From my corner: October 15, 2020

Ballot questions

There are two questions on the electoral ballot this year that we published on our October 8th edition for your information.  We are planning to repeat them next week, just in time for everyone to make a decision.  They are the exact text that appears on the red book published by the Secretary of State of the Commonwealth in English and Spanish.

My opinion is only offered in this column and a few days ago I wrote on Facebook the following:

“On question 1, let’s leave things alone. Right now we bring our cars to our mechanic of choice. It will provide only mechanical data transmitted wirelessly to repair shops – not private information. I’m voting YES on this one.

On question 2, I want my vote to be used for the candidate of my choice, even if s/he loses. Rank Choice Voting will divide the votes and mine could very well end up supporting someone undesirable by my judgment. I’m voting NO on this one.”


Please take the time to read both proposals to make up your mind.  People tend to misunderstand what they read, at times, or believe what so cleverly has been depicted on television commercials.


Ending the Census count

As I expected, thousands of people did not respond to the census putting in jeopardy many improvements for the city and society in general.  After many months of mailings, advertisements, visits, telephone calls, and begin to please respond, there was silence.  The people of Lawrence didn’t listen.

This brings to mind that around 1961 or 62 in Cuba, the government changed the currency and it was a total surprise.  The bank accounts were protected but the catch was that there was a limit of cash you could bring to the bank (5,000 pesos) and anyone with more had to burn it or bury it in the backyard in hopes that things would change in the future.

I bring this in comparison because the new currency was printed and no one knew about it.  The exchange took place in one day only!

With today’s technology, why do we have to beg people to respond to something that will not harm them in any way?  I understand about the fear of deportation and the lack of credentials but the government has not tried to educate those people, either as to the safety of reporting.


The COVID threat

The same is happening with COVID testing.  The City of Lawrence has spent millions of dollars, yet the numbers of positive cases keep going up.  We continue as #1 with 41.5 positive cases as a daily average.  The administration seems to think that throwing money at a problem will solve it but residents keep being disobedient by not wearing masks, partying, and carrying on with their lives as usual.

Most residents know that on June 23, 2020, the City Council approved the FY2021 budget which included a 2.5% increase in our taxes.  What was not made public is that on May 6, 2020, the mayor received a letter from the Division of Local Services of the Internal Revenue Service, granting the City of Lawrence a $6,111,000 loan with the caveat that it was to be used specifically in the FY2021 budget.

People keep getting infected and dying and the mayor believes that the memorial of 144 chairs on the Campagnone Common dedicated to the lives lost will make an impact.  There were approximately eight workers and a foreman setting them up all day and that’s probably what the loan was used for.

Doesn’t he know that he will have to continue adding chairs as days go by?  He has not fully understood that we need to take stronger actions with this community.

I am tired of not going anywhere, not being able to have guests for dinner at my home or going to a restaurant.  Alberto and I are at the right age for COVID-19 contagion and we are very fearful.  When someone must bring something to my home, we request to leave it in the mailbox or outside.  Lots of people are becoming depressed and the most I do is sit in the sun for a few minutes to prevent becoming like that.

Finally, reading in the local newspaper, the Lawrence police is doing something about it.  Fines for gatherings or not wearing masks is the language people understand.  Now, if they could clamp down on visitors from out-of-state!


Correcting President Trump

Several times I’ve heard President Trump say that there are two states called Commonwealth – Pennsylvania and Virginia – when there are 4, Kentucky and Massachusetts.  Some people insist there are five, if we count Puerto Rico.

There’s no difference between a Commonwealth and a State just that this definition appears on the Constitution of those states since it was the common language of that era.

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