Category Archives: politics

The Libraries of Boston

Today, Mayor Menino stated that the  “days of the old encyclopedia are long gone.”

Oh, are they, Tom?

Did you know that libraries offer so much more than dusty old encyclopedias these days? Where do you think people get those electronic databases and the skills on how to search them? Where do you think the poor people of your neighborhoods of Boston go to use computers to access electronic data and to fill out important forms? Where do you think homeless people go to spend some time warming up and looking at the newspapers and magazines during the day?

If you think libraries are so passe, then why do you think they created a new library in Mattapan that looks great? If libraries aren’t part of the social structure, then why is usage up?

And if you close libraries and community centers, where are the kids going to go during the day in the summer? How much more crime are we going to experience in the next few months because these important community gathering places are no longer open and the safety and security that go along with them is gone?

How about this, Tom…Instead of you closing libraries and putting dozens, if not more, of librarians out of work (and onto unemployment) how about you stop taking a paycheck from the city of Boston? How about a few of the higher paid people take a lower paycheck or none, and allow these hard working people to keep their jobs?

USS Constitution

I had a great post here about the neighbors who want the USS Constitution to change the way she fires her cannons because they feel lit is too loud.  They want the cannons to be quiet until 9 AM on the weekends and the National Anthem to not be played so loudly and the charges to be smaller.

stern
To which I say: shut up.

This tradition has been going on since before 1800 and the charges have been made smaller over the years already. They barely use any black powder to set the cannons off already and oh yeah, we are at war. These cannons are shot off twice a day in honor of the men and women who are serving and who have served. Many of these sailors will be going off to active duty combat after their 3 years at the Constitution is up and many of the National Park Rangers have also served in some capacity.  This ship is the mascot of the entire Navy and it is only appropriate for her to fire her cannons off as a sign of respect…and its pretty cool to watch them do it, as well.
I was lucky enough to get to take a trip on the Constitution a few years ago with my Dad. It was Armed Forces Day and so there was a 19 gun salute (why are they always odd numbers?) to the men and women of the Armed Forces. While I couldn’t really see over the sides of the ship, I knew enough to get down to the gun deck in time to see them load and fire the charges. Afterwards, I got one of the shells as a souvenier of my trip…it stunk to high heaven for a few weeks, but it is awesome. See:

DSCF1361

So, be quiet people living at Flagship Wharf…Nomar would have never been a jerk like you are. Oh, and I hope you enjoy it next summer when they are turning the Yard back into a working one and putting the USS Cassin Young into drydock! That should be exciting…lots of banging and crashing and melting and tearing. Its going to be awesome to see what kind of letter you send to the NPS unit.

Radio Boston/WBUR at Faneuil Hall

Snagged from their website:

WHAT: Radio Boston taped before a live audience.

WHERE: Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall.

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 17 @ 8pm

WHO: Jane Clayson, David Boeri, and YOU!

We’ll be talking about gang violence in Boston, and an innovative new program designed to stop it in the streets.

For FREE tickets, email us at radioboston@wbur.org with your name, phone number, and the number of people in your party (limit four tickets per request). We’ll get back to you.

Hope to see you there!

DSCF9273

Esmeralda

Today, I went to visit the Esmeralda, a tall ship from Chile. I had some mixed feelings after hearing about her past, but I also wanted to see what the ship looked like after meeting a few of the sailors the other day.

It was a rather dreary day at the Navy Yard and no one was really visiting. The gangway was angelled very high and my feet slipped a few times going up because of that and the residual rain from earlier this morning.

Once on board, I just wandered around the main deck. There were plenty of sailors to talk to, but I prefer to wander on my own. Took some pictures:
My creation

For more information on the Esmeralda, look at this post on Amnesty International.  They are still trying to get information about the people who were tortured aboard the ship and where their bodies were buried.

Paul Revere

Tomorrow is the actual Patriot’s Day here in Massachusetts, we just celebrate on the third Monday of April each year. However, tomorrow is also the first day of tours for us and I have the afternoon tour.

I have spent the last hour or so, looking over my notes and books from last year to refresh my memory and hoping that the jerk from Concord who interrupted my talk the other day does not have a cousin who will be walking with me for an hour.

I mean, really, do you think that the tourists care what famous people came from my hometown? I can only name 2 anyways, most of the rest were imported for the private high school and left soon after.

Paul Revere Gets His Horse
Paul Revere Gets His Horse

Anyways, I have printed up a copy of the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere…generally, you have someone on your tour who is about 58-65 who was made to memorize the poem as a younger child. The last paragraph makes a nice ending for our long walk together, though…

“So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If you are in the area tomorrow night, the annual Lantern Ceremony is taking place at Old North Church. It is an interesting event to go to as you get to see the Church completely full, including a fife corps, and hear from a variety of people. There is also an event at the Charlestown Navy Yard after the ceremony.

After this weekend, work ramps up, school ramps up, my family situation ramps up, and parties galore are happening. Looks like I won’t get too much sleep till November.

PS GO BRUINS!!!

Things

Flower
Flower

This is what happens when I get bored at work and happen to have my camera 🙂

Got to watch the inauguration yesterday with about 20 other federal employees. It wasn’t a great feed, kept pixelating but the sound was just fine. I also finally got acces to the internet, but possibly not to the company email. If it isn’t one thing, its another.

Tomorrow, I go for an interview for my internship. It would involve working with Presidential papers and helping to create an exhibit to be on display later. Hopefully it will all come together and I’ll have my internship all put together and be able to start getting my hours done earlier than later. AND I’ll have a great project to put onto my resume, which is always nice.

Dear New England

Dear New England,

Can I just say how lovely it is to come home from work and an annoying class to view this image:

OMG!
OMG!

I know I shouldn’t be so giddy about it, but I thought that Maine and New Hampshire might sway the other way. I love us. Hopefully, we’ll see a lot more blue before the night is over.

Me