WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).Below, in his own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Mike McCoy (D-Wilmington).#15a) What you will do at the State House to ensure that our local police and fire departments have what they need to adequately protect us? The brave and dedicated men and women in our police and fire departments put their lives on the line every day. They are our first line of defense for the populations of Tewksbury and Wilmington. It would be irresponsible if I were to do anything less than my best to care for them as their State Representative as they are for me, my family and my neighbors. My platform and commitment to the deserving people in public safety is as follows. I will:Commit one day per month to meet with police, firefighters and EMT’s from Wilmington and Tewksbury. Face-to-face interaction and active listening are the best ways for an elected official to truly understand the needs and concerns of these heroes. You cannot provide these fine people with what they need without keeping your finger on their pulse and getting their direct input. They know best what they need.Provide every individual in public safety a business card with my office, cell and home phone number for direct and immediate access to me, 24/7.Ensure first responders’ salaries and benefits in Tewksbury and Wilmington remain competitive.File legislation to reinstate the death penalty for anybody convicted of taking the life of a first responder.Sponsor legislation to provide compensation for those families who lost a spouse or parent in the line of duty.The populations of Wilmington and Tewksbury are rapidly increasing. What was adequate in the past won’t cut it in the future. Response time for police, fire and EMS is frequently a matter of life and death. Our increasing populations in our communities directly impacts response time in two ways; the first is increased traffic. Think of Routes 38 and 62 today as compared to ten years ago. Now picture it ten years from now. The second factor is that increased populations and dwellings exponentially increase the probability of several emergencies occurring at the same time. Having a substation in North Wilmington will cut response time. Another reason for having this substation is the railroad crossing on Middlesex Avenue. Emergency response vehicles have waited for the commuter rail gates to be lifted. There is also an immediate danger associated with this crossing is the location is the MTBA commuter on/off boarding platform. The current location is too close to Middlesex Avenue. The crossing gate and train block the traffic on Middlesex Avenue for emergency response vehicles for minutes when seconds count. Resolving this critical public safety issue will be a high priority item if I am elected as your next state representative. Finally, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to our public safety professionals.#15b) Do you support a fire substation in North Wilmington? The simple answer is yes. It is long overdue because of over-development combined with increased population.#15c) Did you/do you support the construction of the new center fire station in Tewksbury that was approved last year?I come from the school of common sense. My own observation dictates that simple answer is yes because of the rampant over-development and the the population explosion. With that being said, I took it upon myself to see Chief Hazel of the Tewksbury Fire Department on Friday August 3, 2018 and asked him a couple of basic questions in regards to the funding of the new Center fire station in Tewksbury. Chief Hazel is a complete gentleman and a true professional. He answered all of my questions and Tewksbury should be very proud to have him as their fire chief. I will always do everything in my power as state representative to ensure that the Tewksbury firefighters have everything they need to keep themselves and the residents safe.#16a) The Vietnam War Moving Wall recently visited Wilmington. It was a sobering reminder of what the men and women in our armed forces are willing to sacrifice to preserve our freedom. What will you do at the State House to support our local veterans and veterans statewide? The first time I visited the wall was in 2008 and again last week I visited the Vietnam Moving Memorial Wall when it came to Wilmington. It gave me pause and an opportunity to silently reflect on the ultimate sacrifice made by 58,193 young American men and women. They never had the opportunity to enjoy the full measure of life. Countless more will carry the scars of their service-related or psychological trauma to their graves. Even for those who returned unharmed, their thanks was frequently being spat upon and called, “Baby Killers!” This was a national disgrace. The debt that we owe our veterans is incalculable. As your state representative, I pledge to:Meet with the Veterans Services Departments in Wilmington and Tewksbury once a month to better understand the needs of our veterans and how I can help to fulfill those needs.Sponsor and support legislation that will improve the quality of life for these heroes.Arrange for State House tours for veterans and their families.Establish a communications link with the Tewksbury DAV and the Wilmington VFW and American Legion to explore ways that I can beter assist our prcious veteran population.Address all veteran concerns in a timely and effective manner.#16b) What, if anything, have you done as a private citizen and/or locally elected official that shows a commitment to veterans? While I have never worn an armed services uniform, I have always had the desire to dedicate myself to public service. I fulfilled this need by committing my life to 31 years to serving the public and 28 of those years (and counting) as a Wilmington selectman. Things that I have done to demonstrate my commitment to our veterans include:Making financial contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project, Fisher House and the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, MA.Marching in every Memorial Day parade for 28 years.Supporting the Wilmington Veteran’s service budget for as long as it has been established.In closing, I would like to give a heart-felt thanks to our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. I would also like to extend my profound gratitude to Lisa Downey, the Tewksbury Veterans Service Officer, Lou Cimaglia IV, Wilmington Veteran Services Director and Michael Frotten, Wilmington Veteran’s Service agent for the fine work that they do for our veterans on a daily basis.#16c) Do you personally have any family that serves/served? Yes.(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedLETTER TO THE EDITOR: Tewksbury Residents Should Vote Mike McCoy For State Rep Because…In “Letter To The Editor”STATE REP RACE Q&A: Pina Prinzivalli Discusses What She’ll Do To Support Police, Fire & Veterans If ElectedIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Voting Records Show Prinzivalli Voted Only Once Before Launching Candidacy; Campaign DisputesIn “Government”
.The government has approved a project for setting up a oil terminal on 192 acres of land of a reserved forest in Maheskhali, defying objections from the forest department and environmentalists.If this project is implemented, some 25,000 trees will be cut down, the department has expressed apprehensions.”The construction work (as part of project impelentation) will cause soil erosion, water pollution, release of chemical wastes and a variety of natural disasters,” the forest department said in a letter sent to the environment and forest ministry last year.The ministry sent a proposal to the cabinet division on 27 March, seeking permission for felling thousands of trees at Maheshkhali reserved forest to construct the oil terminal.The government gave Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) the permission on 1 March for construction of an unrefined fuel terminal, Maheshkhali in Cox’s Bazar, the country’s only hilly island. It will cost around Tk 45 billion.Environmental experts said implementation of such a project would result in damage to the forest and wildlife in Maheshkhali as well as a natural disaster.A fuel terminal, if set up, will affect biodiversity and ecosystem of Maheshkhali reserved forest, a home to endangered species such as Maya deer and python. Water in surrounding areas will be contaminated, the environmentalists pointed out.The environment and forest ministry said, a total of 1,701 old trees and another 1,250 trees of different types will be cut down for implementing the project. For the loss of forest resources, the BPC is set to pay Tk 13.6 million as compensation.The forest department initially estimated the value of overall loss at Tk 2.77 billion, but later refixed it downwardly — at Tk 470 million.Unrefined fuels, imported from abroad, will be brought to the Maheshkhali terminal directly from mother vessels in deep sea. The fuels will then be taken to Eastern Refinery in Anwara, Chattogram.The forest ministry’s acting secretary Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury told Prothom Alo recently that such project has to be allowed for the sake of development.“We will, however, try to minimise the damage,” he said.The official added that the ministry has asked the BPC to plant saplings five times higher than the number of trees to be cut down, and nurture them for the subsequent 10 years.The ministry has already received the prime minister’s nod in favour of these activities, he claimed.The BPC had in 2016 sought the permission to acquire 192 acres of lands on the basis of lease from the forest ministry.A six-member expert committee was also formed to assess the value of biodiversity.A member of the committee and also professor at Chattogram University’s forestry and rnvironmental science department Kamal Hossain told Prothom Alo that they recommended not giving permission for using the forest land.”We attend meetings and seminars and make commitments to protecting forests. Returning home, we forget and give permissions to use forests. Such decisions will cause disasters in the coastal areas,” he expressed his views.Nature and wildlife expert Anisuzzaman, who is working for big government and UN projects, observed that forests and hills can easily be destroyed only after getting permission from the ministries.He said reserved forests have been the targets for implementing big projects and making infrastructures.*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam and Farjana Liakat.
Sheikh HasinaPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday expressed her optimism that people of Bangladesh would once again elect Awami League in the forthcoming polls.“Awami League enjoys massive popularity as the people still believe that the country would go ahead with Awami League remaining in power. Surveys of a number of international organisations have also predicted it,” she said.The prime minister was speaking at the first meeting of the National Election Conducting Committee of Bangladesh Awami League at her Gonobhaban residence in the capital this evening.Terming honesty one the main strengths of Awami League, the prime minister said “a vested quarter is hatching conspiracy and seeking intervention of undemocratic forces to dislodge Awami League from power.”“But no one can yield any benefit from such hope as no one from ‘Uttar Para’ will come to install them to power,” Sheikh Hasina, also Awami League president and chairperson of the election conducting committee, said.Welcoming the initiative of some political parties of forging the anti-Awami League platform, the prime minister said the government would allow them to hold meetings anywhere in the city.“The government is not gagging freedom of speech. So, if necessary a permanent ‘moncha’ would be erected at Suharawardi Udyan to allow speaking every day against the government,” she said.“But action would be taken against those who would spread falsehood and try to push the country towards anarchy,” she warned.Co-chairman of the committee HT Imam, member-secretary and Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader, presidium members, central committee leaders and representatives of different associated bodies of the party were present.Sheikh Hasina said the people of Bangladesh re-elected Awami League to power in 2014 overcoming all barriers created by BNP and anti-liberation forces.“Country’s development is visible now as Awami League came to power in 2014. People understood that the country can prosper when Awami League remains in power,” she said adding that today the people are living in peace with sound economic standing.She said Awami League was defeated in 2001 through conspiracy and despite their win BNP and anti-liberation force Jamaat-e-Islami unleashed a reign of terror in the 1971 fashion.“They made the country champions in corruption for five consecutive terms and turn the country into an abode of murder, terrorism, militancy and corruption,” she said.Sheikh Hasina said some civil society members are shedding tears for those who are responsible for making the country a land of grenade and bomb attacks.They are blind and their doors of openness are closed,” she said adding they do not see any progress of the country during the tenure of the Awami League government.“We don’t want Bangladesh to go back to the past situation again,” the prime minister said urging the party leaders and workers to work with devotion to woo the people to cast their votes for Awami League in the coming general election.Criticising BNP for appointing lobbyist in the USA to conduct campaign against the government, the prime minister said they are actually engaged in damaging the country’s image.Sheikh Hasina castigated BNP for spreading false information on inviting the BNP delegation by UN secretary general, saying he (secretary general) was in Ghana at that time to attend the funeral of Kofi Annan.“So what is the benefit of BNP in lying to misguide the people,” she questioned.
India mapA state legislator in the northeast Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and at least 10 others were killed Tuesday in an attack by suspected separatist militants, officials said.The attack follows the end of India’s typically violent general elections on Sunday, as well as state assembly polls in Arunachal Pradesh — which borders China, Myanmar and Bhutan.Lawmaker Tirong Aboh and some family members were killed when insurgents opened fire on their convoy of vehicles in the Tirap district of the state, police said.Kiren Rijiju, Indian minister of state of home affairs, confirmed the number of killed to be 11.”I’m shocked and saddened by the brutal attack and tragic killing of… Tirong Aboh of Arunachal Pradesh, his family including 11 people,” he tweeted.”Strongest possible action will be taken against those responsible for such dastardly attack,” he added.A top officer told AFP on condition of anonymity that reinforcements had been rushed to the area.As in previous years, the general elections have been rocked by violence. On May 1 some 15 troops and their driver were killed by Maoist rebels in the western state of Maharashtra.A grenade attack in Guwahati, capital of the northeastern state of Assam, injured 12 people, officials said.A local separatist group, the United Liberation Front of Asom, claimed responsibility.- Modi ally -Aboh represented the Khonsa constituency for the National People’s Party (NPP) — allied to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party — and was standing for a new term.He was travelling from Dibrugarh in neighbouring Assam to Khonsa when the incident took place.Militants belonging to a faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), one of several separatist groups in the area, are suspected to have carried out the attack after making threats to Aboh.The faction, known as NSCN (IM), is fighting for the creation of an independent state for the Naga people, an ethnic group living across several northeastern Indian states.The seven states that make up India’s northeast are home to dozens of tribal groups and guerrilla armies demanding greater autonomy or independence from India.India blamed another NSCN faction for the killing of 20 soldiers in an attack in neighbouring Manipur state in 2015.New Delhi responded by saying it launched retaliatory strikes against the group in Myanmar, where a significant Naga population lives.Myanmar’s government have launched fresh military offensives against the Naga insurgents despite a ceasefire agreement between the militant group and the powerful army.Maoist guerrillas are, meanwhile, believed to be present in at least 20 Indian states, but most active in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra.
Kolkata: A sea of humanity defied torrential rain and inclement weather on Saturday to attend the July 21 Martyrs’ Day rally, where Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee spelt out the party’s strategy in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.Lakhs of people were witness to a historic announcement which would mark a definite “movement” of a sort from this day onwards for the Trinamool Congress workers and its leaders with their task cut out for the forthcoming 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA confident Mamata Banerjee, more passionate than ever, with an unflinching pledge to free India from the clutches of the BJP, announced: “We will win all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state. It is our pledge. We will oust the BJP to save the country. We will organise a big rally here in January and invite all the (Opposition) leaders.”The Trinamool Congress will organise a rally at the Brigade Parade Ground on January 19, 2019, which will be attended by all the Federal Front leaders to usher in the BJP’s collapse. Speaking on the 25th anniversary of the Martyrs’ Day programme, the Chief Minister said: “The gathering at the Brigade will be more than today’s rally and I will request all the Federal Front leaders to address the meeting. We do not care for the chair but we are more concerned for the people of this land. We will show the way to Parliament.” She also instructed the party leaders to start preparations for the grand rally from November itself, immediately after the Durga Puja. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedShe also charted out the party’s programmes for the next few months. On July 27, Nanoor Divas will be celebrated and Firhad Hakim along with Anubrata Mondol will address the gathering. On July 28, party’s youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee along with Partha Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim, Kalyan Banerjee and Suvendu Adhikari will address a rally at the Midnapore College ground, the venue from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed the rally on July 16. From August 1 to 15, meetings will be held all over the state to spread the message of communal harmony. On August 9, Mamata Banerjee will be present at a meeting in Jhargram where the theme will be “BJP, quit the country”. The meeting will be held to remember the Quit India movement which was organised against the British Rule in 1942. In September, the party will celebrate Teachers’ Day in which teachers from various schools, colleges and universities will be felicitated in every area. A convention will be held on September 17 under the leadership of Abhishek Banerjee. Coming down heavily on the BJP, Banerjee predicted that the saffron party will not be able to get more than 100-150 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls as the situation will be completely different. She said the BJP had secured 325 votes while the Opposition got 126 votes at the no-confidence motion held on Friday because “AIADMK had voted for the BJP but the MPs would not have voted for the party had Jayalalithaji been alive. In 2019, Stalin will get the seats.In Uttar Pradesh, if Mayawatiji and Mulayamji join hands, then the BJP’s seats will come down to 30.In Madhya Pradesh, now the BJP has 28 seats which will come down to one fourth. In Rajasthan, the party has 25 seats which will come down to 5. In Bihar, Laluji will get more seats. In Gujarat, the BJP will not get any seat. In Bengal, the TMC will get all the 42 Lok Sabha seats.” She further added: “The number of votes the BJP got on Friday was on the floor of the House but outside, the scenario is totally different and take it from me that the BJP will not win in 2019 as people will not vote for the party.”Calling the BJP a “sword brandishing or gun-toting Hindu,” she said the BJP has actually insulted Hinduism. “We do not accept the BJP’s Hindutva. The party has insulted Hinduism. We follow the Hinduism that has been professed by Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda. We believe in tolerance and universal acceptance,” she maintained.Accusing the BJP of spreading hate politics, she said throughout the country, the party is trying to divide society. Referring to the statement made by the Prime Minister and Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Parliament on Friday that the state governments should take stern action to stop lynching, she said: “The party should first try to control the language of the state president. He talks about burning down police stations and assault the TMC supporters, thus polluting the social environment.” She added: “The BJP is involved in lynching throughout the country and the leaders have blood on their hands.”Banerjee said Congress leaders in Bengal should decide whether they will go with the TMC or not. “In Delhi, we are supporting them but here the Congress, CPI(M) and the BJP have joined hands against us. This cannot be tolerated.”Referring to the collapse of the pandal at Modi’s rally in Midnapore, she said: “The party that cannot prevent the collapse of a pandal, how do you expect them to run the country properly? But it is not about the pandal. They are trying to divide the country and this trend is dangerous.”The Chief Minister said canards are being spread against the TMC over the Panchayat elections. “In Uttar Pradesh, 71 percent seats are won uncontested while in Sikkim 85 percent seats are won unopposed but no one says anything about that. In Panchayat elections, local issues and candidates are important and in Jhargram, even the TMC could not file candidates in several seats but I did not complain about it. I pity those who fail to understand this small equation.”