Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
To be sure, there are things that I applaud. The decrease in our dropout rate while at the same time seeing an increase in our graduation rate is certainly good news. It's also no easy feat considering the school department has been able to do really no better than level fund services over the past several years. A call for parents to place a greater emphasis on education is also something that I whole heartily agree with. The effort to increase our public safety is also hard to take issue with. I think we have clearly noticed the impact that reducing our police and fire has had on our city and clearly we need to do what we can to keep these departments adequately staffed.
There are also things that I would like to applaud but can't. The Mayor's positive spin on Anderson Windows utilizing the closed Silver-Line site sounds good, and certainly it is good news that the city was able to work with Anderson to get them to reoccupy the site. However, the 200,000 square foot facility that once employed over 500 is now employing about 50. Yes, the 50 jobs are important but the Mayor's boasts could have been tempered.
Likewise his spin on the biomanufacturing-facility seems a bit too congratulatory after months of pursuing a casino while claiming we could have both but risking that we could end up with none. If nothing else the Mayor's pursuit delayed a facility that would have already broken ground and would have already been providing jobs for its construction.
The Mayor says he will be introducing a waterfront plan and emphasizes the need for bold swift action but if that's the case why have we waited a year before hearing this?
It's also great that he applauded local companies for their "green" efforts and it's a great idea for the city to move in the same direction but there was no details on what we would be doing, how we would be doing it, or how we are going to pay for it.
And honestly I even have an issue with his boasts about public safety considering so much of rehiring efforts are only possible due to stimulus money that is a short term patch for a very long term problem. There are real concerns about how we are going to foot the bill after the money runs out.
One area where I think the Mayor really could have taken some credit that he failed to mention is with the city audits. It's really good news to hear that we should be all caught up sometime in March. The issue was one this administration inherited not from the previously elected mayor but the one previous to that!
Lefty's View: Filled with rhetoric, striving to be inspirational the State of the City didn't really discuss much about the state of the city. Considering the tough times ahead, an honest assessment would have been appreciated.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
So the town has stepped in and the dog is to be destroyed. This despite the fact that granddaughter was only temporarily staying in the home and despite the fact that precautions were not taken that should have been. The town has been presented with multiple options that would allow for a more merciful handling of this situation. Skippy's breeder, who is in Canada, has offered to take him back. Certainly a move to Canada should leave Freetown selectmen feeling safe? But no that idea has been shot down. The Lakeville dog officer, after working with Skippy and believing he can be trained to be a good pet, offered to take him but that offer was also rejected.
But the momentum to free Skippy is growing! Just the other day I learned of a Facebook page that has been established to "Free Skippy", that page is gaining attention and has already been mentioned on WSAR and now in a story on the Herald News!
A few posts back I stated that I was a big supporter of our local animal shelters and I am. I've looked at dogs to adopt in local shelters and online and I have found many where the dog has been assessed as not being suitable for a home with children. These shelters and organizations don't line these animals up like they were at Auschwitz. They simply make sure to place the dogs in homes that where they can succeed and be good pets. I believe that is what should be done here with Skippy. An organization the Center for Animal Rescue and Education has forwarded a proposal for Skippy's release. They would foster him, neuter him, assess him, and prepare him for adoption. They would release Freetown of any responsibility and agree not to adopt him to anyone who has children or anyone living in Freetown. It's a proposal that I would urge to the Board of Selectmen to accept.
That Facebook page is urging people to tell the Freetown Board of Selectmen to reconsider their decision and rescind Skippy's death sentence. You can do that by contacting the Freetown Board of Selectmen (contact information below) or by attending today's Selectmen meeting (2/17/2011) at 5:30PM at the Freetown Elementary School Library. Also show your support to that Facebook page, comments on the Herald News, call into WSAR, and of course feel free to leave your comments here.
Lawrence N. Ashley 2011 Chairman
Jean C. Fox 2013
Lisa A. Pacheco 2012
Elsie A. Soares Administrative Assistant
3 North Main Street
Assonet, MA 02702
Fax: (508) 644-3342
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Washington – At least one person is missing after an explosion and the ensuing fire at a petroleum plant in Texas, the spokesman for the Enterprise Products company said Tuesday.
"We're trying to find out where some of the contractors are," Rick Rainey said.
The fire broke out after an explosion at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Enterprise Products petrochemical plant at Mont Belvieu, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Houston.
Witnesses said that the huge blaze caused several trucks parked in a nearby lot to explode, and flames more than 30 meters (almost 100 feet) high could be seen from downtown Houston.
"We store liquid natural gas at the plant, which comes up when we extract natural gas from the ground. For now, we know of no one injured. We're still trying to confirm that," Rainey said.
Several squads of company and county firefighters are on the premises working to put out the fire.
Though the operating equipment has suffered no damage, the company announced that it will shut down the gas pipeline connected to the plant.
Friday, February 04, 2011
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
I'm still amazed that what started off as an 'experiment in blogging' has turned into something that is celebrating its 5th anniversary and is closing in on 500 posts.
Blogging has had its highs and lows. I've been flattered and thrilled to have those in our local media contact me and praise my efforts. I've taken deep satisfaction is posts that have generated lots of comments and buzz. I've had days where I don't even want to think about stringing together two words and days where the posts almost write themselves. It seems that whenever I start thinking about hanging this up something happens that renews my interest or someone tells me how much they appreciate what I'm doing. And that means a lot.
I decided that after 5 full years it was time for a little overhaul! The "old" look had only some tweaking over the years. Let me know when you think of the changes, and thanks for stopping by!