Friday, April 30, 2010

Anti-Bullying Law ready for Devals signature

The bill requires mandatory training for school officials beginning next year. Under the law, public and private schools must offer anti-bullying curriculum, schools must create a bullying intervention plan, and principals are mandated to investigate complaints and report results to parents.

Police must also be alerted if the abuse could be deemed criminal harassment, stalking, witness intimidation or annoying telephone calls.

The bill does not impose fines or other penalties for school officials who fail to report bullying, nor does it explicitly make bullying a crime.

While this Bill may make Beacon Hill proud, it still lacks any teeth and does not hold parents responsible for their children's actions. Sufficient laws are already on the books no matter the age of the parties involved. Perhaps bullying curriculum will be added to the MCAS tests. If responsible adults had only intervened in these past cases, another useless law would not have been enacted.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

General Chemical admits....

President Michael Persico admitted yesterday that the company made a mistake in pumping hazardous water from their building in the environment and said, "it's a violation, but we're going to address it and fix it".

I wonder how many more mistakes can that neighborhood take before it's capped like Nyanza? I also wonder when Sherborn is going to look into this and demand action from Framingham and General Chemical. Could make the SMOC lawsuit look trivial if the appropriate action is now dealt with soon..

Green up Day in Framingham

While I certainly support any efforts to clean up our neighborhoods I will say that with cut backs the Town can't afford to travel around Town to pick up bags of trash, as they once did years ago. Now, you go to the places below, pick up bags and deliver the filled bags back to the location you got the bags from. I'm not sure who is willing to shuttle bags of trash in their sub compact cars these days.

I will spend a few hours picking up trash, segregating the recyclable materials and put them out for the regular trash pick up at my home.

Town cleanup enhancement 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 noon

Where: Neighborhoods, business areas, ponds, streams & rivers,
roads and parks

Locations for sign-up:
Framingham Co-operative Bank (at rt. 126 /rt. 30)
Boys & Girls Club 154 Pearl Street (Downtown Framingham
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church 3 Maple Street (off Main Street)
Hemenway Elementary School—Water St/Nobscot Area

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cape Wind.... is approved

After 9 years Secretary Salazar announced today that Cape Wind has the green light, with a few added requirements. The Indians has said they will challenge Salazar's decision in court but as of now, Cape Wind will finally get off the ground with the blessing of the US Government.

Hats off to Obama and his team for pushing this forward and in the coming year we will see proposals for dozens of wind farms right off our coast, bringing jobs and clean energy to us all.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Goldman Sachs execs grilled today

Some of the past head honchos at Goldman Sachs are being questioned by congress today in an attempt to get to the bottom of what most see as the largest fraud perpetrated on unsuspecting investors, while a few bet that the collapse would happen.

We know now, that some at the SEC, the group charged with oversight were busy watching porn, so much so, that in one case, an SEC employee's computer was filed to the max, while others were viewing 8 hours a day, at the very same time, our financial world was on the brink of total collapse.

As I've written in the past, the SEC is just as guilty in letting Goldman and others create a world of synthetic risky bets that were sold knowing that failure was at hand.

And as we know now, financial reform has stalled on Capital Hill mainly because of the lobbying being done by those who benefit the most from fraud, greed and unethical business practices.

Amendments to the casino bill...

Last week our Rep voted against a salary cap for the Gaming Commissioner of 125,000, rejected an amendment banning casino employee's from working for the State Gaming Commission and rejected open bidding to operate slot machines at race tracks.

If and when the Senate decides the casino question, you can bet your last dollar that Beacon Hill will prosper more than any group of people and will be just another in a long list of flawed politically biased decisions that will haunt us for years.

Convicted State Rep at it again

Former Springfiled state rep Chris Asselin, who served a 18 month sentence for corruption has turned in enough signatures to be on the ballot in November. He pleaded guilty in 2007 for bribery, theft and conspiracy that also included his farther who admitted to taking bribes and illegal campaign contributions.

Level 3 sex offenders can't work at schools, bank robbers can't work at banks, and convicted state reps should not be able to hold elected office again, ever.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Discussion about upcoming warrant

If anyone wants to find out about the upcoming warrant articles for Town Meeting, please come to the Community Center, Framingham Green, Maynard Road, this Thursday at 7PM, it is open to all residents and especially geared toward Town Meeting members.

Friday, April 16, 2010

SEC charges Goldman Sachs with fraud

(Fortune) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday charged Wall Street's most gilded firm, Goldman Sachs, with defrauding investors in a sale of securities tied to subprime mortgages.

The SEC said it charged New York-based Goldman (GS, Fortune 500) and a vice president, Fabrice Tourre, for their failure to disclose conflicts in a 2007 sale of a so-called collateralized debt obligation. Investors in the CDO ultimately lost $1 billion, the SEC said.

The SEC's civil fraud complaint alleges that Goldman allowed hedge fund Paulson & Co. -- run by John Paulson, who made billions of dollars betting on the subprime collapse -- to help select securities in the CDO.

Goldman didn't tell investors that Paulson was shorting the CDO, or betting its value would fall. When the CDO's value plunged within months of its issuance, Paulson walked off with $1 billion, the SEC said.

This is just the beginning readers. This civil action will turn into criminal, after all the court findings. This process will drag out for years, making hundreds of millions for lawyers. But the bottom line is, those greedy deceitful SOB's are going to answer to thousands of investors who were taken for a ride, including the government. We can now rest knowing justice will be served as the years pass.

Jack Herer, father of marijuana legalization movement, dies at age 70 in Eugene

I first saw Jack in 1989, in Northampton MA, at the first marijuana rally ever staged here in Massachusetts. A few years later, he was our featured speaker in Ashland at Stone Park, where the Selectman tried in vain to stop us. Thanks to the ACLU and attorney John Swomley, a federal judge ruled against the Town and the rally went on.

After reading Jack's book, "The Emperor Wears No Clothes", I was enlightened to all the uses of hemp and the truth behind marijuana prohibition. He and I had a few puffs and talked about the bigger picture and how we could make a difference. Jack was a formidable crusader, ruff and tumble type guy, who spoke the truth.

I am lucky to have known and crusaded with him. His work has paid off all around this country and his spirit will always be a part of our future.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another political scandal, Teachers Association boycotts Race to the Top

A federal grand jury is investigating allegations of public corruption against DA Michael O'Keefe, that resulted from a wire tap of an alleged bookmaker operation more than a year ago.

Authorities are looking into whether O'Keefe protected alleged bookmakers operating on the Cape and gave favorable treatment to the grandson of one of them in an unrelated criminal case.

Look for this to make headlines if indeed, O'Keefe or his office are implicated in wrong doing. Although he's an elected R, it may well turn out that we see more D's and R's go down this year for yet undiscovered wrong doing. Those connected to the Amy Bishop case are being grilled as we speak and would not surprise me to see someone go down for that also.

I've seen it all now. The second largest teachers union in the State has decided to boycott the application to the "Race to the Top" program offered by Obama, perhaps jeopardizing 250 million in grant money. All this over rules set forth for teacher and school performance. Paul Reville, our states education chief is quoted in the Globe as saying, "the federations boycott constitutes a real threat to our capacity to be successful with this proposal".

Sad to see how much power the unions have over our children s education future.

Only 4,000 show up to vote

Another lack luster showing for the over 30k voters in this Town. Only the hard core vote now in local elections and while some say it's just voter apathy, I say, the Town and the print media does not want to see 30k voters show up to vote and does little to support more interest.

The outcome of low voter turn out will keep things just as they are.

Monday, April 12, 2010

If you owe taxes...

Because of our county (Middlesex) being declared a disaster area, instead of April 15th as tax deadline, it's now May 11th. Hang on to your money as long as you can.

Vote on Tuesday. DeLeo's fund raising party

If you want our Town to continue on it's merry way of going along to get along, then vote for the incumbents for selectman. If you think that it's time for a small change in the leadership of this Town, vote the incumbents out. It's as simple as that. But please take the time to vote.

Last week DeLeo held his annual fund raiser and guess who was there, lining the pockets of the ruling party? The gambling interests and their supporters. We won't know how much money, over the 2 million already given to DeLeo, Murray and Patrick, because, once again, the legislator made sure, in the last years ethics reforms, that they did not have to report donations until September. And while this may seem irrelevant now, the millions spent by the lobbyists will not be good for anyone, except those on the take.

Look for the usual dysfunctional, closed door meetings that will stall any attempt at moving forward casino gambling. With hundreds of amendments already in the Q, from the absolutely absurd to the kingdom making agencies that will make sure, they get their share of the pie. Look for this to drag out to July.

I hope the Indians beat them to the punch.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Toyota, Boston Scientific pay for their greed

You had to know this was coming, the feds handed down a 16 million dollar fine. Transportation Sec Ray LaHood is quoted in the Globe, "We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations". While the fine seems large, Toyota is a multi hundred billion dollar company. The evidence released to the media was convincing and a no brainier, they covered up what they knew and when, and felt smug about it.

Toyota is considering a challenge to this ruling. If the ruling stands, there are 100 or so class action suites ready to go.

In the largest criminal penalty ever paid by a medical device company, Boston Scientific s Guidant LLC Division, will pay 296 million dollars for violating two federal misdemeanor counts alleging it failed to properly disclose changes made to some implantable heart devices.

A long story short, a judge will either adopt this plea agreement, add to it or change it in some way. The bottom line is, the company will pay for it's greed and has already settled all the civil suits which probably is millions more.

And nothing more highlights that attitude of greed and self intlement, than the newly appointed CEO of Boston Scientific, whos comapasation for 2009 was 33.5 million dollars. The WSJ found that only two large comapny CEOs will make more than Ray Elliot form Boston Scientific.

In comparison, CEO William Swanson from Raytheon was paid 18.6 million, down from 2008 pay of 20.5 million.

All this while 9,200 Mass residents lost their EU pay check this week and if the Senate can't find their way to extend, next week and the week after, 10,000 more may be without a pay check. Our newest member of the Senate and his colleagues are asking where the money will come from. What in the world are they thinking? This fragile state economy will suffer huge looses if they don't fund these extensions. Using left over TARP money is better than doing nothing at all. Funding country rebuilding should start at home first, then the outside world.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Community Gardens

For any of our readers who live in Framingham and always wanted to have a little garden to grow some food, the good people at The Methodist Church (Water&Brooke Street)are going to open up that great patch of land in front of their church to the public. There are few rules, free water and the garden will be tilled. A small portion of your proceeds will go to soup kitchens around Framingham, but all the rest is yours.

Any of our readers who have not dabbled in gardening and want to, I will assist in showing anyone the how to s throughout the growing season. There's plenty of land for many people. Just e mail me at and you will be on the list.

We are also taking names for the community garden patch next to MCI on the south side. Great fertile land, free water and also tilled.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Place your bets, Bush broke the law, another questionable drug

Get ready casino fans, DeLeo, Murray and Patrick all have different ideas on slots and casinos and it's that polarity that will stall the cash cow from delivering. In closed door meetings, DeLeo's inner circle have devised a bill that would collect 25% of the revenue of two casinos, which may generate 250 to 300 million. The state would also sell licenses which may bring in another 75 to 100 million. Slots are opposed by Patrick and Murray. A compromise has to be worked out and it's my guess, casinos are still years away. One more player at the table has not been heard from lately and it's my guess, the Indians will be the first to the prize and I'm not sure, the Indians, being a sovereign nation, would have to pay the same rate.

Remember way back when it was announced by then President Bush, that in the interest of national security, new rules were adopted to spy on Americans? Well civil liberty fans, a federal judge has ruled that the surveillance without warrants was illegal. Defendants will now be able to seek damages, including punitive damages. Obama has tried his best to hide this action by Bush as it will open up huge cans of worms that will reveal much more of the illegal action taken by an administration who didn't follow the rules.

Another 'better living through chemistry" drug Avodart, a prostate cancer preventive medicine has shown to increase the risk of heart failure. Glaxo spokesperson is quoted as saying, "The higher heart failure rate in this study is unexpected and inconsistent with previous research". Years from now, this will a understatement. Look for ligation in 2 years on this one.