It’s one year old

Manchester’s Safe Station initiative turned one year old yesterday.  Since opening on May fourth last year, more than eleven hundred people have made a total of more than sixteen hundred visits to a Manchester fire station seeking help with their addiction.  They’ve come from all ten of New Hampshire’s counties, more than one hundred twenty five New Hampshire communities and nine different states.  Nine other communities have launched their own version of the program over the past year.  Officials say that the number of suspected opiate overdoses decreased by six percent and suspected opiate deaths decreased by thirty two percent in the year that Safe Station operated versus the same period in the prior year.

and found on Manchester’s streets

Officials also confirmed that CARFENTANIL has made its way onto Manchester’s streets, saying it’s destroyed the positive changes the city was seeing with overdoses.  In the last six weeks, the city responded to one hundred twenty seven suspected overdoses, which is as many as it responded to in the preceding two and half months.  The potency of the drug has caused emergency responders to significantly increase the amount of Naloxone used to revive victims.  Officials are also reporting that the demand for the drug, despite the danger, has increased.  Manchester Fire Department Emergency Medical Services Officer Christopher Hickey said the Carfentanil development was putting a tremendous strain on emergency personnel, saying it was quote

just a perfect example of the impact that one single drug can have on a community.

Vargas: Working on West


There is no question in my mind that, if we work together, West could become a model high school for our city and the state as a place where everyone would want to teach and learn and families will want to send their children. 

Turn around grant application in the works

That’s what Manchester Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas wrote in a memo to members of the Board of School Committee yesterday, informing them that he’d been working on an application for a grant from the Barr Foundation, which supports efforts to turn around high schools.  Vargas said he’s been meeting with leaders from non-profit organizations, city departments, the business community, higher education and others to submit the application.  He said the community has put forward an extraordinary effort to develop the application, which is due by June 14th.  

I trust this will dispel the rumors that the shut down of West High is imminent.  It’s not.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Trans-gender policy headed to public hearing

Residents in Candia will have an opportunity to sound off on the trans-gender policy adopted by its school board last year.  The board imposed the policy despite overwhelming opposition from town residents who criticized the policy for allowing kids to choose whatever bathrooms or locker rooms they wanted to use and and which sports teams they wanted to play on, their biological gender notwithstanding.  It also prohibited school officials from telling parents their children were acting as if they were another gender. 

Gronk: Wants to limit what people can say

Voters not only replaced board members Nicole LaFlamme and Karyn Yeatman, who supported the policy, with Dana Buckley and Stephanie Helmig, who did not on Election Day, they also overwhelmingly approved a Citizens Petition Warrant Article to hold a public hearing on the policy.  At its meeting last night, the Candia School Board voted to hold that hearing on June first. 

Royer: What’s the point of a hearing?

However, what people are going to be allowed to say remains something of a question.  Board members Becky Gronk and Kim Royer, who voted in favor of the policy, wanted someone other than the board to conduct the hearing because Board Chair Matthew Woodrow, who was the lone vote against the policy, would otherwise be in charge of the meeting.  As a result, they’re going to ask the town moderator to oversee the hearing, despite Royer’s concerns that he was opposed to the policy as well. 

Littlefield: Sit down and…

Superintendent Charles P. “Chucky the Super” Littlefield, said if the moderator, who he recommended be asked, because if you can’t trust your town moderator, who can you trust, didn’t want to do it, he’d preside of the public hearing if necessary because he quote “had no problem telling people to sit down and be quiet.”  Gronk and Royer also wanted to restrict the content of what people could say at the public hearing.  Gronk pushed the point to an extreme saying she wanted people to be specific about the lines and paragraphs they didn’t like and require them to submit changes in writing if they were going to complain. 

Buckley: The people voted

Both Royer and Gronk defended the policy and tried to coral the process that might lead to its amendment or repeal.  Gronk protested saying the policy was adopted to protect the town from lawsuits.  She also said that all the negative publicity the town was getting was going to cause people to move to other communities that had accepted the policy because would be seen as more welcoming.  Buckley countered that the voters had spoken and deserved to have the hearing they asked for and that anybody can file a lawsuit at anytime for for any reason. 

Woodrow: Will ask the moderator

So, the upshot is that the Candia School Board will hold a public hearing on the trans-gender policy without discussing trans-genderism or anything else that may have Chucky the Super telling everyone to sit down and shut up.

We have exclusive video of the meeting thanks ot our good friend Bill Wynne of Goffstown today dot com.  We’ve linked to it from this news read at Girard at Large dot com.  

NEW:  CLICK HERE for video of the public hearing that preceded the discussion already included with this newscast. 

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