Observing the Moon: Part 2, Just What is a Super-Moon Anyway?

By Peter Forrester | March 20, 2019

Well, here we go. Another supermoon is coming up tonight / tomorrow (depending on where you are), right after the Spring Equinox which is tonight about 6 pm in US Eastern time. This one is called the Super Worm Equinox Moon, or similar phrases. What exactly do all these terms mean?

Well, first of all, “supermoon” means a Moon that is at its closest approach to Earth, and at full moon (or new moon) phase at the same time, making it appear brighter and slightly larger than it normally would. Every month it has its “perigee”, the closest approach of that orbit, and the opposite “apogee”, but some perigees are closer than others. The moon at perigee normally appears about 14% bigger than at apogee, so we’re not talking a huge difference here.

The term supermoon was first coined by an astrologer in 1979, and has various definitions in different places. The original definition stated that the full or new moon occurs with the Moon within 90% of its closest approach to Earth, but the reason for choosing 90% was never explained, and the claim that a supermoon causes catastrophic effects and stress on Earth has been thoroughly disproven by scientists. It should also be noted that most people using the term “supermoon” are referring to a Full Moon (and very rarely is used for a New Moon).

The Worm refers to the month of March, and apparently this originates with Native Americans who called their full moon in March by this name, owing to earthworms coming out of the thawing soil at this time of year.

Equinox, well that’s happening today. We only have two equinoxes per year, and they always occur around March 20th, and again 6 months later in September. For the Northern Hemisphere, the March equinox is called the Vernal or Spring Equinox, and denotes the astronomical beginning of Spring, while it starts Fall in the Southern Hemisphere. The September equinox is called the Autumnal or Fall Equinox.

But what is an Equinox? According to Wikipedia, equinox occurs at “the instant of time when the plane (extended indefinitely in all directions) of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun”. Or in other words, when the center of the Sun is directly above the equator.

The two equinoxes are when the day and night are the same length (not exactly at the same moment as the Equinox, but pretty close). The equinoxes are also the only times of year that both the northern and southern hemisphere receive the same amount of light from the Sun.

This March Supermoon is the last full moon supermoon of this year, after having them in January and February as well (however, we have three supermoon New moons in August and September). The February one was the closest and brightest, but this one is unique. It is very rare for the supermoon to happen within a day of the equinox. It won’t happen again until 2030.

Owing to the momentous occasion of a Super Worm Equinox Moon happening today / tomorrow, I have deferred a description of the Moon’s seas and craters until Part 3 of this series.

Happy moon observing! Because you’re only going to see the brightest stars right now, skies permitting. If it’s too cloudy, there’s a link on the first reference, the National Geographic article below where you can watch it online.

Have a great day, and Happy Spring (or Fall, if you’re reading this from south of the Equator)!

Previous in series: Observing the Moon, Part 1: Appearance and Phases


Fazekas, Andrew. (2019, March 19). See the first supermoon on the spring equinox in 19 years. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/03/see-first-super-worm-moon-on-spring-equinox-in-19-years/.

McClure, Bruce, and Deborah Byrd. (2019, January 1). How many supermoons in 2019? Retrieved from https://earthsky.org/human-world/what-is-a-supermoon.

Wikipedia. (2019, March 20). Equinox. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equinox.

Wikipedia. (2019, March 14). Supermoon. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermoon.

Wikipedia. (2019, February 22). Syzygy (astronomy). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syzygy_(astronomy).

Chairman Thibeault’s Rube Goldberg Machine

By S.D. Plissken | March 20, 2019

Many of those that hold Milton’s Town government offices suffer from one or more commonly-held delusions.

One is reminded of various medical practitioners of the past who, though well meaning, aggravated patient problems and probably even hastened their deaths. For example, George Washington is said to have been “bled” in his final hours by such a practitioner, which certainly did not do him any good.

Now, they were not entirely bad doctors, but merely doing their best according to the state of medical knowledge of their day. Had they persisted in employing antiquated methods, disproven theories, or even some illogical and unproven notions of their own, we might term them “quacks.”

At the most recent Board of Selectmen (BOS) meeting (March 18, 2019), some of our very own economic and political quackery was on display yet again. This needs to stop.

The Atlantic Broadband representative confirmed, in answer to a query, that his company has not extended their network to every house in town. He explained that is financially unremunerative to run lines where there are less then ten customers per mile. He further explained that potential customers in such areas might still get Atlantic Broadband connections, but would need to contribute themselves, at least in part, to run the lines out to their location.

The representative was not presenting some sort of bizarre formulation. I have heard similar things about Eversource (and their predecessor PSNH). You may build as far off the street as you may like, but you will be paying yourself to run the poles from your house out to a connection at the street.

Enter our Town Planner, Bruce W. Woodruff. He wondered if – in this day and age – internet access is really more akin to a public utility than merely a service. Step carefully, Mr. Woodruff. Didn’t we just have a rather close call on Article #3 in trying to fiddle meanings and definitions for political purposes? Of course, Mr. Woodruff’s hint led nowhere with the vendor. Milton cannot yet compel companies to engage in unprofitable practices.

But Mr. Woodruff was willing to have the taxpayers build upon that poor foundation. He would have the Town tax everybody in town, put that tax money in a “Broadband Fund,” and use that tax money to subsidize an extension of the internet to the purportedly underserved areas. (Thinly-settled areas may be served with as many satellite connections as they like).

Planner Woodruff: Other communities have invested some of their tax dollars into a fund called a “Broadband Fund,” and then they would use that “Broadband Fund” toward these goals. And I think it’s very important to consider.

Go carefully there too, Mr. Woodruff, I think I got just a whiff of some Socialism. We would not want to step in that.

Subsidizing broadband connections is not a legitimate governmental function. Not at all, no matter how you might wish to redefine it.

Newly-returned Selectman Rawson delivered a stunner in the Town-Owned Properties discussion. He proposed adding the 1121 White Mountain Highway property – the so-called “Blue House” – to the proposed auction list.

Chairman Thibeault had a sort of Rube Goldberg contraption planned for that property. Giving it to the Milton Historical Society would allow them to move the Plummer’s Ridge Schoolhouse No. 1 property – which he would also give them – across the street to the “Blue House” land. (See also Not Yours to Give). The “Blue House” would have to be demolished first, of course, but his plan did not mention who would be paying for that. Any guesses?

That would create an “attraction,” which would be – as he said – a “huge asset” for Milton. Tell us Chairman Thibeault, why would that be such a great thing for Milton taxpayers?

Self-Operating Napkin
Soup spoon (A) is raised to mouth, pulling string (B) and thereby jerking ladle (C), which throws cracker (D) past parrot (E). Parrot jumps after cracker and perch (F) tilts, upsetting seeds (G) into pail (H). Extra weight in pail pulls cord (I), which opens and ignites lighter (J), setting off skyrocket (K), which causes sickle (L) to cut string (M), allowing pendulum with attached napkin to swing back and forth, thereby wiping chin.

Well, as an attraction, it might bring in out-of-town visitors, who might spend money here, which might “encourage” businesses, which might somehow reduce taxes. The “logic” trails off there. (They having already more than spent any conceivable tax advantage that might accrue from phantom businesses, if they were to ever arrive).

But “encouraging” businesses (at public time and expense) is not a legitimate governmental function at all.

Now, you won’t believe this newest twist (at least the one most recently revealed): Chairman Thibeault’s Historical Society scheme would have the additional “advantage” of preventing occupation of the “Blue House” by a family with children. Quelle horreur!

Chairman Thibeault: You talk about tax revenue, but remember when you talk about tax revenue, right, there’s what you are going to bring in for that house, and what it’s going to cost the Town. Right? So, say that house is fixed up, and a family moves into it, – And I’m not saying I don’t want families moving to Milton, I’m not saying that at all  – But it’s going to cost you more money, because of the cost of the School system. So, you’re not …

He’s not saying that at all, except when he is saying exactly that. In his view, a childless or elderly couple, or a business, or the Historical Society are to be preferred at that location because a young family, with children, would cause an additional cost to the School District. One older audience member described this sort of calculation as “crooked and dystopian.”

Milton’s population has been more or less stagnant since 2010. (While its taxes have skyrocketed). Are attitudes such as Chairman Thibeault’s contributing to its lack of growth?

Shouldn’t the Town and School District be looking more to reducing its higher-than-State-average per-pupil expenses rather than its number of pupils?

We have been told that Milton is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the NH State government. The NH Constitution clearly states that government’s raison d’etre: the inhabitants surrender a very few of their acknowledged natural rights in order to preserve some others, i.e. some of their other natural rights.

Subsidizing internet connections, encouraging businesses, or, worst yet, discouraging children, do not come under the heading of surrendering some natural rights to preserve others.

Town officials need to step back and take a deep breath. Open the windows to let some fresh air in there. Get their heads straight. Stop employing the political means where the economic means are more appropriate (which is true for nearly everything).

Ms. McDougall prompted the board to remember who they represent. (The correct answer: the taxpayers).

Kudos to Selectman Rawson for his “Blue House” motion and to Vice-Chairwoman Hutchings for voting with him. One hopes they may continue to remember who they represent.

See also A Reply to Chairman Thibeault’s Rube Goldberg Machine

(Editor’s note: Ms. Bristol compiled accounts of a prior failed Milton business “encouragement,” which resulted in the Milton Mills Shoe Strike of 1889).


State of New Hampshire. (2019). [NH] State Constitution: Bill of Rights. Retrieved from www.nh.gov/glance/bill-of-rights.htm

Town of Milton. (2019, March 18). BOS Meeting, March 18, 2019. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ktrwn9qoUIo

Wikipedia. (2018, December 11). Rube Goldberg Machine. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rube_Goldberg_machine

Milton in the News – 1882

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | March 18, 2019

In this year, we encounter the auction sale of a Milton Three Ponds hotel, the calling of a new minister to Milton Mills’ Union Congregational church, and the tragic freezing death of a Lebanon mother.

Horatio Gates Wentworth, Jr., was born in Lebanon, ME, July 4, 1841, son of Horatio G. and Esther (Gowell) Wentworth. He married, probably in Lebanon, ME, circa 1861, Susan Hersom. She was born in Lebanon, ME, December 10, 1841, daughter of John and Asenath (Shorey) Hersom.

Horatio G. Wentworth, Jr., of Lebanon, ME, a laborer, married, aged twenty-two years (b. ME), registered for the Class I military draft in July 1863. He was a farmer in Lebanon, ME, in 1870.

H.G. Wentworth appeared as manager of Milton’s Glendale House hotel in the Milton business directories of 1880, 1881, and 1882.

Horatio G. Wentworth, keeps hotel, aged thirty-eight years (b. MA), headed a Milton (“Milton 3-Ponds Village”), NH, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Susan [(Hersom)] Wentworth, keeping house (hotel), aged thirty-seven years (b. ME), and their six boarders, George Babcock, works for ice co., aged twenty-two years (b. MA), Nelson Babcock, works for ice co., aged nineteen years (b. MA), George Ingalls, works for ice co., aged thirty years (b. MA), George B. Knowlton, works for ice co., aged twenty-three years (b. MA), Howard Conkling, works for ice co., aged twenty-eight years (b. VT), and Thomas J. Gile, works for ice co., aged twenty years (b. ME).

The hotel appeared in the enumeration between the households of George I. Jordan, works on shoes, aged forty-five years (b. ME), and Albert Downs, works on shoes, aged thirty years (b. NH).

AUCTION SALES. HOTEL AT AUCTION. The well-known Glendale House, situate at Milton “Three Ponds” village, on the banks of a beautiful lake on the Conway division of the Eastern Railroad, will be sold at public auction, THURSDAY, May 25, at 2 o’clock P.M., sharp; situate in a growing manufacturing village, amid beautiful scenery, pure air, on the direct line of White Mountain travel, excellent boating, fishing, etc.; within two minutes walk of the depot, it presents superior advantages as a summer resort for the invalid or pleasure-seeker; terms liberal. Apply to H.A. WORTHEN, carriage manufacturer, or V.H. McDANIEL, Auctioneer, Dover, N.H. (Boston Globe, May 23, 1882).

Note that the auction advertisement seems to be pitched more towards tourist interests than those of the ice industry.

H.G. Wentworth appeared as manager of Milton’s Phenix House hotel in the Milton business directory of 1884.

Rev. Gardner S. Butler transferred from North Troy, VT, to the Union Congregational Church at Milton Mills, NH.

North Troy. Rev. G.S. Butler has received and accepted a call to preach at Milton Mills, N.H. (Express and Standard (Newport, VT), September 12, 1882).

This next article concerns the freezing death of Mrs. Moses W. Foss. Their marital life was a bit complicated and requires a bit of preliminary explanation.

Moses W. Foss married (1st) in Milton, NH, June 7, 1874, Addie S. Simonds, he of Milton and she of New Portsmouth, NH. Rev Joseph F. Joy [of the Milton Mills Free-Will Baptist church] performed the ceremony. She was born in Dover, NH, circa 1855-56, daughter of Stillman and Hannah W. (Stevens) Simonds. They seem to have divorced.

Moses W. Foss married (2nd) in Wakefield, NH, November 13, 1878, Susan A. (Sanborn) Goodwin, he of Milton and she of Wakefield. She was born in Wakefield, daughter of Goodwin and Hannah Sanborn. She had married (1st) Frank Goodwin, with whom she had a son, Charles W. Goodwin.

Moses W. Foss, a laborer, aged thirty-seven years (b. NH), headed a Lebanon, ME, household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Susan A. Foss, keeping house, aged twenty-five years (b. ME [SIC]), his son-in-law (i.e, stepson), Charles W. Goodwin, at home, aged six years (b. NH), and his son, James H. Foss, at home, aged one year (b. NH).

HER LAST SHOPPING. A Woman Frozen to Death in a Snow Storm Near Milton, N.H. MILTON, N.H., December 16. Mrs. Moses W. Foss walked about two miles to this place to do some trading Wednesday afternoon in a snow storm. She attempted to return in a deep and blinding storm, and had nearly reached there, when, overcome by exhaustion, she fell down and perished. She leaves three small children. Her husband was out of town (Boston Globe, December 16, 1882).

Miscellaneous Items. Mrs. Moses W. Foss, of Milton, N.H., was caught out in a snow storm last week, and froze to death (New England Farmer, December 23, 1882).

Moses W. Foss married next (3rd) in Milton, NH, June 19, 1884, Rosa Cole, both of Milton. She was born in Milton, NH, daughter of Simon and Martha O. (Sargent) Cole.

Moses W. Foss died in Cornish, ME, July 18, 1910. Rosa (Cole) Foss married (2nd) in Cornish, ME, May 30, 1911, Greenleaf Pugsley.

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1881; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1883


Find a Grave. (2012, November 25). Horatio G. Wentworth. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/101246605

Wikipedia. (2018, May 12). North Troy, Vermont. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Troy,_Vermont

School District Election Results for March 12, 2019

By Muriel Bristol | March 17, 2019

Milton had the second part of its annual School District election (the first being the Deliberative Session), on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

Only about one-third (32.4%) of the electorate chose to participate: 1047 / 3232 = 32.4%.

These results come from photographs of vote totals, which do not seem to be posted on the Town or School District websites.

The School District Clerk is pushing a recount: “I will be available at the Town Hall Friday (tomorrow) and Tuesday 3p-5p for anyone requesting a School District Recount” and “Yes, 10 signatures on an official recount request. Must be a registered voter, with a fee of $10.” Presumably, because you did not vote “correctly.” Come on, people, get in line.

School District offices appear first, followed by School District Warrant Articles. (Both are listed in the order of the percentages of votes received).

School District Offices (in Descending Order by Percentages Received)

School District Moderator – One for One Year

Chris Jacobs won the seat with 840 (80.2%) votes. He ran unopposed. “Scattering” received 3 (0.3%) votes. (He is also the incumbent Town Moderator).

School District Clerk – One for One Year

Tammy J. Crandall won the seat with 824 (78.7%) votes. She ran unopposed. “Scattering” had 4 (0.4%) votes.

School District Treasurer – One for One Year

Mackenzie Campbell won the seat with 815 (77.8%) votes. He ran unopposed. “Scattering” received 6 (0.6%) votes. (He received 836 (79.8%) in his unopposed race for Town Treasurer).

School Board Member – Two for Three Years

Emily Meehan won a seat with 548 (52.3%) votes. Melissa J. Brown won a seat with 455 (43.5%) votes.

Carter Wentworth Terry received 342 (32.7%) votes. “Scattering” received 309 (29.5%) votes. (“Scattering” included the write-in candidate, Alfred Goodwin).

See also Wintry Mix – School Board Candidates

School District Warrant Articles (in Descending Order by Percentages Received)

Article 5: School Plow Truck Rejected – 275 (26.3%) in favor, 694 (66.3%) opposed, and 78 (7.4%) neither

Article 6: School Transportation CaravanRejected – 350 (33.4%) in favor, 615 (58.7%) opposed, and 82 (7.8%) neither

Article 11: Extension of School Moderator, Clerk, and Treasurer Terms to Three YearsPassed – 593 (56.6%) in favor, 366 (35.0%) opposed, and 88 (8.4%) neither

Article 9: Utilities Trust FundRejected – 378 (36.1%) in favor, 587 (56.1%) opposed, and 82 (7.8%) neither

Article 10: Technology Expendable Trust FundRejected – 379 (36.2%) in favor, 579 (55.3%) opposed, and 89 (8.5%) neither

Article 8: Building Maintenance FundPassed – 576 (55.0%) in favor, 375 (35.8%) opposed, and 96 (9.2%) neither

Article 4: Library MediaPassed – 561 (53.6%) in favor, 415 (39.6%) opposed, and 71 (6.8%) neither

Article 3: Salary IncreasesRejected – 445 (42.5%) in favor, 536 (51.2%) opposed, and 66 (6.3%) neither

Article 2: Operating BudgetRejected – 448 (42.8%) in favor, 525 (50.1%) opposed, and 74 (7.1%) neither

Article 7: Educationally Disabled Children Trust FundRejected – 481 (45.9%) in favor, 484 (46.2%) opposed, and 82 (7.8%) neither

[Editors note: “Errors excepted”].

See School District Election Results for March 10, 2020 and School District Election Results for March 9, 2021. (See also Town Election Results for March 12, 2019)


Our Milton Home Facebook Group. (2019, March 12) John Gagner Post. Retrieved from www.facebook.com/groups/OurMiltonHome/permalink/2139977946096492/

Non-Public BOS Session Scheduled (March 18, 2019)

By Muriel Bristol | March 15, 2019

The Milton Board of Selectmen (BOS) have posted their agenda for a BOS meeting to be held Monday, March 18.

This meeting is scheduled to begin with a Non-Public session beginning at 5:30 PM. That agenda has two Non-Public items classed as 91-A:3 II (a) and 91-A3 II (b).

91-A:3 II (a) The dismissal, promotion, or compensation of any public employee or the disciplining of such employee, or the investigation of any charges against him or her, unless the employee affected (1) has a right to a meeting and (2) requests that the meeting be open, in which case the request shall be granted.

91-A:3 II (b) The hiring of any person as a public employee.

A new Town year begins with a secret meeting, about raises and hiring. It is like they cannot help themselves. It does beg a question: legally, can Selectman-elect Rawson participate in this prior to being sworn?

The BOS intend to adjourn their Non-Public BOS session at approximately (*) 6:00 PM, when they intend to return to Public session.

The Public portion of the agenda has New Business, Old Business, and some housekeeping items.

Under New Business are scheduled twelve agenda items: 1) Swearing in Newly Elected Officials, Board and Committee Members, 2) Re-Organization of Board of Selectmen, 3) Board of Selectmen Committee/Board Assignments: a. Budget Committee b. Planning Board c. Zoning Board of Adjustment d. Economic Development Committee e. Recreation Commission f. School Board, 4) Board of Selectmen By-Law Discussion, 5) Board of Selectmen Recording Clerk Contractual Agreement Approval (Danielle Marique), 6) 2019 Town Election Results Discussion, 7) Request Approval of Motor Vehicle Registration Fees Abatement, 1 of 2 (M. Beauchamp), 8) Request Approval of Motor Vehicle Registration Fees Abatement, 2 of 2 (M. Beauchamp), 9) Durgin Fund Reimbursement for Veterans’ Park Project (Michelle Beauchamp), 10) Approval of Payment to JS Marine & Vinyl Works (Richard Krauss), 11) Town Ordinance Exception Request (David Paey), and 12) Discussion With Atlantic Broadband Representative Re.: Franchise Renewal (Dave Owen).

Agenda Item #12 has a fixed time of 6:30 PM. The other items will “flow” around this fixed time.

Swearing in Newly Elected Officials, Board and Committee Members; Re-Organization of Board of Selectmen; Board of Selectmen Committee/Board Assignments: a. Budget Committee, b. Planning Board, c. Zoning Board of Adjustment, d. Economic Development Committee, e. Recreation Commission, and f. School Board. All of the newly-elected officials are to be sworn; the BOS will identify their Chairman (or Chairwoman) and Vice-Chairman (or Vice-Chairwoman); and they will decide which selectman or selectwoman will sit on which Town committee.

As there are six committees and three selectmen, an even division would be two committees per selectman. Last year, Selectman Lucier hung back and took only one, while Vice-Chairwoman Hutchings picked up his slack.

Board of Selectmen By-Law Discussion. Will they continue Selectman Thibeault’s meeting by-laws?

Board of Selectmen Recording Clerk Contractual Agreement Approval (Danielle Marique). Renewal of the Recording Clerk’s contract.

2019 Town Election Results Discussion. The Town budget was rejected, 614 (61.6%) to 382 (38.4%). None of last year’s selectmen voted like the (nearly two-thirds) majority of the voters that rejected the increased Town budget. The BOS served again in their accustomed role as rubber stamps for more increases. Might this discussion include their apology, accompanied by a promise to better represent the taxpayers’ interests in the future? We shall see. Wonders never cease.

Request Approval of Motor Vehicle Registration Fees Abatement. Times two. When last this occurred it was an adjustment for a vehicle no longer owned.

Durgin Fund Reimbursement for Veterans’ Park Project. The Ira S. Knox Fund (AKA the Durgin Fund).

Approval of Payment to JS Marine & Vinyl Works. Although the States of New Hampshire and Maine have sole jurisdiction on the ponds, the Milton Police Navy feels a need to be a “presence” there. When last seen, Chief Krauss wanted $40,000 for a “patrol truck” capable of towing their boat. At that time, he mentioned that their boat had been damaged by the ice.

Town Ordinance Exception Request. On February 20, the Milton Planning Board voted 7-0 to “approve the request to renew the existing excavation permit submitted by David Paey Jr. owner / excavator, property located at 76 Piggot Rd.”

Discussion With Atlantic Broadband Representative Re.: Franchise Renewal. Cable TV is on its way out. (They raise prices like selectmen). One hopes at least that the contract term is a short one, allowing for future developments.

Under Old Business are scheduled two items: 13) Follow Up Discussion on Town Owned Properties, and 14) Follow Up Discussion on Town Vehicles / Equipment.

Town-Owned Properties. When last seen, the BOS was inching towards auctioning the three-year tax seizures. Chairman Thibeault would not “support” including the “Blue House,” valued at $168,300, in the list. He preferred giving it away to his favorite private organization. Here is his chance for a recount.

Finally, there will be the approval of prior minutes (from the BOS meeting of March 4, 2019), the expenditure report, Public Comments “Pertaining to Topics Discussed,” Town Administrator comments, and BOS comments.

Mr. S.D. Plissken contributed to this article.


NH Magazine. (2016, January). Losing Your Home. Retrieved from www.nhmagazine.com/January-2016/Losing-Your-Home/

State of New Hampshire. (2016, June 21). RSA Chapter 91-A. Access to Governmental Records and Meetings. Retrieved from www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/VI/91-A/91-A-3.htm

Town of Milton. (2018, March 15). BOS Meeting Agenda, March 18, 2019. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/sites/miltonnh/files/events/3.18.19_bos_agenda.pdf

Youtube. (1965). Cone of Silence. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1eUIK9CihA&feature=youtu.be&t=19

Town Election Results for March 12, 2019

By Muriel Bristol | March 15, 2019

Milton had the second part of its annual Town election (the first being the Deliberative Session), on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

Only about one-third (32.4%) of the electorate chose to participate: 1047 / 3232 = 32.4%.

Town offices appear first, followed by Town Warrant Articles. (Both are listed in the order of the percentages of votes received).

Town Offices (in Descending Order by Percentages Received)

Town Clerk / Tax Collector – One for Three Years

Michelle Beauchamp won the seat with 903 (86.2%) votes. She ran unopposed. “Scattering” received 6 (0.6%) votes.

Library Trustee – One for Three Years

Miranda Myhre won the seat with 844 (80.6%) votes. She ran unopposed. “Scattering” had 2 (0.2%) votes.

Cemetery Trustee – One for Three Years

Bruce W. Woodruff won the seat with 840 (80.2%) votes. He ran unopposed. “Scattering” received 7 (0.8%) votes.

Treasurer – One for One Year

Mackenzie Campbell won the seat with 836 (79.8%) votes. He ran unopposed. “Scattering” received 11 (1.1%) votes.

Trustee of the Trust Funds – One for Three Years

Brittney Leach won the seat with 814 (77.7%) votes. She ran unopposed. “Scattering” received 2 (2.0%) votes.

Planning Board – Two for Three Years

Joseph A. Michaud won a seat with 791 (75.5%) votes. He ran unopposed. Nick Philbrick won a seat with 20 (2.0%) write-in votes.

Budget Committee – Two for Three Years

Thomas McDougall won a seat with 700 (66.9%) votes. Humphry Williams won a seat with 575 (54.9%) votes. They ran unopposed. “Scattering” received 45 (4.3%) votes.

See also Wintry Mix – Budget Committee and Meet Mr. Williams

Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) – Two for Three Years

James M. “Mike” Beaulieu won a seat with 646 (61.7%) votes. Sean Skillings won a seat with 618 (50.0%) votes. They ran unopposed. “Scattering” received 16 (1.5%) votes.

Fire Chief – One for Three Years

Nicholas Marique won the seat with 630 (60.2%) votes. Stephen D. Duchesneau received 396 (37.8%) votes. Neither of the above received 21 (2.0%) votes.

See also Wintry Mix – Fire Chief

Board of Selectmen – One for Three Years

A total of 963 votes were cast for the five candidates for the single three-year seat on the Board of Selectmen.

Andrew “Andy” Rawson won the seat with 311  (33.9%) votes. (That would be 9.6% of the total electorate).

Laurence D. “Larry” Brown received 250 (23.9%) votes, Billy Walden received 223 (21.3%) votes, Adam G. Sturtevant received 104 (9.9%) votes, None of the above had 84 (8.0%) votes, James M. “Mike” Beaulieu received 72 (6.9%) votes, and “Scattering” had 3 (0.3%) votes.

See also Wintry Mix – Board of Selectmen

Budget Committee – One for One Year

Dennis Woods won the seat with 154 (14.7%) votes. That would be 56.6% of the 272 write-in votes.

Town Warrant Articles (in Descending Order by Percentages Received)

Article 15: Eradicate Invasive SpeciesPassed – 740 (70.7%) in favor, 275 (26.3%) opposed, and 32 (3.1%) neither

Article 17: Milton Cemetery Expendable Trust FundPassed – 715 (68.3%) in favor, 248 (23.7%) opposed, and 84 (8.0%) neither

Article 18: Community Revitalization Tax Relief Incentive RSA 79-EPassed – 673 (64.3%) in favor, 286 (27.3%) opposed, and 88 (8.4%) neither

Article 2: Amend Zoning MapPassed – 632 (60.4%) in favor, 408 (39.0%) opposed, and 7 (0.6%) neither

Article 14: Bridge Capital Reserve FundPassed – 626 (59.8%) in favor, 379 (36.2%) opposed, and 42 (4.0%) neither

Article 5: Operating BudgetRejected – 382 (36.5%) in favor, 614 (58.6%) opposed, 51 (4.9%) neither

Article 3: ZoningRejected – 382 (36.5%) in favor, 609 (58.2%) opposed, and 56 (5.3%) neither

Article 6: Highway and Road Reconstruction FundPassed – 595 (56.8%) in favor, 406 (38.8%) opposed, and 46 (4.4%) neither

Article 13: Geographic Information SystemPassed – 583 (55.7%) in favor, 419 (40.0%) opposed, and 45 (4.3%) neither

Article 16: Conservation Commission Casey Road FundPassed – 576 (55.0%) in favor, 431 (41.2%) opposed, and 40 (3.8%) neither

Article 11: Milton Free Public Library Capital Reserve FundPassed – 576 (55.0%) in favor, 429 (41.0%) opposed, and 42 (4.0%) neither

Article 7: Fire Department Equipment and Apparatus Capital Reserve FundPassed – 551 (52.6%) in favor, 455 (43.5%) opposed, and 41 (3.9%) neither

Article 12: Town of Milton Technology FundPassed – 549 (52.4%) in favor, 452 (43.2%) opposed, and 46 (4.4%) neither

Article 19: Town Boat Ramp Revitalization and Construction (Submitted by Petition)Rejected – 412 (39.4%) in favor, 546 (52.1%) opposed, and 89 (8.5%) neither

Article 4: ZoningPassed – 546 (52.1%) in favor, 428 (40.9%) opposed, and 73 (7.0%) neither

Article 8: Highway Department Special Equipment Capital Reserve FundPassed – 539 (51.5%) in favor, 455 (43.5%) opposed, and 53 (5.0%) neither

Article 9: Highway Department Capital Reserve Vehicle FundPassed – 513 (49.0%) in favor, 495 (47.3%) opposed, and 39 (3.7%) neither

Article 10: Municipal Buildings Capital Reserve FundRejected – 497 (47.5%) in favor, 500 (47.8%) opposed, and 50 (4.8%) neither

See Town Election Results for March 10, 2020 and Town Election Results for March 9, 2021. (See also School District Election Results for March 12, 2019)


Milton Town Clerk. (2019, March 14) March 12, 2019 Town Election Results. Retrieved from www.miltonnh-us.com/sites/miltonnh/files/news/march_12_2019_town_results.pdf

Happy Pi Day

By Muriel Bristol | March 14, 2019

Today is Pi Day. It is an unofficial holiday that celebrates the mathematical constant known by the Greek letter π, which is rendered in English as Pi (pronounced “Pie”).

Pi represents the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter. It is an irrational number, which is to say that it cannot be represented as a common fraction. (22/7 is sometimes used as an “approximation,” due to which an alternate or supplementary holiday, Pi Approximation Day, is sometimes celebrated on July 22).

Pi’s decimal equivalent has an infinite number of digits that have no settled pattern. Its first few digits are: 3.14159 … Pi is used in many, many formulas and applications in many fields of study. Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 due its US calendar representation of 3-14.

Mr. Plissken reminds me of an amusing story regarding Pi. It seems that the Indiana state legislature once tried to legally define Pi as being 3. Of course, this was patent nonsense. But the hubris of politicians and regulators knows no bounds. They blithely define penalties as taxes, and vice versa, amid a host of other definitional absurdities. (Milton just encountered something similar in a proposed change to its zoning definitions). The Indiana legislature drew back at the brink, although their attempt at imposing their ignorance on the world as a law has made them an infinitely repeating laughing stock.

Many people celebrate Pi Day by partaking in some of its homophone: Pie. Apple pie, cherry pie, Boston crème pie, whatever you like. You may contemplate the ineffable mysteries of Pi while you enjoy your pie.

Have a very happy Pi Day!


Amazon. (2019, March 14). The Pi Dish – Stoneware Funny Pie Plate. Retrieved from www.amazon.com/Pi-Dish-Stoneware-Funny-Plate/dp/B00D3LANRS

Exploratorium. (2019). Pi (π) Day. Retrieved from www.exploratorium.edu/pi

Pi Day. (2019). Learn About Pi. Retrieved from www.piday.org/

Wikipedia. (2019, February 28). Indiana Pi Bill. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indiana_Pi_Bill

Wikipedia. (2019, March 13). Pi Day. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi_Day

Milton in the News – 1881

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | March 14, 2019

In this year, we encounter a report of another major fire in the Milton business district.

Milton experienced another major fire in its business district. (Stop at the semicolon: the remainder concerns a fire in New York City).

JUST THE JUICE. At Milton, N.H., thirteen offices, bank and several stores burned, at loss of $60000, partially insured; fire on ground floor of six-story tenement house in New York, containing one hundred and twenty families, causes terrible panic, but police use clubs effectually and. drive people out, preventing awful calamity (Leavenworth (KS) Times, January 21, 1881).

This fire, which destroyed about seventeen to eighteen buildings (at a cost of $60,000), may be compared with that of 1874, which destroyed twenty-five buildings (at a cost of $97,000).

(A loss of $60,000 in 1881 may be roughly – very roughly – translated into $1,486,918 in 2019 dollars).

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1880; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1882


Official Data Foundation. (2019). Inflation Calculator. Retrieved from www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1881?amount=60000

Wintry Mix – Selectmen

By S.D. Plissken | March 10, 2019

The Milton Meet the Candidates night went forward as planned. The winter storm had largely dissipated by late afternoon. High winds followed.

As for the presentations, they were … interesting.

Continued from Wintry Mix – Fire Chief

New Hampshire’s Daniel Webster (he of the Daniel Webster Highway) observed that

There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters.

Candidates for Selectman – Five for One Three-Year Position

The five candidates for the single three-year seat on Milton’s Board of Selectmen are James M. Beaulieu, Larry Brown, Andrew Rawson, Adam G. Sturtevant, and Billy Walden.

Messrs. Beaulieu and Rawson

Former selectmen Beaulieu and Rawson did not appear at the Meet the Candidates Night event.

Mr. Dennis Woods, a write-in candidate for the one-year slot on the Budget Committee, asked this question on the Milton, NH Community News Facebook page:

Why would we re-elect [former] Selectmen that are, at least in part, responsible for current conditions?

That is a good question, Mr. Woods. These are the very men, along with current Chairman Thibeault, that created the 2017-18 valuation fiasco. (Mr. Beaulieu’s responsibility, if any, is not as clear as Mr. Rawson’s).

Now, it might be, just possibly, that they have seen the error of their ways since and wish to repair, to the extent possible, all of the damage that they have done?

Mr. James M. “Mike” Beaulieu has not explained his absence from the Meet the Candidates Night event, nor has he issued any statement as a substitute. It is rumored that he might favor cutting taxes, but that is perhaps an uncertain foundation on which to build the necessary reforms.

He is said to be available by phone to answer any questions. (I will not give the number here because … the internet). At any rate, Mr. Beaulieu’s “retail” campaign strategy does not suggest someone running seriously to win. (He is engaged also in an uncontested race for a seat on the ZBA).

Rawson, AndyMr. Andrew “Andy” Rawson explained in a statement that he was away on a vacation that he had planned for two years. Okay. The remainder of his statement does not suggest that he has learned anything at all since he was turned out of office last year (by current Vice-Chairwoman Erin Hutchings with a very narrow margin).

Mr. Rawson arranged for a statement to be handed out, which the moderator read into the record. It did not address any tax reduction, as such, except to provide the usual formulation about being “careful” when spending tax money. Translation: he would not be cutting taxes. Former Selectman Long, who completed Mr. Beaulieu’s last term, used his question time to instead make an endorsement of Mr. Rawson.

The Question

Messrs. Brown, Sturtevant, and Walden all appeared at the Meet the Candidates Night event.

No one in the audience asked The Question, as such, although they were restive. Mr. Bailey asked something similar of his own.

Moderator Jacobs: Alright, next question. Anyone. Sir.

Glen Bailey: I was just wondering … a couple of people behind me asked, “was there a limit to all this … this taxation?” I was a little disappointed … this is the School Board, obviously … I was a little disappointed that they didn’t seem to think there was. Or they were confused, one or the other. So, the same question for you – which of you, or maybe all of you, is going to cut my taxes? Not cut the rate of increase, not everything else on the planet. Who is going to cut the bottom line of my taxes?

Moderator Jacobs put in his oar to argue for the status quo of increasing taxes. (You will want remember to thank him at his next election). He asked Mr. Bailey the “muh services” question.

Jacobs: Can I ask a counter question? I one time thought we could just shut down the transfer station and send everybody to Rochester – when I was a selectman – close out the fire department and just go to Rochester; close the ambulance service and ask Rochester, Frisbee, to come up here; and contract out with somebody to plow the roads.

Bailey: Don’t forget the police.

Jacobs: It meant a huge level of service decrease. Is that acceptable?

Bailey: It’s not acceptable to keep raising the taxes to the point that you’re driving people out of town.

Audience member: That’s happening a lot.

Bailey: It’s not acceptable, so something has to go. So, which of you will cut my taxes?

Thank you, Mr. Bailey, for helping us cut the … get to the point.

Messrs. Brown and Sturtevant

Messrs. Brown, Sturtevant, and Walden were present and answered questions. Our interest here is in whether the candidate would work to reduce taxes.

Sturtevant, AdamMr. Adam G. Sturtevant went first. He spoke of efficiencies of scale, return on investment (as well as its acronym ROI), brick and mortar, “muh services,” etc. When prodded, he offered this final answer:

I’d be lying if I said I’d be cutting your taxes without seeing the full budget and knowing what you’d be getting. So, the answer is I would cut it if it was possible, but I don’t know that answer.

Mr. Laurence D. “Larry” Brown went third. He used his time, but did not need to be prodded for his conclusion. His final answer:

I’ll say it straight: I don’t think I can reduce your taxes in any substantial fashion. The structure of Town government, the structure of the School system, the structure of New Hampshire State tax system preferences are stacked against the lower income property owner in New Hampshire.

Mr. Billy Walden

Mr. Billy Walden went second. His final answer:

Walden, Billy[Regarding Milton Town taxation as an “existential threat”:]. Yes, it is. You hear a lot of people say that. Older folks. I don’t want to be eating cat food. But the way the Town is going right now, with the tax increases and things like that, that’s where it’s headed. I am going to do whatever I can, within my capacity, to lower taxes. I mean, that’s the goal. It really is a sinking ship when you look at the amount of people that are trying to possibly move out of Town or find a better place with a lower tax rate. What I really want to do is try to grab a bucket and bail some of the water out of the ship. That’s really my goal. And whatever I need to do to make that happen, that’s what I’m going to do. Within my capacity, because I’m one of three.

The Answer to The Question

Of all the five candidates only Mr. BILLY WALDEN committed himself to work, vote and act to reduce Milton’s oppressive taxation.

He purports to be not another George. It might be that we will get to see.

See also Wintry Mix – School Board Candidates, Wintry Mix – Budget Committee, and Wintry Mix – Fire Chief.


Town of Milton. (2019). Meet the Candidates Night. Retrieved from youtu.be/nOmRUcqTf08?t=6803

Milton in the News – 1880

By Muriel Bristol (Transcriber) | March 10, 2019

In this year, we encounter some not-so-sharp dealing, Milton’s own “Toby Tyler,” the intrepid Fish Commissioner, and a rescue from Lake Winnipesaukee.

This also was the year that Lewis W. Nute commissioned two paintings of his property on Nute ridge in West Milton.

The following account argues for everyone having a newspaper subscription, so as to know the general state of things. It used an example of an unnamed Milton ice merchant whose dealing was not so sharp as it might have been, had he only subscribed to a newspaper.

EDITORIAL NOTES. The case of a man living at Milton, N.H., is cited as an illustration of the false economy that places the daily or weekly newspaper among the things that can be cut off to reduce expenses. This man has two large ice houses and during the winter he stored both full of ice. He supposed all other ice houses were full, for he “got along without the papers,” and so did not know the general state of things. Recently he was called on by a Portsmouth man who offered him $600 for his ice just as it lay in store. He did not let the offer grow stale, but picked it up eagerly and cried “done.” In a day or two better offers began to come in and had to be refused, and even as high as $2,000 was sent from the door. The economical gentleman felt pretty sore and wondered he hadn’t heard about things; but his wrath boiled over when with in two weeks the purchaser of the ice turned it over to a Boston ice company for $5,600, clearing just $5,000 by the operation. A daily newspaper costing $8, $10 or $12 a year, or even a weekly costing $2 a year, would have been a fair investment for that man ((New Haven) Morning Journal Courier, March 16, 1880).

George L. Hoyt was born in Milton, NH, June 7, 1869, son of Rufus A. and Lucy A. (Drew) Hoyt.

STATE NEWS. Androscoggin. The youngest tramp that has put up at police headquarters, Lewiston, arrived on Monday. He gave his name as George Hoyt and said he had lost both his father and mother. He is eleven years old, and be came all the way from Milton, N.H. He is a bright, handsome little fellow, is already quite a pet at the police station (Bangor Daily Whig & Courier, April 15, 1880).

Rufus A. Hoyt, a farmer, aged forty years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census, in June 1880. His household included his wife, Lucy Hoyt, keeping house, aged thirty years (b. NH), and his children, George L. Hoyt, at home, aged eleven years (b. NH), and Dean Hoyt, aged four years (b. NH).

(They lived near Millett W. Bragdon, aged forty-five years, who “runs Excelsior mill.” “Excelsior” is wood shavings, used as a packing material, not unlike Styrofoam “popcorn” today).

George L. Hoyt, a farmer, died in Milton, January 1, 1933, aged sixty-three years.

NH Fish Commissioner Luther Hayes appeared again, this time in Peterborough, NH.

New England Items. Nine thousand land-locked salmon have been taken from the fish-hatching house at Plymouth, N.H., to the waters near Peterborough, by Commissioner Luther Hayes (Boston Globe, May 27, 1880).

NH Fish Commissioner Hayes, of West Milton, stocked also ponds in Milton, in 1878, and Nottingham, NH, in 1879.

The steamer Lady of the Lake was active on Lake Winnipesaukee before the current steamer Mt. Washington. She was built in 1849 and had an active career, including several fires and renovations, before being scuttled in Smith Cove in 1895 (“The ‘Lady of the Lake’ made her last trip down the lake last Saturday” (Argus and Patriot, September 20, 1893)). The steamer Mt. Washington, built in 1872, has been her successor on the lake.

On this occasion, the Lady of the Lake fished two men out of the lake after a severe squall.

Severe Storm in New Hampshire. (Special Despatch to The Boston Globe). Weirs, N.H., July 27. – A heavy shower with high winds passed over the lake this afternoon, damaging the boats at the moorings and wrecking boats on the lake. The steamer Lady of the Lake picked up two men in a nearly drowned state, one-half mile out of Wolfboro, at 3.30. One was Abram Sanborn of Milton Mills, N.H., and the other unknown (Boston Globe, July 28, 1880).

Abram Sanborn, a harness maker, aged fifty-eight years (b. NH), headed a Milton household at the time of the Tenth (1880) Federal Census. His household included his wife, Mary Sanborn, keeping house, aged fifty-seven years (b. ME). The census enumerator recorded their household between those of Asa A. Fox, a carpenter, aged forty-three years, and Francis A. Busch, Jr., works in woolen mill, aged twenty-six years (b. MA). (This same Asa A. Fox lost his Milton Mills grocery store to a fire in 1876).

Previous in sequence: Milton in the News – 1879; next in sequence: Milton in the News – 1881


Find a Grave. (2013, August 17). Abram Sanborn. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/115611001

Find a Grave. (2010, March 8). Luther Hayes. Retrieved from www.findagrave.com/memorial/49429209/luther-hayes

Lost New England. (2015, July 14). SS. Lady of the Lake. Retrieved from lostnewengland.com/tag/ss-lady-of-the-lake/

Wikipedia. (2018, January 3). Toby Tyler. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toby_Tyler;_or,_Ten_Weeks_with_a_Circus

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