Last month an Andover Firefighter was put on leave after an altercation with one of his neighbors. The firefighter saw someone he did not recognize taking mail from one of his neighbor’s mailboxes and confronted her saying he did not know her thinking she was stealing someone else’s mail. The problem here is that the firefighter is white, and the person he confronted is not. In this time of hypersensitivity to race, of course, he was accused of confronting the neighbor because she is not white. Just like in the George Floyd, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin case the media immediately made it a racial issue even though there is no evidence that race played a part in the confrontation. Now, it’s totally possible that this firefighter saw a non-white woman in his neighborhood that he didn’t recognize and thought she was stealing someone else’s mail because of the color of her skin. But, it’s also quite possible that this guy is the neighborhood jerk (we all have one) and was just sticking his nose where it didn’t belong. For the alleged “victim” and the media to make this about race only seeks to divide the rest of us just as they do in every case where there is a conflict between whites and non-whites in this country. Those of us who consume this news on a daily basis deserve the truth and the media did a terrible job on this story.

On Memorial Day last month we all turned on our television sets to see the paid actors on CNN scolding people for crowding a beach in Florida and elsewhere, showing videos of the crowd. Actor Chris “Fredo” Cuomo looked into the TV cameras and shouted “Fools! You are all fools! You are going to get people killed by spreading the Coronavirus! You are going to kill grandma and grandpa.” Actor Don Lemon told his CNN viewers that those people who went to crowded areas in Central Park in New York were “committing genocide” as he lectured us all on the virtues of staying home to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading. Democrats in Congress told us all the Coronavirus was a death sentence and people need to stay home, wipe down everything they touch, and keep six feet away from other humans.

But a funny thing happened the very next day. The video of George Floyd being killed by four cops in Minneapolis made its way onto the cable news airwaves. Suddenly, less than 24 hours after we were all told we were going to DIE if we left the house, these very same actors and politicians were out protesting and encouraging riots in American cities. In the blink of a lie, Coronavirus was no longer a threat, as if the virus has a civil conscience and made the decision not to spread as millions of Americans crowded the streets without social distancing and without masks. Since March I have been telling my readers that the Coronavirus hysteria was all lies and for the first few weeks got attacked quite viciously for it. Now, it’s pretty clear I was right. As we go to print on the 14th day since nationwide protests and riots began, we have seen no significant increase in Coronavirus cases and no significant increase in Coronavirus deaths.

To further prove my point above think about the irony of this one. On Friday, June 5th, students are Lawrence High School were denied a real graduation at the Lawrence Veteran’s Memorial Stadium because of Mayor Dan Rivera’s stand on social distancing to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. These poor LHS graduates had to have a “virtual graduation” on-line. But, at the EXACT same time Lawrence High kids were having their virtual graduation ….. the EXACT Same time …. thousands of people crowded the Campagnone Common in North Lawrence to protest police brutality and wouldn’t you know it? Dan Rivera was right there with them, not social distancing, not ordering the police to break up the crowd to “save grandma and grandpa” from the deadly Coronavirus, and actually encouraging people to attend. This should tell you all you need to know about our so-called “leaders” both locally and nationally. They are, and have been, using the Coronavirus for political gain and lying to us along the way. It’s time to look at the “facts and data” and open up all businesses without restrictions. After all, if our “leaders” can go out and protest with thousands of people without changing the number of Coronavirus cases, the rest of us ought to be able to go back to work.

Last year the City of Methuen borrowed $4M from state taxpayers to balance their budget after the school department overspent their budget. The year before they overspent their budget by $2.8M. Of course you would never know that if you listened to Councilor Steve Saba, who cries and whines at every meeting about the spending in the police department. And while certain councilors and the Eagle Tribune distract you with talk about police spending they have done absolutely nothing to reign in the out of control spending in the schools. As of the time we went to print the Methuen Schools are now $4.5M in the red. The budget year ends on July 1st and we are still waiting for city councilors to put aside their personal hatred for Police Chief Joe Solomon, stop talking about how much cops spend in gas, and get to the meat of Methuen’s financial crisis in the schools.

During his monthly appearance on the Paying Attention Podcast earlier this month, Methuen Mayor Neil Perry revealed that he is going to be fixing up the track at the high school stadium and will install cameras to prevent it from being destroyed or vandalized. Perry also said he is planning on putting cameras in other areas of Methuen where crime is high. This will be welcome news to local activist Linda Soucy, who has been begging the city council for cameras in the Arlington Neighborhood. Perry says he will also be reestablishing neighborhood watches and neighborhood groups in the city to address crime.

At a city council meeting earlier this month, City Councilor Steve Saba attacked Mayor Perry’s integrity and got visibly angry when he learned that the new team conducting a management audit of the police department had actually met with Chief Joe Solomon. Saba went on and on insinuating that because the management audit team actually met with the chief, that the audit was going to be in the bag and the result will favor the superior officers. He also whined that the mayor promised to have city councilors in on the initial meeting with auditors saying he does not trust the people in Perry’s office and that they were going to influence the audit.

“Don’t ever question my integrity! DON’T DO IT. This audit is going through me and nobody else,” Perry said angrily. “Perry explained that the initial meeting with the auditors was to discuss the parameters of the audit (how long it should take, what work will be involved etc.) and wasn’t a meeting to discuss details of the audit. Saba then claimed he didn’t question Perry’s integrity but in the next breath threatened to pull the $90,000 of funding for the audit. It seems like Saba is only mad because he wanted to influence the auditors to give a negative report on the cops and now that they have actually met the chief it’s a lot harder to demonize him.

Remember, corrupt politicians always accuse others of what they are doing themselves. Mayor Perry has made it very clear that this audit will examine how the police department is managed and will rely on facts and data, not emotions or the influence of city councilors who are looking for the result they want, not the result the auditors find. What’s more, Saba dishonestly said at the meeting that in other cities and towns the police officers are put on leave while an audit is being conducted.

That’s just a lie. It seems Councilor Saba doesn’t know the difference between a management audit and an investigation into wrongdoing. There is no city or town in Massachusetts that puts city workers on leave during a management audit. This guy has been a city councilor for three years; you would think he would know the difference by now.

Methuen Councilor Jim McCarty was upset at the last city council meeting when he learned that a police sergeant serving in the military overseas was given a temporary promotion to lieutenant without city council approval. The council was supposed to vote on a permanent promotion last year when the sergeant was first deployed, but because there were not enough votes to approve the promotion (then) Mayor Jajuga removed the item from the city council agenda. Jajuga then, gave the sergeant a temporary promotion to lieutenant anyway and renewed that promotion without telling the council.

So, when Councilor McCarty learned of this last week, he went crazy, accusing the police chief of mismanagement and then erroneously stated that because of this temporary promotion, other officers will also be promoted. It’s not surprising that Councilor McCarty still doesn’t understand the city charter after three years on the council. He still seems to thinks (or at the very least wants the public to think) that the police chief is in charge of hiring, firing, promoting and demoting officers in his department. He doesn’t. Those personnel actions come under the SOLE authority of the mayor, not the chief. Chief Joe Solomon does not promote people. He doesn’t fire them. He doesn’t even have the authority to discipline them. Only the mayor can do that. But, McCarty has never let the facts get in the way of a good political attack. It’s clear he hates Joe Solomon because he was hired by the evil Darth Vader Sharon Pollard more than two decades ago.

What’s worse than McCarty’s personal attacks and smears of police officers, is the fact that he attacked some by name in violation of his own city council rules. Councilor Finocchiaro, who often reminds councilors that they cannot mention the names of city employees unless they are given proper notice before the meeting, had nothing to say about McCarty’s outbursts. In fact, none of the other city councilors had anything to say about McCarty’s personal attacks. This shouldn’t surprise anyone since the city council held an illegal meeting last month without giving the public proper notice. Again, not one councilor, not even Councilor Finocchiaro, who prides herself on holding other councilors accountable to the public. Also in the city council rules, it states that when the council chair speaks on an issue before the council he has to pass the gavel to the vice-chairman so that he can be ruled out of order if he steps over the line. Not once since becoming council chairman has McCarty passed the gavel to City Council Vice-Chair Dave Beauregard. Not once did any councilor demand he pass the gavel, not even Beauregard. As vice-chair of the council, Beauregard has ONE JOB. That job is to take the gavel and act as chairman if the chairman wants to speak on an issue, or fill in if the chairman is absent from the meeting. This Methuen City Council is out of control. They refuse to follow their own rules while lecturing everyone else about following policies and procedures. Say what you want about former city council chair Jen Kannan, she followed the policies and procedures.

For the last year we have listened to Democrats in D.C. repeat over and over and over that “nobody is above the law, not even the President of the United States” They said it in unison, as if reading from the same script during the impeachment proceedings of the president. They had their mouthpieces at CNN and MSNBC repeat it over and over. Yet, when riots broke out all over the country earlier this month, most Democrats in D.C. and the actors on CNN encouraged people to commit violence after the killing of George Floyd. Democrat mayors across the country ordered their police officers not to arrest looters and violent thugs causing chaos in our streets. What’s worse, Democrats in Congress passed a Coronavirus stimulus bill that included millions of dollars for illegal aliens, who, by definition broke the law to come here. So, do Democrats really care about holding “everyone” to the same standard when the law is broken? Or is this just one more example of situational ethics where it’s wrong when Trump does something but not so much for other people?

Church of Christ at 63 Coolidge Street, Lawrence, MA 01843
Phone: 978.685.6995 or 978-866-3839 and 978-764-4999
Service Times: Sunday Bible Study 10AM, Sunday Worship Service 11AM and 6PM, Wednesday Bible Study 7PM. Home Bible Studies: “Back to the Bible”