Paying for rooms at motels cost taxpayers $3.5 million a month or $42 million a year. If we took that money and put it towards sustainable housing we would be better off. I have worked at both motels and know that the owners of the motels are making out big time. The state is paying a average of $52 a night per family. I managed 21 motels most in New England and the Tri-State region. When I managed a Brattleboro V.T. motel I charged Vermont Yankee $37.50 a night per room. My occupancy percentage was 100% for 6 months out of the year. The motels in Greenfield are charging what I used to charged for double occupancy. It's quite possible the owners of both the motels are price gouging the state of Massachusetts. The motel by law can not charge motel tax on the room if occupied by the same resident for 90 days. I think the state is probably tax exempt. This hurts Greenfield revenue of taxes for both motels. So this is skiing season and the peaks are great. Greenfield misses out on the tax revenue because skiers can't make a reservation at the full motels in Greenfield. Never mind D.A. graduation's, weddings, Holiday travelers, and much, much more. A motel is no place for children or teenagers for a long period of time. I have lived in motels for years when I worked for them. I know first hand. We must do better. For the sake of the families.
when teachers and administrators get paid that kind of money, is it any wonder why tuition is so much? This is were the injustice of pay is. These are the people saying that others are making to much. If her pay would have been half of that it would have still been too much. How much does a 4th grade teacher make, maybe one tenth and works much harder and teaches more hours in a week.
The higher education system is a racket as long as the govt is involved in tuition. Just look what it cost in the 70's and the cost of labor and what the cost of an education and labor is now. One has gone up more than ten times. I am sure you can guess which one. Anyone in the higher education game has seen their salary go up at much higher rates than any other sector. Is it only because of the govt is behind the loans? Of course it is. If money was not so free and easy to get school would cost much less. Maybe getting the govt out of it the cost would come down in the future. ...(full comment)
This sounds like a good plan Mr Baker, it is about time someone had the courage to address the homeless issues numerous people in Ma. face. We have many good families out there that are willing to work and have ended up homeless through no fault of their own. I would hope to see your office address the issue of move in costs for people looking to get into an apt., $1200.00 -$1800.00 + is way to much for families earning base rate wages. Single people can not survive in this day and age, they end up in a tent in the woods or are forced to take in room mates that sometimes are more trouble than they are worth. ...(full comment)
Greenfield stores are closing every day. F.Y.E. closed last month. I have three teenagers who have no place but the internet to buy movies, x-box games, clothing and toys online. Every time I do this I would rather spend my money in town. Because Greenfield loses out on the sales tax. Walmart has announced that they will be paying $15 an hour. A store usually brings in about 200 full and part time jobs to greenfield not counting the construction jobs. I bet the 7 abutters originally had no problem with it. One of our citizens actually targets Walmart's for a living. He has books out titled The Case Against Walmart and Slam Dunking Walmart. Forbes magazine called him Walmart's number 1 enemy. Greenfield citizens want and deserve a big box retail store. I hope the courts favor the developer. ...(full comment)
Yes, rail transport is dangerous. But there are risks and dangers associated with pipelines, too, just that (aside from explosions) they tend to be more insidious and spread out over more area - like leakage, inviting invasive species, the ever-continual loss of trees and the associated surface and groundwater pollution from runoff/sediment, further destruction of habitat. These things aren't as glamorous in terms of danger but they are there, and add it up over millions of miles of pipeline, and it compounds and accumulates. When do we say enough is enough? My main problem with the pipeline is that is a massive forced investment of the public, with no guaranteed return on investment (can they guarantee our gas rates will lower? fat chance) for a fuel that is and should be on its way out - gas wells are drying up already, some have a life of only 30 more years. Not a good long-term investment when other countries are investing so heavily in renewables; we will not be competitive if we don't start to subsidize renewables in the way we're so willing to for fossil fuels. ...(full comment)
Pipeline explosions usually occur when somebody is doing excavating where they clearly shouldn't. Train and truck transportation are by far, the most dangerous route to transport petroleum. By far. But people don't want to be confused with facts. Their minds are made up (by somebody else...). ...(full comment)
Please tell me the difference; Every week hundreds of railroad tanker cars pass through Deerfield going north or south carrying liquified petroleum. Yet you live with the danger of a derailment and explosion.
I would argue a pipeline would be safer than railroad tanker cars.
See derailment Feb 15, 2015 Ontario, CA or Feb 16 in West Virginia and of course we all remember the horrific petroleum derailment in Canada in 2013. ...(full comment)
Man can do nothing to change "global warming" or "climate change". All the weather changes that have happened on earth since its creation have happened without any assistance of man. If man does everything that the science people say must be done, the temp will be change one tenth of one degree over the next 40 years.
Now that seems well, like a waste. Maybe it would be better to wait until a better solution is figured out.
I have yet to see anyone who has made the dire predictions explain why they have to keep changing them. Does that mean they were wrong before or the models were wrong or they really are just guessing what the data means? ...(full comment)
The alleged "crisis" has been ginned up by gas investments to get pipelines to the Canadian Maritimes to planned LNG terminals for export. Pieridae has an application before the DOE that cites astonishing profit figures for "pipeline and fossil fuel companies".
This is an ENRON style campaign and the rate increases are directly related to this and price gouging. The public interest will certainly NOT be served by exports. Contrary to the "Pantsuit" lady, the U.S. still imports 1/3 of its fossil energy needs (last I looked, Canada and Mexico are still separate companies: note she says "America", not U.S. while flashing the U.S. flag). There are now petitions before the DOE to export over half of what the U.S. consumes and produces for itself. And more and more we are learning about the destructive and very unsafe manner in which this fossil fuel is extracted, and what is in it. They have engaged in price gouging to drum up a case for export pipelines. ...(full comment)