Showing posts with label Massachusetts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Massachusetts. Show all posts

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Massachusetts: 'Black Lives Matter' Banner Now Hangs from Somerville City Hall

'Black Lives Matter' Banner Now Hangs from Somerville City Hall
Photo Credit: City of Somerville
A banner that reads “Black Lives Matter” now hangs from the front porch of Somerville City Hall.
The decision to hang the banner comes after the many police-involved shooting deaths of unarmed black men across different parts of the country.
Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone told The Boston Globe that he worked with members of the Cambridge-based Black Lives Matter organization to create the banner in support of their cause.
“We see this as an important opportunity for an important national conversation,” Curtatone said in regards to racial issues.
Curtatone is not exactly sure when the banner will come down. It may hang for a long time while Somerville works to further build trust between local agencies and residents throughout the community.
“If any one group feels that our public institutions are not treating them fairly, or our policies drive a certain structural racial overtone, I have a responsibility to lead that change,” Curtatone added in his statements to The Boston Globe.
The Mayor said the banner is in no way representative of the work carried out by his city’s police department. The Somerville police stand by the message conveyed through the banner.
Curtatone only wants his community to be upstanding and united as one.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is on Team Tom Brady

By now, you've likely heard of #Deflategate and the subsequent suspension of New England Patriots QB Tom Brady. While Brady may not have gained the support of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, he's got at least one powerful figure on his side: Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R). Today, at an Ice Bucket Challenge event at the Massachusetts State House to raise money and awareness for ALS, the governor sported a "Free Brady" shirt.
NOW: Gov. Charlie Baker is wearing a "Free Brady" T-shirt while taking the Ice Bucket Challenge
11:20 AM - 10 Aug 2015
The event featured Pete Frates, a Massachusetts native and former Boston College baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS in 2012 at the age of 27. Last year, he started the viral "Ice Bucket Challenge" that quickly spread worldwide and resulted in thousands of dollars in donations to various ALS charities.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Massachusetts Republicans are more liberal than Arkansas Democrats

Worcester, MA., 12/03/13, Charlie Baker, right, the leading Republican candidate for governor, named former state representative Karyn Polito, left, as his running mate today. Later in the day, the two of them greeted attendees at the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce meeting held at Mechanics Hall. Section: Metro Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff
Massachusetts Republicans like Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Gov. Charlie Baker are comparatively moderate.
The Boston Globe
Those of us in the Bay State know that Republicans in Massachusetts aren’t like those more conservative politicians yakking it up on Fox News. Now there’s firm statistical proof of that.
Massachusetts Republican state legislators are more liberal than Republicans in every other state legislature, and they are even more liberal than Democrats in Arkansas, according to a data-heavy political study from Princeton and Georgetown University researchers.
As The Boston Globe explains, the researchers culled roll call votes of legislatures in every state. They then compared those votes to how those across the political spectrum voted in similar topics. Politicians who vote along similar lines were grouped together.
“Strictly speaking, then, this data doesn’t show that Massachusetts legislators hold a particularly liberal set of beliefs,” the Globe writes. “Rather, it shows that they support the types of policies that are embraced by California and Connecticut, contested in much of the country, and anathema in Oklahoma and Missouri. That, by itself, turns out to be a pretty good definition of liberalism.”
Massachusetts Democrats aren’t radically liberal compared to Democrats in states like California or New York, according to the study. Instead, it’s Republicans’ moderate positions that make the state shift so far to the left.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

MASSACHUSETTS: Amid Surge in Illegal Alien Crimes State Pushes for Broad Sanctuary Law

A surge in serious crimes by illegal immigrants—many repeat offenders—who have been shielded by sanctuary laws isn’t stopping legislators in Massachusetts from quietly pushing for a measure that would protect undocumented aliens statewide.

The move could not have come at a worse time, as the nation reels from a series of atrocious crimes committed by illegal aliens who long ago should have been deported. Instead, they were protected by sanctuary laws despite their criminal histories and illegal status in the U.S. A recent example is the gruesome July 4 San Francisco murder of a young woman by an illegal immigrant thug with seven felony convictions. The Mexican national had been deported five times.

Like a number of municipalities across the nation, San Francisco’s sanctuary law protects illegal aliens and bans any sort of cooperation with federal authorities, even when the perpetrator is guilty of a serious offense. In fact, in the recent San Francisco case Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had issued a detainer for the illegal alien, 45-year-old Francisco Sanchez, but local authorities did not honor it and instead released him. San Francisco’s mayor defended the policy after the senseless murder, saying that it “protects residents regardless of immigration status and is not intended to protect repeat, serious and violent felons.”

More than 200 cities, counties, and states across the U.S. protect criminal aliens from deportation by refusing to comply with ICE detainers or otherwise impede information exchanges between their employees, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. Among them is Cook County in Illinois, Miami-Dade County in south Florida and practically the entire state of California. In Massachusetts only a couple of cities—Amherst and Boston—have sanctuary measures in place and some state lawmakers want to broaden the protection.

The legislature is looking to pass a measure that will offer sanctuary protections to illegal aliens statewide. If approved, all public agencies in Massachusetts will be banned from divulging information on illegal immigrants to federal authorities and state employees will be forbidden from denying any taxpayer-funded assistance, benefits or participation in public programs to those in the country illegally. “This shall include, but not be limited, to education or training, employment, health, welfare, rehabilitation, housing or other services, whether provided directly by the recipient of funds of the commonwealth or provided by others through contracts or other arrangements with the recipient,” according to language in the proposed law.

The measure also offers illegal immigrants assistance in gaining legal status in the U.S., possibly citizenship. “It shall be the policy of the commonwealth to support and encourage any and all residents in their attempts to obtain lawful immigration status and, if they choose, citizenship. Nothing in this section shall prohibit an agency or employee of the commonwealth or recipient of commonwealth funds from requesting the voluntary provision of information or documentation regarding immigration status to the extent necessary to assist an individual in resolving his or her immigration question when such assistance is part of a program’s activities and is consistent with this subsection.”

The bill was introduced by state Representative Byron Rushing, a Boston Democrat who claims his priorities are human and civil rights. The civil rights activist/politician should read this disturbing investigative series in his hometown newspaper about illegal immigrant sex offenders who have been released instead of deported. They include convicted rapists, child molesters and kidnappers. One law enforcement agency calls them “the worst of the worst.” Just a few weeks ago, another local news report revealed that two illegal immigrants charged with drug-related crimes are suspected of murdering a grandmother in Lawrence, which is about 29 miles from Boston.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

MASSACHUSETTS: Baker may need to speed up approach on DCF reform

Baker may need to speed up approach on DCF reform | Boston Herald

On the campaign trail, Gov. Charlie Baker once slammed then-Gov. Deval Patrick for being “slow, if not resistant” to acknowledge widespread dysfunction inside the Department of Children and Families.
Following the disappearance of Jeremiah Oliver, Patrick ordered an in-house review — but also backed his embattled commissioner and agency.
“If there is a systemic issue in this or any other case, I’m the first one who’s interested in it because it’s my job to deal with systemic issues,” Patrick said weeks after DCF launched a review of 40,000-plus cases. “But I haven’t seen any evidence of that yet.”
Within a week, public pressure pushed Patrick to order an outside probe, which eventually found those “systemic issues.”
Now in the Corner Office, Baker appears to be handling his first DCF crisis the same way he did other headline-grabbing problems: Review first, take a stand later.
Baker has called for commissions, ordered reports and postponed taking action until the problem was too big to ignore — the winter transit collapse — or gone before he had to say where he stood — the 2024 Summer Games.
But DCF, like the T, is Baker’s problem now, especially after a Herald report detailed how school officials alerted­ the child welfare agency to concerns about a 7-year-old Hardwick boy who was later­ found beaten and starved.
Caught in a media scrum yesterday, Baker said he didn’t want to address the case’s developments “piecemeal.” He said he wants a report first, this one expected by Sept. 24. “I want to see the facts.”
It remains to be seen if this DCF firestorm reaches the same level as the one that engulfed Patrick’s final years. But if questions continue to swirl without answers, Baker — once on the outside calling for quicker action — could be facing a test of his more measured approach.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Beacon Hill forces line up for fight over sanctuary protections for illegal immigrants

Beacon Hill forces line up for fight over sanctuary protections for illegal immigrants | Boston Herald
Beacon Hill lawmakers are quietly pushing legislation that could offer sanctuary protections to illegal immigrants across the state, the Herald has learned.
The new legislation, filed by state Rep. Byron Rushing (D-Boston), would ban public agencies from giving or sharing information on illegals with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement unless forced to do so by a court or a federal order.
The bill also would ensure illegal immigrants have access to state benefits — such as welfare and driver’s licenses — and it would prohibit Bay State employees from denying “assistance, benefit, payment, service or participation in any program or activity” on the basis of immigration status, except as required by federal law.
State Rep. Shaunna O’Connell (R-Taunton) immediately decried the bill, saying, “This will make Massachusetts a sanctuary state that harbors illegal aliens and makes available to them every benefit under the sun.”
“I think this would be devastating to Massachusetts in many ways,” O’Connell said.
The sanctuary aspects of the bill mirror rules in San Francisco, where the July 4 random shooting death of Kathryn Steinle — allegedly at the hands of an illegal immigrant deported five times — brought the city’s lax practices into question.
Several Republican presidential candidates now back “Kate’s Law,” named after the slain 32-year-old San Francisco woman, which would hand out five-year prison sentences to any deportee who returns.
The legislation is before the Committee on Children and Families, where O’Connell is a member. The panel was scheduled to hear the legislation last week, but the controversial bill was pushed back to September as sanctuary city policies sparked national headlines.
“This is a bill that just popped up,” O’Connell said. “Nobody knew about it.”
But Rushing responded to the outcry over his bill, saying it doesn’t ask anyone to break federal laws and that he simply wants to encourage immigrants to move to the Bay State.
“It prohibits barring people on the basis of immigration status,” said Rushing, adding that hot-under-the-collar politicians should “calm down.”
“We want to make sure all people of Massachusetts are here legally, and we do that by helping them become legal citizens,” 
he said.
Rushing admitted that there is nothing in his legislation to ensure that illegal immigrants are on a path to citizenship before they receive state services, but said he’d be open to adding that language.
The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, a pro-immigrant group, has highlighted Rushing’s bill on their website as “priority legislation.”
They write that it “would provide clear guidance that inquiries into immigration status by state agencies and recipients of state funds are not permissible unless 
required by law.”
Word of the bill came on the day Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal appeared on Boston Herald Radio saying top officials in sanctuary cities should be held “criminally liable as accessories” for any crimes committed 
by illegals.
Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone quickly challenged the GOP presidential candidate to “come and get me.” Curtatone, the mayor of a sanctuary city, said Jindal’s plan is an attempt to push him “beyond the 1 percent right now” in presidential polls.

Monday, August 3, 2015

MASSACHUSETTS; Somerville mayor hits back at Bobby Jindal over sanctuary cities

Somerville mayor hits back at Bobby Jindal over sanctuary cities | Herald Bulldog | First On The Street | Boston Herald

Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone today slammed Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal's call to charge “sanctuary city” mayors as accomplices in crimes committed by illegal immigrants as a campaign ploy and an appeal to the “lowest common denominator.”
“Come and get me,” Curtatone charged in a Boston Herald Radio interview, shortly after Jindal took to the station airwaves to detail his proposal. “You say something absurd, you fear monger, you play to the crowd … we're smarter than that.
“I love listening to Jindal, because I swear if you didn't know who he is, you swear it was Gomer Pyle,” the Democrat added. “We shouldn't lower ourselves to the lowest common denominator, and that's the brain of … Bobby Jindal.”
Jindal, the Louisiana governor who has framed himself as an anti-establishment candidate in the crowded Republican field, also said local mayors and elected officials in sanctuary cities – or those that defy federal immigration authorities – should be held liable civilly by victims or their families for the crimes of illegal immigrants.
He pointed to the death of Kathryn Steinle, who was killed in San Francisco, allegedly by an illegal immigrant who was released from police custody despite a detention request from the feds. The crime has sparked the push behind “Kate's Law” and has been repeatedly referenced by Republican presidential candidates, including Donald Trump, when discussing immigration.
Jindal said mayors like Curtatone – who has signed an executive order pulling the city out of the federal Secure Communities program – should be “criminally liable as accessories,” adding that, “If you're going to flaunt (sic) federal law, there should be a consequence.”
But Curtatone rejected that thinking, pointing to what he called “misinformation” around the concept of sanctuary cities, which he said is an effort to build trust in communities, not give criminals a free pass.
He said in the case of Steinle's murder, Somerville would have turned the suspect over to federal immigration authorities.
“Unfortunately that terrible incident (in San Francisco) is being used to describe an entire population and its being used by people like Bobby Jindal who say the most absurd, offensive things against one segment of the population. As a society, we have more compassion than that,” Curtatone said.
He said Jindal's comments are simply a move to push him “beyond the 1 percent right now” in presidential polls. He sarcastically said “Sheriff Bobby Jindal” hasn't put him in handcuffs.
“More like, Deputy Barney Fife, has not arrested me yet,” Curtatone said.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Massachusetts Schools Ranked Tops in Nation

Massachusetts Schools Ranked Tops in Nation
If you’re sending your kids to public school this year, what kind of education are they getting? That’s the question one study set to answer as back-to-school season gears up.
And the results are music to the ears of Massachusetts parents.
WalletHub recently broke down the best and worst public school systems in the country, using its own formula to come up with a ranking for each state. The site ranks Massachusetts tops in the nation — second in “school system quality,” and first in school safety.
The study used public data available for 13 metrics, including student-teacher ratios, dropout rates and test scores. It also came up with a safety ranking based on bullying incidents, incarceration rates and a school safety survey.
While not in the top 5 in student-to-teacher ratio, SAT scores or lowest dropout rate, Massachusetts ranked highest in the nation in both reading and math scores, accounting for the commonwealth’s high overall ranking.
In addition to Massachusetts, WalletHub’s top five included Colorado, New Jersey, Wisconsin and Kentucky.
The five worst: Louisiana, Arizona, Nevada, District of Columbia and Alaska.
Massachusetts had the safest schools, with Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kentucky and Hawaii rounding out the top five. D.C. was the least safe, followed by Indiana, California, South Dakota and Colorado.
For the full results, check out the full study, which includes a breakdown of each category, here.
Via: Westford Patch
Continue Reading....

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

MASSACHUSETTS: Charlie Baker Denies USOC Gave Him Boston 2024 Ultimatum

Listen    Listening...                                                    0:24
Baker, who has a news conference scheduled later Friday, has yet to declare his support.

Leaders of Boston’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics released details Thursday about insurance proposals they say will provide unprecedented coverage for Massachusetts taxpayers.

Baker said the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) is having a meeting on Monday and they asked him to call in.
The report from that group, The Brattle Group, isn’t expected until next month.

“It would be inappropriate for me, or for the Senate president, or for the speaker, to commit the Commonwealth one way or the other until we get that report”, Baker said Friday from the Massachusetts statehouse.

It is possible this alleged ultimatum was an attempt to gain a firmer endorsement from the authorities before USOC officials departed to Kuala Lumpur for next week’s worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) Session.

If the USOC were to bail on the Boston bid and try to replace it with another city – presumably Los Angeles – time is running short to make that move.

“We have learned much from the Boston bid and in many ways it will set the stage for a more transparent bid process for future Games, consistent with the principles of Olympic Agenda 2020″. The USOC considers the governor’s support key to the effort, as well.

“Since I became chairman we have created from the bottom up the new Bid 2.0, which has been made public on our website in its entirety,” Boston 2024 chairman Stephen Pagliuca said in a statement. Boston 2024 had previously kept parts of the “1.0” bid redacted, and cited confidentiality “commitments” to the U.S. Olympic Committee. It also included details about public and political support for the proposals, according to an AP report.

The documents reveal that organizers initially projected the games to cost about $4.7 billion but run at a almost $500 million deficit.

“We’re encouraged by recent discussions with Mayor [Marty] Walsh and Governor Baker and look forward to continued, constructive dialogue”.

A televised debate between bid officials and opponents on Thursday was followed on Friday by the release of an un-redacted version of the original Boston bid, submitted when Boston beat out three other cities to gain the USOC nod. Boston 2024 also suggested they were prepared to challenge any referendum effort on a variety of fronts, including the courts and legislature. In June, a revised proposal was released showing a $4.6 billion budget and a surplus of $200 million.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

[EDITORIAL] Massachusetts sales tax holiday not worth it

  • Posted Jul. 25, 2015 at 9:00 AM 

    It’s late July, so that means there’s the annual last-second buildup for a sales tax holiday weekend in August.
    The idea touted by the Massachusetts Retailers Association is in favor of such a weekend, arguing it keeps money in the state that would be spent in New Hampshire or online.
    The MRA asked the Beacon Hill Institute to measure the economic impact of the holiday.
    The study is based on the responses of 63 business owners asked by the MRA how the reprieve impacts their shops. Having the business association handpick owners’ answers is in not a good way to measure impact, as the MRA could have stacked the deck in emailing business owners to get favorable results.
    Even then, the owners’ responses were lukewarm, at best.
    The answers in favor of the concept are all the standard answers that don’t really have any specifics. They’re all vague generalizations like “it stimulates the economy” or “people spend more than they otherwise would have.”
    The answers from owners who aren’t in favor are more telling.
    “There is no cash flow for three weeks before,” one owner wrote.
    Another stated “five weeks of business are crammed into two days” and that the totals don’t match five normal summer weeks.
    A majority of business owners, 60 percent, stated in the survey they believe any sales from the weekend came from other weeks in the year, not money that would have been spent out of state.
    That means the holiday isn’t any sort of economic boost, just a rearranging of when purchases would occur.
    Only 13 percent said the sales come from the boogey men of “tax-free” New Hampshire and the Internet.
    One of the major points the paper points out is that 72 percent of shoppers were at least somewhat likely to spend in state if there were a holiday. The question was leading at best.
    There was no response in that question indicating whether to indicate if a responder was not planning to partake, just whether it would make a difference between shopping in state or elsewhere.
    Another question found that 68 percent of respondents hadn’t taken advantage of the holiday. While no one likes paying taxes, savvy shoppers can find better deals on other weekends.
    The institute concluded the weekend generates the equivalent of about 627 jobs. Realistically, employers aren’t hiring new workers to deal with the supposed benefits, but just scheduling more hours to their current work force. That works out to about six hours for every one of the 225,000 retail workers in the state.

MASSSACHUSETTS: State law requires you to pay $50 if you scream "Yankees suck!" at a sporting event

The oddest thing in the previously secret Olympics bid chapters was not the huge deficit or the denigration of opponents, but the reference to a state law that prohibits swearing at athletes and coaches and sporting events.
Because, yes, of course, Massachusetts has a law against that: MGL Chap. 272 Sect. 36A, which states, in its entirety:
Whoever, having arrived at the age of sixteen years, directs any profane, obscene or impure language or slanderous statement at a participant or an official in a sporting event, shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars.
Chap. 272 is, of course, the collection of laws related to "crimes against chastity, morality, decency and good order," which include laws against such things as child pornography, animal cruelty and upskirt photography, but also laws you'd be amazed are still on the books in the Commonwealth, especially since some have been overturned by court decisions.
These include a law banning the sale of all contraceptives, except to married people, and only then witha doctor's prescription (which was overturned in Eisenstadt v. Baird in 1972); a ban on blasphemy - including "contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt and ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures" (one year in prison); a prohibition specifically on making loud noises in a library; and a law that defines what it means to be a tramp.
As to why Boston 2024 even brought up the no-Yankees-sucks-chanting law, it was in a section of its bid proposal that dealt with specific Massachusetts laws related to sporting events.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Massachusetts Becomes 9th State to Investigate Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Baby Body Parts

Massachusetts is ow the 9th state to launch an investigation into the Planned Parenthood abortion business after two shocking videos showed its top doctors involved in making arrangements to sell the body parts of aborted babies.
In the second video, Mary Gatter, the Medical director at Planned Parenthood Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley in California, discusses selling aborted baby body parts with undercover investigators posing as officials with a biotech company that acts as a middleman to sell aborted baby body parts to universities and other places that conduct such research. Gatter is a senior official within Planned Parenthood and is President of the Medical Directors’ Council, the central committee of all Planned Parenthood affiliate medical directors.
A total of 8 other states states have already launched an investigation including KansasMissouri,ArizonaIndianaOhioGeorgia, Texas and Louisiana and members of Congress have launched an investigation as well.
Now, the pro-abortion Attorney general of Massachusetts says she will undertake an investigation to ensure there is no illegal activity happening. However, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey says her office already talked with Planned Parenthood, which attempted to convince her that nothing is amiss. With her position favoring legal abortion, there’s significant concern that the investigation will not be exhaustive and will amount to a defense of Planned Parenthood.
“My office spoke with Planned Parenthood and they assured us this type of alleged activity does not happen here,” Healey told Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting.” “That said, we are going to review it, we are going to ask questions, as always is the case. We will always make sure to look at any evidence of illegal activity here in Massachusetts.”
Healey emphasized such tissue donation is legal, although selling fetal tissue is not.
“I want to emphasize and not conflate the story on the national level with what might be happening here,” she said.
Healey said she has not had time to review either of the two videos that have been released, but does plan to. She also said she disagrees with the conservative Republican politicians who have called for Planned Parenthood to be defunded — including presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Rick Santorum yesterday on Herald Radio.
“I don’t think it should be defunded. We need to support efforts to provide the best quality healthcare,” Healey said. “Planned Parenthood plays a critical role in terms of delivering health care to women and men in this state. I strongly support their mission.”
Healey doesn’t give residents of the Bay State much confidence that her office will conduct a legitimate investigation when she starts her investigation with a defense of ensuring the Planned Parenthood abortion business receives taxpayer funding.

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