Monday, January 29, 2007

Environmental Response to Governor's Podcast

1. Response to Governor's Podcast, 1/29/07.
2. Governor's Podcast, 1/26/07.

Bob La Trémouille reports:

Governor Patrick has started a weekly series of podcasts. Below is my response to this week's podcast left in the appropriate manner and the text of the podcast.

1. Response to Governor's Podcast, 1/29/07.

Dear Governor Patrick:

I appreciate your comments in your blog which give the impression of environmental concern. You also sound like you are concerned about the scarce resources of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

You have also spoken about increasing volunteerism.

An excellent example of very major environmental and volunteerism problems is the Department of Conservation and Resources, formerly the Metropolitan District Commission.

The DCR / MDC took a poll a few years ago. The poll found that most people did not think that the Charles River needs improvements. We have repeatedly heard about the problem the DCR / MDC has with scarce resources.

So the DCR / MDC is aggressively destroying the environment of the Charles River for supposed “improvements” which most people said are not necessary. The “improvements” are highly destructive to the environment and repeatedly violate the DCR / MDC’s publicly stated goals.

The “improvements” do, however, make money for contractors. The fact that the contractors could make money from the MDC / DCR in parts of the system which need improvement seems to be irrelevant.

Central to the “improvements” which are anything but are the DCR / MDC’s “volunteers.” Highly visible on the Charles River have been the “Charles River Conservancy” and Boston University. These entities certainly look like they are used for things the DCR / MDC does not dare to do on their own. Clearly both have quite destructive of the environment and the resources of the DCR / MDC.

The DCR / MDC seems to be driven to destroy all signs of living beings on the Charles River and seems determined to destroy as much trees, animal habitat and wetlands as they can get away with.

The ongoing attacks on the Cambridge side of the Charles River are an excellent example.

One of the supposedly highest goals of the DCR / MDC is swimming in the Charles River.

In September 2004, the DCR / MDC conducted a swim in at Magazine Beach as a media event to emphasize this goal. One of the most visible swimmers was the head of the Charles River Conservancy.

This project and a related project in September 2004 was a direct attack on the Commonwealth’s most valuable tourist attraction on the Cambridge side of the Charles River, the Charles River White Geese. These 25 year residents gather fans from miles around because of their beauty, their gregariousness and their natural existence. They have been major favorites with commuters.

In September 2004, the DCR / MDC and the City of Cambridge proceeded to starve the Charles River White Geese by walling off their food of 25 years from access from the Charles River at the Hyatt Regency and Magazine Beach.

When the Boston Globe did a story on the starvation at Magazine Beach, they showed these beautiful animals being fed by friends with a massive earth remover in the background destroying their access to food.

Next to this photo, the Boston Globe quoted the DCR / MDC manager, Richard Corsi as saying he had no intent to “harm” the Charles River White Geese, repeating the claims of the DCR / MDC for more than four years at that time.

Mr. Corse has since elaborated on his statement. In Mr. Corsi’s world, “harming” does not include starving.

The project destroyed the wetlands at Magazine Beach to put in a wall of “native” bushes which promptly died because these supposedly “native” bushes have no business on the Charles River. After repeated plantings the non-native “native” bushes finally seem to be taking, but for what purpose?

Why to wall off the Charles River from Magazine Beach and thus preventing use of Magazine Beach for swimming, exactly the opposite of the stated goals praised by the media event.

A sample swim last year was called off because of algae bloom in the Charles River.

The DCR / MDC claims to be converting the Charles River to water related uses. Toward that purpose, the DCR / MDC is rebuilding softball fields on the Charles River. Ebersol Fields on the Boston side near Mass. General was upgraded as part of the DCR / MDC’s emphasis on water related facilities. As part of the “upgrading,” poisons were installed at Ebersol Fields, but the poisons were not strong enough. So the DCR / MDC added even more powerful poisons, a poison which included in its instructions a warning against use near water.

THE DAY AFTER THE MORE POWERFUL POISONS were used at Ebersol Fields, the Charles River was dead from the harbor to the Mass. Ave. Bridge with the algae outbreak which prevented the swimming.

The next part of the DCR / MDC’s emphasis on water-related activities on the Charles River is further “improvements” to the softball fields at Magazine Beach. These softball fields have been walled off from the Charles River by the wall of non-native “native” bushes I mentioned above.

Plans are to truck away all the dirt at Magazine Beach and to replace the dirt with dirt, sprinklers and poisons. The sprinklers are intended to replace the wetlands which were destroyed along with animal habitat to put in the non-native “native” wall of bushes. Currently, Magazine Beach does not need poisons in the playing fields. Most people cannot even see the “need” to dig up the playing fields.

The White Geese and other free animals used to have access to all of Magazine Beach. For awhile in 2006, they had access to a tiny part of Magazine Beach. Trucking away the soil will clearly deny all food at Magazine Beach to free animals. This is for a project that makes no sense to most people.

And if the poisons needed as a result of the “improvements” do not work? Well, we can expect the more powerful poisons, which certainly look like they destroyed the Charles River when used before.

This is part of a package in which the Charles River Conservancy, as agent for the DCR / MDC has poisoned every goose egg they could get away with on the first ten miles of the Charles River for the past four years.

This is part of a package in which the Charles River Conservancy has been aggressively destroying as much native vegetation as it can get away with. The CRC has problems with a river looking like a river. They want the Charles River to look like a college campus.

I have seen heron on the Charles River, protected by vegetation which the CRC and DCR / MDC routinely destroy. I know of resident water fowl whose lairs are being destroyed by this aggressive destruction.

The first attacks on the Charles River were undertaken by Boston University on behalf of the DCR / MDC in October 1999 as part of an apparently illegal agreement. Boston University destroyed the nesting area of the DCR / MDC in October 1999. They started the destruction before a meeting on the subject scheduled in front of the Cambridge Conservation Commission. BU then denied doing the work until they were condemned for it by the Cambridge Conservation Commission. As part of their withdrawal of their denials, BU blamed their president’s secretary.

From then until pretty much the present day, the DCR / MDC has denied any intent to “harm” the Charles River White Geese.

Years of attacks on the nests and habitat of the Charles River have followed.

Multiple goose killings have been greeted with highly communicative silence. An apparent goose killer graduated to rape and murder at the Destroyed Nesting Area of the Charles River White Geese right where he had apparently been brutally killing geese. He has since been sentenced to life in prison. The accomplices of the DCR / MDC on the Charles River, the Cambridge City Council, spent an extended period of time discussing the rape and murder. They just did not want to know where she had been raped and murdered. They had been part of the very communicative silence which apparently egged the killer on.

There are currently plans to destroy more than 449 to 660 trees on the Cambridge side from the Longfellow Bridge to Magazine Beach. The DCR / MDC brags of replacing mature trees with saplings. The DCR / MDC brags about how great the place will look in 40 years.

This is with public moneys.

Imminent is reconstruction of the BU Bridge. The DCR / MDC has been unable to starve the wildlife because of the activities of residents with greens provided by merchants.

Trouble is the wildlife, particularly the Charles River White Geese, has been confined in the Goose Meadow / Destroyed Nesting Area of the Charles River White Geese. This has been because the DCR / MDC and Cambridge denied access to the rest of the habitat.

This last remaining wild area is adjacent to and just east of the BU Bridge. The very much not-tender mercies of the MDC / DCR are highly predictable with regard to residents driven into this area by their misbehavior.

The DCR / MDC is aggressively destroying all living beings on the Charles River (when they are not poisoning the Charles River or walling the Charles River off against swimming which they claim to support). What do you think the DCR / MDC will do to this last remaining piece of wild habitat as part of work on the bridge which abuts the habitat?

Once again, thank you for your great words. I will watch closely to see if they are carried into practice.

2. Governor's Podcast, 1/26/07.

Transcript: Our First Few Weeks

January 26th, 2007

Governor Deval L. Patrick

This is Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts. This is the first of a weekly internet Podcast that I intend to record as a way of talking directly with you about our work in state government on your behalf.

These first few weeks have been active ones. I made the difficult decision in the early hours of this administration to reverse a slate of funding cuts made by the outgoing governor. These were tough decisions and costly ones in some respects, but they also honor the commitments that the legislature and the outgoing government had made to people in need, people who needed food and shelter, valuable programs.

I made that decision in close consultation with our budget experts because I believe we will ultimately have the revenues necessary to meet those obligations. And I also warned our team and the public that we may not, given tough revenue forecasts, keep those commitments on a recurring basis. But for this fiscal year I believe that was the right thing to do.

We also launched our Commonwealth Corp, a new service program which will challenge 250 Massachusetts citizens in the first year to give their time, a year of service, full or part time, to help rebuild and revitalize our statewide community. Graduates from high school and college, people in mid-career, retirees, who will have a more formal way of re-engaging in community service.

The Lt. Governor and I met with local officials from the Massachusetts Municipal Association and began the critical work of rebuilding working relationships with leaders of cities and towns, people who are on the front line of delivering services to our people.

We joined the regional greenhouse gas initiative, to promote energy conservation and rate reduction for consumers, as well as job growth in an emerging industry around clean technology and clean energy, something I think is a big opening for us here in Massachusetts.

And I sent my first bill to the legislature. Working with Senator Fred Berry of Peabody and Representative Ted Speliotis of Danvers we filed a bill to provide immediate property tax relief to families whose homes were damaged or destroyed in the Danvers chemical plant explosion in November.

We also formed a development cabinet to coordinate the executive departments that are key to stimulating economic growth throughout the commonwealth because if we don’’t make a more successful economic environment, with broader opportunities for companies, for wealth creation and for you, then everything else we want to do is up for grabs.

Now, it has been an active first few weeks but it has not been without its bumps. There have been insignificant ones, like when I filled the executive suite with smoke when I first tried to light the fireplace in the governor’’s office. And more significant ones like dealing with the initial bids from healthcare providers in trying to implement the new health reform law. But we are committed to getting it all right. We’’ve gone back to the drawing board with those bidders to get those premiums lower, so that they are more affordable to people. Because we don’’t want hypothetical health care reform we want real and meaningful and lasting health care reform and its going to take work.

There are other challenges we’’re facing. We’’re in the midst of the budget season right now, developing a budget for the next fiscal year which begins July 1. The revenue picture is not as robust as we hoped it would be and there are other challenges we face. But I believe we can face those challenges, if we stick together, and we’’re candid with you about the challenges we face, and open to you in taking your best ideas and your best advice on how to meet those challenges. We’’re in this for the long run, you and me, we are about building lasting and meaningful change and improvement in all of our communities all across this commonwealth, and that’’ll take time.

Now I could respond like some governors have, with sound-bytes and gimmicks and photo-ops. I could tell you everything is fine, and it’’s going to be smooth sailing no matter what. But I came here promising you that we would face our challenges squarely, that we would bring the most meaningful reforms to the table, and that we would govern with our long term interests in mind, and that’’s exactly what I intend to do.

If you’’d like to send us your comments or feedback on this podcast or anything else, please visit the website, which is and click on ‘‘send us your ideas’’. Those are the words. And we’’ll be paying attention. Thanks for listening. Take care.