Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
This year, the event has gone high-tech. I narrated a video earlier today, soon to show up on the Beacon Hill Civic Association website, that demonstrates the proper way to decorate a lamp post.
Those interested in participating in the holiday decorating weekend should contact the Beacon Hill Civic Association. Or just look out on December 5 and 6 for your neighbors hanging garlands, and join in!
1) UCONN Huskies basketball.
FINISH: NCAA Tournament Final Four
The Huskies made it to the dance for the third time. If not for an emotionally charged Michigan State team and the spirit of Detroit, they would have had the chance to topple the mighty Tar Heels.
2) New York Yankees.
RESULT: World Champions
Order is restored to the baseball universe. 27 World Championships.
3) New England Patriots.
RESULT: Season in progress, Patriots leading AFC East
I am so used to them winning EVERY game that I overlook the fact the Pats are well on their way to another playoff berth. Colts fans-- you must admit you were outplayed this past Sunday.
4) Boston University Hockey.
RESULT: NCAA Champions, Hockey East Champions, Beanpot Champions
In the greatest hockey game I have ever seen, the Terriers flipped in a wrister in overtime to win their fifth national championship. BU won the coveted local "triple crown" by capturing the Beanpot (or is it the BU-pot?), the Hockey East (conference) championship, and the NCAA crown.
5) Hartford Whalers.
RESULT: No sign of the Whale in the insurance capitol of the world.
Whalers fans, unite! The Whale will be back!
Political phone calls can be annoying. People don't like to talk politics. They say they are eating dinner (even though it's 3 p.m. in the afternoon). While I don't blame them, calls from a campaign volunteer are far less invasive than many other uninvited conversations.
At least when I call I am not selling something.
At least I am advocating for a cause I believe strongly about.
And, for the most part, at least I am a neighbor.
Former House Speaker Tip O'Neil was right. All politics is local. During this past political campaign, the most effective conversations I had were with people who lived on my street. Voters who lived in the same precinct as me.
I guess it should be the case in a municipal election (like the one we just had in Boston), that people care about the issues that they see on their block or that they talk about when they are getting a cup of coffee.
On Beacon Hill, where I live, the biggest issues are trees, trash and a neighborhood school. Cleaning up my streets is an ongoing battle, not helped by the amount of time trash can legally be placed on the curb, and the fact that there's little space in the average Beacon Hill apartment for storing trash. That being said, neighbors seem to be appreciative of recent efforts to keep streets tidy, including the city's strict enforcement of posted street sweeping signs.
One of the most innovative partnerships between Beacon Hill and the city involves trees. The Beacon Hill Civic Association has a process to allow neighbors to efficiently prune and replace trees on their streets, based on a close relationship with the Boston Parks Department.
Young families on Beacon Hill are very interested in a neighborhood school. While improving Boston's schools is not as simple as building more schools, the energy from these families is refreshing.
Every conversation I had this campaign season with a Beacon Hill neighbor focused on a local issue. Tip O'Neil would be proud.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Not a bad week for me. Mayor Menino earned a fifth term, easily defeating City Councilor Michael Flaherty. One night later, the Yankees captured their 27th World Championship.
Such apparent conflicts of allegiances can only happen for someone from an in-between state (Connecticut) who is also very interested in local politics.
A unique combination of victories, suited perfectly to me.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Congratulations to John Connolly, Steve Murphy, Ayanna Pressley and Felix Arroyo for winning at-large seats on the Boston City Council.
I spoke to my brother Brett in Virginia, and he says that the gubernatorial result there-- the Republican won-- should not be interpreted as any sort of referendum on the Obama administration. He had some very good points, and I hope to see them on his blog soon.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Kudos to Boston Mayor Tom Menino, his Parks Department, City Council President Mike Ross, his staff, park abutter Rob Whitney, neighbor Phyllis Brown and the countless others who made the new Phillips Street Park a reality. And special thanks to the Beacon Hill Civic Association for hosting the meetings throughout the process.