Group says good morning to businesses

A coffee klatch is brewing downtown.

The Great American Downtown organization is starting monthly morning meetings to discuss downtown issues and look for solutions and generally get to know the people and businesses that make downtown what it is, said John Mitterholzer, the director of the downtown advocacy group.

This month’s meeting will be from 8-9:30 a.m. Tuesday at Burque Jewelers on West Pearl Street, according to an e-mail sent by Mitterholzer. Future gatherings are being scheduled for the third Tuesday of every month.

These meetings are open to anyone who owns, works for or is in some way involved with a downtown business or organization, Mitterholzer said.

Hospital food

What threw the Board of Aldermen off its normal Tuesday night meeting schedule last week?

A free dinner.

City leaders were guests at the Southern New Hampshire Health System Board of Overseers annual meeting. The meeting was hosted by the hospital and held at Nashua Country Club.

The overseers are some 200 community and business leaders who serve in an advisory role at the hospital, said Judy Bennett, the hospital spokeswoman.

It was the first time aldermen were invited, Bennett said. The idea came from Scott Cote, a senior official at the hospital and a former alderman. It makes sense to invite elected leaders to learn what the hospital is doing in the city, Bennett said.

The menu was a beef or chicken entree, with mashed potatoes, candied carrots or broccoli, carrot cake and coffee.

Among those attending were Ward 9 Alderman Rob Shaw, Ward 4 Alderman Marc Plamondon, Ward 1 Alderman Kathy Vitale and Aldermen-at-Large Steve Bolton, Paula Johnson and Brian McCarthy.

Also attending were Board of Education President Kim Shaw, former Alderman Tim Nickerson and Cote.

The aldermen’s next meeting also has been pushed from Tuesday to Wednesday. This time it’s because of the New Hampshire primary, when the eyes of the country will be on the Granite State.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, Jan. 28.

Baseball talk

Hoping to make quick progress on an overdue bill, representatives from the Nashua Pride met with city leaders twice last week.

The baseball team owes more than $165,000 to City Hall and the Nashua Police Department for services related to the use of Holman Stadium.

The first meeting was Tuesday, followed by a second meeting Friday morning, said Alderman-at-Large Jim Tollner.

Trash options

The committee looking into resolving the deficit in the Solid Waste Department kicked around some ideas last week, seeking more information.

Some topics included the pros and cons of tacking a bill onto a homeowner’s property tax, which could have some benefit for federal taxes, versus using a surcharge, said city treasurer David Fredette, who is leading the committee.

One person who wasn’t at the meeting was Robert Sullivan.

Sullivan made waves recently with his criticism of the pace of the committee’s work and whether it was looking hard enough at alternatives to save money.

But in an apparent effort to mend fences, Fredette said Sullivan was missed at the Monday meeting for his insights and the questions he raises.

Farewell to the cold

Andrew Singelakis, executive director of the Nashua Regional Planning Commission, got a sendoff Thursday night.

The native son is heading west to Tucson, Ariz., for a new job. He’ll be a leader in the planning department in the city of nearly 500,000 people.

The soiree drew planning board members, selectmen and other notables from the 12 communities that are members of the planning commission.

Amherst Selectman Marilyn Petermen said New Hampshire’s loss would be Arizona’s gain.

As people said their farewells to Singelakis at Martha’s Exchange, the temperature on the Fleet Bank sign outside registered 7 degrees below zero.

By the by, the temperature Thursday in Tucson was 70 degrees, with rain, according to the Weather Channel.

Musical chairs

As the aldermanic legislative term begins, McCarthy, the new president, handed out chairmanships. It is one of the perks of his job.

The Finance Committee has Alderman-at-Large David Rootovich as vice chairman. The committee is automatically headed by the mayor. Rootovich is also the head of the Planning & Economic Development Committee.

Most other committees have familiar faces at the helm.

Ward 7 Alderman Lori Cardin continues to lead the Human Affairs Committee.

Ward 6 Alderman Robert Dion watches over the Infrastructure Committee.

Tollner leads the Personnel/Administrative Affairs Committee.

Plamondon is the vice chairman on two committees, Human Affairs and Infrastructure.

And the Joint Special School Building Committee is run by Bolton.

Don’t try this at home

Frozen pipes have kept Nashua firefighters busy.

Assistant Fire Chief Roger Hatfield said firefighters responded to more than 100 calls during the recent cold snap.

People always call the fire department in any emergency, he said. He cautioned that people should not try to thaw iced pipes with an open flame. That can make a bad situation much worse, replacing the frozen pipes with a burned-out home, he said.

Hatfield said people should call plumbers to solve those problems.

Nashua . . . From the Inside was compiled by staff reporter Andrew Nelson.