Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
A ruling has been offered regarding the case of the Selectman, and the lady committee member.
The ruling stated,
"Whereas Mr. Garieri is an elected official, the Town’s administrative officers have no authority to impose discipline. Likewise, the Board of Selectmen itself cannot impose any formal discipline upon one of its members. Conduct of elected officials is ultimately the responsibility of the voter"-- --The ruling, signed by harassment officer Town Administrator Shaun Suhoski and alternate harassment officer Finance Director Barbara Barry on May 20th.
What? The conduct of an elected official is not the responsibility of the elected official, but rather the responsibility of the voters?
The ruling was good up until that particular point. No voter is responsible for the actions, and /or words, of an individual once elected to office, or even before they are elected. The elected official is responsible for their own actions,and words. This is elementary. Yes, voters may be responsible in electing the individual to the office, but that is where it ends.
If an incident warrants discipline, or a recall, and there is none, then those that allow the behavior to go unaddressed are responsible for any future incidents along with the offending official. This is the responsibility of the Board of Selectmen, and the voters. It is not the responsibility of the voters to prevent the behavior, as stated above, but it is their responsibility to make sure it is appropriately addressed.
Was it? I think it could have gone further.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
By Dan Ring, The Republican
May 24, 2010, 3:00PM
BOSTON – Nearly 15 years after a free traffic information hotline was first introduced in the Boston area, Western Massachusetts is finally getting the service.
Gov. Deval L. Patrick announced on Monday that free 511 service is now expanded to all of the state.
“For the first time, residents of Western Massachusetts will be able to access helpful travel information,” said Patrick, who has a vacation home in Richmond on the New York border.
The 511 system was launched in eastern Massachusetts in October of 2007. It replaced a similar service in use in eastern Massachusetts since 1995.
To use the new hotline, Western Massachusetts motorists can dial “511” on their cell phones or go online at www.mass.gov/511 to receive personal updates about routes.
For the first time ever, the new 511 system includes coverage for: Interstate 90 west of Sturbridge, Interstate 91, Interstate 291, Route 2 between 495 and 91, and Route 7, said Jeffrey B. Mullan, secretary of transportation.
Previously, the system was only available east of Sturbridge, Mullan said.
To access the system, dial 511 from any cell phone and enter route numbers of interest. As reports are delivered, press 1 to skip a segment, press 2 to skip a route and press 3 to enter a new route.
To personalize the service, call 511 and enter route numbers. Information on these routes will be automatically provided on the next call. To get text or e-mail alerts, go to www.mass.gov/511, login and choose your routes off a map.
Select “Send Alerts” radio button. Sendza, a Marlboro software company, is providing the service. State officials said it will be provided at no cost to taxpayers.
To use the new 511 system for the first time by phone, follow these steps:
1. Dial 511 from any cellphone.
2. After the introductory message, enter the route numbers of interest to you. For example, for information on Interstate 90, press “90.”
3. As reports are being delivered, press 1 to skip a segment, press 2 to skip a route, and press 3 to enter a new route.
© 2010 masslive.com. All rights reserved.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Under a consent agreement, Wal-Mart agreed to pay the penalty and improve compliance with hazardous waste regulations at its Walmart stores, the state said in a news release.
That DEP alleged that state workers found during inspections last year that Wal-Mart failed to provide adequate security for waste oil accumulation areas, post signs, keep adequate records, properly delineate waste oil accumulation areas, label hazardous waste and waste oil containers, and keep wastes separated.
Wal-Mart previously paid more than $46,000 in penalties under a 2005 consent order.--Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Anytime an entity, like a town government, withholds innocuous information then I believe it is fair to feel as if something nefarious is afoot.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
OSV Sheep get yearly “haircuts” at Wool Days celebration ; Meet the new baby oxen, lambs and piglets
(STURBRIDGE, MA) – May 17, 2010: The sheep at Old Sturbridge Village will get their annual “haircuts” during Memorial Day Weekend May 29-31 as the Village celebrates “Wool Days.” Farmers will shear the sheep, and OSV historians in costume will demonstrate the entire wool textile process, from scouring and carding the wool to spinning, knitting and weaving the handspun wool yarn. Visitors can try hand carding (brushing and de-tangling) the wool, and then learn how the Village’s historic water-powered carding mill does the same job much faster.
Visitors can also meet the 14 new lambs born at OSV this season, as well as two piglets, a new calf, and new team of baby oxen, who are in training to learn their names and the 40 voice and hand commands they will need to understand to help the farmers with heavy work around the farm.
In keeping with the Wool Days theme, visitors can also make a “Wooly Sheep” ornament using wool from the OSV sheep. Also highlighting the weekend is the return of the Old Sturbridge Village stagecoach and boat ride on the Quinebaug River, and old-fashioned Base-Ball games. For all times and details: 1-800-SEE-1830; www.osv.org.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Maybe you remember a month ago there was a whole lot of hullabaloo in the local papers about some off color, verbal interactions at a Town Administrator Search Committee meeting.
There were cries of "Off with his head!!". As you can imagine, people were very upset. I mean, everyone, all over town was upset, or so it seemed. In fact, one resident started a recall petition to remove the blue mouthed selectman from office.
I said it then, we elected him. Most of us knew what we were electing, and we shouldn't be surprised by the behavior. We just didn't think that it would come out in the way it did, or at the place it did.
In order to go forward with the recall it was necessary to obtain signatures of 20% of the towns registered voters on the petition.
They got six.
Of course, there is a lesson in here somewhere, but for the life of me, I haven't the foggiest idea as to what it is. Maybe it has something to do with those with the pitchforks and torches marching on the castle door should have an attention span a bit longer than that of a gnats.
If you are going to be outraged about something, then do something about it. Don't leave it if something else attracts your attention. Stick with the issue. If you can't follow through, don't make it an issue.
Six signatures. Either someone didn't try very hard, or all those outraged folks from last month got over their outrage pretty damn quick.
I think it's the attention span thing.
Monday, May 10, 2010
One thing that cannot be put on a blueprint is the heart, and the soul of a place. As a result, the planning and design is done with respect to all things related to construction, and nothing as it relates to the feeling that the construction should give to us once complete.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I am at a most awkward place right now. I really can't say how I stand on a casino here in Central Mass. I have to admit that I have thought about it, but not really thought about it.
- Current infrastructure may not be able to handle increased traffic to area from Route 20, and Mass Pike.
- Increased traffic, at all hours, will strip the area of the small town, rural-ness away from the area forever.
- Crime will increase.
- Folks with an issue with gambling will have just another venue for that issue to run rampant.
- Other folks may develop issues with gambling as a result of a casino down the road.
- Folks with an issue with gambling will eventually have severe financial problems that may weigh on the taxpayers of Massachusetts in some form.
- The money generated is entirely dependant on the success of the casino in rural Central Massachusetts. Is there a sufficient audience here?
- The tax revenue generated is tied directly to income generated. Little interest, little income, little tax revenue. How can the casino owners be sure of success in Central Massachusetts?
- Gambling can be fun.
- The entertainment at casinos is world class, and something not available here in Central Mass.
- The facilities a casino offers is usually much more than other hotels, and there is more to do at these venues besides gambling.
- There will be construction jobs as the facility is built.
- There will be other jobs once the facility is built.
- The infrastructure leading to the facility will be upgraded by the casino owners.
- Tax revenue generated by the facility will be well worth the aggravation.