Sunday, February 28, 2010

SouthCoast Photo of the Month

Have you ever seen the news stories where people see Jesus in the frost between the window panes or Jay Leno in a potato chip? Well the other day I saw a foot on a cement wall, and it's this month's photo of the month!

Extra credit if anyone can tell me where I found the foot!

Are you an avid picture taker? Do you have a shot you're particularly proud of? Perhaps just a shot that you'd like to share? Submit it here for the SouthCoast Photo of the Month! Send submissions to

Saturday, February 27, 2010


So I'm sitting here drinking my morning coffee out of a paper cup and going through yesterday's mail and what do I come across a letter and printed across the front the message "pictures enclosed do not bend".
I quickly realized what was inside and tore the envelope open. Sure enough inside was a short note and some pictures that showed my beloved Mugsy in Scotland!
All the note said was that my mug was enjoying something a bit stronger than coffee along with the sounds of bagpipes!

Apparently Mugsy was also in the search for mythical creatures!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Challenges of Blogging..

One of the biggest challenges of blogging is finding the time! Work is busy and often there isn't time to even begin to put together a post. By the time I get home I'm usually drained and don't feel the 'creative spark' to sit down and work and write. Honestly some nights I just don't even want to look at the computer. So usually I rely on weekends to catch up on some reading and research and hopefully a little blogging.

Well 2 weeks ago my laptop died on me and I spent the majority of the weekend trying to get it working again. I did eventually manage to bring it back from the dead. However this past weekend I managed to kill my Verizon DSL modem attempting a firmware upgrade!! (This did not make me very popular at home.) Well after spending several hours with Verizon they shipped out a replacement but that killed another weekend.

On top of that, I'm about to switch jobs, so the last few weeks have been pretty busy ones. I'm sure the next several will be just as hectic. This new job also means I'm losing the use of the company assigned laptop I have now. I do have a desktop at home but I've really gotten spoiled by the portability of the laptop. Perhaps I could buy something really inexpensive for now and upgrade later? Maybe I could buy one those $100 laptops.

Oh the challenges of blogging!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Fall River Game

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A few months ago a friend of mine was telling me that when he was growing up he and his brother loved to play the Fall River game.

The Fall River wha? was my response.

The Fall River Game! he told me. He then went on to give me a basic rundown of the game, each player gets a shopping list that sends that around Fall River to check off the items on their list and the first person who completes the list wins. After a little searching we came across this picture from an ebay listing and he told me he would see if his parents still had the original game in their closet or something. Well I started asking friends if they had ever heard of the Fall River game with most giving a response similar to the one I typed above. However one friend came across a copy of the game and gifted it to me, probably muttering something to the effect of "get a life".

Well the Fall River game has sat on my dresser for a few months now and finally the other night I decided to break it out! The game board itself is an abridged street map of the city, it's made up of 6 large "puzzle" pieces. Overall the board, cards, and dice make it obvious that it's not made with the same quality as Monopoly. The game is part of the "Our Town" series and was made in 1979 and has a rather amusing flashback feel to it. Players can visit not only familiar names like WSAR but the now extinct WALE AM radio. The Fall River Herald is there and so too is the Jornal de Fall River! Ideal Laundry, The Old Durfee High School (not yet a courthouse!), the Globe Corners Shell station and the NEW Chamber of Commerce building (expected to open in October of 79!). The game board is a very busy place and it's tough to reach across the length of the board. It's also tough to pick up the white dice! In fact my initial experience is that the game is aggravating difficult to play. It's not that the concept is hard but the game play itself could be better. As folks travel around the board the complete the objectives of their shopping list the banker has to sort through a pile of 100+ cards to hand out the matching "travel card" Maybe with a little time this would become easier (there is a list that helps break down the locations by card color. It also has some basic map-like instructions to help find the different locations.) Still, the initial run had the banker (me) constantly shuffling through cards to hand out and had all of us pouring over the board to find the locations we needed to go to.

I think an updated version might be interesting and I wish I had the talent to try my hand at a basic computerized version. That said, the Fall River game certainly deserves another chance to impress, and I'm sure another game night will happen soon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Now that Joan's stepping down who will be our next State Senator?

So Joan Menard has finally confirmed the rumor and announced she is not running for reelection. This opens up the floodgates of candidates vying for her seat. The list includes Mike Coogan, the President of the Fall River firefighters union, former Mayor John Mitchell, State Representative Mike Rodrigues and Somerset Selectmen Patrick O'Neil and Lorne Lawless and John DeJesus.

Coogan seems pretty proud that he announced prior to Menard announcing she wasn't running. Apparently he feels this makes him the 'sincere' candidate:

Coogan said he believes those candidates waiting to get into the race once Menard officially bowed out are “insincere” because they apparently believe “she was doing a good job.”

Well, little wake up call here for Mike - this might just mean that they thought they couldn't beat her or perhaps they're fearful of the job you'd do. I'm just saying.

Then you have John Mitchell. Normally I would say someone who hasn't been in office for over 15 years would be a long shot, but not in Fall River! No, this area, and particular this city seem to love to bring back familiar old names.

State Representative Mike Rodrigues seems like front runner material. After all Mike is holding office and a promotion from Representative to Senator seems natural. Now I'm not saying he's my choice just that he should be a strong candidate. The most interesting thing about his candidacy is who now runs for his seat?!

Lorne Lawless is also an interesting candidate because he has been very involved in the LNG issue and probably has name recognition that goes beyond just Somerset.

Then you have O'Neil and DeJesus, I guess the question is can either garner enough support and votes to make a real run of it.

I find it interesting that no Republicans are vying for Joan's seat. I would think an open seat is the kind of race the local party should be trying to win.

Honestly I think the "Fall River" candidates have the edge here because they are familiar names to the largest voting block. Lawless could be interesting because I think he would certainly generate strong support in Somerset and does have some name recognition here in Fall River. I don't think O'Neil or DeJesus really have any name recognition beyond Somerset and I can't see how they can mount a serious campaign. I do wonder now that Joan has made it official who else may come out of the wood work to make a run for it.

Baker for Governor...should he be endorsed?

With Scott Brown's election to the US Senate it seems Republicans feel they can win ANY office in Massachusetts!

OK, seriously Republican candidates for Governor have done remarkably well in the bluest of the blue states and a fiscally conservative, socially moderate candidate is JUST the type that gets elected here in Massachusetts. (Is the state and local committees paying attention?). On top of all of that, Governor Deval Patrick has seen his popularity plummet as he limps, bloodied and beaten toward the end of his first term. Add to that Baker has an impressive resume and gee he looks like a candidate to consider doesn't he?

Certainly Fall River's Republican Committee thinks so, they've already given him their endorsement!

Hmmm. Why do I have a problem with that?

Well for one thing Baker is not the ONLY Republican in the race. Christy Mihos who ran back in 2006 as an independent is a candidate, he too bears some consideration. In fact the Republican primary may be rather interesting with rumors circulating that both former Lt. Governor Kerry Healey and former state treasurer Joe Malone are considering entering the race. If even ONE of them enter the race the primary will be pretty exciting, so why has the Fall River Committee already endorsed Baker?

This is even more puzzling considering Baker's recent visit to Fall River where he managed to come out against commuter rail to the area and basically admitted he wasn't up to speed on LNG. These have both been HUGE issues for Fall River and I can't believe a candidate for office wouldn't be better prepared to address questions concerning them. The fact is Fall River has fought against LNG and fought for commuter rail. It seems to me that a candidate for Governor is foolish to come down here and not at least know something about LNG and not be at least open minded about commuter rail. Did the Republican Committee ask Baker any of these questions before endorsing him?

I think Charlie Baker is an interesting candidate, one who deserves consideration but I'm not sure he's the right candidate for Fall River and I'm not sure he should be so readily endorsed.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Should Fall River Cancel Parking Tickets?

For most of us Thursday morning was a welcome sight. Our backs didn't hurt from shoveling. The sidewalks were clear. And we wouldn't have to fight for a parking space when we got home from work. (At least not anymore than we usually have to fight for a parking space.) Yes for most of us the snow storm that never happened, was really just that. However for about 1,500 Fall River residents there was very clear reminder from Wednesday's expected snow storm in the form of a $40 parking ticket.

The Herald News is reporting that the city issued about $60,000 dollars worth of parking tickets as a result of the parking ban put into place in expectations of Wednesday's "blizzard-like" storm and city residents are peeved that the lack of snow has not translated to a lack of a fine.

Meanwhile up in Boston Mayor Menino is canceling over 3000 parking tickets after Wednesday's "no-snow storm". Cambridge and Sommerville are following Boston's lead.

So the question is should Fall River cancel the parking tickets that were issued here?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Blog comments that should be posts - Historic Preservation

Fall River has historically done a bad job with historic preservation, which is why THIS is a comment that should be a post. And honestly I can't say it any better than Scout. Historic preservation needs to be part of the mission for our city leadership. Scout is right when he says "that heritage and architecture are among FR's few remaining assets." And I believe they are an important part to revitalizing Fall River.

said... (5:43 PM, February 03, 2010)

Lefty, can we talk about the need for a coherent historic preservation policy in FR?

I know that's not top of mind for everyone, given all the other challenges the city's facing ... but I'm so sad to see the wrecking ball headed for St. Louis Church.

FR has a consistent history of destroying beautiful, historic buildings and replacing them with concrete boxes. And yet I'm still somehow astounded to hear of this latest insult to the city's skyline.

Durfee Theatre: gone.
Old City Hall: gone.
Central Congregational: rotting away on Rock Street.
And now this latest casualty of an indifferent preservation policy.

Has there been any discussion locally of what's going to happen to the old Durfee building if/when its courthouse operations are moved to the new courthouse?

Again ... I know this must feel less than urgent to a lot of people. But I really feel that heritage and architecture are among FR's few remaining assets. And their destruction will have immediate effects on the people of the city (as an extension of broken window syndrome) as well as longer-term implications for economic development.

If FR can address education, crime, and its other various challenges, it will survive only if it can a) attract new industry; and/or b) become a bedroom community for folks who can't afford property closer to Boston. The city's heritage value and architectural integrity are key to both possible opportunities.

I'm not local, so I don't understand the particulars ... but I don't get how a nonprofit organization can acquire a National Register property and simply neglect it to the point that it (apparently) needs to be demolished. And no one noticed. How is that possible?

Is there anything that can be done to stem the tide of this destruction? If so, what?

Blog comments that should be posts - Joan Menard to retire?

Joan Menard to retire?

Here's the comment with some analysis!

Anonymous said... (12:01 PM, February 02, 2010)

Congratulations and breaking news... Joanie Boloney (Joan Menard) to announce her retirement soon.

Open field will look like this:
Mike Coogan - President of Firefighters Union in Fall River who already announced he was looking

Probable: Rep. Mike Rodrigues of Westport - Selectman Lorne Lawless of Somerset

Possible: Surprise entry from the Fall River City Council, maybe Joe Camara or Linda Pereira or Brad Kilby who have all run for state representative in the past and are possibly still interested in state office. Pelletier, Mitchell, Casey, Bigelow are all either too old or in poor health or couldn't raise the money or just aren't credible candidates. An outside chance of Mike Lund or Eric Poulin maybe, one could raise the money for sure and the other supposedly has high likeability and favorability ratings in Fall River but probably couldn't raise the money. Also Poulin hasn't been on the council long enough so likely too early to jump ship. Lund already has a term in and could do well in Fall River and Swansea.

Well this morning on WSAR they were saying that Menard has not decided if she if going to run or not so it looks like our commenter is on to something and the breakdown is pretty interesting analysis, which is why THIS is a comment that should be a post.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Today marks the 4th anniversary of A View From Battleship Cove!

I think I can also technically say that the blog is in its second decade.

It's kind of funny to see each year roll by. I never expected to be blogging 4 years since that first post. I never expected to have tens of thousands visits in a year. I never expected to have regular readers comment on my post, send emails, and chat with me on IM.

It's all been a lot of fun.

Thanks for stopping by and reading, helping me share my views and sharing yours in return.