Friday, July 18, 2008

Fall River Thoughts

You have to feel sorry for the Herald News. This week they've had two 'Dewey defeats Truman' stories(Covered in detail at Fall River-tastic.) At the same time, their parent company's stock has plummeted in value and could now be placed on the McDonald's Dollar Menu. Recently they've been asking readers to submit photos of potholes and I have to wonder if it's because they laid off photographer Omar Bradley and don't have the manpower to replace him!


Speaking of the Herald, did anyone catch the story about Anderson-Little? It seems that the grandson and great-grandson of the company's founder is bringing back the famous label. Anderson-Little started with a single store in Fall River in 1936. It grew to a chain of over 100 stores before closing in 1998. The Anderson family is now brining back the brand as an online store. The company will start by offering its classic blue blazer for sale this August and will expand the line to meet demand. Sounds great, but the manufacturing will be done in Florida! The Anderson family wanted to manufacture here in Fall River but couldn't secure a loan from the city. Okay, maybe there is a good reason the city wouldn't give them a loan, but considering that we certainly have the capacity and the experienced workers in need of just that kind of work, I'd like to know what those reasons are.


I also enjoyed Marc Monroe Dion's piece on Government Center. Marc makes some observations about the privacy afforded by the handicap ramps, the gloomy interior, the need to power wash the building, Christmas decorations and more. I've been saying much of the same thing for awhile.


Did anyone else have their radio tuned into WSAR this afternoon? Fast Eddie and the Hurricane provided some entertainment by attempting to get Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah to come on the air with them to clarify his recent comments on the house floor. Bishop in opposition of the bill to designate the lower Taunton River as "wild and scenic" said:
"The only part of this river that is scenic is the graffiti that is found on the bridges and human embankments that are part of this river system. The only thing that's wild about this river are the gangs that wrote this graffiti in the first place. ... It's not wild and scenic if you can look over and see McDonald's on the bank."
Of course, Bishop never came on air but Herren lectured one of the congressman's staffers about the slight. He advised the staffer that Fall River was one of the country's oldest cities, that there was no graffiti on the waterfront. He went on to say there was no gang problem in the city and even added some patriotism by mentioning that the submarine John F. Kennedy was moored right here at Battleship Cove.

Here's the problem. The submarine is the USS Lionfish, the Kennedy is a destroyer. Also it's not named after the late president, it's named after his brother Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. No gang problem in Fall River? If that were the case our police department wouldn't expend so much effort battling gang issues. A quick google search of "Fall River" gangs brings up interesting articles like this one. What about the graffiti on the waterfront? Herren says he hasn't seen any, yet tonight on the news there's a story about the city buying a graffiti removal machine for $50,000. The news story shows this being used where? You guessed it, at the Marine Museum and the boardwalk. Doesn't that qualify as the waterfront? And Fall River was incorporated as a city in 1854, which doesn't make it anywhere near one of the country's oldest cities.

Herren finished the call by telling the staffer to have the congressman check his facts. DOH!


General said...

It is a shame that we have Mike Herren defending the city of Fall River. God! He does not speak well at all and cannot put two facts together, never two sentences.

Can you imagine what that staff worker said to the other members of the staff??

Now for the Wild and Scenic.

The Taunton River does fit the description. The legislation also includes historic.

The Taunton River has a tremendous amount of pleasure craft. The Taunton River is used by various fish species for spawning. The river was used not only by the cotton mills for transport, but by the Wampanoags.

Plus, we already are doing our share for energy. We have two power plants on the banks of the river. The state of Massachusetts is home to two LNG terminals, one onshore, one offshore.

How many does the state of New York have? I say that because the Wall Street Journal wrote an opinion piece knocking us down.

Damn, we better start standing up to these people, and use better and more knowlegeable speakers than Herren.

And we are also missing a true LNG fighter on the 6th floor. Bob Correia has never fought against the project. I know the bull that he has been spewing, but his true actions tell a different story.

shamrock said...

I wasn't thrilled that Mike Herren was the voice of Fall River yesterday. Mike & Eddie were saying that they want to take this story to the national media but isn't it better to let this fly under the radar? It already passed in the House....we have good momentum - just be quiet and let it pass through the Senate.

I did, however, get a good laugh when they broke for commercials after saying there weren't any real gangs in Fall River and the first commercial was for the TIPS Hotline asking people to report gang activity!

Anonymous said...














Anonymous said...

You know talking about grafitti on the waterfront, on the section of the boardwalk(cementwalk?) between Point Gloria and Bicentennial Park the only discoloration I ever saw since it opened was where someone had spilled a drink. Within the past week it looks like grafitti artists and taggers suddenly went wild. It made me wonder considering the comments from the congressman from Utah that if maybe some people were encouraged(paid?) to use the walkway as their personal easel to bolster his arguement.

Lefty said...

I have to disagree anon,

I noticed grafitti on 'cementwalk' as far back as several months ago. The grafitti on the Marine Museum has also been there for a long time.

Roger Williams said...

"Hi! We're the city of Fall River! We want good stuff from the government - like yummy, tasty pork from our state and federal legislators! We DO NOT WANT bad stuff, like LNG plants, or anything like that. Can anyone help us out?"

New England Bites said...
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Lefty said...

Hi Laura!

From what I've heard Omar has been let go, but I don't know for sure.

I don't think the Herald can wait for little Allard-Dions to grow up, they need help now!

Fear and Loathing in Fall River said...

The media empires of Newspapers are crumbling all around us. This may leave a void that can only be filled by a local paper. There are many dailies that are simply stopping printing. In a city like Fall River, where there aren't a lot of computers with Internet access, this could be a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

fear n loathing
name 10 dailies that have stopped printing

New England Bites said...
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New England Bites said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shamrock said...

Anonymous -
I don't think it is a secret that the newspaper industry is in trouble

The following link offers a list of layoffs/closings from 2006 and it has only gotten worse since then.

From what I understand, the Herald News recently laid off employees and their stock value has gone from $19.00 to .99 this year. At this rate how long is it before they close?

Anonymous said...

Where is Herren's promised fight to keep the New Bedford criminal cases out of Fall River's new court. He pledged to go to the mat to stop it last Wednesday. Over his dead body would it happen. Since then, NOT ONE WORD.

It Said said...

The owners of the Herald News, GateHouse, would be better served to stop publishing a hard copy edition and keep their website, using Cable TV, billboards and other means to promote the switch to a web only publication.

Cutting out the maintinance for printing presses, paper, ink, gasoline and trucks for transporting a phyisical newspaper would put most publications in tbe black in a matter of weeks.

Regarding WSAR, I'd predict their demise within two years or so..the land it currently occupies is far more valuable then the building and stations which occupy it..the Karems would better serve the community by turning the licenses back in to the FCC, and going dark, or selling the two stations while they still may have some value..otherwise, their time is wasted..

Lefty said...

I'm not sure Fall River is ready for an online only paper but it would be sad to have no local paper or local radio station.

It Said said...

What is sad is having a local radio station that stopped serving the public interest years ago..face it, WSAR is about one notch above college radio..and little else..

Can someone explain to me what purpose it serves?

Anonymous said...

WSAR is run to benefit the local power structure. The Herald is run to benefit absentee owners and management with ties to the local power structure

Anonymous said...

No one in managment at the HN is tied to the local power structure.

The publisher is from Boston or Quincy or some shit.

I don't think anyone in the newsroom is even tied to Fall River at all except Mark Dion, Deb Allard and Lisa stratton. I think one of the sports guys are local still too, but that's it.

Newspapers that are closing though: Have you not been watching the news. Heck it's even all over the bigger blogs.

In addition to things like the Globe laying off more than 50 workers and the NYTimes trying to sell their fancy building, there are big name, major, daily newspapers threatening closure in Connecticut, Maine, Seattle, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, California, Illinois ... need I go on?

Not to mention GASP "Teen" magazine has closed even Time went online only.

No Fall River isn't ready for online only, but I don't think The Herald itself is in as bad shape as the company that owns it is.