After a non-public session that lasted more than half an hour, Manchester Ward One Alderman Joyce Craig, Chairman of the Committee on Administration announced that the three convenience stores that had their business licenses revoked had agreed not to sell any Spice products, as defined in the executive order issued by Governor Margaret Wood Hassan after overdoses on the product caused her to declare a State of Emergency, in exchange for having their business licenses reinstated. There was no appeal heard by any party present as the committee immediately went into Non Public Session, citing the part of the state’s Right to Know that enables such meetings if the reputation of a non-elected official would be adversely affected by a public meeting, which frankly, is rather odd given the circumstances. Prior to voting on the motion to reinstate the licenses as conditioned, Craig asked each store owner and their attorneys to come forward publicly and declare themselves accepting of the newly negotiated conditions.
The first to do so was T N Gas and Convenience whose attorney, Joe Kelly Levasseur, introduced himself as an alderman at-Large in the city and the store owner as a constituent. After introducing himself as such, Craig inquired whether or not he was there as an alderman or an attorney. Levasseur said “both” and went on to state that he wanted the language referencing the governor’s executive order in the motion because he felt she’d handled the crisis the right way. Prior to the committee reconvening in public session, Levasseur was seen outside the Aldermanic Chamber speaking with Attorney Peter Chiesa of the City Solicitor’s Office, who woefully argued the city’s position against Levasseur’s petition for injunctive relief before Judge Diane Nicolosi of the Hillsborough County Superior Court.
Following the meeting, Police Chief David J. Mara disclosed that he and other city officials will be meeting today with U S Attorney John Kacavas and members of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office to discuss developing a uniform statewide response to the sale of Spice, which is banned in forty states.
In an interview here on Girard at Large yesterday, Mayor Ted Gatsas defended the city’s actions in revoking the licenses, noting the surge of overdoses stopped in light of the city’s actions and that having dozens of overdoses within a two day period of time was a public health and safety crisis. Though he could not confirm the city’s actions resulted in the governor’s declaration of a State of Emergency and the subsequent executive order removing Spice products from store shelves across the state, he did say that the governor gave him prior notice of her pending action about an hour in advance, intimating she was prompted by the city’s decisive action to address the crisis.
Also in an interview yesterday here on Girard at Large, Manchester Police Sergeant Brian O’Keefe of the Community Policing Division stood by and asserted that multiple addicts had given the names of each of the three shut down stores during their investigations as the source of the contaminated Spice they used. While he said some may question their credibility or state of mind at the time they gave their information, he said users always know where they get their stuff. We’ll have more on this during this morning’s show.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Former Granite State Senator Bob Smith is calling out former Bay State Senator Scott Brown for failing to sign the Americans For Prosperity pledge against raising taxes, funding the Affordable Care Act and supporting Right to Work. Both Smith and GOP Senate primary rival Jim Rubens have signed the pledge. Smith said Brown’s refusal to sign the pledge raises significant questions about his priorities, prompting him to ask Brown in a statement issued yesterday, quote “what are you afraid of? Why won’t you sign the pledge?” Smith said Brown’s refusal raises important questions about his commitment to fiscally responsible government. Quote “What taxes would he support increasing? What other restrictions on worker freedom does he support? We think the American people deserve a candidate who doesn’t bluff his way through questions and can think on his feet without referring to written notes.”
Meanwhile, Brown issued a statement criticizing President Obama for his threatened action to grant, by executive authority, amnesty to millions of illegal aliens currently in the country. In a statement reacting to a New York Times article chronicling the President’s actions since floating the idea that he would act if the Congress did not on the question of immigration reform, Brown said unilateral presidential action is not the way to fix our immigration system and would only encourage more people to come here illegally. Brown called for securing the border and enforcing existing laws.
The Manchester Police Department announced it will start a Coffee With A Cop program popular in surrounding towns. The first event is this Thursday morning from nine to eleven at the McDonald’s Restaurant on South Willow Street. Their announcement said the meeting is just a simple meet and greet for the public to come and speak with their community policing officers and that there is no no particular structure to the meeting.
Finally, our prayers and condolences go out to the family Rochester photo journalist James Foley, who was murdered on camera by Isis terrorists in Iraq. If there’s any doubt about the evil our nation faces, his on camera beheading should put it to rest.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead.