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January 24, 2014     Post-Gazette
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January 24, 2014

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~ "'i. • j ° • 1 THE ITALIAN-AMERICAN VOICE OF MASSACHUSETTS m mJ (Formerly LA GAZZETTA del MASSACHUSETTS) VOL. 118 - NO. 4 BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, JANUARY 24, 2014 $.30 A COPY Boston's Public Parks by Sal Giarratani TO NOT SMOKE IN HERE Boston was once called the "Cradle of Liberty.' Back dur- ing the Bicentennial Cel- ebrations (1975-76), Boston's motto for the nation's 200th birthday was, "Where it All Began." Where what began? I can remember going to the 18t~-century exhibit up in the rotunda of the Faneuil Hall Marketplace where visi- tors became part of an inter- active computerized exhibit. I remember doing that ex- hibit and then taking a test at its completion finding out whether I would be a Tory or a Patriot. Lucky for me, I would have been a patriot back when the American Revolution was fought so that our God-given liberties would not disappear. Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill began the fight for individual freedom and economic liberty. Our fore- fathers knew that govern- ment existed to profect us and not protect us from our- selves. When tea was dumped into Boston Harbor in 1773, it wasn't just to pro- test taxes on tea but to en- sure our economic liberty was ours to keep. Most colo- nists loved their tea, but when taxed to,an extreme to make government more powerful, it slid over into tyr- anny for tea lovers and even tea haters. "Taxation without Repre- sentation' wasn't just a good line to use. Recently last summer Beacon Hill tried to make the gas tax auto- matically tied to inflation. Thousands upon thousands signed petitions to get those automatic gas hikes repealed on the ballot. The underlying opposition once again was based on taxation without representation. Law- makers accountable to the people should always have to vote on these issues. Otherwise how do we fight this automatic taxing scheme? Same thing is true when it comes to banning all smoking on the Boston Com- mon and all city parks. Smoking has been made (Continued on Page 4) ::%: ~ i,ii! 'ii, li i:,i i, ,~ ~,, ,i~ ~:, ii W iil iili~ ?i~ iii ;i'ii Tom Laughlin from "Billy Jack" Fame Passed Away Last June down in Texas with my nephew and family on vacation, he and I watched the very first "Billy Jack" movie on his fiat-screen TV. He and I are both "Billy Jack" fans as was my brother, his father. I reminded my nephew that his father and I saw that first Tom Laughlin movie at the old Center Theater in the Boston Combat Zone on lower Washington Street. My nephew said the next time back down, we could watch the other two movies about Billy Jack. When I read the obit in the Boston Globe I told my nephew about Laughlin's passing. We shared a moment of mock silence in memory of those great old movies. We both felt like cultist of a very liberal Hollywood actor with some great conservative courage. (Continued on Page 10) ~,!,!t,!,: Consumers on Target Scammers Scammers are taking ad- vantage of the data breach that compromised Target customers' credit and debit card information. Watch for con artists using this highly public event to ,fool consum- ers into sharing their credit card and/or personal infor- mation. How the Scare Works: You receive a text message, which claims to be from your credit card company. It says your card has been blocked in response to fraudulent activity following the recent data breach. The message asks you to call a phone number to verify your ac- count information. Of course, the text message is just a con to get you to share your card number and other info. As usual, this scare has many forms. Scammers have been contacting people.' through email, text rues- sages and phone calls. In another version, scammers call and claim to represent Target. They ask consum- ers to "verify" their name, address, social security and other information to suppos- edly check whether it was comprised in the breach. Whatever the guise, the scammers are always after your credit card number or other personal information. How to Spot This Scam: The best way to protect your- self is to identify the warn- ing signs: • Check Target's website. Given the number of scams surrounding the data breach, Target has posted all their official communica- tions at cardresponse. Check any emails or texts you receive claiming to be from Target against the official list. *Don't believe What you see. Scammers use technol- ogy to make emails and phone calls appear to come from a reputable source. Just because it looks cred- ible does not mean it's safe. • Be wary of unexpected emails that contain links or attachments. As always, do not click on links or open the files in unfamiliar emails. • Watch for bad grammar. Typo-filled text messages and emails are usually a dead giveaway that it's from a scammer, not a corpora- tion. For More Infor~I~atio~. Fo7 more advice on dealing with the data breach, read BBB's suggestions for Target cus- tomers. Also, see Target's website for updates and an- swers to common questions. For more information about scams, see BBB Scam Stopper. Note: Target is a BBB Ac- credited Business. Mayor Walsh Asks Residents to Look Out for Neighbors, Take Precautions Mayor Martin J. Walsh has directed city agencies to be on alert as temperatures in the City continue to drop, reminding residents to take simple precautions to stay warm and to look out for anyone who might need assistance. The City's Emergency Shelter Commission has activated its Winter Cold Weather Plan. People that notice anyone in immediate danger as a result of the extreme cold should notify public safety officials by call- ing 911. Parents should make sure that children are properly dressed for cold tempera- tures. Children who are not dressed properly and whose skin is exposed to extremely cold air, can suffer frostbite within minutes. Children waiting for buses sh(mld be well covered with warm jackets, hats, gloves and scarves. In accordance with Massa- chusetts State Sanitary Code, residential units should be heated to at least 68 degrees during the day and 64 degrees at night. Tenants that experience heating issues should first contact their landlords to correct any problems. If a landlord is unresponsive, Boston residents can con- tact the Mayor's 24-hour hotline for assistance at 617-635-4500. Hotline staff will alert the city's Inspec- tional Services Department, which has housing and building inspectors on duty to investigate situations and to work with property own- ers to get heat turned back on. Inspectional Services will expand its cold weather re- sponse resources to include: additional on-call housing and building inspectors who will respond to no heat calls, faulty heating systems and frozen pipes and conduct spot checks of home heating fuel trucks. General heating safety tips for winter weather include: • Never use your oven for heat. • Electric powered portable heaters should never be left on while sleeping and should be kept at least three feet away from combustible materials, i • Do not overload electri- cal sockets. Against Cold • Never leave candles unattended. • CO detectors are now required in homes by law. They must be within ten feet of sleeping areas. *.,Working smoking detec- tors should be on each floor of your home, particularly near bedrooms. • To avoid frozen pipes, let warm water drip over- night in faucets, preferably from a faucet on an out- door wall, and leave cabi- net doors open to allow heat to reach un-insulated pipes. The Boston Public Health Commission suggests fol- lowing these tips to stay warm and avoid the danger- ous effects of extremely cold weather. Additional winter safety guidance is available at • Layer clothing. • Cover exposed skin. Skin is vulnerable to frost bite at such low temperatures. • Keep moving while outdoors. * Check on elderly family and neighbors. • Drink warm, non- caffeinated fluids. • Keep pets indoors. THE POST-GAZETII SATELLITE OFFICE IS NOW OPEN AT 35 BENNINGTON STREET, EAST BOSTON This office is open on Tuesdays from 10:00 AM to 3.'00 PM and Thursdays from II.'00 AM to 2.'00 PM, for the convenience of our East Boston and North Shore clients and contributors Call 61 7-227-8929 for more information