Downtown Derry:  Zoning changes on the way?

Downtown Derry: Zoning changes on the way?

As part of the effort to make downtown more appealing, Derry’s Planning Board and Planning Department are updating the section of the Zoning Ordinance dealing with the Central Business District.  The C B D Subcommittee met earlier in the month to approve changes in the ordinance, which will be reviewed by the Planning Board and discussed by the town in a public hearing before going to the Town Council for final approval.  The goal is to have the revisions done by January or February according to Planning Director George Sioras.  Major changes sought include density, parking and building height.  A key consideration is the development of town owned land on Abbott Court.  “We need to have the zoning compatible with whatever goes in there,” Sioras said.  “If a developer comes in with a project that ‘blows our socks off,’ (we) don’t want the town to be limited in its response.”  Parking is an issue, particularly with medical facilities, as are buffer zones around residential areas.  We’ve linked to the complete story in the Nutfield News from this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

Bow Police:  Dog catches criminal

Bow Police: Dog catches criminal

The Bow Police Department is crediting Roxie, a K 9 member of the force, with helping to locate a man who’d threatened to shoot police officers.  Police were called to the scene of an assault in progress on Tuesday evening.  Upon arrival, forty six year old Timothy Hodgman ran out the back door of his home and fled into the woods.  Quite the manhunt followed as cops from Bow, Dunbarton, Concord, the Merrimack County Sheriff’s Office and the State Police got involved.  Two and a half hour later, in the dark, Roxie found Hodgman hiding behind a rock.  A tazer shot rendered him, shall we say, cooperative, after he again tried to flee.  Hodgman, who was on probation, is being held without bail until his trial sometime after the first of the year.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Gatsas:  Revisit building new school

Gatsas: Revisit building new school

Mayor Ted Gatsas has renewed his call for the Manchester School District to revisit the possibility of building a new elementary school to serve the students currently attending the Beech Street and Henry Wilson elementary schools.  During his weekly interview on Wednesday, Gatsas said the district ought to investigate the possibilities before spending some five million dollars to build walls inside Beech Street School, which was built as an open classroom concept school, meaning there are no walls separating the classrooms.  Gatsas has consistently opposed renovation plans for the school that would make up for classroom space lost to the construction of walls by building additional classrooms in the building’s basement.  He said combining the two schools could cut down on the transiency rate of the student body given that many students who leave one of the two schools often end up at the other.  He suggested the Wilson School could house the district’s adult education program and that Beech Street could be home to the district’s developmental pre-school program, which is now housed in three separate buildings around the city.  That problem has bedeviled the district for years and stymied efforts to redistrict the city’s elementary schools.  Gatsas called for the district to deal with the issues of space globally in consideration of all that needs to be done, not on a building by building basis that doesn’t consider the whole.  We’ve linked to the interview.

Super Spender Earl Metzler

Super Spender Earl Metzler

Well, taxpayers in Timberlane get no respect again.  As the details from the budget passed by the Budget Committee become known, the motivations of the district’s top administrators become more clear.  According to a blog post published by Timberlane School Board Member Donna Green, funding for Sandown Central Elementary School is not in the 2 0 1 5-2 0 1 6 budget approved by the Budget Committee.   Despite eliminating funding to operate the school, only nine of the thirty five staff positions in the building were removed from the budget.  As we reported earlier in the week, even the principal has retained his job, but nobody knows what he’ll do.  The budget also added a new technology assistant and made the assistant principal at Danville Elementary a full time position instead of a part time one, despite the school’s continued decline in enrollment.  They also added a “floating nurse” and an “Intervention teacher” for a total of $ 3 8 9 , 2 9 8 in new salaries and benefits, which happens to be about the amount by which the budget exceeded the zero increase budget the committee said it wanted.  Nope, nothing to see here.

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