Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day observance in Framingham

We attended as always the Memorial Day service at the Memorial building, this year, inside the great hall. Like many, many of the years past, only a few people attend. Eliminating the Girl Scouts and their parents, there may have been only 40 people. There were a few City Councilors there, G King, A Steiner, M. Cannon, P. Richardson and hypocrite Giombetti and Rossi. It's laughable to hear Giombetti speak about 2 Nam Vets her knew from Town who died in Vietnam, when he never supported the effort the fly the POW MIA flag at the Town Hall. The Mayor made a nice speech and we all missed Chris Walsh at this years event.
All the years I've been here I've always lamented over the lack of public participation and the lack of veterans that don't show up. We supposedly have 2000 vets in Town. Years ago, Abby Anderson was the only Nam Vet that would show up in full dress and carried a flag during the very brief march they used to do in front of the Town Hall.
I'm always saddened to see how little the general population cares about today and the sacrifices so many Americans have made on our behalf. For the record, I lost a cousin in Vietnam in 1966, Jerry Dean Pillsbury, Marine Corps, PFC, F CO, 2ND BN, 7th Marines, 1st MARDIV, KIA Quang Tri Province.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Val Mulvey leaving

Today I learned Val Mulvey has resigned. I thought she could stay until her term expired but there  must be some legit reason why she left now. I for one.. and perhaps many many residents in Town who had interactions with her found her to be very knowledgeable, professional and un-biased in her duties as Clerk. It will be hard to imagine her not there.. but the city will not stop running. My own personal experience with her was always respectful, even though when I ran against Deb Blumer, I knew she didn't like that one bit. And each time I pulled papers to run for office, she always had an encouraging tone. She was always helpful when I was doing Public Policy Questions on the ballot as well. I wonder now what will happen with Lisa. Does she have to apply to the Mayor? Will she look outside for a Clerk?

Thursday, May 3, 2018

X Senate Pres Rosenberg must go

The report from the investigation of Stanley Rosenberg highlighted the lack of concern he (Rosenberg) had over his husbands criminal behavior on Beacon Hill. An independent law firm questioned 45 people, searched 250,000 thousand e mails and 19000 text messages, The results were that Rosenberg knew or should have known his husband was racially and sexually harassing Senate employees. Gov Baker and AG Healy have asked for him to resign. The powder puff recommendation from the lawyers was to not allow Rosenberg to head any committees for a few years.
Rosenberg exemplifies whats wrong with Beacon Hill and should resign and never come back in any capacity. As an aside, Rosenberg was one of the 5 legislators who supported Q4 and then voted to repeal and replace it with their own version.
Send the new President Karen Spilka an e mail ( in the subject line write He must resign.

Don't expect to be served a beer if you smell like pot in Framingham

At the last Licensing commission meeting, an alcohol dealer raised concerns over serving someone who smelled of marijuana.  For many cannabis consumers who dodn't drink at all, this means little. But for those who partake or are around people who burn to consume, you may have been splashed with smoke and having it on your cloths or breath. The surprise came when the Chair told the audience that servers should air on the side of caution and not serve that patron. The Chair seems to think that if you smell like pot, you are to intoxicated to have a drink. This would apply to liquor stores I assume and is the latest in reefer madness at the local level. This kind of non sense only hurts small business. Fast forward to the near end and you will see what I'm writing about.

Chris Walsh.. friend to Framingham

While we all knew it was coming, it's still very sad news of his passing. From early on, he always listened to what I had to say. He supported my advocacy of marijuana and hemp (he introduced the Mass Hemp Farm Bill) from the get go and was instrumental in helping Steph wade through Beacon Hill for her attempts to strengthen domestic violence legislation. Besides all that, he was admired and loved by so many in Town. His support of the history of Framingham, open space and historic buildings was always present.
I hope his spirit will live forever in our hearts and minds.
Rest in peace Chris.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Hemp Hemp Hooray.. it's finally here

The struggle to allow farmers to grow hemp has come to an end. When this gets going, entire industries will be manufacturing all types of products made from hemp. We did what we said we'd do, bring back to this country a billion dollar crop that farmers could use to help pay the bills. It's only taken 30 years and I for one am glad to see this happen in my lifetime. Perhaps the pellets for my pellet stove will be made of hemp next year. My work now is done.

BOSTON - While the Cannabis Control Commission begins accepting applications to grow and sell marijuana, the Department of Agricultural Resources is now accepting applications to grow the same plant for very different purposes.
Farmers in Massachusetts can now apply to grow, process and sell hemp, which comes from the cannabis plant but does not contain enough of the psychoactive component THC to cause impairment. Hemp is most commonly used as a fiber or seed, but can also be turned into an oil that contains CBDs, which are thought to have medical uses.
Massachusetts environmental officials announced a new hemp policy on Monday and made license applications available to farmers who want to begin growing hemp. Growing hemp for industrial purposes was made explicitly legal in the legal marijuana laws approved by voters in 2016 and then the Legislature.
“The introduction of industrial hemp to the Massachusetts agricultural industry will create new locally grown products and provide economic and job opportunities in rural Massachusetts,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton said Monday.
The state’s new policy allows farmers to grow hemp for research purposes or a number of commercial purposes, including for fiber, seed, hemp seed oil, seed for cultivation and seed meal. MDAR said common products made from hemp include rope, clothes, food, paper, textiles, plastics, insulation, oil, and biofuel.
“As hemp is a versatile plant offering many new opportunities for local farmers, we are proud to announce this policy and licensing process that will ensure farmers can start growing hemp this year,” MDAR Commissioner John Lebeaux said. “Hemp will not only create a new agricultural market in the Commonwealth, but also offer dividends in return as a plant whose ability to clean the soil offers an environmentally friendly way to rejuvenate poor quality land for future use.”
Any hemp grown in Massachusetts will be subject to inspection and testing by MDAR. Any hemp that is shown to have a THC level greater than 0.3 percent on multiple tests will be ordered to be destroyed, the department said, and the grower could face civil or criminal penalties.
Federal Implications
In announcing the new policy, MDAR also cautioned farmers that while it is now legal to grow hemp in Massachusetts, the federal government still considers it a Schedule I controlled substance - the same classification as marijuana, heroin and LSD - and growing hemp may affect other parts of the farm.

“If you currently participate in or receive assistance from any activities or programs that are provided by the federal government or that utilize federal funds (i.e., loans, insurance, grants, management plans, etc.), you may no longer be entitled to continue or benefit from such activities or programs by virtue of engaging in activities permitted under this policy,” MDAR wrote.
And while most of the action around marijuana is taking place at the CCC, the Department of Revenue is also getting involved in cannabis.
On Thursday, DOR plans to hold a public hearing on its proposed regulations for the imposition of the taxes that will be required when legal marijuana sales begin here in July.
In a notice of the public hearing, Commissioner Christopher Harding said: “all retail sales of marijuana by marijuana retailers are subject to up to three taxes imposed on the total sales price of the marijuana sold: the marijuana excise, the marijuana local tax option, and the sales tax.”
Under the rewritten marijuana law passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Charlie Baker last summer, non-medical marijuana will be subject to a 10.75 percent marijuana excise tax, the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax and a 3 percent local tax. Medical marijuana will remain tax-free.
Another state agency, the Department of Public Health, also has jurisdiction over part of the marijuana world. DPH has operated the state’s medical marijuana program since it was approved by voters in 2012, but state law requires the CCC to assume control of that program by the end of 2018.