Hey, there! Log in / Register

Legislator warns: Don't put that in your mouth, you don't know where it's been!

Music instructors are fighting a proposed law that would require them to sterilize wind instruments - a potentially expensive move that could benefit a campaign contributor to the bill's sponsor.

On Somerville Voices, Melissa McWhinney posts a copy of a call to action by Richard Saunders, the music director for Somerville Public Schools, and adds:

The problem is that there's no evidence that the current system is any danger to students, and the guy who invented a system to "sterilize" instruments stands to make a killing, while driving music departments out of business because they will have to spend tons of money they don't have, to fix a problem that isn't a problem, while the proceeds go into the inventor’s pocket!

Earlier this month, the Globe reported the legislation had been filed by state Rep. Paul Donato, D-Medford, one of whose constituents is Lorenzo Lepore, a dentist who spent 10 years developing an instrument sterilization system that costs between $50 and $320 per treatment per instrument, to kill the germs he says can last for long periods in the instruments.

State campaign finance records (search here) show that Lepore has donated $1,550 to Donato since 2006.

Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 
Ad:

Comments

School bands are already dying due to cutbacks. Millions of kids have used old instruments without problem. And in comes the Great and General Court to save the day and put school bands out of business.

Can I buy a legislator too?

up
Voting closed 0

Yeah, most people who deal with instruments, including me, already use this stuff:
http://www.westmusic.com/ProductDetails.aspx?ProdI...

It's alcohol-based and seems to do just fine cleaning any major germage off of parts that go directly in one's mouth.

As for the bacteria and viruses that can be present throughout the bore, most of them are from hands, not mouths, and the stuff that is from breathing into it is also on every other surface near which people breathe. This makes about as much sense as sanitizing pianos, telephones, computers, door handles. (All of which should be cleaned regularly, but which I don't see anyone cleaning with expensive sanitation equipment.)

Also, and here's where I cue SwirlyGrrl to provide more technically accurate information, there's research that cleaning the living bejeezus out of everything makes people sicker, because our immune systems need to be exposed to germs in order to learn about them and figure out how to fight them. Other than stuff like medical instruments, isn't it probably better that we stick to cleaning stuff in public places with regular old Windex and whatnot?

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

up
Voting closed 0

All 3 of us are really in sync on this...awesome. :)

up
Voting closed 0

He just keeps getting wierder and wierder with this stuff, and more and more friendly to his K of C rumpbuddies - good old boys aren't limited to the South or to Baptists!

He'd pass a law that gay married people have to sterilize their equipment after each use if he could get away with it.

Why this is dumb: kids don't pass along instruments like bongs! They use them for a year or so, then they sit for the entire summer, and then they move along to a new person. So long as they aren't sharing horns, there is no problem. Not enough stuff could possibly live long enough - again, this is supported by the lack of evidence of Oboepidemics and raging clarinetitis. There is some data that certain materials used to construct the instruments are not good substrates for growth anyway.

up
Voting closed 0

Im not sure what the KofC has to do with musical instruments...

up
Voting closed 0

You meet your friends and business contacts - not to mention your friends who promote your business with spurious legislation - at social clubs.

Good Ol' Boy networks function around here just as in the south ... or in actually isolated areas anywhere, really - with the added feature of Mother Mary presiding.

up
Voting closed 0

I still think your connecting the gay marriage thing with this is dubious.

Your other point can be said about anything. Social clubs are on the decline, they are being replaced by social groups who meet, and non profit groups. I belong to social clubs, and non profit groups and can say that I have recieved MORE business contacts trhough my non profit work then my social club attendance. Ive also never been involved in a push for legislation with my local social (lets be honest, male drinking) club but have been involved in over 10 legislative pushes (2 worked) with non profit groups I hang out with (oh I drink with them too now that I think of it...)

up
Voting closed 0

It will all add up. Now that Vinnie Ciampa has been trounced, Donato is Mr. Disgusted Family Values Homophobe and Proud of It, as well as Mr. Pro-life-means-it-is-okay-for-women-to-die.

I'd call him a DINO, but I don't want to insult extinct species.

up
Voting closed 0

I know how the mechanics work Swirly, Ive been here my whole life and go back to the 1800's in the area... Also please note I do not agree with the stances they have taken in the past, I am super pro gay marriage. I just take issue with your making it sound like its only the good old boy network that gets stuff done through their networks. We have a word for that now, networking. People do it all the time and they even teach it in them there colleges.

up
Voting closed 0

and then there is categorical exclusion of all but your old boy network from any and all participation in civic life.

Which is democratic, and which is anti-democratic, Shady? Medford is really still run by the mob, even if it is the Old Boy mob now and not the Syndicate. The same epic fail and extreme resistance to letting people know where the money goes and what is going on in either case.

up
Voting closed 0

I know people in Medford and know for a fact that your over reacting.

I highly doubt this kid is with the "in" crowd in your city and yet he seems to be representing it.

http://www.mass.gov/legis/member/cms1.htm

up
Voting closed 0

Donato's has the same policy on gay marriage as President Obama. I disagree with him on that issue, but it is not a litmus test. If you care about social justice and providing for the most needy in society, then you would know that nobody does a better job than Donato protecting the most vulnerable in society - kids, seniors, those disadvantaged. That's why he is a great rep.

up
Voting closed 0

Brought to you by the anonobots at Damage Control Spin Cycle Associates!

Since when has Obama pledged to legally anul your neighbor's marriages - especially when they are constituents? Obama may have played it safe, but Donato has actively campaigned and sucked up to Brian Camenker in a quest to DESTROY FAMILIES.

He's not a great rep - I know, because he is supposed to represent the district I live in, and he doesn't do a very good job of it. Progressive War Vet Patrick McCabe is going to take him down hard next time - and Donato is already scared enough to be spending advance money.

up
Voting closed 0

Oh brave anon, you just contradicted yourself.

He provides for the most vulnerable in society, like kids, except he doesn't believe in letting the kids' parents be married so the kids can have better access to health insurance and have their families recognized equally with their peers' and have no problem if they end up in the ER with either parent.

And he provides for seniors, but doesn't want them to be married so that they can receive spousal benefits and be automatically kept together in nursing homes and be incontestably one another's next of kin and all that.

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

up
Voting closed 0

A) You can't protect your kids from every microbe out there. If you don't expose them to SOME germs that won't kill them anyways, then their body won't know what to do when it gets exposed to the really bad germs that could.

B) You can sterilize all of the important bits of an instrument, like the mouthpiece, with rubbing alcohol or soapy water depending on the instrument. Besides, if you're using someone else's mouthpiece, you're doing it wrong. For brass instruments, not only should you get your own mouthpiece for hygiene reasons, but everyone's embrosures are different and the right mouthpiece will make all the difference in how easy the instrument is to play.

C) Screw you, Lepore, for using scare tactics to try and get people to sign on to your system! All you're really going to do is drive more kids away from music as their helicopter parents decide that it's probably best if they stay away from putting their lips on an instrument (he even claims a brand new instrument might have been human tested at the factory...and therefore YOU NEVER KNOW! Sterilize it to be safe!). Screw you.

up
Voting closed 0

This is just a bunch of scare-tactic foolishness akin to ripping out water fountains in school hallways for fear of some latent germs sitting on the stainless steel waiting to give your kid trenchmouth. I sometimes saw students try out each other's instruments occasionally, especially if they were produced by different manufacturers. But almost to a one, those students would pull their mouthpieces off and swap them to the other instrument for comfort. And even if they didn't, swapping a little spit just didn't cause a great panic.

And while I can't say if this is the case now, at least when I was in band I had the same instrument throughout the entire time. My parents set up a rental contract with the company that supplied the items - in my case, a flute - on the proviso that it was returned to the company if I decided I didn't want to play anymore, or at some point we'd buy out the balance so that I owned the instrument outright. It's been almost 30 years and I still own said flute. A majority of my fellow students all did the same thing.

up
Voting closed 0

swapping a little spit just didn't cause a great panic.

Just say Blow!

Speaking of swapping spit, Medford starts the interactively sexual part of sex education in the schools at age 16 despite the presence of preggers in the high school well before that age. Of course Paul Donato would be the first to blow fuses and grandstand and puff and huff about "family values" if they provided condoms to keep the kids safe from well-established body-fluid exchange hazards of being in the band not involving a tuba.

The stuporintendent, another one of Donato's lap dog krew, won't put the AC on on hot days in schools designed to need it - anybody who has ever done flu and/or air pollution research can tell you how bright an idea that is during a pandemic. Not that the same school health dimwit (yep, another Donoto minion) who insisted that the 1984-vintage forms were the right ones because "the state gave them to us" (45 seconds + google got the real ones) and that having a couch in a classroom spreads flu based on her truthy superstitions and no hard data would have the slightest clue what evidence-based public health practice is. That might require some computer use or scary something.

up
Voting closed 0

If he's worried about the spit-swapping that might go on by playing the instrument above vertical, then I wonder if he's already making a sterilization system for the practice rooms and instrument storage closet! Imagine all the spit-swapping that goes on in there!

"This one time...at band camp..." --American Pie

up
Voting closed 0

You know, the whole "retroactive term limits" thing looks better and better with each passing day.

up
Voting closed 0

Donato is one of the last great state reps in metro Boston. He fights hard for kids, seniors and the poor. Just because he has been about a while doesn't mean he does not have his constituents best interests in mind. And that's why voters continue to send him back to Beacon Hill. And let's look at the source of this - the loony left Somerville voices blog.

up
Voting closed 0

A solution in search of a problem asks for legislation to codify the problem and mandate the solution.

It's for the children... pablum that is -- infants really.

up
Voting closed 0

you can read another version of the story at the less-loony-left Davis Square LiveJournal.

Now tell me how closing down school music programs is in the best interest of his Medford constituency.

up
Voting closed 0

I live in his district. Donato is an old boy politician bent on staying in office and power more than any other goal, and uninterested in the welfare of the people in his district. We are tired of having a rep who does not care to listen to, represent the interests of, or acknowledge the existence of a wide swath of people in his own district. That's why McCabe spent one third of the money that a panicked Donato did and still polled 40% on an entrenched incumbent. More and more Donato supporters move to Oak Grove on a daily basis, so the next election will be interesting.

This district has changed and is changing - in any case, I want a rep who represents me, not the Vatican.

up
Voting closed 0

I still want to know what the vatican has to do with musical instruments!

Saying that the rep who proposed it doesnt like gay people does not make everything he does wrong... I happen to think he is wrong on the instruments and his stance on gay marriage but they do not relate.

up
Voting closed 0

If I understand, I think it's just that Swirly is saying he doesn't think for himself about the issues, he lets his donors think for him. Since he's a KoC member, they get to do most of his thinking and what they say goes, because they're part of his social network. It isn't because it's KoC; it could just as easily be the Kiwanis, Rotary, Elks, or a knitting circle. His KoC friends make sure he's working against gay marriage and if I understand the inference, the dentist with the instrument sterilizer is part of this guy's inner circle all the same (KoC? not sure where I've seen him mentioned as a Knight).

Tenuous at best. I think it's easiest just to go with the simplest facts. The dentist funds this guy to the yearly maximum AND wants to profit from a law that he got Donato to sponsor and push on. It's political back-scratching and it's going to be completely OVERBOARD if this were to pass for ANY reason whatsoever.

up
Voting closed 0

The whole instrument bill = sign of how completely loony and totally out of touch with political and general reality Donato is getting. If he really gave a shit about the health of kids, he'd pass a law requiring safe temperature and humidity limits in classrooms based on NIOSH standards.

Vatican = Donato's incessant and hateful campaign to destroy the families of my neighbors and friends - who happen to be his constituents, too!

Vatican = Donato's frequent attempts to interfere in healthcare decisions and options of women and families, even when that healthcare is publicly funded.

This district has changed and continues to change, yet Donato has gone further and further to the right in response while citing his religious beliefs as justification for his lawmaking efforts. The musical instrument thing is just the icing on the cake of how out of touch the guy is, but his noxious imposition of his religion on others is far more dangerous. Sorry if you are being obstinately clueless, Shady, but I have to live with this joker voting in my name and I'm going to respond to trolls with their generic "one of the last living wonderful old boy Dinos" fluffing with a bit of reality, whether you chose to get why or not.

up
Voting closed 0

Sorry Swirly, while I understand your aversion to anons saying he is great, you started us down the KofC pathway, and you started us all down the road connecting this to gay marriage and ultimatly the Vatican. The anons did not surface until after you made that comment.

up
Voting closed 0