The town of Alton has settled a federal lawsuit brought by Jeffrey Clay, the Alton resident who was arrested for criticizing the town’s Board of Selectmen during the public input part of its meeting. Clay, who was hauled off in handcuffs by none other than Police Chief Ryan Heath, who should have known better, hauled away forty two thousand five hundred dollars in the settlement of the case he brought for for the flagrant violation of his constitutional right to Free Speech.
Criminal charges brought by the town against Clay for disorderly conduct were summarily dismissed as quote “pure censorship” by Belknap County Judge James Carroll who wrote Clay’s arrest was nothing more than quote
“content-based censorship as the defendant was acting within the very rules promulgated by the board as well within his Constitutional rights under the U.S. and N.H. Constitutions.”
In an article published by the Concord Monitor, Clay, who has stayed away from selectmen’s meetings since his arrest, said he’ll be back before the board now that things have been settled and his goal is to change rules he believes deprive people of their ability to address their concerns. We’ve linked to the Monitor’s article for your convenience from this news read at Girard at Large dot com. Our thanks to the loyal listener who brought it to our attention.
Click here for the shocking video of his arrest. (Cool history note: the table used by the Alton Board of Selectman used to be the table used by the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen before City Hall was renovated.)
The Timberlane Regional School Board, in collaboration with district personnel, will host a drug abuse prevention forum on Monday, May 16th at the Timberlane Performing Arts Center, 40 Greenough Road, Plaistow. The forum will feature representatives from state and local law enforcement, social services and other agencies who will discuss the opiate and prescription drug epidemic currently facing our state. Topics will include how this crisis affects our communities and families as well as strategies in how to combat it. This event is free to the public and begins at 7 P M sharp. Parents, concerned citizens, school personnel, and community officials are encouraged to attend.
Gary Backus, Chief of Staff for the New Hampshire Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars announced there will be a medal award ceremony for Korean War M I A Roland LeBlanc in Bedford on May twenty ninth, at approximately 1400 hours following the town’s Memorial Day Parade. The ceremony will take place in the McKelvie Intermediate School cafeteria. P F C LeBlanc’s surviving brother, Robert, who is a member and past Sr. Vice Commander of Bedford’s V F W Post, will receive a total of eight medals for his brother, the highest of which will be the Purple Heart. Backus invited veterans and their families to join them for the town’s Memorial Day Parade, which steps off from Bedford High School at one o’clock and the medal award ceremony which follows to honor their fallen comrade. No doubt, members of the public are welcome as well.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Webster Elementary School in Manchester finally has a new principal. Her name is Sarah Lynch and she hails from Lawrence, MA. She was approved by the school board on Monday night. The position is all hers as of July first. Lynch succeeds Christine Martin, who left Webster last fall to become an assistant superintendent in the school district. Retired Principal Ellie Murphy has been at the helm as the search for a replacement went on.
During the discussion on the motion to approve Lynch’s nomination, School Board Vice Chair Arthur Beaudry referenced the hiring process in opposing Lynch. He said it wasn’t about her, but about how district administrators have handled principal hiring in general and how it’s not been fair to prior finalists who’ve not been hired. Ward Two’s Deb Langton and and Ward Five’s Lisa Freeman joined Beaudry’s in opposition. Mayor Ted Gatsas abstained because he was uncertain if she would move to the city and at-Large committeeman Rich Girard abstained, also over concerns with the hiring process. Ward Ten’s John Avard was absent from the meeting.
In conjunction with National Bike Month and National Bike to Work Week, Bike Manchester and the Southern New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission will host several events and activities between May 16th and twentieth to celebrate bicycle riding and bicycle commuting in the Queen City. From 5:30 to 7 p.m., on the sixteenth, city cyclists are invited to gather in Bo’s Lounge and Function Room at Stark Brewing Company (formerly Milly’s Tavern) for a meet-up featuring half price beers. Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas will issue a proclamation declaring it Bike to Work Week in Manchester. City cyclists can get a hands on demonstration of how to utilize the bike racks on the front of every Manchester Transit Authority bus at 5:30 on the seventeenth at Veterans Park. The M T A is also offering free bus rides to all bicyclists who utilize the bus bike racks that week. From 8 to 9 a.m., on the twentieth, which is Bike to Work Day, bicycle commuters are invited to visit a refreshment stand in City Hall Plaza for coffee and breakfast treats as they ride into work. The group hopes the week will encourage more Manchester residents to both commute and explore the city on two wheels.
That’s news from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!