Friday, May 31, 2019

Some MD's are warning us about the dangers of pot... years later

 Editors note: I've interviewed this group years ago on JP Live and found them to be alarmists. Have a look at the "Statement of Concern" and see if you agree with their findings.

BOSTON – A consortium of clinicians and scientists from across Massachusetts has joined together to publicly release a “Stat of Concern” expressing their disagreement with how marijuana policy is being shaped in the Commonwealth.
According to the Statement of Concern, marijuana is being governed and regulated as if it were an “ordinary commodity”, rather than following a Public Health Framework. This is of concern because scientific evidence clearly establishes that marijuana (and specifically the psychoactive chemical THC) has the potential to do significant harm to public health. Harmful effects include, but are not limited to, the risk of addiction, impaired cognitive function, and increased risk of mental illness (including psychosis).
Yet, despite the fact that negative health effects are manifesting in patient populations across Massachusetts with an increase in the availability of marijuana and THC-containing products (including THC vapes), there is a lack of public awareness about the potential dangers of marijuana/THC.
“When public health is not prioritized in the regulation of addictive substances, the public and our young people are put at risk,” reports the consortium in its Statement of Concern. As a result, the consortium recommends that Massachusetts state marijuana laws and regulations meet key public health standards through the regulatory framework that prioritize population-level health over commercial market interests.
The consortium responsible for the document included over 40 professionals from major medical centers, medical schools, and health-related organizations in Massachusetts. These professionals include clinicians, researchers, scientists, and other health and medical professionals.
The Statement of Concern was created to give an advocacy voice to the professionals who know and understand the science, and clinicians seeing an increase in the negative health impacts of marijuana in their patient populations. The Massachusetts Prevention Alliance coordinated and supported the consortium through the drafting process of the document in an effort to provide the most up-to-date, clear and validated science on the public health impacts of marijuana/cannabis/THC commercialization. The document’s purpose is to assist our state leaders with their drug policy decisions that serve to protect the health and safety of our youth in the Commonwealth.
It is clear that Lawmakers have always been concerned about the public health impacts of marijuana/cannabis/THC commercialization. This was evident when 121 members of the legislature opposed the law as written in Ballot Question 4 in 2016 and then worked arduously to pass the omnibus bill in 2017 to fix some of the problems with the law. Currently, in Massachusetts, a few of the standards in the public health framework are met in statutory marijuana language (MA General Law). Some standards are met through regulatory language (CCC regulations). A number of the unmet Public Health Standards have been proposed in bills for this 2019 legislative session.
You can read the full Statement of Concern here.
You can also review a detailed analysis of where Massachusetts’ state marijuana laws and regulation falls on public health standards.
Note: Production of the “Statement of Concern” was supported by the Massachusetts Prevention Alliance, a private, non-partisan, 501c3 organization. Signatories were not compensated for their endorsement of this statement. For comments or inquiries, please email

The old library has a new life, Keezer and the Beavers

My suggestion is to watch the COO part of the meeting starting at 1:15:00 through 1:40:00. It's probably the best part of the entire night. Cannon picks a fight with the COO over the pot shops and insinuates that Keezer is a liar. The Council has adopted rules that Keezer doesn't like. Pam is Pam, as usual. Judy Grove at one point asks, what Levy?
And the charter folks said Town Meeting was dysfunctional.

 I wanted to not post anything about the last Council meeting until I read it in the paper or on Patch, Source or Face Book. There's a real lack of informative, relevant information that is just not reported on... fore instance... did you know that the issues with the beavers (now that there all killed off) has been eliminated by DPW. Evidently, the flooding problems on Singletary and surrounding area was not started by the beavers, but rather a 1890 culvert that was not working. The DPW contractor punched a whole in the line and made a concrete floor for the water to move. So.. no more drowning of beavers to prevent flooding.. seen at 1:26:00

As you will read, the Council asked the COO why the old library was being renovated and where the money is coming from. It appears, since the BOH is displacing the facilities group at Town Hall, Paolini went ahead and claimed the library as his own space. I'm not at all apposed to such a move. It is our building, worth a million bucks and has good parking across the street.

 From the MWDN: Jim Haddadin

FRAMINGHAM — City councilors want an explanation of what’s going on at the old McAuliffe Branch library, where the Facilities Department has apparently started renovations to move into the building, to the surprise of the building inspector and others.
Councilor at Large George King pressed Chief Operating Officer Thatcher Kezer last week to provide more information about the cost of the project, which began sometime in the last several weeks, and how it will be paid for.
“Looking through the windows up there, it appears to be a relatively extensive renovation,” King said during a public meeting last week.
The old McAuliffe building on Nicholas Road has been largely empty since 2016, when the library moved to a new facility on Water Street. Facilities workers have used it for at least one year, though the department’s administrative staff were housed inside the Memorial Building.
Those workers were recently uprooted to make way for the Health Department, which will vacate its headquarters at the Fuller Middle School and move into the Memorial Building by mid-June.
“When we were dealing with the Health Department move and we ultimately made the decision to move the Health Department into City Hall, somebody had to be bumped out,” Kezer explained last week, “and it ended up being the facilities folks.”
In the ensuing shuffle, Kezer said the city began conducting “prep work” to create office space for the Facilities Department inside the old McAuliffe building. Kezer said he did not know the date that work began or the cost of the project.
Responding to questions from King about whether the work began without proper permits, Kezer said staff from different departments were communicating about those issues last week.
“There was an application for a permit to do some work,” he said. “There was some back and forth between Inspectional Services and Facilities as to what the requirements were, questions in regard to what has already been done or not done. And so in that regard, I have (Facilities Director Jim Paolini) and (Building Inspector Mike Tusino) working directly ... to kind of work through whatever the issues are. If there’s any paperwork requirements that the Inspectional Services needed that they didn’t get, to make sure they get them, and to make sure that everyone’s on a clear understanding of what’s being done.”
City officials had yet to furnish additional information to the council regarding the renovations as of Thursday morning. The Daily News also requested that information on May 24 and May 29, but had yet to receive a response.
During last week’s meeting, King said he is concerned that the administration did not initiate a public discussion about the future of the old McAuliffe building, which is valued at more than $1 million.
“From a financial point of view,” he said, “I just don’t see where this money keeps coming from, but it is just not true to say it’s minimal cost, and that’s looking through the windows. ... It’s not minimal cost, and it’s just not accurate to say that, and I think we deserve to be at least informed of what the costs are.”

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Cops aren't marching in the parade

From the Source:
FRAMINGHAM – City of Framingham Police Chief said in an email to his department that the Framingham Police will not be marching in the Mayor’s Flag Day Parade on Sunday, June 9.
Police Chief Steven Trask wrote, “Due to a lack of interest, the Framingham Police Department will not be marching in the Flag Day Parade and the Fire Department will lead the parade.”
But the Framingham Police Officers Union disagrees with the Chief’s characterization of “lack of interest.”
“Members of the Framingham Police Officers Union were informed by Chief Trask in an email sent May 14 that the City of Framingham is seeking volunteers from the Police Department to lead the 2019 Flag Day Parade. A subsequent email indicated that the Police Department will not be represented in the parade due to ‘lack of interest,” said Framingham Police Officers Union President Ryan Porter in a statement. “Our 96 officers do not lack interest. On the contrary, many of us have a vested interest in Framingham, as we both live and work here. Our interest is in fostering safety, helping our residents, and improving ourselves as police officers so that we can serve the City to the best of our abilities.”
Officer Porter, speaking as union president, said the “Flag Day Parade is a great Framingham tradition – one that many of us would feel honored to lead. However, it has also become tradition in Framingham to not support our police officers, and that is one tradition that must end before we can, in good faith, volunteer our time for celebrations.”

Finance Sub Committee boosts school budget.

The lame duck Finance Committee will recommend to the full council, increasing the school budget by adding 611K, an increase of 4.11%, which is contingent on the increase of Chapter 70 money from the State. FinCom also will recommend not hiring a diversity chief and 4 other staffers for at least 3 months.
In this past meeting, they approve all capitail and operating expenses. None of the committee even bothered to ask for more details about spending. So much for the promise of more scrutiny in approving budgets by the Charter supporters. While the Mayor seems to have no problem with building an empire with little regard to those on fixed income who require less from the City. Expect to see over 300.00 dollar tax increase, plus an increase in water and sewer rates. And by next year, it's my guess, we will all be paying a waste water fee to the City.

Trooper confirms what everyone knew ... the bosses knew about it

 Once again, the Globe is keeping us informed of more revaluations from the convicted troopers.. 

Trooper in OT scandal says many of his colleagues also committed fraud, bosses knew about it
By Matt Rocheleau Globe Staff,May 29, 2019, 7:26 p.m.
The statements mark the latest revelation about the alleged breadth of the State Police’s questionable payroll practices. (John Tlumacki/Globe staff/File 2017)

A former State Police trooper facing sentencing for his role in the overtime fraud scandal told a federal judge this week that almost every member of his troop used the same scheme with the knowledge of their superior officers, but “only a handful of us were singled out for federal prosecution.”

McAuliffe was suspended by the department in March 2018, arrested in December on a federal embezzlement charge, and resigned from his 18-year State Police career weeks later before he pleaded guilty to collecting more than $7,800 for overtime hours he did not work between August 2015 and August 2016.
In 2016, McAuliffe received $164,680 in pay, including more than $60,900 in overtime. In 2015, he received $180,215, including more than $83,400 in overtime.
In the letter to the judge filed in federal court Tuesday, he wrote, “To be honest, it has taken me some time to come to grips with my wrongdoing and stop making excuses, blaming the ‘culture,’ and feeling sorry for myself.”
“When I first learned that I was going to face federal criminal charges, I felt it was unfair,” McAuliffe continued. “I told myself that almost all of my colleagues at Troop E were doing the same thing, that it wasn’t really a big deal, and that it wasn’t fair that I was one of a handful of Troopers being singled out for federal prosecution and having my career and reputation ruined.”
McAuliffe wrote that in recent months, with the help of his therapist and pastor, he’s taken more time to reflect “on the decisions I made, and on the importance of accepting the consequences of my actions with grace and humility.”