From My Corner: February 15, 2017
State of the City Address
The mayor forgot one very important item: the parking meters are scheduled to be under the city’s domain after five years. He should have included a report of how much the city has earned and if he has extended the contract with the company operating them. We need an explanation also for the poor maintenance; many of the meters, including the one across from City Hall are out of order.
One thing I forgot to mention last week was the prevalence of gangs in the city, particularly at the high school. The Trinitarians and the MS-13 seem to be running wild and no one is trying to do anything to track them or lock them up. Just ask the students; they know is a group of about 25 and they know who they are.
The police is supposed to be working closely with the Safe and Successful Youth Initiative Program that runs out of the YouthBuild Program at the Lawrence Family Development Charter School. This is the program designed to educate and control young people up to 24 years of age who are at risk of getting into trouble and some of them had served prison terms. Don’t be surprised if they are the same committing the robberies, assaults, car thefts, and other crimes including drug-related offenses. They are supposed to be watched by the police 24 hours a day and community leaders used to have monthly meetings to keep the program going. Those meetings have not taken place for many months and I have requested that information from the police chief only to be ignored. That’s why they can say that crime is down!
He said that the city has never had a civil engineer in the position of City Engineer. The reason for that was that the city was covered by Santo Nicolosi’s license. He was not only a Licensed Civil Engineer he also was a licensed Surveyor and he served the city for over 60 years. I checked the State website and Santo did indeed have both licenses issued in 1958. Both were valid until 2012. He is now listed as deceased.
The new city engineers could be very smart, have the proper licenses but could never replace the knowledge and experience Andrew Wall has. He was Assistant City Engineer because he could not pass the licensing test, as we all got to know. The mayor tried embarrassing him with that fact when he fired him leaving the city and the DPW department in a big mess just looking for ways to make room for his incompetent friends. When Mr. Wall left, the intimate knowledge of the city he has left with him.
Does she know where all the necessary information is stored? Does she know what streets are eligible to use Chapter 90 money on? Does she know about all the private utilities within the city? Does she know about the sluiceways, Lawry hydrants or the abandoned fire wells? Does she know about the Pemberton Standard? Does she know about any of the Essex Company sewers and where to find them? There is a lot more to that job than having the right license.
Yes, after three years in limbo, the city is now having qualified engineers at work!
Sen Warren’s action
It is intriguing how people pick and choose news items to suit their purpose or ideals and we are then manipulated by the media. Senator Elizabeth Warren was censured last week for criticizing another senator in violation of the rules to assure decorum in the Senate. She was reading from a letter written by Coretta Scott King where she had expressed the same feeling Senator Warren has towards Senator Jeff Sessions. That letter came very handy since he was being considered for the position of Attorney General of the United States to accuse him of being a racist.
But we found another letter written by Coretta Scott King that other groups would love to read. In a 1991 letter to Sen. On–in Hatch (R-UT), Coretta Scott King and other black community leaders argued that illegal immigration would have a devastating impact on the black community. “We, the undersigned members of the Black Leadership Forum, write to urge you to postpone introduction of your employer sanctions repeal legislation until we have had an opportunity to report to you what we believe to be the devastating impact the repeal would have on the economic condition of un- and semi-skilled workers a disproportionate number of whom are African-American and Hispanic.”
They were asking for employer sanctions for hiring illegal workers, thus displacing other minorities and controlling the entrance of undocumented aliens. How timely with what is going on today. As you can see, it depends of who is telling the story and how history can be used to mislead of serve a certain purpose.
In support of women
Since 1974 I have been actively fighting for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and all causes affecting women. Through the years, a sense of sisterhood was nurtured and it was a great feeling seeing a woman succeed in business or professionally. We celebrated each other’s achievements and mutually supported our causes.
That was not easy and I mention it because the younger generation who didn’t live through it might think that men gave us the rights we now enjoy. No, we fought; we worked for them in unity.
In recent years, there has been a switch in attitudes with women segregating themselves again. During the violent demonstrations taking place in Washington, D.C. the organizers of the Women’s March refused to allow participation to feminist who favored the pro-life stance while the protest was exclusively pro-abortion. What ever happened to the freedom of choice?
And this past elections has turned women against women just based on politics. For the past few years Ivanka Trump was praised for her entrepreneurial spirit becoming what we fought for: an independent woman in business, wife and mother of three children. We knew it could be done and she was doing it all. On top of that, she was highly regarded for her social consciousness all over the world. Today, women groups are concocting ways to destroy her business – just because of her name.
What ever happened to tolerance?
And with that frame of mind, I am saddened that I have to critique the action of a woman that we are proud of. I don’t want anyone to think that I’m jumping on the “attack-successful-women-bandwagon.” It’s early in her career and she should know that many people I spoke to are upset at the path she has chosen.
Ms. Matias was elected to represent the residents of Lawrence and improve the living conditions of us all. She has dedicated herself to one cause serving a small group instead, allowing herself to be used by people that perhaps don’t want to be in the limelight the way she seems to be enjoying.
She is doing a great job organizing and representing the undocumented alien population but she was elected for much more than that.
Last summer I wrote about tipping in restaurants and that is a topic that should be followed through. In that article it was explained that servers only get a very reduced salary; it recently was raised and they now earn $3.25 an hour. Since the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, at the end of the day the management adds up the tips and if they did not get that minimum wage, the restaurant has to make it up. They always hope that the customers compensate their good work properly but it doesn’t often happen.
For example, one night we were having dinner at Denny’s on Rt. 114 in Lawrence and there were three tables occupied with families with several children. We watched as each one left the premises and then approached the young server. They had left zero for gratuity. That means that she was working for $7.25 an hour.
Now, there is a movement in Boston trying to give “tipping workers” the minimum wage of $11 an hour that just went into effect in Massachusetts. Even the wait staff is worried about that. If restaurants are forced to pay that much, it only means that the cost of a meal will increase and there will be no tipping at all. They will be working for $11 an hour. What a big deal of a raise!
And what about the consumer? That will be a bonanza for New Hampshire businesses.
Reply to All
I told you about my pet peeve before: Reply to All. I receive emails from many organizations that communicate with large groups of people about meeting or events. My box gets loaded with dozens and dozens of messages every day saying: “That looks nice!,” I’ll see you there,” “I can’t make the meeting,” and many other silly responses that are unnecessary or they should just reply to the sender, not to everyone on the list.