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July 5, 2013     Post-Gazette
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July 5, 2013

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./ . | i,,n, "T "  ,7    ....... THE IT..,I/-IERI VOICE OF SSACItUSI (Formerly LA GAZZETTA del MASSACHUSETTS) VOL. 117 - NO. 27 BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, JULY 5, 2013 $.30 A COPY AT CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS PARK by Matt Conti The Friends of Christopher Columbus Park held an Independence Day celebra- tion in the park featuring a full day of fun family events on Saturday. Free activities included a parade through the park, led by Uncle Sam on stilts followed by enter- tainment from Big Joe the Storyteller, T-Bone the modern pied piper, Tanglewood Marionettes and Peter O'Malley the Magi- cian. There were tables of fun from the New England Aquarium and NEMPAC's popular instrument zoo. Leading the group in the national anthem was NEMPAC's Christina Riccio. Boston Fire added to the fun bringing Ladder 1 and letting kids shoot the fire hose into the harbor. Lawn games were also a big hit on the West Lawn and Boston Animal Control was on hand to help educate dog owners in the park. The event committee was co-chaired by FOCCP members Kathleen Tedesco and Laura Benvenuto. The group thanks its sponsors for the event: AI Dente Restau- rant, Boston Pushcart, Benevento's, Elite Boston Landmark Rely, Joe's American Bar & Grill, Marriott  L0ngwlarf and" Sunstone Hotel Investors plus the FOCCP membership whose yearly contributions help fund this and other events. (Additional photos on Page 5) i .... /, After the NSA Scandal, No Way! Recently, my congressman, U.S. Rep Michael Capuano co-sponsored a piece of legislation up on Capitol Hill, but I don't see it becoming law anytime soon. It's a good idea but it will prob- ably die in committee. The house might pass it but not the U.S. Senate. Consumers Need More Control Over Their Vehicle's "Black Box" Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wl) have filed the "Black Box Privacy Protection Act" to give vehicle owners more control over the information collected through their car or motorcycle's "black box" event data recorder (EDR). The legislation requires manufacturers to notify consumers if an event data recorded is installed in their vehicle, to disclose the data collection capabilities of such a device and pro- vide information on how data collected may be used. The bill places ownership of the data in the hands of the vehicle owner and requires owner permission before the information can be accessed. The legislation also requires manu- facturers to give consumers the option of controlling the recording function in future (Continued on Page 14) Independence Day Celebration 2013 at Christopher Columbus Park with FOCCP. (Photo by Matt Conti) Sharing the Road in Boston by Ivanha Paz Bike safety is a very im- portant topic for the city of Boston. In the past year and a half six cyclists have died in bike/traffic related acci- dents. Concerns have been raised from two different per- spectives. Being a cyclist in the city is dangerous because of the lack of "bike-friendly" infrastructure, however a study completed by the Bos- ton Police Department, the Boston Public Health Com- mission, and several Boston Cyclists Union interns re- vealed that cyclists are also prone to not follow the regu- lations set by the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, specifi- cally the statutes pertaining to cyclists. Riding against traffic was found to be just as common as bikers run- ning red lights which have caused between 5.9 and 12 percent of accidents. It is important to note that driv- ers not seeing the cyclist was 50 percent more com- mon and "dooring," which is a driver opening a car door directly in front of a cyclist almost twice as common. Also, 52 percent of riders involved in accidents were not wearing a helmet. These findings suggest that the city needs to make stricter poli- cies, or find ways to ensure that the laws in place are being followed, for both bik- ers and drivers alike. Cur- rently the maximum penalty for cyclists for disobeying any of the rules is a $20.00 fine and the possibility of having the bike impounded for up to fifteen days (if you are under eighteen). How- ever, city officials need to be careful because of what's at stake. Extra regulations or harsher enforcement may deter some cyclists from us- ing their bikes, which is also a problem as increasing bik- ing is beneficial to the envi- ronment and good for a health conscious city like Boston. Currently city leaders are looking into the rising popu- lation of cyclists. It is becom- ing a very diverse group, as opposed to the general con- ception which seems to be that those who ride their bikes are mostly college stu- dents. In fact, studies have shown that there has been a rise in ethnic and racial minorities riding their bikes. City Councilors have spoken on this matter noting that many Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan residents are riding their bikes every day. This has given way to a new way of tackling the prob- lem. The measures to be taken have to incorporate the aspect of diversity. How- ever it has also been noted that those who give the big- gest input on how bike safety can be improved are not those that are seen riding on the streets on a daily basis. Therefore, it is necessary to get their opin- ions in order to have an all encompassing and compre- (Continued on Page 14)