Monday, January 30, 2023
Saturday, November 5, 2022
Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Senator Rausch should be re-elected because she is the only candidate in this race who has forged the widespread collaborative network needed to continue delivering for our values and our community. She has both the successful track record and the broad support to prove it. Senator Rausch is endorsed by more than half the State Senate, the very people who are now, and will be, her direct colleagues. The list includes the Senate President, the Senate President Pro Tempore, the Senate Majority Leader, and every other member of Senate Leadership.
On top of that, the vast majority of local elected officials in our district have endorsed Senator Rausch. These are the people whose recommendations should weigh heavily in Rausch's favor -- they know and appreciate her skills in serving the district. You can see the impressive list at www.beccarausch.com/endorsements. Senator Rausch has been endorsed by the overwhelming majority of State Representatives in our district, including State Representative Jeff Roy, whom Rausch’s opponent inappropriately name-dropped in a recent mailing. That mailing was an explicit attempt to mislead voters. Indeed, the letter falsely claimed support from Democrats and was signed by someone who is, in fact, a registered Republican in Bellingham. This kind of disinformation campaign runs afoul of common decency and basic respect for us, the voters.
Rausch's opponent has also tried to dodge his staunchly right wing record as he seeks higher office and promotes his own personal gain. His record speaks for itself, and that record has earned him the badge of being among the farthest right-wing extremist politicians in the entire Commonwealth, per the American Conservative Union. He has repeatedly voted against abortion access, birth control access, climate action goals, workers, voting rights, and protecting LGBTQ+ youth from the serious harms of abusive conversion therapy. Every one of those votes is documented.
You are smarter than Shawn Dooley thinks you are. Get the facts. Resist the lies. Join me in voting for Senator Becca Rausch on or before Tuesday, November 8.
Ted McIntyre, Ph.D.
Tuesday, November 1, 2022
Monday, October 24, 2022
Voices of Franklin: Mark and Mike Lenzi on the proposed Transfer of an all alcoholic license to Table & Vine (Big Y)
Sunday, April 17, 2022
Candidates in Massachusetts who want to be elected to any public office this fall need something right now.
They need large numbers of qualified voters to sign their nomination papers before May 10. (No need to get tangled in the weeds: the numbers and qualifications depend on the offices sought.)
People seem confused about this. Your signature on a nomination paper commits you to nothing.
It shows only that you helped a candidate get into the race. This is crucial for all candidates (you can sign for as many as you please) and completely harmless to you.
So if candidates who want to run in your district ask you to sign their nomination papers, give them a break.
|Voices of Franklin: Colin Cass says "Please sign candidate nomination papers!"|
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
- The daily schedule for Franklin TV and wfpr.fm is shared. This is in addition to the weekly post sharing the programming guide. We'll be watching the stats (such that are available) to see if this addition is making a difference.
- "Ask Franklin Matters" is back in a top of fold web page spot. I had introduced this when we started the "Talk Franklin" radio interview series during 2020. This is a new year, hence a new opportunity. A couple of question have already come in so that is good. Hopefully, this feature will help answer your questions.
- This is a daily digital newsletter and you have a chance to have your say (with a question - as noted above) or a comment/email. You should also know that the "Voices of Franklin" is really the same as a "Letter to the Editor". It has been used primarily during the election season but is a feature available any time you feel the need to write. Guidelines here -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/2011/03/introducing-voices-of-franklin.html
- The community calendar functions best when all the events are available to the community. Organizations with a Google calendar can integrate automatically. If you don't have one, you can use the form to submit the event -> https://forms.gle/oPdi8X3ZbHHyrHzo6 If all else fails, send me an email. Be sure to include the basics of the event (who, what, when, where, etc.)
This Franklin news service (daily newsletter, podcast, Twitter, etc.) is my public service effort for Franklin but I can't do it alone. I can always use your help.
How can you help?
Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for reading/emailing/commenting/listening, etc.
Friendly reminder: The best way to remain informed is to subscribe for the daily newsletter -> https://www.franklinmatters.org/p/welcome.html
|Franklin Matters information service updates|
Thursday, January 6, 2022
America is trapped in a set of interlocking crises, which the anniversary of the January 6th insurrection puts in high relief. Each crisis by itself could be overwhelming, but it is not hyperbolic to say that the multiple simultaneous emergencies present a generational challenge.
The tests of our time are as big as any faced by America from the Revolution to WWII. Either we rise to the occasion with new ideas or we will sink into a civilizational quagmire. The stakes are indeed that high.
The list of crises is daunting. The Omicron variant will kill thousands this winter if the Delta does not. The new variant is simply the next wave of a preventable disease, exacerbated by the Fox TV-induced delusional behavior of 'anti-vaxxers'. It is fair to say that a segment of the population living in an alternate reality is a crisis all by itself.
Inequalities in income and opportunity are a crisis, made extravagantly clear by billionaires joy-riding in their space ships while others die from a lack of insulin. Constitutional rights, long secured by the Supreme Court's dedication to probity, are at risk due to the assertion of extreme legal philosophies. Rising above all this is the threat of climate change, where urgent and transformative action needs to begin now.
One crisis, however, stands out in high profile in the very near term. This is a crisis in the democratic process. The imminent risk to American democracy demands immediate attention, because its resolution is foundational to addressing all the other crises. The seeds of authoritarianism have been germinating for a long time, but the former guy's big lie--that the election results were not accurate--has been adopted by cynical actors in states across the nation. It is important to note that these cynical actors are almost exclusively conservative members of the GOP.
Legislatures in red states across the country are actively suppressing the votes of minority communities. We in MA should not feel immune to the impact of these threats to others’ rights in other places. Our votes in Franklin are devalued by voter suppression in Atlanta. Worse, these GOP extremists are changing the very rules under which the elections are certified. (Who knew that was even a thing before 2020?) These process changes mean that no matter what the actual vote count, GOP legislatures can discard the voters’ choice. Such a power in extremists’ hands will come home to roost in the 2024 presidential election, where Q-Anon--style secretaries of state in places like GA, AZ, PA, and MI will be able to ignore actual votes and submit the slate of presidential electors that they prefer.
There will be no need of an insurrection at the US Capitol in January of 2025, because the coup will happen in state capitols across the nation. The solution to these woes lies with Congress, which can mandate sane election rules for the whole country. Passing such laws with Democratic votes is prevented by the filibuster and the Senate’s timidity in facing the question. The issue should be addressed now, before the new year. This kind of progress can happen only if the filibuster, an old and racist tool designed to prevent progress, is modified.
Protecting our democracy is not partisan issue. Republicans of good will can support voting rights. Citizens of Franklin should demand that Senators Warren and Markey act immediately in ways that reflect the seriousness of the moment. Hardball tactics--for example stripping recalcitrant legislators like Manchin and Sinema of committee assignments, or stalling Senate business until these important issues are considered--may be needed to force the Senate to take action.
The battle is joined in the US Senate. Time is short. 2022 is too late. Please call or write your senators and urge them to do whatever is needed to save our democracy.
|Voices of Franklin: Ted McIntyre on the "crisis in the democratic process"|
Monday, November 1, 2021
Perhaps, it is time for a change! We should thank each of them for giving their time and expertise to ensure that all residential and commercial projects that have come before the Planning Board have correctly followed the zoning, building, and town bylaws before being approved. That has been no small task, considering all the growth that has occurred in all of those years.
But now, the town has high hopes for the two new candidates who are currently seeking election to the Planning Board.
In addition, both Jennifer and Beth have no potential conflicts of interest that could detract from serving on the Planning Board and making decisions on all projects that need approval.
Saturday, October 30, 2021
I know several families on that street. I can't imagine ANY of his neighbors that I personally know being okay with inviting a bigot into their home, or attending an event where one was invited to speak, or even continuing to enjoy and defend an association with the bigot promoter.
I can't imagine ANY of the people that I know on Mr. Earls’ street supporting or accepting a public demonstration such as the one on October 8th, 2021 on Route 140 near the Honey Dew Donuts. This demonstration was described by Mr. Earls (https://franklinobserver.town.news/g/franklin-town-ma/n/45065/flags-aflutter) as “A group of adults and children bearing flags and signs with patriotic-themed messages.” The photographs in his post show School Committee candidates Dashe Videira and Mark Bisson amidst signs stating “In God We Trust,” “Vote 2021” and “We Are A Christian Nation.” Excluding non-Christians is not patriotic. A public demonstration marginalizing and excluding Franklin residents of other religions from the demonstrators’ nation should not be applauded by being labeled patriotic. It not only hurts people but directly contradicts the United States Constitution, in which the First Amendment prohibits the establishment of a national religion.
Dashe Videira invited a man into her home as an honored guest speaker. The man is an unapologetic bigot, as anyone who Googles him can determine on their own in less than a minute. Dashe Videira and Mark Bisson participated in a "stand-out" in which they marginalized and excluded non-Christians by promoting the message "We Are A Christian Nation." These are things that happened; no one is contesting that. Aaron Gouveia's post brought these things to light. Rejecting hate does not, as Mr. Earl states, "burn social bridges." Promoting and validating hate speech and exclusion "burns social bridges."
Mr. Earls states "To behave as if a young mother of four children, brimming with energy and kindness, is an existential threat to society, is at best a gross exaggeration." It's one thing to turn your head away and ignore prejudice. That’s bad enough, but that is not what Mr. Earls has done. By looking straight at it and willingly telling a fairytale, by reporting an exclusionary event as patriotic, by attempting to redirect blame onto someone doing the right thing, Mr. Earls has made it very clear that he is okay with what has transpired in recent weeks, and equally clear that he is part of the problem.
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Wow, what a lot of pain there is around our town. Reading my neighbor, Aaron Gouveia’s recent post in this space about our mutual neighbor, Dashe Videira, I couldn’t help but feeling like something was getting lost in translation. It is a fact (and perhaps symbolically rich) that our homes are on opposite sides of the Videira residence.
I was surprised several days ago when Aaron mined his private conversations and texts with Dashe to publicly excoriate her on Facebook – and now the campaign has moved to Franklin Matters. Free speech, and all that, it still seemed to be in poor taste and stingingly calculated to burn whatever social bridges remain on our street. And just when I was hoping we could heal.
My sadness in these events brought to mind the Christmas carol whose lyrics were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Hearing the beautiful pealing of church bells at Christmas even as the Civil War raged across the land, threw him into despondency. You don’t have to be Christian or celebrate Christmas to imagine the painful disconnect a man like Longfellow experienced in that moment.
And yet, for him, he also managed to discover hope in that moment.
I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!
And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."
I am of that mind, with Longfellow. Leaving aside the specific religious connotations, I am sure we can find our better natures not yet out of reach and once again, rekindle neighborliness, kindness, and toleration and find peace on earth, or at least in Franklin.
I meet few who do not share this hope. So why not here, why not now, and why not in Franklin?
We will and we must disagree but we should recognize that people who actually intend harm to others are a rarity. To behave as if a young mother of four children, brimming with energy and kindness, is an existential threat to society, is at best a gross exaggeration.
It is incumbent upon us to find out why and how those with whom we disagree came to their views and values. We can and we must understand that ideas – and civil societies – evolve and can do so peacefully when we occasionally hold our tongue and foreswear a cruel remark for the sake of sustaining a vital and meaningful conversation.
We have an opportunity to be large-hearted with each other, to imagine our similarities instead of alighting only on our differences. Yes, there is a gulf between us on many issues but our job is to bridge the gulf and construct new edifices where we all can feel at home.
I plan to be at the polls on Tuesday, anxious to meet all my fellow citizens and candidates and hopeful that they will bring with them not just their list of candidates to vote for but also curiosity, warmth and a sense of humor. Afterall, at a bare minimum, we are all mortal and that fact should provide each of us with a starting point.
This is dangerous for our town. Just look what the former president has done. The division and hate that exist today is primarily caused by right-wing ideologues with policies and principles that have no place in Franklin Government. That's why it's important to elect local leaders that share the values of our community.
Do your homework before you vote, and make an informed decision. I have decided to support the Franklin United group of candidates. This is a moderate group of candidates with experience and common sense ideas. They are down to earth citizens concerned about the the future of Franklin. A low voter turn out could mean we end up electing right-wing ideologues. Be very concerned and vote on or before Nov 2. Check out all the candidates at franklinmaunited.com/home.
Raymond D Milici
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Despite seeing much lower turnout, local elections impact citizens far more than presidential contests. To that end, I implore people to pay close attention to the folks we're electing to local office in the hopes that Franklin chooses to bypass extremism and fringe candidates who represent potential harm to this community.
On Oct. 15, School Committee candidate Dashe Videira held a "Diversity, Equity, Inclusion CRT" (taken directly from her website) event that included guest speaker Rev. Steven L. Craft. Following 30 seconds of searching on Google, I found a video Rev. Craft posted on his own YouTube channel featuring him as a guest on a New Jersey television show speaking about whether or not a transgender teacher should be allowed in the classroom. He says "homosexuality in all of its forms, along with other sexual deviations, are wrong." He also goes on to say "There is child abuse here when children are being brainwashed and being taught these deviant lifestyles and making them appear normal."
It is nothing short of horrific that a School Committee candidate aligns herself with a speaker who feels gay people are "wrong" and that it's "child abuse" for students to be taught be a transgender teacher. When I followed up with Dashe directly, she confirmed that she would not allow her children (none of whom attend Franklin Public Schools) to be instructed by a transgender teacher specifically because they are trans. She cited her faith as the determining factor in this decision.
Then, a week later, I read the opening statements of the School Committee candidates who couldn't be present at a candidates night. Four of them introduced themselves, stated why they wanted to run for office, and identified important issues and potential solutions. Dashe Videira's statement, however, was singularly focused on Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye and why this classic should not be read by Franklin High School students. Because apparently the issue she felt to be of the highest priority is potentially banning a book by an African-American, Nobel Prize winning author.
Please do not vote for anyone who holds these archaic and damaging views regarding transgender people and whose priority is banning books instead of expanding the world view of our kids. There are gay students in Franklin. There are trans students in Franklin. There is even a trans School Committee candidate. I can't imagine how terrible it must feel for these folks to hear that a School Committee candidate thinks they are potentially harmful just because of who they are or how they identify. Or to know someone could soon hold office who would actively limit exposure to books that share the lived experiences of marginalized authors.
Unfortunately she is not the only one in this boat. Town Councilor Andrew Bissanti is up for reelection and was captured in a Milford Daily News photograph holding a sign this summer at a rally in Medway that read "Screw your critical race theory: Stop teaching racism and woke liberal politics in our schools."
First of all, Critical Race Theory (CRT) is something graduate students learn but it is not taught in our schools and there is no plan to do so. Which means Bissanti is opposed to something that isn't even happening in our schools. But more importantly, a sitting Town Councilor holding a sign that says "Screw CRT" and demeaning good faith efforts to examine how race and racism influence our laws, policies, and practices by terming them "woke liberal politics" is a monumental red flag. As is insinuating our hard-working teachers are in any way teaching racism in school. He told the paper "Parents don't want their children viewing the world through the lens of racism." But Bissanti certainly doesn't speak for all Franklin parents and I wonder if he thought about our non-white families who have no choice but to see racism on a daily basis when he made that statement.
This is not about condemning religious beliefs and this transcends left vs right or liberal vs conservative. People are free to worship however they choose and hold whatever views they want, but there's a different standard when that person's religious views and beliefs are going to be injected into policy that affects every child who attends public school in Franklin. And bigotry cloaked in religion is still bigotry.
Please don't vote for extremism and intolerance on Nov. 2 or for people who openly admit they won't separate church and state. Franklin deserves better than that because our community IS better than that. Thankfully we have a robust slate of diverse and qualified candidates, and I hope voters choose people who don't condone prejudice or align themselves with extremism.
Saturday, October 23, 2021
In his indignant article titled “Politics Sizzles” in The Franklin Observer (10/14/21) Alan Earls complains of—among other things--“one more departure from the traditional ‘non-partisan’ orientation of town elections” in Jennifer Williams’s use of “Act Blue, the national Democratic fundraising system, to gather funds for her candidacy.”
The nonpartisan description of Franklin elections has always puzzled me. Section 5-1-1 of the Town Charter says
"All elections of town officers and Town Council members shall be nonpartisan, and all election ballots shall be printed without any party mark or other political emblem."
What does that mean? The term “nonpartisan” as applied to elections simply means that candidates do not run with partisan labels. It means only that. The candidate will not be identified with a party on the ballot. Nothing more, nothing less.
The more interesting question is what it does NOT mean.
It does NOT mean that candidates cannot belong to a political party.
It does NOT mean that candidates cannot be supported by a political party.
It does NOT mean that candidates cannot use a party’s national fundraising system.
It does NOT mean that candidates cannot be supported by a PAC.
It does NOT mean that candidates cannot espouse the values or policy positions of their party.
Apart from the restriction about party affiliations appearing on the ballot, the nonpartisan clause is merely aspirational. It proscribes no actions beyond the ballot format.
Why does this discussion matter? For two reasons:
First, it makes clear that Williams has done absolutely nothing to violate the Charter’s nonpartisan clause.
Second, it exposes the hypocrisy of “editor” Alan Earls in bemoaning the partisanship in this election when he is himself a candidate and when he is the chairman of the Franklin Republican Town Committee.
Franklin Observer article link for reference -> https://franklinobserver.town.news/g/franklin-town-ma/n/45691/politics-sizzles