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Attleboro to be Featured on Channel 2 News Program

"Where We Live" series visits eight communities in search of the American Dream.

"Greater Boston"--a local news program hosted by Emily Rooney--is doing a series on how cities and towns in Massachusetts are coping with the poor condition of the economy. On Wednesday, Nov. 16, the show will focus on Attleboro.  The title of the segment will be "A Jewel in its Crown."  The program is shown at 7:00 pm on Channel 2 and again at 11:00 pm on WGBH World on Channel 209.

In the program it will discuss how Attleboro was once the home to factories employing most of the residents in this blue-collar city, and at one time, the jewelry hub of the world and how today young couples move to Attleboro not for employment, but for its affordable housing and proximity to Boston and Providence. WGBH News profiles a young couple that believes that by working hard they can still attain the American dream.

 

 

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Tisiphone November 18, 2011 at 10:26 AM
Penny Lane "When one of the biggest employers in the City is the City itself you can put a spin on anything." Penny, that is the case nationally. Clinton's first election in the 90's, was the first election in which more than 20% of voters drew their paychecks from the government. According to the last census,about 22% of Massachusetts workers draw their paycheck from the government (federal, state, city combined). During the last election, I tried to find out the number of people who worked for the city. That is difficult, I couldn't find it. "There’s a price to pay when you lose as many jobs as Attleboro has and your commercial tax base is non-existent." Those of us who can recall Attleboro in the 70's. and 80's, will remember "Get those "smoke stack" industries out of Attleboro". To be fair, that was a national mantra. Well, "be careful what you wish for". Our trouble is that we cannot accept our lot, we are now a "bedroom town". We have to behave accordingly. We have to focus on "beautification", not industry. Industry has departed. Consider our "Business Park", no one is talking about manufacturing there. It is all about "distribution centers" with 15-20 employees each.
Bill K. November 18, 2011 at 02:01 PM
Saw the program and emjoyed it. As a side note: Longtime Attleboro residents like to harken back to the "glory days" when the city was booming and jobs were plentiful. We all know that times have certainly changed from then to now, but must we continue to dwell on the past. Attleboro will never again be what it once was, but it can be what we hope it to be; good school system, solid city services, affordable & safe.
Charlie Adler November 18, 2011 at 02:29 PM
I share the disappointment of some of the other commenters in that the Channel 2 piece did not shed any light on economic conditions in Attleboro or provide any new ideas for improving them. I believe the direction we need to take is one that invests in public infrastructure, encourages people to share their skills and time, builds strong neighborhoods, protects the environment, and promotes local production of food and other commodities. For a more detailed discussion of these ideas, I invite you to view a talk I gave at the library on "Greening the Local Economy": http://aacs15.com/?q=node/381/play
Boro Observer November 18, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Agree that the manufacturing base isn't coming back. So now what to do with all the old manufacturing space? Many of the old buildings from the glory days are zoned as commercial or industrial spaces. Since we're all in agreement that those days are behind us, why not speed up the process to turn these buildings into residential or even retail zoning. (indoor flea markets, other indoor vendor spaces?) Problem is that government likes to regulate us to death with building requirements, and forcing the installation of elevators in two-story buildings to comply with the ADA. These rules and regs should be relaxed (or maybe grandfathered to avoid the necessity of compliance with current law) to allow immediate use of empty space in the city. City council should address this issue.
Tisiphone November 20, 2011 at 10:11 AM
"So now what to do with all the old manufacturing space? ...zoned as commercial or industrial spaces. Since we're all in agreement that those days are behind us, why not speed up the process to turn these buildings into residential or even retail zoning." First let us understand that "rejuvenation" is not something the public sector does well. Let us forget the idea of crying to larger governments seeking grants (taxpayer's money) to build out the old industrial areas around Union and Dunham Streets. Let us take a lesson from cities such as Boston, Chicago and New York, they have learned that government is inept at real estate development. They limit themselves to "parcel assembly" and auction off development to the private sector. Except for those buildings hard up against the railroad tracks, proximity to the railroad station would seem to encourage the idea of "loft" living spaces. "loft apartments" originated as "low buck" alternatives,to some extent they still are. In big cities, they were originally disguised as artists "work spaces" and residential use was forbidden. Having passed laws forbidding residential use, the cities then agreed to ignore them and not enforce those strictures. Under such benign neglect, the residential uses bloomed. We face the same problem. Strict compliance with ADA, building codes, sprinkler laws and various environmental strictures would not make loft conversions economic. Solutions anyone?

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