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January 21, 2011     Post-Gazette
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January 21, 2011
 

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Page2 POST-GAZETTE, JANUARY 21,2011 Stirve Nostra by Prof. Edmund TurieUo A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots THE The villas of Augustus were not considered lavish but he did decorate with rare items such as the bones of huge sea monsters or wild beasts, and also the weap- ons of heroes. His furniture was plain, simple, and on a par with that of private citi- zens. Even his house clothes were common and made by the women in his family. He wore a form of elevator shoe to gain a bit of extra height and he always kept suitable clothing available to wear in public. He gave many formal din- ner parties and always ob- served protocol, along with the personality of his guests. On those occasions when he was late to dinner he permit- ted his guests to begin before he took his place. He also in- sisted that they complete their meal if he was required to leave early for any reason. His dinners usually con- sisted of three courses, but when he was in a lavish mood he served six. They were never extravagant but were always steeped in good- fellowship. He always tried to draw the silent guests into general conversation, and usually provided entertain- ment in the form of actors, musicians or storytellers. HOSPITABALE AUGUSTUS He was a light and irregu- lar eater and his tastes were plain. He often ate before and after a dinner party but not during it. He particularly liked coarse bread, small fishes, homemade cheese, and green figs. His favorite wines were vinum setinum, the finest wine in all of Italy made at Setia, near the Pontine Marshes and also Raetian wine from the Alpine country. Although he was very fond of wine, he drank it very sparingly. He could never consume more than a pint otherwise he would "upchuck" it. He never drank before dinner but for an antipasto he would take a bit of bread soaked in cold water, a slice of cucumber, a leaf of lettuce or a piece of dried apple. His favorite after dinner sport was to auction off paintings of which only the back was shown and requiring all of the guests to take part in the bidding. He went all-out on holidays, especially the Saturnalia (comparable to our Christmas season) and gave gifts of clothing, gold, silver and rare coins. He observed a daily siesta after the noon meal but after dinner he retired to a couch in his study to attend to the remains of the business of the day. Augustus was not without his share of superstitions. At one time he had a nar- row escape from lightning during a journey, conse- quently he carried a seal- skin on trips as a protection, and at any sign of a violent storm he sought refuge in underground vaulted rooms. During a battle he became ill and intended not to leave his tent, but a friend's dream and warning caused him to spend the night elsewhere. His camp was entered dur- ing the night by the enemy and his litter was stabbed through several times in the belief that he was still lying there. During the spring of that year, he had many fear- ful. but unfulfilled dreams. The dreams during the bal- ance of the year were less frequent but more reliable. He considered it to be a bad omen if his shoes were put on wrong in the morning but starting a journey in the drizzle of rain was a good omen. Lastly, he never took up any important business during midday. NEXT WEEK: Arrivederci Augustus LaMattina Named City Council Vice President people of my district and for everyone throughout the City of Boston." LaMattina was also ap- pointed to six standing com- mittees of the Council, in- cluding the City, Neighbor- hood Services & Veterans Affairs Committee, which he will chair for a second consecutive term. "Providing day-to-day ser- vices is an essential duty of city government," LaMattina said. "People have a right District 1 City Councilor Sal LaMattina was named Vice President of the Coun- cil by President Stephen Murphy, a move that recog- nizes the hard work and col- laboration that have charac- terized LaMattina's time as a councilor. "I am truly honored to take on this role," said LaMattina, "and I want to thank Coun- cilor Murphy for placing his trust in me. I will continue to work every day for the AFFORDABLE SENIOR HOUSING Constitution Cooperative Apartments, where residents have a voice in the management of their building, is currently accepting applications for studio and one bedroom apartments. Located in the heart of City Square in Charlestown, this active senior housing co-op is within walking distance to shopping, banks, churches and is on an MBTA bus line. Rent is based on 30% of income (income limits apply) to qualified seniors 62 and older and to younger persons who are mobility impaired requiring the special design features of accessible units. Call 1-800-225-3151 for leasing information. r EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY to expect that basic func- tions -- like having snow cleared, clean streets, pot- holes filled and street lights fixed -- will happen without fail. When these things hap- pen smoothly the public gen- erally doesn't notice -- and that's the way it should be." LaMattina will also serve on committees that oversee city policy on Economic Development & Planning, Education, Environment & Health, Rules & Administra- tion, and Ways & Means. "It's always been my be- lief that public service is among the noblest callings that an individual can have," said LaMattina, "I try to never forget that I have been entrusted by citizens to be their voice, and that is how I approach my work every day." LaMattina has repre- sented the neighborhoods of District 1 - Charlestown, the North End, East Boston and downtown -- since the sum- mer of 2006. He is a native of East Boston. WAITER/WAITRESS WANTED Fine Dining Italian/Mediterranean Greater Boston Please forward brief resume to Leiza @ comcast.net Res Publica by David Thunbull Color On January 11 th Evergreen Solar, Inc., a manufacturer of solar power products announced its intent to shut down operations at its Devens, Massachusetts, manufacturing facility. Ac- cording to an Evergreen Solar press release, the com- pany intends to completely shut down the Devens manufacturing facility by the end of the first quarter of 2011. In total, the com- pany expects that approxi- mately 800 employees will be affected by this action. In announcing the loss of jobs in Massachusetts the company cited the difficulty of competing saying, "Solar manufacturers in China have received Considerable government and financial support and, together with their low manufacturing costs, have become price leaders within the industry." Evergreen will continue to make solar power panels, but the company will do so in China. So much for the "for new green energy economies that can create countless well-paying jobs." That line is from President Obama's speech on the ocassion of the Blind February 17, 2009 signing of the The American Recov- ery and Reinvestment Act. Remember that more than $800 billion "stimulus" pack- age? It took money from hard-working Americans suffering during the ecomonic slowdown and re- distributed it to well-fi- nanced and politically-con- nected special interest groups. Kudos, again, to the Republicans in the House, for hanging together and op- posing that Obama-nation. Obama and the Decmocrats in Congress got to play Santa and give out favors to every left-wing group in town. You and me -- and our children -- will pay for years to come with a lower standard of liv- ing and weakened economic prospects for America. Now we see the results here in the Bay State. Gov- ernor Patrick committed the taxpayers to an assistance package for Evergreen Solar to the sum of tens of rdillions of dollars. Now the company is relocating production to China. No jobs were created -- at least not in Massachu- setts. According to news ac- (Continued on Page 12) SPEAKER DeLEO ON TARGET with Health Costs by Sal Gtarratani In his formal address to the House of Representa- tives on January 5, Speaker Bob DeLeo was very con- cerned and adamant about costly health plans for city and town workers. He offered a proposal to mandate mu- nicipal workers with costly health plans to join the state's Group Insurance Commission's health plan options, even if unions oppose the idea. DeLeo believes that his proposal forcing municipal workers into the state sys- tem could save $4,100 mil- lion from strapped cities and towns. He added, "Our cur- rent fiscal climate demands that we move in this direc- tion. I can no longer permit our residents to suffer be- cause we are so slow to progress in this area." However, Bob Haynes, President of the AFL-CIO of Massachusetts said while he shares DeLeo's stated concerns, he would oppose any proposal to take away public employee's right to negotiate health benefits. Says Haynes, "The solution is to deal with the pharmacy industry, the hospital indus- try, the insurance industry." As a state worker, my health insurance options are both really good and affordable for both me and the Commonwealth. The system should be expanded to cover all municipal and state workers. Cities and towns are being crushed by spiraling costs connected to municipal services. If public workers were all part of G.I.C. health plans, it would be cost-effective for the financing of other local services with shrinking finances. It would be a win- win situation for both work- ers and the communities they live within. The Agency for all your Insurance Coverages Richard Settipane AUTO HOMEOWNERS TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference SPECIALIST in RESTAURANT and BUSINESSPOLICIES CALL TODAY FOR YOUR QUOTE 617-523-3456 - Fax 617-723-9212 1 Longfellow - Place Suite 2322 - Boston, MA 02114 Conveniently located with Free Parking