Around the Towns: Milford – Amherst

Locals interviewed for BBC piece on US economy

Visitors to the Milford Pumpkin Festival are featured in a BBC World News America video available online.

Three festival attendees were interviewed about the U.S. economy. One woman said she had to borrow money to attend this year’s festival.

“This is a once-a-year event I couldn’t save for,” she said.

The BBC also interviewed Amherst state Rep. Peter Bergin on the Amherst Village Green about Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid. Bergin, a Republican, said so far McCain hasn’t convinced New Hampshire voters that he knows how to run the country best.

To watch the video, visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ programmes/world news america/7670748.stm.

Scare up support

Haunted trail walks to benefit a local food pantry will be held at the corner of Deerwood Drive and Thornton Ferry II Road in Amherst for the next two weekends.

The event, called “Deadwood Drive,” organized by Randy Koehler, is held annually at that location. The cost is three cans of food or $2 per person.

All profits go to SHARE food pantry in Milford.

The events will run 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 24, 25 and 31, and Nov. 1.

Town plan gets revised

A consulting firm has revised its draft goals for Amherst’s master plan after taking some criticism from the planning board and members of the public.

The major criticisms, which came up during a Master Plan Steering Committee meeting Oct. 15, were that the consultants provided too many goals, some of which were duplicates, and that the goals were confusing or were inconsistent with the desires of the planning board and the public.

In March 2007, voters approved money to have the consultants help rewrite the master plan. The contract with Community Preservation Associates is worth $90,000 and is broken into two phases. The first phase, worth $50,000, has been completed. The second phase is ongoing, according to the finance department.

The consultants, led by Brian Barber, last week presented the steering committee with a four-page document listing about 50 goals divided into eight categories.

At the meeting, Mack Hill resident George Bower said the goals lacked a central theme and coherence.

Other concerns were that some seemingly obvious goals were omitted.

For example, committee member Michael Dell Orfano wondered why the economic development section of the document didn’t have specific ideas for bringing wealth to the town.

On Monday, Barber released the list of revised goals. The revised list has roughly the same number of goals as the previous list, but several have been rewritten, added or deleted.

The purpose of the master plan, as defined by state law, is to describe the best and most appropriate future development within the town of Amherst, according to the town Web site. The consultants said they would give the planning board a first draft of the Master plan sometime next month.

SHARE building almost ready

Volunteers have been working on weekends to get the new SHARE building in Milford ready to open before Thanksgiving.

The 30-year-old agency, which helps local people who are having trouble making ends meet, bought the Knights of Columbus building at 42 Elm St. in September.

Soon after, it suffered a temporary setback when vandals damaged the building and SHARE had to install new windows and doors and buy an alarm system.

But volunteers cleaned up the damage and last Saturday they prepared to build offices in what was the Knights’ lounge area.

“Progress is being made, slowly but surely,” said SHARE co-director Carolyn Momenee. “I’m very excited. I can’t wait. I can’t wait for the food pantry to be on one floor – no more steps.”

SHARE appreciates the use of St. Patrick Church for 30 years, she said, but the new building will provide more convenience for workers, more privacy for clients and more handicapped accessibility.