Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Primary Election Today

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for today's primary that will set the stage for November's general election.
Today voters will cut mayoral candidates from four to 2. Candidates are Mayor James Harrington who is looking for a third term; Linda Balzozzi who did not seek reelection as councilor -at-large to run for mayor; newcomer Stephen Walsh, a technician with WHDH-TV who is the only mayoral candidate who supports the power plant; and Arnold Greenblatt, who has run for several years and has owned a full-service travel agency in the city for 50 years.
Balzotti's decision not seek another term as councilor-at-large has brought out 11 candidates for one open seat and three positions that have three candidates seeking reelection to their 2-year seats.
Residents can choose four candidates in the councilor-at-large race.
Robert Sullivan, Thomas Brophy and Todd Petti are seeking reelection.
Opposing them are Jass Stewart, who came close to unseating Harrington in the mayor's race two years ago; Fred Fontaine, a long-time businessman who speaks five languages; Richard J. Zaccaro, a financial analyst and consultant who as chairman of the Cable Advisory Committee helped gain the city nearly $1 million a year from Comcast Cable; retired school teacher Gerald Conefrey; volunteer and activist John C. Williams; movie industry technician and activist Patrick Quinn; Treasurer of Brockton's Democratic Committee Larry A. Curtis Jr.; and Harvard University graduate and government employee Marc Lucas.
Three candidates for school committee--ward 3 are seeking two spots in the primary. Incumbent Janice Beyer is being challenged by Anthony Joseph Donegan Jr. and Ronald Matta.
To find your ward and voting locations click here for the city's Election Commission Website at http://www.brockton.ma.us/Departments/elections.aspx

Friday, September 11, 2009

Former Brockton Building Commissioner Faces Corruption Charges

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--After an investigation which includes recordings of secret meetings, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston has arrested Brockton's former Building Commissioner on charges he orchestrated kickbacks for asbestos removal on the Veteran's War Memorial Building.
Acting U.S. Attorney Michael K. Loucks announced today Joseph L. Vasapollo Jr., 66, of Brockton was charged in an indictment with three counts of extortion under color of official right and one count of bribery during an investigation into payments to an unnamed Norwood-based contractor.
Vasapollo appeared in U.S. District Court in Boston this afternoon for an initial appearance on the charges and entered a not guilty plea, said Brandy Donini-Melanson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Donini-Melanson said Vasapollo is expected back in court Oct. 19 for an initial status conference.
Magistrate Judge Leo Sorokin, Donini-Melanson said, ordered Vasapollo released on a $10,000 unsecured bond. Vasapollo must turnover his passport and he is restricted to travel within New England.
Donini-Melanson said Vasapollo was directed to turn over any guns to the Brockton Police, but she is unsure if this is a standard order or if Vasapollo owns any firearms.
Donini-Melanson said Vasapollo was arrested this morning at his Brockton home.
The indictment states Vasapollo, who has been on unpaid sick leave since April, directed the contractor to break up payments for the work into installments under $5,000 to avoid city and state contract bidding laws and he alone would be authorized to approve payments.
Vasapollo has been the head of the building department since 2003.
The indictment alleges Vasapollo accepted $4,000 in kickbacks from the contractor and in one excerpt of three secretly recorded meetings is alleged to have insisted they continue the kickback arrangement with new asbestos removal projects, saying they should "keep the flow, and make a couple of bucks on the side."
After the work was completed, the indictment states, Vasapollo approved the city's payment of $15,000 to the contractor.
The city is renovating the war memorial building into a performing arts center.
If convicted on the charges, Vasapollo faces up to 70 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release and a $1,000 fine.
A call to Vasapollo's home telephone was unanswered.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

9/11 Remembrance Set for Friday

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--The City of Brockton will hold it's annual 9/11 Day Remembrance, Friday, Sept. 11 at 10 a.m.
The program will include students and teachers from Plouffe Academy, Brockton Firefighter's Pipes and Drums, the police and fire department Honor Guard, and other presentations.
All residents are invited to the event which will be held at City Hall Plaza.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Summer Sunday in the Park Rescheduled

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--The City of Brockton's Summer Sunday in the Park postponed from last Sunday has been rescheduled to Sunday, Sept. 13.
The event will be held at D.W. Field Park from Noon to 6 p.m.
There will be food, entertainment, hayrides, a children's obstacle course and moonwalk, along with a myriad of other games and activities.
All Brockton residents are invited. Admission is free.
The event is sponsored by the Mayor's Office, Project Guardian Angels and Brockton After Dark.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Rox Play For Ring--Not Record

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Brockton Rox bench coach Ed Nottle said setting a new franchise record for wins is an important milestone, but Rox players are keeping their eye on the real prize.
"For a team, the whole thing is to get into the playoffs and win the ring," Nottle said.
Tuesday night the Rox broke the club's franchise record for wins by beating the New Hampshire American Defenders in a dramatic come-from-behind, extra-innings victory.
The win beat the old record of 50 set five years ago when Nottle was head coach.
"It was my record they broke," Nottle said. (pictured at right talking to pitcher John Kelly)
The team is expected to accumulate a few more wins as the season wraps up Monday following a four-game series against the Worcester Tornadoes in Worcester.
After the Worcester series the team travels to Quebec for the opening game of the playoffs.
Last night the Rox added win 52 to the record. (Pitcher Jeff Long, pictured above, named Can-Am League Player of the Week, was the starting pitcher in last night's 52nd win, but did not factor in the scoring.)
Coach Chris Carminucci said the record is an incentive for the players to perform at a high level heading into postseason play.
The Rox secured a playoff berth last week and Carminucci said the goal of setting a record will help keep players focused and give them something to play for as the season winds down.
"We're a streaky team," Carminucci said. "Hopefully this will help us play the way we can, because if we don't we can easily lose in the playoffs," he said.
Carminucci said the team does not have enough games left to set the Can-Am League record, which is believed to be 65 wins.
The team opens the playoffs Thursday in Quebec for the first of two games in the semifinals.
The team that wins three of five games will move on to the finals and take on the winner of the New Jersey-Worcester matchup.

Quebec leads the standings with a 29-14 record, followed by the Rox at 26-17. Quebec has won six in a row and the Rox four.
Rox President Jack Yunits said he is thrilled with the team's play and is hoping for another championship banner to hang at Campanelli Stadium.
"Whoever is the winner of the Quebec-Rox matchup could very well be the champs," Yunits said.
The Rox haven't won the title since 2003.
Yunits said the only disappointment this season has been the numerous days of rain this summer and a roiling economy that has put a damper on attendance.
He said attendance is down about 400 patrons a night.
"We'll make it through," Yunits said, adding, "Go Rox."
(Mayor James Harrington pictured above, left, threw out the ceremonial first pitch at last night's Rox game).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

51 Wins for Brockton Rox

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Behind an 11th inning bases-loaded single by designated hitter Palmer Karr, the Brockton Rox last night set a franchise record, walking off with the team's 51st win of the season at Campanelli Stadium.
Karr's 11th-inning game-winning single wasn't the only drama during the record-setting night.
New Hampshire's American Defenders had a 4-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.
With one out, right-fielder Keith Brachold crushed a pitch that went over the stadium fence and bounced off the Caritas Good Samaritan picnic tent in right field--putting the game into extra innings.
It was Brachold's third home run in as many games.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Brockton Power, Planning Board Meet Tonight

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Brockton Power LLC, the company that has proposed a 350-megawatt natural gas power plant on Brockton's south side will meet with the city Planning Board tonight at City Hall.
The meeting is a continuation of public hearings for site plan approval for a switchyard, one component of the electric plant's overall project.
The Planning Board meeting begins at 7 p.m. Brockton Power LLC is one of five items on the board's agenda. To view the agenda: http://www.brockton.ma.us/Government/Meetings/Planning_Agenda.pdf