Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chronicle's Richardson Joins Caritas Christi

Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Former Chronicle anchor Mary Richardon is now traveling the main streets and back roads of Brockton, Brighton, Dorchester, Methuen, Fall River, and Norwood as a community liaison for Caritas Christi Health Care.
According to a statement from Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, in her new role Richardson will work within Caritas communities to ensure they are aware and educated about the resources available to them at Caritas' hospitals.
“I wasn’t very good at ‘retiring,’” said Richardson.
“When I was offered the position at Caritas I immediately gave up the idea of reading books on the beach this summer. I’d always known that when I left television I wanted to do something in the area of public service or community work. This job is perfect for me.”
Richardson was co-anchor of WCVB-TV’s Chronicle, the nation’s longest running locally produced nightly newsmagazine.
Richardson joined WCVB in 1980 as a news reporter and anchor. For ten years she co-hosted the annual Holiday at the Pops! celebration and the popular Pops Goes the Fourth! from the Hatch Shell on the Charles River.
Over the years Richardson has worked with a number of Massachusetts charities including Healthcare for the Homeless, Catholic Charities and the Inner City Schools Foundation.
“I’ve visited six hospitals in one week, every one of them bustling with new construction and staffed by world class doctors doing cutting edge medicine. I’ve covered some great stories on Chronicle, but this is one of the most important for the Massachusetts. These community hospitals are valuable resources for job creation, and most importantly for high quality, more affordable health care,” said Richardson.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

60 Years On: Rose Gets Her Pal

Brockton Post
BROCKTON—After graduating from Brockton High School in 1934 and 1938, Pal Astore and Rose Andrews spent the next 60 years getting married, raising families and living their lives separately after being high school sweethearts for more than a year.
About 11 years ago, Astore spied Andrews at Shaw’s as each headed down the same shopping aisle.
“I looked and knew it was her,” said Astore, now 94. (Astore and Andrews pictured above)
Andrews, who turns 89 Thursday, said they always got along as teen paramours, and no matter how hard she tries doesn’t know what happened to their relationship more than 60 years ago.
“We can’t remember why we broke up. We just did,” she said.
Since that chance meeting at the supermarket, the two have rekindled their high school romance, and since about 1999 have been inseparable companions for dinners at Christo’s, movies, and Saturday night were the couple of distinction during an all-Brockton High School reunion.
“It proves true love never dies,” said Geneva Smith, Rose’s younger sister—a Brockton High grad from 1945. The all-class reunion saw about 60 Brockton High grads, spouses and kids dating from the 1930s to the early 2000s.
“I was happy with the turnout,” said Todd Petti, a 1978 grad who organized the reunion held during the Rox game.
In honor of Pal being the oldest Brockton High grad at the event, Pal threw out the first pitch Saturday night.
“I was happy with the turnout and really happy for Pal being able to throw out the first pitch,” Petti said. “Everybody enjoyed being there,” he said. (Petti pictured above in center with fellow 1978 grads Mike Mooney, left and Bob "Pez" Peznola at right)
Hugh McGlone, head of the alumni association said anyone wishing to keep up with alumni events or make a donation, should contact the Brockton High School Alumni Association, via email at BHSALUMNI@bpsma.org or call 508-984-4563.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Campello Neighborhood Gets T-L-C

Brockton Post
BROCKTON—Ebony Graham and Jair Martins wiped sweat that had begun to drip down their faces as they pulled weeds and picked up litter strewn along sidewalks and lawns on Laureston Street in Brockton.
“Wow, these weeds are tough,” Martins said, as he threw a clump of tenacious weeds into a trash bag. “I hope people keep it clean after we leave,” he said.
Graham and Martins, a 26-year-old student at Bridgewater State College, were just two of more than 60 residents and city officials who spent three hours under a sultry Saturday morning sun sprucing up several blocks of streets in the Campello area of the city.
“This is a neighborhood that needs some T-L-C,” said Mayor Linda Balzotti, who wore a “Keep Brockton Beautiful” T-shirt as she helped with the cleanup.
Saturday’s cleanup was the second in a multi-pronged city-wide effort aimed at improving and revitalizing neighborhoods that have become fraught with foreclosures, dilapidated buildings and overrun with crime.
“Hopefully people will see all the work these volunteers have put in and take pride in their neighborhood,” said Robert Jenkins, Director of Housing for Building a Better Brockton Inc., one of several city agencies and boards involved in the effort.
“Even if people are renters and don’t own, we hope they’ll say to themselves, ‘I live here and I’ll keep it clean,’” Jenkins said. (Jenkins, pictured above, helps 14-year-old Brandenn Jenkins, 20-year-old Brandon Cannady, and city employee Rena Oliveira get brooms ready for volunteers)
The city cleanup does not only target neighborhoods for trash pickup and cleaning.
The Brockton Housing Authority has been granted more than $1.2 million from federal and now state funds to purchase dilapidated houses that have gone into foreclosure.
Some are beyond repair and need to be razed.
Others are in the process of being renovated.
Last year, a similar cleanup took place on Pleasant, Prospect, Highland, Goddard, Walnut streets and other avenues near the city center.
The city bought, renovated, repaired and rented several properties in that neighborhood and the moves have been a catalyst for an improved neighborhood and private development.
“We have built a track record of improving some of these areas and now the private sector is taking notice,” said Kevin Harriman, director of housing progress and neighborhood revitalization for the Brockton Housing Authority. “It has changed the area completely,” Harriman said.
The efforts by Harriman and the housing authority have been noticed on a national level.
Last October the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials gave its highest award, the Award of Excellence, for the public-private efforts to revitalize the Prospect-Pleasant Streets area.
Harriman said replacing absentee landlords with housing authority controlled housing increases accountability and lessens the risk of the neighborhood falling back into disrepair.
"If there's a problem someone can pick up the phone and call (housing director) Richard Sergi and get something done instead of wasting time trying to track down an absentee landlord who doesn't care," Harriman said.
The latest phase is the Campello area and includes Sheppard, Laureston, Calmar and Tribou streets and Warren Avenue, where several homes have been bought and will be renovated in the near future.
The group of 60 volunteers Saturday met at what was once a playground on Sheppard Street that had become a dangerous place for children and meeting area for criminal activity.
The vacant lot—which was overhauled prior to the cleanup-- is being eyed for a four-to six-unit condominium or duplex project.
Harriman said the city bought a house on Sheppard and wanted to purchase another, but word spread about the city’s plans for the area and private developers began a bidding war on the second house.
“Initially it would have cost $90,000, but buyers kept bidding and it sold for $180,000,” Harriman said.
“The program has been a catalyst,” he said.
At 170 Laureston, the city has bought a two-family house and renovations should be completed in three months.
On Saturday 170 Laureston had its first cleanup when a group of men and women who are working off court fines and fees for various offenses with the Trial Court Community Service Program, ripped down a six-foot resin fence that was on its last legs and piled up nearly a dozen bags of debris, tree limbs and a handful of old tires.
Marc Bloom, 51, of Brockton, (pictured above with Kimberly Moore removing a fence from 170 Laureston ) one of the Trial Court “volunteers” working at 170 Laureston said he actually felt proud to help out and hopes the city’s efforts work.
“They’re trying to make Brockton a cleaner, safer place to be,” Bloom said.
Brooms, rakes, trash bags, gloves and other items were donated by Home Depot whose workers also helped with the cleanup.
Paint Department Supervisor Ebony Graham, a 23-year-old Brockton native now living in Bridgewater, couldn’t stop pulling weeds and picking up trash.
She and Martins continued cleaning as they walked back to Sheppard Street for a noon lunch provided by Jeano’s Restaurant and Cape Cod CafĂ©.
“It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of sweat,” she said as she pulled a ring of weeds that surrounded a tree on a Laureston street sidewalk and threw debris into a Brockton Highway Department truck.
Although the work was tiresome and the sun hot, Graham (pictured above in Home Depot apron) surveyed the work she and Martins had completed along the street and wished there was a way to show what it looked like before and how it looked after their efforts.
“It’s not that hard to keep your streets clean,” Graham said. “People need to take pride in their neighborhood and community,” she said.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Federal Flood Money Deadline Extended

Brockton Post
BROCKTON—Brockton and all Massachusetts residents and businesses now have until July 12 to apply for reimbursement for flood damage after the Federal Emergency Management Agency has extended for the second time the deadline to file applications.
Darby Duffin, a spokesman for FEMA, said people have until the end of the business day Monday, July 12 to receive federal money for the massive floods that took place in March.
“Both state and FEMA officials felt the numbers of people and percentage of people involved warrants an extension,” Duffin said.
Until this extension, residents had until Monday, June 28 to apply.
Duffin said as of Wednesday FEMA has received 1,377 applications for reimbursement and has allocated more than $2.43 million to Brockton residents through its individual and household program.
Across the state, Duffin said, more than 36,434 Massachusetts residents have filed applications and FEMA has approved more than $53.48 million through the individual and household program.
He said FEMA would only reimburse residents for the amount of damage not covered by their homeowners or business insurance.
“We’ll cover anything their insurance isn’t covering,” Duffin said. “If their insurance didn’t cover the entire cost to replace or repair, we’ll pay the difference,” he said.
To apply for assistance, visit FEMA’s website at www.fema.gov. Residents can file applications online or by telephone by calling 1-800-621-3362.
The application process is fairly simple, Duffin said, but the site notes residents should have ready their social security number, insurance policy information, household gross income at the time of the disaster and direct deposit information for their bank account.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Brockton Biz Gets $500,000 Lift

Brockton Post
Brockton—A 50-year-old family owned Brockton printing company has been granted a $500,000 business loan from the Massachusetts Community Development Finance Corporation--an infusion of cash that modernizes the company and staves off layoffs.
The company’s vice-president, John Doherty, (Pictured below with night Foreman Tim Ashland) said the Pleasant Street company has used the loan to buy a more than 50-foot long six color printing press that has helped the company modernize and avoid any layoffs of its 41 employees.
“Things are going faster and things need to get done in a matter of days versus a matter of weeks,” Doherty said. “The new press helps us stay competitive,” he said.
The new press can print up to 13,000 pages an hour, Doherty said. (Above Jim Morgan, a 20-year veteran of the company, pulls pages off the new press)
The Massachusetts Community Development Corporation, or CDFC, approved the loan earlier this month.
The printing company, which has more than 500 customers, was begun by Doherty’s grandfather James Doherty in Boston on Atlantic Avenue in the 1940s and was primarily an advertising agency.
His son, also named James, followed in his father's footsteps and expanded the company by purchasing Standard Modern Printing in 1974 which operated on Centre Street in Brockton.
James Jr. merged the two operations into what it is today--a full-service commercial design, printing, marketing and consulting firm that prints books, magazines, newsletters and brochures for a myriad of businesses, including Ivy League universities and political campaigns.
The company moved to Stoughton in the 1980s and then moved to its current Pleasant Street building in 1992.
For more than 50 years the company has been in the Doherty family.
Doherty’s brother Ron is general manager and sister Linda Smith took over as president and majority shareholder eight years ago.
Smith could not be reached for comment, but said in a statement the infusion of capital could not have come at a better time.
"It's a wonderful thing," Smith said. "We definitely would have been cutting jobs otherwise,” she said.
Massachusetts Community Development Finance Corporation President Andres Lopez said the Brockton company is an example of a business the quasi-public agency looks to help.
"Standard Modern is a long-time, successful business that needed some help to continue being stable and profitable," Lopez said in a statement.
"CDFC is particularly suited to provide the kind of financing in this tight lending market that will help this company move its business plan forward while securing more than 40 local jobs,” he said.
The CDFC is a quasi-public corporation that offers small businesses lines of credit, interest bearing loans, and surety bonds for investment and growth.
In May 2009 the CDFC and Gov. Deval Patrick approved a $500,000 loan to CCS Environmental, bringing the city’s total to $1 million from the corporation.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brockton State Trooper's Funeral Wednesday

Brockton Post
BROCKTON--A 27-year State Police trooper from Brockton will be buried Wednesday after he was killed by an alleged drunk driver Friday night during a two-car accident in Mansfield.
Visiting hours for Weddleton will be held today from 1:15 to 7:15 p.m. at Our Lady of the Lourdes Church in Brockton.
City officials said West, Torrey and Belmont Streets will be closed during the wake and funeral. Thousands of friends and police are expected to attend and travelers should seek alternate routes.
For more information about the accideent that killed Sgt. Douglas Weddleton and funeral arrangements please visit today's Boston Globe.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Skin Cancer Program at Good Sam

Brockton Post
BROCKTON--BROCKTON - Good Samaritan Medical Center will offer a free community education program on skin cancer.
The program will be held Thursday, June 24th from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Radiation Oncology Center, 818 Oak Street, on the main campus of Good Samarian, located at 235 N. Pearl Street.
The program will be presented by Dr. Leera Briceno of South Shore Dermatology; Dr. G. Stephen Brown, chief, division of radiation oncology; Dr. Rohini Sakhuja, chair, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; and Dr. Daniel Sigman, chief, division of plastic surgery at Good Samaritan.
Light refreshments will be served. To register please call the Caritas DoctorFinder at 1-800-488-5959.
More information is available at www.CaritasGoodSam.org.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Casino Night at Rox Supports Brockton Schools, Students

Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Tomorrow night's Brockton Rox game will be a special night when city organizations host a Casino Night to raise money for Brockton's schools and students.
The casino night begins at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Shaw's Center during the Rox game.
Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at the door.
Mayor Linda Balzotti, former Mayors James Harrington and Jack Yunits, and owner of Merian's Tuxes, John Merian are expected to man some of the gaming tables during the event.
There will be complimentary appetizers and a silent auction and raffle.
All proceeds will benefit Brockton Community Schools and Brockton Youth Foundation.
Anyone who cannot make the game but wishes to make a donation can contact Bill at 508-584-2506.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cerberus-Caritas Merger Hearing in Brockton Tonight

Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Representatives of Cerberus Capital Management and state officials will hold a public hearing tonight in Brockton, the first in six that will be held to allow the $834 million sale of the Boston Archdiocese-owned Caritas Christi Health Care medical network, including Good Samaritan Medical Center on N. Pearl Street.
The hearing will be held at 6 p.m. at Manthala George Jr. Elementary School, 180 Colonel Bell Drive.
All residents are welcome to make comments about the proposed sale. The state Department of Public Health and Attorney General's office are holding the required public hearing.
When the proposed deal became public in March, many were concerned about Cerberus, a newly-created private equity firm, straying from the charitable mission of the Catholic Archdiocese's six hospitals and pension and wage issues.
However, in a statement, Veronica Turner, vice-president of United Health Care Workers East 1199SEIU, which represents the state's largest health care union and Brockton's Good Samaritan, said an initial review of Cerberus' filings with the Attorney General's office have alleviated some of those concerns.
"The report contains positive news about what the new funding will do to bolster job security for Caritas workers and improve patient care at our hospitals. The members of 1199SEIU will continue to follow this issue closely with a focus on ensuring our shared mission with Caritas of maintaining quality jobs and quality care for our communities," Turner said.
As part of the deal, Cerberus agreed to continue renovation and expansion projects that had been planned at several of the network hospitals. Good Samaritan held a ground-breaking ceremony last month to commemorate a new $30 million emergency department.
The public files also state Cerebrus will operate the six hospitals under the name Steward Hospital Holdings LLC.
Christopher Murphy, spokesman for Caritas Christi Healthcare, said Good Samaritan will retain its name.
He said another essential part of the deal is Cerberus' agreement to pick-up the tab for about 13,000 healthcare workers in the network who are being paid or will be paid pensions upon retirement.
Murphy said with the 2008 stock market crash, like many organizations, Caritas witnessed a depreciation in value of its investments that resulted in a shortfall in the system's pension fund.
An estimate of the shortfall has not been released, Murphy said, but of an agreed upon $430 million investment by Cerberus which includes not only capital projects, but also other financial needs such as the pension funds.
"The nice thing about it is they are not only guaranteeing the pensions fund, but have also agreed to fully fund it," Murphy said. "It's not a one-time check. It really means Caritas pensioners don't have any worries about their pensions in the future," he said.
Hearings will also be held in Norwood, Brighton, Fall River, Methuen, and Dorchester--all communities with a Caritas Christi facility.
All hearings will be held at 6 p.m.
To view hearing dates and locations please visit Attorney General's office

Monday, June 7, 2010

Smilin' Back To Boston


Brockton Post
BROCKTON--Boston Celtics Coach Doc Rivers lets his body language show how impressive veteran Ray Allen's performance was in the first half of last night's game 2 against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Allen sank 7 3-point shots in the first half to tie the NBA record for the most 3-pointers in an NBA final game, which had been held by Chicago Bulls Scottie Pippen and Orlando Magic's Kenny Smith--until now.
Allen was 7-for-7 before missing the eighth shot on his way to tying the record and the way Allen was shooting it looked as if he would crush the old record. He had 27 of his 32 points before the half. He finished the game 11 of 20 in field goals.

He drained the 8th and record-setting basket at 4:42 left in the third quarter. The Celtics head back to Boston for game three Tuesday night with a record in Allen's pocket and a crucial road victory in LA. The 103-94 Celtics win ties the best of seven series at 1-1.
I took these photos off the television as the Celtics went into the locker room for half with a 6-point lead.
It was such a great moment, such a great Boston Celtics moment and sports broadcast shot--I wished I had a picture--or was actually watching it live at the game, but I'm not Jack Nicholson. I realized I had recorded the game. I rewinded ABC's broadcast on my DVR during half-time.
I freeze-framed the two images and took some shots to see how they would come out. I cropped them to cut out the TV's borders and such and enlarged the image.
These are the results.
Go Celtics!