Saturday, September 15, 2012



Despite the personal anguish and injustice Susannah Whipps Lee experienced from allegation her political opponent, Denise Andrews, made regarding Whipps Lee's alleged purchase of cocaine and the demand that if true she be prosecuted, the greatest injustice in this debacle is to the residents of the newly redistricted 2nd Franklin District. There are twelve towns that deserve a serious vetting of the issues between viable candidates so that a wise choice between the candidates and their respective platforms can be made.

The Democratic voters of the district made their choice on September 6th unaware of the iceberg their party was about to encounter. Out of respect to the voting public and the overwhelming needs of the 2nd Franklin District, I
respectfully request that the Democratic candidate Denise Andrews withdraw from the race. Whether or not Ms. Andrews consents to this, a write-in campaign should be mounted for the runner-up, Rebecca Bialecki, the executive director of the North Quabbin Community Coalition who has ten years experience dealing with the needs of the region.

It is clear that the ramifications of Andrews' allegations against Whipps Lee will continue, but the political football being played is grossly unfair to residents. The 2nd Franklin Districts' problems are unrelated to this fiasco and deserve a serious campaign focused exclusively on their issues - not the Andrews-Whipps Lee legal battles.

Genevieve Fraser
Orange, MA

Monday, September 3, 2012

National Sierra Club Creates Website Promoting Fraser's "EcoTheater" Book

Genevieve Fraser aka G. Thomson Fraser
National Sierra Club Creates Website Promoting Fraser's "EcoTheater" Book

The national Sierra Club has created a website devoted to Genevieve Fraser’s environmental theater book, “EcoTheater for the Global Village,” as part of their web-based John Muir Exhibit.  The book features Fraser’s environmental play, “Giants in the Wilderness” whose characters include the Scottish naturalist, John Muir as well as Gifford Pinchot, the founder of the USDA Forest Service and Charles Sprague Sargent, author of the environmental classic “The Silva of North America.”  The play is set in the late 1800s at the birth of the conservation movement, now referred to as the environmental movement.  John Muir is the founder of the Sierra Club.

According to Fraser, “Harold Wood, education chairman for the Sierra Club, was the inspiration behind the book. He read my play, ‘Giants in the Wilderness’ and suggested that it be published, along with children's dramas with an environmental theme.”  The play was originally developed as part of the centennial celebration of the Massachusetts State Forest and Parks System and was funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and matching funds from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management's Conservation Trust Fund.

Drama critic Richard Duckett, writing for the Worcester (MA) Telegram and Gazette, characterized "Wilderness" as a history lesson. "By 1896, the destruction of America's forest wilderness had become so rampant many people believed that unless something was done soon, there wouldn't be any wilderness left... Three naturalists - John Muir, Charles Sprague Sargent and Gifford Pinchot - had divergent opinions on the best way to save them." 

Along with Fraser’s play, “EcoTheater for the Global Village” includes MacKenzie Louise Coffman's children's theater piece, "Forest Hideout," the story of two children, a brother and sister, who take matters into their own hands to save the family farm. Coffman is a freshman at Quabbin Reginal High School. A televised production of her play was developed for AOTV.  The third play in the trilogy is Rebekah Lovat Fraser's "The Tree and the Village,” an environmentally instructive fable, a mythological saga that engages the audience and is a visual feast for children of all ages. Lovat Fraser is a graduate in Film Studies from Yale University and mother of MacKenzie. 

The Sierra Club website can be located by typing “EcoTheater for the Global Village” into a Google search.  Or clicking EcoTheater.

Genevieve Fraser is the artistic director of the Drama Circle and director of Michael Riccard's "Lincoln: The Musical" which was produced at the Orange Town Hall in July.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fraser – Brewer Amendment Allows Small Towns and Rural Communities to Apply for MA Cultural Facilities Funds

Fraser – Brewer Amendment Allows Small Towns and Rural Communities to Apply for MA Cultural Facilities Funds

According to Genevieve Fraser, artistic director of the Drama Circle and a member of the Orange Cultural Council, “Until recently, the Capital Facilities Fund administered through the Massachusetts Cultural Council had rules that effectively barred small towns and rural communities from accessing the program which supplies money to plan for, renovate, expand, and repair facilities.”

“The grant, which also offers help to nonprofit cultural organizations and public or private institutions of higher education, was available to municipalities - provided that the municipally owned cultural facility was at least 50,000 square feet in size, and at least 50% devoted to cultural purposes,” Fraser explained. 

“But that 50,000 square feet rule left most small towns and rural communities unable to compete for these vitally needed funds. Yet, many town halls are among the most historic buildings in their communities and often double as the cultural facility, offering art shows and dance recitals as well as musical, film and theatrical venues,” Fraser stated.

In an attempt to remedy the situation, Fraser contacted State Senator Stephen Brewer (D-Barre), chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and requested that the language be changed so that town halls and other municipal buildings in rural areas might be eligible.  The result was an amendment to the 2013 MA state budget which has now been signed into law.

“Section 42 of chapter 23G of the General Laws has now been amended so that the municipal facility which doubles as a cultural facility no longer has to be 50,000 square feet or greater. Instead, the ‘building, structure or site’ is eligible for capital improvement funds if it is ‘125 years old or older and is significant in the history, archeology, architecture or culture of the nation, the commonwealth or the community in which it is located.’ And, best of all, it may be of any size,” Fraser said.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Vision for Building a Community-Based Economy for the 2nd Franklin District

A Vision for Building a Community-Based Economy for the 2nd Franklin District
By Genevieve Fraser

I suspect we share similar ideals.  We want children to be well fed, live and play in a safe environment and receive a well-rounded education.  We want affordable, cutting-edge health care for all – and to assure our elders and veterans and those in need of special care receive the support services they need and deserve. Our towns must have sufficient funds to provide vitally needed services.

We all need good paying jobs, safe housing and the amenities that make life enjoyable. But our economy is in trouble.  We can no longer rely on “business as usual.” Added to that uncertainty are the all-to-obvious impacts of climate change that have spawned weird weather patterns and a fear that dust bowl era crop failures will drive up food prices and create scarcity. 

I believe creative solutions still can be found right here at home using our “Yankee ingenuity!”

As state representative for the 2nd Franklin District, I will bridge the gap between ideals and the challenges ahead by rebuilding our local economy so that adequate revenues can flow into our nearly depleted public coffers.  I propose we create Industrial Bio-Parks built around CHP (combined heat and power) renewable energy.  These facilities would provide heat and electricity to a pellet plant, greenhouses, food processing centers and 21st Century industries that will contribute to environmental solutions, not problems.  The 2nd Franklin District Industrial Bio-Parks will serve as incubators for new and emerging manufactured products with our community colleges providing education and training for well-paying jobs.  At the heart of this Green Economy would be recreation and tourism and an expanded agriculture and forest and wood products industry promoted by a Green Certified Buy Local Program. 

Let’s work together to make this a reality.

Monday, August 20, 2012

New MA Biomass Regs - Harmful or Helpful?

New MA Biomass Regs - Harmful or Helpful?
By Genevieve Fraser

Though the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resource’s (DOER) goal of incentivizing the development of high efficiency biomass facilities may be laudable, its recently finalized regulations for renewable energy credits (REC) for biomass may have significant detrimental consequences for the industry as well as the health of the forest and may accelerate climate change.

Instead of offering a full credit for all sustainably managed and harvested forest biomass, layers of additional requirements and costly accounting practices have been added to receive ½ or less of a renewable energy credit (REC).  However, if the forest is converted to a non-forest use such as a parking lot, mall or housing development, such a clear-cut receives full REC credit prized by developers.  Ironically, any resulting biomass is no longer a renewable energy because the trees can no longer grow back.

Red Pine Scale destroyed trees at Quabbin Park
Utilization of biomass for thermal (heat) and power (electricity) has long been considered a valuable tool for removing woody debris from landfills where it biodegrades, forming oxygen robbing methane considered to be twenty times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than CO2.  The utilization of biomass derived from forest thinning also encourages the removal of invasive species as well as disease infested dead or dying trees.

Researchers at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies recently reported that diseased trees in forests may be a significant source of methane that causes climate change with concentrations as high as 80,000 times normal ambient air quality levels. (8/7/2012 Science Daily)  “These are flammable concentrations,” according to Kristopher Covey, the study’s lead researcher.

But despite benefits to the overall health of the forest, wildlife habitat and a reduced risk of forest fire, the cost of removing such a low quality product from the forest can be prohibitive for most landowners without biomass facilities willing to offset the cost and be available for disposal. Unfortunately, the excessively stringent standards now imposed by the MA DOER may soon drive these renewable energy utility companies out of business.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fraser 4 Rep Committee hosting Pre-Debate Reception at Common Italian in Belchertown

Fraser 4 Rep Committee hosting Pre-Debate Reception at Common Italian in Belchertown

Thursday, August 23 will be the third and final public debate scheduled for the 2nd Franklin District prior to the September 6 Democratic Primary for state representative for the newly created district.  The Fraser 4 Rep Committee is hosting a pre-debate reception for Genevieve Fraser of Orange, one of the four Democratic candidates, at
The Common Italian Pizzeria, 4 Park Street, Belchertown, across the street from the Town Hall from 5:00 - 6:30 pm.  

The third debate is scheduled for the Belchertown Town Hall, 2 Jabish Street (intersection of Route 202 and Route 181) at 7:00 PM with the doors open at 6:00 PM.  It is hosted by the Belchertown Democrat Town Committee with Peg Louraine of Belchertown Cable TV serving as moderator.  Fraser is a former aide to state Senator Robert Wetmore (retired D-Barre) and a recipient of a Massachusetts Environmental Commendation.   

The Fraser 4 Rep reception is open to the public, light refreshments will be served.

Friday, August 17, 2012

FRASER 4 REP Coffee Hour at the Boxcar Restaurant in Erving Saturday August 18 at 3:30

at the Boxcar Restaurant
3 E Main St., Rte 2
Erving, MA

Democratic Candidate for State Rep

3:30 – 5 PM