Mark Hayward's City Matters: No surprise, city columnist likes ManchVegas schools
Well it appears the mayor's wooings haven't worked, so allow me.
But Hooksett is not just selecting a school, it's selecting a community partner.
Before you dump Manchester, consider these side-by-side, totally objective comparisons of the two communities.
No highway runs through Derry. You have to get off the interstate and drive a few miles on crowded roads to reach the middle of town. And that's the easy way. Most Hooksett parents are going to schlep their kids along the endless Bypass 28 (perhaps through my toll booth?) to get to Pinkerton.
Manchester has Gen. John Stark, the Revolutionary War hero who saved Massachusetts at Bunker Hill, beat back the British in Vermont and coined our state's motto: Live Free or Die.
Derry's guy signed his name to a 1,328-word paper, which he didn't write, that declared himself free and independent. Stark fought — rather brilliantly — for that freedom. And he used four words to pretty much sum up all the fancy language Thornton put his name to.
America's most celebrated poet, Robert Frost, lived in Derry from 1900 to 1911 while teaching English at Pinkerton and raising chickens. His farm is a historical landmark. (You can find it on Rockingham Road, right across from the Frost Resident Cooperative mobile home park.) Frost moved away and eventually settled in Vermont. (Do I sense a trend here, people leaving Derry?)
The criminal mind:
Manchester has its share of grisly crime. And over the past two decades, two criminals come to mind. The murders by Vaclav Plch and Chris Bernard were the kind of gruesome, bloody killings (beheading, torture) that keep CSI teams busy for weeks.
Derry was the boyhood home of Alan Shepard, the first American in space. (Now that's getting away from your hometown.) After his quick roundtrip, Shepard ended up settling in Houston and Pebble Beach, Calif.
Manchester's downtown thrives on drugs — the legal kind that is. Downtown coffee shops are outnumbered only by restaurants, bars and nightclubs where alcohol flows. Squeezed among the coffee shops and bars are firms in the fields of law, finance and communication; a bank headquarters; music stores; cigar shops; jewelers and a few pawn shops.
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