Elmer G. Huntoon 1985 - 2009 NORTH ADAMS Elmer George Huntoon, 23, of 1393 South State St. died Saturday, April 25, 2009, from an unexpected fishing accident.
To the Williams Community,
This evening, Greta Van Susteren will be taking part in the course Political Leadership, taught by Visiting Lecturer in Leadership Studies Jane Swift. There isn't time afterward for Van Susteren to get to a studio for her nightly Fox program "On the Record" so she'll do her part of it live outside the west entrance to Stetson Hall.
The program will consist of news and commentary on the day's events, and not be about Williams. Any interviews she does will be conducted remotely; no guests will be on location here in Williamstown.
Members of the campus community are free to be there, though there will be no sound amplification.
A 15-minute, Internet-only pre-show will begin at 9:45 p.m.; the cable program will run from 10 to 11.
Assistant to the President for Public Affairs
House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and other top lawmakers have been huddling this afternoon in meetings, trying to garner a veto-proof majority to vote on raising the state’s sales tax to 6.25 percent, according to House members.I expect to hear the sound of multiple shoulders popping with all the arms being twisted on Beacon Hill.
They need 107 votes to overcome Governor Deval Patrick’s threat to veto a sales tax increase.
Patrick, who met at the State House over the weekend with DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray, sent a letter to the Legislature this afternoon that caught most lawmakers off guard. The letter could dissuade lawmakers from voting in favor of the increase, and could provide an embarrassment to DeLeo in his first major test as speaker.
The governor threatened to veto the sales tax in a letter sent to lawmakers at 12:31 p.m., just before they went to the House floor to debate the $27.4 billion budget.
The Texas House Friday voted to drain most of GOP Gov. Rick Perry’s office budget and instead spend the money on community mental health crisis services and veterans’ services.Granted, this appears to be political payback for Perry's secessionist stupidity, and it will never stand in the final budget, but, damn, it's a great way to make a point.
It also seems reluctant to pass a 1 percent increase in the sales tax, which would yield an estimated $750 million in additional revenue while having a negligible effect on the buying public, despite screams of outrage from the usual quarters.Sales tax is exactly the wrong place to find money in times like these. It is, by far, the most regressive tax. You are effectively increasing the working poor's tax burden by 1% (except for groceries, which are non-taxable) while increasing the upper incomes by only a tiny fraction of that. "Negligible" is not accurate.
"... going to the barricades because of taxation with representation."The notion that somehow these well promoted rallies are the ebb of a huge tide of a supposedly conservative resurgence is... well.... to use an appropriate metaphor - "nuts."
Seeking to increase the number of people who get the potentially life-saving procedure, Berkshire Medical Center recently gave free colonoscopies to patients who otherwise couldn't afford the test.Go to C3's website (Colorectal Cancer Coalition) and sign the petition to pass HR 1189 which would create such a program nationwide.
Colon cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death in Massachusetts and the nation, yet studies show that only half of those who should be screened by a colonoscopy actually undergo the exam. Experts say this low participation rate can be blamed on a number of factors — patient reluctance or ignorance, lack of access to medical care and, significantly, the cost of the procedure itself.
So BMC and eight other hospitals in Massachusetts provided free screenings to pre-qualified patients on March 21.
City Councilor Richard J. Alcombright alerted the media Monday morning that he will announce his bid Tuesday morning at his home to unseat longtime incumbent John Barrett III.I've spoken to Dick about his intentions and have great faith that he is doing this for the right reasons.
Alcombright, a Hoosac Bank vice president and city native, is serving his fourth full term as city councilor and has been a member of the McCann School Committee since 1991. He was appointed by the council in 2000 to fill the unexpired term of his late father, longtime City Councilor Daniel F. Alcombright Jr.
Barrett, the longest-serving mayor in Massachusetts, is in his 13th term. He will face his first substantial opposition since he defeated Paul Babeu, a former city councilor and county commissioner, in 2001 for the second time.
But, it’s not all just harmless talk. For some, their disaffection has hardened into something more dark and dangerous. They’re talking about a revolution.I became aware of political vitriol around the time of Anita Hill and the debut of Rush Limbaugh on the national stage. At first I thought it was harmless - maybe even good for democracy to have a little bit of the "throw crap at a wall and see what sticks" style of punditry. I watched with only slight dismay in 1994 when a bunch of lies about a national health care proposal invigorated the Gingrich Contract with America. A few years later I got kinda angry when a bunch of pantie-sniffers, unleashed by the GOP congress, tried to undo an election. By the time that the Supreme Court circumvented the Constitutional remedy for a disputed Presidential Election in 2000, I was truly pissed off.
Some simply lace their unscrupulous screeds with loaded language about the fall of the Republic. We have to “rise up” and “take back our country.” Others have been much more explicit.
For example, Chuck Norris, the preeminent black belt and prospective Red Shirt, wrote earlier this month on the conservative blog WorldNetDaily: “How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution?”
Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, imagining herself as some sort of Delacroixian Liberty from the Land of the Lakes, urged her fellow Minnesotans to be “armed and dangerous,” ready to bust caps over cap-and-trade, I presume.
And between his tears, Glenn Beck, the self-professed “rodeo clown,” keeps warning of an impending insurrection by saying that he believes that we are heading for “depression” and “revolution” and then gaming out that revolution on his show last month. “Think the unthinkable” he said. Indeed.
The Cake Man was told to put the mixer down and step away from the flour — no more wedding cakes until he complies with a state health law.As someone who deals with food handling regulations, permits, inspections, etc... I suspect that Pittsfield's Health Department quietly turned a blind eye to the "dozen" cakes a year. Considering that these cakes might sell for several hundreds of dollars each, we are not exactly talking about a hobby. I have a sinking feeling that the health department is the least of this guy's potential problems if an IRS agent reads The Eagle.
You see, Pulcaro and his wife, Rosalie, both 69, bake and design cakes inside their Doreen Street home kitchen. Pulcaro started the "hobby" at age 18 when he organized a 25th wedding anniversary party for his parents.
Short on money, his aunt told him "Make one yourself," so he did. That night, two family members asked him to bake their wedding cakes.
He hired a helper when he married Rosalie 49 years ago. They even baked their own wedding cake — a cherry-nut cake "with vanilla frosting and royal blue and pink roses," Pulcaro quipped.
"He still remembers," Rosalie said, smiling.
She bakes the cakes, Pulcaro designs them, about a dozen per year for family, friends and friends of friends. The Cake Man has built up a reputation as one of the best around.
IF TOWNS and cities are going to maintain public services during the current downturn, they are going to need access to the kind of new revenue that the Legislature has always been unwilling to grant them. This week or next, a special legislative commission on municipal finances is expected to break new ground by calling for local-option taxes on meals and lodging, as well as the elimination of the property-tax exemption for telecommunications gear.Speaker DeLeo's absolute lack of understanding (or is simply a lack of compassion?) of the revenue issues faced by small cities and towns boggles my mind. Therefore I tend to think that any real leadership on this issue is going to have to come from the Senate.
Subject: [CGIN-list] up the river . . . to the co-op?
From: "Donald M. Kreis" [XXX54@columbia.edu]
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2009 23:48:54 -0400
To: co-op Board listserve [XXXXX@cgin.coop], CGIN listserve [XXXXX@cgin.coop]
A friend in the NH Legislature -- a Republican with whom I exchange friendly banter from time to time -- forwarded this to me . . . and I have to confess I am without a credible response. Any ideas?
President, Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rep. Lois Fairchild [XXXchild@leg.state.nh.us]
Date: Mar 25, 2009 11:41 PM
Subject: first gay marriage and now THIS?
To: Donald M. Kreis [XXX54@columbia.edu]
Don: I know you're into this cooperative thing and belong to the socialist fringe of the Democratic Party. Can you explain what these people are thinking?
Administration to Put Inmates in Charge of New Federal Prison
By John De Bello
Assocated Press Writer
LITTLETON, New Hampshire (AP) – Attorney General Eric Holder plans to travel to this remote New Hampshire village next month to launch what the Obama Administration is calling the boldest prison reform experiment in nearly two centuries: a correctional facility that is not just run by its inmates but is actually owned by them.
Holder will join local officials here in officially opening the $457 million Meldrim Thompson Cooperative Correctional Facility, a federal prison that will house 300 inmates under terms of incarceration that even the project’s proponents concede are without precedent in the history of punishment.
“It came to me in a blinding flash of insight, while shopping at my local food co-op,” explained J. Stephen Peace, the Justice Department’s newly appointed director of the Bureau of Prisons. “Wouldn’t inmates behave better, and actually build a sense of community behind the prison walls, if they owned the facility and if it existed to serve them instead of oppress them?”
Rather than have a warden appointed by the Bureau of Prisons, the Thompson Correctional Co-op will have a general manager who is appointed by the inmates themselves, through an elected board of directors. To become a resident of the facility, an inmate would have to make an equity investment of $3,500 – after getting the approval of his or her sentencing judge and probation officer.
It will, however, still be a prison. The inmates on the board will have the right to hire, supervise and fire the general manager, but the by-laws of the cooperative prison specify that it must be run according to the same rules and regulations that govern the rest of the federal prison system. Yes, there will be the usual cells, bars, locks and strict behavioral requirements.
“But it will be a democracy – a real democracy,” said Bob Hayes, general manager of the Littleton Consumer Cooperative Society – the town’s new food co-op which will, by coincidence, open not long before the prison does and which will, under an agreement with the Justice Department, have a special relationship with the new federal facility.
The Littleton Co-op will provide advice to the Bureau of Prisons on
running a cooperative organization and, in return, low-risk federal inmates on work release will stock shelves and work the checkout counter at the food store. Part of the arrangement would allow inmates to borrow the $3,500 prison membership fee from the food co-op and then work off the debt.
“The federal prison system is full of guys who know all about retailing because they were peddling illegal drugs,” said Hayes. “I can’t wait to put all those street smarts to work selling herbal medicines and organic vegetables!”
According to Professor Thomas Nokitofa, director of the Crime and Punishment Institute at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the new correctional facility could be the biggest advance in prison management in the English-speaking world since the modern concept of a penitentiary replaced the traditional, dungeon-like jail in the early 19th Century. “Two hundred years ago, prisoners were literally treated like vermin, and people were outraged at first about reform efforts,” said Nokitofa. “Today most of us understand that inmates need rehabilitation – and what could be better calculated to do that than living and working cooperatively?”
The Obama Administration likes the prison co-op idea not just for policy reasons but because it is a rare example in today's economic turmoil of something that will reduce rather than increase the federal deficit. "This has potential implications for vast swaths of the federal goverment," according to Samuel Smith, a press officer with the Office of Management and Budget. "Requiring users of a particular facility to provide the equity to support the infrastructure is a great way to leverage the government's resources."
Still, the plan has its critics – some of them local folks who are not thrilled with such an unusual neighbor.
“I’ve heard of inmates running the asylum, but this is ridiculous,” said Wilbur Finletter, a county commissioner and outspoken local Republican whose home will be just a few hundred feet from the new prison. “I don’t think Hannibal Lechter is going to give a damn about ‘democratic member control’ or ‘concern for community.’” His quip alludes to two of the seven “cooperative principles,” adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance, that officials say will guide the new cooperative prison.
Gretta Attenbaum, manager of the local Piggly Wiggly supermarket, vowed to file a lawsuit to stop the facility from opening. “Nobody said anything about cooperatives, or driving the local food store out of business, when the Bush Administration showed up and said this would help our local economy,” she said. “Now that the socialists are in charge, we are not going to cooperate with their crazy cooperative. If [President] Obama thinks this is such a great idea, he should let the gorillas and monkeys run the National Zoo in Washington.”
Also apoplectic is the Congressional Law and Order Caucus. According to its chairman, Rep. Don Foozman (R-Ark.), the bipartisan caucus will hold a news conference and public protest on the day of Holder's appearance in New Hampshire. The protest is tentatively scheduled to be held outside the U.S. Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado, an ultra-high-security facility where 22 percent of inmates have killed fellow prisoners in other correctional facilities.
The Bureau of Prisons is seemingly unconcerned about the threats and expressions of outrage. According to spokesperson Jim Richardson, as long as the inmates are locked inside, the Bureau has the authority to set whatever rules – or allow the inmates to set whatever rules – they want within the facility.
“We’re confident that once this thing is up and running, everyone will see that a cooperative prison is a real achievement for Littleton and for the nation,” said Richardson.
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