Saturday, January 30, 2010

SouthCoast Photo of the Month




Recently I staggered out of bed to get ready for work. I stumbled into the kitchen and started a pot of coffee and then went to shower and get dressed. When I made my way back into the kitchen the coffee was ready. I went to grab my coffee mug from its familiar location but it wasn't there.

Where's my mug?! Where is my OFFICIAL A View From Battleship Cove coffee mug? It was sitting right here next to the coffee pot where it ALWAYS sits.

Did I leave it somewhere else?

For days I searched but couldn't find it, Mugsy was missing!!

A few weeks later I received a letter in the mail. Inside were these pictures and a note saying that my mug was fine and enjoying the rich full bodied taste of coffee in the Netherlands!

That was it, no ransom note, no explanation of why or how just that note and a promise that there would be more to follow.

So this month's photo(s) of the month is of my beloved coffee cup apparently enjoying a holiday in the Netherlands!
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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 aviewfrombattleshipcove@gmail.com

Friday, January 29, 2010

Gambling with our future

It seems that the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe may be giving up on plans to build a casino in Middleboro and instead is considering building one here in Fall River.

Oh God haven't we been through this before?

According to SouthCoastToday.com the Wampanoag's feel that the "financially strapped city will be a more welcoming home for a future casino." Unfortunately Fall River is facing hard times and it looks like our new mayor is already on board.

"Right now, the city of Fall River has the second highest unemployment rate in the commonwealth of Massachusetts," Flanagan said. "So a gaming facility would put people to work of all skills levels and all education levels."

Oh dear, and just when I was starting to like Mayor Flanagan.

Of course Fall River HAS been through this before back in 1997 the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head wanted to build a casino in the city. When that failed to pass the House they then tried for a high stakes bingo hall that first failed to pass a city council vote and then failed to get enough votes in a special election.

I gladly voted against this 12 years ago and thought we put this to rest. Why is Fall River back on the radar? That's simple the Mashpee Wampanoag's think as a "financially strapped city" we'll do little to resist them. You know, this is exactly why we've been dealing with Hess all these years because they figured we could be exploited too.

I remember this the last time all the talk of the money it would bring and the jobs! Thing is most of the money and the jobs would be short term during construction, after that it was mostly part time stuff and very few good paying jobs. Where in the world would we stick a casino now? Originally the proposal was up on Airport Road, which would have meant very little trickle down for the rest of the city. People coming to gamble wouldn't be driving through Fall River and hitting our restaurants. They would just go directly there. What will be different this time?

If this really gains momentum we'll hear about all sorts of studies that show the benefits. Of course revenue will be the big magic one and jobs. They'll be talk about how this will help revitalize the city and be the cornerstone for tourism in the city. However there are also tons of studies that show increased crime rates, the introduction to organized crime, the devastating social toll caused by gambling addictions. In short something like this might bring a bit more revenue and a few more jobs but at what cost? And once you build it you can't go back!

Right now developers in New Bedford are already in the process of developing a downtown casino. Can this area really support TWO casinos that are THAT close? I recently linked to a post about the Harbour Mall which basically stated that after the Dartmouth Mall and the Swansea Mall opened up the Harbour Mall pretty became the area's second-rate mall. Well with Twin Rivers in Lincoln and Foxwoods not terribly far away and a proposed New Bedford casino are we going to end up with the Harbour Mall of casinos? Who will go to the second-rate casino? Oh that's right the people who live right next to it, which means the revenue your generating is really just coming out of your own economy anyway. It also means that all the social troubles are just yours too.

People who gamble are usually looking for a quick way to make money and wind up losing more than they win. I think the same can be said for communities who gamble on gambling.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's MY-TV! Where is the money going?

In his final month in office Mayor Correia signed a 10 year contract with Comcast. Amongst the highlights is the doubling of the franchise fee which is projected to generate over $800,000 a year. This will more than double the amount of money available for PEG (Public, Education, and Government) media access.

Sounds good right? Well, not so fast. Clearly the doubling of the franchise fee is going to mean an increase in your cable bill. In fact if you have a comcast box in your house part of your bill has always funded PEG media access.

How is this money being spent?

My understanding is that the FREDTV ( the school department) has been getting the vast majority, (somewhere between $300,000-$400,000) of the money paid to the city by Comcast for PEG funding. (Let's not forget this is really money being billed to you!) How is that money used? Well part of it goes into the programming you see when you flip on channel 17. Gee it hardly seems money well spent. Don't get me wrong I think it's great to see the a school play, or a band but most of the time when I turn on the channel I see annoying slide shows of all the schools or generic announcements. Obviously some of this money is used behind the scenes as part of an education program but where are the results?

Oh, someone will be quick to point out that the FREDTV (the school department) also runs the Government Channel! Well, that is pretty low overhead. It too is run out of Durfee High and so utilizes pretty much all the same equipment etc. but also the Government Channel has been up and running for less than a year.

The public channel is run by Fall River Community Television up at BCC. This is the channel that is supposed to be available to everyone in the community. Want to do a show on collecting bottle caps? Well you can! Do you want to film various sites around the city? Your grandmother's birthday celebration? A jug band? This is the place. It's really kind of a cool concept. In a way it is much like blogging ANYONE can start a blog as long as they have something they want to share and with a little training and few rules anyone can have a public access show. All it takes is some hard work and dedication. Now my understanding is that the most impressive of our 3 channels (in my humble opinion) runs their operation on a shoestring budget of around $75,000. I think that's a pretty good return on our investment.

So here's the amazing thing, with PEG funding about to double FREDTV (the school department) is trying to make the case that they should keep pretty much all that money for themselves! Gee, that seems a little greedy! Does the FREDTV (the school department) really need $800,000 to run 2 channels? I have a few problems with this:

1. I'm not sure we're getting very much for our $300,00-$400,000 investment handing over more money NEVER seems to be a good idea in such situations.

2. I have serious concerns about the GOVERNMENT CHANNEL being run by the school department, which is gee, PART OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT

3. I think it is a major disservice to not fund the channel that is meant to be available to the community at a level comparable to the other two.

But here's the thing, this is MY TV (and if you're a Comcast customer yours too!) and I think I should get a say in how this money is spent and what I expect to see in return.

Other communities have non-profit organizations that oversee how PEG media access is handled. It's something we should be considering here in Fall River. A board that could help determine the funding for each channel and the goals and then make sure that those things are being achieved.

Even without a non-profit board providing oversight we need to figure out who is getting what and who is running what. It is pretty silly to have the public access channel run on the crumbs tossed aside while FREDTV has enjoyed the bulk of our PEG funding. Now with MORE money coming in we really need to equalize that. After all these channels are supposed to be for the benefit of the community at large. I think I would just start by splitting the funding 3 ways, a third for each channel and then tweak and adjust based on which channel might need more and which can make do with less. I would also seek proposals from FRCTV on how they would operate the Government Channel.

Why shouldn't Government run the Government Channel? Just on the surface the idea seems like a conflict of interest. Can you imagine if the Mayor announced the city was buying the Herald News?! Gee would you trust the coverage? The same principle applies. On top of that I've already heard that meetings had to be adjourned because the students had to go home! How do you handle special meetings held on weekends or during school hours? It seems like a huge mess. Don't get me wrong I think student involvement is a great thing, but let FREDTV form a partnership with whoever runs G-TV so that kids can be involved and the essential mission (which should really be to cover all meetings and government events) can still be carried out.

Now speaking of 'the essential mission' the public access channel needs more funding to carry out its core mission. More funding would allow FRCTV to do MORE outreach and this is the PUBLIC channel the one available for the citizens to use. It would allow for possibly more equipment to be purchased to expand their abilities, heck it might even allow FRCTV to move away from BCC and possibly run out of a dedicated space with multiple studios and allow for even greater outreach and accessibility. OK, that is some pretty lofty goals but certainly with such a modest budget more funding could really make a big impact at FRCTV.

In a nutshell the Government Channel should be separate from government and cover all meetings and government events. The Public Channel should have more resources which will allow it to be more accessible and do more outreach. What about the Education Channel?

Well first off before we consider giving them more money I think we need to figure out how they've been spending the money they currently get. Obviously not every dollar is showing up on our TV screens, part of that money is in the classroom. However, I would think what we DO see on the screen should be an indicator of what is going on in the classroom, I'm not sure that's the case.

Part of the money the city will be getting under this contract is funding for equipment and facilities. I think we need really think about improving our PEG access infrastructure as well as expanding on what that infrastructure should be. What do I mean? Well for starters I think we need to invest on better facilities and determine where those facilities should be. For instance nothing annoys me more than watching a school committee meeting where I can't hear half the conversation. In the past I have been an advocate for roaming school committee meetings that visit each school, but now I'm thinking they should be held in one location and that location set up to ensure good video and audio recording. In fact I'm beginning to think it makes sense to have these meetings in the City Council chambers and maybe other meetings as well. I think the Fall River room on the 6th floor of Government Center gets used for many functions and press conferences and should be set up in much the same way and perhaps the Nagle Auditorium at Durfee.

Lastly I think we need to make the bulk of this programming available to the community as a whole. Unfortunately there is no mechanism in place to make satellite dish networks or other competitors carry the PEG media access channels, and in fact cable and telephone companies have lobbied the Federal government to reduce or end PEG television. Still I think it is important that everyone in the community have access to programming these channels provide. Many other communities have embraced new and emerging technologies utilizing the internet. This is a direction we need to move toward to make sure that we always have a community outlet for free speech, open government, and the 4th grade spelling bee.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fall River's Harbour Mall

Did you know that the Harbour Mall is celebrating it's 40th birthday this year?

Did you know that neither Wal Mart OR Kmart were the original anchor stores?

Do you remember when the movie theater was added? The mall has one unique feature that no other shopping center in the United States can claim. Do you know what it is?

Here's an interesting blog post I came across about Fall River's New Harbour Mall, that I thought would be worth sharing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mr. Brown Goes to Washington

It's the Democrats race...

With the passing of Ted Kennedy, I like many assumed that the person elected to fill the remainder of his senate term would be a Democrat. After all, Massachusetts is the bluest of the blue states and Ted Kennedy a liberal icon who had been a symbol of the Democratic party for so long it seemed he could have founded it. When Attorney General Martha Coakley announced her intentions to run it seemed a done deal. Coakley had statewide name recognition was reasonably popular and had an organization that hit the ground running. Coakley dominated the primary campaign and it became clear that her Democrat rivals never stood a chance. Even the Kennedy family endorsing one of her opponents did little to affect her momentum.

A Reasonable Republican...

Scott Brown on the other hand began his quest for the Republican nomination with little name recognition in a race that nobody was paying any attention to. Brown overwhelmingly won the Republican primary, but turnout was extremely low and only 12% of Massachusetts voters are Republicans. How could he hope to beat Coakley in January?

Closing the Gap...

When Scott Brown won the Republican Primary in December HIS campaign was just beginning, in contrast most would have assumed that Coakley's was done and all she had to do was sit back and let the clock run out. Certainly it seems that was the attitude of the Coakley camp it seems that we hardly heard a peep out of Martha. As Brown canvassed the state more and more people began to pay attention. Who knows why? Did the message resonate? Were people upset that the Democrats seemed to assume an easy win? Was it health care in Washington or national defense? This is really the key that the pundits are going to debate over and over again but it is safe to say for a combination of reasons Scott Brown found himself closing the gap.

Flat Footed....

With Scott closing the gap it suddenly looked like a race! I found myself shocked at the thought and energized by the notion. A low turnout, like many were expecting may have allowed an energized Republican Party with the help of independents to pull off a surprise win. It seemed with all the news coverage of the closeness of the race energized Brown's supporters firmly putting momentum on his side.

Even then the Coakley campaign seemed to caught flat footed, last minute efforts were put in place to bring in big names like President Clinton and even President Obama. It was leaked to me that efforts to get Democrats mobilized here in Fall River didn't start until this past weekend and when the party faithful started going door to door they were shocked and awed to find out that the Republican effort had already been out in force.

For the first time in almost 40 years...

Now that it was a race it seemed anything could happen on election day. A high turnout was now being predicted. Would the sudden Brown surge motivate the Democrat faithful to come out in force? Would independent voters come out for Brown as strongly as the polls indicated? The one thing that was certain is nobody was taking a Democrat win as a given and several pundits were already calling it a Brown victory. When all was said and done the pundits and polls turned out to be right and Scott Brown became the first Republican elected to the U.S. Senate since 1972.

Lefty's View: I'm giddy! Massachusetts just elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate! That said, I've heard an awful lot of talk about how this was a mandate for the Republican party, a sign of a resurgence of Republicanism in Massachusetts. I've heard that this was a clear indicator that Republicans would regain some seats in the House and Senate in this Fall's elections. I think that's a lot of nonsense. Scott Brown's victory is an amazing accomplishment but one that came about due to many, many factors. Scott Brown has been called a moderate, a populist, a centrist, and an independent. There is a probably some truth to all those labels and Republicans, independents, and even some Democrats could find something to relate to with Brown. Brown was able to define himself as an independent thinker, beholden to no one, a regular guy with humble beginnings. There is a lot in that for people to identify with. The issues he ran on resonated with the concerns of Massachusetts voters. A national health care policy that is almost universally believed to be imperfect has little appeal for a state that has 98% of its residents insured. A candidate crying out for tax cuts and more fiscal commonsense is appealing to residents effected by Massachusetts fiscal woes. Along with that there is Martha Coakley's failure to ignite any sort of passion in the hearts of voters after the primary. Most of us didn't vote in the primary and didn't pay attention. When the race heated up the people Martha did excite were to few and the voters who were now paying attention hadn't heard from her. If she had canvassed the state, had the Kennedy's go around the state on her behalf, or even just paid more attention to what her opponent was doing things probably would have been different.

Scott Brown's election was like capturing lightening in a bottle, a perfect combination of events and circumstances that led to victory. Brown will have a tougher job winning reelection in 2012, when I suspect Massachusetts turns 'blue' again. There is some lessons here for the Massachusetts Republican Party:

1. First and foremost run credible candidates with statewide appeal, to do otherwise keeps the party from any chance of being taken seriously.

2. The best chance for Republicans to win more seats is to run candidates with broad appeal to independents and conservative Democrats. Moderate Republicans are not embraced by the party but with 12% or less of Massachusetts voters registering as Republicans, the party needs to realize that it HAS to move to the left to have an credibility in the state. That means embracing moderates.

3. As the minority party Republicans can't compete with traditional machine politics, yet can still excite the base and bring in new voters by running grassroot campaigns.

Scott Brown has laid down a pretty good blueprint for Republicans in Massachusetts to use. Let's see if anyone is paying attention.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The teachers were right the first time

On Thursday Fall River teachers reversed an earlier decision and voted in favor of participating in the Race to the Top initiative.

They were right the first time.

The Race to the Top initiative could potentially pump $750,000 into the Fall River School Department and schools identified as low-achieving will have to adopt 1 of 4 models. This is particularly troubling to Fall River teachers as 3 of the models would probably result in the loss of teacher's jobs. In fact one model would allow the superintendent to replace 50% of the staff and the principal, another would allow for the closure of the school and the relocation of students and yet another the closure of a school to have it reopen as a charter school. The 4th would lengthen the school day and focus on community oriented model.

Think about this, let's say you worked in a textile mill and the textile industry was failing (big stretch there!) and the federal government offered a stimulus package of $750k, sounds pretty good right? But let's say that to get this money the factory had to adopt one of 4 models and 3 might endanger YOUR job. Would you vote for that? Of course you wouldn't.

The reality is the Race to the Top program is a lousy initiative that seems designed to pit unions against school leadership and communities.

Just look a what happened here in Fall River. Fall River teachers reject a proposal that too broadly places the blame and the hopes for turnaround on getting rid of existing teachers. Of course the headlines are that selfish teachers turn down needed money. Low and behold a special meeting is called and the teachers reverse their decision just to have WSAR run probably the most vile editorial imaginable slamming teachers at every turn.

Let's clear up a few things here. First, $750,000 is not going to turnaround Fall River schools. I hate to break anyone's heart here but this money is not going to solve all our problems and make all of our kids college bound. Sorry. Also getting rid of 50% of your teachers, or closing a school or even converting them to Charter schools is not going to address the biggest problems in our school system. Again sorry. The biggest problem in our schools? Well it's probably not politically correct to say it and I'm probably going to piss some people off, but the biggest problem in our schools is the kids.

Have you been in a school lately or talked to a teacher recently? Have you heard the nightmares about kids who swear like sailors, don't listen, have no respect, and disrupt the classroom?

OK it's not just the kids, it turns out some of the parents are just as bad because little johnny is a perfect angel but mom and dad can turn the room purple with the words coming out of their mouth.

Honestly most kids are pretty good kids, and several more will be good with the right influence but with classroom sizes approaching 30 all you need is a few of these kids to completely derail the educational process for the rest. And even if you removed the worst of the distractions you still have to deal with the fact that many more of our children walk in the door unprepared to learn and with a boat load of issues that keep them for excelling.

Now let me not lay all the blame on the kids and the parents, because our school department has failed to take some of these issues into consideration and provide the resources needed to overcome them. Some blame has to go to "government", state, federal, and local too for cutting educational funding. Oh and let's not forget that there IS fat that can cut from out schools and there are teachers and principals that really just need to go (just not as many as WSAR would have you believe).

If the Race to the Top really wanted to have an impact the funding would have targeted ways to decrease classroom sizes and would have funded initiatives to increase parental involvement and engage students.

I personally applaud teachers for reversing their vote because it clearly shows they are thinking of OUR children and are willing to work with the administration. I hope that the Mayor and the Superintendent honor that goodwill and that trust. The longer school day model is one that I think has the best potential to give our children the tools they need to succeed and deserves serious consideration.

As for Bernie Sullivan and the "management at WSAR" if you really feel that we should open more charter schools so that our children may be kept from the "current crop of teachers" I urge you to act on your words but in doing so make sure that this Utopian school includes not just our best and brightest but also those students most troubled and most in need. And then we will see if you are able to achieve the successes that have eluded our teachers and for which you ridicule them for not obtaining.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It's actually a race!

Just a few days from now Massachusetts voters will trudge out of the cold and into the election booth to elect a Senator in Tuesday's special election.

If you had asked me just a few months ago who was going to win I would have answered Coakley without giving it the slightest bit of thought. Honestly I thought for certain a Kennedy (one related to the late Senator) would enter the race and that would be that. When that didn't happen it seemed that Coakley had both the statewide name recognition and a campaign already running in top gear, and honestly once you win the Democratic primary your as good as elected right?

Maybe not.

A few months ago I had no idea who Scott Brown and never bothered to find out. Why? It's this simple the Massachusetts Republican Party has perfected the fronting of the 'token candidate' who can never win election. However as Coakley won her primary bid, Scott Brown won his. I still wasn't paying attention until another local blog decided to do a little mudslinging and in my opinion take some cheap shots at the Republican candidate and suddenly I'm wondering who is Scott Brown? To my surprise I found that Brown was an honest to goodness candidate, one with some credibility! Here was a guy who's views were moderate enough to appeal to independents and conservative Democrats.

Brown describes himself as “fiscally conservative and socially conscious”, which is pretty close to how I describe myself, so fantastic here is a Republican candidate I can actually support, but he can't win.

Can he?

It seems that the race everyone thought was a given has suddenly gotten very very close. It seems that after Team Coakley trashed the competition in the Democratic primary, Martha has set things on cruise control, while the underdog Scott Brown has hauled himself all over the state meeting people and shaking hands. And as Scott has gone from town to town to speak to the issues and discuss his platform his message is resonating.

People I never thought would vote for Scott Brown are telling me they're strongly considering it because like Scott they believe everyone deserves health care coverage but share his concern for the Health Care legislation that congress is considering. They share his belief that we need to lower taxes so people have more money to spend and businesses more money to invest. They tell me they have concerns about Coakley and tell me a Republican senator will be more accountable because re-election won't be considered a given.

Maybe part of it is Scott has worked to gain the support of independents and conservative Democrats while Martha seems to have focused on just the Democratic base, whatever the reason we actually have a choice on election day and it's anybody's race.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pride City Wide, We’ll Try, and The Scholarship City

More good news from the Flanagan Administration, Bob Correia’s personal seal is going the way of the buffalo.

Sorry Bob, the intentions of “Pride City Wide” may have been good ones but the results were anything but. It’s tough to take pride in almost anything that took place during your tenure as Mayor. On top of that the Fall River seal always seems to go through some occasional ridicule and having the city wide/citywide controversy was just plain embarrassing.

However, speaking of pride, there is plenty to be proud of in our official seal!

“We’ll Try”

I hate when people make fun of and mock Fall River’s official motto.

It was July 2, 1843. The day was hot with a strong wind blowing in from the southwest. Two boys playing with a small canon behind a large warehouse near the corner of Main and Borden fired it, igniting some nearby shavings. With the help of the wind the fire quickly took hold and spread from building to building. Sparks and cinders whipped by the blowing wind allowed the buildings not yet touched by the fire to burst into flames. The fire was so fierce it couldn’t be contained and it was only by the luck of the wind changing direction that the fire was finally brought under control.

When all was said and done the heart of Fall River was destroyed. 291 buildings lay in ruin. Fall River no longer had any public offices, or banks, or hotels. The post office and most of the grocery (think “general store”) were gone. Roughly 200 families were homeless many with nothing left to their name.

So in the aftermath of this devastating fire, the people of Fall River wondered could they rebuild. Could they come back from this? The task seemed hopeless but the citizens proclaimed “we’ll try”.

The thing is, the Fall River did rebuild and within a decade Fall River was bigger and better than ever. “We’ll Try” is something we should be proud of and something that should inspire us, by reminding us that we can achieve great things but only if we make the effort to achieve them.

“The Scholarship City”

I suppose it’s easy to knock Fall River’s nickname. After all we are a city with a struggling education system and where higher education is too often considered not an option. But the nickname is about more than just scholarships. The nickname is about vision and inspiration. It’s about dedication and selflessness. It’s believing in something and then working to make that belief a reality.

In 1957 Dr. Irving Fradkin ran for a position on the school committee. He ran on a platform that called for some sort of scholarship plan and he lost. Undeterred, Dr. Fradkin began wrestling support for his plan. He prodded patients, and local business. He solicited civic groups and just everyday people. He even wrote to former-First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who responded by sending the requested dollar donation and this letter:

"I was interested to get your letter and to learn of the effort being made in your community to make your people more aware of the opportunities and advantages of a college education. I congratulate you and am happy to send you a dollar toward the effort."

In the first year he made enough to award 24 scholarships.

Fradkin’s idea of a community sponsored scholarship fund spread from town to town, by 1961 his vision had spread to “50 small towns in eleven states scattered from Rhode Island to Kansas and from Minnesota to Louisiana.”

Today, Fradkin’s vision is a national organization represented in over 3,600 communities. Scholarship America has distributed over 2 BILLION dollars in a quest to make higher education a reality for over 2 million students. Scholarship America started as the idea of one man, right here in Fall River, MA. Today, Dr. Fradkin is still working, often in Fall River, for the belief he first shared over 50 years ago. When I see the words “Scholarship City” on our official seal I think of Dr. Irving Fradkin and the legendary work he has done and the millions of lives he has touched. And I’m proud to know that it started here in Fall River, the Scholarship City.

Lefty's View: I'm glad to see Bob's alterations dumped, and never thought they should have been there in the first place. It's interesting to view the history of our motto and our nickname and to realize how closely they're related. "We'll try" wasn't an empty promise it was backed with resolve, passion, and faith. Over 100 years later Dr. Fradkin displayed that same sense of resolve. He worked tirelessly, never taking no for an answer to build an organization that made higher education obtainable to millions. 50 years ago he had no idea if he would be successful, but it was something he believed in and whether he realized it or not he embodied the spirit of "We'll Try". I think it's time we stop complaining about our motto and nickname and instead start trying to live up to what they represent.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Trash, Garbage, and Vandalism

Trash...

The other day a friend of mine received a new trash container and one for recyclables from the city. The containers were just left in front of each house, giving you a good idea of what trash day will look like. So right off the bat I said to myself, well now what do you do with your old barrels? This is a point of contention with me because I JUST bought new barrels a few months back. So what the heck do you do with your old barrels? I'm also wondering what do you do if you have more trash than what will fit into that one jumbo bin they give you? I DO think the lidded recyclable container is a great idea I can't tell you the number of times I've had to chase milk jugs and cereal boxes around my yard when it gets windy.

The best part is my friend seeing the new containers went and moved his trash from his barrels into the new container ONLY to get a notice days later saying they wouldn't be used for like 2 weeks. All I can say is thankfully this is not summer because he's not moving it back! It also looks like the notices were all hand delivered, this can't be the most cost efficient way of doing it! Why weren't they just fastened to the container or something?

Garbage...

Last week I'm laying in bed trying to ignore the alarm when I hear a WSAR editorial praising Bob Correia! Honestly I had to shake my head in disbelief and would urge you to go to WSAR's website and listen to it for yourselves. I have to wonder should drug tests be given over there? What absolute GARBAGE! This editorial is praising Bob for 30 years as a State Rep. and for all he tried to do as Mayor. It tries to explain (or excuse) his arrogance and self serving as tough love and a willingness to make difficult decisions.

I would love to take a good hard, honest and fair look at Bob's term as Mayor but for the radio station to serve up this sugar coated crap is enough to make me vomit. How can this editorial praise Bob when he tried to cement nice cushy high paying jobs for his pals at the expense of OUR city at a time when we are in a fiscal crisis? How can they praise him when we find out that he IGNORED the warnings of a budget deficit? Did Bob write this editorial himself?

Vandalism...

This weekend I took a very chilly stroll along the boardwalk. The boardwalk never ceases to amaze me it is truly a city highlight and something to be proud of. So, I was quite discouraged to see signs of vandalism along my path. There was spray paint on sections of the sidewalk and quite a bit on one of the buildings down by Heritage State Park. A plaque was even missing from just outside the Heritage State Park building. Last spring I was sad to see some graffiti on some of the light poles along Davol Street. Obviously the cold weather makes it difficult to clean up this mess but I hope when the warm weather comes we clean this up. You know, there is this whole 'broken window theory' that basically says if you ignore things like this, you're really just saying that you accept it and inviting more of the same. The boardwalk really is a city highlight and it would be a shame to see it ruined for all by the immature actions of a few.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Correia's Accomplishments?

Declining to give the Herald News a final interview, Mayor Correia instead faxed over 4 pages listing the accomplishments of his administration.

Now, I could be a little sympathetic with our outgoing Mayor. After all, the last 2 years have been a brutal fiscal nightmare that no leader could walk away from unscarred and unscathed.

There are already a few blog posts out there critiquing Bob's accomplishments and I see no reason to add another. However, I have the unedited first draft, which I was able to get from doing some dumpster diving at Government Center. It's a much shorter and more condensed version than what was "officially" released, I offer the full text below.



Just a little humor folks!