Friday, May 22, 2009

Hang on.... the Pike Toll increases are now back in the news

Late today we get word from our friends at toll equity trust.

Please go to their web site for more details...
it's a lot easier to get to their e mail addresses from their web site if you choose to write them.

This was inevitable in most minds. The Big Hole dept and toll increases have taken a back seat to the sales tax increase. But as we all know, the amount of money needed to pay for the Big Hole will not be coming from a Sales Tax increase. More shell games to be played here in the coming weeks. July is right around the corner and the budget is supposed to be balanced. If you can and have time, write a note to those listed below and just state you want to keep the Toll Equity guarantee in the Transportation bill.

From the Salem News Report: "[Gov. Deval] Patrick shared the head table with state Rep. Lori Ehrlich, D-Marblehead. He praised her work on issues like the proposed toll hike. Nevertheless, commenting on a recent vote by the Legislature to increase the sales tax, Patrick hinted that it might not get toll payers completely off the hook.

"With sales tax revenues, he indicated, the tolls might not have to be raised "as steeply as we otherwise would have to."

The Governor's suggestion that there may still have to be toll hikes even with a proposed sales tax increase is more reason why the Toll Equity guarantee passed by the House must be in the final Transportation Bill. Toll Equity guarantees that the toll being charged is for the service being provided. Toll Equity eliminates the 138% "Big Dig" tax that is added to the real cost of providing turnpike service. This is our best opportunity, since the legislature created the Turnpike Authority in 1952, to ensure toll fairness and honesty. The time to act is now!
Please call or email the Transportation Conference Committee members and urge them to keep the Toll Equity guarantee in the Transportation bill.
Please email or call the offices of the Transportation Conference Committee Members:

* Sen. Steven Baddour, Methuen
* Sen. Stephen Brewer, Barre
* Sen. Robert Hedlund, Weymouth
* Rep. Joseph Wagner, Chicopee
* Rep. Charles Murphy, Burlington
* Rep. George Peterson, Grafton

Make sure that you also call or write the Governor's Office and cc the Governor regarding any of your emails or letters to others. And don't be shy about writing or calling your local newspaper, TV or radio station. Get the word out.

To learn more, please visit our website, and follow us on Twitter. Email your Turnpike stories to, and we will post them on our new blog!

Murray calls Deval Irrelevant, Ok's Powerball but not slots

So the differences in ethics reform has reached a new level of uncooperative name calling by the Senate President saying that Deval is irrelevant. This move is probably not going to help any of us and it will be very interesting to see if Deval vetoes the budget on principal. Not that he can do anything with it.

They approved a plan to join the Powerball lottery but removed slots on tracks.

They did vote to reject an amendment to delay the ending of greyhound racing by two years. This was a ballot question that passed to end greyhound racing by Jan 2010.

The House will take up a gambling bill this fall, but I wonder if the Mashpee Indians can still go ahead with their own casino on the Cape.

A new Harvard School of Public Health study out today confirms what most health officials already knew... Hard plastic drinking bottles that are made with bisphenol A are leaching the chemical into our bodies. One major concern is baby bottles when heated. The Chemical lobby has done well in the dissemination of propaganda to the State House. I would certainly warn any parent who is using these bottles to stop and replace with glass. It may take many more years before someone can correlate childrens diseases with bisphenol A, but the evidence is clear now and should not be ignored by any of us, regardless of whether the State passes the ban or not.

The Town passed a budget last night. While watching the slow and tedious procedure, I had to shake my head when supporters of the Cops in Town, voted to increase cruisers by two, when the Chief didn't ask for any. One full time position will be taken away in Town to pay for the cruisers, that I thought were paid form a grant. And it looks like the Concerts on the Common may not happen without Town support (20K) or some very big contributors and Town Meeting did not approve any help at all.

Rizoli rants, Willy's and Ms. McCarthey love for the cops, Mr. O Neil insulted by someone and more hatred towards SMOC seemed to dominate this year. The Wind Turbine by-law will come up next week and will be referred back to sponsor, so I'm told.

Gas is still going up, Mass Pike may do a wave through at tolls this weekend, NH said no to collecting any tax from Mass residents who shop in their State, and unemployment is this State has hit 8%. New credit car rules may slow down the companies from racking up unfair service fees, and Dick Chenney is back with more phyco babel about how fruitful it is torturing prisoners. And the market is up... go figure.