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Since the Dilly, Dally, Delay & Stall Law Firms are adding their billable hours, the Toyota U.S.A. and Route 44 Toyota posts have been separated here:

Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Best Wishes!

Best wishes for a joyous holiday season!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tuesday, December 8th

Word spread near and far about a snowman who's voting for Alan Khazei on Tuesday!
Few can say it better than our friend, Gladys or Truth to Power or the Snowman!
This is an important vote that will effect us for years to come. Alan Khazei has reached out to voters, offered informed positions based on his core values and the best interests of the people being served, without consulting polls or well-funded lobbyists.
Early in the race, I leaned toward Martha Coakley, who has been campaigning for as long as I can remember.
Ms. Coakley has been carefully scripted, tackled issues based on her continuing campaign and mostly avoided controversy.
In her role as Attorney General, she is head consumer advocate for the Commonwealth.
Legislation intended to protect and prosecute should you believe Coakley's inevitability Cha Ching fantasy (promoted by supporter, MA Senate President Therese Murray) about predatory gambling was discussed, formulated, finalized behind closed doors.
Coakley's two predecessors opposed expanded gambling based on facts, research and information. Instead, Martha "cautions caution."
In time, I believe Ms. Coakley may be a noteworthy Attorney General ... in time.
The image of watching a neighboring community destroyed by OTB (Off Track Betting) suggests to me the only caution is voting for Martha who lacks the courage of her convictions or maybe lacks convictions.

Don't forget to vote!

From a supporter --

With the special election for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat approaching, I want to take a moment to share with you why I -- along with the Boston Globe, Gen. Wes Clark,, the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, the Cape Cod Times, Max Kennedy, Vicki Strauss Kennedy, Sen. Sam Nunn, Sen. Harris Wofford and over 500 citizen leaders -- support Alan Khazei. (Here's the Globe endorsement:

Why Alan? Among the candidates, only Alan has the potential to be a game-changing U.S. Senator, a senator who can build and lead coalitions and marshall citizen power to drive progress on the urgent issues of our day. Only Alan has experience affecting change by engaging people and changing politics, best exemplified by his co-founding of City Year. As a citizen activist he has worked with Senator Kennedy and four U.S. Presidents to pass three major pieces of service-related legislation and to successfully rally a citizen movement to fight back against former republican leader Tom DeLay, who tried to dismantle AmeriCorps.

How Is Alan Different From the Other Candidates? While all the Democrats share some policy positions, Alan sets himself apart from the other candidates on a number of crucial issues. According to Newsweek, Alan is "the only candidate in Massachusetts who stands fully with the President on education," in looking to offer great options to all of our children, through higher pay for teachers, differentiated pay, and expansion of successful charter schools in high-need communities. On health care, Alan is a strong supporter of a reform plan with a robust public option, and, unlike Martha Coakley and Mike Capuano, he has said he would vote for the current house or senate health care reform plans, while imperfect, because they expand coverage to 36 million Americans. And on the economy, Alan has laid out detailed plans to stimulate the economy through a comprehensive green jobs initiative, a small business hiring tax credit, a main street stimulus initiative and fully funding the Kennedy-Hatch ServeAmerica bill to create more than 250,000 service jobs.

Can Alan Win? The answer is a resounding yes. Only one sixth of the 3.7 million eligible voters are expected to vote in this election; that means as few as 200,000 voters could win the election. Recent polls have charted Alan's exponential rise, which is a testament to our unmatched grassroots field operation. Our citizen field teams have knocked on tens of thousands of doors, with many more on the way. With the majority of voters still undecided, we absolutely can win this race.

What Can I Do To Help? I hope you'll join me over the next few days by canvassing, emailing your friends, posting on Facebook and Twitter, or building support for him in any other way you can: If you can, please make a donation at Together, we can make a difference!

I hope you will support Alan on Dec. 8 -- let's take this chance to elect a real reformer to represent us in the Senate. Thanks so much for your time.

From the candidate --

When we began this race with less than 11 weeks to go, few people thought my candidacy stood a chance. So, I did what I've always done -- I chose to rely on you. The result has been an enormous grassroots campaign powered by Big Citizenship, new ideas, and reform.

Now, with just 60 hours left until the polls close, we are in a position that nobody -- except you and our many friends -- could have imagined. Because of your support, friendship, and dedication, I am confident we can win this election.

The Boston Globe, The Worcester Telegram and Gazette, Blue Mass Group, The West Roxbury Transcript and just yesterday, The Cape Cod Times have all written strong endorsements stating that I would be the best next Senator for Massachusetts. Each of these important media institutions has followed your lead.

And thanks to so many who are canvassing and making phone calls over the next few days, we are bringing our message of Big Citizenship, Reform, Action, and Getting Results directly to tens of thousands of voters across Massachusetts.

I am writing to ask you to dig deep just one more time.

Our campaign is being massively outspent four and five to one by our opponents.

Historically the candidate that gets the Boston Globe endorsement wins the election, as long as they have the resources to get that message out on television and directly to the voters.

We need your support to help raise the resources we need in these final hours to keep our Globe ad on TV and fund our Get Out The Vote effort.

If each of you getting this email would give again -- and try to find one friend, or spouse or family member to give as well -- I am confident that together we will prevail.

Would you please make one final donation by clicking here:

Everything that Vanessa and I have done in our lives, people at first say it cannot be done. But we have always succeeded because we know it isn't about us. It is about bringing together a coalition of concerned Big Citizens and working together to make change.

We cannot thank you enough for all that you have done to bring us to this point in this campaign. It has been an extraordinary privilege and we are so deeply grateful.

We are truly confident that if you are willing to support us one more time, I will be the next Senator from Massachusetts and we will be able to continue working together to bring the voice of We the People into Washington and secure the change we all want and need.

Thank you so much for anything more you can do in these final hours.

With heartfelt gratitude,


Click here to see our terrific new ad about the Globe Endorsement. And please forward this e-mail to as many friends as possible.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Festering Problems

The Middleboro Board of Selectmen is blessed with the historic legacy of ignoring issues and failing to reach resolution where ever possible.
Unaccepted streets and private ways have long been a festering issue that the BOS has misused public funds to avoid addressing.
In fairness, there are a number of private roads that residents prefer to deny public access. Gibbs Road comes quickly to mind. You simply can't have it both ways.
Faced with dwindling resources, partly caused by Fuzzy Math and financial mismangement, residents are forcing the town to finally address the matter.

Middleboro residents sue town for plowing private streets

On Tuesday the town was slapped with a lawsuit by 10 residents who claim using public funds to plow private ways is illegal.

“If people want to live on private ways where the public is excluded, why the hell should tax dollars be used for private removal?” said Ed Beaulieu, one of the 10 who brought suit.

The group is asking for a jury trial unless selectmen discontinue the practice.

The ongoing issue was addressed by selectmen at their Nov. 16 meeting, where they were advised by Town Counsel Daniel F. Murray, in a Nov. 12 opinion letter, that the town leaves itself open to a lawsuit unless it adopts a provision of the state laws which allows it to use public money to plow private streets.

Selectmen ignored Murray’s opinion and voted to continued the practice of plowing 18 of the town’s 93 private streets.

That didn’t sit will with 10 residents who filed suit on Nov. 23. Finance Committee Member Joseph Thomas and his wife Margaret, former Finance Committee member Nancy Thomas, former town moderator James V. Thomas, Chairman of the Council on Aging Board of Directors Sarah Jigerjian, Mary Jigerjian, Ed and Susan Beaulieu, Stephanie Thomas and Charles Lincoln.

Beaulieu said he lives on a private way in Oak Point and pays a monthly fee, part of which pays for snow plowing. He said people who live on private ways should pay for their own plowing.

“It’s an issue of fairness,” he said.

The lawsuit seeks to stop the town from plowing public ways, and would ask to recoup attorney fees.

“We just them to stop breaking the law,” Beaulieu said.

The group is represented by former selectmen Adam M. Bond who offered a compromise that would save legal fees, stop plowing private ways with public money until the town adopts MGL Chapter 40, Section 6C, a provision that allows plowing in emergency situations.

A hearing for a preliminary injunction is scheduled for Nov. 30 in Plymouth Superior Court.

Selectmen are scheduled to discuss it behind closed doors on Monday.

Friday, November 20, 2009


A Small Business Forum presented by State Representative Tom Calter

Wednesday, December 2, 2009
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Litecontrol - Danforth Lighting Center
65 Spring Street, Plympton, MA

Small business representatives, entrepreneurs and concerned citizens are invited to an informative forum focused on the current economic climate and its impact on the Massachusetts business community. Representative Calter will share his views on the role of state government in meeting today's economic challenges, and will offer thoughts and information on resources to help small businesses weather the complex forecast for 2010.

The event serves as a fundraiser to support Rep. Calter's re-election campaign to continue to serve the 12th Plymouth District. The program includes a reception with complimentary refreshments, remarks, and a question and answer period. It also offers a valuable networking opportunity and a chance to share concerns and hopes with Rep. Calter and peers.

Drawing on his extensive experience as a senior business executive, and his current role in the State House, Rep. Calter will offer a unique and realistic perspective of the issues and opportunities that lie ahead. Prior to his first election, he built a 30-year career in private industry, with much of that time spent helping to rebuild struggling organizations.

We encourage anyone interested to attend this worthwhile program; please feel free to spread the word to others in the community as well. Tickets are $35 per person and proceeds will benefit the Committee to Elect Tom Calter. A special rate of $15 is available for current college students. Reserve your ticket now by contacting or (508) 591-7037. Advance registration is requested by November 28, but walk-ins are also welcome.

The 12th Plymouth District includes areas of Plymouth, Duxbury, Kingston, Halifax, Plympton and Middleboro.
Tickets are available for purchase by individuals; corporate contributions are prohibited by law.

We hope to see you on December 2nd!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nov 19th: The Big Dig

For those interested in The Big Dig, this sounds like a dynamite lecture!

The Big Dig: The Most Expensive Public Works Project in History

When Thursday, November 19, 2009, 6:30 – 7:30pm

Where West End Branch of the Boston Public Library
151 Cambridge Street

Library West End
Neighborhood West End

Type of Event Talks & Lectures

Cost free

Audience College Students, Adults, Seniors

Note Sean Murphy, The Boston Globe's award-winning reporter, will offer a slide show and talk on the Big Dig.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Veterans, Energy and Job Growth

From Apollo Alliance --

This Wednesday was Veterans Day, and to honor our veterans and their service to our country, the Apollo Alliance published a feature story about veterans’ role in the green economy. The article profiled two green jobs programs—Veterans Green Jobs of Colorado and the Veterans Conservation Corps of Washington state—and the recently launched “Operation Free” campaign that has veterans touring the country to call for federal action on climate change.

Veterans Green Jobs runs a 9-week “Home Energy Auditor Training” (HEAT) for veterans, using a rapid, hands-on “military” style of training and a curriculum that was developed in collaboration with community colleges and industry organizations. Upon completion of the training, graduates receive college credits as well as a home energy efficiency certification. The first class of trainees graduated in June, and another class just began in October.

“We think veterans are uniquely qualified to lead the environmental restoration here at home,” said Kirsten Maynard of Veterans Green Jobs. “Not only have they seen environmental destruction across the world; they also have technical skills and other kinds of work skills that allow them to do the really tough work that needs to be done - like go into homes and crawl in the attic and the basement. They’ve been trained by the military to do it, and they actually feel comfortable being in that kind of environment.”

The Veterans Conservation Corps, which is run out of the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs, puts veterans to work on habitat restoration and protection projects across Washington state. The program has been in existence for four years but has faced challenges recently because state budget cuts eliminated the stipends the program paid veterans for their conservation efforts. The Veterans Conservation Corps has also inaugurated a new program, called Veterans Corps, which is modeled on the AmeriCorps program.

“It’s a revitalization of a mission they had in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Mark Fischer, who runs the Veterans Conservation Corps. “Once they left the military, that mission is gone, and it’s a big loss. When they lose that purpose it can be disheartening and disorienting. We try to create a meaningful job - for a purpose-driven life.”

Operation Free is a new campaign by national security and veterans organizations to draw attention to the national security threat created by climate change. “The reason why national security organizations are taking this as a serious threat is that not only are we [the United States] dependent on oil, but the conflicts that arise from famines, floods and droughts [caused by climate change] multiply the threat of current conflicts and create instability,” said Alex Cornell du Houx, an Iraq war veteran and participant in Operation Free. Operation Free held an inaugural event in Washington, D.C., in September, which was followed by a bus tour by veterans in October.

To read the
full article and learn more about these green jobs and climate change advocacy efforts by veterans, visit the Apollo Alliance website.

Home weatherization focus of workshop

Cape Cod Times reported --

HARWICH — Homeowners are invited to a weatherization workshop from 9 a.m. to noon today sponsored by the Community Energy Corps.

The workshop is scheduled to be at the old recreation building at the corner of Sisson Road and Parallel Street.

The program features presentations by Chris Powicki of Water Energy and Ecology Information Services and weatherization expert John Vaughn of Housing Assistance Corp.

Vaughn will demonstrate the use of blower door equipment and an infrared camera, tools homeowners can use to pinpoint areas where energy conservation and efficiency measures may be necessary, according to a press release from Cape and Islands Renewable Energy Collaborative.

For more information on the Community Energy Corps, contact Powicki at 774-487-4614 or Megan Amsler at 508-563-6633.

Other towns have been proactive in promoting the benefits of weatherization.
One must wonder why the municipal Middleboro Gas & Electric remains absent.

Massachusetts Disability Cuts

The Arc offered the following --

Ask Gov. to take Disability Services off chopping block

Cuts imminent to Day Hab, Dental, PCA, AFC and Podiatry

In a disappointing turn of events and despite our best efforts, the Governor and his Administration have announced that they will address the $307 Million MassHealth budget gap with cuts to critical long-term disability services, including Day Habilitation, Dental and other services. Cuts translate into elimination of services or reductions of more than 20%.

The long term care cuts that significantly affect our population include:
1. Day Habilitation (cuts one hour of service each day and reduces rates, which together equates to a more than 20 percent cut)
2. Adult Dental restorative services
3. Personal Care Attendant services (eliminates services for those receiving less than 14 hours/week)
4. Podiatry services (eliminates access for all except those with diabetes)
5. Adult Foster Care - payment rates reduced and access eliminated for instrumental needs (money mgmt, food and other shopping, transportation, etc. Details to be confirmed.)

The consequences of these cuts will be dire. In order of daily impact, they include:
Day Habilitation - Reduction of rate and program hours to 5 hours/day from 6 hours. 7,200 people willneed additional supervision or support at home.More than 65 percent of those being cut live in residential housing which means residential providers will have to provide an additional hour of service daily - equals 50% of the cut.

Cutting an hour only saves money ifstaff salaries are also reduced andthis wouldresult in staff turnover and greater difficulty recruiting new staff. We estimate this cut translates into a cut of more than 20% or $27 Million in annual savings.

Dental Services -- Restorative care (dentures etc.) is being eliminated. We are told that Exec. Office of Health & Human Services is addressing the need for individuals with I/DD in this regard. Cut is estimated at more than $50 Million annually.

PCA services-- 1,600 individualswith a need for less than 14 hours/week of PCA services will lose their services and find themselves without options. Cut estimated at $6.4 Million annual savings.

Adult Foster Care -- Cut will lower rate and possibly change eligibility regulations for those who need assistance only in instrumental activities of daily living (money management, transportation, etc.); also includes cuts in group adult foster care. Estimatecombined annual savings of $26 Million.

Podiatry services - All except those with diabetes will lose podiatry services.They will be at higher risk for infections and related problems, especially those living in residences. Annual savings is unclear.

Use this Action Alert to send the Governor a message now, asking him to hold true to his promise to protect people with disabilities.

Take Action!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Reducing Solid Waste

MASSPIRG offered --

Come to the Bottle Bill Hearing on Beacon Hill

Come to Beacon Hill for an important public hearing on the updated Bottle Bill, which would more than double the recycling rate for non-redeemable containers and would give consumers more of an incentive to recycle those containers.

WHAT: Public Hearing on Bottle Bill

WHEN: Wednesday, Oct 7, 10:00 am

WHERE: State House, Room 1A

(MASSPIRG will also be holding a press conference at 9:15 am, inside the Bowdoin Street entrance of the State House.)

The bottle bill is still the most successful recycling program in the state, with close to 70% of containers redeemed for recycling. Since 1990, more than 15 billion containers have been redeemed under the Massachusetts bottle bill, contributing to a healthier environment, cleaner and safer communities, and a stronger economy.

But when the Bottle Bill became law in 1983, most soft drinks on the shelves were some kind of soda -- cola and the like. So many of the soft drinks we now consume -- iced tea, water, and sports drinks -- are not covered by the Bottle Bill's nickel deposit system, and those containers are ending up in the trash. The update to the Bottle Bill currently pending in the Legislature would add all these "new age" drinks to the law.

Rep. Alice Wolf and Sen. Cynthia Creem have filed legislation for the 2009-2010 legislative session to update our current Bottle Bill (HB 3515). This legislation would expand the recycling program to include the following beverages:

Carbonated and noncarbonated water, including flavored and non-flavored filtered water, mineral water and purified waters

Carbonated and noncarbonated fruit juices and drinks

Ready-to-drink coffee and tea beverages

Sports drinks

The Updated Bottle Bill would more than double the recycling rate for non-redeemable containers and would give consumers more of an incentive to recycle those containers. And it would also increase the handling fee from 2.25 cents per container to 3 cents, making the system more practical for the redemption centers.

Do you know where your elected officials stand on this important issue?

Arctic seas turn to acid

The Guardian carried the article below that adequately addresses the peril of ocean acidification that the US fails to adequately address for mostly political reasons --

Arctic seas turn to acid, putting vital food chain at risk

With the world's oceans absorbing six million tonnes of carbon a day, a leading oceanographer warns of eco disaster

A decision on classifying the polar bear as threatened is overdue.

Carbon-dioxide emissions are turning the waters of the Arctic Ocean into acid at an unprecedented rate, scientists have discovered. Research carried out in the archipelago of Svalbard has shown in many regions around the north pole seawater is likely to reach corrosive levels within 10 years. The water will then start to dissolve the shells of mussels and other shellfish and cause major disruption to the food chain. By the end of the century, the entire Arctic Ocean will be corrosively acidic.

"This is extremely worrying," Professor Jean-Pierre Gattuso, of France's Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, told an international oceanography conference last week. "We knew that the seas were getting more acidic and this would disrupt the ability of shellfish – like mussels – to grow their shells. But now we realise the situation is much worse. The water will become so acidic it will actually dissolve the shells of living shellfish."

Just as an acid descaler breaks apart limescale inside a kettle, so the shells that protect molluscs and other creatures will be dissolved. "This will affect the whole food chain, including the North Atlantic salmon, which feeds on molluscs," said Gattuso, speaking at a European commission conference, Oceans of Tomorrow, in Barcelona last week. The oceanographer told delegates that the problem of ocean acidification was worse in high latitudes, in the Arctic and around Antarctica, than it was nearer the equator.

"More carbon dioxide can dissolve in cold water than warm," he said. "Hence the problem of acidification is worse in the Arctic than in the tropics, though we have only recently got round to studying the problem in detail."

About a quarter of the carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere by factories, power stations and cars now ends up being absorbed by the oceans. That represents more than six million tonnes of carbon a day.

This carbon dioxide dissolves and is turned into carbonic acid, causing the oceans to become more acidic. "We knew the Arctic would be particularly badly affected when we started our studies but I did not anticipate the extent of the problem," said Gattuso.

His research suggests that 10% of the Arctic Ocean will be corrosively acidic by 2018; 50% by 2050; and 100% ocean by 2100. "Over the whole planet, there will be a threefold increase in the average acidity of the oceans, which is unprecedented during the past 20 million years. That level of acidification will cause immense damage to the ecosystem and the food chain, particularly in the Arctic," he added.

The tiny mollusc Limacina helicina, which is found in Arctic waters, will be particularly vulnerable, he said. The little shellfish is eaten by baleen whales, salmon, herring and various seabirds. Its disappearance would therefore have a major impact on the entire marine food chain. The deep-water coral Lophelia pertusa would also be extremely vulnerable to rising acidity. Reefs in high latitudes are constructed by only one or two types of coral – unlike tropical coral reefs which are built by a large variety of species. The loss of Lophelia pertusa would therefore devastate reefs off Norway and the coast of Scotland, removing underwater shelters that are exploited by dozens of species of fish and other creatures.

"Scientists have proposed all sorts of geo-engineering solutions to global warming," said Gattuso. "For instance, they have proposed spraying the upper atmosphere with aerosol particles that would reduce sunlight reaching the Earth, mitigating the warming caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide.

"But these ideas miss the point. They will still allow carbon dioxide emissions to continue to increase – and thus the oceans to become more and more acidic. There is only one way to stop the devastation the oceans are now facing and that is to limit carbon-dioxide emissions as a matter of urgency."

This was backed by other speakers at the conference. Daniel Conley, of Lund University, Sweden, said that increasing acidity levels, sea-level rises and temperature changes now threatened to bring about irreversible loss of biodiversity in the sea. Christoph Heinze, of Bergen University, Norway, said his studies, part of the EU CarboOcean project, had found that carbon from the atmosphere was being transported into the oceans' deeper waters far more rapidly than expected and was already having a corrosive effect on life forms there.

The oceans' vulnerability to climate change and rising carbon-dioxide levels has also been a key factor in the launching of the EU's Tara Ocean project at Barcelona. The expedition, on the sailing ship Tara, will take three years to circumnavigate the globe, culminating in a voyage through the icy Northwest Passage in Canada, and will make continual and detailed samplings of seawater to study its life forms.

A litre of seawater contains between 1bn and 10bn single-celled organisms called prokaryotes, between 10bn and 100bn viruses and a vast number of more complex, microscopic creatures known as zooplankton, said Chris Bowler, a marine biologist on Tara.

"People think they are just swimming in water when they go for a dip in the sea," he said. "In fact, they are bathing in a plankton soup."

That plankton soup is of crucial importance to the planet, he added. "As much carbon dioxide is absorbed by plankton as is absorbed by tropical rainforests. Its health is therefore of crucial importance to us all."

However, only 1% of the life forms found in the sea have been properly identified and studied, said Bowler. "The aim of the Tara project is to correct some of that ignorance and identify many more of these organisms while we still have the chance. Issues like ocean acidification, rising sea levels and global warming will not be concerns at the back of our minds. They will be a key focus for the work that we do while we are on our expedition."

The toll by 2100
■ The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecast in 2007 that sea levels would rise by 20cm to 60cm by 2100 thanks to global warming caused by man-made carbon-dioxide emissions. This is now thought to be an underestimate, however, with most scientific bodies warning that sea levels could rise by a metre or even higher. Major inundations of vulnerable regions such as Bangladesh would ensue.

■ The planet will be hotter by 3C by 2100, most scientists now expect, though rises of 4.5C to 5C could be experienced. Deserts will spread and heatwaves will become more prevalent. Ice-caps will melt and cyclones are also likely to be triggered.

■ Weather patterns across the globe will become more unstable, numbers of devastating storms will increase dramatically while snow will disappear from all but the highest mountains.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Christy Mihos: Tilting At Windmills? Or NIMBY?

cct offered --

Mihos needs to cut ties with anti-wind farm bloc
Christy is still tilting at the windmill
By Ron LaBonte.

Massachusetts could use a man like Christy Mihos who, if elected governor, would shake up the status quo on Beacon Hill and likely lower taxes.

However, in my opinion, he’ll never make governor if he continues to align himself with William Koch, Glen Wattley and the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound. I wonder if Mr. Mihos has read Dennis Duffy’s Sept. 21 “My View” in the Cape Cod Times. Many thinking people have read it.

Why kill your chances of being governor for the sake of not having to look at the tops of wind turbines 6 miles away?

Ron LaBonte, Chatham

Christy Mihos had cute ads for his last run, but that's as far as his substance went.
He has stood with the wealthy NIMBYs to oppose a wind project that simply makes sense, against overwhelming public support because his ocean view would be spoiled.
Shake up the status quo on Beacon Hill ?
He'd likely add his own moneyed brand of "status quo."
After standing with his wealthy buddy Koch, defending Mountaintop Removal, ignoring the threat of Coal Ash, the Commonwealth surely needs another wealthy, tone deaf Governor to protect his own interests, environment be damned!

"Promoting Environmentally Sound Technologies"

Check it out --

Cape & Islands Self Reliance is offering tours --


Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Updated Bottle Bill

MASSPIRG offers the following --

I'd like you to mark a date on your calendar right now.

On Wednesday October 7, the Updated Bottle Bill gets its first hearing this legislative session. This is a very important event, as the first hearing a bill gets really sets the tone: is it a bill people care about? Is the hearing room crowded? Are citizens contacting their legislator about the issue? A "yes" to those questions gives your bill a better shot.

The bottle bill is still the most successful recycling program in the state, with close to 70% of containers redeemed for recycling. But it's now 25 years old, and we need an updated program that reflects our current needs. When the Bottle Bill became law in 1983, most soft drinks on the shelves were some kind of soda -- cola and the like. But many of the soft drinks we now consume -- iced tea, water, and sports drinks -- are not covered by the Bottle Bill's nickel deposit system, and those containers are ending up in the trash. The update to the Bottle Bill currently pending in the Legislature would add all these "new age" drinks to the law.

A hearing on the bill is coming up on October 7. To ask your legislator to support HB3515, the Updated Bottle Bill, click here.

Since 1990, more than 15 billion containers have been redeemed under the Massachusetts bottle bill, contributing to a healthier environment, cleaner and safer communities, and a stronger economy. But as consumers' tastes change, the bottle bill must be updated to keep up with our times.

The Updated Bottle Bill would more than double the recycling rate for non-redeemable containers and would give consumers more of an incentive to recycle those containers.

Rep. Alice Wolf and Sen. Cynthia Creem have filed legislation for the 2009-2010 legislative session to update our current Bottle Bill (HB 3515). This legislation would expand the recycling program to include the following beverages:

- Carbonated and noncarbonated water, including flavored and non-flavored filtered water, mineral water and purified waters;
- Carbonated and noncarbonated fruit juices and drinks;
- Carbonated and noncarbonated vegetable juices and drinks;
- Ready-to-drink coffee and tea beverages;
- Sports drinks

It would also increase the handling fee from 2.25 cents per container to 3 cents, making the system more practical for the redemption centers.

Please send a message to your legislators asking them to support the updated Bottle Bill:


Janet Domenitz
MASSPIRG Executive Director


Twelve thousand citizens ask DEP Commissioner Burt to Reduce/Reuse/Recycle

Friday, September 25, 2009

Health Care for Dawn?

The inflammatory rhetoric surrounding health care proposals has a human face in each case insurance companies deny.
All of these stories paint a picture of an insurance company that, as one former CIGNA executive pointed out, has every incentive to deny coverage.

In the case of Nataline Sarkisyan, CIGNA denied a liver transplant—reversing themselves only when public pressure became too intense. Unfortunately, their decision came too late for Nataline, who died.

Christopher Hanna told us the story of his wife's battle—she had to spend "hours every week browbeating [CIGNA] over the phone," fighting to get treated for the ovarian cancer that would eventually take her life.

And of the stories we heard, there were a stunning number where CIGNA authorized a procedure but then came up with an excuse—any excuse at all—to not pay.
It's clear that Dawn's experience with CIGNA isn't unique—in fact, it isn't even out of the ordinary. And even though CIGNA would love for Dawn to just go away, she isn't backing down. She's demanding answers and proof that CIGNA is changing their policies so that their mistreatment of her and their other customers comes to an end.

Tone Deaf Christy

In his announcement as a Republican candidate for Governor, Christy Mihos said -

I am not beholden to anyone or anything except the interests of working people.

Of Christy's fundraiser -- The six-thousand pound elephant in the room

The six-thousand pound elephant in the room was the heavy presence of Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound people. Christy is the anti-wind farm's Vice Chairman, and unless he remembers what opposition to Cape Wind did to Attorney General Reilly's gubernatorial campaign in 2006, he will never get the governor's job even if he does beat off the old guard's efforts to block his party nomination.

AG Reilly's approval early in '06 was over 70%, but after Deval Patrick endorsed Cape Wind, it fell to zip.

And that was when the state's support of Cape Wind was about 50% compared with today's 80% support statewide.

Block Island voters and property owners in a recent survey supported an offshore wind farm 83.9% and 71% respectively.

So, Christy proves himself to be yet another wealthy NIMBY who doesn't want his view spoiled by Cape Wind, but recently removed his name from the Stakeholders' list.

But then he outdoes himself and declares --

Is this governor so completely tone deaf that he believes voters support the tactics he's used these past few days to change the law regarding the appointment of a new, U.S. senator?"

Sorry, Christy! But this was democracy at work. A recent visit to legislative offices provided many comments about the flood of phone calls supporting this appointment. It isn't the Governor who is tone deaf. It's you!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Plastic Grocery Bags

Americans use 84 billion plastic bags annually and efforts to reduce consumption and trash have been underway with varying degrees of success.

This is some of what has been posted on this site in the past --

Beacon Hill & Plastic Grocery Bags: About Time! #2
Beacon Hill & Plastic Grocery Bags: About Time!
California considers ban on plastic bags.....
China Watch: Plastic Bag Ban Trumps Market and Consumer Efforts

'Save the Bay' unveils annual list of most-polluted local waterways
included a staggering inventory of plastic bags and trash retrieved during the cleanup from 2008 --

All told, 184 tons of waste were collected from the bay, including more than 26,000 plastic bags. About 1,100 bags were collected from Coyote Creek alone.

... Lewis of Save The Bay said recycling plastic bags doesn't work. He points to a California Integrated Waste Management Board estimate that less than 5 percent of all single-use plastic bags in the state are recycled "A lot of it ends up in landfills," he said.

Albany-Berkeley-Emeryville shoreline (Alameda County). Bags removed: 7,497

Antioch Shoreline (Contra Costa County). Bags removed: 478

Belden"s Landing (Solano County). Bags removed: 591

Burlingame Bayfront to Mills Creek, Millbrae (San Mateo County). Bags removed: 784 Candlestick Park (San Francisco). Bags removed: 750

Coyote Creek (Santa Clara County). Bags removed: 1,100

Mare Island Straight (Solano County). Bags removed: 400

Richmond shoreline from Shimada Friendship Park to Point Isabel (Contra Costa County). Bags removed: 2,252

Ryder Park (San Mateo County). Bags removed: 384

Warm Water Cove (San Francisco). Bags removed: 542

(Note: Not every section of the Bay watershed held Coastal Cleanup Day events in 2008, and some sites did not report trash data.)
Source: Save The Bay

Shopping around the Middleboro area, reminders are everywhere -- Hannaford's posted a reminder at the entrance. How many times do you just forget to bring the reusable bags in with you?
What once caused rolled eyes is becoming the norm with little effort and has the added benefit of reducing curbside trash destined to SEMASS.

Friday, September 11, 2009

$210,000? Nothing to Sneeze At!

Although Middleboro Selectmen have convinced themselves that all budgets are "bare bones" and we wouldn't expect them to look any further unless the Town Manager told them to, the little town of Provincetown is taking cost cutting measures --
Provincetown has 97 town retirees eligible for Medicare. As it stands now, the town pays them about $698,000 annually, benefits administrator Pam Hudson said. Under the plan, the town would pay about $488,000 annually, a savings of about 30 percent.
Middleboro has ~ 300 retirees.
Provincetown is not alone --
In a spot check of Cape towns, Sandwich, Mashpee, Falmouth and Orleans have adopted the state law requiring town retirees age 65 and older to enroll in Medicare. Barnstable and Provincetown are among those considering it.
This seems to be the secret to accomplishing the change --
Town officials in Orleans and Mashpee said a campaign to fully educate retirees about the plan, and its costs and benefits, was an important reason the measure passed at town meetings.
When you begin with the mindset that you're already at "bare bones," you sabotage yourself.
Partially through the school year, this is what the school department saved -- $318,512? Nothing to sneeze at!
If the mindset can't be changed, maybe the BOS should be changed.

West Bridgewater Newsletter

Kudos to West Bridgewater --
WEST BRIDGEWATER — With approval by the board in August, the town will form an e-mailing system for updating residents on town news, health issues and states of emergency.
“The Board of Selectmen will be developing a policy to ensure that all public events and meetings are posted with the same regularity and degree of prominence as those which appear on the bulletin board at Town Hall,” said Selectman Matt Albanese. “It’s really the only cost-effective way to keep residents informed of local happenings and issues of concern.”
Since the Middleboro Board of Selectmen refuse to allow the public to communicate with them via their "email web sites," don't look for this to happen in Middleboro, but wouldn't it make sense?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Middleborough Area MRC Technician Amateur Radio Course

Last Call- Sign Up Now


Middleborough Area MRC will be providing a Technician Amateur Radio license course in the following format which will be on Wednesday nights starting September 16 and going to October 21. Each class will be for 2 or 3 hours. This course will provide an exam at the end of the course. This course is free for MRC and CERT volunteers. This includes the cost for course material and for taking the exam itself.

This course will be taught by Eastern Massachusetts ARES, who serves 190 communities in all eight counties east of the Worcester County line from the NH state border to Cape Cod and the Islands. The organization maintains a close liaison with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency through its Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services (RACES) program as well as the National Weather Service Taunton Office's SKYWARN program. ARES is composed of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in public service when disaster strikes.

If you are interested please call and sign up at the Middleborough Health Dept. 508-946-2408.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Re-Test Not Just the Elderly

In July, CCT reported on efforts to re-test elderly drivers as a consequence of a series of accidents by elderly drivers the media is widely reporting.
As a result of two serious motor vehicle accidents, caused by younger drivers who were at fault, I sustained serious injuries.
In the first instance, the young man stated at the scene he had fallen asleep on a bright, sunny afternoon. In court, his attorney stated that he 'had a history of falling asleep unexpectedly' and was under a doctor's care, perhaps describing narcolepsy.
In this case, shouldn't a doctor become a mandatory reporter of a condition that impairs driving ability?
In the other instance, the driver went through a stop sign and later, became irate that she was 'at fault' because my vehicles struck hers.
I met a young woman who had made a left turn across Route 44 in Raynham and cut off the flow of traffic because she believed she had the right of way. Not only was she seriously injured, but her children were in the vehicle with her and one child almost died.
In each of those cases in which the driver was at fault, why not require mandatory driver training courses and road tests that the at fault driver fully funds?
The cost and inconvenience might, in itself, cause greater caution.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

West Bridgewater Cares

West Bridgewater Selectmen Chairman Matthew Albanese has spoken at public events I've attended in the past and I have been impressed by his well reasoned discussion, concrete arguments that are based solely on what's best for his community and the law.
When the Brockton Enterprise quoted Mr. Albanese, it came as no surprise --
The town has appealed a state ruling that gave a license to a proposed Brockton power plant, selectmen Chairman Matthew Albanese said Tuesday.
The 350-megawatt, gas- and diesel-burning plant would be built on the city’s south side near the West Bridgewater line.
... wrote that concerns about impacts from the plant on the town’s drinking water wells were “short shrifted from the onset.”
“This left our town with no other option than to oppose the plant,” he wrote.
West Bridgewater is taking action do what's right and to protect its residents.
Does anyone know where Middleboro is?
Doesn't it always seem that a narrow-minded few in Middleboro protect their own vested interests and ignore all else?
Stop the Brockton Power Plant provides some good information.

The Dream Shall Never Die

This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver—to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, "that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American...will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege." For four decades I have carried this cause—from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society. Now the issue has more meaning for me—and more urgency—than ever before. But it's always been deeply personal, because the importance of health care has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years.

— Ted Kennedy

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Middleboro Remembers

There is a great deal of news and commentary occuring in all things gambling that dictated segregating issues of personal interest.

Gambling issues will be posted on the site below --

Middleboro Remembers

Clearly, still a work in progress!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Something we don't talk about ....

In all of the "Green Issues" discussed and promoted, little comment is made about "Disposable Batteries."
Much like the plastic bag controversy, once it's eliminated from your life, it's mostly ignored.
We mostly addressed the issue years ago with rechargeables, but this article served as a good reminder -
Americans buy about three billion household batteries (about 10 per person) annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency—and nearly all of them end up in landfills. The next time you need to power up your gadgets, choose rechargeable batteries instead. Unlike disposable alkaline batteries, rechargeable batteries can be reused hundreds of times,* which not only saves money and resources, but also reduces global warming pollution associated with battery manufacturing and transport. An independent study conducted for battery manufacturer UNIROSS estimates that using a disposable battery to create 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity has a global warming impact equivalent to driving a car 283 miles; using a rechargeable battery is equivalent to driving 10 miles.
* The Double A Rechargeable for our digital camera are about 9 years old. We purchased 2 sets so that we could charge one when it was needed and one was in use, similar to other applications we commonly used. We don't have to remember to buy batteries or take the expended ones to the landfill. It seems much simpler.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Email Web Sites

Remembering a certain Middleboro Gavel Queen who protested that she didn't want her personal email web site to become public, and the rest of the Middleboro BOS protested that they didn't want to be bothered by emails from residents and taxpayers, the Bridgewater Selectmen don't seem to have the same problem --

[A Bridgewater resident] took the opportunity to comment on Kravitz’s [Chariman of the Bridgewater Board of Selectmen] previous comment that he does not have an active e-mail account with the town since he resigned his post as health agent in June.

[A Bridgewater resident] said all selectmen have e-mail accounts by virtue of their elected positions, but if Kravitz isn’t using his, people may call him on his cell phone.

How Simple?

The dirty-energy economy has brought pollution and poverty to too many. But a clean-energy economy can bring opportunity, health, and wealth to struggling communities. Clean-energy jobs such as weatherizing homes, installing solar panels, and manufacturing wind turbines will put people to work in their own communities.

Green For All

Friday, August 14, 2009

Greyhounds: videos too painful to watch

The videos of greyhounds hitting walls and dying for entertainment that has been outlawed by a statewide referendum are too painful to watch.

Massachusetts voters have spoken and it's time to respect their vote and protect the dogs.

Fourteen Greyhounds Suffer Broken Legs at Mass. Tracks in June, Most in Nearly Two Years

by Carey Theil

When voters overwhelmingly approved Question 3 last November, most citizens probably thought that the cruelty of dog racing would end right away. But nearly a year after the election, greyhounds are still suffering serious injuries at racetracks in our state. According to records that GREY2K USA just received from the State Racing Commission, fourteen greyhounds suffered broken legs at Massachusetts racetracks in June, the most in a single month in nearly two years. In total, sixteen greyhound injuries were reported for the month.

Carey Theil :: Fourteen Greyhounds Suffer Broken Legs at Mass. Tracks in June, Most in Nearly Two Years

For those of us who believe that dog racing is
cruel and inhumane, our strong preference would have been to end dog racing immediately. However, we wrote the Greyhound Protection Act as a 14-month phase out period to give track workers an opportunity to make a successful transition. This was a responsible approach, and we do not regret that decision. However, these latest injuries highlight the fact that the 14-month phase out was not a small compromise on our part. It is a compromise that literally has a real cost.

Nearly 900 greyhounds have now been injured in our state since 2002. The vast majority of these injuries involved broken legs, and other reported injuries include paralysis, death from cardiac arrest and head trauma. But these reports are not just statistics. They also tell the story of greyhounds that suffered and died at tracks in our state.

Dogs like Lazy K Jarvis, who died after running into a wall at Raynham Park on December 5, 2008 and suffering paralysis. Or Talsta, a three-year-old white and black greyhound who died after suffering cardiac arrest after a race at Raynham Park on January 19, 2009. Both of these dogs died after voters approved the Greyhound Protection Act, but unfortunately the new humane law was not able to help them. This fall, when some lawmakers inevitably call for the will of the voters on Question 3 to be undermined, we must remind them of these dogs.

Dog track workers have already been given a 14-month delay.

On January 1, the dogs will finally receive the consideration they deserve.

Greyhound Racing supporters offered this --

... commercial breeders and race organizers are looking for new locales, Coleman said, particularly overseas destinations lacking animal welfare regulations.

A Dogged Fight makes a good case!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Massachusetts Greyhound Racing

The Brockton Enterprise reports --

Cambridge author Matthew Pearl has weighed in against attempts to revive greyhound racing after the ban enacted last November. The best-selling author of “The Dante Club” and “The Poe Shadow” wrote a letter to Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, which read: “We are very troubled by reports of discussions of reviving greyhound racing through a bill regarding the casinos. I wanted to make clear my strong disagreement with any attempt by special interests or representatives to overturn the will of the voters reflected powerfully in the results of the Question 3 ballot initiative. Please continue to represent the interests of the state in providing a national example of progress in the treatment of domestic animals, rather than giving new life to the disgrace and embarrassment of the racetracks’ legacy of exploitation and greed.” ...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Brockton Power Plant Not Needed?

When the Siting Board approved the Brockton Power Plant, the following comments were added --
[Board Member, Paul Hibbard] stated that the board doesn’t believe the power supply for Massachusetts and New England will suffer if the power plant isn’t built.

The other addition said that the board has no reason to believe that the construction of the power plant will ultimately reduce emissions.

$350 Million for a power plant that isn't needed?

Curious, indeed!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Twin River Bankruptcy: Greyhound Racing Dead

According to the Providence Journal --
The owners of the Twin River slot parlor intend to ask a federal bankruptcy judge to break their contract with the kennel owners who provide dogs for the greyhound races at the Lincoln gambling venue.
Lawyers for BLB Investors LLC, the track’s owner, were working on their legal filing late into Saturday night — as greyhounds raced around the track for perhaps the last time this year.


.... live dog racing attracts very few spectators, and the limited numbers that do attend races at Twin River do not spend [nearly enough] on food and beverage or [on video lottery terminals] to offset the actual costs of operating the racetrack,” the legal draft states.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON, on potentially the last day of racing,
about a hundred or so people,
mostly men,
spread themselves out among the tables and carrel-like tiers in the air-conditioned grandstand.
According to Clyde Barrow's own report presented to Senator Spilka's Casino Love Fest, Massachusetts resident are contributing --
Twin River/Newport Grand $210.8M [million]
Mr. Barrow's report projects a steadily increasing rate of "MASSACHUSETTS MONEY GOING OUT OF STATE" even as evidence indicates declining revenues.
It sure is a quandary!

From the archives --
Watch the Numbers!
Job Creation: Minimum Wage Jobs?
RI Greyhounds Gone Saturday, Aug 8
Low Paying Jobs With "Racinos" or The Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Unintended Consequences
Questioning figures?
Casino Gambling, Question #3 & Clyde Barrows
LAST LEGS comments --If the greyhound track were a sick patient, its prognosis would be grim.Overall revenues for the track have fallen all but one year since 1998, amounting to a 25 percent drop by 2007.
Meanwhile, records show the amount bet on live dog racing has plummeted by 61 percent over a decade, and it has made up a smaller percentage of the handle, or total amount bet, each year.

“It’s not doing as well as it once did, but that’s only because we haven’t allowed them to compete,” said state Sen. Marc R. Pacheco, D-Taunton.
State gambling expert the Rev. Richard McGowan, a Boston College business professor, predicted dog racing would likely be on the outs, even if Question 3 fails.“There’s a little bit of irony here,” McGowan said. “Even if they lose this vote ... there could very easily be no dog track because nobody is making any money off (them).”
Mega Barf Bark Time for Question #3
Move On!
Here We Go Again!
Time For A Natural Death
Reform? Where is it?
Vote YES on 3
A Dead Industry!
YES on Question 3
An Invitation to Corruption?
Just the facts, ma'am
The Racino Job Mythos
Twin Rivers Suspends Racing

Watch the Numbers!

Rhode Island's Greyhound Racing has been widely reported --

Supporters of the dog racing bill say it's necessary to save
225 jobs
-- including pari-mutuel clerks, bartenders and security workers.....
This is what was reported in RI Greyhounds Gone Saturday, Aug 8 ----
Twin River has handed out layoff notices to
9 full-time employees
18 part-time workers
in anticipation of Saturday’s scheduled suspension of dog racing at the Lincoln track.

That's 27 Twin River's employees. Where are the others? It certainly seems as if supporters overstate jobs.
The article further comments on the decline in other states --
New Hampshire's two remaining greyhound tracks won state permission last month to end live racing after waning interest from bettors.
About 30 tracks remain nationwide, down from a peak of about 55 in the early 1990s...

And this explains attempts to preserve greyhound racing in Massachusetts, after a statewide referendum banned it effective December 31, 2009 (no one says it better than Ms. Thiel) --

Another Skewed Poll by Barrow?

It seems that Cyde Barrow can always be counted on to conduct a skewed poll, with a small sampling, that raises questions to achieve the desired press release.

the number of respondents, 401, represents just 1 percent of the city’s voters and .4 percent of the city’s population

...the questions state it would be a “natural gas power plant” instead of it being fueled by natural gas and diesel fuel...

“The questions themselves are invalid since they pose incorrect information to base the choice on,” Stop the Power said in a prepared statement.

You don't suppose the questions included --

During normal operations there would be only three (3) to seven (7) workers
at the proposed plant.

And did they include this information?

If They Build It, It Will Bring:

109 Tons per year Carbon Monoxide
10 Tons per year Hazardous Air Pollutants
85 Tons per year Particulate Matter
7 Tons per year Sulfur Dioxide
31 Tons per year Volatile Organic Compounds
107 Tons per year Oxides of Nitrogen
1,134,000 Tons per year Carbon Dioxide

1,600,000 Gallons

of Treated Sewage Water Mist
Into Our Air Every
single day

Brockton is already ranked
ninth (9th)
on the list of
environmentally overburdened
New England communities.
The Brockton Power Plant should be of concern to all of us living in a region with compromised air quality.