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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Heat in the horseshoe at Nashua aldermen meeting

Wednesday’s Infrastructure Committee meeting saw its fair share of action, but it was more between feuding aldermen than it was about legislation moving along.

Mayor Donnalee Lozeau presented a proposal to spend $1.425 million on 25 Crown Street for a future park and ride and rail station, citing an East Hollis Street master plan that laid out the project.

When Ward 9 Aldermen Dan Moriarty asked to see more information about the plans before voting on the resolution, tension began building.

Lozeau offered links to the city website where Moriarty could read the master plan or track down more data. She suggested that taking in the years worth of data leading to the proposal was like “drinking from the fire hose.”

“It’s quite the opposite,” Moriarty rebuked. “I am thirsty and I am not getting any water.”

Alderman-at-Large Jim Donchess asked whether the board could hold the resolution two weeks longer to get more information to Moriarty, which prompted some reaction from Ward 3 Alderman Diane Sheehan.

“I don’t think that saying, ‘I don’t have information and so I want to hold this up,’ is fair because I think the information is part of doing our homework and being ready for committee,” Sheehan said.

Sheehan said infrastructure has been tabling too much legislation to get more information on things, when she has spent time reviewing master plans and visiting sites to prepare for meetings.

Debate ensued over whether it was reasonable to ask for more time on the resolution.

The board voted to hold the resolution until their next meeting, but the arguing didn’t end there. During a comment period at the end of the night, Moriarty took up the issue again.

Citing his Ph.D. in applied physics, Moriarty said he took offense to people questioning his research skills.

“The requestor of the funds has the burden to make a compelling case,” he added.

Sheehan said she did not mean her comments as a personal attack and offered to point out places Moriarty could go for more information.

“Doing our homework is a responsibility that falls to all of us,” Sheehan said, “And I do my homework and I simply ask that we don’t slow down for those that don’t want to.”

Alderman-at-Large Barbara Pressly, who sat in on the meeting, responded with her own comments, suggesting Sheehan gives “tongue lashings” to board members who disagree with resolutions.

Acting committee Chairman Rick Dowd asked Pressly not to exacerbate the issue, which prompted her to say, “Would you like to muzzle me? I would like to finish.”

“I appreciate the dignity with which you handled that,” Pressly said to Moriarty. “That has been a pattern when someone disagrees or would like to get more information, that’s a pattern from the Ward 3 Alderman. That’s been the style. I hope it stops.”

Board President Brian McCarthy put his two cents in at the end, asking the board to think about their treatment of each other in the horseshoe.

“Frankly at the end of the day, all 15 of us need to be able to discuss things without it being heated, in order for any of this to work … ” McCarthy said. “Any of the blame game stuff and attributing motives to other members of the board, is not going to help the overall sense of the debate. So I would ask all of the members of the board, to step back, do not do that. I wasn’t happy with the exchange that took place basically on either side earlier this evening.”

City garage levelsclosing for striping

Garage line striping will take place Sunday, April 29 and Sunday, May 6, in both the Elm Street and High Street garages.

Garage levels 1 and 2 will be closed from 6 a.m. April 29 through 6 a.m. April 30. Vehicles will need to park on third and roof levels.

Garage levels 3 and roof levels will be closed from 6 a.m. May 6 through 6 a.m. May 7. Vehicles will need to park on first and second levels.

Comcast employees aidNashua organizations

Last Saturday, local Comcast employees gathered to perform community service at the Nashua PAL Youth Safe Haven, Child Advocacy Center and the Humane Society of Greater Nashua as part of the 11th Annual “Comcast Cares Day.”

Over the previous 10 events, Comcast volunteers have dedicated more than 2.1 million hours of service and contributed more than $10.5 million in grants to organizations nationwide.

In Nashua, Comcast employee volunteers joined city leaders in improving the three facilities.

At the Nashua PAL Youth Safe Haven, volunteers spruced up the building and landscaped. At the Child Advocacy Center, volunteers completed spring cleaning. At the Humane Society of Greater Nashua, they planted flower beds and renovated a chicken coop.

The Comcast Foundation will also provide grants to local community partner organizations across the country on behalf of each employee and family member who volunteers on Comcast Cares Day.

Big Brothers Big Sisterslooking for donations

Clean out your closets for spring, as the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation will collect clothing donations door-to-door in Nashua on Monday.

All types of clothing in all sizes will be accepted, along with shoes, accessories, handbags, and small household items.

All donations are tax deductible. To schedule a pick-up, please call 1-800-483-5503 or email

Nashua ... From the Inside was compiled by Staff Writers Maryalice Gill and Cameron Kittle.