My Homeowners Advocate Reviews
Senate President Therese Murray's planned budget forum with Sen. Dan Wolf has been rescheduled from Friday, March 7, to March 21, at 2:30 p.m. The House will be taking up the budget in late April, before the annual spending bill moves to the Senate. The forum will be held at Harbor View Meeting Room, Barnstable County Complex, 3195 Main St., Barnstable.
Beacon Hill's window of opportunity
The remainder of March and the bulk of April offer a window for the Legislature to take a stab at making progress on non-budgetary matters. Hearings around the state on Gov. Deval Patrick's $36.4 billion fiscal 2015 budget proposal were ending Friday in Gardner Auditorium. The room was packed with individuals who sometimes pointedly called for increased state spending to address cuts to health and human services as well as environmental programs and services for the homeless and disabled. Lawmakers heard resistance to Patrick's plan to close Taunton State Hospital and pleas for increased mental health services, with nurses and other activists saying emergency rooms, jails and the streets of Massachusetts are clogged with people unable to receive the mental health or substance abuse services they need to turn their lives around. The House is not scheduled to debate its spending vision for the fiscal year that begins July 1 until late April and early May and House Speaker Robert DeLeo has already announced the plan this year will not include new taxes, so fixed-cost increases and local aid appear likely to again consume most of the increase in state tax revenues.
"We are a tight-knit community. We have to do things on our own. People are trying to salvage their property and get back to a normal lifestyle."
The distance still to go, Grainger said, is considerable.
"We're maybe a third of the way into it," she said. "It'd be nice to look around and say you're halfway there. We know we're not halfway there. We've got the county telling us they're going to move the road in different directions, they are going to try to redirect the creek in a lot of different ways ... ."
Doug Burger and his wife, Kay Cook, lived for about three years at a rental property in Salina owned by Anne Brady, proprietor of the Salina Cafe. The cafe was heavily damaged when Gold Run flooded, and the rental property was destroyed.
"We lost the place we were living. We lost two cars and all the furniture. We lost everything except, thank heavens, a couple of laptop computers," Burger said.
But they are still in Salina — in another rental property, on higher ground, on the other side of Gold Run Road from where they lived before the storm changed everything. They have been there since Thanksgiving, and they have no intention of leaving the community behind.
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