, Derry, New Hampshire

February 20, 2014

Letters to the Editor

Derry News

---- — Support Copper Cannon Camp

To the editor:

In New Hampshire, there are many no-profits that do wonderful things for our local communities and the Granite State. One of those organizations is Copper Cannon Camp, a 501(C)3 located in the White Mountains. For 50 summers, Copper Cannon Camp has been providing a free summer camp experience to low-income youth from throughout the state. Last year alone, over 35 children from Salem and Derry attended Copper Cannon.

In 1963, Hamilton Ford decided it was time to give back for what he had received as a child and began Copper Cannon. At 10 years old, Ham and his family were invited to a two-week fresh air “family camp” in Minnesota. As Ham remembered, it was a time to experience three meals a day, a chance for mother to smile and through this, Ham was changed. He started bringing up children from orphanages to his ski lodge during the summer months. Over the years, the Copper Cannon program has served 20,000 youth.

Since 1969, Copper Cannon Camp has been the major project for the New Hampshire Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Elks lodges help recruit youth for the program, provide transportation to Copper Cannon and many help make certain a child has a sleeping bag or water bottle.

From its humble beginnings in the yard of Ham Ford’s ski lodge outside of Franconia, Copper Cannon has grown while still maintaining its original intention of providing low-income children with a free camp experience. It does this through the generosity of donors from throughout the state. Their 42nd annual auction is fast approaching on Saturday, March 1, at the Littleton Elks and I highly recommend supporting such a unique and wonderful cause.

If people would like to find out more about Copper Cannon Camp, their website is

Louise Landry

Derry Salem Elks


Register and be sure to vote

To the editor:

As you already know, you must be a Derry registered voter to vote in Derry elections.

There is plenty of time to register at the town clerk’s office: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Wednesday, the town clerk is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Should you not be able to make it to the town clerk’s office, we, the Supervisors of the Checklist, will be having a session on Saturday morning, March 1, from 11 to 11:30 a.m. at the Derry Municipal Center, 14 Manning St., Derry, in Room 104.

The checklist is closed and you may not register between March 2 and March 10.

You may register at the polls on March 11, but you risk the chance of long lines and waiting. The choice is yours when you wish to register, but please register at some point and come out to vote. You are voting for people who represent your town and your vote.

Renee Routhier

Chairman, Supervisors of the Checklist


Londonderry facing challenges ahead

To the editor:

As a resident for just under 30 years, I am in every sense of the word a product of the town of Londonderry. I spent 12 years in our school system, graduating prepared for further education and the workforce. I was involved in the community through Scouting with local Troop 426. I received my Eagle after constructing the handicapped ramp attached to Town Common. My father was known as “Dan The Milkman” to many of residents while employed with HP Hood, and now works for the post office. My mother Patti just retired from the Police Department after 35 years. My commitment to my community is primarily a product of these two individuals.

Three years ago, I decided to get involved in local elective politics by running for a seat on the Budget Committee. This past year I was privileged to serve as the chairman.

I decided to seek a seat on the Town Council for several reasons. I want to ensure that public safety is first on the agenda. We must ensure that there are 10 fire personnel staffed on each shift. We need to monitor staffing levels at both the fire and police departments. We need to ensure our development agreement with Woodmont is strictly enforced should we need to increase staff after construction.

I count roads in the public safety category as well. They need to be reconstructed as appropriate, but moreover maintained as we go along to avoid the inflated cost of reconstruction. For years, a $1 million bond was passed by voters each March. This year, the roadway fund will receive just $275,000. The next council needs to come together and figure out a realistic plan to maintain this part of our infrastructure.

Additionally, we need to figure out how to retain our residents. People are moving out of our town and state at increasing rates. Our new graduates are leaving for college, and not looking back. The only way to keep our residents here is to ensure there are local jobs and an affordable living cost. We require an appropriate mix of housing.

Finally, we have several large developments coming. We continue to have discussions on bringing large businesses to the airport and Pettengill Road area. And, we have the new Woodmont development knocking on the door. There are major decisions coming in regards to all of these areas. I credit Town Manager Kevin Smith with focusing so much of his time on supporting current businesses and seeking new businesses to come to town. We must continue to increase the tax base so that residential taxes can be level-funded or even decreased.

A ballot in my favor is a vote for public safety, open local government, and an eye towards economic development. I was humbled by how many people encouraged me to run. I would be honored if you would join them in voting for me on March 11.

Please find “Chris Melcher for Town Council” on Facebook. You can also email me at

Chris Melcher