04-14-2014 News

Bedford school administrators remain on the defensive after surveying students on a range of controversial topics using questions many found salacious.  Assistant Superintendent of Schools Chip McGee denied the district was required by federal law to obtain written parental consent before giving the personally probing poll to students arguing the law would only apply if the survey was mandatory.

Joyce:  Critics misinformed

Joyce: Critics misinformed

McGee said not only was the survey voluntary, but that parents could opt their kids out and kids didn’t have to answer any question that made them uncomfortable.  However, he has yet to reply to our inquiry asking why parents didn’t have to opt their kids in if it was a voluntary survey.  We suspect we know the answer.  Meanwhile Ross A. Lurgio Middle School Principal Edward Joyce sent an email home on Friday addressing the controversy.  He defended the survey writing only a few had expressed their concerns, and said the survey was quote unquote “completely optional” and stated parents were advised of its pending administration in school’s emailed newsletters on the twenty first and twenty eighth of March.  He also said parents had the opportunity to review the survey in full beforehand, though we’re still awaiting an answer to our inquiry as to why parents could only do that if they physically went to the school during normal school hours.  He, of course, justified the value of the data sought by the survey although he did admit the school received quote unquote “good feedback” about notifying parents of the survey’s sexual content in the notices sent home. We’ve posted Joyce’s email for your review with this newscast at Girard at Large as well as the survey and the letter mis-advising parents of its contents.

Tom BrennanFormer Manchester Superintendent Tom Brennan will be laid to rest today.  The sixty six year old educator passed away last week after a brave battle with cancer that started within a couple of weeks of his retirement.  Brennan leaves behind his wife of fourty four years, Wendy, four daughters,several grandchildren and his mom, Rose.  We’ve linked to the arrangements from this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

The Chairman of the Manchester Board of Aldermen, Alderman at-Large Dan O’Neil is casting stones at Mayor Ted Gatsas and his staff for not better communicating with the aldermen in light of the mayor’s bypass surgery.  In an email sent just two days after Gatsas’ surgery,

O'Neil:  Mayor "disrespectful" to aldermen and city

O’Neil: Mayor “disrespectful” to aldermen and city

O’Neil said the failure of the mayor or his staff to be in better touch was quote “disrespectful to the aldermen and more importantly the citizens of Manchester.”  End Quote.  In an interview with Girard at Large, O’Neil did admit that the mayor did call him on the night he was hospitalized to say he was having more tests on Tuesday and that the mayor may not have had the opportunity to call him before heading to the operating room and that he himself had not called the mayor’s office to obtain an update, but nonetheless said everyone was in the dark as to the mayor’s condition and he was concerned the city not have business delayed due to the mayor’s condition.  Mayor’s Aide Samantha Piatt told Girard at Large that the mayor had been conducting city business from his hospital room, signing necessary personnel documents and city contracts.  We’ve linked to the story, which we broke Saturday morning, with O’Neil’s email and all the details to satisfy your need to see it to believe it.

Police in Goffstown have announced they will participate in the annual “bring your unwanted prescription drugs to the cops day.”  On April twenty sixth, police departments across the region, state and nation will open their doors to citizens who have unused, expired, unnecessary and otherwise unwanted prescription drugs for disposal.  G-Town’s cops say that with the horrific increases in prescription drug related crime, people need to be especially diligent about properly disposing of the unwanted drugs.  Throwing them in the trash makes them easily accessible, leaving them around creates a liability and flushing them stones the fish among other things.  So, if you live in Goffstown and want to get rid of your prescription drugs, drop by the station on Mast Road between ten and two on the twenty sixth.  If you don’t live in Goffstown, but want to dump your drugs, check with your local police department to see if they’re participating…or stone the fish.

Manchester police are warning residents of the South End to be on the lookout for diseased, disoriented skunks.  Over

Le Pew:  Not the sick skunks reported

Le Pew: Not sick over Jewett Street School

the past month, the Animal Control Division of the Manchester Police Department has captured and euthanized about a dozen sickly skunks found in the area bordered by Gold Street, South Jewett Street and Gabrielle Street.   The skunks have been spotted during the day exhibiting symptoms of a possible neurological disorder, appearing extremely lethargic and nearly immobile.  According to police, their symptoms reflect an unknown illness or disease.  Residents should refrain from any close contact with these animals and take precautions to keep their pets away.  A daytime sighting alone is not cause for alarm, but should an animal exhibit unusual symptoms or behaviors as described above, avoid contact and notify Animal Control.  The cops say these sightings also serve as a good reminder to pet owners to make sure their pets’ vaccinations are up to date to minimize.  There is no truth to the rumor that the proposed reconfiguration of the Jewett Street School and the uproar it’s caused with parents is responsible for the affliction.

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