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Commuter rail service must expand

Oct. 1, 2012 |

By G. Michael Dobbs news@thereminder.com I've got a call into Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray's office about the recent announcement that the Commonwealth has invested in expanding passenger and freight rail resources in the state and I've been told he will be giving me a call. Rail service has been something for which Murray has been advocating since he initially ran for lieutenant governor and as the mayor of Worcester he has seen what rail has done to help that city. With additional commuter rail service, people who had been living and working in Boston have been able to move out of that metro area to the Worcester area. With the long-awaited rehabilitation of Union Station as a transportation center and the on-going project to put in a high-speed rail line for Amtrak between Massachusetts and Vermont, rail is increasingly important here in Western Massachusetts. Right now the only train to Boston is Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited that comes through Springfield on its way to and from Chicago. That's not adequate. The Patrick-Murray Administration has shown a lot of interest in improving the infrastructure around the state and I'm hoping that commuter rail service for our area is indeed part of that plan.
Here's something interesting. Joseph Drici of GoLocal Worcester has published an analysis of where Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Scott Brown have spent their election cash. Drici wrote, "This election cycle, $2,865,630, or just over 23 percent, of the Brown campaign's $12,269,454 in spending was disbursed within Massachusetts, according to Federal Election Commission finance reports filed through Aug. 17 of this year. Of the $15,946,480 disbursed by the Warren campaign, $3,205,617, or just over 20 percent, was paid out in the Bay State." So their media buying services, direct mail operations, Internet consulting services and printing were done by businesses not in this state. Why? Frankly, I think that's a black eye for both of them. That money could have helped Massachusetts businesses. Keep the money here.
Usually in radio and television, when an on-air personality or a program leaves, audiences are seldom given a reason. They are here one day and gone another. In my friend Mino Giliberti's case, though, that tradition isn't good enough. For the past two years, Mino hosted a radio show, "Dining With Mino," over WHYN on Saturday mornings during which he talked about his restaurant Buon Appetito, Italian cooking, wine and other topics. It proved to be a popular and light-hearted show, perfect listening for a Saturday morning. He added he made many new friends through the show. Mino bought the hour of time every week and in August the station's management said the price was going to increase between 45 and 47 percent. Mino thought the hike was too steep and decided to pull the plug on the show. Business is business and Mino said he harbored no ill will. He told me the other day over lunch that he had "a great time" doing the show and he was thankful to his co-host Jonathan Evans of The Herbarium and his engineer Denise Vozella for their support. He also thanked his many loyal sponsors as well. Mino even invited me to be his wingman on those occasions Jonathan couldn't make it. I never turn down an opportunity to be on radio and had a lot of fun. The only reason Mino is stepping forward now with his story is the number of inquiries he has received in the past few weeks about why his show is no longer on the air. Although cooking is his full-time job and passion, Mino said he is thinking about a second show, either on radio or perhaps on television. So if you miss Mino, you can either stay tuned or, even better, visit his busy restaurant in Westfield at 856 North Road. Give him a call at 568-0002. Agree? Disagree? Drop me a line at news@thereminder.com or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.

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