Paul working for you.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

State Makes Finance Comments Public

State Makes Finance Comments Public
DOR: Communication, Software Problems Led To Town's Deficit
Damien Fisher
News Staff Writer

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue took the unusual step this week to publicly affirm statements made during meetings with town and school officials regarding the town’s finances, stating that no one person caused the recent deficit.

Last week, Finance Committee Chairman Thomas Kane reported during a public meeting that DOR representative Gerald Perry met with town and school officials on Jan. 21.

During that Jan. 21 meeting, Mr. Perry reportedly said, among other things, that there is no evidence of fraud related to the town’s $3.4 million debt.

Mr. Kane’s statements were not initially believed by some segments of the community, according to an email Town Manager James Kreidler sent to Mr. Perry.

“The difficulty we are experiencing, however, is that there are those in the community at large who were not in attendance who have an agenda that does not align with the information discussed in our meeting,” Mr. Kreidler wrote.

A group of residents called Stand Up for Toy Town is leading a push to recall selectmen Fedor Berndt and Elizabeth Hunt in an effort to fire Mr. Kreidler, placing much of the blame for the town’s financial problems on Mr. Kreidler.

In his Jan. 26 email, Mr. Kreidler asked Mr. Perry to confirm that the DOR representatives made the following statements to town and school officials during the Jan. 21 meeting: The DOR identified a lack of communication and financial software system failures as the keys that led to the deficit.

No one person or department was responsible for our current financial situation but rather we all own a piece of it.

American Legion Riders looking for recruits

American Legion Riders looking for recruits
Damien Fisher
News Staff Writer

Jim Cutting is hoping beanbags will bring people out for this weekend’s tournament and fundraiser in support of the newly formed American Legion Riders.

“We want to start riding,” he said. “We need to raise money to do these things.”

That’s where the beanbags come in. On Saturday night, the group is hosting a beanbag tournament. For a small entry fee, people can participate in a game of beanbag toss, similar to horseshoes, using professional beanbag sets. There will be prizes for the tournament, as well as raffles and food, Mr. Cutting said.

Mr. Cutting is among a core group of American Legion members from the area who started the Riders group. American Legion Riders is an offshoot of the more traditional American Legion associations.

The Riders bring their motorcycles to parades and other public events. They take part in charity rides for the many causes supported by the American Legion. The group also participates in funeral processions for fallen comrades.

Mr. Cutting said the new group, the American Legion Riders Baldwinville Chapter 373, hopes to start recruiting members from the many area American Legion chapters. There are now about 15 members of the Riders. They can be members of other Legion chapters, the Sons of the American Legion or the American Legion Auxiliary chapters.

The American Legion was started by an act of Congress in 1919 to be an organization for veterans to engage in community projects and in local service after having served in the military.

The tournament starts at 6 p.m. in the American Legion Hall in Baldwinville on Central Street.

Friday, January 30, 2015

A Chronology of Fluoridation

A Chronology of Fluoridation

The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology has classified Fluoride as an unapproved dental medicament due to its high toxicity.
Fluoride was found to be an equivocal carcinogen by the National Cancer Institute Toxicological Program.1
By Val Valerian
Material Added on November 3, 1997
(c) 1996,1997 Leading Edge Research Group. All Rights Reserved.
P.O. Box 7530, Yelm, Washington 98597   Email:
"Fluoridation is not a Communist Plot; it is an attempt by industry to camouflage their deadliest pollutant, with government officials and Madison Avenue advertisers beating the drums. The fluoridation empire is like a castle built on quicksand." Gladys Caldwell, author, "Fluoridation and Truth Decay", 1974. 

1855 Smelters in Freiburg, Germany first paid damages to neighbors injured by fluoride emissions. (See 1893)

1893 The smelters in Freiburg, Germany paid out 80,000 marks in damages for fluorine contamination injuries and 644,000 marks for permanent relief. (See 1855, 1900, 1907).

1900 The existence of the smelting industry in Germany and Great Britain is threatened by successful lawsuits for fluorine damage and by budensome laws and regulations.

1907 The smelters in Freiburg, Germany (see 1893) are identified as the cause of cripplied cattle in the area since 1877, and fluorides are identified as the culprit. 

1916 The first evidence of brown mottling of teeth is reported in the United States, and would be eventually found to be caused by fluorides in water.

1922 Aluminum production (along with production of toxic by-product sodium fluoride) increases. Aluminum cookware is mass introduced in the US, beginning the gradual accumulation of aluminum in the brains of Americans. Additional aluminum is injected into society in "antacids" and toothpaste tubes, which aggravate the action of toxic fluorides.

1928 The equivalent of the U.S. Public Health Service is under the jurisdiction of Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon, a founder and major stockholder of ALCOA aluminum, a major producer of toxic fluoride wastes. Mellon would step down from control of the Public Health in 1931. 

1928 Edward L.Bernays, nephew to Sigmund Freud, writes the book Propaganda, in which he explains the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and how it is manipulated by those who wish to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. Says Bernays, "those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. Our minds are molded, our tastes are formed, largely by men we have never heard of." Bernays represents another connection to Germany and would be essential in the fluoride campaign in the United States. Wrote Bernay's, "if you can influence group leaders, either with or without their conscious cooperation, you automatically influence the group which they sway." (See Bernay's, 1947, and the fluoride campaign).

1930 Kettering Laboratory is founded from gifts from Ethyl Corporation, General Electric and DuPont (all who have interlocking relationships with I.G. Farben in Germany) to "investigate chemical hazards in American industrial operations" under contract, with provision that research "shall not be released to the public without the consent of the contracting company." During the mid-20th century, Kettering dominated the medical literature on the toxicology of fluorides, but information was not released into the public domain.

1931 A considerable portion of Kettering Laboratory's facilities are dedicated to the study of fluorides. Under contract, the studies are not releasable to the public. (See also 1939, Mellon Institute)

1931 Three independent groups of scientists determine that fluoride in the water is the cause of dental mottling. Research teams from ALCOA Aluminum (who have fluorides as a hazardous by-product of aluminum manufacture) and the University of Arizona. Also shown by North African investigators and others. Dr. Gerald Cox of the Mellon Institute, owners of ALCOA, would later solve the expensive disposal problem with toxic fluorides by convincing others that it could be dumped in the public water supply as a "preventative" for tooth decay.

1931 Under an agreement with I.G. Farben, ALCOA accepts a restriction on the production of magnesium in the U.S, hampering the war effort, while Germany itself stepped up production. Most of the U.S. production was shipped out of the country to Germany.

1931 Public Health Service dentist H. Trendley Dean is dispatched by ALCOA founder Andrew Mellon to certain remote towns in the Western U.S. where water wells have a naturally high concentration of calcium fluorides. Dean's mission would be to find out how much fluoride people could physically tolerate before obvious visible damage to their teeth. Dean publishes a purposely skewed and deceptive study which purports to show that at 1ppm, flourides result in the "reduction of tooth decay". (See Gerald Cox, 1939)

1931 The Mellon Institute is ALCOA's Pittsburgh research lab.

1931 From 1931 to 1939, the U.S. Public Health Service seeks to remove fluorides from water supplies because of endemic mottled teeth. ALCOA's fluoride proposals have not been bought into by the public or government yet. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

$80 Million Dollar Lie…continued.

$80 Million Dollar Lie…continued.

Activate Worcester is a show hosted by Ron Motta on WCCA (Worcester’s Public Access Station)

In this episode, the host is interviewing the sisters, Joyce and Gracemarie Tomaselli. Part of their story was a post entitled – The 80 Million Dollar Lie. This horrifying story impacts everyone in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Background information – Joyce and Gracemarie opened a small 28 seat restaurant in the Town of Salisbury MA on September 12, 1992 after spending a year and half bringing the building up to code. The restaurant opened and they began receiving large bills for sewer ($4,000/year), but they had never operated a business in Salisbury before so they didn’t think much about it…Until they went to pick up their license renewals for 1995. They had to close their restaurant on December 30, 1994 due to a posting error. They were told to pay $14,000 in sewer user fees as well as a $13,000 betterment accruing 14% interest.

Salisbury never recorded the sewer betterments after the vote at town meeting on May 17, 1982 to improve the wastewater treatment plant. Why? Probably because the 18 million dollar project was 100% paid for with federal and USDA grants.

When the Tomaselli’s purchased the property, there were no liens or betterments recorded on the property.

The Toamselli’s proceeded to the Apellate Tax Board; asked the DOR for help; asked the Attorney General, and the Inspector General for help (Is this starting to sound familiar Templeton?) The Tomaselli’s have even filed a Writ of Certiorari with U.S. Supreme Court. The Tomaselli’s discovered from EPA and DEP documents that the project cost for the sewer treatment plant was 18 million dollars paid for by GRANTS. In court, the town of Salisbury and its’ attorneys Kopelman and Paige came up with a figure of an 80 million dollar cost to justify the unrecorded betterments charged to about 1,000 residents and businesses in Salisbury. The town of Salisbury and its attorneys provided NO documentation for the 80 million dollar figure.

A few highlights from the interview-

Kopelman & Paige was town counsel for Salisbury as well as its "financial advisor" for the sewer treatment plant. Hmmm is that a Conflict of Interest?

When the Tomaselli’s sued K&P, they discovered that in Massachusetts attorneys, lawyers can LIE to the court with NO repercussions. There are only 11 states where a person can sue for fraud on the court. Massachusetts is not one of those 11 states.

An attorney in Massachusetts can lie to a judge and there are no consequences.

What's the plan Stan?

With the high school heating system tore apart, in the middle of winter no less, I have to wonder if there were a real emergency and the Town's designated emergency shelter had to be used, would there be enough heat for the duration? That would be NRHS which is in the middle of a boiler replacement project. I wonder if there is an emergency generator at Town Hall. I recall a few years back when Town emergency operations director, Rich Curtis told the BOS that most if not all Town employees had to take some FEMA training courses that have to do with a real state of emergency within the Town.  I remember the BOS back in 2008 put out to bid for tree debris removal and had a signed contract for such. Then that contractor stated he had not bid enough for the actual amount of work that would really be required so he needed more money. At a meeting with some selectmen, then town coordinator, state and local emergency reps, and the contractor, and at one point, the tree contractor said, "that is my wood and anyone moving it could result in legal action" The Town had a signed contract with the vendor but as usual back then, they went for more money to pay the increase requested by the tree contractor rather than hold him to his bid. There was eventually an additional reimbursement of money from  FEMA but that action continued to set the bad precedent of not holding contractors to task for their bids. I hope the present board of selectmen take the training and the task of leaders for the Town during any emergency. To make this point, I believe there were a few Town workers who came close to being overcome by carbon monoxide at one Town building because a generator exhaust was not correctly vented or the piping was deteriorated due to poor maintenance and or inspection. These are things that are sometimes overlooked due to everyday things and others that are unexpected such as a budget shortfall. One would hope now with extra time, the selectmen can look hard at policy and budget, (since the Town Administrator now handles most day to day administrative things) and take the time to look at and make decisions on these important issues.

On the other side of the fence, word on the street, not based on anything "on paper" yet, but the wood chip (biomass) boiler project may be over budget as the chimney for the project will cost more than expected.???????  Also the excavation for the chimney may be undermining the existing building, that would be part of the school. Perhaps this subject will be addressed at the next school committee meeting. Maybe even we can get a confirmation of a contract for wood chips at the advertised price (from the district) of $28.00 per ton along with an idea when this boiler project will be completed.

Since this expense and project involves Town resident's money and their children, we can get some update from the BOS at their next meeting. It was voted at Town meeting so I think it would be a relevant subject for the selectmen to pass on information on.

Jeff Bennett



Meetings Week of January 26, 2015

Wednesday 1/28/15
Scholarship            Boynton PL      6:30 pm

Thursday 1/29/15
Sr. Center                  Boynton PL      6:30 pm

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Travel Ban Lifted at Midnight

Travel Ban Lifted at Midnight 

Travel ban will be lifted at midnight. Non-essential state employees will not report to work. Schools may not be open. Trains and subway should be working tomorrow. Busses will be delayed. 

Stay safe out there. 

4.5 Megawatts of Solar Completed in Templeton, Massachusetts

4.5 Megawatts of Solar Completed in Templeton, Massachusetts
Solar array will supply enough energy to power 700 homes.
JANUARY 26, 2015 08:30 AM  

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- tenK Energy, Integrys Solar, LLC and groSolar today announced the completion of a 4.5 megawatt (MW) DC solar power project in Templeton, Massachusetts.
Photo -
The ground-mounted installation was developed by tenK Energy and sold to Integrys Solar, LLC. groSolar designed and built the project. The solar farm uses the high energy density tenKsolar® DUO system, which provides nearly 40% more energy per unit area, as well as conventional photovoltaic solar modules. They will supply enough energy to power about 700 homes.

Templeton Municipal Light & Water Plant (TMLWP) is purchasing the power generated from the project under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Jack Levi, managing partner at tenK Energy stresses the value of solar for this community and credits John Driscoll at TMLWP and the Town of Templeton as the key to the success to bring this project on line.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Verizon Contact Information

Verizon Contact Information

To Report Service Related Issues

Customers can contact Verizon at 1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966) or online at  to report any service-related issue, receive alert and find helpful service-related FAQs.  

 Small business customers can visit  Medium business and enterprise customers should contact their regular customer service centers or account teams, as needed.  Enterprise customers can also access the Enterprise Center at


State of Emergency

State of Emergency
The governor has declared a state of emergency:

Travel ban in effect at midnight tonight:

sure hope the Templeton emergency director Rich Curtis has his cell phone charged up. Hope all the selectmen have taken those FEMA courses that Mr. Curtis said all officials and employees had to take. We hope the high school has enough propane for the storm. So to quote a Town employee, "What's the Plan?" What ever it is, please be careful and stay off the roads, Walmart and dunkin dounuts will be there on Thursday. Any problems with electric service, call Dana. This is the time when all the highway department guys pay off the Christmas bills.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

80 Million Dollar Lie

80 Million Dollar Lie
An $80 Million Lie: Sisters Discover Sewer Project 100% Paid for with Grant Money

By: Tom Duggan – September, 2013 The Valley Patriot

Gracemarie and Joyce Tomaselli say they are days away from losing their property in Salisbury because town officials have retaliated against them because they blew the lid on what they call, “the $80 Million lie.”

Dubbed the Sleuth Sisters, Joyce and Gracemarie have been investigating a sewer betterment after they realized that the taxpayers of Salisbury Beach were being billed for a sewer project that had already been paid for with state and federal grants.

“Salisbury was polluting the waters and the government ordered under of the Clean Water Act that because many coastal communities were polluting the water the state issued an order for them to stop doing that,” Grace Joyce Tomaselli told The Valley Patriot.

“So, they were fine Salisbury with a $10,000 a day fine for polluting water. Because of this, Salisbury had to rip up the old sewer lines at the beach and put in new sewer lines up to the new Elm Street Sewer Plant where they were processing the wastewater. They had to redirect the sewage so that it went to that area. They needed to put in new sewer lines to redirect that water.”

The Tomaselli sisters say that the local cost of the sewer project was forced onto the taxpayers of Salisbury Beach, but “what we found out after a very long process and many court battles, is that this sewer project was 100% completely grant-funded by the state and federal government.

The Mangia Restaurant

Winter Storm Warning

SUBJECT: Potentially Major and Destructive Winter Storm/Blizzard to Impact the State

Massachusetts will experience a severe and potentially historic storm Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning, complete with snow measured in feet, damaging winds, and serious coastal flooding.  A corridor of heavy, wet snow is expected in southeast MA (east of I-95) where temperatures will near 32 degrees, making for heavy wet snow. Elsewhere, colder temperatures (teens and 20’s) will make for fluffier snow. Snowfall totals are expected to reach over 20 inches across much of the Commonwealth, with pockets of 30+ inches possible.  The Cape and Martha’s Vineyard will see 12+ inches. This storm could come close to rivaling the records for Boston (27.6” for the 2003 President’s Day storm) and Worcester (32.1” for the Dec. 11-12, 1992 storm).

The storm will bring potentially damaging winds. The Cape and Martha’s Vineyard may see wind gusts up to 75 mph, with hurricane force winds over the waters.  Winds will gust from 50-60 mph in the Boston – Providence corridor, and 30-40 mph in central and western MA. Strong winds and blizzard conditions will cause considerable blowing and drifting snow, bring near zero visibility.
Record Gate; who controls the public records of Templeton?

Before I offer up my view on a few things, let me pose a few questions to whom ever wishes to check.

Who are the people that are responsible for the policies of the Town of Templeton? Who is the keeper of the records that I have requested? Who has the final say on whether any fees or costs associated with the request of public records in their custody?

In the handbook for selectmen, it is stated that generally, selectmen have several important responsibilities under state law; the power to prepare town meeting warrant, to make appointments to Town boards and offices, to employ professional administrative staff, town council, sign warrants for the payment of ALL town bills, and the authority to grant licenses and permits. Seems to me, if the selectmen are responsible for the signing of warrants which result in the spending of public money, they need to or should be able to understand what they are signing. Means they should be able to read and since the warrant they sign for Town bills contain written or printed invoices from various departments, a selectman should be able to look thru various FY warrants, pull out the invoices requested and make copies and then put them together. Certainly a selectmen educated, trained and licensed as a lawyer should be able to perform this public service very easily.

There is a section from the Department of Revenue, and MGL that states; Ultimately, the Treasurer bears responsibility for the closing and reconciliation of all books & accounts in the treasurer's office, including cash book, warrants (including vendor, payroll, and special warrants) bank accounts, (checking, trust funds, bond and coupon accounts) insurance programs, retirement funds, debt records and tax title accounts. Who appoints the Treasurer to the Town of Templeton? I think you will find it is the Board of Selectmen. FYI, vendors are people or entities who do business with the Town and charge for things or services and are paid thru the warrant, basically a collection of weekly, bi-weekly or monthly bills and invoices to the town. Now who do you suppose would be the person to see or ask for help with looking at or obtaining a copy or a record of past warrants or items contain within the warrant?

Here is my hypothesis; The people who are responsible for the policies within the Town of Templeton are the selectmen, selectmen appoint the Town Treasurer, hire the Town Administrator as well as secretarial staff (political correctness, administrative assistant.) Selectmen vote on and sign Town contracts and are responsible for signing off for payment of them. They are the keepers of these Town Records by virtue of the fact the person (s) doing the work or occupying the office where they may be kept are appointed by these very same people. This means the Board of Selectmen could vote not to charge for public records. The selectmen are responsible for putting up a financial wall which may prevent or discourage people from asking for and receiving public records involving the spending of public money. Remember that the records asked for are not records that don't exist or files or emails from someone's personal computer, these are invoices from a major and very public project involving over one half million dollars and I think the people have a right to see how their money was spent before voting on or giving any more money to this or any other project. The Board of selectmen have the power and authority to put this information in the public realm. Also a detailed legal bill is not a conversation nor advice or opinion between a client and said attorney, it is a bill for services stating a date, time spent, lawyer who did work, who requested it and what was done and of course, the fee for it all.

The Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth states that a records custodian MAY charge a fee for time and copies, it does NOT say they must charge. They also state that public records that are of great interest to a large number of people must be readily available within the office of the records custodian and should be provided at a minimum cost, if any. These records include minutes of local board meetings, town meeting documents, warrants, street lists, municipal financial documents, etc.

One last note, in the receipt of sorts that I received when I picked up some of what I originally asked for, it is estimated it will be 10 pages of computer printouts at .50 per page but in the memo to the town administrator, it is stated it would involve going thru boxes in the basement that have not yet been organized which leads me to believe the copies would be photo copies as in taking an invoice and making a copy of it which the law says the records custodian MAY charge up to .20 per page not .50 per page since they will not be printing them off a computer.

Jeff Bennett

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Flu vaccine not working well; only 23 percent effective

Flu vaccine not working well; only 23 percent effective


NEW YORK — As predicted, this year's flu vaccine is doing a pretty crummy job. It's only 23 percent effective, primarily because it doesn't include the bug that is making most people sick, according to a government study released Thursday.

That's one of the worst performances in the last decade, since U.S. health officials started routinely tracking how well vaccines work. In the best flu seasons, the vaccines were 50 to 60 percent effective.

''This is an uncommon year,'' said Dr. Alicia Fry, a flu vaccine expert at the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who was involved in the study.

The findings are not surprising. In early December, CDC officials warned the vaccine probably wouldn't work very well because the it isn't well matched to a strain that's been spreading widely.

Each year, the flu vaccine is reformulated, based on experts' best guess at which three or four strains will be the biggest problem. Those decisions are usually made in February, months before the flu season, to give companies that make flu shots and nasal spray vaccine enough time to make enough doses.

But this year's formula didn't include the strain of H3N2 virus that ended up causing about two-thirds of the illnesses this winter. And that strain tends to cause more hospitalizations and deaths, particularly in the elderly, making this a particularly bad winter to have a problem with the flu vaccine.

Indeed, the flu season is shaping up to a bad one. Health officials are comparing it to the nasty flu season two winters ago, and this one may prove to be worse. Hospitalization rates in people 65 and older are higher than they were at the same point in the 2012-2013 season, according to CDC data.

The results from the preliminary study weren't large enough to show how the vaccine is working in each age group, although flu vaccines traditionally don't work as well in elderly people.

The study involved 2,321 people in five states — Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin and Washington — who had respiratory illnesses from November to early January. The researchers said vaccinated people had a 23 percent lower chance of winding up at the doctor with the flu.

The CDC began regularly tracking the effectiveness of the flu vaccine during the 2004-2005 season, but the results for the first few years were from smaller studies and are considered less reliable. Over the years, effectiveness has ranged from 47 percent to 60 percent in the last half-dozen years, when studies involved larger numbers of patients.

It's only in those last several years that ''we really understand what's really going on'' with the flu vaccines, said Dr. Arnold Monto, a University of Michigan flu expert and another author of the study.

CDC officials say people should still get a flu shot this year. Recently, the flu season in the U.S. has peaked in January or February, but people can continue to get sick for months. And they could get infected by the flu strains that were included in this year's version.

Why would you take something that is only 23% effective?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Public Record Requests

Public Record Requests

In the not so distant past, public record requests were routinely denied in the Town of Templeton. Many roadblocks were in place to deny the public (and elected officials) public documents. In the past few years, public records have been more accessible to the public. In the public interest, the following documents detail the latest public record request as discussed on this blog.

The original request:

Fluoridation's 70th Anniversary - Not Something to Celebrate

Fluoridation's 70th Anniversary - Not Something to Celebrate

January 25, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of fluoridation – forcing Americans to ingest fluoride chemicals via the public water supplies without their informed consent. Fluoridation promoters repeatedly claim that the practice is “safe” and “effective” but science does not support either claim, reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).

Paul Connett, PhD, FAN Executive Director says, “Politics not science keeps fluoridation alive.  Fluoridation proponents, including the CDC, hire PR agencies to sell us fluoridation using half-truths, talking points and diversions. Dentists at the CDC claim that fluoridation is ‘one of the top public health achievements of the twentieth century,’ in reality it is one of greatest public health betrayals of the twentieth century.”

Today, WHO data indicates no difference in tooth decay in 12-year-olds between fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries. Despite 7 decades of fluoridation reaching a record number of Americans, official reports indicate that a tooth decay crisis exists in the U.S. Meanwhile, dental fluorosis – the outward sign of fluoride overdose is impacting over 40% of American teens. As a result,  the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends that water fluoride levels be reduced. But its recommendation is far too little and it comes too late.

JK Crossroads: A good pick for well-prepared, home-style fare

JK Crossroads: A good pick for well-prepared, home-style fare
By Ann Connery Frantz Telegram & Gazette Reviewer

Tucked into the fork between 2A and 101 in East Templeton, JK Crossroads is an inviting spot for the whole family. It's also a very popular town spot, offering a handsome tavern interior on one side, with easy-on-the-ears music and very well-prepared home-cooked food. There is always something down home on the menu — like stew or roast beef — and something a little mouth-watering — like a beef filet or tenderloin sandwich and any of a dozen yummy burgers.

There isn't much to offer in Templeton by way of eating out, beyond a pretty good pizza joint up the road, so dining out could mean going to nearby Gardner — if it weren't for JK Crossroads. Its exterior isn't much to look at, but the dull brick, contemporary appearance belies what's inside.

The tavern is welcoming and authentic, with an open-beam ceiling, all-wood tables, an attractive bar and a few booths. The bar serves 15 beers on tap (with excellent choices such as Yuengling, Smithwick's, Steel Rail, Guinness and Stella Artois) and there's a side room, bright and contemporary though very interesting.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Casella suggests expanding Southbridge landfill into Charlton

Casella suggests expanding Southbridge landfill into Charlton

CHARLTON — Casella is thinking of expanding the footprint of the company's Southbridge landfill beyond town limits and onto five acres in Charlton.

"It is an area that conceptually could be used for landfill space in the future. To include that in our MEPA filing without a discussion with the town is not something we wanted to do," landfill site manager Tracy Markham told selectmen Tuesday.

Casella Waste Systems operates the landfill at 165 Barefoot Road in Southbridge. Ms. Markham said the site is at a phase where a report that discloses plans must be filed under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act.

Members of the Board of Health and the Water-Sewer Commission joined selectmen Tuesday for what they called the start of a very long process involving multi-jurisdictional permitting and oversight.

Casella owns land on both sides of the town line. The plan calls for the installation of a landfill liner on 5.7 acres in Southbridge and 5.2 acres in Charlton.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Follow up on Public Records request

Back on December 29, 2014, I made a request for the financial records concerning the feasibility study for an elementary school. The Town responded with an estimate of time and dollar cost for these records. Approximately 3 hours for approximately 30 pages; 30 pages of computer printout at .50 cents per page ($15.00) and 3 hours at $26.34 per hour, the wage of the lowest paid employee capable of doing the work for a total of $94.02 and I paid it. the response from the Town also included the actual cost of the records may vary once the custodian begins preparing the records, so an additional fee may be required. On January 20, 2015 at 5:39 Pm, I received an email from holly Young of the BOS office informing me the records I requested were prepared and available to be picked up. There was no mention of any additional fee request.

I picked them up today, 5 pages (estimated 30 apparently did not materialize or the estimate was way off) Included in a letter of receipt, signed and dated by me, is included a paragraph that the enclosed records were obtained by Town accountant in a 10 hour time frame at a cost of $32.00 per hour. The total cost listed is now $320.00. It further states, as you can see, the estimate in my letter dated January 7, 2015 (the letter mailed to me is dated January 7, 2014) the amount you paid is $94.02, a difference of $225.98. I state the actual time and cost to the Town for you to receive this information only to inform you that the Town is open about it's finance and always doing its best to keep residents informed. So why not have all the financial records on the Town's website for all to see how their money was spent? 

The next couple of paragraphs state that to get the "what they were spent on" part of my request included amounts spent and what they were spent on, such as 4/29/2010, $765.00 on Kopelman & Paige, what did Kopelman & Paige do for that $765.00? The Town now tells me I can have that part for $645.00. I have requested to be on the agenda for the next BOS meeting and will most likely have a public records request for the "what they were spent on" part along with a check. I am going to do my best to see the taxpayers get the information they should have prior to any more votes on the school project without having to pay to see how their money was spent. Hopefully, the BOS will see the error of their way and provide the information I asked for and paid for in my original request. I asked for information and they told me how much and I paid it.

This is a Town project because Phillipston chose not to participate and Templeton alone is responsible for all costs. The law states that these records are to be available for anyone to view during normal business hours.

For your pleasure, the records I did receive state a total of $573,253.64 has been spent. Pretty good since only $550,000.00 was voted and this is the dollar figure I asked about.

FY10     $       74,386.74

FY11     $     108,535.96

FY12     $       56,315.85

FY13     $       30,158.77

FY14     $       21,272.45

FY15     $     282,583.87

Total      $     573,252.64

Money was moved between Century Bank, Eastern Bank and Greenfield Cooperative Bank.
Fy2011, interest was paid to Eastern Bank in the amount of $6,325.00, FY2012, interest paid to Greenfield Coop was $4,851.00, FY2013, interest paid to Century Bank was $899.07, FY2014, interest paid to Greenfield Coop was $1,633.00, FY2015, interest paid to Eastern Bank was $1,174.00, I think that equals $14,882.07 but my pencil could be off so check my math please.

There will be more on this to follow and there certainly is a number of questions to be answered and I hope it is the policy of this BOS to pull the curtains back and explain the financials and soon, that is the one thing the selectmen should be in a hurry to do as the taxpayers have a right to know where their money went!  The one part of this that makes me smile is at least this time, I did not receive a letter from a law firm informing me I can not have the information.

Jeff Bennett

Foundation Budget Review Commission

  Foundation Budget Review Commission 

from the MTA

Foundation Budget Review Commission Hearing:

Central Mass
Nashoba Regional High School Auditorium
12 Green Road, Bolton MA

Jan. 24
11 a.m.

This is what computers looked like in 1993, when the state's formula for distributing aid to local school districts was established as part of the Education Reform Act.

Since that time, the foundation budget — the centerpiece of the funding formula — has not been systemically re-examined in light of state curriculum frameworks, MCAS and other key elements of the 1993 law.

Good News!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rumor has it....

Is private land being surveyed for the "New School" at the "Old School " location in Templeton Center.

How can this be?

Isn't the police station next to the school?

Why survey private property?

Does the Town of Templeton have a bond rating yet?

Isn't this a TOWN project?

Does the TOWN have the MSBA reimbursement yet?

Show me the money! 

Meetings the week of January 19, 2015

Meetings the week of January 19, 2015

Tuesday 1/20/15
Cap. Planning            Boynton PL               6:30 pm
Veterans                    Am. Legion                6:30 pm

Wednesday 1/21/15
Assessors                 East Temp                     2:00 pm
NRSD                      Phillipston Gym          6:30 pm     
MJTC                      Fitchburg                       7:00 pm

Thursday 1/22/15
Sr. Center                  Boynton PL                 6:30 pm
Conservation             ET 160 Patriots Rd      7:00 pm

Monday, January 19, 2015


Eryn Dion
News Staff Writer

Almost a year after John Caplis was hired as the town’s first veterans service officer, more veterans are coming in and receiving financial and medical benefits than ever before.

“I went from having six clients to now I have 15 clients,” Mr. Caplis said. “And those are just the ones with federal benefits.”

In addition to those 15 regulars, the veterans service officer says he sees 30 to 40 veterans from the community seeking other forms of assistance.

“I work 19 hours a week, but it’s a full-time job,” Mr. Caplis said.

The funding model for veterans services requires municipalities to cover the cost of these benefits in their budgets and receive reimbursement from the state. Mr. Caplis requested this week that his department be allowed to deficit spend, as the amount of new clients brought into the fold has already outstripped the allotted $60,000 budget.

“I knew the $60,000 wasn’t going to be enough,” he said. “I knew more vets were going to come out of the woodwork because they previously didn’t want to drive to Athol.”

How the Government Killed Martin Luther King, Jr.

How the Government Killed Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted by Kevin Barrett on April 4, 2013 on Veterans Today

By Carl Gibson – Reader Supported News

Before scoffing at this headline, you should know that in 1999, in Memphis, Tennessee, more than three decades after MLK’s death, a jury found local, state, and federal government agencies guilty of conspiring to assassinate the Nobel Peace Prize winner and civil rights leader.

The same media you would expect to cover such a monumental decision was absent at the trial, because those news organizations were part of that conspiracy. William F. Pepper, who was James Earl Ray’s first attorney, called over 70 witnesses to the stand to testify on every aspect of the assassination. The panel, which consisted of an even mix of both black and white jurors, took only an hour of deliberation to find Loyd Jowers and other defendants guilty. If you’re skeptical of any factual claims made here, click here for a full transcript, broken into individual sections. Read the testimonies yourself if you don’t want to take my word for it.

Shot down by the Memphis PD’s top sharpshooter – with backup by US Army snipers on a nearby rooftop 

It really isn’t that radical a thing to expect this government to kill someone who threatened their authority and had the power to organize millions to protest it. When MLK was killed on April 4, 1968, he was speaking to sanitation workers in Memphis, who were organizing to fight poverty wages and ruthless working conditions. He was an outspoken critic of the government’s war in Vietnam, and his power to organize threatened the moneyed corporate interests who were profiting from the war. At the time of his death, he was gearing up for the Poor People’s Campaign, an effort to get people to camp out on the National Mall to demand anti-poverty legislation – essentially the first inception of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The government perceived him as a threat, and had him killed. James Earl Ray was the designated fall guy, and a complicit media, taking its cues from a government in fear of MLK, helped sell the “official” story of the assassination. Here’s how they did it.

Help Debbie Fight Cancer

Sunday, January 18, 2015

For your consideration : The Treatment of Stage IV Cancers Chapter 7: Dental Issues – Part 1

The Treatment of Stage IV Cancers Chapter 7: Dental Issues – Part 1

Written by Webster Kehr, Independent Cancer Research Foundation, Inc.

Chapter 7: Dental Issues – Part 1

Note by Cancer Tutor: There are two chapters in this free eBook on dental issues which affect cancer patients and the general population for that matter. This chapter is primarily about root canals. The next chapter will be on dental cavitations.

A person can find the very rare dentists who can deal with these issues by:

Contacting Dr. Huggin’s office (see below) or
Contacting Dr. Dawn Ewing’s office or the IABDM (see below) or
Buy (and hopefully read) the book mentioned at the bottom of this article, which provides a lot more information: The Secret Poison in Your Mouth. This book provides several different sources of information about how to find these very rare dentists.

By Bill Henderson, Author, “Cancer-Free”
After researching cancer for the last 12 years, writing three books and 135 newsletters on natural cancer healing and recording 120 of my “How to Live Cancer-Free” radio shows, I feel I’ve learned a lot. However, I’ve learned the most from talking to over 3,000 people on the phone (all over the world) about their cancers.

I feel compelled to get one particular message to you. Two facts have jumped out at me from those many phone calls. They are simply:

The most common cause of all cancers is root canal-filled teeth; and
Until a cancer patient gets rid of the root canal-filled teeth, they can’t get well.

You can take those two facts to the bank, folks. Why is this the first time you’ve heard about this (unless you’ve been reading what I’ve written, heard my radio show or talked to me on the phone)? Well, I’ll tell you. Doctors know nothing about this.

I’ve asked each of the 3,000 cancer patients I’ve talked to on the phone the same question: “Has your cancer doctor ever talked to you about your dental history?” The answer, every time, is “No.” But even more significant, 99.9% of dentists are ignorant of the two facts above about the relationship of cancer and root canals. Or perhaps they are “in denial” about it, like their dental professional societies, because of the fear of liability.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Ash-West OKs $400K for Briggs study

An article by Nick Brown, dated February 12, 2009, states the Ashburnham-Westminster regional school committee signed an intermunicipal agreement Tuesday authorizing the Town of Ashburnham to borrow $400,000.00 for the John R. Briggs elementary school feasibility study. This is right about the same time Templeton voted $550,000.00 for a feasibility study for a new elementary school.

Since that time, a new Briggs elementary school has open in Ashburnham and Templeton has just settled on a site, hopefully! Templeton has since started a biomass (wood chip) boiler that was rushed thru to Town meeting so it would be ready by the beginning of the school year and here we are without even a contract in writing for wood chips. Does anyone in Templeton really trust having the Narragansett School district involved in this? Do the taxpayers have any reason or evidence to feel confidence that the school superintendent should be anywhere near this project, from a pure performance standpoint.

One of the things from the last BOS meeting, which I attended, was the number mentioned in reference to MSBA, $161,000.00, the amount that was stated the town has received from MSBA in the form of reimbursements. On the MSBA website, under projects for Narragansett Regional, it states the feasibility study with total project budget of $550,000.00 with a reimbursement rate of 59.84% with MSBA amount paid to date: $246,143.00 with an estimated MSBA payment amount remaining: $82,977.00 to equal anticipated MSBA investment amount of $329,120.00.

$329,120.00 is 59.84% of $550,000.00 and this is why I request a detailed accounting of these funds to include what was spent, what it was spent on and what if any amount is left. This was requested on December 29, 2014 and to date, no figures.  Clearly there is something amiss somewhere with these figures.

One thing that came from the Briggs study was a building of 85,415 square feet, estimated to be built in 18 months at a cost of $287.07 per sq. ft. Total cost estimated at $24,519,849.00.

Jeff Bennett

On Friday, January 16, 2015, Huff n Puff writes;

"See Jeff, here is what you don't understand, I don't care."

Some writes they don't care but they take the time to write and basically complain, I think they may care. "I pay taxes for everything in town, yet nobody seems to do their jobs. And our elected officials don't care or hold anyone accountable."

"Nobody was held accountable for missing funds, for years of using free cash, for  horribly maintained roads, for crumbling schools, for a total lack of backing our public safety personnel."

If the selectmen, past & present won't hold people accountable, then I hold them accountable."

First off, I really do not think Huff holds anyone accountable because he / she will not be held accountable for anything by refusing to speak up under a real name, one of the most responsible things people have a duty to do in our democratic republic system, in my opinion.

First things first, to the best of my knowledge, there were no missing funds in Templeton with regards to the budget short fall, nobody stole any money, to the best of my knowledge. There were errors on paper, such as accounting for money in the ambulance receipts account as revenue but a failure to also treat it as an expense since that money was already slated for one item and could not be used for anything else in the budget. There were other accounts that were understated or under estimated and the responsible group was the advisory board, this was made public, but as chairman of the BOS, I was hesitant to point the finger in public because I did not feel it would help and I also felt it was an honest mistake by volunteers, nuff said.

As for using free cash, I may not have been an elected official back in 2010, but I did pay for an ad/letter to be published in The Gardner News on a Saturday prior to a Monday election where Gerald Skelton was voted out of office. I also eventually won a seat on the BOS in 2011, defeating Gerald Skelton after a recount. Mr. Skelton was one of a few selectmen who had held office during a period of time when free cash was used to set the tax rate. I also became the third and deciding vote that led to the dismissal of Kopelman & Paige as the Town's law firm (twice) and I was also the third and deciding vote which resulted in the firing of Carol Skelton, wife of Gerald Skelton and then Town coordinator during this time of use of free cash, so I feel that someone was held accountable for the use of free cash in one way or another.

As for the condition of the roads, they are terrible, just like the roads in so many other communities. Remember that chapter 90 money, state aid for roads, was used for a few years to benefit one neighborhood, Back Bay, in the Baldwinville section of the Town of Templeton. This road money was used in part to replace water mains in that area because the Town water department did not have the funds to pay for it. I say chapter 90 funds were used in this fashion because it was the seed money used to pay for some design in order to qualify for CDBG funds. I believe it benefited the Town as a whole as some roads were fixed. One thing I do not agree with was using this aid money to buy a loader.

On crumbling schools, my father for years pointed out to anyone who would listen on things such as the condition of our schools, from broken playground equipment, to windows being left open on weekends during the winter (as in the heat is on) and people have seen for years the lack of paint on trim at the Templeton Center school. The district as in some school committee members would quickly point out that the district agreement says anything over 5 thousand dollars is the responsibility of the Town, but I have not found any law that says the district could not do the work or they could not help, such as using some money from the E&D fund. Then when the roof replacement went before Town meeting multiple times, it was voted down, so perhaps the taxpayers have to look in the mirror on that one. My question is this, with the number of students which means there are a good number of parents which equals voters (or it should) and that leads me to ask why these things do not or have not passed, my only answer is, as taxpayers, they do not wish to raise taxes on themselves.

On public safety, I can assume the police, fire and highway are lumped together.  Hopefully now with a capital planning committee actually working on a plan and a town administrator, things will change with regards to equipment, but I would not expect a change overnight.

I believe most of the hard work has been done, such as removal of some selectmen who were part of the problem, in my opinion, the removal of a town coordinator, both of which resulted in a well documented recall and a very public pulling back of the curtain on what I believe was a house of cards designed to fail, again, my opinion. A written set of policies and guidelines for the BOS as well as some tough times for the Town, all of which has resulted in the betterment of the Town, for the long haul, in my opinion. Time will tell and it is the duty of the residents, voters and taxpayers to keep watch as well as to trust but verify all of your elected and appointed officials.

Jeff Bennett

Friday, January 16, 2015

Massachusetts General Law........

MGL, chapter 76 - school attendance
section 12b - definitions: attendance of school other than in city or town od residence of child.

In part, reads;

 Receiving district, city, town or regional school district within the commonwealth in which a child does not reside, but in which that child attends public school under the provisions of this section.

Sending district, city, town or regional school district within the commonwealth in which a child resides, but in which that child does not attend public school under the provisions of this section.

subsection d; Each city, town or regional school district shall enroll non-resident students at the school of such non-resident student's choice; provided, however, that such receiving district has seats available as stated in said report; provided, however, that this obligation to enroll non-resident students shall not apply to a district for a scool year in which its school committee, prior to June First, after a public hearing, adopts a resolution withdrawing from said obligation, for the school year beginning the following September. Any such resolution of a school committee shall state reasons therefor, and such resolution with said reasons shall be filed with the department of education; provided, however, that said department shall have no power to review any such decision by a school committee. If the city, town or regional school district operates an intra-district choice plan, non-resident students may apply for schools on the same basis as resident students, but the intra-district choice plan may give preference to resident students in assigning students to schools.

subsection f; For each student enrolling in a receiving district, there shall be a school choice tuition amount. Said tuition amount shall be equal to seventy-five percent of the actual per pupil spending amount in the receiving district for each education as is required by such non-resident student, but not more than five thousand dollars; provided, however, that for special education students whose tuition amount shall remain the expense per student for such type of education as is required by such non-resident student. (tell me again how taking in students benefits the school or the taxpayers)
The state treasurer is hereby authorized and directed to deduct said school choice tuition amount from the total education aid, as defined in chapter 70 (state school aid) of said student's district, prior to distribution of said aid and to deposit said aid in the School Choice Tuition trust fund established by section 12C. In the case of a child residing in a municipality which belongs to a regional school district, the school choice tuition amount be deducted from said chapter 70 education aid of the school district appropriate to the grade level of the child. If, in a single district, the total of all such deductions exceeds the total state aid appropriated, the commonwealth shall appropriate this excess amount; provided, however, that if said district has exempted itself from the provisions of chapter 70 by accepting section fourteen of said chapter, the commonwealth shall assess said district for excess amount.

Jeff Bennett

What is needed........Information!
It is my opinion, which is most likely not valued to high by some, is the taxpayers need and deserve some information, now! Since we seem to have a location, how about an estimate of the cost of this project, as in the size in square feet along with the projected number of students/ What grades do we plane on putting into this building. How many total number of students in these grades are presently in the system. How many if any, are from outside the district, attending through the districts participation in school choice which allows students from outside the district to attend our schools?

When this subject first surfaced in the form of a feasibility study, the mentioned cost was $32 million dollars at some meetings and in newspaper articles.

On a contract for project management services (design,bid,build project) dated June 25, 2009, there is a section in the back that has a financial lay out for detailed staffing hours and rates for services - revised June 29, 2009. Not sure at this time if this was discussed at any posted public open meeting.

listed on the first page of this revision is total fees by year:

          2009                        2010                        2011                        2012                     Totals

$59,250.00            $209,740.00            $384,399.00            $336,423.00            $989,813.00

That is the same number I asked Carl Weber about at a BOS meeting back in either December 2011 or early 2012 that was held at the cafeteria at NRHS. I will find those minutes. I asked Mr. Weber if that was a contract amount between SBS and the Town of Templeton, he quietly stated yes. The reason I asked this question was because it showed up on invoices to the Town from SBS.

That 2009 contract had listed "between Narragansett Regional school district / Town of Templeton and SBS

A contract for feasibility/schematic design phase for $75,000.00 (not-to-exceed) was signed on Agust 13, 2013 between the Town of Templeton and SBS.

So what I believe is needed now is an informational meeting that is recorded and shown in a very timely manner is an estimated size of building, number of students from which grades and where will the students from Templeton Center school go during construction if we get that far. I believe there also needs to be in writing from the district school committee that there will be no move, no integration of students from the present Phillipston elementary school. I believe this is why the district should withdraw as soon as possible from school choice, ending the practice of taking in students from outside the district.  Templeton taxpayers should not be held nor should they expect to carry the load of other towns as is the case with the present dispatch agreement. Phillipston currently pays $57,000.00 for all dispatch services while Templeton taxpayers must carry the burden of OPEB costs, costs of a building with lighting, water, heat and maintenance costs along with payroll, sick time, time off arrangements such as 4 hours off when Templeton Town offices close for snow days. The only way any students from Phillipston should be able to attend a new Templeton elementary school would be from a 10 million dollar buy in from the Town of Phillipston.

I am sorry I do not trust the Narragansett Regional School District to look out for the taxpayers of Templeton. It is nice to be neighborly and I went to school with the Chairman of the Board of selectmen of Phillipston, I know some good people in Phillipston but this is business and just as Phillipston officials have looked out for their Town, I think it is time for Templeton taxpayers to receive the same. Do you look out for your neighbor or your family first?

Before you call me a nut case, take a ride to NRHS and look at the wood chip boiler project.

Jeff Bennett