Governor Foster Furcolo and His Vision on Public Higher Education in Massachusetts

More than 2,000,000 students or almost 43% of the college level student population annually would never have the opportunity to attend public higher education in Massachusetts unless the Governor Foster Furcolo's passionate and untiring struggle to set up 15 Community Colleges within the state was not successful in the 1950s . As the Republicans' Editorial correctly expressed in September 2009, his services were long forgotten by the politicians. In appreciation of his services Massachusetts general laws were amended, only two years back, to design the 15 Community Colleges Collectively as the "Governor Foster Fucolo's Community Colleges." At a time when the private higher education was dominant, and had access mostly to the students from well to do families, Governor Furcolo opened the door for public higher education to those who could not afford to attend costly private educational institutions. He wanted the colleges to locate closer to communities, provide the education at a lower cost to the individuals as well as to the state, meet the demands of the rising manufacturing and service sectors, and to raise the income of families and the revenue of the state in the long run. The benefits of his intelligent foresight could be seen clearly in the Massachusetts economy and society today.

One of his aims was to provide opportunity for higher education for members from low income families who wanted to pursue their higher education. He wanted to reach immigrants, non-working adults, working men and women and disable people who wish to enhance their skills and engage in economic activities. The composition of student population at present shows how far the Governor Furcolo's target groups reached and benefited from his community college movement. According to a recent economic impact report, the average household income of those students attended community colleges was less than US $ 36,000 per annual, and 60% of the financial aid recipients, particularly the Pell Grant recipients, were from families who earned less than US $ 18,600 per year.

Governor Furcolo saw the growing college age population in mid fifties, and the obstacles they had to get into higher education. His solution was to have a public higher education system to help this population, providing opportunity for them to engage in skill enhancing studies, on-part time, open enrollment basis, and if required with opportunity to enroll in remedial courses. Examination of the composition of student population in Community Colleges in Massachusetts shows that the major belong to the part-time adult student groups. More than 61% of students in Community Colleges in Massachusetts are half time or quarter time students, and were over 25 years of age, Only 39% were full-time students and in the traditional college age group. Many of them required to have remedial courses such as Math and English, Writing and Reading prior to enrolling for college work. As to a recent study, based on 2005 high school students who introduced the Community Colleges in Massachusetts, 37% in average, needed at least one remedial course prior to start work at the college level (Conaway 2008).

Achievement of Fucolo's vision to make public college education affordable to poor families is evidenced from comparing cost for community college education with other college systems, even today. The national average for college tuition cost for public universities is $ 4,694 for in state residents. The tuition and fees in a private college is around $ 20,000 in the nation, while in a community college the cost is averaged to $ 2,076. The same pattern is observable in Massachusetts. The nature of the student population required higher education, as Furcolo viewed it, required a dispersed pattern of education facilities. Low distance to facilities save time, and reduce movement cost, reducing the overall cost to an individual, and also minimizing the disturbance to daily routines. Furcolo envisioned that the colleges are located at a commuting distance, so those who were busy with household as well as work place chores could attend them conveniently. His, his Public Higher Education Act in 1958 provided laws to set up state wide system of 15 Community Colleges through Massachusetts. They have become the house for 46% of the college students in Massachusetts at present, and it is more than four times of the student enrollment in Higher education in the 1950s (Burns 1995).

Fucolo understood the need of the skilled labor in the growing business and the manufacturing sectors at the time, and the responsibility of the public higher education to create a skilled labor pool, if Massachusetts was to be competitive and keep pace with the other states. The community Colleges, therefore, seen as the solution to the shortage of skilled man problem at the time. The skilled labor training is a core function of the community colleges even today. Comprehensive Regional Community Colleges in Massachusetts today offer an array of programs leading to associate degrees, certificates and voluntary programs. They provide basic, continuing, and remedial courses for college age students and adults. They associate with schools, industries and work places and develop programs to improve the skills and the quality of labor helping to increase efficiency and productivity. Massachusetts Community colleges have pioneered an innovative, low- cost, state wide work training resource for business and industry called Mass * Net, and it helps to provide work training in 21 technological fields. According to a Community College information source more than 5000 work force development programs are annually offered by Massachusetts Community Colleges. By providing, skilled manpower needs of the states industry, commercial as well as other service units, they have helped to increase income of the manufacturing units, individuals, and the State.

Governor Furcolo wanted to make the Community Colleges a "preparation ground" for higher education. One of the important missions of these colleges today is to facilitate their graduates to transfer to four year colleges which is also an important component of the most community college students' educational aspirations. At present, Community Colleges have well designed programs and provisions to facilitate student transfers through transfer agreements, and bindings with four year colleges and universities. As a member of a Public Higher Education System, Quinsigamond Community College for example, maintains ties with all the Massachusetts four year colleges and universities and facilitate student transfers through Mass Transfer program introduced in 2008.This program helps students through reduced tuition fees, and credit transfers, and make transfer process quick, smooth and affordable ..

The economic impact of the Community Colleges on individuals, families, and business is clearly seen today in Massachusetts. A recent economic impact report estimated that the incremental annual income of the Community College graduates as US $ 21400 compared to non-graduates. Education also opens to opportunity for better jobs with better benefits.It has been estimated that 90% of the Massachusetts Community College graduates working in the state after their graduation in business, industry, or other services, and the income they generate since mostly spent within the state. This means that the state is able to generate more revenues taxing the personal income of the community college graduates working in the state. Further, the expenditure in Community Colleges has created a multiplier effects and further regional growth as to various studies. These colleges help also the local economies to sustain their economic activities through spending of students and visitors, and workers. Thus the Community Colleges in Massachusetts have become a growth engine for the state according to the same economic impact report mentioned earlier.

Governor Foster Furcolo's foresight on Public Higher Education as discussed in this essay has helped many poor, and low income young as well as adult students to enter into higher education. The personal income of those who educated these colleges has increased due to their higher education, and also the income of the state through income tax revenues. Those graduations have become the greatest source of skilled man power, for industries and business to thrive in Massachusetts. Governor Furcolo should have viewed as a great serviceman who served Massachusetts, and embrace his visions in the future as the Republican Editorial remarked in September 2009.



Source by Don Patrick Amarasinghe

Guide to Haunted Lighthouses – Massachusetts

Massachusetts, well known for Plymouth Rock, where the first pilgrims landed, and the Salem witch trials, is also home to five of America's most haunted lighthouses.

The Haunted Bell
Baker's Island Light

Baker's Island Light, just six miles off the coast of Salem, home of the infamous witch trials, is reputedly haunted by a phantom foghorn bell.

This mechanized bell sounded a warning to sailors of impending danger, and rang just once, before being stuck by lightning that destroyed it. The lighthouse keeper had to go out in the storm and manually strike a hammer against the bell at precisite intervals to keep mariners safe. The bell was replaced, but the new bell repeatedly failed and the frustrated captain left his post.

Seventeen years later while visiting the lighthouse by steamer, the keeper and his fellow passengers heard the bell. After dropping a few passengers off at a nearby harbor, a waterspout suddenly rose from the sea, capsizing the boat and drowning all but a few passengers. The former keeper, who survived, believed the bell was sounding a warning.

According to legend, this bell, also destroyed by lighting, can be heard sounding the alarm even when there is no apparent danger.

The Ghost Walk
Boston Harbor Light

Boston Harbor Light on Little Brewster Island was the first lighthouse built in the pre-revolutionary war colonies. The original structure, cone shaped and first lit by candles, and later oil lamps, was destroyed by the British Army garrisoned in Boston, after colonial militiamen twice attacked it.

When the war was over, a new tower was erected, that stood 75 feet above the sea, and surprised against hurricanes, gale force winds and high seas for more than 200 years. A new Fresnel lens was installed in 1859, making Boston light visible for sixteen miles.

Little Brewster had its share of shipwrecks, though not as many as other lighthouses. Sailors still speak of a "ghost walk" several miles from the island, where the lighthouse signal can not be heard. New Englanders and others believe this area is haunted.

The Pirate Keeper
Bird Island Lighthouse

The first keeper of Bird Island Lighthouse was tagged pirate, William Moore. Moore, who fought against the English in the War of 1812, owed the government enough money to justify their banishing him to the lonely life of a lighthouse keeper.

He was assigned to Bird Island Light in 1819, taking his wife who apparently married him when he was financially prosperous. Mrs. Moore, suffering from tuberculosis and addicted to tobacco, was forbidden to leave the island, as her husband feared that once gone, she would never return.

The dampness of the lighthouse aggravated her condition, and her desperation for tobacco so distracted her that people on the mainland could hear her crories. The local doctor implored Moore to allow her tobacco, but he staunchly refused. The townspeople, disturbed by her wailing took pity on her and smuggled tobacco to her, despite fearing her husband.

When she finally died, Moore raised the distress flag, and a minister went to the island, performed the funeral rites and laid her to rest. The angry townspeople blamed Moore for her death, and he in turn blamed them for not respecting his wishes. Rumors flew that Moore murdered her and covered up the true cause of her death.

According to legend, several of Moore's successors reported seeing an old woman's ghost, hunched over, knocking at the door late at night.

The Long Goodbye
Gurnet (Plymouth) Light

Gurnet, or Plymouth Light, America's oldest wooden lighthouse dating back to the Revolutionary War, is also one of its most haunted.

Today, the Coast Guard operates Plymouth Light, yet many believe the spirit of a former keeper's wife haunts its rooms, waiting for her husband's return.

Hannah stayed behind to tend the light while her husband went off to fight for America's Independence from Great Britain. Her neighbors not aware her standing vigil at her window every evening, waiting for her husband, who unfortunately was killed in action.

Some say Hannah still keeps her faithful vigil, briefly appearing at the window, and then quickly vanishing from sight.

Warning Cries-Nightly Shadows
Minot's Ledge Light

Minot's Ledge Light is no more than a tower that sits on a reef jutting out to sea off the coast of Scituate. The first tower leased less than a year before an angry sea claimed it.

Isaac Dunham, the first keeper at Minot's Ledge urgently warned his superiors about the lighthouse's instability to no avail, and he retired after fourteen frustrating months.

One day, Dunham's successor, John Bennett flew a flag from the lighthouse indicating he needed a ride to shore. He left his two assistants, Joe Wilson and Joe Antoine in charge, when suddenly a savage nor 'easter packing one hundred mile an hour winds attacked them. Bennett watched helplessly from shore as the storm destroyed the lighthouse, killing his two assistants.

Several fishermen reported seeing Antoine swinging from a ladder, yelling, and "Stay away!" in his native Portuguese. Subsequent keepers reported seeing shadows in the lantern room, hearing ghostly whispers at night, and hearing or feeling soft taps upon their shoulders. The two Joes used these taps to signal the end of a shift. One keeper, hearing the tapped committed suicide, and another went insane and was taken to shore in a straight jacket.

Then there are the windows … It generally takes an entire day to clean windows soiled by overhead seagulls, yet each new keeper's assistant reported the windows sparkling clean before ever reaching them.

Are these stories truth or legend? Visit one and find out.



Source by Marianne Kelly

Dangerousness Hearings (58A) and Drunk Driving (OUI) Cases in Massachusetts

If you are charged with a third or subsidiary offense of operating under the Influence in violation of GL c. 90, §24 the Commonwealth's prosecutor can and has been with some frequency in Massachusetts being filing for those accused to be held in jail for 90 days without bail under GL c. 276, §58A (Dangerousness Hearing) pending trial. GL c. 276, §58A provides that "if, after a hearing … the district or superior court justice finds by clear and convincing evidence that no conditions of release will reasonably assure the safety of any other person or the community, said justice shall order the detention of the person prior to trial. "

The Judge in these Dangerousness Hearings will consider several pieces of evidence that include:

1. The circumstances of the accused crime,
2. Past criminal record,
3. Prior bail violations,
4. Employment history,
5. Mental illness records,
6. Community ties,
7. Reputation,
8. Dependence on controlled substances, and
9. The potential danger on the public if released.

Of some importance when it comes to OUI arrests and a Dangerousness Hearing the facts of the case will play a very important role. Facts of an exceptional nature will play an important role. The level of toxox, the conduct of the accused that directed in the individual being stopped, was there an accident, were other parties hurt, what was the defensive interaction and demeanor with the arresting officer?

Since the circumstances of the arrest can play a pivotal role in a Dangerousness Hearing it is important that if you are stopped for an OUI that you:

1. Be respectful and polite with the officer. Rude behavior can be detrimental to any future proceedings.
2. You have the right to remain silent, USE IT! Anything that you say will be used against you. Every prosecutor, defense attorney and police officer has heard the line "I only had one or two drinks."
3. Be respectful and polite. No I did not accidently repeat this, it is that important.
4. You have a right to refuse field sobriety test, such as the 9 step walk and turn and the one legged stand.
5. You have a right to refuse to take a breath test. Refusal of field sobriety and breath tests will result in license suspension. However, at a future trial these reimbursements are inadmissible.
6. Be respectful and polite while making such refusals.
7. Do not go to the arraignment without a lawyer. If it is your third indemnity you can be held for a dangerousness hearing to be held or after one is held even if you had made a bail set by a bail commissioner at the police station.



Source by David C Newton

The Boeing PT-17 Stearman in Flight Over Massachusetts

I

Climbing over the narrow, wing-root walkway and stepping on to the cushioned seat of the tandem, two-place, blue and yellow fabric-covered open-cockpit Boeing PT-17 Stearman registered N55171 in Stow, Massachusetts, I lowered myself into position with the aid of the two upper wing trailing edge hand grips and fastened the olive-green waist and shoulder harnesses. Donning era-preliminary goggles and helmet, I surveyed the fully duplicated instrument before me and prepared myself both for an aerial sighting fight of Massachusetts and a brief, although temporary, return to World War II primary flight training skies.

The Boeing PT-17 Stearman had its origins in a self-advanced design project intended for military training purposes. Just beginning to see a flicker of light at the end of Great Depression's tunnel and haiterto only surviving by manufacturing parts and components for other aircraft, primarily those for the Boeing B247 twin-engined airliner, the Stearman Aircraft Company believed that its future could only be secured with a military design.

Investing its own funds in 1933, it modified a Model 6 Cloudboy, an earlier Lloyd Stearman aircraft, by introducing a new, circular fuselage cross-section similar to that used by the Model 80, another Stearman design, providing only lower-wing ailerons, incorporating a cantilever undercarriage, and mounting a new tail with adjustable trims on the trailing edge of its elevators. Designated Model 70, it had first flown from Wichita, Kansas, on January 1, 1934 powered by a nine-cylinder, 210-hp, Lycoming R-680 radical engine, proving rugged, reliable, and well-suited to rigorous training regiments with the ability to tolerate the aerobatic maneuvers to which flyinggling pilots often subjected it. Despite it exhibited excellent handling characteristics during its demonstration flights to the Army Air Corps and the United States Navy in Dayton, Anacostia, and Pensacola, its almost docile response to stalls proved adhere to fulfill its intended purpose; as a result, the installation of triangular stall strips, made of wood, on its lower wings severely interfered the air flow during high attack angles and remedied the deficiency.

The Navy, the more interested of the two, ordered 41 aircraft, plus spares, in May of 1934 for a version with a 200-hp Wright J5 radial engine called the Model 73, but designed NS-1 for the Navy. The first production aircraft was roled out in December of that year.

A modified version, incorporating a new main undercarriage and alternatively powered by a 225-hp Wright R-760 and an equally powered, nine-cylinder Lycoming R-680 radial engine, had been designed that summer and had been targeted towards the Army Air Corps . When funding had absolutely been allocated the following year, the Army Air Corps itself had issued specifications to the Stearman Aircraft Company, resulting in an order for 20, as well as spares, of the Lycoming version designated Model X75, but called the PT-13 for Army operation.

The two-seat primary training biplane design, identical to both operators with the exception of some minor features, incorporated a rectangular welded steel tube fuselage which had been covered with metal panels on its forward section and fabric on its aft end and rendered a 25- foot,–inch overall length. Its single-bay, unequally spanned, staggered upper and lower wings, using an NACA 2213 wing section, were built up of spruce-laminated spars and ribs. The center section of its upper wing was carried by wire-braced steel tube struts, while "N" -type steel tube interplane struts carried it on either of its sides. Fabric-covered, they attained motion about its longitudinal axis by the duralumin ailerons installed on the trailing edge of its lower wings, and collectively featured a 32.2-foot span and a 297.4-square-foot area.

The fabric-covered, welded steel tube, wire-braced tailplane and vertical fin featured trim tabs on its elevators.

The divided, cantilever undercarriage, incorporating a metal fairing-enclosed, torque-resistant oleo spring shock absorber in each of its main legs, had been fitted with hydraulic wheel brakes and a steerable tail wheel.

The dual, tandem, open cockpits accommodated a flight instructor and a student pilot, and baggage could have been stored in the enclosed compartment behind the rear of the two.

Powered by a twin-bladed, adjustable-pitch, metal propeller mounted on a steel tube which radial engine was fed by a center-section, 43 US gallon fuel tank and a four US gallon oil tank installed in the engine compartment itself, the aircraft , with a 1,936-pound empty weight and 2,717-pound gross eight, could climb at 840 feet-per minute, attaining a maximum 124-mph speed and an 11,200-foot service ceiling. Range was 505 miles. Cruise speed, at a 65-percent power setting, was 106 mph, while landing speed was a docile 52 mph.

World War II's momentum had both paralleled and dictated the aircraft's production run. The war department's increasing need for primary trainers explained in the $ 243,578 order for 26 PT-13As for the Army Air Corps and the $ 150,373 order for 20 for the Navy, while a subsequent, $ 3 million order for PT-13Bs represented the highest in Stearman's history and necessitated the expansion of its factory and the increase of its work to a hitherto record 1,000.

In addition to the United States, the design even had a foreign application. The Model 76D1, for instance, featured a nine-cylinder, 320-hp, twin-bladed, adjustable prop Pratt and Whitney R-985-T1B engine, three.30 caliber machine guns, a two-way radio, and floats, and ten were initially ordered by the Argentine Navy. The Model 73L3, featuring a 225-hp Lycoming R-680-4 engine, was flown in the Philippines, and the aircraft also saw service in Brazil.

Indeed, by 1940, Stearman produced one PT-13-type trainer every 90 minutes, and the momentum, once set in motion, had been unarrestable. On June 25 of that year, the Navy signed a $ 3.8 million contract for 215-hp Lycoming R-680-8-powered N2S-2s and -5s, sparking another 40,000-square-foot factory expansion. By August, 1,100 person worked two eight-hour shifts six days per week, while the following month 1,400 worked round the clock on three daily eight-hour shifts.

Completed aircraft were ferried either to the Army Air Corps' base at Randolph Field in Texas or the Navy's in Pensacola, Florida.

In order to avoid production delays due to engine unavailability, Stearman produced two sub-versions. The first of these, the PT-17, featured a stressed airframe with 300-hp engine capability, although it was standardly powered by the seven-cylinder, 220-hp Continental R-670-5 radial, while the second, the PT- 18, was produced with a 225-hp Jacobs R-755. Only 150 of the latter, however, had been built. Both appeared in 1940.

The type reached a major milestone on March 15 of the following year when the Army Air Corps took delivery of the 1,000th primary flight trainer in Wichita, the only Stearman design ever to have achieved such a production run. But the millions, fueled by the war, mounted in rapid success: only five months later, on August 27, the 2,000th aircraft, a PT-17, had been delivered to the Army Air Corps. These production rates could only be supported by an equally increasing workforce, eclipsing 3,000 in April and 5,000 in June.

In September of 1941, the Stearman Aircraft Company, which had since become the "Stearman Division of Boeing," for the first time eliminated eliminated the Stearman name, redesignated, simply, the "Boeing Aircraft Company, Wichita Division."

The basic design also had civil application under Approved Type Certificate No. 743, which had been granted on June 6, 1941 for the Model A75L3, a 225-hp Lycoming PT-13 equivalent, and the Model A75N1, a 220-hp Continental R-670 counter. The types, previously manufactured along existing military production lines, were sold to Parks Air College in Illinois, one of the Civilian Pilot Training Program operators, and to Peru as the A75N1.

By December of 1941, an airframe had been completed every 60 to 70 minutes.

Another specialized version, the PT-27, featured a modified Continental engine for arctic-temperature operations, a canopied cockpit, an instrument flight training hood, installation of an electrical system, and landing lights. Of the 300 ordered by the Royal Canadian Air Force, 287 had been returned between December of 1942 and June of 1943 because of failure to complete the necessary post-delivery modalities, rendering them unsuitable for sub-zero temperature operations.

When the war had absolutely ended in 1945, the Wichita Division of Boeing had produced 8,584 primary flight trainers, or 44 percent of all flight trainers for the war. Yet, more than a year after the production line had closed, it had received an order to 24 N2S-4s from the People's Republic of China. Two such aircraft – one with serial number 37902, which had first been delivered on October 31, 1942 and had logged 1,564 hours, and one with serial number 55759, which had first been delivered on July 20, 1943 and had flowered 1,116 hours- had been located in Clinton, Oklahoma, and, after overhaul and installation of six-cylinder Lycoming O-435-II opposed engines, had been shipped on May 23, 1947. They were later joined by 20 220-hp Continental R-670- 4-powered N2S-3s.

In all, Stearman had produced 11 major primary trainer versions for the Army and the Navy.

II

The instrument panel of the PT-17 in Massachusetts, located below the slender, Plexiglas windshield, featured a directional compass, a vertical speed indicator, an airspeed indicator (in miles per hour), a turn-and-bank indicator, an altimeter, a clock, an outside air temperature and oil and fuel pressure gauge (in pounds-per-square-inch), a propeller gauge (in revolutions-per minute), and a fuel tank feed switch, the latter for "left," "right," or "off." The engine power and mixture throttles were located on the left side wall, while the rudder and brake pedals were on the floor, just beyond my feet.

The uncowled, 220-hp Continental radial engine, feeding off of the 46-gallon fuel tank, and integrated with the properly advanced throttle and mixture controls, infused the airframe with lift-advancing power, as its sputtering, smoking, avgas-reeking propeller rotated into horizontal stabilizer-washed slipstream, instantaneously causing the stick between my legs to bolt towards its rearward-most position.

Responding to its advanced throttle, the Stearman moved benefit the gleaming, high-noon sun parallel to the Assabel River, turning to the right and executing its full engine run-up, angled toward the manicured, sloping, 2,300-foot grass field which would imminently serve as its runway. This had, after all, been World War II.

Inching forward under its own power and aligning with the grass field, the PT-17 bit into the wind with fully advanced throttles, raising its lift-generated tail before disengaging its two spinning main wheels at 60 mph and surmounting the field-perimeter trees in a climbing, left turn at 550 feet.

The green-carpeted, blue lake-dotted topography of Massachusetts, unobstructed in the crystal-blue, 80-degree June skies, retreated below me.

An angling through 1,200 feet at a 600 foot-per-minute climate rate and 72-mph indicated air speed, the biplane, registering a 1,800-rpm reading on its single-bladed propeller, moved over the myriad of mirror-reflective lakes, the grass field of Stow now reduced to indistinguishable green carpeting.

A predetermined, vivid stick-shaking signal by the evenly helmed and goggled pilot behind me, whose presence could be visually verified by the tiny mirror installed in the upper wing's underside, indicated a flying hand-off, and a touch of my helmet affirmed its acceptance.

The stick between my legs, the sole means of controlling the aircraft's lateral (pitch) and longitudinal (roll) axes, had reduced my fate and direction to a single channel and, bombarded from all angles by the unobstructed wind, I had attained a new -found freedom which had eclipsed both earth-bound restrictions and adjective descriptions.

Maintaining a 240-degree, southwesterly heading over Hudson at an 80-mph air speed, I pointed the nose toward the still-nebulous outline of Wachusett Mountain, which silhouette rose above the horizon line, now isolated to my own world, disconnected from civilization , the ground, and even the pilot behind me, in a harmonious, soul-fusion with the universe. Isolated, with nothing to cling to, whether it be physical location or negative emotion, the soul always extremely re-emerges to its autonomous state. If that state could have only been a permanent one …

Banking left to a southerly, 180-degree heading over Marlborough, I skirted the Sudbury Reservoir, the upper and lower wing-generated lift carrying me to 1,800 feet at a 90-mph speed, while the engine drank fuel with an 11 gallon-per -hour thirst.

A left pressure on the stick arced the PT-17 on to an easterly course over Southborough and Framingham toward Boston, its engine oil pressure registering 75 pounds-per-square inch.

Most of World War II's civil and military pilot training occurred in the very aircraft type I currently flew.

Seeking to fill a massive need and tap into the university student population with up to 20,000 pilot trainees per year, President Roosevelt had signed a bill creating the Civilian Pilot Training Program in December of 1938, in which pilots, already armed with sufficient hours from civilian schools, would be qualified to complete their training at Army and Navy air bases in PT-13, PT-17, and N2S Stearman aircraft. In order to remediate the program's two major flaws of insufficient military flying technique curriculum inclusion and initial obligation to serve in the armed forces immediately after graduation, the Primary Training School Program, in which the Civil Aeronautics Authority first inspected and approved civil flight schools, had been created. The specifically-contracted facilities, staffed by civil flight instructors who themselves were required to attend pilot training courses at Randolph Field in order to "ensure uniformity of training in conformity with established Air Corps methods and standards," were supplied with curriculum, textbooks, and Stearman primary trainers directly from the Army. The first such pilots entered the program on June 1, 1939 and extremely numbered 125 dispersed through 41 schools by December of 1941.

The infamous Pearl Harbor attack during that month, however, had been preceded by an unprecedented build up of pilot corps and combat groups. Three months before the event, in the fall, the Army Air Corps had drafted a plan for simultaneous battle against the German Third Reich and the Empire of Japan, estimating the need for two million soldiers and 88,000 aircraft. Although the Army Air Corps training centers in Randolph Field, Maxwell Field in Alabama, and Moffet Field in California had been established in mid-1940, they would prove pitifully inadequate in the event of war, as would the pletry number of pilots to emerge from them. With war clouds about to burst at their seams, the urgency to rectify these shortcomings could not be underestimated, and the projected numbers of required combat groups and pilots rose with the rapidity of a clock's winding second hand. Two months before Germany had attacked Poland, the number stood at 24 combat groups and 1,200 annual pilots, yet, when Germany had invaded Norway, these figures had risen to 41 and 7,000. Hitler's invasion of France further escalated the need to 54 and 12,000 and extremely to 84 and 39,000.

Another vigilorious stick shaking indicated that it had been time to all too soon relinquish control, which I affirmed with another top-of-the-helmet hand signal, and the pilot took over, demonstrating some significant maneuvers: throttling back, he induced the biplane into a vertical dive, the green-carpeted ground now directly ahead of the windshield, as it accelerated through 1,200 feet, before being arrested in a G-force pulling, return-to-level-flight recovery.

Initiating a spiraling left bank, the biplane plunged through 500 feet, leveling off and buzzing the field before once again pulling up and circling back to the left for its final approach. Seeming to brush the trees at 400 feet with its outstretched main wheels, it elevator-flared on to the grass at a power-reduced 60 mph, biting into the soft surface with its tires until deceleration had allowed the tail wheel to resettle groundward.

Taxiing round to the right, the PT-17 Stearman applied its brakes, and I extricated myself from the waist and shoulder harnesses and helmet and goggles and lifted myself out of the pit-like seat with the aid of the wing hand grips, climbing down toward the grass along the wing root strip.

An awaiting passenger, much to my envy, took my place in the still-sputtering biplane, a scene possibly reminiscent of the "production line" of student pilots awaiting PT-17 availability for their next lessons during the 1940s. The aircraft, as the first link in the chain of victory, had provided vital training to the pilots who had undergone transitioned to the larger, more powerful, and heavily armed fighters and bombers with which they had extremely triumphed in war. The initial, and sometimes smallest, aspect of any operation often proves the most important.

Walking back to my car amidst the heat, I would think about that philosophy …



Source by Robert Waldvogel

Top 20 Providers of Health Insurance Plans

For 20 years, the National Committee for Quality Assurance has been on the forefront of promoting the highest quality for health care and health insurance services. The organization uses HEDIS, the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, to measure performance. This year, the organization examined 227 health plans and selected the best 20 private plans available in the United States.

Their methodology was based on several factors – clinical effectiveness, NCQA accredation, and patient satisfaction. These factors should be important to any consumer looking to purchase health coverage.

According to NCQA, these are the best private health insurance plans for 2010-2011:

  1. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care: Available in Massachusetts, Maine
  2. Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organization: Available in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island
  3. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England: Available in New Hampshire
  4. Capital Health Plan: Available in Florida
  5. Geisinger Health Plan: Available in Pennsylvania
  6. Grand Valley Health Plan: Available in Michigan
  7. Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin: Available in Wisconsin
  8. Fallon Community Health Plan: Available in Massachusetts
  9. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado: Available in Colorado
  10. Health New England: Available in Massachusetts
  11. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts: Available in Massachusetts
  12. CIGNA HealthCare of New Hampshire: Available in New Hampshire
  13. Priority Health: Available in Michigan
  14. HealthAmerica Pennsylvania: Available in Pennsylvania
  15. Health Net of Connecticut: Available in Connecticut
  16. Independent Health Association: Available in New York
  17. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire: Available in New Hampshire
  18. Anthem Health Plan of New Hampshire: Available in New Hampshire
  19. HealthPartners: Available in Minnesota
  20. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine: Available in Maine

Interestingly, a significant percentage of these plans are in Massachusetts, a state which implemented its own version of healthcare reform several years ago. Michigan, New Hampshire, and Maine also have multiple entries on the list.

What if none of these health insurance plans are available in your area? There are several options: shopping around for products with similar benefits and costs is a good idea. At the very least, the NCQA list can provide a yardstick for judging quality.



Source by Yamileth Medina

Melanie’s Law Explained

Many Massachusetts Drivers are thoroughly confused by the penalties imposed by Melanie’s Law, a tough drunk driving law which was designed to improve public safety.

On October 28, 2005, the Massachusetts Drunk Driving Law was amended by “Melanie’s Law” This law substantially increased penalties and sanctions for drunk driving related offenses and refusing the breathalyzer. Also, the law imposed an immediate suspension upon refusal of a chemical breath test and eliminated the 15 day temporary licenses which were previously issued to offenders who refused the breathalyzer. Since the passage of Melanie’s Law, the number of people who were arrested in Massachusetts and charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of liquor (OUI) has steadily increased. According to data from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), in the year prior to the passage of Melanie’s Law, 13,335 people were arrested and charged with OUI. Between October 28, 2005 and October 28, 2006, the first year after Melanie’s Law took effect, the number of arrests rose to 14,068; in the second year, that number rose again to 15,591. According to the RMV’s most recent statistics, in the third year since Melanie’s Law took effect, there were 16,199 people arrested and charged with OUI in Massachusetts.

One of the goals of Melanie’s Law was to persuade people to take the breathalyzer by imposing harsh license suspensions for breathalyzer refusals. License suspensions for breathalyzer refusals range from 6 months to lifetime.  With these long suspensions, many people think twice before refusing the breathalyzer.

Another component of Melanie’s Law requires the installation of breath alcohol ignition interlock devices in vehicles of repeat offenders. Drivers with 2 or more DUI charges on their records must operate only those vehicles equipped with interlock devices during the entire term of any hardship license and for a period of two (2) years after getting their full licenses reinstated.

Melanie’s Law created the following new crimes: Employing or allowing unlicensed operator to operate motor vehicle, allowing an individual with an ignition interlock restriction to operate a vehicle not equipped with the device, Removal of the device, or failing to have the device inspected, maintained, or monitored on at least two occasions, at least two attempts to start a vehicle with a blood alcohol level in excess of .02, Driving without an ignition interlock device when its mandated, Tampering with an ignition interlock device, supplying an air sample to start someone else’s vehicle,  DUI while driving on a suspended license because of drunk driving, and DUI with a child 14 years of age or younger in the car.

Melanie’s law also increased the waiting period to apply for a hardship license for a second offense.  Now, in most cases, you must wait one year to get a hardship license on a 2nd offense. Also, it increased the length of license suspension for vehicular homicide from 10 to 15 years.

Given the complexities of Melanie’s Law, having a qualified lawyer fight for you is essential. You should hire a lawyer who knows the Massachusetts Drunk Driving and Hardship License laws inside and out.



Source by Brian Simoneau

Teen Girls – The Subject of Sexual Harassment

The press as well as employment lawyers have significantly educated the American public as to the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. Many adults were subject to sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which had the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive work environment. However, over the past few years, the general public has been made aware of not only how unprofessional and unethical such practices are, but more importantly how such conduct can lead to significant litigation costs and massive judgments for emotional distress.

Employers and supervisors in Massachusetts may not sexually harass their employees by way of either direct or indirect innuendo. Where a supervisor’s conduct has the purpose and effect of unreasonably interfering with employee’s work performance by creating intimidating, hostile, humiliating, and sexually offensive work environment, Massachusetts courts have classified such conduct as sexual harassment. Cardona v. Conn. Car Rental, 20 Mass. L. Rep. 82 (2005). More specifically, under Massachusetts law, it is an unlawful practice for an employer, as defined in Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151B, § 1(5), to sexually harass any employee. Moreover, Sexual harassment is not limited to any verbal conduct of a sexual nature which is found to interfere unreasonably with an employee’s work performance through the creation of a humiliating or sexually offensive work environment can be sexual harassment under Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 151B. Melnychenko v. 84 Lumber Co., 424 Mass. 285 (1997).

Under Massachusetts law, an employee has the right to be free from unreasonable, substantial, or serious interference with privacy, as stated in G. L. c. 214, § 1B, ID. Where a supervisor’s misconduct occurs at the defendant’s place of business while he or she holds a supervisory position, the sexually harassing conduct falls within the scope of employment for purposes of G. L. c. 214, § 1B. College-Town, Div. of Interco, Inc. v. Massachusetts Comm’n Against Discrimination, 400 Mass. 156, 165-167, 508 N.E.2d 587 (1987).

As a result of the forgoing, many companies have since instituted sexual harassment policies, which they require all employees to read prior to commencing their employment. In addition, many companies have training programs for their adult workforce. The problem is that many companies employee part time teenage employees, who neither understand the ramifications of sexual harassment nor take part in any of the training programs, read the manuals or are spoken to regarding sexual harassment by their supervisors, who in many cases are also teenagers. This is particularly a problem for businesses one would commonly find in a shopping mall, such as fast food, retail and amusement park companies.

During 2007, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), referring to 16 – 19 year olds, “charges filed and anecdotal evidence indicates that discrimination is a problem for teenagers.” According to a professor of social work, Susan Fineran, 35% of high school students surveyed claimed they were subject to sexual harassment at work, of which over 60% were teenage girls. According to a report in the magazine, Nation’s Restaurant News, over the past decade, restaurant’s alone have paid out in excess of $7.3 million dollars to battle sexual harassment lawsuit regarding teenagers.

What is the gist of all of this? If corporate America wants to avoid costly prolonged litigation, must do a much better job educating teenage part time employees, in the same way they have done so with their full time adult workforce.



Source by Michael A. Goldstein

OUI Laws and Drunk Driver Accident Liability

Massachusetts OUI (Operating Under the Influence) laws protect the public by making driving while intoxicated a serious criminal offense. Motorists caught driving under the influence (DUI) face fines and possibly criminal penalties. The more DUI offenses a Massachusetts driver has, the more severe the penalties become.

Defining Driving Under the Influence

Massachusetts OUI laws define driving under the influence as operating a motor vehicle with:

o A blood alcohol content of.08 or greater OR

o A blood alcohol content of.02 or greater if the driver is under 21 OR

o Under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants, stimulants, or glue vapors.

Massachusetts OUI laws provide for fines, probation, possible jail time, and driver’s license revocation for 1 year for first time offenders. Subsequent convictions can mean harsher penalties and could elevate the negligent driver to felony level charges.

Suing a Drunk Driver in Massachusetts

Unfortunately, most victims of serious DUI accidents cannot afford to pay the difference between what auto insurance companies will provide and the total amount of medical bills they will face.

As a victim of a Massachusetts DUI accident, it is your right to sue the driver for negligence in civil court even while criminal charges are pending. You are entitled to recover the full amount of your personal injuries, which may include time lost from work, long-term care, and other expenses. It is important to keep in mind that drunk drivers will most likely face fines as well as jail time because of their negligence and may not be able to pay the full judgment that you are awarded.

Massachusetts DUI Accidents: Determining Liability

A driver must be found legally responsible for the Massachusetts drunk driving accident in order to be made to pay compensation to the victim. The case may be that other people-in addition to the driver-can be held legally responsible for a drunk-driving victim’s injuries.

If the driver was served alcohol by someone who knew the driver was already intoxicated, that person could also be held liable to the accident victim and therefore responsible for compensating the victim under Massachusetts law. This applies equally to people in bars and restaurants as well as people at parties and private gatherings.

As a victim, it is important that you determine all responsible parties in order to maximize your recovery and ensure your expenses are covered. This is why it is so critical to make sure you do not sign any settlements with a representative of an insurance company prior to speaking with your Massachusetts personal injury attorney.



Source by Thomas M. Kiley

Melanie's Law Means Stricter Penalties For Massachusetts' Drunk Drivers

Being in a Massachusetts drunk-driving accident can result in permanent and life-altering injuries. The passage of Melanie's Law advances Massachusetts DUI laws and the criminal charges a driver will face for multiple convictions of Operating Under the Influence (OUI).

Criminal Penalties Under Melanie's Law

Melanie's Law was empowered to improve Massachusetts DUI laws by increasing the penalties and sanctions for drivers with multiple convictions of operating under the influence of toxicating substances. Melanie's Law changed the face of the Massachusetts DUI laws by:

o Penalizing drivers for operating under the influence while already on a suspended license for OUI, charging the offender with (1) OUI, and (2) OUI with a suspended license

o Establishing penalies for prohibiting or employing an unlicensed driver-including relatives, friends, or known acquaintances- to operate a motor vehicle

o Creating a new crime of Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol with a Child 14 Years of Age or Younger in the Vehicle. This means the driver can be charged with two offsets: (1) OUI, and (2) Child Endangerment While OUI

o Establishing a criminal charge for Manslaughter by Motor Vehicle

o Increasing the length of license suspension to a minimum of 15 years

o Giving the cancellation of registration plates for consequent convictions

o Allowed a District Attorney to seek forfeiture of motor vehicles

o Eliminating temporary licenses and mandating vehicle impounding upon refusal of a chemical test

o Establishing a state-run ignition interlock system (requiring a driver to pass a breath test before starting the vehicle)

Massachusetts Drunk Driving Lawsuits

These new laws are accompanied by strictter penalties which could potentially interfere with a Massachusetts drunk-driving accident victim's ability to collect on a civil jurisdiction. This is because if the driver is forced to pay fines to the State, the State will collect their due before the victim.

Likewise, if the convicted drunk driver is forced to spend a year in jail-a mandatory minimum sentence for the new charge of OUI with a suspended license-that driver will not be able to earn income to pay your civil judgment, you should be awarded one.

If you have suffered personal injury because of another driver's negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation to pay for medical bills and other accident related expenses. Massachusetts has a statute of limitations on these types of lawsuits and your case must be filed within a prescribed amount of time.

It is critical, then, to consult with a Massachusetts personal injury attorney who has a firm jurisdiction on Massachusetts DUI laws and is experienced in these types of lawsuits.



Source by Thomas M. Kiley

How to Get CNA Certification in Massachusetts

In the state of Massachusetts, a nursing assistant will have to complete state-approved Nurse Aide Training and Competency Evaluation Program (NATCEP) to work in varieties health care settings. The responsibility to manage and administer NATCEP in MA is entrusted upon the American Red Cross (ARC) of Eastern Massachusetts.

ARC Nurse Aide Training Program (ARC NATP)

The American Red Cross of Eastern MA is offering ARC Nurse Assistant Home Health Aide Program since 1989. The training program is 75 hours and meets the state and federal Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1987 guidelines and education standards. CNA training programs can also be completed through community colleges, adult education centres, technical institutes and vocational schools located across the state. The sole aim of CNA training program is to prepare nursing assistants in direct patient care skills and knowledge so that they can offer quality care to residents who are unable to care for themselves. Upon successful completion and graduation of the NATP, nursing students is qualified to appear for the state competency evaluation test for CNA Certification in MA. The certified CNAs then can perform in hospice, nursing homes, adult care centres, hospitals, assisted living centres and other licensed facilities.

ARC NATP Requirements

In MA, a high school diploma or GED is not a prerequisite for taking the training program. The applicants should pass ARC assessment test in order to enrol in ARC training program, and once enrolled, a negative TB test result must be submitted on the first day of the training class.

MA CNA Certification Test

Individuals, who wish to take the Massachusetts Nurse Assistant Competency examination must complete the MA Department of Public Health Testing Eligibility Requirements, and submit the Eligibility Form to the Division of Health Care Quality Nurse Aide Registry/Training verification. Once the form is approved, the applicants can complete the ARC Testing and Registration Application.

ARC Nursing Assiatnt Certification Test consists of Knowledge Test (Written/Oral Test) and Skills Test. The applicants can also select their choice location and in-facility Red Cross site for clinical demonstration. ARC of Eastern MA testing locations are located in Fall River, Brockton, Hyannis, New Bedford, Lowell, Cambridge, Springfield, Haverhill, Pittsfield, Worcester and Peabody.

The testing candidates must pass both parts of the MA Certification Test in order to be placed on the MA Nurse Aide Registry and earn CNA Certification in MA. The Certification is also mandatory for working in varied health care settings throughout the state of Massachusetts.



Source by Subodh Maheshwari