Monday, April 30, 2012

City Issues In Sights Of "An Outside View"

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—Former city council candidate Richard Zaccaro is the newest face on the lineup of shows on Brockton Community Access Channel 9.
Zaccaro and a crew of helpers are working on the third episode of “An Outside View,” a question-and-answer talk show about Brockton and regional issues.
The title, “An Outside View,” Zaccaro said, is a signal to all residents in the community that he is interested in hearing from all members of the community on all kinds of issues.
“The purpose is to allow ordinary citizens of Brockton the opportunity to speak openly and freely,” Zaccaro said. “It’s an opportunity for people to speak their peace,” he said.
Each episode is about 30 minutes and highlights an issue or story about the city.
Zaccaro, 58, is an elected member of the Plymouth County Charter Commission and chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission and Trust Fund Commission. He has run for city council and is a self-employed third party marketing representative.
Zaccaro said he is excited to get the show off the ground. It has been in the works for nearly a year.
“We really want residents to join in and talk about the issues in the city,” Zaccaro said.
The first episode features Eddie Byers, co-owner of Cindy’s Kitchen and a leader of StopthePower, who talks about doing business in Brockton, his roots in the city of Brockton, business background and the success of Cindy’s Kitchen—a growing all natural salad dressing and marinade business.
The show is taped once a month on the last Tuesday of the month from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Residents are welcome to watch the tapings at the cable studio at 1 North Main St.
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Friday, April 27, 2012

BHS Drama Club To Host "Grease"

BrocktonPost

BROCKTON--Brockton High's Drama Club will host performances of the ever-popular musical "Grease" Friday, May 11 and Saturday May 12 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a matinee Sunday, May 13 at 6 p.m. at the Edwin A. Nelson
Fine Arts Building at Brockton High School.
Tickets are $12. They are on sale now at the main office of Brockton High. Tickets will be sold day-of-show while seats last.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Enviro Day At Library Saturday

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--The Brockton Public Library will host "enviro day," Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The days events will include information about the environment, conservation, gardening and outdoor recreation, and houseplant advice.
There will also be a presentation by bird expert Bob Hurd,  "Books in Bloom” activities for kids and much more.
The event is free.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Outrun Homelessness At Borderland, April 28

BrocktonPost

BROCKTON--Lace up your sneakers and get ready to run or walk with School on Wheels of Massachusetts at its Outrunning Homelessness Race & Fun Walk on April 28 at Borderland State Park in Easton.

There will be a 5K run and a 2 mile walk.

The event is open to people of all ages and abilities, including competitive runners, children, families, and teens. Individuals and teams are invited to participate.
To preregister please visit School on Wheels website at sowma.org

Preregistration is $20. Registration on the day of the event is $25. Family walk registration is $75.

Registration on day of the event begins at 8 a.m.

The event will kick-off at 9 a.m. Borderland State Park in Easton.

There will be T-shirts for the first 100 runners who register on-line, prizes for each race category winner and refreshments.

Proceeds will benefit children experiencing homelessness in Brockton, Middleboro, New Bedford, Norwell, Quincy, and Stoughton.

The mission of School on Wheels Massachusetts is to educate children impacted by homelessness by providing academic support and one-on-one mentoring so children can reach their potential.

School on Wheels is also nearing the end of a "100 Families Challenge," a fundraising drive that asks families--100 or more--to donate $100 toward a $10,000.

If School on Wheels can collect $10,000 by April 30, the Weed Family has pledged to donate $10,000.

Those interested in donating can find more information on Schools on Wheels' website at sowma.org.

Natural Gas Company Tests Oak Hill Way Pipelines

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--Some residents may have seen a fiery burst of flame on Oak Hill Way in Brockton this morning.
According to a prepared statement from Algonquin Gas Transmission issued April 4, the natural gas company is conducting an inspection and maintenance program that began Monday, April 23 and will last until Friday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A video of a flare can be seen at the new website for Richard Zaccaro's cable show "An Outside View" by clicking here.
Algonquin, located at 20 Oak Hill Way, is engaged in an Integrity Management Program to internally inspect and maintain its pipelines as required by the US Department of Transportation safety and maintenance regulations.
The program is designed to improve the safety and reliability of natural gas transmission pipeline systems.
The program involves “pigging” of the pipeline.
Cylindrical devices called pigs are placed in the pipeline and moved along the pipeline by natural gas. The pigging process includes cleaning and calibration measurements of the pipeline.
This data is analyzed to validate the integrity of the pipeline.
Pigging works best within a specific range of gas flows or speed that the pig moves through the pipeline.
In order to properly inspect the pipeline it is necessary to divert natural gas through a designed flare system located adjacent to the meter station.
Algonquin personnel will be present during the entire operation.
What this means is:
1. A temporary stack, about 80 feet high, will be erected.

2. During the flare off, a large flame will be visible from the top of the stack.

3. The process will make a loud noise, described as louder than a jet engine.

Company officials said there is no cause for alarm and there will be no danger whatsoever to persons or property in the area.
Natural gas flaring is a routine and safe procedure, however it has not been used at this location. Algonquin was expected to schedule and pay for police and fire department details during this procedure.

Commission Proposes New Plymouth County Charter

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--SUBMITTED BY PLYMOUTH COUNTY COMMISSIONER ANTHONY O'BRIEN:
The Plymouth County Charter Study Commission held its final meeting on April 17 in Hanover and approved a proposed new charter.
In its 385 year history, Plymouth County has not had a Charter as it is not required since Mass. General Laws govern county government.
Supporters of a charter say it will give the county more administrative, legal, and financial authority.
The 19 member Charter Commission was elected in 2010 to consider either abolishing county government in Plymouth County or proposing a charter.
In the 1990's, 8 of 14 county governments in the state were abolished.
Last year, the commission voted to not abolish Plymouth County government.
Highlights of the proposed charter include increasing the number of commissioners from 3 to 5, changing Advisory Board members from elected to appointed, and creating a provision to recall elected officials that citizens may be dissatisfied with.
The County Advisory Board is the legislative branch that approves the county budget.
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Monday, April 23, 2012

Capstone Awaits May State Money Decision

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—The principal of Capstone Communities is waiting for a decision from the state Department of Housing and Community Development expected in May about whether or not a nearly $4 million grant to rebuild the so-called Knight Building will be approved.
“There are 52 applicants and only 8 will get it,” said Jason Korb, during last Thursday’s Ward 2 meeting at George’s CafĂ©. “If we get it in May we can be in the ground by August,” he said.
The state housing grant is the last, and an integral piece in a project to convert the Knight Building, also the century-long location of Stall and Dean, into a 25-unit market and subsidized, 1 and 2 bedroom apartment complex.
He said he has high hopes for approval, but there is no guarantee.
“Brockton really needs this, Brockton really wants this,” Korb said. “It’s Brockton’s turn,” he said.
Korb told an audience of more than 50 residents and officials that if the nearly $4 million grant is approved in this round of funding, the company will reapply and try again.
Korb said the money would add to the nearly $4 million already received from state and federal historic grants.
When asked by an audience member what’s in it for him and Capstone, Korb said he has put up much of his own savings—a more than 6-digit figure his wife and family think may be too much--and because of the way the state housing grant is written, he and Capstone are required to maintain and manage the property for at least 15 years.
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Playground 'Miracle' For JFK School

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—When students at John F. Kennedy Elementary School return from vacation next week, they will have something that hasn’t been available to them in many, many years: a new playground.
A steady cadre of parents and volunteers have been installing the school’s playground since last week when volunteers from the city’s public works department used a bulldozer to grade and flatten a swath of land in front of the school that had become a broken-down, and according to parents, unsafe area for youngsters.
After this week, it will boast a safe and modern playground with corkscrew slide, monkey bars, climbing wall and a host of other play stations that are part of a $25,000 playground earned by the school through a contest hosted by Miracle Recreation Equipment.
“This was really a community effort,” said Jenna Giannaros, a teacher at the school and one of many parents and staff members who spearheaded a drive to rebuild the school’s playground.
“It’s our little miracle,” Giannaros said.
Giannaros and other committee members thanked everyone in the community for their help making the dream of a new playground a reality.
The drive began several years ago with fundraisers, but took a decided turn when the playground committee entered Miracle Equipment’s contest last November.
The contest included voting from the community on Miracle’s website, an essay on why the school was deserving of the new playground and a video—aided by Brockton Community Cable Access’ Noube Rateau—that showed the old playground and interviews with parents, staff and students explaining why the school should win the grand prize.
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PD, Library Talk At Ward 2 Meeting Tonight

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--Ward 2 City Councilor Thomas Monahan will host a ward meeting tonight, April 19 at George's Cafe from 7 to 9 p.m.
Guest speakers include from the police department new Chief Emanuel Gomes and Neighborhood Watch coordinator Officer Bill Healy and new library Director Elizabeth Wolfe, and Jason Korb, who is working to rebuild the former Stahl and Dean building on Montello St. Also expected to appear are state Rep. Michael Brady and the four candidates running for the open 11th Plymouth state representative seat. There will be a raffle and appetizers. The meeting is open to all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Keep Brockton Beautiful Saturday

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--Keep Brockton Beautiful Day will take place Saturday, April 21 at Heights Crossing, 35 Christy's Dr.
Registration begins at 8 a.m. The clean-up will run from 9 a.m. to about Noon. The clean-up will be held rain or shine.
At Noon participants are invited to a cookout at Heights Crossing in Brockton. For more information call the recycling depot at 508-580-7827.
(BrocktonPost.com file photo)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Area Firefighter Recruits Inducted Into Departments

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--Area firefighters and their families gathered Thursday, April 12 for an induction ceremony that included new firefighters in Brockton, East Bridgewater, Hanover, Abington and Needham.
Nine of the firefighters will begin work in Brockton.
Brockton's new firefighters are:
Christian Bugbee, James Campbell, Charles Davis, III, Jason Gould, John Medairos, Corey Poudrier, Mario Rizzo, Daniel J. Santry, and Nathan Thellen.
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Happy Patriots Day!!

BrocktonPost
CONCORD--Thousands of men, women and children celebrated "the shot heard 'round the world," during weekend activities at Minuteman National Park marking the 237th anniversary of American Colonials firing on the British Army in the first battles of the American Revolution.
Here are a few pics from the presentation and demonstration of the skirmish at North Bridge in Concord, when after the first shot at Lexington on April 19, 1775, about 400 Americans fired on about 95 British soldiers who were attempting to take the bridge.
It was the second battle of the American Revolution. Hundreds gathered at the North Bridge to hear a presentation and watch demonstrations of British and Colonial firing drills Monday as part of numerous events remembering the opening of the American Revolution.
The demonstrations and presentations were followed by the annual parade from the Minuteman Monument to Concord Center.
(Photos Lisa E. Crowley)


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Library "Food For Fines" Week Until 4/14

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--Help Brockton Public Library celebrate National Library Week with “Food For Fines” from Monday, April 9 through Saturday, April 14.
The library will waive your overdue fines in exchange for one nonperishable, unexpired, unopened food or personal care item per dollar owed.
No candy, gum, or soda. Pet food is accepted. Value of the item does not have to equal one dollar--for example, bring in three cans of tomato paste that you purchased for $1, and have $3 taken off your overdue fines.
Amnesty extends to overdue fines only if material is returned in good condition.
Amnesty does not extend to the following:
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Brockton PD Website Set For Upgrade

By Lisa E. Crowley
BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—Along with continuing numerous programs already in place in the department, new Police Chief Emanuel Gomes is enacting some new changes in the department, including revamping the department’s website.
“It should be soon,” Gomes said after a Ward 3 meeting Tuesday night held by City Councilor Dennis Eaniri at the John F. Kennedy School.
Gomes, who was named permanent police chief a few weeks ago, said the department has upgraded its software and expects to have a new and improved website in the next week or so.
“It was supposed to be this week two weeks ago, but they’re behind about a week,” Gomes said.
Some of the new features will include a live or “close to live” Brockton police daily log of calls personnel respond to.
Gomes said the department will also broadcast a 24-hour scanner from the site.
Gomes’ comments came after the Ward 3 meeting during which he introduced himself to the about 20 residents who attended the meeting.
Crime watch coordinator Officer Bill Healy gave residents an update on recent arrests of people suspected of about 150 home and vehicle break-ins in the area of Pine, Bouve and Forest Avenue since January.
Healy said the confidential and anonymous tip-line helped identify the alleged culprits and although sometimes catching the bad guys can take time, police believe the arrests will curb a large portion of the break-ins.
“These types of things take a lot of time,” Healy said.
Also attending the meeting was Thomas Healy, the new general manager for the Brockton Rox who talked about the Rox’s move from the professional Can-Am League to the Futures Collegiate League.
Healy said the Rox have high hopes for the season and are counting on the families and friends of players on the team to come to Campanelli Stadium for games and return the ballpark to its heyday in 2001 and 2002.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fuller Craft Celebrates Life Of Actor Paul Robeson

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—The Fuller Craft Museum will host a special program, “A Night with Paul Robeson” to celebrate the life and career of pioneer actor, singer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson. Robeson, who may be best known in the US for his rendition of “Old Man River” from the musical “Showboat,” will be remembered not only for his work in the theatre, in Hollywood and as a part of the famed Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, but also for his role as a civil rights leader on the world stage.
All are welcome and the event is free.
Fuller officials said April 9 marks Robeson’s 114th birthday and the Fuller Craft Museum, along with Indaba Theatre of New England and Berklee College of Music will celebrate his life and accomplishments with an evening of live music and drama.
The night will begin at 6 p.m. with a rendition of “Old Man River” and other classic Robeson songs for piano and voice performed by baritone Aaron Ray.
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ward 3 Meeting Tonight

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--Ward 3 City Councilor Dennis Eaniri will hold a ward meeting tonight at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School at 7 p.m.
Expected to speak are new Police Chief Emanuel Gomes and Brockton Rox CEO Mike Canina.
The meeting is open to all members of the public.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Vadala, Landerholm Headline BHS Spring Concert

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON—Brockton High’s music department will take to the stage Tuesday night for its annual spring concert which will feature internationally-acclaimed woodwind artist Chris Vadala and a presentation of the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award to Carl W. Landerholm.
Vadala, best known for his work with the Chuck Mangione Quartet, will be a featured performer during the Brockton High School Spring Concert Tuesday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Vadala is a saxophone professor and director of jazz Studies at the University of Maryland.
Vadala will perform with the Advanced Concert Band and conduct a workshop with students during the school day.
The concert is being sponsored by the Brockton Rotary Club and some of the proceeds will benefit an outdoor amphitheater the club is building in honor of the late John Drystadt, a long-time Rotarian and music lover who supported the BHS Music Department.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cahill, Staffers Indicted On Fraud, Corruption Charges

BrocktonPost
BOSTON – Former State Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill has been indicted on public corruption charges for his alleged role in orchestrating an advertising campaign for the State Lottery, funded with taxpayer dollars, that was intended to assist his 2010 campaign for governor, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Monday.
Timothy P. Cahill, age 53, of Quincy, was indicted this morning by a Suffolk County Grand Jury on one count of violating the State Ethics Law, specifically use of official position to obtain unwarranted privilege, and conspiracy to violate the State Ethics Law, Coakley said in a prepared statement released Monday, April 2.
Cahill was also indicted on one count of procurement fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit procurement fraud.
Scott Campbell, age 41, of Quincy, Cahill’s former chief of staff at the Treasury and former campaign manager, was also indicted on similar charges.
Campbell was indicted on one count each of conspiracy to violate the State Ethics Law and procurement fraud, and conspiracy to commit procurement fraud.
In addition, Alfred J. Grazioso, Jr., age 57, of Quincy, the Lottery’s former chief of staff, was also indicted today on two counts of obstruction of justice.
“We allege that Treasurer Cahill abused his position to launch a television advertising campaign at the Lottery that was carefully coordinated to promote his own campaign for governor,” Coakley said.
“This was more than a million dollars in taxpayer money that was intended to benefit the public and the Lottery. We allege that the timing, amount budgeted, and coordinated messages of the Lottery ads all point to a decision made by Treasurer Cahill to abuse his position of trust and put his own political ambitions over the best interests of the taxpayers he was elected to represent,” Coakley said.
The indictments follow a comprehensive investigation by the AG’s Office that examined the timing and reason for Lottery TV and radio ads that began airing in September 2010. When the AG’s office began its investigation in October 2010, it requested, and the Lottery agreed, to immediately take down the ads pending the completion of the investigation.
Dozens of witnesses were interviewed and thousands of electronic communications examined to determine the purpose behind the $1.5 million ad campaign.
As a result of that investigation, the AG’s office alleges that a series of advertisements were procured by Cahill, with Campbell’s assistance, for the purpose of aiding Cahill’s struggling campaign for governor, rather than to simply boost the Lottery’s image and sales.
The AG’s Office alleges that a series of Lottery “permission” ads were approved at Cahill’s direction and with Campbell’s assistance, even though sales at the Lottery were already on the way up after a brief slow period in July 2010.
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Brown Wants Tougher Stance On Ecuadoran Murder Suspect's Return

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--U.S. Senator Scott Brown and District Attorney Timothy Cruz held a press conference Monday to call on Ecuador to return Luis Guaman to the United States to stand trial for the murder of Maria Avelina Palaguachi-Cela and her son Brian who were brutally murdered in Brockton last year.
“I was horrified to learn of the brutal death of Maria and Brian,” Brown said in a prepared statement. “I am deeply disappointed that Ecuador has not done the right thing and returned Luis Guaman to Brockton so that he can stand trial. I have worked all the diplomatic channels available to me as a senator, including communication with the government of Ecuador, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the Justice Department. DA Cruz and I chose to make a public appeal today because Brockton deserves answers, and Maria and Brian deserve justice,” he added.
In another of several attempts to have Guaman (pictured above) returned to Ecuador, Brown said he has written another letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton strongly requesting she put more pressure on Ecuadoran officials to return Guaman to the U.S. for trial.
In the letter Brown notes Ecuador has not only ignored Cruz's pleas to have Guaman returned for trial, but has also engaged in other "disappointing behavior" toward the U.S. including expelling Ambassador Heather Hodges from the country last April.
In a letter to Clinton, Brown writes:
"Finally, I ask that you seriously consider whether it is appropriate to send tens of millions of dollars in foreign assistance to Ecuador when it's government has not fostered a mutually beneficial relationship with our ambassador, and its leadership will not release a double murder suspect to Massachusetts. I stand ready to work with you to resolve this issue, including by introducing legislation to reduce eliminate foreign assistance to Ecuador."
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Linde Announces Run For 11th Plymouth

BrocktonPost
BROCKTON--The Democratic Party candidates seeking to fill the 11th Plymouth District State Representative seat is now at 4.
Mark Linde, a life-long Brockton resident, has announced he is collecting signatures to be the fourth candidate on the Democratic primary ballot, which will be held Thursday, Sept. 6.
In a prepared statement, Linde said he is a lifelong resident of the City of Brockton--adding he lives less than a mile from the Brockton-Easton line.
Linde has resided in Brockton’s Ward 1 for most of his life since 1962.
His parents have lived in Easton since 1992. He is married to Teresa "Teri" Linde who shares his passion for volunteer and community service.
They have two grown children.
“My lifetime of involvement in public and community activities shows my commitment to community,” Linde said in the statement.
“All of my community and elected service have been as a volunteer. I hope to continue this commitment to public service as your elected state representative,” he said.
Linde said his public service is extensive.
He is currently the chairman of the Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical School Committee and has served as one of the two Brockton representatives.
He was elected district-wide in 2008.
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