A busy news day yesterday in the Manchester area, so let’s dive in and start with the important stuff.Manchester Police Chief David J. Mara has declared that there shall be Trick or Treating on the evening of October 31st from 6 to 8 PM.  Manchester residents wishing to participate should leave their porch lights on that evening to let the neighborhood ghouls and goblins know that it’s okay to knock on the door.

The State Department of Education has called a meeting of all Superintendents of Schools for the South Central region to discuss Common Core.  Citing questions raised and resistance offered to the implementation of Common Core, the agenda, which we’ve posted with this news read at Girard at Large dot com, states that hearing from the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner will quote provide the benefit of key messages that we hope will help local officials respond consistently to parents and others.”  End quote.  I guess saying I don’t know and being barraged with their own conflicting statements and conflicts with law isn’t working for them any more.  Anyway, the meeting is this Monday at the SERESC headquarters in Bedford.  You can bet we’ll be there, with bells on.

Speaking of Schools, Manchester Superintendent Debra Livingston‘s attempt to re-enroll the Manchester School Board in the School Boards Association, which nuked the state DOE’s proposed rules changes needed to impose Common Core on the state’s local school districts, failed last night.  Ward 10 Committeeman John Avard led the opposition saying that the association was more focused on issues affecting smaller town school districts and not so much those facing the city.  Mayor Ted Gatsas suggested the district could accomplish the goal of revising policies without joining the association by spending the nearly eight thousand dollar membership fee on an attorney that could do the work for the district instead.  Also at last night’s school board meeting, Livingston distributed new enrollment reports showing that while more work will need to be done and be finalized within the next week, that things are leveling out.  It also appears that she’s trying to lower the transience rate by allowing kids to stay in their school for at least a year despite their families moving out of the attendance boundaries, novel concept.  We’ve linked to the live blog of last night’s meeting so you can check it out.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

The Goffstown Board of Selectmen approved a letter to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority advising it believes the town has satisfied the terms and conditions of the grant used to develop the Plan Pinardville amendment to the town’s master plan.  The letter notes that the ad hoc committee did its work and on a 5 to 2 vote, recommended the changes to the Planning Board, which in the face of tremendous public opposition, shot it down on a unanimous vote.  The letter tackled the tricky question of the Character Based Zoning Ordinance that was part of the plan by noting that because the plan that would have been used to implement the codes was shot down, it didn’t believe there was any longer a basis to continue with its development.  It asked the Finance Authority to deem its requirements under the grant satisfied.  Clearly, they want this to go away and with good reason.  GTown BoS to HUD p1 GTown Bos to HUD p2

In Manchester, planners met with about sixteen residents at St. Raphael Parish in Granite Square to discuss potential changes to the street scape and zoning along the Second Street corridor.  At the meeting, representatives of Southern New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission solicited resident feedback on solutions, but only after a presentation that presented ideas on how things could be done.  There were also conceptual drawings of everything from bike lanes to raised planters with trees in the middle of the street to roundabouts at key intersections.  Participants were asked to put yellow dots on the maps where they liked things and red ones where they didn’t.  The next public workshop on the developing plan will be held on October 28th from 6 to 8 P M at St. Raef’s.  At this one, they’ll be bringing forward a Health Assessment of the zoning and proposed changes as well as a proposed Zoning Overlay.  There’s much to say about this and it will be said.

No doubt, generations of West Blue Knights and countless youth sports participants will be saddened to learn that Mr. Sullivan, Joe Sullivan, passed away yesterday.  Sullivan who struggled with serious health challenges, including the rare adult onset of Muscular Dystrophy, and endured the loss of his wife Denise and daughter Jennifer, a classmate of mine at West, was just sixty nine.  He was a beloved, bigger than life personality who positively influenced the lives of countless youth in the city through his passionate love of writing, sports and even Drivers Ed.  He is survived by his sons Sean and Gary and their families and his sister Sue, among others.  There are no calling hours and his funeral will be held Thursday morning at St. Catherine’s on Webster Street at 10:30.  Memorial contributions may be made to Families in Transition.  Here’s the story from today’s Union Leader.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is just 30 seconds away.