Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wind, Full disclosure and Walmart

So the good news is, on the Cape Wind project, National Grid has agreed to buy the electricity generated from the turbines of of Cape Cod.... this is huge folks and should help move the project forward.

It is revealed today that at lease 7 of the 21 companies awarded stimulus money in Mass have failed to report, as the State requires, serious pollution or workplace safety penalties levied against them. The Center for Investigative Reporting at Boston University has done the investigating. Prior violations do not dis qualify contractors from receiving the funds, but clearly, those companies who have neglected to be honest with their paperwork will be looked at by the AG's office for possible fraud charges. As we know from past posts, the State was directed to make sure the stimulus money went to fully vetted companies who have complied with ALL the reporting requirements. The lack of oversight in just this matter... is just what many of you have written about all along.... and you were right.

Walmart wins some.. and losses some. Last week in Canada, their supreme court ruled in Wally's favor in closing a store because of Union activity... but the world's largest retailer has agreed to pay 40 million in wages to 87,500 current and past employees in our State, in this states largest wage and hourly class action suite, filed in 2001. In the suite, Walmart is accused of denying workers rest and meal breaks, refusing to pay overtime and manipulating time cards to lower employees pay. Employers across the State should take notice from this as it appears that they are seriuos about violating workers rights and will eventually make the violator pay.

Put the DOC on probation

We learn today from the Globe that the budget for correction agencies has increased over the past ten years and is now larger than higher education, social services and public health. The 1.2 billion spent this year to incarcerate 11,000 in state prisons and 14,000 in local jails. All this while the number of inmates has not significantly increased. It is estimated that around 10,000 inmates are non violent drug offenders.

A probation employee was busted last week for selling OxyContin in a school and park zone. Her man was also arrested and charged with 12 counts of distribution.

Details of a probation officer on the North Shore are still coming in, but it appears that an employee has been charged with embezzling 2 million from the probation department... more to follow

Framingham will NOT be getting any money from the State, as it has in past years, for hosting the woman's prison here in Framingham. In past years, it's been around 75,000.

The entire system needs to be put on probation. Agencies should be forced into accounting for every freaking dollar.