It's a sad day in Springfield as the best chance the city had for meaningful reform slipped away with the defeat of Antonette Pepe for Mayor in yesterday's primary. That leaves the contest in November between incumbent Dom Sarno and Albano era stooge Jose Tosado. Sarno whomped Tosado by a landslide margin, leaving it highly unlikely that Sarno will be beaten in November unless he really messes up big time in the coming weeks. While Sarno has been a competent mayor, he is not the person who will shake things up the way they need to be shaken up to give the city some forward momentum. That person was Antonette Pepe, and her elimination in the primary is a tragic loss for the entire region.
Meanwhile, the at-large City Council results did little to dispel Springfield's reputation as having the dumbest electorate in the Valley. The pitiful results were as follows:
Thomas Ashe: 6,885 - That a flunkie for convicted felon Frankie Keough (Keough once described Ashe as his political heir) could finish in first place is so pathetic one is tempted to simply give up in despair on Springfield.
Tim Rooke: 5,955 - Rooke is the only councilor who consistently appears to take the public good into consideration. His second place finish partially redeems the shameful Ashe results.
Kateri Walsh: 5,642 - Everybody likes Kateri, including me, but she is an old guard councilor not noted for any reform tendencies.
Bud Williams: 5,117 - He did nothing when he was on the Council before, why do voters want to send him back?
Jimmy Ferrera: 5,087 - It's been a mystery why Ferrara was ever elected in the first place and that he gets re-elected is simply baffling. May he finally be shown the door.
Justin Hurst: 4,245 - Another wanna-be from one of Springfield's establishment families. Beyond the family connections, he hasn't given anyone a reason to vote for him.
Amaad Rivera: 3,179 - This crusading leftist really wishes he was a congressman. Voters should give him the free time to challenge Richie Neal in the Democrat primary of 2012.
Miguel Soto: 2,398 - An ethnic candidate crippled by the low Hispanic turnout.
Charles Rucks: 2,327 - Probably the best challenger on the field, but somehow he never gets the attention he deserves. Hopefully the voters will wake up by November.
Joseph Fountain: 2,111 - The comeback attempt by this eccentric figure from the Albano era continues, but just barely.
Bruce Adams: 2,036 - He got eliminated because he didn't get it - even in Springfield you're supposed to be accused of stealing after the election, not before.
John Stevens: 1,557 and David Ciampi: 1,374 - Of course two Republicans occupied the bottom spots - after all, the Democrats have done such a wonderful job for Springfield.
Write-ins: 149 - I'd love to know whose names were being written on the ballots. How much you wanna bet most of the names being written in were far superior to any of the actual candidates?
A display of football memorabilia at the UMass library shows this image from the cover of a 1961 game program. It portrays a typical college student attending a game with two bratty kids in tow. Those were the days when everybody got married right out of high school and most of the students had at least two kids by graduation. Today college students who are raising children are a rarity.
The annual marijuana legalization rally in Boston, one of the largest in the country, was held last weekend and among the speakers was Amherst's Terry Franklin. Here's his two minute speech.