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
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Thank You, And Goodnight
You did see it. You have watched it slowly evolve over the years. Progressively getting worse. There is no reason to do a review of the last four years, but over the past half year things began to peak, and last night it ended. An explanation was given to the sixty, or so, people gathered at the town hall. He then gathered up his belongings, and simply went away.
It was that simple.
The explanation took some by surprise, and the actual going surprised the rest.
Now, a reason, an excuse for not getting this done, or doing too much of another thing is gone, too.
There is no excuse now. There is no reason not to commit, correct, and make better.
Think of all those, "If only..." moments you may have had over the past four years. It's time to call on those moments again.
Your excuse has left the building.
Sturbridge selectman resigns citing town's priorities at odds with his faith
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Everyone Has A Strawberry Moment, Sometimes, More Than Once
The reasons behind anyone leaving their place of employment is between their employer, and the employee. No one else. For the employer to address those reasons in a public forum in order for them to give credence to other issues is a violation of the employees privacy, and their trust.
And, it's just wrong.
One can't have it both ways. One either decides to serve others the right way, the best way, and never at others expense, no matter what the issues, or simply don't serve.
It's a simple idea, but so very hard for some to grasp.
Sturbridge selectman reveals reasons for recent police,
fire department resignations
By Craig S. Semon, TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
STURBRIDGE — The chairman of the Board of Selectmen, reacting to a recent story in the Telegram & Gazette, gave a strong defense this week of the job the police chief is doing as acting fire chief.
Thomas R. Creamer told his colleagues at their meeting Monday that the Nov. 1 article was misleading when it listed 10 public safety workers who have resigned, or, in one case, taken a demotion, since Police Chief Thomas J. Ford III became acting fire chief on April 25. Chief Ford replaced Chief Leonard E. Senecal, a 35-year veteran of the force, who was placed on paid administrative leave April 22 after a consultant's report critical of his management. Chief Senecal retired May 17.
Over objections from the town administrator and some selectmen that he was violating confidential personnel matters, Mr. Creamer ran through the list of names to show that the resignations were not connected to mismanagement by Chief Ford.
"You want to sit here and say it's a personnel issue. It is a personnel issue," Mr. Creamer said. "We have a police chief now who is being attacked by individuals in this community and we have a personal responsibility to assure that the chief of police is not inappropriately maligned and yet members of this board and, in some cases, the town administrator has stood silently by while the police chief has been maligned. And I will no longer do that."
After that, there was no stopping Mr. Creamer until he was done with his list of names.
"Ahh, the strawberries..."
Part of the reason John C. Marinelli requested a voluntary reduction in rank from fire captain to lieutenant was that he was under review for potential termination, Mr. Creamer said. Lisa Keay, the Fire Department's administrative assistant, resigned because it had become apparent that "there were irregularities ... with the potential documentations of time and that potential documentations of time was in full knowledge
of the previous fire chief," Mr. Creamer said.
As for the resignation of full-time Firefighter Eric Roppolo, who said in his letter of resignation that "the fire department is being led in a dangerous direction," Mr. Creamer said: "This comes from an individual who during his three years as the union steward allowed deplorable and dangerous conditions to exist ... and never did anything, never raised an issue about it, nor rectified it."
And as for temporary Deputy Fire Chief Edward G. Bourassa, who resigned last week saying the department is "being run by fear and intimidation by a misdirected, unpredictable police chief," Mr. Creamer said he is a "good individual" but he disagrees completely with his assertion.
On-call Firefighter Edward Chamberland resigned but "did not, in any way, express any dissatisfaction" with the Fire Department, and on-call Firefighter Garrett Danna resigned to take a full-time job in Deerfield, Mr. Creamer said.
Police Lt. David A. Diogo resigned to become a patrolman in the Wilbraham Police Department because he did not relish the idea of being in the administrative level anymore, Mr. Creamer said.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Random Musings: LED Light Bulbs, And Stuff
We are "good", but my goal is to be even better. I want to be ranked as "Darn Good". Super Fine would be nice, too.
Each month I look forward to opening the bill, and seeing how we did, and until I find another Autumn hobby this will do. Overall, we are heading in the right direction.
Today, I installed three more LED light bulbs in the living room. Last week I installed six, three in the bathroom, and three more in the kitchen.
Cripes, I'm "puttering" and I'm far from being retired, but to me, this is a contest; a contest between me, and the National Grid.
|Cree brand lightbulbs have had excellent reviews in 2013. |
They are available at Home Depot.
Now, one major aggravation with the curly-Q CFL bulbs has been their shape -shades don't rest on them very well. The manufacturers realized this after a million complaints, and stuck the curly-Q's into a glass shell resembling an incandescent light bulb. That worked great, however, the CFL bulbs continue to have a nasty habit of powering up brightly, and within a few seconds, they dim down. This trait aggravated Mary to no end, and I had little to offer in their defense as I tried to change out all our incandescents in the house. The CFL's are also non-dimmable, with a dimmer switch, as well, and if there is any interference to their circuit, they will flicker. After all, they are fluorescent.
LED light bulbs are the way to go, but until recently, they just cost too much money despite the fact that One LED bulb will last 22-25 years. Today, they cost anywhere from $8.00 for a 60 watt warm white bulb to $13.00 to a 60 watt bright white bulb. That is much better. You would spend $25.00 over 25 years replacing one incandescent bulb, and spend a boat load more on the electricity it consumed.
There are three way LED bulbs available, but the price is exorbitant, and all the LED bulbs can be operated with a dimmer.
I have about a dozen and a half CFL's with years left in them. If you want them, cheap, let me know.
This is the time of year for thinking on energy conservation, and also the time of year I think that they will someday find me frozen to my couch, remote in hand, if I don't continue to make some wise energy decisions today.
When I look at our electricity consumption for the year thus far, and at our oil consumption for the year so far, of only 489 gallons, I can't help but smile. 445 of those gallons were with the old boiler up until this past spring.
In 2012 we switched to an on demand electric hot water system for our domestic use, and left the boiler for just heating water for the steam to heat our house. This past spring we replaced that boiler with a new, more efficient one. I won't know just how much of an improvement it has made until the spring, but I will watch it closely on the way to April.
Next year we will insulate this 150 year old house beyond the two inches of cellulose we found in the attic. We are going to put some R-value in the walls! All in all, this old house has actually done quite well keeping warm considering it isn't even wearing a coat. This fall, I had Custom Insulation, of Worcester, come out, and reevaluate our house. They are going to stay with the estimate they gave us in 2007. This is noteworthy; a lot of companies would jack up their estimate after six months, never mind six years.
Come on, winter, hit me with your best shot! I've got energy to conserve, money to save, and a spreadsheet that needs data.
Whoa. I just listened to myself, and, I really do need to find a cold weather hobby.