Tag Archives: Boston

Hoping people make it to Boston …

Animal rights folks will be at the Mass. State House Wednesday advocating for farm animals. They’re hoping legislators pass laws that make the lives of Mass. farm animals less agonizing by: keeping veal calves, birthing hogs and hen-laying chickens in cages/compartments that allow them to (at the very least) turn around, bend their knees, lie down, etc. For instance, a hen-laying chickens is crammed into a compartment the size of a piece of typing paper. The way things are now, farms = torture chambers for farm animals. Please call your state reps/senators and tell them to vote compassionately. Maybe head down to Boston to lend your voice, if you have the time.

Also, on Wednesday folks are fighting to retain Mass. laws that ban cruel, steel-toothed leg traps and body traps, re: wild life. Foxes, coyotes, etc will chew their legs off in an attempt to free themselves from leg traps … they die long, agonizing deaths. Please be aware, please stand up for animals.

– Rosalie Tirella

National Conference for Media Reform wraps in Boston

BOSTON – Sunday marked the end of the 2011 National Conference for Media Reform in Boston — an energetic and inspiring gathering that brought together more than 2,500 grassroots activists, policymakers, journalists and scholars from across the country, as well as thousands more online.

Participants explored more than 80 sessions on topics ranging from how to fix the Federal Communications Commission to Wikileaks, online organizing and disaster response to the new face of media consolidation, public and community media to feminism and immigration. Discussions spilled out into the hallways of the Seaport World Trade Center, generating new energy and ideas for the growing media reform movement.

Net Neutrality was one of the hottest topics of conversation after the House of Representatives passed a bill Friday attempting to rescind the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules. On Friday at the conference, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi condemned the vote. “No one should be guarding the gate on the Internet,” Pelosi said.

At the keynote session Saturday, U.S. Rep. Ed Markey delivered a powerful call to continue to fight for an open Internet. “In the Net Neutrality battle, when the FCC put forward its Open Internet Order, I wasn’t happy,” he said. “I wanted it to go further. … But regardless of how we viewed the FCC’s order, we all can agree the Internet needs to be an open, level playing field for everyone that can’t be controlled by a central authority, whether it’s a corporation or a country’s totalitarian regime.”

Media reformers left Boston with a renewed commitment to aggressively advocating for policies to support better journalism, sustain public media, stop runaway media consolidation, and protect the free and open Internet.

“You can’t try to appease the people who are trying to kill public and community media, people who want to kill independent journalism, the people who are trying to keep you disconnected and in the dark,” said Craig Aaron, the new president of Free Press, which organized the conference. “If you want to win, you can’t be afraid to go into the streets sometimes. But if you want to win, you also need to be at the table when decisions are being made. And that means we’re going to need lobbyists, organizers, media makers and evangelists letting people know that the media system they have right now isn’t the only option.”

Challenging the corporate domination of politics and policymaking in Washington was also a recurrent theme at the event. “If we don’t take on the corporate political machine and refuse to be marginalized,” said outgoing Free Press President Josh Silver in a farewell address, “our nation will be overrun with more poverty, more financial meltdowns, more environmental disasters, more sick people without access to health care; and a media system with less journalism, fewer independent voices and more corporate censors with names like AT&T and Comcast.”

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps urged people to continue to fight for better media, calling it the “single most important thing” needed to preserve our democracy. “Citizen action can still work, even in this age when so few people wield so much outrageous power,” he said. “Many other issues crowd in for our attention, but those other issues depend so heavily on how media treats them that their reform depends upon media’s reform.”

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi to kick off 2011 National Conference for Media Reform

Boston – Thousands will be in Boston on April 8-10, to hear from Sen. Bernie Sanders, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, Craig Newmark of Craigslist, PBS President Paula Kerger, Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn, Tony-winner Sarah Jones, and many more.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will headline the 2011 National Conference for Media Reform. The first woman to serve as Speaker of the House, and a powerful voice on media and technology issues, Pelosi will address the opening plenary of the event at the Seaport World Trade Center.

Thousands of grassroots activists, policymakers, journalists, scholars and people concerned about better media from across the country will attend NCMR 2011, hosted by Free Press, the largest event of its kind devoted to media, technology and democracy.

“We are very excited that Leader Pelosi will be joining us in Boston for what promises to be our best and most memorable event yet,” said Craig Aaron, managing director of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Free Press. “Decisions are being made in Washington right now that will shape the free and open Internet, the future of journalism and the health of our democracy, and we’re glad that policymakers will be here to address and listen to thousands of people from across the country committed to creating better media in their communities.”

The more than 300 presenters at the conference include U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders; U.S. Reps. Mike Doyle and Donna Edwards; FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn; former White House technology adviser Susan Crawford; Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz; Craig Newmark of craigslist; PBS President Paula Kerger; Frontline Executive Producer David Fanning; Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez of Democracy Now!; journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Flanders, Katrina vanden Heuvel and David Shuster; Tony Award-winning playwright and performer Sarah Jones; musician Erin McKeown; ex-ABC news anchor Carole Simpson; Cheezburger Network founder Beh Huh; Internet scholars Lawrence Lessig, Tim Wu and Jonathan Zittrain; activists Malkia Cyril and Rinku Sen; Free Press co-founders Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols; and many more.

NCMR 2011 will also feature live musical performances, film screenings and more than 50 interactive sessions about journalism and public media, technology and innovation, policy and politics, arts and culture, social justice and movement building, plus hands-on workshops and how-to trainings.

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media.

Free Press does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications.

Some updates: Worcester City Council passes resolution in support of CAP Act and Stand for Children testifies in support of Health Benefit reform

WCCA TV 13, on behalf of EPG channels everywhere, expresses gratitude to the members of Worcester City Council for passing a resolution in support of the Community Access Preservation Act (CAP Act).

The resolution was co-sponsored by Mayor Joseph O’Brien and City Councilor Barbara Haller.

The resolution was adopted unanimously, after I spoke before the council last night, March 8, 2011, and explained, in brief, detail about the dangerous impact state issued franchise licenses have had upon PEG channels and what the CAP Act will accomplish.

The resolution illustrates to our Federal and State Legislators that the City of Worcester stands with the Public Access [PEG] Community and other community media organizations in support of changes to the Telecommunication Act to protect and guarantee assurances for the advancement of PEG.

We thank the City of Worcester for recognizing the importance and value of PEG community access and also thank the many WCCA TV members who petitioned on behalf of localism and PEG community media access everywhere.

– Mauro DePasquale, Executive Director
WCCA TV, “The People’s Channel”
Worcester

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STAND FOR CHILDREN TESTIFIES IN SUPPORT OF HEALTH BENEFIT REFORM

Framingham Teacher Speaks Out in Support of Health Benefit Reform

BOSTON: Stand for Children testified in support of Municipal Health Benefit Reform to the Joint Committee on Public Service at the State House today. As skyrocketing health care costs continue to strain municipal budgets, Stand for Children is advocating for provisions that will ameliorate the financial burden on cities and towns and ensure that taxpayers’ dollars are being invested where they can make the most difference – in the classroom.

Stand for Children’s recommendations will allow cities and towns to direct at least $136 to $151 million towards saving educators’ jobs and protecting valuable community services across the Commonwealth. Included are provisions implementing good-faith bargaining measures to negotiate health care design, moving eligible municipal employees into Medicare, and transitioning to a system of global payment. These provisions would significantly lower health care costs in municipal budgets while still providing excellent benefits to municipal workers.

“Mitigating the skyrocketing cost of insuring municipal employees is an urgent issue that directly affects teachers’ jobs,” stated Jason Williams, Executive Director of Stand for Children. “Stand for Children supports this common-sense solution and legislators need to act now to help keep teachers in the classroom because our kids can’t afford to wait.”

“As a teacher in Framingham Public Schools, I believe Stand for Children’s recommendations are amenable to both parents and teachers,” stated Rosangela Caixa, a Stand for Children member and first grade teacher at the Potter Road School. “We need to pass health benefit reform now to help protect the jobs of teachers across the Commonwealth and to ensure that education is a viable career choice for the next generation of teachers.”

“Stand for Children’s recommendations will allow a greater proportion of education funding to support teachers and the important work they do in the classroom,” stated Jim Stockless, a Stand for Children member in Framingham. “Cities and towns are spending too much money on skyrocketing health insurance costs and we need to start spending this money on protecting teachers’ jobs and investing in our children.”

“Stand for Children’s recommendations reflect a vested interest in collective bargaining and provide both management and labor with a voice at the negotiating table,” stated Juli Brazile, a Stand for Children member in Arlington. “We need to retain teachers’ jobs and critical school services, but this will be impossible if we don’t address the soaring cost of health care now.”

Creeped out by Worcester County sheriff candidate Lew Evangelidis!

By Rosalie Tirella

This is why people hate politicians – this is why voters have a “Throw the bums out!” mentality.

Case in point: my meeting yesterday with Holden’s own “Lew” Evangelidis. (or maybe in Lew’s case, it should be: “Please God, don’t let this bum in!”

State Rep. “Lew” Evangelidis is running for Worcester County sheriff, and in my almost 10 years of publishing InCity Times and dealing with politicians of all political stripes and leanings, I have never ever met a pol who was more amped up, revved up, possibly coked up! I have never been more turned off by a politician. This guy is every pol stereotype come spookily to life: fast, fast, smooth talker; making no effort to be personable, get to know you (me). AND THEN THE KICKER: Practically right off the bat Lew says to me: If I – InCity Times – endorse him for sheriff, then he will take out an ad with me!

He said something like: And on my ad I can say endorsed by InCity Times!

I wanted to spit on him. No politican has ever treated me with such disrespect. InCity Times may be poor, we may be downtrodden but we are not stupid or bribe-able. Memo to Lew Evangelidis: INCITY TIMES CANNOT BE BOUGHT!

And all the good will I brought into the meeting evaporated on the spot. Continue reading Creeped out by Worcester County sheriff candidate Lew Evangelidis!

Worcester’s Dept. of Public Works and their toxic nepotism problem

By Rosalie Tirella

How pathetic. How pathetic to see how unethical your city is when you pick up a Boston rag. A Boston newspaper – The Boston Banner – recently opened my eyes to what is supposed to happen in the City of Worcester but never happens in the City of Worcester – especially in the Department of Public Works and Parks, headed by Robert Moylan.

In the Boston Banner you will see a 1/4 page ad. It reads: “ATTENTION CONTRACTORS: The City of Boston is seeking applicants to prequalify for City contracts to provide the following services:” And the list begins; it’s lengthy and very specific. In short, the ad is telling Bostonians that the City of Boston is opening up its hiring process and making its jobs available to all qualified applicants – not just their pals or relatives (a la Worcester).

I will list just a few of the many jobs (blue collar) that were listed in the City of Boston’s (very large) ad. Remember, these are not full-time jobs but “projects” or seasonal work for Boston. But we are not talking tiddly winks here, either – we are talking thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars to be made. Continue reading Worcester’s Dept. of Public Works and their toxic nepotism problem