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April 1, 2011     Post-Gazette
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April 1, 2011

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Page2 POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 1,2011 Stir00Turi N o s tra 00tC:o Cr:[Unhstlghn;igash;engs So;::r ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. CALIGULA THE GONER After actually going broke, Caligula devised complicated and cunning schemes for his income. The wills of centu- rions (military commanders) that did not name the em- peror among their heirs were set aside on the grounds of ingratitude. Then to go a little farther, those persons that did name the emperor as heir and contin- ued to live were accused of making a game of such dec- laration and they were sent poisoned "pasticceria." He personally auctioned off all of the equipment left over from theatrical performances and ran the bids up so high that some who were forced to buy the articles chose to commit suicide. In one humorous incident, Aponius Saturni- nus fell asleep during an auction, providing the char- acteristic nod that sleepers often do. The bidding was not stopped until thirteen gladiators were his new possessions at a cost of nine million sesterces. He levied new and unheard of taxes. There was no class of commodities or men on which he did not impose some form of tariff. These included food, lawsuits, and daily wages. He even taxed the daily earnings of prosti- tutes in the amount of one encounter. The earnings of panderers or procurers were also included at the same rate. As a "piece de resis- tance," even the holy state of matrimony was not exempt. After the birth of his daughter he took up collec- tions for the girl's mainte- nance and dowry. On the kalends of January (first day) he stood in the palace en- trance to accept the money that the people showered upon him. It was said that he loved to walk barefooted or wallow in piles of gold coins while naked. Caligula's hair was very thin and he was bald on top, consequently it was consid- ered a capital offense to gaze upon him from above. In time his face became ugly enough but he even made it more savage looking by practicing fearsome expressions before a mirror. As a boy he had epilepsy and there were times in his adult life when he could not walk, stand or collect his thoughts. While emperor he was tor- mented with insomnia; he never rested for more than three hours each night and these were full of night- mares and strange visions. During thunderstorms this great leader would hide under the bed. While jour- neying through Sicily he fled by night in panic because of some smoke and roaring from Mt. Etna. He also had strange habits of dress, and often appeared in public wearing embroidered cloth- ing covered with precious stones while wearing brace- lets. Sometimes he would wear fine silks, a woman's robe and low style female shoes. He frequently wore the dress of triumphant gener- als even before a campaign, and sometimes wore the breastplate of Alexander The Great, which he had re- moved from the stone coffin. He developed pretty good lit- erary talents and performed well at acting, dancing and singing, but he never learned to swim a stroke. His approaching murder was foretold many times. At least two conspiracies were detected and spoiled. The soothsayer Sulla warned him to beware of Cassius, how- ever, the death of the wrong Cassius was ordered, forget- ting that the family name of Chaerea was Cassius. On January 24, 41 A.D. Caligula was directing some boys in rehearsal for a play. Chaerea came from behind and ad- ministered a deep cut in the neck while another con- spirator, Cornelius Sabinus, stabbed him in the breast and then split his jawbone with a sword. Caligula fell to the ground with writhing limbs calling out that he still lived. He was finally dis- patched with thirty wounds, some, I dare not tell you where. One thing was for sure . . . the south.., would never rise again. A final evaluation of Caligula's reign indicates that much more harm than good was done, and that his- tory should regard him as the most grotesque figure ever to serve as emperor of the Roman Empire ... very sad, but very true. NEXT ISSUE: Claudius' Roman Payola Neighborhood Street Cleaningto Begin Mayor Thomas M. Menino reminds residents that Bos- ton's Daytime Neighborhood Street Cleaning Program will kick-off for the season on Friday, April 1, 2011. After an especially harsh winter, the Mayor last month imple- mented an early and aggres- sive cleanup plan, directing city agencies and depart- ments to work together and with businesses and resi- dents in a more coordinated approach to ready the City of Boston for spring. In addition to street sweeping, Public Works has dispatched its Pothole Patrol teams which have been ag- gressively seeking and fill- ing potholes since the snow melted. Crews have been uti- lizing the city's newest weapon against potholes, a cutting-edge pothole filling truck nicknamed "Potzilla." New this year, the machine provides a one-stop pothole patching method for more efficient repairs. Streets throughout city neighborhoods will be swept clean on a rotating schedule each week through Novem- ber 30 th. Vehicles are re- INCOME TAX PREPARATION Financial Services Professional Tax Consultant Personal & Business Year Round Service M.P. & Co. TAX & FINANCIAL SERVICES GRACE PREVITE MAGOON, EA 617-569-0175 146 Maverick Street, East Boston, MA 02128 ESTABLISHED IN 1938 e-mail: quired to be moved in accor- dance with the posted Street Cleaning regulations. Since parked vehicles prohibit the equipment from.getting to the curb, the street cleaning parking regulations are strictly enforced. Vehicles parked in violation of the posted regulations are sub- ject to a $40 ticket as well as towing. All towing for street cleaning violations is conducted by private tow op- erators at the sole expense of the vehicle owner. Resi- dents and other drivers are encouraged to register, for "No-Tow" email reminders and can comprehensive street sweeping schedule information can be found at / publicworks / sweeping. Residents are encouraged to call the Mayor's Hotline or use the first of its kind Citi- zens Connect smartphone application to report pot- holes, graffiti, and a host of other issues to the city. For more information about Citizens Connect visit / citizensconnect. For a list of spring, clean- ing tips and further informa- tion, residents can visit / spring. Res Publica by David Tnnbull Water Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink Some Boston residents are resisting the city's latest drink- ing water conservation measures, especially the proposed tap-by-tap monitoring of individual water consumption, claiming this is an unwarranted and possibly unconstitu- tional invasion of privacy. The new water restrictions can be traced back to the May 2010 water main rupture that left Boston with no drinking water for a few days. The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority ("MWRA") freed the problem and conducted a thor- ough inspection of the system. What they found was alarm- ing, especially for City of Boston residents. While last year's leak was in Weston, it was actually here in Boston that the inspection revealed the most weakness and potential faults. The situation was so bad that the MWRA was forced to undertake substantial unscheduled maintenance and repair work in Boston and now those cost are being passed on to Boston municipal government -- at a time when City Hall does not have the money to cover these additional fees and must pass them on to the residents. As we found during last year's "boil water" emergency, there was no shortage of clean water for purposes other than drink- ing or food preparation -- the problem was in getting enough water that had undergone the additional steps to make it safe for drinking. The same thing applies now. It is specifi- cally drinking water than the city will be paying more for, and that cost must be recovered from the citizens. Here's how the new system will work, according to a press release from the Mayor's Office of Citizen Outreach and Public Service: * In restaurants, in addition to the 6.25%t meals tax, a three cent per fluid ounce "Safe Drinking Water Special Assessment" will be charged, so that an 8-ounce glass of water will have a .24 water tax. For a family of four that's an additional buck on your bill. The tax will apply to bottled water as well even though that does not come from the MWRA and costs the city nothing. "The bottles themselves are a strain on our recycling system, therefore they will be taxed the same as tap water so that people will not switch to bottled water to avoid the tax," said city spokesperson, Bill Wetmore. Particularly hard hit will be Starbucks and shops where coffee or tea is the primary beverage sold. "Those coffee shops use a lot of drinking water," said Wetmore, "and coffee, be- ing a natural diuretic, rather than replenishing bodily fluids, actually dries you out so you need even more water," he continued, explaining why, in the case of coffee and tea the tax will be doubled to six cents per ounce. That means that on a Starbucks *Venti" (20 ounces of java) the additional tax will be $1.20. In schools, hospitals, and offices in Boston one half of the total number of drinking fountains or bubblers in the build- ing will be disconnected or drained of water. The idea is "out of sight, out of mind" -- if there are fewer drinking foun- tains available perhaps people won't think so often about getting a drink of water. As mentioned earlier, the most controversial step is the individual tap monitoring of water usage by Boston house- holds. Water usage is currently metered and residents get quarterly bills from the city for water, but that measures all water consumption in a household, not just drinking water. Under the new measures, workers from the Department of Hydration Regulation and city's Healthy Housing Initiative will enter every residence in the city and attach meters to (Continued on Page 15) POST-GAZETTE EAST BOSTON SATELLITE OFFICE Is NOW OPEN MARIE MATARESE 35 Bennington Street, East Boston 617.227.8929 TUES. 10:00 A.M. - 3.00 P.M. THURS. 11:00 A.M.- 2:00 P.M. AC(;EPTING Advertisements General Advertisements * Sales and Rentals Memorials * Legals ADVERTISING WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE The Federal Trade mm:sslon i ..... 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