Sunday, July 25, 2010

Framingham's food service program.... grows larger

For the second year in a row, the summer meals program at Framingham High has helped provide nutritious meals to those who are in need. From the Tab...

They are serving 800 meals a day at the high school....up from 500 last year. All with your tax dollars and a gift from Project Bread of 11,000 dollars... Even though Beacon Hill cut there funding. Now this is why I pay taxes... and donate money. Helping with the basics.... a decent meal for the kids in school...in the summer.... why not?

One troubling number that was presented by Elaine Taber, director of education policy at Project Bread, "only 18% of eligible kids who can get free meals, actually use the program".

Not a good sign... but there is still a stigma with being poor at school and creative ways should be found to increase the awareness and decrease the stigma.

A Killer story on Probation....

As you have read in the past weeks, the Probation Department, under Jack O'Brien who has been clearly shown to be the poster child for patronage abuses at the Probation Department for 12 years.

And now, thanks to the outstanding Spot Light reporting in the Globe and what this reader looks for from the print media, real investigative reporting... stuff I could never know,

is that the Probation Department has been mismanaged and costing more with fewer results. This story has a connection to Framingham and not long ago, the inaction by those in the monitoring part of the probation Department did not notify Framingham Police when a convicted rapist/sex offender cut off his bracelet. A warrant was faxed but not his location... which was in Framingham committing assault and rape.

Boils down to the Globe making the case for "exaggerated numbers and outdated techniques, Dubious workload claims help boost the budget" under Mr. O"Brien. And of coarse, the programs are a sham, the work programs are a sham, the unjust amount of residatism, the bloated budget all under the watchfull and approving eye of Beacon Hill. As one senior probation employee, was quoted anonymously saying, I'll bet an arm and a leg that everyone in the Legislature has someone in there". "This program that they put out was all about jobs".

The piece is so revealing and worth the read, and is my guess, there will be more, after all, what department in the State is not much the same as....Probation Department a killer story at the Globe.

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/framingham/articles/2010/07/25/a_legacy_of_lax_oversight_and_dubious_claims/

The nightmare Nyanza lives on

The Feds have studied the mercury contamination of the Sudbury river for years and have come up with a plan to cover with a six inch layer of sand the 84 acres of Reservoir 2 in Framingham. The price tag mentioned at the public meeting was 8 million.

While other options were researched, none seem to completely remove the mercury and in 30 years or more, mercury levels in fish may be low enough to make the fish eatable. Some Town officials don't like the idea of covering the contamination up, as I don't and there is no shortage of resentment towards Ashland and the EPA over the proposals.

If nothing is done, which is an option, the mercury will be there for many decades and the river will be as useless as it it now. I'm submitting an idea that would harness the water for hydro electric use, while removing the contaminated river bottom.

If anyone has an idea or would like to comment, till Aug 26th:
Daniel Keefe, Project Manager, EPA, 5 Post Office Square, Suite 100, Boston, Ma 02109-3912, or fax 617 918 0327 or e-mail keefe.daniel@epa.gov

Framingham kids walk two miles now to school

In an effort to cut the school budget, the school committee has decided to increase the distance school kids must walk to school. This move will save 500,000 dollars and has parents livid not only over the distance, but with no sidewalks on some roads, no expanded sidewalk snow removal and crossing guards. One parent has walked the route at 46 minutes. Now for elementary students, that will be much longer in time.

My own questions are to the school committee: With more younger kids walking to school, did the school committee check to make sure none of the kids are walking past level 3 sex offenders housing? Is the State liable for any injuries for children walking to school without side walks? Is the Town liable for any injuries children may get if sidewalks are not plowed or crossing guards are not stationed at major road ways? In the event of non planned early release, (snow days) are the children forced to leave the building?

Lastly.... was cutting the buses and increasing distance the only option left? Was cutting school choice ever discussed?

I'll post the answer when I get it from the school department