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Month January 2014

Sara Duzan’s guardian was formerly against the use of restraints on her

(Cross-posted from The COFAR Blog) The court-appointed guardian for Sara Duzan, who is now supportive of her care in a group home where Sara has been subjected to restraints and seclusion, strongly opposed the use of those methods for controlling her behavior in two previous publicly funded residences. Emails and other records in the case show that both Lynne Turner, Sara’s guardian, and Turner’s husband, Michael, were highly critical in late 2011 and early 2012 of Sara’s care and treatment at the Spaulding Youth Center in New Hampshire and the Kolburne School in New Marlborough, MA.  In addition, Michael Turner, who was the attorney for Sara’s family until December 2011, criticized Sara’s previous guardian for having cut off all communication between Sara and her family. The circumstances of 2011 and 2012 appear to have repeated themselves in the past several months, only it is now Lynne Turner who, as Sara’s guardian, has cut off all family communication with her and appears to be in support of the use of physical restraints on her and enforced seclusion in her current residence operated by Becket Family of Services. Lynne Turner has billed the family for her guardianship services, but the Duzans have refused to […]

I’m part of the Repeal The Casino Deal legal team

By way of disclosure, or just as an FYI, I’m herewith letting you know that I’m part of the legal team that is trying to get the casino repeal on the ballot this November.  As you probably know, the pro-repeal forces have already collected enough signatures to place the question on the ballot; the only remaining obstacle is the Attorney General’s ruling that the question was not the sort that can go directly to the people.  We think the AG’s ruling is wrong; the Supreme Judicial Court will decide.  I’m happy to help out (I am not being paid).  Globe: The casino law repeal movement, once largely dismissed as the whimsical campaign of a few antigambling zealots, has assembled a legal team of experienced constitutional specialists to carry the fight for a statewide repeal vote into the state’s highest court, amid signs that the repeal effort is gaining strength. Two Boston lawyers who have worked in the state attorney general’s office, Thomas O. Bean and H. Reed Witherby, will lead the team representing the anticasino citizens campaign Repeal the Casino Deal in an ongoing case before the Supreme Judicial Court. The central question for the court to decide is whether […]

Due to high demand of natural gas, new pipeline construction being proposed in Northern Massachusetts

Good news here, possibly 3,000 construction jobs could be created if Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. receives approval to construct a new gas pipeline, which will run from the NY/MA border, head north through Franklin and Worcester County, and end in Dracut MA. “TGP is looking to install a 36-inch line through Massachusetts to transport gas from traditional and developing supply regions, including the Marcellus and Utica shale deposits in the Northeast.” Several towns have been notified and all seem receptive in seeing this project break ground and hopefully completed by 2018. I believe Pres. Obama mentioned a goal during his most recent SOTU about converting some of our vehicles to run on natural gas, so this project won’t be held up like Keystone XL and I doubt much resistance from anyone. Keep fracking boys! http://www.telegram.com/article/20140129/NEWS/301299592/1237?app=noRedirect

Poker Face: Grossman Doubles Down on State-sponsored Gambling

 “Cards are war, in disguise of a sport.” –Charles Lamb Although I don’t question the findings, the Final Report of Treasurer Grossman’s Online Products Task Force is an odd document, in part for its conclusions, but also for its perspective. As a teacher, I’m well-acquainted with the influence of business models and rhetoric. Education policy in the 21st century is a parody of contemporary business management. But this report doesn’t just talk the talk. It walks the walk. Or maybe it runs the run. Call me crazy, but the whole things sound more than a bit creepy. As a selectman, I’m well aware of how much lottery revenue means to cities and towns, but I think of the lottery as a revenue stream, not a business. Sure, the Commonwealth may produce lottery products that are sold at retail outlets, but the idea is to generate revenue, not enjoy “extraordinary market penetration” and “generate the profits.” Taxes are not profits. If more revenue were raised through, say, closing tax loopholes, we wouldn’t talk about improving our tax market penetration. We are citizens of the Commonwealth, not customers. The internet may indeed put the ”lottery’s market position” at risk, but does the state treasurer’s fiduciary responsibility really […]

Massachusetts doesn’t have to put up with offshore tax havens

Where is Massachusetts going to get the money to improve the T, expand early education to every child or invest in job growth? Well we can start by looking at the Cayman Islands. We hear the term “offshore tax haven” all the time, but what exactly does it mean besides exotic locales like the Cayman Islands or Bermuda? Corporations dodge taxes by booking profits made in America to tax havens like the Cayman Islands that levy little to no tax. We at Massachusetts Fair Share believe it’s about time that rich corporations should start living by the same rules as the rest of us. It’s time to close these loopholes and invest in an economy that works for everyone. And the best part is, we don’t need to wait for Congress. Oregon is about to enact a law to recoup money stashed in offshore tax havens this year and Montana has already done so, a move Montana’s former chief Director of Revenue, Dan Bucks, said brought “…a measure of tax justice to small businesses, farmers and ranchers, retirees and wage earners who already pay taxes on income they earn in Montana.  Without the law, these Montanans would pay more to […]

Dear Granite State: We are just getting started

Today’s Globe says you are growing a tad “weary” of waiting for Scott Brown. Oh honey. We are just getting started with this guy. By the time you are done you will remember the weariness of merely waiting for this thin-skinned empty suit with nostalgia and longing. You’ve got a lot more tiredness ahead of you. Remember he is a native son of New Hampshire! Meaning Kittery. And he drives a truck. And no, we do not want him back. Have fun.

It’s all tied up in New Hampshire, Scott Brown 44% Jeanne Shaheen 44%

I predicted Jeanne Shaheen will be out of the race in June, and you can take that to the bank, it’s earning interest. After the democrats ran negative ads, accusing Brown of being tied to Big Oil, Big Banks, blah blah blah, Scott Brown went from a 3 point deficit to a tie. Clearly, the voters of NH don’t eat that dog food like they do in Massachusetts. Also, Democrats didn’t help themselves by insulting Brown b/c he is from Massachussets, not a true NH resident in other words. However, something like 40% of NH voters have relocated from different parts of the country. Why a party would tick off 40% of the people is beyond me. Inside the poll, Brown has a lead with Independents and a huge lead the male vote. He is trailing with the women voters, but once they realize Brown is more liberal on social issues, that will narrow for sure. True, the realities of Obamacare is hurting Shaheen, but her re-election may have been shattered at the SOTU when Obama turned into a bully, threatening to use his pen and just bypass Congress, and simply issue executive orders. Of course, this contradicts what candidate […]

Restore Fair Trade-Oppose TPP Fast Track

A fantastic friend of labor and longtime fair trade advocate David Bonior, former Democratic Rep from Michigan, had a devastating Op Ed in the Times indicting Obama’s misleading SOTU rhetoric that TPP would create American manufacturing jobs. And, for America’s remaining manufacturing workers, Nafta put downward pressure on wages by enabling employers to threaten to move jobs offshore during wage bargaining. A 1997 Cornell University study ordered by the Nafta Commission for Labor Cooperation found that as many as 62 percent of union drives faced employer threats to relocate abroad, and the factory shutdown rate following successful union certifications tripled after Nafta. But when the Center for Economic and Policy Research applied the data to the theory, they found that reductions in consumer prices had not been sufficient to offset losses in wage levels. They found that American workers without college degrees had most likely lost more than 12 percent of their wages to Nafta-style trade, even accounting for the benefits of cheaper goods. This means a loss of more than $3,300 per year for a worker earning the median annual wage of $27,500. The Nafta data poses a significant challenge for President Obama. As he said on Tuesday, he […]

Caption contest: your #magov candidates

This from the Springfield Republican’s write-up of tonight’s debate in Northampton among the Democratic candidates for Governor.  As far as I can tell, the news from the debate is that Joe Avellone has pulled a Berwick on casinos: Avellone said the benefits of casinos were oversold and he is against casino gaming, a view also shared by Berwick. “There is an overestimate in the revenue to the commonwealth,” he said. “And it will add a whole new health burden to this commonwealth. The cost is not worth the benefit and there are other ways to add to our economy.” Also amusing: Martha Coakley grudgingly admitted that she would vote against a casino if proposed for her home town of Medford, and Steve Grossman would do the same, even though both apparently support bringing casino gambling to somewhere else in the state. Anyway, here’s the photo – what’s your caption?

2Weeksie edit’s out Margaret Marshall and Gives Us The Truth Behind the Probation

Below is from the renown 2weeksie, this post was first removed because I think David got a call from Margaret Marshall’s people. Changes were made. Doesn’t negate the nefarious deeds the former Chief Justice committed to get her chief of staff a job and punish her enimies. James Michael Curley would be proud. “Tammany Hall Margaret”.  Enjoy. Ernie This Globe story about the conflicts in the Probation case note that Wyshak’s co-counsel is Ass. US Attorney Robert Fisher. Fisher previously worked for Judge Sailor. What are the odds that Judge Sailor wrote a recommendation to Freddy Wyshak on behalf of young Robert? Coincidentally, young Robert Fisher was also Freddy’s co-counsel in the fraudulent prosecution of Mrs. Tierney. This probation case is loaded with conflicts. Chief Justice Margaret Marshall appointed Paul Ware to be an independent counsel. Ware was already on Marshall’s speed dial because they were close friends and former colleagues. Ware and his firm had recently billed the state for several million dollars. Ummmm, that’s not very “independent”. Marshall’s husband was a renowned Pulitzer Prise winning columnist and author and an icon of the New York Times, the Boston Globe’s Parent Company. She gave the Globe the exclusive story […]