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OPINION: Downtown New Bedford is not only unsafe for our family but, it’s dirty, loud and disgusting

“Today we wanted to just grab a quick bite [to eat], find a shaded area, and enjoy the beautiful day in downtown New Bedford. That wasn’t possible.

I’d like to start off by saying we love our downtown and hang out there often. Today I was beyond disappointed.

We walked to three different locations and not one of them was anywhere I’d sit with my children and feel safe. At one point we walked on a sidewalk that we can tell someone had peed on against the wall, it was fresh. DISGUSTING.

We often sit by wings court, we’ve taken photos here and just enjoyed the art. Today that wasn’t possible. It was dirty, loud and there were people (homeless) loudly cursing.

At this point, we walked over to Custom House Square. This was even worse. Dirty beyond belief. There were dirty disposable masks EVERYWHERE. Cups and napkins thrown on the floor and grass 🤢🤢

The number of homeless people laying on the sidewalk and grass was unreal. There was a woman half-naked. Yes, you read that correctly. She was lying in the grass with her shirt pulled up and cupping her breasts with her hands. My kids were terrified.
Needless to say, we couldn’t sit and just enjoy a meal.

I’m sharing this because I know we can do better. The city of New Bedford, Massachusetts needs to do better. Tag anyone you’ll think will be of any help to this post. #newbedford #cityofnewbedford #newbedfordma #downtownnewbedford #MayorJonMitchell”-Vera Carvalho.


Photo by Vera Carvalho.




OPINION: “New Bedford Public Schools preach diversity but they aren’t following what they truly say”

“Hey, hope all is well. I just wanted to speak with someone about a situation I am dealing with New Bedford school district.

I am being blackballed and can’t get an emolument after I filled a complaint to the school district about a co-worker categorizing me and profiling me for being a Hispanic minority. I worked at New Bedford High [School] then was transferred to another school once the investigation was complete.

I told my supervisors about it and they knew about it back in November and nothing was done. So I decided to take it upon myself because I wasn’t getting any help and now I’m left with no job and no explanation on why I was terminated.

I was about to get an interview at another school, then the principal spoke with my former supervisors and then decided not to move forward with my application and he couldn’t give me an explanation why as well.

New Bedford Public Schools preach diversity this and that I’m not sure if they are really following what they truly say.

I was terminated the day I left for a Father’s Day trip which they knew about. June 18th I left for my trip and the same day I was terminated without knowing it. I came home on Father’s Day and received a package with my final check and a letter stating that I was terminated due to ‘probation period’ [violation]

No one is willing to give me answers maybe the people can help.” -Anonymous.




OPINION: New Bedford resident frustrated with group disturbing residents with loud music, littering, and loitering

“These photos are to show you (and possibly have you do a short story on) how the young men parking in front of the Harrington Park on Court and Terming Street hang out here at night. They play music disturbing the residents but also trashing this park every day.

We have tried to get them to go away or at least respect the property that we pay taxes on and to no avail. Scott Lima, our ward counselor, has not responded. Sometimes the police come, but this is ridiculous.

We residents are left to clean it up or call the city to send someone so the kids can play and not be touched by this.

There’s no respect from these boys and we were told there are restraining orders on them from Temple Landing and that they are supposed to stay away.

What can we do?”-Beverly Martin-Clark.




OPINION: “Acushnet Cemetery is disgusting!”

“Acushnet Cemetery is disgusting!

I planted these flowers on Monday for my brother that had passed away in December. I admit to my mistake that I did not understand rule two, however, that does not give them the right to pull out the flowers without letting anyone know!

They didn’t even have the decency to fill in the holes. What also is pissing me off is the fact that there are other stones that have flowers in the back of the gravestones so I should expect to see those flowers pulled as well right?”-Makayla Isabelle.


Makayla Isabelle photo.


Makayla Isabelle photo.




OPINION: “If you have memorial items at New Bedford’s Sacred Heart Cemetery they are being removed!”

“Today I went to my family grave and found plastics flowers that had been there on Saturday, June 19 but today June 22 were gone.

I proceeded to the Maintenance Office at the bottom of the cemetery and asked if the items had been taken from the grave. The gentleman said if it is anything metal it is removed because it could rust in the ground and the object could become a projectile when mowing the grass.

I told him that the items that were taken were plastic. Here is a picture of a pile of items that the gentleman said to look through. These items were taken from graves by the cemetery workers for one reason or another.

Unfortunately, my items were not in the pile. It made me sick to go through all the items that were there. I felt a sense of loss for the families that had placed these items there.

SHAME ON THE CEMETERY for removing these items, some to me had no reason to be removed. In my opinion, it seems like LAZINESS is the key at Sacred Heart Cemetery.”-Wayne Gaboriault.


Wayne Gaboriault photo.




OPINION: Dr Jibreel A Khazan on Gentrification in New Bedford: “Don’t sell your homes”

The following opinion was sent to New Bedford Guide. It is our policy to share opinions regardless of which side of the cultural, historic, or political spectrum. We may or may not agree with the opinions expressed in these articles.

If you have a story, opinion, or talent you want to share with greater New Bedford inbox us at info@newbedfordguide.com.

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“Long-time New Bedford resident Dr. Jibreel A.A. Khazan asks the New Bedford community not to sell their homes.

In a conversation following his receiving a Massachusetts Black Excellence Award from State Rep. Tony Cabral’s office Dr. Khazan spoke about the importance of preserving and saving the New Bedford community in Ward 4 from displacement and gentrification. This snippet is part of a cultural memory project entitled “Um Frenti Unido – Um Prujeto di Memória Kultural” (A United Front – A Cultural Memory Project).

This project aims to explore how “creative placemaking” is a catalyst for the rapid rent increases leading to the displacement and gentrification of the historic African and Indigenous communities in Acushnet (New Bedford). Moreover, to archive the living memory of the Cape Verdean American community in Acushnet (New Bedford). Historically, Acushnet (New Bedford) is the first American city that Cape Verdeans immigrated to.

Moreover, Cape Verdeans are also the first African people to “voluntarily” emigrate to the United States, post-European colonization. This makes this community uniquely important to African, Cape Verdean, and American history. This cultural memory project will elevate first-person narratives from this historic African immigrant community. It will also explore the cross-cultural relationships and moments of solidarity between the Cape Verdean, African American, Caribbean, Pokanoket, Wampanoag, Nipmuc, Narragansett, and Indigenous communities. The project is being led by La Soul Renaissance.

La Soul Renaissance recently received some funding to support portions of this project from (Mass Development – TDI – Barr Foundation) in the form of an “Art is Everywhere” grant through NB Creative. #DecolonizeAcushnet”




OPINION: “Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office conceals truth about inmate deaths and violate other laws”

“Dear Fellow Americans,

I need your help!

I come to you as a USMC Veteran who served our country with pride during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A former National Guardsman and someone who has served our local community as a Deputy of the Barnstable County Sheriff’s department for the last 14 years, I am calling out to you for support and action, to create change!

I have reported with ‘Urgent Concern’ that in the course of my official duties as a Deputy Sheriff for Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office, I have been witness to violations of law, deliberate concealment of the truth when reporting critical incidents as well as concealment of vital information in regard to inmate deaths. The deliberate indifference of the ‘leadership’ within the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office undermines the integrity of our legal system and has violated the basic human rights of the inmates within the facility.

I am deeply concerned that actions taken by Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office ‘leadership’ constitute a serious problem, abuse or violation of law. I am concerned that these actions pose a risk to the general public/community and undermine the integrity, policies and core values of the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office itself.

Therefore, I fulfilled my duty and moral obligation to protect the truth by reporting this information through the proper legal channels, to the relevant authorities. I have gone to the proper chain of command within the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office, the Attorney General Maura Healey, and to the Office of The Inspector General to seek help in this matter only to be turned away.

As an American, a Christian and a United States Marine Corps Veteran, I live by a strong moral compass and by the values learned during my service to this country. I can not stand by and allow these injustices to continue to occur. Since the proper legal channels have failed me, I am seeking the community’s help and support in this matter!

Here is what I ask of you! Make a call to a public official, write a letter or send an email regarding my allegations and request they investigate the wrongdoing within the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office.

Help me to uphold the law and hold The Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office responsible by uncovering the truth!

• Governor Baker, Charlie office numbers (617) 725-4005/(888) 870-7770/(202) 624-3616
• Lieutenant Governor Polito, Karyn office number (617) 725-4005
• For all questions, comments or concerns in this matter, the Sheriff (James Cummings) can be reached at (508) 563-4302.

Email: jcummings@bsheriff.net
Fax:(508) 563-4574
https://www.facebook.comjames.cummings.773776

Why I am called to act and the change I hope it brings:

• Fighting For Justice, Inmates Rights and to Honor the Men and Women who work tirelessly at the Sheriff’s Department.
• Calling for Accountability and Complete Transparency.
• Calling for a seamless channel to report wrongdoing within law enforcement departments without retaliation.
• Complete public oversight when allegations are brought up by the public and or an officer.
• I have a duty to uncover wrongdoing and protect the truth.
• I have a duty to Act on behalf of God, our great nation and the American People.

Please Help/Please Share!

Semper Fidelis,
Noah J. L’Heureux
USMC Sgt./OIF Veteran 2000-2004

Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sheriff 2007-2021 — thinking about making a change at Barnstable County Correctional Facility.”


Noah J. L’Heureux photo.




OPINION: New Bedford mom appreciates and is grateful for, her son’s teachers through the pandemic

“I was hoping you could share something to your Facebook page. I want to thank my son’s teachers. It’s been a rough year and I want them to know they are appreciated. I would like to post ANONYMOUSLY!!”

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“My son goes to RISE Academy at Pulaski [School]. Their behavior program and has really helped him over the years.

As I tucked my son into bed tonight, we finished talking about his day. Each day he tells me about what went well and what he needs to work on for the next day. Some days go well in others are quite a challenge for him. But the one thing that stays the same is the positive conversations that we have about his staff each and every day.

I haven’t even met half of these wonderful people, but I feel like they are family to me. I am constantly hearing how Mrs. Martins is so ‘super-duper nice’ and helps him to make safe choices. Or how Ms. E helps him stay calm even when works is so hard. I hear about walks with Miss Janeda and her dance parties at recess, how Ms. Kerr never forgets to say hello every morning, and how Mrs. Gagne makes learning so much fun.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, these staff members are a part of my family. They are in our car, our yard, the dinner table, and in our bedtime stories. I wish I had faces to put to all of your names. But for now, I will just say a sincere thank you to RISE academy. You have helped our family more than you know over the last couple of years. You never make me feel embarrassed or ashamed of my son’s behavioral problems. You have been a constant source of support for my family and we can’t thank you all enough.

Parents, as the school year comes to an end, don’t forget to thank your teachers. They definitely go above and beyond each and every day to give our kids a second home. Rise Academy is proof of this.”




OPINION: “I’m being punished for miscommunication between the City of New Bedford and ABC Disposal”

New Bedford resident, Ellory Reynolds, needed to have some items picked up by ABC Disposal so he made an appointment with them and placed the items in front of his apartment.

When he went outside next, he saw that the City of New Bedford left him a violation notice. Here is what happened when he tried to resolve the situation.

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“I made an appointment with ABC Disposal like I always do and a worker came by and gave me this violation from the city. I called the city they said I DON’T have an appointment.


Ellery Reynolds photo.

I called ABC Disposal again and they said I DO have an appointment for bulk pick up so I asked them to message the City and let them know so I can have the violation tossed. I’ve been on hold with ABC for an hour 😢.

I feel the city should contact ABC Disposal but instead, they’re making me do the work that they messed up. I can’t call ABC directly because it said cellular customer not available. I called city hall and option 5 to get someone.” -Ellery Reynolds.

You can read the discussion on the New Bedford group here.

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Have you had a bad experience with either the City of New Bedford or ABC Disposal? Leave a comment or message us directly at info@newbedfordguide.com.




OPINION: “New Bedford Police must make up for the four unjust murders due to excessive force”

“Dear New Bedford City Council Members and Elected Officials,

The recent report released by Citizens for Juvenile Justice “We are the Prey”, based on NBPD public data, illuminates serious racial disparities in police interactions in New Bedford. In a time where the nation is calling for change, it is our hope that New Bedford will use the information presented in this report to develop an equitable system of public safety in our community.

Mayor Mitchell recently stated, “We are committed to confronting any indication of systemic racism in public institutions.” We agree but we demand real action. It is time to stop pandering to those who would see a status quo that is deeply embedded in systemic racism to continue. It is time to pursue communication that is inclusive of voices from our communities that have been impacted by police practices.

New Bedford must make up for the unjust murders of Malcolm Gracia, Erik Aguilar, Morris Pina, and Larry Ruiz-Barreto. These killings are all part of the horrible legacy of cases that all used excessive force, illegal and unconstitutional approaches, and resulted in murder. Lester Lima and others that were shot in 1970 were not protected by NBPD, nor the judicial system. NBPD must stop subjecting our black men to intergenerational trauma. Let us return to the same values that made our city a beacon of safety and equality for the formerly enslaved.

As city council members elected to represent us and our fellow New Bedford residents, we are calling on you to take a stance for your constituents and to reject Councilor Brian Gomes’ claim that a report based on the critical academic analysis of the city’s data is “garbage” and dismiss his motion to denounce the report. We remind you that your duty is to serve your constituents and listen to the people, not to strengthen political alliances or ensure continued campaign donations from the NBPD union.

It is critical that you read and understand CFJJ’s response to the NBPD’s invalid claims of misrepresentation and miscalculation. Significant racial disparities exist in the Field Incident Report data no matter how you cut the data. CFJJ is clear that they counted the number of individual people and not the unique Field Incident Reports. CFJJ’s metric of analysis demonstrates the impact on actual people, and proves that people of color are disproportionately policed in New Bedford.

Not only are we asking you to reject Councilors Gomes and Carney’s dismissal of the findings in the CFJJ report, but we are asking you to take it a step further and use this as an opportunity to carry out your own objective data analysis, “meet and greet” your constituents, and involve us in creating and implementing meaningful change. We, the people of New Bedford, are making a motion to challenge you to engage in productive dialogue with your constituents about police racial profiling, especially those who have been directly impacted by it. We as a community have the power to make a difference.

Sincerely,
STAR-NB

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STAR-NB stands for Standing Together Against Racism-New Bedford. Justice for Malcolm Gracia is initially what brought STAR organizers together, and we continue the fight!

STAR’s mission is to work collectively with our allies to build an anti-racist community that works to: dismantle all forms of oppression; end state sanctioned violence; and build new supports for a healthy, safe, and thriving New Bedford.

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