Paul working for you.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Issue or non issue? You decide!

According to Dave Smart, the current signed labor contract between the Town of Templeton and local 39, the labor union that Templeton highway members belong to and according to Dave he is the new shop steward. According to Dave, included in this labor contract is an up to $250.00 allowance for work boots, up to $160.00 for safety glasses, a coat allowance and 5 yellow shirts that Dave says the Town mandates. All of this information should be in the written contract that should have been voted on by the board of selectmen in open meeting. Dave posted on this blog that he thinks I read the blog and attempt to make a total non issue an issue when I get a chance. I just happen to think that things like wages, benefits and extras such as those granted to local 39 by the selectmen happen to be an issue, simply because they affect one of the biggest issues of a city or Town each year, that of the budget. Take the time to look one over and pick what is the largest expense or what item which seems to get the most doe, as in $$$, dollars? I believe you will find it is employees, as in wages, insurance, benefits such as paid holidays,  paid days off for snow (in New England) along with extras such as those listed above, pensions, etc.

I believe these are issues (or should be) for departments, Town Administrator, Selectmen, Finance Committee, School Committees and especially taxpayers! There is only so much money to be spent and all are jockeying for as big a piece of the pie as they can get. This all gets to be an issue for discussion and more discussion when you consider the places Templeton gets the money. Generally from four places; property taxes, state aid, local receipts and other, as in gifts, grants, etc., and remember the proposition 2 1/2 factor.

What is in that labor contract is an issue because it involves the spending of public funds and it happens to be one of those things that does not see the light too often. You will often see names of people late on taxes in the newspaper but how often do see labor contract benefits published in the paper? People should know what expenses there are in labor contracts because they are paying for them and more importantly, they should know what they are spending their money on at Town meeting.

What you pay for regarding education is important, what you pay for electricity and water is important and so is what you pay for labor! It is important and it is an issue, in my opinion.

Jeff Bennett

Terrapinfest To Benefit Veterans

Terrapinfest To Benefit Veterans

Chili Cookoff Is Hot Stuff

Chili Cookoff Is Hot Stuff
Winchendon hosts event this weekend
TGN file photo Rosanne Richard, Keili Richard and Keith Richard, all of Gardner, taste the chili at last year’s cook-off.

Damien Fisher
News Staff Writer

WINCHENDON  Chili is bringing the community together this weekend, with the 31st annual Massachusetts State Chili Cookoff.

The event, a sanctioned chili-cooking competition, has evolved over the years to include more and more features for families and children in Winchendon, said Bruce Cloutier, with the Winchendon Kiwanis.

“It’s a real family fun day,” he said.

Winchendon’s Kiwanis will host the festivities, which this year include performances by The Help Wanted Band, a petting zoo, crafters, and prizes for children, Mr. Cloutier said. This year there will also be a touch-a-truck feature where kids can get inside a police car, or a fire truck or a construction vehicle, and the Bethany Bible Church will give out backpacks full of goodies to children. Moo Moo the Cow from Davis Mega Maze will be on hand, as will Elsa from the Disney movie, “Frozen.”

Between the cook-off and the other activities, it is shaping up to be a great day for Winchendon’s children, Mr. Cloutier said, adding that the day is a fundraiser to help local children.

Wind Turbine 5K Saturday August 1st!

Should Italy's Prized Olive Groves Be Burned to the Ground?

Should Italy's Prized Olive Groves Be Burned to the Ground?

Officials are torching thousands of olive trees without knowing if fire will stop the spread of a lethal bacterium
olive trees on fire

Olive trees across Puglia, Italy, that are infected with a deadly bacterium are being cut down and burned in hopes of slowing the disease’s spread.

Credit: Pier Paolo Cito 
SALENTO, Italy—There is only one certainty in what has fast become a Dantesque drama to save world-renowned olive groves in Puglia from the deadly Xylella fastidiosa bacterium: olive trees, the very symbol of this southern Italian region, are dying en masse. Hundreds of acres of once-vibrant, postcard-perfect groves that have prospered for centuries are now cemeteries where twisted, dead tree trunks protrude like arboreal zombies from fertile soil in which grass and flowers easily grow.
Almost every other aspect of the drama, especially the science of how the bacterium spreads and how to stop it, is far less clear. No one even knows how many trees have perished so far, although reports by Italy’s farm cooperative Coldiretti estimate that more than one million of Puglia’s 60 million olive trees are infected by the bacterium, either dying on their own or cut down and burned by authorities, under pressure to do something from national and European leaders who fear the bacteria could wipe out olive groves across the continent and infect almond and cherry trees, too. As I stand among the sawed-off stumps and charred remains of a small grove here, officials have just painted more of the ancient tree trunks with red X marks to signify eventual destruction. Angry owners protest defiantly, calling the men with chainsaws assassins. Activists shout insults at agronomists inspecting the groves.

But no one can tell me exactly how this bacterium sickens the trees, how it moves from tree to tree or whether burning can ever work unless it destroys the entire industry. Puglia produces more than 40 percent of Italy’s olive oil, and the oil is considered among the world’s finest. The outbreak could cost the region more than $225 million in olive oil production losses this year alone, and could threaten olive trees across Italy and all of Europe, substantially raising the price of oil worldwide. The stunning, centuries-old trees are more than agricultural champions, too; they are cultural monuments that are as vital to the “heel” region of Italy’s “boot” as its conical-roofed stone trullo houses and its many castles.

Nor can anyone say with certainty whether all of those dead trees actually succumbed to X. fastidiosa. Although current wisdom, based on random samples, holds that they did die from the bacterium, hardly a tiny fraction of the dead trees has been tested. Yet like conducting autopsies in a war zone, officials seem to have little impetus to confirm what is assumed as fact.
tree with red X
A red X marks trees destined to be destroyed. Credit: Pier Paolo Cito
Less certain still is just how the deadly bacterium was introduced to the area. The most likely explanation, supported by the scientific community, is that it was inadvertently brought in with a shipment of ornamental plants from Costa Rica, where the same strain of bacterium has been well documented. But local people here have their own theories, which range from the intentional killing of the trees by everyone from British land developers who want to clear the land to build fancy resorts and golf courses to the so-called ecomafia that apparently intends to repurpose the land as a toxic chemical dump.

Scientific Review Shows Fluoridation May Not Prevent Cavities

Scientific Review Shows Fluoridation May Not Prevent Cavities
July 14, 2015 | 13,912 views

By Dr. Mercola

After decades of toxic fluoride being added to public water supplies without the public’s consent, we now have significant validation that this practice needs to be stopped.
The Cochrane Collaboration has released a comprehensive review with points that are nearly impossible to dispute. Fluoride doesn’t work to prevent cavities and it’s proven to cause harm in the form of dental fluorosis.

The Cochrane Collaboration is considered to be the gold standard in evidence-based reviews, and only three studies conducted since 1975 had enough merit to be included. None showed that swallowing fluoride prevents cavities while it was clear that it causes harm (dental fluorosis).
Fluorosis – mottled discolorations on teeth – is not purely aesthetic. It’s a visible sign that you’ve been exposed to this known developmental neurotoxin at excessive levels.

Worse still, even the “best” studies were not considered to be high quality and nearly all were flawed, for instance failing to control for other contributing factors, such as dietary sources of fluoride aside from tap water, diet and ethnicity.

Who Are the Real 'Conspiracy Theorists'?

Earlier this year, even National Geographic stopped so low as to suggest anyone who questions water fluoridation is a conspiracy theorist.1 Yet, just last year Lancet Neurology released a study, authored by a Harvard doctor, among others, that classified fluoride as a developmental neurotoxin.2

The meta-analysis clearly showed that children exposed to fluoride in drinking water had lower IQ, by an average of seven points, in areas with raised concentrations.
And the majority of the studies had fluoride levels of less than four milligrams (mg) per liter, which is under the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) allowable level…
Meanwhile, we have visible evidence (dental fluorosis) that US children are being overexposed to fluoride. That fluoride doesn’t just stop at the teeth; it’s being taken internally. It’s no conspiracy theory; it’s a fact that deserves urgent attention and immediate policy review.

Who are the real denialists about fluoride? The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA), which continue to tout water fluoridation as “safe and effective” even as evidence to the contrary pours in around them.
Eventually, and it appears sooner rather than later, they are going to have to face the damage they have caused to so many children by demanding water fluoridation for all – and continuing to do so rather than admitting their mistake.

Fluoride Is Still Added to Two-Thirds of US Water Supplies

Fluoride is added to two-thirds of US public water supplies, even though it’s been linked to serious health conditions, including damage to your bones, brain, kidneys, thyroid, pineal gland and even, ironically, your teeth.

It wasn’t always this way.3 Water fluoridation began in 1945, even though in 1943 the Journal of the American Medical Association stated fluorides are general protoplasmic poisons that change the permeability of the cell membrane by certain enzymes.4

This poison was added to the water because it was supposed to help prevent tooth decay – and rates of cavities have declined over the last 60 years. But fluoridation doesn’t deserve the credit.
The decline in tooth decay in the US, which is often attributed to fluoridated water, has likewise occurred in all developed countries (most of which do not fluoridate their water). Meanwhile, health risks linked to consuming fluoridated water have grown and, for the proverbial icing on the cake, new research shows there’s hardly any solid data showing water fluoridation is good for your teeth.

The Evidence Is In: Water Fluoridation Does Not Prevent Cavities

The Cochrane Collaboration, which releases comprehensive reviews regarded as the gold standard in assessing public health policies, recently turned their attention to water fluoridation and its effects on cavities.5

In a review of every fluoridation study they could find, only three since 1975 looked at the effectiveness of water fluoridation at reducing tooth decay among the general population and had high enough quality to be included. The studies found fluoridation does not reduce cavities to a statistically significant degree in permanent teeth.6

Further, in the two studies since 1975 that examined the effectiveness of fluoridation in reducing cavities in baby teeth, no significant reduction was noted there either.Study co-author Anne-Marie Glenny, a health science researcher at Manchester University in the United Kingdom, told Newsweek:7

“From the review, we’re unable to determine whether water fluoridation has an impact on caries [cavity] levels in adults.”
While they couldn’t prove that water fluoridation is beneficial, they did find that it causes harm. About 12 percent of those living in fluoridated areas had dental fluorosis that was an “aesthetic concern.”

Dental fluorosis is a condition in which your tooth enamel becomes progressively discolored and mottled, and it’s one of the first signs of over-exposure to fluoride. Eventually, it can result in badly damaged teeth, and, worse, it can also be an indication the rest of your body, such as your bones and internal organs, including your brain, have been overexposed to fluoride as well.

'Nobody Would Even Think About' Approving Fluoridation Today

The Cochrane review is only the latest study to question why so many US municipalities are still adding fluoride to drinking water. In 2000, research lead by Trevor Sheldon, the dean of the Hull York Medical School in the United Kingdom, similarly found a lack of reliable evidence showing water fluoridation to be beneficial… along with a strong link to harm (again, dental fluorosis).8

Sheldon told Newsweek:9

“I had assumed because of everything I’d heard that water fluoridation reduces cavities but I was completely amazed by the lack of evidence… My prior view was completely reversed… There’s really hardly any evidence [the practice works]… And if anything there may be some evidence the other way.”

As Newsweek further reported:10  "Sheldon says that if fluoridation were to be submitted anew for approval today, 'nobody would even think about it' due to the shoddy evidence of effectiveness and obvious downside of fluorosis."

Also revealing, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) there is no discernible difference in tooth decay between developed countries that fluoridate their water and those that do not.11 It’s become clear that swallowing fluoride poses little, if any, benefit along with unacceptable risks. Even the topical benefits (such as in fluoride toothpaste) are being questioned.

A 2010 study published in the journal Langmuir, for instance, uncovered that the fluorapatite layer formed on your teeth from fluoride is a mere six nanometers thick12 -- you'd need 10,000 of these layers to get the width of a strand of your hair.

Scientists now question whether this ultra-thin layer can actually protect your enamel and provide any discernible benefit, considering the fact that it is quickly eliminated by simple chewing. They wrote: "…it has to be asked whether such narrow… layers really can act as protective layers for the enamel."
What Are the Health Risks of Swallowing Fluoride?

Dental fluorosis is only one health risk of consuming fluoride. Research conducted earlier this year linked fluoridated-water consumption to thyroid dysfunction, weight gain, and depression. Thyroid function was affected starting at a fluoride level of 0.3 mg/L, which is less than half what the US currently recommends, which is a level of 0.7 mg/L.
Your pineal gland also tends to accumulate significant amounts of fluoride, which eventually causes it to calcify. This may lead to ADHD-like symptoms and may also play a role in Alzheimer's and bipolar disease. Considering its effect on neurotransmitters, it's also quite conceivable that it might promote depression and other neurological disorders.13

Further, according to one 500-page scientific review, fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can also affect your bones, brain, and even your blood sugar levels.14  There are more than 100 published studies illustrating fluoride's harm to the brain alone, plus 43 more that directly link fluoride exposure to reduced IQ in children Studies have also demonstrated that fluoride toxicity, caused by overexposure, can lead to:

Increased lead absorption    Disrupted synthesis of collagen    Hyperactivity and/or lethargy    Muscle disorders

Bone cancer (osteosarcoma)    Increased tumor and cancer rate    Arthritis    Skeletal fluorosis and bone fractures

Genetic damage and cell death    Damaged sperm and increased infertility    Inactivation of 62 enzymes and inhibition of more than 100    Inhibited formation of antibodies, and immune system disruptions

Fluoride Is a Cumulative Toxin

Fluoride is a cumulative toxin, which means the more exposure you get, and the longer you get it, the worse your symptoms are likely to be. This is true even in areas where fluoride levels occur in water naturally. Fluoridation advocates often use this to support its safety. However, naturally occurring substances are not automatically safe (think of arsenic, for instance).

Thursday, July 30, 2015


[ Chart ]
Massachusetts real gross domestic product grew at an estimated annual rate of 5.4 percent, in the second quarter of 2015 according to the MassBenchmarks Current Economic Index, released today by MassBenchmarks, the journal of the Massachusetts economy published by the UMass Donahue Institute in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. U.S. real gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.3 percent according to the advance estimate of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Based on the latest available information, we now estimate that in the first quarter of 2015, the state economy expanded at a 2.1 percent annualized rate while the nation grew at a 0.6 percent annualized rate.

In the second quarter, the state's economy rebounded strongly from the weather-induced slowdown of the first quarter, with robust growth in employment and spending. Massachusetts payroll employment expanded at a 3.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter, nearly twice as fast as in the first quarter when employment grew at a 1.7 percent annualized rate. Nationally, payroll employment grew at a 1.7 annual rate in the second quarter, down from 2.2 percent in the first quarter. The state's unemployment rate fell from 4.8 percent in March to 4.6 percent in June, while the U.S. unemployment rate fell from 5.5 percent to 5.3 percent during the same period. The state's unemployment rate has reached pre-recession levels.

"The rising tide appears to finally be lifting the boats of the long-term unemployed, even though conditions for these workers remain difficult", noted Dr. Alan Clayton-Matthews, MassBenchmarks Senior Contributing Editor and Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Northeastern University, who compiles and analyzes the Current and Leading Indexes. The broader U-6 measure of unemployment – which includes part-time workers who want full-time work and those who are unemployed but marginally attached to the labor force declined significantly in the second quarter. "For the 12-month period ending in June, the Massachusetts U-6 rate fell to 10.4 percent, a 0.6 percentage point drop from the 12-month period ending in March. In June, Current Population Survey-based estimates put the Massachusetts U-6 rate at 9.7 percent. The corresponding U.S. rate in June was 10.5 percent," Clayton-Matthews added.


The Office of Governor Charlie Baker
CONTACT: Elizabeth Guyton

July 30, 2015

Guidance aims to increase transparency by reducing costs, streamlining responsiveness

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today announced for the first time administration-wide measures to improve transparency and public access to government records and information, including a reduced and streamlined fee structure and more efficient communications and responses to requesters. The new procedures announced today and outlined in a memo to Cabinet Secretaries will be implemented over the coming weeks.

“We are proud to undertake this important step towards increasing the public’s access to information and shedding further light on the government that their tax dollars fund,” said Governor Baker. “These new measures reduce costs and make the public records request process more uniform and timely, increasing government’s public accountability, openness and transparency.”

The procedures being implemented by the Baker-Polito Administration in accordance with best practices from around the nation, seek to comply with and exceed the requirements under the existing public records law to more diligently respond to the number of public records requests while reducing delays and costs to requesters and continuing to protect the personal information of taxpayers and service users.

MassIT is additionally in the process of implementing over the next year, e-mail search capabilities for Executive Branch agencies to ease the fulfilling of broad based email searches.

Improving Government Transparency:
· Secretariats and agencies will designate a Records Access Officer (RAO) to receive and coordinate requests and establish an internal tracking system to ensure compliance with the administration’s public records policy and existing law. RAO’s contact information will be posted on an agency’s website along with helpful instructions for submitting public records requests.



By Michael Norton and Andy Metzger


STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JULY 29, 2015.....Massachusetts lawmakers on Wednesday poured millions of dollars back into the state budget over Gov. Charlie Baker's objections and approved a two-day tax holiday designed to trade expected revenues to the state for an anticipated burst of consumer spending in mid-August.

With both branches meeting simultaneously, the Democratic House and Senate majorities held firm in support of overriding budget vetoes that Baker said were necessary to ensure a balanced budget in light of what the administration has cautioned is a developing shortfall in the state's non-tax revenues.
The House and Senate voted overwhelmingly, for example, to restore funding for kindergarten expansion grants, cultural council grants and the University of Massachusetts. Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in overriding many of Baker's vetoes.

UMass President Martin Meehan called the $5.25 million override for the five-campus system a "victory for the students, faculty and staff" at UMass and said he hoped the Legislature would also approve spending to cover the university's $10.9 million in "state-funded" union contracts for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The tax holiday, scheduled for Aug. 15-16, drew strong support from Republicans but divided Democrats, with critics of the idea calling it a "boondoggle" and minimizing the 6.25 percent savings that consumers would receive by buying items exempt from the sales tax.

The sales tax holiday bill cleared the House 136-20 and the Senate 27-11. Some lawmakers who voted for it said they did so reluctantly and hoped the measure would get a closer examination next year.

Noting retailers were already advertising with the expectation that the sales tax holiday would be approved, Sen. Marc Pacheco of Taunton said, "I will be voting for it reluctantly so that the Senate is not blamed for stopping it."

Both branches plan to return Thursday to continue taking up veto overrides, with House leaders planning to overturn 87 total vetoes worth a collective $97 million.

By not taking up the remainder of Baker's spending vetoes, the branches would leave about $65 million of his spending cuts in place.

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg told reporters Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka recommended that any override the House sends to the Senate be placed before the chamber for a vote.

The House and Senate unanimously overrode Baker's veto of $17.6 million in kindergarten expansion grants, which would have left $1 million in the account.

Red Apple Boston!

Going in for the Kale

With the opening of the Boston Public Market on July 30, locavores have finally realized their dream of a permanent one-stop shop for pedigreed produce, dairy, seafood, meat, and all manner of ready-to-scarf comestibles—all made here in New England. And if you think that’s impressive now, just wait till winter.

By Christopher Hughes    | Boston Magazine    | August 2015

t took the better part of two decades—and tireless campaigning by ranchers, fishermen, and farmers—for Boston to get a permanent central market of its own, but now the city is finally joining the ranks of foodie-centric cities like San Francisco and Seattle. And in true New England fashion, the Boston Public Market actually goes one step beyond its lauded forebears out West to become the nation’s first all-local yearlong market. (Talk about a bazaar twist.) Mind you, this isn’t some overhyped upgrade to your local farmstand. Yes, the $15.5 million, 28,000-square-foot facility off the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway will offer aisles of apples, leafy greens, and all of the other predictable provisions. But with sushi counters, coffee-geek-approved cafés, and kiosks hawking ramen and falafel, it’ll also be a deluxe food court for the locavoraciously inclined. And when winter forces outdoor markets to close from December through May, the heated BPM will continue to operate.
The BPM’s pro-regional ethos can’t be overstated: Its 40 permanent vendors—chosen from some 300 applicants—had to show how they would keep their kiosks full during kale-and-beet season without breaking the strict local-provenance requirements. Expect plenty of prepared fare and creative takes on pickles and preserves. Ahead, 10 kiosks we’re planning to put into regular rotation.
boston public market vendors

1. Red’s Best

Jared Auerbach cuts out the middleman to offer the Atlantic’s most pristine seafood, both for home- and on-site enjoyment. His 850-square-foot kiosk wows with sushi-grade bluefin, clam-shack classics using more-sustainable “trash” fish (porgy and chips, anyone?), and a melt-in-your-mouth scallop ceviche.
boston public market vendors

2. Stillman Quality Meats

In addition to a full-service butcher counter offering premium grass-fed cuts and specialty items like whipped lardo and herb-studded pork fat, expect smoked-chicken clubs stacked with house-cured bacon and juicy heirloom tomatoes, and, come winter, bone-broth restoratives ladled into coffee cups.
boston public market vendors

3. Noodle Lab

Ramen junkies, prepare to meet your maker: Audrey Yap, who grew up hand-pulling noodles in her family’s Tucson restaurants. Here she makes bowls of collagen-rich tonkotsu, an unctuous shoyu ramen packed with nori, and chewy Shanghainese noodles. Re-create the magic at home with Yap’s DIY kits.
boston public market vendors

4. Wolf Meadow Farm

Load up on Luca Mignogna’s traditional Italian farm cheeses, like salt-crusted ricotta and mozzarella kneaded from local curds (i.e., 7 miles from the Amesbury facility). Can’t wait to indulge? Wolf down one of the daily panini—with any luck, melty black-truffle scamorza with mushrooms and parsley pesto.
boston public market vendors

5. Union Square Donuts

Somerville’s cult doughnut dealer heads into unfamiliar terrain, catering to audiences beyond the morning hordes. To placate both savory seekers and sweet tooths, strategically designed pretzel-doughnut spinoffs include one enriched with mustard butter, another with salt and Belgian milk chocolate.
boston public market vendors

6. Boston Smoked Fish

We don’t mean to imply that Matt Baumann’s impossible-to-find salmon-belly bacon—those ethereal slices of applewood-smoke-perfumed richness marbled with creamy white-fat striations—is the only reason we’re jonesing for his first full-scale retail shop to open. That’s right. We don’t mean to imply that at all.
boston public market vendors

7. Inna’s Kitchen

Mother-and-son deli team Inna and Alex Khitrik leave the pastrami back in Newton in favor of crackly cabbage-and-potato knishes; Israeli street food like sabihs stuffed with fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, and fiery zhoug; and a spicy tomatillo shakshuka capped with feta and baked sunny-side-up eggs.
boston public market vendors

8. Corner Stalk Farm

Connie and Shawn Cooney stick it to the cold weather with their slick Eastie “freight farms.” Built from shipping containers, they yield year-round leafy greens, sorrel, epazote, and obscure varieties of basil, thanks to a temperature-control system manned via smartphone. We do live in the innovation hub, after all.
boston public market vendors

9. Jasper Hill Farm

Prepare yourself for a queso coma courtesy of the rare black-label reserve versions of the Vermont fromager’s cellar-aged lineup; a hulking, double-armed raclette machine capable of blistering two half wheels of Alpha Tolman; and a grilled cheese oozing Swiss, clothbound cheddar, and Welsh-style Landaff.
boston public market vendors

10. Red Apple Farm

Apple pies. Apple crisps. Hot apple-cider doughnuts, fried on-site. Apple cider coaxed from fresh-from-the-Phillipston-orchard apples by means of a 19th-century apple press. Candy apples, caramel apples, fudge-covered apples…all right, you get the point. (Note: not so much with the tangerines.)
illustrations by the ellaphant in the room


a) The 3,200-square-foot demo kitchen will feature cooking lectures and hands-on classes from the likes of America’s Test Kitchen.
b) A ramp leads to a covered parking garage with 325 spaces.
c) There will be limited seating in the middle of the market hall, though this food court caters primarily to “cash and carry” noshers.
d) The main entrance to the 28,000-square-foot facility is located on the corners of Congress and Hanover streets.

Service Dog Funding Approved In Fiscal 2016 State Budget

Service Dog Funding Approved In Fiscal 2016 State Budget
Rebecca Leonard
News Staff Writer

BOSTON — Combat-wounded veterans often face many struggles when they return home from the service. Many suffer from physical and emotional wounds that make it hard for them to live a normal lifestyle.

Luckily organizations such as the National Education for Assistance Dog Services have developed programs that allow for wounded veterans to acquire an assistance dog at no cost.

“Whether it’s a veteran with a physical impairment, PTSD, head injury or someone who needs assistance in public situations, this program truly makes a difference,” state Rep. Kimberly Ferguson, R-Holden, said of the Service Dogs for Veterans Program created by NEADS.

Ms. Ferguson, announced that the funding for NEADS’ program was included in the state’s budget for 2016, which was approved last week.

This is the third year Rep. Ferguson has obtained this funding.

The program will receive $85,000 that will go toward training three service dogs. The costs include the trainer, transportation, food and health expenses.

Otter River Forest turning 100...on Saturday

Otter River forest turning 100

BALDWINVILLE - Join in the fun at Otter River State Forest on Saturday, Aug. 1, in celebration of its 100th anniversary.  

The festivities begin at 10 a.m. at the Otter River Pavilion with Rick Roth and his live animal presentation, followed by visits from Smokey Bear and other special guests. Lunch will be followed by games and activities on the beach. For more information call 978-939-8962. Parents must accompany children. All events are free and open to the public, but there is a parking fee.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Help Rebury "Zombie" Cybersecurity Bill Under Thousands of E-Faxes Now!‏

Help Rebury "Zombie" Cybersecurity Bill Under Thousands of E-Faxes Now!‏

Help Rebury "Zombie" Cybersecurity Bill Under Thousands of E-Faxes Now!

It’s back to the “barricades” for librarians and our many civil liberties coalition allies. Just over a year ago, District Dispatch sounded the alarm about the return of privacy-hostile “cybersecurity” or “information sharing” legislation.

Again dubbed a “zombie” for its ability to rise from the legislative dead, the current version of the bill (S. 754) goes by the innocuous name of the “Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act” . . . but “CISA” is anything but.  As detailed on District Dispatch, not only won’t it be effective as advertised in thwarting cyber-attacks, but it de facto grants broad new mass data collection powers to many federal, as well as state and even local, government agencies! Though it hasn’t had a single public hearing, Senate Majority Leader McConnell is pushing hard to pass CISA in the next few days before the Senate breaks for the August recess.

With all of its defects and dangers, it’s no wonder that CISA’s been labelled a “zombie!” Now it’s time for librarians to rise again, too . . . to the challenge of once more stopping CISA in its tracks. This time around, ALA has partnered with more than a dozen other national groups to fight back in a way so old it's novel again: sending Senate offices thousands . . . of faxes.

Join this retro campaign to protect the future of your privacy by delivering a brief pre-written message as a fax with just a single mouse click (no fax machine required) at!

Together we can stop CISA one more time, but votes could happen anytime now.  Please act today!



Well, I told ya so.

Charlie Miller (right) a security researcher at Twitter,  and Chris Valasek (left), director of Vehicle Security Research at IOActive, have exposed the security vulnerabilities in automobiles by hacking into cars remotely, controlling the cars' various controls from the radio volume to the brakes. Photographed on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 in Ladue, Mo. (Photo © Whitney Curtis for
Charlie Miller (right) a security researcher at Twitter, and Chris Valasek (left), director of Vehicle Security Research at IOActive, have exposed the security vulnerabilities in automobiles by hacking into cars remotely, controlling the cars’ various controls from the radio volume to the brakes. Photographed on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 in Ladue, Mo. (Photo © Whitney Curtis for

First they hacked the Google car. Now, it appears, they – “they” being hackers – could, in principle at least, take over half-a-million Jeeps (and other Fiat-Chrysler vehicles) equipped with in-car WiFi.
They’ve already done so in fact with one.

According to a report just published on a guy lost control of his new Jeep Cherokee when someone – using a laptop and sail fawn – hooked in to the vehicle’s systems and began to root around in its electronic guts, kind of like that scene in the classic William Shatner episode of Twilight Zone.

There’s …something on the wing!
 Only this time, there really was.
Under the hood, anyhow.

The hackers began by “adjusting” the AC. Next, they cycled the wipers. Then – according to the article – the hackers actually transmitted images of themselves over the Jeep’s LCD display, laughing at the no-longer-driver of the Jeep before disabling the vehicle’s brakes, leaving the no-longer-driver frantically pumping and getting nothing. He ended up in a ditch.

How – as they say in Russia – is possible?

Here’s how:
First, realize that your car is a computer as much as a car. Actually, it is a computer that controls a car. Everything mechanical is supervised – controlled – by the computer. This includes the engine, transmission and brakes. You may be under the impression that when you move the gear selector from Park to Drive, for instance, you are physically controlling the action. And also when you push on the gas pedal.hacked Jeep 3
Which you may assume is physically connected to the engine.

Uh, nope. Not anymore. Not in most new (and recent model) cars. Which are controlled via drive-by-wire. Electronics. Sensors and actuators. Not cables and rods.

Vaccines, Mercury & Dirty Money – A Message From Robert Kennedy Jr.

Vaccines, Mercury & Dirty Money – A Message From Robert Kennedy Jr.

Waking Times Editors’ note: This column by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was rejected for publication by major newspapers. Mr. Kennedy published it in USA Today as a paid advertisement. Re-printed here in full.

I am pro-vaccine. I had all of my six children vaccinated. I believe that vaccines save millions of lives. So let me explain why I edited the book “Thimerosal: Let The Science Speak,” which exposes the dangerous – and wholly unnecessary – use of the mercury-based preservative thimerosal in vaccines being given to millions of children and pregnant women here and around the world.

Vaccines are big business. Pharma is a trillion-dollar industry with vaccines accounting for $25 billion in annual sales. CDC’s decision to add a vaccine to the schedule can guarantee its manufacturer millions of customers and billions in revenue with minimal advertising or marketing costs and complete immunity from lawsuits. High stakes and the seamless marriage between Big Pharma and government agencies have spawned an opaque and crooked regulatory system. Merck, one of America’s leading vaccine outfits, is currently under investigation for deceiving FDA regulators about the effectiveness of its MMR vaccine. Two whistleblowers say Merck ginned up sham studies to maintain Merck’s MMR monopoly.

Big money has fueled the exponential expansion of CDC’s vaccine schedule since 1988, when Congress’ grant of immunity from lawsuits suddenly transformed vaccines into pay dirt. CDC recommended five pediatric vaccines when I was a boy in 1954. Today’s children cannot attend school without at least 56 doses of 14 vaccines by the time they’re 18.

An insatiable pharmaceutical industry has 271 new vaccines under development in CDC’s bureaucratic pipeline in hopes of boosting vaccine revenues to $100 billion by 2025. The industry’s principle spokesperson, Dr. Paul Offit, says that he believes children can take as many as 10,000 vaccines.

Public health may not be the sole driver of CDC decisions to mandate new vaccines. Four scathing federal studies, including two by Congress, one by the U.S. Senate, and one by the HHS Inspector General, paint CDC as a cesspool of corruption, mismanagement and dysfunction with alarming conflicts of interest suborning its research, regulatory and policymaking functions. CDC rules allow vaccine industry profiteers like Dr. Offit to serve on advisory boards that add new vaccines to the schedule. In a typical example, Offit in 1999 sat on the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee and voted to add the rotavirus vaccine to CDC’s schedule, paving the way for him to make a fortune on his own rotavirus vaccine. Offit and his business partners sold the royalties to his rotavirus vaccine patent to Merck in 2006 for $182 million. Offit told Newsweek, “It was like winning the lottery!”

Terrapinfest To Benefit Veterans

Terrapinfest To Benefit Veterans
Music and merriment to hold sway this weekend at the PACC

‘They have a good time running around and being kids.’ — Elizabeth Leonard, noting that kids are asked to bring their own hula hoops and drums

Katie Landeck
News Staff Writer

GARDNER  What started as an idea between friends who loved music 16 years ago has grown into a local musical festival for all ages.

Back again, Terrapinfest, a local music and vending festival put on by the downtown store Terrapin Traders, will be held at the Polish American Citizen’s Club this Saturday from noon until well after the sun sets.

“We get a lot of people and local bands from all over the state,” said organizer Elizabeth Leonard. “I go to listen to all the bands and I’m always amazed. It’s always a lot of fun.”

This year, there will be 16 bands playing at Terrapinfest, playing folk music, rock and everything in between.

“They’re all very good musicians, all excellent,” Ms. Leonard said. “It’s very impressive.”

In addition to the music, a number of vendors will be set up, selling tie-dye clothing, homemade fudge and brick oven pizza. The PACC will also serve food later into the evening than they have in past years.

The event is kid-friendly, according to Ms. Leonard, who advised people to “bring your hula hoop.”

The event will kick off at noon with a drum circle – bring your own drum – which Ms. Leonard said is a favorite of the kids.

“They have a good time running around and being kids,” she said.

As part of the event, the charity Strangers Helping Strangers will be on hand to collect donations of nonperishable food and personal items, such as toothpaste and paper towels.

Since 1997, Strangers Helping Strangers has hosted food drives at local concerts and festivals around the country and then brings the items to the food bank nearest to the concert venue.

At Terrapinfest, all goods collected will be donated to the food pantry at the Montachusett Veterans Outreach Center, Ms. Leonard said.

“I see a lot of veterans coming in and out of there,” she said.

Currently, the bands scheduled to play are Box of Rain, Riptide, Secret Sage, Grin Whistle, The Infernos, Town Meeting, On the Cover, Way Up South, Nikki and Wibble, Route 2 Revolution, Reprobate Blues Band, Some Like It Awesome, Gone in the Rearview, Caleb Wetherbee with Nina Rossi, Cara Keane and the Disclaimers and Dirty Inferno, but the lineup could change.

Admission is $20 at the door, and kids under 12 are free. For more information, call 978-632-4893.

6th John LeClerc Memorial Wind Turbine 5K

Home-School Policy Eyed

Home-School Policy Eyed
Accurate records at issue
Rebecca Leonard
News Staff Writer

TEMPLETON  Narragansett Regional School Committee members are considering making changes to the district’s home schooling policy.

School Committee member Deborah Koziol presented a draft of the new policy at a meeting Monday night.

“We need to fine-tune our home-school policy and update it so we are keeping accurate records,” stated Ms. Koziol.

According to Ms. Koziol, the new policy is still in the first stages of being written and they are trying to lay out parts of it before releasing a hard copy, which will be covered at the next School Committee meeting.

School Committee Chair­woman Rae-Ann Trifilo asked whether or not there was a previous policy.

“Right now (the old policy) has been in limbo,” Ms. Koziol responded, meaning that some parts of the policy are outdated and need a makeover.

Interim Superintendent Stephen Hemman will be in charge of assigning someone to enforce the new policy.

Mr. Hemman was also appointed interim super-School Committee secretary and Susan Varney will become the assistant secretary.

The point was made that Narragansett School District staff member Gary McEwen retired at the end of this past school year and the discussion of who would film the School Committee meetings was brought up. Mr. Hemman informed members about the Comcast cable hearings that took place Monday afternoon and evening. He explained that there were opportunities to “negotiate the contract with the company.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Senior Center To Open Monday

Senior Center To Open Monday
Templeton Council on Aging director encourages people to attend events
Staff Report

TEMPLETON  — The new Templeton Senior Center will open to the public on Monday.

“I hope as many people as possible come,” said Council on Aging Director Dianna Morrison. “We want to see everybody take advantage of what we have to offer.”

People are encouraged to sign up ahead of time so the people at the senior center can better plan each activity.

Activities will include: Monday: 2:30 p.m. blueberry picking- van, 6:30 p.m. book club; Tuesday: 10 a.m. computer skills, 1:30 p.m. animal adventures, 6 p.m. jewlery making; Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. wood carvers, 11 a.m. fit and stretch, 12 p.m. bingo; Thursday: 10 a.m. creative stitchers, 12 p.m. welcome cookout, 1 p.m. cribbage, 2 p.m. golf demonstration; Friday: 10 a.m. new craft, 1:30 p.m. ice cream social/crazy bingo (which had been postponed from July 17).

The new center will feature a library, a multipurpose room, a media room, a game room and a dining room.

The center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with special evening events on some days.

Meals eventually will be offered on Monday, Wed­nesday and Friday in Tem­pleton, once the kitchen is up and running, with the van continuing to take Templeton seniors to Winchendon for lunch on Tuesday and Thursday.

True Blue

True Blue
Blueberry-picking event is a winner as town expands offerings for seniors

News photos by APRIL PAGE Virginia Strahan can’t resist trying a blueberry on a special trip offered for Templeton seniors to pick berries at the Windy Knoll Farm on Grey Street on the opening day of the new Templeton Senior Center.

Charlene Arsenault of Templeton picks some blueberries.

April Page
News Correspondent

TEMPLETON  It wasn’t just a day to go blueberry-picking or celebrate the opening day of the new Templeton Senior Center, yesterday was a community experience that both warmed the heart and filled the belly.

Thanks to the collaboration of farm owners Tim and Janice Rotti plus Council on Aging Director Dianna Morrison, 11 of the town’s senior citizens picked blueberries at Windy Knoll Farm at 169 Grey St. as the kick-off event for the opening of the new Senior Center.

“My husband brought blueberries to them (Templeton seniors) last year and this year he offered a day where seniors can pick blueberries for a discounted price,” Mrs. Rotti said. The Rottis charged half the price of retail venues and local farm stands for their berries, just $4 a quart.

Having the seniors pick the blueberries also helped clear the bushes for the Rottis, who farm the berries as a labor of love.

“It’s more of a community service than anything else,” said Mrs. Rotti, who said that only people with their permission may pick berries at their farm.

The farm is not open to the public at this time; the Rottis do sell their berries to Valley View Farm on Barre Road in Templeton and a few other places. Prior to the Rottis buying the farm three years ago, the Poojah family owned the property.

Bob Arsenault, one of the seniors picking berries yesterday, remembers picking peaches, pears, strawberries and blueberries at the Poojah Farm years ago. He and his wife, Charlene, welcomed the opportunity to once again pick berries at the farm. The Arsenaults picked seven and a half pounds of blueberries within an hour’s time. Mrs. Arsenault said she will eat her berries plain, “Just plain on cereal, yogurt, give them to the grandchildren when they come over. No need to get fancy, they’re good very plain.”

Meetings the Week of July 27, 2015

Meetings the Week of July 27, 2015

Monday 7/27/15
BOS                         NMS Aud.                      6:30 pm
STM                         NMS Aud.                     7:00 pm

Tuesday 7/28/15
Planning                  E. Temp.                         6:30 pm
BOH                        E. Temp.                        7:00 pm

Wednesday 7/29/15
ZBA                        E. Temp.                        6:30 pm

Thursday 7/30/15
Sr. Center                Bridge St                         6:30 pm

Monday, July 27, 2015

STM Update

STM Update

The citizen petition article to accept the pump station and force main off of Hubbardston Road passed after discussion.

As far as concerns regarding deed restrictions and whether  every single homeowner was required to sign off was answered. According to a member of the Homeowners Association there is a master deed regarding the deed restrictions. A public meeting of the trustees of the Homeowners Association will take place and that vote will cover all homeowners deed restrictions. 

The Homeowners association will not be dissolved until the transfer and the costs of the transfer transpires. The closign costs and registering deed costs will be borne by the Homeowners Association. 


Water Breaks...It is July!

Water Breaks...It is July!

The "Crater" by Wilson Bus...please drive carefully in this area!

 Sunday "double time" on Elm St! 

I feel a water rate increase coming on!

Runners Helping Neighbors 5K To Help Those In Need

Runners Helping Neighbors 5K To Help Those In Need
Race organized by Westminster teen

Submitted photo Vittoria Colautti, who will be a freshman this fall at Oakmont Regional High School where she plans to play field hockey, indoor track and lacrosse, has organized the inaugural Runners Helping Neighbors 5K Run/Fitness Walk which will take place on Sunday, Aug. 9 in Westminster.

Ken Powers
Sports Correspondent

As Overlook Middle School’s Project 351 Ambassador last year, Vittoria “Tori” Colautti participated in several volunteer projects in Boston. This community service was so rewarding and enriching Colautti found herself wanting to do more.

Project 351 is an annual one-day event in Boston that brings together eighth-graders from every city and town in Massachusetts. While volunteerism and community service are the focal points of the program, the participants also develop leadership skills and discuss important issues facing today’s youth.

“Through Project 351 I helped out with the Cradles to Crayons program and put together food packages at the Boston Food Bank,” explained the 14-year-old freshman-to-be at Oakmont Regional. “It was nice to know that I was helping people, it was a real good feeling, but I found myself wanting to be able to help people I know in my own community so I could see how the help was impacting them.”

While many different ideas about how to provide help closer to home surfaced, Colautti liked one more than all the others — a 5K road race held in conjunction with Westminster’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors annual Town Benefit Day on Sunday, Aug. 9 on Academy Hill.

Established in 1987, Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization which provides assistance to Westminster residents who, through no fault of their own, are faced with tragedy and financial difficulties. Since its inception, NHN has helped more than 150 families and raised nearly $400,000.

“When I was in third grade I ran in the Westminster 250th Anniversary Road Race. It was something that I really liked and there was a huge turnout. I think more than 200 runners participated,” Colautti said. “It was something a lot of people were interested in. We do a lot of food drives in our community and in school and people participate, but people seemed to really respond to the road race.”

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Special Town Meeting on Monday...becoming more special every day

Much ado about... what?

As usual, the only people to show up besides the people on the Advisory Board were Carol Garvey and Julie Farrell. It is to bad no one from the Sewer Commissioners or Cook Pond Estates bothered to come, as there are questions that need to be answered, as far as I can see. The last line of the Article bothers me. To see if the Town will vote to appropriate or transfer from available funds, a sum of money for such purpose; or take any other action related thereto.
What money, like from what account ? How much ? Who is going to take the deed restrictions off these parcels ? Has everyone in the development agreed to this plan ? How much money has been put away for repairs to the system ? Do the people asking for this change have documentation listing the repairs, or dates of maintenance preformed to date ? Can the funds set aside for repairs be used by the residents to pay for the deed changes ? Has everyone paid up to date. I do not think it is unreasonable to ask these questions and expect a answer before putting the Sewer Department and the Town on the hook for the responsibility of this system. Has anyone else have any questions ? This blog is for you the residents and taxpayers of our Town of Templeton, so feel free to ask or comment. Bev.


  1. After promising not to ever return to this irrelevent blog since the administrators started censoring it, I am going to break my promise this one time only. I was informed off-line about the pointless, mindless, misleading, inflammatory and just plain stupid comments made by a certain blogger, who has something to say about everything.
    Every single alleged “issue” that was brought up has been discussed and/or acted upon at several recent sewer department meetings.
    The Cook Pond residents have done all the legal necessities to dissolve the homeowners association and relinquish control of “all things sewer”. Their lawyer has addressed deed issues. The engineering firm has blessed the pump station sans a couple of minor issues such as a broken light switch. The land transfer will cost $1 (I will donate the dollar if you feel the town can’t afford it.) The pump station was designed and installed per Kent Songer’s specs. This situation is no different than any other developer installed pump station in town. The residents have paid for everything and simply having the sewer department accept the pump is not a new precedent. Those residents are paying double. They pay the sewer betterment, the quarterly sewer bills, plus the cost to maintain the pump station. You talk about fairness, how would you feel if you had to pay all that?
    If BevBart had simply picked up the telephone and inquired about her reservations or attended a sewer department meeting, all the concerns could have been addressed instead of running her pie hole all over the internet. If this is how “concerns” are expressed it’s no wonder there isn’t any cooperation from the Light and Water department.
    And by the say BevBart, You really need to take a course in grammar and spelling. J

    Tom J
    IMHO, a bit of an overreaction to a few simple questions.
    More comments :

    1. Lets see no septic systems. No problems for solids to be removed. No cost involved with that,you know like others who have septic systems and do need a poop pumper come over. The statement TJ made about paying twice is all over Templeton.
      The cost is also there for the people who want to sell. If the system is over 25 years old theyneed to be redesigned and replaced like those at cook development won't ever need to be. If this blog is so bad why is it the topic at the country store pow wow in the am. Tom is just like the rest of us mistaken from time to time. His rant above shows this when he talks of the extra costs to the home owners assc. If he didn't comment he would have to do nothing but talk at the store about what he reads on this blog.WHY!
      I've taken criticism from Tom about how i've ruined this blog and with requiring a email contact from the people who want to comment. I can only say it's what the person who put me in control of it wanted. For what it's worth i respect opinions from tom and would from anyone else. It's like you heard it before everyone has one. So here's mine tom for you. Don't run the Sewer commission like the Light and Fluoride dept. Tell the whole truth not just what you want people to hear so things pass without answers. Real answers!

Here Comes the 21st Century Cures Act: Say Goodbye to Vaccine Safety Science

Here Comes the 21st Century Cures Act: Say Goodbye to Vaccine Safety Science

It has only been a few weeks since the forced vaccination lobby rammed a bill (SB 277) through the California legislature eliminating the personal belief vaccine exemption so children will have to get dozens of doses of federally recommended vaccines or be denied a school education.1 While California was being subjected to one of the most aggressive and expensive state lobbying campaigns2 ever mounted by the pharmaceutical industry in partnership with medical trade associations funded by industry and government3 4 5 6 that same lobby was pulling an even bigger fast one on the American people in Washington, D.C.

Here comes the 21st Century Cures Act,7 which is a Pharma-driven bill8 blessed by the FDA9 that seriously compromises the integrity of the FDA drug and vaccine licensing process. 10 The 362-page bill sailed through the U.S. House of Representatives on July 10, 201511 and mandates that about $9 billion dollars be given to NIH to develop more drugs and vaccines and $550 million be given to the FDA to fast track products to market.12

Bill Lowers FDA Licensing Standards

The bill allows the FDA to lower licensing standards for testing of experimental drugs, medical devices and “biological products” – a category that includes vaccines -13 14 15 so companies will no longer be required to conduct large, case controlled clinical trials16 17 18 to evaluate safety and effectiveness. Instead, FDA can accept novel statistical analyses 19 and “clinical experience,”20 such as anecdotal evidence from patients.21

It is interesting that clinical experience and anecdotal evidence will constitute “good science” for the purpose of demonstrating a vaccine is safe before it is licensed, while clinical experience and anecdotal evidence has never been good enough to demonstrate that a vaccine is unsafe after it is licensed.22 23 24 25

Greasing Skids to License Drugs and Vaccines

Nearly every single vaccine that the pharmaceutical industry creates and the FDA licenses for child use is eventually recommended for all children and mandated by state governments for daycare and school entry.32 33 34 35 36 And, now, many adults are being brought into the vaccine mandate net as well.37 38 39

Ensuring Drugs & Vaccines Dominate U.S. Health Care
Coming on the heels of the Affordable Health Care Act,40 which guaranteed that the pharmaceutical industry and their products will continue to dominate the most expensive health care system in the world,41 42 43 44 45 46 there are so many breathtaking ways the 21st Century Cures Act will endanger the public health that it is hard to know where to begin. The word “vaccines” is not being publicly uttered by anyone sponsoring the bill. However, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), which represents more than 1,500 pharmaceutical and other health product corporations, is already crowing about how they managed to influence Capitol Hill politicians to incorporate the “Vaccine Access, Certainty and Innovation Act of 2015” into the 21st Century Cures Act.47 48
NVIC Press Realease - 21st Century Cures
Read NVIC's press release by clicking the image to the right.

Faster Track for Vaccines You Will Have To Take in Future
So, if the Senate approves and the President signs this life-threatening bill into law by the end of this year, what will happen to the hundreds of experimental vaccines that will be fast tracked to licensure and mandated for you and your children to get in the future? Just so you know, that list includes vaccines for HIV/AIDS,49 50 51 chlamydia,52 cytomegalovirus,53 hepatitis C,54 genital herpes,55 syphilis,56 gonorrhea,57 e-coli,58 norovirus,59 tuberculosis60 and many, many more.61 62

Gutting Informed Consent Along with Science

Town manager search committee vote challenged

Town manager search committee vote challenged
Complaint says picks made in violation of open meeting law
‘They need to be transparent.’ — Kevin Miller

Damien Fisher
News Staff Writer

WINCHENDON — The Board of Selectmen has 14 days to remedy what one resident is calling an open meeting law violation for the way the board picked members of the Town Manager Search Committee.

“It appeared to me to be a clear and obvious violation of the open meeting law,” said Kevin Miller on Thursday in an interview about a complaint he has filed with the board.

Mr. Miller filed his complaint this week following Monday night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, during which Dave Romanowksi, M.J. Galat, Jason Moury, Jessica Murdock, Felicia Nurmsen, Ruth DeAmicis and Burton Gould were named to the committee that will help find the next town manager.

The selection of the seven committee members during Monday’s meeting did not include a public vote, nor any public discussion. Instead, the board took a 10-minute recess to tabulate secret ballot votes that had already occurred outside of the meeting.

“This was a secret vote and decision, taken in private, outside the view of the public,” Mr. Miller wrote in his complaint. “This action appears to be deliberate and prearranged in that there was no discussion or debate of the process, of or with the applicants, or of the results.”

The selectmen had 10 candidates who sent in letters of interest about serving on the search committee, and Mr. Miller is one of the candidates passed over. He said that his reaction to the way the committee was selected would be the same if he were picked.

Solar Project Delayed Again

Solar Project Delayed Again

Speaking about the need to lift the solar net metering cap at Coggshall Park in Fitchburg are Ben Hellerstein, of Environment Massachusetts; Anne Green, Fitchburg city councilor; Nathan LaRose, of the Fitchburg Mayor’s Office, and Ryan McNutt, Lancaster town administrator. News staff photo by DAMIEN FISHER

Damien Fisher
News Staff Writer

WINCHENDON  The town’s solar energy field project has hit another obstacle, after already suffering years of delays.

Acting Town Manager Bernie Lynch told selectmen this week that the project’s interconnection agreement with National Grid has expired, pushing off construction another 16 to 18 months. More worrisome is that fact that the state’s limit for solar energy credits has been reached, he said. That means even with the agreement, the project cannot go forward.

“The project could grind to a halt again,” he said.

In March, a cap on a key solar program known as “net metering” was hit for more than 170 Massachusetts communities, according to Ben Hellerstein with the group, Environment Massachusetts. Net metering allows solar panel owners to receive full compensation for the electricity they provide to the grid.

Without action from the state Legislature to lift the cap, all solar projects in areas served by National Grid are on hold. That could include the solar field that was supposed to be built on a portion of Toy Town’s capped landfill.

“We should be doing everything we can to keep (solar) going,” Mr. Hellerstein said.

Environment Massachusetts is lobbying the Legislature to raise the cap, kicking off a tour of communities impacted by the cap on Wednesday in Fitchburg. Lancaster Town Administrator Ryan McNutt spoke at the first stop on the tour in Coggshall Park in Fitchburg. Lancaster cannot expand its own solar field because of the cap. Lancaster built a solar field two years ago on its capped landfill, and would like to add more.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Why I Turned Off the Tap & Said “No” to Fluoride

Why I Turned Off the Tap & Said “No” to Fluoride
July 20, 2015 by Megan Heimer

Before I hit my 20’s and my period of enlightenment, I never questioned fluoride. I knew it was in my drinking water, always used a “#1 Dentist Approved” fluoride toothpaste, and I opted for the fluoride treatment at the dentist’s office twice a year. Fluoride was good because the government said it was and so did the toothpaste bottle. You don’t want cavities, right?

I never thought to question it until I sat through a series of dissertations, one of them dedicated to the dangers of fluoride. After sitting through a 40-page synopsis, I wasn’t necessarily convinced but I knew I had some research to do. If fluoride really was a toxin that could cause harmful effects and there really wasn’t proper science in place to justify flooding our bodies with it, I wasn’t about to continue poisoning myself. Who would?

It didn’t take long before I  switched to fluoride-free toothpaste, turned off the tap, opted out of the fluoride treatments at the dentist, started limiting processed foods, avoided produce sprayed with pesticides, and upped my label-reading game (as it was common for companies to boast their added-fluoride products). Why? Because fluoride is a neurotoxic, hazardous waste that causes birth defects, osteoporosis, teeth fluorosis, thyroid problems, lower IQ, central nervous system problems, cancer, and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s.

Here’s Why You Should Consider Turning Off the Tap

We’ve known about fluoride for a long time and it’s presence naturally in water, the environment, and the body, but it has never been beneficial to our health and there are no proper epidemiological studies that show otherwise. The short version of a long story is that the “research” that forms the basis of our pro-fluoridation policies today, was manufactured during the time of the atomic bomb. You see, millions of tons of fluoride were needed to produce the atomic bomb.

At the time, they didn’t know fluoride was one of the most toxic substances known to man, and scientists, workers, and people in nearby communities where fluoride was being used started to suffer very negative health effects – bad…bad…health effects like the disintegration of teeth, decreasing mental faculties, lung problems, wounds and poor healing, and death (autopsies of which revealed lungs similar to those of WWI poisoned gas victims).

The type of personal injuries suffered could have taken down the entire nuclear program and this was World War II and the U.S was on the cutting edge. To combat potential litigation (and a huge lawsuit brought on by injured farmers), Harold Hodges, a biochemist who specialized in bones and teeth was put in charge of fabricating toxicological data that fluoride was beneficial; and what better way to test for toxicity of fluoride then to add it to drinking water?

In 1955, the Journal of American Dental Association declared fluoride was safe for humans in small concentrations based on Hodge’s work and other hand-picked atomic bomb scientists, making it almost impossible for people injured by fluoride to bring successful claims. It was deemed that where fluoride was present, people had fewer dental caries. What was omitted from the studies (and later discovered) is that these people also had fewer (or in some cases no) teeth. But hey, the atomic bomb program was preserved and we had some great propaganda to brainwash Americans into thinking fluoride was actually good for them!

It's true. Fluoride can prevent people who have no teeth. 

PACC to host free fireworks, music on Saturday

P.A.C.C. 100th Anniversary, this Saturday, July 25th! Open house from Noon to 4 pm. Live music from 3-6 pm by Brett Casavant and Under Pressure starting at 6:30 pm.
FIREWORKS at 9:00 pm
Food & Beverages will be available.
Must have valid I.D. to purchase alcohol.

PACC to host free fireworks, music on Saturday
Staff Report
GARDNER  Marking 100 years of memories and good Polish food, the Polish American Citizen’s Club will have fireworks and live music this Saturday.

“We just wanted to have a little celebration,” said one of the organizers, Denis Houde.

“Everybody likes fireworks.”

 The celebration will kick off with an open house from noon to four, where memorabilia from the PACC’s long history will be on display, including old pictures.

Later in the evening, there will be a performance by local singer Brett Casavant followed by a show from the band Under Pressure. Then at 9 p.m. – or a little later depending on how dark it is – there will be a fireworks show.

The celebration, as well as the other events to mark the club’s anniversary, have been in the works for the past two to three years, Mr. Houde said.

“We wanted to do something for the club members and local residents,” he said.

Saturday’s events are free to the public. Food and beverages will be on sale.

Later in the year, there will be the annual Polish Picnic, a large car show, and a bowling outing, along with other activities to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the PACC.

For more information, visit