MPD:  Citizens Police Academy announced

MPD: Citizens Police Academy announced

The Manchester Police Department will be hosting the twenty fifth session of its Citizen’s Police Academy  beginning on April eighth.  All classes will be held on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00 at the department’s shiny new headquarters on Valley Street.  The academy is an eight week program designed to inform residents about the department’s role in the community.  You’ll get to learn about and examine different aspects of police work and will be exposed to the glamour and excitement you associate with it, along with the processes that are less glamorous but vital to day to day operations.  There is no fee to attend this program, but will be required to fill out a brief application which includes a background check   Additional information and applications are on line at manchester p d dot com or contact Officer Mark Ampuja.  We’ve linked his email  to this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.  Space in this class is limited.

Mara:  First time could be the last

Mara: First time could be the last

Quote:  “Your first time using could also be your last time, so please speak with your family and friends and pass along this message.”  That’s what Manchester Police Chief David J. Mara said in a statement released yesterday as the department shared some alarming statistics about drug overdose calls in the city.  Since January first, the Manchester Police Department has responded to one hundred five suspected overdoses.  It was too late for fourteen who  overdosed.  Mara is concerned by the continued growth in the number of calls for overdose victims.  All but one appears to have involved heroin, two were determined to involve Fentanyl.  Oxycodone appears to be the cause of at least one of the fatalities.  Mara’s statement said the department wanted to address the issue so the general public is aware of the serious dangers included when using illegal drugs, especially heroin.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

O'Neil:  Extortionists game played for union.

O’Neil: Extortionists game played for union.

Will Manchester proceed with a proposed conversion of its nine thousand street lights to LED fixtures?  That question will be decided tonight at the meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.  What seems to be a simple straight forward proposition that would net Queen City taxpayers more than a quarter of a million dollars in annual energy savings has become a political mess.  Board Chairman Alderman at-Large Dan O’Neil has thrown the gauntlet at Mayor Ted Gatsas over what contractor to choose.  He’s said he will only vote to grant the contract to Siemens and will only vote to issue the needed bonds if Siemens is the contractor.  Siemens has proposed using electricians from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Four Ninety, a union to which O’Neil belonged for twenty years.  Nobody seems to know, however, just what those union members will do as they are not likely to have the certifications needed to install the fixtures.

Alderman at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur has charged Gatsas with interfering with the processinterfering with the process to steer the bid to Philips Lighting North American, the company that has now twice been recommended by Public Works Director Kevin Sheppard and the team that exhaustively evaluated the bids, to quote “get someone close to him the LED lighting contract.”  He says that bidder Ameresco should get the contract because they were the low bidder.  And while that may be true, it is also true that they proposed using retro-fit kits to adapt the current fixtures rather than install new fixtures, which was a requirement of the bid.  That’s called being non responsive.

Gatsas:  Wrongly accused

Gatsas: Wrongly accused

Gatsas has vigorously defended public works officials and his involvement in the negotiations saying that his involvement has caused the contractors to significantly reduce their costs.  Siemens dropped their bid by more than seven hundred thousand dollars to compete with Philips after the bid numbers were all made public.  Many believe that Siemens’ most recent bid shouldn’t even  be considered as they didn’t drop their pricing until after public works officials made their original recommendations back in January.  To combat charges that the city should focus on roads before street lights, Gatsas has said the savings could be used to bond another three million dollars in roadwork the city could otherwise not do because it doesn’t have the cash.

Barry:  Will support bond

Barry: Will support bond

Regardless of which contractor gets a majority of the aldermen, it will take ten votes to issue the bond to fund the project.  Only Siemens supporter Alderman Bill Barry from Ward Ten has said if Philips wins the contract, he will vote for the bond.  We will take a comprehensive look at this during this morning’s show.

right to knowRight to Know NH will meet this Saturday morning, March twenty first at 9:00 in Concord at 8 North Main Street, the office of the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers.  They will discuss this year’s Right-to-Know bills, organizational bylaws and help citizens with Right-to-Know issues.  The public is invited and welcome to attend.

Adams:  Will address GOP group.

Adams: Will address GOP group.

The next meeting of the Weare-Deering Republican Committee will be held at the Weare Public Library tomorrow night, March 18th at 7:00 o’clock. The guest speaker will be Granite State Taxpayers Chairman and former candidate for Executive Council Jim Adams.  We’ve listed the group’s Web address.  The two towns’ state reps will also be on hand to update the group.  We’ve listed contact information for those interested in learning more or attending.  For questions contact Chairman David Recupero   To RSVP