Thursday, January 31, 2019

The House rules won't change this legislative year

I give those who pushed for reasonable house rule changes great credit for trying to make Beacon Hill more transparent. Our own Ms. Robinson and other newbies and a few old timers didn'y garner enough support for key changes. DeLeo has a firm grip on the House and he's the major reason why things don't get done. 

From Commonwealth Magazine.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

More reefer madness from Grove, King and Richardson and the killing of 29 beavers

Have a looksee at last nights City Council meeting. The best and most informative part of this and most all of their meetings is the Mayor's report give by COO Keezer.
Skip to 1:25:00 where the fun begins and lies and mis-information run unquestioned. King wants to exstort money our of testing labs in a host agreement, Richardson wants the 5 year contract to be never ending, Grove wants more cops to inspect dumpsters and claims that there is "deep police involvement" along with citing a meeting last Saturday at Tripp Street, "many neighbors are worried over the grow facility". I was there and that's just not the case at all. Her and her only friend and Judy Margulis were there.  That will get your blood boiling and if that didn't rile you, at 1:58:51 you will hear Mike Cannon ask again how the beavers were killed and who initiated the process.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Schultzs may run as an independent

 I've tried to stay clear of the noise created by those who want to run for President. But after seeing Howard Schultzs on 60 minutes on Sunday, I had to weigh in. This guy has the money to get on the ballot in all 50 states and seems to have the record of someone who understands where the bottom is for many Americans. He dosen't come across as some autocratic habitual lying abusing uneducated billionaire who made his living on screwing everyone in his path. He does say the right things and would be my pick over ANY of the two party candidates already in a race for president. I still believe a third party is the only way to draw out the moderates from both sides.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Another story about a crazy Framingham resident.

I hope all of our readers saw on the local, State and National news, including the Globe the story of Richard Kamrowski, 65, who got into a minor fender bender with Ashland resident Mark Fitzgerald on the west bound side of the Pike, near the old 128 tolls on this Friday past. It's reported that the drivers were exchanging papers when things went south and Mr. where are your brains Kamrowski, grabbed a water bottle from inside Mr. I want to spend time in jail Fitzgerald and landed on the hood of the Infiniti, traveling up to 70 MPH with Mr. I have a death wish Kamrowski on the hood for 3 to 4 miles who somehow manged to break the windshield of the Infiniti, before some gun totten law abiding citizen saw what was happening, stopped and got out of his car and forced Mr. I want my licensed taken away for 5 years Fitzgerald to stop his car until the cops came.
All this captured by numerous cell phones and like the nut bag that jumped on the front of the school buss a few months ago, Framingham once again is in the news for the strangest of reasons.
FYI.. both were arraigned in Waltham District Court today, our home boy is charged with disorderly conduct and malicious damage to a motor vehicle while the Ashland resident was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon on a person over 60, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and leaving the scene of an accident.

Friday, January 25, 2019

a long time to wait for justice... maybe

For those readers with good memories.. I write this story.
In 2004, pre-bank meltdown, some mortgage lenders were caught in bait and switch with home buyers. The scandal included big names like Country Wide Financial and Bank of America and others from 2003 to 2008. It was in the news a lot back then as it's own banking scandal.

I had agreed to buy my neighbors house in 2004 when he was ready and had the PSA signed and financing secured with Country Wide. The day of the closing I was notified I needed a few thousand (can't remember exactly) more dollars because the rate had changed with additional fees. I had little choice but to hit the plastic for the money at the closing. Immediately afterwards I had written to the State Commission overseeing the banking industry. I met 2 office workers at the old IHop on Rte 30 for an hour. I had all my paperwork in hand and they said they would investigate the matter and get back to me.

I'm bringing it home now.
I get a post card in the mail yesterday from a lawyers group who is joining other lawyers who are suing Country Wide for charging customers with fraudulent appraisal fees.
Will anything ever come this class action lawsuit? Maybe not... but if so... there will be some satisfaction knowing that there may be some justice for thousands of homeowners who were duped by a greedy banking giant. 

Thursday, January 24, 2019

the impaired driving bill

Governor Charlie Baker filed a bill Wednesday to adopt a state panel’s recommendations to combat impaired driving, as Massachusetts’ recreational marijuana industry takes off.
Under the proposals, some of which were opposed by civil liberties advocates, suspected stoned drivers who refuse police demands for a biological test would lose their driver’s licenses for at least six months, the same penalty for alleged drunk drivers who refuse a breathalyzer. The bill also calls for increasing police training to recognize drug impairment and easing the process for state troopers to cite drivers for open containers of marijuana.
“Today’s proposal includes important changes that will make Massachusetts safer,” Baker said in a news release. He added the measures will “improve how police officers train for detecting the influence of intoxicating substances like marijuana, how they interact with motorists who show signs of impairment, and eventually how these cases are tried in a courtroom.”

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Hands free cell phone legislation... will it ever get past the House?

Will we finally get a hands free cell phone law? The House had the opportunity to do something in 2016 and 2017, but chose not to. Maybe the Governor's bill will make the difference. This law needs to be passed quickly and it will be interesting to see who is against this.  Part of this would also expand the use of ignition interlock devices for first offense drunk driving offenses. Lets hope the State can get the breathalyzer crisis fixed before this law would take effect.

From MassLive

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday introduced a bill that would ban the use of handheld phones while driving.
The “hands-free” provision is one aspect of a larger bill on road safety, which would also allow the police to pull someone over for not wearing a seat belt and expand the use of interlock ignition devices for drunk drivers.
“I’m thrilled,” said Mary Maguire, director of public and legislative affairs for AAA Northeast. “To have the chief executive of the commonwealth so focused on the safety of motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and those who work at the roadside is really extraordinary.”
Baker said in a statement, “This bill includes common sense proposals to substantially reduce distracted driving, stiffen penalties associated with operating under the influence, improve safety requirements for certain trucks and to begin establishing a regulatory framework for new forms of transportation.”

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The frozen tundra..How about our roads?

It's not clear that the DPW did the best they could to prevent what is on our secondary roads now. Road crews left at corners (like Yorks and Fenwick) lots of snow that has frozen into hard road obstacles. Roads like Anderson are rut filled, ice covered, rocky road type driving. Even at slow slow speed you can feel the front end rattle. Everyone knew the hard freeze was coming and late Sunday afternoon would have been the time for all out full court press with all hands on deck to clear whatever snow there was on the streets. I've been north and south side and into Natick and must admit, all secondary roads i drove on were in bad shape. I understand they also do the sidewalks and there may be some reason why they couldn't have done a better job on the streets Sunday afternoon. I'm wondering if DPW didn't have enough man-power on Sunday? While others seem to be willing to claim they did a great job, I wonder if everyone else thinks so as well. I'll ask the our rep.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

open warrants... across the country


This was in the local rag on the 13th. Reporters from the area did a good look at the problem in our court system that encourages defendants to skip court appearances. It's a nationwide problem and the piece does do justice to places around the country. But IMO, they missed the bigger story by not sounding the alarm over the fact that when asked by this group of reporters, Massachusetts failed to give these reporters any usable information. From the reporters charts and number crunching, there are 390 thousand open warrants in Massachusetts. And you can bet your last dollar, one or more of that number, are violent offenders waiting to make the news. It might be time to gps every person who is required to come back to court and remove only when the case is done. The paper devoted a page and half to this subject which is relevant to our community.

Daphne Chen

By Doug Caruso

By Eli Sherman
Wicked Local

By John Futty

By Mike Wagner 

Posted Jan 14, 2019 at 1:09 PM Updated Jan 14, 2019 at 3:45 PM
(Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series.)
Millions of Americans are wanted on criminal arrest warrants, including hundreds of thousands accused of murder, rape, robbery or assault, while victims wait for justice.
In Massachusetts, there are more than 390,000 open warrants.
Many cases stay open for years, even decades, often forgotten as law enforcers and judges struggle to keep up with new warrants filed in courthouses across the nation each day.
An investigation by Wicked Local, GateHouse Media, and The Columbus Dispatch found more than 5.7 million cases in 27 states with open arrest warrants — enough to lock up 83.1 percent of all Massachusetts residents. Reporters sought records from all 50 states, but 23 did not provide usable data. Among those warrants, reporters identified nearly 240,000 cases involving violence, a weapon or sexual misconduct, enough to fill every state prison cell in Texas, Michigan and Virginia.
“Most jurisdictions around the nation are doing nothing with warrants like this. Nothing,” said David Kennedy, professor of criminal justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and director of the college’s National Network for Safe Communities.
Warrants pile up.
As of Aug. 20, 2018 open warrants in Massachusetts accumulated to 390,383, dating back to 1970, according to data compiled by the Massachusetts Executive Office of the Trial Court.
The data was provided in response to a public records request by Wicked Local.
“As warrants are issued, the majority are closed, but a number remain open for various reasons, such as individuals are in jail, have not been apprehended, have been deported, have moved out of state, or are currently incarcerated out of state,” wrote Court Administrator Jonathan S. Williams in a response to the records request.
Citing undue burden or expense, Massachusetts would not break down the warrants by original offense, or provide any biographic information about the accused. Without the charges, it’s impossible to separate which Massachusetts warrants are related to violent charges.
Interviews with judges, attorneys and law enforcement officials from across Massachusetts, show a large portion of the unserved warrants stem from minor offenses, such as not paying a parking ticket. Warrants cross socioeconomic levels, but disproportionately affect poorer communities and racial and ethnic minorities.
“Open warrants have been a problem in the Massachusetts court system for decades,” explained retired Judge Raymond G. Dougan, who served as an associate justice at Boston Municipal Court from 1991 to 2014.

Parents should register for free or reduced meals

Others have railed on this subject before, but there's an unexpected twist worthy of a revisit. I would have never guessed the amount of our kids who receive help with meals would ever go down. I can't wait for the consensus in 2020. But the reasons why seem apparent. Tough call all around collecting money from poor people, all of witch seem to have enough money for a 200 a month cell phone bill.  I'm glad they stopped the "no meal if you were behind in payment" policy. I do think more could be done to verify poverty level. Feeding your child at school is no different in feeding your child at home, if you can afford to do so.

By Zane Razzaq
Daily News staff

Posted Jan 15, 2019 at 8:16 PM Updated Jan 16, 2019 at 11:00 AM
School officials suspect that a dip in free and reduced meals applications, as well as the rising negative balance in the Food Services Department, is tied to a new meal policy that ensures no child is denied a meal.
FRAMINGHAM – School officials are urging eligible families to apply for free and reduced meals after an unexpected drop that is likely driving up a negative balance in the Food Services Department.
For the first time in at least eight years, the number of children on free and reduced meals in Framingham schools has decreased, from 52 percent in fiscal 2018 to 48 percent in the current school year. That decline amounts to several hundred fewer applications, primarily at the middle and high school levels. Finance Director Lincoln Lynch IV said the district will be proactive in getting families to apply for the program.
“We want to encourage as many people as possible to apply,” said Lynch. “As the year goes on, we’ll just be pushing out those applications to everyone.”
The School Committee implemented a new meal policy over the summer after reports that students with negative account balances were being denied meals in the lunch line. Under the new policy, no student is denied a lunch or breakfast meal. Meals are still charged to student accounts, but it falls on parents or guardians to settle the debt.
Under past practice, students at Framingham High School and Cameron, Fuller and Walsh middle schools were allowed to run up a maximum deficit of $10 in their meal accounts. Once they hit that cap, students were denied meals when they reached the end of the lunch line.
School officials suspect that both the dip in applications, as well as the rising negative balance in the Food Services Department, is tied to the new policy. In an interview, Schools Superintendent Robert Tremblay said families may feel less incentive to fill out the paperwork for free and reduced meals.
“There’s always been a social stigma about returning a free and reduced lunch application, but now we have a policy in place that says, ‘If you don’t have the means to pay, your child won’t be denied a meal anyway,’” said Tremblay. “What’s the drive for a family to sit down and fill out an application, when the outcome may very well be the same