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February 19, 2010     Post-Gazette
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February 19, 2010
 

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Page 2 POST:GAZETTE, FEBi:[UARY ig12010 by Prof. Edmund Nostra Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry...our lineage...our roots. BLAME The last edition discussed the 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 end placid bay. The article also explained how a series of volcanic eruptions spewed out the materials which eventually hardened to form the "tufa" rock that was used by the Romans for their walls, sewers, and buildings. Following the first erup- tion, which filled in the bay with that stony "tufa", came the second eruption which not only buried a forest to provide all of that valuable charcoal, but also deposited the great beds of "pozzolena" which lie all about Rome. This is a reddish volcanic dust, nearly half being oxide of iron, and also containing silex (flint and quartz), alum, chalk and magnesia. This most important of all volca- nic products was eventually mixed with lime and water to form a strong and cohe- sive concrete. This is the concrete that permitted the Roman builders ... the em- pire builders, to construct those incredible walls, baths, basilicas, and temples, which have resisted all of the destructive agencies of time and weather better than most stone. Still another element from the second eruption fur- nished supplies for the fu- ture Rome. The elevation of this area above the level of the sea formed fresh- water lakes and a river now called Tiber, which origin- ally was of great width and depth. The water was high in carbonic acid gas content, and thus deposited a pure carbonate of lime in large thick beds in the valleys and along the slopes of the hills. This is the origin of the "travertine", that great Ro- man building stone that has been used from legendary IT ON YOUR ROOTS PART II times right up to today. When cut and polished for interior surfaces, it shows a characteristic, worm-eaten texture. Once again, for a third time, volcanic activity in the region was resumed and the Alban Hills south of Rome was the scene of vio- lent eruptions. Streams of lava ran down over the plains leaving beds of igneous rock (granite, etc.), which ever since the time of the early kings have furnished that wonderful paving stone, which has no equal in the world. Nature still wasn't satisfied with the geological blessings bestowed upon this future city of cities and added one more extremely valuable building material in the form of "peperino", a rock found nowhere else in the world. The name is derived from the appearance of the rock which looks as though it is full of pepper corns (black crystals). Peperino contains such fire-resisting qualities that its use in resi- dential structures was re- quired by legislation during many different periods. And so dear friends, you can see now why I used the terms "violent" and "erup- tive". The violence and erup- tions formed the founda- tions for the city that became the center of the greatest governing empire that the world had known up to the time of the British Empire. This is where your roots truly begin. So when things go wrong as they usually will ... and your daily road seems all uphill ... when funds are low and your debts are high ... when you try to smile but can only cry ... and you feel somehow that you're just going to crack ... IT'S YOUR ROOTS THAT PERMIT YOU TO BLOW YOUR STACK. NORTH END Boston Public Library 25 Parmenter Street Thursdays, 10 AM-1 PM Mar. 4 Apr. NEXT ISSUE: The Founders NORTH EN[00 PRINTING Quality Printing for all your Commercial and Personal Needs Stationery * Business Cards * Menus * Flyers I Program Books * Wedding and Party Invitations I Announcements * Business Forms and Documents I Boston Water and 980 Harrison Avenue Boston, MA 02119 Sewer Commission www.bwsc.org m COMPETITIVE PRICES m 617-227-8929 Res PublJca by David TrumbuU Boston Launches Workshops on "CLIMATE CHANGE" The City of Boston recently announced plans to sponsor five community workshops on climate action with one workshop specifically de- signed to engage Boston's youth. Even as the new revela- tions come out daily expos- ing the fraud and self-deal- ing going on in the climate change industry, and the science behind the claims -- thin at best in the first place -- looking more and more dubious, the City of Boston is roaring ahead on the global warming band wagon. According to the release "Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Environmental and En- ergy Services are sponsoring five community workshops on Climate Action with one workshop specifically for the high school students of Boston. These workshops are part of the Boston Climate Action Leadership Committee which will pro- vide recommendations for the City's new climate ac- tion plan on ways to reduce greenhouse gases, save en- ergy. adapt to the changes we can't avoid, and expand the green economy." In addition to a high school student workshop, there will be four neighborhood-based workshops to: "learn about how climate change is al- ready affecting Boston and what we can do about it ..." The high school student workshop is on Saturday, February 27 at the Old South Church, 645 Boylston Street in Boston from II:00- 2:00 PM. Neighborhood-based work- shops for residents will be held from 5:30-8:30 PM on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at the Old South Church; Mon- day, March 8, 2010 at the West Roxbury Elks Club; Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at the Metcalf Ballroom in the George Sherman Union at Boston University and Wednesday, March 15, 2010 at the Roxbury Center for the Arts at the Hibernian Hall. More balanced, and more scientific, than the Demo- crats faith-based environ- mental policy, is this state- ment from the 2008 Repub- lican Party Platform: "The same human economic ac- tivity that has brought free- dom and opportunity to bil- lions has also increased the amount of carbon in the at- mosphere. While the scope and long-term consequences of this are the subject of on- going scientific research, common sense dictates that the U.S. should take mea- sured and reasonable steps today to reduce any impact on the environment ... Any policies should be global in nature, based on sound sci- ence and technology, and should not harm the economy." 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. Legislation Gives City Officials Critical Tools to Enforcing Laws Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced that Governor Deval Patrick officially signed into law An Act Rela- tive to Unpaid Municipal Fines -- also referred to as the "green ticket" bill. This local options law will provide Boston and munici- palities that adopt it with a critical enforcement tool needed for the collection of unpaid code violation fines. These "green tickets" are issued for the violation of various sections of the Mas- sachusetts General Laws, the City of Boston Ordi- nances and the City of Bos- ton Zoning Code. "This bill provides city offi- cials with a crucial tool to keep our neighborhoods clean," said Mayor Menino. "Now we can assess penal- ties for late payment, restrict violators from accessing cer- tain city services and add unpaid violations to property tax bills. Repeat offenders that never paid violations or simply ignored violations will quickly learn that there is no excuse for disobeying laws that are meant to protect the public's health and keep our streets clean and safe for everyone to enjoy." A Boston Water and Sewer Commission Community Services Department representative will be in your neighborhood at the place, date, and time listed here. Our representative will be available to: ' Accept payments. (Check or money order only- no cash, please.) Process discount forms for senior citizens and disabled people. ' Resolve billing or service complaints. ' Review water consumption data for your property. ' Arrange payment plans for delinquent accounts. Need more information? Call the Community Services Department at 617-989-7000.