Illustrated bites of Island news

Jim Cerny, reporting and photography

School business Public occurrences Open houses Christmas fair Piscataqua ship spotting Winter scenes Quick index to back issues

School business

This marks the middle of the annual budget cycle for the New Castle School Board as they prepare to bring forth their budget to the Town Budget Committee, in preparation for public voting in March.

The proposed operating budget is $1,984,784 which is a 5.63% increase, driven by mandated costs, such as more students tuitioned to Portsmouth High School and at a higher rate. This increase translates into an additional $0.35/thousand on the tax rate, or $350 on a $1 million dollar assessment.

After extended discussion of space needs in recent meetings, at which the School Board considered various alternatives for a modular classroom and whether there is need for more detailed planning, the Board decided to spend the next year developing a plan to present to voters in 2011, with the model of the recently completed Safety Building process in mind.

Remember the School Board meets the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m., at the Maude H. Trefethen school, and the public is encouraged to attend.

Maude H. Trefethen elementary school.

School safety is an issue getting a lot of attention, with renewed police presence to enforce the 15 mph speed limit at the beginning and end of the school day. And plans are nearly complete to implement a crossing guard at the crosswalk in front of the school on Cranfield Street. Dave McGuckin has been the sparkplug for the effort, with the school scheduling the guards, the guards to be drawn from PTO volunteers and trained by Police Chief Don White.

return to top of page

Public occurrences

return to top of page

Open houses

On Saturday, December 12, 9:00 a.m.-noon, there was an open house for the new town safety building that houses the fire and police departments. Then, on the afternoon of December 16, Henrys' Market and the Town Library both held open houses for the holidays. Several of "the usual suspects" were seen enjoying the holidays!

Fire truck decorated for the holidays.

Walter Liff.

Nancy Amazeen.

Joan Lockhart.

Henrys' Market window with revelers inside.

return to top of page

Church Christmas Fair

The Women's Guild of the Congregational Church held the annual Christmas Fair on December 5 and it was packed with attractive seasonal items, many of them made by local artists, artisans, and just plain clever people! The fair grossed over $16,000.

Forest of driftwood trees. Click on picture for a larger image.

Maggie Kennedy.

Donna Kearns.

George Almgren.

Flying bird house.

return to top of page

Piscataqua ship spotting

Frostbite sailors with Eli Slater in the lead on a Sunday in December. (Jonathan Taft photo)

Frostbite sailors maintain their winter schedule of Sunday sailing. After experimenting with alternative locations in Rye Harbor and Fort Stark, they are back to the back channel area between Goat Island and the Wentworth Hotel.

Coast Guard cutter "Tahoma" heading for its berth at the Shipyard. (Michael Donovan photo)

The 270-foot medium endurance Coast Guard cutter Tahoma (WMEC 908) is homeported at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and its white hull is a striking sight on a sunny day.

The salt ship "Star Alabama" leaving click image for a larger version.

The Star Alabama (IMO 8221777) was built in 1985, has a 30,204 DWT capacity, and is owned and managed by the Grieg Shipping Group, registered in Bergen, Norway.

The bulk carrier "Tsuru" passing through the Memorial Bridge click image for a larger version.

The Tsuru (IMO 7374230) was built in 1974, making it one of the older bulk carriers seen on the Piscataqua. It has a 38,678 DWT capacity and is owned by SMT Gdynia Ltd of Pomorskie, Poland, registered in Nassau, Bahamas.

The LPG tanker "Hassi Messaoud 2" leaving port click image for a detail of the tug escort.

The Hassi Messaoud2 is a recurring sight on the Piscataqua with its LPG deliveries, as previously reported.

return to top of page

Winter scenes

It's not too late to have a dock installed for use next summer season.

This cormorant sculpture by local craftsman Walter Liff is ready for winter.

Erosion on the Causeway with high tide and windy conditions.

Two houses in the winter sun on always picturesque Piscataqua Street.

Detail of a wreath on a door on Piscataqua Street.

"Our hearth-fire's ruddy glow," to quote John Greenleaf Whittier.

return to top of page

Quick index to back issues of Saltines

January, 2010