Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I turned 39 (2014)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Springfield Massachusetts Politics & other financially needy Massachusetts communities

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Merrill Lynch's dealings with Springfield have spawned a probe by the state attorney general. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
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"Springfield left its fate to Merrill: Firm called shots in complex, costly investments"
By Beth Healy, Boston Globe Staff, January 28, 2008

SPRINGFIELD - Trouble has a way of finding this long-struggling city. But in November 2006, when Springfield financial officials found themselves with a multimillion-dollar surplus of cash for the first time in years, it seemed as though their troubles were behind them.

Not for long. Just 10 months after placing some $50 million with Merrill Lynch & Co., those same officials would be scrambling to explain how they'd lost nearly $13 million on investments so risky that state law bars cities and towns from owning them - investments linked to the subprime mortgage collapse that has rocked Wall Street and world markets.

"There are no more aggressive sellers in this business than the investment banks," state Treasurer Timothy Cahill said in an interview about the Springfield losses. "Generally they have an advantage when they go into a city or town."

In this case, Merrill Lynch - the firm that bet the most on the subprime market and was about to lose the most - was clearly in the driver's seat. Merrill wasn't a mere broker ped dling investments to Springfield. It was the creator of these complex securities, the seller, and the sole calculator of their value.

And there is evidence that Merrill did not fully disclose the nature of the investments until it was too late.

To be sure, Springfield officials should never have allowed this investment to take place. But their correspondence with Merrill shows that they were confused about what they had agreed to. Merrill's dealings with Springfield have spawned investigations by Secretary of State William F. Galvin and Attorney General Martha Coakley, and inside Merrill Lynch itself.

Christopher Gabrieli, chairman of the control board that oversees Springfield's finances and a former candidate for governor, said, "It's fairly clear that Merrill offered us and sold us something clearly unsuitable for us, and not something we were eligible to buy."

Bill Halldin, a Merrill Lynch spokesman, declined to say whether the investments were appropriate for Springfield, saying only, "We are conducting an extended review of the circumstances of these transactions and expect to respond further to the city shortly."

At Springfield City Hall, the first clue that something had gone terribly wrong came last July, on a monthly statement from Merrill Lynch - and it was subtle. The names of three investments worth $13.9 million in its account had suddenly changed. Now, each one had the acronym "CDO" tagged onto its name.

A large investment that had been called Centre Square Ltd. - at least through June - was now called Centre Square CDO. Two other, smaller investments also had their names changed. CDO is shorthand for collateralized debt obligation, a security based on a portfolio of sliced-up bonds and loans. In this case, the underlying portfolio included mortgage-related securities.

There were reports detailing record home foreclosures and concerns about credit ratings on CDOs. And there were dire warnings of losses to come at Wall Street's investment houses, which had loaded up on these arcane investments and were now repackaging them and selling them to individuals, not just to large, sophisticated investors.

The full pain of the wreckage would not come until later in the year. Merrill Lynch has now rung up losses of $7.8 billion in 2007, written down the value of $24 billion in investments and ousted its chief executive as a result of the debacle. And around the world, losses from subprime mortgages and the securities built around them have hit an estimated $170 billion.

Merrill Lynch said it could not explain why the names of Springfield's investments changed last July. But the timing of the disclosures was more than a little curious.

By August, the market value of Springfield's three CDO investments had fallen 25 percent, on paper. By the end of September, they had plunged 50 percent, according to Merrill Lynch's calculations. And at the end of November, the original investment of $13.9 million was marked down to less than $1.3 million.

Springfield officials were slow to react. Letters between the city and Merrill Lynch's legal department dealing with rudimentary questions about the CDOs were penned in November and December, long after the losses had hit. It wasn't until November that officials would learn the details of Centre Square - a "CDO of CDOs" registered in the Cayman Islands and put together by Merrill and a New York hedge fund firm, Petra Capital Management.

Centre Square was a $462 million portfolio created by Merrill Lynch out of CDOs it owned. Wall Street firms were creating such vehicles in droves, according to analysts and rating firms. For a fee, Petra Capital repackaged the securities into the Centre Square entity, and Merrill Lynch then sold the new securities to its clients.

Merrill Lynch was also the underwriter of the other two CDOs it sold to Springfield. Springfield was not a first-round buyer in any of the CDOs, Merrill said; the city bought into them only after the large institutional investors who first bought them sold their holdings.

It is up to a city's treasurer to make sure its investments are appropriate, according to Cahill and other officials who are responsible for city or state monies.

Springfield Treasurer Salvatore R. Calvanese's signature appears on the Merrill Lynch account documents.

But there were four people in the room when Merrill Lynch and two other Wall Street firms made their pitches in November 2006 for the city's cash management business, including Calvanese and the man who is now executive director of the control board, Stephen Lisauskas. The state-run control board, which has overseen Springfield's finances since 2004, did not review the investment decision, current and former board members said.

The bidding process was informal, documents obtained by the Globe in a public-records request show. In fact, there was no competitive bidding process by the city, but rather a decision to invite the three firms to make presentations.

A local broker for Morgan Stanley brought charts showing typical returns for government bonds and money-market funds, in the 4.6 percent to 5.3 percent range. A Springfield broker from UBS Financial Securities Inc. showed similar products, and included in his proposal a copy of the Massachusetts statute that limits municipalities' cash investments to safe, conservative accounts.

Such funds, the law states, should earn the "highest possible rate," while taking account of "safety, liquidity, and yield." Specifically, the money should be invested prudently, at a low risk of loss, and should be in accounts that the city could cash out of within 365 days.

The third broker, Carl J. Kipper, came from Merrill Lynch's Albany, N.Y., office. Kipper knew Lisauskas, having worked with the control board member's wife in the past. Kipper brought a package that showed rates no higher than 5.2 percent. The choices were unglamorous - money markets, US government debt sold by the Treasury, and highly rated debt from large, well-known companies.

Nowhere in his proposal did the words "collateralized debt obligation" appear.

The city of Springfield's lawyer, Edward M. Pikula, said city officials did not receive or read a written description of Centre Square until Merrill's assistant general counsel, V. James Mann, sent the 235-page offering document to them in November, in response to concerns raised by the treasurer.

Said Pikula, "There is no written record of a financial disclosure [of the CDOs] until the private placement memorandum of Nov. 29, 2007."

Had they read it earlier, they would have seen on page 13 that Centre Square securities could involve "a high degree of risk and are intended for sale only to sophisticated investors who are capable of understanding and assuming the risks involved." In addition, the memorandum said there could be "no assurance" of a market to exit the securities.

Reading a prospectus is a basic duty of a treasurer before making any investment, a number of city and state officials said. Calvanese declined to be interviewed. But city officials and lawyers briefed on the situation said Calvanese and others who weighed in on hiring Merrill Lynch relied on the firm's assurances that the investment met the legal standard for safety and prudence.

In Mann's Nov. 29 letter to Calvanese, he said, "The current lack of liquidity for this security was not anticipated at the time the City made its investment - it results from an unexpected confluence of market conditions."

He said that, until August, it had been possible to trade in and out of Centre Square and other CDOs, but that the market had dried up, making it impossible to sell the securities without taking a loss.

The losses on the city's books are, for now, paper losses. That is, there is no real loss unless the city were to sell the CDOs now for a poor price. In theory, if the city holds onto its investment until, and if, the market improves, it could recoup the original funds it invested. To date, the investment is still paying income, as promised, because the underlying mortgage notes are still earning interest.

It appears from letters between Calvanese and Merrill Lynch that the treasurer took Centre Square's AAA ratings - the highest available - to mean the investments were low-risk. It's a common misconception with these complex securities; in fact, the rating agencies are evaluating the likelihood of the security to keep paying interest and principle on time - not the market value of the security itself.

It's a little like assessing the ability of a homeowner to make his or her mortgage payments. That's separate from judging the market value of the homeowner's house - or whether it can be sold at all.

This month, Standard & Poor's, the bond-rating agency, put a number of CDOs, including Centre Square, on a negative watch, meaning there is now concern about those income streams going forward. The AAA ratings remain for now.

Michael D. Conrad, treasurer and collector for Worcester, said he hires only banks to manage that city's cash.

"I don't know a lot about these CDOs," Conrad said. "We all got somewhat educated by the fact of what happened in Springfield. It was probably some type of AAA-rated security, so it may have been thought of as safe. But I would never look at something to that effect."

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Beth Healy can be reached at bhealy@globe.com. Steven Syre of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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"Ties alleged between broker, official"
Posted by The Republican Newsroom January 18, 2008 22:26PM
By PETER GOONAN, pgoonan@repub.com, The Springfield, Massachusetts, Republican

SPRINGFIELD - The executive director of the Springfield Finance Control Board said Friday he is confident review of a nearly $13 million investment loss of city funds with Merrill Lynch will show his own actions were proper.

Stephen P. Lisauskas offered the comment in response to the assertion by City Councilor James J. Ferrera III that Lisauskas had friendship ties with a Merrill Lynch agent, Carl J. Kipper, who invested city funds.

Lisauskas declined comment on any ties, but said, "I am confident that a review will find that I acted properly."

The state attorney general and secretary of state's office are investigating the investment, and the secretary of state has subpoenaed two Merrill Lynch agents who handled city funds: Kipper, of the Merrill Lynch Albany office; and Manuel Choy, of Clifton Park, N.Y.

Lisauskas knows Kipper, and when Lisauskas worked as Natick's deputy administrator more than two years ago, he suggested the Natick town treasurer call Kipper with regard to a possible investment, Natick Treasurer Robert A. Palmer said Friday.

Natick opened an account with Kipper, but never put money in it, opting to go with commercial banks instead, Palmer said.

In addition, The Boston Globe reported Friday that Lisauskas worked with Kipper's wife, Maureen, in the late 1990s at the New York office of the state comptroller.

Ferrera said the state agencies need "to do their investigation and put the pieces of the puzzle together."

"For some reason, it just doesn't pass the smell test for me," Ferrera said of the city's choice of Merrill Lynch.

When asked recently by The Republican about his relationship with Carl Kipper, Lisauskas said, "There is no inappropriate relationship. There is nothing that was taken by anybody on the city or control board side that was in any interest but the public interest."

The city used two firms for its investments in the past, Morgan Stanley and UBS. It added Merrill Lynch, through its Albany office, after all three companies made presentations to city officials. The four-member review committee included Lisauskas, according to city records.

The investment of $13.9 million with Merrill Lynch last spring was directed to funds tied to the troubled subprime mortgage market, and plummeted in value to approximately $1.2 million by the end of November, city officials said.

The city is seeking full reimbursement from Merrill Lynch, claiming the firm was responsible for investing the funds in avenues not permitted by state law. Merrill Lynch denies responsibility, saying the city made the investment decisions.

Christopher F. Gabrieli, chairman of the control board, declined comment regarding Lisauskas, Kipper or Ferrera.

"We are not going to comment on issues that may be directly related to the investigation or issues that are handled by routine confidential procedures such as personnel," Gabrieli said.

City Councilor Timothy J. Rooke said Friday he has full confidence in Lisauskas, believing his action in areas such as public pensions and health insurance have saved and generated millions of dollars for the city.

"Unequivocally, I would personally stand by and support any decision that Steve Lisauskas would make as executive director," Rooke said. "The political maneuvering going on to try to blame the control board and Steve Lisauskas is embarrassing the city and the business community."

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno left his comments to a press release, stating in part, "I will work with the Offices of the Attorney General, Secretary of State, and State Auditor to advocate on the City's behalf; evaluate internal control; and ensure integrity in financial management systems. I will also make certain that results are fully disclosed to the public. The taxpayers deserve nothing less."

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"State bailout for Salem schools near: Layoffs delayed as final touches are put on loan"
By Erin Ailworth, Boston Globe Staff, January 26, 2008

SALEM - Layoffs in this city's financially troubled public schools were postponed yesterday, hours before they were to go into effect, as state and local officials put the final touches on emergency legislation to allow Salem to borrow up to $1 million.

School officials announced that the layoffs would be delayed by at least a week, delivering the news yesterday by school loudspeaker, telephone, and in person to worried teachers, other employees, students, and parents. About 45 of the 60 job cuts were due to take effect at the end of the day, with more happening on Wednesday.

The extra week will allow school and state officials to work out the details of the special legislation and decide how many jobs can be saved in the school system, which has about 750 full-time employees.

"It's an emotional roller coaster: up and down, up and down. I was emotionally prepared for [my last day] today," said Arabelis Luciano, a teacher's aide who had been told she would be losing her job at Bates Elementary School. "It's just like, either tell me or - I don't know. I would love to stay but . . . everything has been up and down. . . . And the kids, they're just breaking down."

The expected state loan approval marks a dramatic turnaround for the school system, which initially faced elimination of the equivalent of about 80 full-time jobs after auditors discovered a $4.7 million deficit in the $43 million school budget late last year. Superintendent William J. Cameron Jr. announced the layoffs Jan. 7. Since last week, approximately $300,000 has been collected to avert about 15 of the proposed job cuts, including private donations from businesses, colleges, and families with children in the schools.

Much of the original shortfall was previously covered using city funds, renegotiated contracts, and other cost-saving measures, but a $1.2 million gap remained, resulting in the layoffs.

Yesterday, city and state officials said the borrowing approval would probably protect teachers' jobs, but they cautioned that it might not prevent other threatened layoffs in the school system.

"Half a million would eliminate the reductions in teachers, and there's a possibility of raising that limit to address some of the other concerns," said state Representative John D. Keenan, whose son is a second-grader at Bates. "It would be a huge turnaround. . . . Half a million is not a lot, but when you are already halfway through the year, it's hard to make up, outside of reductions in force."

In a separate interview, Cameron said: "I'm hopeful. I think I can say this. . . . I'm hopeful that we will see no reduction in our teaching staff."

City officials have publicly said that the shortfall was caused in part by a former school business manager who used money from this year's school budget to pay off old bills.

This week, at the request of the School Committee, Salem police began investigating Bruce Guy, who is also a former city finance director, to examine whether municipal finance laws were broken. Guy has not responded to the Globe's repeated requests for an interview.

The Salem loan plan began to come together Thursday when Mayor Kim Driscoll went to the State House to attend Governor Deval Patrick's State of the State address. There, she discussed the problem with Senate President Therese Murray, House Speaker Salvatore F. DiMasi and others, according to a statement from Driscoll's office.

Later, Driscoll also spoke with officials at the state Department of Revenue and the Executive Office for Administration and Finance.

Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray said in an interview that the state stepped in largely because the troubles appear to stem from what he called malfeasance in the district's financial department.

"This was a unique situation," he said. ". . . It was not a pattern of poor fiscal management.

"It was an individual who purposefully misled and presented inaccurate figures" to school and city officials, Murray said, referring to Salem's former school business manager.

Emergency state assistance is unusual, but not unheard of. The city of Springfield, facing widespread financial troubles, received a $52 million loan in 2004, for example. Other municipalities facing financial troubles have been given permission to borrow, as Salem may be, as well, state officials said yesterday.

Because municipalities are prohibited by law from spending when they have a deficit, Salem needs state approval to borrow the funds to spend. The Legislature is expected to file the legislation next week.

Cameron and Driscoll said they think it was the community's largesse that persuaded state legislators to step up.

"It just spurred them to see what opportunities we might have to ease the pain," Driscoll said yesterday. "Initially, they were very clear that there were not dollars to bail out communities when these things occur."

"We don't know what the long-term solution will be. We're ready to authorize $500,000 to $1 million in borrowing as an immediate fix," said state Senator Steven C. Panagiotakos, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Meanwhile, teachers and other school staff are in limbo until legislators vote to approve Salem's special legislation.

"A lot of people have been through a lot of drama over the last few weeks," said Joyce Harrington, president of the Salem Teachers Union. Her organization represents 490 teachers and 160 paraprofessionals.

"People have become hopeful again," Harrington said. "I hope, I hope and pray that people aren't being given a false sense of hope, because I don't think that after these last three weeks that people can go through this again."

She added: "If you have ever been into a school and especially an elementary classroom, it doesn't just get put together overnight, so people have been wondering: 'Should I dismantle my classroom? Should I prepare my classroom [for more students]? Should I prepare for a different grade level?' People have just been torn in a million pieces.' "

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Frank Phillips of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Erin Ailworth can be reached at eailworth@globe.com.

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"Mayor Sarno unveils $532 million budget"
By The Republican Newsroom, Thursday May 22, 2008, 7:02 PM, By PETER GOONAN, pgoonan@repub.com

SPRINGFIELD - Mayor Domenic J. Sarno today presented a $532 million budget proposal to the City Council for the new fiscal year, beginning July 1, saying it avoids layoffs, maintains basic services and provides more police officers on the streets.

The $531,965,502 budget will be reviewed by the council, which can recommend cuts, and would then be submitted for approval by the city's Finance Control Board. It reflects an increase of $22.9 million, or 4.5 percent, over the current budget.

Sarno said he prepared a tight, balanced budget with his finance team, cognizant of the possibility of reductions in state aid.

'Storm clouds looming'

"With these storm clouds looming, I have opted to spend conservatively now in order to protect the city as we move toward an uncertain future," Sarno said.

The budget, however, is based on the assumption that the city will be allowed to pay back a $52 million state loan over a 20-year period, rather than a five-year period currently required by the state. The city has budgeted $2.6 million as a first-year payback, but would be required to pay $6.4 million the first year if the extension is not granted by the governor and Legislature.

The control board allowed the mayor to draft the new budget, marking the first time that he and elected officials were given that authority since the state-appointed board took over fiscal control of the city in 2004. The board has stated it will support the city's recommended budget providing that it is balanced and based on realistic projections of revenues and expenses.

50 new patrol officers

Sarno said there will be 50 new patrol officers on the streets under the budget, when counting five officers who recently transferred to the force from Chicopee, a new academy class of 32 officers beginning in June, and plans to place civilians in 13 Police Department jobs, freeing up the police officers now performing those duties.

In addition, the budget continues to count on revenue from a $90 annual trash fee, pending a new fee being developed that would charge residents based on the amount of trash generated. Sarno had campaigned against the trash fee last year, but said this week he it is necessary for now, pending the "pay-as-you-throw" system.

More details in The Republican tomorrow (5/23/2008).

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"Patrick to proposed extending Springfield payback"
The Associated Press
Thursday, June 05, 2008

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — Gov. Deval Patrick is proposing legislation to give Springfield more time to pay back a $52 million state loan and improve the city's financial management.

Leslie A. Kirwan, Patrick's secretary of administration and finance, told The Republican of Springfield that the bill being introduced today will help the city avoid the fiscal troubles that led it to seek state aid four years ago.

Patrick plans next year to disband the state control board that has overseen the city's finances since 2004.

The bill would extend the payback from five to 12 years. Mayor Domenic Sarno has said that's important for balancing the city's $532 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The bill also proposes a binding referendum to allow Springfield voters to double the mayor's term to four years, and creates new city financial management positions.
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Information from: The Springfield Republican, www.masslive.com/news/
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Flak about cuts builds on eve of governor's visit to Western Mass.
by The Republican Newsroom Wednesday July 16, 2008, 8:06 PM
By DAN RING
dring@repub.com

BOSTON - Gov. Deval L. Patrick is facing growing criticism in Western Massachusetts for cutting state money from local programs to fight crime, create jobs, care for the poor and help disadvantaged youths.

He made the cuts on Sunday when he vetoed $122.5 million from the state budget approved by legislators for the fiscal year that began on July 1.

Patrick vetoed $250,000 for AWAKE, an anti-violence program in Springfield that will close if the cut stands. He also eliminated $50,000 for "a safe zone" program for teenagers at the Dunbar Community Center in Springfield, $75,000 for surveillance cameras in downtown Springfield, and $125,000 for a program by the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield to assist small businesses located in vacant storefronts.


"It's a slap in the face," said Mario L. Hornsby of Springfield, who has joined AWAKE (Alive with Awareness, Knowledge, and Empowerment). "It's disheartening; it hurts this city."

His son, Mario, an honor student and basketball captain, was shot and killed on May 17. Police said he was shot accidentally when bullets were fired into a group in a gang-related incident.

Two men have pleaded innocent to murder counts.

Hornsby said that Patrick's cuts do not jibe with his speeches and proposals about helping poor people, boosting the economy, and improving cities such as Springfield.

The cuts come as Patrick is planning a major visit to Western Massachusetts tomorrow.

He is scheduled to attend a closed meeting of a statewide anti-crime council in Springfield, lead an open cabinet meeting in Amherst, and host a town-hall style gathering at 6 p.m. in Holyoke's Heritage State Park.

Patrick said on Sunday that the state is facing a possible recession which could mean a serious decline in tax revenues.

"Many programs had merit," said Cynthia M. Roy, the fiscal spokeswoman for Patrick, today.

"We can't afford to fund them all, given the fiscal challenges. Times are tight and we had to prioritize. ... These decisions are never easy. They certainly are not painless."

She said the administration is proud of the significant investments in the state's $28.1 billion budget for public safety, education, and communities.

Hank J. Porten, president and chief executive officer of Holyoke Medical Center, which serves some of the poorest people in the state, said he was struggling to understand why Patrick vetoed $2 million for the hospital to train nurses.

"We're very disappointed," he said.

Porten said that most patients are on Medicaid or Medicare, neither of which is fully reimbursed by the federal government.

David C. Scanlin, executive director of Kamp for Kids in Westfield, said Patrick's veto means that the camp will be unable to serve about a dozen youths, including some who are disabled and others who belong to lower-income families. Patrick vetoed the camp's $50,000 earmark in the budget.

"I'm really surprised at these kinds of cuts," said Scanlin, whose 33-year-old, nonprofit organization serves people from 27 communities in Western Massachusetts.

Allan W. Blair, president of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, said he was surprised by Patrick's $125,000 veto of the council's marketing and advertising effort. Patrick let stand $125,000 of the $250,000 state legislators approved for the program.

With the economy weakening, it is the wrong time to cut back on marketing, Blair said. "We're the only entity in Western Massachusetts that does economic-development marketing on behalf of the entire region."

Chelan D. Brown, executive director of AWAKE, said that Patrick's $250,000 veto would shut down the organization.

"It was devastating to us when we heard there was a veto," she said.

The state Legislature can restore the governor's cuts with a two-thirds vote in each branch. Rep. Cheryl A. Coakley-Rivera, D-Springfield, said yesterday the overrides could start next week.

Here is a list of some of the $122.5 million in vetoes issued Sunday by Gov. Deval L. Patrick from the state budget approved by the Legislature:

$4.1 million for the University of Massachusetts system

$125,000 for the Massachusetts Career Development Institute in Springfield

$250,000 for the operation of Alive with Awareness, Knowledge and Empowerment, an anti-violence group in Springfield

$250,000 for a statewide program to prevent bullying in public schools

$100,000 for the Reunion Center and a youth project in Easthampton

$100,000 for the Indian Orchard Main Street Partnership in Springfield

$545,195 designated in a contract for Open Pantry Community Services in Springfield

$2 million for Holyoke Medical Center, which provides training for nurses and other health professionals through affiliations with colleges

$50,000 for Girls Incorporated of Holyoke

$150,000 for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield

$250,000 for the New England Farm Workers Council in Holyoke

$10,000 for Palmer's annual winter festival

$20,000 for a youth program in Palmer

$69,837 for Westfield State College

$167,235 for Greenfield Community College

$428,674 for Holyoke Community College

$469,405 for Springfield Technical Community College

$125,000 for a program by the Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield

$75,000 for installing a video surveillance system to deter crime in the central business district of Springfield

$35,000 for the Holyoke Creative Arts Center

$50,000 for CityStage in Springfield

$150,000 to Shutesbury for improving Lake Wyola

$25,000 for a group to promote and host an air show at Westover Metropolitan Airport in Chicopee

$100,000 for an international marketing campaign at Old Sturbridge Village

$100,000 for Square One, formerly known as the Springfield Day Nursery

$50,000 for Franklin Community Action Corp. for a youth program

$150,000 for the World is Our Classroom, which serves Chicopee, Greenfield, Holyoke and Westfield

$100,000 for Springfield Neighborhood Housing Services to develop new housing, prevent foreclosures, assist new home buyers and create construction jobs

$50,000 for the Hungry Hill Development Corp.

$50,000 for Kamp for Kids in Westfield

$50,000 for Westhampton to renovate the town library

$50,000 for the Italian Cultural Center of Western Massachusetts

$100,000 for the Spirit of Springfield

$300,000 for the Sturbridge Heritage and Preservation Partnership

$75,000 for Wendell for a grant for emergency assistance

$50,000 for a merry-go-around at Heritage State Park in Holyoke

$50,000 for the historic Hadley Hall in Hadley

$30,000 for the Pioneer Valley Visitors and Tourist Information Center in Greenfield

$125,000 for the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council for marketing and advertising

$25,000 for the Southwick Cultural Council

$175,000 for the Puerto Rican Cultural Center of Springfield

$50,000 for the Dunbar Community Center in Springfield to operate a safe zone program for teenagers

$50,000 for the Spanish American Union in Springfield

$35,000 for the Monson Bellman Inc. to support museum activities.

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Posted by margieeeee on 07/17/08 at 8:45AM
I know that many are upset with these cuts, but I think they are necessary. The people of Springfield should be doing more volunteer work. Why not volunteer for some of these programs to keep them going? Why shouldn't the students of Springfield volunteer so that younger kids can still have programs?

There was a time in America/Mass when people didn't demand pay for what they did in the community. If we want to help these organizations then step up to the plate. These organizations can tighten their belts like the rest of us. Instead of upgrading computers, they can deal with the old ones for a bit longer.

Posted by hillsidegal on 07/17/08 at 9:13AM
Most of these programs (Open Pantry, AWAKE) ARE run by volunteers - but they need funding for the daily expense of running their programs. Are you going to dig deep into your pockets to fund it?? I'm ashamed I voted for the man... Springfield is going downhill into violence and joblessness and this certainly isn't going to help us.

Posted by PrecEisner on 07/17/08 at 9:25AM
Gee, Boston screwing Western Mass. And everyone is surprised about this because ... ???

Posted by capace on 07/17/08 at 9:40AM
Hello, there's no money to fund all the programs. Let's repeat that phrase "there is no money"...the only way to do this, that is fund programs that people want, is to borrow money, i.e., debt.

So here's the choice, increase the state's debt burden or cut spending. After this choice, it boils down to priority, which programs get funding with any money left over?

Problem for the City of Springfield, is that it squandered grant applications (i.e., money or funds) ...it lost paper work, didn't follow through on applications and simply didn't have a system (still doesn't) to seek out grant programs. That's a self inflicted problem that other towns and cities do a much better job.

Here's another problem, tax revenues are down. Tax revenues are income. Taxes are down because foreclosures are up. Tax revenues are down because jobs have left the state. Tax revenues are down because we are in a recession where consumer expenditures are down; hence, less sales taxes collected. Consumer spending is down, in part, because fuel costs have risen.

This is a fiscal squeeze. The party is over, time to buckle down with reduced spending and creative ways to restore the states revenue.

As for Springfield, it has several options. Number problem is crime and crime is fed by warehousing low income only Section 8 voucher renters. Here is the rub, according to a 2003 Federal Audit report, some 86% of the voucher given by the Springfield Housing Department were in violation of the Federal Governments mandate to ensure that such vouchers are used in housing that met safety and health standards. 86% of the vouchers did not meet that standard. What this means is that the Springfield Housing Department has subsidized the perpepuation of sub standard housing conditions in Springfield...Stop this cancer, and you will help to reduce crime (i.e., crime increases when you warehouse low income only subidized Section 8 residents, that's an emperical fact. Look to Longhill Street and Central Streets for the empirical data. Stop this cancer, and people will want to live in Springfield, i.e., taxes reveneue will increase.

Support rail by writing to the State Transportation committee to fund commuter service between Springfield and Hew Haven & Springfield and Boston, and you will see "income" increase dramatically in Springfield.

It is not enough for our public officials in Springifeld to support rail, they need to lobby the State transportation committee directly for this. Supporting and actually getting to the construction stage are two different things. Rail.

Volunteers. Great. But most people in Springfield are on welfare, and are only looking out for their pocket books on the back of the tax payers. They come here from other countries because they have targeted states and cities with the highest levels of public welfare. Sorry, volunteers are needed where people are not seeking to take advantage of the system.

I could go on and on, but the fiscal mess we are facing is based on spending patterns that cannot be sustained. Time to cut spending or raise revenue.

Posted by renewourcity on 07/17/08 at 11:06AM
In regards to AWAKE and Open Pantry, what positive results have been achieved. More tax dollars are being squandered year after year. These poverty programs and some others do little to serve the public interest. In fact, they may even enable and encourage clients to not become responsible and self sufficient. Springfield will be better off if the state does not continue to fund the local poverty industry.

Posted by patriot1948 on 07/17/08 at 11:36AM
The Governor should cut more of these earmarks. Unfortunately, the legislature will just override the cuts.

Funding programs like AWAKE is crazy. These anti-youth violence type programs pop up on a regular basis and have absolutely no effect on the quality of life in Springfield. These programs give a few people an opportunity to make some money and feel good about themselves. It's simply throwing taxpayer money down the drain.

Get a bigger sharper knife Gov. Patrick and cut even more of these boondoggles out of the budget.


Posted by miramesa on 07/17/08 at 11:46AM
So what *IS* being funded?

Inappropriate? Alert us. Post a commentPosted by jttesq on 07/17/08 at 1:00PM
1)Capace, I would argue MOST people in Springfield are not on welfare.

2) PrecEisner, There were over $122,500,000 in tax cuts. The Wmass cuts listed total $12,380,346 or slightly less than 10% of the total cuts. This is hardly Boston "screwing over" WMass. Essential state services had to be maintained. We can't criticize Pres. Bush for creating a record deficit by overspending and then criticize Gov. Patrick for refusing to create a huge state deficit.

3) As for the comments that the programs "fund the local poverty industry" and "do little to serve the public interest", such assertions are ridiculous. While the programs do offer assistance and have some success, such programs in themselves obviously cannot be expected to completely solve society's problems. (Especially in light of their meager resources.) While in better economic times such programs should receive state funding, in a time of dwindling state revenue resources, the state must prioritize by funding essential state services first.

Posted by renewourcity on 07/17/08 at 2:12PM
Success should be measured by how much the need for assistance has been reduced not increased. Continuing to provide housing and shelter while the recipient misuses alchohol and or drugs does not help the client. If a welfare or SSI check is already being received why is additonal assistance needed. I hear that many of the homeless population are children. That's even more reason to investigate if a check is already being issued for their benefits.
The state would be wise to audit, examine and inventory the poverty programs in Springfield. I suspect what will be uncovered is abuse by some clients and some overstaffed, overpaid, ineffective agencies.

Posted by lhsguy on 07/17/08 at 2:23PM
wow, we are screwed. as it is springfields already a dangerous city and they're just making it a whole lot worse. why did patrick have to make these cuts? the money was there he just didnt wanna use it? is that the case.

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"National upheaval, local shudders: Credit woes convulse plans of cities, towns"
By John C. Drake, Boston Globe Staff, October 3, 2008

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said the city has been waiting a long time to repair sidewalks and tear down abandoned buildings in his financially beleaguered city. Now residents will have to wait a little longer.

With the crisis on Wall Street, the first-term mayor's promises to pay for improvements on Springfield's streets are on hold because raising money by floating municipal bonds in this climate is prohibitively expensive, he said.

It is the kind of problem facing dozens of communities, say officials. Like a hurricane swirling offshore, the financial crisis is barreling down on Massachusetts cities and towns, but no one knows yet how bad the damage could be.

Local leaders this week have been nervously eyeing bailout negotiations on Capitol Hill, the freezing bond markets, their falling pension fund values, and the State House, where Governor Deval Patrick may eventually decide to seek local aid cuts.

The moribund credit markets are making it difficult to pay for capital projects such as road work, because credit is either unavailable or rates are too high, local officials and municipal finance observers say.

"I'm trying to be fiscally prudent while at the same time trying to drive an ambitious agenda," Sarno said. "It does affect Main Street, whether people are calling for a pothole or a multimillion dollar project they want improved."

Boston has so far not been affected because it usually issues general-obligation bonds in February or March, said the city's chief financial officer, Lisa Signori. But other cities and towns were looking to enter the bond market sooner.

"Communities that have been planning on issuing debt for a large municipal project - a police station, a school, infrastructure improvements - are likely monitoring the situation and waiting to issue debt, waiting for the market to stabilize and for banks to issue credit again," said Geoff Beckwith, executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association.

Sarno said Springfield has a wish list of capital improvements totalling $470 million, with $23 million on a high-priority list. Projects that could be affected range from sidewalk repairs and planned demolitions of derelict buildings costing tens of thousands of dollars to a major renewal for Springfield's South End estimated to cost $6.2 million.

Quincy Mayor Thomas P. Koch said funding for ongoing construction of a new Quincy High School and other projects, including a planned new middle school, could be affected.

"You don't put the bond out at once. You borrow periodically and then float the bond," he said. "We're working with the state on an application to replace the middle school and we're going to market soon with the bonds for that. Some of the other improvements at other buildings may just have to wait a little bit."

Officials at the Massachusetts School Building Authority, which has committed to help dozens of communities build schools, have sought to assuage concerns.

"The MSBA's financial obligations to school construction projects will be met despite the current economic turmoil," the authority said in a statement provided by spokeswoman Carrie Sullivan on Wednesday.

Municipal pension funds, which are invested in a vast array of stocks, bonds, and other securities, are another significant source of worry.

"Clearly this is not good news and is not a good market and there will be some loss of value that will appear on the books," Beckwith said. "The question is, will that value be recovered before the pension system needs to access those assets."

Signori said Boston's pension board would be briefed by financial advisers next week on the state of the city's investments. "Certainly, this quarter's performance is important, but what you're looking at is what's happening over five years or over ten years," she said.

Other Boston city accounts and investments are considered secure because the city collateralized them in the late 1990s, meaning the investments are backed up by cash from other banks and not subject to ceilings on federal deposit insurance.

"We weren't out there to make a lot on high interest rates; we wanted to make sure our money was safe," Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said this week. "The city of Boston's money is safe."

But Menino and Signori acknowledged the city's finances could be hurt if revenue from motor vehicle excise tax and hotel-motel excise taxes are down and if local aid takes a hit. Projected local aid for Boston already had fallen $60 million from 2002, Signori said.

Quincy Mayor Koch said he was worried the city's retirement board could seek more city funding if its investments are hurt.

"If the retirement board does not get back the returns they anticipate, that means they're going to be asking for more appropriation level on the operations side," Koch said in a phone interview. "That bears watching, big-time."
-
John C. Drake can be reached at jdrake@globe.com.
-
----------

"Ware seeks federal bailout"
by The Republican Newsroom,By CHRIS HAMEL, chamel@repub.com
Wednesday December 03, 2008, 10:11 PM

WARE - If congressional leaders read their mail carefully, they may be persuaded by the Board of Selectmen's chairman to rescue Ware financially rather than the nation's automakers.

Gerald L. Matta wrote a letter on Monday to U.S. House Speaker Nancy P. Pelosi and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, in which he asks that federal revenue sharing be reinstituted to assist cities and towns nationwide in the current economic downturn.

"We will soon be putting together a fiscal year 2010 budget to operate our small Town of Ware, Mass., and will be forced to make significant cutbacks and possibly eliminate some vital services to our citizens," Matta wrote.

Town Manager Steven C. Boudreau has warned town officials and residents since summer that a fiscal 2010 budget shortfall of as much as $1.5 million to $2 million is on the horizon. Town department heads already have submitted to Boudreau proposed budgets that reflect cuts for fiscal 2010, which will begin on July 1, 2009.

Matta closes his four-paragraph letter by saying that before Congress approves a bailout of the auto industry, the body should consider resuming a federal revenue sharing program that would send back taxpayers' dollars to the nation's cities and towns. Federal revenue sharing was in place from 1972 to 1987.

America's three major automakers - Ford, General Motors and Chrysler - are slated to meet today and Friday with congressional committees to pitch again their request for $25 billion in loans to get them through the current economic slump. Congress previously agreed to bail out the nation's financial institutions.

Matta said Tuesday night that he hatched the idea for the letter on Nov. 22, after becoming incensed about the bailouts and requests for more of them. He said that after consulting with Boudreau, he toned down an initial draft of the letter, but declined to elaborate about the original content.

"I was hot under the collar," Matta said. "I feel the little people always get hit. Who bails out the (business) person on Main Street (in Ware), if they go under?"

He said that he is uncertain whether Pelosi or Reid will respond personally, or even see the letter. He noted that it may not get beyond their aides.

He also forwarded copies of the missive to U.S. Rep. John W. Olver, D-Amherst, who represents Ware, and U.S. Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry, both Massachusetts Democrats. He said he decided against sending a copy to President-elect Obama, because he felt such a move would be premature, given that Obama has not been sworn in yet.

The five-member board, which also received a copy, did not vote publicly to support the letter. But Matta said that he received informal support from each member, after privately discussing the letter with each of them.

----------

"31 more municipal workers laid off in Springfield"
By PETER GOONAN, pgoonan@repub.com, The Republican Newsroom, Friday, March 27, 2009, 10:07 P.M.

SPRINGFIELD - The city laid off 31 more employees Thursday and Friday, with one result being an immediate reduction in hours at the central library and nine branches.

It was the second round of layoffs in two weeks, now totaling 49 among all municipal departments. The city anticipates laying off up to 40 more employees in coming weeks in response to a $4.6 million reduction in state aid.

All libraries were closed Friday due to 15 layoffs Thursday and two prior layoffs March 13, creating the need to reorganize staff, said Library Director Emily B. Bader. The layoffs included two managers, four clerical workers and professional staff such as librarians and library aides.

From today, each branch will be open 18 hours a week over three days. The branches were previously open 24 hours a week over four days. The central library is open 12 fewer hours a week, including not being open Fridays.

A staff meeting Friday was "pretty somber," Bader said. "This is a very close-knit group and I think people in many ways were in mourning" for colleagues, she said. "Also, I think this a very committed group of people that understand they will be able to provide fewer services than they would like to. The public will really feel the effect." The layoffs leave the libraries with 80 employees.

This year's $4.2 million Library Department budget was reduced by $311,305, triggering the layoffs and other cuts. The materials budget was cut by $54,000, and cuts will be repeated next year, Bader said. Patrons can expect fewer new books and other materials, and a longer wait for those that are acquired, she said.

"I think everyone is committed to doing their very best, in terms of public service, that they can with the dollars available to us," she said.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said the layoffs are among difficult decisions being made in response to major cuts in state aid this year and further cuts expected next fiscal year.

On Friday, the city laid off 11 employees in the Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management; three in Personnel; one in the clerk's office; and one in the Election Office. Layoffs on Thursday and two weeks ago affected Public Works, Parks, Animal Control, the Law Department and the libraries.

Sarno's communications director, Thomas T. Walsh, was asked by The Republican for a list of employees laid off and positions eliminated. Late Friday, Walsh said the information was not yet available.

The city also continued steps to eliminate the forestry division, laying off a 28-year veteran worker as it moves to have tree removal and trimming fully handled by contractors. The worker, Robert J. O'Brien, said Friday he expects to have "bumping" rights upon appeal, taking another job in the Park Department.

A City Council committee had urged Sarno in a 3-0 vote Thursday to delay the forestry layoffs, saying analysis of privatization was incomplete.

O'Brien said he does not believe the city's estimate that it can save $200,000 a year by using only outside firms for forestry. City finance officials defended the analysis, saying it included salaries, health benefits, pension costs and various other factors.

"As a taxpayer I'm furious, because I know what we do every day, and I don't know how it can be done cheaper," O'Brien said.

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"After 5 years, Springfield to govern on its own"
By Associated Press, Saturday, June 27, 2009, www.bostonherald.com - Local Politics

SPRINGFIELD — A new era is about to begin for the city of Springfield.

A state-controlled board that oversaw the city’s finances for the past five years goes out of existence Tuesday. The board was formed in 2004 when the state lent Springfield $52 million to keep the deficit-ridden city out of bankruptcy.

Gov. Deval Patrick will preside over a ceremony dissolving the board. But the governor says the state won’t walk away from its third-largest city.

First-term Mayor Domenic Sarno said Springfield was "on the ropes," but has started punching back.

UMass professor Robert Forrant — who recently published a book about Springfield — credits the control board with restoring fiscal stability. But he says the city will continue to face problems unless it can solve underlying economic problems.

----------


"Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says unfunded retiree health care liability is growing for towns and cities"
By Jim Kinney, The Republican, January 22, 2012

SPRINGFIELD – This city has $761.6 million in unfunded liabilities for municipal retiree health benefits, which works out to more than $12,000 in unfunded liabilities per single-family home.

Holyoke has $300 million in unfunded liabilities, working out to about $18,000 in unfunded liability per single-family home, or about 59 percent of Holyoke’s median household income, according to a study recently released by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

The foundation, a Boston-based independent, nonprofit organization that conducts research on state and local taxes, government spending, and the economy, says the liabilities are not some hypothetical obligation but represent actual amounts taxpayers owe in today’s dollars for retiree health-care benefits already earned by current retirees and eligible employees and payable during the next 30 years.

For the study, the foundation calculated the cost per single-family home by figuring out how much of each city’s budget comes from real-estate taxes on single-family homes then applying that ration to each city’s liability.

“It is a classic problem of the public sector,” said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “You vote for all these benefits knowing the cost will be in the future. But of course you are not going to be in office by then.”

Cities and towns are now taking a “pay as you go” approach, paying the cost of retiree health benefits each year, but setting no money aside to cover future costs that Widmer expects to rise with the growing cost of medical care.

Springfield’s pay-as-you-go cost is $25 million a year, according to Widmer. Holyoke’s is $7 million a year.

The foundation’s study looked at 10 of the largest communities in Massachusetts of Springfield, Holyoke, Worcester, Pittsfield, New Bedford, Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill, Fitchburg and Boston.

Researchers found that homeowners of just those 10 cities face either paying an average of $13,685 now to fund the liability, or an average 20 percent tax increase over the next 30 years.

The study focused on those cities as a means of illustrating the problem, one which looms in nearly every municipality in the state, Widmer said.

Cheryl A. Dugre, executive director of the Holyoke Retirement Board, said cities just never funded the program.

“They should have funded it years ago,” she said. But, Dugre said, she doesn’t know of any plan in Holyoke to address the issue.

Springfield is studying the problem in hopes of coming up with a list of solutions, said William E. Mahoney, the city's Human Services Director. The best tonic would be a recovering economy which would increase local tax revenues.

Carolyn C. Ryan, policy analyst for the taxpayers foundation, said only two cities in the state have started planning for their health-care liabilities: Wellesley and Needham. “And, both those places are very wealthy communities,” she said.

Springfield has 3,800 municipal retirees. Employees qualify for health-care coverage in retirement after 10 years of service and upon reaching the age of 55 or after 20 years of service and retirement at any age. Rules vary slightly for members of the police and fire departments.

“We have had years of skyrocketing health-care costs,” he said. “Those liabilities never go away.”

Mahoney and Widmer both said health-coverage for retirees is most expensive for those age 55 to 65. Once a retiree hits age 65, Medicare becomes the primary insurer and the city’s plan takes on a secondary role.

There are solutions, according to Widmer.

First, people covered by municipal health-care insurance typically pay less for care than those with private coverage. He says municipalities should have plans that more closely reflect the private sector, a move that would increase the cost of health care for municipal retirees.

Ryan said the problem will be helped by a state reform measure passed over the summer that takes health-care costs out of the collective-bargaining process for municipal-worker unions.

Also, health-care benefits should be earned in phases over a longer period of time, like pension benefits accrue over time, Widmer said. Ten years is just too short a period of time in which to earn a benefit as valuable as lifetime health-care coverage, Widmer said.

“You have scads of people who work 10 years then retire at 55 and use this medical care from 55 to 65 before they are eligible to collect Medicare,” Widmer said.

It may also be time for cities and towns to review retirement ages in light of changing demographics, Widmer said.

“People today are starting new careers at 65,” he said. “If they are alive at 55, they are going to live into their 80s; most people will anyway.”

----------

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About Me

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Amherst, NH, United States
I am a citizen defending the people against corrupt Pols who only serve their Corporate Elite masters, not the people! / My 2 political enemies are Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., nicknamed "Luciforo" and former Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. / I have also pasted many of my political essays on "The Berkshire Blog": berkshireeagle.blogspot.com / I AM THE ANTI-FRANK GUINTA! / Please contact me at jonathan_a_melle@yahoo.com

50th Anniversary - 2009

50th Anniversary - 2009
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Columbus Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Pittsfield Politics: Capitanio, Mazzeo agree on budget cuts, public safety

Pittsfield Politics: Capitanio, Mazzeo agree on budget cuts, public safety
Paul Capitanio, left, speaks during Monday night's Ward 3 City Council debate with fellow candidate Melissa Mazzeo at Pittsfield Community Television's studio. The special election (3/31/2009) will be held a week from today (3/24/2009). The local issues ranged from economic development and cleaning up blighted areas in Ward 3 to public education and the continued remediation of PCB's.

Red Sox v Yankees

Red Sox v Yankees
Go Red Sox!

Outrage swells in Congress!

Outrage swells in Congress!
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., left, and the committee's ranking Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., listen during a hearing on modernizing insurance regulations, Tuesday, March 17, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh). - http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090318/pl_politico/30833

Beacon Hill's $pecial Interest Tax Raisers & $PENDERS!

Beacon Hill's $pecial Interest Tax Raisers & $PENDERS!
Photo Gallery: www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/03/15/St_Patricks_Day_Boston/

The path away from Wall Street ...

The path away from Wall Street ...
...Employers in the finance sector - traditionally a prime landing spot for college seniors, particularly in the Northeast - expect to have 71 percent fewer jobs to offer this year's (2009) graduates.

Economic collapse puts graduates on unforeseen paths: Enrollment in public service jobs rising...

Economic collapse puts graduates on unforeseen paths: Enrollment in public service jobs rising...
www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/03/14/economic_collapse_puts_graduates_on_unforeseen_paths/

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis
Should he be fired? As Bank of America's Stock Plummets, CEO Resists Some Calls That He Step Down.

Hookers for Jesus

Hookers for Jesus
Annie Lobert is the founder of "Hookers for Jesus" - www.hookersforjesus.net/home.cfm - Saving Sin City: Las Vegas, Nevada?

Forever personalized stamped envelope

Forever personalized stamped envelope
The Forever stamp will continue to cover the price of a first-class letter. The USPS will also introduce Forever personalized, stamped envelopes. The envelopes will be preprinted with a Forever stamp, the sender's name and return address, and an optional personal message.

Purple Heart

Purple Heart
First issued in 2003, the Purple heart stamp will continue to honor the men and women wounded while serving in the US military. The Purple Heart stamp covers the cost of 44 cents for first-class, one-ounce mail.

Dolphin

Dolphin
The bottlenose is just one of the new animals set to appear on the price-change stamps. It will serve as a 64-cent stamp for odd shaped envelopes.

2009 price-change stamps

2009 price-change stamps
www.boston.com/business/gallery/2009pircechangestamps/ -&- www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/02/27/new_stamps_set_for_rate_increase_in_may/

Red Sox v Yankees

Red Sox v Yankees
Go Red Sox!

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama
AP photo v Shepard Fairey

Rush Limbaugh lackeys

Rush Limbaugh lackeys
Posted by Dan Wasserman of the Boston Globe on March 3, 2009.

Honest Abe

Honest Abe
A 2007 US Penny

Dog race

Dog race
Sledding for dogs

The Capital of the Constitution State

The Capital of the Constitution State
Hartford, once the wealthiest city in the United States but now the poorest in Connecticut, is facing an uphill battle.

Brady, Bundchen married

Brady, Bundchen married
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and model Gisele Bundchen wed Feb. 26, 2009 in a Catholic ceremony in Los Angeles. www.boston.com/ae/celebrity/gallery/tom_gisele/

Mayor Jimmy Ruberto

Mayor Jimmy Ruberto
Tanked Pittsfield's local economy while helping his fellow insider political hacks and business campaign contributors!

Journalist Andrew Manuse

Journalist Andrew Manuse
www.manuse.com

New Hampshire Supreme Court Building

New Hampshire Supreme Court Building
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hampshire_Supreme_Court

Economic State of the Union

Economic State of the Union
A look at some of the economic conditions the Obama administration faces and what resources have already been pledged to help. 2/24/2009

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama
The president addresses the nation's governors during a dinner in the State Dinning Room, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari).

The Oscars - 2/22/2009.

The Oscars - 2/22/2009.
Hugh Jackman and Beyoncé Knowles teamed up for a musical medley during the show.

The 81st Academy Awards - Oscars - 2009

The 81st Academy Awards - Oscars - 2009
Hugh Jackman pulled actress Anne Hathaway on stage to accompany him during his opening musical number.

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow
A Progressive News Commentator

$500,000 per year

$500,000 per year
That is chump change for the corporate elite!

THE CORPORATE ELITE...

THE CORPORATE ELITE...
Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman and chief executive of General Electric

The Presidents' Club

The Presidents' Club
Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton & Carter.

5 Presidents: Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton, & Carter!

5 Presidents: Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton, & Carter!
White House Event: January 7, 2009.

Bank Bailout!

Bank Bailout!
v taxpayer

Actress Elizabeth Banks

Actress Elizabeth Banks
She will present an award to her hometown (Pittsfield) at the Massachusetts State House next month (1/2009). She recently starred in "W" and "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," and just signed a $1 million annual contract to be a spokesmodel for Paris.

Joanna Lipper

Joanna Lipper
Her award-winning 1999 documentary, "Growing Up Fast," about teenaged mothers in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Happy Holidays...

Happy Holidays...
...from "Star Wars"

Massachusetts "poor" economy

Massachusetts "poor" economy
Massachusetts is one of the wealthiest states, but it is also very inequitable. For example, it boasts the nation's most lucrative lottery, which is just a system of regressive taxation so that the corporate elite get to pay less in taxes!

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon
Hollywood Actress

Peter G. Arlos.

Peter G. Arlos.
Arlos is shown in his Pittsfield office in early 2000.

Turnpike OK's hefty toll hikes

Turnpike OK's hefty toll hikes
Big Dig - East-west commuters take hit; Fees at tunnels would double. 11/15/2008.

The Pink Panther 2

The Pink Panther 2
Starring Steve Martin

Police ABUSE

Police ABUSE
I was a victim of Manchester Police Officer John Cunningham's ILLEGAL USES of FORCE! John Cunningham was reprimanded by the Chief of Police for disrespecting me. John Cunningham yelled at a witness: "I don't care if he (Jonathan Melle) is disabled!"

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
The 44th US President!

Vote

Vote
Elections

The Bailout & the economic stimulus check

The Bailout & the economic stimulus check
A political cartoon by Dan Wasserman

A rainbow over Boston

A rainbow over Boston
"Rainbows galore" 10/2/2008

Our nation's leaders!

Our nation's leaders!
President Bush with both John McCain & Barack Obama - 9/25/2008.

Massachusetts & Big Dig: Big hike in tolls for Pike looming (9/26/2008).

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$5 rise at tunnels is one possibility $1 jump posed for elsewhere.

Mary E Carey

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My FAVORITE Journalist EVER!

9/11/2008 - A Show of Unity!

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John McCain and Barack Obama appeared together at ground zero in New York City - September 11, 2008.

John McCain...

John McCain...
...has all but abandoned the positions on taxes, torture and immigration. (A cartoon by Dan Wasserman. September 2008).

Dan Wasserman

Dan Wasserman
The deregulated chickens come home to roost... in all our pocketbooks. September 2008.

Sarah Palin's phobia

Sarah Palin's phobia
A scripted candidate! (A cartoon by Dan Wasserman).

Dan Wasserman

Dan Wasserman
Family FInances - September, 2008.

Mark E. Roy

Mark E. Roy
Ward 1 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Theodore “Ted” L. Gatsas

Theodore “Ted” L. Gatsas
Ward 2 Alderman (& NH State Senator) for Manchester, NH (2008).

Peter M. Sullivan

Peter M. Sullivan
Ward 3 (downtown) Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Jim Roy

Jim Roy
Ward 4 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Ed Osborne

Ed Osborne
Ward 5 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Real R. Pinard

Real R. Pinard
Ward 6 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

William P. Shea

William P. Shea
Ward 7 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Betsi DeVries

Betsi DeVries
Ward 8 Alder-woman (& NH State Senator) for Manchester, NH (2008).

Michael Garrity

Michael Garrity
Ward 9 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

George Smith

George Smith
Ward 10 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Russ Ouellette

Russ Ouellette
Ward 11 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Kelleigh (Domaingue) Murphy

Kelleigh (Domaingue) Murphy
Ward 12 Alder-woman for Manchester, NH (2008).

“Mike” Lopez

“Mike” Lopez
At-Large Alderman for Manchester, NH. (2008).

Daniel P. O’Neil

Daniel P. O’Neil
At-Large Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Sarah Palin for Vice President.

Sarah Palin for Vice President.
Republican John McCain made the surprise pick of Alaska's governor Sarah Palin as his running mate today, August 29, 2008.

U.S. Representative John Olver, D-Amherst, Massachusetts.

U.S. Representative John Olver, D-Amherst, Massachusetts.
Congressman Olver said the country has spent well over a half-trillion dollars on the war in Iraq while the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. 8/25/08.

Ed O'Reilly for US Senate in Massachusetts!

Ed O'Reilly for US Senate in Massachusetts!
John Kerry's 9/2008 challenger in the Democratic Primary.

Shays' Rebellion

Shays' Rebellion
In a tax revolt, Massachusetts farmers fought back during Shays' Rebellion in the mid-1780s after The American Revolutionary War.

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore
Actress. "The Big Lebowski" is one of my favorite movies. I also like "The Fugitive", too.

Rinaldo Del Gallo III & "Superman"

Rinaldo Del Gallo III & "Superman"
Go to: http://www.berkshirefatherhood.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=699&cntnt01returnid=69

"Income chasm widening in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts"

"Income chasm widening in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts"
The gap between rich and poor has widened substantially in Massachusetts over the past two decades. (8/15/2008).

Dan "Bureaucrat" Bosley

Dan "Bureaucrat" Bosley
"The Bosley Amendment": To create tax loopholes for the wealthiest corporate interests in Massachusetts!

John Edwards and...

John Edwards and...
...Rielle Hunter. WHO CARES?!

Rep. Edward J. Markey

Rep. Edward J. Markey
He wants online-privacy legislation. Some Web Firms Say They Track Behavior Without Explicit Consent.

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan
She gained fame with her antiwar vigil outside the Bush ranch.

Olympics kick off in Beijing

Olympics kick off in Beijing
Go USA!

Exxon Mobil 2Q profit sets US record, shares fall

Exxon Mobil 2Q profit sets US record, shares fall
In this May 1, 2008, file photo, a customer pumps gas at an Exxon station in Middleton, Mass. Exxon Mobil Corp. reported second-quarter earnings of $11.68 billion Thursday, July 31, the biggest quarterly profit ever by any U.S. corporation, but the results were well short of Wall Street expectations and its shares fell as markets opened. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole, File) 7/31/2008.

Onota Lake 'Sea Serpent'

Onota Lake 'Sea Serpent'
Some kind of monster on Onota Lake. Five-year-old Tyler Smith rides a 'sea serpent' on Onota Lake in Pittsfield, Mass. The 'monster,' fashioned by Smith's grandfather, first appeared over July 4 weekend. (Photo courtesy of Ron Smith). 7/30/2008.

Al Gore, Jr.

Al Gore, Jr.
Al Gore issues challenge on energy

The Norman Rockwell Museum

The Norman Rockwell Museum
Stockbridge, Massachusetts

"Big Dig"

"Big Dig"
Boston's financially wasteful pork barrel project!

"Big Dig"

"Big Dig"
Boston's pork barrel public works project cost 50 times more than the original price!

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
My favorite journalist EVER!

U.S. Rep. John Olver, state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and Selectwomen Stephanie O'Keeffe and Alisa Brewer

U.S. Rep. John Olver, state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and Selectwomen Stephanie O'Keeffe and Alisa Brewer
Note: Photo from Mary E Carey's Blog.

Tanglewood

Tanglewood
Boston Symphony Orchestra music director James Levine.

Google

Google
Chagall

Jimmy Ruberto

Jimmy Ruberto
Faces multiple persecutions under the Massachusetts "Ethics" conflict of interest laws.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
Obama vows $500m in faith-based aid.

John McCain

John McCain
He is with his wife, Cindy, who were both met by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (right) upon arriving in Cartagena.

Daniel Duquette

Daniel Duquette
Sold Mayor James M. Ruberto of Pittsfield two tickets to the 2004 World Series at face value.

Hillary & Barack in Unity, NH - 6/27/2008

Hillary & Barack in Unity, NH - 6/27/2008
Clinton tells Obama, crowd in Unity, N.H.: 'We are one party'

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Wanna-be Prez?

WALL-E

WALL-E
"out of this World"

Crisis in the Congo - Ben Affleck

Crisis in the Congo - Ben Affleck
http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/popup?id=5057139&contentIndex=1&page=1&start=false - http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=5234555&page=1

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
NH's Democratic returning candidate for U.S. Senate

"Wall-E"

"Wall-E"
a cool robot

Ed O'Reilly

Ed O'Reilly
www.edoreilly.com

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
World Champions - 2008

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
J.D. Drew gets the same welcome whenever he visits the City of Brotherly Love: "Booooooo!"; Drew has been vilified in Philadelphia since refusing to sign with the Phillies after they drafted him in 1997...

Joe Kelly Levasseur & Joe Briggs

Joe Kelly Levasseur & Joe Briggs
www.2joes.org

NH Union Leader

NH Union Leader
Editorial Cartoon

Celtics - World Champions!

Celtics - World Champions!
www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_18_08_front_pages/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_17_08_finals_game_6/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_17_08_celebration/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_15_08_celtics_championships/

"The Nation"

"The Nation"
A "Liberal" weekly political news magazine. Katrina vanden Heuvel.

TV - PBS: NOW

TV - PBS: NOW
http://www.pbs.org/now

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone
List of Twilight Zone episodes - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Twilight_Zone_episodes

Equality for ALL Marriages

Equality for ALL Marriages
I, Jonathan Melle, am a supporter of same sex marriages.

Kobe Bryant leads his time to a Game 5 victory.

Kobe Bryant leads his time to a Game 5 victory.
L.A. Lakers holds on for the win to force Game 6 at Boston

Mohawk Trail

Mohawk Trail
The 'Hail to the Sunrise' statue in Charlemont is a well-known and easily recognized landmark on the Mohawk Trail. The trail once boasted several souvenir shops, some with motels and restaurants. Now only four remain. (Caroline Bonnivier / Berkshire Eagle Staff).

NASA - June 14, 2008

NASA - June 14, 2008
Space Shuttle Discovery returns to Earth.

Go Celtics! Game # 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

Go Celtics! Game # 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.
Boston took a 20-second timeout, and the Celtics ran off four more points (including this incredible Erving-esque layup from Ray Allen) to build the lead to five points with just 2:10 remaining. Reeling, the Lakers took a full timeout to try to regain their momentum.

Sal DiMasi

Sal DiMasi
Speaker of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives

Kelly Ayotte - Attorney General of New Hampshire

Kelly Ayotte - Attorney General of New Hampshire
http://doj.nh.gov/

John Kerry

John Kerry
He does not like grassroots democracy & being challenged in the 2008 Massachusetts Democratic Party Primary for re-election.

Tim Murray

Tim Murray
Corrupt Lt. Gov. of Massachusetts, 2007 - 2013.

North Adams, Massachusetts

North Adams, Massachusetts
downtown

Howie Carr

Howie Carr
Political Satirist on Massachusetts Corruption/Politics

Polar Bear

Polar Bear
Global Warming

Elizabeth Warren - Web-Site Links

Elizabeth Warren - Web-Site Links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Warren & http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/WarrenAuthor.html

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren
Consumer Crusader

Leon Powe

Leon Powe
Celtics forward Leon Powe finished a fast break with a dunk.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett reacted during the game.

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo finished a first half fast break with a dunk.

Teamwork

Teamwork
Los Angeles Lakers teammates help Pau Gasol (16) from the floor in the second quarter.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant took a shot in the first half of Game 2.

Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins
Kendrick Perkins (right) backed down Lamar Odom (left) during first half action.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
The Boston Symphony Orchestra performed the national anthem prior to Game 2.

K.G.!

K.G.!
Garnett reacted to a hard dunk in the first quarter.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce reacted after hitting a three upon his return to the game since leaving with an injury.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Kobe Bryant (left) and Paul Pierce (right) squared off in the second half of the game.

James Taylor

James Taylor
Sings National Anthem at Celtics Game.

John Forbes Kerry & Deval Patrick

John Forbes Kerry & Deval Patrick
Attended Celtics Game.

Greats of the NBA: Dr. J, Bill Russell, & Kareem!

Greats of the NBA: Dr. J, Bill Russell, & Kareem!
Attend Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis
The actor (left) and his date were in the crowd before the Celtics game.

John Kerry

John Kerry
Golddigger attends Celtics game

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton
Ends her 2008 bid for Democratic Party nomination

Nonnie Burnes

Nonnie Burnes
Massachusetts Insurance Commish & former Judge

Jones Library

Jones Library
Amherst, Massachusetts

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton
2008 Democratic Primary

"US vs Exxon and Halliburton"

"US vs Exxon and Halliburton"
U.S. Senator John Sununu took more than $220,000 from big oil.

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
4- U.S. Senate - 2008

William Pignatelli

William Pignatelli
Hack Rep. "Smitty" with Lynne Blake

Ben Bernanke

Ben Bernanke
Federal Reserve Chairman

Gazettenet.com

Gazettenet.com
www.gazettenet.com/beta/

Boys' & Girls' Club

Boys' & Girls' Club
Melville Street, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Denis Guyer

Denis Guyer
Dalton State Representative

The Berkshire Eagle

The Berkshire Eagle
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Carmen Massimiano

Carmen Massimiano
Williams College - May 2008

Larry Bird & Magic Johnson

Larry Bird & Magic Johnson
www.boston.com/lifestyle/gallery/when_the_celtics_were_cool/

Regressive Taxation! via State Lotteries

Regressive Taxation! via State Lotteries
New Massachusetts state lottery game hits $600 million in sales!

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
"Luciforo"

John Barrett III

John Barrett III
Long-time Mayor of North Adams Massachusetts

Shine On

Shine On

Elmo

Elmo
cool!

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce kissed the Eastern Conference trophy. 5/30/2008. AP Photo.

Kevin Garnett & Richard Hamilton

Kevin Garnett & Richard Hamilton
Kevin Garnett (left) talked to Pistons guard Richard Hamilton (right) after the Celtics' victory in Game 6. 5/30/2008. Reuters Photo.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce showed his team colors as the Celtics closed out the Pistons in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. 5/30/2008. Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis.

Joseph Kelly Levasseur

Joseph Kelly Levasseur
One of my favorite politicians!

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
In the Big Apple: NYC! She is the coolest!

Guyer & Kerry

Guyer & Kerry
My 2nd least favorite picture EVER!

Mary Carey

Mary Carey
My favorite journalist EVER!

Nuciforo & Ruberto

Nuciforo & Ruberto
My least favorite picture EVER!

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
U.S. Senate - 2008

NH Fisher Cats

NH Fisher Cats
AA Baseball - Toronto Blue Jays affiliate

Manchester, NH

Manchester, NH
Police Patch

Michael Briggs

Michael Briggs
#83 - We will never forget

Michael "Stix" Addison

Michael "Stix" Addison
http://unionleader.com/channel.aspx/News?channel=2af17ff4-f73b-4c44-9f51-092e828e1131

Charlie Gibson

Charlie Gibson
ABC News anchor

Scott McClellan

Scott McClellan
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/scott_mcclellan/index.html?inline=nyt-per

Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho
Downtown Boise Idaho

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Legislative Hearing in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, BCC, on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
My favorite classical U.S. President!

NH Governor John Lynch

NH Governor John Lynch
Higher Taxes, Higher Tolls

Paul Hodes

Paul Hodes
My favorite Congressman!

Portland Sea Dogs

Portland Sea Dogs
AA Red Sox

New York

New York
Magnet

Massachusetts

Massachusetts
Magnet

New Hampshire

New Hampshire
Magnet

New Hampshire

New Hampshire
Button

Carmen Massimiano

Carmen Massimiano
"Luciforo" tried to send me to Carmen's Jail during the Spring & Summer of 1998.

Kay Khan - Massachusetts State Representative

Kay Khan - Massachusetts State Representative
www.openmass.org/members/show/174

Luciforo

Luciforo
Andrea F Nuciforo II

B-Eagle

B-Eagle
Pittsfield's monopoly/only daily newspaper

Jon Lester - Go Red Sox!

Jon Lester - Go Red Sox!
A Red Sox No Hitter on 5/19/2008!

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Dustin Pedroia & Manny Ramirez

U.S. Flag

U.S. Flag
God Bless America!

Jonathan Melle's Blog

Jonathan Melle's Blog
Hello, Everyone!

Molly Bish

Molly Bish
We will never forget!

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Celtics guard Rajon Rondo listens to some advice from Celtics head coach Doc Rivers in the first half.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace embrace at the end of the game.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon calls for the ball as he charges toward first base. Papelbon made the out en route to picking up his 14th save of the season.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka throws to Royals David DeJesus during the first inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka delivers a pitch to Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek during the second inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew is welcomed to home plate by teammates Mike Lowell (left), Kevin Youkilis (2nd left) and Manny Ramirez after he hit a grand slam in the second inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell crosses the plate after hitting a grand slam during the sixth inning. Teammates Manny Ramirez and Jacoby Ellsbury scored on the play. The Red Sox went on to win 11-8 to complete a four-game sweep and perfect homestand.

JD Drew - Go Red Sox

JD Drew - Go Red Sox
www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/gallery/05_22_08_sox_royals/

Thank you for serving; God Bless America!

Thank you for serving; God Bless America!
Master Sgt. Kara B. Stackpole, of Westfield, holds her daughter, Samantha, upon her return today to Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee. She is one of the 38 members of the 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron who returned after a 4-month deployment in Iraq. Photo by Dave Roback / The Republican.

Kathi-Anne Reinstein

Kathi-Anne Reinstein
www.openmass.org/members/show/175

Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy
Tragic diagnosis: Get well Senator!

Google doodle - Jonathan Melle Internet search

Google doodle - Jonathan Melle Internet search
http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=jonathan+melle+blogurl:http://jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/&ie=UTF-8

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Billionaire U.S. Senator gives address to MCLA graduates in North Adams, Massachusetts in mid-May 2008

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
"Luciforo"

A Red Sox Fan in Paris, France

A Red Sox Fan in Paris, France
Go Red Sox!

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Interviewed on local TV

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
Luciforo!

John Adams

John Adams
#2 U.S. President

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I stood under a tree on the afternoon of May 9, 2008, on the foregrounds of the NH State House - www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/nhinsider/vpost?id=2967773

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Inside the front lobby of the NH State House

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Bill Clinton campaign memorabilia

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Liberty Bell & NH State House

Jon Keller

Jon Keller
Boston based political analyst

Jon Keller

Jon Keller
Boston based political analyst

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Franklin Pierce Statue #14 U.S. President

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
NH State House

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Stop the War NOW!

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
"Mr. Melle, tear down this Blog!"

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I stood next to a JFK photo

Jonathan Levine, Publisher

Jonathan Levine, Publisher
The Pittsfield Gazette Online

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I made rabbit ears with John & George

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I made antenna ears with John & George

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I impersonated Howard Dean

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
mock-voting

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
pretty ladies -/- Go to: http://www.wgir.com/cc-common/cc_photopop20.html?eventID=28541&pagecontent=&pagenum=4 - Go to: http://current.com/items/88807921_veterans_should_come_first_not_last# - http://www.mcam23.com/cgi-bin/cutter.cgi?c_function=STREAM?c_feature=EDIT?dir_catagory=10MorningRadio?dir_folder=2JoesClips?dir_file=JonathanMelle-090308? -

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Go Red Sox! Me at Fenway Park

Mary E. Carey

Mary E. Carey
My favorite journalist! Her voice sings for the Voiceless. -/- Go to: http://aboutamherst.blogspot.com/search?q=melle -/- Go to: http://ongeicocaveman.blogspot.com/search?q=melle

Velvet Jesus

Velvet Jesus
Mary Carey blogs about my political writings. This is a picture of Jesus from her childhood home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. -//- "How Can I Keep From Singing" : My life goes on in endless song / Above Earth's lamentations, / I hear the real, though far-off hymn / That hails a new creation. / / Through all the tumult and the strife / I hear its music ringing, / It sounds an echo in my soul. / How can I keep from singing? / / Whey tyrants tremble in their fear / And hear their death knell ringing, / When friends rejoice both far and near / How can I keep from singing? / / In prison cell and dungeon vile / Our thoughts to them are winging / When friends by shame are undefiled / How can I keep from singing?

www.truthdig.com

www.truthdig.com
www.truthdig.com

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Concord NH

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=loc&newest=1&addr=&zip=01201&search=Search

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
smiles & beer

Jonathan Lothrop

Jonathan Lothrop
A Pittsfield City Councilor

Michael L. Ward

Michael L. Ward
A Pittsfield City Councilor

Peter Marchetti - Pittsfield's City Councilor at Large

Peter Marchetti - Pittsfield's City Councilor at Large
Pete always sides with the wealthy's political interests.

Gerald Lee - Pittsfield's City Council Prez

Gerald Lee - Pittsfield's City Council Prez
Gerald Lee told me that I am a Social Problem; Lee executes a top-down system of governance.

Matt Kerwood - Pittsfield's Councilor at Large

Matt Kerwood - Pittsfield's Councilor at Large
Kerwood poured coffee drinks for Jane Swift

Louis Costi

Louis Costi
Pittsfield City Councilor

Lewis Markham

Lewis Markham
Pittsfield City Councilor

Kevin Sherman - Pittsfield City Councilor

Kevin Sherman - Pittsfield City Councilor
Sherman ran for Southern Berkshire State Rep against Smitty Pignatelli; Sherman is a good guy.

Anthony Maffuccio

Anthony Maffuccio
Pittsfield City Councilor

Linda Tyer

Linda Tyer
Pittsfield City Councilor

Daniel Bianchi

Daniel Bianchi
A Pittsfield City Councilor

The Democratic Donkey

The Democratic Donkey
Democratic Party Symbol

Paramount

Paramount
What is Paramount to you?

NH's Congresswoman

NH's Congresswoman
Carol Shea-Porter, Democrat

Sam Adams Beer

Sam Adams Beer
Boston Lager

Ratatouille

Ratatouille
Disney Animation

Ruberto Details Plans for Success - January 07, 2008

Ruberto Details Plans for Success - January 07, 2008
"Luciforo" swears in Mayor Ruberto. Pittsfield Politics at its very worst: 2 INSIDER POWERBROKERS! Where is Carmen Massimiano? He must be off to the side.

Abe

Abe
Lincoln

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime
Leader of the Autobots

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime
1984 Autobot Transformer Leader

Cleanup Agreements - GE & Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

Cleanup Agreements - GE & Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/cleanupagreement.html

GE/Housatonic River Site: Introduction

GE/Housatonic River Site: Introduction
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/

GE/Housatonic River Site - Reports

GE/Housatonic River Site - Reports
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/thesite/opca-reports.html

US EPA - Contact - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

US EPA - Contact -  Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/contactinfo.html

GE Corporate Logo - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

GE Corporate Logo - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/index.html

Commonwealth Connector

Commonwealth Connector
Commonwealth Care

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Healthcare Reform

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Healthcare Reform

Network Health Forward - A Commonwealth Care Plan

Network Health Forward - A Commonwealth Care Plan
Massachusetts Health Reform

Network Health Together: A MassHealth Plan - Commonwealth Care

Network Health Together: A MassHealth Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

www.network-health.org

www.network-health.org
Massachusetts Health Reform

Neighborhood Health Plan - Commonwealth Care

Neighborhood Health Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

Fallon Community Health Plan - Commonwealth Care

Fallon Community Health Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

BMC HealthNet Plan

BMC HealthNet Plan
Massachusetts Health Reform

Massachusetts Health Reform

Massachusetts Health Reform
Eligibility Chart: 2007

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare
Massachusetts Health Reform

Business Peaks

Business Peaks
Voodoo Economics

Laffer Curve - Corporate Elite

Laffer Curve - Corporate Elite
Reagonomics: Supply Side

Corporate Elite Propaganda

Corporate Elite Propaganda
Mock Liberal Democratic Socialism Thinking

Real Estate Blues

Real Estate Blues
www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/2008/0316/

PEACE

PEACE
End ALL Wars!

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech
Norman Rockwell's World War II artwork depicting America's values

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
A young Abe Lincoln

RACHEL KAPRIELIAN

RACHEL KAPRIELIAN
www.openmass.org/members/show/218 - www.rachelkaprielian.com

Jennifer M. Callahan - Massachusetts State Representative

Jennifer M. Callahan - Massachusetts State Representative
www.openmass.org/members/show/164 - www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/05/04/legislator_describes_threat_as_unnerving/

Human Rights for ALL Peoples!

Human Rights for ALL Peoples!
My #1 Political Belief!

Anne Frank

Anne Frank
Amsterdam, Netherlands, Europe

A young woman Hillary supporter

A young woman Hillary supporter
This excellent picture captures a youth's excitement

Hillary Clinton with Natalie Portman

Hillary Clinton with Natalie Portman
My favorite Actress!

Alan Chartock

Alan Chartock
WAMC public radio in Albany, NY; Political columnist who writes about Berkshire County area politics; Strong supporter for Human Rights for ALL Peoples

OpenCongress.Org

OpenCongress.Org
This web-site uses some of my Blog postings

OpenMass.org

OpenMass.org
This web-site uses some of my blog postings!

Shannon O'Brien

Shannon O'Brien
One of my favorite politicians! She stands for the People first!

The Massachusetts State House

The Massachusetts State House
"The Almighty Golden Dome" - www.masslegislature.tv -

Sara Hathaway

Sara Hathaway
Former Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.
A corrupt Pol who tried to put me in Jail

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.
Another view of Pittsfield's inbred, multigenerational political prince. Luciforo!

Luciforo

Luciforo
Nuciforo's nickname

"Andy" Nuciforo

"Andy" Nuciforo
Luciforo!

Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer)

Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer)
Nuciforo's henchman! Nuciforo tried to send me to Carmen's Jail

Andrea Nuciforo Jr

Andrea Nuciforo Jr
Shhh! Luciforo's other job is working as a private attorney defending wealthy Boston-area corporate insurance companies

Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer) Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr.

Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer) Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr.
Nuciforo tried to send me to Carmen's Jail! Carmen sits with the Congressman, John Olver

Congressman John Olver

Congressman John Olver
Nuciforo's envy

The Dome of the U.S. Capitol

The Dome of the U.S. Capitol
Our Beacon of American Democracy

Nuciforo's architect

Nuciforo's architect
Mary O'Brien in red with scarf

Sara Hathaway (www.brynmawr.edu)

Sara Hathaway (www.brynmawr.edu)
Former-Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Nuciforo intimidated her, along with another woman, from running in a democratic state election in the Spring of 2006!

Andrea F. Nuciforo II

Andrea F. Nuciforo II
Pittsfield Politics

Berkshire County Republican Association

Berkshire County Republican Association
Go to: www.fcgop.blogspot.com

Denis Guyer

Denis Guyer
Dalton State Representative

John Forbes Kerry & Denis Guyer

John Forbes Kerry & Denis Guyer
U.S. Senator & State Representative

John Kerry

John Kerry
Endorses Barack Obama for Prez then visits Berkshire County

Dan Bosley

Dan Bosley
A Bureaucrat impostering as a Legislator!

Ben Downing

Ben Downing
Berkshire State Senator

Christopher N Speranzo

Christopher N Speranzo
Pittsfield's ANOINTED State Representative

Peter J. Larkin

Peter J. Larkin
Corrupt Lobbyist

GE - Peter Larkin's best friend!

GE - Peter Larkin's best friend!
GE's FRAUDULENT Consent Decree with Pittsfield, Massachusetts, will end up KILLING many innocent school children & other local residents!

GE's CEO Jack Welch

GE's CEO Jack Welch
The Corporate System's Corporate Elite's King

Economics: Where Supply meets Demand

Economics: Where Supply meets Demand
Equilibrium

GE & Pittsfield, Massachusetts

GE & Pittsfield, Massachusetts
In 2007, GE sold its Plastics Division to a Saudi company. Now all that is left over by GE are its toxic PCB pollutants that cause cancer in many Pittsfield residents.

Mayor James M Ruberto

Mayor James M Ruberto
A small-time pol chooses to serve the corporate elite & other elites over the people.

Governor Deval Patrick

Governor Deval Patrick
Deval shakes hands with Mayors in Berkshire County

Deval Patrick

Deval Patrick
Governor of Massachusetts

Pittsfield High School

Pittsfield High School
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Sara Hathaway

Sara Hathaway
Pittsfield's former Mayor

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Pittsfield Attorney focusing on Father's Rights Probate Court Legal Issues, & Local Politician and Political Observer

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Very Intelligent Political Activists in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III, Esq. is the spokesperson of the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition. He has been practicing family law and has been a member of the Massachusetts bar since 1996.

Mayor Ed Reilly

Mayor Ed Reilly
He supports Mayor Ruberto & works as a municipal Attorney. As Mayor, he backed Bill Weld for Governor in 1994, despite being a Democrat. He was joined by Carmen Massimiano & John Barrett III, the long-standing Mayor of North Adams.

Manchester, NH Mayor Frank Guinta

Manchester, NH Mayor Frank Guinta
Cuts Dental Care for Public School Children-in-Need

Manchester, NH City Hall

Manchester, NH City Hall
My new hometown - view from Hanover St. intersection with Elm St.

Manchester NH City Democrats

Manchester NH City Democrats
Go Dems!

2008 Democratic Candidates for U.S. Prez

2008 Democratic Candidates for U.S. Prez
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards

NH State House Dome

NH State House Dome
Concord, NH

Donna Walto

Donna Walto
Pittsfield Politician -- She strongly opposes Mayor Jim Ruberto's elitist tenure.

Elmo

Elmo
Who doesn't LOVE Elmo?

Hillary Clinton for U.S. President!

Hillary Clinton for U.S. President!
Hillary is for Children. She is my choice in 2008.

The White House in 1800

The White House in 1800
Home of our Presidents of the United States

John Adams

John Adams
2nd President of the USA

Hillary Clinton stands with John Edwards and Joe Biden

Hillary Clinton stands with John Edwards and Joe Biden
Hillary is my choice for U.S. President!

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the Radisson in Manchester NH 11/16/2007

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
U.S. Senator & Candidate for President

Pittsfield's 3 Women City Councillors - 2004

Pittsfield's 3 Women City Councillors - 2004
Linda Tyer, Pam Malumphy, Tricia Farley-Bouvier

Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
My friend Brian Merzbach reviews baseball parks around the nation.

The Corporate Elite: Rational Incentives for only the wealthy

The Corporate Elite: Rational Incentives for only the wealthy
The Elites double their $ every 6 to 8 years, while the "have-nots" double their $ every generation (or 24 years). Good bye Middle Class!

George Will

George Will
The human satellite voice for the Corporate Elite

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren
The Anti-George Will; Harvard Law School Professor; The Corporate Elite's Worst Nightmare

The Flag of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Flag of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
I was born and raised in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

State Senator Stan Rosenberg

State Senator Stan Rosenberg
Democratic State Senator from Amherst, Massachusetts -/- Anti-Stan Rosenberg Blog: rosenbergwatch.blogspot.com

Ellen Story

Ellen Story
Amherst Massachusetts' State Representative

Teen Pregnancy in Pittsfield, Mass.

Teen Pregnancy in Pittsfield, Mass.
Books are being written on Pittsfield's high teen pregancy rates! What some intellectuals do NOT understand about the issue is that TEEN PREGNANCIES in Pittsfield double the statewide average by design - Perverse Incentives!

NH Governor John Lynch

NH Governor John Lynch
Supports $30 Scratch Tickets and other forms of regressive taxation. Another Pol that only serves his Corporate Elite Masters instead of the People!

U.S. Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter

U.S. Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter
The first woman whom the People of New Hampshire have voted in to serve in U.S. Congress

U.S. Congressman Paul Hodes

U.S. Congressman Paul Hodes
A good man who wants to bring progressive changes to Capitol Hill!

Paul Hodes for U.S. Congress

Paul Hodes for U.S. Congress
New Hampshire's finest!

Darth Vader

Darth Vader
Star Wars

Dick Cheney & George W. Bush

Dick Cheney & George W. Bush
The Gruesome Two-some! Stop the Neo-Cons' fascism! End the Iraq War NOW!

WAROPOLY

WAROPOLY
The Inequity of Globalism

Bushopoly!

Bushopoly!
The Corporate Elite have redesigned "The System" to enrich themselves at the expense of the people, masses, have-nots, poor & middle-class families

George W. Bush with Karl Rove

George W. Bush with Karl Rove
Rove was a political strategist with extraordinary influence within the Bush II White House

2008's Republican Prez-field

2008's Republican Prez-field
John McCain, Alan Keyes, Rudy Guiliani, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, WILLARD Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Ron Paul

Fall in New England

Fall in New England
Autumn is my favorite season

Picturing America

Picturing America
picturingamerica.neh.gov

Winter Weather Map

Winter Weather Map
3:45PM EST 3-Dec-07

Norman Rockwell Painting

Norman Rockwell Painting
Thanksgiving

Norman Rockwell Painting

Norman Rockwell Painting
Depiction of American Values in mid-20th Century America

Larry Bird #33

Larry Bird #33
My favorite basketball player of my childhood

Boston Celtics Basketball - 2007-2008

Boston Celtics Basketball - 2007-2008
Kevin Garnett hugs James Posey

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
All heart! Awesome basketball star for The Boston Celtics.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady
Go Patriots!

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch
Owner of Fox News - CORPORATE ELITE!

George Stephanopolous

George Stephanopolous
A Corporate Elite Political News Analyst

Robert Redford

Robert Redford
Starred in the movie "Lions for Lambs"

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep
Plays a jaded journalist with integrity in the movie "Lions for Lambs"

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise plays the Neo-Con D.C. Pol purely indoctrinated by the Corporate Elite's political agenda in the Middle East

CHARLIZE THERON

CHARLIZE THERON
"I want to say I've never been surrounded by so many fake breasts, but I went to the Academy Awards."

Amherst Town Library

Amherst Town Library
Amherst, NH - www.amherstlibrary.org

Manchester NH Library

Manchester NH Library
I use the library's automated timed 1-hour-per-day Internet computers to post on my Blog - www.manchester.lib.nh.us

Manchester NH's Palace Theater

Manchester NH's Palace Theater
Manchester NH decided to restore its Palace Theater

Pittsfield's Palace Theater

Pittsfield's Palace Theater
Pittsfield tore down this landmark on North Street in favor of a parking lot

Pleasant Street Theater

Pleasant Street Theater
Amherst, Massachusetts

William "Shitty" Pignatelli

William "Shitty" Pignatelli
A top down & banal State House Pol from Lenox Massachusetts -- A GOOD MAN!

The CIA & Mind Control

The CIA & Mind Control
Did the CIA murder people by proxy assassins?

Skull & Bones

Skull & Bones
Yale's Elite

ImpeachBush.org

ImpeachBush.org
I believe President Bush should be IMPEACHED because he is waging an illegal and immoral war against Iraq!

Bob Feuer drumming for U.S. Congress v John Olver in 2008

Bob Feuer drumming for U.S. Congress v John Olver in 2008
www.blog.bobfeuer.us

Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln
The 16th President of the USA

Power

Power
Peace

Global Warming Mock Giant Thermometer

Global Warming Mock Giant Thermometer
A member of Green Peace activist sets up a giant thermometer as a symbol of global warming during their campaign in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007. World leaders launch marathon negotiations Monday on how to fight global warming, which left unchecked could cause devastating sea level rises, send millions further into poverty and lead to the mass extinction of plants and animals.

combat global warming...

combat global warming...
...or risk economic and environmental disaster caused by rising temperatures

www.climatecrisiscoalition.org

www.climatecrisiscoalition.org
P.O. Box 125, South Lee, MA 01260, (413) 243-5665, tstokes@kyotoandbeyond.org, www.kyotoandbeyond.org

3 Democratic presidentional candidates

3 Democratic presidentional candidates
Democratic presidential candidates former senator John Edwards (from right) and Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd before the National Public Radio debate yesterday (12/4/2007).

The UN Seal

The UN Seal
An archaic & bureaucratic post WW2 top-down, non-democratic institution that also stands for some good governance values

Superman

Superman
One of my favorite childhood heroes and movies

Web-Site on toxic toys

Web-Site on toxic toys
www.healthytoys.org

Batman

Batman
One of my favorite super-heroes

Deval Patrick & Denis Guyer

Deval Patrick & Denis Guyer
Massachusetts' Governor stands with Dalton's State Rep. Denis E. Guyer.

Bill Cosby & Denis Guyer

Bill Cosby & Denis Guyer
TV Star Bill Cosby stands with Denis E. Guyer

Denis Guyer with his supporters

Denis Guyer with his supporters
Dalton State Representative

Denis Guyer goes to college

Denis Guyer goes to college
Dalton State Representative

Peter Marchetti

Peter Marchetti
He is my second cousin. Pete Marchetti favors MONEY, not fairness!

Matt Barron & Denis Guyer with couple

Matt Barron & Denis Guyer with couple
Matt Barron plays DIRTY politics against his opponents!

Nat Karns

Nat Karns
Top-Down Executive Director of the ELITIST Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Human Rights for All Peoples & people

Human Rights for All Peoples & people
Stop Anti-Semitism

Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill

Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill
State House, Room 227, Boston, MA 02133, 617-367-6900, www.mass.gov/treasury/

Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley

Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley
1350 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01103, 413-784-1240 / McCormick Building, One Asburton Place, Boston, MA 02108, 617-727-4765 / marthacoakley.com / www.ago.state.ma.us

Bush v. Gore: December 12, 2007, was the seventh anniversary, the 5-4 Supreme Court decision...

Bush v. Gore: December 12, 2007, was the seventh anniversary, the 5-4 Supreme Court decision...
www.takebackthecourt.org - A political billboard near my downtown apartment in Manchester, NH

Marc Murgo

Marc Murgo
An old friend of mine from Pittsfield

Downtown Manchester, NH

Downtown Manchester, NH
www.newhampshire.com/nh-towns/manchester.aspx

Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei
Movie Actress

Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities (MCHC)

Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities (MCHC)
www.masschc.org/issue.php

Mike Firestone & Anna Weisfeiler

Mike Firestone & Anna Weisfeiler
Mike Firestone works in Manchester NH for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign

James Pindell

James Pindell
Covers NH Primary Politcs for The Boston Globe

U.S. History - Declaration

U.S. History - Declaration
A 19th century engraving shows Benjamin Franklin, left, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman at work on the Declaration of Independence.

Boston Globe Photos of the Week - www.boston.com/bostonglobe/gallery/

Boston Globe Photos of the Week - www.boston.com/bostonglobe/gallery/
Sybregje Palenstijn (left), who plays Sarah Godbertson at Plimouth Plantation, taught visitors how to roast a turkey on a spit. The plantation often sees a large influx of visitors during the holiday season.

Chris Hodgkins

Chris Hodgkins
Another special interest Berkshire Pol who could not hold his "WATER" on Beacon Hill's State House!

The Big Dig - 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto Milena Del Valle's car.

The Big Dig - 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto Milena Del Valle's car.
Most of Boston's Big Dig highway remains closed, after a woman was crushed when 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto her car. (ABC News)

Jane Swift

Jane Swift
Former Acting Governor of Massachusetts & Berkshire State Senator

Paul Cellucci

Paul Cellucci
Former Massachusetts Governor

William Floyd Weld

William Floyd Weld
$80 Million Trust Fund Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mike Dukakis

Mike Dukakis
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mary E. Carey

Mary E. Carey
Amherst, Massachusetts, Journalist and Blogger

Caveman

Caveman
www.ongeicocaveman.blogspot.com

Peter G. Arlos

Peter G. Arlos
"The biggest challenge Pittsfield faces is putting its fiscal house in order. The problem is that doing so requires structural changes in local government, many of which I have advocated for years, but which officials do not have the will to implement. Fiscal responsibility requires more than shifting funds from one department to another. Raising taxes and fees and cutting services are not the answer. Structural changes in the way services are delivered and greater productivity are the answer, and without these changes the city's fiscal crisis will not be solved."

James M. Ruberto

James M. Ruberto
"Pittsfield's biggest challenge is to find common ground for a better future. The city is at a crossroads. On one hand, our quality of life is challenged. On the other hand, some important building blocks are in place that could be a strong foundation for our community. Pittsfield needs to unite for the good of its future. The city needs an experienced businessman and a consensus builder who will invite the people to hold him accountable."

Matt Kerwood

Matt Kerwood
Pittsfield's Councilor-At-Large. Go to: extras.berkshireeagle.com/NeBe/profiles/12.htm

Gerald M. Lee

Gerald M. Lee
Pittsfield's City Council Prez. Top-down governance of the first order!

Mary Carey

Mary Carey
Mary with student

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox
Jonathan Papelbon celebrates with Jason Varitek

Free Bernard Baran!

Free Bernard Baran!
www.freebaran.org

Political Intelligence

Political Intelligence
Capitol Hill

Sherwood Guernsey II

Sherwood Guernsey II
Wealthy Williamstown Political Activist & Pittsfield Attorney

Mary Carey 2

Mary Carey 2
California Pol & porn star

Pittsfield's Good Old Boy Network - Political Machine!

Pittsfield's Good Old Boy Network - Political Machine!
Andy "Luciforo" swears in Jimmy Ruberto for the returning Mayor's 3rd term

Berkshire Grown

Berkshire Grown
www.berkshiregrown.org

Rambo

Rambo

The Mount was built in 1902 & was home to Edith Wharton (1862-1937) from 1903 to 1908.

The Mount was built in 1902 & was home to Edith Wharton (1862-1937) from 1903 to 1908.
The Mount, the historic home in Lenox of famed American novelist Edith Wharton, is facing foreclosure.

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