At its meeting tonight, the Candia School Board will hear from Attorney Gordon Graham about proposed policy J B A B. That’s the proposal that would require school officials to let transgendered students use bathrooms and locker rooms for the opposite sex and give them the right to play on the opposite sexes sports teams. In addition to a presentation by Graham, the board agenda includes a separate discussion item on the policy, which is being pushed by Board Chair Nicole LaFlamme.
The same policy was also presented to the Hooksett and Auburn school boards. The three school districts together comprise S A U Fifteen and all have Charles P. Littlefield as their superintendent. Lucky them.
At its April nineteenth meeting, the Hooksett School Board voted unanimously to table the policy indefinitely, with Policy Committee Chairman James Sullivan saying the policy was not required and that the district wasn’t facing any issues surrounding transgendered students. He also expressed confidence in school staff to properly address any situations that may arise.
On April twelfth, it turns out that the Auburn School Board did the same, with Board Chair Alan Villeneuve asking what the urgency was. Littlefield told the board there was no urgency and that the policy was brought forward to start discussion and that it was quote “more important to do it right than to do it quickly.” End quote. Villeneuve asked why this policy was needed, arguing it seemed its expectations are covered in the board’s other general, overall policies. Littlefield answered that quote “if a specific circumstance arises, having a policy in place makes for a stronger argument.” The ensuing discussion over bathroom use made known that the bathroom in the nurses office is already available for students wishing to use alternative facilities. Board member Keith Leclair’s motion to table carried unanimously.
The New Hampshire Senate Finance Committee approved H B 1 5 9 1 on Tuesday. The bill creates both a short-term fix and long-term plan to address the state employee retiree health insurance system that faces an immediate shortfall of seven hundred thousand dollars, with a larger shortfall estimated in the following years. Finance Committee Chair Senator Jeanie Forrester, Republican from Meredith, released a statement following the committee action saying the committee only learned of the looming shortfall and the Department of Administrative Services’ need for new tools to address the issues beyond the current budget. She said the legislation approved by the committee provides a solution to both issues and ensures that there are no gaps in retirees’ health insurance coverage.
District Eleven State Senator Gary Daniels, Republican from Milford, spoke out against Governor Margaret Wood Hassan’s veto of S B 4 4 6, which provides that any rule adopted by the State Building Code Review Board related to applications for permits under the International Residential Code shall require only such data as is reasonably required for the building inspector to act on the application.
The bill passed both the House and Senate on voice votes and had no testimony in opposition while it was in committee. Daniels, who sponsored the bill, said he was disappointed with Hassan’s veto of the bill because it makes a simple change that protects contractors from building inspector overreach and unreasonable requests for information, which can cause significant project delays. Daniels said the bill maintained the ability of building inspectors to review project integrity and safety while establishing basic parameters that would allow builders to finish their work in a timely manner.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Manchester School of Technology is hosting its fifth annual Salon-A-Thon to raise money to send Cosmetology and Video Production Students to their national competitions. The Salon-A-Thon will take place Monday, May Ninth from 2: 30 to 7 at the school. M S T graduates are coming back to help provide haircuts, brow waxing and manicures. The event is walk-in only and a ten dollar per service donation is requested. They are also holding a bake sale to raise funds.
The Bedford Police Department released another advisory for residents to lock their cars after receiving several calls from residents that their vehicles were rummaged through during the overnight hours along Wallace and Brick Mill roads and surrounding areas. The department reminds residents to lock their vehicles and are hoping residents get the “Lock It or Lose It” message loud and clear.
The city of Manchester joined forces with Granite United Way and Hope for New Hampshire Recovery to increase access to and awareness of recovery and addiction treatment options in the city. They are starting two new programs: Safe Station and Granite United Way’s 2 1 1 N H Service.
As reported yesterday, addicts looking for help can go to any Manchester fire station at any time and receive assistance from on duty personnel to be connected with treatment and recovery services. This Safe Station initiative is supported by Catholic Medical Center, American Medical Response and Hope for New Hampshire Recovery in addition to the fire department.
Granite United Way will be providing a 2 4 hour service to help people at their 2 1 1 line. Callers who request substance abuse assistance will be connected to a live recovery coach at Hope for N H Recovery. The 2 1 1 line often goes to voice mail, which is not good for addicts looking for help.
In a statement issued yesterday, Mayor Ted Gatsas said this response to the opioid epidemic was quote uniquely Manchester. Quote:
“For a long time, here in the Queen City, we have been addressing this epidemic, we have talked about it, we have asked for help and we have refused to let it define us. We continue to work toward a solution and today I believe that we have put forward a model that will improve our community, that can make a difference and can be a model for cities and towns across our state and the country.”
That’s news from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!