Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas returns to the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall tonight to preside over his first meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen since undergoing heart bypass surgery a month ago. The mayor paid a visit or two to the office last week and resumes a limited public schedule this week. Among the items he will attend is his first interview, tomorrow, here on Girard at Large, since being hospitalized. Not a lot of heavy lifting on tonight’s agenda, which includes a new policy to make it so expensive and cumbersome to obtain information under the state’s Right to Know Law you might as well not even try. But, you never know what will come up and so the mayor just might have his hands full. We’ll be there blogging it live tonight. Blog along with us in the Live Blog Forum under Oh My BLOG! at Girard at Large dot com.
The Manchester Police Department announced yet another D W I sobriety checkpoint will be established in the city. While the cops obviously won’t say where it will be, they’ve announced it will be held on the evenings of the sixteenth and seventeenth of May. We’ve posted their release with the details.
Police in Candia continue to battle crime. I know, we’ve neglected our Candia Crime Wave reports for the last several months, but these number beg publication. In April, Candia cops issued ninety four vehicle warnings and six motor vehicle summonses. They also made a total of seven arrests for things such as D W I, (see Manchester, you don’t need checkpoints), theft, receiving stolen goods, driving after suspension and operating without a license.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Arrested! That’s what happened to Gilford parent William Baer at last night’s meeting of the Gilford School Board as he objected to comments made by another parent who said if Baer had his way quote “these people would be dictating what we can and cannot read.” End quote. According to a report in the Laconia Daily Sun, to which we have linked, Baer was asked to leave by Gilford Police Lieutenant James Leach for saying the statement was “absurd” and objecting to attempts to rule him out of order. When asked if he was under arrest, he was cuffed and removed from the meeting room. Prior to the meeting’s start, School Board Chair Sue Allen limited public input on the subject to two minutes and said nobody could speak on it twice. Apparently, that’s not normal for their public input sessions. During his testimony, Baer asked Superintendent Kent Hemingway to read a particularly graphic sexual encounter between two teens aloud. Allen intervened to say nobody from the board or the administration would be reading anything. Later in the meeting, a parent did come forward to read the passage to the board, which must have been entertaining. Other than one parent who supported the inclusion of the book, parents who spoke or were interviewed by the Sun objected to the material. Following the meeting, the board issued a statement apologizing for the discomfort of those impacted and for the failure of the school district to send home prior notice of assignment of the novel. The board said the district will take immediate action to revise its policies to include notification that requires parents to accept controversial material rather than opt out and that the notification will detail more specifically the controversial material, which is as it should be.
Governor Margaret Wood Hassan announced she will nominate radical leftist Bill Duncan to the State Board of Education. Duncan, who lacks any credentials in education, including those he complains critics of his beloved Common Core don’t have, has been politically active on the left for years, including a recent run for Executive Council. He was defeated by incumbent Chris Sununu. Duncan has campaigned tirelessly around the state for Common Core and publishes a Web site dedicated to that and other pet education causes of the political left. He opposes charter schools and is one of the litigants that sued to block the implementation the scholarship program that conveys tax credits to businesses that donate to privately owned and operated non-profit scholarship programs that help low income families send their kids to schools outside of their assigned public school.
Reaction from charter school, home school, Tea Party, Republican and other education groups was swift and unequivocal. In calling for Hassan to withdraw the nomination, State G O P Chair Jennifer Horn hammered Hassan in a statement saying her quote “decision to nominate somebody to the Board of Education who is suing our state to end this worthy program is another example of her elitist and callous disregard for the most vulnerable students in our community.”
G O P gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway issued a statement saying the Duncan nomination was evidence that Hassan quote “has doubled down on her Government take-over of our children’s education” end quote and accused the governor of rewarding Duncan with the nomination for filing the law suit against the scholarship program for poor kids. Hemingway, also launched a petition drive to collect signatures opposed to the nomination, which will be taken up by the Executive Council at its meeting on Thursday.
Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley released a statement saying he could not support the nomination, questioning how Duncan could be an unbiased administrator of programs he’s tried to dismantle, noting that charter schools must be approved by the State Board of Ed. He said Duncan would be a vote that restricted educational choices in the twenty first century and that’s not the kind of person who should be in a position like that.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ starts right now.