Skip to comments.Howie Carr thread week of July 20, 2008
Posted on 07/19/2008 9:35:03 PM PDT by raccoonradio
Howie Carr thread starting off with his Sunday Herald column
Howie column ping.
I will be around until late Tue., then will be “off”
from the 23rd through 29th. GQuagmire is nice enough to
do the ping list while I’m gone.
Pay to park? Do you know who I am?
By Howie Carr | Sunday, July 20, 2008 | http://www.bostonherald.com
What is it about state reps demanding to park for free? Actually, what is it about state reps demanding everything for free?
But first things first. Before going any further, you should know that the hack du jour, Rep. Demetrius Atsalis (D-Hyannis), denies saying Do you know who I am?
What he did do at the town parking lot at Veterans Beach a week ago Saturday was decline to pay $15 to park. He then put one of his State House business cards on the dashboard of his Audi.
Which is a lot like saying, Do you know who I am?
The local paper, the Barnstable Patriot, said Atsalis refused to pay his fair share. They quoted from the police dispatchers narrative, reporting that Atsalis exact quote to the attendant was: Just give me a ticket. They will laugh in your face.
Atsalis denied saying this. He didnt refuse to pay, he said, he just didnt have any cash on him, a strange situation indeed for a guy who had just come from the town parking lot he owns during what he describes as the busiest shift of the week. Who does he think he is, a Kennedy, walking around Hyannis without cash, demanding free stuff?
I paid the ticket, he said. Im out $25. Im probably out a couple of hundred from the parking lot while I was gone.
Dont you hate it when these cheap bastards sneak in and try to park for free?
As for the reps, their free parking on Beacon Hill has spoiled them. It offends their sensibilities when theyre asked to pony up, especially on the Cape. Two years ago it was Worcester Sheriff Guy Glodis, a former state senator. At another municipal lot, Glodis was accused of flashing a badge and claiming he was on police business (with his wife and kid). He denied it, but paid a $50 fine. These people arent reps, theyre recidivists.
By the way, free parking isnt Atsalis only perk. He also doesnt pay federal income taxes, or damn few anyway, on his $57,000 salary. See, he lives more than 50 miles from the State House - so, like one-third of his colleagues, not only does he get a per-diem travel allowance of maybe $70, he also gets to write off about $150 a day for every day the Legislature is in session.
Hey, I didnt write that law, Atsalis said. OK, back to last Saturday at the beach.
It was an emergency, he said. A friend had a problem on his boat in the bay and asked for help. Why you would call a state rep if youre in trouble, I have no idea - unless maybe youre being attacked by a platter of jumbo shrimp. So Atsalis abandoned his post at his own lot and drove down to Veterans Beach and all of a sudden there was this young girl asking him for $15.
She was 16 years old, he explained. She had no idea who I was.
So he drove on, parked and put his solons business card on the dashboard. He didnt expect to get a ticket. He knew somebody.
I was looking for a little help from a fellow citizen when somebody needs help out on the water. Id do it again.
I read the story from the Patriot on my radio show Friday night, chuckled and moved on to another topic. But then Atsalis called in. He wanted to explain. Beautiful, I thought. Keep talking. Keep digging.
And so he did. For a long time, he said, the lot was free for members of the Hyannis Yacht Club, to which he used to belong, until he let his membership lapse. And speaking of lapsed, the inspection sticker on his car was expired. But no problem, the cops didnt write him a ticket for that violation, because he wasnt present. Ill have to remember that one.
Since Atsalis does work the gate at his own lot, I asked him how often he himself gets the eternal do-you-know-who-I-am? question in a shameless ploy to beat the $15-a-day fee.
Just last week, he said. This Bruin, a former Bruin, pulls up. Hes going over to Nantucket for the weekend, and he says, Come on, gimme a break, times are tough. He was driving a Mercedes.
That ex-jock took a big risk. He could have been arrested for impersonating a state rep.
Now we know who he is.
I looked for a more recent photo. None online as far as I can see. He wants everyone to think he looks the same as in 1968.
Monday show ping
Tue show ping
I will be away from tomorrow through next Tue. night
so GQuagmire will do the ping list during this period.
I’ll resume it a week from tomorrow!
MA to have sales tax holiday weekend of Aug 16-17
OK one last post before I leave on my trip today; since I’m up early anyway, I’ll send ya a Howie column. From here on out it’s GQuagmire’s operation from now till I get back and thanks to him!
Pols latest crusade totally uncalled fore
By Howie Carr | Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | http://www.bostonherald.com
I have nothing against either golf or alcohol, but is this the only issue the Legislature can find to tackle - legalizing booze on golf courses?
First of all, who knew it was illegal to have liquor on golf courses? Dont most golfers keep a flask, or beers, in their golf bags? This is a fine example of solving a problem that doesnt exist, but then, those are a lot easier to tackle than something such as public-pension abuse, or the high cost of fuel, or the tolls, or Deval Patricks property-tax relief, of which we still havent seen any.
Why dont these Profiles in Courage take on, say, police details? Oh, I forgot, they did. Deval and the legislative leadership had a big press conference saying they were going to take the bull by the horns, and then the police unions grabbed them by another part of their anatomies, and hey why dont we just legalize booze on golf courses?
Hey, solons, if it aint broke, dont fix it.
The fact is, unregulated drinking on golf courses is a problem, and the problem is, the club owners arent making any money off their customers sneaking it. And if the reps dont give the golf clubs the legislation they want, how can they expect to be allowed to play for free or just jump in front of the line without a reserved tee time every weekend?
But what about the fact that the number of liquor licenses in all cities and towns is capped by the state? I called Rep. Jim Fagan, the sponsor of this very important legislation, and asked him how he plans to get around the cap.
We will do the same thing we do with a bottle of beer, he said. We will remove the cap.
Still this legislation raises so many questions.
Are the state police going to have roadblocks out at sand traps on holiday weekends?
Will this new law apply to all golf courses all the time, or only when soon-to-be-imprisoned solons are holding their charity tournaments that produce cash that isnt donated to charity?
Next, are we going to have beverage carts at the high-school football games on Thanksgiving?
Will every rep whos ever been convicted of an alcohol-related offense recuse themselves from the final vote, and if so, will there be a quorum in the House?
Once Question 2 is approved in November, and marijuana is de facto legalized, will pot be available too, and if you think booze slows down a foursome, wait until you try playing behind a quartet of Cheech & Chong and Beavis & Butthead.
As Archie Bunker used to say, you dont buy beer, you only rent it. What happens when the lease expires? Better put some portable toilets out there, or those golf-course views arent going to be what they used to be.
The argument is, only two states have a ban on alcohol sales - Massachusetts and Alaska. So what? Only one state has those aforementioned mandatory paid police details, and on that one were told that wed better get used to that if we know whats good for us.
This is what happens when you have a Legislature that is owned lock, stock and barrel by lobbyists. The reps are doing a favor for somebody who did a favor for them. This is why the lobbyists collected $39 million in fees in the first six months of this year, up from $34 million in the same period a year ago. No wonder every convicted crook in the state - think Felon Finneran and Felon Flaherty - is now a lobbyist.
And the lobbyists kick back - they doled out $628,000 in contributions to the solons, and thats with a $200 cap per hack. No wonder the lobbyists can make sure that nothing ever passes that hurts their clients - the public unions and big business - and that the only bills that ever do pass are this type of silliness.
Can somebody shout Fore Roses?
Article URL: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/opinion/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1108521
Estelle Getty won’t be down for breakfast....Death Pool?
Thursday HC ping.
Veterinarian John deJong scheduled for the fourth hour.
Thanks to GQ for the pings! I am at a Kinko’s in Berkeley CA right now..saw UCB and did some shopping (kinda hippie
heaven but wait till I get to the Haight...); will see Giants, A’s and the usual tourist stuff. Who knows, may bump into Michael Savage, ha!