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Monday, June 13, 2011

FROED, Fall River's Office of Missed Economic Development

After reading in the Herald News an article titled "Swansea Target to open July 20with a Starbucks" this got me thinking of how the City of Fall River once again is left behind when it comes to Economic Development. While surrounding towns benefit from the additional business, Fall River just keeps adding to its growing unemployment rate!

With the new Target location in Swansea, we will see the relocating of Marshalls, Radio Shack and a new location for Famous Footwear, along with the possibility of many other great shopping experiences. Why can't Fall River support such economic growth?

I'll tell you why in my own opinion, the Fall River Office of Economic Development under the monarchy of Ken Fiola are to blame. According to a brochure, by the way; printed in New Bedford for FROED, 'Fall River Works for Business' is the title in BIG letters, I remember laughing when I read it! What business?

What does this city do about creating new jobs? Businesses who try locating here give up after attempting cutting through the red tape or are not approved for loans. Fall River claims to be business friendly, yet where are all the new businesses? The rumor is that Lowes is withdrawing on their plans for a location in the proposed retail development for the former Quaker Fabric property on Brayton Avenue. What is FROED doing about this? Is this land going to sit vacant for 30 years such as the City Pier has? More prime realty locations left vacant for years. Home Depot years ago wanted to build in Fall River, they were shot down. Where are they now? In Somerset! Scott Anderson and Stuart Anderson of Anderson-Little, which was founded right here in Fall River in 1933, re-launched the Anderson-Little brand. Where are they now? The manufacturing and management are based in Miami Florida! Yes you read that right, Miami, not Fall River. As quoted from a Herald News article dated July 16th 2008, "Scott said they tried opening in Fall River but weren't able to secure a loan from the city" So much for working for business! Maybe they (Anderson-Little) wouldn't employ 600 people in Fall River like they once did; it would have been some jobs for our skilled workforce. We (Fall River) had the opportunity of returning to our manufacturing roots on a much smaller scale, and missed an opportunity to be a part of the return of a New England Icon.

In the 32 year history of the quasi-government agency incorporated in March of 1978 as Jobs for Fall River, Inc., we have seen lack luster results. Over the years as our manufacturers have closed one by one, little has been done to bring new corporations to Fall River. So I pose the question, do we abolish FROED altogether or replace those within the so called corporation? FROED needs to operate less like a city department influenced by politics, more like a marketing agency in order to achieve its goals of attracting and retaining jobs for the community. I think what we need is someone new in charge of FROED. Someone who has a vision to help move Fall River forward and out of the economic slump we have been in for nearly 70 years. The Time has come to see Ken Fiola replaced as the head of FROED. An individual with a Public Relations and Marketing background needs to be selected to market Fall River to corporations looking to relocate. Having access to infrastructure by land, rail and sea gives Fall River an advantage and is a great marketing tool. Through the use of public relations the improving of Fall River's public image by the establishment of a civic beautification

program would benefit the city tremendously by enhancing the first impression of Fall Riverto the potential business community. The city's image could easily be enhanced at little or nocost by corporate sponsorship of areas throughout the city. Just simply updating the welcome signage and landscaping at city entrances, planting flowers in the planters along the Plymouth Avenue corridor etc. could change ones first impression of Fall River. This alone is not enough to attract businesses here but a mere baby step at achieving something greater. Among other improvements needed is a better educational system for employees and their families and a safer community through additional public safety officers. Both require a funding source, which could have been funded by lost revenue FROED failed to realize.

Submitted by taurus3254ja

Monday, March 14, 2011

City Council is not the Board of Health

Recently, the Fall River City Council approved the first reading of a proposed amended ordinance that bans the sale of tobacco products at pharmacies such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens. Some of the discussion related to this issue was directed at the point that other Massachusetts municipalities have already approved a similar prohibition. Specifically, a Herald News article indicates that in addition to the city of Boston, four other cities and four towns have prohibited the sale of tobacco at pharmacies.

However, a closer examination of the other Massachusetts municipalities reveals that they followed a different approach. For instance, in the city of Boston, it was not their City Council that adopted an ordinance banning the sale of tobacco at pharmacies. Instead, it was Boston's Public Health Commission (BPHC) that approved the ban on December 11, 2008. Cigarettes were removed from Boston's pharmacies on February 9, 2009 pursuant to the BPHC's ban.

Similarly, the Needham Board of Health voted on July 14, 2009 to approve the ban of tobacco sales in pharmacies.

On May 24, 2010 the Everett Board of Health voted unanimously to ban the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies.

Finally, on December 15, 2010, the Southborough Board of Health voted unanimously to ban the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies.

According to the website, the Uxbridge Board of Health banned the sale of tobacco in pharmacies in 2009, but the ban has been rescinded by a subsequent Board of Health. Additionally, the ban has also been considered by the Walpole Board of Health and the Westford Board of Health.

Newton remains the only municipality where the ban was approved by an entity besides the municipality's Board of Health. Specifically, in Newton, the ban was approved by the Board of Alderman on an 18-3 vote.

With only one exception, all other Massachusetts municipalities that have approved this ban went through the municipalities' Board of Health, and it was that entity that voted whether to approve the tobacco ban.

Why hasn't Fall River followed the same procedure and considered this matter through the Board of Health and not the City Council?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fall River Historical Society to be featured on the Travel Channel

The Travel Channel's new series, Mysteries at the Museum, will feature the Fall River Historical Society on this coming Tuesday's episode (November 23rd at 9 E/P). The episode will of course focus on the Society's Lizzie Borden collection, specifically the hatchet head that was introduced into evidence during the Borden trial. For those who feel Lizzie is well covered ground in these parts the episode will also focus on several other stories outside of Fall River:

Mysteries at the Museum: Volume 4

The History Museum at the Castle: In the History Museum at the Castle in Appleton, Wisconsin, a plaster bust is modeled after Harry Houdini, who has long passed on but whose mysterious talents still baffle the mind. Is it possible that this bust is actually possessed by the spirit of this famous magician? The answer lies in the suspicious circumstances that surround Houdini's death.

The Henry Ford Museum: In Michigan, the Henry Ford Museum showcases an artifact that soared high above the roadways in 1926- a unique airplane named "The Josephine Ford". At the time, the intrepid pilot of this airplane set out on a death defying flight to the end of the earth with one goal in mind. What was this pilot's goal and why is his journey still shrouded in mystery?

Coos Historical and Maritime Museum: Located on Oregon's rugged Coast at the Coos Historical and Maritime Museum, there is a peculiar object that looks like a piece of faming equipment, but in fact, it's actually a piece from a diabolical weapon of mass destruction sent here by America's former enemy. How did this artifact cause the only deaths resulting from enemy action to occur on mainland America during World War II?

The Chicago History Museum: A plain scrap of fabric, emblazoned with a striking design located at the Chicago History Museum was one of the banners designed for protests at the infamous 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Who made this flag and how did it play such a large role in changing the direction of our country?

Fall River Historical Society: The Fall River Historical Society in Fall River, Massachusetts houses an artifact that may have been the murder weapon in one of the most notorious unsolved murders in American history. This hatchet head was the key piece of evidence used against Lizzie Borden in the murders of her parents; but did she really commit the heinous crime?

National Museum of American History: Among the many thousands of objects at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution, is a worn and weathered eighty year old briefcase. This attache once belonged to a lifelong politician and diplomat and held countless, top secret and sensitive government documents. Why do curators at the Smithsonian believe this briefcase was party to one watershed event that changed the history of the planet?

Find out the answers to these questions and more by tuning-in to Mysteries at the Museum on Tuesday at 9 E/P on Travel Channel. Enjoy the stories, and secrets that will be revealed.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Genealogy Help Wanted

I was wondering if anyone can help me ,i have been looking to find my great great auntie she arrived in fall river in 1911 with her auntie .
Her name was Annie Hughes from Bootle in Liverpool she was born in 1885, her auntie was Catherine Rees born in Maples Cheshire 1862.
they went to a Mr. Ashworth of 1147 Plymouth Ave .
I know she married but do not have her married name as my great auntie destroyed all the family papers i know she had 2 children Grace and James or john i also have photos of her daughter in law and i one of her gransons and also one of her husband but his name is not on the back .
I know this is a blog page but i have hit a brick wall and thought some one my be able to put me on the right road ,I am in a small town in the north of England called Southport .

Thankyou for reading this letter if you can post it i would be so greatfull

Jacqueline Johnson

my email is

Monday, August 30, 2010

Citizens For the Common Good 8/30/2010

The Citizens for the Common Good will be meeting today at 7 p.m. (Monday, Aug. 30)at Calvary Temple, 4321 N. Main St.

The meeting will be a forum to discuss the impacts of casinos on the local business community.

Guest Blog Submissions

Everyone has an opinion but not everyone has a blog. If there's a Fall River topic that you want to share your view on, FRB is the place to submit it! Just like a letter to the editor, I reserve the right to refuse some submissions. Also some submissions may be edited for length, style, clarity, grammar. Blog post submissions can be e-mailed to: