6 - February 24, 2012 | Pelham - Windham News LegislativeUpdate
by Rep. D.J. Bettencourt, Rep. Shawn Jasper, and Rep. Shaun Doherty
New Hampshire Needs Voter ID Law
by Rep. D.J. Bettencourt, Rep. Shawn Jasper, and Rep. Shaun Doherty A vote is the ultimate equalizer in American politics. The idea that every citizen regardless of race, gender, or background is awarded the same power of choice and influence in the voting booth has been the backbone of the American electoral system. This has been predicated by the simple concept of “one person, one vote.” Yet here in New Hampshire, we have no tangible way of ensuring this basic concept. Voter fraud has and will continue to be
a very unfortunate and well documented tarnish throughout American history. To witness some of these cases one doesn’t have to go to far, just take a look at this current Presidential election season.
Here during the New Hampshire Primary our current law allowed for the “dead” to be offered numerous ballots throughout the state. Although Project Veritas and Mr. O’Keefe did not actually vote in the election, it certainly helped show what is a glaring hole inside our election law. Anyone off the street can read last week’s obituaries and then go to the polls armed with another name to vote under. This trend then continued when it was recently reported that over 950 ballots cast in South Carolina’s Presidential primary were also from the “non-living.” In Florida, a local TV station compared jury excusals due to not being a citizen with the registered voter list in two counties. They were shocked to find that nearly 100 voters in these counties had not only voted, but have been doing so for multiple years.
In an election season where just a few
votes decided the winner of the Iowa Caucus, now more than ever is it important to realize that voter fraud is indeed real and to ignore this problem any longer is a disservice to the voters. With the evidence of voter fraud being both timely and blatantly clear, opponents of voter ID have fallen back onto weak conspiracy theories surrounding minority voter disenfranchisement. These misguided claims seek to racialize and make partisan an issue that is simply responsible government. Opponents of voter ID seek to associate the disgusting claims of “Jim Crow” against supporters in an effort to sway public opinion. These claims surround around the baffling logic that voters are unable to do the same action that is required to drive, cash a check, rent an apartment, purchase alcohol or cigarettes, or even apply for welfare and
food stamps. With this train of thought it would seem that some want the public to believe that asking for a picture ID to enter an “R” rated movie also somehow leads to minority disenfranchisement. Not only is this argument wholly unjust, but it is downright offensive. Fortunately it seems that these claims held little water for the Democrat controlled legislature of Rhode Island. Last year the Democrat majority passed their own voter ID law while State representative Jon Brien, a Democrat sponsor, called it “good- government.” Rhode Island joined 30 other states that require some form of ID to vote, 15 of these which require a photo ID. Polling and research has also not done the opponents of voter ID too many favors. Recent polling has shown that nearly 75 percent of Americans support showing photo ID at the polls along with other polling that has shown that voter ID is very popular within the Hispanic community. Research complied from multiple states from 2000 to 2006 by the University of Delaware, and the University of Nebraska has also concluded that voter ID does not negatively affect turnout. The study went on to state that “concerns about voter- identification laws affecting turnout are much ado about nothing.” It seems that the real tragedy here has been that the far Left has tried to cajole this issue into partisan terms. With the public against them and their own Democratic colleagues against them, all the far Left has is race baiting and fear- mongering. Instead of voter ID being about the end of double voting, voting in more than one state, and impersonation fraud, it has become about supporters defending themselves against baseless attacks of racism. Perhaps if the opponents of voter ID cared as much about the equality of every vote as they do the voting dead, we wouldn’t have this problem. Voters in New Hampshire want and
deserve a photo ID requirement, and we must pass a strong and meaningful bill in order to bring validity to our elections now and in the future.
Rep. D.J. Bettencourt of Salem is Majority
Leader of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Rep. Shawn Jasper of Hudson is the House Majority Whip, and Rep. Shaun Doherty of Pelham is a member of the House Committee on Election Law.
School Musicians Receive High Ratings
submitted by Paul A. Santerre The Pelham Memorial School (PMS)
Music Department would like to congratulate the Instrumental Music Department, Flute, Clarinet and Brass Chamber Ensembles along with Nick Kathios on trumpet and Sawnaz Shaidani on piano, on their performances this past Saturday, February 11, at the New Hampshire Music Educators Association Solo and Ensemble Festival held at the University of New Hampshire-Durham. Each of the performances received high ratings and very positive comments. The Solo and Ensemble Festival allows
students the opportunity to perform musical selections in front of an adjudicator who not only grades the performance but also takes a few moments to work with the students. All of the adjudicators had very positive comments and suggestions for our students and all made mention of how wonderful the students from Pelham Memorial are. The students had the opportunity to observe performances buy other schools before leaving. This is the annual event and one of the many
Te brass ensemble received an A rating NH Music Educators Association Solo and Ensemble Festival. Dr. Robert Stibler is coaching them and explaining things for their performance. Students are from left to right: Colin Cournoyer on trombone, Rachel Marion, Baritone Horn; Emily Dupuis, Baritone Horn.
assessments for the Pelham Memorial music department participated in the wonderful festival. The students
earned “A” ratings on their performances which demonstrates their excellent musical abilities as well as how much their hard work has paid off. All of the above mentioned performing groups rehearse before and/or after the regular school day and all students are members of the Pelham Memorial Band.
Kindergarten Construction Ahead of Schedule
by Barbara O’Brien The construction of the seven-room addition to
Windham’s Golden Brook School, intended to house the district’s kindergarten students beginning next September, is still ahead of schedule. SAU 28 Business Administrator Adam Steel said that
things are still going exceedingly well and the disruption to existing staff and students at Golden Brook remains minimal. Also, despite cuts made in the original allocations slated for the project, construction remains “on budget,” Steel reported. The final budgeted amount for the project was approximately $2.5 million; one million of which came from State coffers. Should there be any remaining money in the fund
when the planned construction is finished, there are contingencies that would restore some of the eliminated items to the project, Steel said. One of
those contingencies is to add a second access to the kindergarten addition from inside the existing school. “It’s a quality of life issue,” Steel explained. As part of his update, Steel said that the exterior
walls of the addition have been completed and it was anticipated that the roof would be finished by mid- February. “From the architect to the engineering to the
contractors, there have been no issues, whatsoever,” Steel commented. “They’re really doing a great job of keeping things running smoothly.” “This has been a very well-managed project thus
far,” School Board Chairman Ed Gallagher said. “It’s essentially been seamless.” Speaking for the entire school board, Gallagher added, “We are all very pleased with the progress being made.”
‘Teacher of the Year’ has 32 Years in Windham by Barbara O’Brien
In September of 1980, then Superintendent Henry
LaBranche hired Paula Renda, a young woman who, 32 years later, would be named as Windham’s “Teacher of the Year.” LaBranche, who is currently serving as interim superintendent for SAU 28 (Pelham and Windham) had the honor of presenting the award to Renda during the annual School District Meeting Deliberative Session the evening of February 10. “Here we are, back together again, after all these years,” LaBranche told Renda. A second-grade teacher at Windham’s Golden Brook School, Renda also serves as head of the Math Department. LaBranche said Renda is “an outstanding mentor, who is dedicated, warm and talented.” “She sees the dreams and yearnings of each student,” he told the crowd of some 120 residents, many of whom are parents and/or teachers themselves. Debra Armfield, who is currently the principal at Golden Brook School, said she was so excited to be able to tell Renda that she’d been selected as “Teacher of the Year.” “She was stunned,” Armfield said of Renda’s reaction to the news. “She said she couldn’t accept the award,” Armfield said. “She really doesn’t know how extraordinary she is. She doesn’t feel she’s exceptional,” Armfield explained, but she is. Armfield went on to describe Renda as having “boundless energy and a passion for teaching.”
“She is an excellent resource for other members of the staff and is relentless in the pursuit of new strategies.” Renda takes a student’s entire family under her wing and nurtures them all, Armfield stated. “Paula is always reading, always learning,” Armfield continued. “One of her gifts as a teacher is that she instills a greater passion for learning in each of her students,” she added. After acknowledging a standing ovation by the audience, Renda said, “I am deeply honored. I am very grateful. I am very lucky to work in Windham.” “ No teacher is an island,” Renda said. “The key to success is a collaborative environment.” When asked how she stays “fresh” after 37 years of teaching, Renda says she views every day as a new experience, as an opportunity to find new ways to reach out to her students. “I am always searching,” she said. “Teaching is a monumental task, but so rewarding,” she commented. The afternoon just prior to the award presentation, Renda said she asked her second graders what makes a great teacher. “Someone who forgives us for our sins and has a pure heart,” answered one child. “A good teacher is someone who loves us like our moms and dads,” replied another. Perhaps that is the secret to Renda’s success all these years. She is not only her students’ teacher, but an endlessly caring and nurturing friend to each of them, as well.
Relay for Life -continued from page 2
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3 Church Road, Windham, NH 03087 TerraceCommunities.com
WINTJ5412 Salem Pelham11.625x4 ad12.in
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