Paul working for you.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 31, 2015 at 12:03 PM, huff posted "it just came out, Templeton has the 9th lowest tax rate out of 351 towns, that is the root cause of all problems."

So lets see, actually there are 351 total cities & Towns in Massachusetts
Templeton has a single property tax rate which means residential & Commercial property are taxed at the same rate; 2015 Templeton tax rate of $16.64 per $1000.00 of value.

I went to the DOR - dls or division of local services site and found the list of every city & town in Mass. I began at the top and looked for single rate Towns to see if the above statement was true; NOT!

Town                                                   Single Rate
Alford                                                  $  4.30
Arlington                                             $13.55
Ashfield                                               $15.97
Barnstable                                            $  9.30
Becket                                                  $10.45
Belmont                                               $12.90
Berkley                                                $13.91
Blandford                                             $15.44
Bourne                                                 $10.07
Boxford                                                $15.99
Brewster                                               $  8.26
Bridgewater                                          $16.24

I stopped there with 12 towns with lower tax rates than Templeton so it looks like huffy forgot to check the facts again!

Jeff Bennett

'Great' Expectations Service dog offers support, stability for local veteran

'Great' Expectations
Service dog offers support, stability for local veteran

Eryn Dion
News Staff Writer

News staff photo by ERYN DION
Templeton Veterans Service Officer John Caplis stands with Lars, his service dog.
TEMPLETON Between John Caplis and his service dog, Lars, it was love at first slip.

Mr. Caplis, who works as the town’s veterans service officer, was visiting the Service Dog Project’s campus in Ipswich last January, hoping to meet his new partner.

After visiting the campus several times, alone or with his family for more than a year, the retired Army sergeant was told last December they had finally found a match in the bouncing black-and-white bundle named Lars.

The Service Dog Project deals exclusively with Great Danes, Mr. Caplis said, with one of their main mottos being “get rid of the cane, use a Great Dane.”

Large enough to provide stability for those with even the most severe mobility issues, the breed is also known for its gentle, laid-back temperament, which makes them ideal for helping their handlers cope with issues related to post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.

A. Department Heads Grades 9 through 12 will be paid:

2009-2010 $1,572


2010-2011 $1,603

2011-2012 $1,643

Plus Ninety-nine Dollars ($99) per teacher.

Department Heads will assume the responsibility of serving on the NEASC Follow-Up

Committee. The Department Head stipends will be adjusted commensurately and $6000 will be

equally divided among the committee ($600. per department head).

NEASC Co-Chair – See extra-curricular stipends
B. Fine Arts Director K-12 will be paid:

2009-2010 $2,942

2010-2011 $3,001

2011-2012 $3,076
C. Athletic Director 7-12 will be paid:

2009-2010 $9,170

2010-2011 $9,353

2011-2012 $9,587

D. All Department Heads will teach 5 (five) periods per day.

E. The Athletic Director will be granted 2 (two) periods for athletic duties and 1 (one)

preparation period per day.

F. The Library/Media Specialist will be supervised by the Technology Director.
G. The Elementary Head Teacher stipend will be:

2009-2010 $1,963

2010-2011 $2,003

2011-2012 $2,053

In the absence of the Head Teacher, the employee covering said position will be compensated on

a per diem basis.

H. Teacher in Charge will be paid 10 days at per diem and $35 per each school day.

In the absence of this supervisor, the employee covering said position will be compensated at

$35 per day.


I. Teachers who volunteer to participate in District Accreditation and/or Evaluation will

receive release time or $25 per hour for such work.
J. Title 1 Director

2009-2010 $8,693

2010-2011 $8,867

2011-2012 $9,089
K. Mentors

2009-2010 $1,159

2010-2011 $1,183

2011-2012 $1,212

L. Each Team Leader at the Middle School will receive a stipend of $125 per person on the

team to include the grade level special education teachers but not to exceed $600.).
M. Middle School Curriculum Leaders

2009-2010 $464

2010-2011 $473

2011-2012 $485

Section 61. The town accountant shall make an annual report, to be published as a town document, giving a statement of all receipts and expenditures of the town for the past financial year, including those of funds managed by trustees or commissioners for the town and showing also the amount of each specific appropriation, the expenditures therefrom, and the purpose for which money has been spent; and said statement shall be arranged in accordance with the classifications prescribed by the director of accounts. Such report shall contain a statement of any change in the amount of the town debt during the year and a list of indebtedness incurred and unpaid at the end of the financial year.

Jeff Bennett

Section 57. At the beginning of each fiscal year, the manager of municipal lighting shall furnish to the mayor, selectmen or municipal light board, if any, an estimate of the income from sales of gas and electricity to private consumers during the ensuing fiscal year, and of the expense of the plant during said year, meaning the gross expenses of operation, maintenance and repair, the interest on the bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness issued to pay for the plant, an amount for depreciation equal to three per cent of the cost of the plant exclusive of land and any water power appurtenant thereto, or such smaller or larger amount as the department may approve, the requirements of the sinking fund or debt incurred for the plant, and the loss, if any, in the operation of the plant during the preceding year, and of the cost, as defined in section fifty-eight, of the gas and electricity to be used by the town. The town shall include in its annual appropriations and in the tax levy not less than the estimated cost of the gas and electricity to be used by the town as above defined and estimated. By cost of the plant is intended the total amount expended on the plant to the beginning of the fiscal year for the purpose of establishing, purchasing, extending or enlarging the same. By loss in operation is intended the difference between the actual income from private consumers plus the appropriations for maintenance for the preceding fiscal year and the actual expense of the plant, reckoned as above, for that year in case such expenses exceeded the amount of such income and appropriation. The income from sales and the money appropriated as aforesaid shall be used to pay the annual expense of the plant, defined as above, for the fiscal year, except that no part of the sum therein included for depreciation shall be used for any other purpose than renewals in excess of ordinary repairs, extensions, reconstruction, enlargements and additions. The surplus, if any, of said annual allowances for depreciation after making the above payments shall be kept as a separate fund and used for renewals other than ordinary repairs, extensions, reconstructions, enlargements and additions in succeeding years, and for the cost of plant, nuclear decommissioning costs, the costs of contractual commitments, and deferred costs related to such commitments which the city council, the board of selectmen, or the municipal light board, if any, determines are above market value. Said depreciation fund shall be kept and managed by the town treasurer as a separate fund, subject to appropriation by the city council or selectmen or municipal light board, if any, for the foregoing purpose. Upon his own initiative or upon the request of the city council, selectmen or municipal light board, the treasurer shall invest or deposit the same as permitted by section fifty-five A of chapter forty-four, and any income thereon shall be credited to the depreciation fund. So much of said fund as the department may from time to time approve may also be used to pay notes, bonds or certificates of indebtedness issued to pay for the cost of reconstruction or renewals in excess of ordinary repairs, when such notes, bonds or certificates of indebtedness become due. All appropriations for the plant shall be either for the annual expense defined as above, or for extensions, reconstruction, enlargements or additions; and no appropriation shall be used for any purpose other than that stated in the vote making the same. No bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness shall be issued by a town for the annual expenses as defined in this section.


Jeff Bennett

Section 56C. Every municipal light commission or manager thereof, who makes or executes a contract on behalf of a municipal lighting plant, where the amount involved is five thousand dollars or more, shall furnish said contract or a copy thereof to the city or town auditor within one week after its execution. Said city or town auditor shall keep such contract or copy on file, open to public inspection during business hours. Such contracts or copies shall be kept in a separate book, arranged according to the subject of the contract, or in other convenient form. An index of the subject matter of the contracts and to the names of the contractors shall be made semi-annually, and shall also be open to public inspection in some convenient form. All allowances under and additions to such contracts, or copies thereof, shall be filed with the city or town auditor, together with a sworn statement of the officer making such allowances or additions that the same are correct and in accordance with the contract. A city or town auditor, municipal light commissioner or manager wilfully failing to comply with this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten nor more than one hundred dollars.

Jeff Bennett

Section 56. The mayor of a city, or the selectmen or municipal light board, if any, of a town acquiring a gas or electric plant shall appoint a manager of municipal lighting who shall, under the direction and control of the mayor, selectmen or municipal light board, if any, and subject to this chapter, have full charge of the operation and management of the plant, the manufacture and distribution of gas or electricity, the purchase of supplies, the employment of attorneys and of agents and servants, the method, time, price, quantity and quality of the supply, the collection of bills, and the keeping of accounts. His compensation and term of office shall be fixed in cities by the city council and in towns by the selectmen or municipal light board, if any; and, before entering upon the performance of his official duties, he shall give bond to the city or town for the faithful performance thereof in a sum and form and with sureties to the satisfaction of the mayor, selectmen or municipal light board, if any, and shall, at the end of each municipal year, render to them such detailed statement of his doings and of the business and financial matters in his charge as the department may prescribe. All moneys payable to or received by the city, town, manager or municipal light board in connection with the operation of the plant, for the sale of gas or electricity or otherwise, shall be paid to the city or town treasurer. All accounts rendered to or kept in the gas or electric plant of any city shall be subject to the inspection of the city auditor or officer having similar duties, and in towns they shall be subject to the inspection of the selectmen. The auditor or officer having similar duties, or the selectmen, may require any person presenting for settlement an account or claim against such plant to make oath before him or them, in such form as he or they may prescribe, as to the accuracy of such account or claim. The wilful making of a false oath shall be punishable as perjury. The auditor or officer having similar duties in cities, and the selectmen in towns, shall approve the payment of all bills or payrolls of such plants before they are paid by the treasurer, and may disallow and refuse to approve for payment, in whole or in part, any claim as fraudulent, unlawful or excessive; and in that case the auditor or officer having similar duties, or the selectmen, shall file with the city or town treasurer a written statement of the reasons for the refusal; and the treasurer shall not pay any claim or bill so disallowed. This section shall not abridge the powers conferred on town accountants by sections fifty-five to sixty-one, inclusive, of chapter forty-one. The manager shall at any time, when required by the mayor, selectmen, municipal light board, if any, or department, make a statement to such officers of his doings, business, receipts, disbursements, balances, and of the indebtedness of the town in his department.

Jeff Bennett 


Light Department Overdue for an Audit

Where are the financials for TMLWP? 

Were they "omitted" because  as in South Hadley:

"If the omitted disclosures and statements of cash flows were included in the financial statements, they might influence the user's conclusions about the Department's financial position, results of operations and cash flows." 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring cleaning equals a reminder for some..........

Organizing and reading old selectmen business, I came across a letter from the Department of Revenues Director of Bureau of Accounts dated January 9, 2014 and time stamped received in the BOS office at 1:12 PM on January 13, 2014.

The beginning of the third paragraph of this letter begins with the following; With respect to fiscal matters generally, under MGL c. 164, light plants are not separate legal entities and need the approval of their municipalities' legislative bodies to borrow, as in borrowing money to paint water tanks. Just an interesting tidbit from this letter that seemed to bring so much joy to the Light & Water commissioners and I hope they look at this as they move forward with trying to get the tanks painted with a loan (borrowing) from USDA.

Jeff Bennett
WORCESTER — A wind power experiment has come to an end at Walmart.

The Arkansas-based operator of discount retail stores removed turbines from the parking lot of its Worcester supercenter in the last week and will now evaluate what it learned there and at two other U.S. sites, a spokeswoman for the company said.

"We're going through the data to figure out what we learned, and we're applying those lessons in a variety of renewable energy projects," said Kara Greco, Walmart director of sustainability communications.

Twelve small turbines were installed on the top of 48-foot parking-lot lights when Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its 209,000-square-foot supercenter in May 2010. At the time, it was only the second Walmart site in the country with turbines installed in a parking lot.

The turbines were financed and installed by a private company to generate power to be sold to Walmart over a period of years for the parking lot lights and the store. Shoppers could usually count on seeing them spinning in the breeze.

Yet in the last five years, the market for small wind-generating installations has changed, and Walmart's renewable energy agenda has evolved.

Reduced subsidies from state governments have impacted demand in the U.S. market for small and medium-size wind turbines, according to the clean energy research firm Navigant Research. At the same time, solar energy systems have become more affordable.

Nearly 3,700 new small wind turbines were purchased in 2012 in the United States, about half as many as in 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy reported. Small turbine sales totaled $101 million in 2012, down about 12 percent from the year before.

The company that financed, designed and installed the Worcester turbines also no longer exists. Deerpath Energy of Marblehead was sold in 2010 to Southwest Windpower, an Arizona business. In 2013, Oregon turbine maker XZERES Corp. bought the assets of Southwest.

For Walmart, wind power is the dominant renewable energy it uses in Mexico, according to Ms. Greco. U.S. company Foundation Windpower also installed and still operates a large turbine at a Walmart distribution center in Tehama, California.

But solar power has become the dominant renewable energy the company uses in the United States. Walmart expects to unveil 400 solar installations over the next four years in the United States. "In the U.S., solar is definitely our largest portion of renewable energy," Ms. Greco said. "It really depends on what's the most economic."

Contact Lisa Eckelbecker at

Is the wind farm fad already blowing over
by Russell Taylor

Recently I was driving across the magnificent country side of Mongolia. I was thoroughly enjoying the experience of space, native wildlife, no people and an untouched land. Suddenly a white structure in the distance caught my eye. As we approached I could see it was a wind farm and it was a visual contrast to the beautiful scenery. I began to think that wind farms are very popular and they are being rapidly constructed all over the globe - so more will be seen across the Mongolian landscape.
Back at home I started to google the wind farm story and to my surprise, it appeared that the new darling of energy generation, was experiencing somewhat of an image problem and was not as popular as I first thought.
Wind farms were highly promoted by green activists and the wind energy companies as the solution to the world's carbon issues. It was touted as an almost natural form of energy generation that is actually good for the environment, which means it is good for you. The politicians took up the renewable movement and provided fast track approvals, changes to planning by-laws and huge subsidies for companies to construct wind farms. As a result wind farms have sprung up at an rapid rate all over the globe. All seemed swell and the planet would be saved.
But a decade on, there is much trouble blowing in the wind for wind farms. People are aggressively objecting and demonstrating against the construction of any more. The politicians are threatening to end the subsidies and politicians are evening joining in the anti wind farm objections and demonstrations. Some companies involved in the wind farm business are reconsidering their involvement. Even the Co-founder of Green Peace, Dr. Patrick Moore objects to wind farms and says “They are ridiculously expensive and don’t work half the time,” he said. “And no matter how many are built, they won’t replace coal, gas or hydro or nuclear plants, because they are continuous and wind is not always reliable.”

Stepp Master Mix "Asphalt Recycler - Pothole Patcher" The Stepp Master Mixer is the perfect machine for pothole patching, Mall maintenance, municipality and paving contractors.The SMM Master mix asphalt recycler can make 1/4 ton batches of hot mix from 100% asphalt Millings or broken chunk blacktop in less than 10 minutes. Produce hot mix asphalt 24-7.With the master mix your repair is a one time repair no more cold patch! . That's what puts us a "Stepp" above the rest.

A week or so back I visited with the Gardner DPW and met the highway foreman who showed me their setup and had a couple guys demonstrate how quick the unit can be fired up and make material to patch pot holes. They use road grindings and left over hot top from previous road projects. They patched a decent size pot hole to show me how fast and easy it is to do even working out of a dump truck with material, a shovel and a tamper. It worked so well and saved enough to pay for another unit from what they saved on not buying so much cold patch. They do still use cold patch but at a greatly reduced amount and as a result, spend less money on expensive cold patch. I was told the Town of Phillipston came to look at it to get an idea of how it worked. It would seem that they are interested in this process.

Jeff Bennett

Cranberry Township reduces rock-salt usage with automated brine maker

Snow and Ice Removal Case Studies
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Faced with a common problem of bounce and scatter with traditional rock salt, Cranberry Township decided to investigate alternative ways to keep roads clear of snow and ice. Having only used pre-wetting applications with magnesium chloride when the weather dropped below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, this costly solution prompted their research into brine-making equipment.

During an extensive review of several different brine makers, they were introduced to the automated brine maker from Cargill Deicing Technology. The system, called AccuBrine, can produce approximately 5,000 gal of brine per hour at accurate salinity concentrations.

“We purchased the automated brine maker in 2012 and began using it that winter season,” said Bob Howland, manager of Cranberry Township’s streets and fleet.

Howland noted that multiple operators were trained to use the system and found the automated controls limited the amount of time needed to make brine. “We knew the most important element in the operation is salinity accuracy,” said Howland. “Our new brine maker accurately produced the right salt brine solution, which helped us reduce our rock salt usage.”

Because their trucks already had pre-wetting equipment, the township was able to make better use of the fleet by using the brine to pre-wet the salt at the spinner. “We were able to recognize a savings in rock-salt usage on all routes,” Howland said. “Our biggest savings were on two specific routes that used two demo spreaders. Both units carried 465 gal of liquid compared to our 100-gal tanks on our other trucks, and those spreaders demonstrated the greatest benefit of using the pre-wet salt brine.”

For convenience and increased speed, the brine is stored and loaded directly into trucks. “We load it directly into our trucks during production or into our 5,000-gal storage tank,” said Howland. “We also have a 5,000-gal blended tank with our 80/20 ratio of brine and magnesium chloride. Our magnesium chloride is stored in a 3,000-gal tank in a separate building about 150 ft away and the unit is able to easily pull the magnesium chloride from the tank and pump it into the blended tank.”

Creating custom blends allows the township to incorporate magnesium chloride when the temperature calls for it, and the brine maker helps Howland and his team make custom blends with ease.

“We are responsible for 125 miles of roads, which includes 298 cul-de-sacs,” Howland said. “The primary reasons we chose to purchase the brine maker were to reduce our salt usage, add moisture to rock salt for faster reaction time and help the environment.”
The Assessors are required by Massachusetts Law to list and value all real and personal property. The val-uations are subject to ad valorem taxation on the assessment roll each year. The "ad valorem" basis for taxa-tion means that all property should be taxed "according to value". Assessed values in Massachusetts are based on "full and fair cash value", or 100 percent of fair market value. The Assessors’ Office reviews sales and the market every year and thereby reassesses values each year. Fair market value is determined by "arm’s length" sales. An "arm’s length" sale is a sale between a willing buyer and a willing seller with no unusual circumstances involved in the sale. Foreclosures, short sales, sales because of a divorce and estate sales are not arms length sales. The Bureau of Local Assessment does not allow us to use these types of sales in our sales analysis. They require there be 10 percent arms length sales used for sales comparisons, therefore the FY 2014 sales used are from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014.

The Assessors do not raise or lower taxes. The Assessor’s Office has nothing to do with the total amount of taxes collected. Taxes are assessed in an amount sufficient to cover the State and Local appropriations chargeable to the Town. These taxes assessed will include State assessments which have been duly certified to the Board and local appropriations voted at the Town Meeting.

The tax rate is determined by all the taxing agencies within the community, and is the basis for the budget needed to provide for services, such as schools, roads, fire, law enforcement, etc. The tax rates are simply those rates, which will provide funds to pay for those services.

In addition, the Office administers the Motor Vehicle Excise taxes, Exemptions, Sewer Betterments and Title V Betterments.
This year the composition of the Board of Assessors remained the same. Currently, Board of Assessor members are doing town wide fieldwork required for FY16 Cyclical and Revaluation of the town. By the Board members doing this in-house, the town is saving a substantial amount of money.

From the 2014 Annual Town Report

Jeff Bennett

Meetings the Week of March 30, 2015

Meetings the Week of March 30, 2015

Monday 3/30/15
BOS                               E. Temp.                  6:30 pm

Tuesday 3/31/15

MART                           Fitchburg                 10:30 am     
Planning                        E. Temp.                    6:30 pm

Wednesday 4/1/15
Assessors                       E. Temp.                  2:00 pm

Thursday 4/2/15
BOH                              E. Temp                   7:00 pm
Sr. Center                       E. Temp.                  6:30 pm

SJC: Retiree health insurance rates not subject to bargaining

SJC: Retiree health insurance rates not subject to bargaining
February 12, 2015

In a precedent-setting case, the Supreme Judicial Court on Feb. 3 upheld the authority of municipalities to change health insurance contribution rates for retirees without going through collective bargaining.

The SJC concluded that the city of Somerville did not violate employee collective bargaining rights when it changed contribution rates for employees who had already retired.

Somerville accepted Chapter 32B, Section 9E, in 1979, allowing the city to pay more than 50 percent of health insurance premiums for retired employees. Until 2009, the city paid 99 percent of the premium for retirees on its indemnity plan and between 80 percent and 90 percent for retirees on HMO plans.

In 2009, the city decreased its contribution to 60 percent for the indemnity plan and 75 percent for HMO plans. The city did this unilaterally under the premise that retirees do not have collective bargaining rights under Chapter 150E.

The city’s public employee unions claimed that this was a change in a future benefit for active employees and therefore needed to be bargained. They took the case to the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board, which sided with the unions in October 2011.

On appeal, the SJC reversed the CERB decision, concluding that in fact the city was under no obligation to bargain with active employees over retiree benefits. The court agreed with the city that, under Chapter 32B, contribution rates for retired employees are determined solely by the local government.

The SJC concluded that the Legislature intended decisions about retiree health benefits to be solely at the discretion of the municipality.
Written by MMA Legislative Analyst Katie S. McCue

Sunday, March 29, 2015

To Your Health!

Aspartame and Children


A compilation of observations among physicians, researchers and laypeople who have demonstrated the link between aspartame consumption and the cascade of adverse neurodevelopmental and physiological complications occurring epidemically among children and; foundational science and observations regarding the link of adverse neurodevelopmental and physical complications of monosodium glutamate consumption.

This report has been prepared especially for parents, physicians, teachers, school administrators and lawmakers so they may understand the short and long-term dangers of aspartame consumption and the importance of removing from school cafeterias, vending machines and student stores food products that contain aspartame.

The Feingold Association
Mission Possible Founder Betty Martini
Barbara Metzler
Jack Samuels

Medical Consultants:
Russell Blaylock, MD
Sandra Cabot, MD
Joseph Mercola, MD
H.J. Roberts, MD
John Olney, MD
Ralph Walton, MD

Report on Aspartame and Children

by Ralph G. Walton, M.D.

Although undoubtedly well intentioned, any attempt to replace sugared beverages with aspartame containing diet products will, in my opinion, have a devastating impact on the health of our children and adolescents. The alarming increase in obesity, type II diabetes, and a wide variety of behavioral difficulties in our children is obviously attributable to multiple factors, but I am convinced that one powerful force in accentuating these problems is the ever increasing use of aspartame.

Aspartame is a multipotential toxin and carcinogen. The dipeptide component of the molecule can alter brain chemistry, significantly changing the ratio of catecholamines to indolamines, with resultant lowering of seizure threshold, production of carbohydrate craving and in vulnerable individuals leading to panic, depressive and cognitive symptoms.

The methyl ester component of aspartame is metabolized to methanol, which in turn is broken down into formic acid and formaldehyde. Methanol can lead to serious eye problems, formic acid and formaldehyde are potent carcinogens. The diet food industry and the F.D.A. are fond of saying that aspartame is “the most studied product in history” with an outstanding safety record. In fact however virtually all of the studies in the medical literature attesting to its safety were funded by the industry, whereas independently funded studies, now numbering close to 100, identify one or more problems. It would be especially tragic if an attempt to improve the health of our children led to even greater exposure to this highly toxic product. Thank you for your attention to this urgent public health issue.

Ralph G. Walton, M.D.
Medical Director, Safe Harbor Behavioral Health
Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine
Adjunct Professor Of Psychiatry, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Dr. Walton’s study on aspartame: “Adverse Reactions to Aspartame: Double-Blind Challenge in Patients from a Vulnerable Population:
Dr. Walton’s research on Scientific Peer Reviewed Studies and Funding:

The Dangers of Aspartame

Russell Blaylock, MD, is arguably the world’s foremost authority on the biochemistry of aspartame and its effect on brain function. Dr. Blaylock classifies aspartame alongside monosodium glutamate as an “excitotoxin”-substances that overstimulate brain cells causing cascades of neurological complications. His book, “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills,” is considered by many to be a definitive work in the field of excitotoxicity.

by Russell Blaylock, MD

In 1965, a researcher at G.D. Searle pharmaceutical company inadvertently discovered the artificial sweetener aspartame while working on an anti-ulcer medication. It was discovered that the sweetener was about 150 times sweeter than an equal amount of sugar. Over the next decade, the research staff at the G.D. Searle Company conducted a series of studies in an effort to get the product approved by the FDA.

Over all this consisted of about 11 different studies. In 1974 aspartame was approved for use only in dry foods. Its approval was based on these studies. Yet, even before these studies were being presented to the FDA, the pharmaceutical giant was under investigation for improprieties associated with several of its other drugs.

No basis for reliance

During this investigation, Dr. Adrian Gross was placed in charge of examining these studies and Jerome Bressler was assigned to examine three of the studies. This investigation included a through examination of the pathology laboratory used in the tests, interviews with the scientists and technicians involved and a careful analytic review of the studies themselves.

In a letter to Senator Howard Metzenbaum, Dr. Gross discussed many of their findings in this investigation. He pointed out that at the heart of the regulatory process was the ability of the FDA to “rely upon the integrity of the basic safety data submitted” to the FDA. Further, he says, “Our investigation clearly demonstrates that, in the case of G.D. Searle Company, we have no basis for such reliance now.”

He then pinpoints why he had reached this conclusion, when he states:

“Through our efforts, we have uncovered serious deficiencies in Searle’s operations and practices which undermine the basis for reliance on Searle’s integrity in conducting high quality animal research to accurately determine or characterize the toxic potential of its products.”

Who cares about the unborn?

Dr. Gross expressed his disdain at the way teratology experiments were conducted. These are critical tests with any new drug because it determines possible dangers to unborn children when their mothers are exposed to the product during pregnancy. He found that technicians responsible for the tests had no formal training in teratology or toxicology. In fact, they were given some books by the company and trained themselves for three months.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

John Oliver - Municipal Violations

John Oliver - Municipal Violations
strong language

Published on Mar 22, 2015

If you have money, committing a municipal violation may pose you a minor inconvenience. If you don’t, it can ruin your life.

Latest trend in criminalizing poverty.

If you don't like the answer, don't ask the question

If you don't like the answer, don't ask the question

Hard to resist when a questionnaire like this shows up in your email:

What changes can our Commonwealth make to state regulations, laws and mandates that will improve your ability to deliver quality services to your constituents in a more cost-effective manner?

  Please remove target share from the calculation for funding regional school districts. For FY 16 Templeton's assessed target share is $266,000 for the Narragansett Regional School District. Raising taxes by the 2.5%  will generate $204,000 for the Town of Templeton. Any plans for improving the town is held hostage by the regional school department. The $266,000 'target share" is in addition to $811,000 "additional money" from overrides. It is my understanding the target share calculation does not include override money i.e.: "The additional money" from the town.

Please review the passage of Chapter 93 Acts of 2000 which combined Templeton's water department with its Municipal Light Department. The passage of this special act has created an administrative nightmare for Templeton. The water infrastructure is very old and Templeton currently has the highest water rates in the Commonwealth.
Water system upgrades or lack thereof are under the jurisdiction of the TMLWP commissioners and manager. The use of Chapter 90 money is under the jurisdiction of the BOS. We have paved roads with TIP money and Chapter 90 only to have the 60 year old water mains under those recently repaved roads break thereby causing much damage.