The Southern New Hampshire Planning Commission is hosting a special event for its state and local officials on the afternoon of December second from 3:00 to 5:00 at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. The focus of the event will be on a recent New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies report, What is New Hampshire? An Overview of Issues Shaping the Granite State’s Future by Executive Director Stephen Norton.  Commissioners Christopher Clement, from D O T;  Thomas Burack, from D E S; Jeffrey Rose from DRED; and Director Ben Frost, New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority will discuss how changes in demographics will affect transportation, infrastructure, utilities, labor force demands, and housing.  New Hampshire’s doing something called gentrifying, which means the state’s population is aging do to plummeting birth rates and a failure to retain and attract young folks looking for economic opportunities.  Looks like this event is designed to deal with the trend rather than address what’s causing it and buck the tide.

The Londonderry Times is reporting that the Zoning Ordinance in Londonderry may be in for its first ever overhaul since being enacted in nineteen sixty three.  In discussing the results of a Zoning Ordinance audit completed with the Arnett Development Group, the Planning Board agreed a complete re-write of the zoning ordinance is called for.  Times reporter Kaitlyn Woods quotes Planning Board Chairman Art Rugg from the board’s meeting on  Nov. twelfth meeting as saying quote “I find it difficult to follow and the board has in some cases had to do some interpretation.  This is something the board needs.”  Land use expert Jonathan Edwards, with whom the town subcontracted to review the Zoning Ordinance, presented the board with a synopsis of both his positive findings and areas of concern. Edwards said his review focused on the more general issues of the ordinance, noting there have been 429 amendments since it was adopted.  We’ve linked to Woods’ article in the Londonderry Times with the complete details. .

The town of Derry has put a giving tree in the lobby of its Municipal Center located at fourteen Manning Street.  Town employees and members of the public are encouraged to take an item off the tree to help a family in need during the Christmas season.  This year, the Derry Community Fund and Sonshine Soup Kitchen will distribute the items to needy Derry residents.  Donation boxes are located at the municipal center.  The town’s press release, which we’ve posted with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com so you can get all of the details, said there was a particular need for winter outerwear for all ages, large and extra large under garments for men and women, personal care items and gifts for teenagers.

News from our own backyard continued after this.

Another guy gets decked by his girlfriend in the town of Hooksett!  Hooksett Police arrested twenty one year old Alyssa Ferraro last night.  Seems she got into an argument with her boyfriend during a game of Monopoly and gave him an open handed slap across the face as the Midnight hour approached.  The cops told her she could not pass Go and could not collect two hundred dollars as they charged her with Domestic Violence related Simple Assault, cuffed her and took her away.  She was released on two thousand dollars personal recognizance bail and will start her day on New Years Eve in Hooksett District Court.

While we’re in Hooksett, looks like tonight’s special meeting of their school board to discuss high school tuition issues will be held as planned.  The agenda for the meeting was emailed to the board and otherwise posted on Friday.

Looks like Superintendent Earl F Dot Megalo Metz-Liar’s on the defensive in the Timberlane Regional School District.  In his monthly message posted to the district’s Web Site and issued in a video, Metz-Liar credits responsible budgeting and  brags on Business Administrator George Stokinger for the lower than projected tax rate increases, though he doesn’t actually address the whopping tax increases member towns experienced as a result of this allegedly responsible budgeting.  He also takes a not so veiled shot at his critics saying, and I quote:  “Any decisions made regarding staffing levels, tools and resources, enrichment opportunities, and arts and athletics will be done with our children at the center of that discussion.  Although input will be solicited by all stakeholders… final decisions about these items will be made in the best interests of the children and families we serve.  And…I will continue to rely on the professional advice of qualified individuals in making such decisions.”  Folks, that’s code for elected officials who question what we do and demand justification for our actions will continue to be ignored because I’m in charge.  As you know, Metz-Liar has yet to address the devastating presentation made by Timberlane budget committee member Arthur Green who argued that the district is carrying seventy six positions it doesn’t need.  Timberlane Regional School Board member Donna Green chimed in on Metz-Liar’s claims about the tax rates not being as bad as projected saying quote:  “The school tax rates are lower primarily because of a windfall of returned money from the Local Government Center’s Health Trust plan, and the fact that voters gave the district a default budget. The voters are primarily responsible for the lower tax rates.”

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.