Thursday, May 29, 2008

Catch and Release

On the morning of January 19th I read a news story about a creature known as the Northern Red Bellied Cooter - which was purportedly inhabiting the site of the proposed casino in Middleboro.

Intrigued, I spent the rest of the morning reading up on, then blogging about the cooter, whose northernmost habitat stretches up into Bridgewater - my neck of the woods!

After the article, the blog and the cooter controversy which followed, the entire family became interested in the endangered little turtle with the funny name. And in the months that followed we learned of several local headstarting programs which remove cooter eggs from the nest, raise them until they are just large enough not to make for an easy snack for fellow forest-dwellers, then release them back into the wild. My son even chose to do a school project on the NRBC!

Yesterday my friend Frank sent me a heads-up from Mass-Wildlife that this Monday there will be a cooter release, open to the public, in Middleboro! For anyone who also has become enamored of the NRBC, this would be a great opportunity to see the rare species up close and to help it get gain a stronger foothold in our region. Hey, maybe we'll even see you there!

Here's the details:

MassWildlife Advisory

Monday, June 2, 2008—Turtle Release in Middleboro 10:30 AM. Media and interested citizens invited to assist biologists release turtles.

BACKGROUND: Hatchling Northern Red-bellied Cooters (turtles) were removed from the wild last fall and placed with partnering educational and scientific facilities from across the state to accelerate growth and reduce mortality during a turtle’s first year of life. Raised in warm aquarium environments with unlimited food, these turtles grow quickly and are no longer as vulnerable to predation when released the following year. The process is called “Headstarting” . Cooperating partners will be bringing approximately 150 headstarted turtles to MassWildlife’ s Field Headquarters in Westboro for final weighing, measuring and shell marking. Release will take place at Great Quittacas and Pocksha Ponds in Middleboro on Monday, June 2 at 10:30 AM.

Originally, known as the Plymouth Red-belly turtle, Northern Red-bellied Cooters are classified as endangered species at both the state and federal level. These turtles are Massachusett’s second largest freshwater turtle, behind the snapper, measuring up to 12 inches in shell length and reaching weights of up to 10 pounds. They are only found in the Plymouth County region of southeastern Massachusetts, completely isolated from other populations found in the mid-Atlantic states. They are named for their coral-red plastron (underbelly of shell).

Only a few hundred adult red-bellied cooters were believed to exist in the Commonwealth in 1984. Low survival rates of eggs and hatchlings are a factor limiting the species’ population. Turtle nests are plundered by scavenging raccoons and skunks, while quarter-sized hatchlings emerging in late summer face a gauntlet of predators such as fish, frogs and wading birds, not to mention ever-encroaching residential development complete with kids, pets and cars, all of which spell death for the tiny reptiles.

Habitat management efforts have been initiated with area landowners on lakes and ponds where turtle nests have been located and protected. Over 2,000 turtles have been released through the Headstart program since it’s inception since the mid-1980’s. At least three headstarted turtles are known to have nested in this time period.


Long Point Road, Middleborough: From Rte 495 take Exit 4 for Rte 105 south. Follow 105 through Lakeville center and past Assawompsett Pond on left and stay straight when Rte. 18 turns to the right. Take left on Long Point Road and follow across causeway between Pocksha and Great Quittacas ponds to meeting/release site.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It’s a Blog’s Life.

I’ve been away from my blog for 15 days. And It's making me crazy.

It hasn't always been this way.

I don’t remember the first time I ever heard the word ‘weblog’ – a personal digital journal available for free and accessible to all - but I do remember thinking, ‘Why would anyone want to read someone else’s weblog of daily musings about themselves, let alone write one?’

And then, in 2005, I experienced (and somehow survived) a freak accident which sent me on a nightmare journey through our emergency health care system.

Once back home, in excruciating pain and confined unwillingly to bed, I found myself consumed with the need to tell somebody about my experience. So I picked up the laptop and, over the course of several days, worked nearly non-stop to put the whole story, the entire epic black comedy, into something I then could share with my family and friends. And for lack of a better term, I decided to call it my ‘blog’.

Knowing that the finished product was out there - out of my hands and into the world - was a relief. Sort of like the cathartic feeling one might experience after a long walk, or returning home refreshed and renewed from a much-needed vacation.
The astonishing part though, was that, despite it’s marathon length, everybody I sent my ‘blog’ to, actually took the time to read it. More interesting was that everyone had a different take on it – and even something different to say about it! And hey, if nothing else, it sure beat having to have to tell the same story 100 times.

So, I toyed briefly with the idea of continuing my ‘blog’, but in the days after sending out my original epic, I no longer found myself consumed with the need to share my personal experiences.

…Until May of 2007, a little over a year ago, when a lawyer named Jon Whitten stood in front of an assembled group of concerned citizens in the Middleboro Town Hall and told us that, well… life as we knew it, was over. That a casino was a ‘done deal’.

I far as I was concerned, however, this was still America. I’d worked hard for my quality of life and knew I should have a voice, and a choice, in what happened to it.

And so I did something I’ve never done before - I wrote an editorial.

I called it “What Happens in Middleboro Won’t Stay in Middleboro' and spent a whole week agonizing over it. Then I asked a reporter friend of mine to help get it published. The Brockton Enterprise thought it was good - but too long. Still, I kept hoping that someone out there at any newspaper would read my editorial about casinos and sovereign nations and 'done deals' and think - 'Hey this is a good story - maybe I'll investigate!"

But Glenn Marshall just seemed to get all the press.

I was disappointed - until a few friends mentioned reading my editorial in a couple of the Bridgewater newspapers - one of which I hadn't even submitted it to! So I kept writing, though condensing my words into the more palatable editorial snacks the Enterprise seemed to prefer.

But it didn’t take long before I realized that some things, some TRUE and IMPORTANT things, were just never going to be printed in the newspapers. Like an actor, I often found that some of my best work had only made it as far as the cutting room floor.

Suddenly, it seemed, I had another story that needed to be told. And so in June I said, “Mark, I think we need to add blogs to the ( web site.” Mark agreed.

I didn’t know much about blogging back then, but bloggers, as far as I could tell, always seemed to have catchy names. So Mary Tufts became Gladys Kravitz, Middleboro’s Nosy Neighbor.

And because I didn’t know much about blogging, except that it seemed to be right thing to do when you needed to tell your story, those first editorials became my first posts. Eventually I'd come to realize what a truly individual and powerful medium a blog could be.

Over the course of the next year I would discover that blogs could educate and inspire, that they could document a journey, expose shady shenanigans, and even give people a laugh when they really needed one.

Some other observations about blogging for a cause…

Enjoy your anonymity while it lasts. It won't.

You can’t always hit one out of the park. No matter how hard we try, there will always be the blogs that people remember. And there always seems to be pressure to live up to them. That pressure either gets in the way, or makes you try harder. You can respond accordingly. But you still can't always hit one out of the park.

You will find your detractors. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mommy blogger, a hobby blogger or you blog for a cause, like I do. Your presence on the web will attract attention, both good and bad. And how you deal with the bad, doesn’t always translate into how you will be treated by them. You can ignore them, or try to reason with them, or even offer them sympathy. It often won’t matter. Some people are just going to latch on to a blog and the blogger as an outlet to fill some psychological need. These people run the gamut from trolls to cyberbullies to cyberstalkers.

I recently caught a Nightline episode about a well-known ‘mommy blogger’ who has been on the receiving end of many disturbing comments and e-mails. This woman merely writes a on-line journal about her day to day life as a wife and mother, and yet, people still manage to take personal offense.

And then there is Rachel North, a woman who survived a violent rape and not long after, became a victim of London’s 7/7/05 subway bombings. She started a blog to offer emotional support to fellow bombing survivors and to remember the those who died – only to find herself the object of a vicious cyberstalker, who once accused Ms. North of "making a living on the backs of the dead", and who also published insinuations that her father, a canon in the church, was a pedophile. Ms. North's cyberstalker - a serial cyberstalker who'd turned her venom on many as it turned out - was later sentenced to prison.

Really, it just doesn’t matter what you blog about. So, support your local bloggers. Chances are they put up with a lot just by putting themselves out there.

(Trust me, your kind comments sustain us.)

Blogging is hard. Committing to a blog is time consuming. It's a job. I’ve seen bloggers come and go. People have things to do after all. Some blog posts require a week or more of research or work to create something that their readers will probably absorb in under 3 minutes. This can be entirely demotivating to a person! ...unless the blogger knows that their visitors walk away knowing more or feeling better than they did when they first stopped by.

So, as far as I can tell, blogging is a lifestyle choice. I've lost sleep, gained weight, pulled out hair and argued until I am hoarse for my blog. I've blogged through the stomach flu and blogged on vacation and blogged when I really should have been exercising or doing laundry or gardening or enjoying the weather or any of the millions of things I used to do with some regularity before I became a blogger.

And I think I speak for many other bloggers when I say that for every moment of satisfaction that comes from finally publishing that arduous or problematic post, there are usually days of inner turmoil, conflicting priorities, and persistent detractors behind it. Blogging is hard.

But as hard as blogging can be, it can also be immensely satisfying - or why would we do it? Blogging has forced me to learn more, dig deeper and to keep going when it would have been so much easier to quit. I've developed new skills, met some really interesting people and gone to places I never would have had it not been for the desire to make my blog better, more meaningful, as accurate as possible, and just a place people want to visit.

Blogging can be powerful. I have heard people say things in front of large audiences that first appeared on my blog. I know this is true for my fellow bloggers, as well.

My blog has been read across the country, by newspaper reporters, and even by a few legislators. But in my opinion, a blog isn’t about how many people you reach. It’s about who you reach. An editorial can appear in a newspaper and be read by 20,000 people, but an anti-casino blog, read by a comparatively much smaller number of focused individuals who are more likely to be receptive to, or actually act on it’s message, can be endlessly more effective.

A single blog post can be like a crate of tea tossed into the harbor. It doesn't look like much in the beginning, but the ripple effect might turn out to be really something.

Listen to your instincts. People may have a lot of good advice, but they're generally applying it to themselves, not to you. In the end, you have to do what's best for you and your sanity as far as your blog is concerned.

A blog is a journey. Individual blog postings can be taken at face value, but the most remarkable and enduring aspect of the blog is that it is a diary. From point a, that first post, to point b, whichever is the most recent, a blog is a record of what has transpired, the feelings, the mood, the times, the people, the places and the writer. It is all of those things which tend to fade in our mortal memory banks. It is the whole story.

And the whole story is what, last year, I set out to tell.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Dilemma Zone

The light turns yellow as the intersection approaches. If you hit the breaks, you could get rear ended. If you go through the light, you could get hit. What do you do?

It’s a dilemma. And apparently, it’s one of the main causes of accidents on Rte. 44 that was discussed at the Mass Highway meeting last night in Middleboro.

...Where we learned that in the last three years there have been 100 accidents on the Middleboro stretch of 44 alone. Which was a little surprising even to those who’ve lived along the problematic highway for many years.

What is more surprising is that finally someone's going to do something about it.

Mass Highway is putting in turning lanes at the four Middleboro intersections with Rte. 44.


I could never understand why Middleboro seemed so resistant to the concept of the turning lane, especially since, for years, they’ve been cropping up pretty much everywhere else in efforts to reduce accidents and ease congestion. But once those turning lanes at the horrible intersection of Rtes. 28 and 105 showed up, I knew my old hometown had stepped into a new century.

And last night, an enormously grateful group of people showed up to listen to the presentation by Mass. Highway. We at even found ourselves on the same page as Town Planner Ruth Geoffroy and CRAC Chairman Brian Giovannoni. It was all good - the public good.


(wait for it...............)

Adam Bond raises his hand. Yes?

"Um... say a casino or… or… the new Plymouth Movie Studio comes into the picture..."

No kidding. First words out of his mouth. CASINO.

"…is there some way… in other words… what could STOP this project?"

The highway guy, not being from the Land of Oz, looks confused. Apparently, no one has ever done this.

This is Adam’s dilemma zone: After installing these turning lanes, Mass. Highway isn’t going to touch Rte. 44 for at least another 5 years. And that means no double barreled highway or other infrastructure improvements to the road which would make life easier (and cheaper) for casino investors. It could potentially even (gasp!) delay The Project.

But by all means, let’s see if we can’t delay the turning lanes instead. I mean, what’s another 100 accidents more or less if it saves some billionaires a little coin.

Adam regroups. “Well, ok, then how long after a Notice to Proceed will it start?”


I watch as Adam mentally adjusts his casino timeline.

The highway guy continues, “If you stop it, you will have to pay a penalty.”

Ooops. There goes someone’s year-end bonus.

A few minutes later, another hand is raised. “Nothing should stop it! How long have we waited for it? Why would anyone even mention stopping it?”

With casino interests at the wheel, that isn't much of a dilemma.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Black Gold

I was just saying to a friend I’ve made in the course of the casino battle, that the reason I kept coming back to Middleboro in the beginning, and have continued fighting all this time, has been the plain old inherent WRONGNESS of the whole thing.

I mean, every step of the way you can't help but bump into more WRONGNESS.

So here I am, with a year of continual WRONGNESS watching under my belt, perusing a Middleboro Gazette article about the town buying up land for conservation and for maintaining the rural atmosphere of Thompson Street. And that makes me feel all sort of warm and fuzzy – as if WRONGNESS has been banished momentarily in the name of all things good and right. Because Thompson Street is a really special place.

Let me tell you my Thompson Street story.

Back in my younger days a friend of mine, a Midwest city kid, paid me a visit. I took him to a Sox game, Harvard Square, Boston, the beach. But afterward, he simply asked to see cows. Cows? He’d never seen cows outside a page in a book.

Mind you, when I visited his city, I walked through the most amazing museums, ate incredible food at famous restaurants and looked out over two states from one of the tallest buildings in the world.

And all he wanted was cows? I tried to think of the perfect place to see cows. It’d been awhile since I’d lived in the country myself. Then I remembered Thompson Street. The greenest, farmiest, rurally place I could extract from personal memory. And so we drove down to Thompson Street, parked beside a shaggy field where a handful of the black and white manure makers were munching their lunch, then walked into the grass beside a fence.

My friend leaned up against that fence for a half hour with a dumb happy look on his face. I couldn’t see the attraction. Instead I contented myself with the warm breeze, blue skies and the smell of manure – slowly becoming nostalgic for those long ago days when the school bus took me by Leona or Picone Farm, and when, every year, a truck would pull up the driveway and leave behind a stinky embarrassing pile of what my mom called black gold, and which, by August, would transform our backyard garden into a flourishing earthly produce department with everything you’d need to make a spaghetti sauce or a rhubarb pie.

These places were dwindling even then, and searching my friend’s face, I mourned them. I missed them. Then I leaned against the fence and enjoyed the cows.

These days I have a friend on Thompson Street. At the moment, she’s moving and selling her 12.2 acres. And she’d found a buyer, but apparently, the town of Middleboro has the right of first refusal on the property. Which was fine with her since they said they wanted to purchase the land for conservation. That’s nice, I thought, remembering the black and white cows, and the smile on my friend's face. It's a special place.

But wait. As my eyes coursed down the article, they came to rest on that dread phrase I’ve learned has pre-empted much WRONGNESS in the past year: ‘executive session’.

“The selectmen discussed the plans in executive session”…


On further personal inquiry, I discovered that there is no way to attach a preservation restriction on this property. And that, apparently, there has been some discussion of possibly selling it, at some point in the future, to the Tribe.

Oh - ok - when you throw a casino into the mix, it suddenly all makes sense as to why a town that can’t afford to wants to spend money on ‘conservation’ land.

You see, this 12.2 acres abuts the current casino project property. And if a casino is ever built, the town could sell this precious ‘conservation land’ - which the Tribe would then take into trust to be absorbed into it’s largely unregulated Sovereign nation, and disapear off town tax rolls never to be seen or profitable again. And it could, in all likelihood, end up as a parking lot, or yet another part of a sprawling gambling casino resort encroaching even further into the lives of Middleboro families and farmland.

My friend was horrified to learn that the property she loved and had hoped to see used for farm, residential or conservation purposes could be turned around and used for casino expansion. She then offered to rescind the offer to sell. Ah, but too late!

Because someone in the planning department has dollar signs in their eyes (again), and won’t let her rescind the offer!

Listen, I don’t know how that works exactly, since it seems like the ultimate in WRONGNESS, but if Middleboro town officials can find a way to make WRONGNESS work for them and the casino they’ve sold their souls to, then gosh darnnit, take it from me, they're gonna do it. And so, at the Monday Town Meeting the town will magnanimously let the voters decide whether the town should purchase this property which the owner no longer wants to sell, for $244,000.

By the way, for the record, that same amount of money could also be used to keep the COA or Library open, fund emergency personnel, pay for 5 teachers, or give the school department some of the money it really needs.

But I have no doubt that there will be some excellent reasons offered at Town Meeting as to why purchasing this land for ‘conservation’ is more important right now. You may even want to take some of them home and spread them on the garden.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Red Shoes

Barbara looked nervous.

She was smiling and laughing but, even though I don’t know her very well, she still seemed a little nervous to me. Well, I guess that made two of us.

It was the night of the Bureau of Indian Affairs hearings and Barbara was sitting behind me - which I thought was odd since I would have expected her to be sitting on the other side of the room with the rest of the people supporting the casino project.

There we were, divided up like families at a wedding – or a murder trial.

Barbara and I haven’t always seen eye to eye on things. She was one of the Gambling Casino Impact Study Committee formed by the Middleboro Board of Selectmen, prior to them deciding that they really didn’t care about any gambling casino impacts.

After the No-Impact Committee gave their unanimous stamp of approval on the project, were thanked for their efforts, and marched off into the sunset - somehow they managed a rebirth, augmented with a few new members, as the Casino Resort Advisory Committee (or CRAC).

So, I wasn't expecting anything earth shattering from Barbara’s statement that evening, but then something interesting happened.

The first thing she wanted the BIA to know was that she was an environmental consultant, and that she’d served on Middleboro’s conservation commission. And then, she said that she didn’t think a casino was right for the Precinct Street property! In fact, she didn’t think it would be right for any development!!

Furthermore she hoped that going forward, the EIS process would be a responsible one. And that’s when I noticed she was having trouble. Barbara would never strike anyone as a weak person, but at the moment she seemed to be struggling to get the words out. Tortured, almost.

That's when she dropped the pretense. Where were the real plans, she asked? All that had been provided - and only a few days prior to the hearing at that - was something that looked like ‘the Sunday funnies”. And she wanted to know how something 2 dimensional and with no detail could possibly elicit any concrete comprehensive comments. Obviously, the process was moving too rapidly.

In other words, according to this environmental consultant and former member of the conservation commission - is anyone actually serious about the environmental impacts of this monstrosity on an extremely sensitive piece of wetland?

She rocked.

Her brief statement ended with resounding and unexpected applause – from every side of the room. And when she sat back down, she didn’t look nervous anymore. Just happy and relieved to have been able to finally tell it like it really is.

I know this couldn’t have been easy for Barbara. She was putting herself on the line in a town that she loves - and served - by not toeing the line of required support for the project demanded by the Intergovernmental Agreement, and undoubtedly expected from her committee chairman, the ever enthusiastic Brian Giovanonni, badly feigning nonchalance on the other side of the room.

I turned and caught her eye. “Thank you,” I said.

Barbara smiled, and nodded.

Friends, as many of you know, I've often used the Wizard of Oz analogy on this blog to describe having found myself swept into a strange situation, of traveling down new roads, of finding friends along the way, and of sometimes becoming the target of wicked witches, flying monkeys and angry fruit-lobbing apple trees.

But along this journey, which has lasted now for a year, I’ve been guided by a pair of symbolic ruby slippers I’ve kept tight on my feet. Those slippers have always lead me to do my best to tell the truth, to do the right thing, to be brave, to be strong, and to hope that eventually, by staying on this course, that they’ll bring me back home.

Getting swept off course is easy. Finding the right road again - especially when all the signs are pointing you in the opposite direction - that's the hard part.

Therefore, Barbara, for meritorious conduct, extraordinary valor, and conspicuous bravery against Wicked Witches, poppies, and the Status Quo, I award you the Order of the Red Shoes. You are now a member of the Legion of Courage.

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday Balloon
Happy Birthday Cake
Happy Birthday to you,
You've always stayed true,
There won't be a casino
Thanks in large part to you!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Blogfathers

Ok, let me see if I've got this straight...

First we were racists, then we were nazis, and now, apparently, we are the mafia.

This can only mean one thing... my favorite Middleboro selectman and casino cheerleader is blogging again.

Just when I think I'm out... they pull me back in!

In his tireless effort to raise the level of the casino issue dialogue, Adam Bond first removed a link on his blog to, because the website links to...

(O M G)

...other blogs.

(Quickly! Take the children out of the room!)

And blogs (translation: anti-casino blogs) according to Adam, are mean.

Yet, bada bing, in a display of irony, Mr. Bond continues to link to a web site which once opined that anti-casino folks were using scare tactics, bigotry, prejudice and hate to get their message across. (That was pretty mean.)

Stranger still, since Mr. Bond seems to think he's the one wearing the size XX-Large pearly white baseball cap in all this, is that his blog continues, as of this writing, to link to yet another certain pro-casino web site owner who

  • has publicly called anti-casino activists racists, terrorists and liars (oh my!).
  • ...and who, when desperate for a darker moniker, even sinks to the level of calling them pedophiles.
  • ...and who ran a contest with a real cash-equivalent prize to humiliate an anti-casino blogger with sexually suggestive photos.
  • ...and who threatened said blogger with violence
  • ...and who purchased a domain name in that blogger's real name with an offer to sell it for the right price,
  • ...and who's web site forum regularly features Middleboro town committee chairmen and others who lob threats of litigation at casino opponents like so many venom-filled intimidation grenades
  • ...and who's website front page offers an ever-changing daily rant of nonsensical accusations blaming anyone and everyone except himself for all his problems.
(Phew! That is super mean!)

But then, this volatile individual also sponsors Adam's weekly radio show, and doesn't. So, I guess that makes it ok. (I keep forgetting that money makes everything OK with Adam.)

Fuggedaboutit. None of that matters. Because in the upside down bizarro world of Adam Bond, we - anti-casino bloggers - are the bad guys using 'extortion' and/or 'coercion' to attain our goals.

From a Coffee Shop Talk blog about recent attempts by some bloggers to get the aforementioned scary-wierd web site owner to take it down a couple notches:

"Extortion is commonly practiced by organized crime groups. The actual obtainment of money or property is not required to commit the offense. Making a threat of violence or a lawsuit which refers to a requirement of a payment of money or property to halt future violence or lawsuit is sufficient to commit the offense."

By the way, can someone tell me if is this an example of coercion?:

... Hurry up and vote for the agreement NOW or they'll come anyway and we'll get nothing...

Hmmm... sounds an awful lot like one of those offers you can't refuse...

Folks, wanna know why there are so many bloggers out there criticizing Mr. Bond and the casino project? Because they've done their research, that's why. They've read independent studies which indicate casinos bring increased violent and white collar crime, spousal abuse, divorce, bankruptcy, child abuse and neglect, gambling addiction and suicide. And because they watched a seriously, and horribly, flawed process take place over the summer. Not because they are any of the colorful labels that some pro-casino people have tired to pin on them.

Yet, our Mr. Bond feels personally persecuted, and perceives he is being held to a different standard.

Well... he is. Adam Bond is an elected official in the town of Middleboro. He ran for office, won, and became entrusted with doing the best job he can for the 22,000 folks who live there. But over the summer I watched him and the other board members cavelierly sell their town out to casino interests. And they never once appeared to understand or appreciate the magnitude and repercussions of their actions.

Outraged bloggers stepped in. We can't make policy, or sign multi-million dollar agreements or write off a portion of a 338 year old town, but we can comment on the actions of those who do.

Just look at the recent Middleboro town manager search. I know that many of us looked up the candidates on the Internet, and found them being discussed on blogs - and it was helpful in the decision process to read those opinions. People who are entrusted with profound responsibilities should be expected to come under such scrutiny. Yet Mr. Bond calls this a 'nightmare'.

What of the nightmare of those who may find their homes in the shadow of a looming 18 story gambling casino? Did he even hear the young man at the BIA hearing who worked hard and did his best to buy a home he now can't sell due to it's proximity to the proposed casino site? What of the nightmare of the father of twins who faces the prospect of raising them with a casino peering into their backyard? What of the nightmare of generations of future gambling addicts and their families?

What of my own nightmare, of being relentlessly harrassed for close to a year now by an obviously unstable and potentially dangerous individual legitimized by a sitting Middleboro selectman on his blog and radio show?

Why does Adam get to make the big decisions and get off nightmare free? Why does he seem to feel entitled to inflict carnage, then slip off quietly into the witness protection program?

I'm not trying to be some wiseguy, here. Democracy requires a system of checks and balances. Check, meet balance.

I have only one regret as a blogger - that our blogs weren't established before Mr. Bond and his crew had their way with the town of Middleboro. Perhaps then he, and they, would have thought twice before rushing into an agreement. Perhaps they would have done their homework. Perhaps they would have taken the time to hold public forums with people other than Glenn Marshall and a pack of money-hungry casino-shilling lawyers. Perhaps the gavel would have been given a rest. And perhaps, if they realized that someone, someday might be googling their name and clicking onto one of our blogs, they might have more fully considered what constitutes someone else's nightmare before inflicting one upon them.

Mr. Bond frequently states that he'd like to raise the level of the debate. What debate? He successfully managed to squelch any meaningful debate by rushing into the agreement, by co-authoring Section 22 B of that agreement, and by steadfastly ignoring the fact that the town voted No on Article 3 - that they didn't WANT a casino.

Let's face it, Mr. Bond just wants to raise the level of the debate so high that no one will be able to look down and see his own tracks in the mud.

Good luck, Mr. Bond. In the meantime, I’ll give your regards to Vito, Sonny, Tony, Paulie Walnuts, Uncle Junior and the rest of the family.