Well does she or doesn’t she? That’s now the question as Simon Says Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Health Care Queen, scrambles in light of Portsmouth Herald reports that she supports an increase in the federal gas tax. In light of a confusing series of statements on the issue, a correspondent for Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire asked Shaheen directly, on camera, whether or not she supported an increase in the national gas tax. She said quote “I’m not going to answer that question right now.” End quote. This amidst statements made by her campaign to media outlets that she’s not voted for an increase in the gas tax and is not in favor of one. Hm, looks like she might have suddenly remembered it’s an election year. Anyway, the question that remains is not whether or not she’s flip flopped on raising the gas tax, but whether she’ll go with her original statement in favor of jacking the tax if reelected or will honor her campaign’s denial of support. We both know the answer to that one, don’t we.
The Manchester Health Department announced yesterday that it had again closed the public beach at Crystal Lake due to elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. The elevated bacteria levels were identified in routine water samples taken on Monday. Water samples taken at other locations on Crystal Lake did not find elevated levels of E. coli bacteria. The Health Department re-sampled the area yesterday. Results from these samples are expected today. Once E.coli levels are found to be acceptable, the public beach will be re-opened for swimming. If you’d like to monitor the department’s weekly water sample results from various bodies of water around the city, we’ve provided the link.
The Manchester Police Department has announced it will host community meeting so that residents of Manchester can come and discuss issues that are important to them. Chief David J. Mara will be on hand as will members of the department’s command staff to take your comments and complaints and answer your questions. The meeting will be held on July fifteenth at the Michael Brigs M PAL Center at four oh nine Beech Street and will start at six o’clock.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Super Secret Public Hearing on The Manchester Academic Standards took place last night. About two dozen members of the public attended the fifteen minute public hearing which, despite comments made to contrary by Mayor Ted Gatsas on this radio show yesterday, saw no presentation to the public on the proposed standards and no questions asked by the public were answered. As predicted, there were no materials on hand for the public to review while there. Four speakers came to the microphone, serious one’s anyway, all of whom raised valid questions that went un responded to, despite the presence of Superintdendent Debra Livingston, Assistant Superintendent David Ryan and members of the working group that wrote the standards. Natalie Brankin came to the mic re-asking questions about the development of the math standards she’d asked in an email to school administrators and the school board and in another public forum, weeks ago, that have yet to be answered.
Doris Hohensee, Chair of N H Families for Education questioned why the district spent time and money rewriting the Common Core standards, citing comments made by Board of Education Chairman Tom Raffio at a forum in the Hollis Brookline Cooperative School District that Manchester’s proposed standards were little more than a rewrite of the Common Core.
Ann Marie Banfield, Education Liaison of Cornerstone Policy Research said bringing the standards to the public for comment was premature because the district had yet to take advantage of the offer made by doctors Sandra Stotsky and James Milgram, the Common Core content specialists that refused to validate the standards, to review and comment on Manchester’s standards. Banfield said it’s not possible for the average parent to know whether or not the standards are better or appropriate without having feedback from objective experts like Stotsky and Milgram. NOTE: Banfield forwarded the complete text of her testimony, which has been published on Oh MY BLOG! at Girard at Large dot com.
Debra Olszta went so far as to say that had they sent the standards to Stotsky and Milgram and received their validation, no public hearing would even be necessary. We’ll have something to say about this public hearing hoax, part two of which will be held at West High School on Thursday July seventeenth from six to seven, which is conveniently scheduled during my live television show. Brilliant. We’ve linked to our Live Blog Forum of the meeting so you can get the details of how it went down in real time. It’s a quick, but interesting, bathroom read.
Congratulations to Manchester Police Officer Richard Ell. Yesterday, he was named the Queen City Rotary’s two thousand fourteen Officer of the Year. The award was presented at the group’s weekly breakfast yesterday by former Manchester Police Chief John Jaskolka, a member of the club. On hand for presentation was current Chief David Mara, Jaskolka’s successor, and Assistant Chief Nick Willard. Officer Ell has been a police officer for the past 22 years and has been assigned to many different divisions within the Manchester Police Department during his tenure. He is known as “Coach,” because of his involvement with the Police Athletic League which goes back to two thousand six and his latest assignment allows him to work with the city’s youth on a daily basis. We’ve posted the Rotary’s write up of why he was given the award with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com. It includes a nice photo I couldn’t figure out how to capture as a stand along image.