The Democratic State Convention this year is going to be fun and exciting. Governor Deval Patrick will be the keynote speaker. It will be great to have a sitting Massachusetts Governor address us. Other big news is that every paid delegate can bring a guest at no charge. The party sent out this accouncement… I want to call your attention to a great opportunity to get more people involved in the State Democratic Party. In an effort to open the 2007 Action Agenda Convention to many grassroots activists, every paid delegate will be allowed to bring a guest at no charge. Delegates who choose to invite a guest should register at www.massdems.org or contact the party office at (617)776-2676. In a move forward, the “Delegate Guide”, formerly known as the “Call to Convention” , is accessible on-line. This has been discussed on BMG in the past, and is now a reality. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the Convention, and possibly attending as a guest of delegate, can read about it here. Kudos to John Walsh for making this information accessible and available to all. I can’t speak for all the candidates in the Fifth Congressional District, but [...]
Thanks to GoldsteinGoneWild for the earlier encouragement to read Adam Reilly’s piece in the Phoenix on Eric Goldscheider, who is SpeakingOut on BMG. It’s a terrific story, with Adam’s high standard of depth and compassion. It seems that people are tired of hearing about LaGuer. I think that’s a damn shame. In fact, I’m totally convinced that he was utterly railroaded by the legal system, and I think it’s quite likely that he’s innocent. Read what the DNA experts say about the 2002 “test”. (Here’s the actual letter.) It sounds like a straight-up botch: They put LaGuer’s underwear in with the victim’s stuff, and guess what? The DNA test was very likely contaminated. Go figure! And other than that, he’s in prison for life based an ID from the victim, a mentally ill woman who thereafter claimed that every black/Hispanic guy was the guy who raped her. I’m sorry, but I can’t accept “He had his day in court”, “justice has been served” or any other mealy-mouthing of the issue that doesn’t directly address whether the guy actually did it or not. That’s the only thing that matters. And I think it’s awfully likely he didn’t.
The latest from the National Rile Association is that persons who are on the terrorist watch list, yes those same people that we don’t allow on airplanes, should be able to freely buy as many guns and explosive materials as they want. Bill S. 1237 titled: Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2007. `The Attorney General may deny the transfer of a firearm under section 922(t)(1)(B)(ii) of this title if the Attorney General– `(1) determines that the transferee is known (or appropriately suspected) to be or have been engaged in conduct constituting, in preparation for, in aid of, or related to terrorism, or providing material support or resources for terrorism; and `(2) has a reasonable belief that the prospective transferee may use a firearm in connection with terrorism. The bill basically gives the attorney general the discretion to block a gun sale to someone on the terrorist watch list and has a reasonable belief that they could use the weapon during an attack. Well, the NRA is all riled up. From the AP (emphasis mine): The National Rifle Association is urging the Bush administration to withdraw its support of a bill that would prohibit [...]
Rurak writes on his website Rurak.com Jim Rurak for Mayor of Haverhill OUR SCHOOLS: While I was mayor we undertook an aggressive program of school building construction and renovation. We built the Pentucket Lake and Bradford Elementary Schools. We completely re-built Nettle School. Almost every other building was upgraded. In addition, we laid down plans for the complete rehabilitation of the High School – plans now underway. Just as importantly, we added teachers and staff, we improved our libraries and high-tech equipment. We stressed accountability throughout our system. We prepared the system for the onset of the high-stakes MCAS test. Right now, we have one of the highest drop-out rates in the state; we’re under close watch for our failure to improve our low MCAS scores. The Department of Education officially declared our school system as “underperforming.” We must renew the promise of excellence in our schools. The mayor can’t do everything, but the incumbent’s divisive tactics ripple down through the school committee to the school system. I will change this and help restore the focus of our school system from political games to meeting the needs of our students
an increase in the number of autopsies had caused unclaimed bodies to pile up in the agency’s [medical examiner's office] overcrowded Boston headquarters in the South End and in a refrigerated truck parked behind the building.
In addition, the office acknowledged, the plumbing system had clogged, resulting in pools of blood on the autopsy room floor, and basic supplies had run out periodically, including body bags and toe tags.
Following those reports, on March 16 Burke ordered Flomenbaum to turn over all unclaimed bodies within two weeks to state welfare officials, who handle burials for the homeless, and to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, which provides burials for veterans whose bodies are unclaimed.
At the time, Flomenbaum and Burke, whom Patrick appointed in January, also engaged in a public spat over who was to blame.
Burke said public safety officials had given Flomenbaum money to expand storage and had eased regulations to help him remove bodies.
Flomenbaum countered that state officials had failed to deliver promised money for additional space and other improvements, even though the office’s budget increased by 38 percent since he took over.
By April 27, nearly a month after the two-week deadline, the office had released 88 bodies, including two that had been stored at the office since the mid-1990s, and still had 26 corpses at the headquarters, according to Marcia S. Izzi, its chief administrative officer.
In a 2000 report, the National Association of Medical Examiners said annual funding had remained flat at roughly $3.3 million since the early 1980s and needed to be quadrupled. The study called the regional offices ”woefully inadequate,” found dozens of deficiencies and health hazards, and said salaries were so low that it was impossible to attract and retain employees. The state later closed the Worcester and Cape Cod offices.
A comment from the recent health insurer “adverse selection” thread struck me, and John McDonough highlighted it in a post of his as well. Our longtime commenter “fairdeal” writes: i had a wonderful 2 hours this morning cruising through health plan options that are now suddenly affordable for me. personally, i was thrilled to seek out the information. i have been waiting for this day my entire adult life. and the connector has actually done a pretty good job of consolidating and making available information about various plans options. before, it would be necessary to call up the sales office at blue cross, the sales office at fallon, the sales office at harvard-pilgrim, the sales office at tufts, the sales office at vanguard, and on and on. so not only can one get all of the benefits/costs overviews directly from the connector, you (or at least i) have some peace of mind that there now exists an oversight and regulatory party. whereas before, shopping for health insurance felt like being thrown into a shark tank. More than a year ago, “fairdeal” and I used to go head-to-head: I was in favor of our new health care law, with serious reservations; [...]
Last weekend, MassEquality premiered our new documentary video, “Better Angels,” at House Parties all across the state. It’s now up on our website — check it out at: http://www.massequal… This documentary film, which is being sent to all Massachusetts legislators, shows what happened just two years ago in Wisconsin, when supporters of equality lost a campaign to prevent a similar discriminatory anti-gay amendment from being written into the Wisconsin Constitution. Please check it out, and forward it to your family & friends!
Just an FYI here: professional obligations will keep me away from regular posting on BMG for the next few weeks.