Paul working for you.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Winchendon town manager, under fire over deficit, says foes are 'telling a story'

Winchendon town manager, under fire over deficit, says foes are 'telling a story'
Winchendon Town Manager James Kreidler in his office last month ((T&G Staff File Photo/CHRISTINE PETERSON)) 
 By George Barnes TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
george.barnes@telegram.com

WINCHENDON — Hoping to clear up what he said are misunderstandings surrounding a large deficit in the town budget, Town Manager James M. Kreidler Jr. said at a news conference Monday afternoon there are three simple fundamental truths about the matter.

First, he said, there is no money missing. Second, the town accountant does not work for the town manager, and third, he will have a plan to deal with the budget gap.

Last week the Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 to ask Mr. Kreidler to resign. He refused and because two selectmen supported him, the board could not force him to step down. At least four votes are needed to force his resignation.

Mr. Kreidler said he plans to continue as town manager and is developing a plan to fix the deficit, which he thinks is $2.3 million, but Selectman Blair Jackson said could be as much as $5 million.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Shrewsbury to vote on rezoning of old Spag's property

Shrewsbury to vote on rezoning of old Spag's property

By Elaine Thompson TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
elaine.thompson@telegram.com


SHREWSBURY — A special town meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Oak Middle School will include a vote on zoning modifications needed for the development of a mixed-use project on the site of the former Spag's warehouse, but other items are also on the 11-article warrant.

Samuel Adams, manager of Spagtacular LLC, is owner of the proposed development, which will be called "The Grove." He is paying the estimated $3,500 cost of the special meeting.

The proposed 27-acre development would have frontage on Route 9, Maple Avenue and Oak Street. The former Chelmsford Ginger Ale bottling facility/Spag's warehouse and a single-family home currently stand on the site.

Article 1 seeks the rezoning of 9.6 acres currently zoned Residence B-1 to Commercial-Business.

Article 2 would amend the Lakeway Overlay District map to include 10.85 acres of the Spagtacular property. Some of the land is already zoned Lakeway Overlay.

Article 8 would authorize selectmen to negotiate an agreement for payment in lieu of taxes between the town and TenK Energy LLC. The solar energy facility was selected as the highest bidder for a 20-year land lease at the landfill.

The big “middle class” rip-off: How a short sale taught me rich people’s ethics

MONDAY, SEP 29, 2014 07:00 AM EDT

The big “middle class” rip-off: How a short sale taught me rich people’s ethics

So many of us are clueless about business and finance. Here's why that's just the way the investment class likes it
EDWIN LYNGAR
(Credit: Andy Dean Photography via Shutterstock) 
“Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” – Honoré de Balzac.

The closest I ever came to acting like a rich person was two years ago when I short-sold my primary residence.  I might have been able to keep it but strategic default made life easier.  I owed about $400,000 on a house that short-sold for $150K.  The bank lost more than a quarter of a million dollars, and I lost at least $80K in down payment and property improvements.  In a short sale the bank agrees to settle debt for the lesser amount and the seller gets nothing but is “punished” by not being able to finance another house for at least two years (rules vary).  My moment of acting rich was when I bought a second house before short-selling the first to skirt around the repercussions of my own bad luck.

Sins of Omission

Sins of Omission

Paying off the local media: What's the going rate?
Mark Haranas
Assistant Managing Editor

To make a long conversation short, some people think newspapers are corrupt and biased.

It’s not a common call The Gardner News receives, but we sometimes get it when a hot topic or issue comes up, like recently in Winchendon — the phone definitely rang a few times.

“You’re only writing what he (or she) wants you to write!” or “You’re in their back pocket!”

So many times our reporters and editors over the years have had to listen to insulting rants and obnoxiously rude comments from people about how our reporting is biased, or how we’re lying or getting paid under the table.

I can humbly say that this newspaper has never taken (or even been offered) any bribes of any sort. Neither have we swayed any article in favor of someone or some issue because a local or government official, police officer, or even local resident secretly asked us too.
I don’t even know what someone would offer us.

Money?

Fame?

A hot lunch?

From my point of view, it’s completely ludicrous to believe that reporters or editors sway their writing to please someone. It’s just not how this business, or any professional news outlet works.

Don't fall for ISIS' ploy

Don't fall for ISIS' ploy
It's an old tactic, yet always effective: provoke your opponent into an attack that works to your advantage. Three public beheadings and the country is in a clamor for war. These events are a deliberate attempt to provoke.

Why? Why would ISIS deliberately provoke Western powers?

The grand caliph, having declared himself the ruler of all Islam, is finding that other Muslim leaders are somewhat resistant. Currently, ISIS is in battle with other Muslim forces in Iraq and Syria. How to get those opposed to join their side? Why not unite them against a common enemy? Why not goad the Great Satan into a war? We will come in, blow up a lot of things, get everybody angry at us, and then leave, leaving ISIS the leader of the angry multitude.

Woes in Winchendon

Woes in Winchendon
We wouldn't normally comment on what's happening in Winchendon Town Hall, but the events unfolding there in recent days offer an almost textbook lesson in how not to conduct local government.

A majority of the five-member Board of Selectmen is at odds with Town Manager James M. Kreidler Jr. over the latter's financial management and a recent audit. Unknown to selectmen, what had appeared to be a relatively stable financial picture is actually a portrait of a town in debt, with estimates from the state Department of Revenue of from $3 million to $5 million worth of red ink.

Mr. Kreidler disagrees, putting the estimated deficit for the current fiscal year at about $2.3 million.

But the size of the debt matters much less than the lack of communication, confidence and trust between selectmen and their manager.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

ISIS ...not just an ancient Egyptain goddess

ISIS ...not just an ancient Egyptian goddess

It is possible to contact your elected federal officials and receive a response:


September 26, 2014


Dear Mrs. Farrell:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, as well as your opposition to the use of American military force in Iraq and Syria. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue, and I share your concerns.

As you may know, since the beginning of June, the Islamic militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has seized large portions of territory in the north and west of Iraq. This group formed in Iraq in response to the United States-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and it has been conducting attacks in Iraq since then. From the beginning of the Syrian Civil War, ISIS has also been active in, and has controlled territory in, eastern Syria. While ISIS had never left Iraq, it escalated its activities in early June 2014, culminating in its seizure of Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city.

It is not surprising that as soon as this news broke some members of Congress began calling on the President to send troops to Iraq. However, the United States cannot solve the problems of Iraq, nor is a military solution the appropriate way to address the consequences of a corrupt, authoritarian government that failed to govern on behalf of all the people of Iraq. Since assuming the premiership of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki has alienated the Sunni Muslim population, exacerbating the sectarian tensions that have led to this crisis.

Warren wants hearings: Secret recordings show Federal Reserve in bed with Goldman Sachs!

Warren wants hearings: Secret recordings show Federal Reserve in bed with Goldman Sachs!

Explosive new secret recordings of Federal Reserve regulators in bed with Goldman Sachs has Senator Elizabeth Warren irate and demanding a federal probe into this close, and special, Wall Street/Federal Reserve Regulator relationship:

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren called for congressional hearings into allegations that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has been too deferential to the firms it regulates.
A radio program about the regional Fed bank raised “disturbing issues” and “it’s our job to make sure our financial regulators are doing their jobs,” Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat and member of the Senate Banking Committee, said in a statement yesterday.

The radio program Senator Warren was referring to was yesterdays "This American Life: The Secret Recordings of Carmen Segarra"


(update) ProPublica 1hr ago (Congressional reactions to these secret Goldman Sachs and Federal Reserve recordings)

(update) USA Today 1hr ago..



Transcript of recordings
Transcript
536: The Secret Recordings of Carmen Segarra SEP 26, 2014
Note: This is a rush transcript created at press time. We cannot guarant



Prologue.
Ira Glass Hey there everybody, today we have secret recordings taped inside one of the most powerful institutions in this country. Its a place we pretty much almost never get a glimpse inside. And they’re revealing, and in lots of ways very disturbing. But to understand what they’re about and why they’re so interesting, you actually need a little context. So I need to take you back to the financial crisis.
After the financial meltdown in 2008 there was a lot of attention and a lot of blame heaped on the one institution that was in a position both to predict that the meltdown could happen and to prevent the meltdown. That institution is the Federal Reserve The Fed and, in particular, its office in New York City, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It’s responsible for regulating the banks on Wall Street, which is to say some of the biggest banks in the world. It’s supposed to monitor what they do, its supposed to make sure they don’t break rules or take risks that could bring down the financial system.
After they failed at that so spectacularly with the financial crisis, even the people at the Fed admitted they should’ve done a better job. And to figure out how to do a better job, one of the things they did is they commissioned a report a secret report that you and I were never supposed to see. 

David Beim Well it was supposed to be completely confidential, as you can probably gather from the tone it is totally candid and highly self-critical. 

Ira Glass This is David Beim, author of the secret report. These days, actually, anybody can read this confidential and candid report because a government commission released the report to the public. Some people at the Fed were surprised at that. But they got lucky. Because the report was released in a flood of hundreds of other documents, the press didn’t really notice it. Nobody paid attention to this report.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cover of the Rolling Stone

Koch Style

Inside the Koch Brothers' Toxic Empire 

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/inside-the-koch-brothers-toxic-empire-20140924#ixzz3EZB8rP4x


Together, Charles and David Koch control one of the world's largest fortunes, which they are using to buy up our political system. But what they don't want you to know is how they made all that money

The enormity of the Koch fortune is no mystery. Brothers Charles and David are each worth more than $40 billion. The electoral influence of the Koch brothers is similarly well-chronicled. The Kochs are our homegrown oligarchs; they've cornered the market on Republican politics and are nakedly attempting to buy Congress and the White House.

Their political network helped finance the Tea Party and powers today's GOP. Koch-affiliated organizations raised some $400 million during the 2012 election, and aim to spend another $290 million to elect Republicans in this year's midterms. So far in this cycle, Koch-backed entities have bought 44,000 political ads to boost Republican efforts to take back the Senate.

What is less clear is where all that money comes from. Koch Industries is headquartered in a squat, smoked-glass building that rises above the prairie on the outskirts of Wichita, Kansas. The building, like the brothers' fiercely private firm, is literally and figuratively a black box. Koch touts only one top-line financial figure: $115 billion in annual revenue, as estimated by Forbes. By that metric, it is larger than IBM, Honda or Hewlett-Packard and is America's second-largest private company after agribusiness colossus Cargill. The company's stock response to inquiries from reporters: "We are privately held and don't disclose this information."

But Koch Industries is not entirely opaque. The company's troubled legal history – including a trail of congressional investigations, Department of Justice consent decrees, civil lawsuits and felony convictions – augmented by internal company documents, leaked State Department cables, Freedom of Information disclosures and company whistle­-blowers, combine to cast an unwelcome spotlight on the toxic empire whose profits finance the modern GOP.

Under the nearly five-decade reign of CEO Charles Koch, the company has paid out record civil and criminal environmental penalties. And in 1999, a jury handed down to Koch's pipeline company what was then the largest wrongful-death judgment of its type in U.S. history, resulting from the explosion of a defective pipeline that incinerated a pair of Texas teenagers.

The most important chart about the American economy you'll see this year

The most important chart about the American economy you'll see this year

Pavlina Tcherneva's chart showing the distribution of income gains during periods of economic expansion is burning up the economics internet over the past 24 hours and for good reason. The trend it depicts is shocking:
(Pavlina Tcherneva)

For a long time, most of the gains from economic growth went to the bottom 90 percent of the income distribution. And, after all, the bottom 90 percent includes the vast majority of people. Since 1980, that hasn't been the case. And for the first several years of the current expansion, the bottom 90 percent saw inflation-adjusted incomes continue to fall.
The data series ends in 2012 and we don't know how long the expansion will last, so that negative income trend may evaporate before all is said and done. But unless there's a massive break with the previous three expansions we will continue to have an economy where the typical family's living standards grow much more slowly than GDP growth per se would allow.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekend Update

Weekend Update

Saturday Sept. 27th

SMALL ENGINE AND CLASSIC CAR AND TRUCK SHOW - TEMPLETON

SECOND ANNUAL SMALL ENGINE AND CLASSIC CAR AND TRUCK SHOW — On Saturday, Sept. 27, the historical society will fill the historic Templeton Common with wonderful things that go whirr, clang, beep and zoom during its Second Annual Small Engine and Classic Car and Truck Show from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Rain date is Sunday, Sept. 28. This event, which is fun for the whole family, is co-hosted by the Central Massachusetts Steam, Gas and Machinery Association (www.cmsgma.com) to benefit the historical society, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary. An added attraction this year is The Thousand Acre Jazz Band, made possible by a grant from the Templeton Arts and Cultural Council. The performance will include early jazz, old blues, vintage  pop, and standards from the 1920s through the 1940s. Named after the Thousand Acre Swamp in the Quabbin, the band is led by Stephen Babineau. So come and have some fun, get out of the sun and “ooh and ah” at some fantastic machinery. For more info., contact narragansetthistoricalsociety@yahoo.com or www.narragansetthistoricalsociety.com.



http://www.briansgiftroadrace.org/
Brian's Gift Road Race - 10 am Ashburnham


Sunday Sept. 28th

Purple Heart Proclamation Day
at 1:00 pm
Templeton Center by the Main Flag Pole
 

Winchendon school board wants selectmen to try again to oust town manager

Winchendon school board wants selectmen to try again to oust town manager

By Paula J. Owen TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF



WINCHENDON — The School Committee voted unanimously Thursday night to ask selectmen to again seek Town Manager James M. Kreidler Jr.'s resignation, and, if he again refuses to resign, to at least not renew his five-year contract, which is up June 30.

At their meeting Monday night, selectmen voted 3-2 for Mr. Kreidler's resignation. But as part of his contract, a fourth-fifths vote is needed to terminate his contract.

School Committee members also took a vote of no confidence in Mr. Kreidler. The actions come in light of a possible $3 million to $5 million budget deficit recently uncovered by auditors.

Additionally, the school board voted to have the district's lawyer look into the town's handling of the school district's revolving accounts and the health insurance trust, which school employees are 77 percent holders of. The board wants the lawyer to refer the matter to Attorney General Martha Coakley's office and the state auditor if deemed necessary. The town is self-insured and contributions are held in a trust. The audit found a $1.8 million deficit in the health insurance trust. 

Winchendon selectmen fume over town manager's withholding of audit

Winchendon selectmen fume over town manager's withholding of audit

DEFICIT IN THE MILLIONS
Winchendon Town Manager James M. Kreidler Jr. in August (T&G Staff File Photo/CHRISTINE PETERSON)
By Paula J. Owen TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

WINCHENDON — Selectmen want to know why it took weeks before the town manager provided them with an audit that uncovered a deficit in the millions in town accounts. 

The audit was sent to Town Hall and addressed to selectmen from the town's auditing firm, Roselli, Clark & Associates of Woburn. 

C. Jackson Blair, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said he asked Town Manager James M. Kreidler Jr. many times for a copy of the audit, which was dated July 31. 

Correspondence addressed to selectmen is sent to Mr. Kreidler's office, he said, and is supposed to be placed in each selectman's file. That was not done with the audit, he said. 

The audit, covering fiscal 2013, which ended June 30, 2013, cites several deficiencies, including a lack of ongoing budget monitoring. The auditors are continuing to look into fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2015, which began July 1. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Flu season is around the corner

Flu season is around the corner

By Elaine Thompson TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
elaine.thompson@telegram.com


Like it or not, Old Man Winter and the annual flu season are just around the corner.

And, as with other illnesses, prevention is the best cure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health care agencies recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated, ideally by October.

The sooner people are vaccinated, the sooner it will ensure that as many people as possible are protected before the flu season begins, said Benjamin N. Haynes, a spokesman for the CDC Infectious Disease Team. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to give the maximum benefit.

"Getting vaccinated by October is ideal, but for people who have not gotten vaccinated by Thanksgiving, getting vaccinated later can still be protective during most seasons because flu activity continues into the spring," said Mr. Haynes. He pointed out that National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 7-13, was established to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination after the holidays.

The flu season usually begins near the end of December and peaks by early February.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Outstanding Accounts Receivable...TMLWP

Outstanding Accounts Receivable...TMLWP

From: "accountant@templeton1.org"
To: J Driscoll
Cc: "townadministrator@templeton1.org"
Date: September 22, 2014 at 6:06 PM
Subject: Outstanding Accounts Receivable
John,
We noticed that the Light and Water Departments have invoices outstanding that are just more than 60 days overdue (from the billing date), which the invoices total $94,457.70 and $28,100.82 for the Light and Water Departments respectively. The Total does not include today's billing of $121,600.90 and $36,774.12 for the Light and Water Department respectively.

Pipeline Update from Sen. Warren

Pipeline Update from Sen. Warren
 Dear Julie,

Thank you for contacting me about the proposed Kinder Morgan / Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company natural gas pipeline northeast expansion project through Massachusetts.

In recent months, representatives of Kinder Morgan, Inc. and its subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C., have approached Massachusetts landowners, towns and land trusts to ask permission to conduct surveys for a proposed pipeline that would carry natural gas from the New York border across our state to Dracut, MA.  I have heard from many Massachusetts homeowners and businesses that are deeply concerned about the impact of this proposal on their farms and properties.  Conservation commissions in towns along the intended route and citizen groups dedicated to protecting our state's environment have also raised concerns that this proposed natural gas pipeline would needlessly disrupt environmentally sensitive conservation land.   Because I share many of these concerns, I do not support the current proposal.

Enterovirus confirmed in Mass. girl, 8

Enterovirus confirmed in Mass. girl, 8
By Elaine Thompson TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
elaine.thompson@telegram.com

The first case of Enterovirus D68, a severe respiratory virus that has sent scores of mostly asthmatic children to hospitals in about 30 states, has been confirmed in Massachusetts.

Public Health Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett, in a telephone conference Tuesday, said the patient, an 8-year-old girl from the southeastern part of the state, has a history of asthma. She was hospitalized and has since been released. No details about the child were made public.

The virus was first reported in the Midwest and quickly spread to the Southeast and now has reached the Northeast. Connecticut has also reported one case.

Ms. Bartlett and Dr. Al DeMaria, the state epidemiologist, said they expect to see more cases during the next two weeks. About 80 specimens from across the state have been sent to be tested at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The virus is circulating. We have a positive test now," Dr. DeMaria said. "I think we're seeing activity from all over the state. We have gotten specimens from all over the state for testing. We would assume it's everywhere in the state."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Winchendon, millions in the red, calls for town manager to step down; he refuses

Winchendon, millions in the red, calls for town manager to step down; he refuses.

By Paula J. Owen TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

WINCHENDON — Selectmen voted 3-2 Monday night to ask for Town Manager James M. Kreidler Jr.'s resignation in the aftermath of a recent audit that found deficiencies in the town's accounting and budgeting practices that the Department of Revenue estimates put the town in the hole from $3 million to $5 million this fiscal year.
Mr. Kreidler responded that he will not resign.

To fill the hole, Mr. Kreidler — who said he estimates the deficit to be closer to $2.3 million — has compiled a preliminary plan that he submitted to the DOR that includes cuts that would take effect in the coming months. They include slashing the town and school budgets by $250,000 each and taking $500,000 from the town's stabilization fund. However, he still needs to make up another $1.7 million of the deficit, if his estimate is correct, he said.

Help Build the Gladys Salame Playground 9/25- 9/27

Help Build the Templeton Center Playground
To be dedicated to Gladys Salame

Save the dates - Sept 25 through Sept 27

The Cemetery & Parks Department is requesting volunteers for a community build for the new playground in Templeton Center.  


This will replace the current playground next to the center school. 

This build will be similar to the one at Gilman Waite Field:




 Dates are Thursday, September 25, Friday, September 26 & Saturday, September 27. Anyone interested in helping should email cemetery@templeton1.org or call Alan at 978-894-2775.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dowsing..Historical Society Sept. 24th

Dowsing..Historical Society Sept. 24th

 Dear Members,
 Our next meeting is  Wednesday night at our building on Boynton Street. September 24th.

This meeting will start outside in the garden at 6:30pm to allow for a presentation on Dowsing by
Susan McNeill Spuhler, a life member of the Narragansett Historical Society, and an Industrial Engineer with a Master’s Degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Susan has been dowsing for 23 years, successfully finding wells for clients throughout the northeastern United States as well as California.  She also finds lost items, missing people and missing pets.  Susan is the President of the Boston Dowsers, a life member of the American Society of Dowsers and a past ASD trustee.  She has been featured on Animal Planet, WCVB’s Chronicle and has spoken internationally on the topic of Dowsing.  She first learned this skill accidentally while at Stonehenge in 1991.

 Dowsing will be demonstrated and everyone will have an opportunity to try this ancient art! Once it gets dark enough, approximately 7:15pm, we will move inside to finish up the demonstration where we will begin our regularly scheduled meeting.

 

3 Afghan soldiers missing from Cape Cod base

3 Afghan soldiers missing from Cape Cod base

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

CAMP EDWARDS — Police and military officials were searching Sunday for three soldiers from the Afghanistan National Army who went missing during a training exercise at a Cape Cod military base. 

The Afghan soldiers had been participating in a U.S. Central Command Regional Cooperation training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod, U.S. military officials said. They arrived at Camp Edwards on Sept. 11 and were last seen at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis.

The soldiers were reporting missing by base security personnel on Saturday night. They were identified as Major Jan Mohammad Arash, Captain Mohammad Nasir Askarzada and Captain Noorullah Aminyar.

Base and exercise officials were working with local and state authorities to locate them. There is no indication the soldiers pose any threat to the public, military officials said.

The Regional Cooperation training exercises have been held annually since 2004 to promote cooperation and interoperability among forces, build functional capacity, practice peacekeeping operations and enhance readiness.

This year's exercise, which involves more than 200 participants from six nations including the U.S., wraps up on Wednesday. There are about a dozen Afghan soldiers still participating in the exercise. 

Meetings Week of September 22, 2014

-->
Meetings Week of September 22, 2014

Monday 9/22/14
Assessors                      160 Patriots Rd              10:00 am     
BOS                              Kamaloht                         6:30 pm
Hist. Comm                  Boynton PL                     7:00 pm
BOS E Session             Kamaloht                         8:00 pm

Tuesday 9/23/14
CPC                              Boynton PL                   6:00 pm
Planning                       Scout Hall                      6:30 pm

Wednesday 9/24/14
ZBA                              Scout Hall                      6:15 pm

Thursday 9/25/14
Sr. Center                      Bridge St                      6:30 pm

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Mass. hospitals see rise in respiratory illnesses

Mass. hospitals see rise in respiratory illnesses

THE BOSTON GLOBE

Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Baystate Medical Center in Springfield are seeing an uptick in respiratory illnesses in young children, raising suspicions that an unusual virus spreading from the Midwest might have arrived in Massachusetts.

No cases of enterovirus D68 have been confirmed. Massachusetts health officials are awaiting results of tests sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Enterovirus D68 was identified in 1962, but was rare until this year. Between mid-August and Thursday, 153 cases were confirmed in 18 states, including Connecticut and New York.

No one has died, and most people have mild symptoms like a cold: runny nose, sneezing, cough, and sometimes fever and body aches. But some children, especially those with asthma, develop difficulty breathing, occasionally bad enough to need hospitalization.

Executive Order entitled, “Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.” Prepare for a Lockdown!

Executive Order entitled, “Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.”
Prepare for a Lockdown!
 

Today, the Obama administration is announcing a comprehensive set of new federal actions to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and protect public health. Additionally, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) is releasing a related report on Combating Antibiotic Resistance.

The discovery of antibiotics in the early 20th century fundamentally transformed medicine; antibiotics now save millions of lives each year in the United States and around the world. Yet bacteria repeatedly exposed to the same antibiotics can become resistant to even the most potent drugs. These so-called antibiotic-resistant bacteria can present a serious threat to public health, national security, and the economy.

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic-resistant infections are associated with an additional 23,000 deaths and 2 million illnesses in the United States each year. The estimated annual impact of antibiotic-resistant infections on the national economy is $20 billion in excess direct health care costs, and as much as $35 billion in lost productivity from hospitalizations and sick days. Antibiotics are also critical to many modern medical interventions, including chemotherapy, surgery, dialysis, and organ transplantation.

The Administration is ramping up our efforts to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria through a series of new actions including:

Saturday, September 20, 2014

New Englanders Oppose Proposed Pipeline — And The Tariff To Pay For It

New Englanders Oppose Proposed Pipeline — And The Tariff To Pay For It
“This pipeline would destroy hundreds of our trees because the pipeline swath will be over a hundred feet wide, and it would destroy our piece of the American dream,” one Massachusetts property owner says.
By Phil Zahodiakin | September 2, 2014

Mount Grace Land Trust Executive Director Leigh Youngblood stands in a North Orange, Mass., field near the route proposed for a section of interstate gas pipeline. Her T-shirt refers to a provision in the Massachusetts Constitution – Article 97 – which provides a little more “armor” for protected land and forests. 
 NORTH ORANGE, Mass. — A proposal to build a pipeline from the fracking fields of Pennsylvania to eastern Massachusetts by late 2018 is sparking concern among many property owners in the path of the pipe. But there’s a twist to this evolving story: a proposed surcharge added to electric bills that would force every ratepayer in New England to help pay for the interstate pipeline, which is expected to cost $2 billion to $6 billion.

The route proposed for the pipeline’s Massachusetts segment runs through dense forests, wetlands and small towns in the northern tier of the state. Alternative routes, or modifications to the northern route, will be unveiled by the end of September — when the company proposing to build the pipeline files a permit application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The company is Houston-based Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, LP and its Tennessee Gas Pipeline subsidiary. Once FERC receives the permit application, which will detail the entire Northeast Energy Direct Project — as Kinder Morgan has dubbed the 346-mile pipeline proposal — the agency will open an electronically accessible docket for the public to submit comments.

The proposed Massachusetts segment of Energy Direct is 126 miles long. The main pipeline will be either 30- or 36-inches in diameter — depending on the volume of gas that consumers sign up to buy — with the larger pipe capable of delivering more than 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day.

 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Weekend Events


Weekend Events

Cemetery Tour- Narragansett Historical Society
September 20th, 2014

In conjunction with the Worcester Historical Society's event we will host a cemetery tour featuring members dressing in period clothing speaking of past stories of people and events in Templeton's history.

Anyone interested in participating is asked to contact President, Beth Arsenault at 978-939-2150.


September 20th, 2014 9-3

Athol Fall Festival-
Main Street is closed for this family event which includes games, face painting, street food, hand-crafted jewelry, farmer's market, music and dance performances along with live auction of items from local businesses.

September 19th & 20th  6pm-9pm

Flash Light Mazing -
At Davis Mega Maze 145 Redstone Hill Rd, Sterling. Davis mega Maze, the world's most complex cornfield maze, dares you to try navigating the twists and turns of this 8 acre land sculpture using only your flashlight!

Pipeline Update

KINDER MORGAN PRE-FILES WITH FERC FOR NORTHEAST ENERGY DIRECT


Kinder Morgan applied for prefiling with FERC for the Northeast Energy Direct project on September 15.  Among the 24 files in their application are many new maps with much more information than they’ve been sharing up until now. Additional compressor stations are now confirmed to be slated for Canaan, NY, and in Conway and Townsend, MA. Meter stations are identified as well. Documents “Appendix D” to the application are classified as “privileged” information and subject to Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests. We’re working with MassPLANto find a way to obtain this information. If you have previous experience in this, please contact Katy at info@massplan.org.
We’re still processing all this information, but it’s now available for viewing on No Fracked Gas in Mass.
» TGP’s Northeast Energy Direct FERC documents
» County by County impacts drawn from TGP’s application
» Info on How to Use FERC’s website
All these sections will be growing and filling out over the next week or two as things progress and we learn more from the documents filed.

Home Depot says data hack affected 56 million payment cards

Home Depot says data hack affected 56 million payment cards
Employee John Abou Nasr pushes shopping carts in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Methuen. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)  
By Matt Townsend Bloomberg News

Home Depot Inc. said a data breach between April and September put about 56 million payment cards at risk, signaling that the hacker attack was bigger than the one that struck Target Corp. last year.

The hackers used custom-made software to evade detection, relying on tools that haven't been seen in previous attacks, Atlanta-based Home Depot said Thursday in a statement. The company began investigating the breach on Sept. 2, immediately after banking partners and law enforcement raised alarms that its systems may have been infiltrated.

Home Depot, which first acknowledged the attack earlier this month, has become one of the biggest victims of hackers' war on retailers. The world's largest home-improvement chain expects to pay about $62 million this year to recover from the incursion, including additional costs for call-center staffing and legal expenses. Insurance will cover $27 million of that tab, the company said.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gardner council weighs how to use money from sale of Norman Rockwell painting

Gardner council weighs how to use money from sale of Norman Rockwell painting

The restored Norman Rockwell illustration "Willie Gillis In Convoy" was on display at the Levi Heywood Memorial Library in Gardner in May during a show of Gardner High School's art collection. (T&G Staff File Photo/RICK CINCLAIR)By George Barnes TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
george.barnes@telegram.com
GARDNER — A son of Norman Rockwell has given his approval to using proceeds from the city's sale of one of his father's painting for educational purposes. 

In a letter to Mayor Mark P. Hawke presented by the mayor to the City Council Monday night, Thomas R. Rockwell said he believes his father, artist Norman Rockwell, would have been greatly honored that the proceeds from the sale of the painting "Willie Gillis in Convoy" would be used for educational purposes. He also said a copy of the painting the city schools would receive would continue to further inspire and educate a new generation of artists. 

"It is my sincere belief that Gardner's use of the funds to provide art and other scholarships, teacher programs and support of other educational programs in Gardner public schools is consistent with the original intent of my father's gift," he said. 

US to assign 3,000 from military to fight Ebola

US to assign 3,000 from military to fight Ebola

By Jim Kuhnhenn THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa's Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic. 

President Barack Obama planned to announce the stepped-up effort Tuesday during a visit to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta amid alarm that the outbreak could spread and that the deadly virus could mutate into a more easily transmitted disease. 

The new U.S. muscle comes after appeals from the region and from aid organizations for a heightened U.S. role in combatting the outbreak blamed for more than 2,200 deaths. 

Administration officials said Monday that the new initiatives aim to: 

— Train as many as 500 health care workers a week. 

— Erect 17 heath care facilities of 100 beds each in the region. 

— Set up a joint command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to coordinate between U.S. and international relief efforts. 

— Provide home health care kits to hundreds of thousands of households, including 50,000 that the U.S. Agency for International Development will deliver to Liberia this week. 

— Carry out a home- and community-based campaign to train local populations on how to handle exposed patients. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Brookfield employees say selectman intimidated treasurer, took paperwork on criminal records checks

Brookfield employees say selectman intimidated treasurer, took paperwork on criminal records checks

By Kim Ring TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
kim.ring@telegram.com

BROOKFIELD — A file containing criminal offender record information was allegedly taken from Town Hall by a selectman who, employees said, intimidated the town treasurer until she opened a safe and gave him the paperwork on Friday. 

Several employees including Water Superintendent Bruce Clarke, Fire Chief Peter Martel and EMS Chief Donna LaFleur told selectmen Tuesday night they are angry about what happened. 

The allegations come a few weeks after selectmen confirmed the theft of about $50,000 believed taken by a town employee who has been charged with breaking in to the building. 

The employees said Tuesday that Selectman Nicholas Thomo, who was not present at Tuesday night's selectmen's meeting, came to Town Hall and told Sandra Kady, the town treasurer, to open the safe and give him the files in spite of a policy that dictates the paperwork must be kept in her office. 

While she initially refused, Chief LaFleur said, Mrs. Kady was frightened and eventually gave in, later apologizing to the staff for allowing someone to have access to the sensitive records. 

Man held without bail in Templeton Development Center death

Man held without bail in Templeton Development Center death

Surrounded by court officers, Anthony E. Remillard, 22, enters the courtroom for arraignment Tuesday in Worcester Superior Court. He is charged with manslaughter in the death of Dennis R. Perry, 64, at the Templeton Developmental Center last September. (T&G Staff/PAUL KAPTEYN)By Scott J. Croteau TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
scott.croteau@telegram.com

WORCESTER — A former Worcester man was arraigned on manslaughter and assault charges Tuesday in Worcester Superior Court in the killing of a developmentally disabled Athol man inside the Templeton Developmental Center a year ago. 

Anthony E. Remillard, 22, uttered "guilty" when asked his plea on the manslaughter charge. His lawyer, Keith T. Higgins, quickly asked to speak to his client. Judge R. Lemire instead entered not-guilty pleas on the charges of manslaughter, assault and battery on a disabled person over 60 causing serious injuries, and assault and battery on a public employee. 

After the arraignment Mr. Higgins explained that his client was nervous with journalists in the courtroom. 

"I think it put him in a position where he was confused a little bit as to what was going on based on nerves," he said. 

Mr. Remillard is accused of assaulting Dennis R. Perry, 64, on Sept. 16, 2013, at the Templeton Developmental Center on Freight Shed Road in Templeton. Mr. Perry died a few days later at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Statement from Rep. Denise Andrews

Statement from Rep. Denise Andrews
 



PRESS RELEASE 
September 14, 2014
For Immediate Release: Representative Denise Andrews Address Inaccurate Mass Fiscal
Contact: Greg Hager at 978. 503.2561  or Denise Andrews at 513.780.0538


Rep. Andrews Corrects MassFiscal.org on her Record, Again

Another week, another misleading attack mailing is sent on behalf of the Republican party. It appears that after the accuracy of claims presented in their first mailing was quickly discredited, MassFiscal.org is now back at it, with seemingly unlimited financial resources to spend on their partisan political agenda.
I believe the voters of this district deserve better, more constructive politics and campaigns. That is what voters want, not a gutter campaign that allows well-heeled special interests to tear down one candidate in favor of another. Smearing a candidate with misrepresentations serves no one.

I would ask my opponent in this race to reach out and let her party leadership know that this type of campaigning is not acceptable to do in this district. I, in my previous two campaigns, was repeatedly asked to consider allowing the publication of attack mailings and letters to the editor. I have always and will continue to be clear that I am adamantly opposed to this type of campaigning and I require that I and my team and supporters share information on me and my record directly and respectfully with the voters. We will stay focused on giving voters information on my results, guiding principles, and plans for future improvements.  We as individuals do set the tone and engagement standards for our district, party and democracy. I hope that my opponent in this and other races will lead in a way to make this our new campaign reality.

MassFiscal.orgis a well-funded partisan political group which is pretending to be a non-profit social welfare organization while it is blanketing our region with misleading ads. I have had many people ask about these mailers and I feel the need to respond directly to these intentional distortions of my legislative record. Moreover, it’s important for constituents to know Mass Fiscal has sent these mailings to voters across the Commonwealth in more than twenty other districts targeting Democrats in races this year. Of the legislators targeted by their “non-partisan” mailings, all were Democrats.

So, here are the facts about my record:

LOCAL AID
I did not vote against local aid. I voted to increase local aid by $25 million this year! (Roll Call #327, H3999). In fact, every sitting Republican voted against that budget, meaning they voted against sending additional local aid back to towns and schools.

THE GAS TAX
The truth is I voted against indexing the gas tax to inflation (Roll Call #57, Amendment #35 to H. 3382); I also voted against the entire transportation bill (Roll Call #69, H3415). And yes, I signed a petition to let this decision be made by the voters on the November ballot. MassFiscal.org is not telling the truth about my record on the gas tax! Roll Call #113 was a vote to approve the FY14 budget! It was not a vote for or against raising the gas tax increase or indexing the tax to inflation. Here is another example of MassFiscal.org getting the facts wrong.