The "new" PSNH

The “new” PSNH

Northeast Utilities, the parent company of Public Service Company of New Hampshire, has a new name:  Eversource Energy.  Effective immediately, Northeast and all of its subsidiaries, including P S N H will operate under the new name with company officials saying the new company name represents quote “one unified company across three states.”

In a statement issued by the company, officials said the new name quote “stands for the company’s resolute commitment to always work to improve and to always make the right energy investments and innovations for customers.”  They also announced the company’s new one-company website, Eversource dot com, will serve all customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Business and residential customers do not need to take any action as the company becomes Eversource.  All web log-in information will continue to work and customers will be automatically redirected to Eversource dot com if they visit the former operating companies’ websites.  No company phone numbers will change.  Customers can continue to call the same phone numbers for account information, outage reporting, moving and any questions.

Raffio:  For local control before he was against legislation providing it.

Raffio: For local control before he was against legislation providing it.

Some interesting news is popping up on the Common Core front and not just in New Hampshire, where State Board of Education Chairman Tom Raffio has been opposing bills that grant local school districts the local control he says they already have, but for some reason doesn’t want to codify.  Hmm.

Brown:  Common Core implementation will cost WHAT?!?

Brown: Common Core implementation will cost WHAT?!?

California Governor Jerry Brown just discovered that the “no-cost to implement Common Core State Standards” will cost his state upwards of one billion dollars to set up a new statewide testing system supporting the new curriculum aligned to the standards.  Funny thing is, nobody knows who’s going to pay for it as local school districts are pushing back against having to fund the technology infrastructure and administrative costs involved with using the Smarter Balanced Assessment.  (Hey, isn’t that the one the N H Dept. of Ed. is jamming down our throats?)  Ahem!  We’ve linked to the article gratefully received from a loyal listener.

Fighting for PARENTS' right to opt out of standardized tests

Fighting for PARENTS’ right to opt out of standardized tests

And, from another, we have a story out of New Jersey.  Seems the New Jersey Education Association, which represents over two hundred thousand New Jersey teachers, is fighting for the right of parents to opt their children out of the Smarter Balanced  Assessment’s just as evil twin, PARCC.  The N J E A is drafting legislation to oppose Common Core.  We’ve linked to the article.  Memo to those fighting this battle in our own backyard:  We are not alone!

News from our own backyard continues after this.

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Interested in Bedford Street Parking Lot

Not much to report from last nights meetings of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and its subcommittees, except they may have broken a record for the shortest meeting.  Business was all wrapped up by ten minutes of eight, just twenty minutes after the board meeting got underway.  The only newsworthy items of business, or interest, frankly, to come before the board was a letter from the Grossman Companies of Quincy, MA expressing an interest in purchasing the Bedford Street Parking lot for an unspecified development in conjunction with a property they say they are already under contract to purchase.

Long:  Wants zoning change to address marijuana dispensaries

Long: Wants zoning change to address marijuana dispensaries

The board also heard from Ward Three Alderman Patrick Long on medical marijuana.  Seems at least one of the companies interested in dealing the medical dope wants to open a dispensary in Manchester which will serve all those in the counties of Hillsborough and Merrimack who want a high to take the edge off their pain.  Long wants the city to address where they should and shouldn’t be in the zoning ordinance before any proposals come forward.

Littlefield:  No contract from Manchester

Littlefield: No contract from Manchester

It’s a good thing things in Manchester were tame last night, because that gave us time to check in on the Hooksett School Board’s meeting.  Yes, I need a life.  Anyway, a frustrated Board Chair Joanne McHugh expressed near exasperation with the Manchester School District as Superintendent Charles P. Littlefield once again said he’s received no contract language from his counterpart, Manchester Superintendent Debra Livingston, for the one year extension approved by both boards.  (Not sure why they’re expecting Manchester to send them language.)  After a discussion that bordered on tedious, aw, heck, it crossed that line, the board acceded to McHugh’s wish to hand deliver a letter to the Manchester Board of School Committee and read it into the record.

Berry:  Said voters don't know which paving company will fix parking lot before voting, so why tell how we'll handle a shortfall in the required number of students?

Berry: Said voters don’t know which paving company will fix parking lot before voting, so why tell how we’ll handle a shortfall in the required number of students before voting on Pinkerton contract?

They also had a revealing discussion on how to handle assigning students to Pinkerton Academy if the contract passes and fewer than the minimum number of students required to attend the school under the contract isn’t met.  In short, they voted not to handle it with McHugh and board members Mike Berry and Todd Lizotte arguing that it made no sense to come up with a plan to deal with that contingency until and unless the voters approved the contract requiring the minimums.

Pearl:  Board is ducking the hard questions

Pearl: Board is ducking the hard questions

That didn’t go over well with board members John Lyscars and David Pearl, who have argued that the board owes parents and taxpayers an answer to that question before they cast their ballots so they really know what they’re voting for or against.  Lyscars’ motion to have a lottery to fill any vacancies went down in flames with him voting against his own motion.  Only Pearl supported it.

Sullivan:  "We don't know"

Sullivan: “We don’t know”

Pearl’s motion to have the board answer “no comment” if asked at Friday night’s deliberative session how students will be assigned if the minimum is not met passed with McHugh opposed.  It wasn’t until after board member James Sullivan argued the board should just simply answer “we don’t know” if asked that question that Pearl’s motion passed.   I guess no comment sounded a whole lot better than the truth, which is they don’t know and don’t want to know until after the vote is cast.

Lyscars:  Files complaint

Lyscars: Files complaint

Lyscars also filed a formal complaint with the board over McHugh’s refusal to place items he’s requested on the agenda, including a discussion on Common Core

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!