Tag Archives: NEWS ROUND UP

WCCA TV News and Information Round Up: August 12, 2015

MEANINGFUL MEDIA WCCA TV

WCCA TV is a regional leader serving Worcester’s community media public access needs and an anchor institution that stands for Media Democracy, Media Literacy and Creative Innovation. Learn Create and Connect at WCCA TV
For more information browse this website, watch our programming on cable channel 194 or here ( at wccatv.com) , streaming live or “On-Demand”, and or contact Mauro DePasquale our Executive Director. We offer community volunteer memberships, special sponsor membership plans for businesses, Workshops and training for ALL ages, and whole lot more. Get involved, create, network, share your story, opinions, and fresh ideas on “THE PEOPLE’s CHANNEL” WCCA TV

Thanks for your support.
NOTE this blog may be updated
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Worcester Rotary Meeting

The Worcester Rotary will meet Thursday August 13 at Leo’s Restaurant at noon. A buffet lunch will be served costing $20. Raffle tickets can be purchased one for $2 and three for $5.

Their speaker will be Lynn Thomas author of WOW! Your Way to Profit – Learn How 5% of WOW! Can Boost Profits By Up To 85%!

In this country (USA), we lose 180 million customers a year!

Go Rotarty !

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Worcester schools see big boost in Title 1 funds

By Scott O’Connell
Telegram & Gazette Staff

Posted Aug. 11, 2015 at 7:13 PM
Updated Aug 11, 2015 at 7:15 PM

WORCESTER – The city’s school system has received a major bump in federal funding this year, because of a recent increase in the number of low-income students enrolled in the district.

According to the state’s records, Worcester was scheduled to receive last month slightly more than $12.3 million in Title 1 money for fiscal 2016 – a nearly $2 million increase over the $10.5 million the district got a year ago.

The School Department also budgeted roughly $10.5 million in Title 1 funding for the current fiscal year, which means that extra $2 million is effectively a surplus.

“There are strings attached to Title 1 programming,” however, said the district’s chief financial and operations officer, Brian E. Allen, who said the School Department is presently working to find out how they might apply and preparing a recommendation to the School Committee on how to use the money at either the committee’s meeting next week or in early September.

Currently, 30 of the district’s 33 elementary schools are Title 1 schools, and therefore eligible to use Title 1 money, Mr. Allen said. About a quarter of Worcester’s fiscal 2016 allocation is specifically intended to support low-achieving students in the district’s lowest-performing Title 1 schools, for example.

But the School Department could also shift some funds around in this year’s budget to make the additional funds have an impact beyond those schools, Mr. Allen said.

The district is grappling with an approximately $600,000 hole in the fiscal 2016 budget caused by a lower than expected charter school reimbursement from the state budget, for instance.

“We are balancing all of these factors and evaluating district class size and other needs and will incorporate these in that report that is forthcoming,” Mr. Allen said.

A federal program intended to help districts with large numbers of low-income students, Title 1’s fiscal 2016 allocations are calculated based on 2013 Census estimates provided by the U.S. Department of Education. According to the latest Title 1 allocation sheet released by the state, Worcester had 8,040 students who fell within the federal poverty definition – roughly one-third of the district’s entire student enrollment.

The city schools’ low-income population has grown the past few years, Title 1 data shows; five years ago, for instance, the district had 6,803 students in poverty, according to 2010 Census estimates, accounting for slightly more than one-fourth of the school system’s population.

The Worcester schools’ budget-makers had expected some sort of increase in Title 1 funding this year, Mr. Allen said, based on other metrics showing an upward trend in low-income students in the city. The state’s calculations determined Worcester saw the biggest jump in Massachusetts in low-income students between the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years, for example, he said.

But the district’s final Title 1 amount was above even the School Department’s projections, Mr. Allen added.

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KNIGHT’s Tale
The Knight in shining armor conjures a thousand images and captures the imagination. What were the strengths of armor? What were its weaknesses? Learn about all the different kinds of arms and armor that were used by knights and soldiers of the past in this interactive program at the Worcester Art Museum on Wednesdays, August 12th-26th from 2:30-3:30pm. Follow this with a visit to the Knights! exhibition and immerse yourself in the world of chivalry!

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City Manager orders Crompton Park Pool open an extra week

WORCESTER – Summer has been extended! By order of City Manager Edward Augustus, the Crompton Park Pool will be open an extra week. The pool will be open every day this week, from noon to 7 p.m., until Sunday, Aug. 16.

The pool had been scheduled to close Aug. 9. The pool typically closes in early August because of the difficulty in retaining certified lifeguards as young people get ready to head back to college. With hot weather expected to continue this week, the city will keep the pool open an extra week.

The city’s two spray parks – at East Park and Greenwood Park – will remain open until Labor Day. The city’s beaches shut down for the summer Aug. 9.

For information on the state-run pools in Worcester, visit: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/recreational-activities/swimming-pools-wading-pools-and-spray-deck.html

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WCCA TV News and Information Round Up: August 10, 2015

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MEANINGFUL MEDIA WCCA TV

WCCA TV is a regional leader serving Worcester’s community media public access needs and an anchor institution that stands for Media Democracy, Media Literacy and Creative Innovation. Learn Create and Connect at WCCA TV
For more information browse this website, watch our programming on cable channel 194 or here ( at wccatv.com) , streaming live or “On-Demand”, and or contact Mauro DePasquale our Executive Director. We offer community volunteer memberships, special sponsor membership plans for businesses, Workshops and training for ALL ages, and whole lot more. Get involved, create, network, share your story, opinions, and fresh ideas on “THE PEOPLE’s CHANNEL” WCCA TV

Thanks for your support.
NOTE this blog may be updated
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In deal with HUD, Worcester to repay $3.4 million for not meeting grant regs From the Worcester Telegram.

WORCESTER — The city has agreed to repay $3.4 million to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for community development block grant allocations it made for contracted activities over a three-year period that did not comply with federal regulations.

City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. said Friday the city will repay that money by Sept. 1.

He said the full tab will be picked up by the city, adding he does not intend to go after any of the agencies or programs that received the block grant funding in question to have them repay their share.

Upon receiving the city’s payment, Mr. Augustus said, HUD will return the full amount of the audit repayment to the city’s line of credit for this year’s block grant program.

That means the city will have additional block grant funding to spend on projects, such as public facility improvements, including streets, sidewalks, parks, water and sewer infrastructure in eligible low-and moderate-income neighborhoods of the city.

“We are finally ready to call it a day,” Mr. Augustus said in an interview regarding the HUD audit. “We feel this is the cleanest and best way to put this to rest. The city will do the repayment for this because the logic is that the city bears responsibility for it.

“We learned some painful lessons from this, but HUD is satisfied that the city has put into place the proper oversight to proceed going forward, to prevent something like this from happening again,” he added. “At the end of the day, city of Worcester taxpayers will not be out any money.”

Robert Shumeyko, director of HUD’s New England area office, said since publication of the audit report in July 2013, the city has worked with his office to develop a corrective plan to address identified deficiencies and to implement recommendations detailed in the audit.

“Throughout this process the city has been an open and enthusiastic partner in implementing the corrective action plan, and has proactively addressed policy and practice deficiencies in their program,” Mr. Shumeyko said. “HUD is confident that the city has implemented the proper administrative measures to assure compliance and meet all federal grant requirements.”

Former City Manager Michael V. O’Brien asked HUD officials in the summer of 2012 to audit Worcester’s block grant program, after an initial audit faulted some local nonprofit housing agencies for a range of noncompliance issues.

The HUD audit cover calendar years 2009-2012.

Under HUD rules, block grant money must be spent directly on housing production or on other services that help low-income residents, such as foreclosure counseling.

There were instances when the city provided block grant funding to an organization to plan and construct housing, but because the housing did not come online or secure occupancy until after the contract period, the funding was deemed ineligible.

Mr. Augustus said the HUD audit originally identified nearly $6.5 million worth of ineligible activities.

He said Andrew Taylor, assistant chief development officer/grants management and compliance, and the city’s Executive Office of Economic Development worked extensively with HUD to reduce its original exposure amount.

Through those discussions, the city was able to reduce the financial exposure by $3.5 million, meaning that $2.98 million would have to be repaid to the agency.

But during the audit resolution period, city officials and HUD identified additional activities that were deemed non-compliant, totaling $436,975, the manager said.

Mr. Augustus said that is money that would also have to be repaid at some point. As a result, the city has decided to include the additional financial exposure amount into the overall payment, which stands at $3.4 million.

Mr. Taylor said once HUD receives the city’s payment, which must come out of non-federal funds, it would likely take only a couple of days at most before the city’s line of credit for its block grant program would be increased by a corresponding amount.

Thomas F. Zidelis, the city’s chief financial officer, said the additional line of credit cannot be used to fund social service organizations and programs that fall under the 15 percent block grant allocation cap.

Each year, no more than 15 percent of the city’s annual block grant entitlement can be spent on those types of programs and the city has already reached that cap.

Even though the city’s line of credit will be increasing, Mr. Zidelis said that does not mean more money will be available for those programs. Instead, he said, the money must be spent on projects like public works and parks improvements in eligible block grant areas.

With the city acknowledging and accepting all finding identified in the HUD audit, Mr. Augustus said it is time for the city to put the matter behind it.

He said attempting to make the agencies that received the money repay it could end up putting some of them out of business and create a legal struggle that could drag on forever.

Contact Nick Kotsopoulos at nicholas.kotsopoulos@telegram.com.

http://m.telegram.com/article/20150807/NEWS/150809443/13406/NEWS

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Comcast PEGs looking to go HD:
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/newbay/gv_20150708/index.php#/18 from Donna Liu

Maybe Worcester will someday follow suite. WCCA TV’s Executive Director fought hard to have our PEG channels seen in HD. The licensing authority (City) was not successful in negotiating for that unfortunately. Well, maybe next time.

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Berkshire Hathaway buying Wyman-Gordon parent, Precision Castparts
By The Associated Press ( Posted Aug. 10, 2015 at 7:40 AM Updated Aug 10, 2015 at 9:20 AM)

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is buying Precision Castparts Corp. for about $32.36 billion.

Precision Castparts is the parent company of Wyman-Gordon, which has operations in Worcester and Grafton.

The announcement ended a weekend of speculation that a deal was in the works between the legendary investor and the maker of components for aircraft, power plants and other industrial uses.

Berkshire will pay $235 per share in cash for Precision Castparts’ outstanding stock. The deal is valued at about $37.2 billion, including debt.

Precision Castparts will keep its name and continue to be based in Portland, Oregon.

Berkshire Hathaway is known for being involved in large transactions, among them the combination of Kraft and Heinz. It owns various businesses, including insurance and railroad companies, utility, clothing, furniture, brick, carpet, jewelry and pilot training firms. Berkshire Hathaway also has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola, IBM and Wells Fargo & Co.

Precision Castparts does a lot of business with the energy sector, and it’s taken a hit with oil prices now nearing a six-year low.

Buffett told CNBC that he would have bought the company even if he knew that energy prices were in the midst of a multiyear slump.

“We’re going to be in this business for 100 years, so it doesn’t really make any difference what oil and gas does in the next year,” Buffett said.

The boards of Precision Castparts and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. unanimously approved the transaction, which is expected to close in 2016’s first quarter.

Shares of Precision Castparts surged $38.37, or 19.8 percent, to $232.25 in Monday premarket trading.

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EVENTS for upcoming week(s):

Latin Festival on August 15 behind City Hall in the common.

India Festival on August 15th at Mr. Carmel Parish Recreations / Italian Cultural Center Mulberry St. Worcester, MA

Summer Gospel Festival on August 15 Institute Park, Worcester, MA

Mt. Carmel Parish announces it’s Parish / Italian American Festival August 21 through 23rd on the Parish campus. Mulberry Street, Worcester. It promises to have great tasting homecooked food, concessions, music and entertainment, fun for the whole family.

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Stand Up for a Child Who Needs You

The CASA Project is looking for new volunteers to work with us on cases involving abused and neglected children who have been removed from their parents’ care and are currently residing in foster care throughout Worcester County. CASA volunteer advocates fact-find on behalf of the judges of the Worcester County Juvenile Court (WCJC) in order to help ensure the optimal permanent placement decision for each child. Our volunteers also advocate for needed educational, medical, mental and behavioral health services for the children throughout litigation. We believe that every child has the right to a caring, consistent adult who is willing to stand up and represent their Best Interests in court proceedings so that a safe, permanent home can be found as quickly as possible.

Our next new volunteer training starts on September 14, 2015. Please call Sinead Fitzmaurice at (508) 757-9877 x11 or visit our website at www.casaworcestercounty.org for more information. All upcoming training cycle dates and times are listed below.

September 2015

Monday & Wednesday, 9:30am-1:00pm

September 14 & 16

September 21 & 22

September 28 &30

October 2015—**NEW** schedule, I full day Saturday class plus 4 additional evening classes

Saturday, 9:00-am-4:00pm (All day Saturday class)

Tuesday & Thursday, 4:00pm-7:30pm

October 24
October 27 & 29

November 3

Sinead Fitzmaurice

Coordinator, Volunteer Recruitment & Retention/Grant Writer Tel: (508) 757-9877

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Who will you nominate as the 2015 Great Guys Award ?

It’s that time of year. The YWCA is currently accepting nominations for the 2015 Great Guys Award. This award is presented annually to men of good conscience who have demonstrated a commitment to domestic violence services in our region, local community or on college campuses.

All nominees must show a commitment preventing domestic violence and promoting health relationships – and meet a certain set of criteria as outlined on the attached nomination form.

Who do you know that is worthy of a nomination? Who do your colleagues, friends or family know that has done amazing things to help end domestic violence?

Attached you will find the 2015 Great Guys Award nomination form. You can also submit your nomination on line at http://www.ywcacentralmass.org/2015/10/19

Please consider nominating someone who meets the criteria and truly makes a difference in our community. We ask that you pass along this email to your networks and encourage them to share this email with their own networks. This year self-nominations also will be accepted.

Those candidates that are selected as 2015 Great Guys Award recipients will be honored at the 2015 YWCA Daybreak Breakfast held Monday, October 19, 2015, at the College of the Holy Cross Hogan Center. Mark your calendar now and save the date for this truly inspiring event.

Don’t hesitate. Nominate a worthy candidate now and together, we can all make a difference toward protecting the rights and lives of those impacted by domestic violence.

Any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Thanks in advance for sharing this information with your e-networks.

Evelyn Cabrera Director Of Residential Services YWCA Central Massachusetts Administrative office: 1 Salem Square, Worcester, MA 01608 Leominster office: 54 Main Street Suite 001, Leominster, MA 01453

C: 978-407-8778 F: 508-755-1191 E: ecabrera@ywcacentralmass.org

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2015 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORIC PRESERVATION CONFERENCE
COMES TO WORCESTER ON AUGUST 14, 2015

Friday, August 14. Presented by Preservation Massachusetts with local host Preservation Worcester, and
with the support of the Massachusetts Preservation Coalition, this event allows attendees to share ideas,
network, discuss challenges, and learn from each other to strengthen our collective preservation efforts
across the state.
An expected crowd of 400 attendees will begin the day at Mechanics Hall, host for the opening plenary
activities for the conference. Keynote speaker Theodore (Ted) Landsmark, Boston Redevelopment
Authority Board member, will set the tone of the day with his opening address on the theme of
“resiliency.” Over 60 speakers and panelists will carry that theme throughout their interactive
discussions on topics that include: How to Finance Your Project, When to Hire a Professional for Added
Value, Preservation Techniques and Technologies, Protecting Heritage Landscapes, Gateway Cities
Program, and Preparing for Climate Change. Presentations and panel discussions will take place at the
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Worcester campus at 10 Lincoln Square.
In addition, attendees can join one or more of six guided tours of historic preservation sites, including
Lincoln Square, Crown Hill local historic district, Canal District, Hope Cemetery, Washington Square
and Union Station, and Hanover Theater. Attendees get the chance to see up close the results of local
preservation projects, talk with some of the architects and planners involved, and ask questions relating
to their own preservation projects. The conference will come to a close with an entertaining networking
reception at Mechanics Hall at the end of the day.
The 2015 Massachusetts Historic Preservation Conference is made possible by the contributions of the
Keen Charitable Fund, conference venue hosts Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
as well as Mechanics Hall, the City of Worcester, and our many generous sponsors. It is with great pride
and appreciation that we look forward to hosting a comprehensive and meaningful historic preservation
conference on the 14th of August.
Registration is now open for attendees. General admission: $50 ($65 after July 31). Students: $35 (with
valid ID).
Visit the conference website to register, learn more about the schedule and sessions offered,
speaker biographies, and our sponsors and donors. www.mapreservationconference.org

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Congratulations to Dolly and best wishes

http://m.telegram.com/article/20150809/NEWS/150809334

WCCA TV News and Information Round Up: August 6, 2015

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WCCA TV is Worcester’s PUBLIC ACCESS COMMUNITY MEDIA CENTER a place to LEARN, CREATE and CONNECT.
Media DEMOCRACY IN ACTION !
Become a supporting member today. Contact us today, or donate through this website.
Sign up and subscribe and automatically be entered to win a great prize.

http://wccatv.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=48f898c016d0899151f159717&id=3c4fdd54f6

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AG’S OFFICE TO HOLD REGIONAL OPEN MEETING LAW EDUCATIONAL FORUMS THROUGHOUT STATE THIS FALL

BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office will hold four free educational forums on the Open Meeting Law throughout the state this fall. The AG’s Office will also offer two live web-based trainings on the law.

The forums are part of a broad effort by the AG’s Office to assist public bodies in understanding and complying with the requirements of the Open Meeting Law. State, local, regional, and county public bodies are required to comply with the Open Meeting Law. The Open Meeting Law educational forums will be conducted by attorneys from the AG’s Division of Open Government and are open to the public.

Fall 2015 regional educational forums will be held on the following dates:
Sandwich

Wednesday, Sept. 9

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

130 Main St., Sandwich

Cambridge

Thursday, Sept. 17

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

449 Broadway, Cambridge

Southbridge

Thursday, Sept. 24

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

41 Elm St., Southbridge

Avon

Thursday, Oct. 8

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Avon Town Hall

65 East Main St., Avon

The educational forums are being offered free of charge. All members of public bodies, municipal employees, and members of the general public are encouraged to attend. Individuals interested in attending an educational forum are asked to register in advance by calling (617) 963-2925 or by emailing OMLTraining@state.ma.us, and providing: 1) their first and last names; 2) town of residence; 3) the public body/organization they represent, if appropriate; and 4) the location of the educational forum they will attend.

The AG’s Office is also conducting online webinars on Tuesday, Aug. 25 and Tuesday, Oct. 13 from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Attendees can participate entirely online and will be able to submit written questions during the training and receive real-time responses from Division attorneys. Those interested in registering or receiving additional information about the webinar may do so by emailing OMLTraining@state.ma.us.

Since assuming responsibility for enforcement of the Open Meeting Law at all levels of government in July 2010, the AG’s Division of Open Government has responded to more than 11,000 telephone and email inquiries from members of public bodies, municipal counsel, and the public. The Division has also conducted 29 regional trainings across the state, 11 webinars, and issued more than 640 written determinations.

For more information on the Open Meeting Law, visit the Attorney General’s website at www.mass.gov/ago/openmeeting.

Media are welcome to attend.

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More Media Consolidation. BIG CORPORATIONS SEEK TO MERGE
This is why we need to encourage sTRONGER support for public access stations such as WCCA TV. Main stream media is controlled by fewer corporations our news and inforamtion becomes more and more propagand for the interest of a select few.

Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Advance/Newhouse Partnership, the parent of Bright House Networks, have filed applications seeking Commission approval to transfer control of their licenses and authorizations in connection with their merger. The proposed transaction would bring together fourth (Time Warner Cable), seventh (Charter), and tenth (Bright House Networks) largest multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) in the country to create the third largest provider in the country, serving roughly 17.3 million customers. Additionally, the new company would bring together 19.4 million broadband subscribers, creating the second largest broadband internet provider in the country and would provide services to customers across portions of nearly 40 states.

https://www.fcc.gov/transaction/charter-twc-bhn

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Worcester about to loose a music venue icon

T&G Victor Infante writes:
Owner says it’s time to sell Lucky Dog Music Hall

WORCESTER — The owner of the Lucky Dog Music Hall says the venerable music venue is for sale, but he is denying assertions that the venue is closing Aug. 29.

“The past 16 years of my life has been filled with many terrific memories and has forged so many life-long friendships,” said club owner Eric Godin, in a statement. “As with any ‘job’ you hold down for that long, you start to get a little worn out and stir crazy. I have elected to put the club on the market, and my landlord has trusted me to find a buyer. I am looking for the right person or team of people that have a ‘live music’ idea to propel the nightclub into something that I haven’t had the time or the energy for as of late. So, what I’m saying is I’m trying to have this club NEVER go away.”

A Craigslist advertisement lists the Lucky Dog Music Hall for an asking price of $120,000. The building at 89 Green St., assessed at $377,500, is apparently not part of the sale. It is listed as being owned by trustee Elvira Diliddo.

Chip Emerson, of the real estate broker George & Company, confirmed that the company is handling the club’s sale, but declined to comment on particulars, including how the business was being valued or how much time was left on the business’ lease.

Mr. Godin’s statement comes on the heels of rumors fueled by a band’s promotion of its upcoming show at the venue.

Musician Rob Therrien, of the band Moulton Llama, has been promoting an Aug. 29 show by his band there as the Lucky Dog as “the Last Saturday Night at the the Dog Ever.”

In a message to the Telegram & Gazette, Mr. Therrien said, “Eric (Godin) is giving up he hopes to have it sold by the beginning of September, but nothing solid yet. So we’re trying to make this something special for all involved.”

In his statement, Mr. Godin said there is no final date set. “As far as the ‘last show at the Dog,’ that date doesn’t exist and is especially NOT August 29,” he wrote. “So, please put that rumor to bed.”

Musician Duncan Arsenault, a stalwart of the Worcester music scene who has performed frequently at the Lucky Dog with bands such as the Curtain Society and the Curtis Mayflower, confirmed that he had knowledge of the business being for sale, and added that he had been working with other local musicians to put together a potential “closing” show for when the business eventually sells, but had not set a date for that concert.

The Lucky Dog Music Hall, previously known as Sir Morgan’s Cove, has been a mainstay of Worcester music for decades, and has featured musicians such as the Rolling Stones, Jim Carroll, and members of the metal band Korn.

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WCCA TV NEWS and Information Round Up July 29, 2015

From the UNITED WAY:

Spotlight on Our Summer Youth Volunteer Program!

United Way of Central Massachusetts’ Summer Youth Volunteer Program is in its sixth year. The program offers youth ages 13-17 numerous opportunities to participate in community service projects throughout central Massachusetts beginning in June and running through August. Youth are invited to volunteer with United Way on fun and interesting community service projects. Projects focus on issues such as youth mentoring, fitness, environment, culture, art, literacy, and more! The program is free for all students residing in the United Way of Central Massachusetts’s service area, which includes Worcester and its surrounding towns.

Located at a site in the greater Worcester area, each project will be completed in one day. Depending on the time of the project, United Way will provide either lunch or a snack for all volunteers in addition to a FREE T-shirt. The program’s calendar currently includes service opportunities at the AIDS project, the Big Dipper Ice Cream Festival, Community Harvest Project, and more. For the past five years, youth in the Worcester area have been volunteering their time, making new friends, and making a difference within the community.

United Way of Central Massachusetts’ Volunteer Center coordinates many volunteer opportunities throughout the year to encourage community involvement. Volunteerism is experiencing a surge across our country and United Way of Central Massachusetts is poised to help residents find volunteer opportunities to match their time and interest. United Way of Central Massachusetts connects people and resources to improve the community by focusing on the building blocks for a good life: education, family stability, and health. For more information about United Way of Central Massachusetts, go to www.unitedwaycm.org.
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The Federal Communications Commission wants to ensure that LPTV stations are preserved after the spectrum incentive auction, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said during a House oversight hearing Wednesday. The FCC will help them locate new channels if needed; propose that they share channels, similar to full-power stations; and allow them to remain in place until wireless bidders need the spectrum, Wheeler said. In related news, the House panel questioned whether the FCC had made sufficient progress with its AM revitalization effort and its push to curtail pirate radio stations
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/washington/wheeler-fcc-will-try-preserve-lptv-voices/142883

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HAPPENING AT WCCA TV :
The Massachusetts Bankers Association in partnership with Bank of America, BayCoast Bank, Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank, PeoplesBank and The Savings Bank have produced an entertaining program to introduce and re-emphasize basic financial education concepts called “Common Cents”. You can see the informative program right here on WCCA TV this month. Email Tracy Foley for a listing of show times at tracy@wccatv.org.

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HAPPENING AT WCCA TV :

Jan Lewis, a former TV host for WCCA TV now produces her show in Upton and it’s called “Be Our Guest”. Jan’s show this month features author, Ursula Wong, who has written a fiction novel called “Purple Trees” about seventeen year old orphan, Lily Phelps. Tune into WCCA TV this month to see Be Our Guest or email tracy@wccatv.org for a listing of show times.

HAPPENING AT WCCA TV :

As a community service, WCCA TV will air 2 introductory videos by the The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority -also known as the MWRA. It is a public authority in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that provides wholesale drinking water and sewage services to certain municipalities and industrial users in the state, primarily in the Boston area. The authority receives water from the Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs and the Ware River in central and western Massachusetts. For sewage, it operates a tunnel in Boston Harbor for treated sewage as well as a treatment center on Deer Island at the mouth of the harbor, among other properties. The two videos WCCA TV will air will take complex topics and frequently asked questions about the MWRA and break them down with simple, understandable answers. See the videos right here on WCCA TV- public access TV for Worcester.

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WCCA NEWS and INFORMATION ROUND UP July 27, 2015

Our Member Patricia writes:
” keeping you in the loop re smart meters

Appeals Court Resoundingly Rules for Consumers Energy Customers –
from colleagues at the Smart Meter Education Network

“How can smart meters save money when Consumers seeks to add millions of dollars to the base rate to fund the AMI program?”
–Judge Peter O’Connell–

“A cost-benefit analysis [of smart meters] should include health, safety, and privacy issues.”
–Judge Peter O’Connell–
Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Peter O’Connell has issued a mind-blowing opinion that is very supportive of the anti-smart-meter community. Basically, O’Connell says that the MPSC and Consumers Energy have not proved their side of the case for smart meters, and puts forth many of the same questions and arguments that we in the anti-smart-meter community have been positing. He supports further investigation of the health and privacy issues.I highly recommend reading this case.

Background: A group of Consumers Energy customers and the Attorney General had appealed the Michigan Public Service Commission’s (MPSC’s) decision to allow Consumers to implement smart meters. The Court of Appeals decided that the MPSC had not properly decided all the issues and sent the case back (“remanded” it) to the MPSC. The MPSC didn’t like this, and it asked the court to “reconsider” its remand. In commenting on the denial of the motion for reconsideration, Judge O’Connell writes, “[The MPSC] contends that no further hearings are necessary concerning the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) smart meter program.” The court disagreed, and has stuck by its original decision to remand the case. Judge O’Connell’s Opinion on Costs
“The PSC and Consumers Energy advance the notion that smart meters will save the public money on their utility bills. Unfortunately, this argument is inherently illogical: how can smart meters save money when Consumers seeks to add millions of dollars to the base rate to fund the AMI program? It appears, as the Attorney General argues and as in other states, that the smart meter program actually increases rates.”

“I am concerned that under the opt-out program, those who opt-out must pay either a penalty, tax, or a fee for the privilege of retaining their non-smart meters. This Court, in its prior opinion, approved the PSC’s order allowing costs to fund the AMI smart meter program to be added to the utility’s base rate. At first glance, it appears the opt-outers are required to pay twice for the privilege of retaining their non-smart meter. The first payment is in the form of a penalty, tax, or fee to avoid having a smart meter installed on their home, and the second payment is of continued costs associated with the AMI smart meter program that eventually will be added to the base rate.”

“Why both charges? On remand, the PSC should answer that question. In the case of the opt-outers, they receive no benefit from the AMI smart meter program and must actually pay to be excluded from it, but then the opt-outer must also share in the costs of the program because of the increase to the base rate.”

“From this lower court record I am unable to discern the genesis, the reasons, or the rational for such an unprecedented double tariff.”

“I am also greatly concerned that the opt-out costs are actually a penalty imposed to force the opt-outers to comply with the AMI program. . . . The PSC’s implied finding that it is a fee/tariff rather than a penalty or a tax is not supported by even a scintilla of evidence in this lower court record. Just because the PSC says it is so on appeal does not make it so.”

Judge O’Connell’s Opinion on Health, Safety,
Privacy, Citizen Rights & Costs

“for the reasons stated in this opinion, I conclude that a cost-benefit analysis [of smart meters] should include health, safety, and privacy issues”; in other words, the MPSC must consider more than just monetary aspects of the smart meter program
all the issues surrounding smart meters have not been heard and should be; despite its claims, the MPSC has not “thoroughly” addressed the smart-meter issue
the customers who appealed have not had an opportunity to present evidence (he is very curious to see what proof will be presented, which leads us to ask the question whether the lawyers for the customers will gather the proper and adequate evidence, not just make grandiose claims)
citizens have a right to be heard
a very recent U.S. Supreme Court decision against the state of Michigan and for the EPA held that “‘cost’ includes more than the expense of complying with regulations; any disadvantage could be termed a cost. … including, for instance, harms that regulation might do to human health or the environment”
“because the PSC has not weighed the burdens, benefits, costs, and advantages of the entire AMI program, I am convinced that its decision is not supported by competent, material, and substantial evidence” [This argument is similar to the argument the court made with regard to the smart water meter case we will discuss in the next newsletter: You have to present sufficient evidence. In this case, he feels, the MPSC and Consumers Energy did not. In the smart water meter case, the court of appeals panel felt that the customer did not. We cannot emphasize enough—extreme detail and presentation of every possible piece of evidence is absolutely necessary to have even a hope of winning in court. In addition, you have to cover all the legal bases.]
“the individual appellants argue that the opt-out program violates federal and state laws governing disability and ask the PSC to consider additional health, safety, privacy, and disability-related cost issues, including that smart meters may place individuals with electro-sensitivity issues, pacemakers, and heart-related issues in danger”
“supplementing this record with additional facts and conclusions of law that actually support the PSC’s ultimate decision and giving the individual appellants their day in court is a fundamental requirement of our form of government”

There is no guarantee as to what the MPSC will do, nor as to what the Court of Appeals will do if this case comes before it again after the MPSC reconsiders it. At a minimum, we have a clear articulation of some basic rights and basic guidelines the courts and the MPSC should follow. And Judge O’Connell is the first judge to state the obvious: How can smart meters be saving us money when the utilities have had to raise rates (or get lots of free money from the government) to put them in? How can charing people an up-front fee to keep their opt-out meter be fair? The MPSC has never really considered the health and privacy issues, except by selectively considering industry and a few other publications.

The Importance of Evidence. Judge O’Connell took the MPSC to task for failing to submit adequate evidence to back up its claims. It is this same failure to present adequate evidence that has, at least in part, caused some Michigan smart meter cases to fail. We cannot emphasize enough—extreme detail and presentation of every possible piece of evidence is absolutely necessary to have even a hope of winning in court. In addition, you have to cover all the legal bases.

Physics.org Catastrophic Synchronziation, interacting smart meters may generate chaos instead of stability
http://phys.org/news/2015-07-seemingly-obvious-electricity-worse.html#jCp

Discrimination: National Grid ratepayers with health concerns are being surcharged in Massachusetts. Health complaints are characterized by the smart meter industry as imaginary mental health conditions (NOCEBO).

Please contact your legislators and teh governor and ask that they call for an immediate investigation of the MA DPU smart meter mandate and the fraudulent health claims in DPU 12-76-B. The Public Health hearing is Tuesday July 28, 1pm, at the Statehouse for Bill S1222 and H 2007.


Please sign this petition on behalf of Worcester residents:

The Worcester National Grid Smart Meter Pilot program exposes the community to unprecedented risks in violation of local democracy.

Will you sign this petition to Attorney General Martha Coakley? Click here:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/investigate-worcester?source=c.em.mt&r_by=8061333 ”

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The NAACP Writes:
Good afternoon,

This is a reminder of tonight’s NAACP meeting scheduled for 6:30p at the YWCA located at 1 Salem Sq in Worcester. We welcome you, and please feel free to bring guests as we discuss important issues concerning our community and upcoming events. See you tonight!

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Have a nice day !

WCCA TV News and Information round up for July 23 2015

You have a right to Know what your food is:
http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1326253
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Worcester: Our Lady of Mt Carmel Festival looking for volunteers.
We will be celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel with a huge Feast starting on August 21 – August 23. We are looking for volunteers. There are sign up sheets here at the office or you can email me and I will pass the information to Stella Fiore. Stella Fiore is in charge of volunteers.
One of the areas that help is needed is sitting at the table selling raffle tickets.

Joan
CONTACT [[ joan_dargenis@yahoo.com ]]
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WCCA NEWS:
Happy Birthday to our receptionist Zara -this weekend!

Also, to our Technology Engineer Frank Enjoy !!!
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Musicians get your music act seen and heard on Central New England’s number music show cases BANDEdge and or VIDEO JAM to learn more contact Mauro at 508-755-1880

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