Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department
Office of Governor Deval L. Patrick
GOVERNOR PATRICK LAUNCHES ONLINE COMMUNITY FORUM
Invites citizens to continue conversation about reform and revenue with the Administration and each other
BOSTON – Thursday, May 28, 2009 – Governor Deval Patrick today launched an online community forum, inviting citizens to continue the conversation started during the administration’s series of statewide community forums about the choices and priorities facing the Commonwealth in the current economic climate.
Available at www.mass.gov/forum, the forum presents the public with a unique opportunity to share their ideas about the state’s budget challenges as well as the transportation, pension and ethics reform proposals currently being debated on Beacon Hill . Over the next two weeks, Governor Patrick, Lieutenant Governor Murray and senior administration officials will be online at various times, reading suggestions, answering questions and contributing to the dialogue.
“We need the collective wisdom of all the people in the Commonwealth to tackle the budget challenges and reform opportunities facing us at this critical moment,” said Governor Patrick. “This online forum allows us to continue the conversation we started during the community forums and capture those great ideas – your ideas – that will help get us through to a better tomorrow.”
Governor Patrick has selected UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack to serve as the forum’s “Citizen Moderator.” Chancellor MacCormack will work with the Governor’s Office to help facilitate the online conversation and ensure all ideas are heard. At the conclusion of the discussion, Chancellor MacCormack will select from forum participants to assemble a Citizen Task Force. The Task Force will be responsible for compiling ideas, insights and recommendations shared throughout the forum and presenting a report to the Governor.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for citizens to participate in a meaningful dialogue about the future of our Commonwealth,’’ Chancellor MacCormack said. “My primary responsibility as moderator will be to ensure that everyone with a big idea has a voice, and that we work together to help solve some of the major challenges facing the Commonwealth. I look forward to hearing everyone’s ideas.”
In addition to the more than 30 community forums the Governor and members of his administration held throughout the month of May, he kicked off a series of summer town hall meetings in Dennis on Tuesday. The meetings are open to the public, giving residents a chance to talk directly to Governor Patrick about issues they care about most, including the economy, the state’s budget challenges, and the Governor’s efforts to push for reforms on Beacon Hill . For a full schedule and more information, visit www.mass.gov/governor/townhall.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Another Nightmarish Story of Gambling Addiction Has Hopeful Ending
The drywall furor is the latest in a series of scares over potentially toxic imports from China. In 2007, Chinese authorities ratcheted up inspections and tightened restrictions on exports after manufacturers were found to have exported tainted cough syrup, a toxic pet food ingredient and toys decorated with lead paint.
And let's not forget the Chinese Fur Farms . Did anyone notice that the imported winter clothing from China has "fur" or "leather" trim or is made from "fur" or "leather" and the origin is never labelled?
Scientists hope to understand the problem by studying the chemicals in the board. Drywall consists of wide, flat boards used to cover walls. It is often made from gypsum, a common mineral that can be mined or manufactured from the byproducts of coal-fired power plants.
The federal government does not regulate the chemical ingredients of imported drywall.
Chinese Drywall Problem Far Reaching reports on the chemical components --
According to the Associated Press, the fact that it was made with fly ash - a waste product of coal burning - could provide a clue. The process of “scrubbing” the smokestack emissions creates calcium sulfate, or gypsum, which can then used to make drywall. In the U.S., drywall is also made from fly ash, but the material is taken from the smokestack, where it is scrubbed. This produces a cleaner product. But in China, the fly ash may have been obtained before it made its way to the smokestack. according to the Associated Press, this creates a “less refined” product.
The Chinese samples contained traces of strontium sulfide while the American sample did not. Strontium sulfide is a gray powder that emits a hydrogen sulfide, or “rotten eggs,” odor when exposed to moist air. The three Chinese samples also contained higher levels of hydrogen sulfide, carbonyl sulfide, and carbon disulfide than the American drywall. All of these compounds are potentially toxic, and carbon disulfide in liquid form is extremely flammable.
Chinese Drywall, Behind the Smell: Uncommonly High Sulfur Levels
Homeowner Problems With Chinese-Made Drywall Spread
Chinese drywall: What to look for
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Senator Pacheco (D, Taunton) introduced legislation --
The plan would have allowed the tracks to add 2,500 slot machines each, which could have brought in new revenue to help cities and towns offset cuts to local aid.
"You have a local aid vote before you right now," said Senator Marc Pacheco, a Taunton Democrat and chief proponent of the proposal. "Here it is."
Insert Big sigh!
This isn't simple!
Kudos to the Senate that at least wisdom prevailed .......... for now!
Rosenberg has .... said it would take at least 12 months from the time a law was signed before the state would start reaping any revenue from slot machines.
If anything explains why Earthjustice sues, it is this new video clip showing a baby bison with a broken leg fleeing helicopters and mounted riders. The tragic scene took place in mid-May 2009 on Horse Butte peninsula outside of Yellowstone National Park, as federal and state agents drove park buffalo off spring pastures because of perceived conflict with livestock.
Earthjustice is in court to secure the bison's right to these grasslands where they historically lived.
Montana state officials are currently chasing newborn buffalo and their mothers from their breeding grounds outside Yellowstone ... injuring and potentially killing vulnerable calves.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
We have institutional bureaucracies that don't want to surrender authority, autonomy or personnel, even though they, if they were honest, recognize the problems.
We have legislators who don't want anyone mad at them, much less an organized union. And many don't want to admit that they helped create the "mess."
And we have the Beacon Hill Republicans who are becoming more like a bad comedy routine with each passing day, repeating the same losing rhetoric:
We risked an end of world calamity by raising the minimum wage.
Attend one of the forums and watch the people who promise to buy 'junk food' or 'alcohol' if the sales tax exemptions are lifted. No one is going to drive to NH to buy Twinkies!
After the Governor offered his few words, essentially explaining that when you think you've got a real mess, there are opportunities to be found. There are creative solutions that Bay State residents have to offer.
Maybe I should have taken notes, but allow a few of my recollections--
One woman pointed out that the school system has a "nurse" who deals with the school children that is partially reimbursed on the Cherry Sheet. The school system also has a public health clinic that is reimbursed at a higher percentage through another program that is pretty much a duplication of the school nurse.
Another school administrator pointed out that to file for Medicaid reimbursement, the form changes each year, the instructions confusing, the reimbursement goes to the school, the program or into general government. She also indicated that some administrators have given up filing the forms.
The Governor was familiar with the problem and addressed it at length.
When the subject of cuts for programs for the disabled was discussed, one mother said 'cut the supervisors, but leave the case workers.'
Similar sentiments were echoed during the Taunton Forum when someone said those with higher seniority should be the ones who were cut leaving the lower paid "workers."
As the Governor rightly pointed out, now is the time to determine what we expect of government, what services we're willing to sacrifice and what we're willing to step up to the plate and support increased taxes to provide.
But that's not all.
Now is the time to redefine government, streamline the way services are delivered and come up with creative solutions.
When it comes to services for children, the disabled and the elderly, services that I have yet to hear someone propose cutting, there are a dizzying array of agencies, bureaucracies, programs, employees, funding sources, regulations that provide those services.
And just as we recognize that someone has been omitted, we create another program, service, agency and mechanism to cover that need.
This is what the Speaker of the House DeLeo had to say about Transportation Reform:
On transportation reform, the House voted to eliminate the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and the so-called "23 and out" pension policy at the MBTA. It also voted to place MBTA employees into the GIC for health insurance purposes so that real savings can be realized.
One of the people present at the Governor's Forum in Franklin spoke at length about "Transportation" and the necessary reforms. He made sense.
The Governor listened.
The Speaker has not listened!
Middleboro isn't inventing the wheel with this one.
Middleboro wins case, tax cut on Soule Farm
By Eileen Reece
Posted May 19, 2009 @ 11:26 PM
The town has won an appeal before the Plympton Board of Assessors that reduces its tax payment on 25 acres of the Soule Farm that is in Plympton.
Barbara Erickson, Middleboro’s assessor-appraiser, said the Plympton Board of Assessors agreed to reduce the assessed value from $407,400 to $301,900. The reduction will mean a savings of $1,335.63 for fiscal year 2009.
Erickson said the value was reduced based on information she provided following a review of its sales analysis, land charts and Department of Environmental Protection wetland maps.
The Patriot Ledger
Posted May 19, 2009 @ 05:00 AM
Senate President Therese Murray recently reiterated her pro-stance on expanded gambling, by throwing out the old “we need to re-coup the $900 million that’s going to Conn. and Rhode Island”.
This number was Gov. Deval Patrick’s last year, and has been used by every casino supporter and media outlet since.
These and similar numbers are from only one source: Clyde Barrows, director of policy analysis at UMass/Dartmouth. Mr. Barrows has been doing the work of the casino industry on the the taxpayer’s dime for quite some time.
After attending two of his presentations, I couldn’t help but wonder why was there no mention of the costs associated with expanded gambling.
With a little research I found that Mr. Barrows was hired last November by (Las Vegas based) Olympia Group to try and sell the idea of a casino in Oxford County, Maine (which was voted down).
In the fall of 2006 his group received $20,000 from the R.I. Building Trades Council, who backed an unsuccessful casino referendum there.
In 1999 it was the Visions Group, looking to build a casino in Salisbury.
Forget the numbers. Predatory gambling is not the answer to shore up deficits.
We should be looking to build our future on our strengths and not on our weaknesses.
Director, Casino Facts Committee
Check out BMG for additional info.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
American Gaming Association Executives
Judy L. Patterson – Senior VP and Executive Director
Helped create National Center for Responsible Gaming, an independent,
nonprofit organization, founded by the American Gaming Association, uses
gambling industry funds to support industry sponsored research primarily
pathological gamblers, while keeping the industry exempt from responsibility;
helped create Global Gaming Expo (G2E); works with consultants,
academic institutions and state gaming associations to develop independent
studies of gaming issues.
Previously served as special assistant to the president of the American Bar
Association, director Public Liaison Office; D.C. Coalition Against Drugs
and Violence; graduate of Wichita State University (1974), Georgetown
University Law Center, (1985), master’s degree in education from Boston
[“American Gaming Association online,
Monday, May 18, 2009
posted by: Heather Moore
Another Kentucky Derby week has ended in tragedy. Two young horses, Raspberry Kiss and Dr. Rap, were involved in a collision; Raspberry Kiss broke her hip and had to be euthanized. Soon after, Stormalogy, the projected American Turf winner, fractured his leg and was euthanized. On race day, Derby favorite, I Want Revenge, was found with an injured ankle and was scratched from the race. Projected winner Friesan Fire had part of his hoof ripped off right after the race began; yet was raced for the entire course anyway, bleeding all the way. (Not surprisingly, Friesan Fire was ridden by Gabriel Saez, the same jockey who unmercilessly whipped Eight Belles until she crossed the finish line and collapsed in last year's Derby.)
The Horseracing Industry: Drugs, Deception and Death
They weigh at least 1,000 pounds, they have legs that are supported by ankles the size of a human’s, and they’re forced to run around dirt tracks at speeds of more than 30 miles per hour while carrying people on their backs.(1)
The Starting GateRacehorses can cost millions of dollars and are often purchased by syndicates, which may be composed of thousands of members.(3,4)
Racing to the Grave
Given the huge investment that owning a horse requires, reported one Kentucky newspaper, “simply sending one to pasture, injured or not, is not an option all owners are willing to consider.”(7)
Joseph Dirico, the owner of a filly who suffered a heart attack and died mid-race at Pimlico only days after the Preakness, said of her death, “I guess that’s part of the game.”(12)
Drugs and Deception“Finding an American racehorse trained on the traditional hay, oats, and water probably would be impossible,” commented one reporter.(16)
There are trainers pumping horses full of illegal drugs every day,” says a former Churchill Downs public relations director.(17)
Rick Dutrow, the trainer of 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown, openly admits to giving his horses Winstrol, a steroid that is illegal for equine use in 10 states, although not in the three that host the Triple Crown. Before it was banned in Pennsylvania, nearly 1,000 horses were tested for steroids and more than 60 percent tested positive. Big Brown’s veterinarian concedes that “without steroids, they’d lose some horses that can’t keep up the pace and race every three weeks or every month.”(22)
Even the ‘Winners’ LoseFew racehorses are retired to pastures for pampering and visits from caring individuals.
An insurance scandal cost the life of Alydar, who came in second in all three races of the 1978 Triple Crown and fathered many fast horses. After being retired from racing in order to serve as a stud at a Kentucky farm, Alydar was originally believed to have shattered his leg by kicking a stall door and was euthanized when he wasn’t able to maintain a splint.(24)
Ferdinand, a Derby winner and Horse of the Year in 1987, was retired to Claiborne Farms and then changed hands at least twice before being “disposed of” in Japan; a reporter covering the story concluded, “No one can say for sure when and where Ferdinand met his end, but it would seem clear he met it in a slaughterhouse.”(26)
Although there are currently no equine slaughterhouses in the U.S., there is still a multimillion-dollar horsemeat export industry that sends tens of thousands of horses every year to Canada, Mexico, and Japan for slaughter.(28,29)
Most horses who are sent to those facilities are forced to endure days of transport in cramped trailers.(31)
What You Can Do
Sunday, May 17, 2009
But I digress!
More than $200 million of devastating cuts pending in Senate Ask your Senator to co-sponsor disability amendments
More than 23,000 adults and children with disabilities and their families are slated to LOSE crucial services. These cuts will be devastating (see below).
Please use our Action Center to ask your Senator to co-sponsor and support these vital amendments. Please personalize the email to your Senator and if you can, follow up with a phone call to reinforce.
IF THE LATEST BUDGET GOES THROUGH, THIS IS WHAT TO EXPECT:
8,000 getting Day Habilitation services... CUT
2,600 adults getting Day/Employment services... CUT
11,000 families getting Family Support and Respite services... CUT
500 people getting essential transportation services... CUT
Thousands of adults getting Dental Health services... CUT
624 students graduating from school and needing Turning 22 services... CUT
And this is only a partial list.
All told, there will be a $243 million shortfall, leaving thousands of individuals and families stranded with nobody to help them, no place to go during the day, and nowhere to turn for a safety net.
Friday, May 15, 2009
As the Senate prepares for its budget debate, a central question will be whether to approve a budget that relies primarily on spending cuts to close the state’s $5 billion budget gap, or whether to adopt a budget plan that includes tax increases as well as spending cuts. The budget proposal from the Senate Committee on Ways and Means (SWM) includes close to $3 billion in spending cuts, reliance on about $1.5 billion in temporary federal stimulus aid, close to $400 million drawn from reserves, and more than $200 million in new fees. This Budget Monitor describes the spending reductions proposed by the SWM budget by program area, and the services that would be reduced or eliminated as a result of those cuts.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Boston Globe's Scot Lehigh offered --
First up, that lamentable Democratic gift to the public-employee unions known as the Pacheco law, which effectively ended the state's ability to contract with private firms for services they can deliver more efficiently than state workers. Although Senator Pacheco, the measure's proud papa, denies it, I have it on good authority that his signature "accomplishment" was thought up and written by lobbyists, then given to him to file. The Legislature passed it over a gubernatorial veto back in 1993, bringing the portcullis crashing down on Bill Weld's efforts to reap public savings by tapping the private sector.
Ever since, repealing Pacheco has been a reform that dare not speak its name. Not among Democrats, anyway.
But this year, Senate Republicans, who estimate the state could save $150 million to $300 million a year by aggressively contracting out, plan to try.
"If people are really serious about saving taxpayer dollars and making government more efficient, then we have to look at sacred cows like the Pacheco law," says Senate minority leader Richard Tisei.
Middleboro's Town Meeting Warrant contains an article to provide for Town Retirees, not recognized as a "bargaining unit," with health insurance benefits identical to those provided when they retired. Estimated cost? $200,000.
The state also needs to grant cities and towns either the unrestricted authority to join the state's Group Insurance Commission or GIC-like ability to design their own health-insurance offerings. Currently, every change in local health-insurance plans has to be bargained with the local unions.
"There are a lot of communities that can't get the unions to agree even to increase a $5 co-payment for a doctor's visit," reports Geoff Beckwith, executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association.
The GIC, by contrast, sets co-pays and deductibles and other insurance plan features without having to bargain the changes. If the ability of municipalities to join the GIC weren't subject to a union veto or if they had similar plan-design power, the savings would be large.
I hope you have an opportunity to appreciate the beauty of spring in your life. We are surrounded by leaves that are growing and creating the annual canopy that I love.
My appreciation to all who are posting and offering ideas and opinions on revenues, Democratic principles, economic and environmental challenges and the current budget.
I continue to support the Governor's Municipal Partnership proposals including closing the telecom tax loopholes immediately. The room and restaurant tax will not impact the small community where I live, but I support the proposal for other communities to have options. Local government is hobbled by state and federal mandates including Prop. 2 1/2. I was informed yesterday that the Ch. 70 cuts proposed by the Governor for the current budget year greatly exceed the town's saving (Free Cash). If stimulus funds are not received in a timely fashion during this quarter to fill the Ch 70 cuts, the town will not be able to meet it's financial obligations. This is very serious.
I support a moderate gas tax increase and a moderate sales tax increase (.5-1.0%).
It is extremely frustrating to me that at this desperate time in our history we see the Legislature and Governor at odds over the process of revenue reconstruction. Surely we need reform before asking people to pay more taxes. The sluggishness of the Legislature is really not about deliberation, it is about decades of denial and protection of cronyism and abuse. I have been an observer for some time, the Liege has failed to make necessary decisions.
I live in a rural community abutting a potential casino site. I am a Health Educator, Domestic Violence activist and concerned citizen regarding air, water, food/agriculture and open space. I could care less is someone wants to spend their money at a casino, dog track or lottery ticket. However, as a concerned citizen and taxpayer, I have conducted countless hours of research on the above topic. It has been framed as economic development. It is economic development for the owners, investors and some ancillary parties including politicians who benefit from campaign contributions. It is not economic development for the region. It is motor vehicle congestion, air pollution, increased DUI and burdens upon municipal services, including overburdened education and public safety departments. It is severe negative impact on a region's environment. I did not develop my position in a vacuum or simply from a NIMBY framework. I have researched the impacts of expanded gambling on youth long before the current proposals came along. I have buried young people who died in car crashes and counseled young people in very serious trouble with gambling. My position evolved over 18 years of study.
As a former Selectman in a rural moderate income community, I am painfully aware of the need for more revenue to stop the erosion of services in our community and the state. We want to advance, yet I have spent the last decade watching a quickening backward slide emerge. Finding quick solutions that promise revenues but create additional burdens is foolhardy.
We need leadership that will stand with local government and citizens to thoughtfully and strategically match revenue proposals with policy, principles and long term vision. I would like to urge all activists to call upon the Liege and the Administration to swallow their collective pride, sit-down and present budget proposals to the people that are sound and sustainable.
I strongly support Governor Patrick's position to eliminate the current egregious pension abuses as well as blocking future abuse.
Beacon Hill needs to get its act together, make the difficult decisions and stop following House Speaker "Racino" DeLeo, Senate President "Money" Murray, Treasurer "Slot Parlor" Cahill, and Senator "But For" Pacheco, down the "Yellow Brick Road."
We're not in Kansas anymore, Toto!
Friday, May 15, 2009
The following raises other issues we need to consider --
Gambling and Crime
By Tom Larkin
“It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they cannot see the problem”
G. K. Chesterton
Phillip Markoff, the accused Craigslist murderer, as well as former State Senator Diane Wilkerson, were known to gamble frequently at Foxwoods Resort. Committing crimes to acquire gambling money is one characteristic of problem gamblers.
The Massachusetts FY-2010 state budget may be $550 million dollars short. Expanded gambling proposals are widely supported by political leaders, newspaper editors, labor unions and the general public.
Projected benefits include increased economic activity, jobs, licensing fees, annual casino taxes and recapturing about $900,000 lost out of state. What’s not to like?
One projected cost is increased crime. Increases in poverty, recidivism, bankruptcy, fraud, suicides, child neglect, child abuse, job inefficiency, youth gambling and addictions of all kinds are other costs. In one independent study, costs outweighed benefits by 3 to 1. (Grinols-2004) No independent cost-benefit analysis has been presented by proponents.
Measuring social costs is complicated. While 2/3rds of active gamblers are engaged in harmless entertainment, they do not lose much. Most gambling losses (about 80%) come from the 20% of the gamblers who are poor, less educated, minorities and people with a wide range of mental health and addiction problems. The evidence is controversial, but credible. Maryland Attorney General Joseph Curran stated, “There is no question, where gambling is introduced, there is an increase in crime.”
Comparing data from casino states with non-casino states, from 1977 to 1996, Grinols, Mustard and Hunt-Dilley (2002) concluded, by the 5th year, casino states had greater increases in rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft and that from 3% to 30% could be attributed to casinos.
The National Gambling Impact Study Commission (1999) estimated about 1 out of 3 active gamblers have some level of mild, moderate to severe gambling problem. The cost of problem gamblers to society has been estimated to be from $10,000 to $50,000 a year. The number of problem gamblers increases significantly within a 50 mile radius of a new casino.
There are significantly more problem gamblers arrested (30%) compared to arrests among non-gamblers (7%). About 40% of the incarcerated (and formerly incarcerated) are estimated to have gambling problems. The annual number of police calls jumped over 400% within 5 years after the opening of the Foxwoods Resort Casino. After 4 years, Atlantic City’s major crimes tripled.
Recidivism is related to relapse. Alcohol and other drugs are estimated to be involved in 60% to 70% of arrests. In a 15 state 2002 study by the US Justice Department, over 2/3rds of released prisoners were re-arrested within 3 years. The recidivism rate drops to about 1 out of 3 among those who abstain. About 50% of problem gamblers also have alcohol problems. About 30% of people with alcohol and drug problems also have some level of gambling problem. The Pew Center recently reported that the number of people on probation, incarcerated and on parole in the US had tripled since 1982 to 7.3 million, 1 in every 32 citizens…. Advocating for programs to reduce recidivism while simultaneously advocating for expanding legalized gambling is incongruous.
The very complexity of the relationship between gambling and crime (and other social costs) demands an open, vigorous debate before legalized gambling is expanded in Massachusetts. That debate has not taken place yet. Why?
(Tom Larkin is a psychologist and facilitator for SMART Recovery, a self help program available at the Billerica House of Corrections, MCI Concord, MCI Shirley and in the community.)
April 25, 2009
How Denmark reacted to Oil threat
1973: Oil Crisis: Denmark depends on foreign oil for 90% of its electricity.
To remedy, Denmark institutes rapid development of wind energy to solve their oil crisis.
1985: Denmark bans nuclear power.
1991: First offshore wind farm built in Denmark.1995: Denmark bans new coal power plants.
1997: Denmark achieves total energy independence.
2004: With 6 offshore wind farms, Denmark can generate 32% of all domestic electricity from wind.
2005: Denmark begins the doubling of its two world's largest offshore wind farms, Horns Rev and Nysted.
As the Senator writes his legacy, it should include his support for renewable energy projects particularly Cape Wind which enjoys widespread support, as cct pointed out.
Local boards of assessors will find the fiscal year 2010 telephone and telegraph company central valuations pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 59, Section 39 on the our website on May 15, 2009. Also included will be a memorandum to assessors about the FY2010 valuation as well as the valuation table used, the new growth numbers, a list of company billing addresses and a list of filing companies that were not centrally valued.
For the informaton above, click on link below to the Division of Local Services' website.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
On May 13, 2009 the Senate Ways and Means Committee (SWM) released their version of the FY2010 budget. The Division of Local Services has posted updated local aid estimates based on the SWM budget recommendations to the Division of Local Services’ web site at the link below:
Similar the Governor’s budget proposal (House 1) and House budget, section 3 of the SWM budget consolidates the Additional Assistance and Lottery line items into Unrestricted General Government Aid. The SWM FY2010 budget proposal reduces this line item by $483.6 million or 36.82 percent from original FY2009 levels. This represents a 30 percent reduction to the post 9C Additional Assistance and Lottery amounts.
SWM budget recommendations also reduce Chapter 70 by $79.0 million or 2 percent from the original FY2009 level, reduce Regional School Transportation from $61.3 million in FY2009 to $30.5 million in FY2010, and eliminate the state reimbursement for the Police Career Incentive program.
Charter School assessments and reimbursements reflect a change in methodology where facilities payments and first year reimbursements of new charter school costs will be paid directly to the charter schools and not reflected in assessments and reimbursements. This is the same approach that was used to calculate the assessments and reimbursement for House 1. For more information, please see: http://www.mass.gov/bb/h1/fy10h1/prnt10/exec10/pbudbrief3.htm.
Please note that Charter School and School Choice assessments may change significantly when updated to reflect spring enrollment data and final tuition rates.
To review additional information about how the estimates were determined and what may cause them to change in the future, click on the link at the bottom for an index of the FY2010 programs and links to individual explanations.
Please read the link to the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education web site regarding reporting and other requirements associated with the recent reduction of Chapter 70 funds that are being replaced by Federal Stimulas Grants.
This is to inform you that the 2009 list of Corporations Subject to Taxation in Massachusetts, issued pursuant to G.L. c. 58, § 2, was published on our Internet website (http://dorapps.dor.state.ma.us/corpbook/home/home.asp) on May 14, 2009. We publish this list solely on the Internet to facilitate keyword and community based searches.
The Corporations Subject to Taxation in Massachusetts listing contains business entities registered to do business in Massachusetts as of January 1, 2009, including corporations that were granted “manufacturing” status or whose manufacturing status was revoked. The financial institutions and insurance companies are listed separately under their own section headings because they are taxed differently from business corporations. Corporations included in these lists that are not classified as manufacturing have been listed based solely on registrations or returns they filed; such inclusion does not indicate DOR’s approval of any applications for classification or other review and determination of their corporate status.
Every effort is made to include all manufacturing (M) and revocation (R) decisions made by the Massachusetts ’ Department of Revenue’s Manufacturing Unit in this listing. However, some decisions occur after the listing release and are retroactive to January 1 of the current year. It is the policy of DOR to notify assessors of the subsequent decisions by letter. For informational purposes, a separate compilation of subsequent manufacturing and revocation decisions applicable in the current calendar year will be posted (updated) on our website throughout the year until the next list is issued. Assessors should periodically check the website for these updates.
Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across this Nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.
The Tennessee Valley Authority has begun shipping toxic coal ash from the massive spill that occurred last December at its Kingston power plant in east Tennessee's Roane County to landfills in the neighboring states of Georgia and Alabama as part of a test to determine a final resting place for the waste.The counties where the ash is going have large black populations and high poverty rates, raising questions about environmental justice.
Located in western Georgia's Piedmont, Taylor County is an agricultural area where almost 41% of the population is African-American and more than 24% of residents live in poverty, according to census data. By comparison, the state is 30% black with 14.3% of its residents in poverty. In recent years, Taylor County gained notoriety as one of the last communities in the South to still hold racially segregated high-school proms.
Part of the historic "Black Belt," Alabama's Perry County is 69% African-American with more than 32% of its residents living in poverty, making it one of the poorest counties in the state, which is 26.5% black with 16.6% of its residents in poverty.
Researchers have found that solid waste landfills tend to be located disproportionately in communities of color and low-wealth communities. For example, a recent study in North Carolina found that the odds of a solid waste facility were 2.8 times greater for communities with where 50% or more residents are people of color compared to those where less than 10% of residents are people of color. It also found that communities with lower housing values were more likely to have landfills.
Pennsylvania refused to accept TVA's waste.
TVA hasn't decided where it will send the rest of the ash. Limited dredging of some 3 million cubic yards in the river has just begun. The ash is 30 feet deep in some places.