August 2008
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Day August 5, 2008

2,000+ citizens ask for Green Line to Route 16

Thank you very much to all who signed the petition in favor of the Green Line extension to Route 16 in Medford.  There are now more than 300 signatures on paper and more than 1,700 from the on-line petition site that remains open here.

And a big thank you to the hardworking members of the Medford Green Line Neighborhood Alliance.  Yesterday’s press release is below the fold.  Also, check out these links:

Map of petition support

PDF of Petition summary report

PDF of Route 16 Demographic Study Report

Petition signatures  

Obama Events Around the State (and more)

I just received this really great and informative email from a mybarackobama group and thought I would share.  

With only 90 days, and counting, left till the November election it’s important that we all get involved and volunteer now.  There’s a wide range of events and regions to choose from so check out the list and enjoy!


2. Local Meetings / Events

3. Carpools to New Hampshire

4. Phone Banks

5. Organizers by Region

6. Fundraising Events

7. Other Ways to Help


August 5 (Tues)

Volunteer Sign-up and Visibility at Newton Farmers’ Market

Help recruit volunteers and show your support for Barack Obama!

Location: Cold Springs Park, Beacon St., Newton

Time: 2:00-5:00 p.m., August 5

Contact: Ruth Dain (


August 7 (Thurs)

Greater Brockton Kickoff Event

All are welcome to talk about how we are going to organizing towns/city in metro Brockton. Come have some coffee and find out what you can do to help Barack Obama win in 2008.

Time: 7 PM, August 7

Location: TBA (Brockton)

Contact: John Bowes (


Sudbury for Obama Organizing Meeting

Location: Goodnow Library (21 Concord Rd, Sudbury, MA)

Time: 7:00-9:00 PM, August 7

Contact/RSVP: Doug Barth (, Kim Prendergast (


August 8 (Fri)

Framingham For Obama – Educate, Recruit and Organize

Please join us at 6 PM as we assemble at the OBAMA for President booth on the Green in Framingham, MA. On Friday evening, come enjoy Framingham Concert on the Green with the “Summer Street Band” (local favorite – pop). We will enjoy good music, talk with people, sign up volunteers, and distribute literature.

Date & Time: August 8, 6 PM

Location: Framingham Village Green, Edgel Rd and Elm St.

Contact: P. Nandi Varris (, 508-879-6841)


August 10 (Sun)

Arlington Get Together

Join us to get organized for a Democratic victory in November, to celebrate Barack Obama’s nomination, and to share cookies, crunchies and conversation.

Location: The home of Mary and Will Cummings (135 Jason Street, Arlington, MA)

Time: 4-6 PM, August 10

Contact/RSVP: or

August 16 (Sat)

Unity Picnic & BBQ

Potluck organizing meeting for people interested in representing Barack Obama at the Aug. 23 Carribean Festival in Boston or registering voters in Franklin Park following the procession. Bring food, friends and family! All participating on Aug 23 are asked to wear identical Obama T-shirts and buttons the day of Carnival, which will be available for purchase at the picnic, and will belong to you after Carnival.

Raindate is August 17.

Location: Franklin Park picnic area (Rte. 203 & Forest Hills Street)

Time: 1:00-4:00 p.m., August 16

Contact: Carlotta M. Hayes (781) 331-2829


Read below the fold for more events and more ways you can help out such as phone banking, carpooling to NH, fundraising, and more!  (Oh, and be prepared, it is a long email.)

Rule for representing Children and “those under a disability” changes on September 1, 2008b

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has issued new rules for those representing children, or anyone “under a disability”.  The changes make sense.  I am posting the entire new rule, part above “the line” and part below.

Deb Sirotkin Butler





At the Supreme Judicial Court holden at Boston within and for said Commonwealth on the twenty-second day of  July, in the year two thousand and eight:














ORDERED: That Chapter Three of the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court is hereby amended as follows:

Rule 3:07 By striking out Mass. R. Prof. C. 1.14 and inserting in lieu thereof the new Rule 1.14 attached hereto.

The amendments accomplished by this order shall take effect on  September 1, 2008.Rule 1.14 Client With Diminished Capacity

(a) When a client’s capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with a representation is diminished, whether because of minority, mental impairment or for some other reason, the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client.

(b) When the lawyer reasonably believes that the client has diminished capacity that prevents the client from making an adequately considered decision regarding a specific issue that is part of the representation, is at risk of substantial physical, financial or other harm unless action is taken, and cannot adequately act in the client’s own interest, the lawyer may take reasonably necessary protective action in connection with the representation, including consulting with individuals or entities that have the ability to take action to protect the client and, in appropriate cases, seeking the appointment of a guardian ad litem, conservator or guardian.

(c) Information relating to the representation of a client with diminished capacity is protected by Rule 1.6. When taking protective action pursuant to paragraph (b), the lawyer is impliedly authorized under Rule 1.6(a) to reveal information about the client, but only to the extent reasonably necessary to protect the client’s interests.

I’ll See You at the Debates, B!&#$es.

Offered without further comment. (let me know if you can get it to embed thx johnk for the code assist! did a “view page source” of your comment.)

“Pride in being ignorant”

I don't care if this has already shown up on every single other blog, national or state … Please, please, take a look at Barack Obama demolishing the McCain campaign's M.O. … 

You have to admit … when Obama nails it, he really nails it. That was almost worthy of Jon Stewart. (Via Jason @ the Plank.)

Robopolled Again! (Rasmussen)

I just answered a robopoll from Rasmussen, asking who I would vote for in the presidential and MA-Sen, how sure I was of my vote, and my favorable/unfavorable rating of those four candidates.  Then there were demographics, and a few wild-card questions that may be of interest.  I’ll ask you the best one after the jump, but they also wanted to know:

Patrick job performance (E/G/F/P)?  Despite my beef about UMass labor contracts, I said E

Is Kerry a major Dem leader or just an average Senator? I said average

If Obama wins, will Patrick join his administration? I said no

Will GWB be remembered as one of the best/worst in history?  Guess what I said

More after the jump:

Update: Menino Releases Bike Share Program Request for Information

Given our July conversation about the potential for bike sharing in Boston, I know some may be interested in this press release for the Mayor’s Office: Today, [Mayor Menino] proudly announced bike lanes have been put down on Commonwealth Avenue in Allston and American Legion Highway in Roslindale, with more planned, and that 250 bike racks have begun to be placed across the city, per resident recommendations. He also announced that the City has released a request for information (RFI) for bike sharing, where one can rent a bike and tour the City using multiple pick up and drop off locations. The .pdf of the RFI can be found on the city’s Boston Bikes page or downloaded here.  

” I wanted to help other struggling campaigns in any way I could.”

Civic engagement at it's  best!! Crossposted at ONE Massachusetts From CommonwealthMagazine: Homegrown campaigns often work if a lightening-rod issue is on the ballot, but when the issues are more mundane, it isn’t so easy, particularly when voters are working long hours or are newcomers to politics. An alternative, at least on one end of the ideological spectrum, is One Massachusetts, which provides free training sessions for groups organizing Proposition 2 1/2 override campaigns.The year-old, Boston–based nonprofit was spun off from the Public Policy Institute, a liberal group that promotes community activism. Colleen Corona, a member of the leadership team at One Massachusetts and chairman of the board of selectmen in Easton, remembers the “Eureka!” moment she had in 2006, when receiving invaluable tips from a campaign manager working for an elected official. At the time, Corona was organizing a Proposition 2 1/2 override campaign in her hometown. “The information got us going, and without it we could not have run our campaign,” she says. “I realized that I wanted to help other struggling campaigns in any way I could.” Colleen's picture was not featured in the Commonwealth Magazine article. This photo was taken of Colleen training local advocates on municipal […]

Better Know a BMGer: Greg in 10.5 questions

Four simple letters: g r e g.  Also one of the most prolific and thoughtful bloggers here on BMG, with impressive credentials.  Do you know greg well enough?  No you don’t!  

There are few things that can spawn an extended discussion amongst political folks than ideas about changing electoral systems.  Similar to asking college football fanatics what they think of the BCS, asking political junkies about the electoral system will generate reams of semi-mathematical arguments that range over many issues.  One of our resident electoral system specialists is greg, but his interests extend far beyond that one issue.  As always, thanks to all involved for going along with this.  For now, let’s get to better know greg!

Patrick’s priorities

I just got back from a presser at which Governor Patrick went over the accomplishments of the just-ended legislative session, and talked a bit about priorities for 2009-10.  The list of accomplishments is really quite good, especially in the environmental area (there’s an excellent rundown on the environmental stuff here); I don’t have much to add on that front.  The Gov was understandably vague about specific policy priorities for 09-10, since he doesn’t want to tip his hand at this early stage, but he made clear that the three policy areas he will focus on are property tax relief, crime, and education.

I understand why he’s reluctant to delve into specifics at this point.  But I do think that it’s important for the Governor to stake out bold, progressive positions on fiscal responsibility before the 09-10 session starts.  Taking those steps now would accomplish several things (in addition to being the right thing to do): it would help to deflate the momentum (and make no mistake, there is momentum as well as national attention) for the irresponsible but tantalizing income tax repeal ballot question; it would show that he is serious about fiscal responsibility, even at the cost of alienating powerful special interests; and it would take advantage of confusion over the House leadership to set the agenda for next January.  All of those will help him get done what he wants to do.

Here’s how he should do it: