Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mass. Kicks Cripples to the Curb

As usual, the money doesn't follow:

"Closing the institutions will save $80 million to $85 million.... $45 million of the savings will be used to pay community housing costs"

First the blind, then mentally ill and the kids, and now this:

"State will shutter Fernald, 3 others; More than 300 to be shifted to group homes" by Matt Viser, Globe Staff | December 13, 2008

Governor Deval Patrick's administration announced yesterday that it would close four of six state-run institutions for residents with disabilities, including the Fernald Development Center in Waltham, and transfer more than 300 residents to group homes.

It appears to mark the final chapter in a legal battle over whether to keep Fernald open, and it could signal an end to the era of using state-run institutions to house the mentally retarded.

The move brought cheers from advocates who believe that community-based housing saves money and provides residents with a more comfortable setting. But workers' unions vowed to oppose the decision, and those whose family members are staying at the institutions were dismayed about moving fragile loved ones into new living environments.

You know, that is something I had not thought of; people just love being uprooted, don't they? Just because the person suffers an incapacity, does that mean their whole world should be turned upside-down?

"I find this very disheartening," said Regina Davidson, whose sister-in-law has spent nearly half of her 65 years at Fernald. "She has said she won't leave the Fernald. How does a guardian go and say, 'You have to leave now?' This is wrong. It is morally wrong. The governor is trying to balance his budget on the most disabled in this state."

Yeah, he's no different than all the rest.

Of course, "one of the governor's pet projects, the $3 million Commonwealth Corporation, is only taking a 5 percent trim."

Maybe you could can that piece of bloated crap, 'eh, guv?

In addition to closing Fernald, which houses 161 people and sits on a 196-acre campus in Waltham, the administration plans to close the Glavin Regional Center in Shrewsbury, the Monson Development Center in Palmer, and the Templeton Developmental Center in Baldwinville.

The closings will take place over the next four years, although Fernald will be first and is slated to be closed in July 2010. State and local officials will begin crafting plans to redevelop the land, and current residents will be transferred to community-based group housing or to one of the two state-run institutions that will remain open, the Wrentham Developmental Center and the Hogan Regional Center in Hathorne, which is part of Danvers.

"It's a victory," said Leo V. Sarkissian, executive director of The ARC of Massachusetts, which advo cates community-based settings for the developmentally disabled. "We recognize that disability should not be a reason to be segregated from the community." About 900 people are housed in the state's six institutions, while more than 32,000 receive community-based services and support....


The only other state in New England that still has institutions for individuals with intellectual disability is Connecticut, which has one such facility.... Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, secretary of health and human services, said at a press conference [that] closing the institutions will save $80 million to $85 million in annual operating costs, Bigby said. Up to $45 million of the savings will be used to pay community housing costs.

How come they are only funding half the money?

I mean, it's okay to be "flushing . . . millions of dollars away supporting a highly profitable industry" when it comes to $300 million in taxpayer dollars for Hollywood is o.k., even as the price of a school lunch rises; paying $13 million for a computer software system that could have cost less than $3 million is all right because the winner was a close friend of the House speaker, even as my poorer-than-dirt district "has been struggling to close a $2 million budget gap."; the lottery shelling out "millions of dollars" for sports tickets for "lottery officials, their family members, and friends" is fine, even as schools are closing; making interest payments to banks to the tune of "a staggering $22 billion" for the Big Pit, as we call it around here, is required, even as bridges are neglected across the state; and again, paying off banks like UBS, who can "demand repayment of an additional $2 million a month beginning in January" while also receiving a "$179 million payment," while the state pension fund loses $1 billion dollars -- which still didn't stop the executive director from carving himself a nice "$64,000 bonus on top of his $322,000 annual salary."

Oh, and did I not mention the $1 BILLION dollar giveaway to the pharmaceutical corporations, even though "it's never been easy to turn a profit in biotech?" Flush that money away, too, taxpayer. Of course, the war looters were next in line for a handout. And should the state be appropriating money for a "multimillion-dollar reconstruction" of golf courses?


And did I forget about PAYING FOR the CORPORATE TV COMMERCIALS or the outlays for illegal immigrants?

Need one final insult, Mass. taxpayers?

Town officials... are trying to decide how much of a property tax break to offer and how they can secure state funding for infrastructure improvements.... although it could take several years for the studio to realize its potential"

Also see: Hollywood, Massachusetts

Hollywood (East) Disses Veterans

More Mass. $$$ to Movie Makers

Sorry, that wasn't it:

"$5m in tax breaks going to IBM for Littleton project

The Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approved $5 million in state and local tax breaks for IBM Corp., which recently began a $63 million expansion in Littleton. IBM vice president Bob McDonald said the company plans to create 42 jobs at the site over the next decade. McDonald said the computer giant, based in Armonk, N.Y., has already begun renovating a building and hopes to move into it next month. McDonald said the tax incentives were important, but the company would have gone forward with the expansion without them. IBM has 4,000 employees in Massachusetts, including about 2,000 in Littleton (Boston Globe October 30 2008)."

Yup, but the "retards" need to get the boot!!!


Although administration officials said they will work to find other jobs for the 1,596 employees at the four facilities that will be closed, workers unions blasted yesterday's announcement.

"We are deeply disappointed in the governor today," said Robert Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. "The economic crisis we are experiencing requires some tough decisions, but this is clearly the wrong choice. We should not and cannot try to solve our financial problems on the backs of the people that need this critical care and the workers who provide it."

Senator Susan Fargo, a Democrat from Waltham and chairwoman of the Public Health Committee, called the decision "unfortunate and untimely. Christmas is only days away. This action will no doubt cause unrest and anger among many. The Fernald Center families have repeatedly praised the care given to their relatives, and they have taken positive steps to keep the facility open."

Patrick and his Republican predecessor, Mitt Romney, have sought for years to close Fernald and to transfer its residents to group homes. A federal court judge ruled in August 2007 that residents had the right to stay, but Patrick appealed to the US Court of Appeals, which in October ruled in the state's favor.

Yeah, some "difference" he turned out to be. I want Romney back.

Family members and advocates, who waged a lengthy court battle to improve conditions at Fernald in the 1970s, said yesterday that they were still considering a response and whether they will attempt to stop the closings.

"My sister doesn't have a long life ahead of her," said Marilyn Meagher, president of the Fernald League for the Retarded, an umbrella group for relatives and guardians of residents. "Why can't they just leave her alone? This whole thing is just right down to the dollar."

YUP!!! That lady is LUCID ENOUGH!!!