"Local Palin group forms"
By Brian Lawson, politickernh.com, October 2, 2008
MANCHESTER--A number of New Hampshire women have formed a group dedicated to support Gov. Sarah Palin's quest for the vice-presidency.
The group, "Team Sarah-New Hampshire," is part of the national "Team Sarah" organization.
"Sarah Palin shows us a new vision in politics and a new face in politics," Shannon McGinley, a Bedford political activist, said at a press conference.
McGinley also said that in tonight's vice-presidential "if Sarah Palin is allowed to be Sarah Palin she'll do just fine."
Mayor Frank Guinta (R-Manchester) also attended the press conference.
"I really see Sarah bringing a lot of opportunity to this country," Guinta said.
The group said they will help with get out the vote efforts and educate voters about Palin's policy positions.
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Tags: New Hampshire, Sarah Palin, Team Sarah, Frank Guinta, Shannon McGinley
NH: 'Team Sarah' to hold rally, press conference in Manchester
October 01, 2008, 6:10 PM
MANCHESTER - "Team Sarah - New Hampshire" will hold a press conference and rally in support of Governor Sarah Palin at City Hall Plaza in Manchester at 10am on Thursday, October 2, 2008.
“Team Sarah - New Hampshire” is a coalition of women dedicated to advancing and defending Sarah Palin's Vice-Presidential candidacy.
The group invites supporters from across the state to come to Manchester to show support for Governor Palin on the day of the Vice-Presidential debate.
Shannon McGinley, a mother and political activist from Bedford comments, "Sarah Palin is the perfect VP candidate. She embodies authentic feminism, real executive experience and an everyday appeal. These qualities, when taken together, energize New Hampshire women in ways never seen before.”
New Hampshire State Representative Nancy Elliott remarks, "Sarah Palin’s reputation as a reformer is more than just talk. She has undertaken the tough job of cleaning up corruption in Alaska’s old boys club. Clearly she knows what works – as Alaska Governor she attained approval ratings over eighty percent! And she did it all while raising a great family with the help of her husband, Todd. Governor Palin is a role model for what true feminism is: powerful, principled and beautiful."
"Sarah Palin gives us a new face in politics – but it’s a face that reflects so many real New Hampshire women - the same women who have been ignored and disenfranchised by mainstream political candidates. She is a leader who understands the balance between family life and public service – a feat that resonates with women across our state,” added Ann Marie Banfield, an education activist and mother from Bedford.
Governor Palin supporters are encouraged to sign-in on TeamSarah.org and find a “group” that reflects their support for Sarah. Granite State residents are encouraged to sign into “Team Sarah – New Hampshire.” www.teamsarah.org
Manchester Express, January 5 - 11, 2009, Volume 4, Number 2, Page 13
"What’s next? Burning books?"
To the Editor,
Recently the Manchester School Board has taken it upon themselves to decide that movies rated PG-13 and R can no longer be shown in any public schools within the district. This decision is one to limit educational learning rather then embrace teaching methods that appeal to the interest of students.
Under this new rule, students will no longer be able to study from such enlightening motion pictures as ‘The Hurricane,’ ‘Roots,’ ‘Hotel Rwanda,’ or ‘Schindler’s List.’ It is quite ironic that a district which is supposedly trying to decrease the dropout rate within the city has also voted to reduce one of the most effective techniques teachers use to reach students.
If we sit passively by and allow these politicians to take away our rights as freethinking individuals to determine what we find offensive, what’s to stop them from going further? Who’s to say that eventually we won’t be able to learn about key figures in history such as Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr. because certain people find aspects of them offensive? Maybe we’ll even go as far as burning books because they make us feel uncomfortable.
My friends, this decision is not a responsible one by any means, but rather it is one to oppress young people from broadening their train of thought. Sure, ‘Hotel Rwanda’ is a violent movie and deserves its PG-13 rating but that is because the genocide that took place in that country was violent.
Life is not full of candy canes and hot fudge sundaes, and if it is expected for students to learn in school, they must be taught all aspects of life which include both the good and the bad. This decision has been one to depersonalize public education so that students are no longer able to make the connection between what they learn in the classroom and what is going on in the world around them. Eventually school will become nothing more than an institution where kids go to shut off their minds and just take notes.
It will become a building that prevents new ideas rather then embracing them. Is it possible that this is what the policy-makers actually want? All I know is that this does not fall under my definition of what a school should be, and I hope it does match up to yours either. Please take the time to write or call the superintendent of schools to tell him that this is a form of injustice at its highest degree. Do not let a select group of political fascists tell you that you are incapable of thinking for yourself just because of your age.
The Manchester Express, February 16 - 22, 2009, Page 3
MANCHESTER: The week that was, at a glance
#8 - "Movie Time"
The Manchester school board's coordination committee is weighing whether to allow teachers to show students historically relevant or educational PG-13 and R-rated films, such as "Schindler's List", with permission from a principal. Stephen Dolman raised the idea because the curriculum requires the book, "Lord of the Flies," but the movie is not allowed.
Epping Elementary School librarian Barbara Young removes a poster of NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson in the library for potentially violating fire codes. (JASON SCHREIBER)
Projects from a class at Epping Elementary School cover a wall in the hallway and at least some of it will need to be removed because it could be considered a fire hazard. (JASON SCHREIBER)
"Crackdown on kids' art"
By JASON SCHREIBER, NH Union Leader Correspondent, 3/21/2009
EPPING – Like other teachers, Marilyn Butt has always displayed the work of the students in her class.
She's proud of what they do, and hanging their best work on the walls helps to inspire other students.
"The children love to see their work on the walls," said Butt, a third-grade teacher at Epping Elementary School.
But over now are the days of proudly filling the walls of classrooms and hallways with student work, posters and reference materials.
Teachers in Epping and in school districts across the state are being forced to tear down much of the paper from school walls because it is considered a potential fire danger.
The changes come as state and local fire officials crack down on fire hazards cited in a state law that went into effect Jan. 1.
The law requires that fire chiefs inspect all schools annually while they're in session and that inspection reports be provided to the state Fire Marshal's Office by Dec. 15 of each year. Schools that fail to address fire and life-safety code issues could jeopardize their funding from the state.
Epping Assistant Fire Chief Marc Nickerson recently performed initial inspections at Epping's schools and found some problems that will need to be addressed.
Nickerson said there were concerns at the middle and high schools, but most of the problems were at the elementary school and involved artwork, decorations and other paper on walls and furniture that isn't compliant with safety codes under the National Fire Protection Association.
With many schools facing tight budgets, teachers often supplement the school-bought furniture in their classrooms with their own furniture or other items they purchased outside the school. The problem, fire officials said, is that most of the "residential" furniture doesn't meet fire codes or has no tag showing that it's compliant.
Under fire safety regulations, classrooms with sprinklers are allowed to have 50 percent of their walls covered with artwork, decorations or other materials, according to Nickerson. Only 20 percent of the walls in school hallways can be covered. Fire officials also want ceilings to remain clear.
Nickerson has met with some teachers already and will meet with more in the coming weeks to explain what they should be doing to bring the school into full compliance.
"My goal for this process is to work on it over the remainder of the school year," Nickerson told the Epping School Board at a meeting Thursday.
The inspections will also look at whether rules are being followed for large assemblies when school isn't in session and whether fire drills are being held regularly. Inspectors will also address other fire and safety items, including exit signs, emergency lighting, and alarm and sprinkler systems to make sure they're up to date.
Mark Vallone, elementary school principal, said the school is in the process of purchasing a spray that will be applied to some furniture, fabrics and other classroom materials to make them meet fire codes.
However, many teachers have already begun clearing walls and eyeing flammable wooden furniture that might need to go. Some have removed pillows they purchased or made on their own that were used by students during reading because they didn't appear to meet fire codes.
Lamps and other appliances not purchased by the school are also being removed.
Librarian Barbara Young spent part of yesterday removing posters from the walls of the Epping Elementary School's library. She said she'll have to get rid of two old red-cushioned chairs that she got from Plymouth State College because she doesn't know whether they meet code because they have no tags.
"I'm even wondering about the fake plants," she said, pointing to a large plant on a library shelf. "Are they going to have to go?"
We can thank the Democrat dominated legislature for this and all the recent and future intrusions into everyday life.
More evidence that we are becoming North Massachusetts
- Peter Liberty, Bedford, NH
"Mark Vallone...purchasing a spray that will be applied to some furniture, fabrics and other classroom materials to make them meet fire codes."
Will the spray be cancer causing or allergy activating?
- Sandy, Hollis
There are the firefighters seeking attention once again. This is absolutely ridiculous. I've heard of more fires at firehouses than at schools. Go back to sleep Chief.
- G. Dolan, Meredith
Schools are dangerous. They should be banned.
- Jake, Manchester
Please let your children artists know about ArtShowForKids.com where they can participate in online kids art contests to their hearts content without interference.
- Marc Bragg, West Chester, PA
Well, I guess I should tear down my house and rebuild it out of concrete & bricks - can't have all that wood sitting there in case of a fire.
- Eric, New Boston
I would like to see the statistics on this before I believe this is a problem even .000000001% of the time. How many elementary schools in the US have had fires either due to children's art or exacerbated by childrens art? Art has hung in classrooms since schools have used paper. Code schmode!
- Brenda, Manchester
I love reading all the negative comments on these types of stories (not being sarcastic). It shows just how out-of-touch Concord is with what the people of this state want/need/feel.
Schools have proudly displayed the artwork of their students for GENERATIONS. It's good motivation, a good method of positive feedback, it encourages children to continue being creative and it creates a bright and positive environment where children feel that their efforts are being appreciated. Jeez-Louise, between the constant over-sanitizing of everything in sight and now laws like this, how far away are we from those post-modern movies where the children all wear white uniforms and are being "instructed" in a clean-room environment? All in the name of the great "what if?".
All you people who are commenting here and are opposed to this nanny-state protectionist movement that has reared its ugly head again, please make sure you call, write or e-mail your representatives in Concord and let them know how you feel!
- JJ, Manchester, NH
Wait until they start insepecting our homes and providing "helpful guidelines for compliance". It is coming, and coming soon . . .
- Eric, Bethlehem
I've been involved in risk management for years. This is a common practice with business around the country, including NH. There have been many mill buildings for example that could not get there commercial insurance renewed until they had their small business tenants take down their flyers or post boards in their hallways.
There has been many documented cases where these fire hazards have played a role in fueling the flames.
Wouldn't it only make sense to protect our children as we currently protect business owners??
- John, Manchester
Just have the school/district pay for flame retardant spray and use on all artwork.
There is always a way but who is going to step up and pay for it...
- Colleen, Manchester
What's next? Are the fire safety nazi's going to show up at your house to make sure those dangerous pieces of artwork aren't endangering the entire neighborhood by being displayed on your refrigerator????
Abject stupidity at its best. Brought to you by your state legislature.
P.S. Loved the "stick" - do what I say or I won't give you your money back.
- sandy, thornton
Sorry to rain on the "I hate the government" parade, but 20 seconds on Google produced this:
"On April 18, 2001, fire swept down a corridor full of art projects displayed on
foam-core panels and then into ceiling spaces and a closet full of cleaning
supplies at New Lane Elementary School in Brookhaven, Long Island, NY. The
1200 students and teachers inside the building escaped unharmed. Their
extraordinarily well-organized exit undoubtedly saved many lives. However,
several firefighters were injured during the incident and the school suffered
extensive property damage. It was concluded that the degree and amount of fire
damage to the structure of the building was the direct result of the large quantities
of readily combustible artwork displays -- a direct violation of the state’s fire
It's interesting to see that yesterday's news had Epping police being sued because they didn't keep a lady from committing a future murder, and today's news has the local fire officials being criticized for not allowing an illegal and potentially hazardous situation to continue in a building full of children.
Let's say the inspector came in, saw the material, and knowingly let it go in the name of fun, aesthetics and creativity, as has been suggested here? Should a fire erupt and kids get burned, their families would be sad. In our society, when we're sad, we sue. So the inspector would be responsible for a). disruption of a school year, b). damage to taxpayer-owned property, and c). exposure to lawsuits. What choice does he have?
If we're going to require the government to protect us at all times under the constant threat of litigation, we can't be surprised when it attempts to do just that.
- Mark, Rochester
Did I log onto the onion.com by mistake??? This is a joke right???
- Mike D, Concord
I think I missed something here, when was the last time a school, public or private, burned down as a result of artwork posted on bulletin boards??
- Harry, Atkinson
It's all about the insurance premiums and cost cutting. One scenario is the school proactively took down the the wall hangings and asked for a reduction in premiums. They may have also been told by their insurer that a reduction would be warranted if the "risk" was avoided altogether.
It is sad, but it is cost savings and this is a recession. Just another reason for private education.
- Chris, Bow
As our school buildings age, they do become more "dangerous" then ever before. We add wiring to carry an ever more increasing electrical load, we add on new appliances and hardware, we stuff the buildings with more and more bodies, and flammable materials just pile up as we buy more texts and workbooks to supplement the outdated ones without throwing those out first. The real "danger" is in how we let our schools deteriorate until the fire chief has to step in and point an accusing finger at little Mary's poster.
- Mike, Keene
While we ar at it we should take the books, desks, oh and how about the electrical wiring. All of which could be a "fire Hazard". This is a sign of our Government officials having to much time on there hands, I am glad to see that they have fixed the economy and have time to spend on important things such as a child's art work, Really??????????
- Jack, Nashua
What? no cries of "socialism"? Nobody thinks that fire codes violate the kid's freedom to decorate? I didn't think-so either.
- joe T, derry, nh
This gives me an idea-I can now recycle all that old insulation on the pipes in my basement-introducing "certified fireproof asbestos paper......."
- Jim B, Manchester
Perhaps I've missed the news coverage, but just how many New Hampshire children have been injured or killed in coloring page conflagrations?
Are these schools suddenly more dangerous because a law was passed, than they were before?
I've dealt with NFPC issues over the years, and I've always found that the "serious deficiencies" found were a matter of paperwork or their "one size fits all" regulations, not whether the situation at hand was actually dangerous.
- Kevin, Lancaster
Been a lot of school fires around the country from posting kids art have there?
Didn't think so.
Safety Nazis run amok.
- Paul Mirski, Enfield Center
Another intrusive government intervention. when will we just live instead of letting the government take away our fun. Kids posters and art work make for a good environment for learning and brighten their outlook. But instead lets all worry about a nearly non-existent fire hazard. These schools are brick. Get a life Fire chief. I hope you puke up your lunch when a child cries because he art work doesn't qualify to be put on a wall.
- Greg, Manchester
University of New Hampshire students, faculty and staff have played a crucial role in the advancement of LGBT rights and visibility in New Hampshire for more than three decades. (Source:Michael K. Lavers)
"Between same-sex states like Massachusetts and Vermont, we are beginning to broaden our horizons."
"New Hampshire sheds conservative reputation"
by Michael K. Lavers, EDGE Mid-Atlantic Regional Editor, Thursday Apr 23, 2009
University of New Hampshire students, faculty and staff have played a crucial role in the advancement of LGBT rights and visibility in New Hampshire for more than three decades.
Erica Morin and Shelby Wozmak met in a hallway at Manchester Memorial High School in 2006. The couple described this moment as "love at first sight" on Facebook, and joked they are "more in love than Brangelina." And their classmates even voted Morin and Wozmak best couple in the yearbook.
"It is a complete honor knowing our classmates accept us as equally as any heterosexual couple," Wozmak told EDGE in an e-mail. "It feels great to know that people’s opinion about same-sex couples are changing."
Morin and Wozmak’s selection is the latest in a series of events to indicate New Hampshire continues to shed its conservative reputation. The state’s civil unions bill became law in Jan. 2008. And the New Hampshire House recently passed two bills (House Bill 415, House Bill 436) that would add gender identity and expression to the state’s anti-discrimination laws and allow same-sex couples to marry.
Openly gay Episcopal New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson was among those who testified in support of HB 436 at a state Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last Wednesday in Concord. Several hundred people attended the annual Pancake Breakfast at UNH earlier in the day. And Heather Barber, co-chair of the UNH President’s Commission on the Status of GLBT Issues, quickly noted the coincidence.
"Forty miles away, hearings will soon begin on a marriage equality bill," she said. "It is coming."
UNH students, faculty and staff continue to play an instrumental role in increasing the visibility of LGBT Granite Staters and advancing LGBT-specific legislation in Concord. Former Gov. Meldrim Thompson famously refused to meet with a group of gay students in 1974 after they successfully raised $2,000 to have an auctioned pancake breakfast. And he also threatened to withhold UNH’s state funding after the Gay Students Organization held a dance and staged a play on the Durham campus.
The university adopted domestic partner benefits in 1998 and added gender identity and expression to its non-discrimination policies in 2005.
Student Bekah Hawley, who grew-up in Derry, told EDGE she feels local activists have grown more organized in recent years.
"There’s movement within the queer community in New Hampshire and more emphasis of the queer youth in New Hampshire engaging for equality in New Hampshire," she said. "The legislature is beginning to listen to that."
Openly gay state Rep. Bob Thompson [D-Manchester] credited younger Granite Staters and the continued influx of Massachusetts residents into the Merrimack Valley and adjacent Rockingham County for the change in attitude. He further noted the majority of his constituents support both HB 415 and HB 436.
"I can probably count on one hand-10 people combined-who’ve contacted me in opposition to both of these bills," Thompson said.
Bishop John McCormick of the Diocese of Manchester, Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta and the conservative Union Leader newspaper are among the more vocal opponents of marriage for same-sex couples and HB 415, but Mo Baxley, executive director of the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition, described the state’s increasingly progressive politics as "not so outlandish."
"New Hampshire was seen as conservative when it really wasn’t," she said. "We were really a socially progressive state and fiscally conservative."
As lawmakers in Concord continue to debate marriage and trans rights, Morin and Wozmak are preparing to graduate in June. They will attend separate colleges in Newton, Mass., in the fall, but Morin said she expects New Hampshire will continue to become a more progressive state.
"Being gay or a lesbian is becoming more of society’s "norm," she said. "Sitting between same-sex states like Massachusetts and Vermont, we are beginning to broaden our horizons."
Editor’s note: Michael K. Lavers is an alum of both Manchester Memorial High School and the University of New Hampshire.
Michael K. Lavers has written for the Advocate, the Fire Island News, the Village Voice, WNYC and other media outlets. He has also provided commentary on LGBT and other issues to the BBC and the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC. He blogs at Boy in Bushwick [www.boyinbushwick.blogspot.com]
- Jonathan Melle
- Amherst, NH, United States
- I am a citizen defending the people against corrupt Pols who only serve their Corporate Elite masters, not the people! / My 2 political enemies are Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., nicknamed "Luciforo" and former Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. / I have also pasted many of my political essays on "The Berkshire Blog": berkshireeagle.blogspot.com / I AM THE ANTI-FRANK GUINTA! / Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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