Good Morning everyone!  It’s Primary Day in the Queen City as voters go to the polls to narrow the field of candidates to those who will vie for office in the November General Election.  At the top of the ticket, incumbent Mayor Ted Gatsas  squares off against Alderman Patrick Arnold and activist Glenn R J Ouellette.  If the Gatsas team is worried about anything today, it’s supporter apathy as His Honor is a heavy favorite to top the ticket by a significant margin.  Arnold is hoping for a better than expected second place finish to buoy perceptions he has a chance in November.  Where Gatsas has run a relatively traditional meet the people at every possible event and on their door stoop campaign, Arnold has focused almost exclusively on mobilizing activist democrats and labor unions to provide his vote today.  In addition to the mayor’s race, there are aldermanic primaries in wards 2, 9, 10, 11 and 12 and school board primaries in wards 2, 6 and 12.  Watch wards 2 and 12 today.  Not only do they have primaries for both offices, they’re the home wards of the two mayoral candidates, Arnold in 12 and Gatsas in 2 where he served as the alderman for a decade before being elected mayor.  Gatsas also represented Ward 12 for a decade in the State Senate, so that ward should be of particular interest today.  Stay tuned to Girard at Large this morning as we will have reports from the field on voter turn out and have invited all primary candidates to call in this morning and make their final appeal to the voters.  Several have said they will call in and we will put them on the air when they do.

Also on the ballot today in Manchester Ward 7 is a special election for state representative to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Democratic State Rep. Patrick Garrity.  Garrity, whose dismal attendance record was noteworthy, left the post after physically attacking is ex wife and her male friend at a local social club.  Former Republican Rep. Ross Terrio, who lost in last year’s Democrat wave election is seeking reelection to the post and is being challenged by Mary Heath, who has said if elected she will vote to expand Medicaid, implement Obamacare and increase funding for education at all levels of government, including, if not especially the university system.  The New Hampshire Democratic Party has targeted Terrio for defeat, misrepresenting Terrio’s record in Concord in mail pieces sent to the voters in the ward.  So, there’s a little incentive for voters in Ward 7 to get to the polls.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

The Manchester School Board’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee met last night to consider the curriculum guides they tabled on August 27th and review the answers to the questions asked by members of the committee and the public.  The meeting was contentious from the start as Ward 9 Committeeman Arthur Beaudry dropped the hammer on administration officials and Committee Chair Sarah Ambrogi of Ward 1 for their failure to provide the answers to the questions to the public for its review before the public participation session.  Ambrogi argued that they were posted online and could be seen by the public after the meeting and that the meeting was a work session for the committee to do its business and vote on the items before it, something the public wasn’t going to do.  Beaudry shot back that he was there to represent the public, not himself or the committee.  Mayor Ted Gatsas jumped into the fray criticizing Beaudry, who is chairman of the board’s I T Committee, for not answering the questions that were posed on bandwith for technology needs.  Beaudry shot back that nobody’d seen the answers until that night and that he was looking to get more information, including on issues Gatsas had raised earlier in the evening about whether or not the law sited in one of the answers was accurate.  Beaudry also raised the letter from the New Hampshire School Boards Association that we reported on yesterday which hammered the proposed rules changes needed to support the implementation of Common Core as a costly overreach that violated local control.  In between all of this, Assistant Superintendent David Ryan gave his presentation on Common Core.  After a testy exchange with Beaudry over the provision of answers to the public, Ambrogi recessed the meeting after which she announced the meeting would be recessed until its regular meeting time next week to allow the public an opportunity to review the answers to their questions.  Beaudry insisted the public be allowed to speak before the meeting was recessed, which Ambrogi allowed after yet another exchange between the two.  Meanwhile, the Alton School Board voted last night not to adopt Common Core for their school district on a three to two vote.  They are the first district to say no to the voluntary program.  We’ll be keeping an eye on that.  We did blog last night’s meeting in real time and have linked to it from this newscast.  Really, you’ve got to read this one, it’s like a thriller novel!

That’s news from our 0wn backyard, now get out and vote and bring us with you on the way to the polls!  Girard at Large hour ___ is just 30 seconds away!