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November 23, 2012     Post-Gazette
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November 23, 2012

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Page 2 POST-GAZITTE, NOVEMBER 23, 2012 St N '. r A weekly column highlighting some -,-  v ,g ,.m. wl. of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. THE VIGILS OF OLD ROME, PART I The earliest civilization of Western Asia developed in the area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers called Mesopotamia. The name was derived from "Mesos" (middle) and "Potamos" (river). This is the area where history locates the Garden of Eden, Noah's Ark, the Tower of Babel and the great walled city of Babylon with its "Hanging Gardens" - one of the wonders of the ancient wQrldAs early a,,, 2200 B.C. the Mesopota- mians had developed a code of laws wherein the family idea prevailed, women were free and respected, cities had rights and charters, they had a political system, postal service, landlords' responsi- bilities, and city dues. The history of municipal policing, as far as we are con- cerned, goes back to Tibe- rius, the second Emperor of Rome. He was more properly known as Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar. In 23 A.D. he was prevailed upon to estab- lish permanent barracks for about ten thousand local or city troops. This was to be the only organized military force permitted in the City of Rome. Prior to this time they had been housed in various parts of the suburbs. Barracks for these new city troops were erected on a forty-acre site in a sparsely cupied section of that city. The compound was sur- rounded by solid brick walls ten to fourteen feet high. The thinking at this time was that bringing these newly named Praetorian troops together in this man- ner would make them a more useful tool in the hands of the Emperor. The result proved to be just the oppo- site. The Praetorian Guard became a most dominant force, and one that all future rulers were obliged to deal with. It is also reported that they were able to make or break emperors at will. This situation continued for about three hundred years until the Emperor Constantine (the good guy) disbanded the organization and destroyed their quarters. Like any strong law-keep- ing force, we hear much of the so-called bad and noth- ing of the good. This domi- nant force also kept lawless- ness to a minimum, but how do you record crimes that never happen? An offshoot of the group was a corps of men who were able to keep the peace, prevent and fight fires, while at the same time maintain a watchful eye over the entire city, in- cluding all of its daytime and night time problems. NEXT ISSUE: The Vigils Of Old Rome, Part ll Mayor Menino Announces I O0 Pier 4 Breaks Ground in the Innovation District More than 1,100 Units of Housing are Under Construction in the Innovation District Totaling Nearly $500M On behalf of Mayor Thomas M. Menino, BRA Director Peter Meade celebrated groundbreaking on new housing in the Innovation District. 100 Pier 4 is a $195 million project that will add 369 residential units to the growing district and brings the total number of housing units under development on the South Boston Waterfront to 1,101. Citywide there are 4,890 housing units under construction, and nearly one quarter of them are located in the Innovation District. "100 Pier 4 is another ex- citing project breaking ground on our bustling waterfront," said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "We have four major housing developments under construction, the future headquarters of Vertex Phar- maceuticals well underway, and the nation's first public innovation center scheduled to open this spring. The South Boston Waterfront is quickly emerging as an inno- vative and exciting day to night neighborhood." 100 Pier 4, located at the intersection of Seaport Bou- levard and Northern Avenue, will be a 2t-story building and will include a mix of studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, and three=bedrooms, includ- ing 50 innovation style units, and 32 affordable units. The f., 00PINELLIS JFUNCTION FACILITY" Specializing in the art of celebration Wedding, Anniversary, Quinceafiera, Reunion, Birthday, Social and Corporate Events. Convenient location and valet parking makes Spinelli's East Boston the perfect location. We are dedicated to the highest level of service and professionalism to ensure the success of your special occasion. 280 Bennington Street, East Boston, MA Please Call 617-567-4499 project also includes 10,800 square feet of ground floor retail located at the intersec- tion of Seaport Boulevard and Northern Avenue and 258 underground parking spaces. The Hanover Company based in Houston, Texas is the developer and the architect is ADD, Inc. Today's groundbreaking is the first of three phases of development at Pier 4, a 9.5 acre site that includes 4 acres of water. The Pier 4 Planned Development Area (PDA) was proposed by New England Development and approved in March 2005. In December 2011 the BRA Board approved a Notice of Project Change (NPC) revis- ing the project. The revised PDA details a three phase project totaling 1 million SF and including 20,000 SF for civic use, 625,000 SF for residential use, and 314,700 SF of hotel use. The project also includes a one-acre public waterfront park, a Waterfront Plaza, 1,800 feet of Harborwalk, a Water Commons with a wa- ter taxi landing, fish cleaning station, bait and tackle shop, touch and go dock, and all seasons gathering area. Current housing develop- ments in the Innovation Dis- trict total nearly half a billion dollars. The projects under construction include: Boston Wharf Tower at 319A Street Rear with 202 units, 63 Melcher Street with 38 units, West Square at 320 D Street with 256 units, Waterside Place at 505 Congress Street with 236 units, and 100 Pier 4 with 369 units. The pro- jected housing build out for the Innovation District is 6,000 units. Res Publica by David Trumbull What Happened to Senator Brown? After Scott Brown's win in the January 2010 Special Elec- tion I did an analysis of his remarkably strong showing in the City of Boston. Recently I did the same for this year's election. In both elections half of Mr. Brown's Boston votes came from the following neighborhoods: *Back Bay/Beacon Hill/Downtown *Brighton, Chestnut Hill *Charlestown *Parts of Dorchester (Cedar Grove, Clam Point, Neponset, and Pope's Hill) *Part of East Boston (Central Square, Eagle Hill and Orient Heights} *North End *Readville *Roslindale/West Roxbury *South Boston *West Roxbury His 2010 percentages in those neighborhoods ranged from 45% to 60%. Voter turnout was relatively high in those neigh- borhoods. With the exception of Beacon Hill (41% turnout), the best neighborhoods for Brown in 2010 all had turnout in excess of the citywide average of 43%. Three had turnout at, or nearly at, 60%, very high for a special election. In con- trast, among the best neighborhoods for the 2010 Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, about 16% of them had turnout in excess of the citywide average, most were under 40% and some were under 30%. Mr. Brown failed to win Boston in 2010 but, for a Republican, he did very well by getting a high percentage of his potential voters to the polls and that stronger-than-expected showing in Boston, combined with victories elsewhere, elected him to the U.S. Senate. In 2012 the total number of registered Boston voters was up 30,000 over 2010 and turnout, at 64%, was substan- tially higher that in 2010. The beneficiary of the large voter base and turnout rate was the Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Warren. She got about 80,000 votes more than the Democratic candidate in 2010. Mr. Brown picked up about 17,500 more votes than he got in 2010. In the best neighborhoods for Brown, turnout was up in 2012, ranging from 62% to 77%, but most of that helped the Democrat as Brown picked up merely 5,800 additional votes in his best neighborhoods. In the neighborhoods that Ms. Warren won by the largest margins, voter turnout was up, typically, 20 or even 30 percentage points above the rates in 2010. Put these numbers together and you get the result in Boston, Brown dropping from 30.3% in 2010 to 25.7% in 2010, a loss of about 4.5 percentage points. In the North End, where the Post-Gazette is published, Brown did slightly better in 2012 {48.6%) than he did in 2010 (46.3%). North End turnout was also up at 61.9% compared to 46.3% in 2010. In East Boston, where the Post-Gazette has a satellite office, the story was reversed. In 2010 the historically Italian-American neighborhood of Orient Heights went big for Brown {54.1%). Turnout, which in 2010 was 43.1%, went up in Orient Heights to 65.1% and the vote for Brown dropped to 40.1%. I wonder if the 15-percentage point {three times the citywide average) defection away from the Republican toward the Democrat is related to the changing demographics of East Boston. As I pointed out in my April 15, 2011, Post-Gazette column, that neighborhood has become more and more Hispanic over time. Republicans, over the past decade, have not done a good job of giving that growing group of American citizens reasons to vote for the party of economic opportunity and traditional values. Finally, kudos to Patrick Brennan, whose hard work in South Boston helped deliver Scott Brown 52.4% of the vote in that neighborhood in the recent election. I NOP.TH END00 5 PPCEIsT RN.TITHNE N D ,B OS I Quality Printing for all your Commercial and Personal Needs Stationery * Business Cards * Menus Flyers Program Books * Wedding and Party Invitations Announcements Business Forms and Documents w COMPETITIVE PRICES 617-227-8929