Yesterday’s Election Commission meeting was one of the more thoroughly covered events Worcester has seen recently. This morning’s Telegram and Gazette report from Nick Kotsopoulos is only the beginning.
T&G reporter Steve Foskett was also at the meeting and livetweeted it. Walter Bird adds a bit of Worcester Magazine coverage here, with an odd take this morning on some of the exchanges. GoLocalWorcester has their coverage here.
Nicole liveblogged most of it, with MainSouthMom picking up where Nicole’s power ran out.
The flowchart created by Assistant Clerk Joshua Meduna, referenced several times during the meeting is available online here. It spells out what happens with inactive or ID-needed voters.
Audio of the entire meeting is here.
In addition, the following requests were made by the Voter Protection Network:
- Request that the Election Commission and the City of Worcester continue to prioritize the pressing need for greater training of poll workers as well as for police officers who work at polling locations.
- Request that the Election Commission place 2 large signs in the same languages as the ballots at all polling locations stating; “ALL ELEGIBLE VOTERS HAVE A RIGHT TO VOTE TODAY” and a second of the City’s official list of acceptable proof of residency.
- Request the names of anyone that was removed from polling locations by the Worcester Police Department, or asked to leave by the Worcester City Clerk, be submitted by the City of Worcester to the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Commission and the City Solicitors Office to be reviewed and recommended for potential sanctions.
For those interested, the next meeting of the Voter Protection Network is Wednesday, September 26 at 6:15 pm at the YWCA, 1 Salem Square. For more information, see here.
To kick off Sunshine Week in Worcester, the T&G today published the results of their attempts to look at various area police logs:
The law is clear: Police departments must keep and update a daily log of their activities, reported crimes and arrests, and that log must be readily available to the public at no cost and with no questions asked.
But a number of municipal police departments and state police barracks across the region failed to comply with that basic requirement this past week during a series of checks carried out by the Telegram & Gazette.
Looks like Worcester complied with the law, though with some small glitches:
Worcester Police Headquarters
The requester went to the records office and asked if there was a public log of incidents and arrests and was directed to another office. Once there, a binder with all arrests was handed to the requester with no questions asked. When the requester asked if there was a list of incidents he was sent back to the records office. When the woman at the records office was asked if there was a list of just the incidents that police responded to from two days ago he was told, “You can’t get that. Do you know how many incidents we respond to?” At that point another receptionist grabbed a thin binder off a shelf and handed it to the requester. The binder contained a list of incidents the police had responded to over the past week with times, locations and incident types. The records office has a sign that says it is open Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Robert Delle, one of the many contenders in last year’s Third Congressional race Republican primary, unsuccessfully sued the Telegram for a Clive McFarlane column describing him as a “birther” and a comment on telegram.com that referred to him as a “dope.”
From the Lawyers’ Weekly Docket blog:
Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder threw out the lawsuit, finding that any accusation of racism “centered on McFarlane’s interpretation” and was therefore protected speech.
The claim about the comment was rejected because federal law mandates that the newspaper “cannot be held liable for comments posted to its website,” said Kinder. Dalle’s allegation that a Telegram employee had posted the anonymous comment was “entirely devoid of detail or elaboration,” added Kinder.
To date, there have been 305 pedestrians struck by motor vehicles this year with 6 accidents resulting in fatalities.
In the past few months, WPD has seen fit to issue press releases about only six of the 300+ non-fatal accidents.
Two involved children who were treated in a hospital.
Two (1, 2) involved the WPD hitting pedestrians. Both were treated in a hospital.
One involved someone who hit a man in a wheelchair…who was treated in a hospital. (Sounding repetitive yet?)
The other involved a prominent local columnist and a pedestrian who did not need any medical treatment.
There will be no new additional information released at this time.
I came across a great blog post about hyperlocal reporting vs. journalism, which included the following gem:
The T&G is a newspaper that never put a premium on journalism, but a heavy emphasis on reporting the happenings of Central Massachusetts. The joke used to be that if the world ended in nuclear holocaust the headline in the T&G would be “Worcester Among Cities Destroyed As World Ends.”
Without a real history of journalism, the T&G has emphasized its local reporting. When I left the newspaper in 1999 the daily circulation was above 117,000. The T&G now has a circulation of less than 83,000 and it continues to fall.
Clearly, this hyperlocal strategy isn’t working.
I recommend reading the whole post if you’re interested in the future of newspapers.
From an online T&G article about their comments policy:
When I took this job, I didn’t imagine that I would ever have to deal with crazy stuff like this.
By the way, just as profanity isn’t okay, nor is “encoded” profanity, like “$@^%$”.
This is less of a “currently in the Telegram” and more a “one more thing to wish for” kind of a post. On President’s Day, McSweeney’s will be debuting a new weekly newspaper insert for children called The Goods. After taking a brief look at the samples, it looks like the best funny pages I’ve seen in a long time. I found out about The Goods on the Adam Rex blog, who encourages you to request your newspaper’s Features editor to include The Goods. You can find contact information for T&G staff — including the Features editor — here.
The Telegram & Gazette will outsource all of its home delivery distribution in April, and will lay off about 35 full- and part-time employees in its circulation department, according to an announcement to the staff this morning by publisher Bruce Gaultney.
In recent years I’ve come to see that the core business of a newspaper is printing and distribution. Thinking about what it means for a company to outsource core stuff.
Update: Here’s a longer version of the story that suggests getting rid of union employees might have been a factor.
The cuts of 17 full-time and 18 part-time employees represent 7.7 percent of the company’s work force, said Kathlene Donahue, director of marketing for the T&G. Ten circulation employees will remain after the transition, she said.
The Boston Globe is reporting that Benjamin and Stephen Taylor, former Globe executives and members of the family that owned and ran the Globe for a century, are backing Aaron Kushner’s bid to buy the Globe.
Why should you care? If Dan Kennedy is right, the “significance of the Taylors’ involvement is that there now will be support within influential circles for the Times Co. to return the Globe to local ownership.” And the Telegram would likely be included in the bid to buy the Globe.
Kushner is reported to be making an offer for the Globe (and, presumably, the Telegram and all associated websites) in a few months.