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Old 01-12-2011, 12:11 AM   #101
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Witness saw the helicopter coming down fast, no engine sound.
At the last minute, the pilot of the copter landed on
the Boston Common. Both pilot and passenger are OK.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:20 PM   #102
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The news reporters out in Copley Square stopped a couple walking in the snow.
A reporter asked the man,"Where are you from?" The man replied, "Sweden."
The reporter asked the man if the snow bothered him, and the man said no.
When the Swedish man was asked, "Patriots or Jets?"
The man answered, "I don't know."
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:40 PM   #103
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Hingham to Boston ferry is not operating today. Hanscom Airport is open.
Worcester Airport is open. Logan is open. Call about your flight.
Public transportation is limping along. The snow was cleared,
despite sending some of our plows and sanders to the South.
Maybe the snow will stop around 5:00. Maybe not.
100,000 without power in the state.
The National Guard has been called.
Thunder snow! Lightning? Yes.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:39 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotsnowgotslush View Post
Saturday, January 8, 2011

A hush on the ice-

Tom Cavanagh, who skated his way from rinks in Rhode Island to Harvard and then to the National Hockey League, was found dead Thursday inside the parking garage of the Providence Place mall.

The police said the body of the 28-year-old athlete was discovered in the vicinity of the garage’s Level C at around 11:25 a.m. Thursday. His car was discovered, with his wallet inside, later that day in another part of the garage.

Health Department spokeswoman Annmarie Beardsworth said Friday that an autopsy by the state Medical Examiner showed that Cavanagh died from “multiple traumatic injuries due to blunt force impact.”

Tom Cavanagh was a graduate of Toll Gate High School, in Warwick, where he was an All-State hockey player. After playing four seasons in the NCAA as part of the varsity hockey team at Harvard, from which he graduated in 2005, he entered the world of professional hockey, playing first for the Cleveland Barons and then the Worcester Sharks.

His agent, Matt Keator, who represented Cavanagh for his whole career, said Friday night that Cavanagh was “one of the hardest-working, intelligent kids I’ve ever known.”

Thank you, projo dot com
WTF?

A murder, obviously. What the hell was the damn motive? Or do they just bump people off at random in Providence?

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Old 01-12-2011, 02:45 PM   #105
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R.I. That is a cousin of Massachusetts. There are many things that we do not talk of.
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Old 01-16-2011, 06:55 PM   #106
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Brady was wearing a pouty-face before the scoreboard changed.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:31 PM   #107
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Day after MLK Day. Slush. Frozen slush. Slippery slush. Slush melting and refreezing into a plane of ice.
Slush clogging the street drains. Slush with plenty of water. The commuters are not happy.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:13 PM   #108
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Depending on what part of the city, that you are in? You might be able to ice skate on the sidewalk.
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Old 01-22-2011, 12:06 AM   #109
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Cold temp threats. Cold on Sunday. Colder still on Sunday night and Monday.
-15F. Will Boston Harbor freeze, again? Oh, Canada....
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:13 PM   #110
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250 tons of snow, is too much pressure for flat roofs in New England-

'God was looking out for us,' says survivor of Lynn building collapse

January 27, 2011

"God was looking out for us,’’ said Peter Sullivan. Sullivan and Cesar Jimenez of Salem were in a parking garage on the Lynnway in Lynn when a section of the roof, estimated to be 100 feet by 125 feet in size, fell into the building, trapping the men in their car underneath steel I beams, corrugated steel, plywood, insulation, roofing materials and 3.5 feet of accumulated snow, officials said.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/bre...?p1=News_links
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:56 AM   #111
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Go home for lunch, or do not go home, at all? Light and fluffy today. Heavy as lead tomorrow.

Shovel music-

Billy Squier the Stroke (Music Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlWOWd5J_Hk
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:06 AM   #112
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Boston's Governor Patrick and His Honnah de May-ah gave everyone an automated call.
Stay off the roads! We ah tryin' to plow hea-ah. Stay home.
While you sleep-a fake out to begin with. Light snow.
Tomorrow?

A mess for the morning commute and a mess for the evening commute.
I would not count on being able to catch a flight out or in.
De-icing the planes might prove to be impossible.
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Old 02-10-2011, 12:34 AM   #113
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I will not be able to watch my team on the ice, without remembering that garbage truck of a man.
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Old 02-15-2011, 08:05 AM   #114
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February 11, 2011

Bob Slates Stationer will be going out of business after 78 years.
Harvard Square without Bob Slates?
The three brick and mortar stores will be gone.
They will be selling everything.
Closing up in March. They could not find a buyer.
Beautiful or fun writing supplies and gifts. No longer available.
Handwritten? Handmade? Made by human hands?

http://bobslate.com/home/
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Old 02-17-2011, 08:26 AM   #115
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Bookseller to close six stores in Mass.
Bankrupt chain $1.29b in debt

February 17, 2011

Boston Globe

Beleaguered bookseller Borders Group ended months of speculation yesterday,

after filing for bankruptcy protection, with plans to shutter about 200 stores,

including six in Massachusetts.

(gsgs comment- As if, Downtown Crossing has not lost enough.)

Barnes and Nobles left the Downtown Crossing area in 2006.
I was lucky enough to pick up the Lymond series in hardcover,
before they closed. They had a really nice Brit remainders bookcase.
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Old 02-20-2011, 10:43 AM   #116
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The winds have done their damage. Two power companies , two areas. Trees and power lines. Looks like Boston was not alone.

February 19, 2011
WASHINGTON -- The National Christmas Tree is no more.

The Colorado blue spruce that stood on the Ellipse south of the White House since 1978 was toppled Saturday morning by heavy winds.
By the afternoon, the 42-foot tree was ground into mulch.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...021902005.html

The endless freight train sound has not gone away. It just sounds like it is further away and making stops along the way.
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Old 02-20-2011, 12:29 PM   #117
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http://noir.bloomberg.com/apps/news?...d=aRgwgCC8ORsA


Bankers Who Broke Big Dig With Swaps Gone Awry Get Paid for Fix

By Michael McDonald

June 30 (Bloomberg) -- The same bankers who sold Massachusetts interest-rate swaps that blew up the debt financing for the so-called Big Dig road and tunnel project in Boston -- costing taxpayers $100 million -- are getting even more money to fix what they broke.

UBS AG bankers showed up at the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority in 2001 with a solution to a growing deficit at the state agency overseeing the $15 billion project. The bank gave the authority $29.1 million for an interest-rate swap linked to $800 million of Big Dig bonds, an agreement meant to cut the cost of paying back the debt and cover part of the budget shortfall. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. made similar deals.

The deal with UBS backfired as credit markets faltered two years ago, costing toll payers $36.3 million in extra interest and leading the Zurich-based bank to demand as much as $400 million to end the arrangement when the Big Dig bonds’ insurer lost its top credit ratings.

“There was really no mention of any downside of these swaps,” said Christy Mihos, a turnpike board member from 1999 to 2004 who voted for the UBS agreement. “It was portrayed as a no-brainer that we could not lose.”

The same Wall Street banks that triggered the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression also helped government borrowers from Greece to California paper over deficits with derivative deals promising savings on borrowings. Many of the agreements failed when credit markets seized up in 2008 and swap payments from banks no longer covered rising debt costs.

Swap Betting
States, cities and nonprofits have spent about $5 billion unwinding the transactions since then, said Peter Shapiro, managing director of Swap Financial Group in South Orange, New Jersey, an adviser to state and local governments.

“Use of these types of derivatives is making a bet,” said Joseph Giglio, a business professor at Northeastern University in Boston and former head of municipal securities at Chase Manhattan Bank. “If it seems too good to be true, it is.”

The fallout from the Big Dig swaps didn’t stop Massachusetts from giving new business to many of the same banks and officials who arranged them.

Governor Deval Patrick, 53, hired UBS in September 2007 to advise him on overhauling the state’s transportation finances. The agreement came about nine months after he named former UBS banker Henry Dormitzer undersecretary for administration and finance. The former UBS banker was a member of a team that sold the firm’s swap to the turnpike, according to Mihos.

Buried Bodies
“If you want to find out where the bodies are buried, you’ve got to go talk to the gravedigger,” Patrick, who’s seeking re-election this year, said in an Oct. 29 interview in Boston regarding his use of UBS as an adviser.

Dormitzer, who left the Patrick administration in 2008, declined to comment when reached by telephone.

Massachusetts also hired Paul Ladd, a former turnpike official who authorized the UBS swap in 2001, as part of an investment-banking team that refinanced about $2 billion of Big Dig debt this year.

The state signed up underwriters that would get Massachusetts the best price on its bonds, said Jay Gonzalez, the governor’s secretary of administration and finance.

“Whether or not a particular individual happened to work at the firm that has some history or another was not an overriding concern,” Gonzalez said in an interview. “We wanted to make sure we got the breadth in the underwriting team with the banks that were capable of selling hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bonds that have a real story behind them.”

Downtown Transformation
The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority was created in 1952 to oversee a 138-mile (229-kilometer) section of what is now part of Interstate 90. In 1997, the Boston-based agency was put in charge of the Big Dig, the most expensive public works project in U.S. history, which transformed the city’s downtown by replacing an aging elevated highway with tunnels.

While the project’s cost was estimated at about $5 billion when work began in 1991, expenses soared, sparking federal and state probes and criminal charges against contractors. No charges were brought related to the bond sales and derivatives.

To help cover budget shortfalls, the authority took the projected savings from swaps as upfront payments instead of waiting for them to accrue over time, according to Fitch Ratings. It collected $5.3 million from JPMorgan in 1999, $29.1 million from UBS in 2001 and $35 million from Lehman in 2002, according to its annual report.

‘Humongous Deficit’
“It’s easy to sit back now and say it was a terrible decision,” said Jordan Levy, a board member from 1997 to 2004 who voted for the swaps. “We were sitting there with this humongous deficit and they presented us a way out.”

In a swap transaction, two parties exchange payments, typically a floating one for a fixed. State and local governments usually sold variable-rate bonds and negotiated with banks to leave them paying fixed interest that was lower than prevailing municipal rates.

In addition to the expenses of the UBS swap, the authority paid $408,000 of extra interest since 2002 on a JPMorgan derivative linked to $100 million of Big Dig bonds, said Cyndi Roy, a spokeswoman for the state’s administration and finance office. The contract is set to last until 2029, according to a copy of the agreement.

The turnpike also had to set aside as much as $19.6 million of cash as collateral against the JPMorgan contract as central banks slashed benchmark rates amid the credit crisis, according to bond documents.

Justin Perras, a JPMorgan spokesman in New York, declined comment.

Lehman Payment
The authority paid $3.2 million to end the Lehman Brothers swap after the New York-based bank declared bankruptcy. Lawyers for what remains of the firm are disputing the amount paid, according to bond documents. The turnpike was told by bankers in 2007 that terminating the derivative contract could cost as much as $43 million.

The UBS swap backfired in January 2008 when the exchange of payments began. The agency, rated close to below-investment grade at Baa2 and Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service, was unable to refinance $800 million of its bonds into floating rates to match the agreement. It paid an extra $49.9 million in interest through the end of March this year and received $13.6 million from the bank, Roy said.

The UBS burden worsened last year when a unit of Ambac Financial Group Inc. that insured both the Big Dig bonds and the swap lost its top credit ratings. UBS sought a payment to end the swap, which the state said would cost as much as $400 million.

$100 Million
The demand forced Governor Patrick to step in. The Democratic-controlled Legislature dissolved the turnpike authority and pledged $100 million a year from a sales-tax increase to a new transportation agency so it could refinance the bonds. UBS dropped its payment claim and Patrick refinanced all of the highway’s Big Dig debt, including a sale of $800 million of floating-rate bonds to match the bank’s swap.

Doug Morris, a spokesman for UBS in New York, declined to comment.

“I’m glad the governor is cleaning up these messes,” Mark Montigny, a Democratic state senator from New Bedford who last year sought a formal probe of the turnpike swaps, said in an interview. “However, until we investigate and assign blame and find out if in fact there is criminal behavior or at a minimum serious civil recovery, then we learn nothing.”

The governor’s new transportation department in November hired Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase, Barclays Plc and Citigroup Inc. to refinance the turnpike’s Big Dig bonds, paying the underwriters $7.7 million for securities sold in March and May this year, according to sale documents.

Working With Massachusetts
Ladd, the turnpike’s former chief financial officer who authorized the UBS swap, according to a copy of the contracts, represented Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America working with the state to sell the bonds, said Jonathan Davis, the official who oversaw the offering.

Ladd left the turnpike in 2002 and is based in Boston. He declined to comment in a telephone call.

Paul Haley represented Barclays in a role similar to Ladd’s, Davis said. Haley was the Lehman Brothers banker who sold the turnpike a swap in 2002, according to Mihos, and a former chairman of the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee. He joined Barclays when the London-based bank bought Lehman’s investment banking and trading operations after its bankruptcy. He declined to comment.

‘Brink of Ruin’
The state used Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo PC, the turnpike’s bond counsel on the derivative, according to Mihos and Levy, as its disclosure counsel. John Regier, a lawyer at the Boston-based firm, said it verified the accuracy of information on the state’s finances given to investors for the bond sale and had nothing else to do with the transaction.

“The turnpike authority was on the brink of ruin because of the financial decisions made earlier this decade,” said Mary Connaughton, who served on the turnpike’s board from 2005 to 2009 and is running for state auditor this year as a Republican. “It doesn’t make sense to bring back the same old players.”
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:08 PM   #118
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Boston started out with cow paths. And went on from there. That kind of explains why Boston streets are nearly impossible to find.

I lived through The Dig. Every time someone brings it up, I think of the people who died because of it. It could have been worse.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:52 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotsnowgotslush View Post
February 11, 2011

Bob Slates Stationer will be going out of business after 78 years.
Harvard Square without Bob Slates?
The three brick and mortar stores will be gone.
They will be selling everything.
Closing up in March. They could not find a buyer.
Beautiful or fun writing supplies and gifts. No longer available.
Handwritten? Handmade? Made by human hands?

http://bobslate.com/home/
Harvard Square has become a bad to place to be if the name of your store starts with a "b".

Brighams
Baily's
Baby Watson's
Briggs and Briggs
And now Bob Slates. The Harvard Square of my youth is almost all gone.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:36 PM   #120
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Not much snow for Boston this weekend. A good time to visit the ski chalet further North. Fresh!
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:29 PM   #121
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The cars and trucks have begun to crash into buildings, again. It's only rain. ????
The ice and snow teach caution. Once that is gone, they drive like maniacs?
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Old 02-26-2011, 09:40 AM   #122
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We get a sprinkling of powdered sugar to decorate our streets.
Vermont gets 14 inches of snow.*shrug*
Northern NJ gets a funnel cloud? It has happened before.
Severe thunderstorm, pea sized hail, and floods.
Western MA can tell you about that.
The airports stay aware for wind shear,
for a reason.
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Old 03-03-2011, 02:41 AM   #123
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It is showing all over the world. It must be showing in Boston, somewhere!

http://www.mountstelias.com/en/

The Mount St Elias team.

A dramatic and awe-inspiring feature documentary following three of the world’s greatest ski mountaineers to the Mount St. Elias
in their attempt to realize the longest ski descent of the world.
Set against the backdrop of Alaska’s dangerous beauty, Mount St. Elias is about a visionary borderline experience where unparalleled physical and mental pressure pushes them to the absolute limit. They find themselves in puristic situations, in which heroism cannot easily be distinguished from folly. Situations which can only be mastered if reason is supposedly abandoned and in which courage as well as trust in their own abilities and last but not least luck are used as guidelines.


On Friday the 28th May, Peter Ressmann tragically lost his life during a climbing expedition in the Austrian Mountains. Peter was an inspiration to everyone who met him or knew of him and will be greatly missed.
Our thoughts and condolences are with Peter’s family at this time.

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Old 03-03-2011, 05:33 PM   #124
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Landmark Center is sold for $530.5m

February 1, 2011

The Abbey Group said today that it has sold Landmark Center,
an office and retail complex near Fenway Park, for $530.5 million.

The Abbey Group spent $115 million renovating the former Sears,
Roebuck & Co. warehouse into the Landmark Center in the 1990s.

The Boston Globe

(My Ogre Husband decided we would no longer have the dead tree version. :ambivalent icon )
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:42 AM   #125
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Enjoying some end of the season ski time? Look out below! Avalanche this past week.

Avalanche sweeps man down N.H. mountain
March 12, 2011

The New Hampshire man was out on a solo climb Thursday morning on the mountain’s Huntington Ravine. He started climbing down because he had concerns about unstable snow,
said Tiffany Benna, a spokeswoman for the White Mountain National Forest. While he was descending, the snow gave way, carrying him down a gully to the bottom of the ravine.

http://www.boston.com/news/local/new...?camp=obinsite

Dangerous, but beautiful.

http://neclimbs.com/
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