Thursday, April 30, 2009

10th Annual Brockton Hospital Cancer Walk Sunday

Brockton--On Sunday, May 3, thousands of walkers will wear out some shoe leather to battle cancer in the 10th annual Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital Champions Fighting Cancer Walk.
It is one of the largest charity events in the Metro South area, repeatedly drawing thousands of area residents.
This year sponsors expect to exceed $2 million in total cash raised over the past 10 years.
Last year more than 10,000 walkers raised nearly $250,000. The walk is completely staffed and organized by volunteers, so there are no administrative costs and all the money raised goes to fight cancer at the local level.
Proceeds benefit the hospital’s cancer programs and the Chrystine M. Sullivan Memorial Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding in increasing cancer-related resources at the hospital.
“Year over year, the walk has grown to include the entire community – not only in our fundraising efforts, but in honoring the memory of loved ones while celebrating the lives of survivors,” said Norman B. Goodman, Signature Healthcare's president and chief financial officer. “We are proud of what we’ve been able to achieve toward strengthening the fight against cancer,” he said.
The 4.5-mile walk begins-rain or shine-at Brockton High School and finishes at Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital.
Registration is from 8 to 10 a.m. Once registered, participants can begin the walk. Those unable to walk the full route can participate in a shorter 1.5-mile walk that begins at City Hall. Short route walkers also must register at the high school and will then take a shuttle to City Hall to begin.
A half-way stop at the central branch YMCA is a new feature this year, underscoring Signature Healthcare's partnership with the Old Colony YMCA on health and wellness programs.
In 2008, Signature Healthcare installed a new, state-of-the-art digital mammography system, made possible by generous donations from the walk.
The money raised from this year’s walk will go toward providing the same high-tech digital mammography equipment to a major facility in the Signature Healthcare group at 110 Liberty Street in Brockton.
In 2008, approximately 1.4 million new cancer cases were diagnosed in the United States according to the American Cancer Society, and cancers that can be prevented or detected earlier by screening account for at least half of all new cancer cases.
Although the statistics are alarming, many cancers are treatable if caught early enough and Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital offers a comprehensive group of state-of-the-art treatment and screening options--in part due to the thousands who participate in the walk.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Brockton Tests 2 for Swine Flu

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Signature Healthcare Brockton Hospital is awaiting the results of tests on two patients who have shown symptoms similar to the swine flu as cities and towns in the state and across the country brace for the spread of the disease after a 23-month-old child in Texas died--the first death in the U.S.
“We don’t expect the results until later today or probably tomorrow,” said Rachel Labas, spokeswoman for the hospital.
The test samples were sent to the state Department of Public Health for analysis, Labas said.
Labas said a patient came to the hospital Monday showing symptoms and another yesterday was tested during a visit to one of Signature Healthcare’s affiliated doctor’s offices in Brockton.
The names of the patients have not been released.
The hospital has set up a hotline for residents to get information about the virus. The telephone number is 508-941-7968.
Earlier this morning the first death in the U.S. from the illness took place in Texas when a 23-month-old boy died from the disease after recently visiting Mexico.
In Lowell, the first two confirmed cases in the state were announced by state officials this morning.
The two boys, 8 and 10, are expected to survive. Officials in Spencer are also testing possible patients for the disease.
Swine flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is a respiratory infection caused by type A flu viruses that usually cause outbreaks in pigs.
Human cases can occur, as in 1976 when the disease broke out at Fort Dix, N.J. and in 1918 it was suspected of killing millions worldwide. Symptoms include high fever, vomiting and body aches.
Researchers have yet to identify the cause of the current outbreak in humans.
School committee member Thomas Minichiello, who visited Cancun, Mexico more than a week ago, said his family has not shown any signs of an infection and feels for those who have returned from vacation and are now facing the possibility of a deadly virus.
He said he returned to the U.S. before the disease had spread and there was no word of a problem in the resort area where the family stayed.
“Can you imagine coming back from a vacation and having to deal with this kind of thing?” Minichiello said. “It’s just not what you would expect from a wonderful vacation,” he said.
The World Health Organization said at least 105 cases have been confirmed worldwide, including 64 in the United States; 26 in Mexico; six in Canada; three in New Zealand; and two each in Spain, England and Israel.
However, Mexican officials said they estimate more than 150 have died from the outbreak and 2,500 have contracted the infection.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency authorization for the use of two of the most common antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, to combat the infection in confirmed cases.
Gov. Deval Patrick in a press conference this morning said people should not overreact to the outbreak and that the state is prepared for the emergency.
He said the state has 50,000 courses of antiviral medication in state reserve and another 200,000 are coming from the federal government.
The CDC said common seasonal flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 people every year worldwide, far more than the current outbreak of swine flu.

Bank Robbery Suspect Caught

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON-Police have arrested a suspect in the robbery of Crescent Credit Union last Friday. Shawn Donnelly, 32, of 133 Clifton Ave., Brockton was charged with armed robbery Tuesday night.
Police arrested Donnelly for robbing Crescent Credit Union on Crescent Street on April 24. He was expected in Brockton District Court for arraignment this morning.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Opium Overdose Prevention Projects Sought

The Brockton Mayor’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Coalition is offering one-year mini-grants, with probable renewal for two more years, of up to $10,000 to support opioid overdose prevention projects in the City of Brockton.
The grant is open to agencies that are non-profit, for-profit and city or state funded.
Qualifications: The proposal must incorporate at least one of several strategies identified in the application to reduce fatal and non-fatal overdoses. This grant is evidence based and must follow the Department of Public Health’s guidelines.
The Brockton Mayor’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Coalition is paid by the MassCALL2 grant from the Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. The program is in collaboration with High Point Treatment Center in Brockton.
For an application and detailed requirements, contact Program Coordinator Koren Cappiello at 508-742-4405 or by e-mail at koren.cappiello@hptc.org

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Power Plant Health Hazards Harmful to Area
What price would you put on your health and the future health of your children and grandchildren?
After careful research West Bridgewater, Hanson, Whitman, Halifax, Middleboro, and Lakeville oppose this proposed polluting Brockton power plant because even within a 20-mile radius the health effects are substantial.
The power plant in Braintree is only 91 megawatts and it is owned by the city so they get all the money and all the power and much less pollution.
The proposed Brockton power plant is 350 megawatts. It will not be owned by the city and the power is not for Brockton or the surrounding areas. It will be sold to the highest bidder on the national grid, so we don't get the big money and we don't get the power.
According to the proponents we will get these pollutants on an annual basis: 98 tons of carbon monoxide; 10 tons of hazardous air pollutants; 82 tons of particulate matter; 17 tons of volatile organic compounds; 7 tons of sulfur dioxide; 87 tons of nitrogen oxide; and 1,134,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
According to heart and lung associations these are some of the side effects from breathing this kind of pollution: increased respiratory symptoms; decreased lung function; aggravated asthma; chronic bronchitis; irregular heart beat; and premature death for people with heart and lung disease.
Studies show Brockton is already the ninth most polluted area in New England with the third highest asthma rate.
If this is built it will be less than 800 feet away from the nearest homes, one-third to half-a-mile away from six schools, four day care centers, two, 10-story low-income elderly complexes, three over-55 parks, four churches, and the list goes on and on.
It is simply the wrong location. There is no direct highway access and it would be in the middle of a very vulnerable population.
Our health and well being are not for sale. Call City Hall and let your voice be heard.
Barbara Carchidi
Brockton

1 Killed, Two Injured in Weekend Shooting

Brockton and State Police are seeking information in the weekend killing of a Brockton girl and the wounding of two others after they were shot late Saturday night after a party.
The Plymouth County District Attorney's office said 16-year-old Chantal Matiyosus was shot twice--once in the face and again in the torso as she left a family baby shower at 12 Addison Ave., Brockton Saturday night at about 11 p.m.
Officials said Matiyosus, a former student at Brockton High School, was pronounced dead at Brockton Hospital.
Peter Johnson, 15, of Brockton, was shot in the shin and Ariana Santos, 14, was shot in the wrist. Both are expected to recover.
Anyone with information about the shooting can contact investigators at 508-941-0234.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Marciano's Name Punched into History


The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—The life lessons of boxing legend Rocky Marciano, a regular guy who against all odds became one of the greatest prizefighters in history, have been immortalized for all to see when they visit the newly named Rocky Marciano U.S. Post Office in Brockton.
“I hope he inspires you to push yourself to be the next great champion… that his memory pushes you so you can see the greatness in yourself,” said Rocky Marciano Jr., the Brockton Blockbuster’s adopted son.
Marciano Jr., and a host of local, state and federal officials, and family members remembered Marciano Sunday during the official ceremony to rename Brockton’s post office on Commercial Street in Marciano’s honor.
The area around the post office was cordoned off by police allowing an estimated crowd of 500 people to reminisce, hug and listen to reggae and rock-and-roll songs commissioned in Marciano’s honor.
Speakers gave their remarks on a platform shaped and decorated like a boxing ring. The group pulled away a white sheet to show a new sign in big blue letters that reads United States Post Office on one line and underneath, Rocky Marciano Building.
The seeds of naming the post office in Rocky’s honor began at George’s Café on Belmont Street when Charlie Tartaglia, (in photo at top, at left with Ring 4 member, heavyweight champion Tony DeMarco) a long-time friend of the Marciano’s, hinted to Mayor James Harrington that he and a group of veteran boxers, “Ring 4” based in Boston, thought renaming the Commercial Street postal building would be a wonderful way to remember Marciano’s boxing accomplishments and his work in the community.
From the mayor’s office, a bill was passed in the State Legislature and the name change moved to the U.S. Congress where US Representative Stephen Lynch said there was a long line of supporters who wanted to speak on behalf of the move. President George W. Bush signed the bill into law in July.
“My father would have been so proud that I was here. He’s up in heaven with Rocky,” said Nancy Santry, whose father Neil grew up with Marciano and played basketball at James Edgar Playground with the fighter long before the champ even thought of being a champ.
Goody Petronelli, trainer for another Brockton champ-Marvin Hagler, said if Marciano had asked him if he should get into boxing, Petronelli said he would have told Rocky he was too short, too old, and too light. Petronelli said he would have told Marciano not to quit his day job.
“How wrong I was,” Petronelli said.
Marciano, at age 24, stepped into the boxing ring and with perseverance, determination, and a right hand that could knock out a bull, stepped into history as he rose to heavyweight champion on Sept. 23, 1952 when he fought “Jersey” Joe Walcott at Memorial Stadium in Philadelphia.
He is the only undisputed champion to retire with an undefeated record, going 49-0 in his career with 43 knockouts, a record described as magnificent and likely never to be beaten.
Marciano died Aug. 31, 1969, a day before his 46th birthday, in a plane crash in Iowa.
Richard “Dick” Zacarro, a long-time family friend of the Marciano’s, said that night in Philadelphia when Marciano took the belt away from Walcott was a moment his father Richard and an uncle will never forget because the two Marciano fans went to Philadelphia to watch the fight but did not book a hotel room.
Zaccaro said the two men begged a hotel clerk to find them some space and after some refusals, gave in and let the men sleep in the kitchen.
“For $10 they slept on cots in the hotel’s kitchen,” Zaccaro said.
On the night of the fight, Zaccaro said, all of Rocky’s fans in the stadium held their collective breath when Rocky, the underdog, was knocked down for the first time in his career in an early round of the fight.
“He looked into the crowd where his friends were sitting and got up. He knew people had bet their mortgages on him,” Zaccaro said.
“When he knocked out Walcott in the 13th round the auditorium, mostly filled with Walcott supporters, went silent. The only ones cheering were Rocky’s fans,”
Zaccaro said his father Richard, like Walcott, knocked out Marciano. It was not in a boxing ring, but on a baseball field in Brockton when the men were teenagers and playing baseball.
“My father threw a curveball that hit Rocky in the head and knocked him down,” Zaccaro said.
Peter Marciano, Rocky’s brother, said the family is very proud of the honor, a moment the family will cherish forever.
“If Ma and Pa could only be here to see his name on the building,” Marciano said. “They would be very proud,” he said. (Photo above: Peter Marciano Sr., Rocky's brother, visits with a neighborhood friend after the ceremony)
Denis Marrese, vice-president of sales and marketing for Rocky Marciano Foundation, was selling T-shirts, calendars and other Rocky-related items, said Marciano was a champion in the truest sense of the word.
“Not many people could have done what he did,” Marrese said. “He walked the streets of Brockton as a kid, he was a regular guy and he never forgot where he came from. He put Brockton on the map,” he said.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Keep Brockton Beautiful Day set for Saturday


The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Thousands of Brockton residents on sports teams, businesses, community groups and individuals will scour the city Saturday looking for paper, plastic bags, discarded fast-food wrappings and other refuse to throw out during the fifth annual Keep Brockton Beautiful Day.
“We hope to see you all on Saturday,” said Michael Thoreson, commissioner of the department of public works. “We’re supposed to have beautiful weather and we are expecting it to be a very successful day,” he said.
Volunteers will get T-shirts, a free barbeque starting at about noon and the Brockton Rox have donated numerous giveaways and raffles.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at Heights Crossing, 35 Christy Place. Individuals who are not part of a group will be paired with the hundreds of teams that will help clean the city.
For more information contact the public works office at 508-580-7135.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Marciano Post Office to Be Unveiled Sunday, Statue on Hold

World Boxing Council president guarantees Rocky statue will be completed and installed in Brockton. Read more in today's Boston Globe South.
www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2009/04/23/marciano_post_office_dedication_is_sunday/

Massasoit Students Live Earth Day Every Day

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—Massasoit Community College isn’t just thinking green, it is living green.
During Wednesday’s Earth Day celebration by campus green group Emerald E.A.R.T.H., many of the initiatives the college has taken to help in the fight towards a sustainable earth were on display.
Samantha Chin, one of the founder’s of the group, said all of the office supplies the college buys are purchased from Union Office, a company that sells only recycled goods.
“All the notebooks, manila filing folders, calendars and scissors are all made from recycled products,” Chin proudly said.
The move came about two years ago at the behest of students working with Emerald E.A.R.T.H. and the Sustainable Task Force, Chin said.
Chin said it is the second year the club has hosted an Earth Day celebration and students contacted the more than 25 vendors who showcased organic household cleaners, recycled plastic food storage bins and socially responsible investing.
“We’re really excited and the college has done a lot to go green,” Chin said.
Biology professor Melanie Trecek-King manned a booth extolling the dangers of native vs. invasive plants, a problem the campus is tackling one plant at a time.
“Native plants use less pesticides, they use less water and they’re beautiful,” said Trecek-King.
Pointing to a Multiflora Rose bush bordering the campus’s “quad” where the Earth Day event was held, Trecek-King said students will dig it out, throw it in a compost bin and replace it with native plants that offer food for birds and a balanced ecology.
Also on display was a hybrid car available at Copeland Toyota in Brockton.
“You can drive it right off campus,” said sales consultant Steve Brennan.
The 2009 Prius offers drivers 48 miles per gallon on the highway and 45 in the city, with all the bells and whistles students might want.
Students poked their heads in the new car and wished for a bigger pay check.
“I wish I could buy one,” said student Nick Jeffrey, who said the $23,000 price tag, even with Earth Day discounts, was out of his financial reach.
Brennan said Toyota will unveil a new 2010 model in June that will have a see-through solar panel on the roof that will give the car even better gas mileage and more power.
Chin said steps toward reducing global warming and environmental sustainability can be big, like the school’s office supply purchase program or as small as a cup of coffee.
“The café offers a 25-cent discount if students bring their own cup or travel mug for tea or coffee,” Chin said.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Area Union Workers Rally for Power Plant, Jobs

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—The chants of hundreds of union workers filled City Hall last night as they called for the support of a 350-megawatt natural power plant to be built on Oak Hill Way.
“Brockton jobs for Brockton residents,” shouted carpenters, plumbers, and electrical, utility, and iron workers who gathered on the second floor in front of the city council’s meeting set to begin at 7 last night.
Paul Lynch, a union organizer carrying a megaphone, began the chants which switched to a pulsating and continuous chorus of “We want jobs.”
Police officers shut the doors to the meeting room, but the voices could be heard in the chambers through the thick walls.
The only city councilor to support the construction of the power plant is Todd Petti, who gave a speech during the rally.
During the finance meeting, Petti called for his fellow council members to take another look at the plant’s advantages to the city.
“The state Siting Board when it gave its unanimous approval called the plant the cleanest and quietest plant to be built in the state,” Petti said.
He discounted opponents’ assertions that most natural gas plants are in remote areas far away from residents’ homes.
“Braintree liked their (natural gas plant) so much they built another one,” Petti said.
Brockton Clean Energy, the company proposing the power plant, has offered the city $1.8 million in one-time donations and estimates the company would pay $1.5 million a year in taxes when built.
Opponents of the project, like Eddie Byers, a leader of Stop the Power, a grassroots organization consisting of members from area towns, said before the meeting that opponents would not hold a counter-protest.
He said his group believes the plant is not right for Brockton and would increase pollution in a city that is already hampered by health issues.
Byers said the unions will gather their forces, but most people would not be from Brockton.
"They've made it a battle between the residents and the unions and no plant has been built without the support of the locals--the residents and government officials," Byers said.
Union members from nearly every surrounding South Shore town attended the rally.
Officials estimated 400 to 500 union members over the 90 minutes of the rally filled the plaza and the floors leading to the city council’s chambers.
James Bragg, a spokesman for the carpenter’s union, said the plant’s opponents have made the issue a regional one, and many of the men, and some women, gathered yesterday would benefit from the estimated 300 jobs expected over two years if the plant receives approval for construction from several Brockton boards.
“It is a regional issue and it will have an effect on the whole region,” Bragg said.
Bragg said workers who will build the plant will “be working in Brockton and spending their money in Brockton” even if they don't live in Brockton.
A tractor trailer painted in red, white and blue bearing the word Teamster’s took up a swathe of School Street in front of City Hall and a brightly-painted ironworkers van told passers-by a union event was happening. A tent outside the entrance to City Hall kept some ralliers dry, but many stood in the rain in hoods or under umbrellas.
Still others flowed in and out of City Hall as crowds pressed between the doors to get inside, while others tried to get outside because of the high temperature and humidity in the building.
P.J. Healey, a carpenter from Holbrook, said the plant is clean and safe and opponents are mixing science with fiction to prevent the plant’s construction in their backyard.
“They’ve got their own agenda,” Healey said.
Ed Macrelli, who lives in Brockton and is general manager of operations for Municipal Environmental Development, an independent non-profit environmental group, said the plant should receive approvals.
“It’s good for the community, it’s good for jobs and we’re here supporting Brockton Clean Energy,” Macrelli said.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Brockton Grads Bring Cleaner Driving to City

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—Two Brockton High graduates have returned to the city offering a cleaner way to drive.
William O’Brien and Stephen Joyce, 1983 graduates and heads of a Texas-based company called Sabretec, have fitted 12 Brockton police and other city vehicles with filters that cut pollution emissions by as much as 70 percent and increases gas mileage while they’re on.
“If they put a filter on a cigarette, why not the tailpipe of a car,” said Stephen Joyce, Sabretec’s director of sales.
Joyce, O’Brien and city officials will give a demonstration of the filters Tuesday at 11 a.m. at City Hall.
On display will be the filters and several police cruisers that have already been fitted.
Joyce said Everett, Medford, Buffalo, N.Y., and towns and cities in Texas have already installed the company’s filters on governmental vehicles.
Joyce said the 12 filters installed on Brockton’s dual-exhaust police cruisers and other city vehicles cost the city about $139 a piece and will be paid through federal stimulus package money that must be spent on “green” initiatives like the filters.
Brockton, like other cities and towns, must apply for the money and wait for approval, however, Joyce said the filters are a simple way to cut emissions in a city where its children have been indentified as having one of the highest rates of asthma in the state.
“It’s a win-win and a no-brainer,” Joyce said.
For more information about the company, visit http://www.bladeyourride.com/.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Power Plant Rally Set for Tuesday

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Hundreds of people who support building a 350-megawatt natural gas power plant in Brockton will rally at City Hall Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m.
Brockton Clean Energy, a subsidiary of Swiss-based Advanced Power AG, is seeking to build the plant on Oak Hill Way.
The company has offered $1.8 million in one-time donations for city programs and services and will pay an estimated $1.5 million a year in taxes.
The project is estimated to generate 300 construction jobs during the two years the plant will be built.
Speakers at the rally will include union leaders, city officials and residents.
The project faces opposition from Stop the Power, a grassroots organization of residents formed to stop the plant's construction, and all but one city councilor, Todd Petti, are opposed to the project.

Friday, April 17, 2009

City Councilor Calls for Smith's Inclusion in Superintendent Search

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—City Councilor-at-large Todd Petti, a member of the school superintendent screening committee, wants the school committee to add at least one more finalist to be considered for the job.
“I hope some members of the school committee will have the fortitude to interview Kathleen Smith,” Petti said yesterday.
“She has the qualifications, she knows the school district, she lives in Brockton and if they do, it will put this whole controversy to rest,” Petti said, adding he hoped Smith would “break the glass ceiling,” since Brockton has not had a female superintendent.
Tuesday night the screening panel offered three names to the school committee as finalists to replace Basan Nembirkow, who will retire as superintendent at the end of the school year.
Some school committee members wanted five finalists, a list that would have included Smith and Arthur W. Stellar, who is superintendent of Taunton schools, and who along with Smith was a semifinalist but did not make the screening committee’s final cut.
School committee members Janice Beyer, Thomas Minichiello and Richard Bath were outvoted by four other members to extend the list to include Smith and Stellar.
Mayor James Harrington, acting school committee chairman, did not vote, saying any member of the committee has the right to bring in anyone they want to be interviewed.
School committee member Richard Bath, one of the three who was voted down to include Smith and Stellar, said it makes sense to bring in more candidates.
“We’re hearing two of the candidates are interviewing elsewhere. What happens if they get those positions? Does that leave us with one finalist?” Bath said.
The four other members of the school committee have said the three finalists are excellent candidates and it would be a “slap in the face” to the screening panel to include others.
Bath said he disagrees it’s a slap in the face, only a means to have all qualified candidates as part of the process.
“I want to make it clear that I think the three candidates are highly qualified,” Bath said, “but there is no harm in considering others.”
Two of the current finalists are superintendents from other school districts.
Wayne Alexander is head of the Brooksville, Fla. school district and Matthew Malone is superintendent in Swampscott.
Malone was selected as a finalist for a similar position in Washoe County School District in Reno, Nev. but has withdrawn his name, according to the Swampscott Reporter. Alexander has been seeking a job in New England for more than six months.
The only in-house finalist selected from a pool of 16 candidates is John R. Jerome, Brockton’s executive director of teaching and learning for grades six to eight.
The 17-member screening committee has sparked controversy because of the way the finalists were chosen, a means some claim was a secret ballot.
Also, Smith’s name had been leaked as a candidate who was eliminated on a close vote of the screening committee. Smith, who could not be reached for comment, is Brockton’s director of Community Schools and After School programs.
The school committee meets May 5 and may discuss the superintendent search more then.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

U.S. Attorney Sullivan Resigns Post

The Brockton Post
BOSTON--U.S. Attorney General Michael Sullivan will resign his post as of Sunday, April 19 to take a position in the private sector.
The announcement was posted on the agency's Website Wednesday. The resignation takes effect at midnight.
Sullivan will be remembered in Brockton for at least two initiatives: the construction of an $86 million sewer treatment plant and dedication of resources to crime prevention.
In August 2006, Brockton officials agreed to pay a $120,000 fine and build an $86 million treatment plant after Sullivan's office, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and several state agencies alleged the city violated federal and state clean water laws and government-issued permits.
Also, during Sullivan's nearly eight-year tenure, Brockton was the recipient of money, law enforcement support and community programs as part of the U.S. Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhood Initiative and Operation Weed and Seed, programs that seek to target and turn around violence-ridden urban neighborhoods and areas.
Sullivan, a Republican who grew up in Holbrook, was appointed Plymouth County District Attorney in 1995 by former Gov. William Weld to fill the position following the sudden death of William O'Malley, In 1996 and 1998 he won election to the job.
He was appointed U.S. Attorney General by former President George W. Bush and took office in September, 2001 and in 2006 was appointed acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
With a change in the federal administration it was expected that President Barack Obama would appoint someone else, likely a Democrat, to the office.

More Finalists Possible in School Superintendent Search

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--The school committee has been given the names of three finalists to fill the superintendent’s job next year, but more candidates could be added to the list following questions about the screening process.
An embattled screening committee Tuesday night offered three names to the school committee to replace Superintendent Basan Nembirkow, who will retire at the end of the school year.
However, controversy swirling around the screening process has opened the door for school committee members to offer finalists of their own.
“Any school committee member can put up anybody’s name,” said Mayor James Harrington, who also serves as chairman of the school committee.
The three candidates named by the screening committee are: John R. Jerome, executive director of teaching and learning 6-8 for Brockton schools; Wayne S. Alexander, current superintendent of schools in Brooksville, Fla., and Matthew Malone, superintendent of Swampscott’s school district.
Several school board members said they would prefer five candidates instead of three, a point of contention during the screening process, but the move was voted down because any member of the board can offer names to be interviewed.
No other names were put forward during the meeting.
The 17-member screening committee has come under fire during the last week after reports in The Enterprise charged the process of selecting the three finalists was flawed because of allegations a secret ballot was used and some members wanted to put forward five finalists instead of three.
Patricia Joyce, after last night’s school committee meeting, said members pared down 16 applicants to five by using index cards that each member flashed yes or no as each of the 16 were named as potential finalists.
“There was no secret ballot,” Joyce said.
She said none of the index cards had names written on them and index cards were used because some members of the committee work for the school department and felt uncomfortable eliminating in-house candidates.
The five semifinalists were then cut to three by a roll-call vote, Joyce said.
Joyce said the finalists were chosen based on their resumes and interviews with the screening committee.
Joyce said all members of the screening panel agreed at the outset that the committee would offer three finalists and pledge confidentiality, a rule that was broken when the allegations over the process were reported.
While feelings over the matter remain hot with supporters on both sides saying agendas and dirty politics have been played, others said it is time to move on and if the committee is not satisfied after the interview process, the board can begin again if it wants to.
A date has not been set for public interviews of the finalists.
Brooksville, Fla. Superintendent Alexander has been a teacher and administrator in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island and holds a doctorate from Nova University.
According to the St. Petersburg--Tampa Bay Times, Alexander was a semifinalist for a superintendent’s job in Framingham in December and has been in a dispute over his new wife’s child visitation rights in Connecticut.
The problems in Connecticut, the paper reported, prompted Alexander to search for a job in New England. In February he resigned his post in Brooksville and a week later changed his mind and decided to stay. His contract with Brooksville expires June, 2010.
Brockton schools’ Jerome, a resident of North Easton, along with being the current head of teaching and learning for grades 6-8, has been senior director of curriculum, coordinator of Title I, and department head of Title I. He has a master’s in education from Bridgewater State College.
Swampscott’s current superintendent Malone has been special assistant to the superintendent in San Diego, Calif., a headmaster in Boston and assistant middle school principal in Duxbury. He holds a doctorate from Boston College and lives in Roslindale.
He was a finalist for the superintendent’s position in Worcester, but another candidate was chosen Tuesday night, according to The Daily Item in Lynn, which noted the teacher’s union had issued a vote of no confidence last June, but the school committee supports his leadership. Malone’s contract expires in June, 2010.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Murder Suspect Held Without Bail

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—A 16-year-old student from Brockton today pleaded not guilty to murder in Brockton District Court and will be held without bail after a daytime shooting that left another Brockton man dead.
Manuel Lopes, 16, will be held at Plymouth County Correctional Facility where he will await a pretrial hearing May 11.
Judge Paul J. McCallum ordered Lopes held without bail.
Lopes is accused of shooting another Brockton man, 18-year-old Matthew Collins in the chest.
Collins was taken to Good Samaritan Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Police said Monday at about 5:30 p.m. Lopes and another Brockton man, Admir Lopes Resende, 19, were spotted by witnesses fleeing the area of E. Main Street and E. Battles Street, where Collins had been shot moments earlier.
Lopes, on a bicycle, headed south on E. Battles Street toward N. Montello Street.
Weaving in and out of heavy rush hour traffic, a witness said Lopes smashed the bicycle into a parked car, fell off and got back on again.
The witness said behind Lopes was a group of five or six males chasing Lopes. Lopes then started “firing shots everywhere,” from a silver handgun, the witness said.
Residents of East Main Street came out of their homes to find Collins face down on a sidewalk, struggling to breathe.
A witness said several men approached Collins and urged him to “hang in there,” and “keep breathing” as they turned him over on his back.
A woman living in the area placed a pillow under Collins’ head as residents waited for police and medical services.
Lopes and Resende cut through a church, several residences and Prime Gas station as they made their way to a N. Montello street apartment house.
A woman living on the first floor who answered the door gave police permission to search the house.
Police found Lopes in a bedroom and Resende was one of three others police saw in the apartment.
The two were arrested without incident.
At about 1:30 Tuesday morning a police officer found a .25 caliber gun with a white handle in a plastic bag in the backyard of the residence.
Lopes, a student at North Junior High School, has been charged with murder, carrying a loaded firearm without a license, carrying a firearm without a license and carrying an unlicensed firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.
Resende was charged with accessory to murder after the fact and was held on lieu of $100,000 bail.

One Man Dead After Shooting






The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—One man is dead and another faces charges after a shooting near East Main Street and East Battles Street Monday at about 5:30 p.m.
“I heard five or six shots--bang, bang, bang and then another set--bang, bang, and maybe another one,” said Troy Hubbard, a resident of East Main Street. “I knew right away it was shots. Not firecrackers,” Hubbard said.
When he looked out to see what happened, Hubbard said he saw a man lying down on the sidewalk.
“He wasn’t moving,” Hubbard said.
Officials have not released the name of the victim pending notification of family members. The victim was taken by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The suspect was captured by police after the shooting. Witnesses said the shooter ran inside a multifamily home on N. Montello where police were allowed in and the man was arrested.
Another witness said a large group was fighting near 43 East Main St. and then shots were fired.
The alleged shooter, witnesses said, ran through backyards toward Montello Street.
Brockton and State Police sealed off the area and searched for evidence until late in the evening.
Hubbard said his “heart goes out to the family” of the man killed, an experience he had when his own son Troy Jr., 20, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Boston nearly nine years ago.
“The police came to my house to tell me,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard said he moved to the East Main Street apartment, less than 100 yards from where yesterday’s shooting took place, just over a week ago from a quieter neighborhood.
He moved to Brockton shortly after his son was shot.
“I think it’s time to move out of Brockton,” Hubbard said. “Some areas are better than others, but this one—there are a lot of bad people around here,” he said.

Monday, April 13, 2009

On the Safe Side

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Brockton area children had their fingers printed, DNA logged and video taken during the second Child Safety Day hosted by Brockton area Masonic lodges.
Tina King, a Brockton resident who brought her young neice and nephew to the event held Saturday at the Shaw's Center, said having the youngsters fingerprints, DNA and video on file with the police is a caution she hopes will never be needed.
"It's just in case anything happens," King said.
Along with the safety measures, event goers were able to handle lizards and iguanas courtesy of B&B Reptiles, were treated to martial arts demonstations by Hamid's Academy on Oak Street and met with red-beret wearing Guardian Angels who have been walking the streets of the city for about a year.
A clown handing out balloons made a costume change and brought delight to youngsters as the Easter Bunny.
Organizers said the only disappointment was the weather because fire trucks and police and military vehicles parked outside ithe Shaw's Center in the rain made it difficult for the 100 or more youngsters to climb on and play with.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


HAPPY EASTER AND PASSOVER TO THE RESIDENTS
OF THE CITY OF BROCKTON








Saturday, April 11, 2009

Brockton Rampage Suspect Due Back In Court

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--A Plymouth County grand jury Friday indicted Keith Luke, 29, of Brockton, on two counts of murder, six counts of armed assault with intent to murder, armed home invasion, armed kidnapping with sexual assault, four counts of aggravated rape, indencent assault and battery, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and malicious destruction of property.
Luke is accused of killing two people, a man and a woman and shooting another woman after allegedly repeatedly raping her. The woman, a sister of the murdered woman, survived the attack.
Law enforcement officials have said Luke intended to kill as many "nonwhites" and Jews as he could before taking his own life during a January rampage authorities said was fueled by racism.
The indictment moves the case to Brockton Superior Court where Luke will be arraigned Thursday, April 30.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Planning Board Rejects Power Plant Roadway, Transmission Line

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—It’s back to the drawing board for a company seeking to build a 350-megawatt natural gas power plant on Oak Hill Way, after the planning board rejected preliminary plans for a roadway and a connection for electrical transmission lines integral to the project.
“This is not going to be a show stopper. This is not a double-denial,” said Ronald Kelly, director of development for Brockton Clean Energy, a subsidiary of Swiss-based Advanced Power AG, the company that wants to build the power plant.
“This is part of the process and we’re going to work through it,” he said.
The planning board voted Tuesday night to deny both requests.
The company can resubmit new plans or appeal the decision in court.
Kelly said the company will rework designs and resubmit plans.
Opponents of the project, like Eddie Byers, a leader of StopThePower.org, said he hoped the decision might make the company pack up and try elsewhere.
“They don’t have the political support or residents' support,” Byers said. “Why do they keep pushing forward?” he said.
Kelly said the project received approval at the state level and the company does not plan to abandon the project.
Brockton Clean Energy is working with owners of an adjacent parcel of land to build a roadway to a switch yard for the power plant. Without the roadway, the company does not have access to the switch yard, where power from the natural gas plant is converted into electricity and connected to an interregional power grid.
Kelly said it is similar to switchyards at shopping malls.
Because the denial is for preliminary plans, Brockton Clean Energy and the land’s owners can come back to the planning board with designs that meet its requirements.
Kelly said the planning board wants the company to build a 60-foot roadway instead of a 30-foot roadway.
City regulations allow a 30-foot or a 60-foot way under certain conditions and at the discretion of each city board’s authority.
Kelly said the conservation commission last week approved the 30-foot plan, but the planning board took a different view and wants a 60-foot way.
The request for the transmission lines, if approved would have allowed the company to run a 115-kilovolt, above ground electrical lines that would connect the power plant to the regional grid.
The transmission line would be installed on eight vertical poles and run about 3,000 feet through an Oak Hill Way industrial park.
Kelly said there are no homes or residents who would be affected by the installation of the transmission line.
However, Byers said when planning board members asked how close the nearest home to the transmission lines were, company officials could not answer and were denied the transmission line.
Kelly did not say when the company would resubmit plans.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

5 Day Suspension, Midnight Closing for Intervale Street Bar

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—The Former Tiger’s Den in Brockton will close for five days and stop serving alcohol at midnight instead of 1 a.m., a move by the license commission that is not severe enough for one city councilor, and too heavy-handed for one of the bar’s owners.
Ward 6 City Councilor Michelle DuBois said after the liquor board’s decision Wednesday night that while she was glad the board took the step it did, she wants the bar shut down.
“They should have had their license revoked,” DuBois said.
DuBois has said she receives calls and e-mails from residents in the area saying they live in fear of stray bullets from violence centered near three bars in the Lithuanian Village neighborhood.
Within a 30-second walk is “The Lit” bar, Shoe City Tavern and former Tiger’s Den, now called Terra Terra Bar and Grill.
The liquor commission voted 5-0 to roll back closing hours to midnight and suspend the bar for five days after a shooting at the bar early Monday, March 16.
No one from the bar—employee or owner--reported the shooting to police, a violation of state licensing regulations.
The suspension--which must include a weekend--and closing hours change will take effect once the bar’s owners are given a hand-delivered letter from the commission.
The commission has 30 days to issue the letter and the bar has five days to appeal the suspension to the state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission once the letter is received.
There is no appeal of the roll-back, but after nine months the bar’s owners can request a hearing to extend the license back to 1 a.m. or later.
A recent request for the bar to stay open until 2 a.m. was denied.
Terra Terra Bar and Grill is owned by three people, including Porforio Silveira, who was working March 16 when a regular customer was shot outside the bar March 16.
He said Jerry Andrews, the man who was shot, rushed into the bar at about 12:30 p.m. announced he had been shot and began showing other patrons a wound in his groin area by pulling down his pants.
Silveira said his next thought was to get Andrews to a hospital.
He left the bar in the hands of a bartender to close, got Andrews in his car and drove along N. Main Street where he was stopped by police who received calls about gunshots near the Intervale Street bar.
Silveira said he is new to the bar-restaurant business and told the license board he was wrong not to report the incident, having listened to bad advice from others on how to handle such matters.
“I should have called the police. I should have called the ambulance. I was wrong,” Silveira said. “I can take my punishment like a man, but I think we were treated unfairly. We are the scapegoats for everyone else,” he said.
The new owners have operated the bar since last August when it received its final inspections.
A shooting in November outside the bar left one man dead and in 2004, when the bar was called Roman's, a 22-year-old was stabbed to death.
The bar’s interior has been refurbished, a new kitchen installed and after the March 16 shooting, a new sign denoting the name change from The Tiger’s Den to Terra Terra Bar and Grill.
Silveira said the new owners are trying to turn around the rough reputation the bar has earned, but it is not easy because of problems outside.
“There are no drugs, no fights, no nothing inside,” Silveira said. “It’s the area—not the people running the bar,” he said.
Maureen Martin, a resident living on N. Main Street across from The Oak a short distance away, said the license board’s measures might send a message, except the wrong one.
“All the customers will do is move to another place,” Martin said.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Former Tiger Den Disciplinary Hearing Wednesday

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--The license commission will hold a disciplinary hearing for Terra Terra, formerly the Tiger's Den Wednesday night.
New owners of the Intervale Street bar and grill will face questions about a shooting that took place outside the bar March 16 that sent one man to the hospital.
A co-owner of the business, Porforio Silveira was stopped by Brockton police with the wounded man in his car.
Silveira said he was bringing the man to the hospital.
Police Chief William Conlon said Silveira or another employee at the bar should have reported the incident.
The bar and grill has been charged with violating the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission rule that prohibits any disorder, disturbance or illegality of any kind to take place in or on the license premises.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

City Council Differs on 2 a.m. Closing Ban, Liquor Board Faulted

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—Some city councilors want the license commission to take a stronger disciplinary stand on bars and stores that stay open past 1 a.m. that have had shootings, stabbings, fights or other trouble.
Other councilors support a prohibition against the liquor board issuing any more licenses allowing ay business stay open past 1 a.m. whether it be a bar, fast food restaurant or convenience store.
Ward 6 councilor Michelle DuBois not only supports the ban, but also wants the liquor commission to roll back any 2 a.m. licenses or revoke licenses of those that have serious problems.
“Residents live in fear that their kids will go and get shot at a bar or they will get shot in their house from a stray bullet,” said DuBois.
“The license commission has the authority to do whatever it needs to do to protect the residents of Brockton. Having a 2 a.m. license is not a right it’s a privilege. The liquor commission’s hands are not tied,” she said.
Last night 11 of 10 councilors gathered at a finance subcommittee hearing to hear comment about a move by councilor Thomas Brophy to submit a home-rule petition to the State Legislature that would not shut down nearly all businesses currently open past 1 a.m.
A handful of business owners attended but did not make public comment.
Brockton has more than 30 bars that close at 2 a.m. Some businesses, like 24-hour pharmacies, would not be included in the ban.
Bars are only allowed open until 2 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On holiday weekends late closings are allowed on Sunday.
Police Chief William Conlon and Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz supported rolling back the hours because Brockton police are losing more members and other agencies like State Police and U.S. Immigration and Custom Services are also being cut back because of revenue shortfalls.
“We have to try, we have a responsibility to the law-abiding residents of Brockton,” Cruz said.
Cruz said more than 20 percent, or 53 of 268 shootings with victims from Jan. 1, 2008 to Feb. 28, 2009 happened between midnight and 4 a.m.
He said 68 percent of those incidents happened between 1 and 4 a.m.
Conlon said with the latest round of layoffs he is likely to lose 16 members. Four, he said, have opted to take early retirement.
“I’m not sure we will have adequate numbers to protect the citizens of Brockton,” Conlon said
He said after layoffs, sick leaves and officers out for disciplinary reasons, the police will be down to 166 members, much less that the national average of 234. Conlon said Brockton has less police than Quincy, Lowell, New Bedford and Fall River.
The liquor board, Conlon said, can only do so much, noting often shootings, stabbings and fights happen in the parking lots or streets after closing time limiting disciplinary measures available to the board—a point which members like DuBois and other councilors disagreed.
Todd Petti, who said he tried a similar measure in 2006 with little support, said a home-rule petition is not the way to go. He said a stronger liquor board is what is needed.
Brophy, who pitched the earlier closing hours, said Brockton has become a “last call destination” for party-going people, some who come from out of town between 10 and 11:30 a.m. to take advantage of bars and clubs that close after 2 a.m.
In the 1980s, Brophy said, the city had the opposite problem when a 2 a.m. closing was enacted. He said businesses complained they were losing money because of the ban as patrons exited to go to Stoughton or other towns for last call.
A return to the flow leaving town for last call and taking late-night trouble with them is not a bad idea for Brockton, Brophy said.
“This is a major public safety issue,” Brophy said.
No decision was made and the issue will again be discussed by the subcommittee May 18.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Beneath Democratic Love-In, Financial Woes Surface

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—From Hull to Marshfield to Worcester to Boston, Democrats gathered at Brockton’s VFW Post 1046 for an annual Democratic party love-in full of hand-shakes, hugs amid worries about the city and country’s financial state.
At the annual Jefferson-Jackson breakfast Sunday morning hosted by Register of Deeds John Buckley, Mayor James Harrington said 14 city employees have accepted an offer to take early retirement incentives, cutting the number of people who will be laid off to 64.
“It looks like 14 jobs will be saved,” Harrington said, still leaving a large number who will lose their livelihoods.
"It's a difficult thing because we're not only talking about numbers. These are people. They have families," he said.
Final numbers will be presented at the city council’s finance subcommittee meeting tonight.
Nearly two weeks ago city officials announced the elimination of 101 positions and a total of 76 people would lose their jobs. The retirement incentive came last Monday and officials moved the day for layoffs to Friday.
Buckley, who began the breakfast about 15 years ago as a fundraiser when he ran for county commissioner, said the day is a way for Democrats to meet and talk about their families and lives.
“A lot of this is about friendship and reconnecting with old acquaintances,” Buckley said.
Keynote speaker Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, (pictured above) keeping with the spirit of the day, brought his two daughters, Helen and Katerine and joked his wife Tammy had a few hours of solitude.
“While I’m here with the girls she has a three-hour reprieve,” Murray said.
Murray said Brockton, like other cities and towns, is struggling with revenue shortfalls, including a $2.5 million deficit in this year’s budget that required Friday’s layoffs.
The city has received about $2.6 million from the federal stimulus package toward special education. He said he and Gov. Deval Patrick have discretion on how to spend other federal money that has come to Massachusetts and are looking at creative ways to give some back to communities like Brockton.
“We’re looking at some discretionary funds that could come back to the city to help police and fire,” Murray said.
He said it is too soon for any dollar amounts.
Former Brockton Mayor John “Jack” Yunits gave a short history of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson--the first Democratic party candidate to reach the Oval Office in 1828.
It was during Jackson’s campaign that Democrats were pictured as donkeys and Jackson and his party were called “Jack-asses,” a nickname Jackson liked so much he adopted the donkey as his party's mascot.
Buckley said he began the Jefferson-Jackson breakfast after visits to Southern states where similar fundraisers are popular.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Senior Talent Show No April Fool's Joke




The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—Until Wednesday 83-year-old Rose Gabriele (photo at top) had not sung a note in front of strangers or as a performer on any stage other than the confines of her home or car.
Before her debut at the Brockton Council on Aging’s April Fool’s Day Talent Show, Gabriele devised an escape plan in case her voice failed or the more than 50 audience members at the senior center didn’t like what they heard.
“If they start throwing tomatoes, I’ll just run right out the door,” Gabriele joked. “If they want the microphone back they’ll have to come chase me for it,” she said.
Instead of a sprint out the door, in a clear strong voice Gabriele’s a cappella solo of torch songs “Somebody loves me,” and “Man I love” filled the center.
There were no tomatoes thrown only enthusiastic and heart felt applause not only for Gabriele, but all of the performers who each offered unique talents.
“Everybody did a great job and they are really good,” said Susan Blunt, who was there to see her mother Gini Blunt with two other friends perform a song and dance number dressed as brightly attired hobos.
Janice Fitzgerald, the council’s program coordinator and the show’s hula-hooping master of ceremonies, said hopes are Wednesday’s show will be the first in what could be a yearly event.
“It’s something different,” Fitzgerald said.
What made the show work, she said, was that many of the council’s members have talent.
“What made the show were the acts,” Fitzgerald said.
Next year, Fitzgerald said, she will look for a bigger space so performers and the audience have more room.
The program had 10 acts including singers, dancers, comedians, organ players, jokesters and an energetic Al Jolson karaoke impersonation minus the makeup by Sherwin Benatuil (pictured above) .
Kicking off the program was Phyllis Hancock who sang “Mein Herr” from musical “Cabaret” in French, German and English.
She was followed by Dorothy Puliafico, who despite battling laryngitis, belted out renditions of “Ain’t Misbehaving,” “You were meant for me,” and Barbara Streisand’s “The way we were,” that had audience members asking each other if Spagna had been a professional singer sometime in her past.
Puliafico said no. She just loves singing.
Dot Spagna, clad in a cowboy hat and vest and boots and armed with a ukulele led a toe-tapping medley of old-style country sing-a-longs complete with yodels straight from a Roy Rogers movie.
Spagna said she moved from playing the organ to the ukulele so she could travel light and still make music where ever she goes.
“I couldn’t carry the piano,” Spagna said.
Olive West, 81, one the Tambourine Tootsies, an ensemble of tambourine tappers who made music with their knees, heads and elbows along with their hands to the delight of the audience, said the key to being healthy and making music at 81 is to do the things you love.
“The name of the game is keeping active,” West said.

Power Plant Ad Campaign, $1.8 million for City Sparks Foes

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—A recent TV advertising campaign and mitigation package for the city totaling $1.8 million by a company seeking to build a 350-megawatt natural gas power plant has stirred debate over health, safety and environmental concerns.
Brockton Clean Energy, a subsidiary of Swiss-based Advanced Power AG, has offered the city $1.8 million as part of its plan to build the plant on a vacant 14-acre site on Oak Hill Way.
Ronald Kelly, director of development for Brockton Clean Energy, said the money would come at a time when the city needs it most.
“In these tough economic times we are ready to put shovel in the ground and put 300 people to work over the next two years to build this plant and we have offered the city more than $1.5 million in incentives,” Kelly said. “In these tough economic times we want to put people in Brockton to work,” he said.
Last week Brockton Clean Energy TV ads began to appear on ESPN1, ESPN2, New England Cable News, New England Sports Network, and MSNBC showing what the company calls a clean, safe and environmentally-friendly project that would be good for the Oak Hill Way neighborhood and the city overall.
Kelly said the move is to make more residents aware of the project and a way to educate residents about the safety and efficiency of natural gas, something he said has been distorted by plant opponents.
“Natural gas is one of the most efficient and clean energy sources and the opponents are distorting those facts with scare tactics,” Kelly said.
Kelly would not say how much the company is spending on the advertising campaign.
Eddie Byers, a leader of Stop the Power, a grass roots group of residents battling the project said the money and ads are just a way to sweeten a pot that many residents believe is a bad deal for Brockton.
“They’re trying to buy the city,” Byers said.
Byers, whose company Cindy’s Kitchen, a salad-dressing manufacturer is about 1,000 feet from the proposed plant, said he has watched some of the ads.
Byers said the ones he has seen make it look as if the company will save the city 300 jobs, including more than 150 in the police and fire departments that may be eliminated because of an estimated $26 to $28 million shortfall in the city’s budget next year.
“What’s $1.5 million when the city is looking at a $20 million deficit,” Byers said. “It’s a drop in the bucket and not worth the environmental and health risks that come with it,” he said.
The mitigation package, presented to Mayor James Harrington last month, gives the city $1.8 million in one-time donations.
Topping the list is $600,000 for new emissions traps for city buses and trucks, $500,000 to install a new artificial field at Brockton High School, $400,000 for environmental improvements throughout the city, $200,000 for new soccer fields at the Edgar B. Davis Elementary School and $100,000 for the Council on Aging’s operating budget. The company also has offered to begin a “Keep the lights on” fund, a program that would help needy residents pay their electric bills. No dollar amount has been given or a time-line for its inception.
Kelly said along with the mitigation package, the project will bring 300 construction jobs to the region over the next two years and over the next 30 the company will pay out $150 million in long-term job and supply contracts.
The company estimates the project would add $1.5 million a year in taxes and $500,000 a year for water fees.
The company wants the city to sell recycled water from the sewer treatment plant to cool equipment.
Two-thirds of city councilors would have to approve the measure, an approval that may not come since 10 of 11 councilors have voted against the plant.
Plant opponents say emissions from the project, particularly sulfur distillate, will be harmful to the environment and health of people living within miles of the plant.
Kelly said scientific research refutes that claim and said opponents have distorted the health and environmental impacts of the project.
Kelly points to flyers handed out by Stop the Power showing thick smoke spewing from 620-foot stacks.
“That doesn’t happen in the U.S. anymore,” Kelly said. “This will be the most clean, efficient and safe plant in Massachusetts, ” he said.
Byers said he and others have done research and have experts who have said the opposite.
“It’s all smoke and mirrors,” Byers said.
The company has received tentative approval from the state Energy Facilities Siting Board, however a key request by Brockton Clean Energy to avoid local zoning requirements was rejected.
The siting board has not issued its final authorization.
The project would need a variance from local zoning for a 130-foot tall building to house the plant’s turbine.
Last week the company met with the conservation commission to iron out details before the commission issues an order of conditions, or requirements the company must meet to build the plant.
The board voted unanimously March 12 to issue the order of conditons. The board has 21 days to submit the orders. Today is the 21st day.
To view Brockton Clean Energy’s ads visit, brocktoncleanenergy.com
To view Stop the Power’s Web site visit, stopthepower.org

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Driver Charged After 3-year-old Killed in Accident

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—A 48-year-old Brockton man has been charged with vehicular homicide by negligent operation, marked lanes violations, and operating a vehicle to endanger when a van he was driving killed a three-year-old boy and injured three others yesterday afternoon.
Pierre Jeudy will be arraigned in Brockton District Court at a future date on the charges, said Bridget Norton Middleton, spokeswoman for the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office.
Christopher Mitchell, 3, his mother Cindy, 28, and two siblings, Angel, 6 and Valentino, 4, all Lebanon Street residents, were crossing the street near the intersection of N. Main Street and Huntington Street at about 12:30 p.m. when a van driven by Jeudy crashed into the family while they were crossing the street.
It is the third accident with fatalities on Brockton streets in the last two weeks.
A spokeswoman at Mass General Hospital said Christopher Mitchell was pronounced dead after he was flown from the scene to the hospital.
She said mother Cindy and siblings Angel and Valentino suffered serious injuries but were in stable condition.