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By Roger Chartier


Local New Bedford, Ma. History 2010

Freestones Restaurant - New BEdford -
Above - Freestones City Grill - corner of 41 William and North 2nd Street
At one time it was the Citizens National Bank Building

Scott Lang is the Mayor in 2010.

 Locally, you may have heard the nickname "New Beige" - it refers to New Bedford.

In March, we have seen the last try works of the whaling era destroyed in the Robinson Oil Works building as part of a renovation by a local hotelier. This controversial act was supported by few people and was the cause of much outrage as the sight was something irreplaceable.

Opinion was that a hotel could be built anywhere, but the Robinson Oil Works and try-works were part of our heritage and a valuable asset to the city as a historical site.

This was compared to opportunity that the last whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan going to Mystic Connecticut was. Read more about the controversy concerning the Robinson Oil Works.

New Bedford was the 6th largest city in Massachusetts with a population of 95,072 by census.
There were 10 pedestrian fatalities in New Bedford during the year 2010
There were 1,213 burglaries in the city a rise in burglaries by 7% from 2009, and many were in un-occupied homes where the copper pipe was stolen.
There were 24 cases of arson, 1,622 cases of larceny, 70 rapes, 278 robberies, 794 assaults, 3 murders, 370 motor vehicle thefts reported. There was a decrease in violent crime.

2010 saw a 3% decrease in crime from 2009. The unemployment rate was 17% for 2010.

The Latino population of New Bedford rose from 7% or 6,653 in 1990 to 16.7% or 15,916 residents.
At this time, 1 of 6 residents in New Bedford were Hispanic.

The downtown historic and business area have seen a great resurgence with small businesses, restaurants and more venues for live entertainment. After years of down sliding since the nearby (North) Dartmouth Mall was constructed from 1969 to 1971. This is a remarkable and welcomed turnaround.

The opposite is true of the economy in general as a local jobless rate is not good in this year. Coming out of the last era of economic disaster the region struggled to keep it's head above water financially.
January's national unemployment rate dropped from 10 percent to 9.7 percent.
Typically New Bedford of this era did poorly as far as jobs are concerned.

2010 Parking fines brought in $685,092.00 of revenue for this year.

New Bedford's port landed $306 million dollars worth of fish making it #1 in the nation for a dollar amount. This was up 23% from 2009.

This was the 11th straight year of being #1 in the nation as was stated in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 2011 report.

The value of New Bedford's landings is highest in the nation, but the weight is not as the city dropped from from 170 million pounds to 133.4 million pounds causing the shift from, eighth to ninth place.

Sea scallops were only 22% of the weight landed but are 77% of the value of landed catch.
Sea scallops are more lucrative than most fish and in this year the selling price was up 28 percent.
Dutch Harbor in Unalaska, Alaska, was #1 for weight, mostly Pollack for 22nd consecutive year.

Fishermen feel that the city could have more wealth but for the federal regulations. Those regulations are hurting the industry as the government really doesn't know how to manage the fisheries properly.

2010 Salaries:
There were 52 police and firefighters who earned a salary over $100,000.00 with a top salary of $127,854.55 or $491.74 per day of the 5 day work week, going to Police Lieutenant Robert Aguiar who earned more than Police Chief Ronald Teachman who retired in this year and was earning a $127,289.82 or $489.57 per work day for 2010. These daily figures are based on a 5 day work week.

In the school department, 25 people earned over $100,000. The schools are open for 180 days a year for students.
The top salary listed was by Ronald Souza at $184,043.77 or a total of $1,022.47 per school day. I can't imagine what that huge salary could be giving us that we couldn't get for a lot less. In any case that was followed by Portia Bonner at $168,302.12 or $935.01 per school day.
Compared to the salaries of mid level teachers there have been discussions about the questionable disparity in salaries.

Mayor Scott Lang earned $98,735.79 this year.
The New Bedford Standard Times published the total list of employees and their yearly salaries from the city. Perhaps the link will still work Standard Times List of 2010 City of New Bedford Salaries.

The John Russell Thornton House, the home to abolitionists who hid runaway slaves on the so called "Abolitionists Row" burned and was a total loss. It was across the street from the Nathan and Polly Johnson house on Seventh street and next door to the Elisha Thornton Jr. house, another abolitionist home.

had a record rainfall in a short period and brought flooding, blocked roads and damage to buildings and homes. People who had damage had the opportunity to seek federal aid, and when that window of opportunity was to close it then got extended for a month. New Bedford fared well as compared to the outlying towns where, rivers and ponds overflowed and closed roads often leaving isolated areas that were inaccessible.

As of September, the Standard Times circulation fell to 24,723 for Monday through Saturday editions and to 26,521 for Sunday papers.

The grand opening of the new "Market Basket" was on Wednesday, October 6, 2010.
It was built at the rear of the area of land that was where the Fairhaven Mills complex had been.
The discount supermarket was set back from Coggeshall Street at 122 Sawyer street.

Prices were set low and the word of mouth and hysteria about savings brought out the hordes of shoppers from miles around.

Whaling City the movie
was finished being filmed in New Bedford and finally released. It was shown at the Zeiterion theater with a ticket price for just the film and another price for the film with the DVD of it as an addition.
Writer/director Jay Burke was the creator of this film. It is 2013 and three years later I am still waiting for the delivery of the DVD. It never was produced and /or delivered although many people paid for it.
I somewhat liked the movie as it is a New Bedford movie. My cousin and a friend are actors in it, otherwise the sound quality from the film was a bit poor in my opinion.

The plotline is: "An independent commercial fisherman must fight to save his boat, his livelihood, and his way of life." Read about the Whaling City movie premiere - September 24, 2011.

Time will tell if this link still works but here is an informative Whaling City Film facebook page.

Nathalie Mansoux - www.whalingcity.netDuring the fall and early winter, a European film company headed by French director Nathalie Mansoux (Via de Acesso) she is pictured on the right, and cameraman Joao Pedro Placido came to New Bedford to complete shooting of a film written by Mansoux concerning the 2007 deportations of factory workers in New Bedford and the lasting effects on family and community in New Bedford and Portugal.

Upon completion of several months more shooting in Europe and then editing, the film will arrive in late 2011 for its New Bedford - United States premiere.

The crew were frequent guests of singer/songwriter Sarah Bishop Valentine who accompanied them and who has a residence on Hawthorn Street in New Bedford and London, UK.