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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 11:15 AM
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Kerry understands fishermen's plight
Edited on Mon Oct-24-11 12:03 PM by Mass

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By Jim Keding
Jim Keding is a fisherman. He lives in Plymouth.
October 24, 2011 12:00 AM
I think we can all agree that our government should help us, not hurt us, when it comes to putting in a hard day's work and providing for our families. I've asked time and again for them to fix their mistake that cost me my boat, with no luck. I even called Sen. John Kerry for help, and I'm glad I did. Once I made the call to Kerry's office, I was connected to Amy Kerrigan. Since that first phone call she has been investigating my situation tirelessly. It's nice to have someone that fights for you like it's their own fight. Not only has Sen. Kerry been there for me, so has his staff. I know the federal regulators in Washington haven't always been up front on these issues, but Kerry convinced me that he gets what we're up against and he's taking this issue very seriously and personally to get a just resolution to my case.

In my case, I couldn't have asked for more. Kerry has practically made my fight his own, and he's still standing by my side to help get the fair deal I deserve. I also know he's made the phone calls, written the letters, insisted on the meetings and forced the right people to get together, and he's been relentless in his bottom line that we need to do more to protect the New England fishery and stop the death of the small boat fleet.

As fishermen, we know the fish are out there because we see them each day with our own eyes and sacrificed all of the closures and low trip limits over the last 15 years to bring them back. Now Kerry's working to get more money for research so regulators will have the information we do, and the best data available so they can adjust allocations to keep up with stocks that are growing. And most importantly, he wants to make sure the decisions on how to use those funds are made at the local level, by those of us who know fishing first-hand.

John Kerry's been out on the front lines for us on this one, and I'm glad he is. He's doing what a senior senator should do, using his clout, and the work he's doing on our behalf in Washington may be my last best shot to getting back to what I love.

Good to read. There is obviously a real issue with these problems and it is good to see somebody show some empathy, rather than making this a campaign issue.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. That's a great letter and I hope that he gets the help he deserves
Edited on Mon Oct-24-11 12:33 PM by karynnj
Making him and another MA fisherman whole was one of Kerry's 10 demands on the head of NOAH.

In all, Kerry's nearly 2,500-word letter discusses 10 specific issues and requests, including a public appeal for NOAA to rectify personal economic disasters suffered by two Massachusetts fishermen Kevin Scola of Marshfield and Jim Keding of Plymouth as a direct result of "bureaucratic mistakes."
"For those of us who believe in government, but also believe in accountability," Kerry wrote, "it is only common sense that we ensure that when such mistakes are made, people are made whole that's ultimately how we maintain people's faith in government. We simply have to help these two fishermen," he wrote.

This issue really does contrast the two Senators. Brown is grandstanding calling on Obama to fire the head of NOAH and sponsoring a bill with Ayotte that would likely scrap all regulation - ignoring why regulations were written in the first place. (Various Democrats have also called for her to be fired - but it doesn't seem Brown has support for his legislation.)

(I have tried to follow the various articles because they are interesting and this really is a hot issue. I remember years ago when TayTay was hoping someone would watch the fisheries hearings when she did - I now see that even though they seemed arcane and really boring, they affect lives in MA in a big way.)

It may interest MA voters especially to see Warren's comments on this from an interview with Blue Mass Group. HUGE contrast with Brown!

Much later in the conversation, Charley asked Warren to comment on an issue that is extremely important locally, namely, fisheries. He noted that Scott Brown had recently filed a bill on fisheries (Brown has also just called for the head of NOAA to be fired, though that call came after our interview), and he wondered whether Warren (a) supported Browns bill, and more broadly (b) what do you know about fisheries? Warren responded that she has been working with Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester) and Barney Frank to learn about issues around the fisheries. She said that it was clear that there must be changes in the way NOAA manages the fisheries, and she noted that there are problems both in enforcement and in the science being used. But more broadly, she said:

This is whats so interesting: how it connects up to the heart of what Ive been working on. The fishermen want regulations. No one is saying, whoa, take off the wet blanket of regulation, and take it away from us because they know the consequence would be that the big fleets would come in, suck out all the resources, and leave us with sterile fishing beds. Nobody wants that. The only question is whats the best way to manage an ongoing viable fishing industry while were trying to let the waters recover. So heres whats so interesting about it. The rules, right now, have been written to favor the largest fishing operations, and they really are operations, these fishing factories. And theyre not written for the day boats. And why this matters is not just some sort of romantic attachment to the notion of the yeoman fisherman. It matters for two reasons. One is, thats what keeps jobs in the United States. If the fishing factories can come in from Norway or from Iceland and stay for seven days out in the waters, we can manage them to make sure they dont take out all the fish, thats fine, but they will bring nothing into our economy here in the United States. Theyll take our resource, but theyll do it without spending one red cent here. They bring their own groceries with them, stay on their own ships, and go back home, and thats their floating factory. The way the industry is set up right now, all those jobs are in the United States, and its the boat and the boat repair folks and the crews that you hire and the groceries they buy when they go out to sea, thats what keeps us vital as a nation. The second part of it is that it actually produces more value. When the guys come in on the big fleets, theyre out away from port for at least seven to ten days, which means all the fish has to be frozen. And so this idea of having this fresh-caught fish, which is why theres a premium paid for the fish out of Gloucester because its fresh, and theyre air-shipping a lot of it to Chicago, to San Francisco, because we have this fabulous value-creating business thats going here.

The new commerce secretary is planning to visit MA fishermen -

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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I was not impressed by her answer either. Sure, she is more articulate
Edited on Mon Oct-24-11 12:44 PM by Mass
than Brown, but her argument is the same for everything: I will be the lobbyist for those who dont have a lobbyist. Sorry, but while it is a noble idea, I still would like to know what she is going to support or what she is going to oppose. Every Democratic candidate stands as the champion of the middle class. But the devil is sometimes in the details. I have read a lot of comments about how she has been in the race for only one month. That is true, but she did not start thinking at these issues in September. These issues have been her job for the last 20 years, and she has expressed her opinion on them in books and TV interviews.

This Senate race is very depressing. She is definitively looking as she is going to be the nominee, and she is a lot better than Brown, but I have a hard time warming up to her.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. As an OT, but related to Warren.
Does anybody know what she meant saying that Northampton is not as landlocked as other parts of the state? She obviously was not literal, but I could not find a context which would tell me what she meant?
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. It was literal, and per Blue Mass, correct
Edited on Mon Oct-24-11 05:07 PM by karynnj

Elizabeth Warren was in Northampton over the weekend where she made some comments, the full context of which is not entirely clear. What she did clearly say is youre not as landlocked as some parts of the state. And, true to form, our friends at the Massachusetts Republican party have seized on this statement to suggest that Warren had committed a Charlie-Baker-ish gaffe that revealed a lack of knowledge about western Massachusetts.

Unfortunately, it appears to be our pals at the MA GOP who have forgotten key geographical points about western Massachusetts. You see, to be landlocked means to be enclosed or nearly enclosed by land. It does not mean not on the ocean. And, while Northampton is obviously not on the ocean, it is on the Connecticut River, the largest and longest river in New England. Northampton is well aware of its watery neighbor, and of the many activities its residents find there:

Northampton is bounded by the Connecticut River, on which many people enjoy fishing, travel, and recreational activities. Summer weekends will find hundreds of people out on the river in everything from canoes and kayaks to fishing boats, jet skis, and even water skis. The privately owned, 300-slip Ox-bow Marina provides docks, a boat ramp, and boating events. Elwell Recreation Area on Damon Road at Route 9 and I-91 (part of the Connecticut River Greenway State Park) provides canoe and rowing access to the Connecticut River including a paved access ramp to a wheelchair accessible dock on the river. The Oxbow Ramp on Route 5 on the Easthampton/Northampton boundary offers a paved ramp, customarily used by high powered recreational craft and larger fishing boats. The river is also home to crew teams from area colleges and the Northampton Youth and Community Rowing program, which enrolls rowers from 15 65+ years of age.

One of the comments has a source that defines the word to mean whether it can reached by highways.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Actually, it was not.
Edited on Mon Oct-24-11 05:33 PM by Mass
(at least not in the literal sense given by David)

The full video is on line (and listed in the comments) and it is clear that the people in the comments talking about access by I 91 and I 90 are the ones who are correct. The comment is in the last 30 secs of the video.

Actually, I laughed when I read the post. Sometimes, we become stupid justifying what our candidates say (talking about BMG here). But I do not know anybody in the area that thinks that a city along the Connecticut River is not landlocked in the literal sense of the term. This is why I was asking for the context, as the literal meaning was extremely weird.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I agree that she clearly meant highways - after watching the videos
Your point is well taken as people really do find it hard to simply say that a candidate they like really did misspeak or if they take a position for reasons that don't seem to work. I admit that I really do look pretty hard to find a good reason for something I don't agree with - in my case, all you have to do is look at the Canadian drugs vote. (I looked through the Congressional record, looked for statements from all the usual good guys voting no- and when that failed, I googled and only found a Hill article more intent in understanding why Vitter supported it.)
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Lubchenco answers Kerry that she will return to Massachusetts
It lists some of the things she expects to give answers on soon - though it does not mention the fishermen.

Why is this covered in an Indiana paper?
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. AP wire. They have the same in the Globe.
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