Things We All Learned From The Justo Garcia Trial ~ Kathy’s Lawrence Notebook

By: Kathy Runge – Nov. 2016

First, the DA can’t prove that a worker is stealing from this city because the City of Lawrence hires incompetents and can’t keep records. Please put this city into receivership!

Secondly, when politicians argue for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and say “Of course we will make them learn English,” they’re lying. Mr. Garcia needed an interpreter for his trial and testified that he only knows one or two words in English, yet he also testified that he took English classes and became an American citizen.

The only time we hear from councilors about the importance of learning and speaking English is when the Community Development Block Grants are awarded. Then many local non profits get money for teaching ESL classes because “learning English is so important.”

Other times, when there are five people in a row that can’t speak English testifying at a public hearing, the councilors that love handing out the money just smile and shake their heads in a condescending manner.

The last thing I learned was that people waiting for trial move around a lot. Mr. Garcia testified at his October trial that he lived in West Bridgewater. He must have just moved there since he voted in Lawrence this September. I’ll bet he’s moved back to Lawrence in time for the November 8th election and then, who knows where he’ll be “living” until election time rolls around again.
Information regarding Mr. Garcia’s testimony was taken from the tweets of Jill Harmaciniski of The Eagle-Tribune.

epsteinfinalonlineIn other news, at the first council meeting of October the position of homeless coordinator was approved. Councilor Maldonado again made it clear that although we welcome illegal immigrants, homeless Americans from other towns ARE NOT welcome here.

During the discussion of this matter, Councilor Alvarez-Rodriguez remarked that many people receiving rental assistance in Lawrence go through other cities housing authorities, causing Lawrence to lose out on the income from administration.

I mention this for two reasons.

First, the subject under discussion was the ordinance creating the homeless coordinator position, not any housing authority. Discussion is supposed to be limited to the item at hand. Untold time is wasted at council meetings going off on a tangent. This erodes the transparency of government.
Second, I spoke to a person who has experience with both the Methuen and Lawrence Housing Authorities. They said that the Methuen Housing Authority is just better than its counterpart in Lawrence, giving more complete information about housing opportunities in the entire area whereas Lawrence was more Lawrence oriented. Also, in Lawrence, newly arrived immigrants are placed at the top of the list, leaving the rest of the applicants with a longer wait. That’s why they went through Methuen.

It seems that with early voting, the campaign laws don’t apply. Generally electioneering is not allowed within 150 ft of an entrance to a polling location. When Dave Abdoo was running for mayor against Lantigua my husband had a large Abdoo sign on his truck. He was not allowed to park within 150 ft of entrances to City Hall during the absentee voting period because City Hall was a polling location

There appear to be no such laws regarding early voting. Candidates and their surrogates hover around the building’s entrance to talk to people. This will be a disaster during city elections. You won’t be able to visit City Hall without running a gauntlet of candidates. This is a terrible idea.
I heard that Susan Laplante, the Republican candidate for State Senate, was trying to film outside City Hall one day and supporters of her rival Barbara L’Italien acted like imbeciles and bullies trying to disrupt the shoot. Ahh, the party of tolerance.

A relative of a certain city councilor may be running for a council seat of their own. During the summer I saw a change in this person’s behavior on social media and have been waiting to hear rumors. Now I have. We do not need the council to be a family affair.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.