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February 1, 2013     Post-Gazette
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February 1, 2013

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-. !:K. L .(.. ._q, .' YC, AIiq., . .'`.IF!',  THE ITALIAN-AMERICAN VOICE OF MASSACHUSETTS TTE (Formerly LA GAZZETTA del MASSACHUSETTS) VOL. 117 - NO. 5 BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, FEBRUARY 1, 2013 $.30 A COPY Happy Groundhog Day SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2  The largest and: most famous Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, with a grotndhog named Punxsutawney Phil. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come ear; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks. MAYOR MENINO IS BACK and Ready for Boston's Future by Sal Giarratani "Others can help us get better, but only we can make Boston great." -- Mayor Thomas M. Menino (Photo by Rosario Scabin, Ross Photography) Boston's success possible. Menino said he felt great and "Really energized ... It is good to be back." He didn't mention any specific plans for 2013 but did use the word "encore" once and it did not go unno- ticed with me. Apparently, State Treasurer Steve Grossman caught it too, say- ing, "His encore is going to be four more years. It was a visionary speech. I was very impressed." City On Tuesday evening January 29 th, Faneuil Hall was jam-packed with an SRO crowd to listen to Mayor Tom Menino deliver his 20  State of the City Address. I landed upstairs on the top floor and was reminded of those old days at Boston Garden in the upper rafters with my ears popping. The mayor strolled into historic Faneuil Hall to the sound of music blaring, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." Considering all the medical problems he had in 2012, it seemed very appropriate. He was full of energy, compassion and a passion to take Boston to even newer heights. When he spoke of Boston, he said the city was strong and sound like never before. He knocked people dead with a very inspiring speech in which he certainly looked the part of an active partici- pate in Boston's future. Many things have been go- ing right for Boston and most in the hall would say his leadership made much of Councilor Rob Consalvo added, "Clearly, he's back and ready to lead Boston forward." Menino's speech talked about all the positives that are taking place here. Men- ino spoke of the economic growth, the new Seaport District, Downtown Boston, great progress in Boston's public schools, taking on the cancer of crime and of- fering hope and a place at the table for all Bostonians. He didn't seem concerned about where Boston would be later this year or into 2014, his focus was on the decades that will fol- low. His vision was long. To be honest, I hadn't heard this kind of passion from a pcqitician since the days of Bobby Kennedy almost 45 years ago. There was a connection up on the stage at Faneuil Hall that is not often seen in politics any- where in this country. I also think back to 1967 (Continued on Page 10) They All Look the During ABC's telecast of the Inaugural Address, George Stephanopoulos confused an NBA legend with a Hollywood legend. Panning to a shot of Bill Russell wearing a Boston Celtics cap, Stephan- opoulos identified him as Morgan Freeman. Russell is 6-9" while Freeman is 6'-2". It is a good thing that Denzel Washington wasn't nearby or he might have become Bill Cosby, huh? Payroll Tax HittingSoppers Hard The payroll tax hike of 2"lei'cntage points has hit workers who received*fleir first paycheck of 2013 hard. The hike;'c.ame about as neither Con- gress nor the presidenf opposed the hike this time around as opposed to one year ago. The rate low- ered under President Bush returned to 6.2 per- cent. Lower income working families will be hit the .hardest. Shoppers already look like they are cutting back on spending due to the higher pay- roll tax rate. Back in 2012, the average amount saved on the lower rate tax was about $770. Big- gest winners could be stores like Walmart and Target as consumers seek discounted prices. Barack Obama Seems at Odds with JFK Vision of America As I listened to President Obama's Inaugural Address, I heard much partisan talk and plenty of lip service to both Abraham Lincoln and Martin (Continued on Page 14) AN EAST BOSTON RENAISSANCE IN THE MAKING Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Massa- chusetts Port Autrity (lassport) joined with Governor Ieval Patrick New Jersey- based developer Roseland, RBS Citizens and other elected officials and members of the East Boston community recently to celebrate the groundbreaking of Portside at Pier One, East Boston's first new residential water- front development in many years. The first of seven planned buildings is now under- way, and will lead in the transformation of the underutilized shoreline which has spec- tacular views of the Boston skyline. "Today,s groundbreaking demonstrates how public-private partnerships can create economic opportunity and prosperity for a local community," said Gov. Deval Patrick. "I applaud the City of Boston and Massport working together with the East Boston community and the private sector to sup- port this important waterfront investment. Ultimately everyone who lives, works and does business in East Boston will benefit." (Continued on Page 15)