I refer to these as boondoggles because they are geared to appeal to small vocal groups within the town to serve their own special interests.

For every tax dollar diverted for these worthless boondoggles is another dollar that John Q. Public does not have for the betterment of his life.

It's for the betterment of the public sector employees.

I've watched as the Cochituate Rail Trail (CRT) was being built and consider it to be yet another Framingham boondoggle, much like the Athenaeum is becoming. Given the two bridges I have walked across, and all the asphalt laid, and all gates installed to prevent cars from using it, I estimate that a one mile stretch of this trail near my Oaks neighborgood cost over one million dollars to build. On any given day, there seems to be a DPW vehicle on it. I walk on the stretch from Cumberland Farms to Old Connecticut Path.

There will be an ongoing effort to erase the grafitti off the Mass Pike bridge abutments. In my humble opinion, the artistic value of the grafitti is on par with what I see at the Danforth museum. The museum patrons should take note. However I would give my artistic prize to the first graders art shown off at the King school. First graders just love to use bright colors and have more chaotic art.

Beaver dams will require DPW to occasionally pump water from one side of the CRT to the other because the drain tunnels get clogged (by the beavers). Beavers love the sound of running water.

The trail was being plowed during the winter, and in warm weather, DPW or Parks and Rec people are trimming trees, cutting grass, sweeping the trail of nature's debris, planting plants, getting rid of poison ivy, etc.

Ten to fifteen times a year, DPW or Parks and Rec will be called in to clear fallen trees.

The CRT, brought to us by our tree hugging neolib miscreants, has everything the DPW or Parks and Rec want.... hours and hours of work and financial fulfillment. It has become a self-licking ice cream cone. In political jargon, a self-licking ice cream cone is a self-perpetuating system that has no purpose other than to sustain itself

It's a gold mine for DPW employees who can work on it until their full retirements, adding drainage ditches, railings for the handicapped, sweeping it, mowing grass, weeding it, planting flowers, plowing it, and cleaning off dog shit. Soon, some lazy liberal fat ass will ask for a moving sidewalk so he/she can use it without having to exercise. The cost of maintenance will be astronomical. It's probably used by 100 people in town. Mostly by dog walkers. DPW and Parks/Rec should have separate expense accounts to tally the annual expense of this boondoggle.

I can imagine some town employees rubbing their hands in glee and thinking to themselves "We can milk this baby right into retirement."

The only thing the CRT does not have are people using it, except the dog walkers who were using it long before it was a twinkle in the eyes of the Framingham eco-warriors who pushed and pushed to provide us with this worthless boondoggle.

I cross over it several times a day and I see more town employees maintaining it than I see people using it.

If we could see the total annual costs and know the numbers of users, we could calculate the per-user cost of the trail and see how it compares to an annual gym membership.

Walking on the rail trail has as much appeal to me as walking on the sidewalk and less.

The trail will be used exclusively by young, healthy north side Framingham residents. Now and forever until we can kill the funding for its maintenance, the Framingham taxpayers, most of which are rapidly becoming octogenarians will be funding this boondoggle.

I sometimes wonder if the sewer line underneath it was diverted just to build the rail trail above it at public expense.

One future expense I see coming will be an expensive crosswalk over Old Connecticut Path. After a couple walkers are run over, they'll install one of those ever expensive evolving crosswalks. First, simple lines across the asphalt, then yellow reflecting lines, then a couple of crossing signs, then a couple of flashing light, and finally a full stop light for pedestrian.

I'm also fascinated as to how many times, DPW has redone Old Connecticut Path where the rail trail crosses. I can distinctly remember at least 10-15 times. One of these days, the money will run out and that be the last dig. A time lapse video would have been absolutely priceless as a memorial to incompetency.

The next stage in it's metastisis is to open a Jurassic Park entertainment center. The kids will love it. We can have dinosaur rides. The T-Rex ride will be the most popular.

The pretentious Framingham history buffs (Friends of Saxonville) want the town (the taxpayers) to keep and restore the Athenaeum which was built in 1847.

This information is from the latest assessment database I acquired..

15 WATSON PLACE FRAMINGHAM, MA 01701|$316,700.00|$1,229,400.00|
$1,484,100.00||||0.39|M|||$0.00|JANUARY 01, 1900|03|N|

The Athenaeum seems to be tied into the same piece of property as the fire station. This is called bundling services.

Yes! This baby is bad enough to be granted landmark status and in the history of Framingham's decline, it is a monument to the decades long folly of depending on grandiose and astronomically expensive projects.

and read the http://historicframingham.blogspot.com writeup on it.

It is not clear what the town will do with after spending two million of our hard earned dollars to restore it. To date, the rationale is to make it into a meeting place. A meeting place for what, we do not yet know (the history buffs?).

Friends of Saxonville President Dave Longden and Vice President John Stasik say:
It's been closed for about 15 years now and it's time to return it to use. The whole plan is to make it a nice meeting place for public meetings, for events, for special occasions, for the veterans to use for their meetings and it would basically be a nice public meeting place in the village of Saxonville."

How exciting. A meeting room for ONLY $3.5 million.

What will the cost of each meeting be across ten years? This is a 2008 article on the potential costs back then.

In this year's (2013) town meeting, they are allocating $180,000 to start the big fixup. Do the taxpayers want to spend $3.5 million dollars on a historic artifact that will not serve a purpose worthy of the cost of repairing it?

We could sell it to some law forms/real estate agents, add the proceeds to the $3.5 million and pay off the debt we took out to build and unnecessary new McAuliffe library.

In my humble opinion, it should be used as test bed for fire suppresion by the fire station next door. Set the Athenaeum on fire with a molotov cocktail and we can test the responsiveness of the Framingham fire department next door. If they are slow and sluggish, they will probably lose the fire station next door. Such a fire could be repeat of the big Saxonville fire that I believe took out a fire station.

The Athenaeum is currently being used to store what appears to be garbage, as I peered thru the windows.

Danforth Museum Website

Why is the town of Framingham in the museum business by allowing the Danforth museum to use a public building? It is not a legitimate function of what normal people call government.

On August 18, 2002, I visited the Danforth Museum for the first time. My friends told me I would be dissapointed.  I actually came out more dissapointed than I would have expected. It was a very hot day and the museum does not have air conditioning. There was one "excellent" painting in the entire museum. It is titled A Village Funeral in Brittany, by Charles Sprague Pearce. In the modern era of cameras, this would have been a 3 second job by a child. The rest of the museum seemed worthless, especially the one room dedicated to ceramic logs. Who would waste their life making ceramic logs? If I only had one life to live, let me live it as someone who makes ceramic logs.

On September 11, 2011, I visited the Danforth again. After the ceramic logs display, I thought that there might be room for improvement and it could only get better. I was wrong. Now they have a display of women recovering from breast cancer surgery showing their titties all sewn together. Not nice, and certainly not anything close to art.

On July 19, 2013 I visited again and saw nothing that comes close to art.

Art is like pornography. You'll know it when you see it. Of course, pornography will never be art in the mind of these pretentious idiots.

I personally thought that I've seen better art from elementary and middle school students posted on mall walls. Children like bright colors and cheerful things. These are more pleasing to the eyes.

Excellent art can be be seen in the major display window at the Anthropologie store at Natick Mall. The display seems to be changed once a month.

I can easily understand why the museum does not allow photography. They would not want people to see that bad art without first paying to see it. Most of it deserves to be locked up in someone's basement, tossed or burned.

The town paid $400,000 to replace all the windows in the Danforth Museum building and now there is a rumor that the building might be replaced. Clearly, with poor ticket sales, we will never get a return on investment (ROI) on that money.

The annual cost of the Danforth museum is buried in the building maintenance costs of the town ($1.45 million in 2012).

I have not seen any monies coming in to the town from the museum, so I presume that the taxpayers give and give but get back nothing but a museum that charges us a $2 entrance fee for bad art.

The Callahan Senior center was attached to it, and it also houses an art school and the Framingham Amatuer Radio club. Note the antennas on the top of the building. I have no idea of what is on the third floor of the building.

The building might better serve as a homeless shelter for people who want to live in Framingham but can no longer afford it.

MWRTA web site

For 2013 alone, Framingham paid $911,696 to the state for the MWRTA, and an additional $531,520 to subsidize the MBTA. It is probably used by 300-500 residents.

I've used the MWRTA just to see where it goes (on routes 2 and 3).

I discovered it only goes to all the welfare areas (subsidized/free housing).

Clearly, it is program for income redistribution from the rich to the poor.

Like the MBTA, it is heavily subsidized by the state and towns it serves.

As a general rule, its passengers are poor, fat and mentally challenged. But, hey, it is a public transit system.

Buses generally run 20 minutes late. The most unfortunate part of using it is that it is never on schedule. Have you ever used a bus system that is never on schedule? On a hot, cold, or rainy day, it really sucks.

The MWRTA has now expanded to some 15 different routes .

The buses run at 30% capacity.

The town's web site page for Loring Arena

The 2012 annual report states that the taxpayers paid $466,000 to support the ice skating community in Framingham.

My questions of the Loring Arena

  1. Were any taxpayers ever asked if they wanted to support ice skating for a small minority of the town's population?

  2. Why is the Framingham town government in the ice skating business?

  3. Why can't this facility be sold to a private company that can make a profit from ice skating business?

I'd love to see a headcount of unique visitors over the course of one year to see how much of our taxes go to this small group. I just do not see it as a valid function of government.

Now they want to spend our tax monies so that disabled people can access it. People like TMM Ms. McCarthy. I'd love to see her ice skating. How about wheelchair ice skating? One legged ice skating? Quadraplegic ice skating?

The new facility needs four changing rooms, two each for adults and children. Wait till the transgenders move in and use the opposite sex changing rooms.

The town's offical Council on Aging (COA) web site .

The senior center is located at 535 Union Ave, Framingham, MA 01702

The senior center's news letter distribution is about 1,200, but the approximate headcount of users may be over 4,000.

In 2012, the town's contribution to the Callahan Senior Center was $328,000.

This is the worst boondoggle we have in the sense that it serves so few people. The police officers that do detail work are the favored ones by the police chief, or the ones that suck up more. It's hard to tell the difference. It also helps if they work the night shift so they have the day slot open for details. The vast majority of detail work occurs in the day time.

At $45/hour, they get paid more than hookers to just stand around.

The police officers union contract specifies some details on how many hours they get if they get any at all and how much they are paid (close to $45/hour). For this, they just stand around and talk on their cell phones barely paying attention to the traffic swirling around them.

And was it necessary to buy this hugely expensive ($285,000) albatross of a mobile command center ?

Send comments to: hjw2001@gmail.com