Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mostly Middleboro Stuff

Life use to be Mary Ann or Ginger, Betty or Veronica and now it is Groupon or Living Social.
Auburn Street no longer belongs to anyone but the abutter who now uses in to store old vehicles or is that to just let them sit and rot? The street now has storage sheds, assorted old tools, tires, and other junk that is ready for the landfill or scrape yard. Now to some this is not a street? Who in the world determined that? I can remember running down Auburn Street when it had a bridge. You could run the trails that were behind the old brick yard now resurrected as a recycle plant and cross the bridge and run on the other side of the river. So what happened? How is this now open for discussion as a street? Why is the abutter - who from what I can gather - does not own the property allowed to use it for his business and erect a gate?
I have no idea if the BOS, the town manager and our town legal eagle can actually finally put an end to what amounts to trespass. Why does this issue linger on and on and why isn’t it on constant watch for what appears to be numerous violations? Even the various map sites have it listed as “Auburn Street.”
The Auburn Street side in Bridgewater has houses on it. Look up snow plow records for when it was a Middleboro street on the Middleboro side. Look up newspaper articles for when the bridge burned. What in the world are they looking for regarding proof? In fact just take the land. Grab it! If someone “claims” it let them sue.
While I am on the Auburn Street issue that bridge being completed as a pedestrian bridge would make a wonderful loop trail system of at least eight miles and a trail system of many more if developed and linked correctly. It could be done without a bridge but it would seriously impact the trail structure with a rather elongated system. In fact the Middleboro side of Auburn could be cleared of Mr. Trespass and a small parking lot built since there is already one on the Bridgewater side that is Wildlands Trust area. Well….I assume it is the Bridgewater side since the Taunton River is the divider between Bridgewater and Halifax.
Kathleen Brennan of the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservatory has moved on to San Francisco. The Greenway is a joke. A quasi agency with six figure paychecks for managing space that passes as a back yard in many places in Middleboro. The 40% of the public money they received could have kept some state parks such as Franklin open.
There was actually a time in the distant past when the Discovery Channel had some legitimate programming but it has deteriorated faster than a Bumpkin column. Now they have on Zombie Apocalypse that focuses on folks who are prepping for a zombie takeover. I guess they have been watching too much legislative activity on CSPAN.
The Red Sox hired on J.D. Drew’s younger brother for a year. I’d like the deal if his last name was anything but Drew.
The flaws of the Patriots were clearly on display against the 49ers. The 49ers ran up 41 points and then did a rope a dope instead of keeping the pressure on. Almost cost them the game as the Patriots can certainly ring up the points.
“Are you a volunteer or a paid solicitor” is the question to ask any charity calls. According to my legal expert - currently serving a ten year term - they are suppose to answer which.
North Dakota is in an oil boom. Wages at McDonald’s in Minot can start in the mid 20s per hour. Midland Texas was a ghost town a few years ago but recovery technology and new sources have brought it back. Peak oil has now been moved well forward with new sources and technology in the United States and Canada.
The fiscal cliff is government’s answer to Y2K.
Anyways, the sides involved in the cliff BS are making progress with each side giving a little which will eventually resolve (temporarily) the issue. That allows both sides to claim they are conciliatory or they held the line or blame each other - plenty of options.
There has been some discussion connecting the Sandy Hook shooter and Autism since he was somewhere on the spectrum. Can someone with Autism be violent? Sure can. My daughter teaches autistic kids and she usually works with those with a pattern of explosive and aggressive behaviors. For years I worked with kids with explosive and aggressive behaviors and they were not Autistic or had Asperger’s. I have also worked extensively with Autistic kids that were as passive as could be found - too passive by our own societal standards.
In Middleboro a retired Middleboro teacher gets $100 a day to substitute while a retired teacher other than Middleboro gets $80 a day. Last year I asked the acting superintendent about this and his reaction was “other towns do it.” I asked “what towns?” The answer I got was “I’ll have to look it up.” I already knew the answer regarding that issue and our neighboring communities. None. I made the simple statement that this was merely a reward and is insulting to those who taught in other towns and those towns have had a superior MCAS performance to Middleboro. Amazing watching him turn beet red and sputter.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lottsa Stuff

Years ago I worked in the DPS (Dreaded Private Sector) for a company located at Braintree Hill Office Park. The lottery had their office in the same complex and our LAN Manager came across an opening for a similar position at the lottery. I encouraged him to apply. He got the job.
Several months later we met for lunch and what he told me sums up all one needs to know about government positions. His new manager told him to not mention politics or politicians since almost everyone was “connected.” The reason both of them had their job is that even hackville could not dredge up anyone remotely competent to handle the technology they were implementing. He did say that more and more non connected were being hired for that specific reason.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are a tough sell. The range is limited, the cost prohibitive and the availability to recharge is minimal. I recently drove a Ford Focus electric and saw no difference between that and the gas powered version and the electric was more peppy. But those batteries! Stuffed in the truck. That cost! $40,000! That range! Seventy-five miles!
I’ve long admired the Tesla Motor Company which has done it far better for years with a near 300 mile range and a cost of a mere $100,000 for the sports version (0-60 in 3.9) and about $85,000 for the sedan. Tesla also has a quick charge that certainly helps the range factor.
So if you wish to “feel good” about the environment - ignoring how the electricity is manufactured - then get an electric but be prepared to pay twice as much as you would for a gas powered version.
My water bill is now approaching my tax bill. Is the water department building a replica of the fountains of Petergof in picturesque downtown Middleboro? Maybe an aqueduct?
Reading some of the handouts that the Obama and Patrick administrations seem to be giving to illegal’s and quasi legals I am reminded of that great line from The Simpson’s when Apu becomes naturalized: “Today I am an American citizen - which way to the welfare office?”
The new socialist government of France has proposed banning homework since it gives an advantage to students whose homes are conducive to study.
Folks making $30,000 a year or less voted for Obama. How many? Seven million more than voted for Romney. Never bite the hand that feeds you.
Probation Department now has missing bracelets - a lot of them. The information was with held from State Auditor Suzanne Bump who probably would have said - like with EBT cards - that it only represent 1%.
Deval Patrick wants to change the rules of the game in case Kerry goes to the administration. Maybe he is concerned the voters would right a wrong and put Brown back in the senate?
The medical device tax is another example of the hidden taxes in Obamacare and it will have a direct impact on Massachusetts which is heavy in that business sector. A 2.3% tax on everything from tongue depressors to sutures
A recent poll showed Americans favor tax increases - 61% were in favor of increases of some type. What would be the result if only those who PAID federal taxes were asked?
Seems like Jeff Stevens got some press on my most worthy blog. Jeff has long advocated a separation of church and state yet that seems to go by the wayside when tax money becomes available for a local church/society of which he is a member. Nothing more consistent than inconsistency.
The Red Sox made some three star and not five star signings but they all show promise in the direction of rebuilding.
The state now has a 500M shortfall. Translation - look for more taxes and fees. Good news for New Hampshire.
I have no idea about the VFW booze license. Seems a simple matter that has become increasingly complicated. No matter what is done I’ll find a way of being critical even if I agree.
Corey Booker is Mayor of Newark and quite a public profile especially with his food stamp challenge. I had the opportunity to “do business” with Newark about six months ago and could not find a less response government this side of Somalia and especially direct contact with the mayor’s office.
The Senate failed to pass a disabilities treaty thanks to some republicans who seemed more concern with their distrust of the U.N. than a piece of rather innocuous legislation. Even Bob Dole showing up in a wheel chair could not provide enough of an emotional lift to get the deal done.