Monday, May 16, 2016

WMA/DFG/MCAS/Progs

Rocky Gutter Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a wonderful place to visit – as long as you have a GPS and the proper attire since it is clearly part of the mandate by Fish & Game (DFG) to “Go natural.”
The area consists of almost 2,000 acres and has a road – Rocky Gutter Street – that cuts through the middle. Rocky Gutter Street is under the control of the town, is about two miles long, and one would now need an armored all-purpose military vehicle to go the length of the road provided the gates were open.
The real issue is DFG which has a policy of not maintaining WMA’s unless the roadways are absolutely necessary and that means several smaller roads and trails are now fully overgrown of in that process of returning to nature – thus eliminating miles of trails that could be used by the public and hunters. This I found out is their policy.
DFG is also in the process of bringing “Snake Island” to the folks in the Quabbin Reservoir area, but that is now on hold after word leaked out and a public outcry ensued. No matter how they dance and sing the DFG cannot possibly put any legitimate narrative to that little fiasco. But, hey, I don’t need to list the upper echelon of DFG except to say that the “Ex” appears before their names and that ex is associated with being former members of our legislative branch. No doubt all have the usual pristine credentials for such positions.
For those who have resided in Middleboro long enough Rocky Gutter WMA was once – note once – an exceptional place for trail biking, hiking, trail running, hunting and wildlife observation. So just bring it back. Make a policy change. If the DFG can manufacture an island for an “endangered species” how about engineering Rocky Gutter for human use.
Each day a new revelation comes forward that clearly demonstrates the autocratic methods and arrogance of the failed Obama administration. The latest is the insidious methods used to manipulate the narrative surrounding the Iranian nuclear deal and thus put at risk not only the United States but potentially the planet. This administration would make Herr Goebbels proud
Locally a he said and she said is currently in full flight over the compost station – if it is that – that is on River Street. Various government entities are pursuing the matter and one Selectman – Allin Frawley – already made a few too many public statements that could now backfire on the BOS. The compost legal team has latched onto that opportunity to cause some deflection off the core issue and that can only muddle the waters a bit more.
The nationwide uprising over Common Core continues and even former supporters such as Jeb Bush – scion of a failed political family – has done a political U-turn as has Hillary Clinton. This is not exactly a right-wing revolt but one that crosses the line politically on a national scale. Education has traditionally been local even with the federal government exerting more influence and in Massachusetts with the incredible success of MCAS it is even more apparent.
The base argument is one of national standards and that brings up Massachusetts. Why should we do it? We already have success that matches our little province up with the notorious test manipulators in the Far East. Maybe just adopt MCAS nationwide?
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump represent a liars marathon for all to view. The email scandal, Benghazi, siphoning of foreign monies to her charitable fund, questionable speeches before financial groups, idiotic accusations to protect her roving spouse and on and on. This is presidential material? And the items I mentioned are just the favorable ones!
Then comes Trump.
What can one say? Where to begin? I have no idea what motivates Mr. Bluster? The only thing I have dredged up I could possibly agree on Trump with is his refusal to release his tax returns. That foolishness has long been a “stunt” that offers no value and maybe Trump will break that cycle of knee-jerk stupidity.
Bernie Sanders will carry his war to the convention and I wish him well. Bernie is real and he is honest – at least in my view. Of course, his presidency could potentially be a fiscal negative for me since Sanders is a well-known advocate for income distribution in the classic “Progressive” tradition. For a translation that simply means you punish success and reward failure – the liberal mantra of the last 30 years. John Stuart Mill would certainly not recognize what has happened to the concept of traditional liberalism.
Progressives are loaded with bad ideas and all one has to do is find “taxes.” The supposed saints of the poor and middle class have traditionally supported the most punitive of tax structures for those two groups – sales taxes, sin taxes, and gas taxes. Of course, the logic is the funds will always get directed to specific needs such as education and infrastructure, but the reality is they simply end up in general funds to feed the machine.
The latest bright bulb to come out is a millionaire’s tax to target those who have actually been on the upper tiers of financial and business success. And – naturally – the additional taxes has all the catch words to make it seem palatable to the Hoi Polloi in that it will be directed to education – sure it will. Once that level of confiscation takes place I will gladly wager any money I have left that the threshold will be lowered incrementally until a back door raid on our flat tax system has been completed.
Why do we need the extra taxes? Is there some level of structural incompetence within our government that ignores fiscal reality and continues to value cronyism, questionable hiring’s, poor or non-existent accountability and just plain mega waste? Why – of course not! This is Massachusetts, where we have the best government money can buy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

More BOS Foolishness

Amazing amount of buck passing by the Town Manager in attempting to pass off a veterans issue as a union issue. The propaganda that came forward was “I held the line on the budget.” TM has no problem funding an assistant and can’t – along with our lethargic BOS – figure out a way to make it happen? Hey – even Jack Healey and his creative accounting could get it done.
Do any of them realize – TM and BOS – just how foolish they look? Yes – especially Steve McKinnon. What Steve should have said rather than an absurd comment about the 82nd Airborne (A cheap shots similarity vis a vis Steve Spataro) was to simply say: “How can we as a BOS and a TM get this done?” If you can pontificate for the new police station via being a point person for the PAC – you can do this. I’ve heard you say on many occasions to support our police with this new shed. So 9.5 Million is OK' but dragging up a few bones for vets is not? Please – no more silly this and that regarding Town Meeting approval.
Back to the 82nd Airborne comment. Was it intended to be the large crowd of vets and their supporters that showed up? What is wrong with that? Can Paul or anyone else bring in folks that wish to show support or have a say? “Costs must be contained” – what a crock! Want to contain them? Build a station for 7.5 Million.
This was and is a classic “Bloody Shirt” issue that should transcend any of the attempts to deflect with hazy attempts to link it to Town Meeting or to point the finger at the union. What they really need is someone full-time, but if 20 hours will suffice, then you go forward without generating as much negativity as possible.
Adam Bond said it as well as anyone could and he and Paul have certainly have their issues, but the common goal was always the same although the path may not have been.
Bond was in rare form – no doubt the result of his scintillating victory for the Planning Board. So along those lines, he cut to the bone on the utter stupidity over $121 and some chump change on an issue that leaves me just ready to ask my doctor if he supports euthanasia.
The roots of this mess seem to hover around some BOS nastiness that is now a he said, she said, and makes the whole litter box that they meet in have a sudden need for some new Fresh Step Litter. McKinnon made the quite appropriate comment that – and I paraphrase – we can pass a 72.6 Million budget in a blink and debate this endlessly.
President Obama has now joined former President Bush in protecting our "allies" in the House of Saud from any possible law suits resulting in their possible knowledge of 9/11. The decision is quite clear - the administration(s) value the Saudi's more than American citizens. Withholding such information is morally bankrupt.
Parents need a choice and actually demand it which is why charter schools are necessary.
Based on Middleboro’s tepid MCAS scores the waiting list would be substantial.
There is no evidence to support claims that casino’s decrease lottery dollars.
Bibi warned Congress a year ago about terrorist getting nukes. Now Obama has awaken from his stupor to state the same.
“The Donald” would be a voting disaster for Republicans.
Middleboro’s budget is 72.6M and the Red Sox Rusney Castillo has a six year 72.5M contract for sitting on the bench.
Much personal animosity on our BOS – maybe Trump can move here?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Weston/Dan Murray/BOS/CPC

The latest pronouncement by town counsel Dan Murray on the Weston Town Forest issue represents a morass of virtually incomprehensible linguistic babble. The only nugget I was able to glean from it is that Mr. Murray has access to a dictionary or two and uses that as a basis for his legal decisions. What it in actuality it amounts to is a rather thinly constructed attempt to somehow justify his original opinion that was a remarkable few paragraphs devoid of any common sense.
To sum it up for the research limited Murray many a town forest has a disc golf course and other forms of non-passive activities. If for some reason Mr. Murray actually has a working TRS-80 a cruise on the internet will show that and a dictionary will not. But the real issue is if disc golf is non-passive? To some it is and to others, it is not and that is generally the entire passive argument – the eye of the beholder – with the one solid connection being non-motorized.
I spoke with an attorney who said that at Weston some could interpret hiking as passive, but if I choose to run it would be non-passive. A finite definition, but one to show how convoluted such defining attempts can be. In many instances, horseback riding is considered non-passive and environmentaly destructive. To further the potential idiocy of the argument my legal source said that you could have a nature area accessible only by a boardwalk and that boardwalk could be deemed to have more of a minimal environmental impact and thus the entire area becomes off-limits.
Now I am beginning to sound like attorney Murray.
Enough has been stated regarding the two decisions from the TC. Personally, it appears the original was tailored to suit an argument against disc golf for whatever reason I do not know, but local conspiracy theories abound.
The Weston Committee – of which I am a member – is stagnant and without any authority. My own personal pet project is a boardwalk that would make an area known as Cedar Point accessible year round. Originally part of an Eagle Scout project that has been redefined the boardwalk still remains a priority and other options are being examined.
The first was to have a professionally installed boardwalk done by the Audubon and that would be priced at about $70 per foot. A second option is now in the developmental stages with a request into AmeriCorps for their building of one – about 50 feet. That, of course, is dependent upon massive paperwork and approval of a relatively small scale project. The sloppy method cannot be dismissed as thirty feet of a bog bridge and a few well-placed pallets would accomplish the task. Certainly no award winning architectural designs with that approach.
The importance of such a minor project is really rather major. The area to be accessed once had a bench – little remains – that was used my Mr. Weston to simply sit and enjoy nature. The idea was once the boardwalk was established a marble bench could replace the remains and be dedicated to the benefactor – providing, of course, no serious public uprisings sprout up over such a project.
That is just one idea that is being examined and there are others to utilize the two properties. In the past, even a scout camp was discussed along with a soccer field. Those are distant memories and thankfully never happened. Now the focus can be on a playground, trail expansion, picnic areas and possible easier access to the pond.
Now for more rant directed at some collective ineptness.
The real issue is money and the reluctance for the BOS to actually start funding a few projects by opening up the purse strings that Weston so generously left. As it now stands Attorney Murray has interpreted the Weston Will in such a manner that the committee is one without any influence. We can advise and that is essentially it. How ludicrous is this mess? Our clerk has not been paid since September of 2014.
A small stipend that the Town Manager, BOS and Mr. Murray cannot figure out how to appropriate without a method that would make the Founding Fathers pack up and leave Philadelphia in 1776. This is inexcusable. Maybe we have to start a PAC?
Middleboro has bragging rights that are now memorized: “The second largest land area in Massachusetts.” How about adding on the most neglected, underutilized, underfunded, and poorly maintained land area in the region. That is a FACT!
The latest discovery that I found out about is the gated portion of Rocky Gutter Street that runs through the middle of the WMA (Wildlife Management Area) is under town control. However, the DFW (Fish & Wildlife) is adamant about leaving the entire area untouched. No trail reconstruction or maintenance. This is their policy.
According to a representative of DFW any trails and they use it in quotes are old logging roads or illegally cut trails by ATV’s. In actuality, the majority of the roadways/trails was the result of bog operations with only a minimal of roads being the result of logging. What the DFW ignores is the necessity that some or all be maintained as fire roads.
The CPC is now a subsidiary of the Oliver House Committee and clearly demonstrates everything that I envisioned could possibly go wrong with CPA. It is now a mere fiscal conduit for the militant preservations who are the core of the Oliver House Committee. If I only knew then what I know now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

BOS/Weston Forest/Bernie

The Brookside Estate residents have displayed far more patience than I would after the perfect storm of a bankrupt developer, a Planning Board and Department that have failed miserably and the various other avoidance techniques that seem so embedded in Middleboro. The BOS – Diane Stewart in particular – seemed more concerned about the potential legal actions against the town that the residents implied rather than addressing the issue.
The issue would have been ignored at least for one meeting since it was not on the agenda. This was the result of what a normal person(s) would consider a communication error and be done with it. But instead, we were subjected to a brouhaha among Chairman Allin Frawley and Selectwoman Dalpe. No doubt there has been some simmering discourse on the BOS and this minor matter just brought the ire to the surface of one of the most entertaining evenings with a Trump-like performance by both verbal combatants.
After the children calmed themselves the matter was resolved by letting the Brookside folks speak under “unanticipated.” The residents certainly had their collective facts and figures in order with both a detailed historical overview and informative comments to any BOS inquiries. Maybe the presenters should replace the Planning Board?
One presenter mentioned the systemic issues in Middleboro that have developers approaching our humble community with a certain level of trepidation. Is it true? An anecdotal incident that I experienced would give a certain degree of credence to that mindset. While at Breakfast at Friendly’s over a year ago I had the privilege of sitting behind two individuals who were developers discussing the very topic of Middleboro. The eavesdropping of their exchange certainly “backed up” what the Brookside presenter stated.
Since I am such an adept prognosticator – such as my first place prediction for the Red Sox in 2015 – I will predict that the residents be prepared for a legal struggle as the town will turtle on this entire mess. I will also predict that the town will fail and fail miserably if they choose to eventually end up in court over their own malfeasance and inability to correct a wrong.
Bumpkin apparently leads each of his Gazette articles with a hostage crisis update with the hostage being the Weston Town Forest Committee of which I happen to be a member. The hostage is two-fold with the first being the extended wait for a further clarification from Town Attorney Dan Murray on recreation. The second is the purgatory the committee is currently in as we have to beg for funds from our overseers – the BOS.
Middleboro is a disaster regarding land use. Even Pratt Farm needs some substantial upgrades and other town property has an occasional bog bridge and/or kiosk describing what trails may or may not exist. As a side note, Pratt Farm has, at least, a mile of former trails that no longer exist thanks to the growth and neglect. The rest of the town land inventory is anembarrassment
The sidebar of this blog contains a list of trail links to other towns and they do it right. Well marked trails, maintained, proper bridges and boardwalks and a list of stewards for each property. As an avid trail runner, those are there for a reason – I have run them on numerous occasions. How is this to be corrected?
At one point Middleboro had an Open Space Committee and that was – I imagine – to be their responsibility. Also, it should not and I repeat in loud, boisterous talk – NOT – the responsibility of an overburdened and understaffed Conservation Agent. The committee should act in conjunction with but with a certain level of independence. Funds are available and certainly CPC can figure out some way of tossing a few crumbs to land use since they managed to pump over one-half million dollars into the Oliver House.
Our legislative contingent has been active – especially Keiko Orall – in getting some funding for the restoration of Massasoit State Park. The Department of Conservation and Recreation can certainly provide some resources other than monetary. Wildlands Trust has many properties in town and be approached.
Back to Weston.
The Weston folks are not what one would assume being a group of brie eating tree huggers with Obama or Gore bumper stickers on their cars. They happened to be folks – like myself – with an ardent desire to utilize the land for one and all. Weston could provide a nice template for other town property, providing the BOS manages to actually relinquish some of our funding and to give approval of our projects. A recent project (Disc Golf) failed primarily to our own ineptness at championing the project. So be it and move on.
Weston has an existing trail system on both properties – bonus points if (1). You knew there were two properties and (2). You know where they are. The trails are in generally reasonable shape, but upgrades are necessary, such as marking, mapping, brochures, boardwalks and routine trail improvement. I understand the mapping is an item that is being pursued elsewhere in town and we can simply be part of it.
I had mentioned template and that is what both Weston and Pratt Farm should be. Just reference (again) the sidebar links to see how it is done elsewhere.
What is really necessary is the BOS to be more proactive in land usage in Middleboro including putting some pressure on the Department of Fish and Game to seriously upgrade Rocky Gutter Wildlife Management Area – and that is just one state property that is in neglect. The town property should also be prioritized for exactly what needs to be accomplished. Time to place a higher value on the land that will far exceed any use of the Oliver House.
The national race for president seems to be similar to a battle between Jessie and Jack.
Bernie Sanders had to face off with a crowd that included a liberal (political and numbers) smattering of Black activist that brought up the ultimate “Free Stuff” option – reparations. Reparations had been an item that has occasionally surfaced to address our illustrious past history regarding slavery and post-slavery issues. Just how such a can of worms would be financed is another issue.
Where does the fiscal ball stop on reparations? Most of the country could be handed back to Native Americans. And Japanese internment? Pogroms against the Irish when they can to America? You could create quite a list of those who could stake a fiscal claimed over any aggrievement.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Politics: Local, State and National

Before the politics comes the recent storm that left me without power. While I was concerned about temperatures getting below sixty down the street the G & E linemen and workers were attempting to restore power in conditions that any normal human or animal would avoid. A job well done under trying conditions.
The Bumpkin (how I hate to agree with him) blasted away at Dan Murray regarding the snail’s pace to reaffirm a decision Murray made regarding just what the scope of recreation is at The Weston Town Forest? Just what does it take to motivate the town counsel? This is not a few weeks, but is now into many months. I will need a calculator to figure out just how long.
Who is Murray answerable to? My assumption is the BOS and if that is accurate, then they need to light a fire under Mr. Murray’s law books to get a move on. Fact is in the real world Murray would have been long gone. Senior management would not tolerate intellectual lethargy for anywhere close to this.
A recent poster made a comment regarding some of my negativity towards our wonderful community. To a townie criticism is certainly a red flag and the typical response was a veiled “Just move to Lakeville (Or anywhere else).” That is an inherent mentality that is quite consistent with the fateful “Cheap Seats” comment of a few years ago. When one takes on the responsibility of a town office or any other board or committee expect blowback, but don’t deflect with the “Love it or leave it” stupidly that was so prevalent in the 1960s.
Is being appointed to a town committee more difficult that undoing The Gordian Knot? Apparently so. The flap over a Tourism Committee has brought a new or eventually a new procedure. I am sure DNA testing and urine samples will be required. Maybe recite the alphabet backwards in thirty seconds? Something that should be simple has now become complex. Is the BOS taking Murray’s “advice” on this?
Has the Planning Board been on snooze control? According to articles in the local papers, the residents of Brookside are in a bind and left out to hang. Forget the developer who has picked up his fiscal marbles and moved on. They need a road rebuilt – forget repair – and it appears the best option is to use a $430,000 surety bond they are holding and have the town do the work. The may not have all the bells and whistles the PB would like, but that can be waived. The real issue is why has the PB let this drift for almost ten years?
Martha Coakley was supposed to be anointed the next president of Suffolk University, but, alas, the pressure by the student body ended that venture. What is that for Coakley? Three losses in a row?
The Tax time is upon us and once again the convoluted mess that passes for our tax system demonstrates just what a mired in mud mess it is. I sift through forms that have little or no relationship to English or any other known language. Is there some type of Rosetta Stone that is used to get a linguistic hold on the methodology?
Through the years, various government appointees and elected officials have dabbled with the code to “enhance revenue” with the no desire as to reform but to confuse. Within confusion there is opportunity – and that opportunity is to feed the machine. I am 100% convinced that no legislator would even remotely attempt significant reform. If by some minor miracle one did he or she would have my vote and a generous campaign contribution.
What ever happened to a downtown police station? Apparently that was a vibe fostered by “Radical Preservationist” as a veiled attempt at saving what is a dump. And most of that committee became the new committee and so, naturally, we are to believe them? Just my suspicious nature on due diligence.
The Brockton Enterprise is virtually a worthless paper and has consistently deteriorated since the Fuller family sold it. The latest joke was an editorial that is currently targeting the next area of the looney left now that “Big Oil” is off the table at $30 a barrel - “Big Pharm.”
The specific target was Gilead Sciences and their Hepatitis C drug regimen that costs $84,000. The Enterprise picked up this nugget of a target thanks to our AG. Of course, if you pay the full tab you also pay the MSRP for a vehicle purchase. But the other option is a cheaper version by Abbvie (Disclosure – I hold stock in both companies). Gilead’s success rate is 99%. The cost of a liver transplant in $250,000. Ongoing treatment for liver ailments related to Hep C is staggering. You want cheap? If you want a lower cure rate? Go to Merck or Abbie for around $54,000
I will take our AG seriously when she leaves the State House and wanders across the street to Mass PRIT and demands that they sell all of Gilead, Pfizer, Abbott, Merck and dozens of others. In the meantime, expect Bernie and Hillary to pound away at “Big Pham” and “Big Banks.” Oh…and that AG? The one that defends sex offenders? What a load! At least, a judge had the decency to call out her pathetic office on the Bridgewater University (AKA – College) daycare scandal.
The editorial board at the Enterprise failed to read their own paper – probably a good choice – there was an article that showed “Big Pharm” - a huge player in the BioTech index – certainly was an integral part of the 30% that index has suffered in six months. And Gilead? Down from $117 to $83 in six months. They must have “forgot” about that?
The real grasp at straws was thanks to Martin Shkreli – a hedge fund investor – who raised a drug fiftyfold when he took over KaloBios. Shkreli can share a cell with Bernie Madoff.
On the national scene the Hillary Clinton acolytes continue to blame everyone but Hillary for the latest mess. Hillary usually states it is “others” who are attempting to damage her and that translates to Republicans and select Democratic opposition. With a laundry list of Whitewater, Mount Everest, Travelgate, Vince Foster, and many, many more the pattern is easily discernible – a compulsive liar.
The latest Clinton game plan was directed at Bernie Sanders and it was the SOS (Same Old Story) where Sanders is running a “Smear campaign.” Doesn’t this get old with the fawning masses that support Clinton? The Clinton’s have used this tactic for 30 years.
Eventually, Governor Christie will rise to the top and be the Republican nominee. I guarantee that just as I guaranteed a Red Sox World Series in 2015. What the Democrats eventually do will be a mystery as Bernie Sanders will be McGovern all over again. Hillary may be busy taking the fifth and the rest of the crowd will be nowhere to be found. Jim Webb coming across in the debates like Jackie Gleason’s Lost Soul character cut him loose early and he was my pick.
In Massachusetts, Charlie Baker is attempting to sweep up eight years of dismal leadership and is making some progress. The DCF issue is being addressed, the MBTA battle is taking place, taxes are on hold, and the tip toe through an 85% Democrat legislature is an adventure in nimbleness. But one year does not an administration make. Look for four and out.
Even John, “I’d walk a mile for a camera” Kerry mentioned the fact that some of the 150 Billion dumped into the laps of the mullah’s will end up being funneled to a terrorist. Brilliant, John! How wonderfully insightful. So far the nuclear deal is taking on all the aspects that its critics said would happen. Another Obama legacy.
The Republican front-runner – The Donald – is a belligerent, narcissistic, misogynist blowhard who just may grab the nomination. I cannot imagine a more deceitful male candidate since the female candidate for the Democrats fairly matches up with him. That, folks, may be the best both parties can offer. Even a crypto Communist is starting to look good.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Maybe I'll Join Hal In Oregon?

Boston is a city with a shade over 42 square miles and narrow streets that allow parking year round. There are – quite naturally – certain restrictions regarding permit parking for neighborhoods. When a snow storm is anticipated a snow emergency is declared and that means the streets must be cleared of vehicles. You leave it and you will lose it at $50 a day and towing charges.
In Middleboro, we have a ridiculous ban starting November First. The absurdity and pure silliness that gives a solid insight into that antiquated mindset of a town that has some leadership on the food chain that is clueless. Just apply the snow emergency concept and let people park as they normally do. Of course, from the home of “Silly String” one would expect no less.
Under no circumstances will I vote for a new police station and it has nothing to do with need – that is a moot question since the need exists. This is a pure family support since I now have children who have located in Middleboro and simply will not accept the additional taxes. I can certainly fiscally support it, but family first. But a few other issues have grabbed my attention.
With the first attempt a few years back Town Meeting overwhelmingly voted for it only to have reality hit home and watch the station go down in ballot flames. A thinly disguised attempts by radical preservationist failed miserably. Now the latest resurrected proposal has their own PAC! I give this a 50/50 chance. Maybe even a 60/40 to pass?
My questions regarding the latest station is why Lakeville’s proposal for a station is considerably more cost effective than Middleboro? The square foot Lakeville figure is approximately $500 per square foot, according to published reports. Middleboro’s projected cost is significantly higher per square foot. Maybe Middleboro should have hired those in Lakeville to do a study instead of our own committee?
Police station costs for similar communities are lower than what Middleboro is proposing. The research is simple to find online. I imagine the committee that did all the “research” would, no doubt, go into an auto dealership and pay MSRP and probably ADM (Additional Dealer Markup) if that was tacked on.
Middleboro absolutely had to have a new fire truck at a projected cost of about one million dollars. Lakeville purchased our old clunker, refurbished it and now it has been in operation ever since. Amazing how the community with the lowest median income of any town in the county has a prime rib budget while the wealthiest in the county has a 73% beef budget. Again, why Lakeville?
If the latest police station proposal goes south the next most viable option is what I see elsewhere around the nation – modular units. Seen a lot of these and they come in all types of configurations to meet any need from administrative to lock-up.
The real silent message in the last vote was one of resentment. Police make a bundle of money. The Enterprise often highlights public salaries and the police in the towns that they publish dominate the figures. Jealousy or not that exists and I have personally heard it first hand and that includes other town employees. Dump the ultimate public safety gimmie – The Quinn Bill – and you can have a station with no taxpayer cost.
The next item down the taxation road is a potential new high school. I fully expect when all the public input is shifted through and all the various studies are done the decision will be to construct a new school. No doubt the supporters will use the unethical “For the children” approach and maybe even attempt to use the fallacy (I have seen elsewhere) that an improved plant improves test scores. I am sure if we have a new high school the Ivy League schools will be recruiting in town.
Fantasy sports – which I admittedly could care less about participating in – now rakes in billions and – quite naturally – that means the potential of tax dollars. Nationwide the move is afoot to regulate and tax. One of the key elements that has been mentioned is that there was the possibility that a game was “rigged.” How so?
The reasoning is that one clever employee used proprietary information to play on a competing site and won $300,000. The major sites use similar methods and algorithms. Nasty and certainly open to legal and ethical concerns. But, wait! Turns out the lottery has had similar questionable internal scams in various states that have reaped millions. I may not “trust” business, but I trust the government even less.
The dreary eight-year sentence of what the “free stuff” crowd put in office is slowly coming to its disastrous conclusion. An empty suit of epic proportions will rely on left-leaning historians to somehow put a gloss on failure. Even the failures of the incompetent 43 make the current administration appear like the “JV Team.”
Selectman Knowlton is obviously unfamiliar with the restaurant business by his recent request to have the latest resurrection of restaurant failure on route 28 shrink bar size. Thankfully, David Fisher say an adamant and resounding “no” to this suggestion. That is not the trend in casual dining and that would certainly hinder the dynamics of food and beverage (booze) mix that impacts the bottom line.
Fisher is one who has a very positive track record in this business niche and is willing to invest the money to totally revamp “360” or “Shooters” into a viable business that has a respectable reputation and actually where families can go. No doubt his vision of a new concept is to transition back to Richards’s days, but with better ambience.
The Bumpkin was rather mild on town attorney Dan Murray in a recent column. Insert a LOL in there. That a simple decision is now going on three months means it has been either neglected or Mr. Murray has realized his original missive on recreation had no basis in common sense, facts or Weston Will interpretation.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Cheers

Why would a supposedly sane and reasonable/rational person even consider voting for Donald Trump? Trump personifies what politics has deteriorated to in the United States. One can assign as many negatives to Trump as possible and still be coming up sparse on the ledger. But back to the main premise of why? Simply two words – Hillary Clinton.
The illustrious ledger of lies from the Clinton camp certainly is a legacy that will haunt her run for the presidency, but the faithful will do what they do best and ignore the obvious. I would certainly love to post a litany of her ability to dance around various faux pas, but there would be a logjam on servers around the globe inundated with anecdotal and non-anecdotal examples and the precious internet will come tumbling down.
The local angst over the rotary or is it now “The Rotary” continues to inspire our state government – most notably the Department of Transportation – to ingeniously devise ever newer methods of delay. In the meantime commons fixes such as dedicated lanes within the rotary – a common practice elsewhere – are ignored, so that entering and exiting resembles a demolition derby.
Dan Murray is simply painful to watch. The parsing of words at a snail’s pace and the disorganization of notes when going before the BOS makes me wish to start cutting myself again. At a recent meeting the Chair – Allin Frawley – even tried to push Murray along since time is of the essence. Maybe it is a deliberate ruse to accumulate billing hours?
The process to be appointed to a town board is now gone from pathetic to ridiculous. I imagine the vetting of a Syrian refugee is a less ponderous task. What next in this convoluted process? A stool sample? DNA? NSA background check? Most positions are relatively benign – yet they now appear to be in the same league as a SCOTUS appointment.
The Oliver House will drain valuable resources from elsewhere and that is a given that has already reared its ugly fiscal head – and they have just scratched the surface of the money drain this old wreck will present. Bridgewater got stuck with their dilapidated money pit that is now a memorial to inept CPA expenditures and Oliver House will soon follow.
Trash collection is now a pleasure since it is a single stream for recyclables and trash is in a barrel that can actually accommodate most households. The truck method appears to be efficient and painless to the containers. The landfill is still available for a fee ($25) and I have used it many times for hazardous waste.
Why Common Core in Massachusetts? Makes zero sense and the only reason I can figure out is a left over from the Patrick Administration. Massachusetts is the most successful state in nationwide testing. English, science and math we are consistently in first place. In international science and math exams, Massachusetts would be in the top five if we were an independent nation. So we roll over and adopt this? Huh?
What ever happened to that cross that caused such an inflamed discussion a few years ago?
On the recent Gazette “Best Of” list I did not see any mention of the best restaurant in the Lakeville/Middleboro area – Lily’s at LeBaron Hills. An outstanding menu, drinks and meals that can be half size. My only complaint – since that is my nature – is that no alcoholic beverages are not refillable.
What is it with the ghost craze? There is absolutely zero scientific evidence to support such silliness yet it manages to have some traction. But, then again, Peter Popoff bilked his acolytes for 25 Million last year selling “blessings” and some type of bottled water that had magical powers. The water was supposedly from a well near Chernobyl.
The downtown area of Middleboro apparently takes a step forward and two steps backwards with some new closings. An antique shop has shuttered and Cool Moose is gone. Meanwhile, a consignment shop has moved into downtown and from what I have been able to determine a new nail salon has not opened recently. Adam Bond’s bench, however, is fast becoming a local gathering point.
The kerfuffle over the 360 restaurant is now meaningless as it has done a 180 and followed Shooter’s into the town history books. The concept was very similar to Shooter’s which had a rather tainted reputation as a bikers bar. That image remained with the 360 and the few vehicles I observed were usually bikes.