Cameras to Roll Again
Franklin County has been, as they used to say, discovered. The fourth film in three years to be partially shot there will find its setting in Charlemont in September, when veteran movie and TV actor Jordan Marder produces his first picture, Then There Was.
It will be an apocalyptic film about the aftermath of a global blackout in which “a young expecting couple, four rebellious teenagers and a lone survival expert” must find ways to go on living as society disintegrates around them, according to the website for Marder’s production company, Charlemont Films, based in Los Angeles.
What’s special about this filming is that Marder, its producer and star, has lived in Charlemont off and on since he was seven years old, and is married to a woman from nearby Rowe. Some scenes in Then There Was will be shot on his own property. Marder also told the local newspaper The Recorder that he needs to cast several bit parts and wants local people because “there’s a colloquialism we want to capture.”
Marder has acted in L.A. Confidential, Down Periscope, Lord of Illusions and other films. Among his TV credits are roles or appearances in 24, NCIS and The X-Files.
Then There Was follows The Judge, shot in Shelburne Falls this year; Labor Day, shot in Franklin County in 2012; and the controversial horror film The Woman, shot in the Greenfield area in 2010.
From Our Blogs: On Springfield: Sarno Wants More Time on Pot
Add Springfield to the list of communities nervous about the possibility of a medical marijuana dispensary opening in town.
Last week, Mayor Domenic Sarno announced that he wants the city Planning Board to impose a moratorium on allowing any dispensaries in the city “until the City has time to fully assess the law and to put in place a comprehensive plan.”
According to a press release from the mayor’s office, “There is a necessity for the City to have time to develop local controls to address permitting, siting, as well as public health and safety issues before any dispensary is allowed to open in the City of Springfield.”
Massachusetts voters legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes last November. Initially, some communities sought to ban dispensaries within their borders. But Attorney General Martha Coakley overruled those efforts, saying municipalities can impose regulations on dispensaries, such as limits on where they can open, but cannot ban them outright. Earlier this summer, the Chicopee City Council voted to restrict dispensaries to the city’s industrial zone and to forbid their siting next to homes, schools and churches.
Broadband: Pricing Across the Globe
In Sri Lanka, broadband costs $5.5 a month, in India $6.1. At the opposite end of the scale, it costs $1,753 in Cuba and $875 in Swaziland. In Germany it costs $34.4, in Canada $29.5, in the U.S. and the U.K $20, in China $17.8, and in Israel $8.8.
The International Telecommunication Union, which gathered these figures, also showed the prices as a percentage of gross national income (GNI) per capita. Across the world, that relative price varies wildly. Swaziland’s $875 a month, for example, represents 399.1 percent of GNI per capita, while the U.S.’s $20 represents .5 percent.
A United Nations-related organization, the Broadband Commission, wants to see broadband prices in all countries evened out to no more than 5 percent of GNI per capita by 2015, a goal that seems unlikely to be met. But three years ago the average price on the world’s broadband market was 115 percent of GNI per capita, and now it’s fallen to 40 percent, says the ITU.
“At a time of such consequence for our city, we cannot support projects that trade jobs for jobs, nor can we allow the allure of short-term hiring to compromise our ability to create new and better jobs down the road. At a time when our economy needs higher wages and dignified jobs—a fact that has been recognized across the state in protests and even walkouts by Walmart’s own employees—we must do better than to welcome a company that would block this effort. After all the strides we have already made, we cannot afford to take a step backward.”
—Holyoke mayor Alex Morse, explaining in a speech why he opposes the Walmart store proposed for Whiting Farms Road in his city
By the Numbers:
Revenue lost to the commonwealth during last year’s “sales tax holiday,” according to a report from the Mass. Department of Revenue. DOR also found that “indirectly raised revenues (income, corporate, and other) due to increased economic activity was less than $2.3 million.”
Last week, state legislators and Gov. Deval Patrick approved another tax holiday, for Aug. 10 and 11.