Frawly celebrates a big win on election night in 2011
My column in this week’s Middleboro Gazette is a four question survey given to selectman candidates Allin Frawley and Diane Stewart. They are running for the two open seats on the Middleboro Board of Selectmen. I think it is interesting to see the similarities and differences in their answers.
Unfortunately the Gazette doesn’t tend to put my column online these days – I think because they want to hold some content back to give people a reason to buy the print edition – don’t really know. Here are the questions but you’ll have to part with 50 cents to see the answers:
- Please comment on an issue that was addressed by the Board of Selectman in the last three years and your thoughts on the solution or status.
- Please discuss an important issue that is currently facing the town.
- Thinking ten or twenty years from now – are there things we should be doing in the longer term
- The Community Preservation Act was adopted by Middleboro a few years ago. It raises money than can only be used for certain things – open space preservations, historic preservation, recreation, and housing. Please share your thoughts on the CPA.
The first three questions have the past – present – future motif. They were meant to be very general with the hope that the candidate’s answer might say something about what they thought was important.
The last question – about CPA – sticks out like a sore thumb … what’s up with that? Simple – CPA is important to me. A candidate’s position on CPA would be a very significant factor in whether I would support a candidate.
I’ve been extremely busy at work for a number of months now with no end in sight – but I’m hoping to get back to updating this site more regularly.
Photo from loopnet.com
RKG Associates, Inc have completed an impact study
for the proposed High Point psychiatric clinic. I would judge the impacts to be relatively low. Here is the report’s Summary of Impacts:
- High Point’s 72-bed facility will generate a low-high range of 66 to 150 calls to the Middleborough Police Department each year, and 33 to 86 calls to the Middleborough Fire Department. Similarly, a 50-bed facility that McLean Hospital plans to open on Isaac Street could generate 40 to 50 police calls and about 25 fire calls per year. These estimates are based on data obtained from police and fire departments in a sample of other Massachusetts towns with psychiatric hospitals similar to those proposed by High Point and McLean. Continue reading 'High Point impacts'»
Town Meeting from hell – photo from Boston Globe
My column in this week’s Middleboro Gazette concerns the last Town Meeting and some things that are bothering me about them generally.
The first time I spoke at an actual town meeting it was a whopper – about 4,000 people. That’s a far cry from the 250 that normally attend. These days I’m disinclined to speak at them for various reasons.
We generally blow through huge spending articles with little or no discussion. At several recent town meetings there was some hot button issue or other such as the swearing by-law. This last meeting had an article about the Kiwanis cross. The dynamics of these kind of discussions are off-putting. They are long on emotion and short on reason making sensible/reasoned discussion all but impossible.
One of my recent columns discussed the stark contrast between two properties on River Street. A-Plus Waste Recycling service has featured the article on their web site with permission from the Middleboro Gazette editor.
On a partially related topic, I haven’t been posting much recently because I’ve been very busy with work and … camping. Last August we bought a used 32′ camper/trailer and have it on a really great campground in Plymouth. We all love it – even the kids(*gasp*). We’ve been down there most weekends with no TV or Internet and not missing either.
I’m hoping to start posting a bit more regularly but I’m not particularly interested in getting into the sort of vitriolic and uninformed nonsense that is common on Facebook. I definitely have a lot of thoughts about the recent shutdown/debt ceiling debacle which I’ll probably visit. These days talking politics is likely to bring on a case of the vapors from the far right but that’s beyond my control.
Several months ago I met up with the Bridgewater Community Preservation Committee chaired by Marilee Hunt. One thing led to another and we set up a meeting – sort of a meet and greet for are CPA committees. That went pretty well and tonight we held our second one.
It was attended by 31 people representing CPC’s from Bridgewater, Middleboro, Hanson, Dighton, Wareham, Carver, West Bridgewater, and Plympton. Two representatives from the Community Preservation Coalition facilitated the meeting and gave a presentation about CPA focusing on changes to the law that went into affect last July. Marilee asked me to introduce the speakers and give some closing words to adjourn the meeting. That was a nice thing to especially considering that she did the heavy lifting of arranging it all.
The goal here from my perspective is to create a network of people who can draw on each other for advice, information, and support so that we can all do a more effective job of managing CPA in our individual towns. A secondary goal is to start thinking regionally. The simplest example of regional thinking would be for adjacent towns to collaborate on a project of mutual benefit. A more complex example might be towns within a given watershed working strategically for the greater good and mutual interests. Another example might be all members of a given region helping to lobby at the state level for something or other.
Before and after the presentation there was general milling and chit-chat. My feeling is that people like the idea of having a network of other CPC members to share knowledge with. It’s too early to say if this will amount to much but I’m pretty hopeful that it will. I’m already quite chummy with members of 3 different CPC’s and that alone has significant value to me.
My buddy Allin Frawley is calling for a boycott of stores selling a type of incense that is being used by young people to get buzzed. Seemingly this substance has all sorts of risks associated with it:
Sold as an incense or potpourri, under a variety of names including Scooby Snaks, WTF, AK 47 and Dead Man Walking, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says when ingested the drug, which is a synthetic cannabinoid, can cause kidney shutdown and a host of other serous side effects including erratic and psychotic behavior.
“It’s poison,” Frawley said at the onset of Monday’s meeting, saying the potent drug is a recipe for a public health disaster.
Calling it a health emergency Frawley lobbied to take swift action and ban the drug through a local bylaw.
Until a ban is in place, Frawley urged residents to ask local merchants, “Do you sell this stuff? If they say yes, walk out and take your business elsewhere. They don’t deserve our money. This is our community and they’re putting poison into it.”
“Erratic and psychotic behavior”? I think I know some people that might be taking this! People – stick to weed if you really must mess around with junk like this. You’ll get the buzz and skip the kidney failure.
I’m generally not a fan of boycotting businesses when they do something you don’t agree with. As an example, the pro-gun militants were calling for a boycott of Starbucks when they politely requested that customers not carry weapons into their stores.
In this case however, I would urge people to ask the shopkeepers to take the stuff off the shelves. If the store refuses let your conscience and wallet do the talking.