On the Trail with Ty: 9/17/18

1.This is the week my beloved Red Sox will clinch the Eastern Division vs. the Yankees. How fitting that my first experience today in Ward 5A (off South Main St.) was about baseball? As we were inserting a pair of signs at the corner of Mulberry and Lafayette St., a man walked by and told me he enjoyed my book about the 1918 Red Sox. His then 15 year old daughter had given my book to him almost 20 years ago. I signed the book for Steve last year at the Attleboro Community Theatre.
We ended up talking about some of the players of that long ago deadball era. This wasn’t Attleboro politics but it resulted in my putting a sign in Steve’s yard. Great way to start the day.
2. Jose and I met in front of his barn on Pine Street and had a conversation about the Attleboro dump. Jose pays his taxes, which takes care of his weekly trash. Jose feels the dump should remain free. He loves Attleboro. Originally from Portugal, Jose wants his grandchildren to be fluent in both English and his native language. Jose thinks our schools should be teaching several foreign languages at a younger age, instead of simply offering Spanish in High School.
3. Sara on Dunham Street introduced me to Brent, her nine year old son. Brent can hear the teachers better than in the open class he had in fourth grade. He loves doing math. Sarah (Mom) and Brent are delighted he finally has a classroom with real walls.
4. While biking up Park Street towards Sturdy Hospital, I had the good fortune to meet Brenda, who suddenly appeared at her front door. She has a strong feeling for the homeless of our city. Brenda hopes we eventually have a family homeless shelter so struggling families can have a sense of security and warmth. Brenda actually grew up in a shelter on the North Shore of Mass. She wonders if Attleboro residents realize we do have a homeless population. As I left, she mused, “I will suffer for our homeless till the day I die.”
5. While heading back to my car, I stopped my bike in front of a quiet house on Parker Street. I heard a voice from the leafy front steps. It was a middle aged woman bemoaning the fate of her 62 year old sister, who was in the house suffering from Alzheimer’s.  I suggested she speak to one of our social workers at the Larson Senior Center. She sighed again. Her sister wasn’t well and didn’t seem to be trying to help herself. She thanked me for stopping and listening. Wish I could have done more.
6. My last visit was to a past supporter on School Street. This senior lady wants the council and our mayor to get along better. She wants city leaders to be civil and respectful of each other. She wants leadership that does something positive. I was a little surprised when she looked me in the eye, and told me to put up my sign in her yard. Then she asked me to contact Jim Hawkins and put one of his signs up, too. I would be honored to serve her. She’s a tough cookie and a really good soul.
All in all, it was a good day in the heart of Attleboro. Ward 5A is our smallest precinct but a vibrant one.
                                       Keep your chin up.
                                                               Ty
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On the Trail with Ty: 9/14/18

A day well spent in the neighborhoods off of Pike Avenue in Ward 4B. One man told me he had a stroke five weeks ago and was found by the fire department’s rescue squad, First Responders. They treated him on site, hustled him to the hospital, and may have saved his life.
Following recovery, he went down to the fire station with dinner for the men who helped him. The firemen were surprised and told him they had only been thanked once in all the time they drove an ambulance to an emergency.
We talked about the importance of thanking city employees whether they be our police, firemen, social workers, librarians, park and recreation, or DPW workers. Everyone who works for the city of Attleboro is deserving of our thanks.

It was humbling to meet this gentlemen.

On the Trail with Ty: 8/31/18

It was a beautiful day on my bike today, heading into neighborhoods off North Main Street (3B). My first visit was with a lawyer who is a partner in a local firm. He listened to my vision for lower class sizes, restoration of foreign languages in middle schools, and reaching out to seniors in their 90’s, including a few remaining WW2 vets as we support the mission of our Senior Center. We talked about listening to one another in the city council and city government. We realized we each have some wisdom and good ideas to impart. We talked about reaching across party lines and celebrating our seniors, veterans, teachers, school children, and health care providers.  We talked about Highland Country Club and a healthy environment in Attleboro. We talked about affordable housing for all, beds for the homeless, and help for those afflicted by addictions. We talked about our dreams for Attleboro.
Yes, dreams are important. Without our dreams, we will never achieve them. I am a dreamer and a problem solver.

When I left his home he thanked me for stopping by and spending a few minutes. I thanked him as well. We really connected and listened to each other.

Yes, it was a beautiful day in our neighborhood. I topped it off by listening to Peter, Paul, and Mary on PBS tonight. Life is good!
It is also Jax’s birthday, who sends “On the Trail With Ty” to you. Happy Birthday, Jax!
Peace, Ty
PS: Ty’s team will be holding signs next Saturday, Sept. 8th, in downtown Attleboro. If anybody would like to join us, anytime between 10 AM to noon, please call Jan Waterman at 508-455-1918. Leave a message and she will return your call. We would love to meet you. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

It feels good to be back in Attleboro

Jan and I had a wonderfully relaxing vacation camping near the ocean in the Acadia region of Maine. After 8 days to recharge our batteries, I went out today along Holden and North Main Streets in Ward 3B.
I met a lawyer, policeman, construction foreman and a retired World War 2 veteran along with many other interesting people. I heard an elderly woman vent her concerns about speeding on Holden Avenue and the difficulty of walking across the street even in the crosswalks. I tried several times myself, very few cars let me across. They could use a crosswalk with lights.
I met a woman who helps DCF children reunite with their families and find affordable housing. We agreed that housing is a huge problem for many lower income families. It’s such a big problem that it will require a concerted effort by all of our Attleboro’s civic and political leaders.
I met a policeman who needs to be both a social worker and a counselor in his day to day patrol. I assured him I will be supportive and listen to our police, especially when handling tough situations. As a social worker, I have been assisted by police in Boston and Attleboro throughout my career. He had a John McCain sign on his front yard and we agreed that Senator McCain was a truly great American.
I was invited into the home of an 89 year old World War 2 veteran of the Army Air Force. He shared his Army photos and certificates displayed in his living room. We talked about the need to help the elderly and the importance of the great work our senior center does. This beautiful couple has been married 66 years and were delighted to bring me into their home. It was definitely an honor to be with them.
It feels good to be back in Attleboro.

Sometimes I run into sadness. From the Campaign trail, 8/15/18

Today John and I drove for several hours through Ward 4. We met some great folks who put up signs for me last winter when I was a state representative candidate. Everyone was delighted to see us again and quickly offered to put up my city council sign. John and I particularly enjoyed talking with the retired owners of Houle’s Taxi, a beloved part of Attleboro’s transportation history.

Campaigning brings me into touch, however briefly, with people’s lives. Sometimes I run into sadness. My final visit was with a senior couple who spoke with me at length inside their house last winter. They were wonderful and friendly. They worried about the escalating taxes on a fixed income and the looming difficulties of maintaining a nice home.

When I went to their door, I met the lady of the house. She was grieving and told me her husband had died two weeks ago. My heart dropped. I groped for the right words, expressed my sympathies and asked if there was anything I could do for her. She said, “Can you bring my husband back to me?”

Campaigning can be tedious, joyful, and sad all within a few short minutes. Thank you, Attleboro for letting me be a part of your life. Let’s help support each other in all of life’s moments.

On the trail: Sunday, August 5th

I met a lot of happy people today on Fairway Drive and Bernt St. Most of them are delighted to live in Attleboro. I found 100% agreement with building the new high school and purchasing the Highland Country Club. No one shut the door in my face, which makes it a good day. One lady challenged me to find state funds to pay for an outreach worker with the Council on Aging/Senior Center to visit our older senior population. Maybe we CAN find state funding. But everyone agrees visiting elderly seniors who live alone is a very important priority.

It’s tough seeing your friends and family begin to leave our world. Seniors absolutely love having visitors so they can talk about the old days in Attleboro. We’ve met several World War II vets pushing or past 95 years old. What a pleasure it was to meet those gentlemen. We really ought to provide some visits to these folks.

I had a heavy discussion with a couple on Berndt Drive. I discovered that two people with difficult health issues in their golden years of semi-retirement have to pay enormous health insurance costs. The 73 year-old husband has medicare but still pays a fortune per month in medications to deal with cancer, and his wife has at least $1000 per month costs with the Mass Health Connector, plus additional costs around co-pays, medications, etc. Both of them worked in good jobs all their lives, own a nice home in Attleboro, yet struggle just to make ends meet. This occurs at the very time they were deciding to retire. All I could do was listen, sympathize, and wish them my best. I really feel for them.

Going on the trail is a privilege and a pleasure. I meet so many really fine people.

Regards,
ty

Along the campaign trail… 8/1/18

August 1st

1. This morning I met Lois and Ed on County Street (Near Fourth Street). Wonderful folks in their 80’s. They couldn’t have been nicer. Both of them are lifelong Attleboro residents. Ed worked full-time till he was 83 as a manager of a tool shop. He was fascinated by my bike and cautioned me several times to be careful when on the roads. In a span of 5 or 6 minutes Ed and I bonded and he watched me ride away till I was totally out of sight… He could have been my kind uncle.
2.  Then I met Maria on Dennis Street. She moved to Attleboro from Hyde Park two years ago. Maria has 5 children, 11 to 24, and is very happy with the friendly folks in Attleboro. Our school system is a big plus after raising her children in Boston schools. She insisted on putting up one of my signs this fall.
3. Next I stopped to say hi to Dan M. walking along County Street after relaxing in Capron Park. I biked up to him on the sidewalk. He was delighted to meet me. We only talked briefly but I could tell he is a happy man.
4. At the end of the afternoon I knocked on Diane B.’s door…. she peered through the glass and asked if I recognized her. We had met 25 years earlier when we both performed in “Christmas Carol” with the Attleboro Community Theatre! I played Schooge and Diane was Mrs. Cratchit. We recalled being in “Christman Carol” together  and she offered complete support of my candidacy.
5. Last but not least… around 6:15 pm I knocked on Rhonda’s door on Jackson St. Rhonda loved my idea to create a Senior Center job for someone to visit homebound seniors, mostly in their 80’s or 90’s.
I meet a lot of wonderful people on my campaign trail!
Regards,
ty