Tuesday, February 23, 2016

5 Councilors Violate Charter

Ken O'Brien
Councilor Manna
A note of appreciation goes out to Councilor Manna.

During Councilors Forum last night she moved to hold a second meeting of the Council this month next Monday. This would be to comply with the portion of the charter that says. “2-5-1: The council shall meet regularly at least twice in every month." (See video of the Council meeting below, beginning at 2:34:02.)

Not one of the remaining five councilors present would even second her motion. This, despite the fact that every one of them took an oath to “…abide by the Charter…” as demonstrated by the following video from the last reorganization meeting.

Southbridge Town Council Meeting - February 22, 2016

Triumph Sends Fake Fox News Girls To Trump Rally

Monday, February 22, 2016

Members of the Southbridge Local Stakeholder Group Announced

Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester today announced the members of the Southbridge Local Stakeholder Group, a temporary advisory body that will create recommendations for a district turnaround plan that will be drawn up in the coming months.

On January 26, 2016, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education declared the Southbridge Public Schools to be a chronically underperforming (Level 5) district. Under state law, that designation triggered the creation of a Local Stakeholder Group with representatives from specific constituencies.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Trump Was Against Iraq Invasion From The Beginning -- Yeah, Right!

Donald Trump, faced with his own words from 2002 that directly contradict his claim he opposed an Iraq invasion early on, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday night he opposed the war by the time it started.

But in an interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto one day into the Iraq invasion, Trump did not express his opposition to war, and said it appeared to be “a tremendous success from a military standpoint.” Trump predicted the war would continue to be great for Wall Street.

Clark Needs A New Job

Clark Says He Lacks Votes For A New Contract

Alan Pollock, Cape Cod Chronicle
February 18, 2016

HARWICH — Saying he doesn’t have support from a majority of the board to extend his contract as town administrator, Christopher Clark is looking for a new job.

Clark said it’s the first time in more than 25 years in municipal government that he’s been shown the door. “I’ve always gotten along reasonably well with board members” in the other communities where he’s worked, Clark said. In a closed-door session last Wednesday, the board of selectmen discussed the town administrator’s request for a three-year contract extension. Board of Selectmen Chairman Peter Hughes said most of the hour-long executive session was devoted to this topic, though no formal vote was taken. After the board’s regular open session that followed, Hughes said he told the town administrator that it was his sense that only two members of the five-member board favored offering him a contract extension. 

Southbridge Town Council Agenda - February 22, 2016

Town Council Meeting

MacKinnon Council Chambers

February 22, 2016

7 PM

Just a note - The Town Charter says, "2-5-1: The council shall meet regularly at least twice in every month." Item 17 calls for the next meeting to be on March 7. Does anybody remember a meeting other than this one in February?


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Cancer 'Vaccine' Developed By Scientists

The Telegraph
By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor, in Washington

Researchers in immunotherapy trials engineer cells so they boost body’s natural defences and stand guard for lifetime - acting effectively like vaccine

Researchers are engineering immune cells so that they not only boost the body’s own natural defences to fight tumours, but stand guard for a lifetime - acting effectively like a vaccine. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Hillary Clinton: The Feminist Myth

Vote for me because...I'm a woman!
Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright introduced Hillary Clinton at an event in New Hampshire on Saturday, telling the crowd and voters in general: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem says young women are supporting Democratic presidential wannabe Bernie Sanders for only one reason — to meet boys.

The pervasive myth is that Hillary Clinton is a strong woman who will break the last glass ceiling.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dealing With The Real Problem With Southbridge Schools II

In an earlier article I focused attention on the failure to employ the over $8 million in Community Development Block Grant Funds to stimulate economic development activities in Southbridge.

In this piece I want to address one particular area in which those funds might be employed to benefit the community.

At present we have a great fundamental driver of potential for growth in the career training programs offered by Quinsigamond Community College. These include courses in areas such as Career and Professional Development, Business & Marketing, Computer and Technologies, Technical and Trades and Healthcare.

What is needed is a mechanism that allows those that are so inclined to translate these skills into viable businesses. One mechanism for this is the establishment of a small business incubator. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dealing With The Real Problem With Southbridge Schools I

In the preceding article I highlighted that the fundamental problem confronting Southbridge schools is the socio-economic environment provided by the town.

In this article I want to highlight one area that can contribute to addressing this issue.

There is little doubt that any plan that might be advanced to deal with our community’s economic plight is going to cost money. With resources on the verge of dwindling, one can reasonably ask where such money might come from.

One area that has gone on for years with precious little attention from the public is in the area of Community Development Block Grants. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Real Problem With Southbridge Schools

The DESE Board's level of concern about the Southbridge Public Schools grew following the release of a recent district review that found:
  • Southbridge was among the lowest performing districts in the state in terms of the percentage of students who scored Proficient or Advanced on the 2015 MCAS assessments;
  • 34 percent of students at Southbridge Middle/High School failed at least one course in 2015;
  • 19 percent of students at Southbridge Middle/High School were suspended at least once in 2015;
  • The needs of English language learners were not being met, and the district was out of compliance with regulations regarding English language learners; and
  • The district has had seven superintendents and seven high school principals since 2011.