Monday, February 16, 2009

The Eyes Have It...


You don't need a pair of glasses to see how painfully uninformed the Middleboro Board of Selectman are about the facts, impacts and costs involved in their beloved casino project.

Let's face it, they'd rather put a casino on the cluttered dusty back burner of their minds and concentrate on the intricacies of one-day liquor licenses and barking dog complaints. They'd rather content themselves with pro-community happy thoughts and deftly avoid the icky boring hard stuff that requires a certain flexing of the old grey matter. I felt the same way about calculus back in college.

So, does it bother you that there are preschoolers who've paid more attention to the sand table than this august body of policy makers has to an issue that could effect your home, safety and pocketbook? It should.

Then this is what I want you to do this week. I want you to print out something you think the Board ought to know - maybe it's a newspaper article, or informational .pdf, or perhaps relevant sections of IGRA, or maybe it's a blog post like Carverchick's many fine installments on gaming regulations, or Bumpkin's various breakdowns of the IGA, or Fiferstones' thoughts on sovereignty, or my own posts on the myth of inevitability, or any of the myriad posts about impacts to real estate, schools, crime, social problems, the environment, and the Tribe's and it's investors troubles with the law - basically any subject you think the Board needs to bone up on. Which, you know, is pretty much everything.

And then I want you to go to CVS or Ocean State or the dollar store down at the mall and pick up a pair of those cheap reading glasses.

Now stick your printouts and the glasses in an envelope and mail it to:

Board of Selectmen
Middleboro Town Hall
10 Nickerson Avenue,
Middleboro, MA 02346

Or just drop it off at town hall. I'm sure that would be fine.

Why do this? Because it makes a statement, that why. It makes the statement that the Board has an obligation to fully understand the problems their pet project will cause. The town is full of people who don't want a casino, and the Board represents them, too.

Since Summer of '07 a lot of things have come to light that even the most comatose collection of elected officials can't ignore. And yet, they do. So maybe it's not their fault. Maybe they just need a pair of reading glasses. Hey, it happens to the best of us.

Once, my friends at CasinoFreePhila washed all the windows at the State Gaming Commission to demonstrate the need for transparency. These folks and other activists across this country are busy making statements, getting the message across to those who aren't listening, and who expect the rest of us to sit there politely and take it.

Because sometimes a little action and outrage are what it takes. And that's what grassroots is all about, baby.

21 comments:

Jacquie said...

ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT!

I have a better idea. Let's all buy and wear the reading glasses, post all the clippings on poster board, and march outside the town hall during a selectman's meeting

- and of course, we'd invite the press to it.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Good idea!

Let's send the glasses for two weeks - give them a chance to catch up their reading - then plan the public event, after which we can all attend a selectman's meeting with our posterboards and glasses, whereupon Marsha will provide us with yet another priceless gavel beat-down, or classic I'm-just-going-to-ignore-you-and-hope-you'll-go-away moment.

Oh wait! Tankman's the new chair! This could be interesting...

Smoking Owl said...

...and while that is going on, have that plane from the TMFH fly over town trailing a banner that says...

Reading is Fundamental

Anonymous said...

Great idea, Gladys!

But if the BOS didn't get that their conduct was illegal, you're gonna have to 'xplain the meaning of the reading glasses to them.

After all, they had to spend $20K to figure out that the ambulance Tankman so wanted was a loosing proposition. And they're still gonna hang on to that 'rescue truck' they bought and the personnel in preparation for the day, just in case somebody reads the IGA!

Gladys Kravitz said...

...but you've got to admit, it'll be interesting to hear how they 'splain receiving all those reading glasses accompanied by information relevant to their casino project.

Or maybe the better word would be 'spin'.

Nocasino said...

BOS so far out of touch glasses would be useless. Maybe the Hubble?

Anonymous said...

Great idea Gladys - I'll print out the results of the TMFH Question #3 , in size 24 font and send it over with the glasses.

Smoking Owl - I think "fundamental" is too big a word for them (it's got three syllables).

Terry

Gladys Kravitz said...

These actions are NOT useless.

They get attention. They demonstrate the fact that elected officials and others AREN'T LISTENING TO THE PEOPLE THEY REPRESENT.

These actions demonstrate that citizens have to resort to unusual means to be heard.

I just came back from the Independence Mall: Dollar Store, Reading Glasses $2.99 each.

(or 2 for $5.00!)

Anonymous said...

OMG! Great idea!
Gladys, I'm forever misplacing them, you know, 'senior moments' or whatever. Ocean State Job Lot had them for $1.50 and I bought a few. So, anyone who's interested, check out Ocean State first. Might as well be funny as inexpensively as possible.
It's too cold to consider washing windows, but since the Town Hall doesn't have a full time custodian, maybe we could consider a spring project. First floor, Selectmen's Meeting Room only!

Gladys Kravitz said...

Anons. 5:04 and 7:05 - wonderful ideas! We need to keep stuff like this coming. I might also print out the results of article 3 in EXTRA LARGE FONT!

Statements. We need statements!

Anonymous said...

To Nocasino:

I get it! Suggesting the hubble! Too funny.

I think Gladys misunderstood your remark.

It was meant to be funny, Gladys.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Yes Anon. 4:37, I know it WAS funny - but I also wanted people to understand that I take the Board's failure to fully understand potential impacts, not just to their town, but to the entire region extremely seriously.

It's going on two years now, the divisive and insufferable Mr. Bond is gone, and we have a new panel of candidates for two elected offices on the Board.

In other words, I think it's time Middleboro's current and potential leadership stopped wearing feathers and spouting done deals and imagining economic engines and GOT REAL.

So, if I seem to be losing my sense of humor with these people, you might be on to something...

Nocasino said...

Thanks Anonymous 4:37.

Gladys, I agree with you that this issue is NOT funny. You are at your best when you use humor to get your point across, like the mailing of glasses to BOS.

I hope you undertand that I like you need to add a little humor once in a while to get through this madness.

Thank you for all that you do.

NO CASINO

Gladys Kravitz said...

Dear No Casino,

Agreed!

It's been a long haul for many of us and I think we all really, REALLY need to see how this Board and future candidates react to discovering the casino opposition is still there.

Still there, and wondering why they haven't caught up on current events.

Or facts.

Or anything.

I'm very sick and tired - and completely unamused - that leaders in many surrounding towns and in the legislature are able to figure out that this is a bad deal - but Middleboro's leadership is still stuck on the island, buried deep in the 'hatch' hitting the button every hundred and eight minutes because someone two years ago told them that they had to or things would be bad.

Time for them to take a better look.

carverchick said...

Gladys,

I believe you are on to something here. It is quite obvious those standard issue rose colored glasses are an old prescription.

I have the perfect letter in mind....one written by the ConCom of an abutting town...

oh, and then there is this fantastic checklist that clearly demonstrates the applications incompleteness and why it will be denied....

and let us not forget the list of charges Glenn Marshall plead guilty to...now there is an interesting read...


Smoking Owl got it right - send them the message that reading is fundamental. That, and knowledge is power.

Smoking Owl said...

Gladys, I think you're right. I get the feeling that people think the opposition to the casino has petered out.

Even new Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell says Middleboro WANTS a casino. Unless people come to this website and read the blogs, the average Middleboro resident has no clue there is still an anti-casino movement. Even Jane Lopes in last week's Gazette more or less wrote that we should get a life.

Public demonstrations will show that the NO CASINO crowd is still out there, as well as the "I'm fed up with the BOS" crowd.

P.S. Is it just me or does Cedric Cromwell sound like the name of a former British Prime Minister rather than the leader of an Indian tribe?

Gladys Kravitz said...

Smoking Owl, Thanks for your support. And LOL! BTW I felt the same way about Jane Lopes when she was posting regularly on the Forum of the Macabre.

I think there has been a tendency to over-worry about how public events and demonstrations will be perceived. But conversely, not acting at all sends a perception that nothing is happening.

I see nothing wrong with sending a message via reading glasses - which will ultimately no doubt be donated to charity.

I think it's long overdue, and until that IGA is a collection of ashes, I think we need to keep sending messages.

p.s. I think reading glasses can also be had for cheap at yard sales...

Anonymous said...

Gladys,
I love the analogy, reading glasses for the BOS, (we might want to include instructions on what you do with them and how to put them on).

Come now, we must do this together. The message will be clear, even if there is no mention of receiving these at any of the BOS meetings it still will serve it's purpose and the intent will be known to them. Sometimes that can be more powerful than spoken words. But, knowing this town like I do, believe me, word will get out about the BOS being sent, (hopefully), dozens of reading glasses. Just go into any hair dressers, barber shop, or coffee shop in town, Fri.- Wed. you will hear all the news in town before the Gazette comes out that Thursday.

Lets go for it!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea and have a letter composed to send. My hesitation is that I have sent letters in the past, hand delivered and they have been ignored.
I'm not sure what's going on within Town Hall.
The stories about the hauntings may be true. The spirits might be creating havoc with communications with town officials that they are unaware of. And all of those emails that are not receiving responses? These are clearly IT savvy spirits! Maybe they could design a new town website instead of creating havoc? Naw!

Smoking Owl said...

I would like to send documentation on the Mashpee Wampanoag "Tribe".

From research I've found, the Mashpee "Tribe" did not exist until the Mashpee land was deeded by a chief of the Nauset Indians to provide a place where the "praying Indians", who had converted to Christianity, could settle.
The praying Indians of Mashpee sided with the whites during King Philips War and refused to join the Indian confedracy against the white settlers.
The Mashpee "Tribe" at the time was actually made up of native american individuals from multiple Massachusetts and Rhode Island tribes that converted to Christianity and were moved to Mashpee. So in effect the Mashpee "Tribe" has no historical ties anywhere except those that were created by the white man to provide a place for Christian Indians to live by the white man's customs. History tells us they are not even all Wampanoags.

What would the BOS think of that historical fact?

Anonymous said...

Gladys,

Since I know the pro casino crowd trolls your comments and sometimes spends hours reading, analyzing and ..... aaaahhhh, maybe they're doing more.

I thought you should be aware that Ocean State has sunglasses on sale this week.

Now I can't speak with any certainty, but maybe they have rose colored glasses since this BOS surely needs them.

Or maybe they have dark shades since they were clearly BLINDED BY THE LIGHT of the gold that glittered before them or Glenn Marshall's presence.

I plan to trek on down tomorrow and check out the inventory.

I'm truly sorry that I've put this off for so long, but it just seems like I've been shovelling too much snow and then letting the sore muscles recover! But I think it's a great idea and intend to do my share -- starting tomorrow!

I'll let you know what shades they have that are appropriate for this impaired Board!

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