Stop Making Sense

The City Council has already approved a plan where a wife’s car could be confiscated if her husband uses it to solicit a prostitute.  They’ve requested red light cameras that would target the owner of a car, not the driver.

So it should come as no surprise that the Telegram is reporting that City Councilor Mike Germain is (once again) proposing that the police fine landlords when their tenants have an out-of-control house party.

“It makes perfect sense, I don’t care what anybody says,” says Germain.

If this is what sense looks like, then I respectfully request that Councilor Germain stop making sense.

Germain says that a similar ordinance is in effect in Narragansett, where he owns a house that he rents to URI students.  “Since the ordinance went into effect, however, he said he has had no problems because he makes it clear that his tenants or their parents will be responsible for any fine he is assessed under the ordinance.”

Why does it make sense to create another nuisance ordinance that college students can ignore?  Why make the landlord the middleman of fines when we could just fine the people who are actually responsible under existing ordinances?

I can’t decide whether Mike Germain’s primary goal is to draft another ordinance that will get the city sued, or whether the goal is to draft another ordinance that will backfire and then be found illegal by a court in three years’ time.

I have let myself be distracted by Councilor Germain’s boyish good looks, cherubic figure, and tendency to agree with me 30% of the time.

I can be distracted no longer.

I am tired that our elected officials continually propose ideas that will not work and — more importantly — either do not target the responsible individuals or lump the bad and the good into one category.

We deserve thoughtful laws that address problems (and those who cause them).  We should not be drafting nonsensical laws that do not punish those at fault when we already ignore existing ordinances that would address those problems.

CWW: Holy Cross Seelos Film Series Fall 2012

The College of the Holy Cross offers free movies most Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights at the Seelos Theater.  Full listing for the fall here.

“The Artist”
Wed., Aug. 29:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m.

“Snow White and the Huntsman”
Fri., Aug. 31 and Sat., Sept. 1:  Showing at 7 p.m.

“Albert Nobbs”
Wed., Sept. 5:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m.

“The Avengers”
Fri., Sept. 7 and Sat., Sept. 8:  Showing at 7 p.m.

“Moonrise Kingdom”
Wed., Sept. 12:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m.

Fri., Sept. 14 and Sat., Sept. 15:  Showing at 7 p.m.

“The Iron Lady”
Wed., Sept. 19:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m.

“Madagascar 3:  Europe’s Most Wanted”
Fri., Sept. 21 and Sat., Sept 22:  Showing at 7 p.m.

Wed., Sept. 26:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m.  

“MIIIB:  Men In Black 3”
Fri., Sept. 28 and Sat., Sept. 29:  Showing at 7 p.m. 

Wed., Oct. 3:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m.

Wed., Oct. 17:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m. 

“Dark Shadows”
Fri., Oct. 19 and Sat., Oct. 20:  Showing at 7 p.m.

Wed., Oct. 24:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m.

“Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”
Wed., Oct 31:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m.

“The Amazing Spider-Man”
Fri., Nov. 2:  Showing at 7 p.m. 

“Being Flynn”
Wed., Nov. 7:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m.

“The Dark Knight Rises”
Fri., Nov. 9 and Sat., Nov. 10:  Showing at 7 p.m. 

Wed., Nov. 14:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m.

Fri., Nov 16 and Sat., Nov. 17:  Showing at 7 p.m.

“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
Wed., Nov. 28:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m.

Fri., Nov. 30 and Sat., Dec. 1st:  Showing at 7 p.m.

“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Wed., Dec 5:  Showings at 3 and 8 p.m. 

“The Bourne Legacy”
Fri., Dec. 7 and Sat., Dec. 8:  Showing at 7 p.m.

CWW: Free Fun Fridays, Week 9

Every year, the Highland Street Foundation offers free admission at different museums and cultural venues on Fridays in the summer.

This Friday is the ninth Free Fun Friday, and offers admission to the following venues:

Boston Harbor Island AllianceNote about the Boston Harbor Island Alliance: This is a free ferry ride to either (or both) of the two most popular Boston Harbor Islands – Georges Island (with historic Fort Warren and ranger-guided tours) and Spectacle Island (with a life-guard supervised beach and 5 miles of hiking trails).

Free tickets for the Harbor Islands Express Ferry will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis at Long Wharf-North, 66 Long Wharf, in downtown Boston (near the Aquarium subway station). The ticket window will open at 8:00 a.m. The ferry leaves every 30 minutes starting at 8:30 am, with a 3 hour window to return. Each adult in line may pick up a maximum of 4 tickets. (There will be no special arrangements for groups of more than 4 to be on the same ferry). Tickets will be handed out for the earliest ferry, then the next, and so on, until all ferry seats for the day are distributed – last year, all tickets were distributed by 10:30 am.

Back from the dead

In a recent post, I had mentioned that the Telegram’s RSS feeds of obituary notices had ceased functioning for many months.

A couple of weeks back the RSS feed started working again — a bit sporadically at first, but now it seems to be serving up the obituaries in their entirety each day, as it should.  Even better:  whichever behind-the-scenes T&G techie has been working on this has also solved the previous long-running problem they had of sending out duplicate notices.  Thanks, dude.

If you’re a fan of the T&G RSS feeds and had deleted the obituary feed when it died, here it is again:

(And if you have no idea what all the “RSS” stuff is about, Wikipedia has a helpful description available.)

So out of touch it’s beyond belief

As Jeremy reports, An Act Further Regulating Animal Control means that Worcester’s ludicrous pit bull ordinance will likely be no more in the very near future.

A couple of Fridays ago, I was at Elm Park with my young son.  We were sitting close to the playground area.  A man came by with his small dog.  He proceeded to let his dog off-leash, and sicced his dog on any squirrel in a thirty-foot radius.

The dog was running loose all over a play area for children, teeth bared, and didn’t come back to his owner on the first, second, or third call.

Later on that same day, we were walking to the Common.  On the sidewalk, a man had a muzzled pit bull on a leash.  The dog had a big grin on his face — despite the muzzle — and seemed well-socialized.

I was extremely concerned about the first dog — all 10 pounds of him — and not at all concerned with the much-larger pit bull.

Because dog behavior is largely about the owners.

So, no, Councilor Eddy, it is not the MSPCA who “has been so out of touch on this it’s beyond belief.”

It’s the vast majority of last term’s City Council, who voted for a deeply flawed ordinance.

Hot on the heels of the likely demise of the pit bull ordinance is news that the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District has to implement the stricter discharge limits they’ve been fighting the EPA on for years.

This means that ratepayers will likely have to pay a bit more on their water bills, and that frequent listeners to City Council meetings will hear more of the phrase “biased science” than usual.

Not to sound too superstitious, but don’t these sorts of things always happen in threes?

What could the third sane decision about laws in the city?