Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fall River Grill

Fall River Grill
363 2nd Street
Fall River, MA 02721

Normally I leave the restaurant reviewing to the ladies over at New England Bites but I couldn't pass this one up. The restaurants in Fall River have some amazing 'dinner for 2' deals but I think Fall River Grill wins the competition with their 2 dinners and a bottle of (tasty) wine for $19.95 Sunday-Wednesday after 5pm.

A friend recommended Fall River Grill last month but I was hesitant to try it, mostly because of its 2nd Street location. I had driven by Fall River Grill many times and assumed it was the kind of "grill" that was just a bar that served buffalo wings and jalapeno poppers. I was totally wrong.

Fall River Grill is divided in 2 with a partitioned bar and the separate, very nice, dining room. The tables had cloth napkins, linen tablecloths, candles, and the dining room was generally attractive and appetizing. It is quite a surprise for a small frontaged building on 2nd street.

(please note, the iPhone has the crappiest camera ever)

Fall River Grill offers the dinner for 2 deal Sunday through Wednesday 5pm-9pm. Meal selections include: Chicken Mozambique, Shrimp Mozambique, Portuguese Steak, Red Snapper, Fried Fish Fillets, Chopped Liver, and probably a few others I am forgetting. A huge bowl of Portuguese soup is $2.50. Soda is $1.00. They also have a regular menu with lots of options.

I have to imagine that no one knows about this place, or that it is the kind of place which needs a recommendation from a friend before trying it, because it is always empty; yet the the food is great and I don't think I have EVER before, paid $19.95 for 2 dinners and a bottle of wine!!

Happy kickoff Eric

Vintage video of Al Alves endorsing Eric Poulin in the last mayoral election.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Michael Bates for City Council - Update

City council candidate Chris Marcelino plugged his blog on my my last post. So I went to read what he had to say. Overall I was surprised at how well written it was.....a little too well written. In one blog post, he typed, "Don't be shy about calling the candidates and asking tough questions of your own." So here is my tough question: Who wrote your blog? Was it 2004 candidate for Tulsa city council, Michael Bates?

I took a particularly well written bit of the blog post and googled it. Here is the #1 result for the excerpt from Marcelino's blog "complexities of the law, and an awareness of the risks and potential rewards of a change. The Law of Unintended Consequences is in full effect." Marcelino basically cut and paste the manifesto of a Tulsa candidate, put it on his own blog, and signed it.

He even plagiarized why he is running for city council! If you can't come up with your own reason for running....maybe you shouldn't be running.

Chris Marcelino has now rightfully credited Michael Bates for Bates' work that Marcelino plagiarized. However, I have the original version and I think it is important information to have when you go vote.

Compare what Michael Bates wrote in 2004 to the original of what Marcelino wrote:

Fall River City Council, No easy Task.
Why run for City Council?Most people who hear I'm running for city council congratulate me, or thank me for my willingness to serve. Others -- close friends, mostly -- ask, "Why in the world would you want to be a city councilor? Do you need the aggravation? Why do you want to join that useless, bickering bunch?"

My answer: I want to be a city councilor because the city council matters to our city's quality of life and its future. I am running because I believe that with my skills, knowledge, and experience I can promote Fall Rivers quality of life, and I can help the council become more effective in doing its job, to the benefit of all its citizens.

Some would say that the city council was created as mere window-dressing, a means to avoid a civil rights lawsuit. The real power rests in the Mayor's office, they would say, and the council isn't meant to do much besides act as a rubber-stamp. Many voters may be tempted to give all their attention to the next mayoral race, while ignoring the candidates for city council.

The Council matters

But when you've gone down to City Hall for committee meetings and city council meetings, as I have, and talked to councilors and citizens who come to address the council on some matter, you realize that the city council has an impact on Fall River's quality of life, and it has the potential to become an even greater asset to the city.The council performs three crucial functions that no other body can perform: representation, legislation, and oversight. If it fails to fill these roles adequately, Fall River loses.

Representing Fall River's diversity

The nine city councilors bring nine more perspectives to the table. More than that, in the course of an election, a city councilor speaks to thousands of citizens and hears their concerns and ideas. The new Mayor would be wise to look to the councilors as valuable partners in city government, not rivals.

By speaking for his constituents' interests, a city councilor bridges the gap between City Hall and the parts of the city that feel disenfranchised. A city councilor helps ensure that Fall River's diversity is represented throughout city government, by taking an active role in setting city priorities, ensuring that our plans for the future will benefit each an every Fall River citizen.A city councilor must remember that he is there to represent every citizens interests at City Hall. He is not an ambassador from City Hall to the citizens.

Setting the rules

The city council is not only a representative body, it is a law-making body. The council enacts rules which affect the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

The council frequently deals with zoning and land-use laws: changing the zoning on an individual piece of land, revising the Comprehensive Plan for an area, or general reform of the zoning laws.

A councilor needs to have a grasp of the complexities of the law, and an awareness of the risks and potential rewards of a change. The Law of Unintended Consequences is in full effect, and a bad decision can undermine years of hard work and thousands of dollars that homeowners and business owners have invested in their properties. A councilor must also be able to think "outside the box" -- willing to consider creative solutions to reach a win-win outcome for all concerned.

As a legislator, and not an executive, a councilor cannot act alone. A councilor must be able to build a professional relationship with his fellow councilors to reach the needed majority to pass an ordinance. To get things done for his city, a councilor must also be able to build support for his proposals in the community.

Keeping watch

Although the mayor is responsible for day-to-day operations, we need the city council to oversee the performance of city departments, to ensure that our essential city services are delivered efficiently and with excellence. To do its job, the council needs clear, complete information about expenditures and outcomes from every branch of city government. This same information needs to be made accessible to the public on the Internet.

To fulfill its oversight and legislative responsibilities, the council needs the independent resources and freedom of action to research issues and to evaluate the information it receives from the city administration. If we want a excellent, efficient government.From time to time, exercising effective oversight means saying "no." A good council will cooperate with the mayor whenever possible, but some plans are wrong for Fall River, and the council needs the guts to send them back to the drawing board.

How to build a better Council

More progress needs to be made. In this election, who ever is elected to the council will greatly affect the council's ability to fulfill its responsibilities.As a voter in this election, get to know the candidates running for city council.

Ask questions!!!

Will the candidate be an effective advocate for your neighborhood's particular needs?

Does the candidate have the intelligence and experience to handle zoning and other legislative issues?

Is the candidate committed to a city council which asks tough questions and demands answers, a city council with the confidence to say "no" when it should?

Don't be shy about calling the candidates and asking tough questions of your own.

If you find a good candidate, vote for him, of course, but find other ways to help, too. Display a yard sign, publicly endorse him.

Your time and effort will be repaid with a city council that is ready to build a better Fall River for all of us.

Usually during election time we see signs stating integrity, experience, qualified, etc., realizing that the candidates can only put favorable characteristics on their ads. I mean, who would advertise negatives, like "I'm dishonest, can't be trusted, a scoundrel, but vote for me anyway"? The only way we can get to know the real candidate, their attitudes, viewpoints, and prejudices too, is to ask the hard questions, and then wait for the answers. Voters should be able to hold their feet to the fire. We deserve a high caliber of elected officials, and we need to do a better job vetting them out.

When you ask candidates questions of great concern to you? If you get the deer in the headlights look, maybe that candidate doesn't know what's going on. And if the candidate tries to spin the answer, then don't let them get away with it, and ask it again, maybe this time with a different inflection.

Here's your chance to (1) elect a candidate that is going to represent you and (2) exercise a valuable right, the right to vote, so be prepared. The future of Fall River is largely influenced by the attitudes and actions of the city council. No easy task, so let's not treat it as if it is just another election. You can make a difference.


Christopher Marcelino
Candidate for Fall River City Council.

Posted by Bristol County News at 2:15 PM 1 comments

Monday, May 18, 2009

Formerly Blue Crosswalks

Remember these vibrant blue crosswalks? How much did they cost?

And 7 months later......

Were the crosswalks done in chalk or washable fingerpaint? They look terrible, and after only 7 months. Can we get a refund? Ken Pacheco mentioned in the above linked article that they were thinking about using this paint/color for other crosswalks around government center....please don't.

Friday, May 15, 2009

FREE or Moon Condos?

Let me say that I hope the FREE plan to unearth the Quequechan river works. However, it isn't a new idea; local organizations have been working on the ideas presented in FREE, for years, maybe even some decades. While I really hope to see this project completed in my lifetime, I am always suspicious of Bob Correia and I think alot of this effort is a lofty means to gain political capital for reelection.

Watching the FREE presentation, I kept hearing Correia thank George Delany for the ideas and his work on the FREE project. Hopefully FREE plans are more realistic than Mr. Delany's other project, the University of Fall River College of Interplanetary Sciences where students are offered "the opportunity to examine the possibilities for building expanded human communities in space, on the moon, Mars, and beyond" (slide 26 in the above link).

So which is more likely, a Fall River based college for building moon condominiums, or Bob's FREE plan?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another weekend "event" I neglected to mention

When: Saturday 10am-1pm
Where: The Dump aka Mt. Trashmore aka Mt. Viveiros

In "an effort to improve the quality of life of all Fall River residents" the Office of Mayor Bob Correia is hosting a free event at the dump this weekend, and yes delicious refreshments will be served.

Bring the Mayor your hazardous waste at the dump on Saturday for free!

"Residents must remain in their car while the landfill's attendant removes the items directly from vehicles." (At which point the hazardous materials will be disposed of by pouring them into the water supply)

Miller Green Remodel

I am still waiting for a flagpole but this seems to be a step in the right direction. The plaque was given a base and moved closer to the original monument (the boulder).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

!Weekend Events!

Sprummer is here and there is alot going on every weekend. Take advantage of these FREE great events this weekend:

The Fall River Fire Museum & Friends of Heritage State Park present a "salute to firefighters & public safety day" on Saturday, May 16th 2009 10 - 2. The following lists some tentative events including a "Jaws of life" demo, SWAT team demo, K9 demo, sparky the fire dog, pluggy the talking fire hydrant, smokey the bear, childs fingerprinting, bristol county fire safe house, static displays of antique and front line fire apparatus, bristol county sheriffs mobile command center, etc.!!!

The Re-Dedication of The Private Joseph Francis WWI Memorial (across from little theatre)
Saturday May 16th 11:00am
(rain date, Sunday May 17th)
Ceremonies Include: Parade from Durfee Green (across from FR historical society tea house), Re-dedication of the memorial, live orchestra, refreshments will be served following the ceremony.

Sunday ~
9am-12pm: Blessing of the Animals, First Congregational Church, 282 Rock Street. Petting Zoo! and Pony Rides!All animals welcome (on leashes and carriers). For questions call 508-672-5862

Friday, May 8, 2009


Why was HIPAA law of the utmost importance on Monday, when the city refused to release even the name of the school, where the swine flu stricken employee worked; but on Wednesday was irrelevant when, current city council president, Joe Camara gave the newspaper a status update on the declining health of the injured DPW worker, while he was dying?

How can current Bristol County Sheriff, Tom Hodgson, claim he is a fiscal conservative, who is out of money, because the governor didn't give him enough, yet still afford to build a television studio at the Dartmouth House of Corrections so he can broadcast his wisdom to the public access masses?

Why is Pat Casey's pothole-free street (Mount Hope Ave) getting paved again when there are lethal potholes in the city?

Why is Bob Correia running again?

**To the person in the comment section of my last post who knows everyone in dispatch and called "bullshit" on my statements about the conversation my friend had in a call to the police last weekend, as I was writing this post and listening to the scanner (at approx 5:45 if you want to check the tapes), I thought of you:
Officer "361 to 4, can someone at the police station answer the phone please"

Dispatch "If there were enough people yeah"

~~~~Keep in mind I am not blaming the police/dispatch/etc for this whatsoever, but IT IS happening, at no fault of their own...if we keep it quiet it will continue to happen~~~speak up!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Last Night In Fall River

Last night, somewhere in between the time the police were arresting people at Flaunt (fight with an assault and battery on a bouncer) and arresting at least five people over at Club Xcape (home of the "ceo's and hoes party" and the venue at which the infamous JJ's hot dog fight began), a friend of mine called the police to report street racing and a theft of city property in his neighborhood. 25 minutes later the activity stopped and the racers disbursed, he called back to tell the police not to bother because the racers left. He was then told, "I'm sorry but with the shortages, there is nothing we can do."

This is by no means a commentary on the job the police are doing; they are doing an incredible job with what is being thrown at them. However, it is UNACCEPTABLE to report a crime and hear 'sorry but we can't help you.' We have already had one murder this month, possibly two, depending on the status of the Club International victim, and Correia refuses to bring back police. Cut your effing driver. Just do it. Cut your PR person, because she clearly hasn't been successful for you, cut the pay rates of the 68 city hall employees not subject to collective bargaining......

Furthermore, we need to crack down on the bars/clubs/whatever, that are constant crime scenes. Pull their liquor licenses, make them get police details (although club xcape did have one last night), cut their hours, or whatever you can do to stop this. After the second shooting outside the Regatta there were about 15 officers stationed around the building. Are we going to wait for a second or a third shooting at Club International before we do anything?

Hopefully Bob Correia was able to sleep through all the noise of crime and violence in his city last night. He needed his beauty sleep so he would be rejuvenated for his announcement this morning that he intends to run for mayor again because he hasn't wreaked enough havoc on the city, nor padded his pension enough, in his one term.

**Thank you to the police who are working twice as hard now and who, due to shortages, probably have to respond to some calls alone now, without backup, putting their lives in further danger.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

More South Main Street Violence

Man shot outside Fall River club
Victim remains in hospital

FALL RIVER MASS (WPRI) - A shooting in Fall River is under investigation. A man was shot on the corner of South Main and Globe St outside of Club International.
The shooting happened just before 2:00 Saturday morning. The victim was taken to an area hospital. His condition is not known at this time.
Fall River Police say the District Attorney's office and The Major Crimes division is investgating the shooting.

Click here for WPRI video