A blog about movies and the Sturbridge area, including The Brookfields, Brimfield, Charlton, Holland, Wales, and Spencer as well as adjacent towns.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What do I do now?

As someone who suffers from delusions of agriculture, I have been raising poultry for the fam with varying degrees of failure for some years now. The two chickens in the picture above were hatched on the same day, about eight weeks ago.

As is obvious, one is flourishing and the other is runty. I would like to move them to the general population, but the little guy would be murdered. If any of my few readers has a suggestion to bring about growth in Marty*, I am desperate.

*My daughter named the pair Marty and Doc as in the two characters in Back to the Future.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Melinda's Menu Loses Lease

Above:Dave and Melinda Frawley with adopted Mom

Melinda's Menu has been in the Sturbridge Marketplace since forever, or so it seems. Sadly, the nook has lost its lease and will be replaced by a Subway franchisee.

Last night, at OurTvSpace.com's place at the same location folks gathered for a time for Melinda and Dave and to support them in their next endeavor. Yeah, MM is closing, but the evening did not at all have the tenor of a wake. Everyone was upbeat and enjoying themselves.

I got to have a few words with Melinda and Dave. They do have plans to move on and start another place. They have known they were not wanted in the Marketplace for a while now. The new building owner has wanted Subway in there. Now with the lease up, there is no choice.

Myself, I have nothing against Subway. I'll occasionally have one of their sandwiches. Still, it is regrettable that in a historic building, local color must give way to a fast food outlet. It is only my humble opinion, but a chain logo reduces the mill's cachet.

Hollywood in Sturbridge wishes The Frawley's good luck and will be watching for their next culinary incarnation. Kudos to Melinda and Doug Kirkpatrick of OurTvSpace for being the impetus for the evening.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Washington DC-based independent film maker's documentary about the Southbridge Landfill Expansion to premier Friday June 26th in Southbridge

What: 'Now U Know', a short independent film about the Southbridge Landfill expansion, brings together local residents, activists and landfill experts. This film explores how and why a dangerous landfill expansion has been approved by the Town of Southbridge Board of Health despite overwhelming public opposition. Once you have viewed this thoughtful and illuminating work you will understand why a landfill accepting more than 405,000 tons of municipal solid waste per year cannot be safe.

When: June 26th, 2009 7PM

Where: Cohasse Country Club, Southbridge, MA
Free admission - cash bar
View the film on their 60" screen
MC - Larry Beinema

About the film maker:
Jonathan Alexander, an independent filmmaker working out of Washington DC, is a Film and Video graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has worked as a freelance videographer for MTV, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX, and NHK on various projects, mainly as a photo journalist. He has also worked as staff videographer for Greenpeace covering various actions and video news releases about events/actions/protests involving environmental campaigns.

He became interested in the Southbridge Landfill expansion while visiting the region during the the Board of Health hearings last spring. Over the past year, Mr. Alexander has gathered interviews from experts, scientists, and concerned residents. Mr. Alexander's wife, Heather Roymans, creative director at the Discovery Channel, and Lindsay Goodwin, biologist and local activist, collaborated in the making of this film. For this project, they were able to attract the pro bono assistance of peers and other volunteers concerned by the issue of waste disposal on a local and national level.

Contact info:
Jonathan Alexander

Heather Roymans
Creative Director
Discovery Channel
240-662-3348 (office)
240-893-9847 (cell)

More about the film:

Chris Kelley
* Provides narration -- Voice heard on ESPN, VH1, and the Discovery Channel

Lynne Simonds
Program Director, Southbridge Community Connections

Onix Melendez
Southbridge Resident

Laurent R. McDonald
Private Pilot, Retired Air Force Fire Chief, Southbridge Resident

Neil Seldman
President & Director of Waste to Wealth Program, Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR), Washington DC
Since 1974, ILSR has worked with citizen groups, governments and private businesses in developing policies that extract the maximum value from local resources.

Dr. David Carpenter
Director of the Institute for Health & the Environment, University of Albany
* Recently interviewed on both the TODAY show and Good Morning America
* Author of over 300 major peer reviewed scientific publications
* Member, Board of Directors, Pacific Basin Consortium for Hazardous Waste Health and Environment
* Member, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee

Ron Merritt
President & Senior Scientist, DeTect Inc., Panama City, FL
* Recently Interviewed on CNN for the Hudson River Crash
* 7 years experience as Chief of the Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) Team, Environmental Engineering Division, Pentagon, Washington D.C.
* Has given lectures on bird strike hazards and related topics at international conferences in Spain, Germany, England, Finland, Belgium, Israel, New Zealand, Panama, Canada, and Chile

Lynne Pledger
Sierra Club Zero Waste Committee Member, Don't Waste Massachusetts Founder

Kirstie Pecci, Esq.
Pro Bono Attorney

Lara DeRose
Community Organizer for Residents for Alternative Trash Solutions (RATS)

John Pulawski
Southbridge Resident

Thanks to Lindsay Godwin for the information

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion-June Edition

The June edition of the Sturbridge Times Magazine has been mailed out and there are three articles by moi in it.

On Page 4 There is my article about the Simpson father and son team who save buildings from lightning.

On Page 6 I cover the Dictionary Project. This is Rotary's effort to give all the kids in the Tantasqua Region their own dictionary.

In my regular column on Page 14 I tell about my life as a status seeker.

There are many other great articles this month. If you do not get it delivered you can read it online here or pick it up at any of the locations listed below. Just click on the graphic.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Save The Film Credit, again

I’m a little late to this, but Chuck Slavin noted on Facebook that the Massachusetts Senate voted 35-6 to conduct another study on the tax credit’s impact to the economy, as opposed to killing the tax credit.

Of course, who does the study and how they feel about the credit is all important. Well, even more important is how you, my fellow citizen and taxpayer feel about it. If you think having a film industry in Massachusetts is a good thing, please click here for a link to contact your rep and senator and tell him so.

There is also the possibility you don’t think it is important. As one of my commenters stated in reply to a previous column,

Tax CREDITS are not tax breaks. They can be sold like cash. Frequently they are sold (assigned) to another company that has nothing to do with film production.

Just another corporate welfare scam to soak gullible taxpayers. Hollywood is playing states and countries off each other as they grease the wheels on the race to the bottom.

They won't even say thanks when they head to another state with bigger suckers.

In the words of Winston Churchill, that is true but not exhaustive. There is no business that locates anywhere that does not take into consideration the tax climate. As someone with a libertarian outlook, I think it would be wonderful if the Commonwealth had a tax policy that made our state attractive to many, if not all, industries. Unfortunately, this is Massachusetts and we have to take what we can get. And we'll get an industry. Please listen to Nick Paleogolos below and you will see what Massachusetts gets out of its incentives.