Monthly Archives: July, 2008

More on Podcamp Boston

Yesterday was my first experience liveblogging an event, and as you can see from the skimpy blog post, it was a challenge — getting on wifi, staying online when I paused to listen more intently to presenters, typing on the small hand-held computer screen, shutting off my technology so that I could interact with the people around me. But overall, it was an amazing first experience.

For me, though, what rises to the surface after an experience is almost better — that’s the real grist for the mill. For me, reflection is as important as experience, since it allows me to comparatively assess the depth of new information received and how it will impact my own thoughts, plans, ideas and actions.

I’m not going to go into detail, but the bottom line is that attending Podcamp helped me further conceptualize some possibilities for Kmareka as well as some possibilities for how to use new media in psychotherapy. To that end, I will be doing a lot more research and writing both online and offline in the coming months.

I want to thank the presenters and participants I met at Podcamp who took the time to talk with me and share their ideas. Your listening ears and engaging responses have bolstered my enthusiasm for my work:

Philip Robertson, Oovoo

Susanne Sicilian, Marketingprofs.com

Cristos Lianides-Chin, Dexrex.com

Jim Spencer, JBS Partners

Deborah Block-Schwenk, Writing and Social Media Marketing

Larry Lawfer, Yourstorys

Robert H. Blatt, Audio Engineer and Podcaster for the New York Sun

Crystal King, Sr Principal, Communications and Global Marketing, Ca.com

I’d also like to thank the people at Utterz.com for the really cute stuffed cow! My younger daughter is enthralled with it.

Liveblogging from Podcamp Boston

I’m at Podcamp Boston, broadcasting live from my husband’s iPaq. At the moment, I’m listening to a panel discussion on social media and marketing. I’ll be updating throughout the day.

The discussion now is on how social media is giving us so many new choices for what to pay attention to, as opposed to the world of just TV.

Best Practices for social media and PR:

–engage the audience and let them talk about you — Obama’s approach incorporates this.

–consumers are now controlling vendors more because of social media.

–smaller innovators can work more quickly and nimbly.

–concerned comments about companies managing liability of employees producing work with social media.

Lunchtime!

I’m now listening to Larry Lawfer talk about successful video blogging.

– “Work hard to make new mistakes, otherwise you are not progressing.”

–facilitate conversations for others, help them connect with others, and you will rise in their estimation.

–make good sound, otherwise people will click off.

Interview with Cynthia Fogarty, Dem for Mayor of Cranston

The main topics of this 13 minute interview: the firefighter’s contract with the new “presumptive conclusion” for cancer, senior services in Cranston, and education in Cranston, particularly the pending Caruolo action for $4.9 million.

Learn to Love Sardines

I don’t mind them myself. Everything I read in the news leads to the conclusion that eating less beef, pork and chicken is good for health and good for the general welfare on a polluted planet.

But fish — always a good choice, right?

Nope. Not when factory fish farming has the same drawbacks as factory chicken farming…

– The wildly popular farm-raised fish known as tilapia may actually harm your heart, thanks to low levels of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and high levels of unhealthy omega-6 fatty acids. FRIDAY, July 11 (HealthDay News) Amanda Gardner

[Read the rest of this for good nutrition info.]

Tilapia is only ‘wildly popular’ because it is cheap compared to the increasingly expensive cod and tuna. The article goes on to says that farmed catfish isn’t great either, which doesn’t surprise me because tilapia and catfish both taste like mud. The problem is that the farmed fish are being fed cheap food, maybe stale potato chips or something, and the second law of thermodynamics says you can’t get something for nothing.

I see a frightening trend for the future in the increase in jellyfish recipes. (See ‘Return of the Blob’)

Sardines are still cheap and very nutritious. But the first law of Karma says that what goes around comes around. Pollution, overfishing and global warming may bring us to a point where we’re grateful for pickled jellies. Learn to love wasabi.

Cutting Down Trees in Cranston

My husband cut down a tree in our back yard this morning, to make more sun for the tomato plants. It was quite the event, sawing through that 6-inch trunk. He’s our lumberjack, and he’s okay. And in his honor, here’s some great Monty Python.

Big Week for Cranston Residents!

There are two important meetings this week for Cranston residents. The second Comprehensive Plan Update meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 16 from 6-8pm at the Cranston Senior Center on Cranston Street. The Housing section will be discussed on Tuesday evening. (Meetings will be held every Tuesday through August 20 and the goal is to cover all elements of the Plan Update by then.) The sections can be viewed on the Cranston City’s website here. Feedback can be sent in advance to the Planning Department: Peter Lapolla (Director): plapolla@cranstonri.org,
Jason Pezzullo (Principal Planner): jpezzullo@cranstonri.org.

On Thursday, July 18, a public meeting has been scheduled by State Representative Peter Palumbo regarding residents’ concerns about RIPTA buses being detoured through the Garden City neighborhood due to new weight restrictions on the bridge at Pontiac Avenue at Garden City Drive. In addition to the Cranston Administration, representatives from RIPTA have been invited. The meeting will be held at Western Hills Junior High School at 7pm.

Both of the issues are of importance and members of the public are encouraged to attend the two meetings!

Cranston’s Domestic Bank to Pay Fines of $1.8 Million

The mortgage meltdown and subsequent housing price abyss are the result of many players, both large and small. Looks like Domestic Bank had some problems with “unsafe and unsound banking practices,” particularly related to false advertising in the mortgage sector. From Channel 10:

CRANSTON, R.I. — Rhode Island-based Domestic Bank has been ordered to pay $1.8 million for engaging in unsafe and unsound banking and mortgage lending services.

According to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Thrift Supervision, Domestic Bank’s mortgage arm falsely advertised mortgage rates and had “sham employees” on the books.

A Domestic Bank executive did not deny the accusations, but he wouldn’t go into specifics about what happened. He said the accusations stemmed from third-party relationships and administrative procedures in place between 2003 and early 2007.

Hat tip to Ward2.org blogger Mark Lucas who appears to be back in the saddle again in the blogosphere.

Caruolo Outcome Hangs in the Balance

And you, the taxpayer, should weigh in. This is more important than calling in your vote for American Idol or Dancing with the Stars. This is about whether we are going to fight over money and pay lawyers or whether we are going to hand needed funds over to the schools. And this is about determining how the school’s books will be kept, to ensure that they do not run up a $4.9 million dollar deficit or anything of the likes ever again. From the Projo:

[...] Council members declined to discuss specific provisions of the agreement in recent days, noting that it was supposed to be confidential.

But several said, in general terms, that the provisions designed to impose fiscal discipline on the schools in the long run did not have enough teeth.

There was talk in political circles yesterday of making last-minute adjustments to the agreement to address those concerns.

Let us adjust. Let us amend. Let us get this thing settled without having to go through a lengthy court battle. To that end, I encourage all Cranstonites to call/email their city council representatives, particularly those who voted against the settlement, and ask them to reach consensus through mediation, not litigation.

RICHARD SANTAMARIA
Phone: 946-6709
E-mail: ritatj10@yahoo.com

ARAM GARABEDIAN
Phone: 641-5855
Fax: 401-272-0831
E-mail: aram@blissproperties.net

JEFFREY BARONE
Phone: 463-3305
E-mail: jeffreyb22@cox.net

JOHN LANNI
Phone: 946-7373

TERRY LIVINGSTON
Phone: (401) 785-2955
Fax: (401) 274-5433
E-mail: Terry@livingstonlaw.us

Mayoral candidate Cindy Fogarty is also encouraging open dialogue and more public involvement to get this Caruolo action settled. She sent this letter to the City Council and School Committee, urging them to keep communications open and continue working toward resolution:

July 6, 2008

Cranston City Councilmembers and
Cranston School Committee Members

Via Electronic Mail

RE: Caruolo Action and Settlement Vote

Members:

Please consider this request to you and your respective committees to reconvene and reconsider settlement talks over the FYE 2008 and FYE 2009 school department budget allocation. If there are portions acceptable to both parties, those should be stipulated to and entered with the court. The unresolved issues then might be easier to negotiate.

While I do not have the benefit of a copy of the proposed settlement, in talking with members of each committee, it appears that the language might not sufficiently require certain actions on both sides. Perhaps a public meeting that provides the details would help the citizens better understand each sides position.

As an attorney myself, I have found that there are very few times when the door should be closed on negotiation. Again, I ask you to keep the communications open for the benefit of our City.

Sincerely,

Cindy Fogarty

A New Head for Hitler

BERLIN (Reuters) – A waxwork of Adolf Hitler will return to Berlin’s new Madame Tussauds as soon as experts have restored the head ripped off by a demonstrator on its opening day, the museum said on Monday.[more]

Wow! Maybe the Wax Museum vandal should have tried a body tackle. Hitler won’t be out of commission for long. The show will go on. It can’t take too long to whip up another Hitler head.

Think of all the people out there who would have liked to have decapitated Hitler but can’t afford to go to Germany. I want to do something to help them, and myself. So I am offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a unique business opportunity–Wax Hitlers.

They’ll be about 18 inches tall, and people can buy them and rip their heads off. Don’t try to steal this idea, my brother-in-law is a lawyer. Just contact me at Kmareka.com for details. This could be the new Pet Rock.

Audio of Fogarty Campaign Kick-Off

UPDATE: Sorry about the technical issues. Cindy’s speech is now available below and requires no downloading. Just click on the arrow.

ORIGINAL POST:

It was a mercifully short event yesterday, standing out in the blazing sun in front of city hall, especially for the Democratic candidates who were all dutifully suited up. Democratic City Chair Mike Sepe reminded us that some of the most powerful and successful women in Rhode Island government have come from Cranston. Cindy Fogarty spoke about growing up on the South Side of Providence, going to Classical High School, and her climb into the middle class here in Cranston. She gave some background on her accomplishments as Chair of the Finance Committee in Cranston and spoke to the fundamental purpose of local government to collect taxes and use them responsibly to provide services.

Also, here’s her speech as prepared for delivery:

Fogarty for Mayor – Press Conference July 1, 2008

Until the linguists come up with a better word or phrase, I am going to sound a bit cliché and say that I am humbled and honored to be the Democratic choice for Mayor of Cranston.

When my husband, who grew up in Cranston, and I chose a place to buy our home and live over 20 years ago, the only place that we looked was in Cranston. For a person who grew “financially challenged�, born in a poor neighborhood of South Providence, the thought of owning the home that you live in, was a thrill and admittedly a mark of success. I cannot be more proud of the warm community that we found in Cranston.

Most of you know, I have been practicing law just down the street at Calart Tower since 2000 and have served two terms on the Cranston City Council, the second as Finance Chair. My undergraduate educational background in business and accounting, my experience maintaining my own business for 8 years, and my governmental experience as a councilmember with responsibility for passage of Cranston budgets, put me in the unique position of being able to manage the city from day one.

During my two year term as Finance Chair, we balanced the budget, funded the schools and did not raise taxes.

The first thing that I proposed when I became Finance Chair based on an analysis of the city’s finances at the beginning of 2005, was a resolution to the Republican Administration stating that there should be no tax increase in his proposed budget to the Council that year. This resolution was overwhelmingly supported by the Democrat members of the Council, and the proposed budget came to us with no tax increase that year.

Next we tried to open contract negotiations by passing an ordinance that permitted the Finance Chair to sit it on negotiation sessions – not negotiate, but to be able to better understand each sides positions. The Republican Administration was so opposed to the valid passage of an ordinance, that when I attempted to enforce the ordinance by attending sessions, the Administration had called in a police officer to keep me from attending.

In addition, when my committee was presented with the Republican Administration’s financing plan for the new police station, as Finance Chair, even though a new complex was critical for the safety of our employees, I objected to a plan that would have forced the taxpayers to lease the building for 25 years and then to have to buy the building at fair market value. I formed a subcommittee to review the proposal and a proposal was developed that now includes ownership at the end of 25 years.

I have a proven record of fiscal responsibility and I will continue to practice fiscal restraint, while providing the necessary services wanted by the citizens of Cranston as the Mayor of Cranston.

Over the next week, our campaign will be formalized by

- the opening of headquarters;
- appointment of a campaign manager;
- identifying ward teams and;
- a kickoff breakfast

Hopefully, you will agree that we have been corralling a wide range of experience, skills, and talents on the team that can only make us better as a whole. The team includes business people, parents, seniors, students and yes, lawyers.

Again, thank you for the honor, and thank you for taking the time to come out today to meet the candidates.

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