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2015/08/12 in Absurd, Elections, FrannyO, Mayor, Sexism, Whistleblower

Poor choice in campaign slogan.

In the continuing saga of misogyny in Holyoke we now have two media outlets providing coverage.

Angela told her story on WHYN 560 AM Morning Show with Adam Wright.  You can listen HERE.

An article was launched on Masslive today (in print tomorrow) that has a response from the O’Connell campaign via Media Mentors (A marketing company that has an obnoxious flash video with loud music that is on auto-play on their front page – this actually makes sense).  He says:

“These accusations come from a disgruntled former paid staffer who was terminated to which I have no comment. Anyone who knows me knows I have the utmost respect for women. I am a father of three daughters and husband to a beautiful wife. The chief operating officer of my company is a woman who I have worked with for the past eight years. I have a wonderful working relationship with her and hundreds of other women with whom I have been privileged to work with over my 30-plus year career.”

See?  She was fired, so it must not be true.  I knew that this would be in the response.  Next he names a few women in his life, so this must characterize him differently.  This is akin to when people say “I am not racist, I have a black friend”.  Whatever.  It is essentially a “no comment” statement neither confirming or denying what Angela did experience.

Of course comments on the Masslive article and where shared on social media have people not focusing on the issue and instead discussing the faults of the other candidates.  Pay attention:  Fran wants to outsource his job and sell the city to his friends.  Are we electing Fran?  No, we are electing whoever he appoints to be mayor.  Fran is running to be city planner and pass the buck to a city manager type.  He will take an oath office that he will fail to fulfill which will both violate state law and the city charter.

This all reminds me of our former puppet president Bush, except Bush had some professional handlers to better mask how unfit he was to lead.  If O’Connell’s handlers are smart they will now hire better handlers to manage this from now on.  This campaign needs adult supervision.  You can kiss babies, shake hands and maybe play your guitar, but for god’s sake, keep your mouth shut!

Oh, and tits.

Cue Regina Spektor:

Holyoke YMCA takes its sweet time to ensure families of a safe environment.

2014/11/16 in Absurd, HPD, Mailbag, Press, Shame, Whistleblower, YMCA, Youth

This just in.  Trigger warning, links contained herein contain graphic depictions of rape and sexual abuse.

 

November 16, 2014

Dear YMCA Members:

There is an article in the December issue of Outside magazine that mention allegations of sexual abuse; the allegations have been made by a former YMCA Vikings Swim Team member against the team’s former head coach.

To be sure, these are disturbing allegations. We take our responsibility to children and their families very seriously at the Greater Holyoke YMCA. Under the circumstances, we feel it is appropriate to affirm our commitment to keeping kids safe.

The YMCA was notified of this allegation in December 2011. We immediately placed the employee on leave and filed the required report with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Greater Holyoke YMCA terminated the coach’s employment in July 2012 as a result of these allegations.

We have a series of measures in place to protect our families. Some examples of our standards and practices include:

  • conducting criminal background checks and reference checks on all staff prior to hiring;
  • conducting criminal background checks on all volunteers;
  • requiring all staff and volunteers to complete training on recognizing and preventing abuse;
  • prohibiting staff and volunteers from being alone with a child where they cannot be observed by others;
  • restricting staff contact with children outside of YMCA programs;
  • educating parents on how to recognize and prevent abuse; and
  • reporting any allegations or suspicions of abuse to law enforcement.

At the Greater Holyoke YMCA, the safety and well-being of children in our care always has been and always will be a top priority. We remain committed to our child safety practices. Our YMCA engages over 1500 children each year, and we work hard every day to make sure they’re happy, healthy, and safe.

As always, thank you for being a part of our YMCA family. We greatly appreciate your participation and support. Please contact me if you have questions.

Sincerely,

Kathy Viens

CEO

=======================================

Allegations. Allegations. Allegations. Allegations. Allegations.

No matter how many times you write “allegations”, I am NOT going to stop believing sexual abuse and assault survivors. There is NO doubt in my mind that Anna’s story is true. I am sickened that you did not reach out to the community when the incident happened.  Usually these types of assaults are not singular or isolated – there could be more victims out there who may have come forward if the YMCA was open and willing to even have such a conversation.  Instead you decide to take nearly THREE FULL YEARS to finally issue a statement only after local media coverage has pressured you to do so?

This was not sent to the media or published on their FB page – only sent to paying members as far as we can tell. Members can bring guests.  Children can come from two households.  Obviously, the YMCA is still trying to minimize damage here by not making a public statement.

We are sincerely disappointed and disgusted.

 

CBS 3 Springfield – WSHM

Donald Wilcox Sues City of Holyoke and Geriatric Authority of Holyoke

2014/05/19 in Absurd, Alex Morse, GAH, Lawsuit, Mailbag, MGL, Patti Devine, Whistleblower

An anonymous email sent to me included photographs of documents outlining a lawsuit by recently terminated Donald Wilcox – former COO, CFO and executive director of the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke – against the City of Holyoke and the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke with allegations of discrimination and harassment by Patricia Devine, and that his termination was retribution against him for his whistle blowing to state agencies of ongoing impropriety at the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke.  Devine, then chairwoman of the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke board of directors resigning soon after this debacle because she “could no longer give the time and personal effort that the important position deserves”.  Well, for those that have been paying attention it does appear that she has newly found capacity because, while it is not officially announced, we are hearing folks congratulate her on her appointment to the Fire Commission.  What kind of damage can she do there?

.Here are the documents in full, sorry about the quality, these are photos by a still camera, not a scanner, enjoy:

Donald_Wilcox_v_GAH.pdf

7 pages, 4.1MB