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February 12, 2010     Post-Gazette
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February 12, 2010

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Page2 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 12, 2010 Stir ep_ byProf. Edmund Turiello Res Publica Nostra A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. BLAME IT ON YOUR ROOTS Michelangelo Buonarroti, probably the most talented human being to walk upon the face of this earth, was known, not only for his great masterpieces, but also for his frightening "terribilita". Did this quality just happen or was it preordained? As far as I'm concerned, show me an Italian who doesn't get angry once in a while and I'll show you an impostor. Those who do not hold with theory have never heard two Romans discussing a fen- der bender at a busy inter- section. It follows them, if "blowing your stack" is a part of our Roman character, there must be some ratio- nale by which we can blame it on our roots ... violent roots .., eruptive roots. Geologists tell us that there was a time when the area now occupied by Rome and its suburbs was covered with the quiet blue waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea in the form of a broad and placid bay. It all started when na- ture combined its forces in preparation for the Rome that was to be. Suddenly out of the bay were thrown enor- mous quantities of every kind of volcanic ash, pum- ice, lava, refuse, and debris. Nature's frightening "ter- ribilita" formed a cosmic spectacle that no human eye could have seen. The seed was planted, and from this our roots were destined to grow. Land appeared above the water but there was a long dormant period which caused all of this material to be beaten into the stony "tufa" which formed the foundations for the seven hills of Rome, and furnished the material for those early walls, sewers, and temples. These tufa beds, about seventy-five feet thick, formed the geological phe- nomena (soft enough to ex- cavate but hard enough to support the crushing weight from above without shoring) which later permitted the excavations for the under- ground burial places called "cemetaria", shelves for the embalmed bodies called "loculi", pigeonhole niches for cremated remains called "columbaria", and more than three hundred miles of cata- combs that would hold about six million deceased. After an interval of great duration there came an- other series of eruptions. Similar materials were thrown out, but were sub- jected to different elements and forces, which resulted n the formation of a different kind of tufa. This time on the Palatine Hill, the hot ashes and debris, falling in enor- mous quantities, buried a growing forest like a giant coal bin. The wood was thus converted into huge lumps of charcoal, which have been plentiful everywhere in the Palatine tufa. Nature was kind in providing the fuel for those hundreds of thousands of braziers which would furnish the heat for warmth and cooking during later eras. NEXT ISSUE: Blame It On Your Roots Part II Summer Jobs Program through the Hopeline Participants Will Serve at Over 300 Worksites Ranging from City Departments to Faith Based Organizations in Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Boston Youth Fund announced the launch of the Hopeline registration for 2010. The majority of teens work as camp counselors, tutors and mentors placed in non- profit organizations that serve younger children through camps, sports and enrichment programs. Par- ticipants will serve at over 300 worksites ranging from City Departments to com- munity and faith based or- ganizations in the Boston area. The Hopeline is the only application process for the City of Boston Summer Jobs Program and is only open for a limited time. Potential employees must be regis- tered on the Hopeline in or- der to work for the Boston Youth Fund. Applicants should call (617) 635-HOPE to register. Although regis- tering through the Hopeline is encouraged, it does not guarantee a summer job. In order to register inter- ested individuals: Must be a full time Resi- dent of the City of Boston; f FUNCTION FACILITY Please accept sincere condolences, from the Spinelli's family and staff. During this difficult time, we would like to offer our facility at a specially reduced price, for you, your family and friends. SERVED UPON ARRIVAL Coffee, Mini Danish Pastries and Tea Breads BUFFET LUNCHEON MENU Tossed Salad, Assorted Roils with Butter Chicken, Ziti and Broccoli Alfredo Eggplant Parmigiana Italian Sausages, Onions and Potatoes Above price does not include a 15% Administration Fee and a 7% Mass State Tax. 280 BENNINGTON STREET, EAST BOSTON, MA Telephone: 617-567-4499 J Must be 15 years old, on or Before July 5, 2010; Cannot turn 18 years old, on or before August 13, 2010. From 10:00 AM on Febru- ary 16 through 11:59 PM on March 15, applicants can register for 24 hours a day online at www.bostonyouth zone.corn by clicking on the Youth Fund/Hopeline link. Registration can also be completed over the phone by calling 617-635-HOPE (4673). The Hopeline phone regis- tration will be open for the following dates and times: Tuesday, February 16 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Wednesday, February 17 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Thursday, February 18 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Friday, February 19 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. To view this registration information in multiple lan- guages, visit Please con- tact the Boston Youth Fund with any questions you may have at (617) 635-4202. Lktea~ States~ Census 2010 Be a part of History! APPLY NOW! Recruiting Assistants, Clerks, Census Takers AND MORE! Flexible hours & paid training Must be U.S. Citizen and pass written test. Call TODAY 1-866-861-2010 For more info and practice test, go to www.2OlOcensusiobs.=ov US Census Bureau is an Equal Opportunity Employer by David Trumbull This is Washington 's Birthday and I Can't Tell a Lie Monday is WASHING- TON'S BIRTHDAY, a federal and state holiday to honor the hero of the Revolution- ary War, the Father of this Country, and the first Presi- dent of the United States. Of the 43 men to serve as chief executive of the Union, only Washington is so singled out for honor with a federal holiday. That many persons now call the third Monday in February "Presidents Day" is an indicator of our lack of discrimination and devalu- ing of true accomplishment and fame. To put it in per- spective, Catholics believe that each of the 265 popes was the Vicar of Christ on Earth, infallible in matters of faith and morals, and yet fewer than 80 have been added to the calendar of Saints (and no less erudite writer than Dante placed some of the popes in Hell), but common American us- age honors equally the great Washington and the least noble and least accom- plished of men to hold the office by jumbling them all together on "Presidents Day," the equivalent of declaring each a "secular saint." Slighting of Washington by calling his birthday "Presidents Day" also errs by neglecting the 29th of May, which by state law (Mass. Gen. Laws Chap. 6 Section 15VV) is our PRESIDENTS DAY, in memory of John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Calvin Coolidge and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, former presidents from the Commonwealth. Virginia, home of eight presidents, including Wash- ington, beats us out in total number. But here in the Bay State we have something the Old Dominion lacks. We have in our midst the Wash- ington Library -- About 800 books and pamphlets from George Washington's per- sonal library at Mount Vernon given to the Boston Athenaeum by a group of Bostonians in 1848. The books themselves are price- less and only serious schol- ars need apply for permission to use the collection. How- ever, in 1997 the library pub- lished a catalog so the rest of us can see what sort of books the great man was reading. Books on history and gov- ernment from Washington's library include his personal copy of Common Sense, the tract by Thomas Paine that was so influential in promot- ing the revolutionary spirit. The General, of course, had several books on military science. Remembering that Mount Vernon was a work- ing farm, we are not sur- prised to find books on agri- culture and practice arts such as carpentry and horsemanship. President Washington's mind ranged beyond those necessary top- ics, for we also find books on religion, linguistics, and poetry. I could lump Washington in the same group with some of the lesser men who occupied the White House -- but that would be a lie. David Trumbull is the chairman of the Boston Ward Three Republican Committee. Boston's Ward Three includes the North End, West End, part of Beacon Hill, downtown, waterfront, Chinatown, and part of the South End. EAST BOSTON RESIDENT Achieves Honors East Boston resident Christopher Pellegrino 'II, made Honor Roll at the Brimmer and May School for Semester I (Upper School). To earn Honors, a student must have at least an overall B average (the equivalent of a 3.0 GPA for a term) with no mark lower than a B-. Christopher is the son of Ben Pellegrino and Diana Wong-Pellegrino.