On the Trail with Ty: 10/6/18

A few moments from Saturday during my campaigning in Ward 5B along Oak Hill Avenue via my bike:
1. I was exposed to a screaming tirade from a middle aged man who immediately questioned my political party. I said. “the City Council is non-partisan but I am a registered Democrat.”  The next moment he was yelling at me about Democrats lack of support for our president and Justice Kavanaugh. I stood quietly in his driveway, wondering if I should hop on my bike and get out of his range. During a brief lull in his tirade, I quietly said, “I didn’t come to your home to argue.” He firmly responded, “I am not arguing either.” He never took my palm card, doesn’t have any idea what my campaign thoughts are, and never asked me a question except for my political affiliation.
I turned and left without another word.
2. Ten minutes later, I was greeted by a younger man asking if I was Ty the social worker. He shared with me his experience with the Dept. of Children and Family Services. He and his wife have raised a nine year old girl for the past three years after she was removed from her home by DCF. They have been working towards an DCF goal of adoption. Then the case was switched to another city and the goal suddenly changed to reunification. The girl and her foster parents are dismayed and confused. The girl does not want to return to live with the birth mother, who is currently homeless.
Not sure how this will eventually work out, but I appreciated them seeking my council and did my best to help.
3. I was invited into an 85 year old man’s home. He lamented on the changes in his world and said he wouldn’t want to be growing up now. He lives alone with six children scattered around the country. We both enjoyed chatting for a few minutes at his dining room table. He repeated that he didn’t know too much about politics and hoped I’d come back and visit again.
I felt honored to visit this gentleman. I hope we can help him with a break in his property taxes in this home he’s owned for at least 50 years.
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On the Trail with Ty: 10/6/18

1. The past two days in Ward 5A have really been fun. (5A is the area immediately South of the center of the city.) I was invited to put up signs in front of four homes on East Street, one home on Union Street and James Street. Everyone I met was enthusiastic and gracious. It was a humbling experience. One of the highlights of our campaign.
People are concerned about seniors housing. Today, an elderly man told me he’d owned his house for the past 75 years. He’s afraid he’ll have to give it up because of rising property taxes. Attleboro doesn’t want anyone to lose their homes.
We will find a way to help seniors live in their homes as long as possible. If Houston, Minneapolis and other cities around the USA can give their seniors a break…. so can Attleboro!
Jim Hawkins is working on several bills in the state house to give seniors hope. I will support our seniors when those bills reach the City Council.
Meanwhile, our children need smaller classes. If we can build a new high school we can certainly figure out how to reduce the class sizes. I am constantly meeting students who are lamenting that their classes are very crowded. Are we listening to them? What are we communicating to them?
To help seniors and children we need more revenue. Our proposed new Economic Development Director could help by attracting new businesses to Attleboro.
2. I stopped at East Street to look at my map when a car with two ladies slowed down next to me. The passenger leaned out the window and asked if I was a census worker. I smiled and handed my palm card to her. “No, Ma’am, I’m hoping to be a city councilor.” She laughed, took my card, and told me to knock them dead in City Hall. Off they drove.

On The Trail with Ty: 10/2/18

1. Hillary pulled into her long dirt driveway and slammed her brakes to say “Hi”, while I stood by my bike. She was excited to meet me and easy to talk with. We chatted about the Attleboro school system. She noted the abrupt rise in class sizes over the past few years, we both agreed that “For Sale” signs are rising, and young couples are moving out of Attleboro in search of another school system. This was a rather bleak look into the future of ours. She hopes we restore French in the high school and Spanish in the middle school.
We agreed that Attleboro was a darn good school system a few years ago and has plenty of excellent teachers. But our system is stressed now. We need to address the class sizes, refocus on foreign languages, and set our educational sights high.
If we rebuild our schools, people will come. Attleboro can become a Field of Dreams.
2. Just before the skies opened up, I met Mike. We talked about seniors needing assistance to keep their homes. Then he stepped back and asked what political party I belonged to. “The City Council is non-partisan”, I answered. “Too Bad”, he responded. “If you told me you were an Independent I would have voted for you. But I could never vote for a Democrat. I just couldn’t do it.”
I quietly looked Mike in the eyes. I asked him, “Don’t you think Republicans and Democrats both care about our Senior Center, library, police and fire departments? Don’t you think we both want the best for Attleboro’s schools? I became a Democrat because JFK saved our world when I was a child. He was strong, calm and determined to stop Russia and protect our country.”
Mike agreed that JFK was a great leader and president. “But times have changed, Ty. Kavanaugh is not guilty. No one can prove he did anything to her (Christine Blasey Ford). They are persecuting the Judge.”
I was quiet for a moment. Mike seemed sad, too. As he turned to shut the door, I said, “Call me sometime. I will try to help you. I don’t judge people simply by their political party.”
As the door closed I thought I heard Mike murmur, “O.K.” Maybe, just maybe, we connected a little bit.

On the Trail with Ty: 9/20/18

Today I met with a couple who live in Ward 4B, near the Norton line. They are retired, still have a mortgage, and their tax bill has recently increased from $4,000 to $5,200 a year. They are expecting next years tax bill to climb over $6,000 on their fixed income. This is a story being played out all over Attleboro.
In this case, the couple is seriously considering moving to North Carolina where taxes and housing costs are a lot less expensive. Most seniors either can’t move or don’t want to leave their extended family behind. We need to help those folks who choose to stay in Attleboro.
In recent weeks I have seen a dramatic increases in homes for sale. I hope these are people choosing to live in a better home. But some of them may be moving into apartments or downsizing because they can’t afford their current homes.
I love Attleboro and plan to stay. But I want to help Seniors that are in danger of losing their homes. Our State Rep., Jim Hawkins, has informed me that three bills are working their way through the state house. The goal is to help seniors get a cap on their taxes or a loan to help them through a housing crisis. I haven’t seen the details but I hope to vote for one of these housing bills as a city councilor.
Affordable housing is one of our deepest needs, especially when we live on fixed incomes.

On the Trail with Ty: 9/28/18

Last Wednesday experienced another dog story.
I was campaigning on North Ave (Ward 3A) and veered off onto Hood Street near dusk. While biking I almost bumped into a lone Golden Retriever mix trotting down the middle of the street. I figured my new canine friend was either lost or had slipped out of a house unobserved. I knocked at the nearest house. The lady of that house guessed that Sandy (the dog’s real name) had snuck out of a home a short distance up the street.

I slipped a leash around Sandy’s neck and off we went looking for the missing owner (s). Two houses on the left and BINGO. A senior lady answered the bell. Surprise! She hadn’t seen Sandy slip through the new rip in the front door’s screen and didn’t realize her puppy was missing. Sandy wanted to play with me but I ended up carrying her into her rightful home and depositing her on the living room rug. Sandy knew how to wriggle.
Then the man of the house drove up the driveway. He was extremely thankful and plans to get a better leash and choke collar. It was a feel good scene. My score is: 2 dogs rescued in September, 0 dogs escaped. I’m on a roll.
Now I’m waiting for dog number #3. Next year I may run for dog catcher!
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YOU ARE INVITED TO PLAY or WATCH A SOFTBALL GAME WITH TY.
I’d like to invite anyone reading this message to join us at our campaign softball game/cookout on Sunday, October 7th, 12 to 3 pm. Please park at the high school and stroll over to the nearby softball field. We are serving hot dogs and hamburgs. We’ll have soft drinks available.
Small donations are much appreciated for my campaign. I want to be on our City Council so I can work on smaller classes in our city schools; advocate for foreign languages and mental health services for our students; help seniors get a break in their property taxes; and attract more businesses into Attleboro.
Regards,
ty

On the Trail with Ty: 9/13/18

Please note this post was held back until we had the interview to share.

Today’s highlight was my radio interview on WARA . It was really fun. We probably talked too long about baseball and my book, The Year the Red Sox Won the Series. It was published 19 years ago about the 1918 world champion Red Sox. The host also raved about my social media page, which is primarily due to the skill of Jax Adele. I praised Jax at the end of today’s interview. Lots of fun!

Listen Here! Interview starts at 59:32

I surprised myself when I shared my views on marijuana. To sum it up: I don’t trust alcohol, pot, LSD, or anything which alters our mind. I grew up with an alcoholic father and was exposed to many a drunken episode by him and his friends. I spent countless weekends with my Dad in bar rooms from 10 to 14 years old. It took me a long time to get over that experience and led to my career as a social worker. I realize pot is not alcohol but it does affect a person’s view of reality. It also affects how we drive.
I voted against legalizing pot but will abide by the vote of Attleboro. I support the use of medical marijuana because it helps people in pain. However,  I’m uneasy about our city making money off of recreational pot. That is the direction we have chosen to go. I just don’t want to see anyone life destroyed due to substance abuse.
As a city councilor, I will abide by the will of our voters.
I tried hashish in tea once when I was 20 years old. My cousin and I went out to a Washington D.C. all night eatery. I remember floating right up to the top of the ceiling and watching everyone eating below me. It was the weirdest feeling I have ever had in my life. I never did it again. Once was enough.

On the Trail with Ty: 9/22/18

It was a good day. I was greeted by lots of folks and put five signs on their lawns. Four of the signs went right along Newport Ave, Route 1A. South Attleboro always seems friendly, regardless of the busy traffic.
John and I were amazed by the beauty along Pitus Ave, surrounded by a peaceful forest. So close — yet so far from the highways.
Two men shared their concerns today, along with the frustrations of keeping their medical insurance. Yesterday, a young man told me about his stroke and seizure disorder. People are struggling with their own issues and need someone to talk to, even a stranger like myself. I referred two of these men to the Larson Senior Center to talk with one of our terrific Social Workers. I’m going to follow up with the Wellness Director at the Attleboro YMCA for the man recovering from a stroke. Perhaps we can help his recovery.
I’m convinced one of the most important skills a City Councilor can have is be a good listener. I try.