Monday, November 23, 2009

Brockton Holiday Parade Saturday

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--The Downtown Business Association will hold its annual Greater Brockton Holiday Parade Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. The parade steps off at the corner of Main and Belmont streets.
This year's festivities includes free photos with Santa at 10 a.m. and a craft fair and holiday bazaar will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at City Hall.
Also, continuing a tradition that began last year with a plaque commemorating James Edgar--a Brockton merchant credited with being the first department store Santa--hundreds of free red Santa hats will be available at Brockton Public Library where hats can be decorated from 9 a.m. to noon.
The parade is sponsored by Downtown Brockton Association, Montello Business Association, Campello Business Association, Mayor James E. Harrington and the City of Brockton.
For more information and the parade route visit, www.1stdepartmentstoresanta.com

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Johnson Court shooting kills 21-year-old Brockton man

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--State and Brockton Police are looking for suspects in a shooting that left a 21-year-old man dead yesterday afternoon.
Russ Eonas, a spokesman for the Plymouth County District Attorney's office, said police have not arrested any suspects in connection with a shooting at 10 Johnson Court that killed 21-year-old Anthony Hamilton.
"At this time we have no suspects and no one has been arrested," Eonas said.
Eonas said at this time there is no information on how many times Hamilton was shot or where he might have been hit.
Witnesses said shots rang out in the neighborhood near Johnson Court and N. Main Street, near Gowell's Candy Store, at about 1 p.m. yesterday.
Several said they heard up to 10 rapid fire shots .
Dozens of residents came out of their houses to see what was happening, including family and friends of the victim who were crying and hugging near police cars and on sidewalks as law enforcement officials blocked off the area with yellow tape and searched for suspects.
Observers said Hamilton's bullet ridden body was still sprawled on the front steps of the three-story house where he was gunned down, shot in the head several times.
Several witnesses said a teenaged boy, possibly between 14 and 17, was handcuffed and taken into custody by police.
Eonas said he did not have any information on the teenager and repeated no suspects had been identified or arrested.
Frank Fortes, a Rutland Street resident living blocks away from the crime scene, said when he went to pick up his son Justin at a nearby school he ran into a glut of Brockton Police and State Police cruisers and ambulances blocking off streets surrounding Johnson Court and N. Main Street.
Fortes said as he circled the area he saw a large German shepherd sniffing the area and obviously searching for suspects. Moments later a State Police officer placed a leash on the dog and put the shepherd in a vehicle.
He said his neighbor heard 10 gun shots before police and ambulance sirens began arriving in the area.
Fortes, who was at home during the shooting, did not hear the shots, and as he held his son in his arms, said while the neighborhood has its problems, generally it is troublefree and worried about young people in the city.
"This is too close for comfort," Fortes said.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

History times 2 in Brockton election

The Brockton Post
BROCKTON--When newly elected Mayor Linda Balzotti was a little girl, her mother Betty said she never thought either one of her daughters would ever run for any elected seat, never mind winning the mayor's race for the state's sixth largest city.

"I always thought it was a man's job," said Betty Balzotti Tuesday night at the Maui restaurant where Linda Balzotti--moving through a crowd to Tina Turner's hit, "Simply the Best," -was cheered, hugged and applauded for becoming Brockton's first female mayor.

"I'm really proud of her and she's really going to help the people," she said.

Tuesday night Balzotti became the first woman in the city to win the mayor's office, topping two-term incumbent Mayor James Harrington.

Balzotti captured 7,330 votes, or 56.5 percent to Harrington's 5,600, or 43 percent. Election Commisioner John McGeary said 28 percent of Brockton's registered voters went to the polls. He said there were a handful of problems with the voting machines, mostly in Ward 6, precinct C, however none of the ballots would make a difference in any of the races.

In her acceptance speech, Balzotti thanked all of her supporters for their time away from family and hosting pancacke breakfasts, fundraisers and even a rolling-rally of cars filled with supporters Sunday through the streets of Brockton led by a large mobile home covered in stickers that read "Linda-Balzotti for Mayor."

"Who ever thought a little kid growing up in a ranch house on a 5,500 square-foot lot, with no political dynasty behind her, just through hard work became the Mayor of the City of Brockton," Balzotti told the hundreds who squeezed between tables and chairs to hear her victory speech.
Balzotti is not the first woman to run for mayor. Martha Crowell and Gail Kelly ran for mayor but did not win.
Balzotti's election was not the only history making tally Tuesday night, Jass Stewart, who fell short by 700 votes in a bid to unseat Harrington two years ago--became the city's first African-American to win a seat on the city council, placing fourth out of eight candidates.
Stewart, 38, with his partner Denzil Paul, were surrounded by supporters at Progressions Lounge, before moving to Maui restaurant to congratulate Balzotti.
While at Maui Stewart said he is not waiting until Jan. 4 when incumbents and the newly elected candidates are officially sworn in.
"I'm really excited to get to work," Stewart said.
Stewart, a native of Texas, who also won is first elected office, said he ran for mayor twice against Harrington because he felt there was a disconnect between city hall and residents--a problem that he believes he can fix.

"I'll bring persistence, energy, and new ideas," Stewart said.
During the campaign, Balzotti said she ran a clean race and felt that made a difference with people. She would not say who her chief of staff would be and said she would work on her tranisition team after she and volunteers get some sleep.
"It's overwhelming," Balzotti said, taking a deep breath during a brief pause between hugging and taking pictures with family, friends and supporters.
One of her supporters, Jan Brasil, said Harrington's tenure has been marked by a spirit of closed doors and hometown connections.
"We needed a change and Linda brings that change," Brasil said. "We're tired of the old boys network--literally and figuratively," Brasil said.
Many supporters said Balzotti's main points during stump speeches and one-on-one debates with Harrington showed Balzotti is willing to talk about controversial agencies the 21st Century Corporation and Building a Better Brockton and the possible conflicts of some of the members who sit on both boards.
Many also said Balzotti taking Harrington's spot on the school committee will bring a positive change to the seat, especially after this year's search for a superintendent when Harrington did not vote and the job went to an out of towner instead of one of two homegrown candidates.
"Transparency and openess. That's what Linda will bring." Brasil said.