Fireworks to ring in new year in Nashua

Strong winds canceled the fireworks that had been planned to kick off the Holiday Stroll, but a pyrotechnics show still will go on before year’s end.

Weather permitting, of course.

Discussions are under way to tie the show in with a New Year’s Eve celebration planned for wee ones and families at the Nashua Public Library.

The soiree won’t take place late at night, so worried parents can rest assured. Instead, the fireworks are scheduled for 6 p.m. over the Nashua River, said Cindy George, the planner of all things connected with the city’s sesquicentennial celebration.

The fireworks would close out the city’s 150th birthday party. Traffic would be blocked off from Water Street to Canal Street.

Family activities and street entertainment are scheduled prior to the big bang in the early evening.

So people on Main Street can celebrate 2004 as midnight arrives in Lagos, Nigeria.

Or Algiers, Algeria.

Or Paris, France.

Parting shot

Jim Mealey, an outgoing deputy director of the Division of Public Works, put it in writing and came out swinging.

In a resignation letter circulated among aldermen, Mealey rejected the idea that any turmoil within the DPW is responsible for a recent string of departures among the senior staff.

“The only real frustration I have experienced has been having my integrity questioned by a couple of persons who have decided that our Division is devious, wasteful, and incompetent. This one frustration pales in comparison to the satisfaction I derive from working for the City of Nashua, and I would have been very content to stay on as a Deputy Director,” Mealey wrote.

Hmm, wonder who is lurking in City Hall casting aspersions?

Holiday trash

Speaking of the DPW, perhaps some folks are starting to wonder about how to get rid of the wrappings on Christmas morning that will be littering many a living room.

There is a special holiday collection plan, according to Richard Reine, who runs the Solid Waste Department.

Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, from Dec. 26 through Dec. 31, the collection crews will pick up any extra trash that doesn’t fit into the new automated collection carts.The trash must be in bags or barrels, and must be placed at least three feet from the cart. And it is limited to excess holiday trash, not bulky items, metal items, or household cleanouts, Reine said in a written statement.

At the same time, residents can take advantage of the expanded recycling program, dropping cardboard – both gift boxes and corrugated boxes – in the recycling bins. The cardboard needs to be flattened and broken down to a size no bigger than 3 feet by 3 feet.

And here’s a bonus: Most wrapping paper can be put into the recycling bin. Keep out any foil and metallic paper.

Extra containers for recyclables may be used and will be picked up on the regularly scheduled collection days.

If folks don’t want to wait, they may bring extra trash and recyclables directly to the Four Hills Landfill and Nashua Recycling Center, at 840 W. Hollis St. The hours there are 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays.

The facility will close at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 24, and will be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day. Curbside collections for the Thursday and Friday routes during those weeks will be delayed one day.

Though it may be too soon to think about discarding Christmas trees, note that the trees will be picked up at curbside for two weeks, starting on Monday, Jan. 5. Tree stands and ornaments must be removed.

The trees should not be in plastic bags, and will not be picked up if stuck in ice or snow, or placed on top of a snow bank. Trees should be placed at curbside by 6:45 a.m. on collection day, and will be picked up at some time during the two-week period.

Reine also issued a timely reminder: clear snow and ice from an area at curbside for both trash carts and recycling bins after a storm. Containers placed on or behind snow banks will not be picked up.

For more information, call 589-3410.

Battle brewing

About a dozen folks talked about the proposed charter for a regional water district during an afternoon meeting Friday.

Led by water activist Barbara Pressly, the group started to discuss how to be a counterweight to what it perceives as a rush to push the charter through the aldermanic approval process.

Pressly said the people who pay the water bills need to be represented on any board of directors for a regional water district, instead of just representatives of the municipalities.

Or as Planning Board member Mike Lowe said, “You don’t want non-ratepayers telling ratepayers what to pay.”

Though a study committee spent a year developing the proposed charter, Pressly’s group has planned a series of meetings to come up with a governing charter of its own. The next meeting is Thursday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. in the City Hall auditorium.

This is not to be confused with a public hearing on the proposed charter scheduled for Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the north campus of Nashua High School.

Do-not-call list

After getting deluged with phone calls from investors, stockholders and financial institutions, Mayor Bernie Streeter and his crew are tired of playing phone operator.

City Hall has gotten scores of calls about the city’s $121 million offer to buy Pennichuck Corp.

In a press release, Streeter essentially said: Call them, not us.

“As the offer is to the Company for its assets and not individual shareholders, any questions about the offer’s effect on individual shareholders should be directed to the Company,” the mayor said in a written statement.

Help wanted

The Historic District Commission is looking for a few good people.

Some of the panel’s meetings have been postponed because an inability to get at least four members together resulted in the lack of a quorum, said Carter Falk, the deputy planning manager.

The little known city panel watches out for the only designated historic area in the city, part of the North End neighborhood. It reviews all applications for building permits on properties within the boundaries of the historic district.

The time commitment is minimal, at most once a month, and sometimes the commission does not even meet that often, Falk said.

Recently, the commission has overseen some high-profile projects, although it usually reviews smaller-scale applications.

The commission has helped shape the proposed Jackson Falls condos along the Nashua River, and watched over the restoration of the former Goodale’s Bike Shop due to its historic facade.

Anyone with interest is asked to call the mayor’s office at 589-3260.