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December 28, 2012     Post-Gazette
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December 28, 2012
 

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f Y 'ii THE ITALIAN-AMERICAN VOICE OF MASSACHUSETTS (Formerly LA GAZZETTA del MASSACHUSETTS) VOL. 116 - NO. 52 BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, DECEMBER 28, 2012 $.30 A COPY Ice sculptures by Don Chapelle are one of the highlights of First Night. (Photo by Paul Robicheau) With One Holiday Down .... and the grand finale to go, I can't think of a better way to end "Socially Scene" 2012 than to highlight the celebration Boston hosts for New Year's Eve. This year, First Night Boston eel- ebrates the 37th edition of the country's oldest and larg- est New Year's Eve arts fes- tival. On Monday, December 31, 2012 from noon to mid- night, First Night presents its annual day-long extrava- ganza of art, music, dance, ice sculptures and more. First Night will showcase 1000 artists in 200 exhibi- tions and performances in locations all over downtown Boston. First Night organiz- (See more events on Page 8) Please Turn in All Your Guns Today Recently, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson, D-Texas addressing the U.S. House, directly appealed to all Americans to support a new assault gun ban by turning in all their personal guns that they are licensed to carry. There are many Democrat liberals out there who apparently believe in the abolition of the Second Amendment. It is one thing to support a ban on assault and assault-like weapons from the hands of the general public but quite another to disarm all Americans thus making America less safe. The Ed Show is a Sitcom, Isn't It? From time to time I watch Ed Schultz on his MSNBC weeknight show. I can see why it is called The Ed Show because when I hear "Schultz" I think "Sgt. Schultz" from Stalag 13. On The Ed Show, the host, like that poor sergeant on Hogan's Heroes, .............. often knows "nothing" too! Like Rep. Jackson from Texas, he doesn't like the second amendment .... either. I think Ed's show should have a laugh- track because it really is amazingly quite funny. South Carolina Gets a New Senator The next U.S. Senator from South Carolina will be the South's first black Republican since Reconstruction which clearly shows the evolution of both the state and the nation. U.S. Rep. Tim Scott was picked by Governor Nikki Haley to take over the seat being vacated by U.S. Senator Jim DeMint. The governor stated, "It is important to (Continued on Page 15) !! !!i~ ! i! i:!ii! !:i H F':~F v .... F:' : m Inspection Ordinance Brings Sweeping Change to Rental Housing Standards in Boston The City of Boston's Rental Inspection Ordinance, re- vised to enhance current standards for the health and safety of rental housing in Boston, was approved by the Boston City Council in a 9-4 vote. The Ordinance will cover about 140,000, or more than 85 percent of Boston's ap- proximately 167,800 rental units and require that Bos- ton landlords can be easily identified and held account- able when they fail to pro- vide safe and decent hous- ing for tenants. Over the next five years, every unit covered under the Ordi- nance will receive an approved inspection or be covered by an Inspectional Services-approved alterna- tive compliance plan. The City will tackle inspections of units owned by landlords with a history of non-compli- ance in the first year. "Landlords must be held responsible when it comes to providing ~, s~fe ~:~and healthy housing for their tenants," Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. "This ordi- nance creates a proactive rental inspection process that allows the City to work with property owners to improve quality of life for residents." The revised ordinance will encourage preventative maintenance and create a fair and predictable five-year inspection cycle that priori- tizes "problem properties" and provides an alternative compliance method for own- ers with a good history of rental housing ownership. Small property owners with inspection exemptions will be regularly provided educa- tional and self-help tools to ensure code compliance. "Boston can now be held up as a national leader in rental inspection requirements," Chief of Environment and Energy Brian Swett said. "Tenants shouldn't have to complain to the City in or- der to ensure that their units meet minimum health and safety standards. This re- vised ordinance allows us to proactively manage issues before they become hazard- ous to occupants." The Ordinance will: Require annual registra- tion of all rental units. Require owners in non- owner/occupied buildings to visibly post contact infor- mation. Require an inspection once every five years by: an Inspectional Services Hous- ing Inspector, a Section 8 Inspector or an Inspectional Services Department (ISD) trained and approved private inspector. Establish a publicly avail- able "Chronic Offender Reg- istry" for landlords who regu- larly fail to correct problems. Those on the Chronic Offender Registry are subject to fines of 8300 and other applicable enforcement measures. Prioritize problem prop- erties by placing them first on the list for inspection. "Problem properties" include those with poor inspection records, significant court records and complaints, or placement on the City of Boston's "Problem Property Task Force" list. (Continued on Page 13) THE POST-GAZETTE SATELLITE OFFICE IS NOW OPEN AT 35 BENNINGTON STREET, EAST BOSTON This office is open on Tuesdays from 10:00 AM to 3.'00 PM and Thursdays from II.'00 AM to Z X) PM, for the convenience of our East Boston and North Shore clients and contributors Call 617-227-8929 for more information