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.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Middleboro residents sue town for plowing private streets
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
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
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.
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.
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.