Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Nobscot Shopping Center

What a great turn out there was at the neighborhood meeting last night at Heritage. The presenters did a great job in explaining the research that went into the presentation. Some in the crowd grew impatient with the presenters and started to ask questions.  The shopping center has been mostly vacant for years and the owners have paid little attention to the overall appearance, which just makes neighbors even more angry. As all the research seems to indicate, a variety of business's could do well in the center, but as as most of us who have lived here any length of time know, a grocery store is the one thing we need the most in Nobscot and is the one thing we will never see, thanks to the greed of the building owner.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Time to fix Goverment Access TV

Our Mission
The Government Channel is committed to making local government
more accessible to all residents.

As you may know, the primary mission of The Government Channel
network is to provide live gavel-to-gavel coverage of Board of Selectmen,
Planning Board and Framingham Town Meetings. However, when those
boards are not meeting, the Government Channel provides coverage of
a variety of public affairs events.

For those of you who try to stay informed  about what goes on in Town Government
and are constantly turned off by the lack of quality in Gov Access programming, you are not alone.

For more than 10 years, I've begged the powers that be to hold accountable the Gov Access personal to a higher standard than what we've seen in the past years. No matter how bad the programming gets- no sound, bad sound, can't see what presenters are talking about, power point slides not clear, no titles, no dates, bad lighting - no one seems to want to resolve any issues at all. Keep in mind, out of your cable bills every month goes money to Gov Access, Public Access and the School channel. They all get around $280,000 a year to fulfill a commitment from Congress that said in 1996, cable providers must allow and pay for access to the air waves for Schools, Government and the Public. 

While cable rate payers have hundreds of channel options to choose from, none are as badly produced and aired as our Government Channel is. To add insult to viewer injury, Government Access is now producing and airing shows that have nothing to do with the Government and are little more than poorly produced home videos or info commercials for commercial business This is NOT what Government Access is supposed to be and rate payers should demand better.

More unfreindly skies for Dunkin Donuts on Franklin Street

At tonight's BOS meeting we witnessed what most businesses say about Framingham.. it's not business friendly. Tonight two long standing Framingham business owners were told they had to wait for a traffic study to be done before being issued their common victuals license.  This in spite of the fact the Town requires 13 parking spaces, this business has 16, and that everyone had weighed in from all boards with no exceptions. Now here's a 20 year business man who operates the DD in Mt.Wayte and has spent $600,000 to fix up the old 400 restaurant building, with permits in hand. His lease is up the 28th. Next BOS meeting is the 24th.
Thanks go out to Mr. Bower for his sane and logical vote against such anti business behavior by the majority. The BOS may want to consider taking action against the mall owner for  not allowing trash pick up at the DD now in operation as the business owner stated.  After all, rats travel 5 miles for food so this location is close enough to Fountain Street for rat snack.

The mean spirited petty landlord has erected ugly fences around the new DD in hopes of getting even with the owners of DD for moving out of his run down strip mall.  On top of that, we see that Selectman Smith once again tries to throw his weight around by threatening the  owners, as he's done in the past, with him personally making sure the license will be revoked if any patron of DD parks anywhere outside the caged area. This way of doing business is wrong and should be stopped.

No where do the rules say that the owners have to consult with the traffic committee and the owners had done everything correct before coming to the BOS. While I certainly have a great deal of respect for the neighborhoods and parking, there needs to be consistent rules and regulations, clearly spelled out for any business to set up shop in Framingham. It makes no sense at all to do traffic studies when there's 4 feet plus of snow on every side street corner. Forcing an emergency meeting of the Traffic Committee is just wrong and not needed. While we did hear from the distinguished Dave Hutchenson about his concerns about parking, the Town is responsible for parking regulations, not the business owners. Selectmen Smith suggested the owners of the DD post signs saying parking is not allowed on the neighboring streets.  Since when do business owners have the right to set parking regulations for Framingham?  Isn’t that the responsibility of the Police Department?  By the way, the Police signed off on this new location for the business.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Spilka on Ways and Means.... Town Manager cancels State of the Town speech

Framingham should thank the new Senate Pres Rosenberg for picking Karen Spilka for W&M’s Chair. While I have and will continue to try to understand her thinking, (we’re the same age and grew up on different planets) I do have faith that she will be fair and reasonable in dealing with the budget. The best thing for us is that  Framingham has never really gotten the attention we deserve and now that Karen is there, Framingham has someone that can keep us in mind.

The eagerly awaited State of the Town presentation by the Town Manger was postponed. We learned that by e mail, because the bulk mailing with the notice had some issues and did not go out in time and as we heard from Mr. Halpin, he thought it would be better to roll out the report closer to Town Meeting. I may be wrong, not the first time, but I think by the time of his presentation, all budgets will be in ink and there will be little to no time to vet with the public before TM.  By the time we get to TM, the narrative will be rehearsed and not easily changed. The time to review the ruff budget is now.