03-27-2014 News

We told you yesterday that we would inquire as to why the Hooksett School Board was planning to meet with its legal counsel in non-public session to be briefed on the tuition legal settlement with the Manchester School District.  Today, we get to tell you that Superintendent Charles Littlefield has declined to explain the answer.  In an email to Girard at Large, Littlefield wrotCharles P. Littlefielde that quote “The Hooksett School Board is meeting to consult with legal counsel.  Consultation with legal counsel is not a meeting of the Board as defined” in the state’s Right to Know Law.  While that answer is technically true, Littlefield avoided answering our questions as to why discussion of the publicly available legal settlement with the publicly elected body in the absence of any current or threatened legal action would trigger the Right to Know Law’s exemption for consultation with legal counsel.  Inasmuch as a lot of folks in that town have some strange ideas about just what the settlement is or isn’t, including Littlefield who has been forced to retract material misstatements of fact about the settlement by this show’s news coverage, one would think they’d want the explanation of its terms to the newly elected board members done in public session so everybody could benefit.  Moreover, in the absence of any legal action that would justify consultation with legal council, we believe it would be a violation of the law as well as a disservice to the public were they to go behind closed doors for a non meeting meeting.  Frankly, the intended lack of transparency raises a number of red flags.  We’ll keep you informed as to our efforts to ensure any briefing on the already settled and no longer being negotiated settlement with Manchester is done in public.Dion

Law enforcement officials are still on the lookout for Matthew T. Dion in connection with an explosion and fire in Manchester that may have taken the lives of two people earlier this week.  The Attorney General’s Office is leading the investigation and has yet to release the identities of the two bodies found in the charred home on Moorseville Road where Dion, thirty eight years of age, lived with his elderly parents.  Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Dion is asked to call the Manchester Police Department at 6 6 8 8 seven eleven or Manchester Crimeline at 6 2 4 forty forty.  Dion is five foot eight, two hundred pounds with brown hair and eyes.  We received photos in a file format we could actually post to our site, so we have done so.  Take a look and see if you can help.

Former Manchester Police Officer Stephen Coco‘s plea deal was approved by the court yesterday.  It includes a twelve month jail sentence for felony conduct after an accident after Coco hit two Bedford teens last March.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives was in session yesterday and you know what that means.  Every bill pending before it on the issue of Common Core was either killed or sent to study, including a bill requiring the Department of Education to actually provide a report on the fiscal impact of implementing the standards and require public hearings on the standards in each of the state’s five Executive Council districts.  Hey, I guess if you don’t study the costs, they don’t exist.  House Bill Marilinda Garciafifteen oh eight, which would have done in New Hampshire what was just done in Indiana, remove the state from the national standards, went down on a largely party line vote as did a bill that would have prevented the use of personally identifiable student data.  That means the information collected on our kids can identify the kids.  How great is that?  State Representative Marilinda Garcia, Republican of Salem, who is running for Congress in the Second District, issued a statement saying quote “Instead of one-size-fits-all…we need to promote common sense solutions that help local parents and teachers promote accountability and high standards in our schools.  While we are all responsible for the improvement of our public schools, Common Core will not work for the Granite State and is not the path to higher education for New Hampshire students.”  Amen.  On a positive note, the House defeated legalizing marijuana by a fifty vote margin.

Oh one more thing on Common Core.  Voters in the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District rejected implementation of the national standards during their school district’s election.

While we’re on the topic of education, we want to send a shout out to Goffstown’s Mountain View Middle School math teacher Lynn Tassi.  She’s been awarded the apparently prestigious Richard C. Evans Distinguished Mathematics Educator Award, which recognizes passion, creativity and innovation in the teaching of mathematics.  I’m guessing she doesn’t employ the Common Core twelve step method of addition and subtraction, examples of which we’ve highlighted on this show.  Congratulations to Ms. Tassi on a job well done.  We sincerely hope you get to continue to do it your way.Jim Rubens

U S Senate Candidate Jim Rubens is bringing his Second Amendment Protection Tour to the Manchester area this Saturday with an appearance at Riley’s Gun Shop in Hooksett at High Noon.  Rubens has been visiting gun shops, firearms training facilities, manufacturers and advocacy groups highlighting his strong commitment to protecting the right to keep and bear arms and its importance to New Hampshire’s economy.  The former state senator from Hanover has pledged to support:  National reciprocity, a citizen’s right to defend themselves anywhere they have a right to be and an individual’s right to keep and bear arms regardless of where they live.  He has pledged to oppose:  Bans on so-called “assault weapons” and/ or limits on magazine capacity, gun registration, legislation that would turn law-abiding citizens into criminals or ratification of any treaty or international agreement that would infringe on the individual right to keep and bear arms.

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