NH Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester, Republican from Meredith, introduced legislation yesterday to assure that the seven million dollars that Governess Margaret Wood Hassan intends to take from New Hampshire’s nursing homes is applied as the budget directs. The Senate Rules Committee voted unanimously to allow late the introduction of a bill to address the transfer, which Hassan is planning to use to cover overspending elsewhere in the Department of Health and Human Services. Quote: “We’ve been calling on the Governor to get HHS spending under control for nearly a year. Instead, she’s passing the problem down to nursing homes which could lead to staff reductions and could also result in an increase to taxpayers.” H B 1, the state’s budget law, includes language that prevents the governor from transferring funds from nursing home reimbursements. Forrester’s bill would uphold the intent of the budget guidelines that Hassan signed into law. Hope this one is veto proof!
The U S Senate voted to approve the Keystone Pipeline yesterday on a bipartisan vote of 62 to 36. The House of Representatives passed a similar measure on January 9th on a bipartisan vote of 266 to 153, with First District Congressman Frank Guinta, R-Manchester, voting in favor and Second District Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster D-Hopkington voting against. The Senate version differs from the House-passed bill, so the House could either pass the Senate’s version or the two chambers could conference to resolve any differences.
The Keystone Pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Canada to refineries in the south, would improve the nation’s energy infrastructure and create thousands of jobs. According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted last November, by nearly two-to-one, the public favors building the pipeline (59% to 31%). Senator Kelly Ayotte voted in favor and Senator Jeanne Shaheeh, Health Care Queen, was NOT one of the 9 Democrats who joined with 53 Republicans in support of the bill. (Looks like Kuster and Shaheen like buying oil from parts of the world that want to kill us as opposed to those who support us.)
In a statement issued by Citizens for a Strong NH, spokesman Derek Dufresne said of Shaheen’s vote quote: “She would rather vote on behalf of environmental extremists and partisan politicians in Washington instead of her constituents back in New Hampshire.” End quote. Whatever bill gets to the desk of the current occupant of the White House will be vetoed. Let the games begin.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
In thanking town residents for their cooperation during Snowzilla, the Bow Police Department issued something of a warning to town residents. Seems that during the storm, plow operators noticed folks plowing snow from their driveways into the street. Their notice said this is a no no, stating that Town Ordinance 26.3 states: “No person shall permit or allow snow removed from a driveway or parking lot to be plowed or placed onto or across any road in the Town at any time.” There is a $250.00 fine for a violation of this ordinance. The department, of course, appreciates residents’ anticipated participation in eliminating this problem. I’m sure the plow operators appreciate it, too.
Leon Artus, the Atkinson citizen and Chairman of the Atkinson Taxpayers for Fair Evaluations has responded to a letter he received from an attorney representing Timberlane Superintendent Earl Metzler. Metzler had the law firm for S A U fifty five, of which he is Superintendent, send Artus a letter demanding he cease further communication with Metzler because Metzler felt Artus’ communications were harassing. In reply, Artus sent Attorney Jeanne Kincaid an email which reads, in part, as follows:
Quote: “I am in receipt of your letter dated January 22, 2015 as to you representing school administrative unit #55. (see attached) In order to comply, I need clarification as to your position. Since Mr. Metzler was the first to send me an unsolicited email of which many more were exchanged, just which of those emails are you referring to? Would you please forward the emails Mr. Metzler feels serve no other purpose than to harass him?
“Does “no email contact” include members of the SAU, school board, budget committee and others that Mr. Metzler is a part? Does it include all staff, teachers, advisors or anyone that I’m not aware might be associated with the school district? Does it include district meetings that Mr. Metzler attends? Does it include my ability to address or speak at district meetings, public hearing, deliberative sessions of which I have addressed in the past?
“I have video taped public meetings and sometimes to the uninformed this appears provocative. Is this something that should be discontinued in your opinion to meet the requirements of your letter on the behalf of Mr. Metzler?
“I intend to keep attending public meetings, as I have done for years, but would like some clarification as to what exactly I am being accused of and if I will get another letter from you should Mr. Metzler take exception to my video recordings or anything else I might do?
“Your most immediate attention to these questions will be appreciated, since I need to know what I’m expected to do, in order to comply with your letter. Your answer by email to each question is a must since this is the time of year where public meetings abound. Tomorrow night (1/29/15. Editor’s Note: Artus erred on the date of the meeting.) has a school board meeting scheduled. Should I attend? Deliberative session is this Sat. for the Town and Feb. 5th for the school.”
Artus is also attempting to obtain information from the Plaistow Police Department to discover which police officers interrogated him while waiting in a parking lot for a friend who was at a school board meeting and how information from that encounter, including his having a sidearm and mouthwash in his vehicle, found its way to school officials and onto an anonymous blog which attacked him. Metzler would use that so called parking lot incident as the reason why he decided to spend taxpayer dollars to hire police details for school board and budget committee meetings. Yup, we save the best stories for last, at least some of the time.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.