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Age is Just a State of Mind…

This is what I keep telling my grandmother and, increasingly, my mother as well. However, nobody needs to tell that to Charles Ryan, who ironically was a neighbor of my grandmother’s when he was mayor. While, I have never been a big political supporter of Ryan, I admit that history has borne him out of a lot of things, like the need for the Control Board. We’ll get back to that.

Anyway, after reading the
transcript from the press conference at his house on Heather Brandon’s Urban Compass, I have reaffirmed my faith in the “chronologically challenged” as I often say in a half-mockingly PC description. Certainly, as the state’s most senior mayor, Charles Ryan can be held up as a poster child against Ageism, yes a real and growing problem.

While not driving me to jump on his campaign bandwagon, which still may or may not happen, I was delighted to hear Ryan’s opposition to casinos in Springfield. He described the negative effects well:

Casino gambling, whatever economic spin it might have, is also a one-way ticket to poverty for a lot of people, to shattered lives. I follow closely the effects of casino gambling in Connecticut. You hear about all of the money that some rich guy, who nobody seems to know—casino gambling means they get your money, and they keep your money. But also, we have women walking into the Thames River, and committing suicide, because they have a destroyed life. To really go down that route, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with the assets we have, the strengths we have, I think is a bad trip. And I agree with the morning editorial in the [Republican] that says that so far as anybody in Springfield’s thinking about it, it’s adding gasoline to fire. I mean it’s just crazy.

He also reiterated support for a Control Board extension, playing down Lt. Governor Tim Murphy’s comments at AIC last week. While I’m not for the three year extension he suggested, necessarily, I do admit that having the Control Board around a bit longer is a good thing, especially with its Economic Development successes, namely Performance Food Group, in its pocket. However, in a nod to Kateri Walsh’s comments to me about democratically elected officials determining Springfield’s fate, I think that something needs to be done to include them more. If for no other reason, it will provide for a smoother transition down the line.

In other news, Barack Obama officially started an exploratory committee to run for President. See Oh, no, 0-8: Obama for my take on that.

I swear to God, the next entry will be about something else in Springfield besides, the mayor, Control Board, or the City Council or maybe a state/national issue. Maybe a new serial in Oh, no. 0-8 or Boston Beat. The good thing about blogs is that its okay to take your cue from someone else, a la Urban Compass, but sometimes you need something else. After all, as announced yesterday, Western Mass Politics and Insight is Springfield and the World.

(*Photo from Heather Brandon’s Urban Compass)

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