Things have taken a turn for the ugly in the campaign for alderman in Manchester’s Ward 6.  Seems the usual hijinks of sign  stealing and vandalism aren’t enough to damage the visibility of Joe Whitten‘s surprisingly strong challenge to incumbent Alderman Garth Corriveau.  Supporters of Corriveau have turned to the use of threats and intimidation against  those who’ve allowed Whitten’s signs on their property.  In a statement released last night, which we’ve published with this newscast, Whitten said he’s received phone calls from quote “supporters who are afraid to keep their campaign signs up on their private property as a result of repeated harassment and intimidation from Corriveau supporters.” End quote.  The statement also said quote “A local business owner actually returned a campaign sign because of intimidation and threats stating that ‘having a Whitten sign will hurt their business.'” End quote.  In an Interview last night, Whitten said the threatened business was the Chill Spa at twelve twenty four Hanover Street.  Whitten said the Chill Spa‘s owner was threatened by Daniel Paul Sullivan of twelve thirty Hanover Street, whom he confronted over the removal and destruction of the sign at the Spa and the threats.  He filed a police report against an unrepentant Sullivan who admitted to taking and destroying Whitten’s sign.  However, similar threats continued to pour into the business on Corriveau’s behalf until the business owner asked for the sign to be removed.  Whitten said he was disgusted with the vulgarity of it all and said Manchester deserved better and vowed to continue to run a clean, honest campaign.

Girard at Large has confirmed that Melanie Ross Brady, the woman running a write in campaign against incumbent Ward 5 Alderman Ed Osborne is the same Melanie Ross Brady under felony indictment in Hillsborough County Superior Court for writing fifteen hundred dollars in bad checks to the Manchester Animal Shelter .  Brady walked off with fifteen hundred dollars worth of gifts and prizes won at a silent auction to benefit the shelter last year, only the checks bounced after she and her husband John, who is running as a write in candidate for Welfare Commissioner, walked off with the stuff.  Thanks to the listener who tipped us off to this info.

In other campaign news, Girard at Large has received photos showing that Will Infantine‘s name has been covered with spray paint on the alderman at-Large signs that include Joe Kelly Levasseur‘s name.  The two were running as a team until Levasseur accused Infantine, who was about his only friend in the world, and a good one at that, of using the Republican City Committee to help himself get elected, but not Levasseur.  So, apparently, Levasseur, in addition to making up a variety of amusing stories that nobody seems to be buying to explain the split between the two, is now graffiting his own signs, which Infantine helped pay for, to make sure that everybody knows they’re not a team anymore.  Frankly, he’s doing Infantine a favor.  Man, this is like watching Bert and Ernie get divorced.  Ugly stuff.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

The principal of the Ross A. Lurgio Middle School in Bedford is blaming the state’s new math standards and their newly realigned curriculum for widespread difficulties seventh graders are having in Math.  Girard at Large has obtained a copy of a letter, which we’ve published with this newscast, sent to seventh grade parens by Principal Edward Joyce.  In the letter, Joyce acknowledges that seventh graders have experienced widespread difficulties with the new math curriculum, which he wrote was in place to meet the state’s new standards.  Teachers are pulling out all the stops to figure out how to help kids understand the material, he said and he is confident that parents, teachers and students working together will help the kids master the material as things go along.  The parent who sent me the material and said I could use it so long as I kept their name out of it said it wasn’t an example of greater rigor and complexity as claimed in the letter, but of confusion from a math system that didn’t seem to make any sense.  The new math curriculum is aligned with the Common Core.

And, I have to be really careful about how I present this one, but well placed sources somewhere inside S A  U fifteen, which includes the towns of Hooksett, Candia and Auburn say that principal of the Auburn Village School has directed the teaching staff to quote un quote “scrub” any mention of Common Core from materials sent home to parents.  Apparently, that directive comes from Superintendent Charles P. Littlefiled, that’s right, Chucky the Super, in an attempt to head off any controversy with Common Core among the town’s parents.  With Manchester voting to pursue its own standards instead of adopting Common Core and school boards across the region asking questions at the behest of concerned parents, looks like Chucky’s trying to make sure parents have nothing to question.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead!