Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Thanks Rep. Ehrlich
TODAY, for the first time in more than a decade, drivers coming into Boston on the Mass. Pike or through the Sumner Tunnel have good reason to celebrate when they pay their tolls -- yes, celebrate.
A groundbreaking provision in the transportation reform bill signed into law Friday by Governor Deval Patrick takes a bold step toward solving an obvious inequity on our roadways....
For 11 years, drivers who use the Metropolitan Highway System (the Mass. Pike from Route 128 into Boston) and the Sumner, and Ted Williams tunnels have been subjected to an unfair tax. More than half of every dollar collected has been used not for the tolled services of those roads but to pay for the costs of the construction of the Big Dig.
This tax masquerading as a fee, felt most keenly by North Shore and Metrowest commuters, has cost toll payers nearly half a billion dollars in diverted tolls in the last three years alone. The Legislature and the governor appear to be, at long last, taking bold action meant to change that inequity.
The new law includes a provision that mandates that tolls “shall be applied exclusively to’’ those tolled roads. The plain words of that provision should prohibit any further diversion of tolls to pay the multi-billion-dollar debt service and the onerous operation and maintenance costs of the toll-free sections of the Big Dig, including the I-93 tunnels through Boston from the North and South and the Zakim Bridge.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Writing Project I'm Working On
So, go check out my new site Fictition. There, you can see my latest effort, which I'm calling The Invulnerable Man. In it, not only am I including short and sweet 'episodes,' I'm also doing all of my own art. It's sort of inspired by graphic novels, just not a graphic novel at all.
I'm not going for high art, just fun and excitement. I hope you all enjoy it.
Read parts 1, 2 and 3.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Hunger Drive for Swampscott Pantry
It's sad to admit, but Swampscott has a problem with hunger. We'd like to think we're immune to something like this, but there's a lot of people who have lost jobs, on fixed incomes or are otherwise struggling who are having trouble putting food on the table.
The Swampscott Town Democrats, of which I am a member, is sponsiring a food drive for the pantry for this entire month. We're collecting canned goods at the library. So if anyone has some extra cans laying around and isn't using them, please consider making a donation. Every little bit helps.
Labels: town life
Friday, January 09, 2009
Ehrlich Donating her Raise
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Time to Close Towers School?
If that school is such a mess and they're bleeding students so badly, why bother keeping it open when there's the already very respectable Marblehead and Swampscott school systems those kids could be attending?
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Don't Let the North Shore Music Theatre Close
It would be horrible for the community if NSMT is forced to close its doors. It sells out many of its shows; it's another case of debt that's hurting them, amid a bad climate. The debt didn't come from them making bad decisions as a nonprofit corporation, though: it came from a fire that caused millions upon millions of damage, only some of which was covered by insurance.
Operating since 1955, North Shore Music Theatre has evolved from a summer stock house into the largest nonprofit theater in New England, with 350,000 patrons annually. The theater has been recognized by the Boston Business Journal as the second-largest performing arts organization in the state based on audience size (after the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops combined). It has received multiple Elliot Norton Awards and this season presented seven musicals, five children's shows, and several celebrity musical and comedy concerts, in addition to hosting a large educational program. This year, the company's annual budget was $13 million.Can we really let this theatre go under? It's a huge part of Massachusetts and is absolutely irreplaceable. They're asking people to go to their website and donate funds - or, better yet, buy a ticket to their current show, Disney's High School Musical 2, which would be a fantastic post-Christmas present for any kid or teen. Youth tickets are just $25. If they sell out the show, they'll raise enough for the short term, to give them time to raise the rest over the long haul. But if you're not interested in the show, send them $100, 50 or 25 bucks. It's as worthy a cause as there is to be found.
This economy is a killer. We must protect our important institutions, nonprofits and favorite local stores by making sure we don't forget about them in our attempts to cut costs. Yes, our funds are low too, but we can't let them go out, because it wipes off years of hard work and success right off the books - and that's not always replaceable, at least not for decades. So, please, do what you can - buy a ticket to the show or send them a few dollars so they can raise what they need for now in this perilous economy.
Here's some of NSMT's excellent recent productions.
The current show, Disney's High School Musical 2:
A Christmas Carol:
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee:
Singin' in the Rain: