Archive for June, 2008

Pepperell Says No; Interview With Sharon Mercurio

Pepperell had their override vote, and they voted, ‘No,’ 326/700.

Sharon Mercurio, the Council on Aging Senior Directer, answered a few questions:

BM: First things first: as the Director of the CoA, what do your responsibilities entail?

SM: As the COA Director I am responsible for running the Senior Center (budget, building, staffing, programs, Meals on Wheels) and any Elder Service issues. I enjoy the position. No two days are ever alike and the people I get to meet are incredible.

BM: So — Pepperell voted no. What’s your reaction? What do you think were the determining factors in the vote?

Also, you’re quoted in the Globe saying that seniors are terrified, and that since their SS payments weren’t going up, “A lot of them are fearful of losing their homes.” What have you been hearing from seniors since the vote? How would a “Yes” have affected them? How does the “No” affect them?

SM: I really wasn’t sure which way the vote would go. I don’t know how many people actually got to the polls to vote. I think a lot of folks didn’t really understand what it was all about and some actually thought that it was a done deal when it was voted on at Town Meeting to have an Override. The seniors seem relieved that the vote didn’t pass. We’re not quite sure what will exactly happen to our budgets since the override didn’t pass. I do know some of the seniors are planning to attend school committee meetings this year and try to become more involved with what is going on with their budget.

Greater Boston Legal Services

They need your help.

(Via UHub.)

Green Line C Branch To Be Closed Temporarily

On something of a whim I decided to check out the MBTA’s service alerts and advisories page. When I got there and saw advisories for the green line, I couldn’t help taking a look. I’m glad I did, because I take the C every day. So, my fellow T riders, be prepared. Friday June 27, 20088 starting at 10pm the C trains will stop. They say a shuttle bus will run the whole line in both directions. It looks like it will stop at St. Mary’s, so there will probably be trains to pick us up and drop us off there. This would be a smart move on the MBTA’s part; packing Kenmore would not be a good idea. To give the MBTA even more credit (I can’t believe I just said that), next week all Sox games are away so traffic should be light.

The reason for this service outage is work in Coolidge Corner. Hopefully the workers are fast!


Before the weather decided that our idea of a “white out” needed to be replaced with rain, I’d just gotten out of a movie downtown and was making my way to Park Street. Before I shot down the steps, though, I heard a crunch, and my friend said, “Hold on, I want to see this.”

The this? A car had just lodged its bumper beneath the bumper of an ambulance. They were the only two cars on the street.

A crowd gathered. There was an expectant hush. Everyone seemed okay, but what, exactly, had happened? And then it came, a clarion call, lifting us up, carrying us up, away, and through the rest of our respective days’.

“Hey, you’re a jackass!

And just like that, we left, and most of the others did, too, seemingly — wonderfully — satisfied.

George Carlin is Dead (Long Live George Carlin)

Carlin as JFK.




Interview /Profile with the Globe (May)

American Craft Beer Festival – Take Two

Hello Boston… this weekend at the Seaport World Trade Center, The Alstrom brothers (and merry band of volunteers) from Beer Advocate present the American Craft Beer Festival. With over 300 beers from 75 breweries, its one of, if not the, largest craft beer festivals on the East Coast. There are two remaining four hour sessions today, 1pm and 6pm, each for $40, and given the amazing amount and quality of beer being served there, well worth the dough. Just make sure you have something on your stomach before you start, because it’s easy to get carried away.

Some of the outstanding offerings available come from nearby and far away, with an amazing sour ale from Cambridge Brewing (Cerise Cassee) and The Eugene (OR) City Brewing Company 100 Meter Ale, a red ale that is one of the best from a small brewery anywhere. You also can find your old standby’s such as Harpoon Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery, and Dogfish Head and their wild beers. Local favorite, Harpoon is debuting their new line of extreme beers with a cask (Wild Turkey) aged Triticus Ale, chiming in at a whopping 14.3% ABV. But if strong beers don’t flip your fancy, there are plenty of other lighter and tastier options, including your standard lagers and wit beers. However, if you just want to support your local brewing establishments, have a good time, and enjoy some of the best beer found anywhere in one spot (think of it as the largest tap tine in Boston for this weekend), come by.



Photo: Rushing the Field



Previously: Ryles Jazz Bar, Relax, Peabody Fire, Bridge, Mandela Rally, Harvard, Charles, Trinity Church, BPL Courtyard, The Public Garden, Charlie’s Kitchen, The Coolidge, and the Longfellow Bridge.

Bridgewater Says No; Interview with Joseph Gillis Jr.

Bridgewater voted No this past Saturday. Bridgewater committee member Joseph Gillis was kind enough to respond to a request for an interview.

Boston Metblogs: You wrote on your website:

There has been some dialog in the community about the ballot question, but for the most part it has been “quiet”. I have seen few letters in Enterprise or Independent (two local newspapers), some lawn signs out (most saying NO), and low attendance at public forums (not overflow crowds for a ‘pocketbook’ issue).

Why do you think it was “quiet?” Where do you think the other 75% of voters fall on the issue?* How would you like to see the community engaged for future votes?

(*A quarter of registered voters participated in the override vote.)

Joseph Gillis: It was quiet because many did not believe it a major enough issue to devote more than cursory time to it. There were and always will be people more deeply engaged in the topic, however the proponents never effectively framed the issue in a manner to engage the community.

BM: The Globe quotes Mildred Hasson as saying, “As far as I’m concerned, ‘a fiscally responsible override’ is an oxymoron.”

The Tauton Gazette quotes Keith Buhol as saying,

“This override addresses a lot of the ‘no’ issues from last year. To vote ‘no’ just because it is an override, and not based on any facts, is not fiscally responsible.”

Were there new objections? Do they … have a thing against schools?

JG: Mildred Hasson is engaged in the community, and willing to bring her issues forward. For that, she should be commended. People may disagree with her, but she is following the democractic process. Keith Buohl is also engaged in the community.

Not any “new” objections; more old objections – prove the case that the money is needed and will be spent

While there will always be individuals who will frame the question on one particular group (like schools), it did not appear that the schools played any major part in the discussions.

BM: When you lose 26 teacher aides and two proctors, what happens? What changes in the classroom? What’s the change we’re looking at in class sizes? (What would they have been, had the money gone through?)

JG: This is all still ‘in discussion’. The School Committee will meet on Wednesday to review what has transpired, and vote on next steps.

BM: Anything else you’d like to talk about?

JG: Perhaps an intriguing question for voters, but “what is the breaking/tipping point?” Randolph had to sink pretty low prior to an over-ride passing there; what do the residents of Bridgewater believe is the tipping point on the matter? It is clear that through four over-rides, 3500-4000 have voted “NO”. The first and most rent both had 2000 “YES’ votes; obviously by nearly 2 to 1, the proponents did not make their case and convince voters to go and vote “YES”. So, is there a particular event or threshold for individuals?

Sept. 21st

Ban Ki-moon Calls For Day of Peace.

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