Consumer Alert!

Consumer Alert!

New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster issued a consumer alert regarding an ongoing telephone scam targeted at those who have filed bankruptcy.  The scammers, apparently using information from public filings in Bankruptcy Court, are calling the person who filed for bankruptcy, claiming to be their lawyer, lawyer’s partner or a member of their staff, using software that can mak the caller I D who their attorney’s number.  The scammers instruct the unwitting consumer to immediately wire money to satisfy a debt.  The calls may be made late in the evening or during non-business hours so the person receiving the call cannot contact his or her lawyer to confirm the request.  Any person who receives such a call should not wire funds and should contact their lawyer as soon as possible.  Scams should also be reported to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Bureau at 1-888-468-4454  or file a complaint on-line at  http://doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints/index.htm.  We’ve included the numbers and links with this newscast.

Heroin: New program proposed.

Heroin: New program proposed.

Aldermen in Manchester will consider a request from Serenity Place and Hope for New Hampshire tonight for at least seventy five thousand dollars to launch a new program aimed at providing services to drug addicts that, for whatever reason, want to be connected to recovery coaches, counselors and available services, whenever they are ready to seek help.  The plan includes providing emergency shelter at New Horizons so addicts have a safe place to go when they want to come off the streets.

Long: Brings proposal forward

Long: Brings proposal forward

The proposal would require various changes to the facilities and operations of Serenity Place, which will be added to the seventy five thousand dollar price tag presented by Ward Three Alderman Patrick Long to the Special Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs last night.  Long also said Serenity Place needed to find another forty thousand dollars to keep eight beds in its detox facility available through the end of the year.  Lord Emperor Dan O’Neil’s  motion to recommend the Board of Mayor and Aldermen approve all requested funds, including the final amounts of which are expected to be presented tonight, was approved.  Long was unsure where the money would come from, but said Planning Director Leon LaFreniere was looking at various C I P funds and grant opportunities and hoped to have more answers by tonight’s meeting of the board.

Gatsas: Gets half the story.

Gatsas: Gets half the story.

When we asked Mayor Ted Gatsas about the program last night after his Town Hall meeting in Ward Five, Gatsas said he and Long had discussed the program and funding its cost, but that he had not been made aware of the forty thousand dollar request to keep Serenity Place’s detox facility operating.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Scores leak out in Nashua

Scores leak out in Nashua.  No wonder why they want to keep them secret!

Girard at Large has obtained a PowerPoint Presentation created by the Nashua School District showing not just how its students scored on the Smarter Balanced Assessment given last spring, but also how their students compared to those across the state.  That data is, of course, preliminary and will not be considered final until November twelfth, when the state releases the official results.  The state Department of Education has ordered school districts not to share the data with their school boards or the public until that date when they expect the results to be final.  Critics of the department’s decision have filed multiple Right to Know Requests, as has Girard at Large Radio Show, seeking the data’s release and questioning the basis for it being withheld.  Critics have also questioned what the assessments’ so called cut scores are, that’s the score that determines whether or not a kid passes the test, and raised the specter of it being changed to make the results look better than they are.

Poor scores in the state and Nashua.

Poor scores in the state and Nashua.

At its most recent meeting, the Nashua Board of Education voted to direct Superintendent Mark Conrad to provide the data and it would appear as if he has complied, or is going to, given what we now have in our possession; which shows dismal numbers for both Nashua and the state.

According to the presentation, only fifty five percent of third graders statewide were considered proficient in English and just fifty three percent were considered proficient in math.  Nashua’s third grade percentages were forty eight in English and forty six in math.

Fifty six percent of forth graders were proficient in English, forty nine percent in Math.  Fifty percent of Nashua’s fourth graders were proficient in English, thirty nine percent in Math.  Sixty three percent of the state’s fifth graders were proficient in English, forty four in math.

In Nashua, fifty eight percent of fifth graders were proficient in English, forty two in math.

Similar numbers were seen in the middle school grades, where the percentage of students taking the test fell to eighty three percent, versus the ninety five plus percent that took the tests in the elementary grades.

In the high schools, just thirty eight percent of Nashua’s eleventh graders took the assessment.  Fifty nine percent of the state’s eleventh graders were considered proficient in English and an appalling thirty six percent were considered proficient in math.  Nashua’s numbers were forty one and twenty one percent respectively.

Girard: Release the numbers!

Girard: Release the numbers!

All that data was released, by the way, for both the district and on a school by school basis, without one piece of student information being released to the public, which of course directly undercuts the state D o E’s contention that the state has to go through whatever Byzantine process it’s claiming it has to go through to ensure that no personal student data is compromised by the release of the scores, proving it was just a rouse to delay releasing the numbers for reasons we can only speculate about.

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