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Bradford , Vermont
November 12, 2014     Journal Opinion
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November 12, 2014

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SMALLiTOWN PAPERS ~~ 217 W COTA ST SHELTON WA 98584-2263 (ISSN-0746-1674) Volume 149 • Number 46 An Independent Weekly Newspaper Since 1865 November 12, 2014 ORFORD VETERANS gather at the World War I monument following the Veterans Day dedication of a new flagpole and flag raising, spearheaded by Vietnam veteran John O'Brien. The group includes veterans who served from World War II--Herb Verry, George Boyd and Bill Quackenbush in the right foreground--to the present day in Iraq and Afghanistan. Highlights of the brief ceremony, attended by a large crowd of tL'L dS Nat|onal Anthem ted by Rivendell Academy freshman Sarah Parent[, a poem read by the local Girl Scout troop, and Taps played by Cameron Day. PHOTO COURTESY OF EDMUND COOLEY by Alex Nuti-de Biasi NORTH HAVERHILL--A union intendent, captain, lieutenant, ser- sergeant with the Grafton County poised to represent rank-and-file geant, corporal and all other county House of Corrections approached correctional officers at the Grafton employees were to be excluded officers after the end of their shift County jail has filed unfair labor from the proposed collective bar- and asked them to vote against practices claims with the state labor gaining unit. Grafton County Execu- unionizing. relations board, tive Director Julie Libby said there "The sergeant threatened that A hearing has been scheduled were 29 officers that were eligible discipline would increase and that just a few weeks after guards at the to vote in last month's election, working conditions for the employ.- jail narrowly voted last month not to But prior to the vote, an attorney ees would deteriorate if the union lS form a union. In a vote held on Oct. representing the union filed a claim elected," wrote Peter Perroni, an 23, 11 eligible part-time and full- with the NH PELRB saying that attorney with a law firm in Lowell, time correctional officers voted to corrections superintendent Tom Massachusetts that maintains a join the New England Police Elliott had sent a letter to employ- specialty union representation prac- Benevolent Association. But 12 of ees ahead of the vote in "a direct tice. their colleagues voted against the attempt to influence the outcome of A hearing over the claim has proposal, the upcoming election." been scheduled for Dec. 16. The According to paperwork on file The letter, according to the board has 30 days to issue adecision with the New Hampshire Public union lawyer, represented "im- following thehearing. Employee Labor Relations Board, proper direct dealing." only certain employees. The super- that two days before the election a e e e by Ed Ballam by Alex Nuti-de Biasi NORTH HAVERHILL--The ira- School board members ques- by Alex Nuti-de Biasi NORTH HAVERHILL--A Woodsville man accused of sexually BRADFORD--Dozens of teachers underway, one of the teachers tolda pending retirement of the school tioned whether it was worth the assaulting a relative will likely appeal his conviction after he was turned out for the Orange East reporter thatthere were nearly 140 facilities director in Haverhill has effort with Benton and Warren sentenced this week to nearly two decades in state prison in Concord. Supervisory Union Board meeting of his colleagues gathered in the prompted some administrators to unwilling to pitch in. John Ruther- At the conclusion of an emotional hearing held on the morning of Nov. on the evening of Nov. 4 to protest library at Oxbow High School where consider establishing a similar ford said Haverhill might save 10 at the Grafton County Courthouse, Judge Lawrence MacLeod Jr. thepublicdisclosurebytheboardof OESUBoardmeetingsaretypically position for the entire SAU-23. money by having someone on staff sentenced David Aldrich, 49, to a minimum of 10 years in jail on one count a disagreement over health insur- held. Earlier this year, Head Custodian with an electrician's license for ofaggravatedsexualassaultandaminimumof7.5yearsinjailononecount ance in contract negotiations. The In a prepared statement, a Richard Patten announced that he example, or the ability and knowl- of aggravated felonious sexual assault. The sentences are to be carried out display comes as the two sides representative from the Orange East was planning to retire in 2015, edgeto know anoise on an appliance prepare to resume negotiations later Education Association told the which provides the school district could be expensive if not repaired consecutively at the request of prosecutors. • • • Aldrich was found guilty of the two charges after several days of a jury this month, school board that the news release After a lengthy negotiating amounted to public shaming. wlt hstaHlng.t me to look at alternative workimmediatelY'andthe reductionHe saidindiagnostiCcontracted trial in September• As the trial began, Aldrich faced 12 counts of session lastmonth failed toyieldan With many new administrators • Tl ,eHaverhillbo,ard dSAU-23..seryices .Jrdght save the district aggravated assault andincest for repeatedly molesting arelatiVe who was agreement, OESU board members in place at the beginning of the nave oeen talking aoout reaniag a hundreds of thousands of dollars, a minor atthe time of the assaults, aIleged to have occurred between 1995 facilities director's position that The school board made no final and 2001. But according to court filings most of those charges were issuedanewsreleasesayingthetwo school year, River Bend teacher would be responsible for maintain- decisions on the position, but will dismissed by the judge after the conclusion of the state's case. sides failed to come to agreement Lance Mills said a cooperative spirit ing buildings in all districts within soon be deep into developing the OnMondaybeforeMacLeodhandeddownthe sentence, the courtheard on the terms of a new collective was in the air in the district as the the SAU, which includes Bath, budget for the next school year. a 10-minute statement from the victim, who had several supporters with bargaining agreement for teachers yeargotunderway. [DISCLOSURE: Benton, Haverhill, Piermont and In a related matter, the school her in the court gallery. She said the trauma she endured as a child has at Bradford and Newbury elemen- Mills covers and reports on high carried into her adult life and impacted the way she has raised her own tary schools, Oxbow High School, school sports for the Journal Warren. board also wanted to talk about class chi!, en. River Bend Career and Technical Opinion.] The Haverhill board learned sizes and work on the oolicv ' I have gone through life questioning myselfabout everything," she said Center, andOESU. "We were disappointed to see Monday night that Benton, which regulating the number ofstudent asshewept."IdonotknowwhoIwasorwhatIwassupposedtoaccomplish A complicating factor in the the board's lawyer issue a press has no school buildings, and Warren classrooms are not interested in sharing costs Rutherford said the current class in this lifetime. I even went as far as to question my faith in the Lord. How bargaining is that teachers at release to local media that could can God allow someone to be hurt like I was?" Bradford andNewbury elementary only be intended to shame teachers schools will no longerbe allowedto publically," he said. "We are not forthatpositionandhaveoptedout, size of about 8.5 students to one She said she did not want her abuser to go to prison but that it was a continue on with their grandfathered surewhytheboard'scounselchose Piermont and Bath are inter- teacher has been talked about choice hemade. ested in pitching in for the position, extensively and may not be appro- "He should have taken responsibility a long time ago and never health insurance plan provided to air the disagreements in the contributing about $11,000 com- priate for Haverhill. He said class through Vermont Education Health media." molested me in the first place," she said. bined for the $71,975 total benefit size also affects building require- Aldrich's partner, meanwhile, asked the judge for leniency in Initiative in 2015. VEHI will He said little good could come and salary costs leaving the remain- ments and needs to be discussed as ing costs for Haverhill. the town looks at future building sentencing and requested he be allowed to remain at the Grafton County continue to cover most Vermont of it except for more negative House of Corrections while the appeal is pending to make it easier for him teachers in the state during the publicity for the district. LaPlante explained the building needs. and grounds or facilities director LaPlante said when he was to remain in contact with her family. She said he was a man of good restructuring of the health insurance Ted Pogacar, who heads up the character and she did not object to havinghim around her grandchildren, system over the next few years as teachers negotiating team, said the wouldhave some skillsto dowork workingin Hartford, Vermont as a Defense attorney Adam Hescock said that he submitted three letters in long as districts do not slip out of difference between the two sides is currently done by contractors. He superintendent he worked to reduce support of his client's character and hoped those would mitigate any compliance with their grandfathered "well less" than one half of one added that because Patten also staff size and his experience "was status, percent of the budgets for the cleans the elementary school, the not all wonderful." He said reducing sentence that was levied. He requested a sentence of five to 10 years on one ,, charge and a suspended sentence on the other. It appears that Braford and elementary schools at Bradford or district has an expensive custo- staff caused "a lot of angst" in the In the end, however, MacLeod agreed with prosecutor's requested Newbury will be the first schools in Newbury. He asked whether the the state that are no longer in dispute is worth the distraction for • dian" on staff, community and in the school, but he sentence. LaPlante also said the district might have to hire a half-time "Although there are mitigating factors, there are significant aggravating compliance with that grandfathered the school board. Mills went on to status. As a result, teachers will be say that the teachers from the two custodian at the elementary school See SAU on page 5 to ensure the building remains See Sentence on page 17 forced to migrate from their VEHI schools would be meeting with plans to new insurance plans offered clean. through Vermont Health Connect. See Spat on page 17 As last week's meeting got by Danieile Drown BATH--Bath voters narrowly re- Hill Road near Slick's Ice Cream. people that it got voted down." jected a proposal late last month to The parcel came on the market in Salt storage is one reason why purchase land for a new town garage. May, but the current owner was town officials have spent nearly five Just three votes were the unwilling to wait until the next years looking to build a new garage. deciding factors during a special annual town meeting in March to The current highway department town meeting held Oct. 28. The vote complete a sale. garage, is located adjacent to the was held after a judge had approved Rutherford said that a parcel of town offices on the banks of the the request to hold a special town land, located at the Riverbend Ammonoosuc River inthe center of meeting to consider the purchase of subdivision, was suggested as an the village. That site is too cramped the parcel of land off of Rum Hill alternate choice during the meeting• and the river's proximity makes safe Road or Route 302/10. "There's one person that came in storage of salt a bit of challenge, In a brief interview, Bath and tried to sell the audience that Rutherford said. Selectboard Chair Alan Rutherford there was a better piece of land that The new location, Rutherford explained that a two-thirds majority had all kinds of gravel on it ... since said, would actually help highway vote was needed to pass the request it [the land on Rum Hill Road] was department crews get to West Bath to purchase the land. voted down, we dug some test holes because they would be closer to the "We needed a two-thirds major- on this other piece of ground and bridge in Woodsville than they are ity and the vote was 31 in favor and there's exactly one foot of gravel now. 20 against• It was three votes short there and then it goes right into Voters began setting aside of the two-thirds majority," said clay," Rutherford said. "He was $10,000 each year beginning in Rutherford• under the false assumption that The proposedgarage site is a six- there was really gravel there and to seven-acre parcel at 637 Rum there isn't, but it swayed enough See Bath onpage9 puppy hengln9 out tn their Election results--page 7