The Committee on Administration of the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen met last night and, as predicted, took action to ban the sale or possession of the fake marijuana substances known as Spice within the city limits. Aldermen Joyce Craig of Ward One and Garth Corriveau of Ward Six submitted an ordinance that basically cut and pasted what was done in the town of Tilton and the city of Keene. They also revealed a letter sent to just about every convenience store owner and other place likely to sell the stuff by Attorney General Joseph Foster and U S Attorney John Kacavas advising that the sale of the copycat cannabis was, for a variety of reasons, illegal and that store owners should’t think otherwise. While the letter would seem to make the local ordinances redundant, Craig said the ordinance would provide the police with another tool to combat the problem. It passed unanimously, with little comment.
The committee also split the baby on proposed amendments to the city’s ordinance governing the licensing of video poker machines. Ward Twelve Alderman Keith Hirschmann brought the amendments forward following a multi-jurisdictional raid on the Amory Street House of Pizza that turned up the illegal use of the machines in conjunction with illicit drug activity. While the committee approved imposing criminal background checks on license applicants, they balked that the proposed fee hike with Ward Two Alderman Ron Ludwig fretting over increasing fees on businesses in a down economy and Craig preferring to address the matter in the next budget. Hm, maybe if Hirschmann called it a video poker parking fee, they’ll raise it. Anyway, Ward Seven Alderman Bill Shea indicated he’ll move to hike the fees at the next meeting of the full board.
An interesting discussion was had in the Committee on Lands and Buildings over what to do about buildings marked with a red “X.” For those who don’t know, building’s marked with an X are considered abandoned, dilapidated and a problem for the neighborhoods in which they exist. As Mayor Ted Gatsas was before the committee on the matter last night, we’ll take it up with him this morning during his interview in the eight o’clock hour.
For those of you following the Hooksett tuition agreement saga, the negotiations committees of the Manchester Board of School Committee and the Hooksett School Board meet tonight to start talks on a long term contract that will replace the legal settlement the two communities entered into some fifteen months ago.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The University System of New Hampshire has submitted its budget request for the next fiscal year and it’s a doooozey, asking lawmakers for an additional two hundred five million dollar increase in state aid. Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, Republican from Wolfeboro said thanks, but no thanks, the state isn’t going to return to the reckless spending of of the two thousand seven and two thousand nine budegets that saw a twenty four percent increase in spending. He said he hoped the university system would find ways to become more efficient and cost effective. Senate Finance Committee Chair Jeanie Forrester, Republican from Meredith, said no department should expect an increase when the current budget may be in the red. As she has for months, she’s called on Governess Margaret Wood Hassan to release the state’s spending data for the first year of the biennium, which closed on June thirtieth. Hassan has, so far, refused to release state agency spending data. Now I know what Forrest Gump’s momma meant when she coined the phrase “Stupid is as Stupid does.” Wow.
The governor, by the way, is finding herself in hot water after comments she made in a recent television interview. Speaking on the economy, Hassan said New Hampshire’s economy is experiencing great growth and the state is moving forward. The G O P was quick to pounce as both the Republican State Committee and the campaign of Walt Havenstein released statistics showing the state’s economy was flat, growing by just nine tenths of a percent last year, and noting how the state’s rankings in various national business ratings have tumbled in the last two years. Said Havenstein quote “The truth is that under Maggie Hassan’s failed leadership, New Hampshire’s economy is stagnant, our exports are stagnant and we’re losing high tech jobs,” end quote. Republican Party Chairman Jennifer Horn lowered the boom, saying quote “”Maggie Hassan should immediately hold an open, transparent town hall event to discuss the real challenges facing New Hampshire’s economy, so that Granite Staters can hold her accountable for her reckless and abysmal tenure as governor.”
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead!