Nixon Vogelman Slawsky Simoneau February 2019

77 Central Street, Manchester, NH 03101 • • 603.669.7070 • February 2019

I ’ve never been enthusiastic about Valentine’s Day and neither has my wife, Anne. We don’t do anything especially extravagant this time of year, but we do enjoy spending time together as much as the next couple. Anne and I went to high school together. At the time, she was dating my best friend, Scott. He looked like a thug. I had befriended him because I was a skinny loudmouth and needed protection. Anne dated him because her parents were goody- goody and she needed to annoy them. She broke up with him when we all headed off to college — we were growing up and moving on. At one point, the high school had an event where all the grads were welcomed back to meet up. We got together at one of the favorite local hangouts and had a great time. A VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT workout equipment (he was a gifted fighter, and he worked out diligently). Before Anne and I left, I remember saying, “Hey, Scott, I need to tell you something, but before I do, you’ve gotta promise me you won’t hit me — at least in the face — because I have a date with your ex-girlfriend tonight.” Thankfully, Scott didn’t hit me, and my date with Anne went very well. The rest is history!

I mentioned in a previous newsletter that when I asked Anne to marry me, I didn’t actually have a ring to propose with. Instead of spending a lot of money on a ring for that moment, we saved enough to put a down payment on our first house. We celebrated our time together as newlyweds for a while before we started thinking about having children. Soon after, we were expecting a baby girl, which meant that we had to decide on a name.

Growing up I had all brothers, and that left me with this dream that if I ever had a daughter, I’d give her a guy’s name like Alex, Michael, or Sam. Anne, on the other hand, wanted to give our daughter

a more feminine name. As she was getting closer to her due date, neither of us could make the final decision; there was a lot of back and forth but nothing was ever determined.

Once the party began to settle down and people began to leave, Anne agreed to do me a favor and drive me home. During the ride, I suggested that we play a little game: instead of punching the

” Growing up I had all brothers, and that left me with this dream that if I ever had a daughter, I’d give her a guy’s name like Alex, Michael, or Sam.

I was hanging out with a buddy of mine a few weeks before Valentine’s Day that year, and he was telling me how much he put into the holiday every year for his wife. I was surprised. I told him, “Anne and I never do any of that.” His response surprised me even more. “Well, yeah, because your wife is just your wife, not a wife and a mother.” That was something to think about. I decided to try to put more effort into something special for her that year. Finally it came to me: what Anne really wanted was to pick the name of our baby girl. Eighteen years ago, I gave her a Valentine’s Day card that said, “Happy Valentine’s Day! You get to name the baby whatever you want.” Anne was absolutely thrilled, naming our first daughter Elizabeth. I think she took the card to heart, too, because she named our next two daughters, Abigale and Rebecca, with very traditional and feminine names. –Kirk Simoneau 603.669.7070 • 1

roof of the car every time we saw one headlight, we had to kiss. She agreed, and when we came to a stop at a red light, we both saw a car with one headlight. I can tell you exactly where that intersection is today. That was where we had our first kiss. The following night, I went over to my thug- friend’s place to hang out for a while before taking Anne out on our first date. We were in his parents’ basement, which was stuffed with

Guiding you through life’s trials

Break the Monotony of Overplayed Board Games! FAMILY GAME NIGHT

Family game night is a time when a family can forget about all of life’s commitments and bond over a good old-fashioned board game. But the old, tattered Monopoly box or worn-out UNO cards can leave something to be desired, and the classics might be getting a little dull. If you’re tired of playing the same board games over and over, it might be time to start looking for ways to change things up. Here are four tabletop games you might not have heard of that are perfect for spicing up family game night.

pieces. If it hits the non-mirrored surface of a piece, that piece is taken by the player. A player wins when the opposing player’s king piece is illuminated.

CATAN Welcome to the island of Catan! After a long voyage at sea, the people in your expedition compete against other seafarers in building settlements. Enjoy the 45–90-minute game as you and your family build roads, barter resources, and race for absolute supremacy on Catan.

MYSTERIUM Your family will love delving into this cooperative murder mystery game that is a mixture of Clue and Dixit. You can play as the ghost or as one of the mediums who enters the haunting. The ghost player gives each medium a clue or vision about a potential murderer, and the mediums have to guess which person, room, or weapon was used to murder the ghost player. After each turn, the ghost reveals whether each

ONE NIGHT WEREWOLF Every night, werewolves prowl around the village, and it’s up to the villagers to find the werewolf once the sun rises — before it’s too late. Each person plays a unique role with different abilities to help find or conceal the werewolf. If the werewolf is caught, the villagers win the game, but if the werewolf manages to escape, the villagers lose.

of the mediums’ guesses are right or not. If all of the mediums succeed in guessing correctly by the seventh in-game hour, they work together to find the true murderer.

LASER CHESS A classic game of chess is a great way to spend an evening, and it just got a little more interesting. Laser chess includes all the problem- solving skills a typical chess game offers but with a twist. At the end of each turn, a player fires a small laser beam that bounces off the mirrored chess

Now you can bring some exciting variety into your family game nights. Don’t miss out on these excellent tabletop games, and most importantly, have fun!

A Recent Casea e

Representing a Former Principal Just a few weeks ago, our firm began representing a wrongfully fired principal from a local elementary school. Many of our

client struggled to ensure that the students received the education they needed, but the school was understaffed and therefore unsafe.

Our client was stabbed and on another occasion beaten, suffering a concussion. While she was trying to get the school district to act on this situation to ensure it wouldn’t happen again, the board fired her. The former principal is well-known in the area, and the firing soon became headline news. Our client was distraught; not only had she lost her job, but the school district’s lawyer forbade coworkers to speak with her. She couldn’t build a defense, plus she had to get a permission slip to vote during primary season — the school is her polling place. The teachers at the school were told that if they continued speaking out on our client’s behalf, they could be fired too. It was shortly after our client was dismissed that Nixon Vogelman, Slawsky & Simoneau took up her case, filing a lawsuit against the school district. The suit was only a few weeks old when, on Jan. 4, 2019, Kirk Simoneau learned that the superintendent had suddenly resigned. “Whether we win a million dollars or not,” Simoneau says, “something good is going to come of this. New leadership brings change, and hopefully with it a better chance for these kids to get the help they need and deserve.”

readers may have heard about the incident, since it was a very public affair covered throughout the state by television, radio, and newspaper media outlets. Essentially, the school district had turned this elementary school into an unofficial dumping ground for students who were emotionally needy and behaviorally challenged or disabled. This created problems within the school’s walls. While employed, our

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Valentine Treats LOCAL EVENTS

PLANT-BASED COOKING 101 Where: Cameron Senior Center When: Tuesdays, Feb. 12 and 26, 6–7:30 p.m. Admission: Free! Website: events/1927057854267377/ A healthy cooking class led by Lauren D’Agostino, a plant-based chef and lifestyle coach, will help motivate you to eat your fruits and vegetables in new ways. D’Agostino will help you see new ways of shopping for and preparing plant-based meals that the whole family will enjoy. Whether you’re looking to master a healthier diet, learn new vegetarian dishes, or craft a meal that’s perfect for your sweetheart, this class is ideal for you.

Are you looking to take your sweetheart out this February? Here are a few events that will make your special day one to remember! VAN OTIS CHOCOLATES CARAMEL MADNESS CLASS Where: Van Otis Chocolates When: Every Thursday, 5:30–6:30 p.m. Admission: $35 Website: Making Valentine’s Day special for your sweetheart can mean the world to them. Now, you can add your own little twist by presenting them with your very own made-from-scratch caramel. In this class, you will learn about correct temperatures, ingredients, and even how to alter recipes to get your desired taste. Master chocolatiers will be demonstrating how to create these tasty treats, and at the end of the class, you

will take home the recipe to try on your own — as well as two dozens pieces of Van Otis Chocolates’ signature caramel. MY DANGEROUS VALENTINE Where: Warehouse XI — Boston Event Space When: Thursday, Feb. 14, 6–9 p.m. Admission: $25 experience! Spouses, sweethearts, and friends are all welcomed to join the dangerously fun party taking place all evening long. Tickets will cover the best sandwiches from Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, scoops of Parlor Ice Cream’s best product, drinks from Lord Hobo Brewing, and Eventfully Yours, a photo booth provided by The Danger Booth, with music by DJ Jon Strader. The Danger Booth presents an evening filled with fun times and a unique Valentine’s Day

Be Inspired and

Have a Laugh

603.669.7070 • 3

Guiding you through life’s trials

77 Central Street Manchester, NH 03101 603.669.7070


INSIDE This Issue

Naming Our Daughters


Bring Variety to Family Game Night A Recent Case


Local Events Near You!


How Mr. Rogers Saved PBS



It’s May 1, 1969. As the war continues in Vietnam, people gather in the Senate Subcommittee on Communications in D.C. to fight for what they believe is critical to the American public. Proposed budget cuts to Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) threaten the programs that have become dear to so many, and $20 million is on the line. For a public television station, this is everything. Over the course of two days, Senator John Pastore, chairperson of the subcommittee, has listened to speech after speech about why PBS should be awarded the funding. He’s tired of hearing the same bland data and is eager to have the ordeal over with. Then Fred Rogers, host of the newly syndicated series “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” steps up to the microphone. Unlike his fellow speakers, Mr. Rogers doesn’t use numbers or research to persuade Senator Pastore. In the calm voice many of us associate with our childhoods, Fred Rogers shares with Senator

Pastore the reasons why he’s concerned about what children see on television. Two minutes after Rogers has begun talking, Pastore’s demeanor changes — his face softens, and he can tell Rogers has something important to say. From his work in child development, Rogers has come to empathize with and understand the worries and fears of children. He explains to Senator Pastore that he’s created a show for children, saying, “I feel that if we in public television can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health.” He doesn’t speak from the piece of paper in front of him; he speaks from his heart. Rogers shares with Pastore what he tells viewers at the end of each episode: “You’ve made this day a special day just by being you.”

anyone who’s seen Rogers’ show. “I’m supposed to be a pretty tough guy, and this is the first time I’ve had goosebumps for the last two days,” Pastore tells him. How has Rogers swayed the senator? He hasn’t waved a magic wand or given a dramatic performance, but Rogers’ passion is so palpable, even Senator Pastore can’t help being won over. After Rogers shares the words of one the songs he features in “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” Pastore has heard enough.

“I think it’s wonderful,” Pastore declares. “Looks like you just earned the $20 million.”

If you’d like to see Mr. Rogers’ testimony for yourself, you can check it out at watch?v=fKy7ljRr0AA.

“I’d like to see this program,” Pastore says. Five minutes into the speech, he is transformed, just like

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