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March 13, 2015     Post-Gazette
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March 13, 2015

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T ,ill,mh,,,il,ql,,,ll,hh,,Mh,,llqh,l,,h,,I h,dllOil "MIXED ADC 07099 18 SMALL TOWN PAPER,S, Nt PAUL JEFFKO 2'I7 W COTA " ! ' I THE IT-AMERICAN VOICE OF MASSACHUSETTS (Formerly LA GAZZETTA del MASSACHUSETTS) VOL. 119 - NO. 11 BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, MARCH 13, 2015 $.35 A COPY Ah, spring! I can feel the blossom- ing of Mother Earth all around me whenever I step out the door. The arrival of the new season is present in the gurgling sound of melting snow dripping down the drain. It is in the flash of red feathers I saw as a robin danced among the bare branches of my backyard tree. It is in the sparkling green shamrocks and pastel-hued Easter eggs adorn- ing doors and shops. Yes, as the weather skyrocketed up to a balmy 50 degrees this past week, I find myself bouncing with an undeniable case of spring fever. After such a difficult winter, the call of spring resounds so much more profoundly, awakening not just the vegetation of the Earth but also the energy and good humor of all living beings. A time of such joy calls for a celebra- tion. Fortunately, this upcoming week sports two separate spring holidays that instill us with the beauty of the season. March 17 th is St. Patrick,s Day. _a_Jeast of green, o ilg'iater comes. Joseph's Day, a traditional Italian celebration honoring one of the country's most beloved saints. Collectively, these holidays usher us into spring with L'Anno Bello: A Year in Italian Folklore Zycklt Spring! by Ally Di Censo Symynkywicz appropriate fanfare and festivities. St. Patrick's Day is one of those holidays that I eagerly look forward to every year. It serves as a sort of seasonal marker for me, an unde- niable herald of spring. Of course, it is easy to find signs of spring all over St. Patrick's Day decorations, from the plentiful shamrocks to rainbows arching over pots of gold. St. Patrick's Day is an especially mean- ingful holiday in our hometown of Boston, due to the city's strong Irish- American heritage and its love of festivities. As with most holidays at my home, St. Patrick's Day involves much food. I always bake an Irish soda bread studded with plump rai- sins and sharp caraway seeds, and in the past I have also made maca- roni with Dubliner cheese and stout, and a spring mix salad laden with beets, goat cheese, and caramelized: pecans. My father-in-law, mean- while, makes a traditional boiled dinner with potatoes, carrots and parsnips. These seasonal foods re- mind me to live in the moment, cherishing the treasures of the Earth as they become available. How- ever, St. Patrick's Day is more than just a chance to indulgence in deli- cious food. This feast honors St. Patrick, or San Patrizio in Ital- ian, a Roman-British man who was brought to Ireland as a slave. A popu- lar legend about St. Patrick says that he used a shamrock to teach people about the Holy Trinity, thus mark- ing this little spring plant as one of the most unforgettable symbols of the holiday. St. Patrick's Day re- minds me of spring days when the trees look especially lush and green after a sudden shower, and an ephemeral rainbow graces the sky. It is a holiday of spring, and that is why it will forever be celebrated with much love. On March 19 th, another spring holiday approaches, one that is very dear to my family. It is St. Joseph's Day, or il Giorno di San Giuseppe in Italian. My father fondly remembers windy St. Joseph's celebrations in his mountainous hometown of Sulmona. St. Joseph's Day functions as a holiday honoring fathers in (Continued on Page 4) Sinatra at 100 in New York, New York I love listening to Ron Della Chiesa on Sunday nights on 99.1 WPLM with his Strictly Sinatra program. The Chairman of the Board had a once in a lifetime voice. One time Bing Crosby joked saying, "Frank is a singer who comes along once in a lifetime, but why did he have to come. in my lifetime?" I heard the news that two New York exhibits are paying homage to the centennial of his birth by displaying rare photos and mementos. Sinatra an American Icon has opened at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. It will feature recordings, clothing and other personal items. Several new Peter Max paintings of Sinatra will also be on display. Meanwhile, The Sinatra Experience will be held over at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in Soho fea- turing rare photos including a selfie taken by a 23-year-old Sinatra in his Hoboken, NJ, bathroom mirror. Sinatra was born on December 12, 1915 and passed away at the age of 82 in 1998. The FCC and the Internet It appears the, Obama White House loves being in control. The FCC recently stated that it wants to be considered a utility, like the gas or electric company. I am not sure i like the idea of the government clipping the wings of the Internet (Continued on Page 9) Boston's AAA Bond Rating Affirmed by Moody's and Standard and Poor's Cite Sound Fiscal Management, Very Strong Economy Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced that both Stan- dard and Poor's Rating Ser- vice and Moody's Investor's Services have affirmed Bos- ton's AAA bond rating, the highest possible credit rating a city can receive. Both agencies cited the city's sound fiscal management under Mayor Walsh's leader- ship and the strong and growing local economy. "These top credit ratings are a testament to the strong fiscal management that we have implemented to strengthen our city now, and for the long-term," said Mayor Walsh. "We will con- tinue to make smart fis- cal decisions that will al- low our neighborhoods, schools and local economy to thrive." "The AAA rating reflects Boston's sound fiscal man- agement of a stable finan- cial position and the city's substantial and economi- cally diverse tax base bol- stered by strong govern- ment, health care and higher education sectors," said the Moody's rating report. "We consider Boston's economy very strong," said .the Standard and Poor's rat- ing report. "Boston is the 21st-larges t city in the nation and the economic hub of New England. The city is the state capital and center for government-related ac- tivities. In addition, its eco- nomic strengths include world-renowned bio medical research capabilities, a large and broad-based high- tech and life science sector, and a substantial financial services sector. Supporting these strengths are a well- educated workforce and world-class higher education and academic medical cen- ters, both within the city and surrounding area." Additional factors for the favorable rating include: The city is the center of economic activity for New England and boasts a sub- stantial tax base of over $109 billion; Local unemployment be- low the national average at 4.5 percent; * 272 projects in the pipe- line at the Boston Redevel- opment Authority, totaling $23 billion in development costs; Projected per capital ef- fective buying income at 126 percent of the national level; * Strong budgetary flexibil- ity with 2015 audited avail- able reserves in excess of 20 percent of general fund ex- penditures and no plans to materially draw them down; Property taxes account for 63 percent of revenue, and collections are strong and stable; Assessed values in- creased 10.9 percent, the largest since 2007, attribut- able to 12 percent residen- tial growth and 8.8 percent commercial growth. 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