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 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Boils down to the Globe making the case for "exaggerated numbers and outdated techniques, Dubious workload claims help boost the budget" under Mr.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.

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

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

Friday, July 16, 2010

Casino Lobbying, Finneran and Goldman Sachs

Last year the gambling interest paid 2 million in lobbying efforts on the Hill, this year so far, 1.8 million dollars have been spent on swaying the ruling party. And while there is still a great divide between DeLeo, Murray and Deval, I would not be surprised if a casino bill stalled on Beacon Hill.

The Disgraced ex-House-Speaker-turned-talk-show-host Tom Finneran is making money on both ends of a heated auto industry battle on Beacon Hill - raking in $20,000 in lobbying fees from one side while the other side sponsored his high-profile governors debate on WRKO-AM.

While moderating the June 16 gubernatorial showdown, Finneran failed to disclose the $20,000 he’s pocketed from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a Washington, D.C.-based group opposing the so-called “Right to Repair” bill.

While not illegal, it does demonstrate the sheer arrogance of that slime ball Finneran and also demonstrates that prostitution is alive and well in talk radio.

From the Globe: Goldman Sachs has been found guilty by the feds and has to pay 550 million dollars in fines to settle the civil fraud case. The largest fine ever paid, is just 5% of their net earnings. Yes.. five percent of their net earnings. Not much of a deterrent in my world and the fine should have been in the billions with jail time for those who profited off of our demise.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The FDA and Avandia

If you are taking Avandia.... PLEASE consult your doctor. This hot potatoes for the FDA has put millions of patients at a higher risk of heart attacks. The FDA will decide today, whether to pull the drug, (which they could have last year) increase warnings or reduce it's use.

E mails have surfaced.... as they usually do in the hunt for the truth, citing company officials who stated that if the studies that showed problems were to be taken seriously, the company could loose 600 million dollars.

One big problem for patients is that some on the FDA review committee were the same who approved the drug in the beginning and to stop it's use now, would leave egg on their face.

Look for plenty of lawsuits in this latest saga of bad drug legacies that permeate our society, prey on the sick and feed into the greed of the pharmaceutical industry.

I a related story last night, it was discovered that many if not most of the drugs made in China don't have the same regulatory review in manufacturing as the same drugs would have here in the States.

Back yard advice.... investigate every drug you are asked to take... BEFORE you start taking them.

Another State employee sells his soul

From the Globe: An inspector from the Mass Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission was arrested yesterday and charged with accepting a cash bribe, (3000.00) attempted extortion, bribery and two counts of improper storage of a firearm. He allegedly tried to get a liquor license for a convicted felon in Everett, to open a restaurant.

The man arrested, Arthur Hitchman has been around politics for a while, even working for Sate Senator Richard Tisei.

The beat goes on and on and on..but at least he has been suspended without pay.

Roll Back the Sales Tax from 6.25% to 3% is on the November 2, 2010 Ballot

Carla Howell has done it again.. it's official and may even pass this year. While some of the candidates have endorsed a roll back to 5%.. .as I do, this one ballot question alone, will shake the foundations of our budget if passed by the voters. Lets see how Beacon Hill and the others comes out against this.

DiMasi gets his pension... for now

A Boston judge has issued an order for the retirement board to give the indicted former speaker of the House, his 5,000 a month pension and 40,000 in back payments.

I wonder if DiMasi will have to pay back that money if he is found guilty. Let's hope so.

Monday, July 12, 2010

How about those Cops, protesting Deval

In a show of bully force, cops from all over the State lined up and protested Deval's policy about details. Their main beef, details at constriction sites. And if that didn't get your attention Deval, the cops rolled out their families in strollers, claiming their lives would be ruined if Deval takes away detail pay for cops at work sites.

Any wonder why most working class people resent cops at work sites?

And this protest, which numbered a few thousand, just made it worse.

The masses didn't show up against Arizona Immigration Law

Over this past weekend, we were told of thousands of protesters ready to invade Boston, in protest of the Arizona Immigration law due to start shortly out there. The main fear is racial profiling.

A few hundred people, mostly bused in showed me how little support they had amongst the Mass natives.

The Justice department is suing Arizona over the constitutionality of the law in hopes of delaying it's inception. This has proved to be unpopular with Americans and in a recent poll, 71% support Arizona's write to deal with the illegal immigration problem.

All this because Congress has refused to do anything about illegal immigration for so many years now. And now that one State is trying to determine it's own fate, Uncle wants to clamp down on them.

Look for this to be an hot topic later this campaign season as voters will be asking which side of the problem we are on. I say, good for Arizona for leading the charge. If the Feds can't or won't do anything, the States must. It's way out of hand.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How precious our drinking water is

More and more Towns are enacting water bans. Many have their own wells and are now going to crack down on those who violate water bans. Rarely seen years ago, water bans are now full time in some communities and rightfully so.

Some interesting numbers come from the Globe and the MWRA. This past spring with heavy rains and flooding, gave rise to the water supply being at 96%. Just a few years ago, it was much lower. According to the MWRA, this past Sunday, water consumption was at 256 gallons and on Sunday, it was 307 million gallons of water used. Average water use for this time period is around 250 million gallons.

I will not be surprised to see water bans from the MWRA to all customers throughout the greater Boston area who are served by the Quabin. As we know first hand, from the rupture of the Weston pipe, water is so precious and even a temporary stoppage can cause serious problems for all of us.

Conserve where you can.

The SJC rules Wind Farm in Western Mass can proceed

According to the Globe, the SJC has ruled that a state issued permit, of six years ago, to the developers of a Western Mass Wind Farm can be built. This 30-megawatt wind farm will be located in Florida and Monroe Mass and will power 10,000 homes. They hope to be completed by next year.

This decision by the SJC will have an impact on everyone in our state, including Framingham. The Legislature is considering a bill to stream line the permit process and will overrule petty lawsuits brought by those who stand in the way of wind energy.

Look for this to make the supposed Wind Turbine By-Law here in Framingham easier for home owners to have a small wind turbine on their property.

In another Mass town around Wareham, a private developer is making plans to build some land based utility grade wind turbines among the cranberry bogs.... with no opposition whats so ever.

There is hope wind energy in Mass and after 75 days of oil spilling into the Gulf, effecting 5 states and the life's work of thousands of people and dozens of industries, I say, put a 1000 turbines off our coast.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tonights Concert on the Green

For those of you who have nothing to do tonight with the kids. Come down to hear some music and stop by our tent and see our clown entertain the little ones. She will be making balloon animals, a hit among all kids of every age. Look for the red tent with Jim Pillsbury signs all over it.

Steph and I wish you all a safe and relaxing holiday.

Brown stops the unemployed from seeing the green

Our newest Senator has thrown his R weight around and voted against the unemployment extension and finance reform. According to the Globe, Senator Browns Boston office has been a hot bed of protest activity and I see no reason for this to stop. He, like his counterparts have left Washington leaving hundreds of thousands of Mass residents without a paycheck for the last month... AND, voted against a finance reform package that would have taxed banks a small portion of their income.

The only hope for the unemployment extension is that around July 16th the Senate will once again take a vote, after the replacement is picked for the recently deceased Senator Byrd, bringing back the majority to the D side.

Hang in there and hope that the Senate feels our pain.

Drinking alcohol on Sunday just got easier

For those of you who can't wait till noon for a drink at your local eatery, good news. A new law goes into effect this weekend. You will be able to order a drink at 10AM.

This move is intended to help the restaurant business and proponents claims millions in tax revenue from just two hours of drinking on Sunday.

I doubt very much, the two extra hours will mean that much more in revenue for the State. Extra hours of drinking will not serve our communities and just give more excuses for drinking and driving.