News & Views
Photo of Sandwich Village by Joe Janis
As you can imagine, our response to COVID-19 dominated our weekly meeting on Monday the 11th. With the professional insights of Dr. Paul Simmons – the Town’s medical advisor - and other local and state resources, we are working our way through a time of uncertainty and anxiety. Balancing public health, economic welfare, tradition, routine town business, and all that we hope for each summer is tricky.
The biggest take-away was that we need your understanding and support as we apply the best judgment of our state and local leaders. We appreciate the flexibility and open-minded, open-hearted spirit of our community.
We will communicate regularly, understanding that we might have to change direction on some policies as circumstances shift. We are developing a survey to learn more about what our residents hope for this summer. Managing expectations will be a challenge as we will likely face significant budget challenges.
We also have a heavy load of normal Town business to address as each Town Committee works through modified protocols of distancing and Zoom meetings. Thank you to our many extraordinary volunteers upon whom we rely. Your service is what makes our thriving community possible.
Our meetings, agendas, and minutes are all public and can be found on the Town’s website.
We observed all recommended protocols (masks, distancing, limit of ten) and met in person upstairs in Town Hall this week but will return to virtual meetings on May 18th. We, also, remain flexible!
In addition to our usual department and committee business, we worked to complete the hiring process and plan a smooth transition as Chief Doug Wyman retires on May 31st.
The Town’s recreational facilities currently remain open. We need your help and support here: please maintain social distancing and appropriate hygiene (hand washing/sanitizer, etc.) Currently, we are not recommending having the swim raft in the water nor will picnic tables be placed on the beach as both compromise social distancing. We continue to research what makes the most sense for typical summer activities and events including Old Home Week. We will keep you posted and appreciate your patience! These are difficult and complex decisions.
Courtney Delaney, the Town’s new Administrative Assistant, started her training with both Jennifer Wright and Cathy Graham. We are excited to have her on our team.
Please do not hesitate to contact us or the Selectmen’s Office if you have any concerns or questions. 284-7701 email@example.com
Stay safe and stay well, Respectfully, Joanne Haight, Leo Dwyer, Todd Horn, Sandwich Board of Selectmen
The Sandwich Board of Selectmen is studying how best to allow its residents to enjoy all that summer brings to our little town, while also making sure everyone is safe. They are following State protocols during this time of COVID-19 but also need to establish their own guidelines, specific to Sandwich. This survey was established to gather information from our residents on your thoughts on how best to keep our beaches and recreational facilities open and safe this summer. This Survey will close on Sunday 5/24.
We are looking for ideas representing all generations; if more than one person in your family would like to take the survey, please make sure they use their individual e-mail address. If other members of your household will NOT be filling out this survey, please include their perspective in your responses. Please do not take this survey multiple times!
We estimate it will take 10 minutes to complete.
Please share this survey with anyone you may know who is not on the SandwichBoard. We are hoping to get input from as many residents as possible. There will be a link on our town website on the Parks and Recreation page. http://www.sandwichnh.org/departments/parks_and_recreation/index.php
Some important information:
Sandwich Parks and Recreation Director
By Janina Lamb
I am planning a new series on this blog called People of Sandwich. It will showcase stories of people in our community. I'm beginning this series with a person who died recently and whose impact on our community cannot be overstated. Alan Switzer, who for years ran the Sandwich Aquatic School, died on May 4 at the age of 90.
I wonder how many people in Sandwich learned to swim, during the summer, under Alan Switzer's steadfast and very effective tutelage. Many who are now adults learned to swim there, many of us sent our children to Switzer’s, and some of us watched our grandchildren learn to swim there.
From the SAS Facebook page:
Sandwich Aquatic School began when Alan Switzer began teaching local children to swim on the shores of Squam Lake in the summer of 1966. Since then the program has grown to instruct roughly 500 children every year and host several third generation families. Sandwich Aquatic School has a proven track record of teaching children how to swim the right way for over 50 years.
Some kids found Mr. Switzer’s style tougher than they liked, or were used to, but by golly, they learned to swim, often returning summer after summer.
Those of us who might be called permissive parents (overly-permissive?) were quite willing to have our children put through a no-nonsense, challenging set of swimming lessons that resulted in strong swimmers. Same time every day for two weeks, rain or shine, cold or warm.
We, the parents, sat around the pool inside the fence and watched as our children were taken in hand by Mr. Switzer’s firm, never ruffled, never slackening instruction. How pleased and proud we all were, children and parents alike, when our kids got their card of completion at the end of a session.
My granddaughters, Willa and Molly Canfield, learned to swim over several summers with Mr. Switzer, when he was already in his eighties. Willa Canfield says,
"Going to Switzer's was one of the formative experiences of my life. It made my friends and me into such strong swimmers. We can go down to Squam Lake and swim great distances together. Mr. Switzer was an amazing teacher. Even as a very old man, he was so vital and present."
We in Sandwich knew Alan Switzer primarily as the head teacher and owner of the Sandwich Aquatic School. Outside of the summers, Switzer had a long, illustrious career as a swimming coach at the University of Maine and Plymouth State University. The links below provide more information on his life and career beyond Sandwich.
How fortunate we were in this town of lakes and rivers to have such a master to help generations of Sandwich youth become confident, skilled swimmers.
Thank you, Mr. Switzer. You are a legend.
Three of Sandwich's wonderful establishments doing what we do best in this community: bringing creativity and caring to the needs of the day.
The Sandwich Home Industries, Patricia Ladd Gallery, Sandwich Historical Society, and Wentworth Library have put their hearts and minds together to create some fun for the community. Maybe you have heard of the Getty Challenge where people recreate famous works of art? We have borrowed the idea and challenge you to do the same! See below for more information...
A big thank you to our wonderful Selectmen!
We hope that you are staying healthy and well. We feel so fortunate to live in a thoughtful and generous community surrounded by nature.
Each week the Selectmen meet to address Town business and make the best possible decisions. We review information from our Department Heads (Fire, Highway/Transfer Station, Parks and Rec, Police, Town Clerk/Tax Collector); our Town Committees and Commissions (there are 10 of them – all staffed by local volunteers); the New Hampshire Municipal Association; relevant medical professionals; and the most recent Emergency Orders from the Governor. Our local Emergency Management Team works through the many State Emergency Operations Center Situation Reports.
As important, every week we consider issues that residents have brought forward by email, phone, personal contact, and the Sandwich Board. Despite abundant information, there remains much ambiguity and uncertainty in these unusual times. We apply our prudent and thoughtful judgement and truly appreciate all the support that we have received.
Some of our routine Town business has been suspended due to physical distancing requirements. We appreciate your patience and understanding. That said, every week we discuss public safety, roads, the transfer facility, local quality of life/economic issues, the Town’s budget, and resident welfare. We serve at the pleasure of our local residents and under very specific guidance granted by the State of New Hampshire.
Our meetings, agendas, and meeting minutes are all public. Please visit our town website for more information: www.sandwichnh.org. We will also do our best to communicate with you through the SandwichBoard on any important decisions relative to our Town facilities.
On May 4, the Governor will give us additional guidance as to what comes next. Until then, thank you for washing your hands, practicing physical distancing, taking care of your neighbor, and following quarantine guidelines (especially if coming from another state). Please support our local businesses and nonprofits and the front-line workers of our town who are going above and beyond in these difficult times. Our community knows how to pull together and step up to a challenge.
Joanne Haight, Leo Dwyer, & Todd Horn
The Sandwich Fair Association Board of Directors has announced that it will be canceling the Sandwich Fair for the 2020 Season. With the uncertainty of the direction of the coronavirus pandemic and how it will affect large group gatherings into the fall, the Board of Directors felt that cancelling the fair was the safest option for the fair community and the public.
The Sandwich Fair started in 1886 as an agricultural event where local farmers could trade and sell their cattle. It has since grown into a 3-day event held annually over the Columbus Day Weekend and is a mainstay of the New Hampshire fall foliage season, with 30,000 visitors annually coming to see agricultural exhibits, crafts, farm animals and, of course, get their fill of fried dough and midway rides.
As the last fair of the New Hampshire fair season, the Sandwich Fair puts an exclamation point on the state’s tradition of agricultural fairs. Ironically, the only other time the Sandwich Fair has been canceled was in 1919 during the Spanish Flu pandemic. Dan Peaslee, President of the Sandwich Fair Association, said of the Boards decision, “It was an incredibly hard decision to make, but the board felt it could not in good conscience bring so many people together in the fall if there was a chance that this virus would still be capable of infecting people.” As part of its decision, the fair board weighed several factors, including how the pandemic could impact all the vendors, concessionaires, entertainers, farm families and the visiting public.
While it is sad to think about missing the Sandwich Fair this fall, it will be back on October 9 - 11, 2021 bigger and better than ever. The Sandwich Fair Board of Directors wishes everyone a safe summer and we look forward to seeing you at the Fair in 2021. For more information about the Sandwich Fair, contact the fair at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website.
Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery, Pam Urda and Don Mayer join forces to raise money to support Covid-19 charities.
Patsy Carega writes: Visit Patricialaddcaregagallery.com to buy Pam Urda and Don Mayer's wonderfully amusing drawings. Click on the bars top left and then click on Store. Comicality Contra Covid is an effort to raise money to benefit responders and all those effected by the virus. Put a daily smile on your face while helping others.
Pam, Don and I will start dispersing the funds we have collected this week. We will let you know in our next post on the Sandwichboard where the funds have gone.
Another creative, generous response from the Sandwich community. We who live in Sandwich are indeed fortunate! (Janina Lamb, webmistress)
News & Views
This is the new blog that goes with our website update. An archive of blog entries from May, 2015 to May, 2018, is available here.
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