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February 3, 2012
 

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THE ITALIAN-AMERICAN VOICE OF MASSACHUSETTS L (Formerly LA GAZZETTA del MASSACHUSETTS) VOL. 116 - NO. 5 BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, FEBRUARY 3, 2012 $.30 A COPY KEVIN H. WHITE The Mayor of America, Indeed by Sal Giarratani Old friends Fred Langone, Mayor Kevin White and Caesar Donnaruma When 1967 rolled around and the campaign for mayor got going, there were several candidates vying to replace the outgoing Mayor-John F. Collins. Among them were Edward Logue, the first B.R.A. Director under Mayor Collins, there was Republi- can John Sears, then there was the 4 term Secretary of State Kevin White and School Committee Chair- woman Louise Day Hicks. Boston was-not in the best of shape at that period in the city's history. Under Collins and Hynes before him, the (Continued on Page 9) by | Oiarratani More Thoughts on That Italian Ship Captain By now, most of us have heard that god-awful audio between Italian Coast Guard ............ Captain Gregory De Falco and Captain Francesco Schettino : of the Costa Concordia ocean ] liner that crashed into the rocks. It didn't sound too good ::::: for him. Talk shows on the ..... radio are tearing the guy apart [I for his alleged not so Profiles In Captain Courage moment. Eventually, Chesley the whole truth will come out. "Sully" Meanwhile, I was thinking Sullenberger of another captain named Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and his emergency landing on the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. He and the crew of US Air- ways Flight 1549 were awarded the National Air and Space Museum's highest honor: the 2010 Current Achievement Trophy. As Capt. Sullenberger stated, What can other pilots learn from your experience? One of the things I encourage other pilots to think about is that out of a 43-year career -- my entire life is (Continued on Page 10) Fare Increase for the Disabled Unfair If you depend on the MBTA's The RIDE service -- and I know many of my read- ers in the North End, East Boston, and surrounding communities do -- you are probably worried about the proposals to cut MBTA ser- vices and raise fares. The potential for a 500% in- crease, to $12 per ride, is, and ought to be, frightening to Americans with disabili- ties living on a fixed, and of- ten very limited, income The detailed proposals from the MBTA are extremely com- plex and are written in a technical jargon that is nearly impenetrable by the average citizen. Here are the facts, simply stated. The MBTA is required, by a federal law, to provide the RIDE service. When Presi- dent George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law on July 26, 1990, he said: "It signals the end to the unjustified segregation and exclusion of persons with disabilities from the main- stream of American life.  He went on to compare it to the Declaration of Independence. So in spite of any rumors you hear, the "T" is not propos- ing to end the RIDE. Nor are they going to limit the RIDE to only doctor's visits. The law requires that the RIDE provide service "com- parable to ... public transpor- tation services provided to individuals without disabili- ties." It would hardly be com- parable service to tell the disabled that you cannot use the RIDE to visit your grand- kids, go marketing, attend church or synagogue, or go to the theatre or sporting event, when persons with- by David Trumbull out disabilities can do all those things on a bus, sub- way, or trolley. The T, however, does have two specific proposals to in- crease the fare for using the R/DE. Currently the fare is two dollars, which it has been since 2007. To under- stand the proposals, first you must understand that there are two components to the RiDE. First there is the stan- dard service that the Ameri- cans with Disabilities Act requires. Secondly, there are additional services (what the MBTA calls "Premium Service "} that go beyond the requirements of the law. Tens of thousands of dis- abled persons in the greater Boston area depend on both the standard and "premium" services. The T is required to pro- vide the RIDE service for any trip that is within 3/4 of a mile of a bus, subway, or trolley line and for the same hours operation as the bus, subway, or trolley line. The fee is limited to not more than two times the cost of a subway ride. Finally, to get this basic service you must book the trip at least the day before. Currently the RIDE goes to many more places than just those within 3/4 mile of a regular T route. In some places you may take the RIDE earlier or later in the day than when the buses run. Finally, the T does its best to accommodate "same day" requests These are the so-called "premium ser- vices" that will have large fee increases under the MBTA plans. The standard service will also go up in price. Under MBTA Plan #1 the" standard service will have a 125% fare increase, to $4.50. The "premium" services will have a huge 500% increase to $12. Under MBTA Plan #2 the standard service will in- crease to $3 and "premium" services will increase to $5. Neither plan, as far as I can tell, calls for eliminat- ing any RIDE services, but the proposed fare increases could put the RIDE out of the price range of many current users. Fare increases for the RIDE under Plan #2 are not as high as under Plan #1, however, Plan #2 also calls for eliminating over I00 bus routes, including the #120 and #121 buses (East Bos- ton}, which could result in more RIDE trips falling into the more expensive "pre- mium" category (due to no longer being within 3/4 of a mile of a bus route). The complete list of bus route eliminations under Plan #2 includes: routes 4, 5, 14, 18, 27, 29, 33, 37, 38, 40, 43, 45, 48, 50, 51, 52, 55, 59, 60, 62, 64, 67, 68, 74, 75, 76, 78, 79, 80, 85, 90, 92, 95, 96, 97, 99, I00, 105, 106, 108, 112, 119, 120 121, 131, 132, 136, 137, 170 171, 201,202, 210, 211, 212 215, 217, 230, 236, 238, 240 245, 275, 276, 277, 325, 326 350, 351,352, 354, 355, 411 424, 428, 429, 430, 431, 434 435, 436, 439, 441,448, 449 450, 451,456, 459, 465, 468 500, 501, 502, 503, 505, 553, 554, 555, 556, 558, and CT3. Plan # 1 also includes a sig- nificant number of reduc- tions in bus service. It would eliminate weekday routes 4, 48, 52, 170, 217, 275, 276, 277, 325, 351,354, 355, 436, 439, 448, 449, 451,465, 468, 500, 554, 555, and CT3, Saturday routes 33, 48, 52, 60, 72, 78, 136, 171, 211, (Continued on Page 13) THE POST-GAZETTE SATELLITE OFFICE iS NOW OPEN AT 35 BENNINGTON STREET, EAST BOSTON ...... -| This office--ts open on Tuesdays from 10:00 AM to 3.'00. PM and Thursdays from 11:00 AM to PM, / for the convenience of our East Boston and North Shore clients and contributors Call 617-227-8929 for more information