Thursday, December 22, 2005

Who Signed It?

They are homeowners and apartment renters, singles and married couples, old and young, newcomers and natives. They come from the East End and the West End, from New Town and the Square, from the banks of the Charles to the slopes of Meeting House Hill. They are Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Their names indicate a cross-section of Watertown's diverse ethnic heritage--Armenians and Italians, Irish and Greeks, Latinos and French, Vietnamese and Chinese.

According to a web database, at least 394 Watertown citizens (note: server occasionally down) teamed up with the record-shattering number of 170,000 other registered voters from all across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, despite threats and intimidation and the certainty that their names and addresses would be published on the Internet, to assert their rights under the oldest continuing written constitution in North America.

They signed. And they signed proudly.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Mt. Auburn Hospital Heat Fails, Patients Redirected

From Boston.com:
Mount Auburn Hospital's boilers failed on Wednesday, cauysing a loss of heating that forced the transfer of 25 people, including two newborns, to other hospitals.
Mt. Auburn Hospital is the closest hospital to the East End of Watertown.
The hospital stopped taking new patients through noon on Thursday.
Which means it should be open again in about five minutes.

Additional coverage:

"Christmas Revels" Founder Dies

The AP is reporting [via boston.com] that John Langstaff, the founder of the Watertown-based Revels, has died following a stroke. Langstaff was 84. May he rest in peace.

I've never seen a performance, but I can't say I'm particularly interested in doing so. The "Christmas Revels" show is a misnomer: it is not a celebration of Christmas, but of the Winter Solstice. I can understand the attraction for some, but my heritage is Christian, and I celebrate Christmas (actually Advent) this time of year. I really don't have the attention, time or budget to spare on silly neopagan facsimiles of the real thing.

Now I don't mean to suggest that culture and art is a waste of time. This time of year, Boston is awash in cultural opportunities, including Christmas and Hanukkah concerts, carol sings, Dickens, the Nutcracker, and my personal favorite, Black Nativity.

There are certainly times when the season can seem overwhelming, when the retina builds up toxic concentrations of enzymes responding to the colors red and green, and you feel like a CRT monitor in need of a screensaver. But I can't imagine that someone whose appetite is fatigued of eggs for breakfast is really looking for EggBeaters. I dunno. Maybe it's just me.

In any event, it is impossible to deny the popularity of Christmas Revels in Boston and in other cities. Langstaff created a fixture in the local arts scene, and he will be missed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Armed Robbery on Market St. in Brighton

From BPDNews.com, the new blog from the Media Relations office of the Boston Police Department, we learn of some gun violence alarmingly close to home:
At 1:44am, a masked suspect armed with silver and black handgun, entered the Store 24 on Market Street in Brighton and demanded money from the clerk. The suspect grabbed a safe from the store and fled after ordering the clerk into a storage closet. This investigation continues.
Yikes!

Update: Meanwhile, there's some better police news from Newton (as reported by WBZ):

When Officer Rocco Marini got the call that a woman was in labor early Monday morning, he raced to her home and calmly delivered a healthy baby boy right there in her living room.