Tuesday, June 30, 2009

22 Arrested in Drug-Dealing Sweep

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--For the fourth year State and Brockton Police and federal agents rounded up suspected drug dealers in an attempt to prevent problems during the Brockton Fair, which begins Wednesday.
"This is the fourth year that we have done this," said Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz. "The fair brings a lot of people here. We want to get this element off the streets. By removing them there are less problems and I think it has been successful," he said.
Cruz said 22 men were arrested in the drug-dealing drag net.
He said eight were in custody Monday and 14 more were arrested Tuesday morning.
He said nearly all had been arraigned in Plymouth County Superior Court by Tuesday afternoon. Most of the men were charged with distribution and possession of cocaine, crack or marijuana, or conspiracy to violate substance abuse laws.
Some were charged with dealing drugs within a school zone and four were charged with unlawful possession of firearms.
Cruz said the drug sweep was a coordinated effort between State Police, Brockton Police and federal agents assigned to the city.
He said the money for such efforts comes from the U.S. Department of Justice's Weed and Seed program that targets troubled urban areas.
"The goal is to make things safer," Cruz said.
He said the 22 are known dealers in the city and undercover agents have worked since May to build cases against the men.
Cruz said the arrests would likely keep these 22 dealers off the streets, at least while the Brockton Fair brings thousands to the city.
"This is a good hit, but tomorrow is another day," Cruz said.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lighthouse Church 15th anniversary

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--The Lighthouse of Faith in Christ Jesus Church will celebrate its 15th anniversary Saturday June 27 with a performance by its Faith Players and features Victorious, the church's dance troupe.
The work to be performed is called "Tale of Six Colors," and is a morality play told through music and dance.
The anniversary show will be held at Buckley Performing Arts Center at Massassoit Community College.
Tickets are not available in advance. They will be sold at the box office on the day of the show beginning at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for children.
All proceeds will benefit the Lighthouse Student Endowment Fund.
For more information, contact Deacon Everton by e-mail at Johnsonjosah@webtv.net
or by phone at 781-767-2538.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Brockton Superintendent: Matthew Malone

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—By a 4-3 vote, the Brockton School committee has chosen Swampscott Superintendent Matthew Malone to lead the school district, with some members saying he will be a “rock star” who will push the district to the next level of success.
The school committee tonight chose Malone (at right) over two other local and popular candidates, John R. Jerome and Kathleen Smith, both who grew up in Brockton and have worked in the school system for decades.
Committee member Patricia Joyce said after Malone’s interview, resume and other information, she felt Malone would be an innovative and energetic superintendent and rise to a distinguished level at the state within 10 years.
“He is a rock star,” Joyce said, adding his passion for education, especially urban education factored into her decision.
Members said the next step is to begin contract negotiations with Malone, and ensure he still plans to move to Brockton, a requirement for the job.
Malone will replace Basan Nembirkow, who has been superintendent for five years and will retire at the end of the month.
With last night’s vote, officials and residents hope the contention and controversy surrounding the selection process will be put to rest.
“We all live here and he’s going to be the next superintendent,” said resident Mary Gill, who supported local candidate Kathleen Smith--Brockton’s director of community schools and after-school programs and the center of controversy in the selection process.
However, Gill said, board members "copped out" by not choosing Smith for the job.
A 17-member subcommittee of the school board chose three finalists for the school committee to pick a superintendent, a field that was in part narrowed by an anonymous vote in April that violated state Open Meeting Laws, but was made public--a remedy for some violations--when a furor began among residents and officials when Smith was left out of the final candidate’s pool.
Since, the school committee added Smith and another candidate to the pool of superintendent possibilities and earlier this month again narrowed the field to three: Malone, Smith and John Jerome, Brockton’s head of teaching and learning.
Jerome was one of the original finalists selected by the subcommitee.
Jerome had support from several residents, including High School Principal Susan Szachowicz, who was among nearly a dozen residents who spoke at the meeting last night.
Malone, 38, has headed the Swampscott School District for the last four years. He has been special assistant to the superintendent in San Diego, Calif., headmaster in Boston, and assistant middle school principal in Duxbury. He holds a doctorate from Boston College and lives in Roslindale.
Board members Richard Bath and Thomas Minichiello visited Swampscott and said officials, residents and union members praised Malone for his desire to work with students in the schools, including as weight coach for the high school’s football team.
Bath and Minichiello said everyone they spoke with in Swampscott understood Malone was looking for another job, primarily in a city setting, but would still be happy if he stayed.
Initially, Bath and Minichiello said, Malone came under fire in the first years of his tenure in Swampscott over the closing of a school because of budget cuts that resulted in a no-confidence vote by the teacher's union.
Bath said Malone’s “think out loud” style got him in trouble early, but over the last few years, Malone has “matured” and union members said a vote for Malone would be an overwhelming show of support for his administration.
However, Bath and Minichiello supported Smith over Malone, because of her tenure and success in Brockton and Malone’s inexperience.
Other members like James Daley said Malone was the only candidate of the three finalists who had any superintendent’s experience and believes he will move the district forward.
“Smith impressed me the least,” Daley said, adding she had no experience working with a budget. “I was impressed with Jerome, but I was really, really impressed with Malone,” he said.
After two ballots, school committee members voted 4-3 for Malone.
Members James Daley, Patricia Joyce, Brian Foley, and Ronald Dobrowski voted for Malone.
In the first ballot, Dobrowski voted for Jerome, but changed his vote in the second ballot in favor of Malone.
Janice Beyer,Thomas Minichiello and Richard Bath voted for Smith in the second ballot.

School employee pleads not guilty in missing athletics money

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--A 42-year-old former school employee has pleaded not guilty to stealing more than $50,000 from a school athletic fund.
Sharon Nelligan was arraigned in Brockton District Court this morning on a charge of larceny over $250, although police have said she paid back the missing money soon after an investigation was launched in March.
She allegedly took $50,979 from a high school account that supports athletics.
She is expected back in court Aug. 17.
Nelligan worked for the school department for 13 years. She resigned her position as assistant to Athletic Director Thomas Kenney in March, when allegations surfaced about the missing money.

School head pick expected tonight

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--The school committee tonight is expected to choose a superintendent of schools, and possibly end a contentious selection process that has had the committee add and delete names to a list of finalists twice.
The committee is holding a special meeting tonight at 7 p.m. at the George Romm Little Theater at Brockton High School.
Members have said the public will have a chance to comment.
The finalists are: John R. Jerome, Brockton’s director of teaching and learning for grades six to eight; Kathleen Smith, Brockton's director of community schools and after school programs and current Swampscott Superintendent Mathew Malone.
Last month Kathleen Smith was added to an original list of three finalists after members of a screening committee that made the selections made public their concerns over the process and Smith's rejection as a candidate for the full school committee.
After an outcry, school committee members added Smith and another candidate, Taunton Superintendent Arthur Stellar to the original list of finalists.
Since the committee has pared the names to Jerome, Smith and Malone.
The superintendent's position will be vacant at the end of the month when Basan Nembirkow, retires.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"City Lights" Dazzles, Delights

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--City officials and residents stepped back into the 1950s during Saturday night's "City Lights" gala party that featured poetry readings and live jazz in honor of the Beat generation.
About 200 people attended the bash held at the main branch of the public library.
Ande Diaz, (pictured above with husband Peter McCaffrey), said if it wasn't for the public library she would not have completed her dissertation to earn her Ph.d
"This library provided me the support I needed to complete my doctorate," Diaz said, as the last strains of a blues riff played by Strange Cat People wound down the evening.
Proceeds from the $50 black-tie event support the library, the historical society and the Brockton Society for Poetry and the Arts.
Bruce Hammond, one of the event's organizers (pictured at right) and whose art work fills the library, said the event was a hit with participants and volunteers.
"I couldn't be happier with the turnout," Hammond said as he sipped a drink from the bar that was set up where books are usually checked out.
"It was a great time," he said.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Block Party Postponed

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Saturday's summer block party has been postponed until next Saturday, June 27.
The party has been rescheduled because of forecasts for heavy rain tomorrow.
The party will be held at the same time--noon to 6 p.m--and same place---the old BAT terminal, near Main Street, behind Joe Angelo's Cafe and Tamboo Restaurant.
Please see post below for more detailed information about the party.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Brockton Man Faces Trial in 30-Year-Old Killing

The trial of a Brockton man who admitted to a shooting in Dorchester 30 years ago began today with his lawyer urging jurors not to believe his confession.
Please see story in today's Boston Globe.

Last Call for Junior Boxers Football Registration

The final registration for the 2009 Brockton Junior Boxers Pop Warner Football season will be held at the Green Cafe at Brockton High School, Wednesday, June 24 from 6 to 9 p.m.
This is the last chance for players, cheerleaders, coaches and other volunteers who may have missed earlier registrations.
Registration forms can be downloaded at http://www.brocktonjuniorboxers.com/.
For more information or questions, contact President John Suter at 508-468-4160 or by e-mail at JohnSuterpresident@brocktonjuniorboxers.org.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summer Block Party Saturday

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—All Brockton residents are invited to the second annual citywide summer Block Party Saturday, June 20 from Noon to 6 p.m.
The event is free and the day will be filled with food, music, children’s games, face painting and a host of other activities.
The party will be held near Main Street at the old BAT Terminal behind Joe Angelo’s CafĂ©, Tamboo Restaurant, and Cristal.
Free parking will be available at the city’s parking garage on the corner of Main and Crescent streets.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Union Concessions Could Avert Library Layoffs

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON—Layoffs at Brockton’s libraries could be averted, however the East and West branches will still close, but officials hope only until September.
“We’re hoping,” said Library Director Harry Williams, noting that has been his mantra throughout the negotiations for next year’s budget.
City Finance Director John “Jay” Condon said last night that library union leaders will offer its members a package for fiscal year 2010 that would prevent the elimination of any library positions—at one point up to 21 people—however it hinges upon $145,000 being moved to the library budget by the city council and agreement of concessions by the library union.
“We have a tentative agreement that will avert any layoffs, but will not prevent branch closings,” Condon told members of the city council during its finance committee meeting.
“We have the money for the people, but not to open the buildings,” he said.
The East and West branches will close June 24, six days before the end of the current fiscal year. In the early stages of developing next year’s budget, 21 employees of the city’s libraries were facing elimination, however 15 were saved when $210,000 of state money slated for renovations at the West branch was shifted for salaries.
To prevent the remaining position cuts, Condon said the Brockton Library Foundation will give the city $59,000 toward salaries from a fund begun several years ago to aid in the renovation of all three libraries.
Another $145,000 will be gained from shifting from savings in other areas of the budget, Condon said, but the new development is in the hands of the library's union members who are expected to vote on the new package Friday.
Condon said another $50,000 to $60,000 is needed to keep the city’s two branch libraries open—money that is not included in next year’s budget.
Condon said if the union approves the concessions employees from the two closed libraries would move to the main branch and the main library’s hours will be extended.
A plan by Mayor James Harrington may reopen the two branches in September, but it requires the approval of federal agencies, Condon said.
The city is expecting $250,000 from the federal government for an after-school tutoring program that will run from September to June.
Condon said Harrington wants to offer the tutoring program at the main library and shift funds from the regular library budget to open the branches—a measure city officials believe will be given the go-ahead, but is not guaranteed.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Brockton Garden Contest Launched

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Council on Aging Director Janice Fitzgerald thinks Brockton is beautiful, and she wants residents to prove it.
With the help of city officials and organizations she has launched "Brockton Blooms!" a contest calling for residents and businesses to show off their beautiful gardens.
"There are a lot of people out there with beautiful gardens," Fitzgerald said, "and we want to let people know about them."
She said the contest is to recognize and honor residents with "green thumbs" who are helping to improve how the city looks.
"I hope people will join me in my efforts to beautify the city," Fitzgerald said.
Residents and businesses are encouraged to nominate their own or a neighbor's garden, window box, front, back, or side yard.
Only gardens planted by amateur growers are eligible. Categories are: window boxes; porch, balcony or deck garden; shade garden; yard gardens that are 200 to 500 square feet; vegetable or herb garden; storefront or business front garden; and school and church garden.
Entrants are required to submit a 4x6 photo of their garden along with an official entry form.
Judges will used the photos to narrow the entrants to five finalists in each category.
Judges will then visit each of the finalists to decide winners in each category.
Judging will be based on general appeal, use of color, definition and neatness, plant material, variety and quality, and garden hardware, furnishings and art.
Prizes will be given to winners and an awards reception will be held in August.
For more information contact Fitzgerald at 508-580-7811.
There is no cost to enter. Entry deadline is Friday, July 17 at 4 p.m.
Nomination packets are available at the Council on Aging and on the city's Website at http://www.brockton.ma.us/Forms/Brockton_Blooms_Nomination_Form.pdf. Nomination forms can be mailed or dropped off at the Council on Aging, 10 Father Kenney Way.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Brockton Post Will Be Back Soon

Brockton Post readers: The Brockton Post will return either by the end of this week or early next.
Circumstances--positive ones--have forced a hiatus, however we believe we will return shortly.
Thank you for your patience.
Lisa E. Crowley