Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Linde Hosts Campaign Kick-Off

BROCKTON--The Committee to Elect Mark Linde for the 11th Plymouth State Representative seat will host a campaign kick-off and fundraiser Thursday, May 3 at George's Cafe from 6 to 8 p.m. All are welcome.
For more information about the event or to contribute to the campaign, contact Terri Linde at tlinde1958@gmail.com, or by calling 508-588-4493 or send a check to P.O. Box 974, Brockton MA 02303.

Monday, April 30, 2012

New Cable Show Highlights Brockton Issues

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—Former city council candidate Richard Zaccaro is the newest face on the lineup of shows on Brockton Community Access Channel 9.
Zaccaro and a crew of helpers are working on the third episode of “An Outside View,” a question-and-answer talk show about Brockton and regional issues.
The title, “An Outside View,” Zaccaro said, is a signal to all residents in the community that he is interested in hearing from all members of the community on all kinds of issues.
“The purpose is to allow ordinary citizens of Brockton the opportunity to speak openly and freely,” Zaccaro said. “It’s an opportunity for people to speak their peace,” he said.
Each episode is about 30 minutes and highlights an issue or story about the city.
Zaccaro, 58, is an elected member of the Plymouth County Charter Commission and chair of the Mayor’s Advisory Commission and Trust Fund Commission. He has run for city council and is a self-employed third party marketing representative.
Zaccaro said he is excited to get the show off the ground. It has been in the works for nearly a year.
“We really want residents to join in and talk about the issues in the city,” Zaccaro said.
The first episode features Eddie Byers, co-owner of Cindy’s Kitchen and a leader of StopthePower, who talks about doing business in Brockton, his roots in the city of Brockton, business background and the success of Cindy’s Kitchen—a growing all natural salad dressing and marinade business.
The show is taped once a month on the last Tuesday of the month from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Residents are welcome to watch the tapings at the cable studio at 1 North Main St.
The show will be broadcast on Fridays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 4 p.m. throughout the month on public access Channel 9.
For those who are not cable subscribers, each episode will be posted on Zaccaro’s website at www.vimeo.com/anoutsideview.
The first episode with Byers is currently posted.
Upcoming episodes are expected to be centered around the city’s tax rate and how it affects homeowners and business owners and a discussion about the proposed power plant at Oak Hill Way—a show that will run 1 hour long instead of the usual 30 minutes.
Zaccaro invites and urges residents of all backgrounds and political leanings to contact him if they have ideas for the show or want to ask questions and talk about the city and how it is governed.
Zaccaro can be reached by email at anoutsideview@gmail.com or on his cellphone at 617-543-0034.
To find out more about Brockton Community Access shows, services and programs, visit, bcatv.org/

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Commission Proposes New Plymouth County Charter

BROCKTON--SUBMITTED BY PLYMOUTH COUNTY COMMISSIONER ANTHONY O'BRIEN: The Plymouth County Charter Study Commission held its final meeting on April 17 in Hanover and approved a proposed new charter.
In its 385 year history, Plymouth County has not had a Charter as it is not required since Mass. General Laws govern county government.
Supporters of a charter say it will give the county more administrative, legal, and financial authority. The 19 member Charter Commission was elected in 2010 to consider either abolishing county government in Plymouth County or proposing a charter.
In the 1990's, 8 of 14 county governments in the state were abolished.
Last year, the commission voted to not abolish Plymouth County government.
Highlights of the proposed charter include increasing the number of commissioners from 3 to 5, changing Advisory Board members from elected to appointed, and creating a provision to recall elected officials that citizens may be dissatisfied with.
The County Advisory Board is the legislative branch that approves the county budget.
"Like most citizens that I have talked with, I agree with some parts of the proposal and disagree with other parts," O'Brien said. O'Brien said increasing the number of commissioners is more government when citizens want less and changing elected officials to appointed is less accountability when citizens want more, but the ability to recall officials rightly increases accountability.
But, if the state does not increase support for county government then the county will not succeed," O'Brien said. 
The proposed charter will be forwarded to the state--which may or may not approve the proposal.
 If approved then it will be placed on the November ballot to be decided by the voters.
The last Plymouth County Charter Study Commission in 1988 proposed a charter that was disapproved by county voters.
The commission is planning a campaign to promote the proposal with the state and the public to begin with kick-off event in the next few weeks.
Please see www.PlymouthCountyMass.US for more information or contact O'Brien at 508-830-9100.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Capstone Awaits May Grant $ Decision

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—The principal of Capstone Communities is waiting for a decision from the state Department of Housing and Community Development expected in May about whether or not a nearly $4 million grant to rebuild the so-called Knight Building will be approved.
“There are 52 applicants and only 8 will get it,” said Jason Korb, during last Thursday’s Ward 2 meeting at George’s CafĂ©. “If we get it in May we can be in the ground by August,” he said.
The state housing grant is the last, and an integral piece in a project to convert the Knight Building, also the century-long location of Stall and Dean, into a 25-unit market and subsidized, 1 and 2 bedroom apartment complex.
He said he has high hopes for approval, but there is no guarantee.
“Brockton really needs this, Brockton really wants this,” Korb said. “It’s Brockton’s turn,” he said.
Korb told an audience of more than 50 residents and officials that if the nearly $4 million grant is approved in this round of funding, the company will reapply and try again.
Korb said the money would add to the nearly $4 million already received from state and federal historic grants.
When asked by an audience member what’s in it for him and Capstone, Korb said he has put up much of his own savings—a more than 6-digit figure his wife and family think may be too much--and because of the way the state housing grant is written, he and Capstone are required to maintain and manage the property for at least 15 years.
“There’s a pretty significant stake,” Korb said. “These deals don’t produce cash…the only profit is faith,” he said.
He said the building will be renovated following historical guidelines, including new $1,100 historically accurate windows-and once done will be a beautiful addition to the Montello and Lincoln streets area. Korb said other developments often build projects and then are allowed to sell in 10 years.
He said 14 of the apartments will be rented as workforce units for those making an income between $37,000 and $48,000 per year—or about 35 percent of Brockton’s working residents.
He said he and Capstone receive a fee, according to state guidelines about 10 percent, of the total cost of the project.
Korb said he could flip buildings and houses in Cambridge and other cities and make much more money, but also wants to make a difference where it is needed.
Korb said, it’s a project his heart is in and in a community and location that he believes will have a lasting affect on the neighborhood.
“It’s my passion. When I look myself in the mirror I want to say what I did and this is what I want to do,” Korb said.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Area Fire Academy Graduates Inducted

BROCKTON--Area firefighters and their families gathered Thursday, April 12 for an induction ceremony that included new firefighters in Brockton, East Bridgewater, Hanover, Abington and Needham.
Nine of the firefighters will begin work in Brockton.
Brockton's new firefighters are: Christian Bugbee, James Campbell, Charles Davis, III, Jason Gould, John Medairos, Corey Poudrier, Mario Rizzo, Daniel J. Santry, and Nathan Thellen.
Other firefighters inducted were, for Abington Fire, Christopher Cotti and Justin Silva.
For Needham Fire, Patrick Muir and Joseph Tierney.
For Hanover Fire, Joseph Pacella,
and for East Bridgewater Fire Michael Ryan. The ceremony was held at the Shaw's Center in Brockton.
(Photos courtesy James Rober)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Crime, Rox Talk At Ward 3 Meeting

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—Along with continuing numerous programs already in place in the department, new Police Chief Emanuel Gomes is enacting some new changes in the department, including revamping the department’s website.
“It should be soon,” Gomes said after a Ward 3 meeting Tuesday night held by City Councilor Dennis Eaniri at the John F. Kennedy School.
Gomes, who was named permanent police chief a few weeks ago, said the department has upgraded its software and expects to have a new and improved website in the next week or so.
“It was supposed to be this week two weeks ago, but they’re behind about a week,” Gomes said.
Some of the new features will include a live or “close to live” Brockton police daily log of calls personnel respond to.
Gomes said the department will also broadcast a 24-hour scanner from the site.
Gomes’ comments came after the Ward 3 meeting during which he introduced himself to the about 20 residents who attended the meeting.
Crime watch coordinator Officer Bill Healy gave residents an update on recent arrests of people suspected of about 150 home and vehicle break-ins in the area of Pine, Bouve and Forest Avenue since January.
Healy said the confidential and anonymous tip-line helped identify the alleged culprits and although sometimes catching the bad guys can take time, police believe the arrests will curb a large portion of the break-ins.
“These types of things take a lot of time,” Healy said.
Also attending the meeting was Thomas Healy, the new general manager for the Brockton Rox who talked about the Rox’s move from the professional Can-Am League to the Futures Collegiate League.
Healy said the Rox have high hopes for the season and are counting on the families and friends of players on the team to come to Campanelli Stadium for games and return the ballpark to its heyday in 2001 and 2002.
Healy said because the team is saving a large amount of money by not paying players, that money will be shifted to advertising games and marketing the team to draw more spectators to the games.
The team has also slashed ticket prices in hopes of enticing fans to games.
Reserve seats are now $5, box seats $8, and $12 for a super box.
He echoed CEO Michael Canina and Chris Carmunicci that the team is actively seeking investors in the team and working in every way to keep the stadium alive, including concerts and special events.
A resident asked Healey how much money the Rox still owes the city, but he deferred those comments to Canina or Carmunicci because he is getting up to speed on the finances.
At the end of February The Brockton 21st Century Corp, which leases the stadium to the Rox, announced a 1-year deal to keep the team running. The deal included the reorganization of the Rox under new management, a plan to pay off the debt the team owes the city and profit-sharing for the 21st Century Corp. if any profits are made.
Henry Silvia, one of the residents at the meeting, said he is a season ticket holder who loves going to the games and noted it's an inexpensive night out for families that is filled with baseball, food and non-stop activities for kids.
"Unless some of us go to the games, they're not going to pay anyone back," Silvia said. "We need to support it whether you like baseball or not," Silvia said.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ward 3 Meeting Tonight

BROCKTON--Ward 3 City Councilor Dennis Eaniri will hold a ward meeting tonight at the John F. Kennedy Elementary School at 7 p.m.
Expected to speak during the meeting are new Police Chief Emanual Gomes and Brockton Rox CEO Mike Canina.
Members of the public are welcome.