A thirteen year old Hooksett girl who went missing over the weekend has been found.  Hooksett police issued a statement yesterday asking for the public’s help to locate Amber Grenier, who was last seen on Saturday, January eleventh after being dropped off at The Mall of New Hampshire by family members.  According to the statement, Amber called her father, Michael Grenier the next day to say she was with a friend, but wasn’t heard from or seen thereafter.  After unsuccessfully trying to locate her by interviewing family, friends and school officials, police asked for the public’s help.  Late last night, the Hooksett P D said Amber was found with the help of the Manchester Police Department and was back home with her family.

Conservative icon, syndicated Washington Post columnist George Will, published a column yesterday that will hearten opponents of the Common Core national standards.  Aside from using a handful of words that will require your humble host to grab a dictionary, Will wrote quote “Many proponents seem to deem it beneath their dignity to engage opponents’ arguments, preferring to caricature opponents as political primitives and to dismiss them with flippancies such as this from Bill Gates:  quote “It’s ludicrous to think that multiplication in Alabama and multiplication in New York are really different.” What is ludicrous, (continued Will),  is Common Core proponents disdaining concerns related to this fact:  Fifty years of increasing Washington input into K-12 education has coincided with disappointing cognitive outputs from schools.  Is it eccentric that it is imprudent to apply to K-12 education the federal touch that has given us HealthCare.gov?”  End quote.  In characterizing Common Core’s opposition as an uprising by local communities against state capitals, the nation’s capital, and powerful, well financed special interest groups, Will concluded by writing quote “political dishonesty has swift, radiating and condign consequences.  Opposition to the Common Core is surging because Washington, hoping to mollify opponents, is saying, in effect: “If you like your local control of education, you can keep it. Period.” To which a burgeoning movement is responding: “No. Period.”  We’ve linked to the article which deftly addresses various federal laws and initiatives and nicely summarizes, we think, the dis-ingenuity of proponents of the national standards in this debate.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Right to Know New Hampshire, a newly formed watchdog group dedicated to safeguarding and advancing the people’s right to know what their government’s doing in their name and with their funds, is holding a public meeting this Saturday, January eighteenth in the headquarters of the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers, located on the second floor of the building at 8 Main Street in Concord.  It starts at nine thirty and will, among other items, share information on pending legislation that will improve the law by strengthening access to information and creating a grievance commission citizens can use to file complaints against governing bodies they believe have violated the law.  We’ve linked to their meeting notice which has all the details and encourage you to get involved.  More and more, government, in the name of efficiency and getting things done, is trampling on public process and withholding public information that gets in their way.  If that is to stop, robust laws and people willing to use and enforce them must come forward.  If not you, then who?  If not now, then when?  You know if you leave it to someone else, it just won’t happen, so grab a coffee, get a doughnut and attend this meeting on Saturday!  Guys like me who do their best to keep’em honest are out manned, out gunned and need your help!

Goffstown government officials will be taking public input on school and town budgets tonight as the Budget Committee holds a public hearing on the pending spending plans.  The specter of a dollar thirty four cent increase in the property tax, an increase of roughly five percent, has some residents riled and urging their neighbors to attend tonight’s hearing, which starts at seven in the auditorium at Goffstown High.  In an op. ed. published at Girard at Large dot com, resident Gaetane Benner hammers town officials for suggesting that senior citizens get reverse mortgages to help pay their taxes and chides the school board for making a mere forty seven thousand dollars in cuts to a thirty six million dollar budget and smacked them for targeting two low wage employees for termination to make the cut, rather than deal with lavish salaries and benefits that could save substantial dollars and still leave town and school district employees better off that most of the people who live in the town.  An earlier piece written by Benner, also available on Girard at Large, had some amazing statistics on wage growth in the area.  Both are interesting reads.  Girard at-Large also received an email we’ve decided to anonymously publish outlining alleged excesses in the school district that are needlessly costing taxpayers untold sums of money.  It’s with this newscast and will be discussed this morning.  We’re hoping someone in town will pick up these questions and ask them during the budget hearing tonight.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is mere moments away!