I’m seeing lots of reports, on local news and elsewhere, of a tornado that has touched down in a number of central and western MA communities. Significant damage is reported. The storms are heading east, and much of the state is under a tornado warning or watch (depending on the location). These are dangerous storms of a kind not often seen in New England. Keep your eye on the weather, and if the storm is coming your way, please take cover. General advice for what to do in a tornado: Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Do not open windows. Stay safe, everyone.
(Cross-posted from the COFAR blog) It’s now clear that there will be no independent study of the cost of closing versus maintaining the Templeton, Monson, and Glavin developmental centers for people with profound intellectual disabilities in Massachusetts. Instead, the Patrick administration will continue on its path of closing these critically important institutions on the basis of its largely unscrutinzed claim that doing so will save money. We figured the administration and the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers wouldn’t want an independent assessment of that savings claim. Now we know the leadership in the House and Senate didn’t want it either. As a result, it will not happen. Last week, the Senate leadership scuttled a budget amendment, which would have specified that a study of the cost of closing Monson, Templeton, and Glavin be undertaken by a non-governmental entity selected by the Inspector General. This occurred after the House had scuttled a similar amendment, and after the ADDP and The Boston Herald had cited inflated numbers on the cost of operating the Fernald Developmental Center. (Fernald, by the way, wouldn’t even have been included in the proposed cost study.) What were the administration and the ADDP, in particular, so afraid of? I think I can guess. There is a possibility that [...]
Cross-posted locally. Right before the lineup cards were being exchanged on the field, a noise from above distracted the spectators as the 55-foot long helicopter buzzed over trees in left field, circled the outfield and landed in an adjacent football field. Christie disembarked from the helicopter and got into a black car with tinted windows that drove him about a 100 yards to the baseball field. What a dedicated Dad. For four innings. During the 5th inning, Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie got into the car, rode back to the helicopter and left the game. During a pitching change, play was stopped for a couple of minutes while the helicopter took off. The game was being held at St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale in Bergen County. Christie watched the game from the stands, flanked by State Police security guards. Link As a reminder, Jane Swift got in big trouble (political trouble anyway) for using a helicopter to go home and babysit her infant twins. Say goodbye to your VP slot, Gov. Christie, if the press pays attention to this.
The 2010 Census, which came out in March, has decreed that Massachusetts will lose one of its ten Congressional seats. So the State Legislature is busy drawing up a new state map that will shrink the number of Congressional districts by one and will make analogous changes to state legislative districts based on population changes within the state. Losing a Congressional seat is more the rule than the exception for us these days. The 1980 Census cost us a seat – we went from 12 to 11. We lost another one in 1990. In 2000, we held on to our ten remaining seats. But this year, we’re going from 10 to 9. (We are kept company by states like Pennsylvania, whose current streak of losing censuses is 11. The last census in which Pennsylvania didn’t lose a Congressional seat occurred during the McKinley administration.) The fact that the Democrats cannot protect all ten incumbent Congresspersons presents an opportunity for the Republicans. They’re looking to repeat their success in the 1990 redistricting. Back then, the GOP emerged from the electoral scrum with two of the ten Congressional seats, helped by a popular Republican Governor, William Weld, who could credibly threaten to [...]
BOSS: AFL-CIO resident Robert Haynes will not run for reelection as the Union’s head.(WBUR) MORE: Herald, Globe DiFENSE: It’s the accused side’s turn to tell the tell of the infamous Cognos contract. Herald, Globe, AP DISCLOSURE: The BBJ and Globe tackle ineffective disclosure forms. TIN HATS: The Somerville Journal is a hotbed for “drafterism.” Release the draft maps, Mr. Secretary! Read the rest of the MASSterList, including the Mitt Monitor, today’s legislative headlines, transportation news, new health care headlines, today’s Best of the Blogs and more by signing up for daily email at MASSterList.com
It’s been a while since I posted, but The Boston Globe’s recent piece on the backroom discussions leading up to Romneycare sparked a thought in my head that drove me to shove the piles of papers, magazines and Val-Packs off the Blogotron 2000. The thought is this: that what may ultimately bring Mitt Romney down, isn’t his position-shifting, his parsing of facts, his blowin’-in-the-wind principles — rather that his base and party shifted right under his feet. A seismic shift that turned what should be his one proud shining gubernatorial moment – the Mass. health insurance reform law – into a Titantic anchor around his neck. As we read in the Globe article, Romney considered the individual mandate for health insurance to be the “ultimate conservative idea.” And it was, if you use the 2006 definition of “conservative.” And therein lies Romney’s problem (and exposes the basic hypcricies of so many members of the GOP). What was “conservative” from 1994- 2006 is vastly different than what is considered conservative in this crazy post-Obama/Tea Party world. In 2006, being conservative really meant you supported Big Government in that Ronald Reagan kind of way. Conservatives of 2006 supported the Patriot Act, started multiple wars, ran up massive deficits, trried to intervene in [...]
Greetings BMGers! My name is Christine Barber and I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to you. I’m a candidate in the open seat race to represent Somerville’s Ward 4 on our city’s Board of Aldermen. I would love to have your support whether you live in Ward 4, elsewhere in Somerville, or anywhere across the Commonwealth – and that support can begin simply by “Like-ing” my Facebook page and following my Twitter feed. I have spent my career advocating for the well-being of Massachusetts residents. Currently, I’m Senior Policy Analyst at the non-profit health advocacy organization Community Catalyst, where I work with local and state advocates focused on improving the health care system, providing in-depth analysis and strategic counsel. I listen to patients’ problems with the health care system and find solutions to improve health care access and coverage. Prior to working at Community Catalyst, I served as Research Analyst for the Committee on Health Care Financing in the Massachusetts State Legislature, working on budget analysis and the state’s landmark health care law. WBUR’s Carey Goldberg recently interviewed me for her article “Q&A: When A Health Wonk Runs For Office” to get a sense of the intersection [...]