Putting Our Money Where Our Complaining Mouths Are

When it comes to taking care of mother earth, and trying to reverse or at least slow down the damage we are inflicting on the planet, I am not sure that progressives are as committed to the cause as they make themselves out to be. I suppose in the current political climate we should be grateful just for the admission that there is, in fact, an environmental disaster taking place, but I don’t think that is enough by a long shot. Recently, General Motors introduced an automobile that is a rechargeable electric vehicle. It breaks the previous barrier to attracting new buyers when engineers developed a rechargeable battery that could travel 238 miles on a single charge, beating the old limit of around 95 miles. But, sales haven’t exactly shot through the roof as you might expect, while sales of pickup trucks fueled by carbon monoxide creating gasoline soar to new heights.

You Have Everything to Gain By Being Involved

I’m pretty certain that we aren’t really as concerned as we make ourselves out to be when it comes to protecting the environment. And, I think a lot of that indifference comes from the fact that often times we look to the government or nonprofit agencies to solve the pollution problems we see around our communities. We also do not believe that our contribution to the problem is all that significant, nor is our involvement in a solution. The costs of both come at a price we are not able or willing to pay, either because it’s a hardship or presents insurmountable time commitment problems.

For beginners, when you have a large corporation with seemingly unlimited sums of money financing the election of local, state and federal officials, trying to influence those same officials with private citizen lobbying efforts is frustratingly difficult. And those same officials supported by corporations install like-minded appointees to regulatory agencies that vote in lock-step with corporations, while supposedly charged with regulating their behavior. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is a prime example of this scenario as local residents have discovered in New Jersey, as they fight to prevent unneeded gas transmission pipes from being installed under the roads of their communities or through previously protected environmentally sensitive areas of the state.

Haverhill’s Season of Optimism

Harbor Place at White’s Corner. With springtime temperatures and cloudless, sunny skies above the city, the changes to the area between Harbor Place and Haverhill Bank on Merrimack Street certainly looked impressive as I recently strolled along the boardwalk between the two buildings. The soon to be completed Bradford Rail Trail will certainly add a terrific additional option for a walk, bike or run along the opposite side of the river. This area had been long neglected but certainly has been revived by an incredible transformation undertaken by dedicated citizens as well as local and state government officials and agencies. Soon the docks of the Crescent Yacht Club will be slipped into the water along the shore of the river, and the boats will head out onto the Merrimack for a pleasure cruise or a fishing trip to catch “the one that got away” in years past.

Spring and the Red Sox: Season of Optimism

Ah, the season of optimism. When we’ve all tolerated the winter months, any temperature over 45 degrees is a welcomed relief, and all weather forecasts are great, even if there’s a bolt of lightning or the sound of thunder in the midst of a downpour. The Red Sox moving van has returned from the annual trip down south, with truck drivers who have long since peeled off the sunburn of the first few days down in the Grapefruit League,  and returned home covered in a tan we can all envy and  to which most snowbirds can relate. If the team did well, with veterans making remarkable comebacks, pitchers getting in the groove and hitters sending home runs out beyond the palm trees, the visions of a world series and a free living room set from Jordan’s Furniture appear on the October horizon. But if they struggle throughout the spring as passed balls, grounders through the infield and gopher pitches to the often played, less talented  Minnesota Twins head over the outfield fence, we always manage to remain optimistic with the phrase, “It’s spring training…the games don’t mean anything anyway !”

Forty years ago, when I took a one-year break from work to contemplate whether I would continue my then career path, I bought weekend season tickets to the Sox.

Careful, All of Us Live in Glass Houses

A lot of finger pointing takes place in this community and state regarding individuals taking advantage of or abusing benefits that government programs make available to them. And, as you read or listen to this column, please understand that I am not a big fan of these unlawful acts either. But I think we should all keep in mind that many of us need to do a little self-examination of our own actions as we raise an index or middle finger at the people among us that “get around the law.” I readily admit that I too fall into this category myself from time to time. That is some glass house we all have to admit we live in. For starters, look around your neighborhood here in Massachusetts and see how many people live here but have New Hampshire license plates on their trucks and cars.

Your Opinion on Political Comments and Commentaries?

Anonymous commenting has riled some WHAV.net readers. WHAV does not have a political opinion of its own. A big question of late though is whether it should allow anyone else—in comments or commentaries—to voice a political opinion on the air or online. This radio station has been attacked by both left- and right-leaning individuals. On the left, readers have said WHAV should prohibit anonymous commenting, saying those who are forced to use real names are less likely to engage in “noxious,” “rude,” “angry” or “hateful” speech, among other terms.

“I won’t be sharing anything you publish until you do away with the anonymous garbage,” said one resident in an email to WHAV.

Guest Opinion: More Commercial Property Good for Residents

Jeff Linehan with former Gov. Deval Patrick. By Jeff Linehan
President, Diversified Business Systems

Having more commercial property in Haverhill is good for the residents. Over the last 10 years the percentage of residential property compared to commercial property has risen to 88 percent of the total base. This is not good news for the residents of Haverhill as they now must pay a much larger share of the operating budget for the city. This is a direct reaction to the fact that the commercial base is penalized at more than 50 percent in taxes.

Guest Opinion: Council Tax Vote Wasn’t a Balanced Decision

By Demet Haksever

I can’t be happy with the council’s vote last night although there was a small improvement in division of taxes. It again ended up giving tax breaks to the commercial and industrial property (CIP) class, while increasing taxes for the homeowners. Homeowner’s taxes will now increase by $58 instead of $88 voted last Tuesday, while the taxes for the CIP will still go down by $114 instead of $126 in 2016, again transferring income from homeowners to mostly big business. This wasn’t a balanced decision given that both the residential property and the CIP values increased last year. I think we are wasting homeowners’ money by giving those tax breaks because that will hardly make any dent in terms of bringing new business or increasing jobs in the city.