Thursday, August 13, 2009

Poison Blogs - A letter to Marilyn Roderick

For over three years I have typed away on my keyboard to share my thoughts and my observations with those of you who have found your way to my site. My intention was to offer up a viewpoint and hopefully stimulate some conversation. Over the past three years I have had the opportunity to speak with many of our local bloggers and those who choose to comment on various online venues and have found that their motivation is fueled by a deep passion for Fall River. How disappointing to learn that several of our elected leaders instead view this concern for our community as poisoning the atmosphere. The following is a letter, sent by email to school committee member, Marilyn Roderick who expressed just such an opinion at a recent forum this past Monday.

Dear Mrs. Roderick,

I am deeply concerned by comments attributed to you during a forum held last night, August 10, 2009, at Government Center. It has been said to me that you were deeply critical of some of the questions and concerns shared by Fall River residents at last night’s forum. It has been said to me that you (and other elected officials) criticized local bloggers for negative comments.

I certainly hope this isn't true. The people who attended and asked questions last night were taking part in their city’s government. They were showing their deep concern, and yes, outrage. Still, even if you personally do not agree with their statements they should be complimented for taking part, not criticized for sharing their beliefs.

I also wish you and other elected officials would stop referring to every online blurb you read as a blog or its author as a blogger. A blogger is someone who owns a blog, maintains a blog or writes original content for a blog. If the people you refer to do not fit into that definition, they are more accurately a commentor. It may seem a trivial complaint but I resent that you make no distinction.

Regardless if your issue is with local blogs and bloggers, or with the comments left on blogs and the Herald News website, the sentiments that you take issue with are the opinions of “the people” and we’re entitled to them. And while you are entitled to disagree, as an elected official you are not entitled to dismiss them While I would agree that such sentiments should be expressed civilly and with courtesy, they should not be sugarcoated. I believe I have always been fair and objective but if you should disagree please feel free to let me know. You can always comment on a particular post or email me at

With regards,


Anonymous said...

Well done Lefty,

Why were elected officials even allowed to 'speak" at a public forum, they have the opportunity to ask questions at every school committee and city council meeting.

The forum was supposedly for the public citizens to ask questions of the mayor and dept heads.

It appears to be nothing more than a campaign stop.


Anonymous said...

The first forum was terrible, it was supposed to be to allow citizens to ask the mayor questions and Correia allowed elected officials who have ample opportunities to speak out already to give long-winded fluff speeches which seemed designed to prop up Bob Correia.

Now it seems at the second meeting that Bob is stacking the audience with his supporters. Let's make sure we outnumber them in the third meeting and the first citizen that speaks should ask that elected officials and candidates running for office shut their mouths and listen to what we have to say because it is supposed to be a forum about getting feedback and they should want to hear it but they are afraid because we might criticize the job that they are doing.

The mayor also allowed people to make comments beating up on a cop that asked questions at the first forum but then when the cop went to address their comments the mayor came up with this rule that audience members couldn't address one another directly.

Why was it okay for people to address a laid off police officer directly but then when he wanted to respond to their remarks he was shut down? This is what qualifies as democracy these days in the dictatorship run by Bob Correia and aided and abetted by people like Marilyn Roderick and Brian Bigelow and the other rubber stampers on the Council and School Committee.

Poisonous bloggers? No way! We are just mad as hell and we aren't going to take it anymore and now we have a forum where we are free to vent our frustration without being censored. You can't pick up the phone and call Bob Karam at WSAR and complain about a talk show host or callers questioning the job you are doing and then have Mr. Karam instruct his talk show hosts to back off and also to dump calls from concerned citizens. You don't have control over these forums, they are for honest to goodness feedback and yes that includes criticism of how you are failing our city. That's not being negative about Fall River, that's being concerned about the job that you are doing for our city.

Anonymous said...

Well Said, Lefty. I would not be too disheartened by Ms. Roderick's comments. She has been scolding people for disagreeing with whoever is in power for many years.

People in the school dept are all too aware that their voices hold little value, hence some of the morale problem.

Let us know her response.

reality check said...

I personally know three people who over the years, were taken aside and verbally attacked by Marilyn Roderick for making truthful comments in a public forum. Apparently Ms. Roderick is of the opinion that politics in Fall River hasn't changed since she first became involved in government and the election process. What she fails to realize is that local politicians can no longer control the entire flow of information.

What is scary is that she and other dinosaurs like Mayor Correia, believe that we are not entitled to certain information, no matter how accurate or relevant it is.

Tom Paine said...

I for one was very happy that our politicians spoke at the forum. I learned a great deal. Since you already spoke about Ms. Roderick I would like to mention Brian Bigelow.

Did anyone notice what he said. Let me paraphrase:

I received a 14% cut in pay from the Sheriff's department and I received a 10% cut in pay from the city council position. That is about a 22% pay cut.

He has no clue that you do not add percentages! You must do an average based on the pay. He most likely received overall a 12% cut give or take a point here or there.

What is worst I have been informed he has some type of accounting job at the Sheriff's office. No wonder they had problems with money over there. No wonder we had problems with our school dept budget in the past.

I am getting sick at listening to so-called educated and informed politicians who have no clue and then get mad when we catch them at their own stupidity!

Anonymous said...

will the district attorney be speaking at the next mayors campaign show I mean public forum?

He has a correia sign on his lawn
and Linda Perreira an avid correia supporter works for him.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why bloggers in Fall River think they can make a difference in the city? The only real news source is the Herald News. You are not vetted like real reporters. You don't have the direction of a real editor who understands the disciplines of true journalism. You spend hours ruminating over such trivial concepts like painting the silly bridge red while the newspaper exposes the sixth floor's kangaroo court actions. If it were not for the paper you would have nothing to even speak of, or write about. You waste your own time reading these blogs and enabling the bloggers to think they have any say on anything. You might as well be calling talk radio. The bridge will stay green and it will prove how much of a fantasy you all flounder within.

Anonymous said...

The blogs uncovered the Miller Green fiasco and people laughed and said nothing would be done about it. The newspaper caught on to the story and in the end something was done about it. These blogs have power, don't fool yourself.

Anonymous said...

bloggers are not journalists therefore they don't need an
editor or to be vetted.

Lefty maybe you can clear this up for confused anon 10:47

Anonymous said...

speaking of uncovering fiasco's fr travassos park it does not appear there is a "registered" easement in 2007 as stated in the paper- was that story vetted??

..........."In 2007 the city obtained a nearly 100-foot easement from the church that allows paving from Everett Street into the park. That enabled the city to widen a pathway around the park between two mills where the only prior access had been from Alden to Dean Street"

Anonymous said...

why is the easement not listed with the register of deeds?
"In 2007 the city obtained a nearly 100-foot easement from the church that allows paving from Everett Street into the park. That enabled the city to widen a pathway around the park between two mills where the only prior access had been from Alden to Dean Street"

Anonymous said...

this one is for wsar claiming that certain internet commentors are slanderers :

You will have to prove that any comment I have made is false before calling someone a slanderer!

slan·der (slndr)
1. Law Oral communication of false statements injurious to a person's reputation.
2. A false and malicious statement or report about someone.
v. slan·dered, slan·der·ing, slan·ders

Anonymous said...

You are not vetted like real reporters. You don't have the direction of a real editor who understands the disciplines of true journalism

Anon 10:47

Do you think a reporter or editor who is sleeping with a state rep. should keep his/her job or be fired by The Herald under the discipline of "true journalism?"

Anonymous said...

Past or Present State Rep?? As long as it isn't the blobfather I don't care!

Anonymous said...

So the bridge will change colors?
So much for vetting!

Anonymous said...

but what color and why was there a very NEGATIVE bridge campaign on the radio today between 3-6 pm ??