Hudson - Litchfield News | January 20, 2012 - 5
Senator Shaheen Contributes to AHS Panel Discussion
Senator Kelly Ayotte is a Republican, the two often work together for the betterment of New Hampshire. One project the two recently collaborated on was securing federal dollars to fund a new federal prison. Last year, a federal prison was constructed in Berlin, a city facing economic decline. Unfortunately, the project went bankrupt and the facility did not open. Both Ayotte and Shaheen worked together, “What challenges have you come across in politics as a woman,”
by Kristen Hoffman U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen paid a visit to some of her youngest constituents at Alvirne on January 11. Shaheen took part in a panel discussion held by Alvirne’s Junior ROTC and government classes. Junior ROTC members Kayla McWalter and Jordan Descateaux, joined AP American Government students Brittany Decker, TJ Hebert, Robbie Diamond, Meghan O’Keefe and Cheyenne Tessier on the panel.
Alvirne Principal Bryan Lane opened up the discussion by commending Shaheen for her work in education, “She is a champion of education,” Lane said. Shaheen, 64, was a teacher before she jumped into politics. Shaheen made a few opening remarks regarding education and bipartisanship. She relayed the correlation between getting a good education and how it benefits a competitive marketplace. Shaheen cited partisanship as an obstacle to the country, “We have a lot of challenges facing this country,” she said. According to Shaheen, many of the problems rest in partisan politics, “Democracy works when you as citizens, demand it work.” Shaheen added that even though her fellow
Decker asked. Shaheen is the only female who has been both elected the Governor and to the U.S. Senate. Shaheen stated that the gender gap does not matter as much as the work being done to combat it. “Rather than focus on the differences, focus on what we can do to change them,” Shaheen said. Earlier in her political career, Shaheen worked with Gov. Hugh Gallen on the governor’s commission on women, since then she has continued to work with similar groups. Many of the questions she received were based on education. She made her stance clear on New Hampshire House Bill 542, a bill that fought compulsory education. The bill made news a few weeks ago; due to some of the backlash it received from educators. It allows for parents to override a school district’s curriculum. In essence, if a parent objects to subject matter taught in a class, that parent has the right to bar their child from learning the material. “I think if there is a curriculum approved by the state, the town and the school board, I hope that all parents would keep their kids in school,” Shaheen said.
Students in the audience asked about “Obamacare,” the
controversial medical coverage bill. “Policy issues are not always black and white,” Shaheen said, adding that there are a lot of things she likes about the policy, including increasing the age that a child can stay on his or her parent’s insurance plan until they are 26, and keeping some prescription drugs on Medicare. “We have to keep working on it,” she added.
Both the students in the audience and on the panel asked the Senator insightful questions, proving that today’s youth still have an interest in politics and National Policy.
School Board Member Amy Sousa Critical of Selectman’s Budgeted Pay Wage Process
by Doug Robinson
School Board Member Amy Sousa is the School Board Member to the Hudson Budget Committee. During the recent Budget discussions, Sousa was asked to vote on the proposed raises for the Town Supervisor’s Union. The group includes most middle management employees who are Police and Fire Captains, Highway Department supervisors, Fire Deputy Chiefs, Head Animal Control Officer, Accessing Technician, and others. Sousa expressed difficulty casting her vote for the collective bargaining agreement presented by the town as their “approach of giving salary increases not based on cost of living, or anything tied to performance or formula, and the giving of blanket increases of $1,000 and $1,500 for the following year,” did not have “reliability” or “structure.”
In addition, Sousa (in Superintendent Randy Bell’s words) “felt a conundrum.” Sousa continued, “They do not want to give percentage increases.” Sousa explained that according to the Selectmen, a percentage increase for a $10,000 employee would not be the same dollars to the employee to an employee making $100,000.
Sousa said, “I was told it was just a number they picked” to give
out wage increases. As a result, Sousa admits to “struggling” as in her mind, the Selectmen needed to create a set of parameters for the giving of raises.
In addition, Sousa was challenged with supporting the vote due to the fact that both Hudson Police and Fire not only voted against the proposed wage increase program, but have also been working for the Town of Hudson for the past two years without a contract. “I personally struggled,” commented Sousa. This Supervisors Contract calls for a flat $1,000 raise in the first
year and a $1,500 raise in the second year of the contract. Sousa asked of the School Board for advice on how she could have better prepared for the for the budget discussion with the town so that she could discuss the collective bargain agreement better. Superintendent Bell stated that the Town and the Schools have had a long understanding of support for each other’s budgets. “For years, they (Selectmen) knew we would support” their budget. “Three or four years ago, they voted against the teacher’s contract, and then reversed. The next year voted against it again. Hostility,” according to Bell grew between the two governing bodies. “We thought we had a long understanding of respect for each other,” continued Bell.
Hudson’s Kaitlin Alexis Makes Appearance on Maury’s ‘Most Talented Mini Idol’ Show
Superintendent Bell suggested that in the early fall, the School Board and the Town of Hudson should meet during the collective bargaining process and we each understood the problems and if there was going to be a disagreement over things, we at least knew it. That would be enormously helpful. This would not be a meeting of looking for support, it would be a meeting of exploring the difficulties each group might be faced.”
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Charlie Chalk Registrations Open for
BOW Winter Workshop Registration is now open for the 2012 Becoming an Outdoors-
Woman (BOW) Winter Workshop, a one-day program where women can learn outdoor skills to enjoy during the winter months. The workshop will be held on Saturday, February 18 (snow date Sunday, February 19), at the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness. The workshop costs $55, which includes lunch and most equipment. Participants must be at least 18 years old. Winter BOW participants choose a single activity to explore during the daylong workshop. They can learn how to ice- fish, explore winter outdoor survival skills, track wildlife on snowshoes, try snowmobiling (beginners only) or experience the popular Shoe and Shoot class, which is woodland target shooting on snowshoes. To register, download the registration forms and workshop
brochure at www.nhbow.com
or e-mail Lisa.M.Co
or call 271-3212. Sign up soon, because BOW workshops fill up fast.
Charlie Chalk can be reached at outdoorswithcharlie@areanews group.com
We’re PSNH and we’re ready with years of experience and ongoing training on how to prepare for and respond to a winter storm. You can be ready, too, by following a few simple tips on psnh.com/stormsafety
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On Thursday, January 19, , talk show host Maury Povich welcomed Kyle Massey, former star of Disney Channel’s Corey In The House and Dancing With The Stars runner-up, as his special co-host for Maury’s “Most Talented Mini Idol” show.
Just in time for
the new season of American Idol, these pint sized performers pack adult-sized talent.
Hudson resident Kaitlin Alexis, 12, was among the crop of talented kids appearing on the show. Kaitlin is no stranger to large audiences after her start came from a YouTube video that was created when she was just five-years-old. Kaitlyn says the video “went viral” and garnered over one million views. She is also a young actress, recently appearing as Princess Nala in The Lion King in Las Vegas. “I was born to entertain,” Kaitlin states. She performed Lady Gaga’s hit song “Born This Way.”
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