Cheshire County “Shepherd Program”

Get to know Cheshire County government:

The Cheshire County “Shepherd Program” is a part of the Maplewood Nursing Home.

The Shepherd Program helps county residents who are in need of durable medical equipment. Established by the Cheshire County Sheriff’s Department in the late 1990’s, the program recycles donations of used medical equipment. It is now run through Maplewood’s Rehab Department and is based on available inventory.

Who is eligible for the Shepherd Program?
This program is available to all residents of Cheshire County. Items are loaned free of charge on a short-term or long-term basis. The program seeks to assist county residents with equipment for visiting family or friends, and for those who are recovering at home or who have an ongoing need.

How is the Program run?
The program is run by appointment only at 399-7368. The program loans and accepts donations of durable medical equipment that are clean and in good condition, including wheelchairs, walkers, tub/shower seats, and commodes. 

How are Items made available?
Items are available on a first call/first reserve basis, and arrangements to pick up items are made by calling 399-7368. Donated and returned equipment is sanitized and stored at Maplewood, with minor repairs and adjustments as needed. An inventory of available items is maintained, and reservations are based on existing inventory and on a first call basis. Pick-up is by appointment only.

How are Donations made?
Donations are made by calling 399-7368. If you have equipment to donate, please call in advance so that we can check our existing inventory for need. Donated items must be clean and in good condition in order to be accepted into the program. Donations are logged and thank you letters sent (values are not included). Donations are by appointment only.

Who is the Shepherd Program contact person?
Please contact Sally Jenna, our Rehab Technician, at 603-399-7368. She will be happy to assist you! Sally’s hours at Maplewood are Mon-Fri: 5:30am-1:30pm.

Time to support the Democratic nominee

I’ve always thought that the greatest thing about this country is that every election cycle, millions of us stand actively for candidates who sing our particular song. We knock on doors, write letters, put up signs, donate money and march in the streets. And, we are frequently downright militant about our choices. That’s the quality we have that vets our choices and trumpets the issues we feel strongly about.

But, Democracy isn’t about always getting exactly what you want. Democracy is a coalition of ideas. Its about good governance.

My choice for President suspended his campaign today and appealed to supporters to press the presumptive nominee to adopt his priorities: healthcare for all, a livable wage, sustainable energy and universal education, et al, at the convention.

Heaven knows, the current pandemic is proving that his ideas are exactly what we need right now. But, he didn’t tell his supporters to stay home because he didn’t win. He told them that defeating the current occupant of the White House is the most pressing issue in the short term. Because, what we have now is not good governance.

In the end, good governance is my first choice. That is why I’m going to support Joe Biden with all the zeal I have shown for Bernie Sanders, and hope that you will too.

Give Us Test Kits Now!

undefinedI appeal to the state and federal authorities to give us the testing kits necessary to set up municipal and county sponsored mobile test points to identify COVID-19 cases. Empirical evidence is showing that those countries that have done massive testing have seen a flattening in they’re infection curve.

It is understood that the official policy is to test only people who have been officially identified as having contracted the COVID-19 virus, but may I suggest that policy is no longer valid, since it presumes that we are at the beginning of this crisis. Carriers of this virus have long since separated from their inceptors and are now freely infecting new hosts.

It is time now to speedily send all emergency management teams a supply of test kits that can identify carriers of this virus so that they may minimize the spread of this highly infectious virus.

Monetary cost is no longer an important focus. We must do whatever is necessary to provide team leaders with the tools to combat this contagion.

Continued discussion that delayed identification and treatment is not in the best interest of the health and welfare of the citizenry. We must act now to determine who is infected and move forward swiftly without delay.

It is apparent that our Federal and State officials will not act swiftly on our behalf, so I ask local government to bond measures that will ensure all of our citizens safety.

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/coronavirus/irish-developed-kit-confirms-infection-in-15-minutes-39046582.html?fbclid=IwAR2rqABin8KB-Z36H8dOuIqJT7m7kYobVK7FZaqsp753fDjW15wiULEkFoY

Address to “No One Is Above The Law” Rally On Central Square In Keene

I WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU TODAY ABOUT THE ABUSE OF POWER FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A MINOR, LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIAL.

FOR ME, THE VERY BASIC MOTIVATION FOR SOMEONE IN MY POSITION HAS BEEN TO SELFLESSLY DO THE MOST GOOD FOR THE MOST NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN MY COMMUNITY.

THE BEST EXAMPLE IS WHEN WE LEVERAGE TAX DOLLARS TO MAINTAIN A SAFE, HEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS ENVIRONMENT FOR PEOPLE TO LIVE, WORK AND PLAY IN OUR COMMUNITY.

THE PAY AND PERKS ARE MINIMAL. BUT THE REWARD IN SATISFACTION IS TREMENDOUS.

NOT THAT LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN AMERICA HAVE BEEN IMMUNE TO ABUSE – THERE ARE MANY HIGH-PROFILE EXAMPLES OF PATRONAGE AND SPECIAL TREATMENT, BUT AS A RULE, THE PROPENSITY FOR ABUSE TENDS TO INCREASE AS POWER BECOMES MORE CONCENTRATED.

WE HAVE STRUGGLED WITH THAT CONCENTRATION OF POWER AND ABUSE THROUGHOUT OUR NATION’S HISTORY, AND THE SAFEGUARDS WE HAVE PUT INTO PLACE TO COMBAT THAT ABUSE ARE BEGINNING TO FAIL US.

TODAY WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO HAS STRIPPED AWAY THE CAMOUFLAGE OF ABUSE IN AMERICAN POLITICS AND HAS EXPOSED IT FOR ALL TO SEE.

IN A WORLD WHERE PRESIDENTS ONCE PUT THEIR BUSINESS INTERESTS IN BLIND TRUSTS, WHERE PRESIDENTS ONCE OPENED THE BOOKS TO THEIR PERSONAL WEALTH AND INCOME, IN A WORLD WHERE PRESIDENTS DREW THE LINE OF CRONYISM AT OUR NATIONAL BORDERS. WE NOW HAVE A WORLD WHERE THE PRESIDENT OPENLY VIOLATES THE EMOLUMENTS CLAUSE OF THE CONSTITUTION, REFUSES TO DISCLOSE HIS INCOME OR BUSINESS DEALINGS, AND WORSE, OPENLY SIDES WITH OUR ENEMIES TO COMPROMISE THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

IN A WORLD WHERE SEXUAL MISCONDUCT, MISOGYNY AND BIGOTRY ONCE SPELLED THE END OF A PRESIDENT’S POLITICAL CAREER, WE HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO IS SOMEHOW ABLE TO THRIVE IN THAT ATMOSPHERE!

AS A LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIAL, AS A FATHER AND HUSBAND, AS A VETERAN, AS A CITIZEN OF MY COUNTRY AND COMMUNITY, I AM APPALLED AND ASHAMED AT THE REPUTATION OUR COUNTRY IS FAST GAINING WITH THE REST OF THE FREE WORLD.

BUT, WHAT APPALLS ME MOST IS THAT SO MANY ELECTED OFFICIALS, SO MANY OF MY NEIGHBORS, ARE WILLING TO STAND BY AND IGNORE THIS ABHORRENT BEHAVIOR.

WHY DO THEY DO IT? 

IT’S MY VIEW THAT MANY DO IT IN ORDER TO SATISFY THEIR OWN POLITICAL AND MONETARY GAIN. 

HOW DO THEY DO IT? 

THEY PREY UPON PEOPLE’S FEARS AND PREJUDICES.

I FIND IT UNCONSCIONABLE THAT A MEMBER OF CONGRESS OR SENATE WOULD ALLOW THIS ABHORRENT BEHAVIOR IN ORDER TO GET ONE MORE SEAT ON THE SUPREME COURT, OR TO OPEN UP ONE MORE ACRE OF OUR NATIONAL PARKS FOR EXPLOITATION. 

I UNDERSTAND THAT THEY MAY HONESTLY BELIEVE IN A CONSERVATIVE SUPREME COURT, OR THAT THEY BELIEVE THAT MINING OUR PRISTINE NATIONAL PARKS IS GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY, BUT, WHERE IS THE DECENCY? 

HOW FAR INTO THE GUTTER WILL PEOPLE GO TO SATISFY THEIR SICK SENSE OF POLITICAL LUST?

I WANT TO THANK THE ORGANIZERS OF THIS EVENT. WHAT WE DO HERE TODAY IS JUST A SMALL PART OF WHAT MUST BE DONE TO RESTORE SOME SENSE OF DIGNITY TO COUNTRY.

Keene, NH and It’s Budget Time.

Here’s the thing: This year’s city budget addresses the services that most taxpayers are used to having. The question is, how many of these services should be funded by the state or regionally?

Keene is an island in a sea of small towns that create pressures for extended city services like public works, police, fire and social services. To exacerbate things, Keene is the home to more than $650 million in non-taxable land that houses government, medical, non-profit, and religious institutions.

The proper justification for our current financial model used to be, and I say used to be, that increased commerce will provide tax revenues to offset the increased costs. But, employment and housing dynamics have changed over the years, and that model is no longer valid. I don’t believe we can continue using that model and expect the trajectory of our tax rate to be sustainable.

We can’t start slashing and burning the budget. But we can rewrite our fiscal policies to set a new course over the next few years that will resemble the changing financial landscape we now live in.

Our senior city staff is among the best and the brightest – on average they are earning $117,000 a year – together, we can figure out how to do this a different way.

Redux –

Screen Shot 2019-02-21 at 3.41.28 PMI am happy that the City Council’s Planning Licenses and Development Committee gave voters  a small victory when it voted 5-0 to deny a fracked gas pipeline under the Hickey-Desilets Park. For those of you who missed the meeting, please refer to the City of Keene Granicus taping system. 

I’m troubled that the utility ignored a Public Utilities Commission order to send the city clerk the very document that explained option B, which was their permission to use an equally acceptable alternate route.

It’s disturbing that even after discovering that the committee knew about option B, a utility spokesman would tell the committee that the cost and danger of option B were greater than they actually are. I also find it troubling, yet I am relieved, that the utility lawyer had to walk-back the utility engineer’s testimony to the committee.

But, this behavior isn’t new. This utility has a history of skirting the truth and cutting corners, and has been fined tens of thousands of dollars over the last seven years for not following the rules. We never seemed to have any problems with the system until Liberty  Utilities bought NH Gas in 2012.

This all could be avoided if the utility would merely level with us in regards to it’s intentions, instead of trying to fly under the radar and hide key elements of its plans from the city council and the public.

I again call on the mayor and city manager to protect the integrity of our committee system by rebuking this company to the PUC. Otherwise, it’s going to be business as usual. And I ask my colleagues on the city council to remember what happened on that Wednesday night and hold this company accountable in future. 

Make Liberty Gas Accountable – Stop The Lies.

The Keene City Council’s Planning, Licenses and Development Committee voted February 13th 5-0 to deny Liberty Utility’s request to drill a fracked gas pipeline under the Hickey-Desilets Park on Winchester St. I hope the full council concurs when they meet next Thursday.

Liberty representatives behavior at the meeting was reprehensible. They knowingly misled the committee on two major points, which their attorney corrected after I presented a copy of the PUC order the company was supposed to send to the city in January – but didn’t.

In Keene, Liberty has a record of false statements and has been fined multiple times for not following established industry safety guidelines. Their biggest lie was when they told the media and city officials that the dangerous discharges of gas in 2015 had something to do with an aging pipeline system. The real reason, uncovered in a PUC report last year, was that they didn’t have enough employees on hand to monitor the system.

We have stopped the unnecessary drilling under the city park, but not under the river. By intervening, the Ashuelot River Local Advisory Committee and I have gotten environmental safeguards in place, but there is only so much regular citizens can do.

I call upon the mayor and city manager to protest loudly Liberty’s attempt to mislead the PLD Committee and insist that Liberty level with us about their future intentions in this city.

Good Old Great Grand Dad!

FWClark8I had the most wonderful day walking the forest known as South Woods in Alstead, NH.
Armed with old maps, GPS, iPhone and pen and paper, I discovered the 19th century cellar hole and walls of my paternal great grandfather, Frank Willis Clark.
The original road is long past reverted to eroded ditches in places, but leads through a series of walls and stone SouthWoodscellars of a once vibrant community that wound it’s way the hills between Alstead, Gilsum, Walpole and Surry.
First stop was a three-sided barn across from stone walls identify the L. Bourret homestead. I found an iron hinge-like object still in serviceable condition.

Next was the 20×20 #7 schoolhouse nestled at the SE junction of the Dent Brook. Red bricks were mingled on all sides with the field stone foundation, making it difficult to find the hearth. I discovered a large, 2×4 flat stone placed along an adjoining wall that looked convincingly like an entrance.
epson012.jpgIt was a difficult and steep walk to the junction with Peabody Rd., where I found the southern leg washed out.
I wasn’t able to spy the M. Ellis house, but did locate the GE Cater place. Much whole brick is to be found on a center mound that probably housed the hearth.

After crossing the brook exiting Caldwell Pond, you come upon a newish intersection built to access a nice dock, beach and view of Caldwell Pond. There is even a horseshoe pit!
144 paces south of the intersection, 14 paces to the left, is Frank W. Clark’s cellar hole. The 1858 Map of Cheshire County has a Mrs. Caldwell living there, but by 1880, and at least until his death in 1908, it was the home of Frank and Phylinda Clark – and most of their 11 children. It is very likely the children, including my grandfather, Frank Ernest, attended the School #7.
EPSON010The cellar foundation was made of 2x1x5 blocks of granite, and other flat stones of various types that fit, and looked to be deep enough to stoop into. The road and the facing wall point 300 degrees NNW. A possible exterior hatch entry is visible toward the road.FWClarkBricks The dimensions are 18×30 with a 6 ft. tee that extends south west about 20 feet. There is also a wall without a cellar joining to the south west. A 2×4 flat stone identifies an entrance. Along the front wall were chards of window glass and red brick. Inside the stone closure were a metal barrel loop and bedsprings. A chard from a large green glass bottle was there as well.
About 50 feet to the rear of the house was a 3 foot round well and a stone wall-enclosed barn. A single-metal bedspring lay along one of the walls.

I’ll be revisiting this project often, so keep tuned.

Update: *Brickmaking in New Hampshire started on the 1600’s, and as carried out with marine or freshwater glacial clays of New England, brickmaking is a two-stage process. First, the plastic clay must be prepared and molded. Second, the molded bricks must be fired or baked until they become a ceramic. There was a thriving brick making industry along the Connecticut River, exploiting the seasonal layers of grey clay formed under the fresh-water glacial lakes that once filled the valley. From the 17th century on, brick sizes were regulated by law, based on earlier British regulations, to measure a uniform 9-inches x 4-1/4 inches x 2-1/2 inches, because masons of the time were paid “by measure” and not by they’re own claims of work done. Despite such laws, many New Hampshire brickmakers manufactured undersized products; historian Jeremy Belknap cautioned as much in a 1792 article arguing that a new regulation was needed.

The unmarked bricks at the Frank W. Clark homestead measure 7-3/4 x 3-3/4 x 1-3/4 inches. *Small-Scale Brickmaking in New Hampshire; James L. Garvin.

The 1831 Keene directory listed one brickmaker, Thomas M. Edwards, who was also listed as an attorney. Over 40 years later the 1871-72 directory still listed only one brick manufacturer; this time it was W. A. Barrett & Co. on Main Street. William A. Barrett formed a partnership with Luther P. Alden in 1882, but the business was dissolved by the end of the 1880’s. Later in the 1870’s other brick- yards were owned by George W. Ball, on Main Street, and Cyrus H. Bemis and John R. Russell, whose yard was on Water Street. George F. and Emmons Ball succeeded their father, and the firm became George W. Ball’s Sons. This was sold in 1909 to the Keene Brick Co., with George O’Donnell as president and Jerry E. Barry as treasurer and agent. At that time, and until its close in 1920, it was the sole brick manufacturer in the city.

Where are our elected officials?

nopass2The stunning upset of the Northern Pass project is another example of regular people coming together to oppose what many elected representatives don’t seem to be interested in opposing.

There is an increasing number of examples.

Citizens came together in 2016 to oppose the Kinder Morgan fracked gas pipeline and won.

Over the past 18 months as a Keene city councilor, I joined three neighborhoods that opposed high-density rezoning, a stalled residential development and a non-conforming use proposal. We won each final decision.

This year, the PUC has agreed to hear public comment on the Liberty Gas franchise in Keene because of citizen opposition to what we saw as a rushed decision.

Where are the rest of our elected officials? Who do they really represent? As an elected official myself, I am becoming more and more disheartened by the silence of my colleagues.

Citizens should not have to be so vigilant to protect what they hold dear.

Elected officials should be representing them, not the special interests who are motivated by greed.