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TOM DUGGAN’S NOTEBOOK – SEPTEMBER, 2018

WHEN YOU THINK YOU HAVE IT WRONG BUT YOU DON’T

On two occasions last month we reported a story on line that we thought we got wrong after it was posted. In one story we reported that a shooting victim from East Haverhill Street had died. Minutes after we reported the victim’s death we were told by a police officer that he was, in fact, alive. Wasting no time to get the correct information to our readers, we corrected the story on line and reported that he was indeed alive. Instantly we were inundated with haters and attacked for “rushing the story” and being “reckless”. We took the abuse for more than 12 hours as we tried to reach our two original sources to find out why they had told us the victim had died. As it turns out we were notified the following morning that we were NOT wrong in our reporting, that the victim had died at Lawrence General and had no pulse but was brought back within minutes of coding. But, our sources were a little busy at the time trying to save the man’s life to get back to us and give us the update. So, in effect, what we reported was correct and true. He did die. But, we never got the follow up call to say he had been brought back. That didn’t satisfy the haters though, who continued to post insulting and abusive posts about how we put the family though hell. Which was a lie, of course, because they were actually at the hospital at the time.

WHEN A STORY IS ACCUATE BUT WRONG
It doesn’t happen often but there are times when we post a story that is accurate but turns out to be wrong. How is this possible? Consider the story we posted last month of a man who was reported on the police scanner to have taken a baseball bat to a man’s head on Jackson and Essex Street. We posted that information as it went out on the scanner as we do every day. The story was indeed accurate as we only reported what police said on the scanner. But, when police arrived at the scene they found out that the caller who notified 911 of the incident, was wrong. As it turns out, when police found the victim at the hospital and interviewed him minutes later they learned that the man who attacked him did so with a milk crate not a baseball bat. That officer never reported that on the scanner, instead just adding the correct information in his report. We corrected the information as soon as we found out but that didn’t stop the haters once again from attacking out credibility as if “we” got the story wrong in our “haste to get out a story fast”. People need to keep in mind when they are consuming news in real time that witnesses and even people involved in a crime may get things wrong or sometimes even lie. All we can do is report what we have when we get it. Most of our readers and followers are smart enough to understand that.

HELPING THE HOMELESS – TMF a non-profit group of volunteers provides a family meal to the homeless every week on Wednesday nights at 9PM at the Buckley Garage on Common Street in Lawrence. They rely on volunteers to cook or buy food to donate for the homeless and they could use your help. As I have been trying to help Michael Gorman, Sam Salib and the rest of TMF on Wednesday nights we are asking everyone in our Valley Patriot network to look inside your hearts and consider helping. We are particularly looking for people who own or run a food establishment to donate food on any given week. We are also looking for people.

MINICUCCI BEATS FERRY
It’s hard to imagine a seat gerrymandered for a Methuen candidate being won by a North Andover candidate but on primary day, Christina Minicucci defeated former Methuen City Councilor Lisa Ferry for the state rep. seat being vacated by Diana DiZoglio (who is running for state senate). Minicucci out worked Ferry for sure but in a normal election that probably wouldn’t have mattered. We heard from many Methuen voters during the election that they were just not going to vote for a candidate who was on the previous city council that approved the police contracts that are now the focus of a major scandal and several investigations.

When given the chance to distance herself from the police contract vote, Ferry chose to listen to Haverhill Mayor Jim Fiorentini who told her NOT to call for an investigation early in the campaign before anyone else had done so. If Ferry had been the first to call for a criminal investigation and announced to the voters that she was NOT part of the insider deals that lead to the police contract debacle, she may have had a chance of winning this race by showing the voters she was willing to be a leader and get to the bottom of what happened. Instead, she refused to address the issue at all. She was also completely disorganized. People who asked for signs never got them. People who offered to help were never gotten back to, and there was no “get out the vote” effort other than Ferry knocking on doors. In the end she barely won in Methuen and got clobbered everywhere else. For her part, Christina Minicucci had an amazing “get out the vote” organization with help from Congressman Seth Moulton’s office, local politicians, and even Methuen School Committeeman Jana DiNatale. Minicucci was EVERYWHERE for the two weeks before the election whereas Ferry was hardly seen at local events. Minicucci will face Brian Loscoco (R) in the final.

MARCOS V. LANTIGUA
For the third time in the past four year Willie Lantigua was defeated by the Marcos Devers/Dan Rivera team. It was a very low turnout in Lawrence and the difference between Devers and Lantigua was only 207 votes. Lantigua ran his traditional underground, grassroots campaign while Devers ramped it up with a very busy campaign headquarters and an unusual “get out the vote” effort. Congratulations to our friend Marcos Devers who deserved a hard fought win. There is no republican in the November final election.

DEMOCRATS VOTE FOR THE RICH WHITE GUY – Since democrats (as a party) say it is of paramount importance to have minority representation and “diversity” as well as minority set asides, and gay and transgendered representation in government. Yet, in the third congressional district race to replace Niki Tsongas there were ten candidates. This included a female minority Latina from Lawrence, a gay man married to another man, and a transgendered he/she/it in the race. Yet, at the end of the day democrats in the third district chose as their top two candidates a rich white man from Andover (Dan Koh) and a rich white woman (Lori Trahan) at the top of the ticket. If democrats really believed what they say they believe in, Juana Matias, a young, female Latina minority from Lawrence would have won hands down. In fact, if the Democrat Party truly believed in minority set asides, Koh, Trahan and the rest of the other nine candidates would have dropped out of the race and “set aside” their own ambitions and endorsed Matias. But, they didn’t. Showing what hypocrites democrats in the 3rd district really are.

KEEPING TRUE TO THEIR PARTY
In the congressional race between Mike Capuano and Ayanna Pressley democrats showed they are true to their beliefs by throwing out a rich white guy in power for a black African American female. But, it’s hard to understand why Capuano didn’t just “set aside” his own seat in congress and just give Pressley the seat given how many times he has lectured the rest of us about minority set asides, affirmative action and the importance of minority representation. While I personally think set asides and “proportional representation” are racist and anti-American, at least the voters of the 7th congressional district showed they actually believe what they say they believe in.

IGNORANT VOTERS GET MAD BECAUSE THEY ARE BEING CALLED IGNORANT VOTERS
A few days before the primary we posted on line a message to uneducated voters. It said that if you are an uneducated voter and you don’t know anything about the candidates, you don’t know what a state senator does, or how long a state representative’s term is you should stay home and let educated voters choose our leaders. Well, out came the ignorant voters to protest complaining about their “right to vote” as if we said they didn’t have one (we didn’t). One ignorant voter said that he knew nothing about the candidates but was going to randomly pick candidates because it was his right. Another person complained that we were engaging in voter suppression, which was true, we were trying to suppress stupid voters.

DAWN’S SIGN TECH- THANK YOU to Dawn’s Sign Tech in North Andover for their continued support of not only The Valley Patriot but also helping the community with the North Andover Downtown Merchants Association and the North Andover Farmer’s Market.

PODCAST GETS 72K LISTENERS
The Paying Attention Podcast ratings were released shortly before we went to print and our numbers are amazing. More than 72,000 people have viewed or downloaded the show on the various on-line platforms such as Spotify, Podbean, iHeartRadio, iTunes, etc. The Paying Attention podcast airs live every Thursday from 2-3pm.

FACEOOK CENSORSHIP – AIDING AND ABETTING CRIMINALS
Late last month, we posted a video of a violent group fight outside Malaya’s nightclub in Lawrence. The fight was bloody and brutal with several victims having multiple injuries. Within minutes of posting that video, some of those involved in the fight and man y of their girlfriends came on to my Facebook page demanding we take the video down -which I refused to do. Then they made threats that if I didn’t take it down I would have “problems” but when I ignored their threats they launched a campaign on my page and their own pages to complain to Facebook to have my page taken down. They succeeded. The left-wing fascists at Facebook banned me from posting for 30 days claiming that my post “violated” their “terms of service”. What’s odd is that while I am not able to post on my personal Facebook page, they never took down the fight video. So, in essence, I am being punished for publishing news about violence in Lawrence because it violates their terms of service, but the video wasn’t so bad that they would take it down. I urge you to read our editorial on line from November of 2017 called “Google/Facebook Censorship – Greatest Threat to Democracy”.

FIELDING HELPS IANNUCCILLO WIN REELECTION – While it is very clear that the Eagle~Tribune didn’t want Registrar of Deeds M. Paul Iannuccillo to win his primary earlier this month, he was able to secure reelection mostly because there were two candidates in the race splitting the anti-Iannuccillo vote after several hit pieces run by the daily paper. Those two candidates were Alexcy Vega and late to the race candidate Michael Fielding. If Fielding had stayed out of the race and supported Vega it’s pretty clear that the negative publicity generated by the Tribune would have resulted in a loss for Iannuccillo. Instead, Iannuccillo won a close race. There is no republican opponent in the November election.

IT’S ESPINOLA V. FINEGOLD
We all know Barry Finegold is the anointed one in local democrat politics but a quick look at the numbers in last week’s primary show Barry is not quite as strong as people think he is. In Lawrence, Barry was beaten by a Pavel Payano who had dropped out of the race weeks earlier.

Enter Republican Joe Espinola, a former police officer with a Spanish sounding last name, Espinola has spent time at Daybreak Homeless shelter in Lawrence to find out what they need to service the poorest population in the poorest community in the district. Where has Barry been? Well, raising tons of money from his rich, white Andover friends. While Barry is busy raising money, Espinola is talking to real people with real problems and trying to find ways to help them. Remember, Finegold carried Willie Lantigua’s water when Lantigua was Lawrence’s mayor. He did away with Lawrence’s residency requirement, he fought for Lantigua to get a $4M bailout loan from the state predicting cops and firefighters would be laid off without it. And when Willie got that $4M and laid off cops and firefighters anyway, Barry had nothing at all to say about that. Then there was Barry accepting campaign literature that was illegally printed at the Lawrence School Department under Wilfredo Laboy. And when he got caught, did Finegold pay back the taxpayers for funding his campaign literature? Of course not. Joe Espinola would serve his campaign well to remind people of Barry’s past while he is doing the actual work of trying to help the poor people of Lawrence and fighting for what is right instead of what his party wants him to fight for. While most think Barry has this race locked up, Espinola may have a surprise for them come November. This could be the race to watch.
KAVANAUGH’S AIDE AND THAT “WHITE SUPREMACY SIGNAL”
With so many stupid people in this country obsessed with white supremacy conspiracies seeing Nazi’s behind every bush it was more than amusing when Brett Kavanaugh was being confirmed by the U.S. Senate and conspiracy kooks claimed his aide was using hand signals to show support of “white supremacy”. What made it amusing is that Kavanaugh’s aide is not white. She is a Latina who is also Jewish. But, that didn’t stop democrat hate mongers and left wing lunatics from flooding Twitter and other social media platforms to push their conspiracy theories to an uneducated and ignorant voter base so filled with hate for white people that they eagerly ate it up and spread the fantasy of “white supremacy” hand signals during Kavanaugh’s hearing.

LAPLANTE ANNOUNCES PROJECT FUNDING – Council Unanimously Approves $9.6M for Lawrence’s District F Improvements. City Councilor Marc Laplante (District F) announces that the Lawrence City Council at its August 21, 2018 meeting unanimously approved over $9.6 million worth of one-time improvements as part of the annual capital improvement project funding. Unlike the regular operating budget, this funding targets specific objects such as buildings and sidewalks that need construction, repair and attention.

“Thanks to our strong working relationship with Mayor Rivera, the City Council was able to agree with the mayor on funding priorities in the upcoming year,” said Laplante, the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee Chairman. “In fact, I am pleased to announce that the people who I represent will see tremendous improvements through projects and repairs that target where they live.”

“Capital Improvement funds are a necessity if we want to improve the quality of life for residents in Lawrence,” said Mayor Daniel Rivera. “I want to thank the City Council for their unanimous support of these funds and look forward to continue working together to make Lawrence better.”
The following is a partial list of items that Councilor Laplante advocated for and ultimately got approval for:
• Museum Square Parking Garage Repairs – $335k
• South Lawrence East Concession Stand – $250k
• Continued Improvements at O’Connell (South Common) Park – $210k
• Sidewalk repairs – $1,250,000
• 3 new Mack Snow Fighters (snowplows)- $500k
• Replacing Veterans’ Street signs – $10k
• Replace Roof at the Branch Library – $20k
Purchases/work on each of these projects will be staggered throughout the upcoming year.

ESSEX COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT DONATES FOOD TO LOCAL NON-PROFIT AGENCIES
The Essex County Pre-Release and Re Entry Center, also referred to as the “Farm,” donates approximately 38,000 pounds of produce annually to stock food pantries or to provide meals to people of Essex County. From May till November it operates a thriving 6-acre farm that provides 2,000 pounds of produce a week to multiple non-profit agencies. Vegetables grown are: tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, Italian peppers, zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, eggplant, carrots, potatoes watermelon, cantaloupe and corn. They also donate 5,000 pumpkins per year to 62 locations including schools, senior centers, child care centers, town harvest fairs and YMCAs.
In addition, vegetables grown here are served to inmates at the Middleton, Lawrence and Salisbury correctional facilities. This helps offset the cost of food for the Department.

“This program is a great example of the positive relationship between the Sheriff’s Department and the community. It provides food for people in need, while providing vocational training to our inmate population. It is a win-win proposition,” said Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger.

In the spring, Director of Food Services Kathy Lawrence, works with Pleasant Valley Gardens farmer Heather Bonanno Baker; to cultivate the soil, set up the irrigation system, and design the layout of the farm. Inmates at the facility plant the seeds, weed the garden, pick, wash, and box up the vegetables for pick up.

REPRESENTATIVE FRANK MORAN ANNOUNCES WORKFORCE TRAINING GRANTS FOR IMAJINE THAT AND NECC
State Representative Frank A. Moran (D-Lawrence, Andover and Methuen) announced the awarding of two Workforce Development grants to Lawrence’s Imajine That and Northern Essex Community College. These state grants will be provided through the Workforce Training Fund Small Business Direct Access Program. This initiative supports the upgrading of skills programs for small business employees, thus enhancing the competitiveness and economic viability of small businesses around the Commonwealth.

* Imajine That was awarded $35,000 to provide training for Profession/Industry Specific & Technical Skills through June 30, 2020
* Northern Essex Community College was awarded $142,313 to provide training in Leadership/Management/Supervisory Skills through June 30, 2020.
“Each year I witness the Workforce Training grants benefitting tremendous training centers and small businesses in our community and around the Commonwealth. Imajine That and NECC are two such worthy recipients, and I look forward to seeing our community benefit and thrive from the various new skills training that will be possible through these grants,” said Representative Moran.
The Workforce Training Fund Small Business Direct Access Program funds pay for 100% of a training seat in various classes. A participating business must pay its employees’ wages for 100% of the time they spend in grant-funded training.

MUSEUM OF PRINTING ARTS FAIR
The Museum of Printing will open its doors free of charge on Saturday, September 22nd, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for our PRINTING ARTS FAIR, in conjunction with Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day Live at the Museum of Printing, 15 Thornton Avenue, Haverhill, MA. The event is FREE and open to the public.
For information Contact the Museum of Printing at info@museumofprinting.org for more info. museumofprinting.org.

VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME AT THE CARRIAGE BARN – The Carriage Barn Equine Adaptive Therapy Programs is looking for volunteers to assist with Therapeutic Horseback Riding & Carriage Driving, Fundraising, Events, and Fun Activities. Volunteers are needed at various times throughout the week to work with horses and clients.

Teens, adults and retirees welcome (volunteers must be at least 14 years old). Experience and horse knowledge is a plus, but is not required. Are you a student with a community service requirement (Honor Society, Scouts, 4-H, Graduation, etc)? If so, we would love to hear from you!
Anyone interested in learning more can contact The Carriage Barn at 603-378-0140, email info.carriagebarn@comcast.net, or check out our website at www.carriage-barn.org.

The program offers services in Kensington, NH and seeks to promote the health and well-being of individuals of all ages with disabilities by enhancing their physical, psychological, cognitive and emotional healing and strengthening through equine activities. The Carriage Barn is a 501c3 Not-for-Profit Organization, as well as a member center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International.

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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