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: 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.

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