September Draf - The Valley Patriot
ver,, Methuen & Ha
Val ey Patriot
"Congress shall make no law..."
December - 2004
Volume 1, Issue 10
Waste, Overruns and Mismanagement
Paula Porten & Tom Duggan
For the last two years, residents of
Lawrence have been calling the construction of a $110 million high school “The Big
Dig of Lawrence,” because of its price tag.
For months, School Committeeman Amy
McGovern and Superintendent Wilfredo
Laboy have been questioning the quality of
work being done by the contractors and
their refusal to answer questions about
spending, quality of work and inspections
of the site.
Now, there are even more parallels between
the high school project and Boston’s Big
Dig- waste, mismanagement, cost overruns
and substandard work.
Lawrence's $110 Million "Big Dig"
According to documents obtained by The Valley Patriot, bricks being used
to construct the new $110 million Lawrence High School project do not
meet industry standards and are being used in violation of the city's contract with Flansburgh Associates, the project architect. Use of sub-standard bricks could cause leaking and premature decay of the building.
direct violation of that contract as well as
industry standards to conform with New
England's inclement weather.
According to internal memos and reports
obtained by The Valley Patriot,
subcontractor Eastern Construction and
architect Earl Flansburgh have been using A Memorandum dated November 4, 2004
inferior bricks in the
“We should make Collins, Director of
them tear it down and Finance, Capital and
start over again... Special Projects to
School complex. Exand the contractors S u p e r i n - t e n d e n t
perts say that the subshould eat the bill”
standard bricks could
cause leaks and
Associates, Inc. did
not accept brick for
ation of the buildings
the new Lawrence
High School which
was better per-forming and would have
The contract between the City of Lawrence saved the owner at least $40k.” The Memo
and Flansburgh Associates calls for bricks further goes on to state, “This decision by
that have an absorption rate “not to exceed the architect was made without consulting
4%”, but lab testing on the bricks being the owner.” The owner of the project is the
used to build Lawrence High School show City of Lawrence, under the control of the
an absorption rate at almost 6%. This is in School Department.
In a letter from Vermont Brick (the
company which offered superior bricks
referenced in the Collins Memo) to the
City of Lawrence, dated November 3,
2004, Gene McDonough wrote: “Unfortunately, after a visit to the project site,
Hank McDonough and I learned from a
member of the building committee that
our submittals were viewed as an inferior
product...Upon receipt of [a] letter
confirming the quality of our product,
issues concerning our brick shifted
immediately to color and design intent.”
or (978) 682-9783
Continued on Page 5
Cmdr. George F. Henderson,
US Navy Retired
The letter from McDonough went on to
say “At this point the mason contractor and
I agreed, there appeared to be a hidden
agenda surrounding this project and that it
would not be beneficial to pursue based
on potential ramifications by the parties
Valley Patriot of the Month
Hero In Our Midst
By Charles Ormsby
Meeting North Andover resident George picked Gunnery … “because it seemed
Henderson for the first time, you wouldn’t more glamorous!”
guess what he did during his first three
years after college. Born in 1921, he grad- LST 345 departed US shores for northern
uated from St. Michaels College in 1942, Africa on May 1, 1943. George downplays
approximately six months after Pearl the crossing, but consider the
circumstances. LST convoys averaged 5Harbor.
6 knots (under 7 mph) and the North
George immediately signed up for duty in Atlantic was still plagued by numerous
the Navy and, after being transformed into German U-boats. If hit by a German
a “90-day wonder”, he was assigned to the torpedo, an LST would rapidly sink and
Naval amphibious forces; more precisely, other ships in the convoy were under
he was assigned to serve on Landing Ship orders to “just keep steaming” … any ship
Tank 345 (LST 345). Given the option of that stayed behind to pick up survivors
choosing a specialty in Supply, would also be sunk. There would be no
Communications, or Gunnery, George rescue.
Retired Commander George
Henderson holds a model of
the LST 345.
LST 345’s service in WWII was divided
into three phases: Support of Allied
Operations in Northern Africa
(immediately after the fall of Axis forces
Continued on Page 15
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2004 - The Valley Patriot
L'Italien, Stop Using the Chur
State Representative Barbara L’Italien has consistently supported
two public policies that violate the teachings and core doctrine of
the Catholic Church, abortion and gay marriage. Last month, while
staunchly defending her right to espouse these anti-Catholic
positions, she publicly attacked pro-life activists who were holding
a sign that read “You cannot be Catholic and pro-abortion”.
Some of the sign holders L’Italien publicly humiliated were members
of her parish, St. Augustine’s in Andover. Shortly after the offended
parishioners complained to Pastor Cleary at St. Augustine’s, L’Italien
was asked to step down from her leadership role in the church choir.
Surprisingly, and quite arrogantly we might add, L’Italien refused.
But it was not only her defiance that was most shameful. Her very
public refusal to accept the decision of her pastor has caused division
in the parish, bringing controversy and bad publicity to her church;
a Church that she pretends to love so much.
And when L’Italien’s pastor quietly asked her to step down as a
cantor, did she respect her pastor and fellow parishioners by
attempting to resolve the issue privately? Did she do what any one
of us would have done when faced with an internal squabble in our
own family? Did she speak to higher-ups in the church or try to
resolve the matter quietly behind closed doors?
No. State Representative Barbara L’Italien shamelessly ran to the
news media portraying herself as a victim and declaring the actions
of her church as “wrong.” It was an act of betrayal and showed
nothing but disrespect for her church, her pastor and her fellow
As a public figure, L’Italien knows the destructive effects that the
mainstream, Catholic-bashing media can have on a single parish.
She knows that there are people and organizations (like the Boston
Globe) that are just looking for an issue like this to portray the
church (and its members) as intolerant and hateful. Yet, instead of
resolving the matter by working with her church leaders and other
parishioners (her family), she chose to deal with her “private religious
matter” by running to the press. How Shameful.
The Catholic Church has every right (and, in fact, a moral obligation) to consistently espouse and defend its core beliefs and to
insist that those who are in positions of leadership within the church
support its teachings. No one has the right to hijack the pulpit and
undercut the church’s mission. The stature, visibility and power of
that pulpit was earned by the church and is owned by the church.
Those who stand at the pulpit do so with the consent of the Catholic
Church, not the press or the public at large. Representative L’Italien
sought to over-rule the church and substitute her doctrine for the
Church’s teachings. Not by persuasion within the Church, but by
attacking the Church through the press.
It is no wonder the leaders of the Catholic Church don’t want elected
officials who openly challenge their teachings to be up on the altar
during mass. What they fear is exactly what has happened, a split
among the parishioners and open defiance of the church’s teachings.
But L’Italien’s contempt for the church shouldn’t surprise anyone
who followed her bid for reelection. She publicly (and shamelessly)
campaigned by touting herself as both a “Catholic and a Parishioner
of St. Augustine’s Church.” This was to signal good Catholics, who
actually believe in the Church’s teachings, that she stood with them
on moral issues. (So much for her demand of a separation between
church and state!)
Yet, all the while L’Italien was accepting donations and endorsements
from gay marriage activists, voting for gay marriage in the legislature
and promoting herself to liberal donors as a pro-abortion legislator.
We know of no civic, business, religious, or political organization
that would tolerate one of its "leaders" actively working against
their interests and teachings. Father Cleary was right to ask L’Italien
to step down as cantor. It’s too bad she didn’t have the good sense
to quietly comply and, if a public comment was needed, support her
church in its need to effectively carry out its mission.
To the Editor,
I read the column “Some People Never
Learn” in The November 2004 Valley
Patriot via the internet.
Congratulations on your fine and
insightful article. You know, ‘Everyday
Math’ is a deadly mathematical
experience in many ways other than
just permitting the needless use of
calculators in the early grades.
‘Everyday Mathematics’ is one of many
(alleged) curricula that grew out of the
“constructivist” philosophy of
education that became so chic in the
'90s. Chic, ineffective and almost
Constructivism in mathematics allows
for almost any ad hoc, non-systematic
approach to problem solving up to and
including guesswork. Drill and practice
are deemed to be detrimental to the
learning process. Anything that
smacks of using one’s memory is
anathema. Major fundamental
algorithms are ignored and omitted.
Constructivism postulates that each
student should be permitted —
encouraged — to create his or her own
mathematical methods without any
interference from the teacher. Catch
phrases abound. The teacher should
be “the guide on the side and not the
sage on the stage”, according to the
Everywhere a constructivist curriculum
has be imposed upon the students,
parents and teachers, it has failed. The
state of California, by an act of its
constructivist ‘Interactive Mathematics
Program’ (IMP) when there was a near
revolt of science teachers who now
spent a majority of their time teaching
simple arithmetic skills. State test
scores also plummeted. The flagship
of the Philadelphia secondary schools,
Central High School, also banished IMP
for similar reasons.
After spending hundreds of thousands
of dollars on consultants and training,
all constructivist mathematical
programs in the Bronx Superintendency
of the NYC Public Schools (primarily IMP
and Everyday Math) were eventually
thrown out. Constuctivist mathematics
curricula tend to be long on style and
very short on substance. In my view,
they ultimately make our children
‘innumerate’ — the mathematical
analog to ‘illiterate.”
I am a member of a group called NYCHOLD : Honest, Open, Logical Debate
on mathematics education in the New
York City Public Schools. Critiques and
analyses of ‘Everyday Math’ and all of
the other constructivist mathematics
curricula can be found at the group
site: Yahoo! Groups : nyc-hold. I
believe that membership can be
obtained by contacting Elizabeth Carson
at [email protected] At the core of
the NYC-HOLD group is the
Mathematics Department from the
Courant Institute at New York
University. Others who belong are
enlightened parents, teachers of
mathematics on every grade level and
people like myself. I was a high school
teacher and supervisor of mathematics
for forty years until my retirement in
2000. However well-intentioned
‘Everyday Mathematics’ and the other
constructivist curricula may be, they
have the fatal flaw of trivializing
mathematics and they simply do not
We do not need our bridges to collapse,
our planes to fall from the sky and our
elevators to plummet to the basement
before adopting the serious
mathematics curricula that our children
Ken Duggan, Congers, NY
(no relation to Tom Duggan)
The Valley Patriot is published by:
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Phone - (978) 557-5413 Fax (978) 258-1964
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Subscriptions to The Valley Patriot
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Email - [email protected]
Advertising Director: Paula Porten
President: Tom Duggan, Jr.
Layout: Tom Duggan, Jr.
Treasurer: Dr. Charles Ormsby
You can read us on-line at (www.tommyduggan.com)
The Valley Patriot is printed by GRAPHIC DEVELOPMENT - West Hanover, Massachusetts
2004 - The Valley Patriot
Our Voice is Your Voice
The Valley Patriot welcomes letters to the editor on any topic. We also welcome column/
article submissions from elected officials, neighborhood associations, community
organizers and newsmakers. Though we may not agree with the opinions expressed in
submissions, our mission is to give readers the unique opportunity to receive important
information from those who are driving important public issues without the "creative
editing" policy employed by most newspapers. Submissions from guest columnists/
writers in The Valley Patriot are published without the filtered agenda of an editorial
board. If you would like to write a column, letter or article for The Valley Patriot, please
email us at: [email protected]
To the Editor,
Thought your article, God, Guns, & Gays,
in the November issue of The Valley Patriot
was very much on target. I do, however,
believe that these three are merely
symptoms of a far, far, deeper emotion; one
I would call Primordalism.
I believe that every living creature on the
face of this earth has two primordal
insticts: Self Preservation and Propagation
of its species. Mankind has added one
more, the realization of a greater power
than themselves, call it God if you will. The
Primordal instinct is so deeply imbeddded
within our minds that we act on them with
a visceral, gut feeling. God, Guns, and Gays
exemplify that instinct.
Self preservation is probably the most
important, for without it, nothing else
matters. Mankind, with his infinite imagination and ability has: built shelters to keep
himself warm and dry; cultivated agriculture and husbanded livestock to feed
himself; and created weapons for hunting
and self protection. The weapon though, is
probably the most important. For without
it, he would not have the means to protect
himself, his family, and his property from
predators, both human and animal.
In today’s society, perhaps the most
effective weapon is the gun (firearm) for
the simple reason that it does not require
brute force to use. The eighty year old frail
grandmother can protect herself against the
young 200 lb thug intent on doing harm.
Now look at just about every gun law proposed by the Stark Raving Liberal legislators. These laws usually apply only to law
abiding citizens, and serve primarily to restrict their means of self defense. Criminal
usage is only peripherally mentioned. This
message is not lost on people.
The second part of this triad, Gays,
particularly Gay Marriage, is a threat to
procreation. Combine this with Abortion,
you have a recipe for societal suicide. With
no future children, there is no future
society. Another primordal instnct is
attacked. Again, look at the laws being
proposed by Stark Raving Liberals and their
supporters the Gay and Pro-Abortion
communities. Our entire society, based on
the orderly raising of children, is
demeaned at its very roots. Another
message not lost on people.
God, perhaps the most important of this
triad, is the recognition by man of a higher
meaning to life. This recognition has been
evident from the earliest days of man on
this planet. He has built temples, pyramids,
and monuments to God; He has passed laws
with the guidance of God; He has sought
His guidance in all matters. But look again
at the actions of the Stark Raving Liberals.
Remove God from public life, attack the
very existence of God. Another obvious
The very core of human life and its deep
meaning was assaulted by this motley
group. No wonder there was, and is, a
return to decency.
Thinking Outside the Box!
Dr. Charles Ormsby
The United Nations – United for What?
“You take away my right to build
a future that could last for centuries and then you give me a bowl
of rice that will last a day. For
this, you want thanks?”
To the Editor,
I want to thank The Valley Patriot for covering the city of Haverhill. I particularly
liked the fact that you have reached out to
School Committeeman Scott Wood and
former mayor Jim Rurak. Since the EagleTribune bought the Haverhill Gazette, we get
no information about what our local officials are up to. Keep up the good work!
To the Editors,
I am writing in response to Peter
Khanbegian’s letter in the October 2004
edition, which itself was a response to
Hartley Pleshaw’s column about the “Bread
and Roses” strike in your September issue.
Mr. Khanbegian has a rather different
interpretation of the meaning of the strike
from Hartley’s and mine, and it would be
futile for me to try to change his mind. But
his letter included some assertions
regarding the historical record that I cannot
Mr. Khanbegian stated that “These thugs
(I.W.W. union leaders and/or members)
blew up scab homes and terrorized the
community.” He also stated that, at the old
train station, “women and children of some
mill workers were gunned down by these
anarchists as they were being sent out of
town by their fathers and husbands until the
turmoil was over.”
I have read most everything written about
the strike, and there is no support for either
of these claims. In fact the opposite would
be closer to the truth. No homes were
blown up during the strike. The only explosives discovered were caches of dynamite
that were proven to have been planted by
friends of millowner William Wood, in
order to discredit the strike leaders.
Similarly, no one was “gunned down” at the
train station. But strikers and their children
were roughed up by police and militia
trying to prevent another contingent from
departing and generating more publicity that
would draw sympathy to the strikers.
Had strikers or IWW leaders blown up
homes or gunned down workers, as Mr.
Khanbegian asserts, those events would
have been covered extensively by the
competitive press of the time, not to
mention trumpeted by the business/
religious/political leadership of the city.
But no such documentation exists.
Anyone wishing to review the historical
record for themselves should start with
Donald Cole’s “Immigrant City”. Writing
in the early '60s, Cole was no leftist/
revisionist intellectual, but a mainstream
Cold War-era historian, educated in the
1950s, who scoured the contemporary
record of the strike. His account bears no
resemblance to Mr. Khanbegian’s claims.
People can and will interpret historical
events differently, but it does not help anyone’s understanding when the known facts
are distorted beyond recognition. As Yogi
Berra would say, “you could look it up!”
Stanley A Hoff
Jim Beauchesne, Chairman
Bread and Roses Heritage Committee
I became hooked on politics in High
School in the early ‘60s. My favorite
bumper sticker was in support of
Communist China. It read: “Admit Red
China to the U.N. – Give Them Our Seat”.
I’d suggest such a trade today, but I think
every despotic regime is already a
With an annual budget of nearly $1.5
billion ($363 million or 25% of this is
paid by the United States), it is not surprising that the U.N. does some good. While
I am sure there are legitimate criticisms,
the three largest U.N. humanitarian
agencies (U.N. Development Programme,
U.N. Relief Agency, and UNICEF)
certainly provide assistance to many who
are desperately in need.
Does that mean the U.S. should continue
as a U.N. member?
The answer is an emphatic NO, for one
simple reason: The U.N. is not an effective
mechanism for achieving our goals.
Which begs the question: What are our
goals? Or: What should be our goals?
Let’s start with a few goals that almost
every reader can embrace:
* Promote world peace
* Reduce poverty and promote
* Promote individual freedom (both
political and economic).
Hopefully we are all on the same page.
There may be a fourth and fifth objective,
but they must pale in comparison to these
Assuming we agree on these goals, the
next questions are “What is the long term
strategy for achieving these goals?” and
“Does the U.N. support this strategy?”
When considering their immediate, shortterm effects, the three goals are listed in
their order of importance.
It is hard to worry about your next meal
or getting your needed prescription for
medicine when bombs are exploding in
your front yard or soldiers are about to
execute your family, rape your women, or
weld shackles around your ankles. World
LAWRENCE, MA 01841
peace (and especially peace for our
communities and families) comes first.
Given a reasonable level of peace, then
adequate food, clothing, shelter, and
healthcare (i.e., rising above the poverty
level) come next. When you are starving,
shivering, or deathly ill, only the horrors
of war are more dreaded.
Finally, if we are safe from war and our
most basic needs are being met, we want
to be free to employ our talents and expend
our perspiration to improve the course of
our lives and the lives of our families.
While critically important, individual
freedom may seem to be an abstract notion
when death or starvation is at our doorstep.
Although this is the order of importance
when considering immediate consequences, oddly, the order of importance of
these goals must be reversed if we want to
address the issues over the longer term.
Freedom eliminates poverty, gives people
hope, and removes the incentives for war.
If we want to eliminate war and poverty,
we need to advance human political and
economic freedom. And that is where the
U.N. is a grotesque failure.
Each year the Heritage Foundation and
Wall Street Journal rank the world’s 161
countries by their degree of economic
freedom. As it turns out, for countries
whose economic freedom scores have
been consistent for several decdes, their
Economic Freedom Index is a very good
predictor of their prosperity. Where
repressed countries have recently become
free (e.g., Eastern Europe) or for countries
whose economic freedom scores have
substantially changed, the annual rate of
economic growth (i.e., prosperity
increases) correlates strongly with the
degree of economic freedom they have
Over 6 billion experiments (the current
world population) can’t be wrong. The data
is crystal clear: If you want prosperity and
want to eliminate poverty, you should
support economic freedom (free markets,
property rights, low levels of taxes and
regulation, and political freedom). If you
like grinding poverty and the vacant stare
of starving children, then autocratic
Continued on Page 17
2004 - The Valley Patriot
North Andover Selectmen
Vote for Tax Equity
Wendy Wakeman, North Andover Selectman,
Fans of big don’t vote. Government can grow,
government and taxation can increase to fuel the
the big taxes growth, and the voters, homeowners,
that fund it like don’t feel the pinch.
If you’re not pinched, you won’t
Taxes that can scream.
be set or raised
Businesses require few services: no
quietly, with- trash pickup, no kids to educate, no
out the con-sent elders to service. And yet, they pay
of voters, fall higher taxes!
into this category. Fees are often
Sneaky, isn’t it?
nothing more than sneaky taxes. And
the best kind of sneaky tax, of course, Until this year, I’ve had to play along
with this scam. You
is a tax that the other
see, the very first
"We’re still not splitting time more of the
I don’t like sneaky
taxes. That’s why I
the pie right down the burden is given to
voted to increase,
middle, but we’re a lot business, people
ever so slightly, my
closer than we were."
are happy. A tax
own taxes. Now is
a good time to begin
grumble, but they can’t vote.
righting a wrong.
The next year, and each subsequent
The particular wrong of which I speak
is called tax classification. I expect it’s year, spreading the burden around
not a term you’re familiar with, as it’s evenly would be – not good.
The voters aren’t used to carrying
special taxation jargon.
their fair share of the load. They want
Let me explain.
Cities and towns can create different a small bundle, one just about the same
categories of taxable real estate, size as last year, maybe a teensy bit
namely residential and commercial. The bigger. That’s what taxpayers expect.
That’s why last year, and the year
categories do not need to be treated
equally once separated. Cities and before, I voted to preserve the status
towns can be sneaky, and charge quo. Okay, I reasoned: We’ll be unfair
commercial property a higher tax rate about passing around the burden, but
we’ll be unfair in the same measure as
North Andover has been doing this for we were last year, so no one will notice.
This year, something changed. The
years. Last year, the tax rate for houses
was $11.76 per thousand dollars of ass- load got smaller. The overall tax burden
for North Andover decreased a bit,
essed value. Businesses paid $14.28.
Why do businesses pay such a thanks in part to paying down some
premium? It could be because they debt.
Continued on Page 18
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The Grinch Who Stole
Christmas is Real
Warning: This column may
offend anyone bothered by
truth, goodness and holiday
No longer just a children’s
fantasy story, “The Grinch Who Stole
Christmas” is alive and well in modern day
But, the real Grinch doesn’t live at the top
of Mount Crumpet. No, no, he resides in
the cold, black hearts (and offices) of the
ACLU and every person who tries to stop
others from celebrating the season of
giving, the season of charity and the season
of happiness for children and their
And, just as the fictional Grinch came down
off Mount Crumpet to steal Christmas
from the “Whos down in Whoville,” these
real life Grinches come out from their
caves every year to file lawsuits and steal
Christmas from children everywhere they
What’s so amazing about today’s Grinches
is that they are just as mean and just as
irrational as the fictional one. To these
people, God is to be shunned, goodness is
“offensive” and the mere thought of
another person celebrating a holiday rooted
in religion...that's just plain loathsome.
Dr. Suess himself couldn’t have possibly
imagined that his creation would someday
be a reality in the form of modern day
religious bigotry. But here we
are, a culture under attack by a
very small minority who cringe
at the site of a Santa Claus or a
Now, the Christmas-hating Grinches are
even filing lawsuits and complaining about
people who put up Christmas displays on
their own private property, using local
zoning regulations to restrict the mirth and
merriment of heir fellow citizens. They’ve
even found ways to use condo and
neighborhood associations to adopt
intolerant bylaws that discriminate against
people of faith and even the faithless who
enjoy the American holiday tradition.
WHY? Well, they are offended of course.
As if the sight of pine tree with colored
lights is akin to using a racial slur or the
sound of children singing Jingle Bells is
equal to hearing Hitler Youth songs about
Wait, on second thought, the ACLU and the
Christmas-haters have defended the
“rights” of Nazi’s and the Klan to offend,
which I guess begs the question: How is a
Christmas tree or a Christmas song more
damaging to society and more offensive to
them than racist Nazi symbols and songs?
How is it that “offensiveness” is the
standard for stopping Christmas displays
but not so much for the hateful
demonstrations of racists and fear
Continued on Page 18
Your Property Taxes In Methuen
Billy Manzi, Methuen City Council President
With Methuen’s City taxpayers. Such a shift is allowed under
Council prepared to set so-called “classification”.
Classification allows a greater share of
a “tax rate” at the
overall tax burden to be borne by
December 6th meeting,
thereby shielding the residential
it was an opportune time
from some level of property
to discuss the process,
While the concept may
tax classification, and
to business, property
While the Mayor’s recommendations
assowere not yet available at press time,
Methuen’s budget does call for an increase
in the “tax levy”, and some press reports values have risen dramatically. Under
have taken that “tax levy” number and conditions where all such property is
attempted to correlate it to what the average treated equally, the end result could be a
residential homeowner may be faced with decrease in overall property taxes for
business, and a corresin the way of an
ponding increase for
increase. However, "Despite the fact that our tax
residential homeuntil such time as the burden compares favorably
City Council makes a with other municipalities the
decision on tax property tax imposes what I
us to smooth
classification, and consider to be an unfair
the assessor submits burden on the elderly..."
We reproperty values, such
an attempt to make this correlation is likely
to be flawed.
The “tax levy” is simply the amount of
revenue that the municipal budget antic- balance on classification. Methuen has a
ipates raising from the property tax. Since solid record with regard to attracting
a balanced municipal budget is mandated by business, and our tax policies will
law, and since the tax levy revenue estimate continue to promote business expansion
contributes to that balance at the beginning that helps to lower our residential tax
of the fiscal year, any attempt to lower the burden.
As we move to set the tax rate that
“tax levy” at the time of the setting of the
your residential bill, the values
tax rate would create a deficit. Consequently,
by the assessor are critical.
absent additional revenues or a decrease in
treated on an individual basis
expenses, the City Council is bound by law
by the value set on your
to raise sufficient revenue through the levy
assessor, who is mandated
to balance the budget.
to assess at 100% of
As the City Council prepares to adopt
property has the
such a tax rate it must also consider the
potential for a shift in the burden from
Continued on Page 18
residential homeowners to commercial
Faulty Bricks in Lawrence High
Continued from Page 1
Lack of Oversight
Superintendent of Schools Wilfredo Laboy
said that he was just as frustrated with the
high school situation as members of the
Lawrence School Committee. Laboy is
often blamed for cost overruns and accused
of hiding information about the project. “It’s
nearly impossible to get any information
from the contractors about the work being
done,” Laboy said. “I knew nothing about
this brick situation until recently and that’s
because they refuses to work with us. We
don’t get the reports we need, they refuse
to justify expenses and they expect us to pay
the bills, no questions asked.”
2004 - The Valley Patriot
Make Them Call It a
“All things are possible at this point, we
are looking at the performance of all
contracts and asking for authorization to
One of the most common questions I am
do what needs to be done.”
asked is, “What can I, a simple citizen, do
to make our country better?”
The answer: Change the little things first.
If agreed upon, a draft memo of Most people who are worried about the
understanding between Mayor Sullivan and direction of our country think that all the
Wilfredo Laboy would give the battles are big ones. But we cannot win any
Superintendent control of the project and of the big ones if we keep losing the small
put an end to the dispute over who has the ones.
final authority. According to the City
Charter; the Lawrence School Committee Here is a seemingly small project that any
and the Superintendent of Schools (on American who works at almost any
their behalf) are legally considered the company can initiate. If successful, it will
“owner” of the project. The Superin- send shockwaves through the country:
tendent's signature needed to release the Rename your company’s “holiday” party a
problem, not the majority’s. Demanding
that the vast majority of one’s fellow
workers deny the holiday they all celebrate
just to make a few people more
comfortable (especially when their
discomfort is only a sign of narcissism) is
It is also dishonest. What December
holiday is it, after all, if not Christmas? The
winter solstice? Martin Van Buren’s
birthday? Rosh Chodesh Tevet?
Constitution Day in Uzbekistan?
Fight back calmly and politely. But fight
back. Do not be deterred by being a called
“Nobody is holding them accountable,” he
a bigot. Wanting a Christmas party hardly
continued. “We are going to put an end to
makes you a bigot. It is the minority
it. There are a lot of
If I don’t get what I Laboy denied that Nothing is quite as symbolic of the member who wants “Christmas” dropped
people gouging us.
need to do this right, Sullivan
was narcissism at the heart of contemporary who is the bigot. Furthermore few minority
The children are not
then I should be holding up the final “progressive” policies than the belief that members actually do object. The vast
on their radar
released from all agreement outlined because there are non-Christian employees
majority of Jews, whether or not they
screen, it is clear.
obligations. How can I in the memo of at a company, its Christmas party may not
celebrate Chanukah, honor Christmas, as do
This is going to
be held accountable
u n d e r s t a n d i n g , be called one. Who do 5 percent of the the vast majority of blacks, whether or not
for a project and have
saying, “The mayor employees think they are that they feel they celebrate Kwanzaa.
no authority to make
has a strong desire empowered to demand that the other 95
Laboy said he was
to get this on track percent not celebrate their party with the Demand a vote. It will smoke out the
concerned about the
on budget. name that they want? And what kind of progressives’ contempt for democracy.
city’s lack of
I've seen, mindset denies a company the right to And ask why a Halloween party is permitted
control over the
at the company. That will reveal the great
a team celebrate a national holiday?
project and the role he is expected to play.
American secret: Conservatives (such as
effort. But, just as he has entrusted me to
“Ah, but we want to be inclusive,” the Christians who do not celebrate
“I am expected, as the legal owner of the
professional sensitivity staff will reply.
Halloween) are usually far more tolerant
project, to sign the bills and approve the he should see that I am capable of handling
But, dear sensitivity trainer, how is inviting of things they disagree with than their
spending. But any time I ask questions about
the bills they submit, I am told ‘we don’t Asked what would happen if the mayor me, a Jew who does not celebrate Christ- liberal opponents are.
answer to you’. How am I supposed to do refused to give Laboy complete control mas, to the company’s Christmas party not And know that diversity professionals can
my job and provide oversight on this project of the project, he replied, “Look, there has inclusive? Isn’t inviting me by definition in- support this. When I spoke on this subject
when the contractors are going around me?” been a question about who is in charge of clusive? And if it isn’t, perhaps to be really at the national headquarters of Toyota, the
inclusive, given that I keep kosher, you’ll company’s head of diversity told me that
this project from day one. it has never
Not only has Flansburgh Associates and been stated clearly to all parties. If I don’t have to refrain from serving shellfish or he supported my call to rename the
Eastern Contractors purchased substandard get what I need to do this right, then I should pork products. And you better not serve tea “holiday” party a Christmas party. I would
brick at a higher price, the architect be released from all obligations. How can or any other caffeinated products because love to give that talk at every company in
(Flansburgh), Heery International Inc. (the I be held accountable for a project and of the Mormons at your company.
America. As that is impossible, I am making
management firm which oversees the have no authority to make decisions?”
In fact, to be really inclusive, you better the lecture available (on audio and video
architect) and the General Contractor have
drop the word “holiday.” One company through my Web site, www.dennis
“refused to provide inspectional services of Lawrence City Councilor Carlos Matos
employee told me that a fellow worker, a prager.com). Furthermore I will publicize
the project and refused to hire the said this could have been avoided long ago
Jehovah’s Witness, had mentioned that the name of every company where workers
appropriate firms to conduct weekly site if the mayor was holding people
because he is forbidden from celebrating are attempting to bring back the name
visits to observe the installation of accountable and paying attention along the
holidays, he could attend the holiday party “Christmas” for their December party.
mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire way. He drafted a city ordinance months
only if the company dropped the word Please let me know about your efforts. This
protection.” This was stated in a ago that would clearly define who was in
“holiday.” So maybe the sensitivity crowd is a fight worth making.
memorandum dated November 4, 2004 from charge of the project and spell out the
should just call it “a party”?
Do not be intimidated by anti-Christian
George Collins to Flansburgh Associates, responsibilities of all parties involved.
Matos is waiting for the City Attorney to But even that might not be inclusive enough. animosity that masquerades as “sensitivity”
draft official language.
What about those who are forbidden to or “inclusiveness.” And when someone asks
Because of these refusals, City Solicitor
party (e.g., certain fundamentalists and you whose idea it was, tell them it came
Charles Boddy, Jr. has been asked to render “Even if the ordinance passes now we have Jews who are in mourning)? For their sakes, from a Jew who doesn’t observe Christmas,
but who loves and honors the fact that the
a legal opinion to confirm a breach of a big problem on our hand with this high let’s not even call it a party.
vast majority of his fellow Americans do.
contract, which could result in the City of school. They should tear down the whole
Lawrence firing Heery International, thing and start over,” Matos said about the I was raised to believe that unless the
©2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Flansburgh Associates and Eastern brick situation, “and…the contractors majority is engaged in evil, one honors the Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated host and
should eat the bill. What we are getting is majority’s will. If a religious, racial or author of four books. His Web Site is www.dennis
not what we contracted for and it’s atheist minority member can’t abide the prager.com. To find out more Dennis Prager, visit
Lawrence Mayor Michael Sullivan has certainly not what we are paying for. This name “Christmas,” it is entirely his or her
defended the contractors and publicly whole project has been mismanaged from
ridiculed School Committee member Amy the very beginning.”
McGovern whenever she questioned the “This could lead to long term problems
contractor’s actions. McGovern has long with leaks and mold getting into the walls.
questioned the cost overruns, the lack of We could have a disaster on our hands in a
oversight and what she has called "dishonest" few short years. This has to be rectified
and "stonewalling" when she tried to get now,” he concluded.
information about the project.
Superintendent Laboy said he was
Sullivan could not be reached for comment. weighing his options on what to do next,
but promised that the City of Lawrence
Now, sources close to the project say they “will recover damages.”
Residential, Investor &
expect the city to fire Flansburgh and Heery
for breach of contract, a notion Laboy would He said there was little chance that the
not rule out. “This is about accountability," existing project would be torn down but
& C. J. Riendeau
he said. "There just isn’t any. I believe there added, “it is hard to get to the bottom of
needs to be some redirection on this project everything that is going on when the
All Credit Levels
and I will do whatever it takes to make sure contractor treats you like you don’t exist.
Se Habla Espanol
this project is done on time and on budget. I know the School Committee is very
The citizens of the Commonwealth deserve concerned. We are all working to resolve
Ask about our Junior Loan Officer opportunities
to get their money’s worth. Nothing less this situation, but I need these other
than that is acceptable.”
matters resolved before we can get a full
Washington Mortgage Co., Inc.
25 Railroad Square
Haverhill, MA 01832
Lawrence, MA 01841
When pressed about the possible firing of
Flansburgh and Heery, Laboy responded,
understanding of what happened and how
to resolve it.”
~ Phone: (978) 258-8037 ~ Fax: (978) 373-9583 ~
Email: [email protected]
2004 - The Valley Patriot
TITUDE AND GOD
My 4-year-old daughter
recently learned to say grace at
mealtimes. I taught her the same
little prayer my mom taught me
God is great
God is good
Let us thank him for our food
By his hands we all are fed
Give us Lord our daily bread
At first, my daughter questioned the need
for reciting this strange passage. “Why do
we have to thank God?” she wondered.
“To show that we are grateful for our
daily bread,” I explained. “What is
‘grateful’?” she asked. “Being appreciative
for what we have,” I answered.
“But I’m not eating daily bread,” she
argued in between bites of macaroni and
cheese. It means whatever fills your tummy
each day,” I clarified. “Oh.”
In typical toddler fashion, my daughter
is now absolutely fanatical about her new
routine. Not only must we say grace before
every meal, but also before each snack. And
anytime we have a drink. And anytime her
baby brother gobbles Cheerios in his car
seat. Failure to give thanks to God is met
with swift retribution. Our daughter has no
qualms about chastising us in public — at
restaurants, airports or Starbucks:
“Hey, stop eating! You forgot to say grace!”
Despite the embarrassment it sometimes causes, I love her unrepentant zeal.
It reminds us not to take for granted our
too-infrequent gestures of daily
thanksgiving. It reminds us to be humble.
Following her lead, we must all bow our
heads and fold our hands and shut our eyes
and shout a full-throated “Amen!”
The snobs of secularism will no doubt
disparage such simple-minded expressions of piety. They call us “Jesus freaks,”
“Bible-thumpers” and “fundies.” They
accuse us of being “weak” and of suffering
from a “neurological disorder.” They consider us such a threat that they have sought
to expunge even the most innocuous references to thanking God in the public
When Garwood, N.J., student Kaeley
Hay wrote a Thanksgiving poem mentioning
the Pilgrims’ gratitude to the Lord,
according to the Newark Star-Ledger,
skittish administrators initially removed the
word “God” from her piece:
"Leaves are falling out of the air,
Piles of leaves everywhere. Scarecrows
standing high up with the corn, Farmers
harvest in the early morn. Pilgrims thank
[blank] for what they were given,
Everybody say . . . Happy Thanksgiving!"
Here in my home state of
Maryland, according to the
Annapolis Capital, “Maryland
public school students are free to
thank anyone they want while
Malkin learning about the 17th century
celebration of Thanksgiving — as long as
it’s not God.”
True to the religio-phobic conception of
educational “diversity,” Maryland public
school officials have turned Thanksgiving
into a multicultural harvest devoid of its
spiritual essence. Students are taught that
Pilgrims had a “belief system,” but nothing
further. Not to worry, though. “The Pilgrim
Story is read in Spanish and English,”
Alfreda Adams, principal at Mills-Parole
Elementary School in Anne Arundel County
where 70 Hispanic students attend, told the
Capital. “We make sure that we celebrate
Such politically correct muddleheadedness explains why Maryland
students can’t learn Pilgrim prayers in
public schools while the town of
Hamtramck, Mich., feels free to blast
Islamic prayers over public loudspeakers
five times a day.
Once an unabashedly pious land, we
have been transformed into a nation of
historically clueless ingrates —
embarrassed about our heritage, afraid of
offending all newcomers, and more
committed to inculcating a sense of
entitlement over a culture of gratitude. Abe
Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation of
1863 rings truer than ever:
“We have been the recipients of the
choicest bounties of heaven. We have
been preserved, the many years, in peace
and prosperity. We have grown in
numbers, wealth and power, as no other
nation has ever grown. But we have
forgotten God. We have forgotten the
gracious hand which preserved us in
peace and multiplied and enriched and
strengthened us; and we have vainly
imagined, in the deceitfulness of our
hearts, that all these blessings were
produced by some superior wisdom and
virtue of our own. Intoxicated with
unbroken success, we have become too
self-sufficient to feel the necessity of
redeeming and preserving grace, too
proud to pray to God that made us!”
Michelle Malkin is a syndicated
columnist and maintains her weblog at
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When National Security
Jim Rurak, Former Haverhill Mayor
We had a
great Thanksgiving visit
with family in
on the way
a i r p o r t
often a pain
in the neck, but when they checked our bags
for our return flight from Kansas to Boston
via Chicago they never asked for our photo
ID’s. We’re not terrorists, but I do feel
safer when security does its job. The very
first step home seemed sloppy, security
wise. Then the human predicament grew.
Weather in Chicago delayed our Kansas
flight by 90 minutes. Unless things improved, we’d miss our connecting flight. Then
the agent inside noticed that our baggage
claim codes gave their destination as
Chicago not Boston. She “fixed it” but
didn’t think they’d arrive with us. OK by
me, they’re only full of dirty laundry, but
again things just don’t seem to be going
Then it happened. We passed through a
thorough security check, entered the gate
area and waited eagerly for the boarding
call. Our chances of making the connecting
flight were now down to one in ten. The
call came sooner than expected and we
quickly queued up, our chances now up to
one in five of making port that night, albeit
without bags. All of a sudden, the agent inside the secured area announced “we found
a cell-phone, will someone claim it!?”
Someone shouted “it’s mine!” But he was
in the security checkpoint. They released
him. The agent gave it to him without asking
him to verify it was really his. All action
now geared to getting the plane off—
everyone on it had connection concerns in
Chicago. I was next to last in line, the cellphone guy right behind me.
I am now in quiet shock. We’ve gone from
sloppy security(no photo ID requested of
us) to security failure. I am as caught up as
anyone to get quickly to Chicago, but
doesn’t anyone else wonder how someone
can claim a cell-phone without verifying
that it’s his? And, the real shocker. How the
blazes did the cell phone get into the
secured area before its supposed owner
did? At best he’s a thief and he’s right
behind me. But I’m used to that. At worst,
he’s a terrorist now carrying a planted
weapon or trigger onto our plane!
Now things heat up even more! I’m watching
him like a hawk. He sits two rows up in 11F,
a window seat right next to the emergency
exit, oh yeah, you got it, to top it off, we’re
in row 13. Practically every seat on the
plane is taken, but he’s surrounded by four
empty seats, the two next to him and the
two in the short row in front of him, the
window seat left out of row 10 to make
room for the emergency exit. Did he buy
out these seats for the privacy needed to
do his deed? He put his carry-on in the
overhead compartment and immediately
went to the restroom, where he spent much
My quiet shock turns to severe pre-takeoff turbulence. The plane pulls away from
the gate early; our connection chances now
go up to one in two, and so do everyone
else’s on the plane. If I say something we
all may miss our connecting flights. Who
wants to chance staying in Chicago? The
airline won’t pay, and there may be no
rooms within reasonable distance from
O’Hare (everyone gets delayed in
Chicago!). And who wants an overnight at
the airport? And what about the next day,
severe weather forecast for the whole East
Coast? But the cell-phone guy in the plane’s
only empty row really bothers me.
The plane starts to taxi. The pilot says
“prepare for take-off.” The engines rev up.
And I realize. The only chance is now. If
we take off and this guy’s a terrorist,
connecting flights don’t matter. Airport
rugs are OK. If I’m wrong, and, by telling
the flight attendant, the flight’s delayed, and
because of that everyone hates me, maybe
even my wife because we’ll have to take
shifts watching Rose our daughter that long
airport night, none of that matters.
I do it. As the captain’s testing the brakes
by over-revving the engines, I get up and
find the stewardess. I tell my story. She
says “wow!” and calls the captain. He asks
for me, for my name, a long silence, the
engines slow down, he comes back on the
phone and says “we don’t have a problem,”
then he talks with the stewardess again.
Still as shaken as I, She said “it turns out
that your cell-phone guy is a special airline
employee, but we really thank you.” Before
I got back to my seat, the plane was in the
We landed safely, just made our
connection, got home, believe it or not with
our bags, and I’m full of thanksgiving this
year. But I’m still unsettled.
There are just so many links in the chain of
defense against terrorism. A lot of them are
very weak. The sloppy security, the security
breach. Some seem strong, the
stewardess’s quick action, the captain’s
presence of mind to pull up the manifest.
Others are tenuous at best, my last minute
realization that I had to act before the plane
left the ground (at least some passengers
have a chance if it explodes there, not up
above). And, I still wonder how the phone
got into the secured area ahead of the
“employee.” Granted he could have come
in earlier, the flight was delayed. But he
sure seemed in a hurry to get himself and
his bags through security. Did the agent
hand him the phone because she knew him,
or, because like all of us she was in a hurry?
Was it just luck that he was an employee?
Throughout my life, I’ve taken different,
but, at the time thoroughly honest,
positions on warfare. I’ve never believed
that the U.S. should strike first. Now I’m
not so sure. The neo-conservatives like
Condi Rice believe that in the final analysis
the only way to reduce terror here is to
strike it first where it is most strong
overseas. I always thought increased
security made the best defense, but it has
so many potential cracks, and relies on so
many newly trained and focused eyes, it
may not be nearly enough. Pre-emptive
action is not without hazard and unintended
consequence, but it may be the only way of
lifting the dome of suspicion, fear and
terror right here at home and, even more
importantly, of reducing terrorism itself.
I’m not sure, but I’m thankful to have the
chance to think about it.
Jim Rurak is the former Mayor
of Haverhill and is now a
professor at Boston College.
Heroes & Bozos
supporting a bill in the Legislature that will
lift the arbitrary cap on the number of
charter schools in the state.
Kudos to Selectman Wendy Wakeman for
defending free speech in North Andover.
Wakeman supports an open door policy for
political candidates who wish to campaign
at the North Andover Senior Center. A belated three cheers for The Town of Methuen Council on aging as well as the Councils on Aging in Lawrence and Haverhill
for having an open door policy which allows
all candidates to campaign at the centers
(which are clearly public buildings).
Kudos to North Andover Selectmen
Wendy Wakeman, Jim Xenakis and Don
Stewart who are all heroes for voting to
change the tax classification differential
from 1.18, to 1.08, in an attempts to bring
the rate down, making commercial property
more attractive for businesses. Hopefully,
this will bringmore business into North
Kudos to Lawrence Superintendent of
Schools Wilfredo Laboy and Methuen
Mayor Sharon Pollard for publiicly
voicing their opposition to the use of
calculators in elementary School. Unfortunately, North Andover does allow the use
of calculators in the elementary schools,
so those who continue to perpetuate this
educational farse are teetering on the brink
Bozo status goes to several members of
the Lawrence City Council for not paying
attention to the lengthy presentations given
to them during public meetings. As if these
meetings weren't long and tedious enough,
some members of the council day-dream
and pass notes to each other and then spend
an excessive amount of time asking
questions which were answered several
times before, over and over and over again
...making a laughing stock of the city and
making our evenings verrrrry looooooong!
Kudos also to Superintendent Laboy for
continuing to scrutinize the unnecessary
spending of Eastern Contractors and architect Flansburgh & Associates, who have
been hired to construct the new Lawrence
High School for $110 million. Though
Mayor Sullivan has publicly ridiculed
School Committeeman Amy McGovern
for her extensive criticism of the High
School Project, it turns out she may have
been right all along. (See story page 1.)
Kudos to Lawrence City Councilor Mike
Feilding (District "F") for speaking out
against raises for members of the City
Council, especially in light of the fact that
the city is millions in the red and most
Councilors can't even pay attention to what
they are doing.
Kudos to everyone in the Lawrence School
System who have worked diligently to get
the High School accreditation back,
including Lawrence High Principal Tom
Sharkey, the teachers and administrators
who work at the school and Lawrence
Mayor Mike Sullivan.
Kudos to the Haverhill Knights of
Columbus for voting to support Father
Cleary’s decision to ask State Rep.
Barbara L’Italien to step down as Cantor
at St. Augustines Church in Andover. Kudos
also go to Andover Selectman Brian Major
for coming to Father Cleary’s defense.
Kudos to State Rep. David Torrisi for
sponsoring a bill to increase the number
of charter schools in Massachusetts by
Finally, kudos to Mayor Fiorintini for
standing up to developers trying to pull the
wool over his eyes in Haverhill.
Pub & Grille
Catering & Takout
2004 - The Valley Patriot
Patrick Blanchette, President of the Lawrence City Council
City of Lawrence is
dealing with tough
this year. When I was
first elected to the
Lawrence City Council (over five years
ago,) the annual
operating budget was
roughly $170 million, with a contingency
reserve account of $3 million. The current
fiscal year’s annual operating budget is
roughly $200 million with no reserve
For the past two years, the city has taken
some steps to fill budget gaps throughout
our city departments. Some of these steps
have included but were not limited to a tax
amnesty program, early retirement
programs, sale of city-owned land, along
with a host of other initiatives, some more
successful than others. This year the City
of Lawrence is operating on a budget that
is not balanced due to poor planning and
fiscal irresponsibility by those who are
paid full-time salaries to forecast our
When people are confronted with
questions dealing with balancing the
budget or questioning the very initiatives
that were proposed back in July (but have
either failed or were never implemented),
that person is labeled as being “negative”.
The fact of the matter is that the City of
Lawrence is in desperate need of finding
$6.5 million to balance the current year's
The city is also responsible for coming
up with money to pay the Department of
Public Works employees their welldeserved raise, which was promised to
them via a signed contract by the city
The last time I checked, when an official
contract is signed and then violated, court
proceedings usually follow. I have faith
that the DPW workers will not place our
residents at risk in the upcoming months
by going on strike, but in return I stand with
them to make sure that the city of
Lawrence doesn’t place them and their
families at financial risk. Let’s keep the
promises we make. Is that not what
integrity is all about?
As an elected official, I feel it is my duty
to inform the public about the “real” fiscal
problems our city faces. We need a fulltime Budget Director! The fiscal crisis
continues! As you know, tax classification
time is upon us, and the forecast does not
look good. According to a December 1,
2004 proposal, the Administration is proposing to raise property taxes on the average homeowner based on the new valuation
of property within the city of Lawrence.
I believe in the theory that the end result
must justify the means. For instance, water
bills will probably be increased this year.
However, a new state of the art facility is
currently being built.
All new underground piping will be
replaced and in the end a better productclean, safe drinking water! With this
current tax proposal, what is the
justification? Due to improper planning,
the homeowner must once again be the
Cedric Maxwell and carry the city on its
back. I think not. The average homeowner
is spent right now.
The current proposal will increase a
single-family homeowner's bill by $201.57
per year. The average three-family home
owner will see their tax bill raised $747.57
this year. This will be on top of an increase
in water. This, my fellow residents, is
unacceptable. Let us try all other means
possible before we take the easy way out.
I will pledge to you that, as your elected
official, I will do whatever I can in the
upcoming month to ease your burden.
Please make your voices heard over the
next couple of weeks (attend a meeting,
make a phone call, write a letter) and make
sure you - the taxpayer-– get the right bang
for your buck!
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Kids & Education
RAISE ‘EM RIGHT™
Barbara Peary M.Ed.
I have a son who will turn 4 shortly. I do
not want to spend a lot of money on toys
he will use a few times and then find
boring. I would prefer to buy gifts that
he will use for a few years. What kind of
toys will my child enjoy for a long time?
Toys that are open ended-that is can be used
in many ways and require the children to
use their imaginations- are toys that are
played with for a long time. All types of
large and small blocks and other toys that
can be manipulated and made into varying
structures fit this requirement. If your child
attends preschool ask to borrow some
early childhood catalogues. You will find
high quality toys at reasonable prices. Or
visit some small toy stores and ask the
clerks for assistance in picking out more
The holidays are coming up soon and I
know my children will ask for countless
items that they will see on TV. Any ideas
on how to handle this?
It is a good idea at holiday time-about 6
weeks before Christmas- to start limiting
TV viewing. You will be pleasantly
surprised at how much less the children
will want when they do not see it advertised
constantly on TV. Stick in some videos
instead or encourage them to spend some
I am mortified when my eight year old
daughter sasses me back and misbehaves
in public. It is so embarrassing.
Generally, she is pretty well behaved at
home, but recently we had an incident at
the park and I was disgusted by my
reaction to her poor behavior. After
speaking to her several times (she had
been teasing her younger brother) I
pulled her away from him, sat her on a
bench and let loose with a tongue lashing.
I realized afterwards that people going
by probably thought I was a shrew, not to
mention that humiliated my little girl in
front of all those people. This is not really
the kind of mom I want to be!
Children know that when they misbehave
in public they are putting their parents in a
bind- to discipline or not to discipline them
in front of others. At eight your daughter
is old enough to get your message if you
talk with her about her behavior and what
is expected of her when she is away from
home. Sit down with her soon and take the
time to apologize for your recent actions
at the park. Then discuss your expectations
for her behavior out in public and decide
on logical consequences if she does
misbehave. Your sentence “after talking to
her several times” holds one of the answers
you can implement. Make it clear to your
daughter that you expect her to listen the
first time, not the third. Inform her that
should something like this happen again,
she will lose, for example, time playing or
a treat her brother will receive. Make the
consequence immediate, carry it out and
then move on with the day.
I have just been told that my daughter’s
kindergarten classroom now needs to be
a “peanut free” zone. I admit I am usually
in a hurry so peanut butter has been our
lunch staple. Now what?
You can still keep it easy. Buy a few types
of lunch meats or cheeses that she likes.
Make the sandwich the night before and
Recently we caught our 12 year old with
cigarettes in her backpack. I do not want
to have her start!
Take her down to you local convenience
store with a bag and a pair of latex gloves.
Have her pick up 50 used cigarette butts.
This should do the trick. If not, the next
time make it 100. Repeat as needed.
Please send questions to RAISE ‘EM
RIGHT™, P.O. Box 831, Carlisle, MA
Book Keepers Corner
Top Secret-James Martin Davis
Dr. Charles Ormsby
All high school graduates are (hopefully)
familiar with Operation Overlord or, if they
don’t know it by that name, they know it as
the Normandy invasion (or D-Day) that
took place on June 6, 1944.
Who knows about Operation Downfall,
the invasion planned for Japan on
November 1, 1945? Operation Downfall is
not widely known because it never took
place. Little Boy and Fat Man made sure
of that (the nuclear weapons dropped on
Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively …
that is “respectively”, not respectfully).
Top Secret by James Martin Davis details the plan for Operation Downfall and
the almost certain disaster that would have
Operation Downfall was to take place
via two massive assaults: Operation
Olympic, using 14 combat divisions against
Kyushu (the southernmost Japanese home
island) and Operation Coronet, to take
place four months later using 22 divisions
assaulting the main Japanese island of
Honshu. The assaults were to be conducted
almost entirely by U.S. forces using over
1.5 million ground soldiers and with
approximately 3 million others in support.
By comparison, D-Day totaled
approximately 1 million ground troops
counting all Allied countries.
American casualties were predicted to
be heavy (250,000 on Kyushu and
1,000,000 for the overall assault on Japan).
While such estimates are often higher than
actually experienced, these were
considered conservative estimates and
post-war analyses supported the potential
for even higher casualty figures.
There are many reasons these invasion
forces may have met with disaster. Here are
just three detailed in Top Secret:
First, US war planners estimated that
Japan had no more than 2500 aircraft of
which no more than 300 would be used for
kamikaze attacks. The truth was that Japan
had nearly 13,000 aircraft and were building planes in underground factories at a rate
of over 1,000 per month. Kamikaze attacks
would be much more effective due to the
proximity of Japanese airfields and the remote location of American airbases. Japan
knew they would be invaded and they were
preparing a catastrophic surprise party.
Second, kamikaze fighters were planning to target transports heavily loaded with
U.S. Troops. One troop ship held 30 times
as many Americans as a Destroyer … the
b e e n
had a 50%
b a t t l e hardened troops waiting for us. [Note: On
D-Day, the Allies had a 50% advantage in
Third, in the exact spot that U.S. Forces
would have been preparing for the invasion,
along came the Typhoon of the Century in
October 1945. Winds of 150 mph blew
ships into reefs, into each other, and into
oblivion. The Typhoon slowly went out to
sea and then doubled back and struck again.
Even without the invasion fleet being
present, 270 U.S. ships (celebrating our
victory) were lost. The Japanese would have
hailed the “Divine Wind” … while we would
be licking our wounds.
Did I mention over one hundred 60-foot
long human torpedoes (Kaitens) the
Japanese had waiting for us, each with a
3500 lb warhead? Or the suicide frogmen
called Fukuryu, also known as “crouching
dragons”? How about beach mines, booby
traps, trip-wire mines, suicide units
concealed in spider holes, artillery
batteries on rail cars hidden in caves? The
Japanese military was prepared in-depth
and backed by 28 million trained Japanese
civilians in their “National Volunteer
Top Secret tells us what lay in wait for
us had we not had the atomic bomb or if we
were too docile to use it. There were 200
thousand casualties (over 50% of these
were killed) at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Over 3 million casualties were probably
avoided by the Japanese capitulation.
Top Secret is not available at your local
bookstore. It is a 24-page pamphlet that can
only be obtained directly from the author/
researcher by sending $7.00 to James
Martin Davis, c/o Ranger Publications,
1623 Farnam Street, Suite 500, Omaha,
It is well worth the price.
Saturday Morning LIVE!
With Warren Shaw!
Tom Duggan Radio Program
Hear Us At
Our New Time
Noon - 2pm
Kids & Education
Hanna's Education Corner In the Augustinian Tradition
By Caroline Whalen
by Hanna, Age 10
An Interview With Haverhill
School Committeeman Scott Wood
What do you think about
calculators in the elementary
schools? Does Haverhill use
Haverhill does have them for their
classrooms, However they are not used
Do you approve of this and did you
approve the curriculum?
This was set up before I was a member
of the committee, I don’t support the
students using calculators in class or
on tests and so fourth
What is your favorite book?
I’m a big fan of biography’s, I liked
President Geore W Bush’s "A Charge
Wow, speaking of bush, how does
his winning affect the Haverhill
His winning insures that the "No Child
Left Behind Act" will stay in place. I
believe that this benefits the students
of Haverhill greatly. As far as budget
goes, we have received some funding
from NCLB and I am hoping for more
How much time do you spend on
school committee work?
I spend a good amount of time doing
School related work. I would say the
average between our regular scheduled
sessions, Subcommittee meetings,
negotiations, studying up on issues and
meeting with the public I would say
around 10-15 hours a week. Sometimes
more, sometimes less.
What do you think about MCAS?
I support MCAS testing, I believe in
holding students and educators
accountable, MCAS does that.
Should good teachers be paid the
same as bad teachers?
Its a tough question, the easy answer
is no. However, I think it would be impossible to pay every teacher a different rate. If you did that for teachers
then you would have to pay good police
officers more then bad ones etc. I
support the system the way it is now.
Superintendent Wilfredo Laboy In
Lawrence said he supports merit
pay for teachers and would like
to have it there. Can that be done
I do not think that you would see Merit
pay in the City of Haverhill.
What do you think your biggest
accomplishment has been as a
School Committee member?
I’m not sure there is any one issue. I
think there’s a few of them. I am proud
to be a member of the first negotiation
team for the school department that
got health care reform instituted for one
of our unions. It will have a great long
term financial effect for the school
department. I am proud of the fact that
instead of talking about problems I have
worked to fix them. I came up with the
idea of privatizing some services which
will save the district money. And lastly,
I was part of a task-force that
recommended mandatory summer
school which hopefully will go into effect
next year for 6th graders.
So people liked your idea to
privatize the janitors, huh?
Some do and some don’t, I guess that’s
the nature of the business. My job is to
do what’s best though for my city, I
believe that is best.
What are your goals for this year and
for the future as a School Committee
Continued on Page 18
Victoria McMahon R.E.
109-123 Main St., N. Andover, MA
1807 Bridge St. Unit 7, Dracut, MA
* Blend & Shortwave Methods
* Sterile, Disposable Probes
* State of the Art Equipment
If, after four months, you are not satisfied with the
results of your present electrology treatments, please
contact my office for a free consult and complimentary 15 minute treatment.
I promise, you will see a tremendous
improvement within two months.
Not many students
know anything about
Bellesini Academy in
Massachusetts. The mission statement of this
school states “Blessed
Stephen Bellesini, O.S.A. Academy is a
private, independent Catholic middle
school dedicated to providing a quality,
scholarship education to boys from limited
financial means living in Lawrence.
The mission of the school is to provide
an academically challenging and highly
structured environment that develops the
potential of each student to succeed in
competitive secondary schools and
colleges.” The students are all supplied
with breakfast, snacks and lunch from the
Lawrence Public School System to ensure
How did the school begin? In 2001, a
group of local community leaders joined
with Merrimack College to explore the
possibility of opening a Nativity model
school in the city of Lawrence. The college
has a well-known presence in the city of
Lawrence through numerous community
partnerships such as MerrimAction and the
From there the school bloomed to what
it is today. As the sponsoring institution,
Merrimack College provides services and
support for the students, faculty and
administration of Bellesini Academy. This
includes use of space for programs, teacher
training, volunteers, and consulting advice
and expertise. According to the website,
The Nativity middle school model has been
replicated in more than 30 sites across the
country. The model has shown a consistent
80% success rate in preparing students for
high school and college completion.
All of the students at Blessed Stephen
Bellesini Academy wear uniforms that
include dress pants and a tie. The school
holds very high expectations of the students
and their philosophy proves that students
will work to meet the expectations. The
students are in school from 7:30 AM to
5:00 PM with an additional two hours of
study time in the evening.
Each summer, all students attend a
mandatory four-week academic enrichment
program run by Bellesini Academy. The
work load includes intellectual, cultural,
social, emotional and moral awareness.
There are approximately fifty children in
the whole school ranging from grades five
through eight. The school aims to aid their
graduating eighth graders in gaining
admittance to a private Catholic school in
the area and is working hard to help them
earn scholarships. Almost all of the boys
are planning to attend college and realize
that an education is their key to the future.
The goal of the school is, “Breaking the
cycle of poverty through education.”
In the words of the director, Julie
DiFilippo, “At Blessed Stephen Bellesini,
O.S.A. Academy, we are producing Men of
Charity.” What does that mean? It means
we seek to impart in each student a love of
one’s neighbor, no matter what the
background, persuasion or beliefs of your
neighbor. United, as St. Augustine’s diverse
followers were, our students seek a
continual transformation of self as they
struggle for truth through service to others
and society. As St. Augustine wrote,
“Charity makes for harmony. Harmony
generates unity. And unity leads to charity.
Charity leads us to our true destiny.”
For more information visit
Greater Lawrence Technical School
Students Provide Cosmetology Services
Looking for a convenient
and Friday from 8 a.m. until
photo: Graham Entwistle
place to get a haircut,
noon. Clients are advised to
manicure, or facial?
call the day before coming
Then head over to Greater
in, just to make sure there
Lawrence Technical School
are no school assemblies
in Andover, where students
or holidays. The number is
in the Cosmetology career
area provide friendly,
Student Jazmin Maldoefficient, and reasonably
nado of Lawrence, who is
priced service in a
a senior in the four-year
cosmetology salon proenvironment.
gram, gave Ms. Manock her
Not only will you get great
service, but you will also
“I enjoy meeting people,”
have the satisfaction of GLT School senior Jazmin said. “Working in
knowing you’re helping the Jazmin Maldonado of the salon helps you prepare
school’s students train for Lawrence washes Ando- for your Cosmetology
ver resident Mary Man- Operator’s license,” she
Mary Manock of Andover ock’s hair, in the school’s added. A recently revised
has been getting her hair cut salon.
curriculum now provides
at the school’s Great Looks
all students the practical and classroom
Today salon for years. Recently, she was hours they need to take the state test and
there to get a perm.
become licensed cosmetologists before
“I come here because they’re very, very graduation.
thorough, they’re nice people and they
Kathy Babbin of North Andover recently
really try to help you,” Ms. Manock said. stopped in at the Greater Lawrence Tech
“It’s reasonable (in price) for a senior salon to get a manicure from senior Isaura
person. When you’re on a fixed income Fontanez of Lawrence.
like social security, it’s really wonderful.
“I think the vocational school is one of
They’re very friendly,” she said. “They the best things around,” Ms. Babbin said.
listen to you. I like it here.”
“I think it’s a very positive experience. Students need to get experience, so I think
Free Service with Facial
you’re doing the students a big service by
Through Christmas, Great Looks Today is
coming here. What you get here for the
offering a free make-up application with
money, you’ll never get on the out-side,
besides just having the personalities of the
The full-service salon, located in the
students and their stories.”
school at 57 River Road, Andover, offers
For her part, Isaura appreciates the opporhaircuts for both women and men, and also
tunity she has to gain experience while
offers services such as make-up, facials,
working in the Great Looks Today salon.
perms, and colors. Upperclass students,
“You get to do things for people and make
under the tutelage of experienced
them feel good, so it makes you feel good,
instructors, provide all services.
too,” the GLTS senior said.
The salon is open Monday, Wednesday,
Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins shows off his Valley Patriot at
the Georgetown Republican Town
Movin' on up!
The Blanchette Clan gathered at the
British Club in Lawrence for a fund
raiser in honor of City Council President
Patrick Blanchette (back row, second
Greater Lawrence Technical School Superintendent-Director, Frank
Vacirca, was all smiles
when a Valley Patriot
ambushed him outside the
school last month.
The Valley Patriot would like to express a special THANK YOU! to
Methuen City Councilor Kathleen Corey Rahme for all of her hard work and dedication
in making sure our veterans get the recognition they deserve so much !
Lawrence Housing Director Julie
Duran displays a proclamation from
State Representative Willie Lantigua at the Sahara Club in Methuen. Duran announced that she is
starting her own financial consulting business, but will not be leaving
her position with the City of
Honoring those who served! Top row, left to right: Paul Clover, Karen Hayden, Joey
Clover, Ed Curran, Al Grant, Kathleen Corey Rahme, Michael Beshara, Corrine
LaCharite, Sue Foster. Front row, left to right: Bill Broderick, Tom Petrillo, Mark
D’Errico, Alfred Bruno, Winifred Medaer, Joe Messina, Fred Kuehn, Art Wyman, Joseph
"Hi, My name is Rachel. I
am seven years old and this
is my picture corner. I made
this picture (below) on my
computer and I hope you like
Santa made a surprise appearance at St.
Augustine's Church in Lawrence for its annual Christmas fair earlier this month. Pictured with Santa from left to right are are
Samantha Audy, Stephanie Cofill,
Sarah Friedrich, Leanne Cash (front), and
Lawrence Superintendent of Schools Wilfredo Laboy,
Jack Fitzpatrick, Mark Sullivan and Lawrence Mayor
Mike Sullivan celebrate the Mayor's announcement for reelection at the Cladagh Pub. Former Lawrence
Alderman Ricky D'Agastino enjoys a drink with housing authority employee Mickey McGuire (right).
Checking his List....
When Santa Claus wants
to know who's been
naughty and who's been
nice in the Merrimack
Valley, he reads Heros &
Bozos (page 7) in The
N.A.T.A. President Receives Award
The "Citizen for
"Award is given to
a CLT activist who
above and beyond
the call of duty.
Ted Tripp, last
year’s recipient of
CLT’s David P.
CLT Executive Director Barbara Anderson this year earned
presents the "CITIZEN for Limited Taxation" the "Citizen for
Award to Ted Tripp, President of the North Limited Taxation
Award." Ted has
Andover Taxpayers Association
instrumental in working with taxpayers in other cities
and towns across the state in launching local taxpayer
groups and running effective campaigns to defeat
Proposition 2½ override attempts. Through his
encouragement and efforts, local taxpayer groups are
springing up all over the Commonwealth, such as
Lawrence, Amesbury, Framingham and Winthrop.
Methuen City Council President Bill Manzi and
City Councilor Ken Willette stop to pose for a
Valley Patriot photographer, giving the "thumbs
up" sign after reading last month's edition.
the Cell phone
523 South Union St.
Across from the Hess Gas Station
Now Availablethe new i830
Get a Free
Mayor Michael Sullivan's confidential secretary
Nora Carrol was sharing no secrets with her dad,
Joe Carrol, when they were seen dining out at
Jackson's Restaurant. The two were on hand to
support Sheriff Frank Cousins' bid for reelection.
Natasha & Phaedra Gaouette
523 South Union St. Lawrence,
2004 - The Valley Patriot
Haverhill (NECC) Professor Mark Palermo
Have you gotten your flu shot
yet? I’ve never gotten one and
never will- for two reasons.
First, I think they are a crock
of bull, and secondly, I don’t
trust the people who manufacture and promote them. As
a result, I almost never get colds or flu in
spite of working in poorly ventilated
classrooms every day. It helps to take care
of oneself, which I do.
Of course whenever I mention this,
people either look at me as if I had three
heads or get annoyed at what they perceive
as my irreverence towards the authoritieswho they childishly believe would never lie
to the American people about important
matters like public health.
In 1975-76, the government told the
American people that the Swine Flu was
coming our way, a terrible flu of Biblical
proportions. If you were around then, you
may remember what happened next. The
government urged everyone to get the
vaccine. They did. Then 96 people died and
thousands more were injured by the
vaccine. In fact more people died from the
vaccine than from the flu. It was an
unconscionable fraud, which earned money
for people in high places.
So in the interest of full disclosure, you
should know about this questionable
mélange of biological substances and
industrial chemicals before they are
pumped into your bloodstream. For
starters, a flu shot contains thimerosal, a
preservative containing mercury, the
element which causes nasty effects like
neurological damage, autoimmune disease,
etc. The vaccine also contains aluminumwhich is suspected in the development of
Alzheimer’s Disease. This information
comes not from the imagination of Mark
Palermo, but from the FDA’s own website
(WWW.FDA.GOV) where they have an
excellent FAQ section devoted just to
mercury and aluminum in flu shots.
Other substances commonly contained in
vaccines in general, and possibly your flu
vaccine, depending upon the manufacturer,
are the following: propylene glycol
(automobile anti-freeze), formaldehyde
(hazardous substance), MSG, polysorbate
80, and the disinfectant, phenol- also
known as carbolic acid.
In addition, some vaccines are grown
through mediums such as monkey and dog
kidney tissue, washed sheep blood cells,
embryonic guinea pig cells, chicken
embryo cultures- ask your doctor about this
in case you are allergic to eggs. And, oh
yes, I almost forgot: human diploid cells
from aborted human fetuses.
Is that enough to make you wonder? Or
at least ask questions? I’m not a doctor, so
I don’t offer this information as a
ASK THE COLLECTOR™
prescription for anyone’s health care. But
if you decide to get a flu shot, ask the
doctor to see the insert from the vaccine
container. This will list all ingredients.
This clock hung in my great aunt’s store After an uncle died, I found these United
******************************** in the early 1950s. I would appreciate Profit-Sharing coupons in his
On November 18, Rush Limbaugh reported learning anything you can tell me about belongings. Could you tell us about them?
Back before there were Green Stamps,
that more than half of the funds from the it?
Clinton “lie-brary” came from the Saudis. This circa 1918 regulator (a term used for United included their redemption vouchers
He added, “A dirty little secret, ladies and accurate commercial timepieces) was in many products during the 1920s and
gentlemen, is that the Saudi royal family made by Waterbury. The current value of ‘30s. Cigars, peanuts, soap, Wrigley’s gum
has helped to finance most of the your wall clock in the Crane pattern is and Tootsie Rolls offered these coupons
which could then be exchanged for
presidential libraries probably in my $500-$600.
merchandize in a “Good as Gold” catalog.
lifetime, and it’s one of the reasons that
Your keepsakes, while having little
there is such a close bond between
I have a decent copy of “Metronome” monetary value, are valuable reminders of
presidents and ex-presidents and the Saudi
dated April, 1941; is it worth anything? days bygone.
royal family. All presidents, doesn’t matter
A music magazine dedicated to “bandswhat party.”
records- radio,” the first issue of this Dear Collector,
Isn’t it great how presidents get along so
publication came out in the 1880s. A value I’m referring to your humorous response
well with the corrupt Saudi royals? And how
about a reader’s question of a “serving
of $7-$9 is about right for your edition.
they apparently have no qualms about
bowl” that was actually a chamber pot.
receiving the benefits of the Saudis’ Dear Collector,
Did you write this with a grin or straight
largesse? But let’s face it: nobody in this Enclosed is a photo of a four shot .22
world gives you anything for free. What do caliber Sharps pistol. What is its value?
All alleged humor (implied or otherwise)
the Saudis get in return? I would love to Nicknamed a “pepperbox” due to its
appearing in answers, is the sole
see an independent investigation of this supposed resemblance to an old time pepresponsibility of this columnist.
potential conflict of interest, not by the per mill, this pocket pistol was the first
attorney general or some panel of hacks model made between 1859 and 1874 by Dear Collector,
appointed by the very same guys they are Sharps, famous for their accurate and I have a 1908 silver dollar which
supposed to investigate. Neither by the powerful rifles. Insurance value is at least belonged to my mother; it was the year
New York Times nor Washington Post, but $500.
she was born.
by the National Enquirer, which has, in rare
Check the denomination on your coin; the
moments, demonstrated more credibility. Dear Collector,
United States didn’t mint any silver dollars
Imagine what their investigators could turn I bought this unusual Teddy bear at a that year.
up: the call girls, drugs, pedophilia, garage sale, and I’m curious as to its
extortion, kickbacks, money laundering, age?
murder, in just one typical day in Babylon- A Teddy dressed in Royal Stewart britches Who made this Willow cup and saucer?
is unusual indeed! I found your 1960 They can be traced to W.A. Adderley of
Wendy Boston bear on page 324 of “The Longton, England, and are listed in one
******************************** Teddy Bear Encyclopedia” (DK, 2001, price guide at $50 the pair.
By the time you read this, the madness will $16.95)
have begun. Each year the ugly Philistine Unfortunately, the author does not include
How much is my RCA radio worth?
spectacle becomes even more crass and a price list in her interesting guide.
At the very least I’ll need a model number
vulgar, a frenzied orgy of greed, avarice and
and its condition. A nice photo would also
egotism. It’s hard to believe that presentWould appreciate age and value of this help.
day XMAS was an ancient religious holiday.
cigarette lighter left to my grandson by Prices quoted reflect retail values. As with many
A few years ago, I advised friends and family
his late great grandfather?
antiques and collectibles, these values vary.
that I would no longer be exchanging
Because its use became common in the Readers are encouraged to submit questions
Christmas gifts, except for children. No
photos to THE COLLECTOR™, PO Box
Great War, this style is called a “trench” with
229, West Boxford, MA 01885-0229 or ask
more frantic shopping, no more hours
lighter. A product of Bowers Manufacturing online at: www.askthecollector.com. Please
stuck in traffic, no more money spent on
located in Kalamazoo, your Surefire is don’t ask us to suggest a buyer for your goods.
items that would only be exchanged. It was
photos cannot be returned and will
cased in chromium, which has darkened Sorry,
become the property of THE COLLECTOR™.
a relief all around. And I found that
over the years. Its worth, in working order, For personal reply, send question with $25 check
disaffiliating and divesting from XMAS
or money order to THE COLLECTOR at
is between $30 and $50.
displaces more time for the real, soulful
spirit of Christmas that, no matter how
much they repress it, will still be found in
Former MA Assistant Attorney General
acts of kindness, forgiveness, and
meditation upon our blessings.
So I offer this simple prayer for our
nation during this Christmas: “That simple
light may rise out of complicated
John M. Grugan, Esq.
Mark Palermo is a professor at Northern Essex
Community College. He is vice president of the
faculty union and coordinator of the Northern
You Don’t Need A Ticket to Get Onboard the
Boston and New England’s #1
Gospel Music Program.
Deacon Norris Jones
“Clock with store of memories”
100 Merrimack St.
Lowell, MA 01852
Tel (978) 452-5600
Fax (978) 452-5300
On WEZE AM590
Call in your requests at (617) 770 - 3030
Sunday Nights from 8PM-12Midnight
Family & Business Law,
Civil Matters, Accidents,
Seniors and Veterans
The Haverhill Council on Aging
announces that Bradford Elementary
Children’s Chorus will perform at the
Citizen Center at 10:00 a.m. on
Wednesday, December 22.
gratuity and transportation. Call the Council on Aging for
details. Tickets are $52.00 per person,
Visit the Stoneham’s Stone Zoo exhibits including transportation from the Council
and special “Zoolights “Holiday light dis- on Aging.
plays with the Council on Aging on Monday, December 13. Bus will leave the Free tickets are available to the Andover
Citizen Center at 2:30 p.m. This trip Chamber Music Series presentation of a
will include dinner and shopping on your Vivaldi program at the Merrimack College
own at Cracker Barrel Restaurant and Rogers Center on December 11 at 5:00
Old Country Store in Tewksbury. p.m. Please call the Council on Aging
Tickets for zoo admission and for details.
transportaiton will be $10.00 and can
be purchased at the Council on Aging. Council on Aging Holiday Party will be
Call 978-374-2390 for details.
held on Wednesday, December 15, at
DiBurro’s in Ward Hill. Golden Hill
New Year’s Eve at Noon! Tickets are Children’s Choir will perform. Tickets
available for the Danversport Yacht are $5.00 and include meal, disc jockey,
Club New Year’s celebration. Price raffle, and door prizes.
What Every Homeowner
62 & Older Should Know
About Reverse Mortgages
Arthur M. Kohler, Esq., Reverse Mortgage Specialist,
Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corp.
Homeowners who are at least 62 can qualify
and may be eligible even if there is an
existing mortgage or home equity loan on
the property. There are no credit or income
qualifications. The amount of the loan is
based upon the applicant’s age, the type of
reverse mortgage, the home’s appraised
value, and interest rates.
Calling all readers!
Council on Aging is
seeking members of a
lively book discussion
group to meet during the
New bridge group has
formed at the Council on
and Friday afternoons from 12:30 to
4:00. Looking for ladies and gentlemen
to join in the fun!
New Years Eve Dance on December
31st. Dinner begins at 7pm with dancing
from 8:30-12:30am. $35pp. Performance by the Meltones.
Holiday Fair Friday December 10th from
Attention movie buffs! Trip to the 9-3. Crafts, Bake table, holiday
Showcase Cinema in Lawrence will de- decorations, seasonal arrangements and
part from the Citizens Center at 12:15. holiday plants.
This month’s movie will be “Pin Up Girl”
starring Betty Grable. Tickets are $1.00 Holiday party and Entertainment &
for movie and popcorn and $3.00 for Eggnog Social, Sunday the 19th at 1pm.
transportation. Return to the Citizens Advanced tickets of $5 only.
Center at 3:15 p.m.
Beef Dinner Party
Vintage movies shown weekly on Thurs- Holiday Roast
days at 12:30 in room 45 at the Citizens December 17 at noon. $9pp, includes
Center. No charge for movies, popcorn salad, bread and coffee. Dancing and
fun to follow.
If you have any questions you can
contact Kathy Bresnahan or Rita LaBella Holiday Chicken Cordon Bleu
Luncheon, December 16th from 12at
2pm. $8pp. Includes entertainment.
N.E. Treble Chorus, Sunday the 12th at
Open House, Thursday December 9th at 3pm. $5, including refreshments.
1pm. Featuring Happy Hearts Chorus.
Donations of canned foods benefit Winner of the Gala of Trees drawing is
on December 14th Call the Senior
Center for further information.
Reverse mortgages are helping
older citizens across the state
achieve greater financial
security and enjoy their
retirement years to the fullest.
Imagine having the income you
need to remain comfortably in
your own home and at the same
time make needed repairs or
renovations, afford quality home healthcare, or even
a vacation with family and friends. Over 70,000 older
Americans have done that thanks to the reverse
mortgage, a unique financial product that gives
seniors the freedom and peace of mind to fully enjoy
the retirement years.
A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows seniors
to use the equity they’ve accumulated in their homes
over the years to improve the quality of life and knock
down the financial barriers to independent living. By
converting equity into income, a reverse mortgage
is cash to use for any purpose-whether it’s day to
day-living expenses, home remodeling or repairs,
paying off existing debt, earning a college degree,
or traveling. Best of all, you retain the title and you
remain living in your home.
Homeowners who are at least 62 can qualify and
may be eligible even if there is an existing mortgage
or home equity loan on the property. There are no
credit or income qualifications. The amount of the
loan is based upon the applicant’s age, the type of
reverse mortgage, the home’s appraised value, and
For as long as a reverse mortgage is outstanding,
no payments are due. The loan matures when the
borrower no longer occupies the home as the primary
residence. This typically occurs upon the sale of the
home, or if the owner permanently moves, or passes
Currently, there are three reverse mortgage
products available in MA. The federally insured FHA/
HUD Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), the
Fannie Mae Home Keeper and the Financial Freedom
Cash Account plan for higher value homes.
Reverse mortgages are growing in popularity
because they help senior homeowners meet the
challenge of remaining in their home and living
For additional information, please call tollfree
Copyright (c) 2004 Creators Syndicate,
Answers on page 18
Seniors and Veterans
AGAINST THE ELDERLY!
DO ELDERS GET “RIPPED OFF” MORE THAN OTHER PEOPLE?
2004 - The Valley Patriot
Barney Reiley, Director, Lawrence Council on Aging
While most people in
business are honest,
there have always been
thieves, con men (and
women), scam, bunko,
and rip-off artists.
While their scams may
vary, they have one
thing in common: they
chose their victims
carefully, targeting vulnerable people, with,
of course, money or property to take.
Regrettably, elders are more often the
targets and the victims. Many scammers
have invested much time, money, and guile
in creating ways to rip off elders.
Elders can make good targets, because
often certain characteristics are present.
Has “nest egg” money available
Is too trusting or courteous
Is physically weaker
Is lonely or looking for attention
Is home alone
Is unwilling to report being
· Is wary of “bait and switch” tactics,
where the purchaser is lured by the offer
or promise of one thing, and then showen
· Remembers that if he or she signs a
contract, the law allows a grace period
of three days in which the contract can
be rescinded or canceled.
· Invites a friend or relative to be present
when a salesperson is coming into his or
· Never gives personal information, like
bank or credit card account numbers, or
Social Security numbers, over the
· Is wary of getting something for nothing,
or a deal “too good to be true”.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be
true, it probably is.
HOW DO I DECIDE WHERE OR WITH
WHOM TO DO BUSINESS?
You can avoid consumer scams by using
common sense and good judgment, and by
learning about scam artist and their tricks.
An educated and wary consumer is far less
likely to be a victim, and follows these
suggestions. He or she:
Most likely, you have developed your own
way of knowing how to select where you
shop, or what people you hire to do work
or provide services for you. If you are
thinking about hiring or doing business
with someone new, ask people you know
and trust for a recommendation of
someone they have done business with,
and where the results were satisfactory.
Once you find someone you are ready to
settle on, check with the Better Business
Bureau at (508) 652-4800 or the State
Attorney General’s Office at (617) 7278400 to see whether complaints have
been lodged against the person you are
*Deals only with reputable people or
WHERE DO I GET HELP IF I AM RIPPED
While these factors do sound stereotypical,
there appears to be enough truth in the
perceptions that scam artists do, in fact,
HOW CAN I AVOID BEING THE
VICTIM OF A CONSUMER SCAM?
If you are a victim of an unfair or
deceptive business practice, or an
outright scam, you owe it to yourself and
*Does comparison shopping, gets more other potential victims to do something
about it. You should report your bad
than one estimate
experience to the Better Business Bureau
*Does not sign blank forms
or to any authority that controls or
licenses the wrongdoer. You may file a
*Does not sign for more than he or she
complaint with the Attorney General's
*Is wary of “free” gifts which require the
purchaser to pay “shipping and handling IN SUMMARY, BE A SMART AND
charges,” “redemption fees,” or “gift PRUDENT CONSUMER, AND AVOID
GETTING INTO DEALS WHERE YOU
taxes” before delivery
CAN BE VICTIMIZED. BUT IF IT DOES
*Resists high-pressure sales tactics to HAPPEN TO YOU, DESPITE YOUR
“ACT NOW” – is not afraid to say “NO” BEST EFFORTS, GET HELP AND GET
over the telephone, or hang up
*Checks the reputation of the person or
company, if unknown
*Refuses to do business with people or
companies who will not provide written
material about the company or the
Barney Reiley is the Executive
Director of the Lawrence
Council on Aging
Stephen A. Pantalone
Pantalone Tax & Financial Services
Specializing in Estate & Financial Planning
* Reverse Mortgages
* Estate Tax Reduction
* Long Term Care Needs
* Retirement Planning
* Insurance & Annuity Plans
Call Steve for a free consultation at
"As a Methuen resident and financial planner for over 20
years, Steve understands the needs of seniors in the Valley
and can help you plan for a secure financial future."
See Ad on Back Page for More Details
(top row left to right): Paul Clover, Karen Hayden, Joey Clover, Ed Curran, Al Grant,
Kathleen Corey Rahme, Michael Beshara, Corrine LaCharite, Sue Foster (front row left
to right): Bill Broderick, Tom Petrillo, Mark D’Errico, Alfred Bruno, Winifred Medaer,
Joe Messina, Fred Kuehn, Art Wyman, Joseph Drelick
Call To Serve
Kathleen Corey Rahme, Methuen City Council
Who are those
individuals who have
answered the Call to
Serve? Do we know
our veterans? If you
Channel 22 Call to
Serve, a show dedicated to recording the
oral histories of World War II veterans, you
would recognize some of them as your
neighbors, your friends, your aunts, uncles,
mothers, fathers, and grandparents. They
are those who have ever stepped forward
with the willingness to serve this great
nation of ours.
Call to Serve is an ongoing effort by a group
of military enthusiasts interested in
recording oral histories of Methuen
veterans. It is a cooperative effort by the
Methuen Veterans’ Administrator Ed
“Hoppy” Curran, himself a Vietnam veteran
and the Council on Aging Executive
Director, Corrine LaCharite. The all
volunteer crew receives ongoing, free
training at the MCTV studios by its
Executive Director Karen Hayden and Bill
The crew represents a diverse group of
individuals whose ages span eight decades
and come from military and non-military
backgrounds alike. Where could you see
an eighty-plus year old World War II
veteran, Michael Beshara, working along
side a fourteen year old, high school
football player named Joey Clover? They
work together as cameramen.
Ed Curran mans the third camera on the
show focusing only on the veterans
themselves. The interviewees realize that
behind the lense is someone they know,
respect and appreciate. They know Curran
as someone who has heard their stories a
dozen times while he is securing their
benefits in his office. They know him as a
friend. Corrine LaCharite and Albert Grant
co-produce the show and their quiet calm
is refreshing in the studio with their
professionalism and grace. Grant, a twenty
year Army veteran knows all too well about
the Cold War era.
As director, Paul Clover has the humor and
confidence to put all of us where he wants
us. He is an eight-year Navy veteran who
is fortunate to share the wonderful
experience of being part of Call to Serve
with his son Joey. I guess you could call it
a package deal and what a great deal it is.
Others have worked on the show and have
shown so much talent that they can be
flexible enough to work in all aspects of
the show’s production. They include Paul
Perone, a Gulf War veteran and author of
Toy Soldier, Jack Dorsey, an incredible
MCTV volunteer, Michelle Houle, and
Lindsey Canfield, an intern at MCTV. Of
course Karen Hayden and Bill Wallace are
ready to jump in to make the quick fix,
which we have needed on occasion. Behind
the scenes of this effort has been Susan
Foster from the Methuen Senior Center.
She has the uncanny ability to get things
done. She provides all the logistics when
we have a public showing of our work. I am
blessed to have the privilege to be the host
of Call to Serve. I do the interviews on the
set and the research before we shoot. This
is done with the cooperation of the guest
and their families. This is the key to the
show. Without their generosity and
willingness to share their stories, Call to
Serve would not be possible. They open
their hearts, their heads and their homes to
me. They make the show.
The shows are permanently archived in the
Library of Congress, the Women in
Military Service for America, Women at
Work Museum (Attleboro), and the Nevins
Library. The show placed third in the
Alliance for Community Media regional
I always joke around by saying we must live
on some sort of “fault line” here in
Methuen. We have interviewed twenty-two
of the most amazing people I have ever had
the privilege of meeting. We have Sara
Payne Hayden, WASP; Luther McIlwain of
the famed Tuskegee Airmen; two
Distinguished Flying Cross recipients
Joseph Lovoi and Joseph Messina; Arthur
Wyman who was on the last ship to be hit
by kamikazes and Thomas Petrillo who was
on the first. The Burma Road is no stranger
to Joseph Drelick. Two Marine Corps
women, Winifred Medauer and Louise Shea
Flynn, freed men to fight. Then there are
two Battle of the Budge veterans, Silvio
Uliano and Mark D’Errico, who just happen
to be neighbors!
A Coast Guardsman, William Broderick,
invaded Iwo Jima. Herbert Hynes was an
Armed Guard. Michael Beshara was part of
a secret operation using drones! Edmond
Solomon served on an LST. Dominic Stella
and Alfred Bruno were part of D-Day plus
6 and 2 respectively. Judy Schadlick was a
WAC. Bill O’Connor couldn’t go in until
his father came home! Fred Kuehn was with
the Army Corps of Engineers. Andrew
Bernard was a Navy Corpsman in
Bougainville. Raymond Cormier was in the
Navy. Jim Oliveri survived the collision of
the USS Wasp and USS Hobson during the
Silver Stars, Bronze Stars, Purple Hearts
and Distinguished Flying Crosses. Sure we
have them. We have them all. But what we
really have are a bunch of kids who
answered the Call to Serve. We honor them.
Kathleen Kori Rahme is the Central District Councilor in Methuen. You can email
her at [email protected]
2004 - The Valley Patriot
Seniors and Veterans
GRANDPA’S AQUARIUM - A Christmas Memory
Late at night, as I
gaze out the front
window, with the
snow softly falling
and the holiday lights
starting to appear on
houses, my thoughts
often drift back to former times when we
were much younger and Christmas was —
and still is — a special and magical time
My brother Billy and I grew up in
Worcester, at the top of a high hill in what
we called “the Big House”.
Seen through our six- and eight-year-old
eyes, it was a big magical place, filled with
grandpa’s great inventions and gimmicks!
It actually was the typical three-decker
house of it’s day, overlooking Holy Cross
College and situated in the midst of
everything we needed — schools, church,
shops and a textile company offering work.
My mom and dad, along with Billy and
myself, lived on the first floor, with
Grandpa, Nana and assorted uncles, aunts
and cousins occupying the second and third
floors and one small cottage in the rear. The
property also had a large two-story barn to
store Grandpa’s treasures, and various
sheds for “other stuff”. The barn was of
course the focal point for all family and
friend’s activities in the neighborhood.
Grandpa worked twelve hours a day in the
foundry (along with his five sons) as a
molderer near the blast furnace, but still
had time to become a self-made scientist
and artisan working in astronomy,
photography and wood-working.
Christmas Eve was special at the Big
House. We boys were shooed off early to
bed and told to go to sleep. Then the
magical creations took place as we boys
burrowed deeper under the covers trying
to ignore all of the whispered activities
outside our bedroom door.
The traditional 14-foot blue spruce
Christmas tree, bundled and stored on the
large wrap-around porch, was brought in
and decorated along with the entire house.
Gaily wrapped presents and toys were
brought out from secret hiding places and
the Lionel electric train was set up ready
to be running at dawn! But always — the
greatest, grandest and most stunning sight
on Christmas morning was —
In the sun room, so named due to it’s many
windows, sat the focal point of the house,
a 250 gallon glass aquarium. One of
grandpa’s many building feats, the huge
octagonal-shaped tank had a concrete
centerpiece created as a four-faced
gargoyle, with four gaping mouths allowing
fish to swim freely through the statue.
Grandpa’s plumbing allowed a fountain of
fresh water to enter and come out from the
gargoyle’s heads and to eventually drain out
through doors to water the grass and
flowers. The bottom of the tank contained
sand and hundreds of beach shells and rocks
of various colors and hues. A movable
lighting system was attached to the sides.
Overlooking the sun room was a large and
beautiful colored talking parrot, named of
course Polly, who resided in a gilded cage
in the corner of the room. Polly had the
Continued on Page 17
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LST 345 at Gold Beach on June 6, 1944
in May 1943), support
for the invasions of
Sicily (July 1943) and
1943), and support of
the D-Day invasion of
1944) and subsequent
Allied Operations in
Northern Europe. For
LSTs, supporting an
invasion meant going
right up to the beach
under fire to unload
supplies and then take
Allied wounded (or
back to the staging
345 was the first ship to
return to Britain with
Retired Commander Gerorge
F. Henderson waves to the
crowd at last years Memorial
While operating out Day parade.
of Bizerte, Tunisia, LST 345 was exposed
to German air raids every night for three
months. George recalled one such air raid
during a Bob Hope concert. Hope and his
staff quickly retired to a dark hiding place
until the raid was over. When the lights went
on, Hope’s troupe discovered they were
hunkered down in an ammo dump!
* LST 345 made 56 trips
between Britain and
France in support of the
Allied offensive in
Europe. Some of these
trips extended well inland (up the Seine River)
and provided critically
needed supplies for our
troops engaged in the
month-long Battle of the
* On one trip, LST 345
carried rail cars in its
hold. When they broke
loose during a storm, the rail cars
threatened to punch holes in the ship and
sink it. George and his men crawled under
the run-away cars and, with split second
timing, forced wedges behind their wheels
to prevent a disaster.
One chapter in George’s history, thankfully,
is missing. Upon returning to New York in
Prior to the invasion of Sicily, military July 1945, after Germany had surrendered,
planners estimated casualties would reach George Henderson was assigned to be the
75-80%. But sometimes, good fortune in- commanding officer of an LSM-R [Landing
tervenes. A barrage balloon tethered to LST Ship Medium – Rockets] to be used in the
345 during the invasion at Sicily (that invasion of Japan, scheduled for November
George had been unable to cut away when 1, 1945. His role would be to sail in close
ordered to do so during the crossing of the
to a selected invasion beach
Med) probably saved LST
(before the actual invasion)
345, George, and its crew.
and bombard the shore.
At the last second, a GerResearch conducted after the
man FW190 fighter swerwar (see Book Keepers
ved to miss the balloon
Corner) indicated that the
(which was tethered
planned mission was likely
approximately 300 feet George Henderson hold- to be suicidal. Hiroshima
above the ship). That ing his Campaign Medal and Nagasaki intervened
swerve sent a 500lb bomb, with four stars.
(thank you, Einstein and
which would have landed in George’s lap Truman) and, fortunately, George is still
(he was standing on the bridge), into the with us today.
water next to the ship. The explosion was
still close enough to wound four crewmen. George was awarded, among others, The
American Defense Medal, The Victory
Medal, and The European, Middle East, and
African Campaign Medal with four stars
(signifying the invasions of North Africa,
* George and
LST 345 were
dy). The Capordered to sail
tain of LST
345 was aharbor while it
was still firmly
Bronze Star on
behalf of all of
the Germans. A model of LST 345. A German torpedo went directly the Officers
Being the last beneath the ship because of its shallow draft.
and crew of the
ship to receive the order to “get out!”, they ship for their heroism.
were exposed to 88 mm shells raining in
from all directions. Only a smoke-screen George, thank you for your service.
laid down by HMS Tartar probably saved P.S. If you are ever fortunate enough to
meet George, ask him about the Top Secret
The number of exciting events during these
momentous months is too numerous to tell.
Here is just a small sampling:
* Sailing to Britain from the Mediterranean,
LST 345 encountered a Nazi Wolfpack in
the Atlantic. The ship was fortunate to
survive as their escorts sunk 5 German
subs. LST 345 then hit a storm in the Bay
of Biscay where 40-foot waves nearly tore
the ship apart.
* George and LST 345 were at Gold beach
on the morning of June 6, 1944 unloading
men, tanks, and supplies (see photo). LST
Invasion Plans for Sicily that were
mistakenly dropped overboard and, to this
day, are resting somewhere on the bottom
of the Mediterranean!
If you would like to nominate someone to
be a “Valley Patriot”, please email us at
[email protected] You can also mail
us at 64 White Birch Lane, No. Andover,
MA, 01845,or you can fax us at
2004 - The Valley Patriot
This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan.
And Grown-ups Would Celebrate
A Bright Christmas Day
Twas the Night Before Christmas
He Lived All Alone
In a One Bedroom House
Made of Plaster and Stone
How Reagan Won the Cold War
Part 5 of 5
Comments made by Soviet officials during
the Cold War and since confirm the
success of the actions of Reagan, Thatcher,
On October 14, 1986 just after
Reykjavik, Mikhail Gorbachev spoke on
Soviet TV and told his people: “The U.S.
wants to exhaust the Soviet Union
economically through a race in the most
up-to-date and expensive space weapons.
It wants to create various kinds of
difficulties for Soviet leadership, to wreck
its plans … of improving the standard of
living of our people, thus arousing
dissatisfaction among the people with
During a question period in the U.S.,
Gorbachev, was asked: “What was the
turning point?” Without hesitation, he
answered: “Oh, It’s Reykjavik.”
William Odum finds, “In interviews and
in their memoirs, senior former Soviet
military officers uniformly cited the
burden of military spending as more than
the Soviet economy could bear.”
“Eduard Shevardnadze, the Soviet foreign minister under Gorbachev, stated in
May 1990, “The Kremlin’s expansionist
military first policies through-out the Cold
War ‘made our people, the whole country, destitute’.”
FREEDOM BEAT SOVIET
Gorbachev remained a communist, but
tried to improve productivity through
Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika
(reform). (BUSH & SCOWCROFT, 1998,
P. 14) Glasnost revealed the distortions
and corruptions in the Soviet system.
Perestroika met resistance from ideology,
politics of bureaucracy, corruption, and
ignorance of market economics.
“On November 29, 1988, Gorbachev
promised the Soviet republics … more
independence.” But then Gorbachev
announced the invalidation of Estonia’s
declaration of home rule. Thousands
protested in Georgia and Lithuania and
greater turmoil occurred in the Azerbaijan
The world had changed so remarkably
that when the Soviets used military force
in January 1991 in Lithuania, there were
demonstrations in Moscow. “…100,000
marched in protest against the killings in
Luthuania calling on Gorbachev, Yazov, and
Pugo to resign.”
REAGAN PLAYED TO WIN AND DID
In 1980, Carter charged that: “Reagan
would re-ignite the ‘arms race’ and would
increase the risk of war.” “We’re already
in an arms race,” Reagan remarked, “but
only the Soviets are racing.” Reagan added:
“…there’s…every reason to believe the
Soviet Union cannot increase its
production of arms…. They’ve diverted so
much to the military that they can’t provide
for the consumer needs….”
It is amazing that even with 20/20 hind
-sight some still defend détente. “The
writings of Strobe Talbott, a former
deputy Secretary of State, hold that the
aggravated and prolonged the Cold War
through constant provocation and mindless hostility.”
However, until Reagan took steps, often
Continued on Page 18
They All Enjoyed Freedom
Each Month of the Year,
Because of the Soldiers
Like the One Lying Here.
I Had Come Down the Chimney
With Presents to Give,
And to See Just Who
In This Home Did Live
I Couldn't Help Wonder
How many Lay Alone,
On a Cold Christmas Eve,
In a Land Far From Home.
I Looked All About
A Strange Sight I did See,
No Tinsel, No Presents
Not Even a Tree
The Very Thought
Brought a Tear to my Eye,
I Dropped to my Knees
And Started to Cry.
No Stocking by Mantle,
Just Boots Filled With Sand,
On the Wall Hung Pictures
of Far Distant Lands.
The Soldier Awakened
And I Heard a Rough Voice,
“Santa Don't Cry,
This is My Life Choice;
With Medals and badges,
Awards of All Kinds,
a Sober Thought Came
Through my Mind.
I Fight for Freedom,
I Don't Ask for More,
My Life is My God,
My Country, My Corps.”
For This House was Different,
It Was Dark and Dreary,
I Found the Home of a Soldier,
Once I Could See Clearly.
The Soldier Rolled Over
And Drifted to Sleep,
I Couldn't Control It,
I Continued to Weep,
The Soldier Lay Sleeping,
Curled up on the Floor
of This One Bedroom Home.
I Kept Watching for Hours,
so Silent and Still
And We Both Shivered
From the cold Winter's Chill.
The Face Was so Gentle,
The Room in Disorder
Not How I Pictured
A United States Soldier.
I didn't Want to Leave
On That Cold, Dark Night,
This Guardian of Honor
So Willing to Fight.
Was This the Hero
of Whom I'd Just Read?
Curled Up On A Poncho,
The Floor For a Bed
I Realized the Families
That I Saw That Night,
Owed Their Lives to These Soldiers
Who Were Willing to Fight
Soon Round the World,
The Children Would Play,
Then the Soldier Rolled Over,
With a Voice Soft and Pure,
Whispered “Carry on Santa ,
It's Christmas Day, All is Secure.”
One Look At My Watch ,
And I Knew He was Right.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.”
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Christmas but not Sure how to Install it?
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Ormsby: United for What?
Continued from Page 3
government and repression of human
freedoms are the way to go.
Similar analyses have traced
the relationship between
government repression and
both war and genocide. The
record is amazingly consistent. Of 353 wars fought
between 1816 and 1991, at
most one was fought
between two democracies
(that one, between France
and republican Rome in
1849, is a borderline case).
154 wars were fought
between democracies and
non-democracies and 198 were fought
between two non-democracies.
Here are the top eight genocides of the
Twentieth Century: Soviet Union (USSR),
Communist China, Nazi Germany, Imperial
Japan (WWII era), Communist Cambodia,
Turkey (Armenian genocide), Vietnam, and
North Korea. Total deaths are on the order
of 100 million. Could the record be any
What does the U.N. do to advance human
freedom so that the world can enter a new
era of prosperity and peace? Essentially
Look at the current membership of the
U.N. Commission on Human Rights. Of the
53 Commission members in 2004, 56%
(30 countries) are either ranked “Mostly
Un-free” (24) or “Repressive” (2) or are
too unstable politically to be ranked (4).
Bhutan, China, Cuba, Congo, Eritrea,
Ethiopia, Mauritania, Nepal, Russia, Saudi
Arabia, Sudan, Zimbabwe … great role
models for Human Rights! Every one of
these countries ranked near the bottom of
the Reporters Without Borders ranking of
Press Freedom (Out of 139 countries
ranked, these 30 countries on the Human
Rights Commission all scored worse than
100. Even Uganda ranked 52nd !) The Sudan
is particularly qualified for membership. It
knows genocide when it sees it. In fact, as
you read this, Sudan is actively promoting
genocide in its Darfur region.
As previously noted, the U.N. does conduct
some useful humanitarian missions. But
short-term and shortsighted humanitarian
relief efforts are not adequate substitutes
for a meaningful strategy to achieve the
goals of world peace and prosperity. They
may make us feel good and help us sleep at
night, but they will never
succeed. The U.N. never
attempts to address the
underlying root causes of
poverty, genocide, or war.
If we are serious about
achieving our goals, the U.N. is,
at best, a distraction. At worst,
it is a major part of the
problem. It is corrupt at its
core. It protects and encourages the very practices
that perpetuate poverty,
genocide, and war. The Oil-For-Food
scandal is just the latest dismal example.
We need a new international organization.
One that is made up of member countries
that understand the role of individual
freedom (political and economic) in
advancing the well being of all humans.
No nations get perfect scores on the human
freedom scale. That being acknowledged,
we should invite the freest countries to
join the U. S. in a new Freedom Consortium
whose goal would be to encourage as rapid
an expansion of human rights around the
world as possible. Mem-bership would
require countries to have basic functioning
democratic institutions and to meet a
minimum standard for economic freedom
(possibly with a time table for meeting
even higher standards).
Free-trade agreements would automatically be executed between all member
countries. Humanitarian and financial aid
pooled from member countries along with
trade agreements would be leveraged to
encourage/reward non-member countries
to expand freedoms. Military aid could be
extended to freedom fighters in countries
that insist on repression. The message
needs to be sent: We mean it!
It may take decades, but eventually, our
goals could be largely achieved. We just
have to follow a strategy that is designed
to achieve them.
Dr. Ormsby is a member of the North
Andover School Committee. He is a
graduate of Cornell and has a doctorate
from MIT. If you have a question or
comment you can contact Dr. Ormsby via
email at: [email protected]
Cassidy: Senior Moments
Continued from Page 15
habit of announcing late visitors to the
house, especially Uncle Fred who lived
upstairs. As Fred staggered home after
another weekend party, Polly would
screech “Hello Fred, Hello Fred,” thus
confirming to all his exact late arrival.
Every year just before Christmas all of the
shells and rocks from the aquarium were
removed, laboriously scrubbed and cleaned
of all algae and scum by grandpa and left
shining and bright to be returned to the tank
along with the few remaining fish from the
previous year. After Billy and I were sent
to bed, a mysterious special tank truck
delivered and deposited over 150 new
sparkling and lively gold fish into the pool,
circling in a sea of frenzied color.
What a sight to behold on Christmas
morning as two little sleepy boys woke up
in the Big House, staring in utter disbelief
at this glorious sight!
The Big House has now been silenced and
I am the last survivor of that beautiful and
A Dream Deferred
Columbus Day, 1967,
was a very important day
in my life. It was the day
that I learned, for the
first time, about life’s
how reality can shatter
It was the day I learned
that there was no Santa Claus, no NeverNever Land, no permanent happy endings.
For all intents and purposes, it was the day
my happy childhood ended, and my
miserable adolescence began.
That was the day the St. Louis Cardinals
defeated the Boston Red Sox in the seventh
and deciding game of the 1967 World
Series. My life has never been the same
Where 1967 is concerned, you had to
have been there. You also had to have been
old enough to remember it, and young
enough to appreciate what it all meant. In
the words of Hunter Thompson:
Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in
the long run….but no explanation, no
mix of words or music or memories can
touch that sense of knowing that you were
there and alive in that corner of time and
“History” is hard to know, because of all
the hired bull, but even without being sure
of “history,” it seems entirely reasonable
to think that every now and then the energy
of a whole generation comes to a head in a
long fine flash….
Thompson was writing about the
legendary San Francisco scene of that year,
but he might as well have been talking about
what life was like for a 10-year-old Boston
Red Sox fanatic, experiencing what seemed
like the realization of magic. There is no
other way to put it.
Let’s start with baseball itself. In 1967,
there were two ten-team leagues. You either
finished first in one of them, or you went
home for the winter. There were no
playoffs (unless two teams tied for first).
Where the World Series was concerned,
second was as good as last.
Last is where the Red Sox almost
finished the previous year. I had become a
Red Sox fan two years before—and quickly
learned that they were among the worst
clubs in the game. They had been for some
time, and seemed likely to remain
so…maybe, it seemed, forever.
Then, in 1967, the Red Sox won the
American League Championship. Worstto-first. The Impossible Dream came true.
God Bless them and Merry
Christmas to all.
Jim Cassidy is commander of the
American Legion POST 219, and a
member of the Council on Aging in North
Andover. You can send your comments to
Jim Cassidy at [email protected]
Nothing like it had ever happened before,
or ever would again. (The New York Mets
won the World Series two years later, but
by then, a playoff system had been put into
place.) And my team did it!
No, 1967 wasn’t heaven for everyone. If
I had been living in Detroit or Newark, and
watched as my city burned down, or had I
been in Vietnam and been preoccupied with
men in black pajamas shooting bullets at
my posterior, my take on The Greatest Year
might have been somewhat different. But,
if you were what I was—a white suburban
kid in the Boston area with access to a
transistor radio—life was never better.
Actually, it was two transistor radios; one
tuned to WRKO, where J.J. Jeffrey and
Chuck Knapp played the best rock music
ever made, before or since (1967 being to
rock what 1939 had been to Hollywood),
the other tuned to WHDH, where Ken
Coleman, Ned Martin and Mel Parnell gave
a literal voice to The Dream. No, life was
Then came the World Series. The Red Sox
played nobly, forcing the Cardinals to a
seventh game. But then came Columbus
Day. Bob Gibson, with three days rest,
faced Jim Lonborg, with but two. Final
score: Cardinals 7, Red Sox 2. I cried that
day. But as it turned out, the tears were
about much more than a baseball game.
Sweet melancholy finished out the year,
as Linda Ronstadt warned us not to fall in
love with her (wasted words), and Otis
Redding told us how lonely it was on the
Dock of the Bay. The hippies in the same
city held a “funeral” to bury the Summer
of Love. Even the Cowsills made a
I loved the Flower Girl
Was she reality, or just a dream to me?
It was a question we were asking, as 1967
came to an end.
Then came 1968: adolescence, puberty, a
new school filled with savage bullying and
little personal happiness elsewhere. The
outside world got a lot uglier, too. Baseball
faded into irrelevance, a neglected toy
tossed into the attic. There were just too
many other things to think about. (That’s
what “growing up” will do to you.)
Now, 37 years later, the Red Sox finally
beat the Cardinals, and won the World
Series. I only wish that a ten-year-old boy
in a land called 1967 was here to see it.
You can email Hartley Pleshaw at
59 Essex St., Lawrence
extended loving family who tried to
preserve the special spirit and meaning of
Christmas for their two little boys. Gone
from the Earth is brother Billy, all fish in
the famous aquarium, even Polly the talking
parrot who has flown into the sky, possibly
looking for the whereabouts of Uncle Fred.
The hour is drawing late, but as I continue
to gaze out at the falling snow through
slightly misty eyes, I smile and think of
those wonderful days at the Big House —
where the beautiful gold fish continue to
swim and Polly the talking parrot calls out
for Fred and all of our loved ones — “Til
we meet again, ‘Til we meet again.”
2004 -The Valley Patriot
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The Grinch is Real
Continued from Page 4
mongers? Doesn’t free speech apply to The fact is, Christmas is rooted in
everyone regardless of the type of speech? Christianity but it is also celebrated by
Or is speech only prohibited today when atheists, agnostics, Jews, and others. It is,
it’s about goodness, religion, God, to some, a secular American holiday which
Christmas and other “objectionable” evils has evolved and taken on a whole new
to these confused and empty souls?
meaning than just the birth of Jesus Christ.
Allowing the free exercise of Christmas
The answer to that is simple. This has celebration on public property does not
nothing to do with sensibilities or establish a government religion. Anyone
offensiveness. It has nothing to do with who says otherwise is fooling themselves
protecting the constitution or stopping a in order to fool the rest of us.
government established religion. It’s
really about the narcissistic few who want But we are not fooled.
to erase the words “or the free exercise
thereof” from our first amendment It’s not we who celebrate Christmas who
freedom of religious expression. They are offending others. Goodness is not an
hate God and they hate the fact that offensive trait. In the real world we have to
Christmas is rooted in religious tradition. recognize that it is those who hate God and
Even though to many, it is a secular Christmas who are being offensive. It is
American tradition practiced by people of they who should be more tolerant of
many (and no) faith at all.
symbols and songs, the values of which
they certainly do not share. It is the Grinch
Personally, I have had enough of the who must tolerate the will of the majority
sanctimonious sound bite arguments, not the majority who must be
backward thinking and dishonest debate. inconvenienced by a monster who takes
I’ve had enough of people forcing the rest great joy in depriving others of happiness.
of us to sanitize society from words and
symbols that only evil could possibly find Just imagine.......
“offensive.” All the while, the "offended"
are lecturing the rest of us about being ....if the Whos down in Whoville, instead
tolerant of weird sexual life-styles, of celebrating Christmas over the
compassion for criminals and “accepting” objections of the “offended” Grinch,
those who views things differently.
removed Christmas from their little town
square so as not to offend him with their
It’s time to stop giving in to these people infernal “singing” and happiness heard all
and say enough is enough. We shouldn’t the way up on top of mount Crumpet?
be fearful of offending someone with the
goodness of Christmas. We shouldn’t be Would Whoville be a better place?
afraid to say to anyone “offended” by a pine
tree with lights, that they need Is America?
People who so intolerantly demand that the
Tom Duggan is the president of Valley Patriot,
majority bow down to their lack of beliefs
Inc., and is a former member of the Lawrence
(or their hatred for faith and goodness) and
School Committee. He hosts the Paying Attention Radio Program on 980AM every Satthen force us to remove everything that
urday afternoon from noon-2pm. You can email
offends them should be shunned yearcomments or questions to him at
[email protected] -For more information, you
can visit www.tommyduggan.com
Manzi: Methuen Property Taxes
Continued from Page 4
potential for unique characteristics, it is
never possible to truly say what each
individual homeowner may face in the way
of property tax, even in a situation where
the tax levy remains constant.
Without question, such uncertainty is a
flaw in the property tax system.
While setting a property tax rate is not
rocket science, there are several layers of
thought involved and key political
decisions that need to be made. As we
move forward in Methuen, I am proud to
say that even with the building of three new
schools, and the investment in a brand new
library we have never faced an override of
Proposition 2½ or a debt exclusion for
these capital projects. We should remain
a couple of million dollars below the Prop
2 ½ levy limit, which is a testament to
sound financial practices by the City.
Despite the fact that our tax burden
compares favorably with other
municipalities, the property tax imposes
what I consider to be an unfair burden on
the elderly and fixed-income residents
The essential unfairness of the property
tax (not a tax based on ability to pay) has
led some to call for real tax reform, with
some portion of the existing municipal cost
structure (such as education) being shifted
to a broader-based tax. Education reform
in Massachusetts was designed, at least in
part, to lessen the reliance on the property
tax for local educational expenses. Is it now
time to take that concept to the next level?
Food for thought, and maybe the subject
for a future column.
Wakeman: New Tax Rate
Continued from Page 5
So for the first time, we are a little
more fair about distributing the load,
without raising individual tax bills more
than a few percent.
We’re still not splitting the pie right
down the middle, but we’re a lot closer
than we were.
Businesses and commercial property
owners will benefit. The economic
benefit might create a few jobs or
maybe fill up a few empty storefronts.
That’d be good for North Andover.
But more important, this year, I left
the tax classification hearing feeling
better about the job I do as your
selectman. The board rejected more
sneaky tax games. We didn’t just push
the tax burden off onto businesses
because we can.
Letting the other guy, the business
owner without a say in the matter, carry
a bigger part of our tax burden is just
wrong. We still haven’t split things up
fifty-fifty. But we have made taxation a
whole lot more fair.
Interview with Scott Wood
Continued from Page 9
My main goal is to find ways to be creative in saving money so that we can
restore programs, eliminate user fees and bring teachers back to the classroom.
Budget cuts have killed the City of Haverhill. I intend to look for ways to bring
back what we lost and more.
Do you think there will be a new high school in Haverhill?
No, Haverhill decided to renovate our current High School which we are in the
process of doing currently.
Wendy Wakeman is in her first
term as a member of the Board
of Selectmen in North Andover
Happy Holidays to all!
Bill Manzi is President of the
Methuen City Council and is a Democrat. You can contact him at
Continued from Page 16
opposed by a majority of his Cabinet, by
many in Congress, by many in the media,
and by some European leaders, the Soviet
Union endangered the world with its
behavior. President George Bush
continued the steps until the war was won.
When the Soviet Union saw opportunity, it had made moves such as: Korea,
missiles in Cuba, Vietnam, Angola,
Mozambique, Nicara-gua, El Salvador,
Yemen, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, and
Grenada. Commenting on this, Brent
Scowcroft, President Bush’s national
security adviser, wrote: “…these are but
examples of the Soviet leaders
periodically hitting us between the eyes
to remind us of their aggressive
This aggression would result in increased defense spending by the West and
an effort to stop Soviet expansion. When
challenged, the Soviets would respond with
a softer tone, expecting the West to relax
again. This time, however, the West, with
Ronald Reagan’s vision and determination,
and George Bush’s follow-through, played
the game to the end.
© 2001 by Warren E. Norquist. All rights reserved.
Email: [email protected] Norquist.com A longer version of
this paper appeared first in Global Competitiveness
Volume 9 (1), 2001 pp. 1-27 and a later version in
Advances in Competitiveness Research Volume 10,
No. 1, 2002. Both are published by American Society
for Competitiveness. A two page summary was
published by UPI on 10-31 & 11-1 in 2001. Warren
Norquist, 89 Bradford Road, Weston, MA 02493
Email: [email protected]
The Valley Patriot regrets a factual error in the November edition. It was
stated that North Andover Superintendent of Schools Harry Harutunian
"brought" the Every Day Math program to the Reading Schools. In fact,
the program was in place before he was hired. Harutunian was criticized
at the time for continuing with the program, not introducing it.
Do you think the mayor is doing a good job as chair of the School
I do think he has done a good job in his role as Chairman of the committee.
However, that is not to
Answer to Puzzle on Page 9
say I agree with a lot of
his decisions he has made
as Mayor on other city
Do you like being on
the committee and
will you run again ?
I love being a member of
the Haverhill School
Committee. I love serving
the children and my
community. I truly have a
desire to make Haverhill
a better place and I intend
to do that. As far as reelection goes, that’s three
years away so I haven’t
even begun to think about
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