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June 7, 2013     Post-Gazette
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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 7, 2013 by Prof. Edmund Nostra A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ZACHARY TAYLOR DATE OF BIITH: November 24. 1784 PLACE OF II1R.TH: Barboursville, VA DATE OF DF.TH: July 9, 1850 PLACE OF DEATH: Washington, DC SPOUSE: Margaret PRF_IDENT: March 4, 1849 tat - July 9, 1850 "Old rough and ready," they called Zachary Taylor, Muscular and stack-y, a man in great favor; He was a career s}Idier, but it should be noted, As our twelfth Presiient he had never before voted. His political vies remained an unknown, But his anti-slavery position made slave owners groan; As a President he became a potential force, To either stop the practice or alter its course. Her promoted efficiency in the Army and Navy, But with agriculture and commerce, they both said "well maybe." Soon all of the "maybes" were turned into grunts, When Zac kicked the bucket after just sixteen months. He wed Maggy Smith from old Maryland, The daughter of a planter, when he asked for her hand; Instead of roaming the country doing things she loved most, She spent thirty-five years at frontier Army posts. When Zac was elected to pursue his goal, Maggy was too ill for her First Lady role; She outlived her husband, some say she was lucky, Died two years later now they're both in Kentucky. lal Taylor's term of service was scheduled to begin on March 4, 1849, but as this day fell on a Sunday, Taylor refused to be sworn in until the following day. Vice President Millard Fillmore was also not sworn in on that day. Most scholars believe that according to the Constitution, Taylor's term began on March 4, regardless of whether he had taken the oath. ! i !i i;i ;iii00ii00! i!:: ; ST. MICHAEL CEMETERY ' C kRT 500 Canterbury Street The Respectful Way,= Boston, MA 02131 617.524.1036 Serving the Italian Community www.stmichaelcemetery.com for Over 100 Years! The Rental Registration & Inspection Program requires the annual registration ofal private rental units and the inspection for all non-exempt rental units to be conducted every five years. This year the registration period begins on May 1, 2013 and ends on August 1, 20B. The initial registration fee is $25/unit. Failure to register will result in fines and further enforcement actions. Benefits: Educate owners on State and local housing codes. Provides owners with a written record of the conditions of the property. Ensures rental units meet minimum Housing Code Requirements Promoting Safe, Sanitar) Res Publica by David Trumbull Millions According to the recently released report of the Audi- tor of the Commonwealth, the Department of Transi- tional Assistance has given out "Millions of Dollars in Questionable Benefits." Auditor Suzanne M. Bump's office found over a thousand dead persons col- lecting benefits totaling $2.4 million. They found nearly a mil- lion dollars in double pay- ments to persons with dual accounts due to the use of more than one social secu- rity number or variants in the spelling of the recipient's name. Those numbers may sound big to you and me, but in an agency the size of DTA, where the cost of one pro- gram, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Pro- gram) is $1.3 billion, the to- tal waste and fraud is not staggering, as" some have suggested. That is, unless the audit merely spotted the "tip of the iceberg" as many of us suspect. of Dollars in Questionable Benefits The biggest concern ought to be not the magnitude of the mismanagement found at DTA, but the lack of con- cern for proper procedures and safeguards. The audit found that "DTA does not use any of the management re- ports provided by its EBT (Electronic Benefits Trans- fer) contractor to assist in the detection of potentially fraudulent activities." Apparently DTA follows the Sergeant Shultz "I see noth- ing" school of management as far as fraud detection. This is troubling, for what- ever the current rate of fraud is, you can be sure it will grow, as dishonest persons find out that one can get away with scamming the system. Most of the public outrage at the exposure of waste, fraud.and abuse at DTA has been directed at the harm done to the taxpayers of the Commonwealth. We work hard only to see the taxes on our wages and salaries wasted by a bureaucracy that can't even be bothered to check whether assistance recipients are alive or dead. That outrage is justified, for such negligence on the part of a state agency is practi- cally criminal. However, I propose that the persons -- persons who heretofore have been silent or even apologists for DTA -- who ought to be the most outraged, are the advocates for the truly needy in our Commonwealth. Every dollar wasted on benefits paid to someone dead or to someone receiving benefits under more than one name or so- cial security number is a dollar not available to the poor for whom the program was created. That is not merely criminal, it is im- moral. DTA's lack of effective controls to detect and pre- vent fraud allows crooks to steal from the taxpayer and from the poor. The prophets of the Old Testament had quite a lot to say about those who steal from the poor or stand by and do nothing while others plunder the poor. Mayor Menino 2013 Garden Contest Boston's green thumbs have until July 12 to register for Mayor Menino's 2013 Garden Contest presented by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department and sponsored by Comcast with a grand prize provided by JetBlue. Gardeners or those nominating their fa- vorite gardeners may find nomination forms at www.cityoflooston.gov /parks / gardencontest. First place winners will receive the coveted "Golden Trowel" award from Mayor Menino and prize packages from the Parks Depart- ment, Comcast, Mahoney's Garden Centers of Brighton and other sponsors at an awards ceremony in August in the Public Garden. All finalists in this year's Garden Contest will also be entered into a drawing for a JetBlue Grand Prize consisting of roundtrip flights for four to any nonstop destination from Boston. Terms, conditions and blackout dates apply. Last year the Garden Contest announced a Hall of Fame. Gardeners who have won three or more times in the last ten years will be automatically entered into the Hall of Fame and will be recognized at the awards ceremony in late August. These distin- guished Hall-of-Famers will be ineligible to enter as contestants but are welcome to return as judges. To enter the contest, apply online at www.cityoJboston.gov /parks / gardencontest or pick up entry forms at Boston City Hall, Bos- ton Community Centers, and Boston Public Library branches. For more information please call (617) 961-3051. Massachusetts Department of Transportation Invites you to an informational meeting regarding The Callahan Tunnel Rehabilitation Project Thursday, June 20, 2013 - 6:30pm Nazzaro Community Center 30 North Bennet Street, Boston, Massachusetts This project, which will have TRAFFIC IMPACTS, includes rehabilitation of the tunnel's deck, curb line, gutters and replacement of the tunnel's wall panels. MassDOT project staff will present details and preliminary schedule information. For more information, please contact John Romano, MassDOT Municipal Liaison at 857-368-8905 or john.romano@state.ma.us. This meeting space is accessible to people with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation (such as American Sign Language Interpreters, assistive listening devices, handouts in alternate formats, etc.) and/or language assistance to fully participate, please contact John Romano at MassDOT at 857-368-8905 or john.romano@state.ma.us before June 13th. Such accommodations will be provided free of charge.