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Author: Rich Girard

Manchester Proud: An objective effort or a stacked deck?

Now that serious, undisclosed conflicts between Manchester Proud and Reaching Higher NH have been exposed, very serious questions about the integrity and direction of this effort to develop a strategic plan for the Manchester School District have to be asked.  Over and over again, leaders of Manchester Proud have emphatically stated they have no agenda, no political affiliations, no bias and no predetermined outcomes.  They have asserted their efforts will be guided by the input they receive from stakeholders across the city.  Those assurances have come  in response to questions and concerns I have consistently raised both privately and...

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Cornerstone’s Banfield raises red flags over Manchester Proud

Publisher’s note:  This email was sent late on the evening of Friday, October 19, 2018 to every member of the Manchester Board of School Committee.  It is published here in its entirety with photos I have added photos to improve its readability.  As a member of the Board of School Committee, I find this information troubling and will be releasing a statement about its content in due time.  ~Publius Dear Board of School Committee Members:  I was made aware of Manchester Proud a short time ago by parents who told me about this new organization.  As a former Bedford resident, I...

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Negotiations Committee pushes back against MEA claims

The following statement was read into the record at the September 25, 2018 meeting of the Manchester Board of School Committee by Special Committee on Negotiations Chairman Richard H. Girard (R-at-Large).  It was unanimously signed by committee members Sarah Ambrogi (D-Ward 1), Ross Terrio (R-Ward 7), Jimmy Lehoux (R-Ward 8) and Katie Desrochers (D-Ward 11). Members of the Honorable Board: It is with both concern and frustration that we on the Special Committee on Negotiations address our efforts to negotiate a contract with the Manchester Education Association.  Because of continued misrepresentations by union officials that are stirring discontent within...

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A young survivor tells her story to raise awareness of a rare cancer

            My name is Lauren Smith, I’m 22 years old and I’m from Bedford New Hampshire. One year ago, before my senior year of college, I was given the news that nobody ever wants to hear, the news that turns your world upside down, I was told that I had cancer. Cancers and tumors of the appendix are extremely rare, it was once thought to be diagnosed in about 1,000 people worldwide each year. In other words, the lifetime odds of being diagnosed were thought to be about one in a million.             Recent research indicates that the incidence of...

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Questions about the Central lockdown

Publisher’s Note:  Click on any picture to enlarge it. While Friday night’s lockdown of Central High because of a shooting that took place three blocks away is awash in the praises of the officials who ordered it, many questions remain and must be asked.  However, in today’s environment, where just about any police action in the name of school safety is sacrosanct, one has to wonder just how many people will actually ask.  I decided to write this because Police Chief Carlo Capano, in a follow-up article published in the New Hampshire Sunday News, unapologetically said he’d do it again....

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Setting the record straight on HOPE–Again

The story of the Board of School Committee’s decision to terminate the HOPE program at West High School seems to change as its supporters seek to further vilify those who voted against it.  Despite ample public statements, the misrepresentations wilfully continue, some of which intentionally impugn the professional reputation of district staff as they search for a rational while they ignore what was said.  Instead, they substitute their “feelings” or “beliefs” by inventing their own “facts,” which conveniently fit their desired narrative. The oft and most egregious falsehood comes from Ward 10 Alderman Bill Barry, who has accused alleged opponents...

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Improper secret meeting minutes unsealed and released

On August 13, 2018, the Manchester Board of School Committee improperly went into non-public session to discuss whether or not a program operating without approval should continue in the schools.  After being confronted by a request from at-Large Board of School Committee Member Richard Girard to unseal the minutes of the non-public session, Mayor Joyce Craig consulted with the school district’s legal counsel.  She was told, after a review of the minutes, that the discussion should have been in public.  Thus, the minutes below were released following the successful vote to unseal the minutes at the school board’s meeting...

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Girard Backs SB 193

Below is testimony at-Large Manchester Board of School Committee Member Richard H. Girard offered at a May 1, 2018 press conference in Support of Senate Bill 193 at the Legislative Office Building in  Concord, NH. Good morning, everyone. My name is Richard Girard and it is my honor to be serving a second term representing all of the people of Manchester as an at-Large member of its Board of School Committee.  While my board has seen fit to oppose Senate Bill 1 9 3 out of fear it will cause the city to quote un quote lose money, I...

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And The Judge Said “What’s The Hurry?”

In New Boston there is a longstanding issue of a so-called junkyard.  The property is located on River Rd. and has been a grandfathered repair garage since at least 1970.  It is documented as such in a request by the Town to provide liability insurance in 1971. The Town took the “Duke’s Garage,” owned by the Winslow family, to Goffstown District Court in 1978 for having more unregistered cars than allowed – and the Town lost. A grandfathered repair garage is allowed under the New Boston Ordinance.  The owner has an established right to continue. In 1991, the Town...

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City Year challenged over MLK Day workshops on “Unpacking Whiteness”

On January 4, 2018, I received an email invitation to City Year’s Martin Luther King Day event (right).   The subject line of the email was “Free Family Event: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!”  Candidly, I thought nothing of it and didn’t open the invitation until after I saw that I’d received multiple inquiries, complaints and statements of indignation about it.    After clicking on the invitation, it became clear why people were outraged.  Dumbstruck by the offerings (published below this article), I sent the following email to Pawn Nitichan, Executive Director of City Year NH, yesterday, at about...

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