Thursday, August 26, 2010

Framingham Schools gets a piece of "Race to the Top"

In Massachusetts, 276 school districts and charter schools signed on to the state's application. Race to the Top, a $4.35 billion grant program created by the Obama administration last year, is funded through stimulus money.

The program serves as an incentive for states to enact education reforms, including the new federal Common Core curriculum, which Massachusetts adopted last month.

According to the state, schools who signed onto the state's Race to the Top application can expect to share half, or $125 million, of Massachusetts's allotment; the other half will be spent on the state level.

The schools' funding will be spread over four years, Considine said.

In the region, Framingham is scheduled to receive the most money - about $731,957, according to the state.

There are some details that still need to be reviewed by the schools, but you may start to see the end of some of the MCAS testing. It won't help the busing issue here in Framingham, but any money from the stimulus spent on education can only help our schools.

Framingham did NOT get any funding from the Education Jobs Fund approved by congress this month. Eleven schools districts got nothing, based on the formula used to determine the distribution of state education money.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mass Jobs grow..... Criminal immigrants deported

From the Globe: We in Mass are recovering from the recession better than most States. The Sate gained more than 13k jobs last month and in June it was 3k. Damm good news considering this month, 500,000 new claims for benefits were filed across the country. It still not easy to find that great job, especially if you are older or without training, but we must remain optimistic and hold on to the idea of better days coming for everyone.

The Illegal Immigrant folks will be happy to hear the feds kicked out of this country, 390,000 people in 2009. As of July this year, 290,000 have been deported. Interesting facts from the feds... Of the 128,000 criminal immigrants removed, 37k were deported for dangerous drugs, traffic violations 20k and entering the country illegally, immigrant smuggling and false claims to citizenship were at 19K.

It may not look it.. but the feds seem to be doing something about illegal immigration and going after the criminals.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The End in Iraq

Tonight the last combat troops moved out of Iraq. Seven and half years later, over
4 thousand Americans lost their lives, 32,000 wounded and 50,000 non combat mission troops remain in country.

Time will tell if all that America sacrificed for George Bush's revenge was worth the price so many have paid and will pay the rest of their lives.

The armed forces did their job and for that we should be proud. The big question now is, will Afghanistan turn into the next 7 year battle with more Americans dying and maimed to stop another crazy man?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another Beacon Hiller that should resign

From the Globe:

Congressional candidate Jeffrey D. Perry, a former officer in the Wareham Police Department, was reprimanded by supervisors for being untruthful and was passed over for promotion because of it, according to sworn testimony of the police chief at the time.

The chief, Thomas A. Joyce, testified in civil lawsuits that he gave Perry a written reprimand after Perry broke a radar gun and failed to tell the “whole truth’’ about how it happened. Joyce also said that Perry played what was called “the old red light game,’’ in which Perry purposely tripped a red light to catch drivers going through it, “creating motor vehicle violations,’’ according to the testimony, which was obtained by the Globe.

When Perry was in line to be promoted from patrol officer to sergeant in 1989 or 1990, Joyce chose someone lower on the list who had more experience and whom Joyce said he trusted more. “Perry had not been 100 percent truthful to me in the past,’’ Joyce testified.

In addition, during a background check before Perry was hired by Wareham police, his former boss said Perry told “a lot of bull tales’’ and should not be trusted with a gun, Joyce testified.

The testimony is from a deposition in lawsuits against the Wareham Police Department brought by the parents of two teenage girls who were illegally strip-searched in the early 1990s by an officer under Perry’s supervision. Perry’s honesty became an issue in the cases, because he had asserted that the searches never happened.

The officer, Scott Flanagan, later admitted to conducting the searches, pleaded guilty to indecent assault and other charges, and was sentenced to four years in jail.

Perry was not charged or disciplined in the case. In a June interview with the Globe, he blamed poor memory for false statements he had made a month earlier about his role in the strip search cases.

This guy is not fit for duty in Congress or Beacon Hill.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jim Pillsbury "Live" from the Knotty Pine Cafe

Every Monday night at 7PM, on RCN 3, ComCast 9 and Verizon 43, I will be doing one hour of live TV, with call-in.

The August line up:

August 16th, candidate for State Auditor (R)Mary Connaughton
Carla Howell, author of the ballot question to reduce the sales tax to 3%

August 23, candidate for State Rep for Framingham, (D) Chris Walsh. Chris will face (D) Richardson in the Democratic Primary on September 14th

August 30th, candidate for State Senate (R)Ed McGrath from Framingham. He is the only opposition to (D) Karen Splika
State Rep candidate (I) Jim Rizoli

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

DeNucci gives out raises

Any wonder why so many tax payers are outraged over State government?

Despite an economic downturn and widespread job and wage cuts for many workers, outgoing state Auditor A. Joseph DeNucci has awarded a 5 percent raise to his staff, retroactive to July 1.

A DeNucci spokesman defended the raises, which he said would cost about $350,000 through the end of the year, as just compensation for a staff that has not seen a pay boost in nearly four years and has taken 11 furlough days over the last two years.

All the candidates running for State Auditor will be faced with the question of whether to rescind these pay raises, which will muddy the waters in the upcoming debates.

At last... the Engine 7 accident report

Well we know now, or at least we've been told, it was not driver error in the now famous roll over of Engine 7. Instead, we are told it's the truck that failed. There seems to be no word from the manufacture, but one thing is for sure, the report does say that the fireman were not wearing their seat belts. It's a miracle no one was seriously hurt, but taxpayers may be asked to spend big money to sue the manufacture.

The one final question I have is, why no drug or alcohol test?

Selectmen and Fire Chief Gary Daugherty refused to comment last night on the newly released report on April's Engine 7 crash after meeting behind closed doors to discuss it.

The chief and board members would not say whether the town will be taking legal action given police investigators' conclusion that faulty all-wheel steering likely caused the 9-year-old Pierce pumper to veer off Edgell Road and roll over on April 10, injuring the four firefighters aboard.

The officials were also mum on another finding in the report state police released on Monday: that the injuries the firefighters in the cab sustained "can be directly related" to their failure to buckle up. Wearing a seat belt is required by department policy.

"I think most of the guys do what they do at home and wear seat belts just for their own protection," firefighters union president Pete DeVito said yesterday.

DeVito said he never asked the four firefighters if they were strapped in as they were returning to the Nobscot station from a call around 7:30 a.m.

"We do wear seat belts whenever we can," he said. "We're supposed to."

Three of the department veterans who were injured in the crash remain out on paid medical leave. The fourth man, Dave Carol, who was driving the truck, retired as he had planned to do.

Esty said she was bothered the report's results were printed in yesterday's Daily News.

Selectman Jason Smith said one of the four men hurt told him he was wearing his seat belt. "I 100 percent believe him," Smith said.

The long-awaited report cleared Carol, saying he was not speeding and made no driving error. Framingham and state police investigators, instead, blamed the crash on the truck's Oshkosh all-steer axles.

Town Counsel Chris Petrini on Monday said he would be working with selectmen to decide whether to bring a lawsuit against Pierce Manufacturing, the Wisconsin-based truck maker.

655 million for Massachusetts.

The U.S. House passed a bill yesterday extending $26.1 billion to states, including roughly $200 million in education money and $450 million in Medicaid cash for Massachusetts. Patrick said he believes state lawmakers will have to return to dole out the federal dough to several state agencies.

“I assume that would require formal session,” said Patrick, who also urged the Legislature to take up his casino plan authorizing three resort casinos but no slots.

A bill legalizing three casinos and two slot licenses was all but dead last week after Patrick sent it back without the slot parlors. Legislators ended formal session July 31, so two-thirds of them would have to agree to return to formal session to take up either the federal aid appropriation or the casino bill.

Senate President Therese Murray (D-Plymouth) said state departments could go without the federal money until lawmakers come back into session in January.

Another bail out for our State which should help schools, cops and fireman. Lets see how Beacon Hill deals with this and if indeed they come back to formal session. Another crack at casinos may be in the works.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Betting on casinos's?

In what can only be described as dysfunctional, House Speaker DeLeo has shown why he should be replaced as speaker of the house. His refusal to make a reasonable deal with Deval shows us how little the man cares about the whole state and not just his back yard. I side with Deval on this one as it would just create more problems and less revenue going DeLeo's way, with slots at dog tracks. One destination resort casino would do this state just fine and I had hoped the Indians would have just done it already. And after years of debate over this, it boiled down to the last minute of the last day the legislature was is in. Reason number 1 for voters to oust all reps who continue to support such inaction.

Trip to RMV

For those of you who know the back road into the service plaza in Natick... where now the RMV sits... the gate is closed to traffic at the end of the road.. so you drive down to the end and park along the side this little road. Low and behold... at the end of this little closed road...stands a state policeman doing a detail for a backhoe and two workers not even in the road.

These details must be replaced with civilian flaggers