From Tom Duggan’s April Notebook


EDITION #150 – In case you didn’t notice the small number at the top of page one, this is our 150th edition of The Valley Patriot. While we were all celebrating the newspaper’s 12th anniversary last month we kind of glossed yet another major milestone. Now, I know you are trying to do the math and 150 doesn’t evenly go into 12 years and one month, but that’s because on three occasions, The Valley Patriot published a special election edition.

SALISBURY’S NEIL HARRINGTON – You have to hand it to Salisbury Town Manager Neil Harrington. Not only is he the king of concealing public records but, he sure knows how to gain influence on Beacon Hill. One of the key senators involved in amending the new public records reform bill happens to be Senator Joan Lovely of Salem… you know, the same town that kicked Harrington out as mayor. Harrington has been a long-time friend of Senator Lovely and made a $100 donation to her campaign just a few short days before the public records reform bill came up in the state senate, … and about a year after Senator Lovely hired Harrington’s daughter Grace, to be her chief of staff. Surprise, surprise, Senator Lovely refused to support a measure within the public records reform bill, which would have fined elected officials who conceal public records. And I would know, I wrote that provision in the bill. But, that’s not all. Harrington also made a $100 donation to the campaign of… wait for it… Secretary of State Bill Galvin, the chief opponent to the public records reform bill. They say money doesn’t buy happiness, but it sure as hell buys a lot of favors to help conceal public records with impunity.

SO MANY NAMES, SO FEW PRISON PRIVILEGES – Last year, The Valley Patriot reported that illegal alien Milagros Dominguez (AKA Dirma Espada, AKA Milagros Mattias, AKA Dirma Dominguez, AKA Milagros Espada) had been arrested by the feds for Medicare fraud. Thanks to a Valley Patriot report by Janet Aldrich, we were able to publish photos and a full report on Dominguez’ illegal activity last year. As it turns out, Dominguez had 15 social security numbers and was convicted of using those numbers to illegally get government benefits. Last month, Milagros laughingly told her radio audience that she was taking a “vacation” in the Dominican Republic explaining that she wouldn’t be on the radio for a few months. Truth is, she is in Donald Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, RI.

CELEBRATING SEXISM – Last month our good friend and State Rep. Diana DiZoglio held a Methuen Young Women’s Career Day at Methuen High School. While DiZoglio was trying to do a noble thing, I thought that in the year 2016 we had done away with such sexism, prejudice, and discrimination. Was there a separate-but-equal school event where DiZoglio held a Young Men’s Career Day at Methuen High School? Don’t be silly. When I broached the topic on Facebook my concerns (valid as they are) were dismissed as DiZoglio told me that if “I” wanted to hold a career day for men…. I was free to… which is the same as saying “No, I only care about women, and nobody thinks that’s sexist but you, so I’m going to keep doing it.” You all know I love Diana, but this kind of dismissive, conditioned thinking about discriminating against boys is the reason that our culture is in such trouble today. I want to urge the Methuen state rep. to rethink her position and consider having a young men’s career day to show young men in her district that she cares about everyone, not just women like herself. Otherwise, she is perpetuating bigotry and discrimination, and we can’t have that!

MORE ON SEXISM AND BIGOTRY DISGUISED AS TOLERANCE – Consider this: we are constantly being preached at on television that bigotry, discrimination, and prejudice are bad in all forms. In fact, it’s so much a part of the American psyche that it’s not even questioned as the standard of public discourse and societal norms. For example, women should be treated equally to men is a concept that few could disagree with. At least in concept. But, along comes Donald Trump, who insulted and belittled everyone who got in his way. He referred to Marco Rubio as “Little Marco”, called Ted Cruz “Lyin’ Ted”, called Senator Lindsey Graham “stupid” and a “loser”, but the minute he insulted Carly Fiorina or Megyn Kelly, the so called “news reporters” on every station bemoaned his insults as “sexist”. Weird right? Sexism is treating someone different because of their sex. What Trump did was treat the women who got in his way exactly the same as he treated the men who got in his way. So, why did the news call his comments “sexist”?
The answer is simple, “sexist” has been redefined for political purposes. Sexism in the American lexicon no longer means treating someone different based on their sex, it now means any comment or action that any individual woman chooses to find offensive. So, what we have here is a conundrum. On the one hand, women are supposed to be treated equally to men in all forms. On the other hand, if women are treated equally badly, so called “women’s advocates” and so called “news reporters” whine and cry that someone was being mean and might be hurting women’s little feelings. So, are women to be treated equally? Or, are men supposed to treat them like shrinking flowers who need to be protected by words that make them cry? What we see on CNN and the other TV news channels every day suggests the latter.

You can’t have it both ways. Either women are equal to men or not. If they are equal, then those who pretend to be “women’s advocates” and “news reporters” need to walk the walk, and suck it up when being treated “equally” means being treated badly. For whatever his faults, Donald Trump’s attacks on Megyn Kelly, Carley Fiorina or any other woman shows how equally he sees and treats women. But, you won’t hear that truth uttered on CNN, Fox, or any other “news” station on TV. Reporters are no longer reporters of facts. They are instead, lobbyists for particular candidates and approved political points of view. The more you see through the lies the better educated and informed you will be about what’s really going on.

MORE MEDIA LIES – Whether you like Trump or you hate him you have to admit one thing, the so called “news” media is engaging in propaganda that would make Baghdad Bob beam with pride. Last month, Trump said that there “would probably be riots” if he had the most delegates at the GOP convention and they stole the nomination from him. He didn’t say he wanted riots. He didn’t say there should be riots. He merely supposed that if the Republican National Committee stole the nomination from him, there “would probably be riots.” But that’s not what the media reported. Within minutes, CNN’s Jake Tapper, Brianna Keiler, and the rest of the Democrat Party lobbyist who masquerade as “news reporters” all lead off their newscast with the same phrase. “Presidential candidate Donald Trump called for riots today if he doesn’t get the GOP nomination.” This was a lie. A big one. And it was done on every single TV news station in America, using the same exact wording. That’s not an accident folks. I fully agree that Trump has said and done some monumentally stupid and dangerous things since the campaign began. But, the job of the news media is to tell you what someone actually says, not to tell you what to infer or read into what they said. The news media is not just slanting the news, they are outright making it up. And there are no exceptions. Love Trump? Hate Trump? Either way, you should love him or hate him for what he actually says, not what CNN and the rest of the liars in the news media pretends he says.

BASH SUMMARY – Each year, The Valley Patriot reaches out to our network of friends, advertisers, and supporters, to raise money for our annual BASH! Because of the BASH we are able to help local people, charities, and organizations that we feel are worthy of being helped. Thank you to our advertisers, our BASH attendees, our sponsors (listed below), and donors. Because of them, we gave scholarships to seven graduating high school seniors, and awards to two hero police officers, one hero firefighters, and four hero veterans. The success of our event last month also helps us to fund the Menorah lighting in North Andover, One Tail at a Time Dog Rescue in Groveland, and several other charities near and dear to my heart like the North Andover Firefighter’s Scholarship fund. Please thank our advertisers by doing businesses with them and please do business with the sponsors of our annual event. Without them both, there would be no scholarships or awards and there would certainly be no Valley Patriot!

BASH AWARD WINNERS LISTING GOODWILL AMBASSADOR AWARD: Haverhill resident Jack Roy and Mike and Candy Colizzi of Colizzi Memorials in Methuen. PRESIDENT’S AWARD: Maria Fiato and Janet Aldrich. EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD: Cartoonist Dave Sullivan. 1ST AMENDMENT AWARD: Dr. Bharani Padmanabhan and State Rep. Diana DiZoglio. HERO VETERAN AWARD; Don Jarvis, Eric Nelson, JT Torres and John Ratka. OFFICER TOM DUGGAN PUBLIC SAFETY AWARD: Lawrence Police Officer Mike Laliberte, Lawrence Fire Captain James Driscoll, and North Andover Police Sgt. Dan Lanen.

VALLEY PATRIOT SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS – This year’s Valley Patriot/ Artie “T” Demoulas scholarship winners were; Kasey Potvin of Goffstown NH (Store #71 in Bedford NH), Patrick McRobbie of Methuen (Store #6 in Salem, NH) , and Ryan Jackson of Auburn, NH (Store 66), each of whom took home $400 for school. The North Andover Thomson School Scholarship winner was Chris Daniels ($400) with an additional $100 donated by the parents of Victoria Deshaies the 2014 scholarship winner. The Lawrence High School Scholarships went to Thu Dang and Kevin Venderhost ($600 each). The Greater Lawrence Technical School Scholarship went to Kassandra Jean Marie.

BASH SPONSORS – $1,000 PLATINUM SPONSORS: * Kevin Leach, * Joe Zingales of Team Zingales, ReMax, * Mike Agricola of Salvatore’s Restaurant. $500 GOLD SPONSORS: * Mike & Candy Colizzi of Colizzi Memorials, * Joe Dunn, * Tim Sheehy, * Johnny Tarshi of the Tarshi Law Office in Lawrence, * Michael Tarshi Jr. and Dental Brite in Lawrence. $350 SILVER SPONSORS: * Mike Sullivan, * Paul Tarshi of Centro Latino, * Atty. Andrew Lacourse of Newburyport, * The Lawrence General Hospital. $200-$250 BRONZE SPONSORS: Register of Deeds, Paul Iannuccillo, Ron Bertheim of Northern Process Servers, Methuen Exchange Club, Methuen Councilor Ron Marsan, Methuen Councilor Jen Kannan, Author, Kathleen LaPlante, Candidate for State Rep. Oscar Camargo, Rte. 110 Convenience Store in Methuen, Chris Kombouras of Heavn’ly Donut in North Andover, Linda Dean and Don Campbell, Lawrence Councilor Marc LaPlante, Doctor’s Express, Tony Silva of Lightship Liquors in Lawrence, Julie Potvin of Hue House Salon in North Andover, J Brians Pub in Lawrence, John Saro of Pentucket Medical in Lawrence and Haverhill, Haverhill School Committeeman Scott Wood, Karen Montijo and Northeast Storage in North Andover, Sam Amari and Kenoza Chiropractic in Haverhill. ASSOCIATE SPONSORS: ($1-200): Methuen Councilor Tom Ciulla, State Representative Jim Kelcourse.

THE BASH COMMITTEE! Without the volunteers who help us put together our annual BASH, the event would simply not take place. From the day after the previous BASH until the next event, our steering committee plans and works to make the event even better than the year before. Thank you to Maria Fiato, Rich Russell, Brenda Rozzi, Chris Eldredge, Keith Wlodyka, Deb Canejo, Kevin Leach, Beverly D’Amico, Jen Jones, Gracemarie and Joyce Tomaselli, John Bergeron and though he didn’t make any meetings, Paul Murano who performed with his guitar during cocktail hour. Also a special thank you to Melvern Taylor who sang his “Paying Attention” song to open the evening, and famous weatherman Al Kaprielian for spending the night with us again this year and helping to plan behind the scenes.

A FINAL THANK YOU TO THOSE DONATING THEIR SERVICES – Thank you to all of the local businesses that donated their services or charged us their cost for materials and services to make the 12th Anniversary BASH the most successful BASH ever. Keith Wlodyka of The Daily Dose Cafe donated all the food for the meal, as well as his services to cook and serve the meal at the event. Also donating food were: Sahtaine in Methuen donated the hummus, The Sweetheart Inn in Methuen donated the hot wings, Greg Fratto of the North end Deli donated two meat platters and rice balls, Gracemarie and Joyce Tomaselli homemade eggplant parmigiana and manicotti, Charlie’s Diner on South Broadway in Lawrence donated the coffee and bread, the Firefighters Relief Association donated the hall, Henry’s Jewelry and Awards on Essex St. in Lawrence donated the labor cost of etching the BASH awards, Bob Wescott of CopiLabs on Methuen St. in Lawrence donated the cost of labor for the program booklets, and the B STREET BOMBERS donated their services. Unfortunately we still had to pay for their road crew to help them set up so, our good friend Joe Zingales stepped to the plate and donated the $1,000 so there would be no cost to the BASH!

THE FRIENDS OF MERRIMACK VALLEY HOSPICE is hosting their third annual fundraiser brunch with a special floral demonstration by Steve Janavicus of Flowers by Steve on Sunday, April 17 at 9:30 a.m. at Indian Ridge Country Club, 73 Lovejoy Road in Andover, MA. The morning event will feature a full brunch buffet, followed by a floral arrangement demonstration by Steve Janavicus. Raffles will include the one-of-a-kind arrangements created by Steve during his demonstration, unique gift baskets, and other prizes. A beautiful collection of spring flowers, hanging baskets, and live plants will be available for purchase. Proceeds from the event benefit Merrimack Valley Hospice House located in Haverhill, MA. For more information or to RSVP by April 14, please call 978-552-4317or email Tickets must be purchased in advance.
NECC Hosts Elvis Show – Elvis will be in the house when Las Vegas’s “Justin Shandor & Memphis Bound: The Ultimate Elvis Concert” appear at Northern Essex Community College’s signature event on Saturday, October 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Collins Center for the Performing Arts at Andover High School, 80 Shawsheen Road, Andover. This event is open to the public. Tickets, which are $50 per person, are now on sale.
For additional information visit To preview Justin Shandor as Elvis visit

Auditions will be open for all performing who are at least 55-years-old and older. Come and share your talents. AUDITIONS to be held on April 23rd & 24th at Rockingham Park Race Track in Salem, NH 03079. REGISTRATIONS & AUDITIONS TO BEGIN AT 9AM. Show to be held on September 25th at the J. Everett Collins Center for the Performing Arts100 Shawsheen Rd. Andover, MA. PRIZE FUND 1st Place $1000 2nd Place $500 3rd Place $300. For more information call (603) 893-1421 or visit our Website at Veterans working and supporting Veterans of Foreign Wars Seniors helping Seniors supporting Dementia & Alzheimers

REEL TYME PRODUCTIONS reserves the right to refuse any act that is deemed un-suitable.