Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard will be hosting a heroin forum to discuss with and inform the public about the opiate addiction that has decimated not only our community, but the entire Northeast. The forum will take place tomorrow night from 5:00 to 7:00 at the Center of New Hampshire Radisson Hotel, which is sponsoring the event. Willard will be one of six people on a panel which will also include: Manchester Fire Chief James Burkush , Chris Stawasz, General Manager of American Medical Response, Mary Forsythe-Taber, Executive Director of the Makin’ It Happen Coalition for Resilient Youth; Melissa Crews from Hope For New Hampshire Recovery and Wayne Dutch, PhD. The forum is open to all members of the public who want to know more about this epidemic, share their stories of how it’s affected them, or learn more about what they can and can’t do.
Also tomorrow night, the Derry Town Council will meet in special session to consider the eight petitions gathered by Derry Residents United to overturn the budget cuts enacted on July first. This is the third meeting at which councilors will consider the petitions. At the first meeting, councilors voted to have the petitions and the related sections of state law and the town charter reviewed by an attorney. The second meeting was a special one called by the three councilors who opposed the cuts. They said the lawyer had given the petitions a thumbs up and they wanted action. That didn’t go over well with members of the council’s majority who said they had questions that remained unanswered by the attorney.
Council Chairman Thomas Cardon, noting the council was in unchartered territory that could affect future budget cycles, urged caution in making the motion that rescheduled the special meeting until tomorrow night. Cardon and the council were once again faced with an unruly crowd, which some classified as a mob, who accused the majority of dragging their feet. Their public outbursts interrupted the meeting on several occasions. It is expected the town’s attorney will be present for tomorrow night’s meeting, which may enter into non-public session so members can meet with the attorney in private. The council’s majority has refused to release the lawyer’s letter on the topic pending the resolution to their questions. The council will either have to vote to accept the petitions, thus overturning their budget cuts, or order them to ballot for the voters to decide.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The New Hampshire Republican State Committee has launched an online petition urging Governor Margaret Wood Hassan to arm New Hampshire’s National Guard. Since the deadly attack at a military recruitment center in Chattanooga, seven governors have ordered their National Guards to arm themselves. Quote:
“The outrageous attack in Chattanooga has raised serious questions about the safety of our men and woman (sic) in uniform serving at recruitment stations. As the Commander-in-Chief of the New Hampshire National Guard, Governor Hassan should follow the example set by seven other governors and immediately allow our Guardsmen to arm and defend themselves,” said N H G O P Chairman Jennifer Horn.
The governors of Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin have already taken measures to ensure their states’ guardsmen are able to defend themselves. Horn said that in the absence of action from Governor Hassan, “citizen patriots have taken to guarding military recruitment centers on their own.” We’ve linked to the online petition from this news read at Girard at Large dot com.
Cornerstone Action and New Hampshire Right to Life will be hosting a rally at High Noon outside the State House tomorrow. It’s part of a nation wide effort to defund Planned Parenthood in wake of the ghoulish videos in which Planed Parenthood officials discuss taking orders for body parts from aborted babies, share the different methods of conducting the abortion to protect the parts they want and negotiate their pricing.
Women Betrayed is the name of the rally and recent comments by District Three Executive Councilor Christopher Sununu, who is considering a run for governor, have inflamed funding opponents. Sununu, who broke with Republicans to vote in favor of Planned Parenthood funding in the past, has said he’s undecided and will withhold comment on both the contract pending before the state and the gruesome videos. Cornerstone Action’s Executive Director Bryan McCormack issued a statement saying he understands Sununu’s not commenting on a contract he’s not yet read, but couldn’t fathom his withholding comment on the videos. The Executive Council is expected to take the matter up at its meeting on August fifth.
Meanwhile, Kentucky Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul announced he has invoked Rule Fourteen in the United States Senate to fast track the bill he proposed to strip Planned Parenthood of all its federal funding. A vote on Paul’s bill could come as early as this week. Also, First District Congressman Frank Guinta has called for an investigation into Planned Parenthood and G O P presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson has announced he will speak at the Women Betrayed Rally on Tuesday in Washington, D. C.
The city of Manchester’s election filing period closed with a flourish on Friday as several candidates went to file on the last day. One who didn’t file was Ward Four Alderman Jim Roy. Sources tell Girard at Large that Roy contacted the City Clerk early Friday morning to say he wouldn’t be in to file. Roy did not return our request for comment. Roy is the only alderman to not file for reelection.
On the Board of School Committee, neither Ward Four Committeewoman Amy Bradley nor Ward Five Committeeman Ted Rokas filed for reelection. There were some surprise filings, including businessman Ben Gamache who filed for school board in Ward Three and another local businessman Stephen Mathieu who filed for Alderman in Ward Four. Ward Twelve State Rep. Carlos Gonzalez filed for welfare commissioner, a seat he ran for in two thousand one.
There will be citywide primaries for mayor, alderman at-Large and welfare commissioner and primaries for alderman in wards One, Four, Six, Ten, Eleven and Twelve and school board in Wards One, Three, Four, Six, Seven and Twelve.
That’s news in our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!