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Page2 POST-GAZETTE, JULY 31,2009 Stirpe by Prof. Edmund Turiello Nogtra of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. THE SACRIFICIAL ALTAR The practice of sacrificing to God before an altar is one of great antiquity, and it probably started prior to the time of Noah. In the case of other personalities out of the past, Homer (about 1100 B.C.) tells of the Greek lead- ers sacrificing before an al- tar prior to the start of the Trojan War, while others tell of Romulus and of Alexander the Great engaging in simi- lar practices. We also note that the root of the word al- tar goes back to the Latin "ara, altare, altus," and "altaria", meaning height. In the base of the sacrifi- cial altar, the altus was of greater height than the area. The former being erected in honor of superior gods, and the latter to infe- rior gods. Sacrifices to the infernal (underground) gods were usually offered in trenches or cavities that were excavated in the ground. Altars that were con- structed on the spur of the moment were generally made of earth, turf or stones. Otherwise, when time was not a factor, stone or brick masonry was used. The top of the altar usually contained a depression, pan, or brazier, upon which was burned the sacrificial fire. One point of interest that bears mention at this time was the scholarly activity of a writer, engineer, and ar- chitect, who served as a military engineer under Julius Caesar. His name was Marcus Vitruvius, and while in the twilight of his career, he composed his fa- mous work entitled "De Architecturea Libri X" (the Ten Books of Architecture), in which he detailed the or- ders of architecture and set down rules for temple de- sign. He also directed that altars should never be set higher than the statues of the gods before which they were placed. Another interesting point is that in time all of these ancient altars also became places of refuge. The refu- gee who prayed before such an altar was considered to have placed himself under the protection of the god or goddess to whom the altar was consecrated. Any vio- lence toward the unfortu- nate refugee, even to slaves and criminals, under such circumstances, was gener- ally regarded as violence to- ward that particular god. The ancients also devel- oped the practice of taking solemn oaths before these altars. During the oath, they took firm hold of the altar or the statue of the deity that it was dedicated to. NEXT WEEK: The Eternal Flame Flaherty Protests Mayor's Latest Tax Call Challenges Administration to Better Manage Their Revenue and Adopt Commonsense Solutions Michael Flaherty, mayoral candidate, expressed his opposition to Mayor Menino's efforts to impose an addi- tional tax burden on the city's hotels and restau- rants, arguing that he has failed to effectively manage the city's revenue and spending. "This administration has not even begun to scratch the surface of the inefficiencies that have bankrupted our lo- cal government," asserted Flaherty. "Instead of taking a hard look at where he can consolidate or eliminate pro- grams and cut costs such as high-paid consultants, this Mayor looks for the fastest way he can get a bailout." Flaherty is a strong and vocal proponent for imple- menting annual perfor- mance reviews to identify opportunities to run govern- ment more efficiently, trim wasteful spending and redi- rect funding to critical ser- vices. Performance reviews (Continued on Page 15) I Mayor Thomas M. Menino I City of Boston Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events The Waterfront Performing Arts Series August 4 Disco Night with Soul City August tt Opera Boston Three Tenors August 18 Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) August 4-18 Every Tuesday Christopher Colum6Us Park Starting @6p.m Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events cityofboston.gov/arts 617-635-3911 Res Publica by David Tnunbull In seven weeks voters in the City of Boston will deter- mine the candidates for the final November munici- pal election of mayor and city councillors. Two of the four incumbent at-large councillors are challenging Thomas M. Menino for mayor, so at least two new faces will be coming on the Council. Those current council members -- Michael F. Fla- herty and Sam Yoon -- are joined by South End real es- tate developer Kevin R. McCrea in challenging Mayor Menino, Boston's first Italian-American chief executive. Fifteen candidates have entered the contest for nine at-large council seats. In al= phabetical order -- which is not the official ballot order will be drawn in the next few weeks -- they are: Doug Bennett, Robert L. Fortes, Stephen J. Murphy (incum- bent), John R. Con-holly (in- cumbent), Andrew P. Kenneally, Scotland M. Wil- lis, Sean H. Ryan, Ego Ezedi, Tomas Gonzalez, Felix G. Arroyo, Hiep Quoc Nguyen, Jean-Claude Sanon, Bill Tra- bucco, Ayanna S. Pressley and Tito Jackson. In the Charlestown/East Boston/North End Council District One where many Post-Gazette readers live, the incumbent Salvatore LaMat- tina is being challenged by Chris Kulikoski and Laura Garza. Three other incumbent councillors face election con- tests. Chuck Turner (Dis- trict Seven) is challenged for election by Althea Garrison, Roy A. Owens, and Carlos Tony Henriqnez. Michael P. Ross (District Eight) is challenged by Oscar T. Brookins. And in District Nine Mark S. Ciommo faces challenges from Benjamin Ian Narodick, Alex Selvig, and Abigail Furey. Five councilors face no opposition on the ballot: Bill Linehan (District Two), Maureen E. Feeney (Dis- trict Three), Charles Calvin Yancey (District Four), Rob Consalvo {District Five), and John M. Tobin Jr. (District Six) "- September 2 "d at 8:00 p.m. is the last hour and day for registration of voters for Pre- liminary Municipal Election which will take place Sep- tember 22 "d from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. David Trumbull is the chairman of the Boston Ward Three Republican Committee. Boston's Ward Three includes the North End, West End, part of Beacon Hill, downtown, waterfront, Chinatown, and part of the South End. ANDREW KENNEALLY Generates Support Across City by Sal Giarratani Recently Boston City Council at Large candidate Andrew Kenneally held a packed official announce- ment get together in West Roxbury where he was born and raised. Currently, Ken- neally lives in East Boston where he has also held times with large numbers of supporters attending. In various parades, he shows great energy, greeting folks along each parade march. There is a crowded race for City Council at Large seats with two incumbents run- ning for mayor. Kenneally has an excellent chance of grabbing one of those two vacant seats. Many view his West Roxbury-East Boston family roots (yes, he too is gaelic-garlic) as a kind of "Book-End" strategy to get- ting to the City Council chambers. He has been working in politics for some time now as both a congressional aide and most recently an aide to City Councilor Michael F. Flaherty. He has both poli- tics and public service in his blood, say his close friends. He comes across quite likeable and listens to people. In West Roxbury, the name Kenneally means something. It means pride in public service. He is es- pecially proud of his family's public service in public safety whether it be rela- tives on the Boston Police or Boston Fire Departments. He does understand the con- cerns folks across the city have with public safety. He sees himself &s an advocate for safe neighborhoods. He supports efforts to make neighborhoods more proac- tive across the city. As an at- large councilor he wants to be a strong voice empower- ing communities and bring- ing people together. Preliminary elections will be held in September to par down to the final eight can- didates for City Council at Large in the November elec- tion. If you haven't met him yet on the campaign trail, he'll get to your door soon. DIVORCE * CRIMINAL * LAW OFFICES OF FRANK J. C00NO 230 MSGR. O'BRIEN HIGHWAY GENERAL PRACTICE OF LAW WILLS * ESTATE PLANNING * TRUSTS PERSONAL INJURY * WORKERS COMP. 617-354-9400 Si Parla Italiano CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 02141 I