Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Preble Piffle

Kenneth M. O’Brien

On Sunday, July 17, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette ran an article titled, “Priest’s account denied outright: Non-tornado charities got aid”.
I think that an objective reading of the article demonstrates that it more appropriately belongs in a gossip column rather than in a news story.

Recall that in the original story published on July 7th, it was reported that “Chief Charette said there is nothing for authorities to act upon because no one has complained to the police or Fire Chief Ciesla.
’If in fact these were earmarked for specific things,’ Chief Charette said, ‘absolutely, it could be a criminal offense. But I do not think that at any time there was any intent to commit a crime here.’
However, Chief Charette said, Detective Sgt. Ryan Roettger is talking with the Worcester district attorney’s office ‘to see if this is something that rises to the level of a crime.’ “
At the time I expressed the opinion, “It seems to me that this is an invitation for someone to file a complaint to justify an investigation that is already underway.”
In Sunday’s article, it is now reported, “Police Chief Daniel R. Charette said last week that investigators consulted with the Worcester district attorney’s office, and the state attorney general’s office offered to weigh in. But with the United Way and Chamber not interested in issuing a formal complaint, police are no longer investigating the matter.
’I don’t think there was criminal intent,’ Chief Charette said. ‘The guy made a bad judgment call.’
Ms. McNitt and Town Manager Christopher Clark said they didn’t think the pastor’s act was criminal, more an egregious lapse in judgment. Mr. Clark added that it was in the town’s best interest not to pursue this criminally because it would leave it with a black eye, and donations might cease. “
Maybe I’m overly cynical, but that sounds like an effort to stage a strategic retreat from an untenable position. Nobody wanted to file a complaint. No word what the District Attorney said. The Attorney General’s Office offered to weigh in – what does that mean?
How is any of this anything more than a case of “he said, she said”?
All the key players concede that, at the worst, the priest made an error in judgment. If that is the worst case scenario, a contention that remains to be proved, why are we engaging in re-litigating this matter other than to continue to pursue the politics of personal destruction?
In essence this is another example that serves to illustrate my contention that the local media is nothing more than a mouthpiece for the existing political establishment.
If the local media wants to rise above the gossip column mentality, I would suggest they get some answers to the following questions:
Why was a relative of a town councilor allowed to profit from the sale of a liquor license after being busted for selling drugs while two decades ago another bar (Favreau’s Lounge) was peremptorily deprived of its license and all benefits in a similar case?

Why was a member of the police force, who was proven to have stolen, allowed to repay those funds and been allowed to depart to find employment elsewhere essentially scot free?

Why do we still have no answers about confiscated material from a rave at a local bar that may or may not have been drugs?

Why, after literally years, do we still have no answer to questions about the possible misappropriation of State-owned property (i.e. railroad steel) by the same people?

Please keep in mind that we only have a little more than six months until Christmas.


  1. It is important to continue to make issue of the good priest appearing to do wrong to take attention away from the criminal act of taking over a half $Million from the enterprise fund-that is what this is all about.

    Sadly, this public relations stunt is working.

  2. Brian Lee is pathetic. He should be fired.

  3. Hmmmm, what other scandals involving priests started out with the usual suspects declaring "nothing to investigate here".

  4. This isn't even a scandal-it is a media circus, with Mr. Clark serving as one of the clowns. On Fox News, Mr. Clark claimed that the good priest was "over his head", and certainly Mr. Clark is qualified to make such a statement because he knows what it is like to be over his head.

    Although the modified distribution was not ideal, it did allow the tornado victims to access the food at a location that was available many more hours of the week. After all, when you have under four dozen damaged homes, it is not customary to keep a warehouse open for so few people. The alleged FEMA advisory is for communities that are hard struck with hundreds or even thousands of households destroyed.

    Unlike the unfortunate incidence mentioned by the last anonymous poster, this situation has been investigated and reported upon ad nauseum.

    The Town Council took over $525,000. from the enterprise fund-and action that requires 6 votes, but they only had five votes. That appears to be a hundred times or more a greater misappropriation than anything related to changing the warehouse where these goods are provided.

  5. It's a scandal. Citing a "greater" scandal does not excuse the scandal we are talking about.

  6. Been around to longJuly 20, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    Ken this site is no differant than the local media outlets...you have to admit that this site is all about gossip...and in general people love gossip....we are all GUILTY including you

  7. I don’t feel that my standards are any less stringent than the Evening News’ Sound Off option.
    I do feel that the bulk of the articles I have published rely heavily on careful research and analysis.
    If you disagree, however, then you are free to launch your own blog site.
    Oh, but then you couldn’t remain anonymous, could you?

  8. Ken, I don't like the toxic atmosphere of anonymous commenting here. To be fair, I don't like the Sound Off either. I think both you and the Southbridge Evening News are playing into the baser aspects of human nature in an attempt to get more eyeballs onto your property.

    I love free speech; I do, and I will take to the streets to defend anyone's right to say anything. I only ask, if you want me to respect your voice, that you choose to be brave enough to stand behind it. To speak anonymously is to speak from the standpoint of a coward, and I have no respect for cowards.

  9. ...and before I get any crap about that damn billboard, I will say this: If it said "Paid for by the Committee to Elect Peter Durant" on the lower right corner, rather than "Empower Massachusetts and Show ID To Vote," then I would have had a lot more respect for the people who put it there.

    Shady quasi-anonymous speech is shady, and I have every right to use my first amendment rights to "squeal" about it at the top of my lungs.

  10. Ugh, and despite my better judgment, because I think I comment here far too often, I will say this:

    whoever posted that anonymous comment linking Father Preble to the clergy sex abuse scandal is probably very, very lucky I don't know their IP address. Because that was one of the lowest, most disgusting things I have read in the comments here, and I have seen quite a lot.

  11. Amelia:

    Apparently you live in a fantasy world devoid of any connection to reality.

    There is a long history of people in this town who have spoken out contrary to the interests of those in power who have had their freedom of speech, transit, home lives, reputations, earnings, children’s lives at school, and businesses subjected to intimidation and threat.

    We all believe in free speech. But your high and mighty attitude that there are no consequences to those who might attach their real names to their comments illustrates why I freely and openly call you an airhead.

    If you don’t like my policies, run your own blog where everyone has to use their name.

    Good Luck!

  12. Au contraire Ken, I disagree with your last post to Amelia. I completely agree with her. We're all grown-ups here and if there are consequences to a posting due to revelation of true identity then put on some big girl/boy underpants and deal with it.
    I pay zero attention to any post with an anonymous signature. Ditto for that foolishness called "Sound Off". Grow a set people. You can bet if I had an issue with my "children's lives in school" or anywhere for that matter, I would take care of it myself and make sure it was no longer an issue. I'm gonna bet that if those types of intimidation are happening, the reason for it has risen to level higher than ramifications from signed blog posts. Amelia, you go girl. You are making the most sense of anyone who posts regularly here.

  13. Kathy:

    Thanks for commenting.

    Now that you are here, why don’t you consult with your husband and provide us with answers to the following questions raised in this article?

    Why was a relative of a town councilor allowed to profit from the sale of a liquor license after being busted for selling drugs while two decades ago another bar (Favreau’s Lounge) was peremptorily deprived of its license and all benefits in a similar case?

    Why was a member of the police force, who was proven to have stolen, allowed to repay those funds and been allowed to depart to find employment elsewhere essentially scot free?

    Why do we still have no answers about confiscated material from a rave at a local bar that may or may not have been drugs?

    Why, after literally years, do we still have no answer to questions about the possible misappropriation of State-owned property (i.e. railroad steel) by the same people?

    I’ll anxiously await your answers.

  14. I'm not afraid of signing my name to my posts because I am 100% confident that I have done nothing wrong, and will continue to do nothing wrong in the future. If those creeps from out of town couldn't intimidate me into shutting up about that disgusting billboard I am quite sure I am not capable of being intimidated by anyone I share this community with.

    Not through legal means, at any rate. If someone chooses to become a criminal in their attempts to intimidate me into silence, well, then that's on their conscience. I wholeheartedly maintain my allegedly airheaded position. I certainly don't respect all of you, but not one of you scares me in the least. Not even you and your 25,000 hits, Ken.

  15. Afraid of the ChiefJuly 20, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Real easy for Kathy to "grow a set" since she moves around with the unauthorized power of a police chief and his minions bullying, investigating, and harassing innocent people. Don't mess with her or you'll end up in the news in a public "hit" job. She dislikes anonymous people because they can't be targeted for revenge.

  16. Been around to longJuly 20, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    Kathy respecting the powers to be.... one who shall I say oppose the action of the Police, Town Nanager or tend to disagree with certain town councilors do at times fear being harrassed by those in power....It happen before and happens again and will continue....Sorry seen it before and see it now....Hey I fear and I consider myself a good law abiding citizen but will never challange the powers to be....and Amelia it will be just a matter of time....Ken your turn is coming

  17. Andy Taylor from MayberryJuly 20, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    Ken, sounds like a threat.

    Take it to the chief and file a complaint.


  18. Ken, I'm sorry to say I wish I remembered what the hell happened two decades ago to Favreau's but I have no clue. I do find it amusing that you are going back more than 20 years about a non-issue though. Don't you have anything better to do?

  19. Speaking of the billboard -

    I've never seen such rampant racism as the people who objected to it.

    The only way to construe their criticism is that Latinos are not smart enough to have an ID. (Unless it was a ploy to get illegals to vote - but who would do that?)

    As a Latino I take huge issue with the white overlords of Southbridge' assumption that I am not smart enough to actually play by the rules.

  20. Hey Anonymous, I wasn't against Show ID to Vote, per se. I spoke against the slimy billboard because it was misleading and poorly-attributed. There's a huge difference.

    I would support an ID requirement for voting if it were part of a comprehensive election reform package. But the only people pushing that Show ID to Vote initiative are the same people who think "Illegal Aliens" are out en masse in Southbridge stealing our elections.

    Here's a video from the Show ID To Vote guy's YouTube channel:


    Funny as all hell, don't get me wrong, but if you think you can convince these people aren't pushing this initiative because of paranoia about immigrants voting in elections, then I apologize in advance for the epic ridicule I will be forced to fling in your general direction.

  21. So you think immigrants are too stupid to read a bulletin board correctly and somehow want to pile your prejudice on to some unnamed people you dreamed up?

    Take a long look in the mirror.

  22. No, I don't think immigrants are stupid. I think whoever put the billboard there did it because they thought the people in that particular neighborhood would either be easily misled, or so insulted by the discriminatory implications of the advertisement that they would get turned off by the idea of participating in the election.

    I also think whoever put the board there was very smart, and very creepy, and very wrong. As a Christian woman I try awfully hard to love my neighbor, even when it's really hard, but I admit I still have a hard time sympathizing with the person who brought that advertisement to my town.

  23. Actually the only person who assumed they would be misled is you amelia, and you think that because you think Latino's are too stupid to protect their own self interest and need to you to step in for them.

    If what you say is true (the Latino community would be pissed off) then the normal response would be to vote in record numbers. So your after-the-fact pretend psycho analysis is a joke.

    Do not confuse loving your neighbor with being their very creepy nanny.

  24. Whatever. Let's agree to disagree. I'm done arguing with cowardly, creepy anonymous people on the Internet.

  25. Good plan. Or as they say in the real world: stop digging.


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