Archive for December, 2011

December 31, 2011

South Hadley Mom calls for changes to school lunch program

A woman who said her daughter was regularly bullied at South Hadley High, urged officials at the Dec 13 School Committee meeting, to change how students that get free or reduced price lunches are identified.

Jennifer Kalvinek, delivered two copies of an online petition with over 5,000 signatures to the committee, calling on the high school to stop requiring students receiving assistance in paying for lunch under the ‘National School Lunch Program’, use a school issued ticket, to get their lunch.

Kalvinek, whose daughter 16-year-old Payton Spinney was one of those students while at the school, claims the neon orange tickets, single out students from low-income households for harassment from their peers, and amounts to segregating them based on economic status.

” These are high schoolers, they don’t want to do that. They don’t want another reason to be bullied,” she said to committee members during the public comment portion of the meeting. “You have a lot of poverty in South Hadley, and a lot of kids who just don’t get lunch cause they don’t want to be segregated.”    

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December 13, 2011

State Rep. Tom Conroy bows out of Massachusetts Senate race

The number of candidates in the Democratic primary field was widled down further yesterday, when State Rep. Tom Conroy  declared that he will be ending his campaign to be the party’s nominee in next year’s Massachusetts Senate race.  Instead, Conroy says he will  run for a fourth term to his seat in the Massachusetts House, where he represents the communities of Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland which comprise the 13th Middlesex District.

News of the former Washinton D.C Foreign Policy aide turned private sector consultant turned state politician’s departure from the race came Monday morning in the form of a letter posted on his campaign website.

Through October and November, I delivered a strong and clear message about who I am, why I was running, and why I could win. I continued to learn about the concerns and hopes of voters throughout Massachusetts. Your stories, ideas and suggestions inspired me. Your generous contributions of time, talent and treasure empowered our team to continue efforts to win back the US Senate seat for the future of Massachusetts. However after much reflection, it is clear that, while support for my candidacy has been generous, we could not run the kind of campaign we needed to run throughout next year.

With deep gratitude and a still strong commitment to a winning path forward for all, I am withdrawing from the race for U.S. Senate.

Later in the morning at a press conference in front of the State capitol, where he officially ended his bid and later endorsed Democratic front runner Elizabeth Warren, he reportedly said that the enthusiasm she generated, fund raising success, and name recognition; were all obstacles too large for him to compete against in the primary.

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December 12, 2011

New Poll: Warren ahead of Brown by 7, 55% of voters say they could change thier minds

Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren now tops Sen.Scott Brown (R-MA) by seven points according to a new poll, in what could be one of the only races where Democrats have a chance to pick-up a Republican held seat

Massachusetts Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren has opened up a lead over incumbent Republican Senator Scott Brown, besting him by seven points in a hypothetical general election match-up, according to findings in a new poll released on Dec 7.

The survey of 505 registered voters in the Commonwealth,conducted by UMASS Lowell in conjunction with the Boston Herald between Dec 1 and 6, showed Warren defeating Brown by 49-42% in next year’s Senate race.

Warren, a former Harvard Law professor turned Consumer advocate and Obama administration adviser, is still technically competing for the Democratic nomination, against four other candidates. But, given Warren’s name recognition, fundraising by progressive activists, and an onslaught of ads against her by conservative leading groups, it seems she will most likely be the party’s nominee after primary votes are cast in September’s Democratic primary. Brown, a freshman Republican Senator, who’s an upset victory in January 2010 in a Special election for the Senate to fill the seat previously held by Senator Edward M Kennedy and was a precursor to the gains made in the House and Senate in last years midterm elections, faces no Republican primary challenge. 

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