England's meetinghouses embody a large part of our nation's history, and my work photographing them was aimed at bringing their story to a broad audience."
Wednesday, October 22
Tuesday, July 8
Robert Seaman, Concord
For the Monitor
July 08, 2008 - 12:00 am
June 30, 2008, may be remembered in history as the day Americans began, in earnest, the moral and solemn process of holding their government accountable to the Constitution - under threat of withdrawal of allegiance, support and tax money.
Last Monday, approximately 1,200 American citizens began the process of exercising a profound, but little-known, 800-year-old right first articulated in Magna Carta by formally serving a "legal notice and demand" for redress of grievances upon the president, the attorney general and every member of Congress.
Incredibly, academic research since 1986 makes clear the right to petition for redress is not a redundant statement of the right of speech. It is in fact, the individual exercise of popular sovereignty. Here's what the founders sitting at the first Congress wrote:
"If money is wanted by Rulers who have in any manner oppressed the People, they may retain it until their grievances are redressed, and thus peacefully procure relief, without trusting to despised petitions or disturbing the public tranquility."
Demanding an official response within 40 days, the notice includes seven petitions for redress of grievances regarding substantial violations of our Constitution including the war, money, privacy, arms and tax clauses.
If liberty and constitutional order are to survive peacefully, it is imperative that the people learn about and exercise the unalienable right of redress.
For details about the plan to restore constitutional order, visit www.wethepeoplefoundation.org.
Tuesday, July 1
Show me the money Interim administrator leaves Atkinson for better paying Plaistow position
By Meghan Carey
Atkinson interim Town Administrator Craig Kleman is leaving for the same job in Plaistow.
The contract was finalized last week, but Kleman asked Plaistow officials to keep it quiet until he could meet with Atkinson selectmen. He confirmed yesterday that he accepted the interim job in Plaistow and plans to start on July 14.
Until then, he'll stay at Atkinson Town Hall.
It's another similarity for two towns that have been searching for a town administrator and town manager for months. In this leg of the search, the town that pays more won.
Plaistow Selectman Larry Gil said they plan to pay Kleman $900 a week. That's $200 a week more than Atkinson pays him.
Plaistow also moved to promise Kleman a longer-term contract than Atkinson had.
Atkinson selectmen and Kleman verbally agreed he would extend his interim contract for another 30 days, but the deal was never inked. They were planning to sign the document last night. Selectman Fred Childs said earlier that Atkinson planned to offer Kleman a permanent job, but that hadn't happened yet.
Kleman's contract with Plaistow extends through the end of October, Gil said.
"That's when we anticipate, we think, we may have another town manager in," he said. "But we wanted to make sure, in case there wasn't an overlap, that we would have somebody on board for budget preparation."
Jason Hoch, Plaistow's former town manager and interim administrator, was going to stay until someone new started, but couldn't reach an agreement with the selectmen. His last day was Saturday.
When Kleman applied for the interim job in Atkinson in April, he also was a candidate for the permanent job. Yesterday, he said he plans to do the same in Plaistow.
"I haven't applied yet, but that is my intention," Kleman said of applying for the permanent job in Plaistow.
The application deadline for the permanent post is July 7.
Plaistow is looking for a town manager, not a town administrator. Plaistow is a larger community with a larger budget, and the salary offered reflects that. Plaistow advertised an annual salary between $84,000 and $95,000. Atkinson didn't advertise a pay range, but paid its last town administrator about $58,000.
Kleman, 51, has town administrator experience — interim and permanent — in Seabrook, Epping and Merrimack, Mass.
Plaistow selectmen restarted their search for a town manager after their first choice from the first round didn't accept their offer. Selectmen said none of the other candidates had town administrator or manager experience, and they wanted to expand the pool.
Atkinson selectmen met in nonpublic session last night to decide what to do. Kleman was one of three finalists for the town administrator job in Atkinson. The position has been vacant since February when Russell McAllister left for a local government job in Iraq.
Tale of two towns
Interim pay%$700 a week%$900 a week
Permanent pay%$58,000*%$84,000 to $95,000
Town budget%$4 million%$7.5 million
Saturday, June 28
Deidre Budzyna of Atkinson was inside a sport utility vehicle with three friends in the driveway at 9 Morrison Lane in Sandown when she was shot in the back and later died at Parkland Medical Center in Derry, said James Boffetti, an assistant state attorney general.
Investigators have classified Budzyna's death as a homicide because it was the result of a gunshot wound inflicted by another person. But that doesn't necessarily mean criminal charges will be forthcoming, Boffetti said. The gun may have been discharged accidentally, he said. An investigation will unravel how the shooting happened and determine whether anyone will be charged, he said.
Budzyna's friends and relatives gathered yesterday at the home of her parents, Walter and Gail Budzyna, 15 Hemlock Heights Road in Atkinson. Near Big Island Pond, the house is where Budzyna grew up and where she was still living.
While family members declined to discuss any details of her untimely death, they said Budzyna was a wonderful, caring person who always thought of everyone else before herself and treated her friends like members of her family. She loved Jet Skiing on Big Island Pond and was working full time as a nanny for a family with three young children, they said.
"I love my daughter," her father said. "She was the best thing in my life. I'll always love her. She loved life. She loved people."
Her older sister, Nicole, 23, said, "I lost my baby sister and my best friend. She was always helping other people — always looking out for others before herself."
As they talked, family members cried and wiped away tears.
Her aunt, Irene Chenard, of Dracut, Mass., said there was a very close bond between Deidre, her sister and their parents.
"There was a special closeness between Nicole and Deidre," Chenard said. "It was special how they supported one another and cared for each other."
In fact, their father was planning to bring both daughters with him and their mother, Gail, on a trip to Hawaii next year to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.
The shooting that claimed Budzyna's life happened at the home of Gloria Caron, 9 Morrison Lane.
Neighbors said they were shocked by the news.
"It's horrible; it's a tragedy," said next-door neighbor Randy Cawthron, 7 Morrison Lane. "It's hard to believe someone was killed next door."
Cawthron's son, Ryan, 17, who was home at the time of the shooting, said he didn't hear a gunshot.
"I just heard the normal commotion whenever they have a party next door, just talking," he said.
His father said a lot of young people "hang out" at the residence because there's a swimming pool there.
When a reporter called the Caron residence, an unidentified woman who answered the phone said, "We're all set. We're not talking."
Boffetti said Budzyna was still alive when rescue workers arrived. They administered medical treatment at the scene and took her to Parkland Medical Center in Derry where she was pronounced dead.
Friday, June 27
It's not much of a report card.
Half of Americans say U.S. schools are doing only a fair to poor job preparing kids for college and the work force. Even more feel that way about the skills kids need to survive as adults, an Associated Press poll released Friday finds.
"A lot of kids, when they get out school, are kind of lost," said Jamie Norton, a firefighter in Gridley, Calif. "When you get out of high school, what are you educated to do?"
The views of the general population echo concerns from business and college leaders, who say they have to spend a lot of time and money on remedial education for people who completed high school but don't have the skills to succeed at work or in higher education.
Education ranks behind the economy and gas prices as a top issue for Americans, the survey said. However, nearly all those polled said the quality of a country's education system has a big impact on a country's overall economic prosperity.
Education was generally viewed to be as important as health care and slightly ahead of the Iraq war. Among minority parents, education is just as important an issue as the economy.
Minorities and whites rate schools differently. Fifty-nine percent of whites rate their local school as good or excellent, compared with 42 percent of minorities.
Minority parents are more likely to think their children are getting a better education than they received as children. Overall, the majority of those surveyed said the quality of U.S. schools has declined over the past 20 years.
Three-fourths of those surveyed believe schools place too much emphasis on the wrong subjects. Asked what subjects should be given more time in school, more than a third said math. English was a distant second, at 21 percent. A tiny fraction picked art, music and the sciences, such as biology and chemistry.
Parents may want more math in school because they feel unprepared to help at home, said Janine Remillard, who teaches math-related courses at the University of Pennsylvania's education school.
"Math is the subject that parents are often intimidated by," she said. "We've allowed a lot of kids to just say, 'I'm not good at math,' .... and those kids become parents."
Most think the United States is just keeping up or falling behind the rest of the world in education. On some recent international tests, U.S. students have posted flat scores and landed in the middle to bottom of the pack when compared with other nation's children.
Americans have mixed views about standardized tests, which have grown in importance. The 2002 federal No Child Left Behind law judges schools based on math and reading tests taken by their students. Schools face increasingly tough consequences for scores that miss the mark.
About half of those polled said standardized tests measure the quality of education offered by schools well, while the rest disagree.
The vast majority think classroom work and homework _ not standardized tests _ are the best ways to measure how well students are doing.
Larry Michalec, a computer programmer in San Deigo, called the testing a waste of time. "They're standardized and people aren't standardized," he said. "Children get taught to the test. They get taught to take the test. They don't get taught to learn." Continued...
Wednesday, June 25
Please accept as a separate article. Thank you.
INTIMIDATION ATTEMPTS CONTINUE AGAINST ATKINSON BLOG AND BLOGGERS
This past spring, re-printed on the blog was a copy of an accusatory and threatening letter sent by Phil Consentino to Mark Acciard, threatening legal action against Acciard because Consentino did not like an Anonymous blog submission critical of himself. There was no proof or reason to think that Acciard wrote the blog submission, but Consentino blamed and accused him anyway.
Mr. Acciard bought Consentino’s letter to the attention of the selectmen as part of a complaint against Consentino. The selectmen stated that they had DEFINITLY NOT authorized the letter although it was written as official town correspondence on official Atkinson Police Dept. Stationery, with Consentino’s signature appearing over the title Chief of Police.
I reference that most recent past anti-blog, anti-blogger letter only because, to our great surprise, my husband and I also recently received one of those type of letters. It was written by Atty. Garry Lane who was hired by the town’s insurance company to represent four town officials in my recently settled law suit against them.
it seems that at least one of the defendants, possibly/probably in a snitty-fit because of having paid me a settlement, went whining to Lane about the fact that an Anonymous resident recently dared to exercise his/her right of free speech and free expression to express on the blog an opinion about how “It’s time to take these corrupt selectmen out of office and sue them personally.” That particular blog submission also said “It’s time to put a stop to... people running our town. People like Polito, Childs, Sapia, ...Police Chief, Town Administrator, and any other political hack that wants to participate.”
Lane referred to the blog posting as a “potentially very serious matter.” I personally think that the only “potentially very serious matter” is the fact that Lane and one or more of his defendant clients feel that they can get away with unsubstantiated false accusations against Ken or I for something we didn’t do.
When I submit something to the blog, it’s never personal. It always concerns a ballot or public issue, like the Vietnam Honor Roll or protecting our water resources---and I sign my name to what I submit. If Lane or his un-named whiner client feel that either Ken or I are going to tolerate the garbage of false accusations from EITHER of them, he/they better think twice.
You would think that town officials who just went through a defamation suit would have learned that false accusations and disparaging innocent people have serious consequences. Obviously, instead of counseling his un-learning client about the lesson the lawsuit should have taught him, Atty. Lane decided to pander to him.
In my response letter to Lane, I strongly pointed out the hypocrisy of his making false accusations on behalf of clients recently filed against for defamations and disparagements.
In speaking about public officials, Thomas Jefferson stated that “When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.”
That’s very true. As long as blog postings are not recklessly, deliberately or knowingly slanderous, Atkinsonians have a constitutional freedom and right to post and express their own opinions and criticisms of elected or appointed public officials. Certain officials wouldn’t have such a bad reputation in town if they hadn’t worked so hard at earning it by their misconduct.
Since the start of the blog, Atkinson residents have strongly criticized certain Atkinson officials for actions which residents see as misconduct and immoral and unethical behavior. It is and will continue to be the right of residents to criticize.
Criticized public officials could have cleaned up their act at any time but arrogantly chose not to, considering themselves above accountability to the residents of Atkinson. They bring public criticism on themselves by their repeated mis-conduct. Hopefully, critical postings will encourage public officials to clean up their act.
If there are more critical postings to come in the future from angry or disgusted Atkinson residents, so be it!
Bloggers shouldn’t ever allow themselves to be intimidated by insulting letters such as was sent by Atty. Lane.
In conclusion, it is repugnant to free speech that any resident should ever receive a letter sent in an attempt to intimidate or restrain anyone in the exercise of their free speech rights.
One candidate, two towns Kleman interviews for jobs in Plaistow, Atkinson
By Meghan Carey
Atkinson selectmen thought they had their man, but he's looking elsewhere.
Selectman Fred Childs said last week the board planned to offer a permanent position to interim Town Administrator Craig Kleman. They have been searching for a new administrator since winter, after the departure of Russell McAllister.
Plaistow selectmen also have been searching for a town manager since winter and, more recently, for an interim town administrator.
The parallel searches just became even more similar. Kleman met with Plaistow officials in nonpublic session Monday night. He confirmed yesterday that he was interviewing for the interim position in that town, too, but said he didn't want to comment beyond that.
Kleman has worked as interim administrator in Atkinson since mid-April. He was a candidate for the full-time job when he took the interim position. Selectmen liked the idea of a candidate "test drive," according to minutes from the selectmen's meeting March 31.
Childs said yesterday he heard Kleman probably was looking elsewhere — and he wasn't surprised. He said that's why it's tough to keep a town administrator for long — they're always looking. But he's confident Atkinson is Kleman's first choice.
"He wants the job," Childs said. "I know that."
Just last week, Childs said the selectmen planned to offer Kleman the full-time job, but they haven't yet. At the next meeting, scheduled for Monday, the selectmen and Kleman are expected to sign a 30-day extension to his interim contract, Childs said yesterday.
"I don't think he's too happy with that," Childs said. "I think he'd like to get it settled right away, and I can't blame him. There's other opportunities out there."
The other opportunity Kleman is trying for pays a lot more.
In Plaistow, he would likely make more than the $700 a week Atkinson is paying him in the interim job. Plaistow interim Town Administrator Jason Hoch is making $1,395 a week. He started as a full-time town manager and transitioned to an interim town administrator two months after giving his notice.
Hoch's last day is Saturday, and Plaistow selectmen are trying to get someone to take over right away. After Kleman's interview Monday, the selectmen said they were done interviewing candidates. Selectman Dan Poliquin said yesterday the town has made an offer for the interim position and will announce it Friday.
If Kleman is trying for the permanent position in Plaistow, too, he stands to make more money than he would in Atkinson.
Plaistow selectmen advertised a salary range of $84,000 to $95,000 for the town manager position. Atkinson didn't put a salary range in its advertisement because each administrator wants something different, Childs said. He would not say what range the selectmen are considering now that they have a candidate in mind. McAllister made about $62,000 a year.
Atkinson selectmen plan to hire a permanent administrator in the next month. Plaistow doesn't plan to have a town manager onboard until October.
Sunday, June 22
By Meghan Carey
ATKINSON — Residents may soon have a place to grab a morning coffee and to chat.
Lincoln Jackson has applied for Planning Board approval to build a 9,000-square-foot restaurant and office at 117 Main St. The local resident said he plans to use the space for a coffee shop, according to Shirley Galvin, the Planning Department's administrative assistant.
There are a few tables outside the Village Store and restaurant dining at the Atkinson Country Club but really no coffee shop in town, Galvin said.
The Safety Committee and Planning Board both reviewed the plans at their meetings this week. The Planning Board continued the site plan hearing to its next meeting July 23, Chairwoman Sue Killam said yesterday.
The continuation will give the town's engineer time to examine the most recently submitted plans, she said. The board accepted the initial plan in April.
Killam said she expects the proposal to go forward.
The plans are available for review in the planning office at Town Hall, she said.
James Lavelle Associates presented the plan to the town, but the company could not be reached yesterday for comment.
The vacant Main Street property is for sale for $299,000 through Coldwell Banker. Jackson, the potential owner, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
A voice of compassion, an example of fairness and reasonable government.
One who believes in the strength and comfort you, your children and your family can draw from good government leadership.
A person who knows Atkinson is our home -- our most important possession that must be preserved and protected through fair taxes and sound community planning and where our children must be safe to grow to become a new generation of leaders.
One who knows that the citizens of Atkinson are all neighbors with her leadership to be dedicated and responsive to all.
One who believes that when those from Atkinson have served our nation and honors are deserved, those honors must be given.
In Valerie Tobin, we now have a leader we know we can entrust with these responsibilities because they are part of her character.
It is our honor to endorse Valerie for election to Atkinson’s Board of Selectmen.
Just a note for those who wish to count the deer.
In 2007 this blog had over 100,000 hits and 5,750 unique visitors (for the year).
"I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense . . ." [TP, 1776]
We take no small measure of umbrage at such a hostile official act against this BLOG’s patron. Therefore, a timely Editorial comment is both appropriate and necessary.
Discussion of Atkinson’s financial direction, from any viewpoint, is fundamental and encouraged and we will always attempt to limit and correct errors.
However, Righteous indignation towards purported error of such inconsequential nature is not appropriate.
The ENTIRE car deal is problematic. If it was caused by poor judgement, improper exercise of authority, neglect or mistake or even specious reasoning, this will never trump the facts that the entire questionable transaction started and ended within a very small circle of confidants.
We find the entire circumstances surrounding the disposition of the police Cruiser highly irregular at the least and the "explanations" somewhat trifling and exhaustive of our intellect.
Mr. Consentino: It’s time to go. Being Chief of Atkinson’s Police Department is NOT a birthright. That is a fabled legend of yesteryear.
Historically in Atkinson, police chief appointments were made "under the hand of the selectmen" for terms of one year at a time, as was also the case in the beginning of Mr. Consentino’s assorted and discontinuous stream of appointments to this position.
Your only remaining credential established on a claim of indispensability has faded.
So time is neigh. Plan a graceful exit, Clean out your desk, Accept the gratitude and tearful sentiments from some. We plan no editorial recriminations. It is time. Thank you for your service, We wish you a long and happy retirement. Bon Voyage.
"To All Atkinson Residents,
I am writing to ask for your help. A member of the Atkinson Police Department needs our help. I am here to ask for your help in Corporal John Lapham's fight for his life. As you are aware, John has been diagnosed with Leukemia. He has been once again hospitalized with an infection that is threatening his life. He is one of the bravest people that I have ever met. He has never asked of anything from the residents of the town. Now is our chance to step up and help both him and his family out. As everyone is aware John has been out of work for a few months. His family has been busy helping John to get better. He needs our help, and I am hoping that this town can step up to the plate and help. From the moment that I met John, I have admired him. He does alot, but never asks for anything in return. He has helped so many people in this town. I for one am one of those people. Please help him.
There is a fund set-up in his name at TDBanknorth in Plaistow. Any amount will help John, while he is out of work. It would be great if this town could help ease a burden off his wife.
Also if anyone would like to send a card, please address it to:
c/o Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Ctr.
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115
Please show Corporal John Lapham, that this community can stand up and show our support to those in need. I for one, miss John and can not wait until he can get better and return to work. Please show him that we support him. "