Friday, November 28, 2014

4Th Annual Holiday Show

A blogger asked if we are doing the Holiday Show.

Yes we did our live Holiday Show last week in Natick. The show will be played on your public access stations at 9PM Saturdays, 7PM Sunday's and 8:30 on Wednesday nights. I always think of Bing Crosby's Christmas Show's when I'm planning the shows. As in the past, we are blessed with the New Sound Assembly Choir, Santa and Mrs. Claus and some children.

As always, it's the best show I produce all year and to see my granddaughter singing with the choir, makes me so proud.

Watch the show at this link.

I appreciate your kind words Annon

"Black Lives matter" and the Grand Jury

As strange as it felt listening to the press conference at 9PM, I wasn’t along. The reasons given were somewhat strange as well. The authorities knew what the decision of the grand jury was and decided to announce at 9PM. As the prosecutor read on, I could sense it was going south for an indictment of any kind. You could hear it in his delivery.

Many have called into question now, some of the evidence that was refuted by other testimony.  There seems to be plenty to question and perhaps the Fed’s will decide to peruse a more thorough and unbiased investigation.  And while the next day, a black 12 year old was shot dead over a toy that looked just like a gun, nothing has changed in the hearts of those whose job it is to enforce laws resulting in more blacks that will die at the hands of white police officers.

The protesters make me proud and if I weren’t so tired, I’d be there also. And Boston did the country proud by having a mostly peaceful protest. While buildings burned in Ferguson Mo, we in the white community have faith that we could never have that problem here in Framingham.  After all, we accept the fact that a white police officer killed an innocent black man, who was lying on the floor of his home, in his pajamas, in the middle of the night, unarmed and not resisting.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Framingham Tax information

Thanks to Joel Winett for posting this info on Framingham Gov. Have a look at the Real Estate values and ask yourself if you could sell your property for what it's taxed value is. The BOS meeting will be informative and in the end, it will be up to the BOS to determine fairness for property owners while keeping business happy as well. But the underlying reasons for tax increases have been approved by Town Meeting last spring. The Town could have increased the levy by 0 % if we had only not spent 2 million dollars. Instead, we will all live with the modest tax increase because come 2016/17 we'll be asked to spend big time on a new school, which must be done.

The Framingham Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing on the adoption
of a Residential Factor, thereby determining the percentages of the tax
burden borne by each class of real and personal property for Fiscal Year

Originally scheduled for November 18, the hearing will be held in the
Ablondi Room of the Memorial Building on December 2, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Comments from Framingham taxpayers may be submitted in writing before the
meeting for review by the Board. All interested taxpayers are encouraged to
attend the meeting. There will be a Q&A period following the presentation.

The Framingham Board of Assessors has made all real and personal property
values available to the public, prior to value approval and value
certification by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Division of Local
Services. Hard copies are also at the Assessor's office and at the Main

The Assessors web site can be accessed from

Preliminary Real Estate and Personal Property Values FY 2015 are available
on the web as shown below:

Real Estate Values by Address

Real Estate Values by Last Name

Personal Property Values By Address

Personal Property Values by Business Name

All taxpayers are invited to review their property values. Department Staff
and the Board of Assessors are available during the disclosure period from
November 17, 2014 to November 21, 2014.

Joel Winett, Town Meeting Member Precinct 7

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans Day and the new VA chief

I wish to thank ALL Veterans for their service to this country.

There are, according to the Globe, 374,000 veterans living in Mass, of that 273,000 are war time Veterans, with the largest amount of Veterans here in Middlesex County at almost 70,000.  By the War's, 32,000 from WWII, 45,000 from Korea, 124,000 from the Vietnam War and 80,000 from Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan. And I'd be remiss by not pointing out the amount of female Veterans in this State, 32,000, with 203,000 currently serving active duty.

In May of this year, the US house of Representatives passed a proposal to take a moment of silence at 2:11 PM East time.The Bill did receive bi-partisan support, but I've not read or heard of the bill making it into law.

Some of you have read or heard about my efforts to fly the POW MIA flag at the Memorial building, which was apposed by the Veterans agent here in Town. Despite his objections (which no one I've spoken to agrees) the flags are now being flown thanks to the good people at TM, who by a overwhelming vote for a resolution, instructed the Building and Grounds head Jim Polini to hang the flags. Out of this came a policy from the BOS, instructing the POW MIA flags to be flown at the Memorial building, Police and Fire headquarters. There are still 39 Massachusetts families waiting for their loved ones to be accounted for and brought home from Vietnam and thousands from all the past wars and we should never forget them.

A bit of good news for ALL veterans seeking medical help, after the scandal that broke about the VA's administration cooking the books while Veterans waited months for appointments and some even died as a result of the lack of accountability. The President did what he had to and got rid of the VA Chief and now has appointed Robert McDonald, the former CEO of Proctor and Gamble. I saw his interview on 60 minutes last night and I think he will do the right thing for ALL Veterans in this country. He has his work cut out and is trying to hire 28,000 medical staffers. One problem he has is dealing with the Federal Government is that you can't fire anyone, regardless of the infraction. There is a procedure that must be followed and the new head is trying to deal with it. As in most federal agencies, employees have way more protection than private industry. There are literally hundreds of federal employees who have been furloughed because it just is easier to pay them verses trying to fire them. Is it any wonder why we have little faith in the Fed's to do the right thing for tax payers.

As in the past, if you are a Veteran you have a free meal at some local restaurants. You can find them at:

Friday, November 7, 2014

ex-probation chief

From the Globe

In a case that exmplifies whats wrong with Beacon Hill, prosecutors are asking for 70 months in prision for one of this States biggest insiders. As the trail progressed, it was clear from the start that Mr. O'Brian was guilting of a fraudulent hiring sceme and trading probation dept jobs to friends and relatives of State Legislators. House Speaker Bob DeLeo's name was mentioned throughout the trial and he has adimentley denied any wrong doing. But as we know, his nephew got a cherry job because of his connections as have many state workers. I was very disappointed to see Mr. DeLeo not get indicated for using his position to give friends and family cushy high paying jobs that they may not have been qualified for.

The Governor elect is already planning his first 60 days and prescription drugs and campaign finance reform is on his radar. Lets see when and if he gets around to cleaning up our State Government and who will stand in his way from the hill.

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 2014 Elections

I cannot in good conscious vote for Markey. He exemplifies whats wrong with Washington. He has been a part of Washington who has done nothing in the past 20 years. He has received millions in campaign contributions from those who he regulates. He is as much the problem in Washignton as any other. And sending a hard core idealog in Herr will not make any thing better for the country, but only to support more grid lock in Washighton. I'll blank out on this one.

Voting for either Coakley or Baker will only add to our fiscal and moral dilemma in this State. The Independents are my only hope for the future. Livley seems to be so removed from anywhere near the center. Mccormick has great ideas, but Falchuk has the right ideas about many of the states problems and could be the best candidate to get things done. Falchuk for Governor.

Maura Healey seems to be the best candidate for AG

Galvin is part of the Blue machine here in mass. D'Arcangelo is with the red side. For a change, I would go with Factor for Sec of State.

Goldberg, another insider. Hefferman seems to be honest and experienced. Jackson from the Green Party would be my second choice.

Bump seems to be doing her job and that's why I would vote for her.

Voting for any incumbent in Congress is saying I agree with their work, which is as we all know, their approval rating is as low as it's ever been.

Voting for an office that should not even exist goes against my core voting values. The Governors council is another State elected board that has little to no effect on anything, unless you're a deep pocket lawyer who wants to be a judge.

Spilka and Walsh have done some work for the people, but are part of the Blue machine that continues to evade the obvious. Corruption, nepotism, fraud and scandal after scandal are all things we forget about when voting. Coombes who has challenged Walsh did not make enough of an effort to make me vote for him.

To many recent events have caused me not vote for Ryan.

DeCristofaro the D and Lambert the R... neither make me want to vote for them.

Ballot Questions

1 gas tax  YES ... The State has done a bad job maintaining the roads and bridges in this State. Much of the gas tax over the years has never gone to the proper projects. Letting the State raise a tax without our consent is wrong.

2 bottle bill... YES... Spending a few pennies to help clean up our environment is worth the money.

3 Gaming.. NO ... People who want to gamble should be able to do so here in Mass.

4 Earned Sick Time.. YES .... is there any argument against this? I couldn't imagine why.

5 Ending Marijuana Prohibition... YES... Over 53 % of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal and regulated. Since 2000, Framingham voters have overwhelmingly supported relaxing marijuana laws along with medicinal access for patients.

6 Amending the Constitution.. YES... Since the Supreme Courts decision to allow corporations to have the same rights as individuals, we have seen 100's of millions of dollars go to effect elections. For the future of this country, we need to stop the influence of corporations in our electrical process.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

What didn't happen at Spring Town Meeting

Like the scene from Good Morning Vietnam, when Robbin Williams goes to read what the sensors have allowed him to read over the air waves... Nothing happened, when in fact the war rages on.

Last spring, Town Meeting was asked to approve a 2 million dollar building to house inventory. As a member of the Ways and Means committee, I asked what the inventory was and the department head told us the Town has around 500,000 in inventory scattered around town and to do an complete inventory a larger building is a must. It was clear, no one is keeping track of most of the inventory. One member asked the DPW head, will you not do an inventory unless you get the building and the answer was yes.

Shocked as I was as so were a few of the more aware committee members, we voted not to support the building until an accurate inventory was done. At TM I made a resolution at asking the DPW department to provide an inventory to TM in the Fall. The resolution passed overwhelmingly. The next day the DPW head was quoted as saying to Patch, "that's not going to happen" to the resolution calling for an inventory.

Fast forward to Fall TM. Article 1 came up for review. On the back table was a hand out from DPW, explaining their efforts to conduct an inventory. A consultant was hired to examine the cost and needs benefit of decentralized verses a centralized inventory system The memo went on to say that an inventory was in the works for 4 locations around town and that the value of said inventory is between 600,000 and 700,000 dollars. The DPW will report back in spring of 2015 with the recommendations from the consultant.

While this may appear to be the right path, it's clear to me, DPW has hired a company that will suggest a centralized inventory, thus, making the 2 million dollar inventory building a sure thing next year.

Another tidbit of useful information that you didn't read about was the Police Union contract at Fall TM. Being lucky enough to be on the Ways and Means, I get to see what the departments heads are rolling out to TM. While serving on Public Safety were questions weren't allowed by the Chair, it's been refreshing to be on a committee that encourages questions of the Department heads.

For the amount of time I've been on TM, I have questioned the amount of sick time and overtime in Public Safety budgets. Being a very blue union Town, those who question Public Safety are heathens, but when a force of 100 or so take 850 days are year off for sick time, it's time to speak out. While reading the Police Union contract, Art 36 indicates that Police officers will strive to adhere to the Towns Customer service policy but shall not be disciplined solely on the failure to adhere to the policy. The Union endorese the Town's Ethics policy. To me, as well as others, this language is at best ambiguous and in fact, leaves the impression that FPD does not have it's own Ethical Standards as do Waltham and Brookline PD's. Try as I do to make my time at TM productive and meaningful, my attempt to make a motion to have the FPD be held accountable to an Ethics Code... was not allowed by the moderator. Doing some digging on this, I ran into the Accreditation issue. And after speaking with the head of the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission, I felt it was important to ask how FPD was accredited while having a clause that does not hold FPD to any ethical standards. I will meet with Chief Ferguson next week for clarity.

My point about the local media's coverage of Framinghjam TM. While every talking point at TM cannot be written about in the paper, issues of accountability and ethical standards should make a line or two in the local media outlets.