04-29-2014 News

Well, it looks like the student survey planned for tenth graders in the Timberlane Regional School District for this Monday May fifth won’t be taking place after all.

Gorman:  Exposed survey through RTK

Gorman: Exposed survey through RTK

In an email sent to Timberlane Budget Committee Member Cathy Gorman last night just before eight o’clock, Superintendent Earl Metzler wrote quote Cathy – I stopped the at risk survey in the fall of 2 0 1 2.  I find the Michigan survey even more invasive and have cancelled (sic) it effective immediately.  Thanks for bringing my attention to it.  We agree on this issue.  We actually got paid for this one, which raises even more flags for me.  When you first made your request I was sure it was the at risk survey….that is why I needed some time to investigate.  Thanks for your patience.”  Gorman had filed a Right to Know Request to obtain the survey as well as parental consent forms and informational brochures allegedly sent home to parents to inform them and provide them the opportunity to exclude their children from the survey.

Metzler:  Survey suddenly "bad," withdrawn

Metzler: Survey suddenly “bad,” withdrawn

In response to the request, Metzler, in two separate emails, told Gorman the response to her request was quote at his discretion” and that once he had the time to research the request Gorman would be informed if quote I will be responding, and the time frame that I have decided is reasonable.”  End quote.  Metzler’s secretary then sent a notice advising the materials would be released on or about June first.  The day after being alerted to the situation by Gorman, Girard at Large made its own Right to Know Request on the matter, requesting the same information sought by Gorman and advising that the law required the immediate production of documents immediately available.  We were notified within two and a half hours that the info was ready to be picked up, as was Gorman, but were told that it would not be provided electronically, another violation of the law we will seek to correct.  Gorman picked up the information and shared it here with us yesterday.  She credits our Right to Know request and coverage of the story with the release of the information and the superintendent’s decision to reverse course.  While we were glad to get involved and help, the credit really rests with her for bringing it to our attention and coming forward to share the info.  Several unresolved issues involving the Right to Know Law and the communication of information from Metzler’s administration to the elected school boards and budget committees remain and we will see those through to a right and proper conclusion.  We will, of course, have something to say about this this morning.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Lake Massabesic:  Horse riding restricted.

Lake Massabesic: Horse riding restricted.

Controversy continues to swirl around the decision by the Manchester Water Works Board of Commissioners to limit horse riding on the watershed property surrounding Lake Massebesic.  In statements released to Girard at Large, officials said problems with horse manure in the watershed have been a growing concern for several years and reached a point where action to protect the region’s drinking  water was necessary.  The policy does not ban riding, but limits it to gravel roads, requires a device to collect waste as it’s created and dispose of it off site and prohibits the animals in public park areas and along the lake’s shoreline.  Commissioner Kim Griswold said a board subcommittee and staff worked extensively to research and develop the new regulations and worked with representatives of the horseback riding community to bring the risks presented by the animals and the activity to levels posed by other uses in the watershed.  “This is not a ban on horseback riding” said Griswold, who chairs the board’s Rules and Regulations Committee.  We’ve published the press release and a detailed open letter penned by Griswold on the topic with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

Jobs Report:  Where are they?

Jobs Report: Where are they?

An analysis of the jobs created by the Obama “not recovery” contains damning evidence that the economy is simply not doing well.  The National Employment Law Project found, in a recently released study, that while job losses in lower wage industries made up twenty two percent of recession job losses, forty four percent of new jobs created under this alleged recovery have been in those same low wage industries.  Meanwhile, middle wage industries accounted for thirty seven percent of recession job losses, but have only been twenty six percent of the recovery job growth.  Hardest hit and worst performing are those jobs in higher wage industries.  They accounted for a staggering forty one percent of recession losses and only thirty percent of recovery job creation.  So, it looks like President Barry’s “make us all the same policies” are working to cut everyone down to size.  We’ve linked to the study for your review.