Manchester’s aldermen were busy little bees last night as they met in various committees. Among the consequential decisions was the Committee on Lands and Buildings action to waive the city’s right to purchase the mill building currently housing U N H – Manchester. DEKA, Dean Kamen’s engineering firm, plans to purchase the building to expand and consolidate its operations as part of an initiative that will move the university to the Pandora Building, also owned by Kamen, in which it will occupy all six floors. Both properties will be on the tax rolls and the aldermen extracted a promise from DEKA Vice President Bob Tuttle not to sell the building at the head of Arms Park to a non-profit and from university officials to negotiate a payment in lieu of taxes with the city should they ever purchase Pandora.
The discussion on video poker machines in the city went no where fast after Ward 12 Alderman Keith Hirschmann, who requested the item be taken up after cops busted the Amory Street House of No Pizza for drug dealing and illegal gambling. In response to questions by Committee on Administration Chair Joyce Craig, Hirschmann, who said he wanted to tighten up the city’s licensing ordinance, admitted he’d not read the ordinance. She asked him to read the ordinance and come back to the committee with any suggestions before asking the committee to undertake a review that might lead to changes. The item was received and filed with Hirschmann saying he would meet with the City Clerk and police chief to review the ordinance. In other business, the committee lent its approval to combined water and sewer billing that would enable water to be shut off for delinquent sewer bills. Those currently in arrears would not be affected by the new billing system. The committee also agreed to allow the City Solicitor to approach a cable contract specialist to renegotiate the contract with Comcast, so long as the dollar amount remained below the twenty five thousand dollar threshold that requires a bid process.
The Manchester School Board’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee met last night as well. They received an interesting presentation about A P courses during which they were told that the P S A T test was a better determiner of who would and wouldn’t succeed in an A P course than the current system of coursework and completion of prerequisites. In the marquis event of the night, the committee approved the proposed Manchester Academic Standards. Only Ward Two Committeewoman Debra Langton opposed the move saying she would be more comfortable if the final document that brings all of the standards together with the table of contents so that people could see how things progressed from one grade to the next were presented to the committee and the public for review. Ward One’s Sarah Ambrogi said, with all due respect of course, that the committee keeps hearing from the same three or four people who say the same thing over and over and that’s no reason to delay the process. Assistant Superintendent David Ryan said that unless the committee approved what has been done, the final draft in the format requested by Langton just couldn’t be assembled because they somehow lacked the authority to do it. He also said that the district was unwilling to create that final format for review by
Dr. Sandra Stotsky, whose input Langton also requested. Girard at Large has obtained a letter sent by Stotsky to the school board saying quote “in early June or late May, I had indicated I was willing to come to a Manchester School Board meeting and give my professional opinion if I was sent a complete E L A document with a Table of Contents showing all the strands in the document and the standards that would address these strands from grade to grade, and if the teachers marked the standards to show which ones were part of the “Common Core floor” and which ones were above the floor…The document has not yet been completed (there are only bits and pieces on the website, with different dates for most of them). So there was no reason for me to come to Manchester…My pro bono offer remains. I would be happy to review a completed document so that I can examine developmental progressions from K – 1 2, comment on the organization of the document, and offer my opinion on the rigor of the above-the-floor standards (a)nd come to a meeting of the school board to answer questions.” End quote. It will be after the fact, but maybe now she’ll get the final document.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Washington D C Federal Appeals Court threw out a major portion of Obamacare yesterday, ruling that those who signed up for Obamacare through a federal health insurance exchange, like those in New Hampshire, are not eligible for premium reducing government subsidies. That means Granite Staters and residents of 35 other states, will have to foot their now very expensive insurance bills all by themselves. That filled our inbox with statements from candidates across the state, including Marilinda Garcia in the Second District, Frank Guinta in the First District, and senate candidates Jim Rubens and Scott Brown. However, the most interesting one came from G O P gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway who said quote “It’s now time to step back and Governor Hassan should lead the charge to protect New Hampshire citizens…We don’t know where this law is going. With a dozen cases still pending against it, and this current gutting of it, we don’t even know if court’s will allow it to exist in a year, so why is Governor Hassan putting New Hampshire citizens at risk for both having insurance taken away, and having to foot the bill for a President that clearly is not living up to his fiscal end of the bargain. Governor Hassan needs to go back to the legislature and put a pause button on Medicaid Expansion and any other part of Obamacare the state can control, until we know what this will look like in another year.”
Miss New Hampshire’s Outstanding Teen Caroline Carter of Dover is heading to Orlando today to compete for the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Crown. She will be singing “Let It Go” from Frozen and her America’s Choice theme is #Winter Is Coming. Carter’s supporters are asking Granite States to tweet their support as she heads toward Heat Mizer’s territory. We’ve got the sample tweet they’re looking for with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com. Winter Weather Alert: A BLIZZARD of talent is heading to Florida. Watch out for Ice and Snow in Orlando as @Carascrusade takes the @MAOTeen stage to “Let It Go”. #WinterIsComing