Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Sampler

Another Friday, another list of things that I didn't get a chance to point out over the past week.

  • Perfectly Legal: The Globe reports today that Independent Gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos used a perfectly legal scheme to avoid sales and excise taxes on his 36-foot yacht. Mihos had his lawyer create a corporation in Rhode Island, where there is no sales tax on yachts, which bought the vessel. If you've read Perfectly Legal by David Kay Johnston, you know that this sort of thing goes on all the time and the super rich have ways of avoiding taxes that are not accessible to your average person.

  • Star Profiles Sullivan: Speaking of Mihos, the Winchester Star this week profiles local boy John Sullivan, Mihos' hand-picked running mate and Winchester Town Moderator. If you know nothing about this guy, which is probably everyone other than Dan Kennedy, it's a decent enough introduction.

  • Lynch on North-South Rail Link: Congressman Stephen Lynch along with Massachusetts Sierra Club Director James McCaffery wrote an Op-Ed in Wednesday's Globe in support of linking North Station and South Station by rail. The project, they estimate will cost $5.7 billion, but that figure, I understand includes enhancements not related to digging the mile long tunnel -- electrification of existing track, for example. The idea is a good one, and would finally create an uninterrupted transit line from Maine down to Florida, and being a regional project, the state would have help with funding. That said, I think area residents just will not have an appetite for large-scale transit projects any more, no matter how much sense they make. We're going to need a few years to forget about the Big Dig before anyone has the stomach for another tunnel under the city.

  • Half-Time Governor: The year is about half over and Governor Mitt Romney has spent half of it out-of-state. Channel 5 crunched the numbers and found that in the first five months of 2006, "Romney has been on the road part or all of the day for 75 of the 151 days" -- just shy of 50%.

  • Second Suffolk Write-In Primary: Be sure to check out last Sunday's Globe article on the Second Suffolk senate race where incumbent Senator Diane Wilkerson failed to get enough signatures to appear on the primary ballot and is now fighting off challenges from activist Sonia Chang-Diaz and Republican candidate Samiyah Diaz who are all trying to win the Democratic primary as write-ins. I wouldn't count out Wilkerson, but when no one's name appears on the ballot, anything can happen.

  • 100 Grand for Watertown Square: The folks over at the Globe's blog suggested we look through the $700 million supplemental spending bill (PDF). Our share of it: $100,000 for the repairs and renovation of the Charles river landing at Watertown square. Does anyone know any more details about the renovation?

What's on your mind?