Manchester aldermen were talking trash last night with officials from the Public Works Department as the city continues to wrestle with the costs of throwing stuff away. Not surprisingly, the Special Committee on Solid Waste Activities learned that after eliminating fees for so called bulky waste at the city’s Dunbarton Road drop off facility, the city went in the red on the operation. Of course, revenues went down, but the amount of material dropped off went up. Environmental Programs Director Mark Gomez presented anecdotal evidence to underscore the difficulties the city has in determining that those dropping off the bulky items are actually city residents, for whom the bulky items drop off is free. He said contractors, who are supposed to pay, claim residential use, including those from out of town who often send employees who are residents of the city, to dump their stuff free of charge. The committee is looking at requiring anyone who drops material off to purchase a permit that would limit the number of trips and items that would be free of charge.
The committee tabled the thorny issue of whose trash to pick up and who to require the use of a private contractor, because we all know the solution to our solid waste problem is to tax for a service that will then be denied to those taxed for it.
Mandatory recycling was also on the agenda,too. Gomez told the committee that, based on all the available research out there, if the city went to a mandatory recycling program, it would see an increase in recycling rates from thirteen to fifteen percent. He said enforcement would cost at least one hundred thousand dollars a year so people could go through your trash to make sure it contained nothing recyclable, which, of course, if it did, would mean it wouldn’t be picked up or you could be fined or both.
Gomez additionally told the committee the department still believed a pay as you throw or so called bag and tag system would be the best way for Manchester to handle its solid waste challenges. He said it would provide another way to pay for an essential city service, but the blank stares on the aldermen’s faces after he said it were worth watching the whole dreary affair. In a past interview on Girard at Large, to which we’ve linked, Gomez said the city’s recycling rate, based on all the evidence, would jump from its current thirteen percent to between forty and fifty percent virtually overnight and those who use the service pay for it. What a concept. Based on the blank stares, though, expect the aldermen to continue to ignore that actual solution’s existence.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The political reeducation of Manchester’s teaching staff in light of the settlement with the U S Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights begins in earnest today as staff and faculty members of Manchester School District will spend the day in a professional development session devoted to cultural diversity awareness. Tuesday’s workshop is aimed at “providing teachers and administrators with insight about how to better understand students from diverse cultural backgrounds and help enhance their learning in an American school environment” and be made aware of the possibility they might be “treating students with a bias they might not even be aware they have.” And while that all sounds very high and open minded, be aware that the keynote speaker is Dr. Paul Gorski.
The district’s press release refers to him as “an active consultant, presenter, and trainer who provides guidance to schools and community organizations committed to equity and diversity and notes he created and continues to maintain the Multicultural Pavilion, a website focused on critical multicultural education.” A quick look at his Web sites should make everybody who believes in Eco-Justice, Social Justice and Human Rights very happy. He refers to himself as an “activist,” similar Web sites as “Comrades,” and seems to be on a mission for what he calls “educational equity.” The main presentation to the more than twelve hundred district employees expected to attend will include a video in which Manchester students share their own experiences and perspectives on what helped them succeed in school. I wonder if they’ll be the same kids, sorry, organizers in training, Assistant Superintendent David Ryan brought before the Curriculum and Instruction Committee to advocate for the elimination of leveling because it was unfair to people like them; that would be the same David Ryan who said opponents of de-leveling were motivated by power, prestige and prejudice, proving his reeducation was successful.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Bedford Police Department is alerting residents to another phone scam. The department has fielded several calls from residents saying they’d been called by the County Sheriff for failing to appear for jury duty. The caller identifies him or herself as a Deputy Sheriff, telling the victim that because they failed to report for jury duty and there is a warrant out for their arrest. The Deputy then advises that the fine can be paid by going to a local big box store and paying it there. The cops say this is a scam and if you receive a call of this nature you should immediately report it to your local police department.
Public Service Company of New Hampshire announced it will slash rates this July. The company makes semi-annual adjustments to its rates based on the actual cost to produce power. In a news release sent yesterday, the company trumpeted a three tenths of one percent rate cut will be enacted on July first, saving the average homeowner a whopping thirty one cents a month. Try not to spend it all in one place.
Town offices in Merrimack will be closed this morning, with the exception of the Town Clerk’s Office, 9:00 to 11:00 to allow for staff to attend funeral services for Town Council Chairman David G. Yakuboff, Sr., who passed away late last week after a long illness.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour___ is next!