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Laconia schools will pay half the cost of reconstructing half-circle drive at LHS

LACONIA — As part of the Union Avenue reconstruction project, the city has offered to pay one-half of the expenses involved in replacing the half-circle school bus drop-off lane in front of the High School.

Business Administrator Ed Emond told the School Board's Budget and Personnel Committee Tuesday night that the estimated cost of redoing the half-circle — which includes widening it and rebuilding the curbs on the sidewalk portion — is between $35,000 and $40,000.

He recommended spending between $15,000 to $20,000 from the School District's contingency fund.

Committee Chair Scott Vachon said he was a little confused because he thought the city had agreed to fix at its own cost whatever damage was done during the course of the roadway construction.

Emond said that was true. However, he noted that the curbs along the side walk portion have crumbled over time and have been beveled. He added that the semi-circle is not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

Committee member Joe Cormier said he thought a student had fallen getting of a school bus within the past few years and had suffered a broken leg.

Committee members said that since it appears the semi-circle needs repairing to become ADA compliant and with the city's help they can get half of it paid for, then it makes sense to do it and do it properly.

However, all decided that the district should wait until the engineering is complete before committing the money to the project.

Emond said he should have more information for the next meeting.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 September 2014 01:28

Hits: 176

Laconia schools will pay half the cost of reconstructing half-circle drive at LHS

LACONIA — As part of the Union Avenue reconstruction project, the city has offered to pay one-half of the expenses involved in replacing the half-circle school bus drop-off lane in front of the High School.

Business Administrator Ed Emond told the School Board's Budget and Personnel Committee Tuesday night that the estimated cost of redoing the half-circle — which includes widening it and rebuilding the curbs on the sidewalk portion — is between $35,000 and $40,000.

He recommended spending between $15,000 to $20,000 from the School District's contingency fund.

Committee Chair Scott Vachon said he was a little confused because he thought the city had agreed to fix at its own cost whatever damage was done during the course of the roadway construction.

Emond said that was true. However, he noted that the curbs along the side walk portion have crumbled over time and have been beveled. He added that the semi-circle is not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

Committee member Joe Cormier said he thought a student had fallen getting of a school bus within the past few years and had suffered a broken leg.

Committee members said that since it appears the semi-circle needs repairing to become ADA compliant and with the city's help they can get half of it paid for, then it makes sense to do it and do it properly.

However, all decided that the district should wait until the engineering is complete before committing the money to the project.

Emond said he should have more information for the next meeting.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 September 2014 01:28

Hits: 199

Gilford argues officer lawfully ordered Baer to leave school board meeting

GILFORD — In his response to a motion to dismiss three counts against a local man who was arrested during a May School Board meeting, Town Prosecutor Eric Bredbury said Friday that a school board meeting is not an opportunity for a "heated discussion" but rather a chance for those interested in school business to make a brief statements about policy.

In Gilford's case, each person is allowed, by board policy, two minutes to speak their mind.

Bredbury wrote the monthly school board meeting is a business meetings and not an open air political forum and that the stated business of the board would not have continued unless Lt. James Leach removed William Baer, who he said was disrupting the meeting.

Baer's attorney, Mark Sisti argued that the meeting continued and two more residents spoke while Leach was encouraging Baer's to leave. Sisti noted the interruption lasted 27 seconds.

Sisti, had argued that the three charges faced by Baer — two counts of breach of the peace and one count of disobeying a police officer — are unlawful because they violated his client's constitutional rights to speak his mind at a public forum.

Baer was a short-lived media sensation after his arrest for speaking out against the mandatory reading of N.H. author Jodi Picoult's novel "19 Minutes." Baer's daughter was reading the book as part of a class assignment for her freshman honors English class.

In general, the book described the prelude and aftermath of a school shooting in a fictitious New England town. Specifically, Baer objected to a passage that he described as pornographic that graphically describes a rape scene between the book's two youthful protagonists.

When he verbally interrupted another town resident who was speaking at the meeting, Bredbury said the School Board Chair Sue Allen and Superintendent Kent Hemingway motioned to Leach using head nods that Leach apparently interpreted as a request from them to escort Baer out of the room.

Although Allen continually ordered Baer to "desist" or stop talking, she never verbally requested Leach to remove him.

Baer said aloud, "Why don't you have me arrested? Why don't we do that as a civics lesson?" when Leach approached his seat.

Bredbury said Baer disobeyed a legal order from a police officer to leave the meeting. Sisti argues Baer was under no obligation to obey an illegal order from the police because he was in a public forum held specifically to discuss the book.

As to Sisti second argument that Allen was not the "moderator" of the meeting, Bredbury responded that she was the chair of the School Board and empowered to keep order during the meeting at her discretion.

Judge Jim Carroll is reviewing the motions and will be issuing a ruling.

Should the case not survive Sisti's motion to dismiss, presumably it will go to trial.

All three charges faced by Baer are Class B misdemeanors and there is no possibility of incarceration.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 September 2014 01:22

Hits: 431

Gilford argues officer lawfully ordered Baer to leave school board meeting

GILFORD — In his response to a motion to dismiss three counts against a local man who was arrested during a May School Board meeting, Town Prosecutor Eric Bredbury said Friday that a school board meeting is not an opportunity for a "heated discussion" but rather a chance for those interested in school business to make a brief statements about policy.

In Gilford's case, each person is allowed, by board policy, two minutes to speak their mind.

Bredbury wrote the monthly school board meeting is a business meetings and not an open air political forum and that the stated business of the board would not have continued unless Lt. James Leach removed William Baer, who he said was disrupting the meeting.

Baer's attorney, Mark Sisti argued that the meeting continued and two more residents spoke while Leach was encouraging Baer's to leave. Sisti noted the interruption lasted 27 seconds.

Sisti, had argued that the three charges faced by Baer — two counts of breach of the peace and one count of disobeying a police officer — are unlawful because they violated his client's constitutional rights to speak his mind at a public forum.

Baer was a short-lived media sensation after his arrest for speaking out against the mandatory reading of N.H. author Jodi Picoult's novel "19 Minutes." Baer's daughter was reading the book as part of a class assignment for her freshman honors English class.

In general, the book described the prelude and aftermath of a school shooting in a fictitious New England town. Specifically, Baer objected to a passage that he described as pornographic that graphically describes a rape scene between the book's two youthful protagonists.

When he verbally interrupted another town resident who was speaking at the meeting, Bredbury said the School Board Chair Sue Allen and Superintendent Kent Hemingway motioned to Leach using head nods that Leach apparently interpreted as a request from them to escort Baer out of the room.

Although Allen continually ordered Baer to "desist" or stop talking, she never verbally requested Leach to remove him.

Baer said aloud, "Why don't you have me arrested? Why don't we do that as a civics lesson?" when Leach approached his seat.

Bredbury said Baer disobeyed a legal order from a police officer to leave the meeting. Sisti argues Baer was under no obligation to obey an illegal order from the police because he was in a public forum held specifically to discuss the book.

As to Sisti second argument that Allen was not the "moderator" of the meeting, Bredbury responded that she was the chair of the School Board and empowered to keep order during the meeting at her discretion.

Judge Jim Carroll is reviewing the motions and will be issuing a ruling.

Should the case not survive Sisti's motion to dismiss, presumably it will go to trial.

All three charges faced by Baer are Class B misdemeanors and there is no possibility of incarceration.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 September 2014 01:22

Hits: 297

 
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