Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fenton Urges Preservation of Our Lady of Hope Church

SPRINGFIELD—Ward 2 City Council candidate Michael Fenton has called for the Our Lady of Hope Church on Armory Street to be declared a historic district in light of the Springfield Roman Catholic Diocese’s recent decision to close the parish.
“I grew up at that church and its closing deeply affects me on a personal level.” Fenton hopes the diocese will reconsider. Failing that Fenton says, “I hope that this beautiful and historic building, which has been an anchor of the community for so long, remains preserved regardless of what future purpose it might have.”
Fenton believes Our Lady of Hope will continue to have a presence in Ward 2 for many years to come. The Church could be converted to community space for events like local art or theater. “There are a number of reuses for such a building that we should begin considering now and by working with the Historic Commission and the Diocese of Springfield today we can be sure that Our Lady of Hope will, in some way, be with us tomorrow.”

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Taxachusettss is Baaaaaack !!!!

Well, it seems that Massachusetts is well in its way to live up to its nickname of Taxachusettss.
Governor Patrick has come up with the brilliant idea of raising the gas tax from 23.5 to 23.69 a .19 cents increase. Cigarette tax was already increased, the Governor wants to tax certain beverages and will increase an array of state fees. With this shaky economy and with consumers being more cautions on their spending habits, this is a terrible time to even think of raising any kind of taxes. Unfortunately, Beacon Hill thinks that the only way to gain state revenues is to tax its residents. Taxing the people in this shaky economy will result in an even more fragile private sector. As people give their hard earn money to the government, they will have less to spend. Employers will lose revenues and they will be forced to give lay offs to its employees. What effect will this gas tax have in Springfield? Well, in simple words: DEVASTATING. As it is Springfield has the HIGHEST business tax rate-- a brilliant move from the Springfield City Council. The housing market has taken a steep decline, and jobs are just not coming to Springfield. Private businesses will lose revenues and might give layoffs to its employees. As we have seen in recent months, some non-profit and private corporations have already given out layoffs. Increasing the gas tax will only hurt Springfield's trouble economy.

The Governor has often say that we can not expect to have roads for free. I find this insulting. We pay excise tax, gas tax, that help with the state's road infrastructure, Mr, Governor we already pay for the roads !!. So the question remains of where do we come up with the needed revenue to close the state budget shortfall? REDUCE GOVERNMENT WASTE !! REDUCE NON-EFFICIENT GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS, TIE IN THE LEGISLATORS AND THE GOVERNOR'S SALARIES TO THE STATE'S ECONOMY. The state legislature recently received a salary increase. Many courageous and conscientious legislators did not accept the salary increase because of the state of the economy. Other greedily accepted the pay increase. I believe that the legislature should do the right thing and not allow legislator's salary increase when there is a known budget shortfall as it was known and warned by Governor Patrick.

And the story goes on, you work hard for your money only to give it to the state government. You pay state income tax, gas tax, excise tax, cigarette tax (if you smoke), property tax, food tax, alcohol tax, capital tax, tax, tax.............

Sunday, January 04, 2009

My compliments to the Republican Newspaper

The Republican newspaper recently lashed out sharp criticism in an Editorial against Rep. Swan and Coakley-Rivera for their legislative fiasco and for their petty political threat to hold hostage a bill filed by the Governor designed to extend the state loan repayment obligation, a move that could save $7 million dollars a year to the city.

The Republican portrays Rep. Swan as "a man who operates with total disrespect for the people he was elected to represent". Words that ring true after Swan's arrogance and care free attitude towards his tax obligations to the City of Springfield. His controversial trip to Liberia has become a slap in the face to residents of his district. The people of Liberia deserve appropriate help, but Swan's primary responsibility is to his district not to the people of Liberia. To add to the insult Swan is quoted in the Boston Herald in response to his trip to Liberia, "Whoever wants to say I’m un-American or un-patriotic can go to hell.”

The Republican portrays State Rep. Coakley-Rivera as "impulsive and often rashly unpredictable " Unfortunately, Coakley -Rivera has placed her own political aspirations, including a possible run for Mayor, before the interest of the residents of Springfield.

The actions of these two Reps. are indeed a true disservice to the residents of Springfield.

I believe that the time has come to replace these legislators with capable individuals.

My compliments to the Republican Newspaper for serving as an important tool in the stabilization of Springfield.

Latino Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Parrandon Navideno

Yesterday the Latino Chamber of Commerce celebrated its annual community holiday party. There were at least 500 people in attendance. An array of politicians paraded the event, shaking hands and working the crowd. A typical Puerto Rican menu of Arroz con Gandules, ( Rice and Lentils), Pernil (Pork), and Pasteles ( Plantain Patties) was provided by Sabor de Quisqueya Restaurant located at 326 St. James Ave. Springfield, MA.

As I worked the room, I was reminded of all the wonderful Latino talent that there is in Springfield, talent that sometimes is not appreciated or overlooked. The Latino Chamber of Commerce has been doing great efforts in advancing Latino own businesses in the City of Springfield. In fact Latinos are experiencing the fastest business growth in the region. With this shaky economy and uncertain financial future we must ensure that all of our businesses are able to survive. Springfield will be better off with a mix cultural business sector. This will provide a vibrant solid economy for Springfield and the region. City Hall has made some effort in assisting the Hispanic community in starting and maintaining Latino businesses. But we can not expect government to do everything for us. This efforts must be match with private investment to ensure a better, more solid Latino business sector. I wonder where are some of the big companies, like Walmart, Stop and Shop, Best Buy, etc. that enjoy the Latino business but are absent in this effort to improve the Latino business sector.

Dancing the night away....

The Three King brought gifts to the children

The Future

Friday, December 19, 2008

The clock is ticking....

I am shocked that State Rep. Cheryl Coakley-Rivera and Ben Swan are holding up a bill that will extend the state loan repayment to 15 years. This extension, as reported by the Republican will save the residents of Springfield 7 Million dollars a year. God knows that in this shaky financial times Springfield needs all the help it can get. I find State Rep. Cheryl Coakley-Rivera and Ben Swan actions irresponsible. Political differences are fair game, but to use this critical issue, one that will have serious ramifications to the residents of Springfield as a political football is a true disservice to the residents of Springfield. Cheryl Coakely-Rivera is accusing the Mayor of wasteful spending by hiring city employees and consultants. Ben Swan is blaming the Mayor for the recent contract termination with the Springfield Towing Alliance. While the bickering and accusations are exchanged, the time is clicking for Springfield to repay the state loan....

I foresee, that if Springfield is forced to repay the loan next year as originally stipulated, and with the expected local aid reduction looming over our heads, Mayor Sarno will have no choice but to engage in a series of lay offs. This will be catastrophic to the residents of Springfield.

State Rep. Rivera-Coakely and Swan will be directly responsible for every job lost.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Good Laugh ....

I have been extremely busy in the past few weeks. I got this joke in my e-mail that I like to share with you....

BARACK OBAMA: The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a> change! The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN: My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he> recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the> chickens on the other side of the road...ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


HILLARY CLINTON: When I was First Lady, I personally helped that> little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this> country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this> really isn't about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH: We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road.> We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or> not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle> ground here.

DICK CHENEY: Where's my gun?

COLIN POWELL: Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the> satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of crossing?

AL GORE: I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY: Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am> now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON: Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

DR. PHIL: The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize> that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking> on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH: Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which> is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the> chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive> across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken,> but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road

NANCY GRACE: That chicken crossed the road because he's guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN: To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone

GRANDPA: In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS: Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming> story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the> road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS: Did I miss one?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Virgin Mary Apparation in Springfield, Ma

Silhouette of the Virgin Mary

I went down to the Mercy Hospital tonight to see the reported apparition of the Virgin Mary in an office window. Unfortunately, I went down during the night time and was unable to see an image. Apparently, the best view is during the day time. The image you see below was taken during the day by a news camera man that was kind enough to show it to those congregating to see the apparition. As you can see, there is a silhouette of a woman in the window. As I gathered the story, a man had a dream the night before where he was told that he would see an apparition the next day. The next morning the man went down to the Mercy hospital to see his wife, who was hospitalized. As the man got out of the car he noticed a silhouette in the window. He ran to the guard house and dragged the security guard out of the guard house to confirm what he was seeing. The guard was equally as surprised and the news spread rapidly. Apparently the image can be seen only from the outside. The office where the window is located is empty and no one has access to this office. According to the security officers, the first day there were approximately 300 people who gathered to see the apparition. Tonight there were approximately 100 people gathered at the parking lot at Mercy Hospital and several news channels. As I was standing in front of the window I thought of a passage of the bible, " blessed are those that believe without seeing for their is the kingdom of heaven" It was moving to see people praying the rosary and there was an aura of respect and humility in the air.

I can not help to notice that the reported apparition happened on September 30, at 300 Stafford St and that were 300 people gathered to see the apparition on the first day. Is there any significance? I do not know, and I will not pretend to know, but I do know that number 3 is consider the number of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. At a Hospital whose name is Mercy. My interpretation, Massachusetts come to the Mercy of God..........

What a perfect time for God to make a statement in Massachusetts. The state is not only in a serious financial situation, but it is also morally decadent. I know that there are those that will laugh and doubt. If they laugh at Christ and ultimately crucified Him, imagine what they will do to you and I.

Virgin Mary's Hands

Night time view of window

The faithful gathering

Saturday, August 09, 2008

You need to take care of Me

Recently, an individual that I was talking to, protested at the quality of the food served in the local Hampden County of Corrections. What really ticked me of about his comments was the entitlement tone of voice in which this individual made his demands. "We need better food in jail !!!". My reply to him, " if you do not like the food in jail, don't go to jail !!!". Before I get call insensitive or inhumane, I realize that people in jail have real needs and need all the help that society can provide to them to help them reintegrate into society as productive members of society. The problem is that, in my opinion, the system suggests or even removes the personal responsibility from individuals. Statement like "drug use is a victimless crime", or "you fell through the cracks", encourages people to walk away from their personal responsibility. I firmly believe that government can be a positive influence in people's lives, an influence, an instrument of good, an instrument, not the solution.

If we make jail too comfortable, we in turn are removing the element of determent that jail provides. Unfortunately, as we all know, there are people that are institutionalized. Why should my tax money be used to support people that choose a life of crime? Personal responsibility holds truth regardless of ethnicity or social class.

Here in Springfield, we have a crime niche that needs to pack up and go. Of course, we have the professional scavengers, lurking in the shadows to jump at the first opportunity to drain government. Then we have the undesirables. People that thrive committing quality of life crimes. Drugs, brake ins, loud speakers, public intoxication and the list goes on. Sorry, do not expect me to advocate for better food when these people negatively impact the quality of life of the city.