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Page 8 POST-GAZETTE, SEPTEMBER 30, 2011 News Briefs (Continued from Page i) partment store? I like shop- ping at Target and MarshaUs, too, which is also up the street in the old Woolworth's Building. Nothing against either store, but isn't this like building a mall around a Wallgreens or CVS Phar- macy? One time, the intersection of Summer, Winter and Washington Streets was called the biggest intersection in all of New England. Not anymore. Gone are the days of Raymond's, Fflenes, R.H. White's, Bond's, Kennedy's and Howard's just to name a few past ghosts of the Washington Street area, The giant hole in the ground, the vacant Barnes and Nobles, the vacant Bond's store on Arch Street and the soon-to-be-shuttered Borders store aren't good for the downtown economy or what is left of it. I'm starting to think those statues down by School Street honoring the struggles of the Irish during the Great Potato Famine are i a metaphor for Downtown Crossing and its future, especially so when I see what all those pigeons are doing to those statues. Obama Losing the All Important Independent Voter President Obama's support has been eroding lately, and he is in trouble with inde- pendent voters, according to the latest NY Times/CBS News poll. The poll found a 12 percent jump since late June to 43 percent, the number of Americans saying the economy is worsening, and for the first time since he took office, his disapproval rating has reached 50 per- cent. Fifty-nine percent of independents polled voiced disapproval of the president's performance in offic . ---,- U.S. Senator Charles Percy, R.LP. . The recent death of former three-term U.S. Senator Charles Percy, R-Illinois brought back some good memories of a powerful leg- islator who was elected to his first term in 1966. He was considered a "Rockefeller Republican." He was an early critic of the Vietnam War and stood up to President Nixon during Watergate. We could use a few more U.S. senators like him up on Capitol Hill today. He had principles and was able to mediate with members of both his own party and with Democratic colleagues. He was true to his word and never soiled the office he held for 18 years. Back in 1976, he was think- ing about a presidential bid but ruled against it after his long time friend, Jerry Ford, moved into the office of U.S. president after Nixon re- signed in 1974. I am sure he would have been an outstand- ing Chief Executive. They don't make legislators like him anymore, which is pretty sad. Did You Know What September 19 Was? It was the 16 th annual international Talk Like a Pirate Day. This holiday was established in 1995 by John Baur and Mark Summers from Oregon. This day started off local and then grew big time. Since 1995, we have seen pirate parties from Boston to Baghdad with ev- eryone going "Art!" and "Avast ye, matey." Listen, it is just a silly holiday. I've got one warning to take serious: do not play baseball like a pirate as in Pittsburgh Pirate unless you're willing to lose 100 or more a year. Spend a Day on the Campaign Trail with Mitt Romney The Mitt Romney campaign has now created a celebrity date gimmick. For five bucks, you can enter to win a day.ith Mitt (25. YOU get airfare, hotel, ground transportation and I hope meals with Mitt, too. A neat way to raise campaign bucks from small donors. Person- ally, though, you'd have to pay me big bucks to waste a day with Mitt when I could be H 19.99/mo. enjoy your favorite Le Lene D CARD _,alble bill.* NETWORK. cam: DISH Network Now: 1-888"316"9047 Read, Media: 1-888"458"1278 www.dishitaliantv.com dCudoervdcrterdcdeJsnmwhxesbiebfdiedw:e1dn5eppeies3de?tedcde111/1b1@b  ._ . . ormalleDl$1"INeitsxk.IdinOepL)tSMerkianik home sleeping. Quote to Note "If it is to be, it's up to me." -- Danikka Giarratani-Moses Brookline Pax and the Pledge of Allegiance It appears that over in the Peoples Republic of Brook- line there are still a few old anti-war radicals left from 40 years ago who like to waste time and energy, never mind irritating the rest of us with much more important things on our plates such as govern- ment spending and unem- ployment. There is absolutely nothing un-American about school kids saying the Pledge in the classroom. No one is forced to say it. I always said it as a kid even before they aYi'line, "under God." Sometimes I wonder ff it isn't those two words that get to folks living in the various Peoples Republics in the Boston area. Who, after all, could be opposed to "liberty and justice for all" of us? I almost didn't give my opin- ion on this story because it sounded so stupid and, might I add, so "Peoples Republic of Brookline." Watch "On Native Soil" There was lots on TV about the 104 anniversary of 9/11, and I stayed away from all of these programs because it is still very difficult to rewatch the horrors of September 11, 2001. I still can't watch that movie "Flight 9/i 1." It re- mains sickening to me. How- ever, a few days after the anniversary, someone had me watch "On Native Soil" on Comcast on Demand. At first I wasn't sure, but after viewing it, I thought this documentary on the 9/11 Commission Report is a must-watch for every Ameri- can. It was, yes, not easy watching and certainly not escape TV. I never realized how much was going wrong for so long leading up to that fatal day and how badly every- thing went on 9/11. It was a good thing the terrorists were only thinking about four hi- jacked planes, because we weren't even able to stop one of them. Thank you to all those heroes aboard United Flight 11 for attempting to take over the cockpit since that plane was headed toward either the White House or the U.S. Capitol. Great Headline For Holly The Boston Herald's lone Republican columnist, Holly Robichaud, had a great piece in Sunday's Herald (Septem- ber 18) on Mitt Romney's campaign meeting Romney- Care. The headline was "Health care puts Mitt in political ICU." An A grade for that headline. Her last para- graph ending her piece was "... like a captain going down with the ship, With only 18 percent Of the- passengers willing to remain on board."