Thursday, September 30, 2010

COLLECTION FOR NEW AUDIO RECORDER FOR WATER COMMISSION

     Brockton residents who disagreed with the decision of the Brockton Water Commission to meet behind close doors after the Water Rally on August 30st took their case one step further by filing an Open Meeting Law Complaint. Many residents wanted to attend that meeting but were told that it was for an executive meeting and that the commission could have a closed door meeting because the criteria being used allowed public bodies to discuss potential firings and complaints lodged against employees, some residents after reviewing the minutes, believe the rules were violated.
     After weeks of asking for the minutes the Water Commission gave a few residents a poorly copied CD of the meeting. BrocktonBeat has tried to remove the hissing and the poor quality of the tape but after 4 hours of trying, decided that it would be best to start a fundraiser so the Water Commission can have a new $40 digital recorder that will hold over 1000 hours of recording. The meeting is about an hour long and if you listen very carefully you will hear that the majority of the Commission is concerned about their public image and not about transparency to the residents of Brockton. They are more concerned about people who are trying to get out the real information about the water departments billing problems and keeping them silent and dealing with the media.
       I think it is incredible with the Water Department in such disarray that the Commission can give the public for record a cheesy CD that a 1st grader could of done better with. Toward the end of the tape if you listen to it real closely a man on the commission says "I would not want what we just were doing here tonight in the newspaper for any reason." 
video

      Ossie Jordan, Jody Hickey, Bruce Malcolm and Margaret McGrath voted to have the closed door meeting. Patrick Quinn was the sole member who voted against having a closed door meeting.
     Several residents have taken it upon themselves to fill out the complaint. Once it is completed one copy must be given to Brockton City Clerk and one to the Water Commission. Those governing bodies have 14 days to respond to the complaint, if they don't the residents can take it to the next level and inform the Attorney Generals Office and they can impose fines for the local governing bodies if they do not comply.
     Many residents have speculated that the meeting was held because of all the negative media attention that has happened since the water crisis started and the meeting was more of a secret meeting in silencing certain public persons who have been outspoken about the water billing problems and also what to do about the media in the city of Brockton that have been investigating the billing procedures and practices and how to deal with them. BrocktonBeat has obtained a complaint form that has been filled out and the reasons why the meeting is illegal:

There are just 2 questions on the form that were answered:

"What action do you want the Public Body to take in reaction to your complaint?"

In response to this complaint, the Water Commission should take a vote that in no uncertain terms makes it clear that they now understand that the past Executive Session held on August 30st was a violation of the open meeting law. This vote should be unanimous. Additionally the Water Commission should agree to added training around Open Meeting Law to be given by the City of Brockton Solicitor's Office or a staff member of the Attorney Generals Office. Finally, the Water Commission should agree that any future Executive Sessions should only be scheduled after obtaining a written opinion from the City Solicitor's Office.

"Describe the alleged violation this complaint is about. If you believe this violation was intentional please explain why"

     Not only was the Brockton Water Commission's Executive Session Meeting of August 30th a violation of Open Meeting Law, it can only be seen as intentional.
     A City Councilor sent several e-mails to the Water Commission members, Water Department, City Solicitor’s Office and the Mayor’s Office expressing their belief that the meeting was a violation of open meeting law. These e-mails were sent on the Friday before the Tuesday meeting. This gave all parties enough time to look into their mistake.. Therefore, ignorance of the Executive Session law cannot be used as a reason for this being unintentional because the members should have looked deeper into the law after getting the warning from a City Councilor.
     The Water Commission did not follow any of the Open Meeting Law's requirements about letting the public know why the meeting was being called.
     Prior to the meeting, not one of the allowable exceptions was cited as the reason the meeting was being called. After the meeting a myriad of "reasons" were given for the meeting. Some can be read in the Enterprise article the "Brockton Water Commission holds closed-door meeting" .
     A couple weeks after the Executive Session, the Chair of the Water Commission appeared before the City Council and reported that the meeting was about each of the Water Commissioners. If this was true, than when one member voted against going into Executive Session the meeting should have been held in public, as the law states. Also, none of the Water Commissioners were notified 48 hours prior to the meeting that the meeting was about them and none were notified or allowed to bring an attorney, as the law allows.
     Now that the tape from this Executive Session has been released, it is obvious that the meeting was not about any of the allowable reasons for Executive Session. For most of the meeting members are bickering and occasionally discuss policy around a pending independent water audit.
     Additionally, the members took a vote as to who would be the "spokes person" during the meeting and discussed, how to handle the media and to reprimand one member who was speaking to the newspaper, to tell him to be silent. This "behind closed door meeting" was about silencing one member and coming up with a plan for the media; none of these topics are allowable uses of the Executive Session.
Links to Open meeting law and the Complaint Process:
Open Meeting Law Complaint Process
Open Meeting Law Guide
  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CHEERS, WHOOPS, CLAPS AND BOO'S

     More than 200 hundred residents from Brockton and the Bridgewater area filled the West Middle Schools auditorium to oppose the building of a 350 megawatt natural gas power plant on the south side of Brockton. The meeting lasted nearly four hours and at times cheers and boo's could be heard coming from the audience.
For the full story please read todays article in The Brockton Post.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

PUBLIC COMMENT HEARING ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO POWER PLANT

      At 7pm on Tuesday, September 28, 2010, at West Middle School, 271 West Street. The Department of Public UltilitiesEnergy Facilities Siting Board will hold a public comment hearing pertaining to the proposed changes for the  petition for approval by Brockton Power Company to construct and operate a 350 megawatt dual-fueled, combined-cycle electric generating facility located within Oak Hill Way Industrial Park.
     On July 12, 2007 the Brockton Power Company filed with the Energy Facilities Sitting Board a petition to construct the power plant. The Company also petitioned the DPU seeking a comprehensive zoning exemption from the Brockton Zoning Ordinance and also a petition to construct a transmission line.
     The three petitions were consolidated (click for final decision docket) and on August 7, 2009, the Siting Board granted the request for the construction of the power plant and the transmission line but denied the request for the zoning exemption. On April 9, 2010, the Company filed for a project change and proposed to use municipal water instead of treated wastewater from the AWRF (Advanced Wastewater recycling Facility) for cooling water makeup. The second proposed change is to operate the facility using natural gas only to eliminate the "potential" use of ultra-low sulfur distillate as an alternative fuel and the third change is to modify the reduce height of the main power plant building, accessory building and the heat recovery steam generator sound walls.
     The Company believes that the proposed changes will comply with the local zoning code in Brockton. The Company is also claiming that the changes will reduce air quality impacts, visual impacts and improve sound levels. The Siting Boards review will be limited to an evaluation of the proposed changes in order to determine if the changed project will still meet the criteria of contributing to a reliable energy supply consistent with the minimization of environmental impacts and costs. Copies of the Project filings are available for public inspection at:
45 School Street, Clerks Office
304 Main Street, Brockton Public Library
     In addition, the Project change filing is available on line at Energy and Environmental Affairs. Type docket number efsb07-7A/07-58/59. That will bring up the electronic docket for the proceeding. On page 3 of 3 there are links to the text of the Project Change filing denominated as "Part 1-4 through "Part 4 of 4". The hearing will be accepting public comments on the proposed changes and any person interested in submitting a written comment must file before 5 p.m.on Tuesday, September 28, 2010, to the Presiding Officer:
Robert J. Shea
Energy Facilities Siting Board
One South Station
Boston, Ma 02110
617-305-3500
robert.j.shea@state.ma.us
     A copy of any written comments must also be sent to the Company's counsel, David S. Rosenzweig, Esq., Keegan Werlin LLP, 265 Franklin Street, Boston, MA 02110.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

GOT DRUGS

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
     That's what the sign says outside of 10 Father Kenney Way, Council on Aging Building. Today residents of Brockton could turn in their expired and unused prescription drugs during the hours of 10 a.m to 2 p.m. The program sponsored by the DEA is a nationwide effort joined by over 3,400 locations today to divert the use of prescription drug abuse and misuse that is on the rise. Many people will flush their old medications down the toilet and in some cases the filtration system cannot eliminate some types of medication. Also to throw them out in the regular trash pick-up is dangerous because if an animal gets into the trash the medications could be found by children and be taken.
10 Father Kenney Way
     Even though the program was sponsored by the DEA, the Brockton Police were on hand to help and assist with the program. Residents can just walk in and drop off their medications anonymously and no questions asked. This is just one way residents can help do their part in keeping the possibility of prescription drug abuse and misuse happening to them. People are having their medications stolen by family members in many cases and  prescription drug abuse in teens is on the rise according to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association. So Today if you have expired or unused prescription medications take a walk or drive down to 10 Father Kenney Way and drop on in and help keep our neighborhoods a little bit safer.
Brockton Police supporting the Program

Friday, September 24, 2010

LEBANESE FOOD FESTIVAL

     The 2nd annual Lebanese Food Festival will be held at St. Theresa Maronite Catholic Church On Saturday, October 2nd, 12 p.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday, October 3rd, 12 p.m.-2 p.m. Traditional home made Lebanese food will be available for purchase that will be cooked by the parishioners of the church. The festival was restarted back in 2008 but due to bad weather the festival didn't quite have the turn out expected. Last year the Church held a Christmas bizarre and this year resumed the festival in honor of the Feast of St.Theresa of Lisieux
343 North Main Street

Traditional Lebanese Food
     The festivities will be held indoors and outdoors and there is plenty of parking at the Church that is located at 343 North Main Street, Brockton, Ma. The food and beverages will be everything from Arabic coffee to Hummus and Tabouli, grapeleaves, Falafels, Shish Kabobs and all time favorite Baklava. The festival will include raffles and children's activities and a kids menu. Come and enjoy the Lebanese Experience!
Hummus and Tabouli

343 North Main Street

St. Theresa Maronite Catholic Church

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

NATIONAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE-BACK DAY

     Saturday, September 25, 2010, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the DEA will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at the Council on Aging, 10 Father Kenney Way. Brockton will join more than 3,400 sites nationwide that will join the effort to thwart pill abuse and theft. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
     "Prescription drug abuse is on the rise and studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet" as quoted from the DEA website. Also from the site the following that "Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs".
    
    
    
   

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

HANDMADE IN BROCKTON

      Brockton has a handmade treasure that is only one of eight in the United States and the only one located in New England. The Fullercraft Museum is dedicated to the art of contemporary craft. The museums primary focus is on materials that have been hand crafted out of ceramic, fiber, metal, wood and glass.
455 Oak Street
     Teaming up with Bank of America the museum is offering Brockton residents free admission who show proper ID such as a driver license or other forms of identification. The program will run until December 31st and all are welcome from kids to adults. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesdays 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and is closed Mondays. As always the museum has free admission every Wednesday 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Fullercraft museum

Outside patio on Porters pond
     The Fuller Museum of Art as originally named was opened in 1969 through the generosity of Myron L. Fuller(1873-1960). Located on 22 acres of forest and on the shores of Porters Pond, the building houses over 7 galleries, a gift shop, outside patio, the Great room(for holding functions), the Artkitchen Cafe and studios for art workshops.
Fullercraft museum on 22 acres
Entrance
     The museum evolved thru the years and starting around 2004 the vision of the museum and its mission transformed into the FullerCraft Museum. Executive Director Wyona-Lynch-McWhite said "The museum really carved out their niche with craft, which is art that is three dimensional and routed in function and form". Wyona-Lynch-McWhite became the Executive Director of the museum in 2009 taking over from founding director Gretchen Keyworth.
Journey in Glass by Josh Simpson
Up close
      The vision of the museum is to create an international forum for the exploration and recognition of craft and their mission is to create an environment where craft is experienced through exhibitions, education, outreach and collaboration. Ashley Occhino is the Education Associate for the museum and also project coordinator for Brockton's    Art in the Windows
Downtown Brockton Art in Windows
     First conceived in 2007 the project seeks to create art installations and graphic displays in vacant and under utilized windows. Landlords are encouraged to participate in this program along with artists and local cultural organizations. The project benefits landlords who want to improve their site's appeal and also local artist who can exhibit their work.
     The museum currently is exhibiting The New Materiality, which is artists using current technologies in tandem with traditional craft materials. Other exhibitions include Boxes and their Makers, Josh Simpson: A Visionary Journey in Glass, Art Aspire and several other exhibitions. "We are constantly rotating and showing new exhibitions every couple of months" Ashley Occhino said, "We even change the color of the galleries at times, depending on what exhibitions we are showing".
The New Materiality
     The Fullercraft Museum has really created their own materiality and beyond, everything from the shape of the building, the beautiful woodlands and pond that surrounds it, to downtown Brockton and even the door handles when you leave. "Look at the right door handle when you leave" said Thomas Bourne, Guest Services Manager.
Artist Judy Kensley McKie
     "They were created by artist Judy Kensley McKie, her art is crafted in the form of animals" said Bourne. "You can see how the right one is lighter because people push that handle because the other door is locked" says Bourne.

Friday, September 17, 2010

HEAVEN HAS ANOTHER CHAMPION

   This is from Tom Monahan Ward 2 City Councilor:

                       MARY VIRGINIA CURTIS

     Mary Virginia Curtis 91, passed away Thursday September 16. She was a great friend to myself and many others in this great city. She was a founding member of BIC, a board member of the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, involved with the Council on Aging and a Eucharistic Minister at St. Patrick Church. She was politically active as a member of the Democratic City Committee and worked on many campaigns, most recently my own for which I am forever grateful. A memorial plaque will be placed at the corner of the James Edgar Playground facing her home with a dedication ceremony slated for April at the James Edgar Playground Cleanup that Ginny coordinated for all these many years. Calling hours are from 9 - 10:30 at the Russell - Pica funeral home on Tuesday September 21 followed by a Mass at St Patrick Church at 11:00 AM.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

LOVE AT THE GREEK

     The annual Greek festival kicked off today at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church at 457 Oak St. Traditional Greek food and music were among the venue along with vendors who sold everything from clothing to religious artifacts and jewelry. The festival runs from today 11am-10pm, Friday 11am-11pm, Saturday 11am-11pm and Sunday 12pm-7pm.


Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
Let the Festivities begin
Everyone is Welcomed
Rain or Shine the festival will go on
Hungry anyone?
Crowds start gathering
come visit the vendors

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

LYNCH TO FACE OFF WITH HARRISON IN NOVEMBER

     U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch won Tuesdays 9th congressional Districts Democratic primary over D'Alessandro by 19,276 votes. He will face off against Vernon Harrison the Republican primary winner in the November elections. Congressman Lynch was first sworn in 2001, following the sudden passing of John Joseph Moakley. He first was elected to the Massachusetts State Representatives office in 1994. Vernon Harrison running against Keith Lepor won the Republican primary by 3,931 votes out of a total of 15,271. Mr. Harrison from his website graduated Brockton High school in 1974. He started his own electronics firm at the age of 24 and ran that for 15 year. He moved into the computer industry and is Chief technologist for his firm. On his website concerning issues is quoted "The real problem is not health care, but the cost of health care". More can be found about his stance on issues at vote for Vernon Harrison.

REPRESENTATIVE CANAVAN WINS PRIMARY

REPRESENTATIVE CHRISTINE CANAVAN
     Representative Christine Canavan of Brockton won the primary on Tuesday against Matthew Albanese of West Bridgewater. The race was close with the incumbent beating Albanese for the 10th Plymouth District seat. Representative Canavan an 18 year veteran of the State house runs against Republican John Cruz of West Bridgewater in November.
     Representative Canavan who is a registered nurse has been in office since the early 90s and adds a unique perspective to issues such as health care because of her experience and also has worked hard on issues of public safety, senior care, the environment, building and maintaining parks and open space, economic revitalization and cultural programs for her district.
     She has authored and now law about patient/staff ratio requirements for out-of -hospital dialysis clinics to ensure patient safety and expand the scope of duties for nurse-practitioners. She sits on several committee's including the House Ways and Means and is a member of the Special Legislature Committee's on Foster Care and Cervical Cancer and the House Libraries Caucus. Representative Canavan can be reached at Representative Christine Canavan's Office.
     Republican John Cruz who was born in Brockton will be running against Representative Canavan in November. He held the 10th Plymouth District seat back in 1990. Mr.Cruz now lives in West Bridgewater and is owner of Consolidated Plumbing Corporation and is very active in his community. He is an on-call fire fighter, Chairman on the Board of Health, member of West Bridgewater Housing Authority, Registrars of Voters for West Bridgewater and has taught courses at South Eastern Regional High School.
     When Mr.Cruz was State Representative he was a member of the Judiciary, Human Service & Elder Affairs and Housing & Urban Development Committees. He helped secure funding for the city of Brockton with state funds and has a record for fighting tax raises and overspending by the state. On the issues from his website he has signed the "No New Tax Pledge" and states "People should be able to keep more money in their paychecks". To date Mr.Cruz is the only candidate who has signed this pledge and on the site states "He will oppose all attempts to take more money out of your paycheck". You can check out more on his stance on the issues from immigration to improving our economy here John Cruz on the issues.
    
   

Thursday, September 9, 2010

FINANCE MEETING ON WATER AUDIT FROM 9-7-10 POSTED

     The finance meeting from Tuesday night is now posted and available below. This is the audio portion only.
video

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

DUBOIS AND STEWART ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS TO THE WATER DEPARTMENT!

     Last nights City Council meeting was primarily focused on the water billing problems. Two resolves were filed by the City Council, a resolve to call for an internal water audit that was passed. The audit will move forward and Michelle Dubois City Councilor Ward 6 moved for an amendment to change from lowest bidder to request for proposal or RFP. Many residents pushed for this type of audit because the council can take into any consideration any bid and not just the lowest and can obtain the services of an auditor that is best qualified for a water municipality.

     The next resolve was filed by City Councilor at Large Jass Stewart by calling for the Mayor, DPW Commissioner and water commission before the council to be questioned about water billing problems and who is being held accountable and how. Mr.Stewart questioned the Mayor and DPW commissioner for about one hour and he filed the resolve because "What appears to be a public relations blunder to say the least, that's beyond the sort of operational issues maybe the auditor will hope to clarify as well, but certainly the people are looking for answers and looking for clarity around this billing process".

     Mr.Stewart talked about the stereo types that has been perceived by the public about the water department not being competent and about possible conflicts of interest within the department itself with hiring process and that individuals are not responding to the problems in the department. He formed his questioning into three parts, the first with questions addressing the perception of the competence of the department and city government, a timeline of events and the billing process itself.

     "Is everyone qualified, does everyone have the right credentials for the job they have within your department" asked Stewart to Mr.Thoreson the DPW Commissioner."As far as management goes I believe they are all qualified as far as certificate goes". He gave the qualifications of the top management and Mr. Stewart asked "100% of the employees in the department are qualified and have the right credentials for the job", Mr. Thoreson replied "I believe so" with Mr. Stewart asking " You believe so or know so", Thoreson replied "I know so".

     "How do you handle in the conflict of interest people who are related by blood working within the department and reporting to each other" asked Stewart. " I don't believe, I'm trying to think if I got any related by blood that report to me and I don't believe they do" replied Thoreson. "Well maybe not to you, so are there any, My question what is your policy in general around, how does your department ensure the integrity in the reporting line around and inherent to conflict of interest of people who are related working within a department, whether it exits or not what is the policy there at DPW" asked Stewart.

     "The policy is I wont hire anyone that is related to me" replied Thoreson. " I don't mean just to you, it could be relatives, it could be a junior manager reporting to a senior manager, in general how does your department handle that" asked Stewart. "No one reports to each other directly, there are relations that work within the department, they don't report to each other directly" said Thoreson. "That's the policy" asked Stewart, "Yes" replied Thoreson." That's written policy" asked Stewart. "No" said Thoreson.

     Stewart followed this line of questioning on written policies on hiring relatives asking for the Mayors input and she replied "My policy is that, for me personally, I don't want any relatives reporting to other relatives and I believe that's just a basic conflict in general of state ethics and you can't have that and I know there was a situation a couple of years back at the school department and you can't have relatives that directly report to another relative, there has to be someone in between that they report to, you can't have that, that's my understanding for any employment policy for any municipality" said the Mayor. "Where not having that conflict here in Brockton" asked Stewart. "Truthfully, there has not been that many hires since I've been Mayor, but I would frown against that to begin with anyways, no you can't have that" replied the Mayor.

     Stewart followed thru with the question of what is the department doing about its long range plans now and how the billing ever got to a place where they were sending out a bill for $17,000 in the first place. Mr. Stewart continued with his questioning for about an hour and thanked the Mayor and DPW commissioner and water department with responding to the resolve and answering his questions.

     Following up after Mr.Stewart was Michelle Dubois Ward Six City Councilor. She questioned the DPW Commissioner for more than 30 minutes asking questions pertaining to specific cases in her ward and was prepared for battle with documents and bills provided by the residents and demanded answers and action. She took a no nonsense approach with the DPW and the water commission and kept firing back with residents issues one after another and not backing down on behalf of the residents.

     She drew much support from the crowd with applause and at one point(I have to say I have been so involved with this issue, that I have crossed some lines on this and have not been objective as I would of liked to be. I yelled out of frustration and anger because of dealing with this for 2 months and talking to dozens of residents about the stress they have been going thru. About 7 minutes after Michelle started speaking I lost it and sometimes need to back away and take a breath. I have worked with dozens of residents and they are stressed and sick and getting no resolve at all) This is the recorded part of her talking to DPW commissioner and the water commission, there is no video. The recording is about 40 minutes long. Click on the box below to listen to Councilor Dubois questioning Mr.Thoreson.

     Other council members asked questions to the DPW commissioner and the water department but Stewart and Dubois dominated the night and left no stone unturned.

     Two items were addressed tonight. The City is moving toward an audit and the Mayor, DPW commissioner and water management and water commission have finally been brought before the public to put a face on this crisis and answer the questions brought to them by the City Councilors. All residents are urged to call Mr.Thoreson themselves if they have any problems with there bills but he himself said in the meeting "They may not like get the answer they want or like what I have to say". The grass roots organization has been formed called"Brockton United Voices" Started by Ayanna Cato and Robert Ford who were in attendance at the meeting. You can reach them at http://www.brocktonunitedvoices.blogspot.com/ or email them at brocktonunitedvoices@gmail.com


     Ayanna Cato said that "This is more than about my billing issue now, its the residents who have a voice in this". She and Mr. Ford are urging all residents to get in contact via the new site. Also all residents are also being urged by them to get in contact with the Inspector Generals Office posted on their site. The whole city council meeting can be heard later when the BrocktonBeat posts the whole meeting on the site later today.


video

Councilor Dubois asking the tough questions to Mr.Thoreson regarding water billing crisis in Brockton. This is only part of the City Councilor meeting for 9-7-2010. This is Audio only, BrocktonBeat will publish the whole meeting in the next day or so.





Monday, September 6, 2010

LABOR DAY PICNIC MORE THAN FOOD & FUN

        When I think of a picnic, I think about a blanket and a cooler filled with food and beer and some friends and family in a park. Today's Annual Labor day picnic at Our Lady of Sorrows Convent was more than that. The picnic is about life that covered over six decades gathered at the hallowed grounds on which the Convent and St.Joseph's Manor stand. How in 1945 the Sisters of Jesus Crucified came from Pennsylvania after a tragic fire in an orphanage closed it down and they were unable to rebuild it after that. "Thankfully no one was hurt in that fire" said Sister Geraldine Nevaras. They were invited to Boston by then Archbishop of Boston Richard Cushing and established the original Convent in what was then the Brockton Poor Farm.
     The original building still stands and Sister Geraldine Nevaras said " We lived in that original building and our mission was always to take care of the elderly even though we cared for the orphans during the war." The building contain some elderly gentleman that were taken care of by the Sisters and then moved to an adjacent building so the Sisters could start to establish there mission of taking care of the elderly.
Original Building formerly Brockton Poor Farm
     The first Labor day picnic was held in 1946 and that date actually has another reason besides raising money to help care for the mission of elder care. " We honor Our Lady of Sorrows feast day which is September 15th" said Sister Nevaras. The picnic has been held since 1946 until 1991 and has been open to everyone but has traditionally been Lithuanian. The Lithuanian community had and still have strong ties to Brockton and the picnic use to attract thousands of Lithuanians from around New England and the surrounding states.
Sister of Jesus Crucified

Sister with the Franciscans
        The Sisters mission of care for the elderly and education continued with their involvement of teaching at the local catholic schools including St. Casimir School which was traditionally Lithuanian and in 1965 the building of St.Joseph Manor which cares for over 100 residents. The picnic ended in 1991 and Sister Geraldine Nevaras said it was "The combination of not having enough volunteers and the number of women who were entering into the Sisterhood was declining". That hasn't stopped the sisters from performing their mission of caring for the elderly at St.Joseph Manor and the support and care for the community that they have helped raise in Brockton for over 60 years.
     "I will tell you something and this will show you how God works" said Sister Geraldine, "Since the picnic started in 1946 not one rained out day." Today was no different the skies were clear and the day was mild and not very humid. The picnic was started last year again and John Drusinskas became the chairman of the committee and this year's event was a success. The Convents grounds are a beautiful place for such a gathering and the food available were traditional Lithuanian and American style. The Entertainment was provided by the nationally known Polka Band Dennis Polisky and the Maestro's Men followed by Tom Monte, "Man of Many Voices".
Lithuanian Dinner
video
    
     People could try their luck at the Money Wheel or buy a raffle. Mini-golf and speed pitch were available. The kids were jumping in the Moonwalk or playing Old Man's Beard or Duck Pond. Many vendors were selling religious items and jewelery and hand made crafts. A popular venue was the classic and antique car show with over 40 cars in the showing. Generations of families and friends came together today to celebrate more than a picnic but a mission. A mission that was built more than 60 years ago by a group of Sisters who have lived everyday in service to others and will continue to do so after all the tents are down and the people have gone home.
Money Wheel
Feeling Lucky
Guess what type and year
Guess what type and year
Ford pick-up
Classic & Antique cars
Nice Set of Wheels
Taxi Anyone
Classic & Antique cars
She's a Beauty
Kids Games
Franciscan Friars
Food Line
Name says it all
Roll out the Barrels
Plenty of Shade
Brockton Police
Keith Lepor running for US Congress
Our Lady of Sorrows

Sunday, September 5, 2010

ST. JOSEPH MANOR'S LABOR DAY PICNIC

     On Monday September 6th at St. Joseph Manor' on the grounds of the Our Lady of Sorrows Convent, 261 Thatcher St., from 11am-6pm will be the annual Labor Day Picnic. Traditional Lithuanian and American food will be available for purchase along with Live bands, games of chance, antique car display and kids games including: Moonwalk, 9-Hole Mini Golf Course, Radar Speed Pitch and more. Parking is available for $5.00 and the weather outlook for Monday is expected to be mild in the 70s and sunny.
     The Picnic's proceeds will go to benefit the residents and clients of St. Joseph Manor Healthcare in Brockton, a non-profit organization. The Sisters founded St. Joseph Manor Nursing Home in 1965 and remain active in its operation and mission to this day.
     The first Labor Day picnic to benefit the good works of the Sisters of Jesus Crucified of Brockton,Ma, primarily a Lithuanian congregation, was held in 1946 and was attended by thousands of people. The Sisters lived in the Convent and educated pupils at St. Casimir School in Brockton. The pupils were Lithuanian, those of Lithuanian decent and parents who wanted their children to get a quality Catholic education. The school merged with St.Edwards in 2007 and became Trinity Catholic Academy which opened in September 2007 and serves over 400 students, pre-k through eight grade.
     The Sisters organized and worked the picnic until the mid-eighties, when it was canceled after the city would not grant a license for wine and beer and for small gambling games like nickel pitch. Restarted last year with attendance over 4000, this years turn out is expected to be even more. There will also be a  con-celebratory opening Mass in the Sister's Chapel at 10 AM.
    
    

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

STATE REPRESENTATIVE CANAVAN SUPPORTS THE RESIDENTS!

     Brocktonbeat called the AGs office and was told to call DPU and they told us to call our State Representative. I talked to the office of Rep.Christine Canavan and as an office they gave BrocktonBeat an official announcement on the water crisis.
     The office reported back with an email within 10 minutes after getting off the phone.

Hi Rob,

Nice talking to you. If you’d like, here’s what you can include from Christine:

“I strongly support the residents of Brockton 110% in this fight. Any one of us who lives in Brockton could have received one of those letters, and I still worry that I’m going to open my mailbox to find one. I’m pleased about the audit that has been discussed and I sincerely hope that it will finally validate our residents’ claims,” said Rep. Christine Canavan of Brockton, who lives on the east side.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks,
Mike

_______________
Michael Mullen, Jr.

Office of Representative Christine E. Canavan

10th Plymouth District
State House, Room 146
Boston, MA 02133
(617) 722-2575

BROCKTON WATER RALLY CREATES FLOODS OF MEDIA ATTENTION!



     The Brockton Water Party created a flood of media attention to the Brockton water departments practice of billing some residents as far back as 12 years on estimated reads. Many of the cities meters are failing and accountability is being blamed on the residents. Ayanna Cato as seen on Fox channel 25 spoke about what has been happening to Brockton residents over the past years. BrocktonBeat spoke to Ayanna Cato today and she is focusing on the next meeting at Brockton City Hall on September 7th at 7pm."We are urging all the residents to show up at this meeting." Ayanna Cato along with Robert Ford and several other residents who have been the most visible have formed a grassroots group for water billing reform. Ms. Cato and Mr.Ford are also urging residents to get in touch with the Inspector Generals Office and to also mail their information and copies of their bills to them. You can contact and send your information to:

             Inspector General
             Room 1311
             1 Ashburton Place
             Boston, Ma 02108
             Attn: Brendan McCabe

             Phone # 1-800-322-1323