As the Manchester Police Department issued a statement regarding a surge in drug overdose calls in the Queen City, First District Congressman, Frank Guinta, Republican from Manchester, officially announced his introduction of The Opioid Overdose Reduction Act of 2015, which would exempt the emergency administration of opioid overdose-reversing drugs, like Naloxone, by people who prescribe or are prescribed them from civil liability. Guinta introduced the bipartisan legislation with Congressman Richard E. Neal, Democrat from Massachusetts, and Congresswoman Barbara Comstock Republican from Virginia.
In the statement announcing the legislation, Guinta cited a Washington Post report saying that overdosing is now the leading cause of accidental death in the country, accounting for more deaths than traffic accidents, gun homicides and suicides. Fatal overdoses from opiate medications such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone and Methadone have quadrupled since 1999, accounting for an estimated 16,651 deaths in 2010, according to Guinta’s statement.
Said Guinta, quote “Heroin and other illicit drugs are now killing more Granite Staters than traffic accidents, bringing into clear focus New Hampshire’s heroin emergency… I have been working with and speaking to stakeholders on this issue from first responders to mental health and substance abuse counselors – among others – to identify solutions to eliminate this growing problem. This bipartisan bill is one part of an overall strategy to tackle this by providing protection to first responders educated in administering Narcan to reverse the effects of an overdose, saving the lives of countless individuals in the process.” End Quote.
We’ve published the M P D’s recent statement on heroin overdoses at Girard at Large dot com and linked to it from this newscast.
The Governor’s Shiny Choo Choo, also known as commuter rail, was the the topic of discussion at last night’s meeting of the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s sub committee on Job Retention and Economic Development. It was an interesting sight to see as those who support the idea fished for favorable answers to their questions from Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce President Mike Skelton, Manchester Development Corporation Chairman Joe Wichert, and Manchester Economic Development Office Director Will Craig.
All three took the curious position of basically saying that commuter rail would be a boon for the city and something that would attract business, but in response to questions from Ward Six Alderman and committee chairman Garth Corriveau, said the business community would prefer the choo choo be funded by city and state government as an infrastructure project, not by them. They also said the four million dollars removed from the proposed state budget for the next study on commuter rail needed to be restored to develop the “hard data” necessary to know whether or not the project they already support will actually do what they claim for the economy and determine whether or not it can be paid for. Embedded in their comments on that point were interesting statements that admitted the cost of ridership will have to be subsidized, it’s just a matter of how much and how to pay for it, too.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Manchester Superintendent Debra Livingston released a statement at seven thirteen last night in response to the allegations made by Hallsville School parent Keith Katsikas about a bullying lesson in his son’s fourth grade class. As most of you now know, Katsikas claimed children were forced to write and use swear words aimed at a paper man taped to the classroom wall by a stranger, after which the children apologized to the paper person while taping the piece they ripped off back on. In short Livingston said “nothing to see here.” Specifically, she said quote ““After hearing the perspectives of everyone involved, I’m confident that the lesson about bullying was age-appropriate and presented in an acceptable way. In my opinion, this is a case in which a parent disagrees with how a subject was addressed in school.”
According to Livingston’s version of events, “Students took turns picking an insult from the basket and saying it to the paper cut-out loud enough for their classmates to hear. Some of the insults written by students indicated swear words, but none of them were spelled out, and none were spoken. Because the children were encouraged to speak out only at their comfort level, they could choose another slip of paper if they did not want to repeat their chosen insult out loud.” At least one other parents posting on social media has said swear words were spoken aloud in the classroom
Regardless, Girard at Large was able to confirm in a conversation with District Communications Coordinator Andrea Alley that the lesson given was, in fact, one that is approved by the district. She also confirmed there was no prior parental notification, which very well may have avoided this whole mess. Anyway, Katsikas will be our guest this morning to discuss the incident and the outcome.
Note to our folks in Derry. You’ll find out tonight just who runs your town as the budget is up for a vote. Might we suggest you show up?
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.