The Manchester Police Department’s aggressive search for the South Street shooters has born some fruit. On Friday, police arrested nineteen year old Isaac Velez of Hooksett in conjunction with at least one of the three shootings that took place last week. Velez, a former football star at Memorial High School, is no stranger to run-ins with the law. Police weren’t very forthcoming with details given the shootings remain under investigation.
In wake of the shootings, Police Chief Nick Willard announced the department would deal swiftly and seriously with the outbreak, reiterating the department’s zero tolerance policy for gang gun violence. While police have not identified the rival gangs taking shots at each other, they’re believed to be the “One Eighty” and “O T L” or Orange to Lowell streets gangs. Escalating tensions between the two caused the police to announce they’d worked with federal and state authorities to establish the Urban Violence Working Group, which was designed to intervene and threaten gang members with certain, severe and swift consequences for gun violence. Velez will be arraigned in superior court later this month.
Looks like Her Highness The Governess Margaret Wood Hassan is auditioning for the next video of Governors Gone Wild as she continues to let her veto stamp fly under the Golden Dome. Late last week, Hassan vetoed Senate Bill One Sixty Nine which prohibits the use of cash received from electronic benefit transfer (so called E B T) cards for the purpose of gambling and the purchase of tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets, firearms and adult entertainment. In her veto statement, she said, quote: “While the sponsors and I agree that public assistance should not be used for these purposes, the approach taken by this legislation would be unenforceable, as retail clerks and sales associates would have no way of determining where an individual’s cash came from at the time of sale. That is why I will sign the alternative – and workable – version of this legislation, House Bill 219.”
Frankly, she’s right on this one folks.
She also vetoed Senate Bill One Seventy Nine which expands the definition of domicile for voting purposes and requires that a voter be a resident of the state for at least 30 days, modifies the voter registration form and allows otherwise confidential voter information to be made available to the legislature in an aggregated or statistical data format. In her veto message, Hassan said quote:
“We must always be working to ensure that people who are legally domiciled in New Hampshire are not blocked from voting. Senate Bill 179 places unreasonable restrictions upon all New Hampshire citizens’ right to vote in this state with an arbitrary timeline that will prevent lawful residents from taking part in the robust citizen democracy that we are so proud of in the Granite State.”
She argued the time requirement conflicted not only with the right to vote, but also the right to travel and claimed the bill would discourage families from moving to New Hampshire because they might not be able to move here thirty days in advance of an election so they could vote. Yeah, right.
District Fourteen State Senator Sharon Carson, Republican from Londonderry and sponsor of the bill issued a statement saying she was disappointed in the governor’s veto. Said Carson, quote
“This bill has the full support of New Hampshire’s official on voting laws, Secretary of State William Gardner, who says it will protect the state from voter fraud and drive-by voting without infringing on an individual’s right to vote.”
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Quote: “Gatsas is opposing the contract solely for political reasons. The last 3 contract offers that the MEA overwhelmingly refused were authored by Gatsas and he is livid that his nemesis got the agreement that he was incapable of getting. His antics are tiresome and will further hurt education in this city. He is not the great negotiator he thinks he is as evidenced by the BMA refusing his most recent work. This is nothing more than sour grapes. This contract is good for the teachers, good for the taxpayers and good for the administration. All the claims to the contrary are based on fantasy.”
That’s what Ward Ten School Committeeman and school board Negotiations Committee Chair John Avard had to say about Mayor Ted Gatsas in a recent social media post. Avard also called the mayor’s concern that the oh seventeen fiscal year may see teacher layoffs as a result of the contract is quote “bologna” and said that the city’s number one numbers cruncher, Finance Officer Bill Sanders, supported the contract, which others of us who were in the same room at the time Sanders spoke on the contract recall a bit differently. Anyway, just thought we’d share and also let you know we finally got the financials on the last tentative agreement that Gatsas entered into with the Manchester Education Association back last August so we can do a little numbers crunching of our own. Don’t worry, we’ll share the details.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was the big winner in the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers presidential straw poll over the weekend. The poll was conducted during the group’s annual picnic, which draws conservatives from around the state. We published the results and the story on Girard at Large dot com Saturday night after returning home from the event. Paul got thirty nine percent of the vote, followed by Carly Fiorina at fifteen percent and Texas Senator Ted Cruz with eleven percent. The poll is widely viewed as a barometer of the state’s conservative grassroots mood.
Finally this morning, the filing period for elective office opens today in the Queen City. It will come to a close on Friday, July 24th. Keep an eye on Girard at Large dot com as we’ll be sure to let you know who’s running for what as they sign up.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!