Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where's Maine?

Oh, it's somewhere north of Massachusetts.  Keep driving and you'll be sure to find it.  New Hampshire?  Vermont?  Never heard of them!
Congratulations for making us dumber, CNN.  Apparently Fox doesn't have that monopoly anymore.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Great Question!

“We may look at [a certain] street and figure out how to make it more user-friendly,”  -Robert Moylan, Department of Public Works Commissioner
Are you sure about that Commissioner?

 “There’s usually little additional cost associated with accommodating bicycles and pedestrians,” he says. “Sometimes as little as changing the striping on the road.  Are we just building more of the same or are we building the 21st century transportation system we want and need?”  -David Watson, Executive Director of MassBike

Just think- that giant stretch of black asphalt could have been a bike lane, or three!  And while I am on the subject of bike lanes, why didn't they include one during the recent resurfacing of Chandler Street?  Maybe it's because the surface isn't finished yet?  Biking to work last week down Chandler Street was a major inconvenience due to the half assed finishing job on the street surface.  The road surface wasn't even finished and flush with the curbs and driveways, making my minuscule bike space a rutted, uneven, debris filled obstacle course.  Kudos to Worcester Magazine's Jeremy Shulkin for another great article!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Too Much Information

The Washington Post's Dana Priest and William Arkin wrote an excellent expose on data mining and our intelligence community's inability to deal with the sheer volume of gathered intelligence.  Glenn Greenwald also touches on the subject, and the sheer volume of links in his piece provide a deeper picture of the intelligence abyss. 

PBS had an excellent Frontline piece called The Man Who Knew that pointed out the flaws in our intelligence community pre-9/11.  PBS argued that the problem wasn't a lack of intelligence, rather it was the inability of the intelligence community to listen and cooperate with each other.  We still haven't heeded that warning, proving politicians prefer immediate resolutions rather than true problem solving.

Here we are almost nine years later, and the sheer amount of information we have collected at the expense of our Constitutional rights isn't helping.  It's time to rethink how we keep our nation safe.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Worcester Blog Post Of The Year!!!

Congratulations, Gabe!  I wish I had written that piece!

My only hope for that section of the Canal District (Green Island to all you grrrls out there) is a green space.  I nominate the whole section of property from the Smokehouse Urban Barbecue to Fiddler's Green as a future green space.  It would be a hell of a lot prettier than the bombed out parking lot view we have now.

Waah!!!! Waah!!!! Waah!!!!

The more I hear from the Tea Party, the more I feel like they are acting like spoiled children when they don't get their way.

Example?  Today's T&G has an article announcing a protest of their own darling, Senator Scott Brown.

Why?  Because he voted with Democrats on legislation that (in theory) would offer taxpayers protection against a rapacious Wall Street culture.

This is supposed to be a good thing.  Regulation keeps you from getting screwed, Tea Partiers.  The last economic meltdown occurred because of a lack of we should protest in favor of less regulation??????  The road to irrelevancy is paved with pages from Atlas Shrugged, Tea Partiers!
Rational T&G comment of the week belongs to Ed:
"I've only taken two basic university classes in economics. I mostly read my medical journals for work and history for recreation. I do like to follow the news daily. There are a few things that are extremely obvious even to a non-expert like me! For example, that both the Reagan and Bush era tax cuts to the wealthy led to larger deficits and long term decline in growth. And, that deregulating any industry too much can lead to disasters, since the public is left unguarded against excess. What I fail to understand is this: do these conservative Congressional Republicans really believe that tax cuts for the wealthy work? Do they believe that more and more deregulation is in the interest of the nation's safety and prosperity? That is, have they missed the obvious evidence? Or, do they merely spout propaganda to mislead people so that they get the backing of wealthy donors?"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Worcester's Tim Collins was part of a 5 player trade between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Atlanta Braves.

Tim has been dominant at Double A New Hampshire this year, and now he will probably pitch for Atlanta's Double A affiliate, the Mississippi Braves.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I like this idea.

"The city is launching a new initiative to encourage economic development with an artistic bent."
Perhaps we should begin with a public transportation system that runs past 8PM, or a cheaper cab system that offers a Passenger Bill of Rights like Toronto.

Imagine trolley cars like this running up and down Main Street, Shrewsbury Street or the Canal District every weekend night.  Imagine college students pedaling customers throughout the Canal District.  Imagine what a $5,000 micro-grant could do to help the various festivals and free concert programs in the City.


Public-private parternships.

That catchphrase has been tossed around more than a few times by our City Council and City Manager.  Hopefully they'll read this article and start to think a little more critically about this issue. 

After all, didn't we just extricate the City from a public-private partnership with National Grid?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Would you like some free Crestor with your lasagna?

I wrote about it last week, and it happened.  Pharmaceutical companies will soon be able to bribe provide free lunches for doctors in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and not disclose what they are doing.  I hope the reconciliation package omits the free lunch rule.

Community Development Corporations.

I love this question:
“The city is by no means abandoning the CDCs,” Ms. Vachon-Jackson said yesterday at the ceremony. “We'll be taking a look at hard data — vacancies, foreclosures, overcrowding — and form a policy based on that. Does it make sense for CDCs to build new properties, or help us with the foreclosure problem?”
 YES!!!  The City should be doing everything in its power to solve the foreclosure problem. 

Foreclosure = Urban Decay, and we have had way too much of that in Worcester in the past 30 years.  

Food and Beer.

Here's the money quote from Bill Clapper's review of the Armsby Abbey in the Telegram & Gazette:
"Armsby Abbey’s raison d’etre is beer, and the more exotic the beer, the higher Armsby rises to the challenge."
Why didn't Mr. Clapper mention the beer in his review?  (I really hope that's a real name and not a nom de's so much fun to say!)  The Armsby is all about fantastic beer and Slow food.  Missing both in the review doesn't do justice to the owner's vision, and ensures that there will be people who go to the Armsby and miss the point.  I love the place- I've never had a bad meal, beer or experience there.  It's a shame that Mr. Clapper only handed out three stars out of four- I believe the Armsby is one of the best bars in Worcester.
The trolls were out in full force in today's review and last Thursday's article about the negative aspects of the Summer Nationals.  There's a wide range of reviews on Yelp, (Thirty 5-star reviews, twenty three 4-star reviews, six 3-star reviews, four 2-star reviews, and two 1-star reviews.)  Even though I'm not a fan of trolls, they make for some entertaining reading!
Speaking of beer, I found this Op-Ed interesting.  There's always been a problem with wholesalers in Massachusetts regarding craft beer, and I don't want to see it get worse!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

DBag of the Day!

Congratulations Terry Savage, you win Douchebag of the Day!

I love his logic- giving away another person's stuff for free is wrong.
Charging money for another person's stuff is fine, as long as you make more money.

This is why we have trillion dollar bailouts for large corporations, and nothing for the working poor.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Free lunches.

I understand that the food industry has been hurt by the ban on pharmaceutical free lunches for doctors.  (I make fewer lunches a week thanks to this ban, and end up working fewer hours a year.)  I do think it's a good idea, especially when reading this article, this article, and this article.

But we all know that lobbyists have influence, and all it takes is one elected official to start the repeal train.  State Representative Brian Dempsey, start that pity party!  (I hope your doctor doesn't prescribe Crestor for your LDLs.  You might end up with diabetes.)

While we're on the subject of elected officials and repeal trains, a big shout out needs to go to 'Independent' Scott Brown.  Thanks for screwing up the Massachusetts budget, Senator.  Apparently yes means no and it also means screw you, Massachusetts.