Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Maybe There's a Reason...

... that it's still only 50 cents.

Despite living in Bridgewater, I subscribe to the Middleboro Gazette. Even before the casino issue, I was in Middleboro a lot. My kids participated in sports there. I've always enjoyed reading the historical column. And hey, it's where I grew up. But the Gazette wasn't exactly a place I'd turn to for hard-hitting investigative news.

In fact, right before the whole casino issue came up, I remember cutting out a little article about - I'm not kidding - a dog complaint. And it sort of summed up small-town life for me.

But the reason I liked that particular article so much was that the author had managed to get a funny little zinger in at the end. And you know I just love that sort of thing.

And just a few weeks ago I clipped out an editorial by Gazette editor Jane Lopes entitled "Offering Lessons in How to Win Friends and Influence People" in which she took my favorite selectman to task for - well basically for being a hypocritical nepotistic jerk. (Those are my words, not Jane's.)

At the moment I'm looking forward to reading my friend and fellow blogger, the Belicose Bumpkin's new column in the Gazette, though I hope he won't shy away from the casino issue and I won't hold my breath for reading anything that casts Adam Bond in a negative light.

Which is too bad. Because more people ought to be talking about him.

Here in in Bridgewater we had our own homegrown goofball on the Board of Selectman. And he wasn't fond of criticism, either. In fact, he pulled a Marsha Brunelle and put the kibosh on a long standing local tradition of public forum. One of his fellow selectman, who shall remain nameless, in converstation with me, actually referred to him as "useless".

Personally, I thought he was worse than useless. Those in leadership roles, even minor ones, who don't lead, who don't listen or who don't care, end up causing more harm than good. But they hardly ever notice

Anyway, in Bridgewater, people started to talk about this guy. Sharing their stories, experiences and outrage. The papers began printing their editorials. Citizens groups were formed. New candidates appeared on the horizon and, despite being the incumbent and very well-funded, he was voted out of office and replaced with a much more serious, way less goofbally sort of a guy. So, miracles can happen.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of how the media has covered the casino issue. Not all media - the Cape Cod Times and the Standard Times have both done a pretty decent job. But let's just say this - when I go to say, a Regional Task Force meeting, I take a lot of notes. And then I send them out to a handful of people I know who have an interest in such things but couldn't attend the meeting. And, invariably, my stuff is more detailed and in-depth. At the last Task Force meeting the only thing to come out of it in the media was that the Task Force couldn't make a quorum, meaning that people were losing interest, which we should take to mean no one cares, everyone loves casinos, gambling is good blah blah blah.

But at the same meeting I was able to get about fourteen other pretty interesting bullet items and witness that, despite being quorum-free, there were still an awful lot of folks, representing a lot of people living in other towns, actually in the room. And that some of the people who orignally signed up to go be on the task force have left office, and that some have other committments on the day of the week the Task Force meets and that, um yeah, it's summer. And much, much more...

And then there's Middleboro.

Here is a video I posted after a selectman's meeting earlier this year, which I've always felt has been particularly undervalued.

Ok, let's break this down. Here's the guy who helped draft an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Wampanoags. He has boasted of it on his web site. He is a professional attorney, schooled, versed, and earning a living from the minutae and implications of language. He also helped shove this agreement down residents throat's by giving them five whole days to read and absorb it. And yet, somehow he can't remember selling off Middleboro's then 338 year soverienty in good old section 22 B. So, is he stupid? Maybe he doesn't just doesn't care. Or maybe he's lying. And that's what it comes down to. You be the judge. But none of it's good.

Now, I'm not sure how many Topix message board posts have been devoted to the concept of honesty, but it's a lot. No, actually it's excessive. Hell ... it's grotesque.

But I do know that when a public official and attorney, at a public meeting, being filmed on cable and then broadcast into homes in two different towns, is brushing off and completely mis-construing a certain section of a certain document that a lot of other towns seem to be easily able to comprehend, hey - that's NEWS.

But perhaps that's the sort of thing that would cost an additional 25 cents.
Still for free!


Anonymous said...

I said it then ,I'll say it now...there's something fishy going on here. How does a "green" selectman get an opportunity to negotiate a deal like that? Then how does a long sitting (Perkins) selectman totally deny one tribe (Aquinnah) and put the red carpet out for another? I'll say it again, there's something fishy going on here.

carverchick said...

ahhh....good ol' section 22B. Funny how the man who helped draft it doesn't seem to understand what it means. That, or he was hoping we wouldn't understand what it means.

What I find to be ironic is that if not for section 22B, Middleboro would have been welcomed to sit at the table of the RTF. The reason they were denied is specificlly because section 22B requires them to support the casino. period.

Anonymous said...

As usual, you've done a great job with your presentation and raised many issues that are ignored.
Bring back the dog complaints!

There seems to be much self-reflection needed on issues pertaining to the casino.
The Gazette sure appeared to be the Welcome Mat for the investors with little else printed. Letters to the Editor written by anti-casino people seemed to get lost in cyber-space.
But in fairness, the editor launches well-deserved zingers from time to time.
That's more than can be said of the Brockton Enterprise that largely ignores the 'boro and most of their coverage area.
The Taunton Gazette is mostly birdcage liner.
The Cape Cod Times was spectacular in their coverage, impartial in their reporting and provided a great deal of factual information not found elsewhere.
While we can fault the Middleboro Gazette, the editor criticizes one of the poorest performing Boards in recent history. Maybe she'll even comment on a certain Selectman text-messaging through an entire meeting. Or maybe she'll comment on the lack of a cell phone policy to govern adult behavior by elected officials who should behave like adults.

Gladys Kravitz said...


I think Middleboro would have had a fight getting a seat at the table even without section 22B - mostly because Middleboro left other towns with a PROBLEM. In some cases, LOTS OF PROBLEMS.

Middleboro and the Task Force have different agendas even without old 22B. Middleboro made the bed that everyone else will have to lie in if a casino comes.

Middleboro tried to make the case that they had much to offer the Task Force as far as 'valuable information' goes, but they'd already shot that excuse in the foot by not actually having any 'valuable information' - because they never did any real evaluation. Maybe if they'd studied the deal for several years, etc. they'd have something the rest of the world couldn't see, but as it was - nada. As in nada thing.

As it was, 22B proved to be more than enough reason for the Task Force to doubt Middleboro's motive to sit at their table.

Anon. 4:21

The Gazette has always given ample space to some of my very long editorials and for that I'm thankful. But I just wish the articles were as filled with as much actual news as the actual events have been.

Thanks for your comments!

Jacquie said...

Adam knows exactly what he's doing.

He helped draft and push through a HORRIBLE agreement.... and he STILL has a lot of people in the town mesmerized.

I just don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Follow The Money.

From Middleboro to Washington DC to Detroit Michigan.

I believe that Adam landed in Middleboro for a few reasons, none of which are posted by the way, on his coffee blog.

Middleboro made it easy for Adam to land here, because we do not have a "establish residency" rule in order to run for BOS.

So in essence, all he had to do was to come to town, and then run for BOS. Which is how the story ends, or just begins.

This is so much bigger than gaming.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the best sources of casino coverage have been SouthCoastToday and the Cape Cod Times, although I'm certain that a certain Selectman hasn't been too pleased with their reporting.

Your blogs have not only been a wealth of information. They're great therapy for me when I feel frustrated and discouraged with the garbage being dumped on a certain toxic site.

I don't know you personally, but you are a gem of a blogger. Rock on!

Anonymous said...

Hey Gladys but AB said "it's legal jargon-ese"! And since he is a legal eagle, he knows legal jargon when he writes it, reads it..right?

If he can write such legal jargon, and can interpret it for the unwashed public, not to worry, wink wink.

I wonder if there is more legal jargon-ese waiting around the corner for our town?

Is there enough smoke yet to say there is a fire?

Gladys Kravitz said...

Wink wink.