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March 19, 2010     Post-Gazette
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Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 19, 2010 by Sal Giarratani  .... - STOCKS END NEARLY FLAT; VOLUME MIXED! Law makers who support the health care bill are hurting their re-election chances, according to a new poll released last week. It shows that most people would prefer to see them start over and reject using reconciliation to pass the bill. Most would oppose candidates in the next elec- tion who supported the bill. A survey found that the re- cent health care summit featuring President Obama, and congressional leaders turned more people off than it won over. The Indepen- dents are strongly against health care reform. The Re- publicans and Democrats are mirror images of each other, but the Independents are working against it. A 42% margin is split with 42% for it and 42% against it and 34% strongly opposed. Asked, if Congress should pass the current bill or start fresh, respondents said "start over" by 61%-32%. For Indepen- dents the vote was 65%-24%. By using the budget recon- ciliation bill to circumvent a ibuster to help pass the bill, 51% were opposed. Health care is taking a toll on Presi- dent Obama's approval rat- ing which dipped to 50%. Doors open for nuclear power, but new plants face big hurdles as the public still fears the danger of radioac- tivity, but the opposition has faded. Nuclear generators are more reliable than solar and wind power and cleaner than plants using coal or other fossil fuels. The ad- ministration has broken with long standing opposition by moving the logjam block- ing new nuclear power con- struction. The huge upfront costs and endless time from blue prints to actual opera- tion make them fraught with risk for investors. No nuclear plants have been built since 1995, but Presi- dent Obama announced plans to help finance two new plants with $8.3 billion in guarantees. Plans are under way for 32 nuke plants in the US. Southern Co., is still king, but accounts for one half of US power generation and natural gas, though not as cheap as coal plants to operate, natural gas plants are far cheaper to build. Coal emits lots of carbon dioxide so it makes low emission nuclear look more appeal- ing. Nuclear plants account for 11% of US generating capacity today, but accounts for 20% of power because they operate so efficiently. Exelon is the biggest opera- tor which includes Westing- house, General Electric, Areva and Mitsubishi. A nuclear plant costs $4-8 bil- lion to build, but provides cheap power for 5-6 decades. They have the lowest costs $1.87/kHz. Natural gas costs .08˘ per kHz and coal costs .03˘/kHz. The CO 2 policy is a big one. It makes coal and natural gas emissions look unattractive and makes nuclear power look more at- tractive. Lowering nuclear costs looks attractive. If you could build in 5-6 years in- stead of 10-12. In Korea they are trying to get it under 5 years. The demand for elec- tricity will rise 23% by 2030 according to NEI. So nuclear power is essential to meet- ing future power needs. The Georgia Nuclear Reactors will power light for 1.4 mil- lion people will start running in 2016-17, but it's best to go a little slower at this time. Retail sales unexpectedly rose .3% in February vs. January, the most in three months, despite the storms and concerns about unem- ployment. February same store sales rose 4.1% versus a year earlier, the best since November of 2007 and ten segments rose, including electronics, apparel and de- partment stores. Restau- rants had a .9% gain, the best in two years. Auto sales fell .2% in February holding back the overall increase, but 10 of the other 12 retail sectors rose. Several chains including J. Crew reported strong gains last week. It's always best to look at what consumers do rather than what they say. "Their spend- ing, that's the main thing," said Kurt Marl, Chief US Economists at Swiss-Re. The stock market is in a confirmed uptrend. Leaders are up in high volume. Stocks have bagged huge gains in the last 12 months, including NASDAQ stocks. The S&P 500 and the NYSE composite rose 1% for the week and the Dow added .5%. It's time to call your financial advisor or call me at 617-261-7777. SACCO & VANZETTI: A Retrospective April 15-17, 2010 The Town of Braintree and the Braintree Historical So- ciety will be co-sponsoring a three day event entitled 'Sacco & Vanzetti: A Retro- spective,' from Thursday, April 15, 2010 through Sat- urday, April 17, 2010. It is not the intent of the town or the society to assess the guilt or innocence of Sacco or Vanzetti, but is instead a desire to promote an open and honest discussion of the painful and controversial is- sues that surrounded this case. THURSDAY, APRIL 15 Ts Day of Remembrance The first program will be- gin on Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 3:30 pro, exactly ninety years to the hour after the shooting on Pearl Street in 1920. A monu- ment will be dedicated to Frederick Parmenter and Alessandro Berardelli, the two victims of the 1920 shooting. Members of the Parmenter and Berardelli families will be on hand to unveil the monument. Following the dedication of f NOBILE INSURANCE ALBANO F. PONTE, CEP Financial and Estate Planning Emai/ afponte @msn.com Phone 617-320-0022 MICHAEL F. NOBILE, CPCU ARLINGTON 148A Massachusetts Avenue Arlington, MA 02474 (781) 646-1200 Fax (781) 646-1148 WWW.BOSTONPOSTGAZETTE.COM MEDFORD 39 Salem Street Medford, MA 02155 (781) 395-4200 Fax (781) 391-8493 BOSTON 251 Hanover Street Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-6766 Fax (617) 523-0078 the memorial, a Sacco & Vanzetti exhibit will open in the Braintree Town Hall auditorium. The evening program will begin at 7:00 at Town Hall and consist of a panel discussion focused on the events of April 15, 1920. Judge Peter Agnes and Stephen Kenney of the Mas- sachusetts State Archives will be among the panelists. This program will be free and open to the public. FRIDAY, APRIL 16 TH The Case of Sacco & Vanzetti The centerpiece of "Sacco & Vanzetti: A Retrospective," will be held on Friday evening, April 16 th, at Thayer Academy. After a wine and cheese reception (beginning at 6:00) and din- ner (beginning at 7:00), a panel discussion will be held in the new Performing Arts Center. This program will focus on all aspects of the case against and the trial of Sacco & Vanzetti. Among the panelists will be District Attorney William Keating and Professor Robert Allison of Suffolk University. Please call for cost. (Continued on Page 15) UNDERSTANDING LIFE Really Does Take a Lifetime Recently, I attended two funerals in a very short span of time. The first was over in East Boston where an older couple lost one of their adult children. The second funeral was over in the North End where a friend of mine's brother-in-law passed away. However, dying being as negative as it sounds using words like "passed away" sounds so gentle, but is it ever really gentle? Growing up Sicilian and Irish, I attended many wakes. I once had a small role in a movie. I was asked if I knew how to act at a wake. I said are you kidding, "I'm a professional when it comes to wakes. "The movie wake was the most fun wake I was ever at since nobody really died. Without trying to bring up stereotypes. The Italian side of me looks at the per- son in the casket while the Irish side remembers the life lived, both are bookends of the same understanding of life and death. Not to linger on this sub- ject, my brother Dominic's third anniversary of his pass- ing just happened on March 5. Life slips through our hands so quickly. It is hard to philosophically understand what life's meaning is. Reli- gion and faith give us guide- lines but truly understanding the sadness of losing loved ones always seems so unex- plainable. My brother had a great li- brary of books. Shortly after he passed, I got a few of his books. I picked up his copy of the major works of John Donne. He had passages un- derlined and one bookmark denoting what he had been reading shortly before his death. It was the seven- teenth meditation. He had underlined the following, "No man is an island, entire of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as ff a prom- ontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, be- cause I am involved in man- kind, and therefore never seem to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." Why was he reading this shortly before dying? Did he come to understand some- thing about his mortality? Sunrise! Sunset! Sunrise! Sunset! Oh, how the years go by in happiness and in pain. Greater Boston's Affordable Private Cemetery Traditional Burial Plot (for at S 1500 CEMETERY ' COMMUNITY MAUSOLEUMS GARDEI˘COLUMBARIUMS 617,524.1036 www.stmichaelcemetery.com the Italian community for over 100 years! o00lh End CT00a00,n, ber o/" Co00nmerce North End Restaurant Week 2010 Week 1 March 28th -April 2nd Week 2 April 4th -April 9th Lunch - $20.10 Dinner- $33.10 Cantina Italiana • Ristorante Fiore Tresca * Trattoria fl Panino Al Dente • Nico • Strega Florentine Caj Spagnuolo