The Manchester Police Department Community Policing Division and the Manchester Health Department teamed up with Finders Keepers of Exeter to provide free school supplies to some Manchester schools. Finders Keepers contacted the Community Policing Division in an effort to distribute the supplies which will go to five schools, including: Bakersville, Beech Street, Gossler Park, Parker Varney and Henry Wilson. Items will be distributed to teachers today at Bakersville.
Finders Keepers offers premium new and used items at thrift shop pricing.
We would like to thank Finders Keepers for their generous donation of school supplies to support Manchester’s teachers and children,” said Captain Boucher from the Manchester Police Department.
For the record, as a school board member, I, too, would like to thank them, as well the police department for issuing the press release that made me aware of it.
The finalists in the search to be Manchester’s next superintendent of schools are coming to town on Friday, September twenty third. The details of their day have been released by the special committee tasked with finding them. Their busy day includes stops at the Manchester School of Technology, where they’ll have breakfast, McLaughlin Middle School, Beech Street and Northwest elementary schools and Central High. It also includes lunch with the Chamber of Commerce, a visit to the district office, and dinner with the consulting firm hired by the district, which will be the only time both candidates will be together. Following that, Dr. Bolgen Vargas will meet, greet and answer questions from the public at at Memorial High School beginning at six and Dr. Vincent Cotter will do the same starting at seven thirty. The Board of School Committee will interview both candidates on Saturday the twenty fourth and, hopefully, choose one to be the city’s twentieth superintendent of schools. We’ve uploaded the itinerary for both finalists with this news read at Girard at Large dot com.
The public got to sound off at last night’s meeting of the Manchester School Board’s Special Committee on Redistricting. Suffice it to say, members of the public were none too pleased with the committee for voting to recommend constructing a five and a half million dollar addition to Jewett Street School to centralize the pre-school operation and build a new elementary school to ease the crowding at Northwest Elementary.
Several speakers chastised the committee for breaking with its oft advertised public process and voting without parent input. Several parents reminded the committee that it was their children, not the committee’s, that would be impacted by any changes and their tax dollars that would pay for it. The committee was also condemned for voting to build new facilities it neither needed nor could pay for, with several speakers saying the committee should disband for failing to do its job.
Committee Chair Leslie Want, School Board member from Ward Four, apologized for the committee’s actions, saying she should have followed the advertised process and not allowed the motion. However, when pressed by the public to reconsider the vote, Want and at-Large member Nancy Tessier refused to do so, but said they would give it serious consideration. Perhaps the moment the committee should take most note of was the appearance of Ward Eight Alderman Tom Katsiantonis, a former school board member, who told the committee to do the hard work and make the tough decision and not push it off on the aldermen. Translation: The money tree’s no longer bearing fruit!
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Today’s Primary Day in the Granite State and a number of campaigns are going down to the wire, not the least of which is the gubernatorial campaign as yet another contract controversy has rocked the Governor and Council. District Three Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, a G O P candidate for governor, is calling on Governor Margaret Wood Hassan to cancel the thirty seven million dollar contract he voted to approve just days ago with Dartmouth Hitchcock to run the state’s mental health hospital. Just two days after the Executive Council approved the contract, Dartmouth Hitchcock laid off over four hundred employees and announced other cutbacks.
That had Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas seeing red. Gatsas had called for a delay in approving the contract after a Nashua woman committed suicide just hours after leaving the facility. Reports of whole sale staff resignations unhappy with Dartmouth Hitchcock’s management also spurred Gatsas’ call to hold up the contract. While the vote was delayed, it ultimately passed. Gatsas hammered Sununu for his vote saying it was pretty clear there were problems there even before they announced the layoffs.
Democratic Candidate Mark Connolly also went after gubernatorial rival District Two Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern for his vote in favor of the contract, saying more caution should have been exercised given the events that transpired before the contract was approved.
Republican gubernatorial candidate State Rep. Frank Edelblut of Wilton decried the insider politics that led to the deal and said, in an interview this morning, that it was clear that Sununu and Van Ostern weren’t doing their job on the Council because they were running for governor. The campaign of Republican Senator Jeanie Forrester is waiting for the Save the Children Action Network to issue a non-coordinated third party statement with her position.
That all said, polls in Manchester and some surrounding towns opened at six, with many scheduled to open at seven. Most polls in our listening area, and across the state, will close at 7 tonight. However, several communities will close at six and some at eight, so be sure to check your town’s Web site for voting times and locations, especially in Merrimack where there are three new polling locations.
Voters today will decide nominees for governor on both the Republican and Democratic parties. Voters will also determine a hard fought race between Republican incumbent First District Congressman Frank Guinta of Manchester and Rich Ashooh of Bedford and a much lower key contest between State Rep. Jack Flanagan of Brookline and former State Rep. Jim Lawrence of Hudson to be the Republican nominee in the Second Congressional District. The results in the U S Senate race between incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte and former State Senator Jim Rubens are also be eagerly awaited. While Rubens is an acknowledged long shot to win, party establishment types are worried Ayotte will be badly wounded if Rubens breaks forty percent of the vote.
There are also several primaries for State Rep., State Senate, county offices and Executive Council in our listening area so make sure you get out and vote. Don’t let other people make decisions for you without a fight!
That’s news from our own backyard! Girard at Large hour ___ is next!