Saturday, August 28, 2010

FROED's Fate

The Fall River Redevelopment Authority contract with their staffing agency, the Fall River Office of Economic Development, aka "FROED," aka "Jobs for Fall River," aka Ken Fiola, expired in May. At that time the RA opted to extend FROED's service by 90 days. That 90 days expired last week. This prompted me to search for whether the city/RA made a public request for proposals to fill the staffing position upon the termination of FROED's contract.

Consider this quote from RDA attorney, Peter Bogle, regarding FROED's past bids for the RA staffing contract "FROED was the only qualified respondent on proposals to staff the RA for past contracts. Its staff management includes accounting, clerical support, marketing and negotiating on behalf of the Redevelopment Authority." So where does the RA/city advertise this opening? I did not see an advertisement on the city website, the Central register, the Herald A friend of mine was able to find an ad in a publication I had never heard of and that now escapes me.

If the RA truly wanted to replace FROED, they would have advertised the opening with more than a trivial amount of effort. Somehow, despite the clear lack of publicity for the opening, a competing bid was submitted against FROED. I have little detail on the submission but I do know the RA is voting on it Wednesday at 9:15am.

FROED is just plain terrible and I don't think any competing organization could do a worse job. However, realistically, is the RA ever going to replace FROED? The Mayor sits on FROED along with some highfalutin Fall River residents and business people who, while some may not live in Fall River, probably enjoy the perks of a FROED board of directors position (*read: loans): This is not easily let go.

Anyhooo, I urge anyone who can make it to the RA meeting on Wednesday at 9:15am (presumably at government center) to attend. Express your concern the FROED has 32 (founded in 1978) years to improve Fall River and has not. We can't afford to continue paying Ken Fiola $170,000 a year to loan our tax money to his board members, let buildings sit and rot, and give TIF agreements to chain doughnut stores and gas stations.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dumb Dumb Dumb

This is Pat Casey's speech in support of allowing out of towners to hold positions on Fall River city boards like the redevelopment authority. And, I think she gives permission for anyone to trespass on her lawn.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Funny but true

Gladys Kravitz, Middleboro's Nosey Neighbor, has a series of really funny casino related blog posts. Definitely worth a visit for a good laugh. This is one of my favorites:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


It is pure bullshit that when Will Flanagan pulled the YMCA funding for 42 low income units, Flanagan gave a chunk of that money to E.A. Fish/Winn's Wampanoag Mills low income development in the city.

The Y currently has 13 units with up to 4 people each for a max of 52 residents (48 are currently in there). The Y proposal is for 42, 1 person units. This means the Y is decreasing the number of low income residents there.

The Wampanoag Mill project has 97 NEW low income, multi person units. The Y project is decreasing low income units by can the administration say that they are against MORE low income housing downtown...this is less, and basic math.

Will Flanagan opted to support a large low income project by a company that has made millions on low income housing developments in this city. Will Flanagan pulled the funding from the non-profit organization where I learned to swim, that offers housing to the homeless, that has been an amazing community partner.

Facts about the Y project:
The neighborhood association supports it
They don't allow overnight guests
No alcohol is allowed
Cori checks are done
Money was also going to be used to install sprinklers in the building
Money was also allocated for handicap accessibility improvements

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Deuce Bigelow against strip clubs in the neighborhoods

Councilor Brian Bigelow, saying he grew up in that neighborhood, showed his opposition to a neighborhood strip club in a dramatic way. “Put LNG (the proposed liquefied natural gas terminal) in the middle of the ocean, put in a pole with a strip club on top of it, and blow it up.”

“I would not want a strip club in any neighborhood,” Bigelow said to cheers.
Click here for article

But its ok to buy a hooker in someone elses neighborhood?

RESIGN NOW DEUCE. If you do not, your scrutiny in the public eye will only get worse.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Headlines Say it All

The casino industry is in a major slump. Casino layoffs and bankruptcy are becoming par for the course in the casino industry. Yet, many casino supporters and their leader Will Flanagan insist that the casino will end Fall River's problems. Will it? A recently opened casino in the similarly situated town of Bethlehem, PA laid off nearly 100 people within their first year. Can Fall River handle that? Because it is a distinct possibility. Casino revenues are down, casinos are going bankrupt, casino workers are losing their jobs.

No need to read the following articles, these recent headlines pretty much say it all:

Connecticut slots revenue down at Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun 7/15/2010

Twin Rivers files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy 6/23/09

Casino layoffs destined to affect Norwich 10/30/2008

Atlantic City Casino Revenue Declines For 22nd Consecutive Month In June 7/12/2010

Analysts: Weakness in Gaming Industry Continues 7/28/2010

Layoffs at casino in Bethlehem: Less than a year after a grand opening that rivaled the glitz and glamour of a Las Vegas revue, Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem is laying off 80 employees. 5/1/2010

200 plus layoffs for President Casino gambling boat 4/22/2010

Slipping into Bankruptcy? Foxwoods Struggles With Debt as Gaming Revenue Slumps 9/3/09