Friday, February 27, 2015

The Quiet Surrender

Ken O’Brien

Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Southbridge School Committee marked a major shift in attitude.

Melissa Earls, Principal of Southbridge Middle/High School, laid out a presentation that was distinctly different than those of her predecessors.

Calmly, and with quantitative data to substantiate her positions, she laid out the challenges facing the middle/high school. 

Leonard Nimoy Dies

from The New York Times

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mr. Nimoy announced last year that he had the disease, which he attributed to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Don't You Just Love People Who Love America?

By Norman Lear
From The Huffington Post

I mean, how rare is that! Can we ever thank enough the red, white and blue patriots -- the true America-lovers -- like Rudy Giuliani for pointing the finger at those, like our president, who so clearly don't love it.

"I do not believe that the president loves America," Giuliani reportedly said at a private New York fundraiser for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who demonstrates his love for America by -- to name just a few of his nation-adoring acts -- rejecting health care funds for his state's citizens, making it harder for minorities to vote, and demolishing the collective bargaining rights of his state's public employees. And then Rudy added the part that so personalized it, I actually cried. "He doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me. He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this country."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Where’d That Number Come From?

Ken O’Brien

2/15 See UPDATE at conclusion.

Yesterday’s Southbridge News carried a letter from the Chairman of the Southbridge School Committee.

In the letter the Chairman railed against what she considered to be an affront to the hard-working staff dedicated to the education of the town’s students under trying circumstances.

She goes on to criticize the, “…relentless behind-the-scenes efforts of some to perpetuate chaos in the school district, simply so they can claim everything fell apart after Mrs. Donovan and I were elected. This is not unlike children who throw tantrums and try to break all the toys so no one else can use them.”

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Why Not Start Cutting Here?

Ken O’Brien

Back on November 17, 2014, Councilor Vecchia read a pledge signed by himself and four other Councilors.

The pledge vowed to cut the budgets for all town departments by at least 1% in Fiscal Year 2016.

Tonight’s Town Council agenda provides an opportunity to get a jump on that pledge.

Item 11 on the agenda reads, “Vote to ratify the amendment of Schedule 5 to reflect the wage/classification rate change for the Recreation Director from $16.35/hour to $21.00/hour for 20 hours, as detailed in the Town Manager’s memo attached.”

Saturday, February 7, 2015

60% Of Fox News Statements Mostly False

Ken O’Brien

PunditFact tallied up all of the statements that they evaluated from the three cable news networks and found that 60% of all the statements they examined from Fox News were mostly false or worse.

According to PunditFact, here is how the three cable networks did on statements that the fact checker examined:
At Fox and Fox News, 10 percent of the claims PunditFact has rated have been True, 11 percent Mostly True, 18 percent Half True, 21 percent Mostly False, 31 percent False and nine percent Pants on Fire.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Well, That’s Settled

Ken O’Brien

Amid all the non-answers and new ways of repeating what we’ve been told for at least ten years, Tuesday’s meeting of the Southbridge School Committee confirmed another suspicion.

The suspicion was that, for the third time in a row, Southbridge has committed itself to a Superintendent without any plan to engage in a search for a suitably qualified candidate to fill that role.

Further illustrating his unmatched gift for the pithy everyman summation Committee member Abrahamson compared the current state of affairs to having no need to continue searching once one had found their car keys. His remarks were made with the imprimatur of the state officials present and the blessing of the Committee Chairman.

Thus, with these endorsements providing a ringing backdrop, Southbridge once again plunges these well-tested keys into the ignition for yet another drive into an assured rosy tomorrow.

Southbridge School Committee Meeting - February 3, 2015