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TOM DUGGAN’S NOTEBOOK (Nov. 2020) ~ The Methuen Council, Media Bias, and Left Wing Violence

METHUEN COUNCIL CENSORS THE MAYOR

Methuen City Council President Jim McCarty may like to crow about “following the law” and “respecting the city charter” but McCarty has been stifling the mayor at city council meetings and if the mayor is not going to call him out for it, then I guess I will. According to the Methuen Charter not only is the mayor allowed to speak at council meetings, he is allowed to put an item on the agenda. McCarty thinks as council chairman he can deny the mayor speaking time at meetings despite what the charter says. The Charter also says that any member of the public can put an item on the city council agenda, but last month a citizen tried to place an item on the agenda but was blocked by McCarty because he didn’t like the subject to be discussed. It’s bad enough that McCarty and certain other councilors think that the mayor works for THEM, and that they can interfere with the day to day operations of the city, but to violate the charter by silencing the mayor at a public meeting shows just how drunk with power McCarty and his cohorts are. Sources in city hall also say that McCarty and other councilors call and show up at the mayor’s office on a daily basis to bark orders or demand information from him while the mayor and his staff are trying to do their jobs. To be clear, no councilor has any power or authority when not sitting with the city council as a body.

It’s time for the council to get new leadership, someone who doesn’t talk about following the charter but actually follows the charter. As for Perry he needs to be more forceful with the council on following their own rules and stop playing politics at the council table.

CDC SAID PEOPLE SICK WITH COVID COULD BREAK QUARANTINE TO VOTE
Days before the presidential election the national Centers for Disease Control (the CDC) issued a press statement saying people with COVID could break quarantine to go vote. These are the same people who first told us that the virus was not transmissible from human to human, the same people who originally said masks do not work to stop COVID, the same people who are now demanding more lockdowns. Either this virus is going to KILL people and pose a monumental threat to the lives of everyone who comes in contact with it…. or it isn’t. This is the same kind of political decision – made by people who claim only to care about SCIENCE – that had CDC officials praising thousands of people protesting and rioting but criticizing the president for holding outdoor rallies. One more reason you should never blindly follow someone just because the media calls them “experts”.

MEDIA PREDICTIONS WERE ALL WRONG …. AGAIN!
The so-called news media who have been campaigning hard for Joe Biden while pretending to disseminate “news” told us a lot before the election. They said the election would be a blowout for Biden. They said because Trump was a NAZI he was going to lose in a landslide because, let’s face it, 90% of people in this country hate NAZIS. That turned out to be wrong. They also said that the Democrats would take the House and Senate because of the Supreme Court appointment of Amy Coney Barret. That turned out not to be true. They said that Trump would never win Florida because he’s a racist who hates Latinos, so Latinos in Florida were going to tip the state to Biden. Not only did Trump win Florida, but to a larger percentage of Latino votes than any other Republican presidential candidate including George Bush who has several Latinos in his family. In fact, almost every single prediction the media made before the election turned out to be wrong. Apparently they have learned nothing from the 2016 election and don’t hold your breath that they have learned their lesson in 2020.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO “NOT BELIEVE IN SCIENCE”
Whenever I talk about global warming with a brainwashed liberal they always trot out the tired old “you don’t believe in science” and it’s “settled science”!!

Here’s a little advice for my conservative friends who hear this as often as I do. I always ask people “what does it mean to not believe in science”? Science is not something one believes in or disbelieves in. It’s not religion (though some on the left think it is) Science is a method of collecting and analyzing data. It’s like saying you don’t believe in MATH! There isn’t a person on the planet who doesn’t believe in science. What we don’t believe are the people who claim that their political positions are rooted in “science” when they can’t tell the difference between a beaker and a Bunsen burner. Anyone who says global warming is “settled science” and that “most scientists agree with man-made global warming are only parroting what someone else told them or what they saw on CNN. Remember, at one time in human history it was “settled science” that the earth was flat and the sun revolved around the Earth. Nothing in science is “settled” that is what science is all about. Doubting and continuing to ask questions, do experiments and collect more data, is what real science is all about. In fact, continuing to question the existence of man-made global warming is one of the most scientific things anyone can do.

RANK CHOICE VOTING LOSES IN MA
Rank Choice voting is a crazy scheme that violates the one man-one vote principal that this country has held sacred for hundreds of years. It was question #2 on the Massachusetts ballot and surprisingly it failed on Election Day. Don’t worry, I’m sure it will be back as political activists in the Democrat Party are hell bent on changing our election system to give them more power.

BLAMING ME IS ALWAYS A GREAT WAY TO GRANDSTAND
The Methuen City Council spent more than an hour attacking each other, myself, and Councilor Nick DiZoglio in a shouting match during a council meeting last week. At issue is the fact that I posted a story on line that the city clerk had tested positive for Covid with quotes from two councilors expressing concern about the safety of city hall and the election process, which was to take place the next day. First, councilor Simard attacked me personally as well as attacking my ethics. (Mind you, I have given this guy awards and helped him get elected; my, how we change when we get power). Then councilor DiZoglio was blamed as my source, then Council Chairman McCarty went on a tirade using this as an opportunity to kick both me and Nick in the teeth accusing him “as a fact” that he was the source. For the record I would never tell anyone who my source was. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars in court preventing people from getting my sources, I sure as hell would never just blurt it out to an elected official. But I will say that the person who told me had no affiliation with the City of Methuen at ALL. You know there is a world outside Methuen politics. Secondly, the mistake was mine. I mistakenly published the employee’s name on the website story. It was available for all of a minute and a half before I realized the mistake, and took the name out of the story immediately. I then called the employee and left him a message taking ownership of the mistake and apologized, that’s just who I am. But word got to city councilors in that short period of time leading them to grandstand at a public meeting and faking outrage over imaginary HIPPA violations. (HIPPA is a law prohibiting employers and others from revealing a person’s private medical information). There was no HIPPA violation, the information didn’t come from city councilors, which means the Methuen City Council wasted an hour attacking each other, and me in order to grandstand and score political points. You know, I thought with this new city council things were going to change. They changed alright. But they didn’t change for the better. These meetings are more of a circus than any meeting Jen Kannan ever ran.

OREGON LEGALIZES HARD DRUGS
The state of Oregon has legalized heroin, cocaine, psychedelic mushrooms, etc. This is scary as what happens on the West Coast usually ends up here in Massachusetts. It will be interesting to see what the federal government and the courts have to say about all this, as possession, distribution, or use of these drugs violate federal law. Nonetheless, the fact that voters in Oregon have legalized hard drugs means a quicker and more painful death of the middle class.

ELECTION NIGHT MEDIA INCOMPETENCE
The incompetence and shenanigans that the media exhibited on election night was staggering. First, they started giving results in Miami Florida while the western part of the state was still voting because they are in a different time zone. Then they refused to call Florida and Ohio for Trump when there was no way he could lose those states. CNN called Virginia for Biden and then had to take it back and admit only 3% of the votes were in. Conversely they fully declared four states for Joe Biden with zero percent of the vote reporting. It is no secret that the news media has been lying, propagandizing, and actively campaigning on the air against President Trump. But I at least expected them to provide fair and accurate election results on election night. NOPE! They just can’t help themselves.

METHUEN IMPLEMENTS SEE-CLICK-FIX TO ANSWER RESIDENT REQUESTS
In an effort to improve resident access to assistance across a wide range of topics and issues, Methuen Mayor Neil Perry has instituted SeeClickFix, an interactive system that will allow the City of Methuen to be more responsive and transparent.

SeeClickFix creates an effective two-way exchange of information between the city and its residents. It also helps to speed up response time and problem solving. Mayor Perry notes, “This tool empowers residents to do something more than observe and experience frustration with city-related issues. Residents can now take action and report issues creating prompt and positive solutions.”

Once the SeeClickFix app is installed on your phone, it takes just a minute or two to notify the city of a concern. This is a positive neighborhood tool that allows our residents to communicate with their government, and have their concerns addressed promptly.

Initially, the city will be using SeeClickFix for COVID-19 related issues only. Visit cityofmethuen.net and click on the “Report a COVID-19 Issue” link to let us know of any COVID related problems or issues encountered.

“SeeClickFix is accessible to residents either via the SeeClickFix app or the city website. With our departments busier than ever dealing with everyday tasks plus COVID-19 challenges, this is a valuable tool for residents to reach city hall more efficiently and directly. I want to thank our department heads and their teams for helping to get this initiative started”, said Mayor Perry.
SeeClickFix will be rolled out for all city departments over the next 6 months. The city will keep residents updated on new developments, as it continues to focus on understanding and addressing the needs of all residents; SeeClickFix is one tool to assist us in accomplishing that goal.

SENATOR DIZOGLIO RECOGNIZES NEWBURYPORT BREWING COMPANY
Newburyport Brewing Company has been recognized by State Senator Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) as part of the Legislature’s 5th Annual Manufacturing Month Awards, honoring manufacturers across the Commonwealth.

Newburyport Brewing Company is a craft brewery dedicated to brewing high-quality craft beer products for local and regional consumers. Co-founded in 2012 as Massachusetts’ first all-can and keg craft brewery by two local Newburyport entrepreneurs, musicians, and home brewers – Chris Webb and Bill Fisher – Newburyport Brewing aims to capture the essence of the City of Newburyport’s quaint seaside character across a line of handcrafted ales.

During the COVID-19 emergency, they have expanded their outdoor seating and live music space, with a variety of entertainment scheduled each week.

“Local businesses like Newburyport Brewing Company are the backbone of our economy and essential to job creation and growth,” said DiZoglio, a member of the legislature’s Manufacturing Caucus.

NEW YOUTH CENTER FOR METHUEN
The Methuen School Committee voted to approve the former Pleasant Valley School building on Pleasant Valley Street as the location for a new Methuen Youth and Community Center.

The vote, taken during the School Committee’s meeting on October 26th, comes on the heels of State Senator Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen)’s efforts to establish a formal youth center in the City of Methuen. DiZoglio, who recently marched 159 miles across Massachusetts to raise awareness and support for the project, has noted that Methuen is among the few communities in the Merrimack Valley that does not have such a center like many surrounding cities and towns.

The local nonprofit Inspirational Ones, in collaboration with Methuen Public Schools and the City of Methuen, is initiating the program, creating and implementing a curriculum model to identify and expand outside-the-box learning experiences and career opportunities, with a focus on engaging underserved youth. An essential component of the project is participation by the Youth Advisory Council MY (Methuen Youth) Voice, whose members have been nominated by teachers and school staff and include representatives of that underserved population.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS COATS FOR KIDS RAFFLE AND DONATION REQUEST is asking the public to make a small donation of $5. $15 buys a youngster a new winter coat.  It is a straight 50/50 raffle, 1/2 to winner, half to Coats for Kids.  December 2020 drawing. To help call John at (978) 382-0742

CEDAR VIEW IN METHUEN ADDS PULMONOLOGIST TO MEDICAL TEAM
Cedar View Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center has announced an affiliation with North Andover’s Merrimack Valley Pulmonary Associates.  Two of the medical group practice’s physicians, Glenn S. Newsome, M.D. and Barry M. Pisick, M.D., have joined Cedar View’s medical team. Dr. Newsome and Dr. Pisick will oversee Cedar View’s pulmonary program, provide bedside assessment, and work closely with the respiratory and therapy teams to treat patients with respiratory needs.
“The entire clinical staff at Cedar View is thrilled to welcome Dr. Newsome and Dr. Pisick to our medical team,” said Gary DiPietro, Administrator of Cedar View Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center.  “Their decades of experience and expertise in pulmonary care will allow Cedar View to continue providing the highest quality of care possible to our residents and patients.”

Dr. Pisick, board certified in pulmonary medicine and internal medicine, is a founding physician of the Merrimack Valley Pulmonary Associates practice and is a consulting physician to Holy Family, Lawrence General and Tewksbury Hospitals.  He earned his medical degree from the University of Louvain School of Medicine in France.  Dr. Pisick was an intern and resident at St. John Hospital in Detroit, where he was Chief Medical Resident.  He completed a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester prior to founding his practice.

Dr. Newsome, board certified in pulmonary medicine, internal medicine and critical care, is Director of Respiratory Therapy and Co-Director of the Sleep Center at Lawrence General Hospital.  He is also affiliated with Holy Family Hospital and is a consulting physician to Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital.  He earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia.  Dr. Newsome completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., prior to joining Merrimack Valley Pulmonary Associates in 1992.

Cedar View Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center provides Methuen and surrounding communities with an exceptional continuum of care featuring subacute rehabilitation with seven-day-a-week physical, occupational and speech therapy, specialty orthopedic, stroke recovery, respiratory and cardiac programs that deliver remarkable results, as well as long-term, respite and hospice care.

LEFT WING VIOLENCE
You may have noticed that there were no Trump supporters rioting in the streets on Election Night as the media declared win upon win for Joe Biden. Businesses in most major American cities boarded up in anticipation of democrats rioting if Joe Biden lost on Election Day. What a stark contrast. It’s also worth noting that the media told us for months that it would be those scary and dangerous Trump supporters who were going to riot. Even though we saw with our own eyes left wing Biden supporters burning down cities all summer, they still look us in the eyes every night on TV and tell us not to believe what we are seeing.

VETERANS NORTHEAST OUTREACH TURNING AWAY VETERANS IN NEED
I continue to receive calls at the office on a weekly basis from local veterans being turned away by Veterans Northeast Outreach (VNOC) in Haverhill. It breaks my heart to see this after our good friend John Ratka built up that organization with the motto that “NO VETERAN WOULD BE TURNED AWAY”. So far Clear Path New England and local veterans associated with the organization, have been helping to service some of those turned away by VNOC but there may be veterans out there who have not reached out. We want to encourage all of our readers to contact us or Clear Path for Veterans New England so that we can get these brave men and women the services they need. ◊

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is an author, host of the Paying Attention TV/Radio Program, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to valleypatriot@aol.com.

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