Saturday, August 29, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The 350-megawatt, gas- and diesel-burning plant would be built on the city’s south side near the West Bridgewater line.
“This left our town with no other option than to oppose the plant,” he wrote.
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
Gambling issues will be posted on the site below --
Clearly, still a work in progress!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
[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.
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.
Friday, August 14, 2009
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
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
[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?
Sunday, August 9, 2009
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,
spread themselves out among the tables and carrel-like tiers in the air-conditioned grandstand.
Twin River/Newport Grand $210.8M [million]
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
Casino Gambling, Question #3 & Clyde Barrows
“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.
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
Supporters of the dog racing bill say it's necessary to save
-- 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
in anticipation of Saturday’s scheduled suspension of dog racing at the Lincoln track.
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...
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
of Treated Sewage Water Mist
Saturday, August 8, 2009
There was an invitation to a personal meeting and further discussion.
So, when this Administration publicly states that the system needs to change and they are talking to people, they are actually seeking out people and talking to them. They are seeking input and transferable practices to improve the health care process.
That's pretty impressive!
The system is broken, except for profitable insurance companies, and needs to change.
Friday, August 7, 2009
In conversation with Senator Pacheco, he has defended job creation in Raynham. Is this us?
...The drawback is that the average salary in that area actually falls because such new jobs require little or no formal training, and workers are easily replaceable. These new jobs pay little to nothing."
Is this want we need?
"The widespread attachment of gaming revenues to services in many states was designed to lessen opposition to gambling activities," ....
"However, the study clearly shows that policy makers in all states should consider the policy initiatives when considering adding gaming to racing tracks. In other words, what are the costs of adding more low-paying jobs while propping up the state budget or funding other programs?"
Marketing tactics such as Senator Pacheco labelling "Racino Legislation" as "Local Aid" ?
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Twin River has handed out layoff notices to 9 full-time employees and 18 part-time workers in anticipation of Saturday’s scheduled suspension of dog racing at the Lincoln track.
“At this point in time we are taking the necessary steps to prepare for the end of racing on Saturday,” Twin River spokeswoman Patti Doyle said Monday. “This is it. This is the totality of jobs lost as a result of that suspension.”
...Twin River operator UTGR Inc., a BLB subsidiary, filed for federal bankruptcy protection....
This certainly makes it sound like racing has become a business being subsidized by others --
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
So reports the Baltimore Sun.
The study, appearing in the latest issue of "The Journal of Economics," found that
the average salary of racino employee is less than $14,000 annually.
The article concludes with vast promises of construction jobs and permanent jobs with benefits, yada yada yada.
Sounds like the Mad Hatter's Tea Party to me.
FACT: 75% of jobs at casinos and racinos are low wage.
MGM Mirage, the biggest casino owner on the Las Vegas Strip, reported a $212.6 million second-quarter loss after a writedown and drop in gambling revenue.
The company sold $2.65 billion of stock and debt in May to remove the risk of bankruptcy.
Sue Kennedy's Local Impact Program
is scheduled to run Tues.
at 5pm and Thursday at 11:30am.
That is on Ch. 9 on Tue., and
Both Channels, 9 & 95, on Thursday. – show will run for a few weeks.
Ch. 95 goes to Lakeville & Freetown
This program was previously posted Great Show on why "Casinos are a Bad Bet"
Monday, August 3, 2009
Last year, Massachusetts residents accounted for 31 percent of the patrons at Foxwoods and 17 percent at Mohegan Sun, according to the Center for Policy Analysis at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.
This is frankly, confusing!
Casino Gambling, Question #3 & Clyde Barrows
Gambling as Investment?
“There’s still up to $900 million going out of the state to Connecticut and Rhode Island gambling facilities, and we’d like to capture that,” she said.
With consumers spending less money on gambling amid the economic downturn, Connecticut’s Division of Special Revenue reported that slot revenues at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have fallen by 7.5 percent to $736.4 million for the first six months of 2009 compared to $796 million for the same period last year.
Courtesy of Casino Cheerleader
[Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author] Taylor Branch, civil rights activist and historian, describes how casino gambling violates the American social contract. State-sponsored casino gambling invests in undermining citizen's trust ...
It's pretty interesting to make the case for those who don't want to pay taxes.
For those convinced that expanded gambling is a "quick fix," from NPR --
....there are so many steps that have to go through. So many things have to go right. So many things have to not occur, like no litigation, no zoning problems, it just isn’t going to happen.
Marsh says, based on his research, no state since 2000 has seen money make it to state coffers more quickly than 22 months.
Letter from AG Ayotte to NH Senators: Say no to slots
Jun 3rd, 2009 by Jarret Bencks
The day before the New Hampshire Senate was set to vote on the state’s budget plan, which was amended in a senate committee to include installing 13,000 slot machines in the state as a source of revenue, Attorney General Kelly Ayotte sent the following letter to at least one New Hampshire Senator:
Dear Senator Gallus:
Tomorrow, you will be voting on HB 2, including an amendment that would enable the expansion of legalized gambling in New Hampshire, in the form of video gambling. I strongly urge you to preserve our quality of life and protect our status as the safest state in the nation by opposing this legislative effort.
The introduction of video gambling to New Hampshire brings with it social costs that far outweigh the potential financial benefits. While many can gamble responsibly, there is a segment of the population that cannot or do not, and the consequences affect all of us. It is well documented that when you bring video gambling to an area, the numbers of problem gamblers increases in that area. Studies show that the financial strain that results from problem or pathological gambling unfortunately leads to increased rates of bankruptcy, divorce, child abuse, and domestic violence. It also leads to an increase in crime. We have seen examples in NH and throughout the country of crimes driven by gambling debts, including crimes like stealing a parent’s social security checks, stealing an elderly couple’s checkbook and forging checks, stealing millions of dollars from investors, and even murder—all to support their gambling habits. The latest example is the Craigslist killer who investigators believe used the money he obtained from his crimes to feed a gambling habit. However, its not just about the sensational crimes, there is also the incredible strain placed on the families of problem gamblers.
We are at a critical juncture. What is at stake is not just about the short term financial difficulties we are experiencing as a state, but I hope that you will look at the long term impact on our quality of life in New Hampshire. The lure of potential revenue must be weighed against the costs to our communities and our citizens. As the State’s chief law enforcement officer, I feel strongly that this is the wrong direction for our State.
Sincerely, Kelly A. Ayotte
KAA/p Attorney General
- - - - - -
The senate is expected to vote on the $11.6 billion budget plan today.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Here's what the editorial said --
The U.S. Supreme Court also threw up a major obstacle in February, ruling that newly recognized tribes — which include the Wampanoags — have no right to “sovereign” land.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
offers some local insight. Below, are additional links that provide some history.
Pauline lives in Somerset, Massachusetts, and she has one really dirty neighbor — an old coal-fired power plant.
Watch Pauline tell her story and to tell NRG — the New Jersey-based owner of this power plant — to keep its promise to Pauline and all citizens of the state by shutting down the Somerset Station (Montaup) plant, or repowering it with truly cleaner fuel. There are only four coal-burning plants left in Massachusetts. We can make it three.
Eight years ago, a broad coalition of activists and organizations across the state passed the "filthy five regulations" that would clean up the five dirtiest plants in the state, including Somerset Station (Montaup). Instead of modernizing the plant, NRG promised to shut it down or repower it with clean fuel by 2010.
Now NRG wants to break that promise it made to Pauline and the other residents of Somerset by repowering the plant with so-called "clean coal."
To make matters worse, NRG could potentially feed the plant with construction debris that contains toxic chemicals — further exposing residents to harm.
SourceWatch offers the statistics on NRG Energy --
NRG Energy, based in Princeton, NJ, is a wholesale power generation company with ownership in 47 coal, oil, and natural gas plants worldwide.
In May 2007, Forbes listed NRG CEO David W. Crane as receiving $12.29 million in total compensation for the latest fiscal year, with a three-year total compensation of $18.49 million.
NRG sought to circumvent the Filthy Five regulations with a gasification process that will allow it to burn additional "waste."
On January 24, 2008, the final air permit for the Somerset plant was granted by the MA DEP. The DEP also told NRG that the station could continue to operate the plant as is for as long as it needs to; this counteracts the condition in the “Filthy Five” regulations that Somerset shut down or convert to a cleaner fuel by 2010.
Additional information --
EnvironmentMassachusetts provides a history, as well as this explanation --
The first-in-the-nation limits on global warming pollution from power plants were unfortunately weakened in 2005 by former Gov. Mitt Romney, soon after he backed out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). His changes opened new loopholes for plant owners to avoid actually reducing global warming emissions. Environment Massachusetts is working to make sure that, as he guides Massachusetts back into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Gov. Patrick undoes the damage done by former Gov. Romney.
The Greatest Environmental Tragedy in American History: Dirty Coal
Although the health consequences of pollution and poor air quality and mercury contamination are not as readily visible, the scars of Mountain Top Removal are -