Reader: Squatters an underlying problem in the city of Fitchburg

Granted open fires in buildings and cutting off pipes tend to border on life threatening, but why is this such a problem? There are a record number of foreclosures going on, the likes of which we have not seen ... Full Story
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anon

New York, NY

#1 Jan 25, 2008
Totally agree
gabs56

Natick, MA

#3 Jan 28, 2008
Totally off base.
Fitchburg is such a magnet to homeless individual because it is the capital of social services agencies! The majority of the individuals who occupy vacant buildings are not individuals who have recently had their homes forclosed on.
anne v

Brooklyn, NY

#4 Jan 28, 2008
Agree with gabs56, no one has "forced" these mortgages on the property owners. The owners as well as the tenants need to be responsible for their decisions to purchase a home or rent from someone who is obviously irresponsible. These tenants probably have not seen their landlords for quite some time and must realize with whom they are dealing.
Reality

United States

#5 Jan 28, 2008
gabs56 wrote:
Totally off base.
Fitchburg is such a magnet to homeless individual because it is the capital of social services agencies! The majority of the individuals who occupy vacant buildings are not individuals who have recently had their homes forclosed on.
Most forms of social services require at least a mailing address, so it is ridiculous to blame social programs for the migration of homeless from one place to another. That said, the best social program of all is to provide good paying jobs at a living wage that allows people to improve their standard of living. For a place like Fitchburg, that means reviving the industrial sector.

Here is a prime example of how national trade policy affects us personally. A return to a sane policy that protects our manufacturing base against offshoring would do wonders for a locale such as Fitchburg.
gabs56

Natick, MA

#6 Jan 28, 2008
Really, Reality. A P.O. Box will do.
National Trade Policy - why it is the - in Massachusetts at least - beloved Clinton who presented us with NAFTA. Then in 1994, he tinkered with GATT, driving manufacturing companies to go overseas.
Couldn't agree with you more on the issue being a lack of manufacturing jobs. However, "providing good paying jobs at a living wage", preferably without having to compete for them, borders on communism.
Reality

United States

#7 Jan 28, 2008
gabs56 wrote:
Really, Reality. A P.O. Box will do.
National Trade Policy - why it is the - in Massachusetts at least - beloved Clinton who presented us with NAFTA. Then in 1994, he tinkered with GATT, driving manufacturing companies to go overseas.
Couldn't agree with you more on the issue being a lack of manufacturing jobs. However, "providing good paying jobs at a living wage", preferably without having to compete for them, borders on communism.
Are you suggesting that homeless people are renting PO boxes? Have you ever spoken to a homeless person? I'm guessing not.

Although NAFTA was signed by Clinton in its final form, it was engineered by the admin of GHWB at the behest of corporate interests. That is beside the point. Looking at today's political landscape, you will see some who are still in favor of global free trade and some who are against. It is important to note who falls on which side of that debate.

Furthermore, I fail to see how rolling back free trade agreements that have led to the loss of our manufacturing base in the US even approaches communism. How would such a move result in state owned means of production?
gabs56

Natick, MA

#8 Jan 28, 2008
Anyone can rent a P.O. box if one wishes to do so.

NAFTA may have been engineered by the administration of #41, Clinton chopped off on it, didn't he?

I never suggested that rolling back fee trade agreements approaches communism. What approaches communism is Reality's above insinuation that "the best social program is to provide good paying jobs." Good jobs are competed for, not provided.

Anyone - including homeless people, particularly in the Commonwealth have the opportunity, daily, to better themselves by reaching out for help to the appropriate organizations! What they need is the want.
Reality

United States

#9 Jan 28, 2008
gabs56 wrote:
Anyone can rent a P.O. box if one wishes to do so.
NAFTA may have been engineered by the administration of #41, Clinton chopped off on it, didn't he?
I never suggested that rolling back fee trade agreements approaches communism. What approaches communism is Reality's above insinuation that "the best social program is to provide good paying jobs." Good jobs are competed for, not provided.
Anyone - including homeless people, particularly in the Commonwealth have the opportunity, daily, to better themselves by reaching out for help to the appropriate organizations! What they need is the want.
Anyone can rent a PO Box, true, but how many homeless people are going to save up $50.00 to rent one, rather then, say, eat?

Now that we have a full understanding that Global Free Trade agreements force US workers to compete with the cheapest slave labor on the planet, it is clear that while good jobs can be "competed for", it is inappropriate for any US citizen to have to compete with an indonesian child making 20 cents a day.

All jobs are "competed for". The question is: What are the best jobs Fitchburgians can reasonably expect to be competing for? Will the town continue its slide to low wage "fries with that" jobs or can we cultivate an abundance of industrial jobs that pay a decent living wage?

I recall it was not that long ago that our local industrial base was strong enough to employ hundreds of "work-a-day" laborers, helping even the most down-and-out members of the street community with the opportunity to make 50-80 dollars for a one-time shift at the local factories.

As for advocates for / against global free trade:

Romney: Strongly for FT
McCain: Strongly for FT
Huckabee: moderately for FT (unclear on what he would change)
Paul: against FT

Clinton: moderately for FT (seeks labor protections)
Obama: moderately for FT (seeks labor protections)
Edwards: against FT
gabs56

Natick, MA

#10 Jan 28, 2008
Why Reality, I think you should run for governor or president. Together we can, right?
As to your last paragraph - go to any Home Depot or other building supplier and see the local contractors pick up day laborers in the morning. It exists and is alive and well.
Reality

United States

#11 Jan 28, 2008
gabs56 wrote:
Why Reality, I think you should run for governor or president. Together we can, right?
As to your last paragraph - go to any Home Depot or other building supplier and see the local contractors pick up day laborers in the morning. It exists and is alive and well.
Never seen it. Not at Home Depot, not at Lowes, not at Maki's nor at Pelletiers. You have seen under-the-table day laborers at these places, gabs? Drop a dime. I'm sure the authorities would be interested in hearing about all the tax revenue they are losing.
sonny brisebois

Medway, MA

#12 Jan 28, 2008
Reality wrote:
<quoted text>
Never seen it. Not at Home Depot, not at Lowes, not at Maki's nor at Pelletiers. You have seen under-the-table day laborers at these places, gabs? Drop a dime. I'm sure the authorities would be interested in hearing about all the tax revenue they are losing.
Reality, I think I love you . You should run for office.
Reality

Clinton, MA

#13 Jan 28, 2008
sonny brisebois wrote:
<quoted text>
Reality, I think I love you . You should run for office.
:-)

Run for office? No Can Do. I'd never survive the opposition research. However, I'm convinced that Fitchburg is in good hands with Ms. Wong.

You would not believe how much crap I take online for speaking the truth and citing sources. You'd also likely be amazed at how many true believers refuse to accept Reuters, McClatchy, or the AP news wires as objective sources, claiming them instead to be part of some nefarious mythological "liberal media". Oy.

It's going to be a long hard slog to restore America to it's former greatness.
Donna Savory- Fitchburg

Fitchburg, MA

#14 Jan 28, 2008
I chose to live in Fitchburg because, well Fitchburg had cheaper rent than most cities. You see, I'm disabled and I must live on a fixed income of less than $1100 a month. If I had only known that my utilities from Unitil would be over $100 during most times of the year and close to $200 during the winter I'd probably have never chosen to live here.

My rent is $500 a month and my apt is tiny. I have energy star appliances, keep my lights off most of the time and rarely watch television.

Unitil I hear has the 2nd highest rates in the country. Why are they here and what are our new politicians in office going to do about it? Cities sign contracts with utility companies to be in the city. It's time for Unitil to move out. I can see how some people can't make their mortgage if their utilities are that high. I have a friend with a small ranch style home and she is doing everything she can to cut her utility bill. But I'm sorry when a small house like that has a utility bill of $1000 in the winter per month, and even in good weather its never been below $350 it's time to do something and it's time to do it now.

It's time to show the residents of Fitchburg that our politicians mean business. Show us....
Robin W

Gardner, MA

#15 Jan 28, 2008
gabs56 wrote:
Totally off base.
Fitchburg is such a magnet to homeless individual because it is the capital of social services agencies! The majority of the individuals who occupy vacant buildings are not individuals who have recently had their homes forclosed on.
What is confusing me here is that you dont even live in Fitchburg, which says to me you really have no idea of who or why we have homeless people. My husband and I own our home, we get zero public assistance, in fact hes been at the same job for 20 years (not in fitchburg)We, like many Fitchburg residents live one paycheck away from being homeless. We pay our mortgage every month in our "grace period" and recieve shut off notices every month from Unitil. Bottom line...its Unitil that has to go. When your electric/gas bill is higher then your mortgage, somthing is definatly way wrong. We have a friend in Winchendon who also owns a home(not apt) whos bill last month for electric was $23. My electric portion last month was $400 WHY? My husband and I were 2 of the many people that were part of Lisa Wong's landslide victory, because we all want CHANGE! Lisa, if you are reading this, PLEASE focus on unitil, No decent business is going to move into a city with electric bills that exceed their loan payments!

Since: Jan 08

Cleveland, TN

#16 Jan 29, 2008
Nicely said Robin.

I dread my electric bill and I am another who pays when I get the yellow bill in the mail. My husband and I both work full time jobs and a good chunk of our monthly income also goes to Unitil.
brian goguen

Phoenix, AZ

#17 Jan 29, 2008
It's a shame to see that our country is coming to the place where low income people are being forced to leave the homes they have known for many years.
Desperate Times

Clinton, MA

#18 Jan 29, 2008
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Fitchburg is way overdue for a non-profit municipal power distribution company.
gabs56

Natick, MA

#19 Jan 30, 2008
Even though this is not the Unitil Site, I think I will combine the posts of this board, relating to Unitil, along with the other postings relative Unitil, print them out, and send them to Martha Coakley, the AG, with a coverletter as to how people are hurting under Unitil.
Though she has turned down their request for yet another astronomical 10% increase and whittled it down to, I believe it is 4%, it is still way too much. I don't think officials are totally aware as to what is going on with these robbers. They need to be held accountable and explain themselves as to why it is their rates are twice that of others utilities!
sonny brisebois

Maynard, MA

#22 Jan 30, 2008
Reality wrote:
<quoted text>
:-)
Run for office? No Can Do. I'd never survive the opposition research. However, I'm convinced that Fitchburg is in good hands with Ms. Wong.
You would not believe how much crap I take online for speaking the truth and citing sources. You'd also likely be amazed at how many true believers refuse to accept Reuters, McClatchy, or the AP news wires as objective sources, claiming them instead to be part of some nefarious mythological "liberal media". Oy.
It's going to be a long hard slog to restore America to it's former greatness.
Amen, but we can't give up the struggle. Thanks
chris

Worcester, MA

#23 Jan 31, 2008
The better cities and towns of Massachusetts don't have this problem because they don't allow this to go on.They don't allow homeless vagrants and prostitutes and drug addicts to freely loiter in public.Fitchburg attracts these people because of it's lack of self preservation.It is a dying city because of these false liberal ideas.Sane people will flee.Every drug dealer and illegal immigrant and welfare recipient from Lawrence to NYC to Latin America has some connection to Fitchburg.

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