Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Anonymity

video

In response to the comments made by Mayor Correia on WSAR during Ric Oliveira's program 12/24/08 and to the anonymous commenter(s) who, ironically, post comments disparaging my choice to remain anonymous, I offer a brief history of anonymous writers. I understand Correia was a teacher in a previous life. Whether a teacher of history, or even just a student of it, critics of the anonymity of blogging should be very aware of the abundant number of anonymous publications, and the reasons behind them, throughout history. The history of anonymous expression in political dissent is both long and with important effect in human history

The Federalist Papers – Written in anonymity in the late 1700’s by James Madison (prior to becoming the fourth president of the United States), John Jay (subsequently the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States), and Alexander Hamilton (who later became the first Secretary of the Treasury), the Federalist Papers were our founding fathers attempt to promote the ratification of the Constitution. They argued, under the cloak of anonymity and safety that the existing government was defective and that the proposed Constitution would remedy its weaknesses without endangering the liberties of the people.

Common Sense – In 1776, an anonymous pamphlet called Common Sense was published and sold for two shillings. The 47-page pamphlet, advocated America’s independence from Britain and the King, and quickly became a sensation. Written at the outset of the Revolution, Common Sense became the spark for change. It stirred the colonists to strengthen their resolve, resulting in the first successful anticolonial action in modern history. Historians have described Common Sense as the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era, and it was authored anonymously.

Other anonymous writings that offer political criticism include, the Letters of Junius, the pasquinades, and Imperial Hubris to name a few.

In modern litigation regarding the anonymity of political critics, courts have likened anonymous political speech on the Internet to the anonymous political pamphlets handed out during the Revolutionary War era. John Doe v. Cahill (2005). "Anonymous pamphlets, leaflets, brochures and even books have played an important role in the progress of mankind." Talley v. California (1960). "Great works of literature have frequently been produced by authors writing under assumed names. Despite readers' curiosity and the public's interest in identifying the creator of a work of art, an author generally is free to decide whether or not to disclose her true identity. The decision in favor of anonymity may be motivated by fear of economic or official retaliation, by concern about social ostracism, or merely by a desire to preserve as much of one's privacy as possible." McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm'n (1995).

I don't need to put my name on the line as Correia indicates because facts are facts. My name on facts doesn't make them more true it just allows people to find me and possibly retaliate.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Man sitting in a car shot several times

A man was shot on Division Street in Fall River early this morning.
The victim was sitting in a car when he was shot several times.
He suffered what are described as non-life- threatening injuries.
No arrests have been made.

Click for WPRI report

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

ATTENTION Last Minute Shoppers

Remember, there is only one shopping day left.........

Are you having a tough time figuring out what to get that Fall River Resident who has everything....including additional stormwater fees, fines for trash cans with no lid, excessive dumping charges, and increased parking tickets, to mention a few?

Get the beloved Fall River resident in your life a PRIDE CITYWIDE GIFT CARD so your loved one can allow water to trickle down their roof this holiday season or pay their fines.

Cards may be purchased in $50, $100, or $1000 increments because anything less wouldn't get you very far in this city.

*May not be applied to purchase of Correia cocktail party fundraiser tickets, purchases of already dedicated medians, or for general graft purposes.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Last Meeting as City Council President?

The City Council will conclude the 2008 year at their meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, Dec. 23). 2008 was a notable year for the City Council. In a mere 365 days, they (with a few exceptions) managed to alienate thousands of voters; despite the opposition of more voters than most of them received votes last election, they opted to change the fire chief from a civil service position to a contract position, they approved a ridiculous stormwater "fee"(tax), voted to supplant the memorial of a war hero who died in a prison camp, and generally said how high when the Mayor said jump (*again with a few exceptions).....to name a few.

One of the most memorable moments of 2008 was Council President Joe Camara's infamous, last minute, Friday afternoon meeting to determine the fire chief issue, despite the fact that Councilor Steve Camara had a funeral to attend. J. Camara also, more recently, told the newspaper he was going to limit the councilor's speaking time during meetings (although he never followed through with the time limit, which probably had to do with his inability to unilaterally implement that rule on the council).

Joe Camara's inflexibility, rudeness, and desire to please the Mayor has been noted. SO - the position of Fall River City Council President is determined annually by a vote of the council members as can be seen here at Section 50 of the City Charter. Could this be Joe Camara's last meeting as president? Will his fellow councilors give him the boot in January? Who would replace Joe?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A MUST READ

Please read today's post by Fall River Community entitled "Facts Are Stubborn Things."

FRC clearly establishes that Mayor Bob Correia is either misinformed OR the alternative that I subscribe to - Bob Correia is lying about the condition of Miller Square to cover his ass. The pictures FRC provides evidences the fact that the square was in good condition recently and NOT in the dirty/disgusting condition that Correia is purporting.

Perhaps someone can let Barry Richards know since he told his audience that the pictures were from the 1950's, which at first glance is even silly because there are modern cars.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Who Was David Miller?

Fall River asked this question in 1974 during the South Main Street reconstruction project when particular attention was paid to the giant boulder lying in the middle of the project. Part of the answer they found was something we all now know: David Miller is a war hero who died, serving his country, in a Japanese prison camp after surviving the Bataan Death March.

The rest of the answer they received is as follows...

David Miller's grandfather donated the land immediately adjacent to (and possibly including) the location of the square to the city to build a roadway.

The boulder in the article/picture below was the original monument dedicated to Miller in the 1950's. It still sits in the square, however, it is now being used as a back drop to the McGovern monument rather than its original purpose, a monument to David Miller.

(boulder monument barely peeking out from behind the McGovern monument)


Despite major South Main Street reconstruction in the area, the boulder monument to Miller was guaranteed preservation by the state department of public works in 1974(in the article below).

(Herald News article 8-15-74 *click on pictures to enlarge)



In 1991 the city rededicated the square to Miller with the addition of a plaque.

(Herald News article 6-17-91)

(Herald News article 6-19-91)

History seems to be repeating itself. In 1974, just 20 years after the boulder monument was dedicated to Corporal Miller, the city had already started to forget. The South Main Street reconstruction project sparked renewed interest in Miller's story and heroism. Now, a mere 17 years after Miller Square was rededicated the city government is encouraging us to forget by moving/overshadowing/renaming Corporal Miller's monument. Lest we forget........

Given our history of forgetting David Miller, I would suggest that the only sufficient remedy is to remove the McGovern monument from the square and replace it with a new monument to Miller that tells the story of his life, death, and the reason that monument is there so in another 20 years we will not have to again ask "Who Was David Miller?"

Friday, December 12, 2008

64 Durfee Street: Community Theater/Gallery/Restaurants/Shops OR More Subsidized Senior Housing

I had the good fortune to see the presentation by Jeff Carpenter on behalf of Save Our Neighborhoods, Arts United and the Lower Highlands/Historic Downtown Neighborhood Association regarding plans for 64 Durfee (see Fall River Community's post on the topic). It is my understanding that there are currently 2 proposals. One for senior subsidized housing, for which it is more likely than not that the historic building will be torn down to make way for new senior facilities. Secondly there is the Arts mixed-use plan set forth by a developer out of Pawtucket, with a proven track record in art rehab projects like this one. The artist mixed-use plan calls for a restaurant, shops, artists residences, a gallery, and possibly a theater, to name a few.

As several urban planners have noted, putting in senior housing at this location will cut downtown off from its waterfront (in case we haven't done that enough with Heritage Heights). Alternately, putting in a mixed-arts use will serve as a natural nexus unifying downtown and the waterfront. We have had the Arts Overly District in place for some time now and the city has done nothing to develop it - here is the perfect opportunity!

The decision is in the hands of the Fall River Redevelopment Authority now and hopefully they will make the right decision and say no to more downtown senior housing. This comment from Puck, that I stole from FRC's blog made me think that Mayor Correia may actually get on board with the artist mixed-use plan:

If Mayor Bob were a wise man, he would back the plan to use this building for the arts. If he were as politically savvy as he fancies himself, he would see that this is a gift being handed to him on a silver platter—an opportunity for redemption—a chance to erase some of the considerable damage he has done to his reputation.

But he has to be made to see that it is in his best interest to do so because he certainly doesn’t care that it’s in Fall River’s best interest.

Crazy man Bob has spun himself into a death spiral but this project may be a way for him to slow it down. And with a good PR person, he could spin this into several major photo ops going into next year’s election season. Maybe even a little ink in the NY Times for ol’ Bob?

Then, in spite of himself, he’d finally be doing something good for our floundering city.

He owes us. Big time.

Puck's comment really makes me think that Correia could get on board with this because the memory of his efforts here will live on in the form of live performances at the building, gallery showings, and community events. The success of this project could be a greater tribute to him in the future when it is a thriving arts village as opposed to the tarnished memory he may forever have when people ask "who decided to block off Fall River's waterfront with more subsidized housing?" Perhaps he will even be remembered as the catalyst that revitalized Fall River.

And then I heard this.......................................

video

For all you historic preservational types out there - it gets really good at 1:10

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mayor Correia on Miller Green

"I didn't see anything wrong with it at the time, I don't see anything wrong with it now." Bob Correia

video

"We have Kennedy park that was rededicated, by the way, because it wasn't Kennedy park all the time, it was dedicated again to a fallen president" Bob Correia

Bob, truthfully - Kennedy park used to be named "South Park." The city didn't rob the South family honor by renaming it Kennedy Park. Mr. South did not die for his country. In fact there is no Mr. South - the park was named after a direction, so your example is ridiculous.

In response to the Casey/Correia argument that their actions were justified because the square looks better now and that the square was so horrible before, etc:

CLICK TO ENLARGE

(thanks to bigsam27 for the picture)

I realize it is from a distance but the square looks decent to me, albeit humble as Corporal Miller's plaque indicates.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Miller Green v. McGovern Square

1946 Dedication of Miller Green (Square)

"In honor of all the boys of the southern section of the city who served in the armed forces during WWII and to be named Corporal Miller Green"


2008 Order for McGovern Square by Councilor Pat Casey

"delicious American food for weddings, family gatherings and other occasions at the banquet facility while simultaneously running the restaurant."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Help!

Does anyone out there have a picture of Miller Square prior to it becoming McGovern Square? PLEASE contact me if you do. I will take them in any form. My email is shamrockblogger@gmail.com THANK YOU!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Joan Menard and her $45,000 Caddy

A recent article, "Free rides for pols" in the Boston Herald indicated that our State Senator, Joan Menard is one of the politicians they investigated for paying for their personal vehicles out of their campaign contributions while also collecting taxpayer-funded travel stipends.

In what the article referred to as "an ethical gray area," Menard used her campaign funds to cover her $862-a-month Cadillac STS while she still collected $3,240 in per diems funded by the taxpayers.

A 2001 Office of Campaign and Political Finance memo states: “By law, a political committee may not pay for any expense which is otherwise paid, provided or reimbursed by the commonwealth such as a legislator’s per diem for mileage.”

Not surprisingly, Menard's office did not return the reporter's calls for an explanation.

Just because...

He's always watching!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pot Calling the Kettle Black

I am still enjoying the irony of WSAR's biased editorial today by Bernie Sullivan accusing the Herald News of being biased. In what I considered a malicious attack on the Herald News and its editor, Bernie Sullivan accuses the Herald News editor of malicious attacks on Mayor Correia.

I kept a straight face while listening until I got to the part where Bernie proposes an imaginary scenario where Correia runs into a burning building to save a baby and still gets criticized by the Herald. The scenario was especially amusing because, as my buddy over at FRC pointed out:
1) Bob would send his assistant into the building, obviously and
2) the building is probably burning due to Bob's incompetence

Bernie stated that, "all the editor of the newspaper focuses on, through a basis of inaccurate facts and assumptions, is style and process rather than the substance of actions needed to address the critical problems facing the city." This is wrong in numerous ways. I welcome Bernie to correct me on this; but from what I have read, the Herald News hasn't been basing their articles/editorials on Correia's actions on innacurate facts. In fact, unless there is any truth behind that quote from Bernie, it seems downright libelous.

In response to Bernie's criticism of the Herald News' focus on "style and process rather than the substance" of Correia's actions....despite what Bernie and Correia think, we are a democracy rooted in procedure and not simply unilateral action by mayors. I commend the Herald News on their attention to the process, or more accurately, the lack thereof.

It is ridiculous to place blame on the Herald News for not reporting "good stuff" about Correia when there is no news in that arena to report. Correia is merely reaping what he has sowed. I welcome comments from anyone who can enumerate good things that Correia has done....seriously because I can't think of any.

Monday, December 1, 2008

POSTPONED - Help Honor a Hero

UPDATE:
Due to a scheduling conflict, the Miller memorial ceremony has been postponed. I will post the new date when I have it.
______________________________________________________


Thanks to some concerned veterans, there will be a memorial ceremony to honor Corporal David L. Miller at 12:00pm on Sunday Dec. 7. The memorial will be held at the square previously known as Miller Square (currently known as McGovern Square thanks to Pat Casey, Bob Correia, and others). Please come and help honor the life and remember the heroic death of Corporal Miller.

Dec. 7, 2008 is the 67th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks and is a very appropriate day for Corporal Miller's memorial. I hope many people can join us. Hopefully we can either convince the powers that be to correct their error or we can join together to right the situation on our own.