01-27-2014 News

Hooksett School Board Member John Lyscars, remember, he’s no longer the board’s clerk as he was stripped of that position during the last meeting, sent an email to his colleagues expressing regret for signing his school board emails a quote the President of Uganda end quote and urged all members to do things that would make their mother’s proud.  Lyscars wrote that he’d taken to using the signature to protest the board’s attempts to censor him, Lyscars prior email signature noted he was the school board’s clerk, but that in thinking about Superintendent Charles Littlefield‘s references to his ninety five year old mother at a prior meeting, Lyscars came to believe that his late mom would think it childish and not something to be proud of, so, he’s discontinued the Uganda thing.  He went on to say the attacks he’s endured during his entire time on the board are most likely something other board member’s mom’s wouldn’t be proud of either.  He urged the board to reflect on a question as it moves forward and that is this:  Would my mom be proud of what I am about to do?  If the answer is yes, then do it.  If it’s not, then don’t.  Not bad advice for anybody, really.  We’ll see if it takes hold.  We’ve published the email, which chronicles a laundry list of  board actions Lyscars said mom’s wouldn’t be proud of, with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

In Manchester, the Office of the City Clerk and the Board of Registrars will be conduct a citywide checklist verification over the next several months.  The process will be similar to the one they used in two thousand eleven when the execution of the state mandated ten year purge removed over eleven thousand voters.  Beginning on January thirtieth, postcards will be mailed to about eighty two hundred registered voters who have not voted once since the Presidential election in two thousand eight.  Unfortunately, that will leave a whole bunch of out of state residents, like Vice President Joe Biden‘s niece Alana, a New York City resident and Caitlin Ann Legacki who was in Missouri on election day but managed to vote in Manchester in person anyway in two thousand twelve.  In an email to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, City Clerk Matthew Normand said his office is undertaking this effort now as he is concerned that the next mandated checklist verification in two thousand twenty will present his office with an unmanageable number of voters to deal with and that having a more accurate checklist had a number of benefits, not the least of which was deterring fraud and providing candidates with more precise lists through which the could reach actual voters.  I wonder how many of those who’ve not voted since two thousand eight voters were same day registrants in two thousand eight.  We’ll have to look and see.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

At the last meeting of the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Ward One Alderman Joyce Craig raised a number of items she wanted addressed by department heads as they discuss their proposals for new or increased revenues with various committees of the board.  Craig, who has led the aldermen’s budgetary efforts in the past two years, noted that all the proposals all involved user fees and said the board should consider the following questions:  How may people or customers would be affected by the implementation of their proposal, who would be affected, i.e. home owners, vehicle registrants, zoning applicants, all residents etc…, what are other communities doing with related programs and what are the start up or implementation costs?  Mayor Ted Gatsas asked city department heads to forward revenue ideas as the city is facing expenses that have driven spending six million dollars above the city’s budgetary caps which allowed for roughly five million more in spending this year over last.  Meanwhile, Girard at Large has obtained documents showing that the hiring of new police officers costs the city about eighty thousand dollars each, and that’s just for their salaries and benefits!  That doesn’t count the cost of guns, uniforms, tazers, cruisers, overtime or anything else!  Whoa!  We’ve posted the handout that was given during Chief David Mara‘s presentation requesting thirty new officers with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

A major turn of events in the War Over Common Core took place Saturday as the Board of Directors of the New York State United Teachers, a union with more than six hundred thousand members, approved a resolution that withdraws its earlier support for the Common Core national standards quote unquote “as implemented and interpreted” by the New York Education Department.  It also calls for a three-year moratorium on high-stakes consequences from standardized testing.  The resolution is a big blow to supporters of the national standards as they come under increased scrutiny and pressure from parents, educators and students across the country.  Several of the states that originally adopted the national standards have either pulled back, changed them and or dropped the associated testing altogether.  American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, who earlier this year blasted the teacher evaluation systems being adopted as a result of the national standards as a sham, called implementation of the Core “far worse” than that of the troubled Health Care dot gov Web site, supports the resolution, which also called for the resignation of New York Commissioner of Education John KingWe’ve linked to the story in the Washington Post from this news read at Girard at Large dot com in case you’re interested.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ starts right now!