Monthly Archives: October 2008

7 posts

2008 General Election Voter Information

The 2008 general election will be held this Tuesday, November 4th. It will mark the end of a long and historic election season that has generated enthusiasm and interest here at home and across the world. Here are a few questions people may still have:

Where do I vote?
There are dozens of polling locations in Cambridge and Somerville, and yours should be very close to your home address. To help you find your polling location, the state elections division has created an online resource:

What will be on my ballot?
This is a general election, so there will be offices up for election at every level. This will be your chance to vote for president after a long and grueling campaign, as well as three ballot questions.
Detailed information on the ballot questions can be found at the state’s election website:
2008 Massachusetts Statewide Ballot Questions

Question 1: State Personal Income Tax
A YES VOTE would reduce the state personal income tax rate to 2.65% for the tax year beginning on January 1, 2009, and would eliminate the tax for all tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2010.
A NO VOTE would make no change in state income tax laws.

Question 2: Possession of Marijuana
A YES VOTE would replace the criminal penalties for
possession of one ounce or less of marijuana with a new system of civil penalties.
A NO VOTE would make no change in state criminal laws concerning possession of marijuana.

Question 3: Dog Racing
A YES VOTE would prohibit dog races on which betting or wagering occurs, effective January 1, 2010.
A NO VOTE would make no change in the laws governing dog racing.

Community Bocce Court

This past month, the long awaited (by some) public bocce court opened outside the King Open school on Cambridge St. Bocce is a great, simple game, and can be played by people of literally all ages, from children as young as three or four to senior citizens well into their nineties.

From Bocce

The first incarnations of the game date as far back as 5000 BC, when the ancient Egyptians threw polished rocks at a smaller target. The goal of the game then, as it still is now, was to get your rock or ball to land closer to the target than anyone else’s. The game has evolved since then, taking many different forms along the way. The first official league and the Bocce World Championships formed in Italy in 1947, and the game has only grown in popularity since then.

From Bocce

Over the past hundred years in Cambridge, various bocce leagues, clubs and informal organizations have come and gone, although recently – especially after the closing of Bertiucci’s and its basement bocce court in Somerville – local players have not had courts available to them without leaving town. The new court is an excellent place for players of all levels of skill and seriousness to come to gather and play a game.

At the unofficial opening of East Cambridge’s very own public bocce court, I tried my hand in a friendly match, and I learned very quickly that the game actually does require some degree of skill to win. Whether you are a long time player or a relative newcomer to the game like myself, the new court is an excellent place to bring a small group of kids or have a relaxing game of Bocce with friends on a weekend afternoon.

From Bocce

From Bocce

Visiting Le Cordon Bleu

Last spring I visited the brand new Boston campus of the world-famous Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. Originally founded in Paris in 1895, Le Cordon Bleu has developed a reputation for academic and culinary excellence, and the residents of the larger metro-Boston area are very lucky to now have the institution’s newest campus in our own backyard.

When I first visited, the halls were quiet and the first group of students had just arrived. When I returned at the end of September, the halls were bustling, the classroom kitchens were filled, and good smells filled the air. I had the opportunity to speak with several chefs as well as students about their experiences so far, and their responses were overwhelmingly positive.

From Le Cordon Bleu

Chef Ying-Wei Luo, who is currently the pastry chef at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge and teaches Introduction to Baking and Pastry, invited me into his classroom to meet his students and try a freshly baked roll. The students were all very engaged in their work, and their rolls were excellent.

From Le Cordon Bleu
From Le Cordon Bleu

I also spent time speaking with a few students from Cambridge and Somerville, who were all very glad to have the opportunity to attend this world-class school of culinary arts right outside of Boston. All-in-all, this is a fantastic institution, and is a great addition to the already thriving academic community in Cambridge.