The city wants to replace parking spots along Comm. Ave. with a bike path. (Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
Boston Herald — At-large City Councilor Michael Flaherty, irate over what he called an “outrageous” plan to eliminate 73 parking spaces, plus an outbound traffic lane, to make way for a special “cycle track” for bike riders on a stretch of Commonwealth Avenue in Brighton, said he plans to grill the city transportation officials who proposed it.
“At a time when we just overspent tens of millions on snow removal and the administration is talking about the need to close five schools, someone comes up with the idea to remove 73 parking meters from the streets of Boston, meters that could generate up to $341,000 a year,” said Flaherty, who intends to call a public hearing. “I want to know who did that cost-benefit analysis and what other streets in Boston are they looking at?”
“This is outrageous,” added Flaherty, noting a single meter generates up to $4,680 a year. “Where do we make up that lost revenue?”
John Barros, Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s economic development chief, countered with the claim that cyclists spend, on average, $12,000 more locally than motorists. He added that meter revenue pales in comparison to cyclist safety. …
[T]he city wants to install special 6-foot-wide bike paths along the sidewalks. A 3-foot-wide curb would separate bikes from parked cars and traffic.
The city would have to remove 57 parking spaces inbound and 16 spaces outbound, and cut outbound traffic from three lanes to two along the three-quarter-mile stretch, Gillooly said. There are only two inbound traffic lanes already.
This is a fight you almost can’t win. Coming out on the side of motorists in a fight against bike riders is like watching Animal Planet and admitting you’re rooting for the crocodile over the gazelle.
Any time you rip cyclists you’re leaving yourself wide open for shots like, “What have you got against clean air?” and “Pardon bikers for trying to solve the traffic problem and caring about their health, bro.” There’s not a smarmier, more self-satisfied and righteously indignant subset of the culture than bike riders. They make Prius owners sound like baby seal hunters.
But economic development chief John Barrows can stop right there with this claptrap about cyclists spending 12 grand a year more than drivers, because it’s utter nonsense. Because by that logic, why doesn’t the city just rip every meter out of the ground and replace every parking space with a bike lane and turn the place into a biker’s paradise? Make every street look like the Champs-Elysees on the last day of the Tour de France. The Tour de Boston. Then cash would come flowing in and we could pave the bike paths with gold.
Missing from his argument is why cyclists would spend more than motorists. Assuming that’s even true, which I am not. And it’s because they don’t go anywhere. A guy on a bike can’t leave so every nickel of his spending is done within the city. It’s like saying Snake Plissken does a lot of good for the economy of New York because he spends all his disposable income there.
But the fact is you’re committing financial suicide every time you take a parking space away. What exactly does Chief Barrows thinks those parkers who feed the meters are doing on Comm. Ave.? Taking a walk? Feeding the pigeons? The only reason you take your car anywhere in the city and feed a meter is to spend money. You’re either paying for meals and tipping someone, or you’re purchasing something you then put in said motor vehicle and take home. As to the former, I’ll suggest people in cars spend a lot more on food than some neckbeard squeezed into spandex bike shorts. And for the latter, I’ve yet to see someone cart home a super expensive (and sales taxed) 70-inch LCD TV on a 10-speed.
The bottom line is I’m perfectly willing to share the road with bike riders. I think they’re a public menace, but I’m willing to share. But take away the few parking spots we have for a boondoggle like bike paths, and I won’t have to. Because I’ll just stop going into the city. And there are millions more of me than there are of them.
OK, this kind of hurts. I can forgive the Yankees for a lot of things, but never for making me like them, and that’s exactly what they’ve done here.
Remember when there was bad blood between us and them? And I don’t mean just the institutional hatred where just seeing the uniform would give you a visceral, emotional reaction and despise the guy wearing it. I’m also talking about when it spilled over to the field and the players couldn’t stand each other. The glory days of Jason Varitek feeding his glove to Alex Rodriguez and Pedro Martinez body-slamming Don Zimmer to the ground by his flappy jowls. Or the golden age of my youth when they’d have a bench-clearing brawl like once a homestand. I loved that hatred. It fueled me. It was probably the most honest emotion I ever felt.
And now it’s gone. All the passion has gone out of it for me. I stopped hating them a few Red Sox championships and a couple of dozen 4 1/2-hour nine-inning games ago. And now it’s at the point I can’t watch Yankees players badly re-enact a scene from the “The Sandlot” with horrifically bad acting and not kind of love them for it. Because it really is fantastic.
Now stop it, Yankees. I want to hate you again, and this makes it pretty much impossible.
Every time I think I’ve got the sports fans of America figured out, I get slapped with the reality that I really don’t know squat. As Gandalf says about hobbits, “You can learn all there is to know about their ways in a month, and yet after a hundred years they can still surprise you.”
You’d think finding out the most popular throwback jersey by sales in every state would be a fairly simple exercise, but just look at this map. Does this make a lick of sense? I mean sure, some states do. Larry Bird in Massachusetts. John Elway a slam dunk in Colorado. Johnny Unitas in Indiana. Those and a few of the others would be your first guess. But most of the results are a mess. It’s like looking at an electoral map on election night and finding out most of the races were won by candidates from the Whigs, Communists, Prohibitionists and Pirate Party.
What’s with Kobe Bryant being the most popular in seven states? And none of them being the state he’s actually played his whole career in? And pardon me, but isn’t he still playing, only with a different number? If you’re a Kobe fan, why wouldn’t you buy his current jersey? And, I’ll ask editorially, why are you a Kobe fan?
I get Yaz in Vermont, but why is the most popular throwback in two other New England states Vince Carter? Did Vinsanity make a foothold right under our noses that we all missed? And what is the connection Maniacs feel toward Dave Winfield of all damned people?
Though I’m not questioning Mississippi’s Bird love by any means.
Joe Montana is the most popular jersey in America’s most populous state. But not in the state actually named Montana.
Ray Nitschke was born in Illinois, went to the University of Illinois and played his entire career in Green Bay. So naturally he’s the most popular throwback jersey in Kansas. Go figure.
I love Louisiana going with Steve Gleason and Arizona going with Pat Tillman. From the bottom of my heart I love it.
I also love (though for a very different reason) New Jersey still going with Joe Namath, because that one championship and that goofy guarantee from 47 years ago is the one good thing that ever happened to Jets fans. It’s the “867-5309″ to their Tommy Tutone.
But who am I to judge? The heart wants what the heart wants. And on the whole, the American public is doing a better job of picking throwback jerseys than we are electing leaders.
Ben Volin joined the show live from the owners meetings in Phoenix.
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Joe Benigno of WFAN joined us with his thoughts on the tampering charges.
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The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
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The guys opened the show discussing the latest tampering charges.
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Pro Football Talk — On Monday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft spoke about the departure of Revis for the Jets. The next day, the Jets filed tampering charges against the Patriots.
Per a league source, the Jets have submitted to the league office a letter tracking the language cited by the Patriots when making their tampering charge in January.
“I speak as a fan of the New England Patriots,” Kraft said Monday, via Tom Curran of CSN New England. “We wanted to keep him, we wanted him in our system. We have certain disciplines and we had hoped it would work out. It didn’t. We just don’t think about the short-term decisions. For example, next year we have three very good young defensive players coming up [for contracts] and we have to factor that we just don’t look at this year, we look out at the next few years. We’ve done OK doing that.
“[The Jets] are the team that drafted him. I think he feels a great commitment there, so we understand his going back and we’re sorry he didn’t stay with us.”
The tampering rules prohibit “[a]ny public or private statement of interest, qualified orunqualified, in another club’s player to that player’s agent or representative, or to a member of the news media.” The rule includes this example of prohibited statements: “He’s an excellent player, and we’d very much like to have him if he were available, but another club holds his rights.”
I swear to you when I first read this I thought it was a joke. I had to read it five times and check the source because I thought someone was taking a snarky, satiric piece from The Onion and posting it as real news. But no. This is real. This is actually happening.
Never mind that the Jets claiming Mr. Kraft’s comments amount to tampering demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the rule, it betrays a philistine pig ignorance about the concept of time. Dictionary.com defines “time” as “the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another.”
I mean, where exactly are the “sequential relations” here? The cause and effect? In late December Woody Johnson mentions a guy who’s about to enter contract talks with his own team and says he’d love to get Revis back. Then on Super Bowl Sunday, Jets sources leak to Adam Schefter they’re preparing to take a run at Revis. Then in March they do so and they land him.
Mr. Kraft says Monday that the Patriots tried to keep Revis but couldn’t. The Jets were talking future tense; he was talking past tense. Revis was about to enter talks with the Patriots when Johnson spoke, and the ink hadn’t dried on his five-year deal with the Jets when Mr. Kraft spoke. By what insane, convoluted, pretzel logic are the two even remotely comparable?
Or to put it in simpler terms, what exactly did the Patriots tamper with? No one said, “Gee, we’re really interested in getting Darelle Revis back,” thus interfering with the Jets’ ability to re-sign him in 2020. On the contrary, Mr. Kraft made it clear the Patriots had no intention of paying that much for him. That they couldn’t afford him. Again, past tense. Calling that “tampering” would be like me saying, “I wish my date put out on prom night,” and her husband of 25 years calling that “cheating.”
Of course, just because this really happened doesn’t mean it’s not a joke. And to be honest with you, not only do I not mind, I’m glad the Jets have done this. I was getting worried the AFC East was so downtrodden there was no one left to hate. But this is so ridiculous and so blatantly personal that I’m glad the Jets have put the hatred right out in the open like this. And they’ve virtually assured a good old-fashioned, unnecessary-late-touchdown, run-up-the-score, blowout game this coming season. And that will NOT be a joke.
— Paul Pierce probably would like to forget his one year in Brooklyn, as the Nets went into the 2013-14 season with high hopes after adding some big names but underperformed and ended up in another rebuilding phase.
However, his former landlords aren’t ready to move on as Pierce did when he signed with the Wizards last offseason.
“[They] left the apartment in shambles, converting some of the items … to their personal gain and . . . ripping out carpeting, wooden floors … a washer and dryer and an expensive and unique stone hearth from the fireplace,” the court filing reads (via the New York Daily News).
The landlords, who live in Singapore, claim there was damage to radiator covers, halogen lights, kitchen tiling, a shower head, a towel hanger, a soap dish and a cabinet door, and that it took five months and $225,000 to fix the problems.
While the Pierces were paying $32,000 per month, the landlords say now they can only rent the Franklin Street condo for $23,000 due at least in part to the issues.
Appearing via the Internet from a courtroom in Los Angeles, Sharper said, “Guilty,” when asked for his plea. His lawyer issued a statement noting that Sharper accepted responsibility for his actions.
On Monday the 39-year-old Sharper pleaded guilty to sexual assault in Arizona and no contest to drugging and raping two women in California. He also faces charges in Louisiana. His deal allows him to serve his sentences at the same time.
Sharper played 14 seasons in the NFL with the Packers, Vikings and Saints, with whom he won a Super Bowl. He retired in 2011 and was working as an NFL Network when multiple cases of sexual abuse began to surface last year.
The Santa Clara County district attorney has not decided whether or not to file criminal charges against McDonald for the incident at his San Jose house, but Bears chairman George McCaskey said he was comfortable with his team’s move after meeting the player.
“We have a 96-year tradition of doing things a certain way, of bringing a certain type of player into our team,” McCaskey told reporters at the NFL meetings in Phoenix. “And those were my concerns going into the conversation with Ray. But I think you look at every situation individually. You try to find out as much information as you can that’s reliable to make the best decision you can about whether to offer a player the privilege of becoming a Chicago Bear.”
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 25, 1984, the Red Sox acquired Bill Buckner from the Cubs by sending Mike Brumley and which player to Chicago?