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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

Friday, August 31, 2012

Mitt Romney's Heroic Story

The Man From Bloomfield Hills — The Mitt Romney Story

If he can do it, there’s hope for millionaires everywhere. For every future election. Doesn’t that just make you feel good inside?

Friday, August 24, 2012

This will make your day!

Isaac's Live Lip-Dub Proposal from Isaac Lamb on Vimeo.

Isaac Lamb

Isaac's Live Lip-Dub Proposal

On Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012, I told my girlfriend to meet me at my parent's house for dinner. When she arrived I had stationed my brother to sit her in the back of an open Honda CRV and give her some headphones. He "wanted to play her a song"...
What she got instead was the world's first Live Lip-Dub Proposal.
Enjoy! To Watch on YouTube:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Inferno fears halt ethanol train - Speak Out!

And they want to bring this through Boston neighborhoods???

DISASTER: This aerial photograph...
Photo by AP (file)
DISASTER: This aerial photograph shows a freight train carrying ethanol that derailed and caught fire on July 11 near Columbus

Boston --
Monday, August 27th, 11:30 a.m....important meeting to attend regarding ethanol coming to East Boston, Revere, Chelsea, Everett and beyond...need to let citi councillors know about our concerns, our fears, and the risks to our neighborhoods. 

Contact Gail Miller for additional information:

Don't have time to attend the day time meeting?
Send your comments to:  

City Councillor Salvatore Lamattina
City Councillor Charles Yancey

Inferno fears halt ethanol train

Gov backs safety report on fuel delivery

By Jessica Van Sack
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Residents of dense urban communities set to be a cut-through for a proposed ethanol train were given a temporary reprieve yesterday as Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill that would delay the plan.

Patrick signed a transportation bond bill for state infrastructure projects that includes a provision to study the environmental and safety impact on homes, schools, day care centers and other facilities along the route of the federally regulated train.

Under a plan by Waltham-based Global Partners LP, about 1.7 million gallons of ethanol would be carried on a freight train that is 60 cars long twice a week through two dozen communities, including Cambridge, Somerville, East Boston, Everett and Chelsea, ending at a waterside shipping center in Revere.

“Anyone living, working, playing, visiting or driving near a rail line has had their safety greatly enhanced by the action of our Legislature and endorsement by the governor,” Chelsea City Manager Jay Ash said.

Ash said he wants Global Partners, which did not return a call seeking comment, to consider shipping to its Revere facility by barge, where it would benefit from Coast Guard security similar to that of liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments.

Ethanol trains have been classified by the Department of Homeland Security as a potential terrorist target, especially at train intersections and during unloading.

State Sen. Anthony Petruccelli (D-East Boston) filed the bond bill amendment to study the train’s impact. He said the federal government has not been forthcoming on security protocols for the train, and that while the legislation cannot stop the train altogether, it can delay the start.

“There are a lot of concerns and there’s not a transparent process,” Petruccelli said. “The concern is the unknown.”

A 2011 study commissioned by the state Department of Environmental Protection found ethanol is now the most hazardous substance being transported by rail in the United States.

On July 11, a 98-car train carrying ethanol partly derailed and exploded north of downtown Columbus, Ohio. The train was reportedly traveling below the speed limit in the middle of the night, and just two people were hurt. Investigators are trying to determine the cause.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Activists call on gov to close Somerset's Brayton Point plant, transition state away from coal

It's time!

Activists call on gov to close Somerset's Brayton Point plant, transition state away from coal

Rally 1
Dave Souza|Herald News

Local activists rallied at Kennedy Park, overlooking the Brayton Point Power Station, on Wednesday, calling on Gov. Deval Patrick to push for the closure of the plant’s coal-burning operation.

By Jo C. Goode
Posted Aug 16, 2012

With the Brayton Point Power Station as a backdrop, a group of local activists rallied on the overlook at Kennedy Park on Wednesday to call on Gov. Deval Patrick to move the state away from coal and to help communities in economic transition as coal-powered plants shut down.

Organizers of the Coalition for Clean Air South Coast also announced that 100 local business owners in Fall River, New Bedford, Swansea and Westport pledged support of the group’s initiatives, which include shutting down Brayton Point Power Station’s coal-burning operation by 2020.

“We want to see Brayton Point Power Station commit to make a transition away from coal, but we don’t think they will do it on their own and that’s why we are looking for Gov. Patrick’s support,” said Sylvia Broude, of Toxics Action Center.

Patrick signed the Global Warming Solutions Act into law in 2008, making Massachusetts one of the first states in the nation to move forward with a comprehensive regulatory program to address climate change and greenhouse gases.

Brayton Point Station, the largest power station in New England, was purchased in 2005 by Dominion, a national company that produces gas, nuclear, LNG and coal power along the eastern seaboard.

In 2010, the power station was deemed by the EPA as the largest polluter in New England and responsible for nearly half of all mercury emissions in the state.

Westport resident David Dionne, of the Coalition for Clean Air, told about 25 supporters the state has one of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country.

“The emissions of burning of coal has a direct link to the incidents of asthma. We are here today to reduce those numbers and we’re going to do it by eliminating that coal pile,” Dionne said, pointing across the Taunton River to the Brayton Point Station site.

The country is still in the dark ages when it comes to producing electricity, said Al Lima of the Coalition for Clean Air and Green Futures, who questioned why the country won’t move away from coal power.

“The answer is we lack the political will to go beyond coal. We know how to do it but we are stuck in the status quo. We are here today to go beyond coal. We are here today to demand that Gov. Patrick take action to adopt clean resources of power, to implement energy conservation measures and to free us from the scourge of dirty coal,” Lima said.

The Patrick Administration is committed to an aggressive clean energy agenda by enacting nation-leading policies to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy and Massachusetts and New England, said spokesman Reginald Zimmerman in an email.

“In addition to signing the Green Communities Act, which fosters increased energy efficiency, Gov. Patrick has also signed into law the Global Warming Solutions Act, creating the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction initiative in the country. These policies are driving our clean energy revolution and will deliver environmental and economic benefits for generations to come, ” Zimmerman said.

When Brayton Point Power Station was purchased by Dominion, $1.2 billion in environmental improvements were put in place, said Brayton Point Power spokeswoman Lisa Lundy, and the plant meets all federal environmental regulations.

“We are very much in compliance and our goal is to be a reliable producer of electricity while protecting the environment,” Lundy said.

As coal-burning power plants shut down throughout the state — the Salem Harbor Coal Plant is slated for closure in 2014 — communities face the loss of jobs, municipal revenues and property redevelopment.

The closing of the Somerset Station in 2010 is a perfect example of how a former pollution-generating, coal-fired power plant may be redeveloped into an oceanic research facility — a current proposal by developers of the property — said Broude, who called the proposal “an ambitious but realistic plan.”

Dionne said it’s crucial to change the paradigm of reliance on the coal-burning power plants that operate in communities to green industry that will produce jobs, economic development and tax revenue.

“This is the perfect place for the state to get involved, it is really an example of what we’re talking about. The state has the opportunity to help Somerset with that transition,” Dionne said.

Neighbors and local activists who fought against Somerset Station for years are credited with shutting down the coal-burning operation, once included on the “Filthy Five” list of the worst-polluting plants in the state.

Read more:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Do you hear the people sing?

Do you hear the people sing? Online political parody video set to Les Miz music
By Sam Go - Sat Aug 18, 2012

Published on Aug 13, 2012 by Christina Saffran Ashford Broadway and musical theatre performers Sean Smith, David Burnham, Kim Huber, Christina Saffran Ashford, Damon Kirsche, David Engel, Jennifer Shelton, Emma Ashford, Matthew Ashford, Ali B. Olmo, Johnny Pastor, Bubba Dean Rambo, William Martinez, Flora Rubenhold, Takako Gregg, Teri Yates, Mason Keane, and Paula Keane sing from their heart with the lyrics of Don DeMesquita, in a parody of One Day More from "Les Miserables". For more info and facts, go to

The folks at PoliticusUSA point out this music video “One Term More,” a 2012 election take on a Les Misérables song. Lyrics were creatively rewritten by producer Don DeMesquita to criticize Republicans and encourage Democrats to get out the vote, and were set to the musical's climactic number “One Day More.”

It’s pretty entertaining to hear “speculums,” “contraception,” and “unemployment” against music by Claude-Michel Schonberg.

The timing works: the previews for the movie version of the musical, starring Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, have just started to hit theaters.

On the site, the artists said they are “remarking on the political divisiveness and social unrest of an historically polarizing election" and are "commenting... on Victor Hugo's fictional historic struggle at the barricades of freedom.”

A fun watch— especially if you're tired of the same old political videos.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Senator Brown's Obstructionist Record

The website  [] offers a subscription service that notifies you of the votes of your 2 Senators and Congressman called MegaVotes:

If you had followed the votes of Senator Scott Brown, you would have known that his phony rhetoric never matched his votes.

It's important to make an informed vote!

New Study: ProgressMass Analysis of Scott Brown's Voting Record Reveals Highly Partisan Record, Overwhelming Support for Republican Obstruction in U.S. Senate

For Immediate Release: May 7, 2012
Contact: Mathew Helman, Communications Director
E-mail:, Cell: 617-821-8004
BOSTON - A new study of Republican Scott Brown's voting record in the U.S. Senate by ProgressMass reveals that, when Brown had the opportunity to oppose Republican obstruction in the U.S. Senate and demonstrate bipartisan leadership, he voted overwhelmingly with his Republican colleagues. This finding runs directly counter to Republican Scott Brown's recent claims of bipartisanship. Brown voted with his Republican colleagues at a rate of over 75% (over 93% prior to Elizabeth Warren's entry into the Senate race) to block legislation that had the support of 50 or more Senators, measures that would have passed the U.S. Senate on a so-called "up-or-down vote," according to the ProgressMass review of Brown's Senate record.

"Republican Scott Brown's misleading claims of bipartisanship ring hollow when we take a close look at his actual voting record," noted Mathew Helman, Communications Director for ProgressMass. "On the votes where he could have displayed true bipartisan leadership, Republican Scott Brown overwhelmingly supported his right-wing Republican colleagues, choosing partisan obstruction over getting something accomplished for the American people. That is Republican Scott Brown's real record; and, he can't Etch-A-Sketch it away, no matter how many times he simply repeats the word 'bipartisanship' on the campaign trail."

ProgressMass tallied every roll call vote Republican Scott Brown has taken during his time in the U.S. Senate (ranging from when he began casting votes on February 9, 2010, through the end of April 2012) in which:
  • 50 or more Senators supported a measure, meaning it would pass on an up-or-down vote;
  • the Republican minority used Senate procedural rules to require 60 votes for passage instead of a simple 50 vote majority for passage; and,
  • a majority of Republican Senators opposed a measure.
Republican Scott Brown's Pattern of Partisan Obstruction

The result is a collection of 53 roll call votes during Republican Scott Brown's roughly 27 months in the U.S. Senate. Analysis of these 53 roll call votes resulted in findings roundly discrediting Brown's recent claims of bipartisanship. Quantitative observations included:
  • Republican Scott Brown supported Republican obstruction of measures that had the backing of at least 50 Senators - measures that failed but would have passed on an up-or-down vote - 40 times out of 53 roll call votes, or 75.5% of the time. In other words, during his tenure in the U.S. Senate, when Republican Scott Brown was faced with a choice between bipartisan leadership and partisan obstruction, Brown chose partisan obstruction over bipartisan leadership 3 to 1.
  • Eleven of the thirteen votes Republican Scott Brown took in opposition to Republican obstruction of a measure with majority support occurred after Elizabeth Warren officially filed papers to form her Senate campaign's exploratory committee on August 18, 2011. Obviously, this event gave Brown clear political motivation to artificially distance himself from his Republican colleagues.
  • Perhaps the most revealing finding of the study - the metric that best indicates how Republican Scott Brown will vote in the U.S. Senate in 2013 and beyond should he win re-election - is that, prior to the formation of Elizabeth Warren's Senate campaign exploratory committee on August 18, 2011, Brown voted in support of Republican obstruction of measures with majority support a resounding 30 out of 32 times (93.8%).
Scott Brown Blocks Important Measures for Massachusetts and the Nation
Not only does Republican Scott Brown's voting record reflect a pattern of partisan obstruction, but it is especially shocking to consider the actual pieces of legislation that Republican Scott Brown voted to obstruct.
Among the 40 measures with majority support in the U.S. Senate that Republican Scott Brown voted with his Republican colleagues to obstruct were:
  • 4/26/10: S. 3217, Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (Senate Vote 124)
    The bill was the original financial regulatory reform bill, increasing accountability and transparency, and ending "too big to fail."
  • 7/27/10: S. 3628, Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act (Senate Vote 220)
    This bill would have increased transparency of corporate and special-interest money in national political campaigns, in response to the notorious Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, as well as prohibited foreign influence in federal elections.
  • 9/28/10: S. 3816, Creating American Jobs and Ending Offshoring Act (Senate Vote 242)
    This bill would have given companies a two-year payroll tax holiday on new employees who replace workers doing similar jobs overseas, as well as revoked provisions of the tax code that encourage companies to outsource their workforce.
  • 11/17/10: S. 3772, Paycheck Fairness Act (Senate Vote 249)
    This bill would have provided more effective remedies to victims of gender-based discrimination in the payment of wages.
  • 12/8/10: S. 3985, Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act of 2010 (Senate Vote 267)
    This bill would have provided a one-time payment of $250 to all Social Security recipients to help compensate for the lack of a cost-of-living adjustment.
  • 12/9/10: H.R. 847, James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 (Senate Vote 269)
    This was the original version of the 9/11 first responders bill to improve health services and provide financial compensation for 9/11 first responders who were exposed to dangerous toxins and were now sick as a result. The bill would establish a federal program to provide medical monitoring and treatment for first responders, provide initial health screenings for people who were in the area at the time of the attack and may be at risk, and reopen the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to provide compensation for losses and harm as an alternative to the current litigation system.
  • 5/4/11: S. 493, Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Reauthorization Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 64)
    This bill would reauthorize the "Small Business Innovation Research" (SBIR) and "Small Business Technology Transfer" (STTR) programs, which Scott Brown earlier said provided "vital resources to small businesses nationwide, and this reauthorization is incredibly important for Massachusetts and our country," and signed on as a co-sponsor of the measure before Republicans lined up behind a competing measure.
  • 5/17/11: S. 940, Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act (Senate Vote 72)
    This bill would have eliminated five tax subsidies for U.S. oil companies and closed a loophole that oil companies exploit to disguise foreign royalty payments as taxes and reduce their domestic tax bill. Resulting savings would have been applied to reducing federal budget deficits.
  • 10/11/11: S. 1660, American Jobs Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 160)
    The bill would have created an estimated 1.9 million jobs nationwide, including 16,000 in Massachusetts. It would have extended several stimulus measures scheduled to expire at the end of 2011, including the employee payroll tax holiday, and extended unemployment insurance, helping over 170,000 Massachusetts residents. It also included several measures designed to prevent layoffs and encourage businesses to hire new workers, including: $35 billion in aid to local governments to help slow job losses in the public sector, about $100 billion in various infrastructure improvement programs, tax credits for businesses that hire long-term unemployed workers, and reductions in the level of payroll taxes that businesses have to pay.
  • 10/20/11: S. 1723, Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 177)
    This bill would have invested $35 billion in state and local governments, including $591 million in Massachusetts, to prevent layoffs of public workers and first responders, including an estimated 6,300 education jobs in Massachusetts. The spending would have been offset by a 0.5% surtax on all income earned above $1 million.
  • 11/3/11: S. 1769, Rebuild America Jobs Act (Senate Vote 195)
    This bill would have invested $50 billion in infrastructure repair, plus another $10 billion in an infrastructure bank, which would provide loans for private, revenue-generating infrastructure projects. The spending would have been offset with a 0.5% surtax on all income earned above $1 million. The measure would have created an estimated 11,000 jobs in Massachusetts and invested $850 million in the Commonwealth's infrastructure.
  • 12/1/11: S. 1917, Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 219)
    This bill would have reduced employment tax rates in calendar year 2012 (payroll tax holiday period) for both employers and employees to 3.1%.
  • 12/8/11: S. 1944, Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2011 (Senate Vote 224)
    This bill would have extended through 2012 the reduction in employment taxes for employees and the self-employed.
  • 3/29/12: S. 2204, Repeal Big Oil Tax Subsidies Act (Senate Vote 63)
    This bill would have limited or repealed certain tax benefits for major oil companies while extending a number of energy efficiency and renewable energy tax credits.
  • 4/16/12: S. 2230, Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012 (Senate Vote 65)
    Known as the Buffett Rule, this bill would have enhanced tax fairness by ensuring a 30% effective tax rate on income exceeding $1 million.
Upon close inspection of Republican Scott Brown's voting record, whether the issue is job creation in Massachusetts, tax cuts for the middle class, making sure millionaires and billionaires pay more of their fair share, health care for 9/11 first responders, or tax giveaways for Big Oil, we see that time and time again Republican Scott Brown chose partisan obstruction over bipartisan leadership. That is his record; and, he can't Etch-A-Sketch it away, no matter how many times he repeats the word "bipartisanship" on the campaign trail.

ProgressMass on the Web
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Group rallies against Fall River coal plant

Thank you to the local heroes who spoke out against Dirty Coal!

Group rallies against Fall River coal plant

FALL RIVER — Environmental activists and SouthCoast small business owners called on Gov. Deval Patrick today to close the Brayton Point coal plant by 2020.

The group of more than 20 people gathered in Fall River’s Kennedy Park, within full view of the plant’s three smoke stacks, and carried homemade signs advocating for the closure of the Somerset plant.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 2010 a total of 147 pounds of mercury and mercury compounds were released in Massachusetts, 64 by Brayton Point. Also according to the EPA, in 2008 the power plant emitted more than 37,000 tons of toxic chemicals into the air.

“This pollution doesn’t only affect Somerset; the majority spreads and settles in cities and towns across a 30-mile radius from the power plant,” Sylvia Broude, executive director of the Toxics Action Center, said. “We are calling on Gov. Patrick to use his power to transition Massachusetts away from coal.”

The Patrick administration directed requests for comment to the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Office spokesman Reggie Zimmerman said in a statement that the administration “has been committed to an aggressive clean-energy agenda."

Representatives from Brayton Point did not respond to requests for comment. The power station’s website notes that Dominion, which owns the plant, has spent approximately $1.1 billion on environmental improvements to the plant since it was acquired in 2005.

Such improvements include an ash recovery system to offset emissions and reduce landfill needs. In 2009, Dominion built two cooling towers next to the plant to cool waters released by the plant into Mount Hope Bay that had been causing fish kills.

This is the TVA Coal Ash Spill that destroyed Harriman, Tennessee!

James McIntyre, a Somerset resident who is a member of the Coalition for Clean Air, said the environmental improvements were not good enough.

“What they ought to do is get rid of the coal entirely,” he said. “Now we have all those other things like wind and solar to fire up people’s boilers. We don’t need to be using coal and giving people asthma and health problems all up and down SouthCoast.”


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Veterans' Care is NOT an "Entitlement"

When a nation sends its citizens to war, it has an obligation to provide health care - not as a gesture, but as a commitment.

Bush/Cheney began slashing care, providing it on the cheap. Romney/Ryan will continue it. 

It was never about caring for Veterans, it was about feeding the Military/Industrial Complex and making profits.

The US spends more on Defense than too many other nations combined. What are we afraid of? It seems more a question of who we're rewarding.

Romney running mate Ryan is no friend to disabled vets

Ryan repeatedly voted against veterans' benefits and programs

Dear Editor;

As a 100% disabled Vietnam Marine Corps combat veteran I will not vote for the Romney/Ryan ticket. Ryan wants to do away with VA medical care for disabled veterans and replace it with vouchers. This is a ploy to fatten the already blotted insurance companied profits.
Ryan's record:
  • Voted against protecting veterans' benefits from the Cut, Cap, and Balance Cuts, July 2011 [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 7/25/11]
  • Supported budget that cut veterans programs, 2005 [“Summary and Analysis of FY 2006 Budget Resolution Conference Report,” 4/28/05]
  • Opposed fiscally responsible FY 2009 budget with $48.1 billion for veterans' services. In 2008, Ryan voted against a budget resolution that would establish the Congressional budget for FY 2009. [Congressional Quarterly; “Summary of the 2009 Democratic Budget”; House Committee on the Budget, 3/11/08]
  • Opposed budget that included record increase for veterans. In 2007, Ryan voted against the fiscal year 2008 budget conference report that began to reverse six years of Republican fiscal mismanagement, provided for middle-class tax relief and would return the budget to balance [Six for ‘06, 5/24/07; Military Officers Association of America; American Legion; Veterans of Foreign Wars, Washington Weekly, 5/25/07]
  • Ryan opposed historic funding increase for veterans programs. In 2007, Ryan voted against a budget that provided a $6.6 billion increase in funding for veterans programs. The Veterans of Foreign Wars applauded the budget and the House and Senate leadership who were instrumental in the adoption of this historic increase. These additional resources would cover increases in the costs of health care.
Richard Carey
Sandwich, MA

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Friday, August 17th, DEADLINE to register to vote!


The deadline to register to vote for the THURSDAY September 6th primary is Friday August 17th.

Please ensure that you, your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors are registered to vote.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cape Cod wind farm tiptoes ahead

Nuclear Energy is 100% taxpayer guaranteed even though it's more expensive than wind or solar.

Dirty Coal blows up Mountains in the process of Mountain Top Removal, destroying communities, their drinking water and is excused from environmental laws.

Coal Ash is stored around the nation in unlined pits, contaminating rivers and streams.

Fracking and Tar Sands cause their own environmental destruction as the US becomes little more than a Third World nation, governed by Dirty Energy and Democracy Sold.

The rest of the world moves on, leading in Alternative Energy.

So should we!

Cape Cod wind farm tiptoes ahead

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Middleboro utility board ratifies Granahan separation agreement

Middleboro utility board ratifies Granahan separation agreement

Former general manager’s resignation took effect Aug. 7

File photo

Middleboro Gas & Electric General Manager John Granahan Jr. has a salary that's higher than any other general manager of a municipal utility in the state.

By Alice C. Elwell
Posted Aug 09, 2012

Gas & Electric Commissioners met for two hours behind closed doors on Wednesday before ratifying in open session a July 31 separation agreement with John P. Granahan, 65, who resigned as general manager.

Granahan’s resignation as general manager triggered a seven-day right of rescission under the Older Americans Act and was not effective until Aug. 7, said Chairman John F. Healey.

Granahan’s $223,373 buyout fell short of the $1 million potential that was provided in his “evergreen” contract negotiated by a prior board of commissioners Healey explained.

“It wouldn’t be productive to have John Granahan continue to work for the current board,” said Healey when he released the terms of the agreement.

A round of applause greeted the commissioners unanimous vote to promote Jacqueline Crowley from power supply manager to interim general manager for up to a year with a $155,000 salary and four weeks vacation. Under the board’s plan, Crowley will fill both positions, which Healey said will allow the utility to recoup Granahan’s buyout within a year and not cause a rate increase.

Crowley, 50, of Barnstable, has been with the town-owned utility since 2006 and was making $115,000 before the promotion. In an Aug. 2 letter to the board, Crowley outlined her goals as general manager.

“A critical area of focus should be fostering a more collegial relationship with town offices” said Crowley said . “We must reaffirm our status as a team player.”

Crowley said she would like to develop a relationship with the School Department, and possibly establish a renewable energy program for upper grade levels.

Crowley said the protracted stalemate between Granahan and commissioners has lead to a tarnished reputation of G&E employees which had a demoralizing effect.

“With a careful transition – we, senior management and commissioners can affirm the commitment to support, empower and educate employees,” she said. “Middleboro is well positioned to go forward to provide safe, reliable and reasonable priced service.”

Read more:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Middleboro G&E Mtg Aug 8th 7:30 PM

Please consider attending or watching --

Middleboro utility head resigns
By Alice C. Elwell
Posted Aug 07, 2012

John P. Granahan has resigned as general manger of the town’s Gas & Electric Department.
John F. Healey, chairman of the Gas & Electric Commission, declined to discuss the details of Granahan’s resignation, saying his board would make a full disclosure at Wednesday’s meeting in Town Hall at 7:30 p.m.

According to Treasurer and Collector Judy M. MacDonald, Granahan’s buyout is $223,373, which includes $125,900 for eight months severance pay; $48,850 in unused sick time and $48,623 in vacation time.

In a letter dated Aug. 7, Granahan said he was “irrevocably resigning” from his position and released the town from liability.

Granahan was hired as the utility’s business manager in 1999, at a salary of $68,000. By 2008, his salary was bumped up to $135,000 and then increased to $188,000 in 2009 when he was named general manager.

Granahan was paid $196,277 in 2011. His salary was the highest of any public utility manager in the state.

His refusal to provide the town treasurer with a copy of his contract prompted over a year of intense public scrutiny and sparked a flurry of public record requests as well as Open Meeting Law complaints. The controversy contributed to the election of two new Gas & Electric commissioners.

Read more:

Middleboro utility board takes action on general manager

Marc Vasconcellos/The Enterprise

John Granahan, general manager of the Middleboro Gas & Electric Commission

Read more:

By Alice C. Elwell
Posted May 10, 2012

Gas & Electric Commissioners this week stepped up the pressure on General Manager John P. Granahan after months of controversy over his contract and other utility issues.

On Tuesday, the utility commissioners voted to take actions regarding the general manager and his department, including:
  • Break off contract negotiations with Granahan.
  • Hire labor counsel to defend the commission.
  • Interview four prospective firms to complete a forensic audit.
  • Require Granahan to report daily to the chairman.
  • Notify Granahan’s attorney the commission is not conceding his contract is valid.
Commissioner Thomas Murphy, elected to the board in 2007, opposed all votes.

After the meeting, Murphy said he did not support the measures because “it would be an admission I didn’t know what I was doing.”

The actions came after questions surfaced over the validity of Granahan’s appointment as general manager. After reviewing previously unreleased meeting minutes, Chairman John F. Healey contended Granahan’s 2009 appointment and succeeding pay raises were invalid because they were not ratified in open session, as required by state law.

When proposing to hire labor counsel to defend the commission, Healey said, “Mr. Granahan has lawyered up, and rightly so. It is important the commission be represented. ... We need to have an attorney that represents our position.”

Granahan’s personal attorney attended Tuesday’s meeting, but did not address the commission.
The commissioners agreed to send a letter to Granahan’s attorney establishing ground rules during the dispute. They agreed Granahan will continue to perform the duties of general manager, but did not concede his contract is valid and binding.

“The situation is not of our making. It grew out of a culture of arrogance,” Healey said, pointing to a pattern of secrecy that led to alleged Open Meeting Law violations.

Read more:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Putting Women in Charge

I loved this and had to share --

Women 'are the foot soldiers of climate change adaptation' - expert

Thu, 2 Aug 2012 13:18 GMT
Source: alertnet // Amantha Perera
A woman carries firewood gathered in a forest in the village of Rukam in the Batticaloa District of Eastern Sri Lanka. ALERTNET/Amantha Perera

By Amantha Perera

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AlertNet) – In 2006, when the Asian Development Bank (ADB) decided to launch a multi-million dollar rural water project in eastern and north central regions of Sri Lanka, there was one overriding requirement – women would be placed in key positions.

As a result, experts say, the $263 million program, aimed at providing drinking water to over 900,000 people by 2011, has been a particular success.

In the village of Talpothta, in the rural north-central Polonnaruwa District, the village women’s association is now central to the proper functioning of the new water supply plant provided under the ADB programme. Its members visit the over 200 users, read meters and more importantly advise beneficiaries on water usage when drought sets in.

“We know how much is needed. Women do most of the household work like cooking (and) washing clothes. We ask our members to limit use when we have problems,” said Sheila Herath, an association member.

Kusum Athukorala, one of the country’s leading experts on water management, agrees that women are key to adapting effective measures to deal with water challenges and changing climate patterns.

“Women are the foot soldiers of climate change adaptation,” said Athukorala who heads the Network of Women Water Professionals, Sri Lanka (NetWwater) and the Women for Water Partnership.
NetWwater’s efforts to create awareness among rural women on climate change, adaptation and water management have won support from Brandix, one of the island’s largest garment. That allows Athukorala to now travel the country, educating women on water management.

“One sixth of our water supply is from rural programmes managed by community-based organizations. If we don’t recognize the impact of over half of the population, these programmes will never succeed,” she said.


In other Asian countries women also are playing crucial roles at the grassroots level in preserving the environment and making sure human-inflicted damage remains controllable. Avi Mahaningtyas, an Indonesian expert on forest management and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) told AlertNet that it was rural women who knew intimately the forest’s value to their lives.

“They know it by heart and by birth,” said Mahaningtyas, who heads the Environmental and Economic Governance Cluster of the Kemitraan-Partnership for Governance Reform in Indonesia, a national body that works on good governance.

The same sentiment is true in rural China, says Xiaobei Wang, a China gender specialist with Landesa Rural Development Institute, an international organisation that works on poverty and land rights. Wang told AlertNet that as men increasingly migrated to cities looking for jobs, it was women, left behind in the villages, who took care of the land and the forests.

"In China most of men from areas near forests have left as migrant workers, making women the major labour force. About 60 percent of those working in forests and farm land are women. If their rights are not protected and enforced, there will be lots of issues in reducing poverty in forest areas and ensuring the sustainable management of forests,” she said.

Indonesia’s Mahaningtyas said that if a forest is to be preserved, like any other natural resource, it needs to carry a value. “A forest with a value will not easily be cut down. And it is the people who work within it who will know intimately that value.”

However, despite their importance, women are still being largely left out of the decision making, according to a new report by the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). The report - The Challenges of Securing Women’s Tenure and Leadership for Forest Management: The Asian Experience - found that gender discrimination is still rampant.

Arvind Khare, RRI’s senior director of country and regional programmes, said that women’s roles should not only be recognized but should also be enforced. He took the case of land rights in rural China, where women often find themselves losing land, due to cultural and social norms, despite laws that are gender neutral on paper.

“How can we look at climate adaptation and food security when those who do most of the work at ground level have no say?” he asked.

Indonesia’s Mahaningtyas feels that the continuing lack of recognition of the crucial role women play could be due to lack of scientific studies. “Gender documentation is quite low and we are still to quantify the impact of the role.”

Sri Lanka’s grassroots worker Athukorala sees a much more practical reason: lack of women in decision making positions.

“They are the foot soldiers, but how many female generals do we have in our countries fighting climate change?” she asked.

Amantha Perera is a freelance writer based in Sri Lanka. He can be followed via Twitter on @AmanthaP