Paul working for you.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sex Offender Ruling...back to the drawing board

Sex Offender Ruling...back to the drawing board

cruel and unusual punishment:

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision
and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the
Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal
error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial
Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston,
MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;
JOHN DOE1 & others2 vs. CITY OF LYNN.
Essex.     April 9, 2015. - August 28, 2015.
Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, &
                            Hines, JJ.
Sex Offender.  Municipal Corporations, By-laws and ordinances,
     Home rule.  Constitutional Law, Home Rule Amendment.
     Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on
April 12, 2012.
The case was heard by Timothy Q. Feeley, J., on a motion
for partial summary judgment, and entry of final judgment was
ordered by him.
The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for
direct appellate review.
John A. Kiernan (Robert E. Koosa with him) for the
John Reinstein (Benjamin H. Keehn, Committee for Public
Counsel Services, & Jessie J. Rossman with him) for the
1 A pseudonym.
2 Charles Coe and Paul Poe, also pseudonyms. The named plaintiffs are registered sex offenders suing on behalf of themselves and other persons similarly situated.
Amy M. Belger, Andrew S. Crouch, & Jennifer J. Cox, for
Jacob Wetterling Resource Center & others, amici curiae,
submitted a brief.
HINES, J. In this appeal, we determine whether an ordinance imposing restrictions on the right of sex offenders to reside in the city of Lynn (city) is prohibited by the Home Rule Amendment, art. 89, § 6, of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution, and the Home Rule Procedures Act, G. L. c. 43B,
§ 13. The plaintiffs, who represent a certified class of sex offenders subject to the ordinance, challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance on various grounds.
3 A judge in the Superior Court invalidated the ordinance under the Home Rule Amendment. The city appealed and we granted the plaintiffs' application for direct appellate review. We affirm the Superior Court judgment based on our conclusion that the ordinance is inconsistent with the comprehensive statutory scheme governing the oversight of convicted sex offenders, and
3 The complaint alleged the following claims under the United States and Massachusetts Constitutions: (1) violation of the Home Rule Amendment (Massachusetts Constitution); (2) violation of the clauses prohibiting ex post facto laws; (3) violation of the right to substantive due process; (4) violation of the right to familial association; (5) violation of the right to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and cruel or unusual punishment under art. 26 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights; and (6) violation of the right to travel.
therefore, it fails to pass muster under the Home Rule Amendment and the Home Rule Procedures Act.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Templeton's new by-law on sexual offenders residency may not be valid!

The following is part of a story from The Boston Globe;

Cities and towns cannot ban sex offenders from living near parks and schools, the state’s high court said Friday, in a sharply worded ruling that could invalidate local laws in 49 municipalities from Springfield to Fall River.
The Supreme Judicial Court’s unanimous decision likened the restrictions to two dark chapters in American history: the forcible removal of Indian tribes in the 19th century and the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.
“Except for the incarceration of persons under the criminal law and the civil commitment of mentally ill or dangerous persons, the days are long since past when whole communities of persons, such as Native Americans and Japanese-Americans, may be lawfully banished from our midst,” Justice Geraldine S. Hines wrote.
Local officials who supported the restrictions decried the ruling and vowed to lobby Governor Charlie Baker and the state Legislature to pass statewide residency rules.

“It seems like the rights of children are taking a back seat to what is politically correct,” said Timothy Phelan, a former Lynn City Council president who sponsored the 2011 ordinance that the court struck down on Friday.
posted by Jeff Bennett
Attention Area Residents:

 The Templeton Elementary School Building Committee (TESBC) would

 like to invite you to a public forum to discuss the proposed new

 Elementary School to be built in Templeton Center!

 Join us on September 24th at 6:30 pm in the Safka Auditorium

 in the Narragansett Middle School for an informative

 presentation on the proposed project featuring 

current design diagrams and pictures.

 The Project Manager and Architect will hold a Question & Answer forum.

 We urge everyone to participate! 

Feel free to call the Superintendents’ Office at (978) 939-5661 with any questions

 you may have about this informative evening.

 This meeting is open to the public, and we look forward to seeing you there

Overdose Vigil Set...Monday 8.31.15

Overdose Vigil Set
Event to rally cause against addiction
Katie Landeck
News Staff Writer

GARDNER  There’s power in numbers.

On Monday, the A.E.D. Foundation will hold a candlelight vigil at Monument Park for International Overdose Awareness Day.

“I am hoping for a couple hundred people from Gardner and surrounding communities in North Central Mass­achusetts,” said A.E.D. founder Michelle Dunn, who lost her daughter, Alyssa, to addiction. “I think that stigma will always impact attendance at events like these, but we will continue to speak out in the hopes of ending this.”

Over the past two years, there have been hundreds of overdoses in the north central area as statewide addiction became a public health crisis. Gov. Charlie Baker has named solving the problem as one of his top priorities in office.

The ceremony on Monday will recognize the toll the epidemic has taken locally. A video has been put together commemorating local people who have died.

“It’s important for the community to come together and honor those who lost their lives and those who continue to fight this chronic disease,” Ms. Dunn said.

After Alyssa passed away, Ms. Dunn attended a vigil in Charleston, an event she found comforting.

Rumor has it...

Rumor has it...

There have been rumored sightings of mountain lions (2) in the general vicinity. Also, bobcats have been sighted as well. 

From Mountain Lions Vs Bobcats :

 While bobcats may be frequently mistaken for their larger relative, they aren’t the only animal that can confuse those with a mountain lion phobia.

“We’ve had people mistake Labrador Retrievers for mountain lions,” Ruiz said, who added that it can be hard to identify an animal if you see it running into a bush quickly.

Patch decided to outline the differences between mountain lions and bobcats, which are both bigger than house cats (you can also check out the above pictures to get an understanding of what lions and bobcats look like:

  • Bobcats are about 30 inches long and weigh between 15 to 35 pounds, Ruiz said.
  • Mountain lions are usually 52 to 54 inches long and weigh between 100 and 175 pounds, he said.
  • Bobcats have a short bobtail that’s about five inches long.
  • Mountain lions have a long and cylindrical tail with a dark tip. The tail is usually 30 to 36 inches long.
  • Bobcats have tufted ears, where hair sticks up from the top of the ear.
  • Bobcats are an orangish color and have black spots.
  • Mountain lions are uniform in color and have a tawny coloration (a tan Orangish-Brownish Color).
  • Mountain lions mainly eat deer. (They can feast on one deer carcass for a week, hiding it in bushes and staying in the area. If you ever encounter a deer carcass in bushes with leaves and twigs on top of it, don’t stick around, Ruiz said.)
  • Bobcats feast on smaller creatures, such as rabbits, rodents and chickens.

 Be aware of your surroundings and try to take a picture if it can be done safely.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

ORSC 14th Annual Car Show...8.30.15

ORSC 14th Annual Car Show

The  Otter river Spotsman's Club will be holding their 14th Annual Car Show on Sunday August 30 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Otter River Sprotsman's Club 250 lord rd in Templeton. 

Free admission.

There will be games, food and prizes. All show cars and motorcycles and spectators will be FREE. Free Dash palque for the first 100 participants. 

Awards for best car, truck and motorcycle. For more information, contact

Narragansett Historical Society Event - Go Fly a Kite!

Narragansett Historical Society presents on SUNDAY, AUGUST 30th - "GO FLY A KITE DAY" – 12 Noon to 4pm – Come join us for the afternoon of family fun at John & Doris Brooks’ 12 acre field on Baldwinville Rd. at Baptist Common in Baldwinville, MA. There will be parking in the field, hotdogs and refreshments, giant bubbles and a surprise visitor. Coolers are welcome. Our goal is to have 100 kites in the air! Bring your own kite or buy one there!

It's Official: China Confirms It Has Begun Liquidating Treasuries, Warns Washington

It's Official: China Confirms It Has Begun Liquidating Treasuries, Warns Washington

Tyler Durden's picture

On Tuesday evening, we asked what would happen if emerging markets joined China in dumping US Treasurys. For months we’ve documented the PBoC’s liquidation of its vast stack of US paper. Back in July for instance, we noted that China had dumped a record $143 billion in US Treasurys in three months via Belgium, leaving Goldman speechless for once.

We followed all of this up this week by noting that thanks to the new FX regime (which, in theory anyway, should have required less intervention), China has likely sold somewhere on the order of $100 billion in US Treasurys in the past two weeks alone in open FX ops to steady the yuan. Put simply, as part of China's devaluation and subsequent attempts to contain said devaluation, China has been purging an epic amount of Treasurys.

But even as the cat was out of the bag for Zero Hedge readers and even as, to mix colorful escape metaphors, the genie has been out of the bottle since mid-August for China which, thanks to a steadfast refusal to just float the yuan and be done with it, will have to continue selling USTs by the hundreds of billions, the world at large was slow to wake up to what China’s FX interventions actually implied until Wednesday when two things happened: i) Bloomberg, citing fixed income desks in New York, noted "substantial selling pressure" in long-term USTs emanating from somebody in the "Far East", and ii) Bill Gross asked, in a tweet, if China was selling Treasurys.
Sure enough, on Thursday we got confirmation of what we’ve been detailing exhaustively for months. Here’s Bloomberg:
China has cut its holdings of U.S. Treasuries this month to raise dollars needed to support the yuan in the wake of a shock devaluation two weeks ago, according to people familiar with the matter.

Channels for such transactions include China selling directly, as well as through agents in Belgium and Switzerland, said one of the people, who declined to be identified as the information isn’t public. China has communicated with U.S. authorities about the sales, said another person. They didn’t reveal the size of the disposals.

The latest available Treasury data and estimates by strategists suggest that China controls $1.48 trillion of U.S. government debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That includes about $200 billion held through Belgium, which Nomura Holdings Inc. says is home to Chinese custodial accounts.

The PBOC has sold at least $106 billion of reserve assets in the last two weeks, including Treasuries, according to an estimate from Societe Generale SA. The figure was based on the bank’s calculation of how much liquidity will be added to China’s financial system through Tuesday’s reduction of interest rates and lenders’ reserve-requirement ratios. The assumption is that the central bank aims to replenish the funds it drained when it bought yuan to stabilize the currency.

Another natural gas pipeline project proposed for the area

Another natural gas pipeline project proposed for the area

By Elaine Thompson
Telegram & Gazette Staff

Posted Aug. 27, 2015 at 5:55 PM
Updated at 8:32 AM

Another natural gas pipeline company has proposed a project to transport up to 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day to serve the region's power plants and meet increasing demands from customers.
The project, Access Northeast, is being developed by National Grid, Eversource Energy and Spectra Energy.

Spectra Energy, the parent company of natural gas transportation company, Algonquin Gas Transmission, is headquartered in Houston and has local offices in Norwood and Waltham. Algonquin has operated interstate natural gas transmission pipelines in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts since 1953. The current line runs from Lambertville, New Jersey, and travels through New England into the Boston area.

The company is in the preliminary stage of its proposal to modify and expand its existing interstate natural gas pipeline system in the area to increase energy supply diversity, security and reliability in the northeast, according to information Algonquin is distributing to municipalities that are within or very near the study corridor that is being considered. Central Massachusetts communities where the project is proposed to be in are Boylston, West Boylston, Shrewsbury, Sutton, Millbury, Grafton, Upton and Milford.

"We believe that the project will benefit the Northeast by making available additional supplies of natural gas, expand and improve pipeline transportation facilities which are necessary to support the needs of regional power generators and natural gas customers, and address the growing demand for clean-burning natural gas," Franklin S. Gessner, right-of-way project manager for Algonquin, wrote in a letter of introduction to town officials in the Central Mass towns on Aug. 20.

Marylee Hanley, spokeswoman for Spectra Energy, said the proposed project "is designed to meet the growing demand for energy in the Northeast and save consumers billions of dollars each year." According to the company, "Last winter, New England wholesale electricity costs were nearly double compared with the previous year, largely due to pipeline constraints."

The current estimated cost of the proposed 119-mile new and improved pipeline facilities, is in the range of $3 billion. But, that could change based on the final scope of the project. Portions of the project are proposed to be in service in 2018 to 2019, with the entire pipeline in service by 2020. Proponents said the project will create a significant amount of jobs during construction and add capital investment and tax base to Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.

2nd Annual Sofi's Lemonade Stand

2nd Annual Sofi's Lemonade Stand

2nd Annual Sofi's Lemonade Stand will be held at All steamed Up located at 377 State Rd in Baldwinville  on Saturday August 29 from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Wicked good hot dogs! All proceeds to benefit "Operation Smile" 
There will be face painting. Come and meet and take pictures with Loosa, the goat,  Laurie, the sheep and the HotDog Lady!

For more information , please call 978-939-8343.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Old Town Office Building May Be Replaced By Park

Old Town Office Building May Be Replaced By Park

News staff photo by REBECCA LEONARD The building that housed the Templeton City Clerk’s Office in Baldwinville is being vacated and will likely make way for a riverside park.

Rebecca Leonard
News Correspondent

TEMPLETON — With the Town Clerk’s Office moving to the new Town Hall in East Templeton next week, town officials were surprised to find out the history of the old building in Baldwinville.

“It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it’s been said that the building was originally owned by the federal government,” said Holly Young, senior legal assistant for the Board of Selectmen.

Interim Town Administrator Bob Markel told selectmen on Monday that he had been informed by the deputy assessor that the building is thought to have been on a 99-year lease from the federal government to the town. The lease was up several years ago, but the federal government never came to claim the building.

Ms. Young said that it’s been rumored that the building was once used as an Army Corps of Engineers building.

With the town clerk moving across town, the building inspector plans to visit the site and examine the building to decide if it should be condemned.

“It’s my guess that the building will be condemned,” Mr. Markel told the selectmen.

He said that if the building is condemned the town will most likely pay to demolish and remove the debris.

“It would take a long time for the (federal) government to decide what they wanted to do with the building and which department would need to take control of it. It would be faster if we took care of it,” explained Ms. Young.

Templeton Hires New Health Agent

Templeton Hires New Health Agent
Rebecca Leonard
News Correspondent

TEMPLETON — Almost a month after the former health agent left, the town has hired a new one to fill the 35-hour position.

“She’s fully qualified to do everything that the Health Department requires,” stated interim Town Administrator Bob Markel.

Laurie Wiita’s first day as health agent was Monday and she’s already started digging in to the backlog of work that needs to get done.

“I think for any health agent, coming into an office and picking up where someone left off is a lot of work,” said Ms. Wiita.

Ms. Wiita isn’t a stranger to Templeton or the Board of Health office – she worked as administrative assistant for five years. After leaving Templeton, Ms. Wiita became the assistant health agent in Athol for three years.

“It feels like I’m coming home,” she said.

Mr. Markel expressed how hard it was to find someone to fill the position as most people are looking for a full-time position.

Water Fluoridation... Benefits?

Water Fluoridation

"Fluoridation goes against all principles of pharmacology. It’s obsolete." -- Dr. Arvid Carlsson, Nobel Laureate in Medicine/Physiology.


Fact 1:
Fluoride Is Not a Nutrient. 
The National Academy of Sciences has confirmed that fluoride is not an essential nutrient. Humans, therefore, do not need fluoride for the prevention of any human disease. This distinguishes the practice of fluoridating water from the practice of adding iodine to salt; humans need iodine, they do not need fluoride.
Fact 2:
Not a Single “Randomized Controlled Trial” Has Ever Proven Fluoridation Works. 
Despite over 60 years of water fluoridation, there has yet to be a single randomized controlled trial (RCT) to demonstrate its benefits (or safety). An RCT is the gold standard for medical treatments and, under current medical standards, most drugs are not allowed to enter the market without one. Were fluoridated water defined as a medical treatment (which, logically, it is), it would not have sufficient evidence to gain approval from licensing bodies.
Fact 3:
Fluoride Works Topically, Not Systemically. 
Water fluoridation began in the 1940s under the premise that swallowing fluoride is the most effective way to strengthen teeth. It is now known, however, that fluoride’s main benefit comes from topical contact with teeth, not from ingestion. Even if fluoridated water has a benefit, therefore, there is no need to swallow it.
Fact 4:
No Difference in Tooth Decay Between Fluoridated and Non-Fluoridated Countries.
The CDC’s Oral Health Division has called water fluoridation one of the “top 10 public health achievements of the twentieth century.” Yet, according to comprehensive data compiled by the World Health Organization, there is no discernible difference between the few western countries that fluoridate their water, and the majority that do not. WHO’s data also shows that, over the past 40 years, non-fluoridated countries have experienced the same large decline in tooth decay as fluoridated countries.
Fact 5:
Fluoridation Prevents Cavities in Less than 1 out of 100 Tooth Surfaces. 
In 1986 and 1987, the National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) conducted the largest study on dental health ever conducted in the United States, examining over 39,000 children in 84 areas of the country. When the results of the study were later obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request, it was shown that children who lived their whole lives in fluoridated areas had no less decayed teeth (“Decayed, Missing, or Filled Teeth,” DMFT) than children from non-fluoridated areas. This finding has never been refuted. However, when a more sensitive measure of tooth decay (DMFS) was used, a difference of 0.6 tooth surfaces was found between the fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. A difference of 0.6 tooth surfaces, however, represents less than 1% of the 100+ tooth surfaces in a child’s mouth! Other large, modern studies have found similar results:  very small differences in DMFS, and no difference in DMFT.
Fact 6:
Fluoridated Does Not Prevent Oral Health Crises in Low Income Communities. 
Despite some claims and insinuations to the contrary, water fluoridation does not prevent the oral health crises that result from rampant poverty, lack of access to dental care, and lack of access to healthy food. This is evident by the fact that oral health crises are occurring in major urban areas. As but one of many examples, the Dental Director in Cincinnati (a city that has been fluoridated since 1978) described the oral health situation as follows:

‘We cannot meet the demand. It’s absolutely heartbreaking and a travesty. We have kids in this community with severe untreated dental infections. We have kids with self-esteem problems, and we have kids in severe pain and we have no place to send them in Cincinnati. People would be shocked to learn how bad the problem has become.’”

This raises the obvious question: If fluoridation in America’s urban areas has failed to prevent the current oral health crisis, why should anyone believe it can prevent the next one?

Templeton School Design Discussed

Templeton School Design Discussed

Courtesy drawing

Rebecca Leonard
News Correspondent

TEMPLETON  The first schematic designs of the new elementary school are in.

“We wanted to be as respectful as we could to the neighborhood,” said Philip Poinelli, of Symmes Maini & McKee Associates, to School Committee members on Wednesday in Phillipston.

Mr. Poinelli said the site plan for the building was turned so that the lowest level of the building was turned toward each of the nearby residential streets, to be more appealing to residents in the area and to let more natural light into each of the classrooms.

Also in the site plans is a new placement for the Gladys Salame Playground. While going over the designs, leaving the playground where it is currently was discussed. However, having the children walk across the road where the buses pull through was thought to be too dangerous.

Instead, the playground will be placed on the main site.

Also discussed was the option of taking the early childhood playground pieces and putting them closer to where the prekindergarten and kindergarten classrooms will be located. The Elementary School Building Committee chose not to go with that plan but to create an early childhood playground by itself.

Mr. Poinelli also talked about how the traffic would flow on South Road and Wellington Road after the school is built.

“The police and fire came to us and recommended that we change traffic flow of both roads to one-way,” he said.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

From the Massachusetts Treasurers manual;

Town Meeting:
Town meeting possesses the legislative authority of a town. A town meeting may only be called pursuant to a warrant, a document that notifies the inhabitants of the time, place and subject matter of the meeting. The warrant is normally issued by the selectmen; however, the voters of a town may petition a meeting. (39:10) Each town must hold an annual town meeting in February, March, April, or May. (39:9) Town meeting may be delayed by a vote of the selectmen, but all business must be completed on or before June 30th. That portion of the town meeting providing for the election or certification of officers and ballot questions may not be delayed. (See IGR 86-202 in the Addendum for more information.) A town may also hold as many additional special town meetings as necessary to consider and conduct town business. Town meetings are open, with all registered voters eligible to participate, unless a community has adopted a representative town meeting form of government pursuant to Ch. 43A §2. Town meeting is responsible for all appropriations (40:5) and for the enactment of all bylaws. (43B: 13) It acts on behalf of the town to accept local option statutes, unless a statute specifies another mode of acceptance. (4:4) Town meeting may authorize the selectmen to sell town land (40:3) or to act as water and sewer commissioners, assessors, etc. (41:21) The town meeting also decides whether to establish certain town boards (such as trust fund commissioners under 41:45)

Finance Committee :
Every town with an equalized valuation exceeding one million dollars must, and any other town may, legislate the mandatory election or appointment of a finance committee (also called an advisory, appropriation, or prudential committee). The terms of committee members may not exceed three years, although the size and composition of its membership may vary. In all cases, the finance committee has the responsibility to consider all municipal questions for the purpose of making a report to town meeting. Furthermore, unless a provision of a town's bylaw gives the responsibility to the selectmen, the finance committee must present a budget at the annual town meeting. Even if that ultimate responsibility lies with the selectmen, the finance committee possesses an important role in budget preparation. The committee should review estimates provided by the various municipal departments and formulate them into spending recommendations for inclusion in the town meeting warrant. Furthermore, the finance committee has the power to approve transfers from the reserve fund, a contingency fund usually appropriated as part of the annual budget, to departmental budgets for extraordinary or unforeseen occurrences. (40:6) Overview and Legal Basis of Municipal Finance in Massachusetts Page 1-13 The finance committee is the official fiscal watchdog for a town. Finance committees were established to permit a representative group of taxpayers to conduct a thorough review of municipal finance questions on behalf of all citizens. 

Jeff Bennett

Duties and responsibilities of a treasurer;

from the Treasurers Manual.

The treasurer must maintain custody of stabilization funds, pension reserve funds, trust funds, enterprise funds, investments, and all other funds of the town not specifically allocated to other agencies by general law or special act. (40:5B, 5D; 41:46; 44:53; 44:53F½) Generally, the treasurer serves as custodian of various financial documents, such as insurance policies, fidelity bonds of other town officials, and deeds to all municipal property acquired by deed. [The town accountant serves as the custody of contracts in towns and must also maintain a register of sureties on bonds (41:57); in cities, the clerk serves as the custodian of contracts. (41:17)] The treasurer should regularly advise administrative officers, finance committees, and others concerning the financial condition of the city or town, providing factual information upon which appropriating and budgeting decisions may be made. The treasurer should diligently maintain tax title accounts, conduct sales of land of low value, in proper circumstances, and prepare documents required to petition for foreclosure, when appropriate. (60:50, 61, 62, 63, 76, 77, 79, 80) Ultimately, the treasurer bears responsibility for the closing and reconciliation of all books and accounts in the treasurer’s office, including the cash book, warrants (including vendor, payroll, and special warrants), bank accounts (checking accounts, trust funds, and bond and coupon accounts), insurance programs, retirement funds, debt records, and tax title accounts. The treasurer should regularly and carefully prepare all obligatory reports, including (a) cash reconciliations (b) reports to the accountant of all receipts and balances; reports of payroll deductions (i.e., federal withholding, state withholding, retirement funds, group insurance, credit union, union dues, etc.) (c) an annual report, which includes a statement of receipts and disbursements, a statement of debt, and, in the absence of trust commissioners, a report of trust funds, and (d) reports required to be submitted to the Bureau of Accounts, including an annual filing on or before June 30th of the quarterly report of reconciliation of treasurer’s cash. See Division of Local Services website,

Jeff Bennett


AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVE — The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 373 will be hosting an American Red Cross blood drive at the American Legion Post 373 Central St., Baldwinville on Friday, Aug. 28, from 1 p.m. thru 6 p.m. To make an appointment call 800-733-2767 or visit Walk-ins are welcome but appointments Preferred.

Shedding Some Light...TMLWP Meeting August 18, 2015

Shedding Some Light...TMLWP Meeting August 18, 2015

Water Meeting-

Two engineers [ Peter Valinski and Jeff Faulkner] from Tighe and Bond attended the water meeting to discuss options for replacing one of the water towers. The cost of repainting the water tower is very high and will need to be repainted again and again. Replacing the water tower with a structure that will not require periodic repainting is being considered.

Proposals were available to the commissioners for review. There are two options; replace existing water tower with a concrete structure or a stainless steel glass infused structure. There are pros and cons to each type of structure. The goal is to select the type of tower that needs the least amount of maintenance. 

It was stated the asset life for either type of water tank should be 50 years. There are issues of freezing within the tank for either type of structure. The concrete structure is believed to be the most durable. Once a decision is made by the commissioners the bid specs will be written for the type of water tank to be constructed. The tank will be off line because it will need to be placed on the existing site. Demolition of the old tank will be necessary. 

The funding for this project will be a USDA loan. Commissioners will need to make a decision within 2-4 weeks in order for this project to begin in the spring of 2016.

In other news, hydrant flushing is behind schedule due to a problem with staffing. OT is being incurred to try to keep up with the hydrant flushing.There was discussion later in the meeting about a job description for a water laborer. 

The water main leak on Patriots Rd has been repaired. There may be a light at the end of the tunnel regarding the ongoing issue and cost of the state requirement to use flowable fill to repair water main breaks on state roads...or it could be a lighted tunnel.

Light Meeting -
Turbine insurance has been secured through  PURMA .   Future possibilities include MMWECC purchasing the turbine  and then TMLWP would buy it back. They have one year to evaluate the issue and look at the pool refinancing option.

Collections -
Customers in arrears are being taken to small claims court. There is a court date on September 28, 2015 at 9:00 am in small claims court.

Vehicles - Light truck #25 has arrived. 
The TMLWP manager's new vehicle will be ready in 6 weeks. Commissioners want the old vehicle (70,000 miles) to go to Alan Mayo or to stay with the department. They don't want to surplus the vehicle and give it to the town.

Meter deposits -
$300 will be the minimum meter deposit. There is no maximum amount that can be charged for a meter deposit. An average will calculated for each new meter service and a deposit cost calculated on that average. 

Reliving the Crash of '29...(could it happen again?)

Reliving the Crash of '29

December 21, 2009

[First published in Inquiry, November 12, 1979]
A half-century ago, America — and then the world — was rocked by a mighty stock-market crash that soon turned into the steepest and longest-lasting depression of all time.
It was not only the sharpness and depth of the depression that stunned the world and changed the face of modern history: it was the length, the chronic economic morass persisting throughout the 1930s, that caused intellectuals and the general public to despair of the market economy and the capitalist system.

Previous depressions, no matter how sharp, generally lasted no more than a year or two. But now, for over a decade, poverty, unemployment, and hopelessness led millions to seek some new economic system that would cure the depression and avoid a repetition of it.

Political solutions and panaceas differed. For some it was Marxian socialism — for others, one or another form of fascism. In the United States the accepted solution was a Keynesian mixed-economy or welfare–warfare state. Harvard was the focus of Keynesian economics in the United States, and Seymour Harris, a prominent Keynesian teaching there, titled one of his many books Saving American Capitalism. That title encapsulated the spirit of the New Deal reformers of the '30s and '40s. By the massive use of state power and government spending, capitalism was going to be saved from the challenges of communism and fascism.

One common guiding assumption characterized the Keynesians, socialists, and fascists of the 1930s: that laissez-faire, free-market capitalism had been the touchstone of the US economy during the 1920s, and that this old-fashioned form of capitalism had manifestly failed us by generating, or at least allowing, the most catastrophic depression in history to strike at the United States and the entire Western world.

Well, weren't the 1920s, with their burgeoning optimism, their speculation, their enshrinement of big business in politics, their Republican dominance, their individualism, their hedonistic cultural decadence, weren't these years indeed the heyday of laissez-faire? Certainly the decade looked that way to most observers, and hence it was natural that the free market should take the blame for the consequences of unbridled capitalism in 1929 and after.

Unfortunately for the course of history, the common interpretation was dead wrong: there was very little laissez-faire capitalism in the 1920s. Indeed the opposite was true: significant parts of the economy were infused with proto–New Deal statism, a statism that plunged us into the Great Depression and prolonged this miasma for more than a decade.

In the first place, everyone forgot that the Republicans had never been the laissez-faire party. On the contrary, it was the Democrats who had always championed free markets and minimal government, while the Republicans had crusaded for a protective tariff that would shield domestic industry from efficient competition, for huge land grants and other subsidies to railroads, and for inflation and cheap credit to stimulate purchasing power and apparent prosperity.

It was the Republicans who championed paternalistic big government and the partnership of business and government while the Democrats sought free trade and free competition, denounced the tariff as the "mother of trusts," and argued for the gold standard and the separation of government and banking as the only way to guard against inflation and the destruction of people's savings. At least that was the policy of the Democrats before Bryan and Wilson at the start of the 20th century, when the party shifted to a position not very far from its ancient Republican rivals.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Elementary School Information

Elementary School Information
 Documented below is information from the October 24, 2014 Selectman's meeting. The chart, listed below, includes preliminary estimates for the elementary school project for each site under consideration at that time.

Highlighted in blue is the "Likely Templeton Project Cost Magnitude". 

For the chosen site - Templeton Center School the likely Templeton Project Cost magnitude was estimated at $19,800,000. However, Templeton's Net Project costs amount to an estimated $24,560,000 roughly $5,000,000 in project costs will not be eligible for MSBA reimbursement to be paid for by citizens in the Town of Templeton.

MSBA has never reimbursed a school project 100%. It is still unclear how a community can ask its voters to borrow money when it does not have a bond rating.

Conceptual map of site:
Templeton Financial matters;  Dispatch

From board of selectmen meeting on February 10, 2014:

Regionalization with Gardner~Dispatch Mr. Bennett stated that this issue was voted on in the spring and was voted down. He brought it up again because he thought it would save the Town about $90,000.00 Ms. Haley Brooks mentioned the she spoke to Chief Whitaker with questions about this and wanted him to speak about it. Chief Whitaker spoke and explained that with the grants that he gets annually, the total cost to taxpayers is on $36,896.00, which would only normally pay for maybe one employee. He stated that he believes Gardner wants to get Templeton to regionalize with them because they want to get more grant funds. He stated that the dispatchers in Templeton give excellent service and provide a lot more services than any other local community. Several people in the audience agreed that the service the Town gets is worth keeping dispatch services here and not regionalizing. Chief Whitaker stated that he was not told about this and he found out by the Phillipston Police Chief calling him about it because he had heard about it being on the agenda. The Chief brought documents to support the numbers and as well as the issues other communities have when regionalizing. Templeton is saving almost $120,000.00 by getting the grants from the State, so there is no reason to regionalize and lose services. Templeton is currently under contract with Phillipston.

Where does the money go???

Annual Town Meeting of 2012, article 35,
 communication commission wages (dispatch) is for $222,995.00.

Annual Town Meeting of 2013, article 9,
  communication commission wages is for $210,504.00.

Annual Town Meeting of 2014, article 5,
  communication commission wages is for $190,000.00.

Annual Town Meeting of 2015, article 5,
  communication commission wages is for $250,000.00.

So once this money is appropriated at Town Meeting and Phillipston pays their $54,104.00 and Templeton gets a grant for $119,204.00, where does that money go? It appears that it was and still is a shell game of moving money around to make it appear that every thing is fine, but as was reported at the last selectmen meeting, here on this blog and finally in The Gardner News, all is not fine, as with a bank account that was apparently not dealt with correctly. We will have to wait for an anticipated fall special town meeting to see. Will there be more transfers next year at the annual town meeting? This is something to consider while being asked to take on a 50 million dollar debt load for 10, 20 or 30 years.

The Town of Barre was spending close to $200,000.00 a year for dispatch before becoming part of a four town regional system and now the cost to the taxpayers is $96,000.00 in February 2014 dollars.

On another note, back in 2012 Annual Town  Meeting, article 29, which is about Templeton long term debt, a $1,163,724.00 amount to cover principal and interest was partially paid from Templeton municipal water enterprise fund in the amount of $466,608.00. Perhaps there was something to that line at the beginning of the third paragraph in a letter to the select board dated January 9, 2014, "with respect to fiscal matters generally, under general law, chapter 164, light plants are not separate legal entities and need the approval of their municipality' legislative bodies (town meeting) to borrow. Probably before it was gobbled up by MMWEC, in my opinion of course.

Jeff Bennett

Jeffery and Jeffery, Inc. Deputy Collectors have been collecting delinquent taxes and fines for over 42 years. We are a family business that prides ourselves on our professionalism, integrity and service. To expand our services to you, we've setup the convenient Online Bill Paying section below. We expect to add more towns, so if you don't see your Town listed now, check back soon!

We have listed by town the Address, Phone Number and Website for the Tax Collectors office of the municipalities we collect for:

Roxanne M. Germain
5 Alford Center Road
Alford, MA 01230
Eileen Bristol
584 Main Street
Athol, MA 01331
Nancy A. Talbot
40 West Street
Box 387
Barre, MA 01005
978.355.2504 ext 133

Susan S. Hilker
P.O. Box 46
Brimfield, MA 01010
Brenda McLeroy
6 Central Street
P.O. Box 507
Brookfield, MA 01506
Linda Marcotte
17 State Street
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

Lynn Hathaway
P.O. Box 604
Charlemont, MA 01339
Lucia A. Blanchette
Tax Collector
37 Main Street
Charlton, MA 01507
Janice E. Warner
P.O. Box 240
Conway, MA 01341

East Brookfield
Sandra L Kady
122 Connie Mack Drive
P.O. Box 709
East Brookfield, MA 01515
Karen M. Stellato
215B State Street
Granby, MA 01033
Eva A. Wiseman
P.O. Box 215
Hampden, MA 01036

Ellen Whitney
P.O. Box 575
Gilbertville, MA 01031
Charles A. Stetson
108 West Hawley Road
Hawley, MA 01339
Elizabeth C. Nichols
P.O. Box 689
2 East Main Street
Heath, MA 01346

Steven Anderstrom
27 Sturbridge Road
Holland, MA 01521
Cheryl Cudnik
20 Williams Street
Longmeadow, MA 01106
Fred Pereira
Town Hall, 2nd Floor
488 Chapin Street
Ludlow, MA 01056

Dorothy P. Jenkins
110 Main Street
P.O. Box 31
Monson, MA 01057
N. Brookfield
Donna M. Gauthier
185 Main Street
N. Brookfield, MA 01535
Jerilynn Deyo
6 Prospect Street
Orange, MA 01364

Kristine Bissell
4417 Main Street
Palmer, MA 01069
Sally A. Kastberg
Town Hall
Phillipston, MA 01331
Rebecca Krause-Hardie
P.O. Box 16
15 Main Street
Royalston, MA 01368

Maureen E. Pike
51 Bridge Street
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
Mary C. Barrell
157 Main Street
Spencer, MA 01562
Barbara A. Barry
308 Main Street
Sturbridge, MA 01566

Susan Warriner
12 School Street
Sunderland, MA 01375
Kate S Myers
160 Patriots Rd
E Templeton, MA 01438
W. Springfield
Kathleen O'Brien-Moore
26 Central Street
West Springfield, MA 01089

Rebecca R. Smith
P.O. Box 22
Wales, MA 01081
Leigh Deveno-Martinelli
126 Main Street
Ware, MA 01082
Terry L. Kemerer
12 Athol Road
Warwick, MA 01378

Penny Delorey
P.O. Box 214
Wendell, MA 01379
West Brookfield
Teresa Barrett
P.O. Box 551
West Brookfield, MA 01585
West Brookfield
Nancy Grossman
P.O. Box 265
Whatley, MA 01093

Town Clerk's Office will be closed... Sept 2 and 3rd

 Town Clerk's Office will be closed...

The Town Clerk's Office will be closed Thursday, 8/27 & Monday 8/31 as the Town Clerk's Office will be moving to 160 Patriots Rd., East Templeton.
The move, which was originally scheduled for Aug. 27, has been postponed until Sept. 2 and 3. The Town Clerk’s Office will be open again the following Tuesday, Sept. 8, at the new building.

Found Money Could Help With Purchase

Found Money Could Help With Purchase
Funds that turned up could ease excavator woes
Rebecca Leonard
News Correspondent

TEMPLETON  A cheaper option for a new excavator may be back on the table for the Highway Department, and the plan could include the use of $120,000 found in an account that nobody knew about until last week.

“The prices are very close and I think we should test each one first,” said Highway Superintendent Bud Chase to selectmen on Monday.

Mr. Chase had been reviewing vendors and equipment – finding three vendors for a new excavator. “Out of the three vendors, I eliminated one that in my opinion didn’t not meet the specifications,” said Mr. Chase.

The other two vendors, John Deer and Volvo, offered extended warranties with the purchase of the machine.

The price for the John Deer is $193,000 and the Volvo excavator would be $194,000, which includes the trade-in value of the old machine. The warranty for each would be an additional $9,000. An earlier estimated cost of $218,000 had prompted a request from the board to have the town look into used excavators instead of a new one.

The board decided to allow Mr. Chase and interim Town Ad­ministrator Robert Markel to demo the two different brands of new excavators because of the closeness in price.

Selectmen Vice Chairwoman Diane Haley-Brooks advised that the warranty should also be thoroughly looked over to make sure the excavator would be completely covered for the full life of the warranty.

According to Mr. Chase, the town reconstructed 11 roads last year and the excavator was used for each one of them.


Historical Society hosts Mad Hatter party

Mad Hatter Tea Party volunteers prepare to host guests. From left, are Abby O’Sullivan, Tweedledee Allison Guthrie, center Queen of Hearts Patty Lyons, center Alice in Wonderland Lindsey Guthrie, right Tweedledum Sarah DeJoy and right Jillian Guthrie. All the girls are from Templeton.

April Page Stundtner
News Correspondent

TEMPLETON  “What’s your name,” asked the 89-year-old Shirley Pea­body, of the 10-year-old waitress at the Mad Hatter Tea Party Saturday.

“You can call me Alice,” said Lindsey Guthrie of Templeton, who was dressed in a handmade pale blue dress with a white-apron covering. Ms. Peabody laughed and later said she was dressed as a tree. She wore a tall green- and white-striped hat and bright green shirt and pants.

“I’m a tree and I do bark,” said Ms. Peabody, of Baldwinville.

The tea party at the Narragansett Historical Society’s building in Templeton center celebrated the 150th anniversary of “Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland.” Local children and staff dressed up as characters from the famed Lewis Carroll book. The Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, Tweedledee and Tweedledum and two playing cards served tea and welcomed guests.

“I just had no idea it was going to be like this,” said 6-year-old Templeton resident Isabella Currie, “I like it.” She looked around at the characters. “And…,” she said, “A dragonfly landed on my lemonade (glass). It was red, black with a little orange.”

Miss Currie was not the only young guest at the tea party; Moira Powers, 5, of Templeton, dressed as a ballerina. She and her mother, Maegan Powers, thought the tea party would be a nice way to spend the afternoon.

The party was also an opportunity for old friends and family members to spend a warm day together. Janet Carr, a longtime Historical Society member, met with an old school friend, Robert Henshaw, of Templeton, for tea. Mrs. Carr said she has not been to the Historical Society since she was 18 years old. She said she and her husband used to go to teas at the society.

News photos by APRIL PAGE STUNDTNER Alice in Wonderland Allison Guthrie of Templeton waits on Shirley Peabody of Baldwinville, who was dressed as a tree at the Mad Hatter Tea Party at the Narragansett Historical Society in Templeton on Saturday.

Five of the Barnes family members sat at a table together. Shirley Barnes, 88, of Templeton, said her mother, Mildred Henshaw, was the last charter member of the Narragansett Historical Society. Mrs. Barnes was accompanied by her daughter Mary Barnes, her daughter-in-law Maria Barnes, and her son Charles Barnes and his wife, TJ, who were visiting from Alaska.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Narragansett Historical Society Meeting August 26, 2015

Narragansett Historical Society

August 26th 2015 monthly meeting

Starting at 6pm

Metal detecting presentation in the Garden

7pm in Document room


Secretary’s Minutes. Distributed via email August 21st to all Directors and some members

Treasurer’s Report: Deb Caisse

Trustee’s Report: David Huhtala

Old business:
 JUST ONE! Membership drive Making headway with 10 this past month

 Go fly a kite – This summer August 30th at Brooks Farm Bald. Rd. noon

 Engine show help needed. Cooks, organizers, hosts, set up, advertising

 Grange safe/Hadley room gets $1,000.00 donation  Craft fair success brings members and money $804.00 total  Events committee needed to break up the tasks at hand.

New Business

 Directors duties Membership drive, organization help, events support, Advertising

 Project list, kitchen painting, photo albums new books and pages, back entrance paint, shutters in the back to be taken down to paint, Approval needed.

 Back yard fencing with Christof Chartier volunteers needed to paint.

Open Comments

Meeting adjourned
Today, at a presentation at Narragansett School, there was some talk on a new elementary school. A couple of principles said it is not the building that makes a school. Also mentioned was when people move to a new place, the number one question is about the schools. I have to wonder if the tax rate comes into play as well? I would think you could have the newest best schools in the state but if you cannot afford to live there, what good are they?

After all, if you  listen to any news show or read a newspaper these days or listen to people running for president, one of the hot subjects is the debt load for those coming out of college. Then there is the high house hold credit card balances which seems to indicate a large debtor populace. Templeton has to decide how much more debt they wish to take on and how high do they want their tax rate to be. I believe you may soon hear things like the new school financed for thirty years will mean the debt will be spaced over three generations and the current school debt will be paid off in a few years so the new school payment would just take its place rather than see less tax money going out the door in the form of debt payments. I recall being told that the building in the eastern part of Templeton was too old, junk and full of mold, it was no use for anything but as we see, it is still a good basic building, not new or glamorous but useful and functional. One thing is for sure, in November, the people of Templeton will decide if they want to increase their debt load or move to less debt which frees up money for such as road repair.

On another subject, at last nights selectmen meeting, I listened to acceptance of meeting minutes and what I did not see were any meeting minutes with a subject of any votes on how to answer an open meeting law violation complaint. Within the response to the complaint is in part; "The selectmen request...." so I would like to know when did the selectmen meet and vote on that request? Was that request arrived at via email?  There were minutes of a BOS meeting accepted for July 27, 2015 so what does that show? It shows that the selectmen may have met on that day but it does not prove that the meeting was open or available for the public to listen to, as executive session meetings have minutes and audio recorded but the public is not allowed or invited to listen in. There was also a special town meeting held that same evening with a video recording where people speaking can be heard. The selectmen can also expect a second request for public records for an accounting on what one million dollars was spent / how it was spent concerning the elementary school project. since we are told that the financial team are rebuilding the towns books and we will soon have balance sheets for town finance, there should be no problem providing this information. If they cannot or will not, why should they expect more money to spend on this project.

Jeff Bennett

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bond Rating (Municipal) – A credit rating assigned to a municipality to help investors assess the future ability, legal obligation, and willingness of the municipality (bond issuer) to make timely debt service payments. Stated otherwise, a rating helps prospective investors determine the level of risk associated with a given fixed-income investment. Rating agencies, such as Moody's and Standard and Poors, use rating systems, which designate a letter or a combination of letters and numerals where AAA is the highest rating and C1 is a very low rating.

Ad Valorem – A Latin phrase meaning according to the value. For example, the property tax is an Ad Valorem tax because it is based on the full and fair cash value (FFCV) of the real or personal property. (See Assessed Value)

Assessed Valuation – A value assigned to real estate or other property by a government as the basis for levying taxes. In Massachusetts, assessed valuation is based on the property's full and fair cash value as set by the Assessors. (See Ad Valorem; Full And Fair Cash Value)

Chapter 70 School Aid – Chapter 70 refers to the school funding formula created under the Education Reform Act of 1993 by which state aid is distributed through the Cherry Sheet to help establish educational equity among municipal and regional school districts.

 Chapter 90 Highway Funds – State funds derived from periodic transportation bond authorizations and apportioned to communities for highway projects based on a formula under the provisions of MGL Ch. 90 §34. The Chapter 90 formula comprises three variables: local road mileage (58.33 percent) as certified by the Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD), local employment level (20.83 percent) derived the Department of Employment and Training (DET), and population estimates (20.83 percent) from the US Census Bureau. Local highway projects are approved in advance. Later, on the submission of certified expenditure reports to MHD, communities receive cost reimbursements to the limit of the grant.

the above is from Massachusetts DLS, financial glossary web page.

Jeff Bennett

From the Board of Selectmen meeting on August 24, 2015

Charlene Van Cott appointed to Veterans oversight board.
There was a new hire to the highway department.

There will soon be a parking adjustment on Baldwinville Road and Boyton Street which will become one way and no parking on Baldwinville Road by the Country Mischief on the North bound side.

Town Clerk vault is basically complete and the Town Clerk will be moving to Town Hall this Thursday. The Sheriffs dept. will be supplying labor  for this move as well as pressure washing Town Hall.

There is new carpet in the hall at Town Hall and next will be insulation added to the attic.
Windows are next inline.

On discussion of the elementary school, it was mention the faculty has concerns or questions if there will be air conditioning in the school, it is all about the children.

There is a new contract with Templeton dispatch signed and Templeton has a new fulltime health agent.

Look for a police station addition debt exclusion to be included with the ballot and town meeting in November and December this year. It was pointed out the police station debt exclusion would be for 6 years at about .55 cents per thousand increase on your tax rate for the six years.

There was a vote for a new excavator with 3 selectmen voting yes and one no. Chairman Columbus stated before the vote that a no vote was a vote against future road projects.

Selectmen Morrison stated he had heard from a resident that there are 15 area towns that do not have an excavator and he wondered how they get road projects completed without an excavator. Chairman Columbus asked if there was documentation on this and Mr. Morrison stated he had been told of this by a resident so he brought it up to which Columbus again asked if there was any paper work, as if he did not believe or trust what he was told so I guess i will email and ask for email response of 15 or more area Towns, and no, I am not the one who provided that info to Mr. Morrison.

The limit was for up to $193,500.00 and it was stated that one dealer would give a $14,500.00 trade in and the other would be $10,000.00 trade in. It was stated that the highway dept. would demo a John Deer and a Volvo and make a decision.

Doing a lease to purchase means the total amount of chapter 90 money will be frozen to cover the purchase. One option mentioned was the fact that the financial team had found another $120,000.00 in a dormant bank account and some other dormant performance bonds, some dating back to 2001,  so the plan is to ask town meeting vote in the fall to use this found money to cover the cost of the excavator so as to free up the chapter 90 money. Question is what if town meeting says no, says to put the money in rainy day fund to aid in getting a bond rating back for the Town. Either way, looks like no new trucks for the highway department, you know, the ones that plow the roads and the ones we are always told are worn out, just like the two old loaders that seem to be still working after a new loader was purchased.

The vote for the excavator was Brooks, Morrison, Columbus yes, Julie Richard no.

Jeff Bennett

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Meetings the Week of August 24, 2015

Meetings the Week of August 24, 2015

Monday 8/24/15
BOS                                E. Temp.                    6:30 pm

Tuesday 8/25/15
Planning                        E. Temp                      6:30 pm
TESBC                          Kiva                           5:30 pm     
MRPC                           Fitchburg                   7:00 pm           

Thursday 8/27/15
Sr. Center                      Sr. Drive                     6:30 pm

Preliminary Plans for the New Elementary School at Templeton Center

Preliminary Plans for the New Elementary School at Templeton Center

Arial View:
Hi Bob W. ! Looks real cosy!    
 Traffic Pattern:
Oh Where, oh where did the playground go? Or where, oh where can it be?
 Site Plan:
There goes the neighborhood!
 First Floor:

Second Floor:
 Third Floor:
Third Floor? What will the ZBA and the Village People say?   

Stay tuned ! Or better yet- attend the Selectman's meeting on Monday August 24th!