Sunday, March 19, 2017

The top wage earners in Framingham

The MWDN published an excellent review of the top wage earners in Town. The best part and most confusing is the interactive chart on the bottom of the piece. If you click a Policeman's name you'll see all the different categories these guys are getting paid under. I have no idea what most of them represent, but the numbers are staggering. I have asked the reporter to clarify those codes.
Have a looksee.. no wonder the new temporary management at FPD are making changes to what the FPD officers can do for their pay.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Cop Unions vs the taxpayers

 As a Town Meeting member and past member of Public Safety and Ways and Means Standing Committee's, I got the opportunity to ask questions of The current and past Police Administrations. The later, gave me dirty looks and put his hand on his holstered side arm every time I asked him a question. It was funny to see the pattern repeat.
When I had first seen the amount of overtime, sick time, comp time, stipends, and detail pay, in the e budget, I was wasn't shocked as it's been known in these parts for years... some, not all, public safety  personal were and are gaming the system.
I would imagine it takes a certain amount of guts to lay down the law.. to lawless law men. I have to admit my support for Acting Chief Steven Trask and Deputy Chief Ronald Brandolini for taking on the subjects that I have hammered Town Meeting about for some years now. I estimate the abuses have cost taxpayers10 million dollars in the past 5 years.

MWDN Jim Haddadin

FRAMINGHAM — A police union is accusing the town of unfair labor practices after the acting police chief stripped officers of the ability to work paid details in other towns. The Framingham Police Officers Union this year filed a pair of complaints with the Department of Labor Relations, alleging the town unfairly changed working conditions without going back to the bargaining table. In one of the complaints, dated Jan. 25, a lawyer representing the union wrote that the town has long allowed officers to work paid details in other municipalities. Patrol officers were previously notified when the lucrative shifts Framingham police union ¼les complaint over out-of-town details Friday Posted Mar 17, 2017 at 5:33 PM Updated Mar 17, 2017 at 7:42 PM 3/18/2017 Framingham police union files complaint over out­of­town details­police­union­files­complaint­over­out­of­town­details 2/3 were available. Similarly, police from other towns worked shifts in Framingham when officers from the local department weren't available. But in mid-December 2016, Acting Chief Steven Trask and Deputy Chief Ronald Brandolini informed the union president and vice president that the town would no longer allow patrol officers to work out-of-town details, according to the Jan. 25 complaint. The union was given no prior notice about the change. It alleges the town "unlawfully and unilaterally" implemented the decision, violating two provisions of state law. The union is seeking orders requiring the town to halt its new rule barring outside details and requiring police administrators to bargain any similar changes in the future. In a second complaint filed in January, the union also challenged a move by the town to eliminate stipends provided to nine police officers with special assignments. Under the most recent collective bargaining agreement with the town, up to 15 patrol officers were eligible to receive stipends of $3,500 per year if they were designated by the police chief as investigators. The union contends the town has also provided "specialist pay" in the same amount to school resource officers, the housing officer, the assistant safety officer, and the social media officer. At least 24 officers were receiving specialist pay as of January, according to the union. On Jan. 17, Trask informed nine of the officers they would no longer be eligible for the payments. In an email to the officers, Trask wrote that he had received a request to audit specialist pay, and determined that the specialist designation was "not specified" in the union's contract. A hearing officer from the Department of Labor Relations is scheduled to meet with the side on April 18 and conduct a preliminary investigation into both matters to determine if there is probable cause to issue a complaint against the town.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

a walk down memory lane

My significant other wanted to give her brother a special birthday gift for his 60th birthday, a milestone that I and many others have past and empathize with. We are no longer in our 50's and some of us may have felt we'd never get to 60.

So she asked his kids if there were any old super 8 movies around. Those smart enough to be able to think ahead way back then perhaps knew that someday these home movies would be a fantastic way future generations to see the people and places of their youth.  So a nephew found a box with 40 or so cardboard boxes and metal reel tins in the basement. Technology being what it is today, these super 8 films can be converted to digital files and burned onto a DVD. You see this now at funerals where old photos of the deceased are played on a flat screen in the receiving room.

The lesson I wanted to get across is this: unprotected old film reels are susceptible to a mold that not only ruins the tape but no one at the conversion store will run the tape, fearing that the mold could be inhaled by the technician. It's imperative that your old super 8 film be in air tight containers.
Secondly: When viewing the DVD with other family members, some who are very old and are the last of that generation, many questions are answered. Hair color, houses lived in, relatives that are no longer here, etc etc, are just a walk down memory lane for those in attendance. It is worth every penny to have your old films converted to DVD. Whether or not you think your family would enjoy them now is irrelevant, preserving those days past when life was so different than it is today will be part of your lasting memory.

While this post may differ from the usual, the circumstances that made this happen over 60 years ago
prompts my writing. You see, the father who bought the camera and shot most of the footage knew he was dying. He died just a few years after he shot the films. The moral of the story is, preserve your past history for the generations that will follow you, it's a great walk down memory lane.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Day without Woman


If you don't want to spend the night on the couch.. wear something red today and Thank the women in your life for all they do for us. This is a good piece by the MWDN.

Making a statement

National movement a continuation of January’s March
By Christopher Gavin

Daily News Staff

Stephanie Deeley took a vacation day for Wednesday, but she’s not going anywhere special and has not made plans to do anything particularly relaxing.The Framingham resident instead intends to be one of many women in MetroWest and the Milford region who are expected to take off from work in honor of the national “A Day Without A Woman.”
She admits that she has not been very politically active until just after the presidential election last year, but also said she now fears women and minorities will lose the rights they have gained as President Donald Trump settles into office. Spending a day away from her desk and dedicating her time to focus on women’s issues is one way she can illustrate and raise her concerns.
“Women have fought so hard for so long for the rights that we have and I can’t sit idly by,” said Deeley, 61, who works in administration at the Worker’s Compensation Research Institute in Cambridge.
Riding the heels of January’s massive global Women’s March, women and people who are gender nonconforming across the country are expected to stay home Wednesday, wear red and refrain from shopping - save for at small, womenowned and minority-owned businesses - according to the Women’s March on Washington website.
The movement coincides with International Women’s Day, also on March 8, and organizers and participants say their actions are intended to show the socioeconomic value women hold while still facing challenges like receiving lower wages than men.
Women are more likely to be discriminated against in the workplace or sexually harassed - some of numerous talking points participants say they intend to make known on their day off from their usual jobs.
“What surprises me is so many other countries have had female presidents or prime ministers and here we are ‘the greatest country’ and we just can’t seem to push through women’s agenda, women heads of state,” said Lillian Breen of Ashland. “Even in the large corporations, the percentage of women is still relatively small.”
Breen, although retired, said she still plans to spend Wednesday in conversation about those topics and others with the people she encounters throughout her day.
Deeley, decked out in red, will scout out women-owned businesses to venture to around MetroWest before heading to a meeting of the Women’s March Framingham group scheduled at the Framingham Public Library Wednesday night.
At Framingham State University, in honor of International Women’s Day, students and professors will march at noon from the McCarthy Campus Center to the Center of Inclusion Excellence where several speakers will address the crowd.
However, as women around the country have noted, not all have the ability to miss a day from work or take a little off their paychecks.
Mary Ellen Wyman, director and owner of The Kiddie Lodge, an early education center in Framingham, said 14 of her 15 member staff are women and while they’re supportive of the movement, they have a different role to serve.
The business will stay open, she said.“We’re here to take care (of the kids) so (their mothers) can go out and have their voices heard,” Wyman said Tuesday.
Under state law, public employees are technically not allowed to strike, though Gov. Charlie Baker’s office said in a statement Tuesday that his administration supports the right of executive branch employees to take part in the movement.
“Gov. Baker and Lt. Gov. (Karyn) Polito deeply value the role women play in the administration and fully support the ability for all executive branch employees to exercise their rights to participate in all civic dialogue,” said Lizzy Guyton, Baker’s communications director.
Massachusetts Teachers Association President Barbara Madeloni told the Daily News the group has encouraged its members that if they decide to show solidarity with the demonstration, they can wear red to school and control where they spend their money.
Deeley, noting that other women her age have seemingly become more engaged in politics since the presidential election, said the movement is a way to spark discussions on issues of gender equality.
She compared it to the anti-war demonstrations of the 1960s and the changes that grew from them.
“I think there’s a lot of women in the MetroWest (area) and if we raise our voices, we’re going to be hard to ignore,” she said. —Christopher Gavin can be reached at 508 634-7582 or cgavin@wickedlocal. com. Follow him on Twitter @c_gavinMDN

Saturday, March 4, 2017

A Major win for voters around the country

 Whether you watched all the past Presidential debates or not, you may have recalled over the years, third party candidates were always barred from the debate stage. Regardless of party, most voters who pay attention to the debates would rather have seen ALL the qualified candidates. Up till now, the  Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) made sure through various ways the 2 main Parties would be the only ones voters saw. A US District Court ruled yesterday against the Federal Election Commission (FEC) the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) is rigged in favor of the Republicans and Democrats.
It's anyone's guess if the two candidates that were bared from the debates would have changed the election results. As it was Johnson had gathered more votes than most would have predicted, even though very few saw and heard him, even with the Aleppo gaff.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

White Ribbon Day.. violence against women

For those of you who followed this blog, you may remember that we lost Steph's sister to domestic violence. "March 10th will mark the 4th anniversary of the day that Kim left us. Sometimes it seems like that day was just yesterday, and others it feels like I have not seen her smile or heard her laugh in 100 years. Time for that random act of kindness in Kim’s memory. On March 10th I hope you will consider doing that again. We live in a world where I think being kind is becoming more important than ever before, and less common".

White Ribbon Day is part of an international campaign called The White Ribbon Campaign. Designed especially with men in mind at the time, this was created by a handful of Canadian men in 1991 on the second anniversary of one man's massacre of fourteen women in Montreal. They began the White Ribbon Campaign to urge men to speak out against violence against women.

Sexual and domestic violence and their solutions are bi-partisan. In the current landscape of uncertainty regarding the progress we’ve made in terms of policy, networks of services and attitudes, we are calling on all men to speak out for respect, dignity and equity, for accountability and for values that promote healthy and positive masculinities.