Well both the N H House and Senate were in session yesterday, which might be why we felt the ground shake. Anyway, the House passed the so called Buffer Zone Bill by a stupefying one sixty two to one hundred vote, but not before trying to limit debate on the bill to a mere thirty minutes. With thirteen representatives signed up in advance to speak against the bill and only three in favor, the attempt to limit debate met with furious resistance. In a parliamentary inquiry on the matter, Democrat Majority Leader Stephen Shurteff clearly stated that the move to limit debate was a game of paybacks for previous Speaker Bill O’Brien’s attempts to limit debate for all bills on days when there were many bills that needed to be debated. State Rep. Dan Itse, Republican of Fremont called that maneuver out noting that there were only four bills scheduled for a vote after the buffer zone bill. After several amendments to extend the debate time failed, the house rejected all limits on debate on a vote of one fifty to one forty three. Itse said even members of the majority understood the dangers of limiting the rights and voice of the people as instructed by Article One Part Thirty of the state’s constitution. Too bad they didn’t recognize that when voting on the bill which limits the rights and voice of those who wish to oppose abortion. Looks like the right to not be offended by someone’s exercise of Free Speech, Peaceable Assembly, or Free Exercise of Religion now trumps the constitution. Cornerstone Action’s Executive Director Bryan McCormack condemned the vote in a statement calling it a disgrace to the state and disrespectful to the constitutional heritage of our country. He asked if New Hampshire had become so anti-Christian it refused to allow citizens to peaceably pray in public.
Over in the State Senate, lawmakers amended a bill to put the surplus from the state’s last budget and put it in the Rainy Day Fund. Earlier this week, the House voted to send Senate Bill four fifteen, which would have done just that, to interim study, effectively killing it for this legislative session. The Senate, given the budget crisis and the threats of bond rating agencies, is pretty determined to save that surplus; the House not so much, so we’ll see what happens when the bill that’s been altered by the amendment gets back to the House. Other than that, senators patted themselves on the back for toughening laws against driving without a license. Yay! Good for them.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
A new principal has been chosen for Manchester’s Central High. He’s John Vaccarezza who is currently an associate dean of students at Pinkerton Academy. He’ll start on July First. Over thirty applications were submitted for the job. Between now and then, he plans to make several visits to the school to introduce himself to staff and students and become more familiar with the culture and climate of the school, according to a statement released by the Manchester School District, yesterday. Vaccarezza has been with Pinkerton since two thousand ten. Prior to becoming an administrator, Vaccareza taught Social Studies and coached freshmen and J V boys soccer for a decade. Former Principal Ron Mailhot retired abruptly after being placed on administrative leave in February. We broke that story. Former Principal John Rist has been serving as interim principal since.
A busy, busy weekend for folks in Bedford is on tap. The annual Bedford Rotary road races will be held tomorrow morning. The twelve K race will start at nine and the five K will start at eleven. We’ve linked to an alert from the Bedford Police Department regarding affected areas of town so you can plan accordingly if you’re going to be out and about.
On Sunday, the town will hold its Pre-Memorial Day Parade and Festivities starting at 1:00 o’clock, rain or shine. There will be bands, floats, military groups, businesses and civic organizations, as well as Police, Fire and D P W vehicles. The parade will travel up Nashua Road to County Road onto Liberty Hill and will end at McKelvie School. After the parade there will be a flag ceremony, speakers, awards and food vendors at McKelvie. Nashua Road will be closed from Route 1 0 1 to County Road beginning at Noon.
Also on Sunday, the Bedford Police Department will host its annual Bike Rodeo at Bedford High from ten to Noon. The event will include obstacle courses for young riders designed to teach important safety skills. Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire will assist the event. A child identification service will be available and free pizza and beverages will be provided. In addition, the police and firefighter’s unions will be providing free t-shirts for the first fifty children who attend. Even better, kids will have an opportunity to decorate their bicycles and ride in the Pre-Memorial Day Parade directly following the event.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead!