Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Southbridge School Committee Meeting - October 28, 2014

LOCATION: Robert G. MacKinnon Council Chambers, 41 Elm Street 

DATE: Tuesday, October 28, 2014

TIME: 7:00 PM

I. Pledge of Allegiance
II. Public Input
III. Call to Order
IV. Roll Call

Monday, October 27, 2014

Southbridge Town Council Meeting - October 20, 2014

Joan Quigley, Nancy Reagan's White House Astrologer, Dies at 87

Joan Quigley, the astrologer who helped determine President Ronald Reagan's schedule and claimed to have convinced him to soften his stance toward the Soviet Union, has died at the age of 87.

Quigley died Tuesday at her home in San Francisco after an unspecified illness, her sister, Ruth Quigley, told The New York Times.

Nancy Reagan began consulting Quigley after the 1981 assassination attempt on her husband. She wanted to keep him from getting shot again, the first lady wrote in her 1989 memoir, My Turn. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

GOP Voter ID Law Gets Crushed

This post originally appeared on The BRAD BLOG.

If you read just one top-to-bottom dismantling of every supposed premise in support of disenfranchising Photo ID voting restrictions laws in your lifetime, let it be this one [PDF].

It is a dissent, released on Friday, written by Judge Richard Posner, the Reagan-appointed 7th Circuit Court of Appeals judge who was the one who approved the first such Photo ID law in the country (Indiana’s) back in 2008, in the landmark Crawford v. Marion County case which went all the way to the Supreme Court, where Posner’s ruling was affirmed. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Massachusetts Man Doesn't Appear To Have Ebola, Hospital Says

UPDATE:  A man in Massachusetts who was being evaluated at a Boston hospital for a possible Ebola infection does not appear to have the deadly disease, officials at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said on Sunday night.

The patient, who recently returned from Liberia, had complained of headache and muscle aches, prompting his admittance to an isolation ward with close monitoring, the hospital said.
"This patient does not appear to meet CDC criteria to be considered someone at high risk for Ebola and the likelihood of Ebola Virus Disease is extremely low," the hospital said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
Even so, the patient will remain in isolation, the hospital said.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

So Where Are We On MCAS?

Ken O’Brien

 On Tuesday of this week we are finally going to get to see the Southbridge School Committee for the first time since their September 23rd meeting. It will be interesting (should I say amusing) to see how they will deal with the flood of misinformation, ineptitude and finger-pointing that has characterized the last three weeks. 

At that time, you will recall, the Southbridge Superintendent of Schools announced that students who had taken the MCAS as sophomores in 2013 had never been given the opportunity to be retested during all of  the 2013-2014 school year. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Southbridge School Committee Agenda - October 14, 2014

LOCATION: Robert G. MacKinnon Council Chambers, 41 Elm Street

DATE: Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TIME: 7:00 PM


I. Pledge of Allegiance

II. Public Input

III. Call to Order 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

O’Zone Exclusive: Monday Night’s School Committee Meeting

Becky Newell

On Monday night the Southbridge School Committee held a “Committee of the Whole” meeting at 25 Cole Ave.

The only non-school committee member to attend that meeting was former School Committee member Becky Newell.

She has provided us with her notes from that meeting.

On Monday October 6th, I decided to go to the Southbridge School Committee Meeting of the Whole at Cole Ave in Southbridge. This public meeting was scheduled to start at 6 pm and I arrived in the room at approximately 5:55 pm. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Worth Considering

Ken O’Brien

The O’Zone has received the following comment from a reader calling themselves Pythagoras. It is worth considering.

The average person may not understand just how easy this is for the school district to give you an answer to...and they are NOT!!!

 As a previous school employee and someone who had access to this data, let me explain.

Every current administrator in the Southbridge Public schools can access the MCAS data warehouse and run a simple query on the Grade 10, 2013 results and see who failed which tests. They can also see what retake results came from November 2013 and March 2014 retakes.

 Why won't they publish these results? You don't have to list names.... just list them as Student 1, Student 2, etc. but clear up the issue!!! It would take you a simple 5 minutes at the computer. 

Civil Forfeiture: Legalized Theft

Have you ever heard of civil forfeiture?

You will be amazed at the power local police have over your personal property.

It can be seized solely on the basis of suspicion that it might be used in a crime.

And, if that happens, good luck getting it back.

Even more amazing, there appear to be no restrictions on how it can be used.

Watch this report by John Oliver. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

MCAS Mystery Deepens

Ken O’Brien

An article in today’s Worcester Telegram by Brian Lee only adds to the confusion surrounding recent MCAS results at Southbridge Middle/High School.

Those who have followed this saga will recall that initially there were reports to this site that some 38 current seniors had failed to be given the opportunity to retake the MCAS during all of 2013-14  school year following their failure as sophomores in Spring 2013.

That suspicion was apparently confirmed at last Tuesday’s School Committee meeting in a presentation by Superintendent Patricia Gardner.

In the article, titled “Southbridge MCAS fallout still being remedied”, it is made clear that we were not alone in drawing that conclusion.

At least two other members of the committee drew the same inference from Ms. Gardner’s comments. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gregory J. Lewis Added to Mass Most Wanted List

The Massachusetts State Police today are adding GREGORY J. LEWIS, 26, to our Most Wanted List. LEWIS is wanted for raping a child in Southbridge, for kidnapping and assaulting a woman in North Carolina, and for assaulting a member of his own family and stealing a handgun, ammunition, and cash from his family’s home.

The MSP’s Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section (VFAS) is assisting police in those jurisdictions in seeking LEWIS. The MSP’s Most Wanted poster is attached and contains more details.

LEWIS is armed and dangerous and has made homicidal and suicidal threats. Anyone who sees him should not approach but rather should call 911 immediately. Anyone with information about his whereabouts should call 1-800-KAPTURE (1-800-527-8873).

Channel 4 Reportedly Investigating Southbridge MCAS Snafu

Ken O'Brien

The O'Zone has received the following communication from one of its readers. We can vouch for its authenticity.

"To the Parents and Students of the 39 Students Hurt by This Gaff,

Joe Shortsleeve of Boston television station Channel 4 contacted me yesterday regarding this situation. Joe is a lead investigator with the stations I Team Unit. He is well aware of the current situation and would like to talk with some of the students/parents that were impacted by this failure.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Breaking News: Lewis Also Wanted in North Carolina

From Siobahn Lopez via Twitter

DA: Gregory Lewis also facing charges in Charlotte, NC where a female was kidnapped, robbed and assaulted on 9/23.