Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Southbridge Police Union Accuses Town Manager of Misleading Statements



After the little weather incident we had Monday, I went out to my mailbox yesterday.

Somewhat worse for wear from the ravages of Sandy was a letter asking for my dubious help in addressing a matter that should be of concern to Southbridge residents.

The letter, regrettably anonymous, addressed another recent letter relating to matters that have been simmering for some time as they relate to the Southbridge Police Department. 

It'll Be Over Soon Abbie

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

An Evening of Celtic Chamber Music




 Concert hosted by the Quinebaug Valley Council for the Arts & Humanities in celebration of the Celtic New Year.

 With Samantha Gillogly, violin; Tim Maurice, piano.

 Time: 7:00pm Friday November 2, 2012

Long Overdue



Nobody who brings about change is immune to criticism.

The more change that they are responsible for, the more that they are criticized.

In Southbridge the biggest target for such criticism, for a sustained period of years, is without a doubt Scott Lazo.

Often overlooked is what he has accomplished.

Scott was the driving force behind Southbridge’s acquisition of the water company. To this day it constitutes Southbridge’s most valuable financial, economic and strategic asset. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Could Hurricane Sandy Delay the Election?



 landfall of Hurricane Sandy in Atlantic City

             Photo by STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images.
As Hurricane Sandy begins battering the East Coast, many people in the storm’s path are preparing for days of power outages. Meanwhile, pundits are asking how the storm could affect the outcome of the presidential election. If there are still widespread power outages on the East Coast come Nov. 6, could the election be postponed?

Mitt Romney Proposes Gutting FEMA and Leaving Disaster Relief to States. Or Privatizing It (VIDEO)



With Hurricane Sandy set to make landfall in the Mid-Atlantic, Mitt Romney's policies for federal emergency management seem as relevant as ever. And the candidate's budget, as described below, isn't the only indication Romney would slash funding: As the Huffington Post's Ryan Grim noted, the presidential candidate suggested during a GOP primary debate that he would diminish the agency's role and leave responsibility for helping imperiled Americans to the states:


Friday, October 26, 2012

Departing Assistant Principal Severely Criticized SMHS Principal



Sharon Goulet
Monday’s Southbridge Evening News carried an article titled, “School officials address fights, resignation”.

In it they addressed the resignation of assistant principal Sharon Goulet. The article reported the circumstances surrounding her departure as follows:

School officials dispute the anonymous claim of a recently submitted Southbridge Evening News “Sound Off” entry ….

Regarding Goulet’s departure, Perreault said the Sound Off claim is true, but had nothing to do with the discipline issues.

Exhibition Of Paintings By Charles Gaulin At The Quinebaug Valley Council for the Arts & Humanities





The Quinebaug Valley Council for the Arts and Humanities (QVCAH) is proud to present a solo exhibition of paintings by Charles Gaulin.

On display throughout the Art Center Galleries will be a retrospective of the artist's work.  Please join us for the opening reception on Thursday, November 1st from 6-9pm. The exhibit and reception are free to attend and open to the public.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Breaking News: McDonald Offered Fire Chief Position In Monson



Reliable sources have informed The O’Zone that town councilor Laurent “Butch” McDonald has been offered the position of Fire Chief in the town of Monson.

The same sources report that as a condition of employment Mr. McDonald would be required to move to Monson before Christmas.

If these reports are accurate, it would create an opening on the Southbridge town council.

Durant’s Crocodile Tears



The third in the series of debates between candidates for state representative in the Sixth Worcester District took place last night in Southbridge. The first was held in Charlton and the second in Dudley.

The opponents, incumbent Peter Durant and challenger Kathleen Walker squared off in the McKinnon Council Chambers in Southbridge Town Hall. The debate was sponsored jointly by the Southbridge Democratic and Republican Town Committees. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Southbridge Pop Warner Official Defends Team (Video)



Rob Philion
Rob Philion, Vice-President of Southbridge Pop Warner, appeared on New England Cable News Network defending the actions of the Southbridge team and its coaches in a recent controversy.

The issue stems from a game played last month between the Pop Warner teams from Southbridge and Sturbridge.

During that game five Sturbridge players were diagnosed with concussions. The game resulted in the suspension of coaches Erik Iller and Scott Lazo, probation for the two local league Presidents (Iller’s wife and Lazo’s brother), and the termination and permanent ban against the three individuals officiating the game.

Vulture Capitalism: How Romney Profited From The Auto Industry Bailout He Opposed


Mitt Romney’s opposition to the auto bailout has haunted him on the campaign trail, especially in Rust Belt states like Ohio. There, in September, the Obama campaign launched television ads blasting Romney’s November 2008New York Times op-ed, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.” But Romney has done a good job of concealing, until now, the fact that he and his wife, Ann, personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.

Only Pakistan Favors Romney Presidency Of 21 Countries Surveyed




A BBC World Service opinion poll has found sharply higher overseas approval ratings for US President Barack Obama than Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

An average of 50% favored Mr. Obama, with 9% for Mr. Romney, in the survey of 21,797 people in 21 countries. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

No Romney Gaffe? What About “Syria Is Iran’s Route To The Sea”?



To listen to the Romney campaign flacks and the cable news pundits you are left with one fundamental talking point. That message is, “Romney did what he had to do; he made no mistakes and proved acceptable as a commander in chief.”

That is absolute, unmitigated crap. For someone who keeps using the term “geopolitical”, with the emphasis on “GEO”, he made a gaffe as significant as Gerald Ford’s infamous pronouncement that Poland was not under Soviet hegemony.

Obama Takes The Rubber Match

The Return Of Multiple Choice Mitt


Snap polls from CNN, PPP and CBS News gave President Obama the victory in the foreign policy debate.

In the CNN-ORC poll, 48 percent of voters said Obama won; 40 percent said Romney did. Public Policy Polling's swing state poll gave it to Obama by 53 percent to 42 percent. The CBS poll of uncommitted voters was more dramatic: Obama took 53 percent, Romney took 23 percent, and another 24 percent called it a tie.

Following is a series of observations over the course of the debate. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Coaches Speak Out On Pop Warner Incident (Video)



Erik Iller
Southbridge and Tantasqua Pop Warner Coaches Scott Lazo and Erik Iller were interviewed today by WBZ TV in Boston (below).

Lazo was also interviewed by WFXT TV and  WHDH TV, but Iller declined to be interviewed by either.

They were speaking about an incident where the two teams played a game that resulted in five of the 10 to 12 year old players suffering concussions.

Second Walker/Durant State Representative Debate (Video)



The second debate between candidates for state representative in the Sixth Worcester District was held in Dudley on October 15 in Dudley.

Republican incumbent Peter Durant of Spencer faced off against Democratic challenger Kathleen Walker of Charlton.

Southbridge School Committee Agendas, Special and Regular Meetings, October 23, 2012


SOUTHBRIDGE SCHOOL COMMITTEE MEETING

LOCATION: Robert G. MacKinnon Council Chambers

DATE: Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Southbridge, Tantasqua Pop Warner Coaches Suspended




UPDATE: Fox News 25 Boston interviewed Southbridge Pop Warner coach Scott Lazo today. It is expected that the interview will air on the regularly scheduled newscast tonight at 6 pm and again at 10:30 pm (latter delayed from its normal 10 pm time due to Presidential debate).

The Boston Globe and The Worcester Telegram are reporting that coaches of the Tantasqua Pee Wees and the Southbridge Pop Warner team have been suspended for the 2012 season and put on probation for the 2013 season after a game that resulted in five of the 10 to 12 year old players suffering concussions. 

Sunday Photo-'Toons 1.27






Al Franken’s “Saturday Afternoon Live” In Southbridge (VIDEO)



Minnesota Senator Al Franken, known to many as one of the early stars of “Saturday Night Live”, appeared in Southbridge on Saturday, October 20, to kick off a day of canvassing and phone-banking on behalf of Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Elizabeth Warren and Democratic candidate for State Representative Kathleen Walker.

Recent polls have shown Warren gaining a substantial lead over incumbent Senator Scott Brown. Brown has been hampered by declines in his favorability ratings as well as recent needs to apologize for the behavior of staffers and inferences that paid actors were used by Warren in one of her campaign ads. In addition, he has been criticized for what a leading veterans’ advocate has termed misleading statements about his time in Afghanistan. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fox News Begins To Backpedal Benghazi Story


Anti-Muslim Video Was The Trigger



The right-wing is beginning to reverse itself on insisting that a anti-Muslim YouTube video had nothing to do with the attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya. Republicans and Fox News have scorned the Obama administration for weeks for initial statements that the assault in Benghazi, that took the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens, was an outgrowth of a protest sparked by this video.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Warren Gaining Momentum



Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren has built a 9-point lead over Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) in the Massachusetts Senate race, a poll released Wednesday shows.

The latest survey from Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Warren leading Brown among likely Bay State voters 53 percent to 44 percent.  That's Warren's largest lead in PPP's polling and also a 3-point bounce from a week ago.  Last week, PPP showed the Harvard law professor holding a 6-point lead over Brown.   

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

U.S. Senator Al Franken In Southbridge For Elizabeth Warren Saturday October 20



U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) will be in Southbridge on Saturday, October 20.

He will be present for a canvas and phone bank event on behalf of Massachusetts Democratic Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren.

The event will be held at Warren/Walker campaign headquarters located in the former Friendly’s Restaurant at 367 Main Street.

Franken is currently expected to be present at 12:30 pm.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Obama Shoots, He Scores, He Wins – Again, And Again, And…



It was the Michael Jordan of American politics versus its Lance Armstrong.

It was heart, talent, spirit, and mastery of the fundamentals versus “win at all costs”, “whatever it takes”, and regret the truth later.

Romney was constantly tripped up by having to tap dance around prior positions he now wants to disown. He continually failed to provide specifics. He repeatedly said “I know how to improve the economy”, but he never said how. You have to wonder why his support in the state where he was governor is now only 34% and before he announced he would not seek reelection he was losing in polls by 16% to his leading competitor. 

Bill Clinton Explains Romney's Tax Cut Plan



For the other side's response, go to The Romney Tax Plan.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Durant’s “Nixon Moment” In Sixth Worcester District Rep’s Race? (Video)



State Rep Peter Durant
Students of history, as well as those of us of “a certain age”, will remember the famous case of the missing 18 minutes from tapes of conversations in the Nixon White House related to the Watergate matter.

It now appears that a similar issue may be brewing as regards the videotape of last week’s debate between candidates for state representative in the sixth Worcester district.

A number of those present at the debate commented upon the apparent disorganization of incumbent state representative Peter Durant when it came time for the participants to make their closing statements.

How Many Illegal Subcommittee Meetings Has The Southbridge Town Council Held?



Rule Number 18 of The Southbridge Town Council Rules and Regulations states:

“All rules of procedure not considered herein shall be governed by ‘Roberts Rules of Parliamentary Procedure’.”

It has recently been brought to my attention that on a number of occasions meetings of various subcommittees have been held where there was not a quorum of the subcommittee membership in attendance. In order to resolve this problem the council chair or vice-chair has been called upon to meet quorum requirements in their status as ex-officio members of all subcommittees as provided for in Town Council rule #4:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Meet Kathleen Walker – Candidate For State Representative 6th Worcester District (Videos)



Kathleen Walker (D – Charlton) is running for State Representative in the Sixth Worcester District against 1 ½ term incumbent Peter Durant.

Kathleen Walker is currently serving her 10th year on the Board of Selectmen in Charlton, Massachusetts.

She has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the MASS Municipal Association, Local Government Advisory Commission and an Officer of the MASS Selectman’s Association.

She is running as the Democratic candidate for State Representative of the 6th Worcester District, which includes the towns of Southbridge and Dudley, precincts 1, 2, and 3 in Charlton, and precinct 4 in Spencer.

The following two videos will introduce you to her and explain to you her positions on a variety of issues.

Reviewing The Charter Review


Dennis Martinek

As one of five appointed members to the Charter Review Committee (Larry "Butch" McDonald, chair, Gary Fontaine, Deb Gregoire-LeFebvre, and Ken O'Brien were the others), we spent from September of 2009 until the middle of August 2010, when our final report was issued, working on reviewing and making recommendations to the existing Town Charter.

Many of the proposed changes were innocuous (changing the language so that people that home-brewed beer were not in violation) to the politically charged question of how many councilors does it take to unscrew a light bulb (in this case, remove the Town Manager from office)? 

Sunday Photo-'Toons 1.26



As we enter the season where the leaves turn and begin to fall, we witness similar behavior among some of the denizens of town hall.

Concern as well as questions began to mount regarding the revelation that cell phones as well as police and fire department radios have less than reliable reception at the newly opened Middle/High School.

The town administration conceded a procedural lapse in the adoption of a motion seeking to change the terms of legislation relating to amending the town charter. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Why The Open Meeting Law Violation Matters



There are those who feel that my open meeting law complaint was a minor matter undeserving of any serious attention.

I profoundly disagree with this view for numerous reasons. The most fundamental reason is that it relates directly to the relentless effort to amend the town charter on terms that are beneficial to particular political interests. I can only imagine the outrage of many of those pursuing this agenda if a similar campaign was mounted, with analogous political chicanery, to alter the U.S. Constitution. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Southbridge Town Council Agenda - October 15, 2012



TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

COUNCIL CHAMBERS

TOWN HALL

October 15, 2012 – 7:00 PM


AGENDA

1. Pledge of Allegiance

2. Roll Call

3. Consider and accept Town Council Meeting Minutes of Monday, September 24, 2012 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Town Admits Open Meeting Law Violation



During town manager's announcements at the September 24 council meeting Mr. Clark called for a motion to request the state legislature to amend the laws passed relating to Southbridge Town Charter amendments to say that the election to ratify them could be held in 2013 rather than 2012 as is currently required. That motion was made and unanimously adopted.

These actions were reported in The O’Zone that evening in an article titled Another Open Meeting Law Violation In Southbridge?. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Where’s The Outrage Southbridge?



Parody post from Photo-'Toons 1.25
Last Friday the Southbridge Evening News carried an article titled, “Council planning to fix radio issues at school”.

It opened with the following three paragraphs:

“Almost as soon as the new Torrey Road school opened last month, staff discovered the building gets no cell phone service.
It didn’t take much longer to find that police radios didn’t work there either.
According to Chief Daniel Charette, that was actually known earlier. Back in November 2011, he started talking with the contractors about fixing the issue, but the individual involved left the company and it fell by the wayside.” 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Where Was Southbridge High?

Tammy Perreault



Today's Southbridge Evening News carries a "Sound Off" addressing an issue that was brought to my attention prior to its publication in that forum.


Where was Southbridge High?

SOUND OFF:

On Wednesday evening, Oct. 3, the annual “High School Night” for current grade 8 students was held at Trinity Catholic Academy in Southbridge.

Third Brown Warren Debate Tomorrow Night: Recent Polls Show Conflicting Results



The third debate between incumbent Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and challenger Elizabeth Warren will be held at 7pm tomorrow night, October 10, at Symphony Hall in Springfield. It will be broadcast live on C-SPAN and New England Cable News.

The debate comes as Warren has maintained a lead in recent polls. A Sunday poll released by Western New England University (WNEU) / MassLive.com shows that Warren is maintaining a five-point lead over incumbent Sen. Scott Brown (R), 50 percent to 45 percent.

Mitt Romney Debates Mitt Romney

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Coalition Of Bigots, Morons, And Moral Putty Manipulated By The Fat Cats And You Can’t See It? Or Are You Part Of It?



In regard to an ongoing debate today one of The O’Zone’s frequent commenter’s said, “People don't vote with their brains, they vote with their hearts!!!”

I’ll let the right-wing nutjobs who have worked for two years to destroy the only major economy that has moved forward while the rest from Britain to France to China have regressed, deal with the policy dictum of Senate Minority Leader  Mitch McTurtle that his, and his Party’s, main objective was to guarantee that Barack Obama was a one-term President.

The First Debate: Mitt Romney's Five Biggest Lies





Mitt Romney turned in a polished performance in the presidential debate – and revealed himself to be an accomplished and unapologetic liar. In an evening where he sought to slice and dice the president with statistics, Romney baldly misrepresented his own policy prescriptions, made up numbers to fit his attacks and buried clear contrasts with the president under a heaping pile of BS.
.
Here are Mittens’ five most mendacious statements: 

A Weekend of Art by Dolores Kosciusko


Submitted by 

Monika Agnello 

Spring on the Quaboag by Dolores Kosciusko
Please join QVCAH for a Weekend of Art by Dolores Kosciusko, October 13th & 14th, 2012. 

On display throughout the galleries will be a retrospective of the artist's work.  

Born and raised in Southbridge, Dolores Kosciusko now lives in Dudley and has been painting for over 50 years. She has been included in numerous juried shows and has exhibited her work throughout New England and Hawaii.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Photo-‘ Toons 1.25



As the October chill envelops us like a foreclosure notice on the warmth and comfort of a home in the New England summer, we review the tumult of the prior week.

Local events of note were relatively sparse, eclipsed by the week’s developments on the national scene.

We did have the spectacle of the state representative accepting an invitation to debate and then beginning to tap dance around petty points of contention. We also learned that our new Middle/High School was in a wireless dead zone. But not to worry. Like everything else in Southbridge, we can buy our way out of it. Let’s just hope that nothing critical requiring such resources happens in the meantime.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Register To Vote Online



Wednesday, October 17, 2012 is the last day to register to vote and change party enrollment for the Presidential Election. If you still haven’t registered to vote, click HERE to register online.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The First Casualty Of The Romney Agenda

Unemployment Drops to 7.8% - Lowest Level Since January 2009

Ken O'Brien

The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 114,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care and in transportation and warehousing but changed little in most other major industries.

The Petey Shuffle



On Wednesday The O’Zone reported that State Representative Peter Durant had accepted an invitation from challenger Kathleen Walker for a series of debates. According to an update received from Ms. Walker events had been scheduled for Charlton, Dudley and Southbridge.

Later that same day we received a detailed set of rules for the first event in Charlton.

 ON: OCTOBER 9, 2012
Candidates’ Debate
AT: CHARLTON OVERLOOK COMMUNITY

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The iPhoney 5



I don’t know who to feel sorrier for, Barack Obama or the American public.

Mitt Romney is like some kind of freakish Frankenstein’s monster created by Steve Jobs as a parting joke.

Last night we witnessed the unveiling of the all new iPhoney 5. Let me take you for a moment through this product line’s evolution. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Breaking News: Mark Carron Convicted on DUI Charge – Gets 6 Months



Former state representative Mark J. Carron was ordered to serve 6 months of a 2-year jail sentence after being found guilty of driving while under the influence of alcohol.

He was arrested on the charge Feb. 2 after Auburn police said they found him asleep in his car about 2 a.m. Police said he failed several field sobriety tests.

Mr. Carron was found guilty of the charge after a jury trial in Central District Court. Police said at the time of his arrest that Mr. Carron had three prior drunk-driving convictions, and he was charged with his fourth offense. 

Durant Accepts Walker Debate Invitation



Kathleen Walker
The Patriot Newspaper is reporting that State Representative Peter Durant has accepted Democratic challenger Kathleen Walker’s invitation to debate.

Walker proposed four debates, one in each town in the district.

According to the report, they have agreed to a first debate in Charlton on October 9th.


UPDATE: The first event will be Q & A planned for Overlook in Charlton on October 9 at 7 pm. A similar event will be held in Dudley on Monday October 15 at 6:30 pm. A debate is planned in Southbridge on Wednesday, the 17th - time uncertain. (Information provided by Kathleen Walker.)

The text of The Patriot report follows: 

Infamous Southbridge Billboard Featured On Rachel Maddow Show



Last night The Rachel Maddow Show broadcast a segment on voter intimidation. The opening image of the report was the billboard that appeared in Southbridge during the special election for State Representative implying that citizens had to present ID to vote.

Also featured was a photo of a table set up within a polling place in New Bedford giving the appearance that ID was needed to vote in that city. That incident led to action by the state.

The video of the report follows:

If Benghazi Was A Screw Up, What Was 9/11?



The right-wing media, led by Faux News, has been trying for weeks to construct a narrative castigating the Obama Administration for incompetence in the events leading up to the tragedy at the Benghazi consulate. Clearly there is an earnest hope of creating an “October surprise” to upset the President’s momentum heading into the last weeks before the election.