Editorial – Opinion – Reflection
- Strength of Character
A Gardner Magazine Editorial, Mayor Nicholson, Strength of Character.
During the course of holding Political Office, every office holder encounters that moment when character is tested. Mayor Nicholson is having his moment with the Gardner Police Department situation.
Despite enormous pressure to speak more openly about various details involved in the ongoing Police Department challenges, the Mayor has elected to stick with his plan – protect the taxpayers of Gardner, honor the due process rights of all involved, and stay the course with untold patience. While the Press may be irritated with the lack of information and citizens speculate about the who, what, when, where, and why, the Mayor is doing what a great manager does – the right thing as he sees it on a daily basis, making sure that the citizens of Gardner have a well-functioning Police Department which serves their daily needs and keeps the citizenry safe. In our opinion, the Mayor’s actions in this process including his unwavering resolve to handle the situation without giving in to political pressure shows a tremendous strength of character. It would be easy to do a tell-all interview and it would get lots of attention. It is much harder to be reserved with information, but in the end what is important is the best interests of the City of Gardner. So our advice to the community and other members of the press is this: Be vigilant, hold your leaders accountable, but also recognize when you’ve finally got someone with Strength of Character who doesn’t take the easy way out, but who’s actually looking out for you: Mayor Michael Nicholson.
We reached out to the Mayor’s office on May 18, 2022 and spoke with the Mayor’s aide Colin Smith at length. The Mayor is committed to following the process to its conclusion and will provide more information when it is in the best interest of the City to do so. We will publish any Press Release in its entirety when available.
Werner Poegel, Publisher.
- Navigating the Personal Conscience of Covid
Unfortunately during the past couple of years, so much around the subject of Covid has become political when it really should simply be about health. Advocates for masks, vaccines, social distancing, and lockdowns have over sold their wares, with the result being a less-informed, often confused, and sometimes angry public. Our GardnerMagazine.com article on the Real Risk of Dying from Covid attempts to deliver truthful data to you and has several important conclusions: For that article, CLICK HERE.
- Getting a vaccine reduces your chances of getting Covid by a lot. And if you get the disease, the most protected are those with a booster dose. Bottom line: The infinitesimal risk of vaccine side effects are not a good reason to avoid getting the vaccine as the statistics prove vaccinated people are much more likely to survive Covid-19. Any questions, ask your doctor.
- Masks are helpful in reducing viral transmission, but there’s so much more to it. Our article includes an 11 page PDF going into great detail about the math and science of droplet transmission.
- The simple act of washing your hands reduces your risk of contracting Covid and other contagious diseases.
- Knowing that vaccines are not perfect and you still have a chance of getting the virus, and knowing that masks are definitely not perfect, you reduce your risk of Covid exposure by simply not being around a lot of people. For some of us, this is possible. For others, it would require avoiding life, which has its own risk of consequences from the dangers of isolation.
- This pandemic has taught us a very important lesson: If you are sick with anything such as a common cold or the flu, staying away from people is a great kindness on your part. Each person you don’t infect can’t infect someone else. We used to praise people for having a 100% attendance record at work. If you truly weren’t sick, that’s great. But if you were, you probably cost your employer quite a bit of money from the other workers who got sick, but didn’t have as strong an immune system and so absolutely had to stay home for work. Common sense should apply in each individual circumstance. And now we know, if you have a cold or flu, but still have to shop at the grocery store, wear a mask as an act of kindness to someone else.
- Increasing Fees?
Increasing Fees a HUGE MISTAKE
Dear Mayor Nicholson, A while back I wrote an article on efficient Gardner City government when I confirmed with the City Clerk that the December 2013 posted City fees were still in effect. Today, I’m objectively reporting on the City Council’s plans to bring Gardner’s Fire and Building fees up to that of area communities. However, I can’t help wonder if this is a HUGE MISTAKE. As you are well aware, many decisions are market driven and Gardner has been a very favorable place to do business, arguably the lower fees have actually made money for Gardner and contributed to Gardner’s success. So many wonder, what is Gardner’s secret ingredient for success? Arguably, the current fee structure is one of several favorable ingredients. I urge you to leave well enough alone and convince the City Council not to increase any fees. In fact, publicizing your realization that maybe leaving fees as is until at least 2030 would be a great move.
Werner Poegel, Publisher.
- Gardner YouTube
Subscribe FREE to Gardner’s YouTube Channel
Today Gardner’s FREE YouTube channel has 517 subscribers. Let’s have a Goal: 2000 subscribers by February 1 and you can help by subscribing. So why subscribe to the City of Gardner FREE YouTube channel? Are there Superheroes? Well, sometimes you hear about heroes around the Chair City. Is there conflict? Well, sometimes City Councilors discuss various issues, but they are usually very civil. Is there news? Sure, lots of info about what’s going on in Gardner. Is there romance? Not really. But many times various officials compliment one another. Is their action? Yes, every week on various issues affecting you. Is there drama? Sometimes the excitement of various issues unfolding is the vote of yeas and nays. Is there encouragement? Yes. Is there prayer? Yes, usually at the beginning and end of City Council meetings. For the channel, CLICK HERE
Compliment to Gardner Mayor Michael Nicholson and his entire TEAM.
For National Compliment Day which is Monday, January 24, 2022, I’d like to pay a HUGE COMPLIMENT to Mayor Michael Nicholson and his entire TEAM in all of the various departments for the various hard work, guidance, patience, and kindness during the past year. I’ve also noticed that meetings open and close with a prayer which indicates a certain gracious humility on the part of our local officials. Public Safety Police and Fire are top notch. And everybody seems to work well together with the medical community and area non-profit organizations. Keep up the good work and best wishes and good health to all in 2022!
- Business Card
Gardner MA Business Card
Each person in Gardner doesn’t really have a paper business card of course, but each citizen of Gardner represents the Chair City every day. Share the Chair City, you’ll be glad you did.
- Beware the Air
We used this old graphic so you could not guess at what location I had the problem. I also made sure they had posted an “out of order” sign before running this article.
Some Compressed Air Stations Not Working in Greater Gardner MA
This publisher had his own experience today at a Greater Gardner area location after finding a few out of order due to the cold weather. The air didn’t work, but unlike most locations, it wasn’t posted as out of order. When I reported it and asked for my money back, I found out that an employee knew it wasn’t working. The location manager asked me to look on the side of the machine, get the number to get a refund. I had to call the owner who is known for integrity – the owner called the manager and told him to refund what I paid and to put out a sign so no other folks would get cheated. I’m not mentioning the location because 1. They ultimately did the right thing and 2. Gardner Magazine is about being positive. 3. If we can’t say something nice about a business, we just don’t say it, period. Here’s what I told the manager of the location. It doesn’t make sense to lose customers over a small amount of money. I would have refunded the customer immediately, posted an out-of-order sign immediately, and gotten the location’s money back from the third party vendor. In the end, it’s a really good customer service lesson for any retailer in a similar situation.
- Covid Cases
Covid reaching every age group in Greater Gardner MA
Gardner Magazine has charted the State data in graphic form (just click on either image at left for large view) to illustrate the wide-ranging impact of Covid 19 among all age groups. Here’s the problem: Covid continues to spread because of unvaccinated people AND because vaccines are not 100% effective. While most younger people do survive, the average age of death is still 75. Conclusion: Getting the vaccine could save the life of your older relative, friend, or neighbor. Think about it.
- Cold Weather
Avoid Fire and Carbon Monoxide Hazards during Greater Gardner MA Cold Snap
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms are effective defense strategies. Space Heaters, Fireplaces, and woodstoves need to be used safely. We have the complete article. CLICK HERE
- Covid Cases Up
There is a vaccine clinic January 4, 2022 at Gardner Middle School. While the average death from Covid is 75, the average age of infection is 33, demonstrating that getting the vaccine will help prevent the death of other family members, friends, and neighbors. We have a page with all the stats. CLICK HERE.
Covid 19 Update Gardner MA and State of MA
Gardner MA Public School Covid-19 Bi-Weekly DASHBOARD updated January 4, 2022 shows a total of 67 positive cases, staff 14 and students 53. This is up from 6 staff members and 46 students which was reported on December 16, 2021. This data is consistent with an upward trend observed in Gardner and the State of Massachusetts. We have a page with more MA Covid data, CLICK HERE.
- Eating Out
Restaurants in Gardner MA
Gardner has enough restaurants for you to try a new one every day. We have the Gardner MA Search Engine Ratings for the nearly 3 dozen restaurants in the Chair City and easy links for online ordering. For the article, CLICK HERE.
- Budget Dog
Greater Gardner MA Budget Dog
Gardner Magazine’s Budget Dog has some great tips for saving money in 2022. Save on cable, phone, electric, cars, internet, water, and so much more. For the complete article, CLICK HERE
Gardner MA News Magazine available 24/7
GardnerMagazine.com has been available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all of this year with continuously updated News, Sports, Weather, Articles, and interesting information. Access our resources anytime. Thank you to the over 13 thousand unique households who have read our pages this month, with over 75,000 pageviews and over 550,000 hits.* For more about us, including Advertising Rates, CLICK HERE.
- City Fees
Efficient City Government or what?
Even with rising costs, the City of Gardner has endeavored to keep its fees the same. In fact, the Gardner MA City Clerk’s office confirms that the schedule of fees dated 12/1/13 (over 8 years ago) is still accurate. In these days of rising costs and inflation, we thought it was appropriate to acknowledge the efforts of Gardner City Government in keeping costs down for citizens and the business community. Here’s a copy of current fees. CLICK HERE.
- Travel Safety
Gardner MA Travel Safety
Wherever you travel within the Greater Gardner MA region or beyond this Holiday, you can take certain precautions. It may be relatively safe locally, but that’s not true everywhere. Here’s a few travel tips:
Pay attention to your surroundings, not your phone. Lock valuables in your car trunk. Keep your phone, purse, or wallet out of easy reach. Have copies of important legal documents and upload scanned digital copies to a secure online location you can access if ever needed. Be aware of possible safety risks at your destination in advance. Keep money in multiple locations. Let your family know where you are going. And because of the pandemic, bring along a supply of masks. Have a safe trip!
Christmas – December 25
Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ and is celebrated by billions of people around the world. The date was fixed by the church in the fourth century as the day that God came to Earth in human form to atone for the sins of humanity. While our customs in Greater Gardner MA this year will most likely include gift giving, the Greatest Gift has already been dispensed, Christ as the Savior for all people. Want His gift? Just ask. From God with love, it’s FREE!
We wish you a Merry Christmas and many blessings in the New Year. Want to learn more about Christmas? We have some external links: Christmas — Christmas Films — Christmas by Medium — Christmas Music Titles —History of Christmas — Christmas from Encyclopedia Britannica — Our Churches page. If you’d like to make a Christmas donation to a local Greater Gardner MA non-profit organization, here’s the list. CLICK HERE.
- Christmas Videos
- Covid Testing
Covid 19 Test in Gardner MA area
Gardner Magazine has the following links for those needing Covid 19 tests. Walgreen’s: CLICK HERE, CVS: CLICK HERE, Price Chopper: CLICK HERE, Walmart: CLICK HERE. Chair City Pharmacy indicates they usually refer patients needing testing to CVS, Walgreen’s, or Walmart.
- Christmas Wish
- Premium Quality
Are you aware of the increasing number of awesome products being made in Gardner MA and the surrounding area by some very talented people?
Gardner MA Premium Quality
Since 1785, Gardner MA has stood for premium quality. Premium quality products. Premium quality, caring people. And in the years ahead, premium quality potential. It is a 5 star City, on the way up, towards a new trajectory of unparalleled success. It is a welcoming Chair City and a generous “Share City.” As we celebrate the Holiday season, let us reflect on what is GOOD all around us. And let us make it even BETTER together. Want to print a HIGH RES image. CLICK HERE
- FREE TV
The City of Gardner MA’s YouTube channel is a great source of information about the Chair City. Residents find out about things almost as fast as they happen. CLICK HERE.
Gardner MA Free TV Deal
It’s time to tell you about the City of Gardner FREE TV deal! Yes, the City of Gardner has a FREE TV channel on YouTube. Monthly cost: FREE. You receive instant updates whenever new content appears. You get access to Gardner City Council meetings to learn where your money’s going, a front-row seat to the Weekly Mayor’s update, Freebie extras like the MassWorks Grant Awardees Ceremony, and intriguing FREE nuggets like the Finance Committee, Zoning Board, License, Golf, Airport, Aging, New Building Committee, and so much more! It’s worth 100’s, but to you it’s FREE! You can even give a FREE gift subscription, just share the link, CLICK HERE
- Gardner Business
Gardner MA Business Wish List
We know Gardner citizens would like more businesses in Downtown Gardner MA and the rest of the Chair City. The question is, what types would you like to see? In our article you can download our spreadsheet of over 2000 business categories and see our list of dozens of potential new retail, restaurant, industrial, manufacturing, education, and attractions we’ve dreamed up. For complete article, CLICK HERE.
- Emergency CheckList
Build a Gardner MA Emergency Kit
It’s always a good idea to be prepared for a possible emergency, even in the Greater Gardner MA area. You may need food, water, and other supplies to last several days. We have a downloadable version on PDF from FEMA which you can take with you to the store. CLICK HERE.
- Small Things
Want to see more Snowflake photos? CLICK HERE
Small Things Reveal Big Things in Greater Gardner MA
At left is a macro photograph of a snowflake, a small part of our lives which reveals the undeniable Intelligent Design behind all of our lives. Proof of God’s existence is all around us. It’s a fitting topic as the Greater Gardner MA region celebrates the birth of Jesus during the Christmas season. And a joy explained further in a great book, the Bible. Would you like a free printed Bible? We have multiple sources. CLICK HERE. You can also read the Holy Bible on Gardner Magazine. CLICK HERE. We have a page of local churches. CLICK HERE.
- Gardner Bus Safety
Gardner MA Bus Safety
Appropriate Bus Safety in Greater Gardner MA is important to protect children from death and injury. While on the bus, children are very safe, but there is great risk to children when approaching or leaving buses. We have tips for parents and children and best safety practices for drivers. Read complete article, CLICK HERE.
- Operation Storefront
- Christmas with the Animals
Gardner MA Christmas with the Animals Video
GardnerMagazine.com has licensed video of animals from all over the world and Christmas music to produce our 101.3 Studios presentation of “Gardner MA Christmas with the Animals’, a heartwarming tribute to nature’s most beautiful creatures. This 12 minute Full HD production is our Merry Christmas card to you. CLICK HERE to watch.
- Save the Chamber
- Be informed
- After singling out the weekly mayor’s update some 4 days in to the cycle, we proved that increased publicity could increase views, in this case by almost 70%. How do we know people wouldn’t have looked at it anyway? Just look at the other meeting totals shown in the screenshot which barely increase.
- Reliance on social media to showcase the update is insufficient. Posts disappear into oblivion as new posts end up on top and old posts are forgotten.
- We have informed the mayor’s office as to services available to transcribe the mayor’s update to text for use as a press release.
- At the very least, the comments section of Youtube could be used to list the topics to be covered in the weekly update.
A Missed Opportunity to be Informed
A missed opportunity to be informed: Each week, Mayor Nicholson takes the time to do a weekly video update and the city has a You Tube channel. He does a great job! So will you do this? Click the link and watch:
I took a screenshot of the City’s you tube channel just before 5pm on November 23, 2021 and it prompted me to write this and to post a link to this week’s Mayor’s Update on three Facebook sites covering Gardner. Not enough people are watching. And good things are happening in Gardner. It is my opinion that as good stewards of the community, we all should take a few minutes and be informed. We can then spread the good news of the “Chair City” and share with everyone in the area, thus helping Gardner and ultimately ourselves.
Let’s improve these numbers. Everyone should watch. Mayor Nicholson takes generally less than 10 minutes to provide a great update. You can subscribe FREE to the City of Gardner You Tube channel right here. Click here.
- Shop Local
Save GAS, Shop LOCAL
Shopping Locally in the Greater Gardner area is the new vision for the 2020’s. It’s a way to support the local economy and another way to LOVE Your Neighbor. Start shopping locally now, well before Small Business Saturday. We have a great list of reviewed local businesses for you to shop. (Hint: Most of downtown and most of the city!) Save GAS, Shop LOCAL. Sure, online can be easy, but shopping at a store in your community is much more thrilling. For a list of reviewed businesses in Gardner, CLICK HERE.
- How Safe Gardner MA?
Statistically speaking, Greater Gardner Massachusetts is a relatively safe place compared to the rest of the nation.
Violent Crime Lower in Massachusetts
According to the FBI, there were 387 violent crimes reported per 100,000 people nationally in 2011 compared to 427 in Massachusetts. By 2020, violent crimes per 100,000 people nationally was at 399 with Massachusetts at 309. So what does than mean? 10 years ago, Massachusetts was 22% more violent than the national average. Now, Massachusetts has flipped to 23% safer than the national average. While any violent crime is bad, we have made substantial progress in MA. The numbers are not a fluke either. They have been gradually falling every year. Explore the data yourself: CLICK HERE
- Event Machine
Greater Gardner MA Event Machine
This time of year there are many events. We want to remind our readers that our Greater Gardner MA Event Machine automatically pulls up google searches of events occurring in area towns. Just click on your town and events will appear! ASHBURNHAM – ASHBY – ATHOL – BARRE – GARDNER – HARDWICK – HUBBARDSTON – NEW SALEM – OAKHAM – ORANGE – PETERSHAM – PHILLIPSTON – PRINCETON – ROYALSTON – RUTLAND – TEMPLETON – WARWICK – WESTMINSTER – WINCHENDON. A great tool to quickly find out what’s going on in the Greater Gardner region. For public meetings CLICK HERE.
- Aliens at Dog Park
Aliens at the Gardner Massachusetts Dog Park
Dogs show us so much love and as the Dog Park shows, much love for fellow dogs. This fictional sci-fi movie short produced by our own 101.3 Studios explores what happens when aliens visit planet Earth at the Dog Park and hero dog Finnegan saves the World with Kindness. Visit video page to play video.
- Open Business in Gardner
Want to open a business in Gardner? Here’s what you need to know.
Gardner Massachusetts is a city in Massachusetts with a population of 21,287 as of the 2020 census. Gardner was incorporated as a town in 1785 and became a city in 1923. Gardner is known as the Chair City. People really love businesses in Gardner. Here’s proof.
Gardner Magazine spoke with Jessica DeRoy, the Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Gardner MA. Jessica tells us Gardner is poised for a period of growth based on the desirability of bringing a business to Gardner and she has some suggestions on where to start.
The Economic Development team maintains a list of available rentals and properties for sale and will release the current list upon request. Under Mayor Nicholson’s leadership, Gardner is continuing efforts to help facilitate the sale of properties in need of repair to new owners who may have the desire and/or resources to improve the buildings, thus making them more appealing to potential renters. In addition, Jessica says, the Gardner Building Department can assist people in obtaining information on what to do in constructing a new business building.
Reach the Economic Development Coordinator Jessica DeRoy at (978) 630-4074 ext. 1 or via email at email@example.com. The Building Department suggests a phone call to them is a great place to start. They suggest calling them before buying a property. Roland Jean Jr., the Building Commissioner, can be reached at (978) 630-4007, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via fax at (978) 632-3313. You can send a fax without a fax machine by using gotfreefax.com Visit the Gardner MA Building Dept. official page. Visit the Gardner MA Starting a Business page.
- Mayor’s Update
Mayor Nicholson updates us
Gardner Magazine is highlighting this week’s update as Gardner MA Mayor Nicholson talks about various projects in the Chair City. Watch it and learn. Just click play.
- Gardner C.A.C.
Learn more at Gardner CAC website. CLICK HERE.
Gardner CAC Needs You
For decades, the Gardner Community Action Committee – Gardner CAC has served countless less fortunate individuals in the area. One of their drivers told us donations make a huge difference. You can donate securely with any debit or credit card. Here’s the link, CLICK HERE.
- Happy Veterans’ Day
Thank you, Veterans!
Thank you to all who have served our country and who are serving now. We all appreciate you and wish you a Happy Veterans’ Day.
- Expanded News
Gardner Magazine news pages are generally updated twice per day and contain about 10 news stories per page. Let us know how we are doing. Contact Us.
Announcing Expanded NEWS Coverage
Added News pages include: About the U.S.: Breaking, FDA, Top Showbiz Stories, Top U.S. Stories, U.S. Economy News, U.S. News Alternate Sources: CNN, Fox, BBC. Countries of Interest: Australia, Canada, China, European Union, Mexico. Health: Health, Cancer, CDC, Climate, Covid. Neighboring States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York. Politicians and Politics: Bernie Sanders, Capitol Hill, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, U.S. Politics. Topics: Aliens, Money, Science, Travel, UFOs.
All News pages are listed under the tab LOCAL-STATE-U.S.-WORLD NEWS
- No Zapping, please!
Against Shock Collars
I’m an anti-zapper. Are you? We thought it would be helpful to write an editorial against aversive training methods and electric shock collars as occasionally we encounter postings from animal trainers advocating those methods. We say, Luv em, don’t Zap em. Every single animal organization we can find in the U.S. and across the planet is against shock collars. Click for more details
- Making you Hungry!
Eating out in Gardner MA
Are you thinking about eating out in the Greater Gardner, Massachusetts area tonight? Well, we thought we’d make you hungry by showing some of your favorite dishes. View them all on our “Making You Hungry” page. And enjoy your night out! We salute all the great cooks.
- Journey to the Future
What will the “Chair City” of Gardner MA look like in 3000 AD? Gardner Magazine took its fictional Time Machine for a spin and the result is the Time Travel video short “Gardner MA, Journey to the Future”. To watch, CLICK HERE for video page.
- Live,Work, and Play (trailer)
Gardner MA Live, Work, and Play
WebTech Online announces the release of the Route 101.3 Studios trailer of Gardner MA Live, Work, and Play. This short 2 1/2 minute HD video production is a preview of a much longer Movie Video coming out soon. Click for more details and to watch the video.
- Vaccine News Page
- Visiting Gardner?
Visiting Gardner – Revealing Secrets
If you’re visiting Gardner Massachusetts, you’ve probably already heard some good things about the “Chair City.” But, do you know the insider information which will make your visit a completely fulfilling one? Do you know the great places to eat? Are you aware of the superb places to shop or where to go for recreation? Do you know what great things you can bring home with you? We’re glad you stopped here. Click for complete article.
- Phrases Said in Gardner
Just a little bit of humor to break up your day a little bit!
- Why get vaccinated? Vax Facts
Massachusetts has a high Covid vaccination rate which has protected much of our population. However, since the vaccine is not 100% effective, getting the shot to the rest would be helpful. We understand hesitant people need facts, So here’s a page of the best facts we found…. CLICK HERE
- Live Work and Play, or Visit
Spread the word by printing a poster and displaying it. Thank you for living or visiting Gardner MA!
Gardner Magazine will soon be releasing an HD video produced at our Route 101.3 Studios from footage gathered over the last few months. Come back for details.
Gardner MA – Live, Work, and Play
Gardner Massachusetts is a great place to live, work, and play, AND, a great place to visit. Gardner is a great place to live with a multitude of housing, shopping, and dining choices as well as a safe, nurturing learning environment with excellent medical care, city services, opportunity to participate in government, socialize, and worship as desired. Gardner is a great place to work with a growing and stable base of business and industry offering opportunity for diverse occupations. Gardner is a great place to play with the amenities to interact and connect with each other through activities, sports, parks, facilities, the arts, recreation, and nature. Download 300 dpi 8 1/2 x11 pdf poster to print.
Thank you for living in or visiting Gardner MA!
- Share the Fireworks
Gardner Magazine Shares the Fireworks
While working on Greater Gardner MA videos, we came across some of the best Fireworks footage we’ve ever seen and have used it to create Share the Fireworks, a dazzling display of Fireworks! Featured in this 18 minute production are some of the best Fireworks you’ll ever see backed by an incredibly uplifting musical score. Fireworks Video page.
Enjoy the spectacular colors of the Fireworks. Enjoy the uplifting music. Whenever you feel the need to celebrate or would like to feel great, watch this video and turn up the sound! Here’s the Share the Fireworks page with this Fireworks video.
- Gardner Museum
Gardner Museum Shares Its Chair
As part of our Share the Chair initiative and campaign, Gardner Magazine visited one of our local treasures, the Gardner Museum. We focused on chairs and our complete article has more information including a photo of Gardner’s very first chair made over 200 years ago AND a Gardner Museum HD video. For the Complete article on the Gardner Museum click here.
For more information on Share the Chair, click here.
- Getting the Vax – Setting the Record Straight
Vaccine Information Resources
News from the Internet on Covid 19
So What do Masks Actually Do?
We’ll keep it simple: Studies show droplets of from 20 to 500 micrometers are generated when saying a simple phrase AND nearly all can be blocked by putting a simple damp washcloth over the mouth. Similar studies showed reduction in droplets by wearing a mask by those having the flu or a common cold. However, mask wearing has been shown to slow down Covid transmission only by single digits, typically by about 2 percent over the 3 weeks following a mask mandate.
So that’s why some people say masks don’t work. They DO work, just not as well as advertised. What does work very well is a vaccine. And that’s easy to prove.
Getting the Vax – Setting the Record Straight
Why is there vaccine hesitancy? It’s understandable as so many figures are thrown around like hotcakes and consistency and transparency are lacking. But let’s be very clear. The overall risk in the United States of dying from covid (after getting it) from 12/15/2020 through 8/25/2021 has been a relatively consistent 1.7%% to 1.8%. The risk was higher early on due to the larger number of older Americans being infected and also that the medical community has gained more experience in treating patients.
Risk of Covid 60,000 times greater than risk of Vaccine
In any case, the current risk of dying if you get Covid is still about 60,000 times the risk of dying if you get the vaccine which some numbers show is .0032%. (And that number is disputed as being way too high by the medical community. So to be clear, even using the ant-ivaxers numbers, the risk of dying from Covid 19 (once infected) is still 60,000 times the risk of dying from the vaccine.)
Risk in the young, therapeutics, and candor
Yes, it is true that the younger you are, in general, the risk of dying from covid is relatively low with the death rate being almost non-existent in young children. But there is a substantial risk in all adults over 18, still thousands of times higher than any risk of getting the vaccine. We urge adults to get the vax. We also urge the medical community to work at a quicker pace to get proven therapeutics to patients to improve the survival rates for those who do get Covid. And, we encourage government officials to be more transparent with data irrespective of whether it supports their narrative. Lack of government candor has caused more vaccine hesitancy and thus arguably more covid deaths. Honesty is still the best policy.
What About the Masks?
The extremely small number of covid deaths in children overall is why there has been a huge objection by parents to the practice of forcing young children to wear masks in schools. However, there have been some areas with an alarming number of children suffering with covid. Put that on TV and fear fuels the mask mandates. So what about the rest of us? If we got the vax, why should we wear a mask. Well, it depends on your appetite for risk. A vaccine which is 95% effective means your chance of getting covid is only 5% of the risk taken by an unvaxed person. But, there is still a small risk. – Fortunately, if you do get covid after getting the vaccine, you will likely survive it, because severe cases are the exception rather than the norm. The decision on whether to wear a mask is an individual one, unless your rights are usurped by a mask mandate.
The Record is Straight
Adults getting the vaccine helps and we encourage it, based strictly on the math. Mask wearing can make sense indoors in close quarters. But having kids wear masks can do more harm than good so why are we doing it? We haven’t seen any science supporting a kid masking policy. We know fear is driving vaccine hesitancy. Fear is driving mask mandates. Fear drives human behavior in general. Public policy should be based on fact rather than fear. Each of you have a unique medical history and we encourage you to consult with your doctor regarding any important medical decisions.
Where to get the vaccine?
Please get the VAX.
We love you.
What Happened to Vinyl
So what happened to vinyl, cassettes, CDs, DVDs, and Hard Drives? Well, vinyl is still around, albeit sought after by certain collectors. CDS and DVDs are not even selling well at the flea market. Hard Drives are increasingly being replaced by Solid State Drives which have no moving parts and are much faster.
And flash drives? They are still around and still popular, along with a few varieties of digital memory cards for phones, digital cameras, and camcorders.
Gotta love technology! Oh, could somebody hand me that 8 track tape over there. Thanks.
- Thanks for Nature
Thanks for Nature
Sometimes it’s a good idea to pause for a moment and give thanks for the truly beautiful world we live in. It’s a world populated by billions of humans, AND, of course by wonderful animals. For a complete look at just some of God’s best work in the world of animals, continue here..
- Freedom to Talk
Freedom to Talk
It’s easy to support the Freedom to Talk, known more commonly as the Freedom of Speech. I submit that the best way to support this Freedom is to advocate for another freedom, the Freedom to Listen. It is, after all, by listening to others how we can be exposed to other viewpoints and other ideas. We should never want to shut anyone up as it is through complete transparency that we can have more confidence in our government leaders. Sometimes, the best leaders are those for whom listening is just as much an art as is their elegant oration.
Lest we forget let’s quote from the Constitution: ” Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Please spend some time today listening to someone else. They just might reward you by listening more to you. It is how you really support Freedom of Speech.
- Gardner Magazine Video
Gardner Magazine Video
This video about the site is the first of what we hope will be many videos. We have been collecting video footage from around the Greater Gardner area and plan a video tour in full HD video. Watch large size
- Share the Chair
Share the Chair
It’s time to “Share the Chair”. Downtown Gardner of the Chair City has much to offer you, your family, and your friends. Downtown Gardner has endeavored to extend a warm welcome mat to all who choose to visit.
Gardner Magazine encourages you to check out Downtown Gardner MA for a delicious meal, a shopping experience, or your daily needs. Read our full article…
- Who’s on First?
Who’s on First Communication Follies
Sometimes today’s news feels like the communication follies with many newsmakers seemingly not knowing “Who’s on First”. So, we found the classic routine of Abbott and Costello and have it available for you to enjoy at left.
The routine reminds me of the rift in true idea exchange which is occurring today with Americans disconcerted over the repeated disparaging comments coming from all political circles. Just like this comedic routine of 83 years ago, people are not listening to one another, creating a frustrating atmosphere for them and the public they serve. Would it be so hard to really listen, learn, reflect, and then better problem solve?
Listen to this classic sketch and you’ll understand what we mean.
Maybe by listening to the genuine concerns of others we can better find common ground and then ultimately common solutions.
- Lower Speeds
Lower Speeds. Save Lives.
Gardner Massachusetts area cities and towns can immediately save lives by designating more side streets as safe zones. MA MGL C.90 S17C allows “thickly settled” cities and towns to adopt a 25 mph default speed limit by ordinance for all streets unless otherwise posted.
MA Cities and towns can also set 20mph safety zones, which they can use their own criteria to create. Many people don’t know that an 85 percentile rule has been used for ages in determining road speeds, effectively letting what speed a super majority of drivers drive to set the road speed. View NACTO 50 page report pdf. Many cities and towns indicate a desire to set road speeds based more on actual objective safety criteria.
Unfortunately, people tend to drive as fast as the law allows, so this hasn’t worked. Why are some proposed changes a good idea? It’s simple physics. According to the NACTO report, a person hit by a car at 35 miles per hour is 5 times more likely to die than a person hit by a car at 20 miles per hour. And “The Highway Safety Manual” cited by NACTO found that a 10% reduction in the average speed resulted in 19% fewer injury crashes, 27% fewer injury crashes, and 34% fewer fatal crashes. View Highway Safety Manual pdf. (1000+ pages)While they have been defeated in legislatures, proposals have been made in states such as Maryland to limit speed to 15mph in some residential areas.
Sadly, the U.S. has the highest traffic fatality rate in the industrialized world, double that of Canada, and quadruple that of Europe. So, is it unreasonable to ask folks to slow down in Greater Gardner MA residential areas and save some lives? Many would say, I think not.
- Times Have Changed
Times Have Changed!
Times have changed and we should truly be grateful. There was a time when a couple would go out shopping for a typewriter. Yes, that clunky thing with keys which we endured before the advent of personal computers made things so much easier. Now, we can even get a tool which types for us when we speak to the computer through a microphone. Instead of messy ribbons which only produced one copy of a document at a time (and then only if you typed perfectly or had white out), we now have printers. So much better! The manual typewriter is one thing I don’t miss.
- Honoring Liberty and Freedom
Honoring Liberty and Freedom
We are at a critical point in American History at which our very Liberty and Freedom is threatened. Speech is being censored by Big Tech, sometimes at the encouragement of the U.S. Government. It certainly appears that some of our Federal law enforcement agencies have become politicized and use political ideology of a suspect as part of the decision on whether to investigate or prosecute. We should all be concerned and demand that our guarantees of FREE SPEECH and a FREE PRESS are upheld, not just for those with whom we agree, but especially for those with whom we disagree. Equal protection under the law is also a fundamental tenet of our nation. And for true equality, equal must be exactly that, no more and no less, simply equal. The Statue of Liberty pictured was given to the U.S. as a gift from France in 1886 and has stood as an icon of freedom since that time. But freedom is only as fragile as the strength of our continued resolve to uphold its importance.
- A.I. – An Editorial
Artificial Intelligence – Should You Be Concerned?
The concerns about A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) go back decades. And we are exposed to it every day.
Whether it’s when we hear prompts when refilling prescriptions or experience an interactive voicemail system staffed with an A.I., we are exposed to it. Some of us use Alexa devices which launch audio, video, or even turn on an outlet with the sound of our voice. So, I decided to try an experiment. Could I create a sixty second commercial for Gardner Magazine using only Artificial Intelligence voices. The answer is yes. You can listen to the result below. Just press the play button.
My example at left was produced in a relatively simple studio using readily available A.I. voices online.
This second example was produced using upgraded A.I. voices from a premium service. GIve it a listen!
If I were to pay a premium price, I could get continued access to premium voices which are at the top of the AI spectrum and sound almost identical to human voices. The concern about A.I. is that bad actors could hide behind A.I. voices in doing bad things. And, there’s concern about computer manipulation of video called “Deep Fakes” which could possibly make innocent people look like they did something wrong. Yes, I think there is reason to be concerned and vigilant about any technology this powerful.
- Public Service
Public Service Organizations
Gardner Magazine has completed a guide to Public Service Organizations in the Greater Gardner MA area.
We ask our readers to let us know about any needed additions. Greater Gardner MA Area non-profit organizations concern animals, religion and churches, land conservation, preservation of history, recreation, sports, ministry, nature, health, television, radio, commerce, service groups, water preservation, fishing, food needs, libraries, sportsmen, community action, veterans, music, disabilities, artists, golf, museums, schools, social issues, clubs, motorcycles, fairs and events, senior centers, theater, horses, dogs, cats, birds, turtles, produce, town improvement, agriculture, and orchestras.
- Traffic Signs
With all this talk about what to teach kids in school, we’d like to complain about something which isn’t taught enough, but your kids will surely need later in life. – Traffic Sign Theory. Now, to be perfectly honest, we haven’t exactly surveyed all the schools to determine if each is adequately teaching Traffic Sign Theory, but when was the last time you talked with family about Stop Signs, Railroad Crossings, Yield Signs, and Traffic Lights. I mean, it’s not exactly a subject which comes up at the drop of a hat. But, don’t you think that if you expect your kids to get drivers’ licenses at age 16 or so, you’d at least want them to have a rudimentary familiarity with the old-fashioned Stop Sign. Or should it come as a shocking surprise that someday they’ll have to “hit the brakes?” I think every school should take a moment, pause, and give traffic signs their due. I mean, how controversial could that be?
- Public Meetings
Public Meetings Calendars
Gardner Magazine has a new page highlighting Public Meetings Calendars. Most communities list all upcoming meetings in handy formats. Some communities either have few meetings or are not as comprehensive. Being aware of Public Meetings is a great way to be involved in your community.
- Getting the Vaccine
Getting the Vaccine
We recently completed a deep dive into the data surrounding the Covid 19 vaccine. The question: Should you get the vaccine? The overall answer is yes, but the strength of the answer varies with age. The complete post is here. The confusion lies in the lack of transparency in the data, the manipulation of the numbers, and the complexity of the way the Covid virus affects various members of the population. Please check with your doctor who can best evaluate your risk in getting Covid vs your risk in getting the vaccine. We wish you all good health.
- History Provides Lessons
Lessons About History
History is often the greatest teacher, providing lessons about various topics. I’m currently working on a book, “Lessons About History” detailing the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the 1920 to 2020 period. The lessons of history are often the same and sadly, we often repeat mistakes. For more about the lessons centering around history, visit my website, LessonsAboutHistory.com
- Journey of the Fat Guy
My Journey as a Fat Guy
I’m not sharing this now because I enjoy the public embarrassment of telling everyone I’ve been a Fat Guy. I want to help those who have a few extra pounds as well as those with many extra pounds. I still have 150 pounds to lose as of this writing and I’m committed to doing it for my health. I’m thankful to have a great nutritionist who has been helping me to realize a few things. I have a protein shake as breakfast in the morning to boost my metabolism and decrease my hunger. I have a sensible sandwich at lunch made with whole grain bread, making sure it has a high fiber content. I watch my calories at supper and have learned that I no longer like sugar. Thanks to all of those who have had patience with me on my diet journey. And I urge all of you who are stuck with extra weight to consider making a change. I’m losing weight and I’m not hungry.
- Write More
Writing Skills are Important
I’m concerned about the loss of writing skills in America and in the Greater Gardner MA area, particularly among young people. I attribute much of the problem to the 21st century phenomenon known as texting with the use of frequent abbreviations. If you’re a parent, I encourage you to support your student’s educators by encouraging your kids to write. The sometimes hated essay is the best antidote to the loss of writing skills. Like anything, we need to use it or lose it. I am a big supporter of writing and I absolutely love English teachers.
- High at Home
High? Stay at Home
Many people have applauded the legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. I’m not so excited about it. Frequently I’ll encounter people who are driving “high”. How do it know that? It’s apparent by the strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle when they stop and my knowledge of how much stronger the marijuana of today is. It is true that legalization has created a much safer supply. But just like with alcohol, there is no shortage of individuals who get high on pot and then take it to the road. If you’re high on anything, please Stay at Home. If you’re already out and about, please get someone to drive you home. Above all, please be safe.
- Sensible Education
There’s been alot of talk of various Educational Theories. I want to offer one of my own. It’s called the Sensible Education Theory. Rather than putting labels on anything, how about simply teaching students accurately about American history. Champion the values which have created arguably the greatest nation on earth. Point out the deficiencies which have required reform over the years to create a more equitable America. Above all, teach all students the value of the individual no matter what they look like or what they believe. All Americans are good people and that should be the message given to students. And all of us have the responsibility in our daily lives to continue to advocate for change so that all of us are truly equal. A sensible education can go a long way towards this goal of producing genuine, caring young people out of our educational system.
- Political Discourse
Change Political Talk
It has been reported that an increasing number of Americans are disgusted by the behavior of many of our political figures. Include me in the group of outraged Americans who want to change the temperature of Political Talk. I propose that we all make an effort to eliminate the environment of constant insults levied by each political party against the other. I propose instead that we acknowledge that irrespective of political views, political opponents are often very good at identifying problems even while disputing the validity of opposing views on solutions. The place to start is by having an open exchange of ideas to first determine what problems need addressing. Then, a civil debate can ensue where respectfully proposed solutions are brought forward. In my view, this method is more likely to produce results than the overly combative environment we find perpetuated today. A little more listening is what each politician needs to do.
- Local Gold
WGAW is Local Gold
WGAW is truly local gold. It’s like finding treasure at the end of a rainbow. Every weekday, local broadcaster Steve Wendell gets up earlier than most of us and prepares for his 6am to 9am Morning News show. It’s a combination of local news, public service announcements. newsmaker interviews, and excellent features. And of course there’s updated weather. It’s exciting that there are now multiple ways to listen to Steve’s show: on the radio at AM 1340 and now 98.1 FM, and online simply by clicking on the Live Stream icon on the station website. INSIDER TIP: Right now, the advertising rates on the station are based on only the AM signal. Take advantage and book your ads for a year (or longer if he’ll do it) before they realize that WGAW is Local Gold. The station’s website is WGAW1340.com
- P.A.C.C. to be commended
Excellent Vax Efforts
The Polish American Citizens Club of Gardner MA should be commended for its outstanding commitment to helping vaccinations against Covid 19. The club, area volunteers, and Gardner area medical professionals led a superior effort which no doubt saved countless lives. Thank you all for your tireless efforts.
- Slow Down
It seems like a simple request, slow down, but why does it even have to be mentioned at all. Frequently I’ll drive down a residential street and I’ll encounter vehicles driving at a high rate of speed. I see news stories describing horrific incidents in which individuals are killed or hurt badly when hit by vehicles. I submit that by simply slowing down, drivers can avoid many accidents and avoid injury to people and damage to property. It’s a simple request. Slow Down. Leave the higher speeds to the highway. If you have an appointment, just plan a little better so you don’t have to be in a hurry. The life you save may be your own.