Sunday, November 25, 2007

While you were eating...Some things you may have missed

The turkey dinner is over and we've all moved on to turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, and turkey surprise. With all the chaos of Thanksgiving and Black Friday here's a few things you may have missed.

Former Council Candidate stands firm against Weaver's Cove plan.
Mike Miozza warns in his recent letter to the editor that as long as Hess LNG is working to build its facility as Weaver's Cove, we must work to defeat it. Mike's letter isn't a rally cry but instead a well thought out voice of reason. Clearly leadership doesn't always come from our elected officials.

Good Review for Ugly American!
Think of a restaurant that specializes in hamburgers and visions of 'golden arches' dance in your head. Ugly American, located on New Boston Road isn't looking to compete with fast food giants instead its menu highlights quality and choices you won't find on the drive-thru menu. The menu sounds tempting and the good review from makes this a place I can't wait to visit.

Dig Deep and Donate!
The Herald News has kicked off it's holiday fund that will benefit both Citizens for Citizens and the Salvation Army. There is a tremendous need for the services provided by both these agencies. It's heart wrenching to think of a child going hungry, a family unable to heat their home and our elderly struggling to survive. Sadly this is a reality for far too many people. Where would they be without the helping hand that these organizations provide? Today's Herald News editorial perfectly states the case. The bottom line is no matter how much or how little you can afford to donate, it is a donation that is appreciated and a donation that is needed.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Robert Correia elected in part due to Coalition for Marriage and Family Action!

Folks if you assume that Bob Correia defeated Dave Sullivan to become our next mayor because he had more experience, better vision, more campaign funds, more signs, better radio ads, or just did a better job convincing Fall River voters that he was the right man for the job you may be missing a key reason.

According to both and Bay Windows efforts by the Coalition for Marriage and Family Action may have made the difference in electing "pro-marriage and pro-life State Representative Robert Correia.." over "same-sex marriage supporter and fellow state representative, David Sullivan."

Interesting because the issue of same sex marriage vs. "traditional marriage" never popped up during the campaign. Silly of me not to realize it was even an issue in the Mayoral contest!

I wonder if Bob knows who he should be giving all the credit to?

"Through the grassroots activities of our Marriage and Family chapters as well
as our financial support for candidates, we are making a difference to elect
pro-family candidates at the local level."

Whether you agree or disagree with the Coalition for Marriage and Family Action on their definition of "pro-family" there is one thing you'll have to concede.

"We're also building our grassroots network, an effort that is vital to
recruiting pro-family legislative candidates in the future to defeat anti-family
incumbent legislators."

If getting more "pro-family" legislative candidates in office is truly vital to this group then supporting Bob Correia for Mayor makes no sense. His victory means removing him for the State Legislature and losing his vote and voice. it also means leaving Dave Sullivan who supports same-sex marriage up at the State House! This irony did not go unnoticed by Bay Windows.

Lefty's view: Groups like this may think that they wield a great deal of power and influence but what I see here is mostly backwards thinking.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Daylighting the Quequechan Falls - an electric idea

Before the construction of Route 195 the Quequechan's abused but still majestic falls cascaded down the 132 foot drop to the meet up with the Taunton River below.

Today there is much talk about 'daylighting the Quequechan River and recreating the falls that give this city its name. Realizing this goal will require a major investment and not the type of investment that will result in economic growth or a boost in tourism. Instead this project speaks more to improving the quality of life, enhancing the city, and doing ecologically what is right.

Daylighting the river will improve the atmosphere of the city but can the river that once helped power the industrial revolution still be utilized to help power the city?

That was the comment made to me recently and it has me curious. Could a hydroelectric generator be incorporated into plans to recreate the falls and daylight the river? Obviously any such plan would have to find a way to aesthetically combine the goals of visually enhancing the city with utilizing it for the generation of electrical power. Assuming that such a plan could be achieved might such a plan be eligible for state and federal funding that the daylighting plan alone is not?

There is so much interest in being ecologically responsible by cleaning up and daylighting the river. Doesn't it make sense to consider taking that concept to the next level. Imagine restoring the falls to Fall River, enhancing our environment and providing a 'green', renewable energy source!

Friday, November 09, 2007

City Council by Ward - or - Where do Fall River's Newly Elected Councilors live?

View Larger Map

I have the idea that Fall River should have a City Council by Ward.

It's not a perfect - there are 9 councilors and 9 wards, but some could argue that there should be some 'Councilors at large'.

Regardless, I think having a Council by Ward would allow each area of the city to have representation. Also Ward representation would allow for that Councilor to be more accountable. After all a Councilor who isn't serving the needs of the people could be much more easily challenged. Neighborhood issues that were not being addressed would certainly become very prominent in a Ward election and it's very possible to for a challenger to mount a campaign and meet the people and get the message out in one Ward. I also believe there should be local campaign finance laws in place but that's a topic for another post.

The map above isn't broken down by Ward - (mostly because I don't have a Ward map - any former candidates want to donate one?) but it does show where are newly elected City Council reside (stop laughing you Lund nay-sayers!)

Surprisingly the representation seems pretty even between the North and South ends of the city. Also surprisingly the representation is spread out pretty well around the city. The only exception is Mike Lund and Cathy Ann Viveiros who both live on Shore Drive (I'm asking you to please stop laughing.)

It would be interesting to be able to break this down by Wards and then see what Ward races would have developed and speculate if we would have wound up with mostly the same council.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Election Observations

Rainy, cold and windy Fall River residents trudged to the ballot box to place their votes for leadership for the next two years.

What I should say is that the small percentage of people who felt it was important enough to vote trudged out in the inclement weather. Honestly, I'm disappointed

Less than 18,000 people cast votes for a city of 92,000. Roughly 30,000 people didn't vote.

I congratulate the winners. After a long a campaign trail they have managed to come out on top. I also congratulate those who didn't win, because they had the bravery to subject themselves to public scrutiny and the belief that they could be part of positive change.

However I do feel great sympathy to those who didn't make it because with so many voters staying home there is the realization that if only they took part the results might have been much different.

Let's get to some observations!

Our new Mayor is Bob Correia. Bob talks about unifying the city and to do that he is going to need to reach out to all people and prove that he is not cold and arrogant as he sometimes has appeared. I hope he can do this because to move the city forward you do need unification. Oh, and look for School Committeeman Kevin Aguiar to make a run for Bob's vacated Rep. seat!

For Dave Sullivan the vultures are circling over head as wannabe State Rep candidates plot their campaigns. My advice to Dave is to better promote himself, remind the people of what he has worked to accomplish. Also with Bob no longer in the state house we've lost a lot of influence that we've had (which I agree doesn't seem like much.) I would urge Dave to lobby hard to get into a leadership role which would give him more influence in which to help the people he represents. I would think that a State Representative who has a good relationship with the Governor would be valuable in a leadership role.

I am perhaps most disappointed in the City Council race because I feel there were some excellent candidates out there who were running for the first time that deserved consideration and we failed to elect a single one of them. I'm not going to comment on all 18 candidates but let's highlight a few.

Mike Miozza - Mike remains my biggest disappointment for this election season. People will talk about what a great candidate Eric Poulin was and I would agree, but Eric was facing an uphill battle from the start. Mike on the other hand was running for a council with 3 open seats, he in my opinion, probably worked the hardest of any City Council candidate to get his message out there. In plainer terms he worked the hardest so you would know who you were voting for. He laid out good, well thought out plans and easily ran a more vigorous campaign than half of the elected council. Yet, he still fell more than 2000 votes short of being elected to the council. That's a crime. Often we blame candidates for not telling us where they stand, well Mike Miozza did. Were you listening?

Nathan Amaral - Like Mike, another Herald News endorsee who didn't make the cut but what he did do was go from a 'skin-of-his-teeth' 18 place finish to a solid 13th place finish. Nathan really surprised me with some campaign savvy down the stretch. I've had a few people tell me about this guy or that who would be part of our political future and I shake my head, but I think Nathan Amaral could be someone we're going to see again.

Mike Lund - I've never met Mike and I hope he turns out to be one hell of a City Councilor, but I have doubts. I hear talking about the great ideas he has but I haven't seen them. What I did see is a guy who outspent every other council candidate. His total of 16,263.32 in the last reported quarter really could be more than most other candidates spent on the entire race. On top of that there have been rumors about Lund's reasons for running and even about if he really lives in Fall River. Like I said when it comes to Lund, I have my doubts and it is up to him to prove me wrong.

The School Committee race had one single change, the addition of Joe Martins.

Joe Martins- Joe was a candidate with solid experience and firm ideas of what he wants to accomplish. On top of that he resume includes very real results in the success at Diman. You have 6 people that help play a role in shaping the future of our school department. I think if your concerned about education Joe Martins is someone you really considered voting for. Based on the results, (an incredibly strong second place finish) people not only gave Joe their consideration they also gave him their vote.

Shawn Cadime - Cadime, and really most of the School Committee never ran a particularly good campaign. To much reliance on name recognition and not enough effort in making the case of why you deserve reelection could have cost Cadime who ended up being the only candidate for reelection not to secure a Herald News endorsement. I hope he questions why and it makes him a works to prove the Herald wrong.

Final thoughts: Now that the political season is over I wonder what I'm going to blog about! The last couple of months have provided me with lots of posts and lots new readers. I hope that going forward you'll continue to stop by and that they'll be plenty to talk about.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Vote Today!

Today is voting day. Today is the day that we vote for the change we want to see. The experiment we call Democracy here in America requires that we all get out and vote. If citizens continue on the path of low voter turnout and high voter apathy, we will be heading down a path to lose our rights.

Democracy use it or lose it!

So get out today and vote. If you are reading this, you probably already know enough about who you want to see elected. One only has to look at the last election on September 11th to see that your vote counts. The spread for the second place in the Mayoral race was less than 300 votes. 300 people could have swayed the election in any number of directions. Looking at the last place finishers Amaral and Canuel, the spread was within less than 100 votes. Your vote really does count! So get out and make change happen!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Endorse your candidate for Mayor!

I'm sick of the rhetoric, the uninspiring statements! Who should be our next mayor? Dave Sullivan or Bob Correia?

Here's your chance to make the case why the candidate YOU support deserves the top job!

Here's how it will work. Simply send me and email at making the case why your candidate deserves to be our next mayor. I'll select what I think is the best made case for each candidate and feature each in their own blog post.

Submissions should focus on the qualities the candidate you endorse brings to office. It should focus on his platform, ideas, vision, and character. In other words I'm not interested in submissions that say I should vote for one guy because the other one sucks.

Each submitter will remain anonymous, although those wishing to include a pen name may include one.

I'll publish the best endorsement of each candidate on Monday November 5, 2007.