Mediation – and then some

City officials will take the oath of office on Sunday, Jan. 4, marking the 102nd inauguration of city government in Nashua.

The public is invited to watch the Election Day victors be sworn into office. No invitations are needed.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in the auditorium at the North Campus of Nashua High School, followed by a reception in the high school cafeteria.

The Board of Aldermen is expected to elect Brian McCarthy, the current Ward 5 alderman and alderman-at-large-elect, board president.

The Inauguration Committee, appointed by outgoing board President David

Rootovich, organizes the event.

The committee is made up of Alderman-at-Large Frederick Britton, who is leaving the board, Ward 4 Alderman Marc Plamondon and Ward 8 Alderman-elect Dave MacLaughlin.

City Clerk Paul Bergeron, who is always ready with an interesting fact, said the 2004 inauguration is on the earliest day possible.

The charter requires that the inauguration occur “on the first Sunday after the first secular day in January next following their election.”

Bergeron said that since Jan. 1 is a holiday, Jan. 2 is the first business. In 2004, Jan. 2 falls on a Friday, and the first Sunday thereafter is two days later.

Some students from Charlotte Avenue and Main Dunstable elementary schools learned the finer points of peer mediation at City Hall over the course of three days recently.

Sandy Mulcahy, the mediation coordinator at the Nashua Mediation Program, taught students how to help classmates resolve differences.

Peer mediators learn to allow people in a dispute to say what they want and what is important to them; for everyone to listen to the other side’s point of view; to understand and respect differences in others; and then to work together to reach an agreement that everyone can support.

Learning mediation skills was the key part of the week, but there were other highlights.

Only in New Hampshire – and only with the first-in-the-nation primary on the horizon – could the students walk out of City Hall and into the filming of a campaign commercial by U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

Mulcahy said the Democratic presidential candidate chatted with the students and came away impressed with the conflict-resolution training.

And that’s not to mention the excitement the students felt about possibly appearing as backdrops for the Kerry commercial – as well as the fire drill that emptied a portion of City Hall.

Job well done

Scores of cheerleaders trooped through the aldermanic chamber in City Hall on Tuesday night, when members of the Nashua Elks Crusaders cheerleading squads were saluted for their successful seasons.

The girls, who competed in the Peewee division, capped their year by placing sixth at a national competition in the Wide World of Sports at the Disney World resort in Florida.

Alderman-at-Large Steve Bolton got an extra-long hug from one of the cheerleaders as he joined Streeter in presenting the certificates. Bolton’s daughter, Mary, competes with the squad of 31 girls.

The adults behind the efforts are head coach Kelly Stevens, assistant coaches Elaine Rush and Joyce Marquis, trainee Caitlyn Salesky, coordinator Renee Carney and registrar Nancy Fitzgerald.

The 27-members of the Midget division cheerleading squad placed second in the state cheer competition.

Streeter asked Susan Lovering, who keeps the Board of Aldermen in line, whether she was a former cheerleader. Lovering accepted the award for her daughter, Chelsea.

Their coaches are: Laurie Bertrand, head coach; Gail Lavoie, Patty Regan and Norma Moreau, assistant coaches; and Stephanie Moreau and Shyla Francoer, trainers.

Dinner surprise

There was Dominick Giovinazzo thinking he was heading out to dinner Tuesday night only to be detoured to City Hall.

The longtime supporter of the Boys and Girls Club of Nashua found himself in front of the Board of Aldermen.

The board approved by voice vote naming a stretch of the Nashua Heritage Rail Trail after Giovinazzo, a top-notch fund-raiser and friendly face at the Grand Avenue club.

Members of the club will maintain the trail from Twelfth Street to the bridge on Eaton Street.