The 2014 Massachusetts Ballot Questions Explained in Plain English

As is the case with most things Massachusetts, the wording of ballot questions can get pretty complicated and confusing.

Voting ‘yes’ on a ballot question means voting to change an existing law. But that only makes things clear if you already knew and understood the current law. Sometimes, voting ‘yes’ means getting rid of a law, so it feels a lot like voting ‘no.’


And just when you’ve done your homework and think you get it, you find yourself at a polling place, amidst a sea of signs screaming ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ and…oh god, were you planning ‘yes’ on Questions 1-3 and ‘no’ on 4, or was it ‘no’ on 1 and ‘yes’ on the other three?

There are four questions on this year’s ballot, each of them answered with what seems like simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ We’ve broken it down so you’ll know what your vote on each question actually means. And be sure to print out your ballot question cheat sheet found at the end of this article.


Kingston helmet maker’s designs turn heads- Patriot Ledger

KINGSTON – When Dennis Leedom, Adam Godwin and Josh Walker released their first-ever action sports helmet with a built-in visor, snowboarder Seth Wescott told them he’d win a gold medal wearing it at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy.

And Wescott did just that in February 2006, prompting 3,000 helmet orders to come flooding in the next day at the young company.

“He put us on the map,” Walker said from the company’s Kingston headquarters on a September afternoon. “Our brand took off.”

Founded in 2004 by Leedom inside a 500-square-foot barn in Duxbury, Bern Unlimited is the only independent company to design and manufacture head protection for non-motorized action sports.

While skaters, skiers, bikers and wake boarders often have to switch between helmets depending on the sport and season, Bern was the first to offer adaptable, all-season helmets with removable liners that boast both safety and style.

“We’re trying to overcome the objections of helmets, like that they’re geeky, or they’re too heavy or they don’t fit right,” said Leedom, an avid skier who had more than a decade working in head protection before starting Bern.

The team worked closely with helmet designer Jonathan Baker from Injoy Design to embark on 18 months of design, resulting in their signature helmet, the Baker.

While many companies focus more attention on developing helmets for men, Bern immediately carved out a niche for itself through its designs specifically catered to women and children.

“It’s about sensibility and style, and making small models,” Leedom said. “What a woman wants is smoother and softer.”

The exploding trend of bike commuting has also contributed to the growing success of Bern, which is now sold in nearly 50 countries and employs 20 people. It has one employee based in China, where the manufacturing of the helmets takes place.

“When the bike revolution started about five years ago, people went to our brand because of the urban commuter style,” Leedom said.

While the company has seen tremendous growth and its Kingston facility is busting at the seams, Leedom and Walker said they have no intention of moving the company headquarters out of the state.

“Staying in Massachusetts hasn’t always been the easiest thing, but we’re super proud of being from here,” Walker said. “We are passionate about our state.”

Said Leedom: “Bern started out as three of us working in a barn, and now we have an awesome team, and Massachusetts is a part of it. No one gave this to us. We deserve it.”

Jessica Trufant may be reached at [email protected]

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Kingston, MA

PLYMOUTH – South Shore Community Action Council Inc. (SSCAC) is now scheduling appointments to help low income and working South Shore residents apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps. If you currently receive SNAP benefits, SSCAC can help you recertify your eligibility. The highly trained and compassionate staff will help you submit your SNAP application and documents. Don’t go without, reach out.

SNAP Eligibility Guidelines include:

·Households with children under 19 and pregnant women living alone must have a total gross income below 200 percent of the poverty level.

·Adult-only households (age 19-59) must have a total gross income below 130 percent of the poverty level.

·Households made up of all elders (age 60+) or disabled individuals have no gross income limit, but are subject to an asset test.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – News – Wicked Local Kingston – Kingston, MA.

Duxbury Food & Wine Festival


DUXBURY – Duxbury food and wine innovators will host the first-ever Duxbury Food & Wine Festival from Sept. 25 to 28. Guests can experience five different events, each with its own distinct theme, to celebrate the arrival of autumn with food and wine.

The series of events kicks off Thursday, Sept. 25, with Duxbury’s twist on Oktoberfest. Three events Saturday, Sept. 27, include a daytime grand tasting of more than 100 vintages from five continents; a Duxbury Student Union Food For Thought afternoon family affair featuring beekeepers, goat farmers, local farmers market vendors and nonstop food themed activities for kids; and “A Gala Evening on the Bay,” introducing guests to select vintners’ elite labels and food pairings created by The Catered Affair. The festival concludes Sunday afternoon with the Snug Harbor Oyster Harvest with a festive, fall menu featuring the bounty of the season, including oysters prepared a variety of ways, complemented by inventive wine and cider pairings.


UPDATE: Kingston dig buffer compromise reached – Kingston, MA

KINGSTON – An undeveloped area for preservation of a stone feature important to Native Americans and others who champion history will co-exist with the Opachinski ball field project as part of a compromise agreement approved by the Board of Selectmen 4-1 on Sept. 11.

Selectmen Chairman Elaine Fiore led a site visit this week so that the boundaries of the buffer area could be mapped. She requested that the compromise plan from Sept. 4 and a counterproposal Sept. 11 from the Recreation Commission shifting the buffer area be staked.

Once the size of the protected area has been decided and site boundaries mapped, the selectmen will meet to review those plans. Selectmen next meet Tuesday, Sept. 23.

UPDATE: Kingston dig buffer compromise reached – News – Wicked Local Kingston – Kingston, MA.

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