, Kingston, NH

Letters to the Editor

March 6, 2014

Comments on School Warrant

Comments on School Warrant

There is not much to like in this year’s Hampstead School Warrant.

Article 2: Bond asks for $6,180,520 to fund the construction and renovations projects for Central and Middle Schools.

The School Board argues that the new construction in Central School is needed to 1) replace the portables, 2) meet state standards and 3) have sufficient secure space to accommodate future enrollment.

There is no need to build new classrooms. First, there is ample space today in the existing building - excluding portables - to meet current and projected NESDEC enrollment through 2023.

Second, Central School is hardly overcrowded at the current 495 students. Using ED 321 - Minimum Standards for School Building Construction - the same standards the Board claims we are violating, I showed that Central School has a design capacity of 610 students and a classroom utilization rate of 95.2% this year (92.5% next year.)

Watch my entire presentation, beginning at 47:11, here

Vote ‘No’ on Article 2.

Article 4: SAU Operating Budget appears in the warrant for the first time since SAU’s were established in 1919, thanks to the success of the petitioned article last year.

The amount, $329,283, represents Hampstead’s 22.1% prorated share of the $1,487,025 SAU operating budget. $1,323,452 (89%) of the SAU budget is for salaries, benefits and retirement for 13 administrators and office staff.

Feel free to vote for it if you agree that the magnificence of the SAU Board is justified -during the current economic situation - in granting the Superintendent a 3¼% salary increase plus 4% performance bonus this year on top of a contractual $10K annuity. For good measure, the Board reduced his contributions toward insurances, thereby increasing the taxpayers’ share. Not bad for a public employee who earns over $138K and enjoys essentially lifetime employment.

Article 5: Capital Reserve - asks to add $75K from this year’s surplus to the School Renovation Fund established in 2006. That fund currently has over $235K.

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US Politics
  • Alan J. Walker, 68

    Kingston, N.H. — Mr. Alan James Walker, 68, passed away peacefully at his home on July 8, 2014, after a long, brave battle with cancer.

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    Raymond, NH — James Edwin Reese, 74, passed away on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, surrounded by his family and friends at his home in Raymond, N.H. He was the son of John and Ruth Reese, born on Oct. 29, 1939 in Edensburg, Pa. James graduated from Central Cambria High School in Pennsylvania before proudly serving in the U.S. Army as a food inspector. His military service was followed by 31 years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a meat inspector. Mr. Reese was an avid outdoorsman and spent much of his time fishing, camping and hiking in the White Mountains. He became involved in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed passing on his vast knowledge of the wilderness to others. Throughout his retirement years he enjoyed woodworking, raising rabbits and working in his garden.

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    South Hampton, NH — Velma J. Reid, 80, died peacefully on July 17, 2014 at Exeter Hospital, surrounded by family. She was born in Haverhill, Mass. on June 8, 1934, the daughter of the late George C.W. and Alta I. (Kimball) Haynes. A graduate of Haverhill High School, Velma worked at Western Electric until she had children. For years, she was a devoted “stay-at-home” mom who raised her three children in a loving, nurturing environment. She later worked various manufacturing jobs until her retirement. After retiring, she volunteered her time at various organizations and was very involved at the East Kingston Community United Methodist Church as a member of the women’s guild, assisting with the holiday fair, and helping out wherever she could. She had a passion for animals, and would donate money, food, and blankets to the NH SPCA. She loved to sew and made a personalized quilt for every member of her family. She was also a member of the “Ugly Quilts” group, which made blankets and sleeping bags for the homeless using recycled fabric. She is survived by her husband, Clyde Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; daughter, Pam Eaton of Danville, N.H.; son and daughter-in-law, Douglas and Kim Reid of Raymond, N.H.; daughter, Shirley Reid of South Hampton, N.H.; two sisters, Gwen Stuart of Haverhill, and Norma Taplin of Dracut; four grandchildren, Cheryl and Marc Welch, and Kristen and Joshua Reid, and several nieces and nephews.

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    Kingston, NH — Miriam O. (Graham) Graham, 84, a resident of Kingston since 2001, and former longtime resident of Grafton, Mass., died peacefully, surrounded by her family, on July 11, 2014, following a long illness.

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