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      Friday
      Jun162017

      Holiday Trash Collection, Board Minutes

      Casella reminds us that, because of the Fourth of July, trash collection will be set back a day from Friday, July 7, to Saturday, July 8. For all scheduled trash dates, see the calendar.

      And here are the approved Select Board minutes of May 23.

      Monday
      May222017

      Access Road, Coyotes, and Broadband

      Lots to report on this rainy Monday!

      Cardigan Mountain access road: Right at the start of the hiking season, last week's heavy rains washed out the road and caused the state to put up the gate, adding two miles round-trip to the summit hike. As you can imagine, parking over the weekend was a mess.

      Dorothy Heinrichs spoke to Dennis Ford of NHDOT District II this morning, and Bob Proulx said he had called as well. Ford said they hope to start work tomorrow with the goal of having the road repaired and open by late Thursday...IF the weather cooperates.

      Coyotes: Canid expert Chris Shadler gave a well-attended presentation last night, preceded by excellent potluck desserts. She said coyotes started showing up in our area in the 1940s; as much as 30% of their DNA are wolf, with some dog mixed in. Not only are our eastern coyotes bigger than the western variety, ours occasionally hunt in packs. Most of the diet is small rodents. Schadler spoke against the current state's policy of allowing coyote hunting 365 days of the year, including nighttime. She says coyotes are a remarkably adaptable species, and hunting causes them to breed faster. Because coyotes eat vast qualities of white-footed mice--the main carrier of ticks with Lyme disease--the animals can be good for our health.

      Broadband: On May 16, John Stevens from the NH Department of Safety spoke before the Orange Planning Board. Stevens is the statewide interoperability coordinator, responsible for getting first responders to communicate more effectively. FirstNet, a federal entity within the Commerce Department in charge of setting up a nationwide public safety broadband network, has a $6.5 billion budget to create a public-private partnership over the next 25 years. Stevens noted that while it sounds like a lot of money, it's not much when distributed over all the states and territories. (The communications-satellite industry spends $300 billion a year.)

      New Hampshire is exploring two options: FirstNet, and its own alternative network using a partnership with Rivada. This private company, uses arbitrage, or bidding, to allow broadband providers like Verizon and AT&T to buy up excess bandwidth. 

      What does this mean? Essentially, Stevens says that under either system we can expect to see cellular 4G broadband in our area within 4-5 years. Cellular broadband isn't cheap--$30-80 a month, depending on whether you want to watch Netflix--and it isn't as fast as other means. But it IS broadband. 

      Planning board members asked whether any new towers would have to be built. Probably, Stevens said, adding that the towers would be your standard cellular towers. Judith Lindahl noted that one would probably have to go on Hoyt Hill to provide access to more of the town.

      With any luck, the new system will not preclude other forms of broadband from reaching more of our town, such as DSL (broadband over phone lines) and cable.

      As always, we'll keep you posted!

      Friday
      May192017

      Help Needed for Our Schools

      Kathy Stacy, Orange's School Board representative, sent us this:

       

      At the 5/9/17 School Board meeting, no one from Orange submitted a letter of interest  for appointment to the Apportionment  Study Committee. School Board Superintendent Patrick Andrew asked the Board if anyone had objection to leaving the Orange vacancy for the Apportionment Study Committee open for consideration. There were no objections.  
      The Town of Orange needs a registered voter to provide input and participate in the study of data to determine the Mascoma Regional School District future tax apportionment.The outcome of this committee's recommendation will have a direct affect on EVERYONE's property taxes. Yielding to the other four towns to decide without Orange representation will reduce the number of committee members.Only three School Board members are allowed on the committee. I am not one of those Board members.  
      Please reach out to your neighbors and help to find our town's representation.Contact the Superintendent's office for more information 603-632-5563.  
      Thank you.
      Kathleen Stacy
      Town of Orange School Board Member

       

       

       

      Friday
      May122017

      Vehicle Registration, Green-up, Coyotes, and Broadband

      Some residents have been asking when online vehicle registration will be enabled on this site. Sophie Seace has been hard at work to make it happen. The town's lawyers have looked at the proposed vendor contract and have some questions. During the Select Board meeting of April 24, the Selectmen authorized attorney Jenn Hartman to follow up with Sophie and the vendor, IDC. Stay tuned.
      Sandi Pearson writes:
      If you have driven by the Town House you will notice that Green-up Day was a great success. The Board sends out a big thank you to all the participants who raked, cleaned, worked in the garden, and hauled away debris. Participants included Tamara Fairbank, Gary Hamel, Chris Hausfeld, Dorothy Heinrichs, Judith Lindahl, Ernie Mills, Sandi Pierson, Sharon Proulx, and Doug and Trish Weekes. Canines Cuckoo and Lily provided comic relief and Jay Heinrichs magically appeared with all the fixings for a make-it-yourself ice cream sundae social. A great time was had by all!
      I dropped off a Coyote presentation flyer at the Enfield Library and the librarian there told me that they also had Chris Schadler speak and that it was one of the most entertaining, informative, interesting presentations she had ever been to. We are happy to remind you that Ms. Schadler will be doing the Eastern Coyote presentation here at the Orange Town House on Sunday, May 21 at 6:30. (Goodies at 6:30, program at 7.) This is sponsored by the Conservation Commission. We know many of you showed up a couple of weeks ago for the program and that it was unexpectedly postponed-- we hope you'll come again.
      A message from Planning Board Secretary Bob Proulx: On Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 7 PM the Orange Planning Board will be hosting an informational meeting with John Stevens from the NH Department of Safety. John will speak on the planned upgrades to the nationwide emergency response system, and the associated increase in broadband coverage. At this time, he is seeking input from the members of the Planning Board, Select Board, and interested citizens.
      Finally, the Mascoma School District's Apportionment Sub-committee will be meeting at the high school on Monday, May 15 at 6 PM.
      And here are the approved minutes from the Select Board meeting of April 24.

       

      Saturday
      May062017

      New Flag, Old Calendar

      Check out the new American flag in the Town House if you haven't seen it. It flew above the Capitol Building in Washington, and Dave Stacy, Orange's flag expert, set it up perfectly. The flag came certified by our Member of Congress, Annie Custer.

      This made us think that maybe Congresswoman Custer or a member of her staff might be coaxed to attend a Select Board meeting. So we went to her website to see what town meetings she has coming up. Here's what we found: http://kuster.house.gov/congress-in-your-corner/annie-around-the-district. 

      The site is two years out of date. We wrote the Congresswoman's office to suggest they update the site and let us know when she'll be coming anywhere near our neck of the woods. Two months later, we got a letter from Congresswoman Custer's office thanking us for our interest in attending a meeting and offering a link to her website. Which is still two years out of date.

      The Orange website isn't for politics. But our little town deserves a bit more attention from our elected officials, doesn't it? In the future, we'll be keeping track of how well our state and national representatives communicate with Orange and its residents. Email Jay (o.speech@gmail.com) if you have anything you want to say about this.