First District Congressman Frank Guinta announced he’d joined a bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators to introduce the Email Privacy Act to Congress yesterday. The bill is designed to modernize our nation’s electronic privacy laws and bring our protections against warrantless searches into harmony with the technological realities of the 21st century. Guinta released a statement saying quote “The federal government is operating under privacy laws that haven’t been updated since 1986 resulting in their ability to conduct warrantless searches of Americans’ private emails and digital communications…We owe it to Granite Staters and the American people to modernize these outdated laws to strengthen and protect them from warrantless searches.” The Electronic Communications Privacy Amendments Act of 2015 was submitted in the Senate by senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT). Representatives Kevin Yoder (R-KS) and Jared Polis (D-CO) sponsored the Email Privacy Act, which is the House version, linked to this newscast at Girard at Large dot com. Hey, it’s just fifteen pages long, give it a read!
While we’re in Washington, it would seem that Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s position against the President’s executive amnesty has changed as she voted Tuesday to uphold the Democrat’s filibuster of a Republican bill that would fund the Department of Homeland Security for the balance of the fiscal year while banning the department from implementing the President’s executive order. Shaheen, who was one of five Democrats who voted in favor of an effort by Senator Ted Cruz, Republican from Texas, in September to block the President’s executive amnesty, stood in lock step with her party, which is, of course, now demanding a so called clean bill on the department’s funding, which would, of course, allow Obama’s executive amnesty to be implemented. So, looks like she was against executive amnesty before she was for it, or else she lied about her position back in September because she knew it was unpopular. Take your pick.
One final national note, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker launched a broadside at Common Core and the Smarter Balanced Assessment this week. In his budget address, he announced he’d defunded the Smarter Balanced Assessment and included language that made clear the state department of ed cannot force local school districts to adopt or otherwise abide by the standards. Look at that! Another state deciding not to be common or worry about federal funds!
News from our own backyard continues after this.
I’m sorry! That’s what Manchester Superintendent Debra Livingston said to parents yesterday in a letter that was emailed home, posted on social media and even sent via email to Girard at Large via the district’s P R guru. For what was she sorry, you ask? Not delaying the opening of school due to the weather! In explaining why she made that call, she reassured parents she doesn’t take such decisions lightly, writing she knows student safety depends on it. Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is. I mean, it’s not like she let a kid with a history of physical violence back into school rather than face an expulsion hearing after he wantonly punched girl in the face or anything like that. To the bellyaching parents who made themselves known, get over it. We live in a place where it snows.
Milford Fire officials issued a notice reminding folks there that the Snow Removal Parking Ban remains in effect from 1 to 6 A M until lifted. If residents need further information they are encouraged to visit milford dot nh dot gov or call 2 4 9 0 6 0 2. For details of the bans in your community, visit the Our Backyard page at Girard at Large and click the relevant links.
In a move to prevent Timbelane Budget Committee Member Arthur Green from being able to present the rational for his proposed reduction in school spending, the Timberlane Regional School District’s deliberative session spent upwards of an hour debating and voting on a motion to limit presentations to three minutes.
After what can only be described as a shameless series of presentations made by Superintendent Earl Metzler, who introduced himself to yours truly last night, School Board Chairman Nancy Steenson, school board member Rick Blair and Moderator Steve Ranlett, who read a seemingly endless list of scheduled presenters for the night’s meeting, the first motion of the night came from an Atkinson woman, who, in the interest of not keeping everybody there until two in the morning, moved to limit presenters to three minutes, to the applause and cheers of the audience which jeered and booed those few who rose to disagree.
School Board Member Donna Green submitted the paperwork for a secret ballot, which drew the hostile crowd’s ire. She offered to withdraw if the woman who made the motion for the time reduction withdrew. She did not, so neither did Green.
Following that motion’s resounding victory, School Board member Peter Bealo actually motioned to increase the operating budget by two hundred fifty thousand dollars to install sprinklers in the Danville Elementary School. He admitted they were not needed by code, but said it was the right thing to do. A citizen’s question about why that wasn’t part of the budget in the first place was brushed aside, as was his question about when or if there will be a presentation on the actual budget. Metzler’s response to that one was, basically “I hope so.” That motion passed by the way by a sixty three vote margin, three fifty two to two eighty nine.
When finally able to present his amendment lowering the budget, Arthur Green couldn’t do justice to his position in the allotted time and faced the kinds of questions and angry outbursts you might expect from a crowd that contained blue shirted teachers saying Timberlane is worth the investment and parents fearful their kids would lose athletics, arts and music and that they’d have to pay for the buses out of pocket. Almost three and a half hours later, the budget question had been settled without a presentation as Moderator Ranlett said legal counsel Gordon Graham advised he could simply put the budget as amended on the ballot as a motion to increase it passed and a motion to decrease it failed. We’ll have more on this, of course, during the show.
That’s news from our own backyard, girard at large hour __ is next!